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Apparently, several Christians have withdrawn from Hamas’s candidate list for the legislative elections in May after being pressured and intimidated by various media outlets.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

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestinei (08 – 14 April 2021)

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08 – 14 April 2021)

 April 15, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

08 – 14 April 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: Palestinian child lost his eye by IOF’s shooting while 4 other civilians were injured, including a journalist.
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas
  • In 135 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 94 civilians arrested, including 6 children, 3 women and a candidate running for elections
  • Ramadan Iftar Meals Banned entry, al-Aqsa Mosque raided, and the loudspeakers for the Addhan damaged.
  • Children activity “Tamr Hendi” banned in East Jerusalem
  • 13 dunums confiscated and construction of 2540 housing units approved in 2 settlements in occupied Jerusalem
  • A house and an agricultural room demolished in Bethlehem while a house notified of stopping construction works in Hebron
  • IOF established 53 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 7 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. IOF arrested the representative of “Jerusalem is Our Destiny” list running for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections while Ramadan Iftar meals were banned entry into al-Aqsa Mosque, which was raided and the wires of the loudspeakers used for addhan were cut.  Moreover, 13 dunums were confiscated this week and construction of hundreds of housing units were approved in 2 settlements in East Jerusalem. 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 200 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:

Five Palestinians, including a child and a photojournalist, were injured due to IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: the child was injured in his eye in clashes with IOF in Hebron; as a result, he lost his eye while the fourt civilians, including the photojournalist, were all injured in suppression of a protest in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assaults during house raids across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

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, 94 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children and 3 women.  In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 6 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: 13 dunums confiscated from Hizma village and construction of 2540 housing units approved in “Givat Hamatos” and ” Har Homa” settlements.
  • Bethlehem: an agricultural room demolished in al-Khader village, and a house demolished in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour.
  • Hebron: construction works stopped in a house upon a notice in Susya village, south of Yatta, 2 tents and an iron fence used as a sheep barn dismantled, south of Dura.


Settler-attacks:
 PCHR fieldworkers reported settlers’ riots in the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabud village, east of Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

This comes in a time when 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.

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 10:30 on Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 09 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Zawiyia Gate area in the center of Hebron, and threw stones at the military checkpoint (56), which is established on the closed al-Shuhada Street. IOF chased Palestinian young men, fired sound bombs, and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF continued to chase the young men into Abu al-Humus road, which leads to al-Shiekh neighborhood’s entrance, and indiscriminately fired rubber bullets at them and at shops. As a result, ‘Izz al-Deen Nedal al-Batsh (13) was shot with a rubber bullet in his right eye while he was in his father’s grocery shop and was taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital. Al-Batsh was then referred to St John Jerusalem Eye Hospital, where he underwent a surgery to remove his eye completely due to a laceration. Clashes between IOF and Palestinian young men continued until 17:30; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men and international and Israeli activists in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against the displacement of 19 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, in favor of settlers. The protestors gathered near the neighborhood entrance, raised banners against the ethnic cleansing and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlement and ethnic cleansing decisions issued in favor of Israeli settlers. Afterwards, Israeli police arrived at the area and surrounded it. They then attacked the protestors and forcibly tried to disperse them. Meanwhile, hand to-hand fighting occurred between the protestors and IOF, who fired rubber bullets at the protestors. As a result, Mahmoud ‘Eliyan, a photojournalist at Al-Quds Newspaper, was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg, in addition to 3 other protestors. In addition, IOF beat the Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, pushed him to the ground and tore his clothes in addition to arresting three Israeli activists, who protested against the demolition and displacement decisions. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that its crews treated on the spot nine injuries in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; 5 were beaten and 4 were shot with rubber bullets.

The Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, stated to Israeli media that the Israeli police do not allow people to protest, and despite telling them that he is a Knesset Member, they beat them and broke his glasses. As a result, he sustained wounds and bruises in his left eye. Kseif pointed out that Israeli police only provides protection for settlers, who attack and seize Palestinians’ houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

  • At approximately 20:30 on Saturday, 10 April 2021, a large number of IOF accompanied with a Skunk carrying vehicle moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, after an Israeli bus, which accidentally entered the village, was set on fire. IOF closed the village, established checkpoints at its entrances and then pulled the bus out of the village. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who attacked the stone-throwers and fired teargas canisters at them. IOF also raided and searched several houses, where they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrestees were identified as Hasan Yaser Darwish (14), Ahmed ‘Issam Darwish (20) and his brother Majed (16).
  • At approximately 22:30 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village, and fired flare bombs in the sky. No causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, a large number of IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber camp, southwest of Jericho, and established a checkpoint at the camp’s entrance. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters heavily at the young men. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village; no causalities were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 08 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ma’rouf Khatatba’s house, in Bir al-Shid area. Meanwhile, IOF moved into al-Qubbah neighborhood. They raided and searched Mohammed Nasrallah al-Shambar’s house, confiscated 25,000 NIS, and handed them a warrant of the confiscated money.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Karisa village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Rizq Musallam al-Rajoub’s (55) house, and took him to an unknown destination. It should be noted that al-Rajoub is a leader in Hamas Movement, and he was arrested several times.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ibrahim Alaa al-Dein Bushaqar (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Anas Isma’el Mousa’s (22) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rajeh Ghazi Shubeita (19) and Mohammed Zuhair Abed (17), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Adham Omar Abu ‘Arqoub’s (23) house, and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Khaled Ahmed Ba’irat’s (42) house, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Wadi Abu al-Samen area, south of Hebron. They deployed in the area, closed the road leading to houses belonging to Abu Sbaih family, raided and searched several houses, and demolished walls around the houses. IOF claimed that they found military equipment, arrested (6) civilians, including a father and his 3 sons, before they withdrew at approximately 11:00. The arrestees are: Jehad Khalil Abu Sbaih (44), Hamza Khalil Abu Sbaih (49), Dawoud Mohammed Abu Sbaih (50), and his sons; Wael (20), Basel (19), and Na’el (24).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Ashraf Abdul Jabbar al-Hasanat (47), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, when he was near the main entrance to the camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stormed Sons of Jerusalem Sport Club, at al-Sa’diya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF hanged a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security to ban an event for children titled “Tamr Hindi”, which was to supposed to be held at the Club’s stadium in the afternoon. IOF claimed that the abovementioned event is funded by the PA and left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam.

The project coordinator at the club, Murad al-Ashhab, said to PCHR’s field worker that on Wednesday, IOF raided the club and started asking questions about “Tamr Hindi” event for children, after seeing the  advertising leaflets that were distributed to the children in al-Sa’diya neighborhood. On Thursday, IOF raided the club again and hanged a decision, signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security banning the event, and notified the employees of that. In addition, IOF left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam after raiding his house. They were interrogated for 3 hours about the event celebrating the reopening of the club after its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, and then they were released after warning them of holding any event in the upcoming days under the pretext of being sponsored by the PA. Al-Ashhab added that at approximately 13:30, IOF stormed the club again to make sure that no events were held inside the club, and ordered all the employees and children, who were playing football, to leave.

Al-Ashhab said that the event was an entertaining day for children, and the employees were preparing various games for them.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Yehya Ayyad (28), from Abu Dis village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while crossing a temporary checkpoint established near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stopped a car in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested Ahmed Dawoud al-Hidra (17) and Mahmoud Khalil al-Hidra (17), from the abovementioned neighborhood. They were taken to one of the police centers, interrogated for several hours and then were released.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established near “Psagot” settlement, east of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate, arrested Abdul Rahman Jamil Matariyya (17), from al-Bireh.
  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin; Sebastia, Salem, Deir al-Hatab, Azmut, Kafr Qallil, and Rujeib villages in Nablus governorate; Bani Na’im and al-Majd villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 09 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Abu Freiha area in Beit Sahur, east of Bethlehem governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ra’ed Ibrahim ‘Abayat (42), and handed Abdullah Mohammed Abu ‘Abayat (26) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jareh Farouk Salah al-Dein (48) and Ibrrahim Ali Salah al-Dein (30), and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the prisoner Nafiz Nayef Haj Husein (42), in the eastern side of the village, arrested his wife, Elham ‘Aaref Haj Husein (40), and confiscated her husband’s monthly salary, (4,000 NIS). Elham was taken to “Ariel” settlement, near Salfit, interrogated about the salary for 3 hours, and released next day morning. IOF informed her not to receive any salary for her husband.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ghassan Mansour (19), and Ahmed Eyad al-Sa’di (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Iraq Burin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Osama Mohammed Qa’dan (25) and Amro Jubran Qadous (21).
  • At approximately 10:20, IOF moved into al- Nassariya village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amro Husny Jabara (30).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Beita, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 10 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura and Sa’ir villages, in Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Isma’el Hussein al-‘Awawda (33), and Isma’el Fawzi al-Tarwa (40).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Beit Ummar, and Surif villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 11 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Harmala village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Fadi Adel Attallah (22), Hamza Awad Attallah (24), Ibrahim Wajeeh al-Sabbah (23), and Bassam Ibrahim al-Zeir (38).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mahmoud Ahmed Abu al-Rab (19), Mohammed Tayseer Thyab (20), and Mohammed Najeh Kmeil (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They deployed in several neighborhood in the city, raided and searched three houses and arrested (3) civilians. The arrestees are Mustafa Kamel Shawar, Anas Ameer Rasras (51), and Omar Abdul Qader al-Qawasmah (52).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Waheed Abu Maria’s (29) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF handed Hatem Ahmed Rasheed Abu Maria (31) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hindaza village in Bethlehem. They blew up the door, raided and searched Hasan Mohammed Wardian’s (62) house, one of the candidates on the Hamas-affiliated list “Jerusalem is Our Destiny”, after 5 days of his arrest.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mujahed Sa’ed al-Shunni (22) and Yousef Monthir Alian (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF backed by five military bulldozers moved 50-100 meters into the east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip to the west of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands, and deployed inside the border fence after several hours.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF severely beaten and arrested Adam Qara’in (18), from Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, when he was at Ras al-Amud neighborhood. Qara’in sustained wounds and bruises, and he was taken to one of the detention centers in the city before he was referred to Hadassah Medical Center to receive treatment.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Arraba and Mirka villages, southwest of Jenin; Dura, Idhna, Deir Sammit and Samu villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 12 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint arrested Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria (28), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses and arrested Mahmoud Naser Ma’ali (24), and Abdul ‘Alim Olwi (52). Later, IOF released Olwi.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Sameer Abu Obaida (23), and his brother, Ramiz (19).
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Urif village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Fo’ad Sabbah (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Burqin, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan Atef Obaidy (26).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Yehya Mohammed Mir’ai’s (24) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (10) civilians. The arrestees are: Mohammed Mahmoud al-‘Amour (22), Mohanad Nimir al-‘Amour (23), Mohammed Rebhi al-‘Amour (22), Sufian Awdat Allah al-‘Amour (26), Mohammed Ibrahim al-‘Amour (25), Anas Adel al-‘Amour (25), Oday Izzat al-‘Amour (20), Mohammed Ali al-’Amour (22), Shady Nayef al-‘Amour (23), and Bara’ Ta’ed al-‘Amour (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed in ‘Asida area. IOF raided and searched Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria’s (36) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mona Hussain Qa’dan (48).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Yasid village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Shams Ghaleb Mashaqi (31), a Masters Student and novelist.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Khwais (49), Mohammed al-Sayyad (49), and Tawfiq Abu Sbeitan (50).
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into al-Balu’ neighborhood, in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Najeh Abdullah Dar ‘Assi’s (47) house, detained his family in one room and arrested him. It should be noted that ‘Assi is a candidate on the “Jerusalem is Our Destination” electoral list and its representative in the West Bank in the 2021 Legislative Council elections scheduled on 22 May 2021.

Alia Abdul Samad, Najeh ‘Assi’s wife, said to PCHR’s field worker that:

IOF backed by four military vehicles stationed near our building, where we live in the second floor. We heard knocks on our door, so my husband went to open the door.  We were surprised with 17 Israeli soldiers shouting and then held my husband and handcuffed him.  The soldiers spread in the house and held me and my children; Mohammed (10), Abdullah (14), and Sadil (18), in the living room. They ordered my husband to give them his cell phone  and confiscated it. I tried to give my husband a jacket and shoes to wear due to the cold weather, but the soldiers refused, threatened me at gunpoint and one of them ordered me not to move and stay with my childrenBefore they withdrew, IOF arrested Najeh and took him in one of the military vehicles stationed in front of our house.  The lawyer informed us then that Najeh was taken to “Ofer” detention center in Beitunia village, west of Ramallah.”

  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Nablus, Tulkarm, Shufa, and Far’un villages in Tulkarm goverorate; Bani Na’im and Surif, in Hebron; Ramallah, Deir Abu Masha’al, and Shuqba, near Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mukhtar ’Amer Qara’een’s (19) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Nawwaf Ayman Abu al-Hawa’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • In the evening, IOF tightened its restrictions on the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, established checkpoints and increased the number of its forces, especially at the gates of the Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Ramadan. Few minutes before Iftar, IOF banned distribution of hundreds of Iftar meals on the people fasting in al-Ghazaly yard, near al-Asbat gate (Gate of the Tribes), one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and confiscated them. And before the Isha Prayer, IOF stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, and raided the minarets there after breaking the doors. They cut all the loudspeaker cables in the Mosque to mute the Addhan, the Taraweeh and Isha prayers so it cannot be heard in al-Buraq yard, west of the Mosque. IOF claimed that they were disturbing the settlers’ Talmudic prayers and rituals.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Nablus, Beit Furik, and al-Badhan in Nablus governorate; Mirka, southeast of Jenin; al-Jalamah village, north of Jenin; Jaba’, Silat al-Dhahr, and Fandaqumiya, south of Jenin; al-‘Aroub refugee camp and Bani Na’im, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF chased, attacked and arrested (6) civilians near Bab al-‘Amoud neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that they were throwing stones at three Israeli busses carrying settlers. Eyewitnesses said that IOF vacated the terraces of Bab al-Amud by force, beat up the people there and chased them.  They arrested (6) civilians and took them to al-Bareed police center on Salah al-Dein street in the city. The arrestees were Mo’taz Mahmoud al-Hajj, Qusai Ashour, Ahmed al-Rashq, Ali Hamdan, Mohammed Isma’el and Nabil Shreiteh.
  • At approximately 06:00, Ahmed Marwan Abu Jom’a (20) surrendered himself to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem, after IOF raided his house, on Monday, to arrest him, but nobody was home.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Jawad Eisa Jaradat (24), from Sa’ir, north of Hebron, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established at the northern entrance of the village.
  • At approximately 18:45, IOF arrested Mahmoud Shawish (26), when he was in al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 19:10, IOF arrested Mohanad al-Bashiti (24), while present at Bab Hutta area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday morning, 08 April 2021, IOF handed citizens from Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, decisions to confiscate 13 dunums from their lands in the village to build a new street.
  • Shokri Radaydah, Mayor of Hizma, said that the decision issued by the IOF include 13 dunums from the village lands extending from the village entrance in the western side to the northern side in order to build a new high Radaydah added that in addition to the 13 dunums, the 150 dunums located behind the street will be affected as well as IOF will control the access of the owners into their lands by establishing 3 gates as declared by the IOF.  Radaydah said that if IOF decided to continue building the road in the future, hundreds of other dunums will be confiscated.
  • In the same morning, the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem approved the construction of 2000 housing units in “Givat HaMatos” settlement established on the lands of Beit Safafa village and 540 housing units in “Har Homa” settlement established on Abu Ghneim Mountain, south of Jerusalem.

Ha’aretz said that the final approval on the construction of the housing units in Har Homa settlement, south of Jerusalem, just needs the approval of the Ministry of Interior’s District committee. However, Ha’aretz added that construction of more than 2,000 additional housing units is slated to begin in “Givat Hamatos” settlement near Har Homa, south of Jerusalem.  The construction in the two settlements would cut off the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa from the West Bank and would block any possible division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a solution to the conflict.

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Salah al-Deen Ahmed Salah in al-Bireh and al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem for the second time under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah al-Deen Salah said that an Israeli military force stormed his land and demolished the room in addition to confiscating its contents.  Salah added that the room is built of steel and wood and this kind of rooms does not need a license as it is used for storage and agricultural purposes.  Salah said that this is the second time IOF demolish the room as it was demolished last January.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Susya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between the houses while the Civil Administration officer handed Khalil Hussein Mohammed Shreih a notice to stop construction works in his under-construction house of 200 sqms under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer moved into Khelet Taha area, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area and the Civil Administration officers started dismantling 2 tents of shed cloth and steel pillars set on 10 sqms in addition to an iron fence used as a sheep barn belonging to ‘Eid Soliman Saray’ah (40) from Yatta, south of Hebron.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities declared Um Hothwah area as a state property declared in 1981.  In the last few months, the settlers built a settlement road connecting that area with “Negohot” settlement.
  • In the same morning, IOF demolished a house belonging to Shaker Nayef Ja’abees in Marj al-Ghozlan area in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of its location near the main street.

