Hezbollah Mourns Martyr Mohammad Tahhan Killed by Israeli Fire While Protesting on Borders in Support of Gaza

Hezbollah mourned on Friday the martyr Mohammad Tahhan who was killed by the Zionist fire during a demonstration on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders in support of Gaza against the Israeli aggression.

Al-Manar reporter mentioned that the Zionist occupation forces opened fire at a popular demonstration on Lebanon’s border with the occupied Palestine, adding that the martyr was holding the Palestinian flag when he was shot by the enemy troops.

126 Palestinians were martyred and 950 others were injured in the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza. The Palestinian resistance has fired around 2500 missiles at the Zionist cities and settlements since the start of the aggression on May 10, inflicting heavy losses upon the Israelis.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Hezbollah: the Liberation of Palestine entered its last stage

Date: 14 May 2021Author: lecridespeuples

Interwiew of Sayed Hashem Safi al-Din, Head of the Executive Office of Hezbollah, May 11, 2021.

This interview was to be devoted exclusively to martyr Sayed Mustafa Badr al-Din “Zulfiqar”, Hezbollah commander killed in Syria on May 13, 2016, but the developments in Gaza were evoked at the beginning and end of the interview. We only translate these excerpts. Sayed Hashem Safi al-Din is a likely successor to Hassan Nasrallah.

Source: https://program.almanar.com.lb/episode/167851

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcription:

Journalist: […] Before getting to the heart of the matter, we must talk about what is happening in Palestine, especially since the Palestinian cause was very important to Sayed Zulfiqar. How does Hezbollah see the violent Israeli escalation against Palestinians in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Gaza? What are the challenges & horizons of this escalation, and why is it happening now?

Sayed Safi al-Din: In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Let me first congratulate Muslims on the last days of the month of Ramadan, and for Eid al-Fitr, which will be celebrated in a day or two. I ask God the Most High to make these occasions a blessing for our Ummah (worldwide Muslim community), for the Resistance fighters and for the combatants. I have special thoughts for the families of the martyrs, the family of Sayed Badr al-Din, his daughters, his sons, his parents and his brothers, as well as all his loved ones, and all the families of the martyrs. I ask God the Most High to fill them with blessings in these days.

I must also extend sincere and strong greetings, from the bottom of my heart, to the soul and spirit of the Mujaheedin in Palestine, to the (Palestinian) people of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), to its men, women, young people, children, and the young people of Gaza, to all the heroic fighters of all the Palestinian (Resistance) factions. We salute them with respect and thank them for everything they do during these days and hours, in these very minutes. They defend the honor of the entire Ummah. Al-Quds represents the honor of the whole Muslim Community, the dignity of the whole Muslim Community.

What is happening in Palestine today is a sign of the end of a stage, and the start of a new stage (of the Arab-Israeli conflict). We have witnessed, in recent years, some examples of Israeli and American arrogance and hubris, and examples of the servility, betrayal and humiliation (of Arab rulers) who have vilely crept in the direction of normalization (of their relations with Israel). Some thought this was the last Act to be played, but we told them it was not the end, because the Muslim community is bigger and stronger than that. The Ummah in which there are so many Resistants, martyrs and leaders such as Sayed Mustafa Badr al-Din, for whom Palestine was in the eyes, in the heart and in all his existence… We said that this Muslim Community concealed many blessings, strength, capacity and greatness, and that it was capable of shaping (itself) the future.

The events of Al-Quds occurred, with the events that followed, until the use of rockets yesterday and today, by the hundreds, a veritable storm of rockets which shook the Zionist entity in order to say (two things): first, to tell the Israelis that the Resistance was much stronger than they imagined; and second, to tell the Zionists and Americans as well and all the normalizers, cowards and traitors (of the Arab-Muslim world) that the Palestinian people was much stronger, and that he would never abandon Palestine or Al-Quds.

These upheavals happening today will open new doors, create a new reality. A reality fraught with (huge) consequences, namely new equations. The equation of victories, the equation of the near Liberation (of Palestine territories) with the grace of God the Most High. These are equations that are based on the sacrifices of recent years. In recent years, there have been many sacrifices on the part of the Palestinian people, the Resistance, the Resistance Axis, in all directions and on all fronts and battlefields. All of these sacrifices resulted in what we see today, some of the scenes we see today. And what is yet to come is greater, much greater with the grace of God the Most High. […]

Journalist: To come back to what is happening in Palestine, what did Al-Quds and Palestine represent in the eyes of Sayed Zulfiqar? What emotional and jihadist ties linked him to the Palestinian cause?

Sayed Safi al-Din: Palestine represents jihad, and his first connection to it is (through) weapons, guns and bullets. He began his journey as a fighter in the ranks of the Palestinian Resistance (during the Fedayeen era in Lebanon). He has (strong) links, experiences, relationships, participation (with them). After that, his experience within Hezbollah was mainly focused on Al-Quds and Palestine. It’s no secret, it’s the truth. He also belongs to this culture. As far as he was concerned, Palestine was the compass, the central cause, the ultimate goal and hope. Al-Quds was for him the place where we had to make all the sacrifices to reach the stage of its Liberation, because by liberating Al-Quds (Jerusalem), we will not only liberate the holy places, but we will recover all the honor and all the dignity that have been stolen from us in all the past decades. As far as we are concerned, Al-Quds is everything we live for. And in these days (of war in Gaza), we feel more than ever the presence of such figures as Sayed Zulfiqar, Hajj Imad Moghniyeh, and the great leader Hajj Qassem Soleimani: in the end, (even if) they have found martyrdom in Syria, in Iraq or anywhere else, their essential cause, their greatest hope, what their whole being tended towards was to bring the Muslim world from one point to another, until it reaches Al-Quds and can finally liberate the Holy City.

And today, yes, as we have heard in some comments, those rockets that have been launched (against Israel) are the hope of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. They carry the hope of Hajj Imad (Moghniyeh). They carry the fiery aspiration of Sayed Zulfiqar. They carry all these (pure) souls. It is these souls who have acted and made all efforts relentlessly, (taking all the risks and) making all the sacrifices to ensure that this ballistic capability reaches the hands of the Resistance in Gaza. And thank God, today, these capabilities arrived in Gaza! These abilities grow and develop. The first credit goes to the Palestinian fighters there, of course, whatever their faction, but those who acted, supported and allowed all this, are these martyrs, these (Iranian and Lebanese) leaders, including Sayed Zulfiqar, who worked day and night for the Resistance inside Palestine to obtain great capacities, and even colossal capacities.

Journalist: So Sayed Mustapha Badr al-Din helped transfer skills and support to Resistance factions inside occupied Palestine?

Sayed Safi al-Din: He did more than contribute! He acted constantly (for the Palestinian Resistance)!

Journalist: What did this action consist of?

Sayed Safi al-Din: Transfering the experience, training, maintaining contact with all the resistant Palestinian forces, helping them to obtain the capacities and skills in all the fields, whether it has to do with obtaing weapons, the ability to manufacture them, their handling and use, all these abilities. Generally speaking, Hezbollah has played a big role in this regard, and we are very proud of it. It is our duty anyway. All of our commanders participated in that. This is neither a secret nor a shame, on the contrary, it is a matter of pride!

Journalist: Eminent Sayed, how important is the equation imposed by the Palestinian Resistance in linking the fate of Jerusalem to that of Gaza? How will this equation affect rules of engagement and the balance of power in the future?

Sayed Safi al-Din: If you remember correctly, this Gaza which just drowned the Israelis (under a deluge of rockets), the enemy considered that all Gaza could do was struggle its way through the various calamities in which it had been abandoned, struggling to cope with the problems created by the occupier and the United States, whether by the siege, pressures, (crippling) policies, etc., and therefore Israel considered it had nothing to fear from them. I am not going to recall all these well-known elements, which are part of History. But today, this Gaza is not only taking back its life, its future and everything it has in Palestine and Al-Quds, no! The very soul of Gaza now arises in Al-Quds! The soul of the Resistance that the occupier wanted to crush and suffocate in Gaza is present today in Al-Quds, in the West Bank, and will rise tomorrow in all the territories occupied in 1948 and throughout Israel!

The most important consequence of what is happening today is that the Palestinian cause is revived everywhere, at all levels, with all its weapons, all its fighters, all its rockets/missiles, all over (historical) Palestine! And that’s just the beginning!

Israel wanted to neutralize Gaza, through massacres and destruction, and then to neutralize a whole part of the (occupied) West Bank, through the separation wall. You have seen how the Separation Wall is built in a sinuous and even vicious way, with areas off-limits to Palestinians (making life impossible for them). Israel considered the territories conquered in 1948 to be safe, and part of the “historic Israeli entity” forever. The Arabs could forget (the territories of) 1948, they were irremediably absorbed! Forget Gaza, which is out of the game! (That’s what Israel thought). There were still a few besieged places in the West Bank, whether in Hebron or elsewhere. But the reality is that today, all of historic Palestine is set ablaze and embracing the Resistance! Today all of Palestine is resisting! All of Palestine is Al-Quds! This city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) that they wanted to erase from the Palestinian cause, making forget even its (Arabic) name and its memory, whether through the Deal of the Century, the displacement of the American Embassy (from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem), and all these campaigns (to liquidate the Palestinian cause), the humiliating visits of some cowardly and enslaved Arab (regimes), unfortunately, the promises of establishing normal relations, etc. But (despite all this), Al-Quds today shines. She shines through her martyrs, she shines through the martyrs of Gaza. These Israelis today are killing children, women and men who die because they defend Al-Quds! These martyrs make Al-Quds even more resplendent, and give it even greater value in the minds of Palestinians, in the minds of Arabs and in the minds of (all) Muslims (worldwide).

What happens today will have very big, even grandiose consequences, as I told you before. Of course, now is the time for battle, not for analysis, now is the time for battle. It will be time to draw all the conclusions afterwards. In this time of battle, our common duty is to stand with the Palestinian people. We salute these efforts, these sacrifices, we salute these heroes, men, women and children, who went yesterday at dawn to the holy mosque of Al-Aqsa to enter and assert their right to be present there, at Sheikh Jarrah district, at the Damascus gate, everywhere, at every point (from where the settlers and police were trying to drive them out); we salute these men, these women, these young people, these children, all those who sacrifice themselves. We salute the fighters who, as I said, restore honor to the Ummah. We send them a thousand greetings, and with the grace of God, the whole Muslim world will be with them, the whole Arab world will be with them.

What is happening today is (the triumph of) the truth. The truth of our (Arab-Muslim) world is visible to everyone. Our Ummah is (deeply) steeped in Resistance, its inner core is Resistance. Its history, its culture, its identity are the Resistance! Such are our peoples, such is our (Arab-Muslim) Community. There may be, in this or that country, economic, political, or any other kind of problems, we can say that the Arab world is drowned in the so-called Arab Spring, whether in Egypt, in Tunisia, Syria, Iraq or anywhere else, but despite all their efforts to present these realities as preponderant to exhaust the peoples of our region, today, Palestine, Al-Quds and Gaza are reviving all these elements of strength present within our Community. And our Ummah declares to the United States, Israel and all the cowards that no, it is stronger than that, greater than that, and able to shape her future. And that’s exactly what she’ll do.

We are talking about realities and equations today, not empty slogans or hopes, not at all. As I told you at the beginning, what happened in Syria was no small thing, and what happened in Iraq was no small thing, at the level of the action of Resistance (reference to the victory against ISIS). And what is happening in Palestine now is no small thing. What happened in Yemen is no small thing. This victorious resistance of the Resistance Axis, among other consequences clearly visible today, brings the peoples of the Muslim world, little by little, to join this Resistance Axis, until it becomes the dominant choice and priority for our entire region.

See Nasrallah explains why Qassem Soleimani is unique and how he defeated ISIS in Iraq

And today I can say categorically and without any hesitation that yesterday and today, we had glaring proof of Trump’s failure when he targeted Hajj Qassem Soleimani, may God be pleased with him. The Al-Quds Force (Revolution Guards Corps, led by Soleimani), which spearheaded this Axis of Resistance, is now achieving very great victories. Of course, it is the Palestinian people who achieve these victories (in occupied Palestine), but at the level of vision and (common) cause, what happens there is one of the consequences of the work of the Hajj Qassem. And with the grace of God, what will come in the next battles will be even greater.

Journalist: Can you tell us, given your close proximity to Palestinian Resistance factions, to what extent we can say that Gaza still holds surprises and secret cards in its hands, which it can use if the confrontation extends?

Sayed Safi al-Din: It’s up to them to talk about this. The Palestinian Resistance, through its fighting and resistant factions, is capable of expressing itself, whether through declarations, through missiles, through actions, when it sees fit. This is their exclusive right, and we do not have to interfere with it. But what I know (and can say) in general is that the capacities of the Resistance in Palestine are very great, in terms of time (they can keep pace for weeks and months), capacities, weapons, the ability to fight (victoriously), etc. Their capacities are great, much more than what Israel can imagine.

Journalist: I am told in my earphone that Ben-Gurion Airport has just been targeted. What does this indicate? Is it a strong symbol?

Sayed Safi al-Din: To strike Tel Aviv is a very important thing, a remarkable qualitative development in terms of acts of Resistance. The same goes for the attack on Ben Gurion Airport. This is all due to the grace of God and the blessings that come with standing up for Al-Quds. The fact that Gaza has come into action in defense of Al-Quds brings great (divine) blessings. When the Islamic Community decides to defend Al-Quds, God pours out (huge) opportunities and benefits upon them.

Of course, all of this cannot happen without sacrifices. Whenever in a battle, the Islamic Resistance achieves great achievements, we must always remember that these exploits happen thanks to the grace of the blood of martyrs, the efforts of the fighters, the sacrifices, the patience and the endurance displayed by the Resistance, whether in Palestine, Lebanon or any other place. […]

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Israel is deliberately obliterating media buildings in Gaza to cover up the war crimes that will follow

moi

May 14, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

The destruction of two important Gaza buildings housing 20 media outlets was both shocking and predictable. History shows that if the media aren’t around to document Israel’s war crimes, it’s a lot easier for it to commit them.

On Tuesday, Israel bombed the 10-storey Al-Jawhara Tower, causing it to collapse. Before doing so, it had ‘benevolently’ warned that the airstrikes were coming. The following day, it bombed the 14-storey Al-Shorouk Tower, also giving warning it was going to do so.