Hussein Breijiyieh, Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission, said that IOF demolished a 80-sqm house in Marj al-Ghozlan area in Beit Sahour belonging to Shaker Ja’abees from Jerusalem after giving him 96 hours to demolish it and vacate the contents.  It should be noted that Shaker Ja’abees self-demolished his house in Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in 2013 pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction, and he moved to live in his parents’ house with his wife and 5 children.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 10 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Ofra” settlement, east of Ramallah, attacked the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah. The settlers rioted the area while the villagers attempted to confront them and threw stones at them.  Immediately, the settlers opened fire and fled away; no injuries were reported.

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

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

This comes in a time when 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 53 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 7 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:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Biddu and Anata villages, and near Jab’ village’s intersection, northeast of the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF closed Kalandia checkpoint, under the pretext of finding a suspicious object, and reopened it later.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Dar Salah village’s bridge, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and under Al-Khader village’s bridge, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village and at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Turmus Ayya and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Al-Bireh city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit_Ur_al-Fauqa and Turmus Ayya villages, and at the intersection of Taybeh village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Al-Jiftlik village, north of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village.

Nablus:

  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 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.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa  villages and at the southern and northern entrances to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Al-Majd villages.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Surif, Ash-Shuyukh and Beit Kahil villages.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Salfit, Kafr ad-Dik and Qarawat Bani Hassan villages.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (01 – 07 April 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (01 – 07 April 2021)

April 8, 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (01 – 07 April 2021)

Palestinian civilian killed and his wife wounded after targeting their vehicle at a military checkpoint, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem

IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 18 Palestinians wounded, including 2 journalists

Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas and seven on fishing boats in Eastern and Western Gaza Strip

In 177 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 67 civilians arrested, including 3 children, a woman and a journalist

Candidate for Legislative Council elections arrested in Bethlehem, 2 others summoned and an elections-related event banned in occupied East Jerusalem

Two houses demolished; one self-demolished, and eight facilities in addition to a settlement road built in occupied East Jerusalem

Settler-attacks: a settlement road built in Bethlehem and assaults on farmers and agricultural lands in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah

IOF established 88 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 9 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. 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 204 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 Osama Mohammed Sedqi Mansour (42) and wounded his wife when they stopped their car at a military checkpoint and opened fire at it. IOF claimed that they opened fire at the car after the driver had attempted to run over Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. According to the wife’s testimony and investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the car without any justification as they checked the passengers’ IDs and allowed them to pass.

Also, 18 Palestinians, including two journalists, sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: six civilians were wounded during suppression of a peaceful protest in Al-Mughayyir village in Ramallah; two journalists at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya; eight others in IOF incursion into Askar refugee camp and during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan; an intelligence officer wounded in IOF incursion into Tubas; and another wounded near the annexation wall.

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

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern and western Gaza; and 7 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 177 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, 67 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children, a woman and a journalist.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 4 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: a house was self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber village; a settlement road was built in eastern Issawiya village; 2 farmers were demolished; and a residential house, 3 barracks, 2 containers and a shop were demolished in al-Za’rawa and Habayil al-‘Arab areas in Issawiya village.
  • Qalqilya: a barrack for construction material was demolished.


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

  • Bethlehem: a settlement road was built.
  • Nablus: an assault on Palestinian farmers in Jalud village.
  • Hebron: opening fire at Palestinian Land and Water Settlement Commission during land-surveying in Hebron.
  • Ramallah: an assault on an agricultural area near the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • Bethlehem: lands razed in Kisan for construction of a settlement road
  • Nablus: 25 tree seedlings uprooted.

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 00:20 on Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in the eastern side to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying Israeli settlers to Joseph tomb, where settlers perform prayers. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the IOF’s vehicles. IOF responded with teargas canisters to disperse the young men. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 05:15, a group of Israeli undercover units “Mista’arvim” sneaked into Tubas city in two civilian cars. They surrounded Ahmed Jamal Ahmed Daraghmah’s (23) house located near the Intelligence Service office in the city. Few minutes later, several Israeli vehicles moved into the city to back up the undercover units. During which, IOF opened fire at a Palestinian Intelligence officer namely Mohammed Rushdi Habeeb al-‘Aydi (27), who got out of the Intelligence Service office to take the guarders back into the office. As a result, al-‘Aydi was shot with a live bullet below his left armpit, and sustained shrapnel wounds in his chest. He was then taken to Tubas Turkish Hospital for treatment. Also, IOF raided Daraghmah’s house and arrested Kamal Jamal Ahmed Daraghmah (29) in order to force his brother Ahmed (23) to surrender himself. In the evening, Ahmed surrendered at Tayaseer military checkpoint, east of Tubas city, while Kamal was released.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 02:40 on Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicles. IOF immediately fired live bullets and teargas canisters at them. Clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers and continued until the morning. As a result, 5 civilians were wounded as follows:
  • A 20-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his right foot.
  • A 24-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his right leg.
  • A 25-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his left leg.
  • A 23-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his chest.
  • A 27-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his abdomen.

Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. After that, IOF arrested Na’im Ahmed al-Shennawi (25) and later withdrew, taking him to an unknown destination.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF stationed at the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men against the closure of the mentioned entrance with sand berms for several weeks. When the protestors arrived at the area, IOF chased them and fired rubber and live bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians were wounded as follows:
  • A 40-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • A 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.
  • A 23-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.
  • 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • A 25-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot.
  • A 28-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg.

All of them sustained minor wounds and received treatment on the spot by the Palestinian Red Crescent society crew. In addition, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. Also, the windshield of Faraj Hussain al-Na’san’s vehicle was broken with a sound bomb.

  • 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, two photojournalists were wounded and identified as:
  • ‘Abdullah Saleem Shtawi (26), a photojournalist at B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, who was hit with a sponge grenade in his back.
  • Bashar Mohammed Nazal (30), a photojournalist at Palestine TV, who was hit with a sponge grenade in his hand.
  • 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. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded with rubber bullets in their heads and taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Soudaniya Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 21:15 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats until 00:20. As a result, many fishing nets were lost, while fishermen out of fear were forced to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF stationed in a military watchtower established near the annexation wall gate in kherbet Um al-Lahem in Qatanna village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, opened fire at Ya’qoub Hussain Mohammed al-Faqeih (20) while crossing through the annexation wall holes to work in Israel. Al-Faqeih’s family said that IOF opened fire at their son before arresting him, but few hours later IOF released him.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF accompanied with a Skunk carrying vehicle moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in ‘Obaid neighborhood. They established military checkpoints at the village’s entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. IOF suppressed the protestors, fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them and pumped wastewater at residential houses. Also, IOF arrested Reda Mohammed ‘Obaid (14) after raiding his house, and later withdrew.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Soudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 09:00 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 08:30, 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 casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, 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 08:30 on Monday, 05 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest 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.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded his wife when they stopped their car at a military checkpoint and opened fire at it. IOF claimed that they opened fire at the car under after the driver attempted to run over Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. According to the wife’s testimony and investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the car without any justification as they checked the passengers’ IDs and allowed them to pass.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF moved into Bir Nabala village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, and raided residential houses and an auto repair shop. They then headed to nearby al-Jib village, where they raided a car showroom at the village entrance to confiscate the surveillance camera recorders. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, fired live and rubber bullets at them and established a military checkpoint near a tunnel between Biddu and al-Jib villages, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF also stationed at the military checkpoint, searched Palestinian vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. At approximately 02:45, IOF stopped a vehicle belonging to Osama Mohammed Sandouqa Mansour (42) and his wife Somaia ‘Izzat ‘Abed al-Nabi al-Kaswani (36), checked their IDs, asked them where they are coming from and then allowed them to pass. When Osama drove 50 meters away from the checkpoint, IOF opened fire at his car, wounding him with two live bullets; one of them penetrated his head.  Moreover, his wife sustained shrapnel wounds in her back. Both of them were taken to Ramallah Governmental Hospital, where Osama was pronounced dead at 03:10 while his wife’s injuries were classified minor.

Later, IOF claimed that: “In a military operation in Bir Nabala village and after establishing a military checkpoint on a road to stop vehicles’ movement in order to back up IOF’s operation in the area, the soldiers at the checkpoint spotted a vehicle, which first stopped at the checkpoint and then drove fast towards them, attempting to run over the soldiers in a way that threatened their lives.  As a result, the Force responded with gunfire to control the threat.”

PCHR’s investigations and Osama’s wife testimony refute the Israeli claims, as Osama obeyed the soldiers’ order and stopped his vehicle and answered their questions. The soldiers checked Osama and his wife’s IDs and then allowed them to pass, noting that he did not drive his car except after the soldiers asked him to do so. When Osama drove his car, the soldiers were behind him, and they opened fire at his vehicle from the back. It should be noted that Osama has 5 children.

  • At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 07 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 16:00 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.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 01 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Khillet Aked village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They deployed between civilians’ houses, stormed Nayef Hussain Shawamra’s (65) house, held all his family in one room, damaged the house contents and confiscated 30,000 NIS. IOF handed the family a warrant of the confiscated money and no arrests were reported. After the withdrawal, the family realized that a 100-gram of gold was stolen from the house.
  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli Intelligence Services handed Anwar Sami Obaid (23), from Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, a decision that bans his entry to Jerusalem. IOF claimed that Obaid was invloved in a security incident where he lives and urges others for terrorism.

It should be noted that Obaid was arrested and interrogated dozens of times by IOF and spent a total of 5 years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods; in the last arrest, he was released on one condition that he is banned entry to the occupied Jerusalem for 4 months after he spent 4 months under house arrest.

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Ismael Abu al-Tin’s (19) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Yousef Mohammed Abu Maria’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF stormed a tent established to celebrate and welcome the release of Ghazi Mohammed Kan’an (48), in Ras al-Amoud village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and arrested his brother, Isma’el (56). Kan’an family stated that IOF stormed the tent where they were gathering to welcome their son, who spent 11 years in the Israeli prisons, after an hour of his arrival, and threatened to re-arrest him if they organized a welcoming ceremony for him.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Hasan Nasrallah al-Sha’er (24), from Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at Beit Furik military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, arrested Mo’men Mahmoud Jaber (19), from Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (13) incursions in Bir al-Basha Arranah, Beit Qad, Deir Ghazaleh and Faqqoa villages, in Jenin governorate; Anabta, Kafr al-Labad and Ramin, east of Tulkarm; Azzun, east of Qalqilya; Dura and Idhna, in Hebron; Surda, north of Ramallah; Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 02 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Hani Mujahed Abu al-Siba’s (44) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed at Qa’ al-Hara area. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Awad Za’aqiq (17) and Fahmi Abdul Hameed Za’aqiq (16), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ahmed Ra’fat al-Ghaleet (22), from al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, while crossing the checkpoint. IOF took him to “Ofer” police station, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 18:10, IOF moved into Zububa, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Omar Abdul Rahman Obaidiya (17).
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Nablus, Burqa, Bizzariya and Salem villages in Nablus governorate; Bir al-Basha, Ya’bad, Atatra, and Silat al-Dhahr in Jenin governorate; Yatta, Bani Na’im, Simia, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate, no arrests were reported.

Saturday, 03 April 2021:

  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Mazen Subhi Nabtiti (49), from Tulkarm, when he was near Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Mahmoud al-‘Amour (24) and Mohammed Ra’ed al-‘Amour (26), while crossing a temporary military checkpoint near the western entrance to Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. IOF took them to one of the detention centers in the city and released them several hours later.

Sunday, 04 April 2021:

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into al-Thuri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Tawfiq Rafiq al-Shwaiky’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Bassam Obaid (24), while on duty in French Hill neighborhood “Giv’at Shapira”, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at “Mevo Dotan” military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Ma’moun ‘Amaranah (19), from Ya’bad, southwest of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Ummar, Hebron, Tarqumiyah, and Sa’ir villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 05 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; including a father and his son. The arrestees were identified as Faisal Lo’ay Obaid (20), Lo’ay Faisal Obaid (43), and Mohammed Waleed Obaid.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Sa’ir, north of Hebron, and stationed in al-‘Aroud area. They deployed between civilians’ houses and stormed Sa’ed Nimir Farroukh’s (33) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians: Journalist Khaled Mohammed Mutair (29), Mahmoud Ibrahim Mutair (27), Rami Mansour (22), and Mo’men Mansour (23).
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ma’en Abdul ‘Alim Olwi’s (21) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched 4 houses and arrested (4) civilians: Watan ‘Assef al-Barghouthi (24), Mustafa Ra’ed al-Barghouthi (20), Mohammed Fahmi Asfour (28), and Assem Nabil al-‘Abed (23).
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF stationed at a temporary checkpoint established near the entrance to al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, arrested Shadi Hussain Safi (24) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Dura, Beit Kahil, and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 06 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed at Nanqar area. They raided and searched Ja’far Nouh Abu Aysha’s (44) house, detained his family in one room, damaged the house contents and withdrew. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tell village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nasr al-Dein Hamza Ishtayya (18).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Adel Issa Hijazi’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hindaza area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hasan Mohammed Wardian’s (62) house, and arrested him. It should be noted that Wardian is one of the candidates for the legislative elections representing the Hamas Movement list “Jerusalem is Our Destination”.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Fureidis village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Nader Mohammed Abayat’s (52) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, ‘Ayyad Jamal al-Harimi (28) surrendered himself to the Israeli authorities, after IOF stormed his house in Bethlehem and threatened to arrest his mother if he did not surrender himself.

Nadi al-Aseer stated that Ayyad was arrested several times since he was a child, the latest of which was 2 months ago as he spent 18 months in the administrative arrest. It should be noted that in 2016, ‘Ayyad was on a hunger strike for 45 days in protest against his arrest.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF banned a meeting to discuss the legislative elections at the Ambassador Hotel in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Civil Society organizations invited for this meeting titled “International Law Guarantees the right Palestinians in East Jerusalem to vote”.

It should be noted that before the meeting, IOF imposed and established checkpoints in the neighborhood, banned civilians from reaching the Ambassador Hotel, stopped and searched the vehicles of PLC candidates within Fatah list identified as as Naser Mohammed Qaws, Ghada Mohammed Abu Rabea’, Awad al-Salayma and ‘Ahed al-Rashq, and handed them summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskobiya investigation center in West Jerusalem, under the pretext of organizing banned activities in Jerusalem. Additionally, IOF arrested the Secretary-General of Fatah Movement in Jerusalem, Adel Abu Zneid, and the Ambassador Hotel’s manager, Sami Abu Dayyah. It should be noted that the Israeli Authorities ban any activities or events relevant to the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, and prosecute their organizers or supporters.

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Anaghim Nader Awad (21), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, after stopping her at a temporary military checkpoint established at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ziyad Fareed Shehada (52), from Qalandiya refugee camp, while crossing the checkpoint.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burqa, northwest of Nablus; Salfit, Sa’ir and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 07 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Jehad Mohammed Nawahda (59), and his son, Osaid (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians, including a child. The arrestees were identified as Yousef Abdul Hamid Abu Maria (45), Adyar Ivan al-Salibi (28), Amro Khaled ‘Allami (30), and Majdi Mershed al-Za’aqiq (17).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians and released them after 3 hours. The arrestees were identified as Thabit Mohammed al-Surai’ (39), Shaher Ayed Abu Rabi’a (40), and Khalil Yousef Abu Arram (30).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jamal Tayseer Yasin (38), who was arrested yesterday when he was at his work in Israel. IOF withdrew and no items were confiscated.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Jalbun village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fo’ad Najeh Abu al-Rab (21).
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hussam Khader al-Wawi’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, and stationed at the center of the village. They deployed between civilians’ houses, stormed some of them and arrested (7) civilians. The arrestees were identified as: Nidal Hasan Samhan (43), Anas Mohammed Samhan (29), Mahmoud Khaled Samhan (27), Mohammed Taha Abu Fkheida (35), Abdullah Mohammed Samhan (26), Ahmed Zaghloul Samhan (24), and Mo’ayad Fares Samhan (49).
  • At approximately 05:10, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Haidr Abdul Hafiz Mukho’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Ras Khamis neighborhood in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Jasem Sandouqa’s (42) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Ti’nik, west of Jenin; Nuba, Surif, and al-Aroub refugee camp, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Saturday afternoon, 03 April 2021, ‘Amer Shqeirat self-demolished his house in Jabal Mukaber, east of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Shqeirat said that the Israeli Municipality has haunted him since last year and imposed on him a fine of 60,000 shekels, which he pays in monthly installments.  Shqeirat added that IOF raided his house on 14 March and handed him a notice to demolish his house within 21 days or the municipality’s crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with the expenses.  Shqeirat said that he had to vacate the house and then demolish it with a bulldozer to avoid paying more money for the Israeli Municipality.  He added that the house was built on an area of 120sqms that includes 3 rooms and its facilities, where he lived with his wife and 4 kids.

  • On Sunday morning, 04 April 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration bulldozers levelled lands located in eastern al-Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to build a settlement road within the E1 Scheme, which aims to isolate the northern West Bank from the eastern West Bank.