Most reports have the buildings as evacuated before being levelled. But without these media offices, reporting on Israel’s other war crimes will be left largely to what little media remain and citizen journalists.

The buildings were significant. A statement by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) noted the Al-Jawhara building housed the offices of 13 media institutions and NGOs. And an advisory by the Committee to Protect Journalists noted that the Al-Shorouk building housed at least seven media outlets.

A further statement by the same committee said that the Israeli military had defended its bombing of the building via email, bizarrely claiming it had “acted within international law,” alleging the Al-Jawhara building housed Hamas’ intelligence and military offices, and saying the Al-Shorouk building was a base for Hamas’ military intelligence offices and “infrastructure to communicate tactical-military information.”

Just minutes after the Al-Shorouk building was destroyed, I spoke by phone with Shadi Ali, a producer who had worked there for ten years and was understandably devastated at what had happened. He told me of previous occasions when Israel had bombed the building, in 2009, 2012, and 2014.

I was there in 2012. My office was on the 14th floor when it was hit at 6am. I was sleeping; I had only slept for one-and-a-half hours when it was hit by two missiles on the top floor,” he told me. “When it was bombed in 2014, we had taken precautions and left it already. They struck the 15th floor, destroying it completely. Our floor became the top floor after that.”

The building was on a main Gaza street, Omar Mukhtar, surrounded by residential apartment buildings. I asked whether he knew if there had been casualties this time. He replied, “We’re waiting, because often they’ll strike again soon after, knowing that people have come to search for casualties.”

I’ve witnessed this tactic with my own eyes. In January 2009, while I was accompanying Palestinian Red Crescent medics, one of the bodies the medics retrieved was that of a Kiffah Lum Towwak, 35, killed by an Israeli missile strike on her backyard in Jabaliya, just minutes after a strike which killed a family member living in the same house.

The same month, I was inside the now-destroyed Al-Shorouk building, having just finished an interview with RT about what I’d seen while riding in ambulances in the extremely dangerous areas of Gaza’s north. Shortly after concluding the interview, Israel shelled the building at least seven times. Thankfully, the tank shelling didn’t destroy the building, and we were able to run down the stairs to “safety” (although in reality nowhere was safe).

January 2009

The Al-Shorouk building was again bombed a week after this. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the bombing and noted that the Israeli military had contacted Reuters (which had an office inside) “minutes before the attack to confirm the location of its Gaza office,” and had explained it would not be targeted.

In November 2012, I reported from a hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, after Israeli attacks, and documented the destruction of bridges and other infrastructure as well as visiting the media buildings which had been targeted. Iwrote at the time, “At least three Palestinian journalists were killed in the November 2012 Israeli attacks on Gaza, and at least 12 reported injured. The Sharook building suffered damage on its upper floors from a number of bombings including drone and possibly Apache helicopter missiles. The building housing Aqsa TV and various other media offices likewise suffered major damage on its upper floors.”

The CPJ reported“A series of airstrikes beginning early Sunday and continuing today targeted two buildings, Al-Shawa and Housari Tower and Al-Shuruq Tower, which are well-known for housing numerous international and local news organizations, news reports said. At least seven journalists were injured in the first attack. Khader al-Zahhar, a cameraman for Al-Quds TV, lost his right leg.”

Having journalists on the ground in a place like this is critical. In previous wars on Gaza, Israel has committed a litany of war crimes, including in 2009 targeting with a flechette bomb and killing a uniformed Palestinian medic as he worked to save injured civilians; firing more dart bombs on mourners the following day, killing six, including a pregnant woman; targeting with sniper fire two medics I was with, during ceasefire hours; assassinating children and infantsdrone-striking a 14-year-old during ceasefire hours; raining white phosphorous down heavily on civilian areas throughout Gaza; bombing a school sheltering the displacedbombing hospitals and repeatedly shelling a home Israeli soldiers had forced 60 members of an extended family into, killing 26, including 10 children and seven women.

And that was only in 2009. In 2012 and 2014, Israel again committed more unspeakable crimes of war, destroying entire neighbourhoods and massacring the residentsshelling children on a beach, and drone-striking a teen hours before ceasefire, among many others.

And now, after a few days of Israeli bombardment, horrific reports are emanating from Gaza, including accounts of Palestinians killed by what is believed to be toxic gas, and Israeli precision bombings killing entire families. As of May 14, Gaza’s health ministry reports at least 119 killed, including 31 children.

Meanwhile, across occupied Palestine, Israelis are calling for Palestinians’ deaths, with a rabbi allegedly saying, “I call on you to kill all Arabs!” and others using Facebook and Telegram to organize attack mobs. And it was recently reported, “Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz threatened more destruction than he ordered in Gaza in 2014. At that time, he was Israel’s chief of staff commanding the 51-day assault that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children.”

Also reported is an Israeli MP’s call for the Israeli army to “flatten the Strip.” That is nothing new. As I wrote in 2014, “During the eight days of slaughter, Israeli figures called to ‘blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water,’ and to ‘Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,’ said the deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai and Gilad Sharon respectively.”

Israel’s bombing spree of media targets has been rightly condemned. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate stated that“the targeting of media headquarters in the brutal bombardment of Gaza is part of the full-fledged war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people,” and called for the United Nations and the Red Cross “to provide urgent protection to journalists and the media, and to activate Security Council resolution 2222 (which includes the protection of journalists) and oblige the occupation to fulfil [sic] this.”

The CPJ stated“It is utterly unacceptable for Israel to bomb and destroy the offices of media outlets and endanger the lives of journalists, especially since Israeli authorities know where those media outlets are housed.” And the International Federation of Journalists said, “The international community cannot turn a blind eye to the systematic violations of human rights and the deliberate targeting of media and journalists. Urgent actions must be taken to hold those responsible for these crimes internationally accountable”.

However, while journalist protection committees have condemned the recent Israeli bombings of media buildings in Gaza, Western corporate media generally haven’t. Imagine, though, if this was taking place in Syria: if Syrian or Russian planes premeditatedly bombed and levelled media buildings there. That would be front page news for days, if not weeks.

I would go back to Gaza to report on this horror if I could enter, but that’s impossible: Israel would not let me in, and is not allowing journalists in in general.

In December 2008, RWB reported, Israel declared the Gaza Strip a “closed military zone” and denied access to journalists working for international media. And now, as Shadi Ali told me the other day, Israel knows there are not many foreigners in Gaza to report what is going on. There is a media blockade, on top of the brutal siege of Gaza and Israel’s bombardment.

Israel will commit so many crimes in Gaza, while foreign media are not present,” Ali predicted. And he’s right. As Israel threatens to invade by land, the protection of media buildings and journalists becomes all the more important, because Israel will commit more war crimes. They’ve already pledged to make Gaza burn.

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Hamas Emphasizes Its Equation: Shelling for Shelling, City for City, Missile for Missile

15/5/21

Hamas Emphasizes Its Equation: Shelling for Shelling, City for City, Missile for Missile

By Staff, Agencies

A spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said the group has well laid down the law of retaliation for bloody ‘Israeli’ airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip by launching missile attacks on Tel Aviv, emphasizing that his fellow fighters will respond to any act of aggression to the coastal enclave.

“The resistance front has managed to establish an equation in the current round of confrontations under the theme of ‘Shelling for shelling, city for city and missile for missile,’” Fawzi Barhoum told Tasnim news agency on Friday.

“When the resistance bloc entered the battle with the Zionist regime, it was familiar with its boundaries and mechanisms to control and manage it. This is not something new for Palestinian resistance factions that the ongoing combat is going to last longer. It is something unprecedented for the Zionist regime as it has suffered unlike first-time and severe blows since its inception, including the launch of 150 missiles on Tel Aviv within just three minutes,” he added.

Barhoum went on to say that the ‘Israeli’ military considered the latest round of fighting with Hamas to be limited, so it waged a psychological war that the conflict is going to last long.

“We are ready to continue the battle no matter how long it will take,” the spokesperson pointed out.

Barhoum said the ‘Israeli’ regime was caught up in the ongoing conflict due to its repudiation of the resistance front’s might, noting that “The equation has now proven that Tel Aviv would be fired upon in case Gaza bombed, and buildings would be targeted in retaliation.”

“‘Israel’ would fail to obtain any of its objectives out of the bloody onslaught on the Gaza Strip, and will resort to mediators to broker a ceasefire as it did during 2012 and 2014 wars,” he added,

“International communications have not been cut off. We have had contacts with Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations; but have clearly told them that we reserve the right to safeguard our sanctities and homeland. Any mediator must force the Zionist enemy to stop its aggression against al-Quds as well as other parts of our lands,” Barhoum said.

The Hamas spokesman highlighted that more surprises may yet be awaiting the ‘Israeli’ enemy in the latest flare-up between the two sides.

Laith Marouf on Palestinian legitimate Resistance to Israeli occupation & to the bombardment of Gaza

Eva Bartlett 

I spoke with Beirut-based geo-political analyst and media policy and law consultant, Laith Marouf, about Israel’s current indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, the events preceding this latest assault, and the remarkable new capabilities of Palestinian resistance in justly & legally resisting their occupier.

‘Operation Guardian of the Walls’ Will Not Fix Israel’s Apartheid Walls

May 13, 2021

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Jamal Juma

Israel has once again gone on a killing spree. Over 83 Palestinians, including 17 children, have already been killed in Israel’s bombings of Gaza as of today, 13 May 2021. Israeli forces have escalated their repression and attacked the Al Aqsa Mosque four times this week. Over one thousand Palestinians are wounded.

The numbers are rising as you read. In an unprecedented act, Israel has redeployed their military troops normally stationed in the occupied West Bank, called ‘Border Police,’ inside the Green Line.

We are in pain for the losses of lives, our wounded, our prisoners, the destruction of our homes and our holy sites.

We are in urgent need of maximum global mobilization to pressure Israel to stop this onslaught now. More importantly, we need for the international community to recognize Israel’s regime as the system of apartheid, settler-colonialism and occupation that it is. Israel must be held accountable for its crimes for the crimes to end.

We Just Will Not Accept Apartheid

As Palestinians, we call for support but we are not passive victims. We would not have withstood 73 years of ethnic cleansing, dispossession and Israeli attempts to destroy our presence at all levels, including the systematic suppression of our national identity, our social relations and cultural expressions.

What we are witnessing today follows a month of relentless attempts by Israel to stop Palestinians from doing what they have always done: to celebrate Ramadan in Jerusalem, filling the al Aqsa Mosque and the streets of Jerusalem at night.

Palestinians haven’t budged. They won a number of small victories against Israel’s attempts to exclude them from their city of Jerusalem. They have achieved the removal of ‘security’ barriers at Damascus Gate, which blocked access to the Old City. The displacement of the Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah has been postponed up to this point. When Israel tried to stop Palestinian citizens of Israel from coming to Jerusalem for the end of Ramadan, Palestinians from Jerusalem came out in mass, simultaneously bringing to a complete standstill Israel’s main highway leading to Tel Aviv as they welcomed and accompanied Palestinians on their way to the holy city. In the end, the annual march of Israeli settlers to the al Aqsa Mosque had to be canceled.

The reaction from Gaza to the ongoing Israeli aggression on the al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem may have been predictable. What caught the Israeli establishment by surprise was the explosion of protests in Israel’s so-called ‘mixed’ cities. The real meaning of what Israel calls ‘coexistence’ has been laid bare. These cities are – Israeli society is – a system of apartheid. There is Sun City and there is Sharpeville and Palestinians just won’t have it.

Today Palestinians are demanding their rights on the streets everywhere.

The walls of Israeli apartheid are crumbling.

Guarding the Cracks in Their Apartheid Walls

Israel has called its current military onslaught “Operation Guardian of the Walls”. It is a name of chilling honesty. Israel will do everything it can to subdue Palestinians, to at least momentarily close the cracks in their walls of oppression.

Israel thought it had Gazans besieged behind walls, confined in an unlivable environment and crushed under the trauma of repeated massacres in 2006, 2009 and 2014 to keep them suffering in silence. They believed Palestinians in the West Bank were trapped within the confines of its apartheid Wall that encircles their villages and towns.

Maybe even worse, Israel imagined the West Bank compliant with a Palestinian Authority that currently uses its security forces as substitutes for the Israeli Border Police, which have been deployed beyond in the Green Line, in order to protect illegal Israeli military checkpoints, its equally illegal Wall and other places of protest. Palestinians in Jerusalem were supposedly leaderless and busy with their basic survival.

Palestinian citizens of Israel, so they thought, had grown used to living as third-class citizens under apartheid and happy just to cast a vote once in a while for a political system in which they will never actually have a say.

Palestinian refugees should have simply stayed forgotten amidst the flurry of normalization deals with Arab dictatorships.

Israel developed an elaborate system to fragment the Palestinian people in differentiated, oppressive regimes.

A perfect fortress to defend Israeli apartheid.

All of a sudden, the walls of this fortress are showing cracks. Some walls have simply crumbled as protests have rocked cities from Nazareth in the north to Rahat in the Naqab.

Today we are all united once again. Today we reaffirm together that we won’t leave and that we will struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

No one knows what will happen next. Yet one thing is sure: No Operation, however brutal, will fix these cracks in the Wall.

– Jamal Juma is the general coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

ICC Prosecutor: Escalation of Violence Could Constitute a Crime under Rome Statute

May 12, 2021

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said today that the escalation of violence in the Palestinian territories could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute.

“I note with great concern the escalation of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in and around Gaza, and the possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statute,” said Bensouda in a tweet.

The ICC has decided earlier this year to open an investigation into war crimes against the Palestinians with specific attention to the 2014 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Occupation Uses Phosphorus Shells in Gaza, Palestinian Rockets Kill 5 Israelis

Gaza strikes
Smoke rises in Gaza after Israeli warplanes intensified airstrikes against the coastal enclave (Tuesday, May 11, 2021).

May 12, 2021

Israeli occupation forces are using internationally-banned phosphorus shells in Gaza, as the rockets fired from the coastal enclave since the start of the latest round between the Zionist occupation and Palestinian Resistance have killed 5 Israelis so far.

Palestinian activists reported that the Israeli occupation was using overnight white phosphorus bombs which are internationally banned weapons.

A night of heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip has continued into Wednesday morning as Israeli occupation forces launched intensive raids on various locations across the besieged coastal territory.

Gaza’s ministry of health said the overall death toll since the latest offensive began stood at 35, including 12 children. At least 233 others have been wounded.