Member of the al-‘Issawiya Follow-up Committee, Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, said that the Israeli Civil Administration vehicles accompanied with IOF stormed lands belonging to Mustafa and Abu Riyala families between the villages of al-‘Issawiya and az-Za’ayyem, east of the occupied city.  Abu al-Hummus added that the vehicles levelled the lands planted with crops and seedlings and started building a road within the E1 settlement scheme.

  • At approximately 08:15 on Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF backed by 7 military vehicles moved into Jinsafut village, east of Qalqilya, and demolished a barrack for construction materials belonging to Mahmoud Yousif Mohammed Sokar.

The barrack’s owner said to PCHR’s fieldworkers:

“At approximately 08:15, a worker in the barrack called to tell me that IOF came to demolish the barrack, so I went there immediately to find that they had already started the demolition.  They removed the ceiling, tiles, gypsum and the electrical panel and took the glass door along with everything in addition to high quantity of steel although they told me they will only remove the frame. They also damaged all the goods since the rubble and paints fell on them, noting that I did not receive any prior notice.”

  • On Wednesday morning, 07 April 2021, IOF bulldozers levelled 2 farms and demolished a house, 3 barracks, 2 containers and a shop in al-Za’rourah and Habayel al-‘Arab areas in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Member of al-‘Issawiya Follow-up Committee, Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, said that IOF’s vehicles stormed a 700-sqm farm belonging to Majed Diab and started levelling it and demolishing everything there.  Abu al-Hummus added that the IOF’s vehicles demolished a 70-sqm house built there of 2 rooms and their facilities and sheltering Majed Diab, his wife and 3 kids in addition to a garage established there 7 years ago and a barrack for horses.  They also demolished the fence surrounding the farm.  Abu al-Hummus added that the IOF’s vehicles also levelled another farm belonging to Adeeb Jamil Abu al-Hummus and demolished 2 containers used as storehouses for auto spare parts and a barrack for horses in addition to confiscating the horses.  Abu al-Hummus said that the IOF’s vehicles demolished a fence and barrack belonging to Farouq Mustafa and then withdrew.  He added that IOF previously handed the facilities’ owners demolition orders and imposed on some of them fines of thousands of shekels.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 02 April 2021, dozens of settlers levelled and built a settlement road between the areas of al-Khemar and Kherbet Mousa in Battir village, west of Bethlehem.

‘Omer al-Qaisi, one of the owners of the affected lands in the area, said that a group of settlers under IOF’s protection parked their bulldozers in lands connecting Kherbet Mousa and al-Khemar areas and started building an agricultural road of 100 meters long and 6 meters wide for settlement purposes.  As a result, vacant areas of land were damaged and dozens of trees were uprooted.

  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost established in southeastern Nablus attacked a group of farmers while working in their lands, east of Jalud village, and prevented them from doing their work at gunpoint. During which, at least 5 settlers; some of them masked, attacked with sticks and stones a 70-year old man, Walid Isma’il ‘Abdel Hafez Shweiki from Jerusalem.  The settlers also attacked a plot of land belonging to Jawad Jamil Yousif Hussein from Qasra village and uprooted 100 olive, pine and cypress seedlings.  They also damaged the power line poles and network on the road between Qasra village and Jalud village before going back to their settlement outpost.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, one of the settlers in “Havat Talia” settlement outpost established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from eastern Yata, south of Hebron, opened fire at the Lands and Water Authority employees who were land-surveying in an area near Tuwani village, east of Yatta, to force them to leave the area, which is within Area C. Meanwhile, IOF and Israeli police arrived at the scene and took the settler away.  No injuries were reported among the employees.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 05 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of northwestern Ramallah attacked an agricultural area near the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and tried to remove the barbed-wire fence surrounding the land. A number of villagers gathered in the area to confront the settlers and threw stones at them while IOF stationed at the watchtower there fired teargas canisters to disperse the villagers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  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 more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  88 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 9 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:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Biddu village’s tunnel and at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint under a tunnel established between Biddu and Al-Jib villages, northwest of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Marah Rabah village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and at the entrance to Jannatah village, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, at the entrance to Jannatah village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 07 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, east of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the main entrance to Aboud village, northwest of the city, and near Atara village’s bridge.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at “Hallamish” settlement intersection, and at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Ras Karkar villages.
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Aboud, Nabi Salih, Deir Abu Mash’al and Beitin villages, and on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Ein Yabrud villages.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints under Ein Yabrud’s bridge, near Atara village’s bridge, at the intersection of Ein Siniya village, and at the entrance to Al-Mughayyir village.
  • On Wednesday, 07 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of the city, tightened their measures at the checkpoint, obstructed vehicles’ movement and checked passengers’ IDs. They also established a checkpoint at the intersection of Al-Auja village.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, and at the entrance to Fasayil village.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at Al-Auja village’s intersection.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • Nablus:
  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, on Al-Badhan village’s road and at “Yitzhar“intersection, southeast of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Abu al-‘Asaja and Idhna villages, at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Bani Na’im village and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Sa’ir village, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village and at the southern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun, Jayyous and Sir villages, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Immatain and Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bruqin and Kafr ad-Dik village, west of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Istiya, Deir Ballut and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bruqin village, west of the city.

Will Israeli Supremacism continue to get a free pass?

Germany, France slam US over sanctions against ICC chief prosecutor |  Africa | DW | 04.09.2020

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her inquiry will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -April 9, 2021

…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: Israel does not really mind being a rogue nation, but would prefer the fact not get too much widespread attention. But this is exactly what the good people at the ICC had finally decided to do.

The Zionist regime, as expected, has responded that the ICC can stuff its investigation of Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians where the sun does not shine. Everyone knows this is true, but most pretend that Israel is a ‘special’ situation.

In effect Israel is allowed to ‘do onto others that you would not want them to do onto you’ because they are…you know…special. Different rules apply for Israelis and their supporters that don’t apply to you and I, because, you know, we are not one of them.

Historical and contemporary media have swallowed this free pass for Israeli supremacism as some form of dispensation it must pay for the ‘Big H’, guilt for not preventing it. I am not even going to use the word, because the Israelis have inflicted the ‘Big H’ on the Palestinians and write it off as a just security matter.

The last time looked we had 75 to 80 million dead from WWII related causes, a number heavily biased because it left out a chunk of the 50 million Chinese dead estimates. One special group has reserved for themselves to be annointed the most horrible thing that happened during WWII, and everyone else can not only go to the back of the bus, but jump off or be thrown off.

That has always stuck me as rather impolite, and hence I have never had warm and fuzzy spot for Israeli, Zionist, Jewish supremacism, for those who practice it.

They may consider me a bad person for this, but I would consider it just a rational observation. I would even be open to hearing their raionale for one group being allowed to hold the number one supremacism spot as an unquestionable right, and dish out to the Palestinans whatever horrors it many want and that be no one else’s business

Jim W. Dean ]

First published … April 09, 2021

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will tell the International Criminal Court that it will not cooperate with its investigation into possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel will respond to a notification letter from the ICC, telling it that Tel Aviv does not recognize the tribunal’s authority.

Last month, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in a statement the launch of a war crimes investigation into the Palestinian territories, which have been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

She said her inquiry will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.” The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the prosecutor’s announcement.

It is “a long-awaited step that serves Palestine’s tireless pursuit of justice and accountability, which are indispensable pillars of the peace the Palestinian people seek and deserve”, the PA foreign ministry said in a statement.

Hamas resistance movement also praised the ICC’s move.

“We welcome the ICC decision to investigate Israeli occupation war crimes against our people. It is a step forward on the path of achieving justice for the victims of our people,” Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman said.

“Our resistance is legitimate and it comes to defend our people. All international laws approve legitimate resistance,” Qassem noted.

Palestine was accepted as an ICC member in 2015, three years after signing the court’s founding Rome Statute, based on its “observer state” status at the United Nations.

Both Israel and the United States have refused to sign up to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to be the only global tribunal trying the world’s worst crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

BIOGRAPHY

Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor

Managing Editor

Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. 

Read Full Complete Bio >>>

Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014https://www.veteranstoday.com/jim-w-dean-biography/jimwdean@aol.com

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (25 – 31 March 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 – 31 March 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

25 – 31 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 4 Palestinians wounded, including 2 children
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and three others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • In 121 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 62 civilians arrested, including 3 children and 2 women
  • IOF delivers cease-construction notice against a retainment wall and a house in Hebron and Bethlehem
  • Settler-attacks: Palestinian civilian wounded, and assault on a vehicle; stone chains destroyed, and olive trees cut in Salfit and Bethlehem
  • IOF established 55 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 3 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. 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 207 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:

Four Palestinians, including two children, sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: a child was wounded at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya; another in a protest in Beit Dajan in Nablus; another child sustained wounds in an IOF raid on a former Palestinian prisoner’s house in occupied east Jerusalem, noting that the prisoner was released that same day after 20 years in Israeli prisons. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assault during raids on Palestinian houses across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 3 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 121 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, 62 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and 2 women, including a journalist who was detained while conducting an interview. She was detained for several others before her release.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir Balah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented the following incidents:

  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against a house in eastern Yatta.
  • Bethlehem: cease-construction notice served against a retaining wall in Tuqu.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 3 attacks:

  • Bethlehem: Palestinian civilian assaulted in southern Bethlehem.
  • Salfit: vehicle assaulted; agricultural room destroyed; stone chains destroyed, and 15 olive trees cut.

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 21:30 on Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Yunis. At approximately 12:00, IOF re-opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinians gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child was hit with a teargas canister in his foot.
  • 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, a 44-year-old male and a 26-year-old male were shot with rubber bullets in their lower limbs and taken to Rafidia Hospital. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 27 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened sporadic fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia 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 fire sound bombs at them until 09:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli authorities suppressed activities organized by the Women Centre that belongs to al-Zaytoun Mount Club in al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to celebrate Mother’s Day. Israeli authorities claimed that the celebration is funded by the Palestinian authority (PA). Mohammed al-Sayyad, Secretary of al-Zaytoun Mount Club, said that Israeli Intelligence Service along with IOF raided al-Zaytoun Mount stadium during the preparation for the launch of the event, which is annually held to celebrate the Mother’s Day. Al-Sayyad clarified that IOF stopped the event, got the attendees out of the stadium, and arrested Head of the Women’s Centre, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, along with the young man, Malek Ghazi al-Moghrabi, after severely beating him up. Al-Sayyad pointed out that IOF hanged a ban order signed by the Minister of Internal Security in the Israeli government on the stadium gate and warned of holding the event in another place in the city. Lawyer Heba al-Qadoumi said that the Israeli Intelligence Service banned for the 2nd time an event organized by al-Zaytoun Mount Club during this month; the first event was on the Women’s Day and the second was on the Mother’s Day, noting that these events were organized at call of the villagers and without any coordination with Palestinian official bodies. Al-Qadoumi pointed out that IOF released Ikhlas al-Sayyad few hours after interrogating her. Also, Malek al-Moghrabi was released, on condition of house arrest for 5 days.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 29 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia 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 fire sound bombs at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF raided a house belonging to a former prisoner, Majd Abed al-Raheem Barbar (45), in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and arrested him a day after his release from the Israeli jails, noting that he served 20 years in prison. IOF also indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. Barbar family said that IOF raided a tent established by the family near their residential building entrance to receive visitors welcoming him. The family clarified that IOF arrested their son Majd under the pretext of organizing a celebration in his house yard and raising Palestinian flags. The family added that IOF pepper-sprayed some visitors, pushed and beat them up and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. As a result, many civilians, including Majd’s mother and wife, suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, child Mohammed Hitham al-Daddou (11) was shit with a rubber bullet in his right hand. The family pointed out that the Israeli authorities extended Majd’s detention for next day evening in order to appear before the Israeli court, which decided to release him, provided that the family will not fire fireworks, they will preserve social distance among the visitors and wearing masks, and they will not organize any celebrations in the house yard. The Palestinian Red Crescent Crews stated that they treated 14 persons when IOF raided Majd’s house; 12 of those suffocated due to teargas inhalation; one was beaten up by IOF, and another one was shot with a rubber bullet. Some of those wounded were taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tur neighborhood for treatment.
  • It should be noted that in afternoon, IOF moved into Al-Eizariya village, where they raided the Red Palace Hall near the village entrance, prevented holding a celebration for Majd Barbar and warned the hall owner of hosting Barbar family.

Incursions and arrests

Friday, 25 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hamza Naser Abu ‘Ajamiya (21) and Abdullah Khaled Abu Hadeed (18). Meanwhile, IOF handed Oday Adnan Shehada (25) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Kahil, north of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the city. IOF deployed between civilians’ houses and arrested (20) civilians and took them to a detention center at “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city, and released them later. (PCHR keeps records of the names of the arrestees).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jawhar Naser Jawhar (25) and Mohammed Abdullah Jaffal (17) and arrested them. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hammam Ahmed al-Banna (25).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Murad Mohammed Idris’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. They stopped and arrested Amjad Khaled Fayed (19) and Tamer Ahmed al-Saffouri (19), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Ras Atiya village, south of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Ibarhim Hazem ‘Arrar’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Saouane neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, and handed him a expandable decision signed by the Israeli minister of interior affairs , Aryeh Deri, that bans him from travelling for a month.

It should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Sheikh Sabri and banned him from entering the Aqsa Mosque several times, latest of which was on 10 March 2021, after announcing his intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Dura, Beit Ummar, Bani Na’im villages in Heborn; al-Mughayyir, northwest of Ramallah; and Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 26 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Illar village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Samer Mwafaq Abu Hafiza’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at several neighborhoods in the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, including former minister and deputy. The arrestees are: Issa Khairy al-Ja’bari (55), the Palestinian minister of local government, was arrested 9 times and spent 10-years in the Israeli prisons, and he was arrested without searching his house; Hatem Rabah Qfaisha (68), former Hamas Movement Deputy; and Mazen Jamal al-Natsha (46), a leader at Hamas Movement in Hebron.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Nuba and Halhul in Hebron; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 27 March 2021:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Illar, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Sameer Abdul Khaliq Abu Sa’da’s (27) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Bab al-Hadid “Iron Gate”, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, severely beaten and arrested Murad Mohammed al-Tarhouni (21), and took him to one of the police center in the city.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Hassan Ghayatha (28), while present near “Kfar Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. IOF took him to one of the detention centers and released him after several hours. It should be noted that Ghayatha is a person with disability.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir, Beit Ummar, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate; Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah; and Aboud, northwest of the city. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 28 March 2021:

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Ghazzawi’s (28) house, claiming that he attempted to run over an Israeli soldier near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Murad Abu Hammad (13) and Mohammed Fayez al-Debs (20), from Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present near Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque, north of the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Bani Na’im, and Tarrama villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 29 March 2021:

  • 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 Riyad al-Qarrawi (20) and Mahdi Abu al-Hawa (20), and took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF reinforced with 4-military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Salem court, west of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Husain Bani Ghurra (17), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. IOF claimed that he attempted to smuggle a bombshell into the court.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Muna Azmi al-Qawasmi, a journalist at Jerusalem Newspaper, and the former prisoner Sedqi Suliman al-Maqt (54), after conducting an interview in the yards of the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to al-Kishle police center, where their mobile phones were confiscated, and they were interrogated for hours and accused of inciting riots. Later IOF released them on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for 7 days, which may be renewable. It should be noted that al-Maqt is from Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, and he was released in January 2020, during a prisoner exchange deal, after he spent 32-years in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 15:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services handed the Jerusalem Affairs Minister, Adnan Adel Ghaith (46), a new military decision that bans his entry to the West Bank for another 6-months for unjustified/false security reasons. Jerusalem governorate stated that this is the fifth decision in raw that bans the entry of Ghaith to the West Bank and to his workplace, north of Jerusalem. it should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Ghaith over than 27 times since he was signed as a governor.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Ramzi Naser Abu Ajamiyya (20), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of the city, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho; and Ti’inik village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Ahmed Huthaifa al-Jamal;s (20) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Emran Mousa Zawahra’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yasuf, east of Salfit. They raided and searched Nour Jamal Azzam’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron, and stationed in Kiton area. They raided and searched Mohammed Hamed Barqan’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOD moved into Ein Musbah neighborhood in Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdul Majid Majed Hasan’s (22) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Hasan is a university student.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mus’ab Mohammed Srour’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’nis Jamal Mer’i (24) and Saher Ammar Mer’i (26), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Jom’a Khaled Abu Mfareh (24), from Teqoa, east of Bethlehem, after summonsing him to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tubas and Tammun, southeast of Tubas; Qalqilya, Jericho, Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, near Jericho; and Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Abdul Wahab Shadi Daraghmah’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ayman Rami Zeid’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mu’in Abdul ‘Alim Olwi’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with 4 military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Samu village, south of Hebron. They deployed in the Old City of Hebron, closed the main street of the city to provide protection to settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old Roman synagogue in the city center. The closure continued until at approximately 10:00.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli infantry unit moved into Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron. Meanwhile, several military vehicles came and closed the road to Bir al-Hams, and forced the stores’ owners to close their stores, and prevented the Palestinian vehicles from moving to provide security for a group of settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old building called “Etni’il Tomb”, until at approximately 11:30. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian activists attempted to obstruct the settlers’ way and reopened their stores and rose banners that calls for the eviction of settlers out of Hebron. IOF responded by attacking the Palestinians and arrested the activist Wael Mohammed Amro (25) and took him to police center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Emran al-Ashhab (41), the employee at Islamic Waqf rehabilitation committee, while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to al-Kishle police center, in the Old City.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beita village, southeast of Nablus; and Beit Ur al-Fauqa village, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed around a house belonging to ‘Omer Mohammed Rab’ie while plowing the land around the house.  The soldiers tried to confiscate an excavator that was working there while the villagers intervened and prevented them. Before leaving, the Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Rab’ie a notice to stop construction works in the area under the pretext of monument destruction. 
  • At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF handed a citizen from Teqoa village, a notice to stop the construction of a retaining wall around his land, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Director of Teqoa village, Taysir Abu Mefreh, said that IOF notified Sami ‘Ali Ibrahim al-Ta’amrah to stop the construction of a retaining wall around a plot of land he owns in Kherbet al-Deir, west of the village, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 25 March 2021, settlers beat up Ahmed Sa’id Sbeih (39) when he was in his land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, causing him bruises and wounds.

As’ad Sbeih said that his brother Ahmed was surprised with 4 Israeli settlers storming his land in ‘Ein Qasis area, west of al-Khader village.  When he tried to ask them about their presence in his land, they started beating, pushing and kicking him.  As a result, he sustained bruises and injuries all over his body and was referred to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to receive treatment.

  • At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, a group of settlers from Brukhin village, established on west Salfit lands, attacked Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad (41), and damaged his family agricultural room in Wadi Sousia area, north of Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit.

Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I was working in the village lands when someone called me to say that there were settlers damaging the agricultural room in Wadi Sousia.  I immediately stopped working and headed to the land.  When I arrived, the settlers ran away to the top of the Mountain and started throwing stones at me and my car, breaking its windshield.  I could not bear it and called the settlement’s guard.  An Israeli officer arrived, and I told him that I will not leave until they fix what they ruined.  The officer told me to calm down and I will get what I want.  All they did is trying to calm me down, and nothing happened as the officer told me to go and file a complaint to Ariel police station.  I refused and went back.  It was all in vain although I took photos of the settlers and the settler who damaged my car.”

  • At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 29 March 2021, a group of settlers from Rafafa settlement established on west Salfit lands attacked an agricultural road and destroyed the stone chains established there in Kherbet al-Nafakh, turning it into a road for settlers’ motorbikes. The settlers also cut 15 olive trees in lands belonging to heirs of Yousif Hasan Souf; Hussein Hasan Jaber; ‘Aref Hussein Saleh Souf and ‘Aisha Mahmoud ‘Abdel Qader Qasem.

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  55 temporary checkpoints, where they 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:

  • On Saturday, 27 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 31 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jab’ village, northeast of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Jannatah and Tuqu villages, east of the city.
  • On Sunday dawn, 28 March 2021, IOF closed al-Container checkpoint, east of the city, and re-opened it later. IOF also established a checkpoint at the entrance to Wadi Fukin village, west of the city.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, at Nahalin village’s intersection and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 31 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the main entrance to Aboud village, northwest of the city.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Abu Mash’al and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Ofra “settlement and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih,  Deir Abu Mash’al  and Abwein villages.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Atara village’s bridge.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the Dead Sea intersection and at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho, at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, and on al-Mo’arajat road.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the norther entrance to Jericho, near the Dead Sea intersection and on al-Mo’arajat road. 

Nablus:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Deir Sharaf village, west of the city.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 25 March  2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Sa’ir, as-Samu and Idhna villages, at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Saturday, 27 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrances to Deir al-‘Asal and al-Moreq villages.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Susya villages, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to the city and at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas villages, east of the city.  

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Slafit and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.

Nine Fatah Candidates Withdraw from Electoral List

April 2, 2021

The Central Elections Commissions (CEC) announced that 28 electoral lists have submitted nomination applications. (Photo: Central Elections Commission website)

Nine members of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah – withdrew on Thursday from the movement’s electoral list for parliamentary elections just as the Central Elections Commission closed registration for the polls.

Fatah candidate in Gaza, Riad Al-Astal, announced on Facebook that he had withdrawn from the movement’s electoral list to protest “the irresponsible decision to ignore the number of votes in Khan Yunis,” as well as the disregard of popular opinion and conduct that was not representative of Fatah’s spirit.

“Returning to that which is right is better than persisting in dishonesty;” he said in reference to the withdrawal of his nomination.

Al-Astal explained that more than five reputable electoral lists had offered him to join them, however, he refused their offers.

“I apologize to all these lists, and I wish them further progress and success,” he added.

Another Fatah candidate in Gaza, Prof Muhammad Abu Hamida who had also withdrawn from the movement’s electoral list said he had taken his decision for reasons that he will keep to himself.

Elsewhere, in the West Bank, unknown gunmen opened fire on the home of a Fatah candidate in the southern governorate of Hebron shortly after he officially announced joining the movement’s list.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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Land Day: Palestinians mark the 45th anniversary

Palestinian farmers say they face constant threats while working on family lands due to Israel’s annexation policies

Gaza farmer working on land MEE
Iyad Abughleiba, a Palestinian farmer, finds it increasingly difficult to work on his land in the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s annexation policies. (MEE/Sanad Latifa)

By Maha Hussaini in Gaza Strip

Published date: 30 March 2021 12:22 UTC 

On 30 March 1976, six Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as hundreds of Arab citizens in the occupied territory took to the streets to protest Israel’s expropriation and occupation of Palestinian lands.

The event became known as the Land Day and a symbol of national struggle that unites Palestinians around the world.

Forty-five years later, Palestinians say that not much has changed, as Israel continues its policy of annexation.

Middle East Eye met with Palestinian farmers and land owners in the Gaza Strip, who have been unable to access hundreds of dunums of land belonging to their families due to Israel’s restrictions and annexation policy.

Land theft normalised

Iyad Abughleiba, 49, a Palestinian who owns agricultural land in the eastern central Gaza Strip, says that farmers find it increasingly difficult to work in the blockaded enclave as Israel continues to “normalise land theft”.

Since age 15, he and his brothers would help their father cultivate the family lands. When his father passed away, the siblings inherited the lands and continued to work as farmers.

“My grandfather had owned more than 400 dunums of land. But over the years, and with every Israeli decision or new policy, the lands have been gradually shrinking. Today we only have 25 dunums left,” Abughleiba told MEE.

‘Our safety depends on the Israeli soldiers’ mood. You could be killed at any moment’

– Iyad Abughleiba, Palestinian farmer

Although Israel dismantled its settlements in Gaza in 2005 and withdrew its forces and settlers from the enclave, it still controls vast areas of land in the northern and eastern perimeter of the Strip.

“Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip is the biggest lie. They are controlling every inch of the Strip – the land, the sea, and can you hear that noise? They are also controlling the air,” Abughleiba said as an Israeli drone buzzed at low altitude above his land.

“Like the majority of Palestinians, our grandparents lost most of their lands in Gaza and the West Bank during the [Palestinian] Nakba. But land theft did not stop here.”

The Nakba, meaning the “disaster, catastrophe or cataclysm”, marks the partition of Mandatory Palestine in 1948 and the creation of Israel. At least 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes that year. A further 280,000 to 325,000 fled their homes in territories captured by Israel in 1967. 

Following its disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel established a “buffer-zone”, a military no-go area that stretches across the Strip’s borders with Israel. The first reference to a buffer-zone in the Strip appeared in the Oslo Accords in 1993, which mentioned a 50-metre wide area along the enclave. 

Today, it extends to more than 300 – 2,000 metres inside the Strip.What is the Nakba? Day of catastrophe for Palestinians, explainedRead More »

“When Israel first established the buffer zone, we lost part of our lands. Then when they expanded it in 2009, we lost another part. This is how they gradually annex more parts of our lands every now and then,” Abughleiba explained.

Abughleiba is always on high alert while farming, even though it’s been a couple of years since Israel last annexed parts of his family’s lands.

“Even if the rest of our lands is still accessible, we are always cautious due to threats of crops being bulldozed or shots being fired at us whenever we are working.

“In 2008, the Israeli forces bulldozed our lands, uprooting dozens of olive trees and destroying a water well. In 2014, during the war on Gaza, they did it once again,” he said.

Gaza farmers and landowners bear the brunt of Israel’s policies, facing periodic bulldozing of lands, flooding of crops, and shooting by Israeli forces stationed adjacent to their lands.

“After they bulldozed our lands, we planted them again and still insist on coming back to them because they are our only source of living.

“But after all, our safety depends on the Israeli soldiers’ mood. You could be killed at any moment.” Abughleiba told MEE.

‘Modernised’ methods to steal land

Um-Emad is a Bedouin woman who was expelled from her family’s land in Beersheba during the Palestinian Nakba in 1948.

The 79-year-old lives in a small room in her sons’ house, built in the middle of their agricultural land in the eastern Bureij, in the central Gaza Strip.

For Um-Emad, living on agricultural lands is part of her family’s heritage.

‘I can never imagine my life away from our land. One metre of this land is worth a thousand apartments elsewhere.’

– Um-Emad, 79, Gaza resident

“I can never imagine my life away from our land. One metre of this land is worth a thousand apartments elsewhere,” she told MEE as she sat on the ground of her room overlooking the fields.

“If I have to leave my land in Gaza, then it has to be to my family’s land in Beersheba. That is the only place I can leave to before I die.”

Um-Emad, who was evicted to Gaza at gunpoint when she was six years old during the Nakba, thinks that Israel intends to make Palestinians pay a high price for sticking to their lands, while facilitating their migration from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

For years, Israel has been implementing an annexation plan in the West Bank that was accelerated following the announcement of former US president Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, in January 2020.

As a result, dozens of families across the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been evicted and displaced.

According to rights groups, Israel’s annexation of Palestinian lands constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, and “can have no effect on the legal status of the territory, which remains de jure occupied”.

Palestinian farmers in Gaza Strip
Palestinian farmers work in the fields in the Gaza Strip (MEE/Sanad Latifa)

“Israel today implements a systematic policy of forcing Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to migrate and leave their lands.

“The occupation does this both softly and by force. They make Palestinians believe that living in Europe with better life standards is a dream, and thus make thousands of youth leave in search for a better life, in order to make room for [Israeli] settlers.

“We are being forced to abandon our lands, but I would rather be buried here before selling one centimetre of my family’s land,” he said.

‘Every day is Land Day’

Jalal Abujlala, 47, depends mainly on his agricultural land in the eastern central Gaza Strip for living.

But with the remaining area of land after annexation by the buffer zone, the father of eight children can barely cover his family’s expenses, which include the tuition fees for his daughter who’s attending university to study medicine.

‘I always tell (my children) about our stolen lands, and that one day we will regain them back’

– Jalal Abujlala, 47, Gaza farmer

“A large part of our lands was annexed by the Occupation during the Palestinian Nakba and also due to the establishment of the Israeli buffer zone. Now the remaining area can only provide the life’s necessities,” said Abjlala.

“I can see my family’s annexed lands in the occupied territory from here. Sometimes, I approach a bit and take my children to see them. I always tell them about our stolen lands, and that one day we will regain them back,” he said.

“You would think that cultivating in this land is safe since it is not very close to the Israeli borders. But in fact, it does not have to be close in order for the farmers to be hurt,” he continued, recalling memories from Israel’s military attack on Gaza in 2014, where artillery shells targeted vast areas of agricultural lands.

“Owning a land in our country comes with no guarantees. At any moment you are threatened with bulldozing or eviction and annexation.”

For Abujlala, Israel’s measures in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are similar to the event that sparked the Land Day demonstrations in 1976.

“History repeats itself. The Land Day happens everyday in Palestine.”

‘Split in half’: Gaza mother’s years-long wait to reunite with her children in West Bank

Source

Rights groups say Israel’s ‘separation policy’ is keeping apart dozens of families

Niveen Gharqoud has submitted five exit permit requests to Israeli authorities since 2018 in the hope of joining her husband and children (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

By Maha Hussaini in Gaza

Published date: 29 March 2021 08:23 UTC

Niveen Gharqoud has only seen one of her five children in the past four years. She has been cut off from the others since sending them to live with their father, roughly 100 kilometers away in Qalqilya, a city in the occupied West Bank.

Niveen and Ameer on a call to the rest of their family in the West Bank, March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Niveen and Ameer can only interact with the rest of the family in the West Bank through the phone, March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)

Gharqoud, 39, who lives with her parents and youngest son in the Juhr al-Deek village, in the central Gaza Strip, has submitted five separate exit permit requests to Israeli authorities since 2018 in the hope of joining her husband and children in the West Bank.

None have been approved.

“It has been four years since I last saw my children. I used to sleep with the five of them on one bed, and now I cannot see them except through a mobile phone screen,” Gharqoud told Middle East Eye.

“It is painful to accept the idea that my four children are taking care of themselves without a mother, while their father is working most of the time.”

Policy of separation

In 2007, a year after it won legislative elections, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Israel soon imposed a suffocating blockade on the coastal enclave, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, under what the Israeli government calls “the separation policy”.

According to the Israeli government, the policy aims to restrict travel between Gaza and the West Bank to avoid transferring “a human terrorist network” out of the Strip.

“Even if the Israeli government wants to reduce what it calls the transfer of terrorists into the occupied territory, its separation policy imposed on over two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is simply collective punishment that is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Mohammed Emad, director of the legal department of the Stockholm-based advocacy group Skyline International for Human Rights, told MEE.

“Such restrictions are imposed arbitrarily on random civilians and are resulting in the separation of dozens of families.”

Families like the Gharqouds.

A family divided

Niveen married Sami Gharqoud in Gaza 18 years ago. He has been working various labourer jobs in Israel throughout their marriage.

“He used to move between Gaza and the West Bank,” Niveen said. “He worked there and used to come to visit me every now and then.

“He has not witnessed any of the births of our five children, and has never seen me pregnant except in photos and video calls,” Niveen told MEE.

“I used to go to the hospital with my mother, go through all the pain [of labour] alone, give birth and return home. He would visit us only after the delivery of each child, stay a couple of weeks then leave to the West Bank again.”

Niveen and Sami Gharqoud. March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Niveen and Sami Gharqoud, March 2021 (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

But since the start of the ongoing blockade, Sami has only visited his family in Gaza once.

“Before the last war on Gaza [in 2014], I visited him in the West Bank, stayed for about six months, and got pregnant with my last child, Ameer,” said Niveen. This turned out to be the only time she could visit Sami.

“I then had to come back to Gaza, because the [Israeli authorities] only allowed me to take two of my four children with me to the West Bank. They intentionally did not allow me to take all four children. They wanted to force me to return to Gaza. So I was obliged to come back.”

‘They [Israel] intentionally did not allow me to take all four children. They wanted to force me to return to Gaza’

– Niveen Gharqoud, Gaza 

Sami has never met his youngest child, Ameer, who is now six years old.

Niveen has been trying to rejoin her husband since the birth of their last child, in 2014, but Israeli authorities have not allowed her to travel to the West Bank.

She decided in 2016 to send her children to their father first, after her relatives and friends told her that this would help her get a permit to join them all later on.

“My father took my four children and travelled via the Rafah border [with Egypt] to Jordan. But he left them at the Allenby Bridge [that connects Jordan to the West Bank] because he could not cross – his ID states that he lives in Gaza, unlike my children and their father, whose IDs state that they live in the West Bank.

“Now I cannot send Ameer to join his four siblings. My eldest daughter, who is now 17, already shoulders the responsibility of her three brothers and takes care of them. She is still a child, but she is overwhelmed with all those responsibilities.”

Niveen’s four children in Qalqilya see their father barely once or twice a week due to his work, and spend the rest of the week alone. Whenever they need anything, the children call their mother in Gaza.Covid-19: US announces $15m aid package for Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza.

“About two years ago, my daughter called me screaming,” Niveen Gharqoud recalled. “She said that boiling water had spilled onto her younger brother’s face while she was boiling some eggs for him to eat. I did not know what to do – I called their neighbour and begged her to go help them.”

“This was not the last time that such a thing happened,” Niveen continued. “A few days ago, Malak [the eldest sister] called me, scared. She told me that someone was trying to open their apartment door. I could not do anything but tell her to lock the door very well and turn the television on to make noise.”

“I have their neighbours’ numbers in cases of emergency because I am helpless here, while their father is absent most of the time.”

Gharqoud is still hopeful that she will make it to her children and husband in Qalqilya, but says that the Israeli authorities “do not even respond to my exit permit applications, they leave them pending”.

When an exit permit is denied or pending, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have to wait for three months until they can submit another request.

A long history of separations

In July 2003, the Israeli parliament passed a law that prevents family unification for Israeli citizens married to Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory.

According to Amnesty International, the law constitutes a “further step in Israel’s long-standing policy aimed at restricting the number of Palestinians who are allowed to live in Israel and in East Jerusalem.”