Five Israelis have been killed. The Israeli army said that about 1,500 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in the Zionist entity and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.

Over 850 rockets crossed into the occupied territories after being launched from Gaza, another 200 fell inside the coastal enclave. Several rockets have made direct hits on buildings and cars in the Zionist entity, killing five Israelis.

The Israeli security cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday night at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile in West Bank, a Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces during a raid on Aqaba village, east of the occupied West Bank town of Tubas.

Rashid Abu Ara, 16, was martyred after Israeli forces raided the village to arrest another Palestinian, Sheikh Mustafa Abu Ara.

Medical sources also said that Hussein Al-Titi, 26, was shot dead during protests against the Israeli army in al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Al-Khalil (Hebron).

المقاومة نحو تثبيت معادلتها: غزّة درع القدس

المقاومة نحو تثبيت معادلتها: غزّة درع القدس
(أ ف ب )

الأخبار

الأربعاء 12 أيار 2021

غزة | رسمت المقاومة مشهداً تاريخياً جديداً في تاريخ القضية الفلسطينية، بعدما ظهرت ندّاً للاحتلال الذي يمتلك أقوى الأسلحة في الشرق الأوسط، إذ استطاعت أن تُدخل ثلاث مدن كبيرة لديه في جحيم صواريخها، ما أوقع مئات القتلى والجرحى، ضمن رسمها لمعادلة «ما لا يأتي بالقوة يأتي بمزيد من القوة». ومنذ ساعات فجر أمس، حذّرت المقاومة، على لسان «أبو عبيدة»، الناطق باسم الجناح العسكري لحركة «حماس»، الاحتلال من استهداف المنازل والمنشآت المدنية في قطاع غزة، إلّا أن اتّباع العدو سياسة جديدة تهدف إلى إيقاع عدد كبير من الضحايا، عبر تدمير المنازل على رؤوس ساكنيها من دون سابق إنذار، وهو ما حدث في إحدى الشقق السكنية غرب غزة وتسبّب بسقوط ثلاثة شهداء، بينهم امرأة، دفع المقاومة إلى تنفيذ تهديدها، بدءاً باستهداف مدينة عسقلان التي أطلقت عليها دفعة كبيرة من الصواريخ بشكل متزامن، تلتها بعد 6 ساعات دفعة أخرى على مدينتَي عسقلان وأسدود المجاورتين إثر استهداف شقة سكنية. واعترفت المصادر العبرية بمقتل مستوطنتَين وإصابة أكثر من 100 مستوطن، جرّاء إطلاق قرابة 200 صاروخ على المدينتين.

ومنذ الصباح، بدأت كرة الثلج تتدحرج نحو ما بدا أنها حرب شاملة، في ظلّ تكثيف الاحتلال عمليات القصف في قطاع غزة، في مقابل تواصل إطلاق الصواريخ تجاه مدنه ومواقعه العسكرية. وفي خضمّ ذلك، جدّدت المقاومة تحذيرها للعدو من قصف الأبراج السكنية داخل القطاع، مهدّدة بأن ردّها سيكون أكبر مما حدث في مدينة عسقلان صباحاً وظهراً، إلا أن قصف الاحتلال لأحد الأبراج على شاطئ بحر غزة، دفع المقاومة بعد أقلّ من نصف ساعة إلى البدء بتوجيه أكبر ضربة صاروخية في تاريخ إسرائيل لمدينة تل أبيب. وقصفت «كتائب القسام»، الجناح العسكري لـ»حماس»، جميع أحياء مدينة تل أبيب الساعة التاسعة مساءً بأكثر من 130 صاروخاً من طراز «A120» تحمل رؤوساً تفجيرية كبيرة، بشكل متزامن ومركّز. وتبع هذا إطلاق دفعات ورشقات عدّة من «سرايا القدس»، الجناح العسكري لحركة «الجهاد الإسلامي»، والفصائل الأخرى على المدينة، ليُعلن الاحتلال مقتل شخصين وإصابة ثلاثة آخرين، ووقوع أضرار واسعة وحرائق في عدّة مناطق، نتيجة سقوط الصاروخ على حافلة وسط تل أبيب، بينما وصفت وسائل الإعلام ما جرى بأنه «إعلان حرب من غزة على إسرائيل».

برز تبدّل واضح في موقف الوسيط المصري بعدما باشرت المقاومة تنفيذ خطّتها بالقصف المركّز


وبعد القصف بوقت قصير، انعقد مجلس الوزراء المصغّر في دولة الاحتلال بحضور القادة العسكريين، ليخرج رئيس وزراء العدو، بنيامين نتنياهو، بإعلان مواصلة العمل ضدّ حركتَي «حماس» و»الجهاد»، والدفع بتعزيزات إضافية إلى حدود قطاع غزة، لأن «هذه الحملة ستستغرق وقتاً وتحتاج إلى الوقوف متّحدين ضدّ هذا العدو»، فيما أشار وزير الجيش، بيني غانتس، إلى استمرار الجيش في استهداف ما ادّعى أنها «مباني المنظّمات» في غزة، قائلاً: «نحن في نقطة البداية فقط، والتنظيمات الفلسطينية تضرّرت وستستمرّ بالتضرّر، سوف نعيد الهدوء والأمن على المدى البعيد». وتقول مصادر في حركة «حماس»، لـ»الأخبار»، إن العدو يحاول من خلال المنشآت والأبراج المدنية في غزة الضغط على المقاومة لوقف المواجهة، إلا أن الحركة لديها قرار من العام الماضي بتجاوز هذه النقطة التي يريد الاحتلال من خلالها ليّ ذراع المقاومة، وتدفيعِ العدو ثمناً كبيراً لها، وهو ما حدث في عسقلان وتل أبيب. وتؤكد المصادر أن في جعبة الحركة العديد من الأوراق التي يمكنها من خلالها إرغام الاحتلال على التراجع خلال الفترة الحالية، مضيفة إن «المقاومة نفَسها طويل في هذه المعركة، ولن تتوقف عمليات القصف إلّا بعد تراجع الاحتلال والتزامه بشروط المقاومة المتعلّقة بوقف العدوان في القدس أولاً، ثمّ وقف إطلاق النار في قطاع غزة». واعتبر رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة «حماس»، إسماعيل هنية، بدوره، أن «ما جرى بمثابة رسالة للاحتلال أن كفى عبثاً في القدس، ونحن نقف على أرض صلبة»، جازماً بأن حركته «لن تبقى مكتوفة الأيدي، وأن هناك ميزان قوى جديداً قد انطلق من ساحات المسجد الأقصى»، وأن «سياسة الاستفراد بالقدس لم تعد أمراً مقبولاً لا على المستوى الشعبي ولا للمقاومة».

إلى ذلك، حذر منسق الأمم المتحدة الخاص لعملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط، تور وينسلاند، من تدهور الأوضاع إلى حرب شاملة، داعياً إلى وقف إطلاق النار على الفور، ومؤكداً أن الأمم المتحدة تعمل مع جميع الأطراف لإعادة الهدوء. جاء هذا في وقت برز فيه تبدّل واضح في موقف الوسيط المصري، بعدما باشرت المقاومة تنفيذ خطّتها بالقصف المركّز على دوائر تتراوح بين أربعين ومئة كيلومتر، حيث سارع المصريون إلى نقل طلبات بوقف إطلاق النار فوراً مقابل تخفيف الإجراءات الإسرائيلية في القدس والضفة، وإفساح المجال أمام إدخال المزيد من المساعدات إلى القطاع، والسماح للمقدسيين بإحياء عيد الفطر من دون تدخل، وفق ما تؤكده مصادر فلسطينية مطّلعة. وكان الجانب المصري قد طلب إلى الفصائل وقف التصعيد، وإفساح المجال أمام القاهرة، بالتعاون مع قوى دولية، لإقناع تل أبيب بوقف نشاطها في حيّ الشيخ جراح، كما تقول المصادر نفسها، مضيفة إن «المصريين كانوا شديدي التوتر، ونقلوا تهديدات إسرائيلية وأميركية إلى قوى المقاومة، ولكن التشاور الذي جرى خلال اليومين الماضيين بين قادة أبرز خمسة فصائل انتهى إلى قرار بعدم التوقف عن كل أعمال المواجهة، سواء في القدس أو الضفة أو تجهيز التدخل العسكري من غزة». وبحسب المصادر، فإنه بعدما فشلت المساعي المصرية في إلغاء كلّ الأنشطة الإسرائيلية، قرّرت المقاومة إطلاق عمليات القصف الصاروخي، ضمن برنامج متدرّج باتجاه غلاف القطاع وعمق غوش دان، وهو ما أثار حفيظة الوسطاء المصريين وحتى الأميركيين، الذين لجأوا إلى التواصل مع قطر والأتراك لأجل إقناع قيادة «حماس» بوقف العمليات، وكذلك محاولة تهديد سوريا بضربات جديدة تخصّ مواقع مزعومة لقوى فلسطينية، ولا سيما تلك التي تخص «الجهاد».

وفي مقابل الضغوط غير المسبوقة التي تمارسها أجهزة الأمن الفلسطينية لمنع أيّ تحرّكات في مدن الضفة الغربية، تحوّلت أراضي الـ48 إلى ساحة حرب بفعل مواجهات بين الفلسطينيين من جهة، وقوات الشرطة الإسرائيلية من جهة أخرى، أدّت إلى استشهاد شاب في مدينة اللدّ، حيث أُعلنت حالة الطوارئ مع حظر التجوال، وسط استقدام عدد من وحدات «حرس الحدود». وحتى الساعات الأولى من فجر اليوم، كانت المدينة لا تزال تشهد مواجهات وعمليات إطلاق نار، بالتوازي 

فيديوات متعلقة

فيديوات متعلقة

Palestinian Youths in Lod, Umm Al-Fahm and Rahat Set on Fire Israeli Police Stations, Vehicles: Video

May 12, 2021

The Palestinian youths in the occupied cities of Lod, Umm Al-Fahm and Rahat protested against the Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood and Gaza Strip, clashing with the Zionist forces.

Incinerating the Zionist settlers’ cars and the enemy’s police stations, the Palestinian youths clashed with the Israeli enemy’s policemen and pushed them to escape.

Consequently, the Zionist authorities ordered the occupation army to take into the streets of the three cities mentioned above in order to suppress the Palestinian youths.

The following video shows Palestinian youths in Lod protesting against the Zionist aggression and setting on fire Israelis’ cars:

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Source: Al-Manar English Website

The moment Gaza Hanadi residential tower was targeted and completely destroyed

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Hamas Rockets Target the Occupied Territories after Deadline for ‘Israeli’ Troop Withdrawal Expires

Hamas Rockets Target the Occupied Territories after Deadline for ‘Israeli’ Troop Withdrawal Expires
https://www.english.alahednews.com.lb/60028/388

By Staff, Agencies

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Zionist targets following the occupation entity’s failure to observe a deadline set by the movement to pull out its troops from occupied East al-Quds and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

On Monday evening, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement that it had hit the occupied part of al-Quds with several rockets in retaliation for the Zionist “crimes and aggression in the Holy City, and its harassment of our people in Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

It added that this was a “message that the enemy should understand well.”

Hamas had earlier on Monday issued a one-hour ultimatum for the Zionist regime to withdraw its forces from al-Quds and to end its crackdown on Palestinians in the flashpoint holy city by 6:00 p.m. local time, or Tel Aviv would face escalation.

The rockets were launched minutes after the deadline passed.

The Zionist military claimed in a statement that at least seven rockets had been fired from the besieged Gaza Strip against the occupied part of al-Quds, adding that one of the projectiles was intercepted and the rest did not cause any casualties or damage.

Amid the developing situation, the Zionist parliament [Knesset], was also evacuated mid-session shortly after warning sirens rang across the occupied city following the rockets launching.

More than 300 Palestinians were recently injured in brutal assaults by Zionist occupation police outside the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Dozens of rockets were also reportedly fired from Gaza toward Zionist occupation settlements of Sderot, Ashkelon, and the neighboring settlements.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured since Friday, when ‘Israeli’ occupation forces attacked Palestinian worshipers in al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said hundreds more were wounded in fresh confrontations on Monday that came ahead of a scheduled protest rally marking the Zionist regime’s 1967 occupation of the holy city.

The provocations took a still dangerous turn after the forces attacked Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood following a protest rally by Palestinians against a court ruling which allows Jewish settlers to take over Palestinian homes there.

Separately on Monday evening, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that at least 20 Palestinians, including nine children, had been martyred in ‘Israeli’ airstrikes on the northern parts of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas announced that a total of 100 missiles have been so far fired toward the occupied territories.

The violent crackdown by the enemy’s occupation forces on Palestinians in al-Quds and the ensuing clashes have already sparked global concern.

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‘A120’ Missiles Introduced in the Gaza Battle, Resistance Rockets Continue to Surprise “Israel”

‘A120’ Missiles Introduced in the Gaza Battle, Resistance Rockets Continue to Surprise “Israel”

By Staff

Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip announced that they had targeted Al-Quds, Askalan, and “Israeli” settlements in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip with rocket salvoes, following the “Israeli” escalation in occupied al-Quds.

The Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, revealed that they had used ‘A120’ missiles in the strike on al-Quds on Monday evening.

In a brief statement issued at dawn on Tuesday, the group said these missiles were named after martyr Commander Raed al-Attar. The statement went on to explain that the missiles carried explosive warheads with a highly destructive capacity and a range of 120 km. It also noted that the missiles entered service for the first time.

Al-Qassam Brigades launched another large missile strike on Tuesday morning on the occupied city of Askalan in response to the targeting of residential areas west of Gaza City.

“If the enemy repeats the targeting of safe civilian houses, we will turn Askalan into hell,” the brigades warned.

Meanwhile, Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP], targeted a gathering of “Israeli” military vehicles east of Khaza’a as well as the Sufa military complex with mortar shells. The brigades also targeted the vicinity of the occupation’s military Red Tower east of Rafah with 100ml mortar shells.

The Palestinian resistance’s strikes in the current round of escalation surprised the enemy. The “Israeli” Walla! news website stated that about 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards “Israel” since the start of the fighting.

Amir Bohbot, Walla’s military correspondent, said that he “does not believe that Ashkelon was subjected to the type of intense missile attacks like this one during the 2014 Gaza war.”

In terms of the enemy’s losses, three Zionists were wounded at dawn on Tuesday in intense missile strikes from the Gaza Strip targeting three homes in Ashkelon. This was confirmed by ‘Israeli’ Haaretz Newspaper, which reported that three people were injured by missile strikes on Ashkelon that caused massive damage to the place.

According to “Israeli” sources, Ashkelon was hit by several rocket-propelled grenades, as some 46 rockets were fired.

Images showed extensive damage at one of the “Israeli” settlements following the missile strike as well as settlers lying on the ground fearing further attacks.

Meanwhile, Zionist War Minister Benny Gantz declared a 48-hour state of emergency on Monday, especially in “Israeli” settlements that are located 80 kilometers away from the Gaza Strip. This gives the “Israeli” army the power to impose restrictions on gatherings, evacuate areas based on intelligence, and to close or impose restrictions on educational institutions.

Gantz demanded that soldiers comply with his orders and stay clear of streets and areas that he prohibited entry to.

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Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis

8/5/2021

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis 

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on the last Friday of the Holy Ramadan month a speech marking Al-Quds international Day.

At the beginning of his televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that he is neither infected with Covid-19 nor suffering any of its symptoms. “I’m just suffering from bronchitis which happens to me regularly due to seasons’ change,” His Eminence clarified.

Regarding the marked event, he stressed that “The Palestinian people grants the Resistance its legitimacy, given that they did neither abandon their state nor Al-Quds.”

“What we are witnessing today in the Palestinian squares and in Sheikh al-Jarrah Neighborhood is a good proof to this,” the Resistance leader added, noting that “The most important and dangerous development that must be affirmed is Gaza’s participation on the front line as this opens great horizons to the resistance.”

He further underscored that “the ‘Israeli” entity is fully aware that the involvement of Gaza in the conflict resembles a very serious threat.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the leaders of Palestinian resistance to “continue with this approach as it will change the rules of engagement [with the ‘Israeli’ enemy].”

Hailing the Palestinians’ steadfastness, he stated: “We are sure that the Palestinian people are suitable to preserve Al-Quds, its land, and rights.”

“The ‘Israelis’ thought that economic pressure and the atmosphere of desperation will affect the Palestinians, but they were shocked,” His Eminence went on to say.

Moving to the Iranian Front, Hezbollah Secretary General underlined that “All ‘Israeli’ bets regarding Iran have failed.”

“The Axis of Resistance’s solidness is very important to the region and it will reflect majorly on the Palestinian Cause and the struggle with the ‘Israeli’ enemy,” he added, noting that “Iran has greatly crossed the dangerous phase and the enemy’s bets to take Iran to war have ended. The bets of some regional countries on this have also ended.”

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “Iran today is the strongest country within the Axis of Resistance and all American and ‘Israeli’ options to force Iran to give up its nuclear program have ended.”

His Eminence also recalled that “The biggest Iranian response to the Natanz attack was increasing the Uranium enrichment, which terrified ‘Israel’.”

According to the Resistance Leader, “Based on our experience with Iran in the past 40 years, Iran does not bargain at the expense of its allies; it does not negotiate on their behalf and it does not abandon them.”

Expressing Hezbollah’s support to every regional, international, or Arab dialogue, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “Dialogue strengthens the Axis of Resistance and weakens the enemy. We’re assured towards Iran’s [behavior].”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the talk about Saudi-Iranian talks by saying: “Many Arab states are in contacts with Syria, and Saudi Arabia can’t impose its conditions on Syria regarding its relations with Iran while it is itself negotiating Iran.”

“Those who should be concerned with the Iranian-Saudi talks are the Riyadh allies, not the allies of Iran,” His Eminence said.

Meanwhile, he mentioned that “Syria is on the path of recovery and the most dangerous challenge it’s facing is that of economy.”

“This challenge isn’t limited to Syria alone, but to several peoples in the region,” he stated, praising the fact that “The people of the region are determined to withstand and confront.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “Yemen is a qualitative accumulation to the Axis of Resistance under its young and honest leadership.”

“There is a breakdown of some axes and alliances that appeared in face of the Resistance Axis,” His Eminence viewed, pointing out that “The moral balance is in favor of the Resistance’s Axis.”

Commenting on the “Israeli” scene, he explained that “The ‘Israelis’ are concerned today due to the growing capabilities of the Axis of Resistance.”

“The ‘Israeli’ entity is in trouble and its wall is cracking; there is a leadership crisis and this is a sign of collapse and weakness,” Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, noting that “All signs of weakness and decline began to appear clearly in the enemy’s entity, while we are witnessing the renewed activity of the Palestinian people.”

In this context, Hezbollah Secretary General predicted that “The course in the enemy’s entity is heading to a civil war and there is serious concern in the enemy’s society over this reality.”

He also recalled that “The Syrian defense missile that hit Dimona worried the ‘Israelis’,” noting that “The enemy’s army is not confident of its ability to confront fire from several fronts should war erupt.”

“The ‘Israelis’ are worried due to the operations taking place in the West Bank and due to Gaza’s involvement in the developments taking place in Al-Quds.,” Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled, pointing out that “The ‘Israeli’ ground forces are worried and weak and this is why they are holding several military drills.”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah sent the apartheid entity a sounding warning: “Hezbollah won’t tolerate any ‘Israeli’ mistake during the major ‘Israeli’ drill that begins Sunday. We will take calm and responsible precautions.”

“The enemy must know that we will be cautious, alert and prepared,” His Eminence added, warning that “Any wrong move towards Lebanon during the drill will be an adventure by the enemy. The enemy will be mistaken should it think that we will be afraid to confront any attempt to alter the rules of engagement or any security or military action.”

He also was clear enough to tell the “Israelis”: “We will not be lenient and we will not tolerate any mistake, violation or hostile move by the enemy across the entire Lebanese territory.”

Regarding the issue of maritime border demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “We [Hezbollah] don’t interfere in the issue of maritime borders and this is left to the Lebanese state.”

He reminded that after 2000 liberation, “Hezbollah interfered in the issue of Shebaa Farms and Kafrshouba Hills after the Lebanese state confirmed that they are Lebanese.”

Commenting on those who interpret Hezbollah’s silence over the issue as “embarrassment towards the allies,” His Eminence said: “This is not true… We, as a resistance, have not and will not interfere in the issue of the border demarcation. Let the State shoulder its historic responsibility as to the demarcation of the border and the preservation of the Lebanese people’s rights and let it consider that it is relying on real strength.”

“We have found that it is in Lebanon’s interest and in the certain interest of the resistance that we stay away from this issue,” Hezbollah’s leader added, noting that “Lebanon is not weak at all” and that “the United States and ‘Israel’ can’t impose on the Lebanese what they want.”

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (28 April – 05 May 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 April – 05 May 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

29 April – 5 May 2021

  • IOF kill Palestinian child near Odala checkpoint in Nablus, and an elderly woman for alleged stab-attack at Gush Etzion Junction, southern Bethlehem
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 63 Palestinians wounded, including 3 children
  • 50 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises and stun grenades shrapnel wounds during IOF assault on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and nine others on fishing boats in the Gaza sea
  • In 135 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 89 civilians arrested, including 10 children, 3 women
  • Collective punishment policy: IOF siege several villages in Nablus and launch wide-scale demolition campaign
  • Two barracks and two car washers demolished in Bethlehem and Hebron
  • Wide-scale settler-attacks: elderlies wounded, cars damaged, and thousands of trees uprooted, and crops set ablaze across the West Bank
  • IOF established 66 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF repression against Jerusalemites in Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque; as well as the repeated assaults on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in in protest to the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evacuate several houses in a forcible deportation policy. As a result, dozens of civilians sustained wounds and dozens of others were arrested.  Settler-attacks witnessed a rise this week too on Palestinian civilians and their properties, particularly in Nablus. PCHR documented 244 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed two Palestinians this week, a child and a woman. IOF attacks also resulted in the injury of 63 others in an escalation of its attacks on the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. On 5 May 2021, Said Y. M. Odeh (16) was killed and his cousin was wounded in clashes near Odala checkpoint, southeast of Nablus. On Sunday evening, 02 May 2021, an elderly Palestinian woman succumbed to her serious wounds after IOF directly opened fire at her, claiming she attempted to carry out a stab attack near the “Gush Etzion” settlement junction, south of Bethlehem.  According to PCHR’s investigations and in a video published on Israeli social media, the old woman posed no imminent danger to the soldiers’ lives and could have been controlled without lethal force.

As to the injuries, they were as follows:

  • 1 Palestinian civilian was wounded at Gush Etzion checkpoint for alleged stab-attack;
  • 3 others, including a child, during IOF assault on a protest in Beit Dajan, Nablus;
  • A child in IOF incursion into Beita, Nablus;
  • A child in IOF assault on a protest in Jenin;
  • Two civilians in IOF assault on Kafr Qaddum protest, Qalqilya; and
  • 50 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises and stun grenades shrapnel wounds during IOF repeated assaults on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in.

Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in various IOF assaults across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza, and 9 shootings at fishing boats, western Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 135 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 89 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and 3 women. IOF imposed a siege on several villages in Nablus and shut their entrances with sand berms; IOF conducted a wide-scale raid operation in Aqraba under its collective punishment policy against Palestinians after a shooting occurred at Za’tara checkpoint earlier in the week.

Demolitions:

PCHR fieldworkers documented two violations:

A barracks (mechanic) and a car wash were demolished in southwestern Bethlehem; and another barracks and car wash were demolished in Hebron.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 8 attacks:

  • Jenin: assault on an elderly shepherd grazing sheep in Mariha
  • Nablus: 30 olive tree, sage and thyme seedlings uprooted; racist vandalization in Qusra; agricultural lands set on fire in Jalud; a car assaulted with stones in Lubban ash-Sharqiya village; greenhouse damaged and 3200 tomato seedlings and 1500 zucchini seedlings uprooted; assaults on civilian houses and agricultural lands set on fire in Burin
  • Qalqilya: an elderly man assaulted near Fara’ata.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

   I. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore in the center of the Gaza Strip, chased fishermen who were sailing in the sea to withdraw their fishing nets, opened fire around their fishing boats and forced the fishermen to leave No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:05 on Thursday, 29 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyia shore, west of Jabalia camp, and off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and heavily opened fire at them for an hour, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee and damaging the fishing tools. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased and clashed Palestinian young men for several hours, during which, they arrested Nassar Osama al-‘Is’es (19).
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 30 April 2021, an Israeli soldier opened fire at a Palestinian young man under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack at al-Nashash intersection near “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. As a result, the young man was shot with 3 live bullets and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem, where his health condition was classified serious. Footage published by Israeli media showed that an Israeli soldier fired 3 live bullets from a distance of 3 meters at Mansour Kamel ‘Abed al-‘Aziz ‘Amri (30), who attempted to attack him with a sharp tool. According to the footage, the young man did not pose imminent threat or danger to the soldier, as there was a distance of 3 meters between them, and the soldier could have used less lethal force to neutralize the young man. Israeli media claimed that the sharp tool used by the young man was a broken bottle, which does not pose real threat to the soldier who fired 3 bullets at the attacker’s head and chest. The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs later stated that Mansour’s heath condition is stable until now, and ‘Ofer Military Court will hold a session on Tuesday to extend his detention.
  • At approximately 13:45, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, northeast of Nablus, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 3 protestors, including a child, were wounded; the child was shot with a live bullet in his left foot, a 52-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left foot and back, and a 48-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at Palestinian young men gathered near the Return Camp. The IOF’s sporadic shooting continued for an hour; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, after 4 days of their withdrawal, IOF re-deployed in Bab al-‘Amoud area, established several checkpoints on its stairs and forcibly vacated its yard. Accordingly, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud area and chanted slogans. IOF immediately suppressed them, severely beat them up and arrested Mahdi Omar al-‘Ajlouni (13), taking him to a military checkpoint. IOF severely beat Mahdi, stomped on him, punched him with helmets until he lost his consciousness. IOF also chased Palestinian young men into al-Mosrara area and on al-Sultan Suliman Street. The clashes continued until 03:00 on Saturday. During which, IOF fired heavy sound bombs, pumped wastewater at Palestinians and arrested Mostafa Hani al-Yaseni.
  • At approximately 21:30, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased and clashed Palestinian young men until 23:30, during which, they arrested Husain Ibrahim Masalma (13) and Ahmed Raied al-‘Adam (17).
  • At approximately 22:00, a peaceful protest took off in Jenin in support of al-Aqsa Mosque. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against IOF and settlers. They then headed towards al-Jalma military checkpoint, north of Jenin, where clashes erupted between the protestors and IOF stationed at the checkpoint. IOF immediately fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, a 17-year-old child was shot with a live bullet in his right thigh and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received a treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them until 09:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, dozens of Palestinian young men and several international activities organized a peaceful protest in ‘Ain al-Bida area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron, calling for cancelling Israeli authorities’ decision stating that lands of ‘Ain al-Bida area are state-owned lands, and prevented its residents from planting or constructing on these lands. A large number of Israeli soldiers arrived at the area declaring it as a closed-military zone. Meanwhile, the residents of ‘Ain al-Bida area gathered on the main street, raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. IOF suppressed them and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at Palestinian young men, who gathered near the border fence. The IOF sporadic shooting continued for 4 hours; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, a group of Palestinian young men gathered at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, where IOF established a military watchtower. The young men threw stones at the military watchtower, during which, IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. The clashes continued until 17:30. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also closed the village’s entrance and prevented Palestinians’ vehicle from entering and exiting the village.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 27-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade in his back and a 22-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade below his back.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and fired sound bombs around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in the center of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, against eviction order issued by Israeli authorities against the residents of Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood in favor of settlers. Dozens of protestors gathered in front of houses under the threat of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans “We Will Stay Here” “We Will Not Leave”. The protestors then headed towards the main street. When they arrived there, Israeli police shouted at them via loudspeakers ordering them to leave the area within 5 minutes, or the police will suppress them. Few minutes later, IOF beat the protestors up, confiscated the flags, and arrested 3 civilians after pushing them to the ground and severely beating them. As a result, they sustained bruises and wounds in their faces. The arrestees were identified as Amr Abu Sninah, Anas Jabareen and Majd Sha’bi. It should be noted that the protest was organized a day before holding a session in the Israeli Supreme Court to consider appeal requests submitted by Sheikh Jarrah families regarding the eviction orders issued against al-Ja’ouni, al-Kurd, al-Qasem and Iskafi families.
  • At approximately 18:20 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, coinciding with a shooting attack at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, IOF stationed at the checkpoint indiscriminately opened heavy fire in the area. As a result, a Palestinian vehicle sustained damage as a live bullet penetrated the windshield and broke it. The vehicle was driven by Ziyad Farah ‘Awaad (49), from Talfit village, along with his wife ‘Afaf Lotfi ‘Abdullah ‘Awaad (46) and their daughter Marah (21).
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Beita village. Southeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicle. Violent clashes erupted in the area and continued until midnight. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were shot with live bullets in their lower limbs and taken to a hospital in Nablus for treatment. IOF’s incursion into the village came after carrying out a shooting attack at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, which resulted in the injury of 3 Israelis.
  • On Sunday, an elderly Palestinian woman succumbed to her serious wounds after IOF directly opened fire at her, claiming she attempted to carry out a stab attack near the “Gush Etzion” settlement junction, south of Bethlehem. According to PCHR’s investigations and in a footage published on Israeli social media, the old woman posed no imminent danger to the soldiers’ lives and could have been controlled without lethal force.
  • According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, a woman dressed in a black abaya and wearing a medical mask was carrying a bag while walking on the pavement of “Gush Etzion” junction, she slowly and hesitantly approached 2 Israeli soldiers, who were 4 meters away from her, with a knife in her hand. The 2 soldiers yelled at her in Hebrew only few moments before they directly shot her.  As a result, she was wounded, fell on the ground and was taken by IOF to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in critical condition.  At approximately 20:00, she was pronounced dead and was identified as Rehab Mohammed Mousa Za’oul (60) from Husan village, west of Bethlehem.