Israel has long been criticised for separating Palestinian children from their families, including those from the Gaza Strip who are referred for medical treatment in the occupied Palestinian territory.

‘Since he saw his siblings leave, he has become so needy that he follows me everywhere – to make sure I don’t abandon him’

– Niveen Garqoud

Figures collected by NGO Physicians for Human Rights Israel revealed that more than half of the applications filed in 2018 by parents attempting to accompany their children for medical treatment in the occupied territory were rejected. 

In 2019, around a fifth of the children referred for medical treatment from the Gaza Strip travelled without their parents.

A position paper released by the Israeli human rights group Gisha in 2020 said that by isolating the Gaza Strip and imposing movement restrictions on Palestinians between cities and villages, Israel has “pursued a divide and conquer strategy” to disrupt the ability of Palestinians to maintain unified social and family life.

Israeli authorities didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Traumatic separation

The Garqouds’ youngest son, Ameer, accompanied his grandfather and siblings to the Rafah border crossing when he was three years old. Once they arrived at the border, he realised that his closest brother, Muhammed, and three other siblings, were leaving without him. Unlike them, Ameer was too young to travel without a parent.

“A few months ago, I went to attend a relative’s wedding. When I left, he kept screaming and fainted, thinking that everyone was lying to him and that I had gone to the West Bank and left him behind.”

Fearing her son Ameer's anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home. March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Fearing her son Ameer’s anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home. March 2021 (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

To avoid leaving him alone at school, and fearing his anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home.

“Since he saw his siblings leave, he has become so needy that he follows me everywhere – to make sure I don’t abandon him.”

‘Missing mum’s dishes’

“Your sister told me that you did not go to school the other day, why is that?” Niveen asked her 10-year-old child Muhammed during a video call.

“I woke up and looked for my pants and couldn’t find them, so I could not go,” he answered.

“If he had a mother living with him, this would never happen,” Niveen, sitting in her living room, told MEE.Palestine elections: Gaza voters sceptical about upcoming pollsRead More »

With Sami still in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, Niveen also made sure her children had eaten their lunch.

“We usually eat sandwiches or order food deliveries because we have nobody to cook for us. But Malak sometimes calls mum and asks for some food recipes to feed us,” Muhammed, 10, the Gharqouds’ fourth child, told MEE.

Niveen said that she avoids sending photos of family gatherings to her children so that they do not feel they are missing out, or crave “food they cannot have”.

“Malak cooks well,” said Muhammed, “but I am missing mum’s dishes, that only she can make this good.”

Malak, who celebrated her 17th birthday in February, has taken on her mother’s role: keeping an eye on her brothers’ studies and helping with their day-to-day needs.

“A few weeks ago, her 23-year-old neighbour asked for her hand in marriage,” said Niveen. “In the normal situation, I would never accept the idea of allowing my daughter to get married at this age. But since she has no one to take care of her, I want her to feel emotionally stable with someone she can rely on.

‘What is so hard about allowing me and my six-year-old son to reunite with our family?’

– Niveen Gharqoud

“We initially agreed on her engagement, but Malak still refuses to proceed with it until I can join them and meet the man.”

Niveen says her children could easily come back to Gaza, but she refuses to bring them back to live away from their father. She is unsure if they would get a permit to leave again if they did return, and the trip, via Jordan and Egypt, is too expensive.

“My children are growing up and they need their father in their life. I am split in half; I want them here with me, but I also want them to live in a healthy environment with me and their father together,” she told MEE.

Recommended

JOE BIDEN’S HEARTFELT ILLOGIC ABOUT ISRAEL

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Stale Foreign Policy

Almost everyone in the West who is not a fan of Donald Trump—and if they are a fan, their sanity is to be doubted— assumes that U.S. President Joe Biden is now helping to save both the United States and the world. In some categories such as climate change, environmental regulation, economic reform favoring the poor and middle class, equal rights and, of course, combating the Covid-19 virus, they might have a point.

Nonetheless, it really saddens me to say that, at least in this author’s opinion, President Biden is not “the sharpest tack in the box.” That is, he is not the smartest guy in Washington, D.C. On the other hand, Joe has a strong point. He has the good fortune to have drawn together some very strong and progressive advisers on the domestic side of the political equation. It would also seem that, unlike his predecessor, Biden has the capability to actually listen to these people. He also has accommodated himself to the pressure put forth by true progressives such as Bernie Sanders.

The one exception to this wealth of good advice is on the other half of the job, in the area of foreign policy, in particular foreign policy toward the Middle East, and specifically policy toward the country of Israel. Here is where Joe has difficulty thinking straight and is out of luck with his chosen advisers.

To wit Andrew Bacevich of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft:

“Beneath a veneer of gender and racial diversity, the Biden national security team consists of seasoned operatives who earned their spurs in Washington long before Donald Trump showed up to spoil the party. So, if you’re looking for fresh faces at the departments of state or defense, the National Security Council or the various intelligence agencies, you’ll have to search pretty hard. Ditto, if you’re looking for fresh insights. In Washington, members of the foreign policy establishment recite stale bromides, even as they divert attention from a dead past to which they remain devoted.”

Part II—Analytical Shortcomings Nos. 1 and 1A: Policy Formulation toward Israel and the Palestinians

In the field of U.S.-Israeli relations, there are two areas where President Biden’s analytical shortcomings show themselves.

(1) The inability to formulate foreign policy that takes into account the behavior of the object of that policy.

President Biden says “my commitment to Israel is completely unshakable. As president, I’m going to continue our security assistance … and maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. I’m not going to place conditions for the security assistance.” Essentially, this position abdicates U.S. national interests in favor of Israeli interests.

Here is a metaphor for such blind commitment. Think of how one adjusts attitudes toward friendships held over time. If you had a friend (we will refer to this friend as male) who, for whatever reason, evolved into a robber, would you give him a gun every year on his birthday? Would you do that because you remember he was a battered child and you think the arsenal you provide will make him feel secure and, hopefully, lead him to give up his criminal behavior? Or maybe you think he needs the gun because he lives in a bad neighborhood?

Biden believes that “Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat. That’s why we always have to be adamant that Israel must be able to defend itself.” But this is just a long-obsolete rationalization for spoiling your friend, who turns out to be head of the strongest gang on the block.

In the meantime, Biden points fingers at his predecessor for adopting exactly the same stance toward the Saudi Kingdom. Biden complained that “Donald Trump has given the government of Saudi Arabia a blank check to pursue a disastrous set of policies.”

(1A) The reverse side of this coin entails Joe Biden’s uninformed attitude toward the Palestinians. These are people who allegedly pose an “existential” threat to Israeli lives.

“The Palestinians need to end incitement in the West Bank and rocket attacks in Gaza. … No matter what legitimate disagreement they may have with Israel, it’s never a justification for terrorism.”

The truth is that it is the Palestinians who are under the “existential threat” and it is the Israelis who exercise massive violence against them, more often than not of a terroristic nature. When Palestinians resist Israeli oppression they are labeled terrorists, they are killed and their infrastructure is destroyed. When they do not resist, more and more of their land is taken. Volunteers must come from Europe to the West Bank so that farmers can harvest their olives without getting shot by Israeli settlers.  Gaza is under blockade, not able to obtain basic supplies or vaccines. It should come as no surprise that “the death tolls in the Israel-Palestine conflict are lopsided, with Palestinians far more likely to be killed than Israelis. According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which has compiled month-to-month fatality records, looking at the figures since 2005, 23 out of every 24 conflict deaths have been Palestinian.”

Biden also insists that the Palestinian Authority should “acknowledge, flat-out, Israel’s right to exist—period–-as an independent Jewish state and guarantee the borders.” Actually, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) did so in 1993. The Palestinian Authority suspended recognition in 2018 due to incessant theft of Palestinian land by Israel.

It appears that Joe Biden takes none of these facts into consideration. Is it because he does not know them? Such ignorance is certainly possible, though for a U.S. president it would be inexcusable. More likely, he has heard the Palestinian side, but cannot interpret it objectively because he is ideologically committed to the Israeli worldview.

President Biden has declared that “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” Commitment to Zionism is commitment to an ideology. Seeing the world on the basis of an ideology—any ideology—must distort your understanding. Thus, Biden’s view of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict becomes as lopsided as the conflict’s death toll.

Part III—Analytical Shortcoming No. 2: The BDS Movement

President Biden’s personal refusal to adjust U.S. policy to confront even those aspects of Israeli behavior he says he opposes—settlement activity and threats of annexation—carries over into his personal opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, active both in the U.S. and Europe. Just as his reasoning is often faulty when refusing to match policy to Israeli behavior, it is also faulty as to his opposition to BDS.

On the one hand, “Joe Biden will protect the constitutional right of our citizens to free speech.” On the other, the president “has been unequivocal in condemning calls in the United States to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel.” In other words, Americans can say it, but in this case, Joe ain’t listening.

According to the president, “the BDS movement singles out Israel—home to millions of Jews—in a way that is inconsistent with the treatment of other nations, and it too often veers into anti-Semitism.”

It is obvious that in the case of the BDS campaign, Israel is “singled out.” However, this is not unusual or “inconsistent with the treatment of other nations.” It is quite consistent. Cuban Americans single out Cuba. Other groups single out China, or Russia, or Myanmar and the like. Does the president dismiss these defenders of human rights because of their single-country focus? Of course not. Thus, he is being a hypocrite when singling out BDS.

In the case of Israel, those involved in BDS are mostly victims of Israeli oppression (Palestinians) or Jews who are utterly disgusted with what the Zionists are doing in their name. Israeli actions, particularly in the Occupied Territories, are in clear violation of international law and human rights declarations, and this gives the BDS a solid legal grounding. So what is Biden complaining about? Nothing that he has seriously thought through. And, when pushed on this, he falls back on the charge of anti-Semitism. Yet, the suggestion that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic is just a red herring.

Here is another quite legitimate justification for Americans, and others in the West, to “single out” Israel for attention by supporting BDS. Israel is indeed unique in that through its agents—Zionist lobbies—it is powerful enough to divert the debate over the aims of foreign policy in relation to much of the Middle East. That is, these agents of a foreign power divert the debate away from what is in the best interests of the U.S. or this or that Western nation, toward the question what is in the best interest of Zionist Israel. As a result, billions of dollars, pounds, euros and other resources have been diverted into making Israel a supremely powerful apartheid state.

Can President Biden understand these arguments? No more than any other self-proclaimed Zionist. As a Zionist he must, if he is to stay ideologically consistent, let Israel off the hook for its crimes. Sometimes this blinkered way of thinking creates embarrassingly contorted positions.

Consider this emotional proclamation made by then Senator Joe Biden at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference, on March 20, 2016.

“Singling out Israel, [either at the UN or by BDS] is wrong! It’s wrong! I know it’s not popular to say, but it’s wrong, because as the Jewish people know better than any other people, any action that marginalizes one ethnic and religious group imperils us all. It’s incumbent upon us, all of us, that we stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes, who seek to scare and divide us for political gain, because the future belongs to the bridge builders, not the wall builders.”

Let’s unpack this declaration. We start with the sentence “the Jewish people know better than any other people, any action that marginalizes one ethnic and religious group imperils us all.” It is correct that, given their history, many Jews should recognize Biden’s statement as true. But all those who are Zionists will make an exception for Israel. They must do so in order to avoid outright contradiction. Why so? Because Israel has posited both its identity and its security on the “marginalization of one ethnic and religious group,” namely, Palestinians. Maybe President Biden senses that there is some inconsistency here, but being a Zionist he dismisses it as justified. Addressing an AIPAC audience, of course, meant no one challenged him.

We move on to the next sentence. “It is incumbent that all of us to stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes.” When Israeli leaders and Zionists such as Joe Biden constantly refer to Palestinians who resist Israeli oppression as “terrorists,” they too are “trafficking in pernicious stereotypes.” It is a safe guess that Biden does not realize this.

Next sentence, “It is incumbent that all of us that stand up against those who … seek to scare and divide us for political gain.” I cannot think of a more apt description of what the Zionist/Israeli aim is here in the United States and the West in general—to scare us away from the defense of Palestinian rights and divide us when it comes to legitimate criticism of Israeli behavior, all done for political gain in the form of maintaining an extraordinary level of financial and military support of an apartheid state.

Finally, the last statement, “because the future belongs to the bridge builders, not the wall builders.” It is amazing that, given his immediate audience, Biden made this statement with a straight face. For he was addressing those infamous for building a wall that divides and isolates.

Essentially, this entire declaration by Joe Biden attributes to BDS all the negative characteristics that Israel in fact displays. As a self-declared, true-believer Zionist, he does this without any recognition of the deep irony his declaration contains.

Part III—Conclusion

How much history does Joe Biden, or his foreign policy advisers, know? For instance, do they know the history of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency? Lyndon Johnson could have gone down in U.S. history as a remarkably successful and progressive leader. He could have done this on the basis of his championing civil rights. But he was destroyed by the Vietnam War—a war fought by the U.S. because of ideological imperatives.

President Biden may well be faced with the same choices. He probably could go down in U.S. history as the 21st century’s first truly great president for all those reasons listed at the beginning of this essay. But these achievements may be diminished by adherence to obsolete and dangerous foreign policies in the Middle East. If he follows his current trajectory he will bury the 2015 Iran agreement—one of the most promising diplomatic achievements of the 21st century. He may linger on in that “forever war” in Afghanistan. He will let both the Israelis and the Saudis off the hook for their past and future abominations. And, he will sustain Israeli dominance in the region even as that country confirms itself as a rightist, racist threat to human rights and international law. Through all of this Joe Biden may lose his moment in history.

.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 18 – 24 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 18 – 24 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 18 – 24 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 1 Palestinian killed and another wounded in Nablus
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and four others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • In 167 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 98 civilians arrested, including 6 children
  • Three houses self-demolished and IOF demolished another one in occupied east Jerusalem
  • Israeli military order to confiscate 17.5 dunums in Salfit for settlement road construction
  • Settler-attacks: 2 vehicles set ablaze in Jerusalem; 2400 seedlings uprooted in Ramallah and 25 others in Nablus
  • IOF established 75 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 6 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. 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 193 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 Atef Y. A. Hanaysheh (46) on 19 March 2021 with a bullet in the head while suppressing a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan, northeastern Nablus. No threat was present to the lives of Israeli soldiers. IOF also shot and wounded another Palestinian in another peaceful protest in Nablus.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 4 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 167 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, 98 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion into eastern Rafah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: 2-storey house demolished in Silwan; 3 houses were self-demolished in Isawiya and Shufat camp; land and cement pillars demolished (under-construction house) in Shufat.
  • Jenin: demolition notice served to car repair workshop in Arraba.
  • Salfit: military order to confiscate 17 dunums and 497 meters from Bruqin, Haris and Sarta.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 5 attacks:

  • Occupied east Jerusalem: 2 vehicles set ablaze.
  • Ramallah: 2400 almond seedlings uprooted, and fence cut
  • Bethlehem: lands razed in Kisan for construction of a settlement road
  • Nablus: 25 tree seedlings uprooted.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

IOF imposed a complete 24-hour shutdown from Tuesday midnight, 23 March 2021, justifying it with the Israeli Knesset elections.