Following the incident, many videos went viral on social media documenting IOF’s shooting at Za’oul’s lower body and how Za’oul was hesitantly and slowly approaching, posing no imminent threat or danger to the lives of the soldiers, who were several meters away from her.  The footages showed that she could have been neutralized and controlled with less lethal force.The incident is part of IOF’s shoot-to-kill policy of using lethal force against suspects at checkpoints and near areas where IOF is usually stationed, particularly Gush Etzion Junction, which has been the scene of recurrent Palestinian deaths.  Za’oul is the third Palestinian killed by IOF at the Junction in similar circumstances out of the total 8 Palestinians killed by IOF since the beginning of the year, according to PCHR’s documentation.

  • At approximately 21:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and fired sound bombs around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:45 on Monday, 03 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • On Tuesday,04 May 2021, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians and wounded 10 others while suppressing a protest organized in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah’s families whose house are under threat of eviction in favor of settlers.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 03 May 2021, dozens of Sheikh Jarrah families along with international activities and Jerusalemite persons gathered and protested in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction. During which, Israeli settlers living in the Palestinians’ houses, which were seized, attempted to provoke the protestors and threw stones at them. After that, IOF arrived at the area and surrounded it. IOF ordered the protestors to leave within10 minutes, pumped wastewater at them and beat them up. The clashes continued until 02:00, during which, IOF raided Saleh Diab’s house, beat up all its residents and pepper-sprayed them. As a result, the elderly woman Fatema Diab and Saleh Diab suffocated and received treatment at the hospital. IOF also arrested Ahmed Farrah, from Bab Hettah neighborhood in the Old City, and severely beat him up while he was parking his vehicle in front of an Israeli settler’s house. As a result, Farrah sustained bruises and wounds in his face. Additionally, Jamal Abu Khudair and Ahmed ‘Aqbah were arrested by IOF. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that 10 Palestinians were wounded during the clashes erupted in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; 3 of them were taken to the hospital for treatment. Since few days, dozens of Sheikh Jarrah families along with international activists organize peaceful protests and sits-in and eat breakfast “Iftar” together in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction, north of occupied East Jerusalem, calling for extending the duration given to al-Ja’ouni, al-Kurd al-Qasem and Iskafi families to vacate their houses. It should be noted that on Sunday, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in front of the houses that are under the threat of eviction and arrested Hamza al-Sabbah (13) and an activist Samer Abu ‘Isha (33).
  • At approximately 20:00, a large number of Israeli soldiers moved into Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, closed its main entrance, prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from entering it, and turned the neighborhood into a military barrack in an attempt to ban the entry of international activists into the neighborhood who protest in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction. Despite all measures taken by IOF, dozens of Palestinians gathered in front of the houses, organized a sit-in along with the houses’ owners, sang national songs, and chanted slogans condemning the forced displacement of the Palestinians from the neighborhood. IOF immediately suppressed the sit-in, pumped wastewater at the Palestinians, chased them on the neighborhood’s streets, and brutally beat them up. During which, IOF arrested Mahmoud Nabil al-Kurd, whose family’s house is threatened to be vacated, after severely beat him up along with his sister Mona. IOF also obstructed the volunteer paramedics’ work, checked their IDs and pumped wastewater at them several time. The IOF’s attack against the participants at the sit-in continued for 3 hours, during which, an unknown woman sustained wounds in her head after she fell on the ground when IOF chased her. Also, IOF arrested Tala ‘Obaid and activist Omar al-Khatib after severely beat him up.

It should be noted that on Thursday morning, the duration given by the Israeli Supreme Court on last Sunday to al-Kurd, Iskafi, al-Ja’ouni and al-Qasem families in order to reach an agreement with a settlement company regarding the ownership of the lands on which their homes are built will be ended.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 05 May 2021, as part of the large Israeli military operation in Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, IOF surrounded an agricultural room and a barrack in al-Qit’a area, east of the village. The room and barrack belong to ‘Emad Fatahallah Bani Muniyia, who was arrested by IOF along with his wife a day before. IOF ordered persons present in the room via loudspeakers to surrender themselves and fired live bullets and sound bombs at the room and barrack, causing a hole at the room wall and damaging its door. IOF surrounded the room and barrack for 3 hours. After their withdrawal, IOF declared that they could not arrest the persons suspected of carrying out the attack at Za’tara military checkpoint on 02 May 2021.
  • In the evening, IOF arrested 12 Palestinians and wounded 10 others while suppressing a peaceful protest organized in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah families, whose houses are under the threat of eviction. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 19:30, dozens of persons who are in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah families organized a breakfast “Iftar” for all families. Following that, hundreds of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem organized a sit-in in the area, sang national songs, chanted slogans, and conducted interviews regarding the Supreme Court session scheduled to be next day morning. During which, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered in front of al-Ghawi residential building, placed loudspeakers, cursed the participants in the sit-in to provoke them, and instigated IOF to beat and arrest the protestors. After that, dozens of special forces and mounted police suppressed the sit-in, beat the participants up and pushed them. IOF also fired sound bombs at the participants in the sit-in, pepper-sprayed them and pumped wastewater at them. Additionally, IOF raided al-Kurd family’s house and forcibly vacated its yards from the residents and other persons standing in solidarity with them, and severely beat them up. After that, violent clashes erupted in the neighborhood and continued for 7 consecutive hours. During which, 40 Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation, pumping wastewater, firing sound bombs, pushing and beating; two of them were taken to the hospital. IOF also arrested 12 Palestinians after severely beating them up. PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees.
  • In the evening, in a new crime of excessive use of force, IOF killed a child and wounded one of his relatives in a protest and clashes near Odala checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, and hindered Palestinian ambulances access to the area.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 21:30, a number of civilians gathered in the center of Odala village, southeast of Nablus, to protest against IOF’s incursion into ‘Aqraba village and the closure imposed on their village for 2 days.  The protesters headed to the checkpoint established on the bypass road at the main entrance to Odala village and threw stones at the soldiers stationed there.  Clashes broke out and IOF fired teargas canisters and live bullets at the protesters.  As a result, Sa’id Yousif Mohammed ‘Odeh (16), who was few meters away from the soldiers, was wounded and then directly arrested; most of the protesters did not notice his arrest.  Also, his 24-year-old cousin was wounded with a bullet in his back and the protesters were able to drag him to safety and put him in a civilian car to drive him to a nearby clinic in Bita village.  The protesters informed the PRCS that there is an injured person in the clinic, without knowing of the Odeh’s injury and arrest.  When a PRCS ambulance arrived at Odala Checkpoint, IOF held them for 15 minutes before allowing them to cross the checkpoint at Odala village entrance.  The ambulance arrived at Bita Clinic, and Odeh’s injured cousin told them that his cousin, Sa’id Odeh, was wounded as well but arrested by the IOF.  Another ambulance headed to the checkpoint but was held for 15 minutes by IOF.  The ambulance was then allowed to take the child’s corpse from the Israeli ambulance.  The corpse was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where it was found that he was injured with two bullets; one in the right side of his back and exited the left side of the waist and the other in the right shoulder, causing his death.

  • At approximately 21:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired sound bombs at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

  II. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 29 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saff street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Atta Abu Tayeh’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jalbun village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Abdul Khaliq Ibrahim’s (20) house and arrested him. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF stationed at temporary military checkpoints established around the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron’s Old City, arrested ‘Amer Ardi Abu ‘Asab (28), from the city.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Zuhair Fawwaz Hussain (39), from Iskaka village in Salfit, while present in the occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Sa’ir, Halhul, Nuba and Beit Einun villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 31 April 2021:

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Jabal al-Mawaleh area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Waleed al-Harimi (28), Jehad Awad al-Ta’mari (26), and Eisa Nader Saleh (24).

At approximately 14:45, IOF stationed at Mevo Dotan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mohammed ‘Amer al-Zulfi (43), from Jenin refugee camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mo’tasem Mohammed al-‘Antouri (16), from Qalqilya, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Rabea’ Sultan (32), from Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established on the northern entrance of the city.

Saturday, 01 May 2021:

  • At approximately 14:15, IOF moved into Qusra, southeast of Nablus. They surrounded an excavator belonging to Qusra governorate, which was digging a water line between civilians’ houses in al-Qe’da area, classified as Area “C”. After a quarrel occurred between the governorate and the driver, IOF confiscated Abdul Raziq Dawoud ‘Arrabi’s excavator and broke a power pole in the street when one of the soldiers climbed on it.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested (4) civilians from Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Damascus Gate area, claiming that they hit an Israeli settler and then they were taken to one of the detention centers in the city. The arrestees are: Mohammed Nabil Basheer, Mohammed Ibrahim Basheer, Fadi Nidal Basheer and Mohye Ahmed Basheer.

Sunday, 02 May 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Mohammed Hamza Mubarak (23), Anis Khader Salah al-Dein (21), Nadeem Abdul Hameed al-Khateeb (26), and Abdullah Hussain al-Khateeb (23).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Majdi Khaled al-Hidra (24) and Mohammed Naji Abu Jom’a (19), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of al-Zababdeh village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped Omar Hasan al-Turki (20), from Qabatiya, while driving his motorcycle, detained him for over than 2 hours and then he was released.

Monday, 03 May 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, after civilians clashed with settlers who raided Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, IOF moved into Nablus and arrested (11) civilians. The arrestees are: Naseem Farah Abad (26), Samir Sami Abad (20), and his brother Mohammed (22), Rakan Shahir Fhaidat (23), his brothers Mahmoud (22) and Ibrahim (20), Mohammed Kamal Abad (20), Waleed Abdul Karim Hamoud (24), Younis Najeh Hamoud (19), Mohammed Ahmed Mutair (22), and Mohamed Kamel Abad (21).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohannad Jamal Nawawerah (25) and Ibrahim Naser al-Wardian (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on Deir Sharaf rotary, west of Nablus. Before removing the checkpoint, they arrested Malik Yousef Sharqawi (25), from Askar refugee camp, northeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Rif’at al-Salibi (18), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Beitar Illit” settlement, west of Bethlehem, after summonsing him via a phone call.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Bouziyya (24), from Kifl Haris in Salfit, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested al-Montaser Billah Darar Rayyan (24), from Beit Duqqu, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burin, Qusra, Howwarah and Aqraba, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 04 May 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Rashid Mousa al-Saliby’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Omar Ali al-Heah’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:25, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Turmus Ayya village, northeast of Ramallah. They deployed between civilians’ houses, raided several houses and arrested Ahmed Montaser al-Shalaby (17).

Ibtihal al-Shalaby, Ahmed’s mother, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 02:30, while we were sleeping, we heard knocks on our door,

so I opened the door to find 20-30 Israeli occupation soldiers entering our house with a police dog while dozens of soldiers surrounding the house. They deployed inside the house, detained me with my family in the bedroom, put the dog with us and locked the door for 30 minutes as we were really scared of the dog’s barking and its attempt to attack us. Meanwhile, a group of soldiers headed upstairs, searched and destroyed the contents of the house and the kitchen, pushed and handcuffed Ahmed before arresting him.”

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with 3 military vehicles moved into Tarqumiyah, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Hammam Omar Zabaniya’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed in the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested Fadi Abdul Mon’im Zibar (30), from Kobar village, north of Ramallah, while present at the Aqsa Mosque to perform prayers.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Bader Abu Asab’s house, assaulted all his family, severely beaten and arrested his sons; Ayyoub (22) and Abdullah (18), and Ahmed Kayed Abu Asab (19), causing bruises and wounds in the head. Meanwhile, IOF raided and searched Nasrallah Mahmoud Fayez Mahmoud’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF detained Ali Othman Zakarna, from Jenin, after stopping him on the entrance of al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. IOF searched his vehicle and confiscated (40,000 NIS) from his vehicle.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Aqraba, southeast of Nablus, after founding a burning car which they claimed that this is the car that was used to carry out Za’tara’s operation on 02 May 2021. IOF imposed tight restriction on Aqraba and the neighbor villages, and closed the entrances with the sand berms, as part of the collective punishment policy. The closure included Aqraba Majdal Bani Fadil, Odala, Osarin, road connecting Aqraba and Yanun, and road connecting Aqraba and Osarin. IOF carried out huge campaign as they stormed several houses and mosques in Aqraba, and held field investigations to find the perpetrator, and then they arrested Raddad Fawzi Bani Munia (34), and his brother Qasem (32).
  • The following morning, IOF arrested Emad Fathallah Bani Munia (58), and his wife, Amal Farah Bani Munia (52), and Fadi Adeeb Ziyad (28).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Ashqariya neighborhood in Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abu Ta’a’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Burin, Madama, Awarta, Majdal Bani Fadil, Osarin, Odala, Yanun, and Beita villages in Nablus; Halhul and al-Majd in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 05 May 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Turmus Ayya, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; including a woman. The arrestees are: Lafi Adeeb al-Shalaby (62), whose vehicle was confiscated, Zeyad Abu Zahra (48), and Sana’ al-Shalaby (44), who was released later. Sana’ al-Shalaby stated that when she arrived to the main entrance of the city, a military jeep stopped her and interrogated her for hours about her husband, Montaser al-Shalaby, and threatened her if her to keep storming their house if her husband did not surrender himself. It should be noted that Montaser al-Shalaby is charged of conducting Za’tara’s operation, and her son, Ahmed, was arrested on 04 May 2021.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; including 2 children. The arrestees are Mahdi Hasan Salah al-Dein (18), Abdullah Murad al-Khateeb (17), Izz Osama Salah al-Dein (17), Salah Osama Salah al-Dein (17), and Mohammed Waheed al-Khateeb (23).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Wadi Hilwa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ali al-Tawil’s (17) house and arrested him.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Tuesday morning 04 May 2021, IOF demolished an auto repair barrack and carwash in the area between al-Khader village and Beit Jala, southwest of Bethlehem.