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 08:20 on Friday, 19 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:50, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus, northern West Bank. The civilian died with a bullet in his head shot by an Israeli soldier at him without him posing danger or imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 March 2021, 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 labor 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.  They parked their vehicles in al-Marhan area, east of the village, and continued walking to the settlement outpost established on the eastern mount, around 2000 meters away from al-Marhan area.  At approximately 12:50, the protesters were surprised with IOF deploying on the top of the mountain, around 1500 meters away from the outpost. IOF immediately opened fire at the protesters, and clashes that continued for 10 minutes broke out, during which the protesters threw stones where the Israeli soldiers were stationed.  The soldiers moved forward until they were 70 meters away from the protesters.  Meanwhile, one of the soldiers fired a live bullet at a protester; the bullet settled in his head wounding him under his right eye.  The protesters carried the injured protester, whose face and head were all covered in blood, and took him to Harayeq al-Damanah prairie, where they put him in a civilian car that drove him to Nablus.  A Palestinian ambulance was there, and when they wanted to put him inside the ambulance, he was already dead.  His body was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus.  He was later identified as ‘Atef Yousif Ahmed Hanayshah (46), Imam of al-Jadeed Mosque from Beit Dajan village in Nablus.  He was a father of 3 children, including a daughter with cancer.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by the residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, international activists and representative of national activities in protest at vacating and displacing 7 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of Israeli settlers. The protest started from the neighborhood, at the call of the families whose houses are threatened to be vacated, towards the neighborhood’s main entrance. The participants raised banners, chanted slogans against Israeli occupation and ethnic displacement in favor of Israeli settlers. The Israeli police surrounded the area and ordered the protestors to leave. Meanwhile, the participants headed to another place in the neighborhood. Few minutes later, IOF returned, attacked the suppressed the protest, prevented the protestors from raising the Palestinian flags, fired sounds bombs at them, beat them up, and attempted to arrest Bodour Hasan. It should be noted that the Israeli Central Court recently gave al-Kurd, al-Qasem, al-Ja’ouni, and Iskafi families until the beginning of May to vacate their houses for settlers, under the pretext that the ownership of the lands, where houses are established, belongs to settlers. Additionally, the Israeli Central Court gave Hammad, al-Dawoudi and al-Dejanu families until the beginning of August 2021 to vacate their houses.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 20 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, and east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek) village, southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 20:05 on Sunday, 31 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Gaza Seaport, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles, causing fear among them and forcing them to leave. No causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, heavily opened fire around them and pumped water at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40 on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF along with Israeli settlers and accompanied with a bulldozer and a helicopter moved into al-‘Umra Mount, southeast of Beita village in Nablus, north of the West Bank. IOF suppressed dozens of civilians, who gathered in the area at 20:00 in the previous day to protect it from settlers. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the civilians to disperse them. The clashes continued until 11:40. As a result, a 25-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his head and taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF arrested Salem Hussain Dowikat (38), taking him to an unknown destination.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 18 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Waleed Salem al-Khateeb’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Abdul Hameed Abu Maria’s (52) house, damaged its contents and detained all his family in one room. Meanwhile, IOF stormed two houses belonging to ‘Alqam and Awad families, and arrested Omar Abdul Aziz ‘Alqam (39), and Mahmoud Mohammed Awad (32).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Ameed Ghazi Jabareen’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ghassan Ali Shawamra’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Thabet Waleed ‘Ataterah (23).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Ashraf Abu Sbeitan (16) and Abdullah Abu Ghannam al-Mukhtar (17) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Salfit, arrested Yousef Mahmoud al-Yousef (32), from Kifl Haris, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Dawoud Bader’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (11) Saffarin and Shufa, north of Tulkarm; Beit Lid, south of Tulkarm; Burin, Rujeib, Huwwarah and Sebastia, in Nablus governorate; Surif, Karma, Shuyukh and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Awwa, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Sweity’s (37) house and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Khader Abdullah al-‘Amour’s (20) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services at “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Tura village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Majd Mohammed Qabha (19).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on a bypass road, northwest of Jenin. They arrested Sedqi Sadeeq Zakarnah (18), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (13) incursions in Ya’bad, Bir al-Basha, Kufeirit, Jaba’, Fandaqumiya, Sanur, Arabbuna and Deir Ghazaleh, in Jenin governorate; Dura, Sa’ir and Shuyukh al-Arrub in Hebron; Abu Shukheidim and Kobar, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Anwar Mohammed Massouda’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Ra’fat Sameeh Najeeb (39), while present in Souq Khan al-Zeit (market), in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to one of the police centers. IOF released him after several hours of interrogation.
  • At approximately 16:20, IOF moved into Khillat Hassan area, west of Salfit, arrested (7) civilians from Sanniriya village, south of Qalqilya, and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Mohammed Ibrahim A’mar (35), his brother Hussam (32), Mahmoud Ali Taha (27), his brother Ahmed (24), Mohammed Hamed Younis (32), Anis Ma’zouz Younis (26), and Anas Riyad Younis (23).
  • At approximately 15:05, IOF stationed at the bypass road between Tulkarm and Kafr al-Labad, south of Tulkarm, arrested Mohammed Nabil al-‘Amouri (22). IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Shuyukh and Deir al-A’sal villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 21 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Wael al-Toll’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses, severely beaten and arrested (4) civilians; Fayez Mohammed Taqatiqa (27), his brother, Salama (25), Waleed Eisa Taqatiqa (23), and Atef Mohammed Thawabtah (22).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ayman Abu al-Hawa (16), and Dawoud Khaled al-Huneity (21).
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF established a checkpoint to ambush civilians near Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, and arrested Ahmed Mohammed al-Damj (21) and Wadea’ Sameer al-Ghoul (21), both from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. IOF took them to unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Shuqba, northwest of Ramallah; Dura and Kharsa, in Hebron; Saffarin, Shufa and Beit Lid villages in Tulkarm governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 22 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ameer Yousef Rabea’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron, and stationed at al-Deir area. They raided and searched (3) houses and arrested (3) civilians; Hani Abdul Aziz Qaisiyah (30), Nabil Hashem Qaisiyah (37), and Mohammed Fadel Qaisiyah (39). IOF took them to “Otniel” settlement military camp, south of Hebron, and released them on the morning of the next day.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed at the city center. They raided Ali Izz al-Dein Abu Maria’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Jadawil area in Beit Jala, northwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Nafiz Othman Shehada’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (13) civilians including 2 children. The arrestees are: Mohammed Khaled Sharifa (20), Mohammed Bassem Hijazi (17), Abdullah Omar al-Hirbawi (22), Ameer Fareed al-Basti (24), Mahmoud Hasan al-Shawish (21), Sufian Omar al-‘Ajlouni (22), Mustafa Eyad Abu Ghazaleh (17), Rawhy Mahmoud Kulghassi (24), Jihad Naser Qaws (25), Ameen Mohammed Dweik (35), Ya’qoub Mohammed Dabbagh (19), Mohammed Hazina (23), and Khaled Milhis (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdu Faisal Abu Hammad’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at Tamra area. They raided and searched Abdul Samea’ Mohammed al-Ja’bari’s (46) house, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Eid Abu Akar (33) and Hamdi Mustafa Abu Akar (24), from Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present in ak-Khadir village, south of the city. It should be noted that it was not the first time for IOF to raid the arrestees’ houses.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Bilal Kifaya’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Shurfa neighborhood in al-Bireh. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Hawamda’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mansur Mahmoud (23) and Ahmed Haitham Mahmoud (20), while present at the entrance to al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took them to one of the police centers and released them after several hours of investigation.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Ameer Anwar Qindah (23)v and Ahmed Nafiz Abu Shukheidim (22), from Abu Shukheidim village, north of Ramallah, while present at al-Khilla area, near “Nahliel” settlement, northwest of the city.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested Tha’er Jaber (22), while present near the bus station of Nablus street, in the occupied East Jerusalem.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ra’ed Najeh Abu Ali’s (26) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Bir Ayub neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Abdullah Owda’s (44) house and arrested him along with his sons; Abdullah (20), and Khader (15).
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Suhaib Hamed Karaja (28), from Halhul, north of Hebron governorate, after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established on the northern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli Intelligence Services arrested Ali Hussain Deiriyyah (26), from Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, after summonsing him for investigation at “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyas Hussain Obaid’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ra’ed Rami Abu Sbeitan’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Beit Ummar, and Tarqumiyah villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Samer Mousa Abu Malash (39), and Mohannad Mahmoud Abu Malash (37).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ahmed Issam Abu al-Rab (21), Majed Faisal Nazzal (31), ‘Allam Ahmed Nazzal (22), and Mohammed Adel Saba’na (22).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Hashemiya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Sati Jarrar (27).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tammun, southeast of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Ahmed Bisharat (30).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street, in the center of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Islam Adel Hijazi (22) and Marwan Saleh Abu ‘Aahour (27), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Anazzah village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohammed al-‘Amour (27).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, south of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched the house of Hamas leader, Jamal Mohammed al-Tawil (58), and arrested him. IOF released him after several hours. It should be noted that al-Tawil spent 13 years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Makroum Naser al-Ja’bari’s (29) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) civilians; Bajes Ma’rouf Nakhla (57), his son Ma’rouf (30), Eyad Mahmoud Safi (49), Maher Ayoub Dalaisha (46), Awwab Ahmed Mubarak (28), Abdul Aziz Mohye al-Dein al-Khateeb (20), and Mohammed Saher Dabour (21).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ibrahim As’ad Baddad (45), Mohammed As’ad Shreim (32), Fareed Mohammed Balsha (48), and Nasri Saleh Khaliliyah (26).
  • At approximately 06:00, a group of Mista’arvim, (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinian civilians), sneaked to a local market in the center of Jenin, using a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. Three gunmen came out of the vehicle and arrested Majdi Azmi Hasaniya (26), from Jenin refugee camp, while he was organizing vegetables at his father’s shop. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Khalil Atta Abu al-Hawa’s (18) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint near the entrance to Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They arrested Asem Mustafa Arqawi (18), and Mohammed Eyad Souqiyya (18), from Jenin. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-meters to the west of the border fence, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again later.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and Idhna villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, Two brothers, Khaled and Monir al-‘Abbasi, vacated the contents of their 2-storey house in Deir al-Saneh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, upon an Israeli Municipality’s notice to vacate their houses under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Khaled al-Abbasi said that the 2-storey building was established in 2016; he lived with his wife, 5-year old child and 7-month baby in a 100-sqm apartment in the first floor while his brother Monir lived with his pregnant wife in his 90-sqm apartment in the second floor.  Al-‘Abbasi added that the Israeli municipality promptly pursued them and issued an administrative decision to demolish their houses. Their lawyer managed to freeze the decision and applied for a house license, but in vain.  Al-‘Abbasi pointed out that the Israeli Municipality imposed on him a fine of 70,000 shekels in 2019, and he is still paying it.  He added that he and his brother were handed an order to vacate their houses within 21 days last September, so they headed to the Israeli court, which gave them until 11 March to self-demolish the house, but he did not do it.  He said that the Israeli Police called him on Thursday morning to notify him to vacate his house to demolish it in the coming days.  Al-‘Abbasi said that the construction of the house cost him 700,000 shekels while the lawyer fees were around USD 13,000. 

  • On Sunday morning, 21 March 2021, Raja’ie Talal ‘Atiah self-demolished his house in al-Madares neighborhood in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Raja’ie ‘Atiah said that the house was under construction and he lived in the 120-sqm third floor.  He added that he started building the house 5 months ago so that his son, Ahmed, move in, but the Israeli Municipality promptly haunted him and issued a decision to demolish the house.  ‘Atiah added that he hired a lawyer to appeal the decision, but the Israeli District Court issued a decision to self-demolish his house and gave him a month to carry out the demolition.  He pointed out that the Israeli Municipality called him yesterday afternoon and threatened him that a fine of 200,000 shekels would be imposed on him if the Municipality’s vehicles carried out the demolition.

  • On the same morning, Mohammed Bassam al-Sabbah Karshan self-demolished his 2-storey house in Sho’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mohammed Karshan said that he built his house 7 months ago on an area of 500sqms, but it is still under construction.  The first floor was supposed to include 5 shops and the second floor should include 2 residential apartments.  Karshan added that the Israeli Municipality notified him last November to stop the construction works and then handed him an administrative demolition decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction and its location near Sho’fat refugee camp checkpoint. He said that he appealed the decision and hired a lawyer, but the court notified him that a fine of 300,000 shekels would be imposed on him if he did not carry out the demolition.

  • In the same morning, Sami Mohammed Sa’ied ‘Abbeid self-demolished his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Sam’ ‘Abbeid said that the 100-sqm house was under construction, and he started building it at the end of last year so that his son, Mohammed, moves in, but the Israeli Municipality promptly pursued him and issued a decision to demolish his house.  ‘Abbeid added that he hired a lawyer to try to freeze the demolition decision, but the court rejected his request and insisted on the demolition decision.  ‘Abbeid said that he was forced to self-demolish his house after the Israeli Municipality threatened him of imposing a fine in case its vehicles carried out the demolition.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV raided an auto-repair workshop near ‘Arraba intersection, southwest of Jenin. The Civil Administration officer asked the workers for the workshop’s owner.  When they told him that the owner was not here, he fixed a notice to the workshop door relevant to the demolition of the workshop, which is a 150-sqm tinplate barrack and costs 150,000 shekels.  The workshop, which belongs to Hussam ‘Emad Abu Salah, from ‘Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, was notified under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF handed a military order to confiscate 17 dunums and 497 sqms from civilians’ lands in Burqin village and Haris and Sarta villages, to build a settlement road that connects Barkan settlement with the “Trans-Samaria Highway,” which connects Tel-Aviv with the Jordan Valleys. Tens of settlements were established on both sides of the road, and many changes and expansions were made to the road that led to changes in the features of Salfit City and confiscation of tens of Palestinian agricultural dunums.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished the concrete pillars and floor belonging to Mahmoud ‘Alqam in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mahmoud ‘Alqam said that he built a cement floor 2 months ago on an area of 100 sqms, intending to build a house so that he moves in with his wife and 5 children; the eldest is 16 years old and the youngest is 6 months old.  ‘Alqam added that he was surprised with IOF moving into Ras Khamis neighborhood and surrounding the place.  They started demolishing the pillars and floor in addition to completely levelling the land and the fence surrounding it, without a prior warning.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At dawn on Friday, 19 March 2021, a group of settlers burnt 2 vehicles and wrote racist slogans in Beit Iksa village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Sa’adah al-Khatib, Mayor of Beit Iksa village, said that a group of settlers moved into the village at dawn and wrote racist slogans on some walls in the village.  They also burnt 2 vehicles belonging to Hamdan Karshan, and the Palestinian Civil Defense crews arrived to extinguish the fire, which completely caught the 2 vehicles. He added that this is the fourth incident of its kind during the past period.

  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 March 2021, Monjed Ahmed al-Tamimi, from Deir Nidham village, arrived at his agricultural land in Wad Raya area, north of the village, which is 700 meters away from “Halamish” settlement, and was surprised that the land fence was cut and around 2400 almond seedlings were uprooted and broken. He added that he later found out that a group of settlers from “Halamish” settlement did this.  It should be noted that in March, IOF confiscated a tractor belonging to al-Tamimi as well when he was plowing another land near al-Nabi Saleh village near Deir Nidham village.
  • On Sunday morning, 21 March 2021, settlers levelled vacant lands in Thaher al-Mazareb area in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, to build a settlement road.
  • Ahmed Ghazal, Head of Kisan Village Council, said that a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Amos” settlement established on the Kisan lands built a settlement road of 4 kilometers in Thaher al-Mazareb area, east of the village, preluding to confiscate hundreds of dunums from the area lands.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, 3 settlers on tractors from “Havat Gilad” settlement, established on southern Tal village, southwest of Nablus, attacked the Palestinian lands in Khelet Mohra al-Qebli, south of the village, uprooted 25 five-year-old olive seedlings and confiscated 22 of them. Those seedlings belong to Mohammed Ibrahim ‘Othman Ramadan from the village.

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  75 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 6 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:

  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Biddu village’s tunnel, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Biddu village’s tunnel, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the entrances to Jannatah and Marah Rabah villages, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the entrance to Marah Rabah village, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.

 Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Hallamish” settlement, northwest of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF stationed at “al-Mahkama” military checkpoint established near “Beit El” settlement, north of Al-Bireh city, tightened their measures, searched Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. Also, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Silwad and Ein Yabrud villages and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beitin, Deir Abu Mash’al and Nabi Salih villages.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Al-Auja village’s intersection and at the northern entrance to Jericho
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the norther entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Awarta village and near the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the intersection of Sarra village, southwest of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit Ummar village.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and ad-Dhahiriya villages, at the southern entrance to Halhul city, on Khelet al-Mayia road, and at the southern entrance to Dura city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Susya villages, at the western entrance to the city, and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dura city and at the entrance to ad-Dhahiriya village.

Qalqilya:

  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jit village, northeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints under the bridge of Azzun villages and at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Hableh and Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Kifl Haris and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik, Deir Ballut and Haris
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik and Deir Istiya villages and at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Iskaka, Deir Istiya, Deir Ballut, and Az-Zawiya villages.

Yemen: Trilogy of victory,, in the seventh year اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابعة

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Yemen: Trilogy of Victory, in the seventh year

Nasser Kandil

– None of the observers and followers of the Yemeni scene, supporters of the Yemeni people and their resistance represented by Ansar Allah, nor of their opponents supported the Saudi aggression to expected that the war will continue for this long, nor that the Yemenis can bear this amount of killing, destruction, siege, hunger and suffering, and stand at their goals to stop the aggression and lift the blockade as a condition for accepting any call for a cease-fire and the beginning of negotiations.

– Compared to all the wars that have been fought against the peoples of the region and their resistance forces, there is nothing that can be compared to the Yemeni case, as the six-years war is being fought directly by armies possessing tremendous military superiority, accompanied by a tight siege, which can be similar in terms of intensity of fire to the wars of Gaza and the 2006 aggression against Lebanon. But there is nothing like the Yemeni situation, they are wars of days and weeks, not years, and despite the fiery siege on Gaza, the Egyptian outlet remains a breathing lung for the besieged Gaza. In Syria Lebanon remained a lung to breath from, and in Syria, where the war continued for ten years accompanied by fierce sanctions, the fiery superiority of the Syrian state and its allies remained, and the sea remained under the hands of the Syrian state and its army, and a resource for armaments and imports that could be secured behind the back of the blockade, Whereas in Yemen, supremacy was for the camp of enemies, with fire and siege, and the six years continued and produced havoc, destruction, death, hunger and epidemics, and Yemen was steadfast

– During the sixth year, Yemen moved from steadfastness to regaining, developing missile salutations and drones, an unmistakable deterrent force despite the electronic jamming techniques possessed by the Americans and through them the Saudis, and within a year this weapon proved high technical capabilities that produced a military deterrence balance based on exceptional scientific superiority, and within a year the security of the Saudi rear in Yemen, and burned Aramco times, and became the security of the water The gulf and the energy corridors and ensure their flow in the hands of the Yemenis, and proved the failure of the war miserably to all those who were behind it, led by The American Joe Biden, who became president and was vice president on the day of its launch with the promise of ending it in weeks or months, and began maneuvers to get out of the war with the least losses, from trying to distinguish America from Saudi Arabia, to Saudi offers of a cease-fire, to U.S. calls for a political solution.

– On the eve of the seventh year, the Yemenis demonstrated their strength, so they presented the trilogy of victory, and their leader, Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, appeared in a detailed explanation of the war, its objectives and context, and the conditions for accepting solutions through the duality of stopping aggression and lifting the siege, based on steadfastness, determination and clarity in reading the past and the present and drawing the horizon of the future. Within hours of the zero hours of the seventh year, the army and the resistance presented an intense and concentrated dose of deterrence elements, inflaming the Saudi depth with raids and missiles, saying with a full mouth that the threats of their leader had taken their way to implementation. During the day, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis gathered in the squares and streets, celebrating the Day of National Resilience, affirming their loyalty and cohesion with their leadership and army, the 2006 July scene of the destruction of the destroyer Sa’er, the speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and scene of the people marching to southern Lebanon amid the cluster bombs in response to the call of the Leader of the Resistance. This trilogy victory was a harmonious symphony, drawing a clear ceiling in front of the American-Saudi alliance entitled, no place for maneuvers, the war will be a scourge, not a debate, and the negotiation path has a mandatory path: stop the aggression and lift the blockade, opening of the port and airport and the departure of foreign troops.

– Yemen enters the seventh year with the strongest confidence in victory, and the great victory has become the fruit of great patience, but this time it is really the patience of an hour.

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اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابع

ناصر قنديل

لم يكن أحد من المراقبين والمتابعين للمشهد اليمنيّ، من مؤيّدي الشعب اليمنيّ ومقاومته التي يمثلها أنصار الله، وحكماً من خصومه المؤيدين للعدوان السعوديّ ليتوقع قبل ست سنوات في مثل هذه الأيام، أن تستمرّ الحرب طول هذه المدة، ولا أن يتمكّن اليمنيون من تحمل هذا الكم من القتل والدمار والحصار والجوع والمعاناة، ويصمدوا عند أهدافهم بوقف العدوان ورفع الحصار كشرط لقبولهم بأية دعوة لوقف النار وبدء التفاوض.

بالمقارنة مع كل الحروب التي خيضت وتخاض ضد شعوب المنطقة وقواها المقاومة، ليس هناك ما يمكن تشبيهه بالحالة اليمنية، فحرب ست سنوات تخوضها مباشرة جيوش تملك تفوقاً عسكرياً هائلاً، يرافقها حصار محكم، يمكن أن تشبهه من حيث كثافة النار حروب غزة وعدوان عام 2006 على لبنان، لكنها حروب أيام وأسابيع، وليست سنوات، ورغم الحصار الناري يبقى المنفذ المصري رئة تنفس لغزة المحاصرة، وتبقى سورية رئة يتنفس منها لبنان، وسورية التي استمرّت الحرب عليها عشر سنوات وما يرافقها من عقوبات، بقي التفوق الناري فيها للدولة السورية وحلفائها وبقي البحر تحت يد الدولة السورية وجيشها، ومورداً للتسلح وتأمين المستوردات التي يمكن تأمينها من وراء ظهر الحصار، بينما كل شيء في اليمن تفوق لمعسكر الأعداء، بالنار وإحكام الحصار، والسنوات الست تتواصل وتنتج الخراب والدمار والموات والجوع والأوبئة، واليمن صامد.

خلال السنة السادسة انتقل اليمن من الصمود الى استرداد زمام المبادرة، مطوّراً سلاح الصواريخ والطائرات المسيّرة، قوة ردع لا تخطئ رغم تقنيات التشويش الإلكتروني التي يملكها الأميركيون ومن خلالهم السعوديون، وخلال سنة أثبت هذا السلاح مقدرات تقنية عالية أنتجت توازن ردع عسكري مستنداً الى تفوق علمي استثنائي، وخلال سنة صار أمن العمق السعودي بيد اليمن، واحترقت آرامكو مرات، وصار أمن مياه الخليج وممرات الطاقة وضمان تدفقها بيد اليمنيين، وثبت فشل الحرب فشلاً ذريعاً لكل من كان وراءها، وفي طليعتهم الأميركي جو بايدن الذي صار رئيساً وكان نائباً للرئيس يوم انطلاقها بوعد إنهائها خلال أسابيع أو شهور، وبدأت المناورات للخروج من الحرب بأقل الخسائر، من محاولة التميّز الأميركي عن السعودي، الى عروض سعوديّة لوقف النار، الى دعوات أميركية لحل سياسي.

عشية السنة السابعة أظهر اليمنيّون بأسهم، فقدموا ثلاثيّة النصر على الملأ، فظهر قائدهم السيد عبد الملك الحوثي في شرح مفصل للحرب وأهدافها وسياقها وشروط قبول الحلول تحت شعار وقفها، وتختصرها ثنائيّة وقف العدوان وفك الحصار، وعبر عن مستوى الثبات والعزم والحزم والوضوح في قراءة الماضي والحاضر ورسم أفق المستقبل، وخلال ساعات حلّت الساعة صفر من السنة السابعة فقدم الجيش والمقاومة، جرعة مكثفة ومركزة من عناصر الردع فألهبوا العمق السعودي بالغارات والصواريخ، قائلين بالفم الملآن إن تهديدات قائدهم قد أخذت طريقها للتنفيذ، مستعيدين مشهد تدمير المقاومة في لبنان للمدمّرة ساعر ترجمة لخطاب السيد حسن نصرالله، وخلال ساعات النهار احتشد مئات آلاف اليمنيين في الساحات والشوارع، يحيون يوم الصمود الوطنيّ، يؤكدون تمسكهم بثوابتهم وتماسكهم مع قيادتهم وجيشهم، مستعيدين مشهد زحف الشعب الى جنوب لبنان وسط القنابل العنقودية تلبية لدعوة قائد المقاومة، فكانت هذه الثلاثيّة سمفونية متناغمة، ترسم سقفاً واضحاً أمام الحلف الأميركي السعودي عنوانه، لا مكان للمناورات، الحرب ستكون وبالاً لا سجالاً، وطريق التفاوض له ممر إلزامي وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار، أي فتح المرفأ والمطار وخروج القوات الأجنبية.

اليمن يدخل السنة السابعة أشدّ ثقة بالنصر، وقد بات النصر العظيم ثمرة للصبر العظيم، لكنه هذه المرة فعلاً صبر ساعة.

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Jamila Al-Shanti Becomes First Woman in Hamas’ Top Political Bureau

March 15, 2021

Jamila al-Shanti (C) became the first woman to be elected to the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle, Supplied)

By Wafa Aludaini

Jamila al-Shanti became the first woman to be elected to the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas. The bureau is the highest political decision-making body of the movement. 

Al-Shanti, a Palestinian refugee from the Jabaliya Refugee Camp in Gaza, was elected on Sunday, March 14, as part of the movement’s ongoing elections, which are also expected, aside from selecting a new political bureau, to yield a new leader.

The vote has been taking place over the course of months in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, Palestinians in diaspora and within Israeli prisons.

Senior Hamas official Suheil Al-Hindi was quoted as saying that the election of al-Shanti by the rank and file of the movement is a testament to the fact that “the Hamas movement respects Palestinian women, their struggle, heroism, and sacrifices”.

Al-Shanti was quoted by the Palestinian Al-Aqsa TV channel as saying that the presence of women in the Hamas leadership shall prove to be a valuable contribution to the movement’s future. 

“As a (Palestinian) women’s movement, we haven’t been officially in the Hamas political bureau before, but we have participated in the organization and in decision making during the preceding period,” al-Shanti said. 

But becoming direct participants in decision making as part of the actual top leadership is a gamechanger. “This means that Palestinian women have an identity and power (that can be expressed directly) on the Palestinian political scene, and their effective participation has made them worthy of being in any position,” according to al-Shanti.

Al-Shanti, who holds a Ph.D. in English, was among several women who were elected in 2006 as part of the Hamas electoral list. 

Born in 1957, al-Shanti was always active in the Palestinian women’s movement in Gaza and has founded the Hamas women’s organization.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Gaza has suffered the longest, most barbaric, lockdown in the world – I know, because I lived through three years of it

*Jaber Rjila’s home and farmland in al-Faraheen, Gaza’s southeast, have been attacked, damaged or destroyed by Israeli tanks and bulldozers on many occasions.
moi
Eva Bartlett an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. https://serenashimaward.org/laureates/ Since April 2014, she has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos

By Eva Bartlett 


March 8, 2021, RT.comWhile the rest of the world may rightly moan about the ways in which the miserable Covid-induced lockdowns have affected our lives, spare a thought for the 2 million Palestinians imprisoned in Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade.

“We’re all Palestinians now,” some say, as people around the world are under Covid-19 lockdown and rendered jobless. While the reference is apt, Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most severe lockdown in the world for 14 long years.

As 2021 has gone on, it has become increasingly clear that lockdowns are affecting people around the world in painful and deadly ways beyond the already awful effects of slashed incomes and isolation.

So imagine life where the lockdown isn’t for a period of weeks or months, but throughout the year, every year, with no end in sight, making life utterly unlivable.

That is life in the Gaza Strip, which although only 40 km long and 365 square km in size, is appropriately dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison.

And while there is absolutely no just reason for Israel’s imprisonment of two million people, it continues, year after year, in violation of Israel’s legal obligations under international law, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) notes.

It is collective punishment. As the UN reminded“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

Blockade brutality

The power outages, fuel and cooking gas shortages, dramatic food insecurity, stunted growth in children, 50 percent unemployment, and 96 percent undrinkable water have been Gaza’s reality for years.

Since 2012, the UN has warned that Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020.

It was already unlivable when I first set foot in Gaza in November 2008. From then until March 2013, I lived a cumulative three years (and two wars) there, the latter half of that time in the humble home of a Palestinian family in central Gaza.

The power was out for 20-22 hours daily, mostly a result of the 2006 Israeli bombing of Gaza’s power plant, which was never fully reconstructed, thanks to the blockade that prevents the import of much-needed materials.

Picture a functioning hospital with dialysis machines, working ICUs, etc. Now imagine it with limited or no electricity, for 14 years, and after three wars. That’s Gaza.

And every year, due to the Israeli restrictions on imports, Gaza has less than a month’s supply of essential medicines (48 percent in 2019; 42 percent in January 2021). In December 2019, for example, 58 percent of chemotherapy drugs and 41 percent of kidney dialysis medicines were at zero stock.

Gaza’s lockdown has rendered vast numbers jobless, unable to travel, and prevented university graduates with scholarships abroad from completing their studies.

Exports have ground to a trickle. Formerly, Palestinians used to export not only the succulent strawberries grown in Gaza’s north but also many other goods including furniture, clothing, food products.

Imports are even more severely limited. When I arrived in 2008, only between 30-40 items (vs 4,000 before) were permitted entry to Gaza’s merchants.

Dangerous things like diapers, shoes, A4 paper, livestock, seeds, refrigerators, washing machines, fabrics, light bulbs, musical instruments, crayons, clothing… and much more, were explicitly banned entry.

As was, of course, building materials, desperately needed in Gaza as the population grew, and to rebuild destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Banning the entry of seeds and livestock seems like an attack on Palestinians’ food sources, deliberately causing starvation.

Indeed, at the time, near-starvation, according to the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, was the planThe security establishment had calculated the number of calories consumed by Gaza residents and used it to establish a ‘humanitarian minimum’, a bottom line to which it was possible to reduce food supply to Gaza without causing hunger or malnutrition…

Not quite dying of hunger, as the special adviser to numerous Israeli prime ministers, Dov Weissglass, said in 2006:

The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.

As of November 2020, Israel continues strictly restricting imports to Gaza. The UN’s Relief Web noted“The Israeli authorities officially list 62 items as “dual-use items” which include hundreds of goods and basic materials. The items on the “dual-use goods” list are essential to the life of the population…”

Attacking the food providers

Israel also puts Palestinians “on a diet” by firing on and abducting farmers and fishers, destroying wells and cisterns, destroying or stealing fishing boats and burning or spraying chemicals on farmland.

During my time in Gaza, I documented Israeli live machine gun and sniper fire, routinely coming under fire myself, including for extended periods.

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Were Israeli soldiers targeting ‘terrorists’?  No, these were farm labourers and families, including the elderly and women. None posing any threat to Israel.

Israeli soldiers also target labourers and children collecting rubble and metal from demolished or bombed homes, transporting it, usually on donkey carts, to places where it can be sold for re-use in construction.

Israel maintains its gunning down of farmers and labourers is about ‘security,’ and has long ago imposed a ‘buffer zone’ on the Gaza side, supposedly 300 metres from the fence. But in my own experience with farmers on land 500 metres or more from the fence, Israeli soldiers still shoot to maim and kill.

Like the 20-year old deaf farmer I accompanied one February 2009 morning. As he and other labourers pushed their stalled pick-up truck, Israeli soldiers began sniping, shooting around me and hitting him in his ankle.

A few weeks prior, an Israeli soldier had shot the man’s cousin in the neck, killing him. An extended family of 16 people depended on the meagre income of these young farm labourers.

Or the 17-year old girl an Israeli soldier shot in the knee when, a month after the 2008/2009 war ended, she returned to her southeastern Gaza destroyed home to see what remained. This was 800 metres from the fence.

Or the 20-year old farm labourer shot in his chest while working on land beyond the ‘buffer zone’. The 16-year old working beside him died from the bullets to his chest.

Or the youth left paralyzed after being shot by an Israeli soldier. His crime? Sitting outside the home of an aunt he was visiting.

The ‘buffer zone‘ robs Palestinians of a third of Gaza’s agricultural land – the best and most fertile bits. Decades and Israeli bulldozers prior, this same area was rich in olive, nut and fruit trees, and a variety of grain, legumes and vegetable crops.

Nowadays, if Palestinians are lucky, they can plant low maintenance crops, hoping they don’t get burned, or bulldozed before harvesting, testimonies of which I’ve taken time and time again, and have witnessed while it happened.

A 2020 UN report noted that at the time Gaza’s fishers were allowed to access water eight nautical miles off the coast (less than half the 20-mile distance agreed on under the Oslo Accords).

However, from my experience working with fishers when the limit was just six miles, Israeli gunboats would target them even less than one mile off the coast, machine-gunning, shelling, water-cannoning or kidnapping the fishers and boats.

As a special bonus, the Israeli navy often adds a chemical to the spray which leaves the soaked victims stinking of excrement for days.

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The preventable stench

When travelling from central or southern Gaza on the coastal road, the shared taxi I was in would pass through Wadi Gaza, a slight valley which at times was overwhelmed by the stench of up to 90 million litres of raw and partially-treated sewage daily draining into the sea.

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Because Gaza cannot treat its sewage and is not allowed to import materials needed to maintain or improve its sewage holding tanks, the only solution is dumping it into the sea. Otherwise, the sewage holding pools overflow into residential areas.

In 2007, a sewage treatment reservoir’s wall ruptured, overflowing into a village, drowning five people, including two children.

*Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant (photo November 2008). This pool overflowed in March 2007, killing numerous living in the surrounding area below.

Less dramatic but still terrible, heavy rains combine with the sewage to flood streets, leaving people to wade through the foul water, and damaging homes of people that have neither the money nor means to rebuild.

When, in December 2013, massive flooding and sewage overflow ruined 400 homes, a UNRWA spokesperson said“Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.” 

That was over seven years ago, and nothing has changed.

End the lockdown

Protesting against the lockdown of Gaza, the “Great March of Return” from March 2018 to the end of 2019 saw 214 Palestinians killed by Israel, including 46 children, with 36,100 injured, including nearly 8,800 children, according to the UN.

Imagine the headlines were this in Russia or Syria.

As of January, the Rafah Crossing (the sole crossing controlled by Egypt, not Israel) remained closed. Over 7,000 Palestinians are registered to exit Gaza, and thousands are waiting to enter, the UN reported.

According to the UN, Gaza now gets 14 hours of power a day, the one improvement I’m aware of since my time living there.

The rest – the targeting farmers and fishers, the random Israeli bombings and psychological warfare, and most notably, the blockade – remains as per the many previous years.

Indeed, according to a March 3 statement by UNRWA’s Gaza director, conditions in Gaza have only gotten worse.

Conditions have become so bad that “the well-known definition of extreme or absolute poverty is no longer suitable, most of the Palestinian refugees in Gaza need help.”

Those under Covid-19 lockdowns now have experienced a mere fraction of what Palestinians in Gaza have endured for so long. I would hope that, as a result, more people might be moved to demand Israel end its 14-year lockdown of Gaza.