Hassan Breijiyeh, the office director of Settlement and Resistance Commission, said that IOF demolished an auto repair barrack and carwash belonging to the heirs of Hussein Mohhammed Abu Ghalyoun ‘Issa, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle moved into Beit al-Rush village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed ‘Issa Taha al-Jreibat a notice to stop construction works and remove 2 containers he put in his land to store the agricultural equipment.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 13:15, a group of settlers beat up Ibrahim Nayef Hamadoni (65) in Mariha village, southwest of Jenin, while he was heeding his sheep near his house in the village, causing him bruises and wounds in his body and head. He was taken to Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, and his condition was reported minor.

Marihah village is surrounded by 4 settlements: “Mevo Dotan”, which is between Ya’bad and ‘Arrabeh villages, “Hermesh” from the west; and “Shakit” and “Hananit” settlements from the north. The village is also separated by military road where the Israeli soldiers are always there.

  • On Friday morning, 30 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost established on the eastern side of Qasra village, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ lands in Ras al-Nakhil area, southeast of the village, and uprooted 30 olive, sage and thyme seedlings. They also wrote slogans in Hebrew on the agricultural rooms and water well in a plot of land owned by Fathaallah Mahmoud Abu Reidah, from the same village.
  • At approximately 23:30 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, under IOF’s protection, a group of settlers from “Ahyha” settlement established on Jaloud village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ houses in the eastern side of the village and set the planted lands near the houses on fire. Citizens gathered to confront the settlers and IOF with stones, and intense clashes continued until late night.  Several civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday 3 May 2021, a group of settlers assaulted Mohammed Mahmoud Soliman Salman (73) from Fara’ata, northern Qalqilya, with a big stone that hit his head. Salman bled from his forehead and his wound was stitched at the hospital.
  • At approximately 21:50 on Monday, 03 May 2021, a group of settlers from “Alie” settlement established on Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village’s lands, southeast of Nablus, through the settlement’s entrance near a gas station on Ramallah-Nablus Street attacked a car belonging to Nayef Fakhri ‘Abdulatif ‘Aweis (72), from Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village. As a result, a stone broke the right car window and hit his wife, Najah Jamil Mousa ‘Aweis (62) in her neck, breaking the windshield, right-side window, and damaging the right side of the car.

Nayef Fakhri ‘Abdulatif ‘Aweis (72) said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

“At approximately 21:40 on 03 May 2021, I left the house with my wife Najah Jamil Mousa ‘Aweis (62) driving my car on Ramallah-Nablus Street and heading to Ramallah.  When we were near “Alie” settlement’s entrance established on the northeastern lands of the village near a gas station on the Ramallah-Nablus street, we were surprised with a number of settlers at the entrance throwing stones, hitting the right side of the car and breaking the right rear window.  One of the stones broke the right window and hit my wife’s neck, causing her severe pain.  The windshield and right mirror were broken while the right side of the car was damaged.  I did not stop the car and continued driving until I reached the entrance to Turmus Ayya village and entered the village clinic, where doctors saw my wife and checked the bruise in her neck. She was referred by an ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex and later left the hospital with so much pain in her neck.”

  • At approximately 10:30, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on Burin and Madma village lands, southeast of Nablus, crossing the “Yitzahar” bypass road, established south of the villages, threw stones at a car traveling under Madma Bridge belonging to Mohammed Najeh Mohammed Najjar (27) from Madma village. Najjar was with his wife Amnah ‘Ali Najjar (23) heading to visit his family in nearby Burin village.  As a result, the right and left car windows were broken, and Najjar was hit with a stone in his left hand after the window was broken.  As a result, he was taken to Rafida Hospital in Nablus and his hand needed 2 stitches. 
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 04 May 2021, ‘Abdullah Rustom Nemer ‘Issa from Burin village, southeast of Nablus, was surprised with “Yitzahar” settlement’s settlers attacking a 1-dunum plastic greenhouse at the eastern entrance to the village near Burin School for Boys and completely tore the plastic cover of the greenhouse. They also caused damage to the irrigation tools and tanks and uprooted 3200 tomato seedlings and 1500 squash seedlings about to be ready for harvest.
  • At approximately 22:50, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on Burin village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ houses in the eastern side of the village and threw stones at them, terrifying the residents. They also set the agricultural lands on fire, burning tens of dunums before the villagers could confront them with stones and force them to leave.  The villagers extinguished the fire as the Civil Defense Crews could enter the area.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 66 temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF closed the checkpoint at Sho’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem, in both directions and later reopened it.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tekoa village, east of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and the entrance to Jannatah village,east of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, northern entrance to Tekoa village, the entrance to al-Khader village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Wednesday, 05 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tekoa village, the entrances to Husan and Nahalin villages and at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Mansura village, southwest of Jenin.

Nablus:

  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, and at al-Morab’a intersection, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, at al-Morab’a intersection, southeast of Nablus, at Sarra intersection, at the entrance to Odala village, and at Deir Sharaf intersection, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 7 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, at the entrances to Odala, Awarta, Aqraba, and Majdal Bani Fadil villages.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Silwad village.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF closed a metal detector gate established on the main street, adjacent to “Beit El” settlement. They also closed with sand berms the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village and at the entrance to Kafr Malik village. Also, two checkpoints were established at the entrance to Kharbatha al-Misbah and at ‘Ein Siniya intersection.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrances to
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho and removed it on Monday, 03 May 2021.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa village, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh, as-Samu and Deir Sammit village, at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Shyoukh village and western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and the entrances to Sa’ir village, al-‘Arroub refugee camp and Idhna village.
  • On Wednesday, 05 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, Hadab al-Fawwar village and the northern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Izbat al-Tabib and Jit villages, and at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Nabi Ilyas intersection and at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • At approximately 09:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

300,000 Workers Unemployed: Besieged Gaza Receives May 1 with Massive Unemployment (PHOTOS)

Source

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestine, like many countries around the world, commemorated International Workers’ Day on Saturday, May 1. But for a country that is overwhelmed with a persisting military occupation, thus exploitation and unemployment of large sectors of its workforce, the occasion was bittersweet. 

While many statements were issued in appreciation of the contribution of Palestinian workers, hundreds of thousands of these workers are unemployed at the moment, due, in part, to the Israeli occupation, and also to the COVID-19 lockdown. 

No other place, in Palestine, however, was hit as hard as the besieged Gaza Strip. The small enclave has been under the draconian economic blockade, imposed largely by the Israeli army but also by Egypt.

The Turkish Anadolu news agency, citing Palestinian sources, reported Friday that more than 300,000 workers living in the Gaza Strip are unemployed because of the ongoing Israeli blockade and coronavirus measures.

“The international community ignores the humanitarian situation of more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip,” the head of the Popular Committee to End Gaza’s Siege, Jamal al-Hudari, said in a statement issued on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day.

Al-Hudari called for international assistance through trade unions for workers in Palestine, especially the Gaza Strip.

Gaza authorities “imposed additional measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak in Gaza as the enclave has seen a surge in daily infections since the beginning of March,” Anadolu also reported. 

“International Workers’ Day, by definition, should compel us to look at the situation of workers beyond the borders of our cities and countries,” said Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud. 

“Of course, we must offer solidarity to our workers at national levels but we must also extend this solidarity to oppressed and exploited workers all over the world,” he added.

“In Gaza in particular, workers are not merely fighting for better job opportunities, they are fighting for sheer survival, as their families suffer malnutrition, lack of access to education, clean water and life-saving medication. On this day, we have to think about all of them and what the Israeli siege has done to Gaza, in fact, what the Israeli military occupation has done to all of Palestine.”

The densely populated Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006. The blockade has undermined living conditions in the coastal enclave.

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine On the Way to Another Intifada – Olmert

1/5/2021

Palestine On the Way to Another Intifada - Olmert

By Staff

In an opinion piece published by the ‘Jerusalem Post’, former Zionist Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wrote that the events that have transpired in occupied al-Quds these last few days are not a coincidental occurrence that will disappear so quickly.

“We are on the brink of a violent awakening that could intensify and lead to violence on our streets. These clashes could end in a significant number of casualties,” according to Olmert.

The former Zionist premier cited the recent days to conclude that new circumstances have arisen, which could drag ‘Israel’ into a new round of ‘violent’ activity, which he described as ‘terrorist’, and bloodshed on both sides.

The first Palestinian Intifada was a sustained series of Palestinian protests and riots in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories. The protests were against the Zionist occupation of the West Bank and Gaza that had begun twenty years prior, in 1967. The intifada lasted from December 1987 until the Madrid Conference in 1991, though some date its conclusion to 1993, with the signing of the so-called ‘Oslo Accords.’

The intifada began on 9 December 1987, in the Jabalia refugee camp after an ‘Israeli’ occupation force truck collided with a civilian car, killing four Palestinian workers.

The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, started in September 2000, after then Zionist Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a highly provocative visit to the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. The visit sparked protests and riots which the occupation police put down with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Hamas setting up a Christian media centre? You’re kidding….

Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

No, it could be for real

By Stuart Littlewood -April 30, 2021

The unlikeliest headline I’ve seen lately is Al-Monitor’s report that Hamas might be persuaded to set up a Christian media centre. Its purpose would be to defend the Islamic resistance movement from claims that it mistreats Christians, especially those living under Hamas rule in Gaza.

Then I saw who was doing the persuading: Father Manuel Musallam. Or to give him his correct title, Monsignor Manuel. And it all made perfect sense.

Apparently, several Christians have withdrawn from Hamas’s candidate list for the legislative elections in May after being pressured and intimidated by various media outlets. Fr Manuel says his nephew in Ramallah had intended to run on the Hamas list but his family asked him to reconsider. He blamed a smear campaign against Hamas that caused his family to worry that their business interests would be affected and the Israelis would persecute them.

Hamas’s media set-up fails to respond adequately to unjust smears, says Fr Manuel. Media outlets in Europe portray Hamas inaccurately, particularly its relationship with Christian residents. But contrary to what some Western outlets claim, Christians are not persecuted under Hamas.

Basem Naim, from Hamas’ international relations office, told Al-Monitor that Fr Manuel’s idea for a media centre will be considered and a Christian media adviser possibly appointed. He also explained that Hamas offered a number of Christian figures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip the chance to run on the movement’s list “but they withdrew for several reasons, such as family pressure or health issues, or even fear of Israeli restrictions on their travel and work”.

Failing to get the Holy Land message to the West

Every Palestinian I met during my visits urged me to “tell their story”, and this I’ve tried to do for 15 years. Hamas and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority don’t bother. They not only neglect to tell the world, they fail to brief people like me so that we can tell it.

And when, some years ago, I criticized the Palestinian embassy in London for their lackadaisical attitude, defunct website and dysfunctional media department, and called for the ambassador to pack his bags and go home, I was branded “an enemy of Palestine”. The embassy today is well staffed with political, media, cultural, civil society and economic departments. But what they do to combat the torrent of Israeli misinformation is still a mystery. The Fatah/PA position as collaborators with the Israeli occupation probably means that their paymasters demand silence. Hamas are under no such constraint. After their surprise 2006 election victory they could – and should – have immediately re-invented themselves and seized the media initiative. But they’ve left it too late and now have a mountain to climb. It took them far too long to re-write their much-criticised Charter and consequently failed to win friends or influence enough people here in the West.

Around 2013, according the Guardian newspaper, Hamas “began a public transformation… with a new head of media.” But did anyone notice?

It is largely thanks to dedicated activists, civil society campaign groups and online privateers that people in the West have become better informed about the evil occupation that defiles the Holy Land…. and no thanks whatsoever to the leadership in Palestine. With truth and so much more on their side Palestine’s politicians nevertheless carelessly allow the Israeli regime, with its brazen propaganda and monstrous lies, to run rings round them. Even Western Christendom is in a pathetic state of paralysis.

“Our love for God… is currently in intensive care”

That remarkable priest, Manuel Musallam, used to run the Catholic community in Gaza. I was privileged to meet him in 2007 when he hosted a visit by a small group I was with. The Gaza Strip had been under tight blockade for 18 months following the bizarre hostility to Hamas’s fair and square election victory the previous year. The situation was strained.

In the church’s school assembly hall I was surprised to see so many Muslim students. On one wall hung a huge portrait of the Pope and on the adjacent wall an equally large portrait of Yasser Arafat.

Fr Manuel whisked us off to a meeting at the House of Fatah and then we drove to see Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and some of his colleagues, who received us with utmost courtesy and friendship and gave straight answers to straight questions. Haniyeh and Fr Manuel declared their unity to the TV cameras, emphasizing that they were Palestinians first and Muslim or Christian second in the struggle against the common enemy. The two men know each other well and Haniyeh has since become Chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau.

The following year – and who can forget? – the Israelis launched their horrendous three-week blitzkrieg called Operation Cast Lead at Christmas-time and New Year 2008/09. At the height of the killing spree, Fr Manuel sent this message from the smoking ruins to anyone who would listen:

“Our people in Gaza … cry, but no one wipes their tears. There is no water, no electricity, no food, only terror and blockade… Our children are living in a state of trauma and fear. They are sick from it and for other reasons such as malnutrition, poverty and the cold… The hospitals did not have basic first aid before the war and now thousands of wounded and sick are pouring in and they are performing operations in the corridors. The situation is frightening and sad.”

He added: “May Christ’s compassion revive our love for God even though it is currently in ‘intensive care’.”

A few days later he wrote:

“Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured in the Israeli invasion. Our people have endured the bombing of their homes, their crops have been destroyed, they have lost everything and many are now homeless. We have endured phosphorus bombs which have caused horrific burns, mainly to civilians. Like the early Christians our people are living through a time of great persecution, a persecution which we must record for future generations as a statement of their faith, hope and love.

“Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

When Fr Manuel retired in 2009 in failing health I remarked in an article: “I doubt if God has finished with him just yet. There’s a mountain of work to be done and good men are hard to find.”

And so it was. In the run-up to Christmas 2010 he was one of a trio of churchmen from the Holy Land touring Ireland to raise awareness of the plight of the dwindling Christian community under the illegal Israeli military occupation. Together with Archbishop Theodosius Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church) and Constantine Dabbagh (Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches) he showed they were more than a match for Western politicians who fancied they knew all about the Middle East. “We need only one thing, to be protected by the world against the crimes of Israel”, was their central message. And they made this stark plea: “Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

Fr Manuel told Irish government ministers and their foreign affairs committee:

“I was in Gaza during the war [Operation Cast Lead] and suffered with my people for 22 days. I saw with my own eyes a phosphoric bomb in the school yard. I saw people injured by these phosphoric bombs, although these bombs are forbidden. These crimes against us were ignored by all the people of the world…

“What happened in Gaza was not a war. A war is a clash between soldiers, aircraft and weapons. We were victims, just victims. They destroyed Gaza. I was there and saw with my own eyes what happened. We in Gaza were treated like animals… We are not terrorists. We have not occupied Israel.

“We do not want to die to liberate Palestine. We want to live to build Palestine…. We are asking the world to give the Palestinian people their rights. The question is whether peace is possible. Despite all the difficulties, the crimes and the war, we as Palestinians say peace is possible if justice is possible.

“All we ask of Israel is to respect us and not treat us like animals. We also ask parliamentarians and governments across the world not to give us food aid. We do not need cookies from Israel. We do not even need to trade with Israel. All we need is to be protected. We are suffering a war that we have endured for more than 60 years.”

“Be assured that Hamas will protect Christians in Gaza”

Christianity in the region had been destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel, said Fr Manuel. “Israel destroyed the church of Palestine and the church of Jerusalem beginning in 1948. It, not Muslims, has sent Christians in the region into a diaspora.”

He told his listeners how he had seen the Israeli army target the Christian school in Gaza.

“Five Hamas ministers visited the school after it was attacked and promised they would repair the damage… Hamas paid more than 122,000 US dollars to repair all the damage caused. Afterwards I met the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh. When he embraced me he said this, and we believed it. He said: “Go to your family, but be assured that Hamas will employ weapons against Muslims to protect Christians in Gaza.” This is the reality. Christians in Palestine are not suffering persecution, because we are not considered to be a religious community but rather the people of Palestine. We have the same rights and the same obligations.”

He ended by describing how things really are:

“We have spoken to Israel for more than 18 years and the result has been zero. We have signed agreements here and there at various times and then when there is a change in the government of Israel we have to start again from the beginning. We ask for our life and to be given back our Jerusalem, to be given our state and for enough water to drink.

“We want to be given more opportunity to reach Jerusalem. I have not seen Jerusalem since 1990…. We want to see an end to this occupation, and please do not ask us to protect those who are occupying our territory.”

“Peace is possible if justice is possible. Make peace possible.”

Fr Manuel should have been a political leader. To improve the human condition, it seems to me, churchmen must also be politically minded and not afraid to “mix it” with the out-and-out scoundrels who infest our political institutions and cloak themselves in a national flag.

Inevitably, the message for politicians in the world outside the Holy Land is the one expressed by this feisty priest: PEACE IS POSSIBLE IF JUSTICE IS POSSIBLE.

The world should be saying to their political leaders loudly and clearly: “It is surely not beyond the wit of civilised man to stop mouthing platitudes and act to deliver justice. Make peace possible. Or find other employment, for you offend all decent people.”

Stuart Littlewood
30 April 2021

Featured photo: Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

AUTHOR DETAILS

Stuart Littlewood

After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.

http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.ukstu@f8.eclipse.co.uk

Islamic Jihad: Al-Aqsa Mosque Is A Red Line, the Resistance Will Respond to Any Attack Reciprocally

23/4/2021

Islamic Jihad: Al-Aqsa Mosque Is A Red Line, the Resistance Will Respond to Any Attack Reciprocally

Translated by Staff

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement commented on the Resistance’s response to the “Israeli” attacks against the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Jerusalemites.

In its official account on Twitter, the resistance movement affirmed that the Palestinians, with their cohesion and unity, would break the enemy’s thorn and thwart its aggressive plots.

It further stressed that “the al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line, and the Jerusalemites and all the Palestinians supporting them, will not allow the settlers to desecrate al-Aqsa”.

The Islamic Jihad movement believed that the “Israeli” raids on Gaza will not deter the resistance from carrying out its duties whenever needed.

It asserted that “the Resistance will respond to any attack reciprocally, protect our people, and will not allow the enemy to bypass the rules of engagement”.

The movement also indicated that “the Resistance proves once again its cohesion and engagement with popular accomplishment and its never-ending readiness to protect it and maintain its continuation”.

Related

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (15 – 21 April 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (15 – 21 April 2021)


Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

15 – 21 April 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 7 Palestinians wounded
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and six others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • Poultry farm damaged in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip
  • In 95 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 46 civilians arrested, including 8 children and a journalist
  • Two limited IOF incursions into eastern Rafah and Gaza
  • IOF arrest 3 election candidates and all election-related activities banned in the occupied East Jerusalem
  • House self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem
  • IOF delivers 13 cease-construction and demolition notices in Nablus and confiscates two construction vehicles in Jericho
  • Settler-attacks: 95 trees uprooted and set on fire in Nablus and Bethlehem; assault on Palestinians’ properties in prelude to land confiscation in Silwan
  • IOF established 40 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 11 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians running for the Legislative Council elections and an elections-related meeting was banned in occupied East Jerusalem; IOF also continued to suppress worshipers in Damascus Gate before and after Maghreb prayers. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 162 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Seven Palestinians sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: six were wounded in IOF suppression of worshipers and passersby in Damascus Gate, which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque; another civilian was wounded at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in various IOF assaults  across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes in the Gaza Strip: 2 on lands in Rafah and Buraij refugee camp, causing partial damage to a vacant poultry farm. Additionally, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 6 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 95 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 46 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 children and a journalist. IOF also arrested 3 runners for PLC elections (2 from Fatah List and the third from the United Left List) in occupied East Jerusalem; they were detained for several hours and informed that all election-related activities are banned in the city.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Rafah and Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents as follows:

  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against an Islamic cemetery that is being restored; mobile caravan confiscated and a car towing a caravan.
  • Jericho: wheel loader and tractor confiscated in Bardala in two separate incidents.
  • East Jerusalem: under-construction house self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber
  • Nablus: 13 cease-construction and demolition notices served in Qabalan.
  • Bethlehem: construction commenced on 96 new settlement units at “Gush Etzion.”

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 4 attacks:

  • Nablus: 45 olive, fruit and citrus trees seedlings uprooted; construction equipment and materials damaged at construction site.
  • Hebron: assault on civilians and agricultural lands in Maghayir al ‘Abeed
  • Bethlehem: 50 fruitful olive trees set ablaze in Beit Fajjar
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: steel chains removed in prelude to confiscating a land in Silwan.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 00:30 on Friday, 16 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky. At 07:30 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened sporadic fire at Palestinian fishing boats until 10:00. The shooting at fishing boats also recurred at 14:35, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:15, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at an empty land located near Gaza International Airport, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 23-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade in his back.
  • At approximately 13:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Friday, for the 4th consecutive day, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF near Damascus Gate area, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, after IOF prevented Palestinians from sitting around Damascus Gate area and closed its entrances with iron barriers. As a result, 6 civilians sustained various wounds. It should be noted that Damascus and Herods Gates area witnessed violent clashes, especially following Tarawih prayer when Palestinian worshipers got out of al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF pumped wastewater at the worshipers to disperse them and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. IOF also severely beat some worshipers up. As a result, 6 worshipers were wounded; 4 of them were taken to the hospital for treatment. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society crews stated that on the 4th day of Ramadan, they treated 6 civilians around Damascus Gate area, who sustained fractures and rubber bullets wounds; 4 of them their injuries were classified moderate. Also, IOF arrested ‘Alaa Abu Jum’a (18). It should be noted that since the beginning of Ramadan, IOF escalated their arbitrary measures around the Old City and at al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, including closing Damascus Gate area and preventing Palestinians from sitting on its stairs or organizing any events. Following Tarawih prayer, daily clashes erupt between Palestinian worshipers and IOF, who forcibly disperse the worshipers and prevent them from gathering in the area.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, an Israeli warplane and a drone fired 2 missiles at an agricultural land in eastern Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip. As a result, Salem Mohammed Salem Abu ‘Abda (67)’s poultry farm (450 sqm) sustained partial damage, in addition to other damage caused in the targeted area.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and pumped water at them. At 14:00 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Saturday, for the 6th consecutive day, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF near Damascus Gate area, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem. During which, IOF severely beat Palestinian young men and fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. As a result, a young man sustained fractures and 3 others suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also arrested two children namely Hasan Mohammed ‘Issa (16) and Mohammed Waleed Sa’idah (17).
  • At approximately 08:10 on Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Abasan al-Kabira and al-Qarara villages; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 15 April 2021:

  • At approximately 14:00, IOF deployed in the Hebron’s Old City’s neighborhoods arrested Mo’men Salem Idris (18), while present in the Shari’a Court area. IOF claimed that Idris refused to comply with the soldiers’ orders, and he was taken to the police center of al-Ibrahimi mosque and released later.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Arraba, Jaba’ and Silat al-Dhahr, in Jenin governorate; Sa’ir and al-Kum villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 16 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Ramadan Abu Shaqra (19), from Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present near Bab al-Amud “Damascus Gate”, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 16:15, IOF stationed at Tayasir military checkpoint, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank, arrested Ahmed Ma’moun Daraghmah (33), from Tubas. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Fawwar refugee camp, Beit ‘Amra, and Nuba villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 17 April 2021:

  • At approximately 14:00, IOF banned a second meeting organized in occupied East Jerusalem by civil society organizations (CSOs) and several Jerusalemite candidates running for elections to discuss the Palestinian General elections. IOF also arrested four candidates and referred them to investigation before releasing them and threatening them not to hold similar activities which is part of the Israeli authorities’ attempts to impede holding the Palestinian general elections. Furthermore, these practices reflect a clear political decision to prevent Jerusalem’s participation in the elections and deny the Palestinians in Jerusalem their right to vote or run for the elections.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, IOF imposed a security cordon around St. George Hotel, established checkpoints at its entrances, banned civilians from reaching it, stopped vehicles passing by, and checked drivers’ IDs, ahead of the meeting organized by CSOs and several Jerusalemite candidates for the second time in the same hotel located on Nablus Street in central occupied East Jerusalem. Afterwards, IOF arrested Dr. Ashraf Hasan al-A’war, the Secretary of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and candidate on Fatah electoral list. In response, the candidates and their supporters gathered on Salah al-Deen Street sidewalk and protested against banning the meeting. IOF immediately dispersed the gathering, banned holding a press conference, and confiscated Palestinian flags. Moreover, IOF arrested Naser Mohammed Qaws, Director of Palestinian Prisoners Club and candidate on Fatah electoral list, in addition to Ratiba ‘Adnan Abu Ghush, a candidate on the united left-wing list. IOF also tried to arrest Fadwa Saliba Khader, Head of the united left-wing list.

The candidate Naser Qaws said that IOF deliberately closed all streets leading to St. George Hotel in central occupied East Jerusalem, to impede the second meeting organized to discuss holding the Palestinian legislative elections in occupied East Jerusalem. Qaws added that the candidates gathered on Salah al-Deen Street and held a press conference, stressing that no elections will be held without Jerusalem. IOF dispersed the gathering, stopped the conference, and arrested Qaws along with candidate Ratiba Abu Ghush. They were then referred for investigation in Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem along with candidate Ashraf al-A’war, who was previously arrested near St. George Hotel. Qaws added that the Israeli Intelligence Service interrogated them about their electoral activities, which are banned in occupied East Jerusalem, notified them that IOF will ban any election-related activities under the pretext that the Israeli Government did not issue any decision that allows holding elections in Jerusalem. The candidates were later released.

It should be noted that on 06 April 2021, IOF banned a similar meeting, which was supposed to be held at the Ambassador Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested two candidates, including Naser Qaws, a candidate on Fatah electoral list. The two candidates were then referred for investigation, where IOF informed them that any election-related activities are banned in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 16:30, IOF arrested Thabet Mahmoud al-Najjar (19), from al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of the camp that leads to Bypass Road (60).
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Ahmed Ali Melhem (29), after finishing his prayers at the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.

Sunday, 18 April 2021:

  • At approximately 13:15, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Jericho arrested Mahmoud Ahmed Owda (27) and Khaled Ghassan Abu Halima (24), from ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. IOF took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Jawdat al-Shawish (26), while present near Bab al-Amud “Damascus Gate”, in the occupied East Jerusalem, and took him to a police center. It should be noted that al-Shawish was arrested last Wednesday and released after several hours of investigation.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Bassam Salah al-Dein’s (49) house, a member of the Committee of the Families of Hizma Prisoners and arrested him.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Taleb Ra’ed Jweihan (22), while passing through al-Walaja military checkpoint, west of Bethlehem, returning from Jerusalem.

Jweihan’s family stated that big forces of the Israeli “Yasam” special unit assaulted their son, Talab, while passing through al-Walaja military checkpoint, returning to his house in al-Thuri neighborhood in Jerusalem, due to losing his ID card. His family added that Talab was provoked, insulted, severely beaten and kicked by the soldiers, resulted in wounds, bruises, headache and pain in his back. Afterwards, he was taken to one of the investigation centers where he was severely beaten again before he was released at approximately 05:00.

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Mohammed Bashir Ahmed (23), and his brother, Majd (20), while present near Jaffa Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. IOF took them to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Beit Ummar and Tarqumiyah in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 19 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF arrested Samer al-Thaher (21), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarm. They raided and searched Adnan Ahmed al-Husary’s (56) house, a leader of Hamas Movement, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Marj Najah village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Aaref Khader Mohammed Bisharat (47), and his brother, Anis (44), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 11:00, an officer in the Israeli Intelligence Services handed al-Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the Aqsa Mosque, a summons to refer immediately to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. He was interrogated about his statements in motivating civilians to intensify their presence at the mosque, and he was released after several hours.
  • At approximately 12:15, IOF stationed at Tayasir military checkpoint, east of Tubas, arrested Ali Thalji Abu Arra (33), from ‘Aqqaba village, northeast of Tubas. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Abdullah Mustafa’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF handed al-Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, renewing his ban from traveling for another 4 months. It should be noted that on 26 March, IOF issued a decision banning Sabri from travelling for a renewable month, and he was arrested and banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque for several months.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Omar al-Nabulsi (17), while present at Ban al-Amud “Damascus Gate” yards, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Hebron and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) children; Mahmoud Sami Abu al-Hawa (15), Malek Othman al-Qarrawi (15), and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (17).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Sa’diya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) children; Yousef Ragheb Hazina (20), Nawras Hasan Abu Ghazalah (28), Eisa Samer Met’ib (21), and Yazan Maher al-Herbawi (22).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, near Nablus, arrested Mahmoud Sleit (19) and Mohammed Khalil Dmeiri (21), from Tulkarm refugee camp. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, arrested Nasr Hisham al-Natshah (28), while driving his car at the village entrance that leads to Bypass Road (60). IOF claimed that he attempted to run over a settler and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ayyad Khalil Ayyad (30) and Tamer Sami Owaidat (24), from al-Shuyukh village, north of Hebron, after stopping them on a temporary military checkpoint established on the entrance of the village and took them to unknown destinations. It should be noted that Oweidat is a member of the Palestinian National Security Services.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud al-Tahhan (21) and Shadi Amira (20), while present near the New Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. A quarrel occurred between a group of Palestinian young men and a group of settlers, turned into small clashes which required the intervention of the Israeli police to protect the settlers, and arrested the abovementioned civilians.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Fawwar refugee camp and al-Rihiya village, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Dweirian. They raided and searched Nidal Emran al-Qawasma’s (44) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, and stationed in al-Karmil area. They raided and searched Mohammed Ali al-Jabbour’s (39) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Sateh Marhaba neighborhood in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and deployed in Alaa Hasan al-Rimawi’s (43) house and arrested him. It should be noted that al-Rimawi is a journalist and reporter for al-Jazeera Mubasher TV, and a director of JMedia Network.

His wife, Maymouna al-Rimawi, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “We woke up on the sound of the Israeli military vehicles near the main door of the house, so Alaa headed and opened the door, and suddenly 10-12 Israeli soldiers stormed and deployed in the house. The force officer ordered Alaa to bring his ID card, when he brought it they ordered him to wear his clothes to arrest him and put him in one of the military vehicles. She added: “while arresting Alaa he told me that he will start a hunger strike to condemn his arrest.” It should be noted that Alaa is a former prisoner who spent 12 years in the Israeli prisons.

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Nisreen Abu Gharbia;s house, a candidate running for the Palestinian Legislative elections on the list of “Renaissance of a Nation” and arrested 3 of her sons, two of them children: Ahmed (15), Shadi (17), and Fadi (18).
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Khaled al-Zeir (46), while present in front of the Israeli Court in West Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 100 meters from the border fence between Gaza and Israel heading to al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They combed and leveled lands before they deployed again after several hours.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF reinforced with 14 military vehicles and bulldozers moved into Shejaiya neighborhood, east of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands amidst Israeli sporadic shooting for an hour, and then they withdrew inside the border fence. No casualties were reported.

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle moved into al-Deirat village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed around the Islamic Cemetery in the village while the Civil Administration officer fixed a notice to stop the renovation of the old graves and construction of walls around it under the pretext of working without a prior permission.  The notice holding number (266771) gave the citizens until 5/5/2021 to appeal before the competent authorities in the Israeli Civil Administration in Beit El settlement.
  • At approximately 11:20, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into Bardala village, northwest of Jericho in the Northern Jordan Valleys. IOF seized a bulldozer working for a construction company on an agricultural road in the northern area of the village.  The confiscation was under the pretext of working in Area C.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, Amjad Mosalam Ja’abees self-demolish his under-construction house in Bashir neighborhood in Jabal Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Amjad Ja’abees said that IOF raided his house last week and gave him 5 days to carry out the demolition or he will be fined with tens of thousands of shekels if the Municipality crew did it.  Ja’abees said that he had to demolish his house on the American Street with his own hands and rented a bulldozer and an excavator to demolish it.  He added that his house was built on an area of 110 sqms and was almost ready.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into al-‘Azb area, north of Qabalan village, southeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 13 houses of stopping the construction and demolition works in the area, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C. 
No.NameNotified FacilityNumber of Family Members
1-       ‘Omer Johar MousaA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
2-       Ashraf ‘Abdel SnobarA 2-storey house; the first floor is used as storehouses and the second is residential and each of them is 400 sqms11 members, including 5 children
3-       Soheil ‘Abdel Ra’ouf Az’arA 180-sqm house2 families of 13, including 5 children
4-       Reema ‘Abdel Motaleb YasinA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
5-       Mohammed ‘Abdel ‘Aziz SnobarA 180-sqm house5 members, including 3 children
6-       Eyad ‘Abdel Men’em Az’arA 2-storey house of 150 sqmsUninhabited
7-       Osamah Hassan ‘AabedA 120-sqm houseUninhabited
8-       Saleh ‘Atallah HamlahA 2-storey house of 160 sqmsUninhabited
9-       Baraa’ Naser NajjarA 2-storey house of 150 sqmsUninhabited
10-   Mohammed Samih ZidanA 2-storey house of 100 sqmsUninhabited
11-   Qays Basem Helal Az’arA 120-sqm houseUninhabited
12-   Larem Basem Helal Az’arA 120sqm houseUninhabited
13-   Baker Mohammed ‘Abdel Jaleel Abu ZahrahA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle and a truck mounted crane moved into Wad al-Rakhim area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the Civil Administration officers confiscated a caravan and a car pulling a caravan belonging to Ahmed Nasser Da’ajnah (47) under the pretext of being located in Area C, where the residents are banned holding any activity without a prior permit.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a civil administration SUV moved into Bardalah village, northwest of Jericho in the northern Jordan Valleys. IOF seized a tractor belonging to ‘Ezzat Ahmed Khneifes Rashaydah who was in the western outskirts of the village herding the sheep.
  • In the same morning, the Israeli authorities built new 96 settlement units in Gush Etzion Settlement Cluster, south of Bethlehem.

According to the Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem the Israeli authorities started the construction of a new settlement neighborhood in Evy Settlement in Gush Etzion Cluster, where 96 new housing units will be built.  He added that the new neighborhood will be the first in the settlement since 1999.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Ahya” settlement established in eastern Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the lands in the area and uprooted 45 olive, citrus, and fruit seedlings planted around the house in a plot of land belonging to Hesham ‘Emad Hammoud. They also damaged the fence surrounding the same land as well as causing damage to the equipment and construction materials as they emptied a sack of cement on the construction steel and poured 3 cups of water on the cement.  They also stole construction equipment and a concrete mixer.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, 2 settlers living “Mitzpe Yair” settlement outpost, south of Hebron, unleashed their sheep in the lands planted with winter crops in Moghayer al-‘Abid area near the settlement outpost, while IOF was watching them in the camp near the outpost. When members of ‘Abdeid Family arrived, the settlers tried to attack them.  IOF then arrived and forced the settlers to leave the area.  It should be mentioned that only one family was left in Moghayer al-‘Abid village due to IOF and settlers’ recurrent attacks and closure of the road leading to it constantly, forcing the residents in the residential caves to leave.
  • On Saturday evening, 17 April 2021, Israeli settlers burnt tens of olive trees in Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.

Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that a group of settlers from Migdal Oz Settlement established on Beit Fajjar village lands burnt 50 fruitful olive trees in Deir Ma’ala area, north of the village, belonging to Nasim Taqatqah.  He added that an Israeli decision was issued to take over the area where the settlers burnt the olive trees and consider it a military zone.

At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 21 April 2021, a group of settlers removed chains and a tank to seize control of a plot of land used as a car park for the residents of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Hamoudah Siyam, one of the houses’ owners next to the park, said that a group of settlers started removing chains and a big tank placed by the neighborhood residents at the land entrance to park their cars and then closed the entrance with sacks of construction materials to prevent the neighborhood’s residents from using the land.  Siyam added that the residents confronted the settlers and expelled them from the land which belongs to the neighborhood’s residents.  Siyam said that the settlers called the Israeli police, which arrived after few hours and handed the residents a notice to remove the tank and steel pillars in front of their houses.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  40 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 11 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and at the eastern entrance to Jab’ village, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, at the entrance to Nahalin village, and near Fureidis village’s square, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ur al-Fauqa and Turmus Ayya villages and at Taybeh village’s intersection.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho and at the entrance to Al-Auja village.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 14 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city’ and at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Arraba village, southwest of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 15 April  2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Sa’ir  villages; at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Hebron, on Beit Einun road, and on Farsh al-Hawa road.
  • On Saturday, 17 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Kahil village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Idhna village, and at the northern entrance to Yatta city. 
  • On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Surif villages and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 21 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Kahil, Hadab al-Fawwar and Beit Awwa villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of the city.

A Palestinian Prayer for Ramadan: May the Voices of the Oppressed Be Heard

April 21, 2021

Palestinian Muslims performing prayers and reading Quran in the Great Al-Omari Mosque in the early days of the holy month of Ramadan. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

COVID-19 cases in Palestine, especially in Gaza, have reached record highs, largely due to the arrival of a greatly contagious coronavirus variant which was first identified in Britain.

Gaza has always been vulnerable to the deadly pandemic. Under a hermetic Israeli blockade since 2006, the densely populated Gaza Strip lacks basic services like clean water, electricity, or minimally-equipped hospitals. Therefore, long before COVID-19 ravaged many parts of the world, Palestinians in Gaza were dying as a result of easily treatable diseases such as diarrhea, salmonella and typhoid fever.

Needless to say, Gaza’s cancer patients have little fighting chance, as the besieged Strip is left without many life-saving medications. Many Palestinian cancer patients continue to cling to the hope that Israel’s military authorities will allow them access to the better equipped Palestinian West Bank hospitals. Alas, quite often, death arrives before the long-awaited Israeli permit does.

The tragedy in Gaza – in fact in all of occupied Palestine – is long and painful. Still, it ought not to be classified as another sad occasion that invokes much despair but little action.

In fact, the struggle of the Palestinians is integral to a larger struggle for fundamental human rights that can be witnessed throughout the Middle East which, according to a recent Carnegie Corporation report, is one of the most economically unequal regions in the world.

From war-torn Libya to war-torn Syria, to Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and many parts of the Arab and Muslim world, the dual tragedy of war and want is a scathing reminder of the price ordinary people pay for frivolous power struggles that yield nothing but more uncertainty and achieve nothing but more hatred.

Once more, the holy month of Ramadan visits the Muslim Ummah while its tragedies are still festering – new conflicts, unfinished wars, an ever-expanding death toll and a never-ending stream of refugees. Sadly, not even Ramadan, a month associated with peace, mercy and unity, is enough to bring about however fleeting moments of tranquility, or a respite from hunger and war for numerous Muslim communities around the world.

In Palestine, the Israeli occupation often takes even more sinister turns during this month, as if to intentionally compound the suffering felt by Palestinians. On April 14, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque called on Arabs and Muslims to intervene so that Israel may cease its harassment of Palestinians at the holy shrines of Al Quds – occupied East Jerusalem.

Aside from the increased attacks by Jewish extremists, who are now storming Al-Aqsa Mosque at a significantly higher rate than ever before, the Israeli occupation authorities have “removed the doors of the Mosque’s minarets, cut the electrical wires of loudspeakers to prevent the Adhan (call to prayer) and seized (Ramadan) iftar meals, in addition to threatening to storm the Mosque on the final days of the holy month of Ramadan,” Sheikh Hussein said in a statement.

Israel fully comprehends the spiritual connection that Palestinians, whether Muslims or Christians, have to their religious symbols. For Muslims, this rapport is further accentuated during the holy month of Ramadan. Severing this connection is equal to breaking the collective spirit of the Palestinian people.

These are only a few examples of a multifaceted and deeply rooted tragedy felt by most Palestinians. Numerous similar stories, though of different political and spatial contexts, are communicated every day throughout the Muslim world. Yet, there is no meaningful discussion of a collective remedy, of a strategy, of a thoughtful answer.

Ramadan is intended to be a time when Muslims are united on the basis of a wholly different criterion: where political and ideological differences disappear in favor of spiritual unity which is expressed in fasting, prayer, charity and kindness. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing is not Ramadan as it was intended to be, but different manifestations of the holy month, each catering to a different class – a painful but true expression of the disunity and inequality that have afflicted the Muslim Ummah.

There is the Ramadan of boundless wealth, finely catered iftar meals, coupled with endless, cheap entertainment. In this Ramadan, platitudes are often offered about charity and the poor, but little is delivered.

There is also the Ramadan of Palestine, Sudan and Yemen, of the Syrian refugee camps and of little dinghies dotting the Mediterranean, carrying thousands of desperate families, holding little but their hope of a better future beyond some horizon. For them, Ramadan is a stream of prayers that the world, especially their Muslim brethren, may come to their rescue. For them, there is little entertainment because there is no electricity and there are no massive iftar feasts because there is no money.

“Dua” is Arabic for supplication. For the oppressed, dua is the last resort; at times, even a weapon against oppression in all of its forms. This is why we often see bereaved Muslims raising their open palms to the sky whenever tragedy has befallen them. Ramadan is the month where the poor, destitute and oppressed raise their hands to Heaven, beseeching God in various accents and languages to hear their prayers.

They are reassured by such hadiths – sayings of Prophet Mohammed – as this: “The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed which is raised by Allah above the clouds, the gates of Heaven are opened for it, and the Lord says: By my might, I will help you in due time.”

There has never been a more critical time for the Ummah to work together, to heal its collective wound, to uplift its down-trodden, to care for its poor, to embrace its refugees and to fight for its oppressed. Many Muslim communities around the world are aching and their pain is unbearable. Perhaps this Ramadan can serve as the opportunity for social justice to be finally enacted and for the oppressed to be heard so that their hymn of torment and hope may rise above the clouds.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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