RELATED:

UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

Israeli tank and bulldozer invasion of Palestinian farmland

Dignified beyond losses:Palestinian farmers’ livelihoods destroyed by Israel

Homes and livelihoods destroyed by Israeli bulldozers

How israeli policies and attacks have ravaged Gaza’s agricultural sector

Israeli Navy Terrorism: Destroying Boats and Lives

Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine

stars and bombs: random israeli bombing a few hundred metres from home

Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis

Gaza drives

Leaving Gaza: Egypt’s treatment of “undesirables”…or, that time I was locked underground in an Egyptian airport with dozens of other civilians

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 04 – 10 March 2021

11 03 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 04 – 10 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

04 – 10 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 3 Palestinians wounded, including 2 children
  • IOF naval attacks: Two fishermen were shot and wounded, and a boat was damaged in IOF shooting; also 3 shootings were reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip
  • Three IOF shootings at agricultural areas and two incursions reported in eastern Gaza
  • In 162 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 91 civilians arrested, including 13 children and 3 women
  • IOF raid Union of Health Work Committees Headquarters in al-Bireh
  • 4 houses and a residential tent demolished, and 20 cease-construction and demolition notices served in the West Bank, including occupied east Jerusalem
  • Settler-attacks: attacks on farmers and houses, and an attempted kidnap of a Palestinian male in the West Bank
  • IOF established 54 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 14 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. Additionally, IOF raided and ransacked the headquarters of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) in al-Bireh and confiscated several hard desk drives.  This incident was conducted simultaneously with the arrest of an UHWC employee from his house in Ramallah.

PCHR emphasizes that these practices are part of campaigns led by Israeli officials against Palestinian civil society organizations and activists to undermine their work, either by distorting their credibility, arresting them, or closing the organizations that provide services to promote Palestinians’ identity and resilience.

Another notable incident that occurred this week was the IOF arrest of five children, aged between 8 -11, in Hebron and the violent manner with which they were led to a military vehicle while crying. The children were released 3 hours later.

Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Settlers also carried out multiple attacks on civilians and their properties and attempted to kidnap a Palestinian man. PCHR documented 214 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 shot and injured 3 civilians (including 2 children) in its attacks in the West Bank: one was wounded in IOF raid into Tubas, and both children sustained their injuries in another IOF raid into al-Khader- Bethlehem. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.  Also, one child was wounded after an explosive device left by IOF detonated in Tubas.

In the Gaza Strip, two fishermen sustained wounds in one of the three shootings that were reported at sea. Also, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 162 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, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir al-Balah and Buraij in Central Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents:

  • Hebron: 7 demolition and cease-construction notices served in Ma’in, an under-construction house and a water well were demolished in eastern Bani Na’im.
  • East Jerusalem: residential tent demolished in Isawiya, a house was self-demolished; and 10 demolition notices were served in al-Jib.
  • Nablus: 3 demolition and cease-constriction notices served in Zawata; two houses were demolished in central Jordan valleys.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 6 attacks:

  • Nablus: stones thrown at houses in Madama and Burin.
  • Bethlehem: 15 olive trees cut in Etsion area; farmers were assaulted, and one kidnapping attempt occurred in Kisan.
  • Salfit: a vehicle attacked in Bruqin.
  • Ramallah: farmer assaulted, and his tractor confiscated in Nabi Saleh.

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.

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 02:00 on Thursday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into ‘Obaid neighborhood in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses after destroying its doors and frightening its inhabitants. IOF also arrested 6 civilians, including 3 children, and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as: Mo’tasem Hamza ‘Obaid (18), Mohammed Marwan ‘Obaid (20), Yazan Bassam ‘Onaid (21), Ameer Khader ‘Obaid (17), Rohi Yaser al-Jayyar (17), and Mohammed Hamza ‘Obaid (14). During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, a military vehicle was set ablaze. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them on the neighborhood streets and fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them. The clashes continued until next day dawn. IOF brought a wastewater vehicle to spray the protestors and residential houses with wastewater. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas and wastewater inhalation.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Friday, 05 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia waters, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to Ashraf Ramadan Hamed al-‘Awour (45), from Jabalia refugee camp. The boat was manned by Ashraf’s son Mohammed (23) and another fisherman namely Adham Naser ‘Abed al-Hameed Abu Qasem (27). As a result, Mohammed was shot with a rubber bullet in his mouth while Adham was shot with a rubber bullet in his right arm. Both of them were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, where Mohammed’s injury was classified moderate and Adham’s injury was minor. Also, the boat was shot with several live bullets and its engine was damaged due to the heavy shooting. Additionally, Israeli naval forces beat the two fishermen. Fisherman Mohammed Ashraf al-‘Awour, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli naval forces directly targeted the fishing boat manned by him and opened fire at its engine. As a result, the boat’s engine sustained damage and the boat stopped working. Also, Israeli naval forces continued to fire rubber bullets, wounding his friend Adham Abu Qasem. After that, another Israeli gunboat approached their boat at zero distance and Israeli naval soldiers beat them up with stun batons, despite that the blood was pouring from his mouth. The fishermen were later released and taken to the hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley village (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, established a military checkpoint at the village’s entrance and checked civilians’ IDs, obstructing vehicles’ movement. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested two siblings namely Mahmoud (14) and Mohammed (15) Naser Mohammed Rabah under the pretext of throwing stones. IOF withdrew later.
  • At approximately 07:35 on Sunday, 07 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia shore, west of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF moved into Tubas city, north of the West Bank, and stationed near the Old Market in the center of the village. They then surrounded Mos’ab Faze’ al-Kilani’s (19) house and topped the roofs of nearby houses. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF. Clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men for over 3 hours. During which, IOF fired live bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, a 25-year-old male was wounded in the left thigh artery and taken by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s ambulance to the Tubas Turkish Hospital. He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as his health condition was deemed critical. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Additionally, IOF arrested Mos’ab Kilani and withdrew at 06:00.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Abu Soud area, west of Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and stationed near the annexation wall. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, IOF clashed with Palestinian young men, and fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. At approximately 19:00, IOF opened fire at Mohammed Rami Salah (17) and Khaled Khalil Ghunaim (17), under the pretext that they attempted to threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles. As a result, Salah was shot with 2 live bullets in his foot and waist; his health condition was deemed serious, and Ghunaim was shot with a live bullet in his foot. They were taken to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment. The Israeli authorities claimed that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two civilians, who threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles in Gush Etzion area, south of Bethlehem. The wounded children’s family emphasized that the children were returning from their work while there were clashes erupted in the village, and they were present in front of their houses in order to go to a shop in the village. The two families refuted the Israeli claims that they their sons had tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the Israeli military vehicles, and pointed out that Salah’s health condition is stable while remaining in the ICU, and Ghunaim will undergo a surgery in his left leg in the Arab Society Hospital.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 19:00, Taj al-Deen ‘Izz al-Deen Mohammed Sawaftah (14), from Tubas city, sustained serious wounds due to the explosion of an object of Israeli military remnants. According to PCHR’s investigations, Sawaftah was wounded while playing an explosive object, 100 meters away from his father’s shop in the center of the city. Sawaftah sustained first, second and third degree burns in his hands and face and received treatment at Tubas Turkish Hospital. It should be noted that the area, where Sawaftah was wounded, witnessed an Israeli incursion the day before, during which they surrounded a residential house and fired live bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off 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 until 10:15, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

 Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 04 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Yehya Salama (43).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jenin and Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Majdi Raja Abu al-Wafa (41), from Jenin refugee camp, Ashraf Fathi Haweil (19) and Saif Ali Abu Obaid (20), from Jenin.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ayed Thabet Abu Sharekh’s house and arrested his son, Mohammed (18).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Sami Emad al-Ja’bari’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mofeed Mohammed Shihab (30), Shahed Arafat Kayed (21), and Khaled Nadi ‘Aazem (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Yousef Alian’s (21) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Lo’ay Tawfiq Hamayil (20) and Laith Saleh Hamayil (22).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qaffin, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Emad Harsha (26) and Sohaib Fo’ad Harsha (28) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Omar Khaled Saleem (22) and Abdullah Ahmed Howari (25) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Tha’er Abdullah Arabia’s (32) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF moved into Wadi Yasul neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Majdi Qa’rour’s (20) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF stationed on a military checkpoint established on the entrance of Auja village, northeast of Jericho, arrested Omar Izz al-Dein Abu Dayya (34), from Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at al-Za’eem military checkpoint, arrested (3) civilians from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took Dawoud Mahmoud Abual-Hawa (19), Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (18), and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (18), to unknown destinations.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir and Tarqumiyah in Hebron governorate; Yamun village, west of Jenin; Safa and Shaq villages in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 05 March 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, a huge IOF moved into Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Faraj Shuqair and his brother, Jamal, and arrested Tareq Faraj Shuqair (28), and Yehya Jamal Shuqair (26). IOF took them to unknown destinations. should be noted that Yehya Jamal Shuqair is a former prisoner, whose brother, Nour Shuqair (37), was killed by the Israeli soldiers at al-Za’eem military checkpoint in 25 November 2020.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Abu Zahra’s house and arrested Jamal Abdul Karim Abu Zahra (35) and his brother, Mohammed (28).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Khaled al-Jinny (22) and Basel Ya’qoub Badawi (19).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdullah Ayed Abu Skarekh’s (44) house and no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Halhul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Nadi al-Baba (32), and Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Yousef (30).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint established on the northern entrance of Bethlehem, arrested Mohab Wael Ajarma (23), from al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Nehad Bader Zughayyar (43), while present near Bab al-Amud gate “Damascus Gate”, in occupied Jerusalem, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem and released him later. It should be noted that Zughayyar is a former prisoner who was released 6 months ago, as he spent 35-months in the Israeli prisons in charge of joining the “Aqsa Youth Movement”, a charge used by IOF to criminalize Palestinian resilience at al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF summonsed Yazan Zuhair al-Rajabi (21) and Jadallah al-Rajabi (40), for interrogation the police center of Salah al-Dein street, in East Jerusalem. IOF released them after several hours of investigation.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Beit Ula, Idhna, and Hadab al-Fawwar, in Hebron; Salim village, northeast of Nablus; and Rummanah village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 06 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, arrested Mo’taz Kamel Jawabra (20), while passing by the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF arrested Ahmed Abdul Latif Zayyoud (26), from Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin, while present near of Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:20, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall, north of al-Bireh, arrested Ali Musleh al-Nibali (16) and Mohammed Hmeidan al-Malhi (16), while present in a street adjacent to the annexation wall. IOF took them to “Ofer” detention in Beitunia, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Bara’ Murad Kassab (21), from Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed adjacent to the annexation wall of al-Shwiaka, north of Tulkarm, arrested Rayyan Azzam Abu Sheikha (27) and Wisam Nehad Abu Sheikha (25), while attempting to pass through a hole in the annexation wall to work inside Israel.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Shuyukh and Karazah villages in Hebron; Tayibe and Sinjil villages, northeast of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 07 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Hammad Owda’s (17) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Riyad Mohammed Karawi’s (19) house and handed him a summons to refer to am-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Majed Ragheb al-Jo’ba’s (40) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Yaser Hamdan (24) and Rashad Mohammed Abu Riyala (22), while present near the western entrance of al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Ti’nik and Zububa, west of Jenin; Kifl Haris, north of Salfit; Samu, Bani Na’im, and Beit al-Rush al-Fauqa villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 08 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp. They raided and searched Mohammed Mahmoud al-Khateeb’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Ramallah. They raided and searched Sa’eed Mahmoud Abbas’s (27) house, in al-Tira neighborhood, and arrested him. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered, set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces, who responded with firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; they received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed into the center of the village, randomly fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among the civilians. Meanwhile, an Israeli force stormed an under construction house, belonging to Ibrahim al-Tamimi, and transfer it to a military point. Furthermore, IOF stormed and searched the house of the prisoner Ahmed Mezhir al-Tamimi, and confiscated the cell phone of his son, Ahmed. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ward Abed al-Kilani (22) and Mohammed Naser Sibti (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Bireh and stationed in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood. IOF raided UHWC’s headquarter (2 floors in al-Sartawi building).  Israeli soldiers ransacked the offices, removed the main doors with a special device used by IOF to open doors, and raided and searched the 6 offices in both floors.  The search included opening the office lockers and drawers, where UHWC’s private files are saved, and threw them all over the ground.  IOF also dismantled the PBX (Private Branch Exchange which is a private telephone and internet network used within a company or organization); as a result, it broke down.  Before they withdrew at 05:00, IOF confiscated all the hard disks from the computers found in the offices.
  • Simultaneously, IOF moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, south of al-Bireh.  They raided and searched Taysir Hasan Abu Sharbak (46)’s house, UHWC’s accountant. IOF arrested Abu Sharbak before their withdrawal from the area.
  • It should be noted that UHWC is a well-respected Palestinian non-governmental organization that was founded in 1985. UHWC is active in the field of health and community development in the Palestinian territory from a human rights perspective; it has branches in most Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Yousef Muzein (23), and Basem Haitham Badawi (20).
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested the former prisoner, Mohammed Yousef Washha (19), a student at Birzeit University. IOF handed Fadi Sidqi Washha and Mousa Washha summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Farsh al-Hawa area, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Tareq Nidal Naji’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF and Israeli Intelligence Services stormed the Women’s Centre headquarter in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF confiscated the ID cards of most of the people, some contents of the exhibition and banned them from carrying out any events, in coincidence with Women’s International Day, then they arrested the event organizers; Ikhlas al-Sayyad and Manal Abu Sbeitan. IOF claimed that they were charged of receiving fund and support from the PNA and that the event contained Palestinian national and political terms.
  • Yasmine al-Sayyad, one of the event’s organizers, stated that IOF dispersed a cultural exhibition for Jerusalemite women, confiscated traditional dresses and exhibition pieces. IOF alleged that the event was funded by the Palestinian Authority. She added that they arrested the director of the center, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, and the fashion designer of the exhibition, Manal Abu Sbeitan, and took them to an investigation center in Jerusalem. IOF released them later.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Anhar Sami Hijja (21), from Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, while present near “Sede Efraim” settlement, west of the city. IOF claimed that she was in position of a knife. It should be noted that Hijja is married and has a baby girl.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Baqa al-Sharqiyya, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 09 March 2021:

  • At approximately 00:50, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Hasan Jouda (31).
  • At approximately 01:10: IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Monir Tahaina (25).
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Saleh Sabri al-Shamali (23).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed in Harat al-Sheikh area. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hani Shaker al-Fakhouri (23) and Oday Hmeidan al-Sharbati (20).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched two houses belonging to Hussam Husain Far’oun (25) and Nizar Eyad Bassa (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khamees Waleed Bahar’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Ya’bad, Kafr Ra’i, Jab’, Jalbun, Faqqoa, Zabuba, and Rummanah villages in Jenin governorate; Deir Sharaf, Qusin, and Sarra villages in Nablus governorate; al-Fawwar refugee camp and Kharsa in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ameer Adnan al-Karam (25).
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’tasem Ahmed Jaradat (44).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Izz al-Dein Yousef Freihat (27).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah, and stationed in the center of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Nazeeh Abu ‘Aadi (15), and Mahmoud Ghaleb Abu ‘Aadi (15).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Malek Allan’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mamdouh Salah’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Issam Hussain Deiriyya (22) and Eyad Ahmed Taqatiqa (20) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to from the east of Wadi Gaza area to al-Bureij village in the south, adjacent to the border fence. They combed and leveled lands and redeployed inside the border fence at approximately 18:00.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF reinforced with 6 military bulldozers, moved 50-100 meters west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and redeployed at approximately 14:00.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into al- Saouane neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. Sheikh Sabri’s lawyer, Hamza Qutaina, said that a large number of Israeli soldiers and Intelligence Services members arrested Sabri and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre to interrogate him on his alleged intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, which is considered illegal by the occupation authorities. Qutaina added that Israeli intelligence released Sheikh Sabri at approximately 14:30.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Khirbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. IOF chased a group of children while present near “Hafat Ma’un” settlement, 300-meters away from the village. IOF arrested 5 children and took them to a police center of “Kiryat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, and released them after 3 hours. A video showed the Israeli soldiers while they were pushing the children inside the military jeep, and their parents attempted to prevent the Israeli soldiers from arresting their children, but to no avail. The children are: Jaber Mohammed Abu Hmeid (9), and his brothers, Zeyad (10) and Saqer (11); Zeyad Jaber Hmeidat (8), and Yaseen Jabrin Hmeidat (10).
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tura and Silat al-Dhahr villages in Jenin; Halhul and Surif villages in Hebron. No arrests 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 Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Ma’in village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed between houses while the officer distributed notices to stop construction works and others to demolish houses under the pretext of building in Area C.
  • The notices were as follows:
  1. Notice no. (266764) stop construction to stop works in a 150-sqm dwelling of concrete belonging to Tariq Ziad Makhamrah, who lives there with his 3 children.
  2. Notice no. 32252to stop construction works in a 30-sqm dwelling of concrete belonging to Tariq Ziad Makhamrah, who lives there with his wife.
  3. Notice no. (266762) to stop construction works in a 140-sqm building of concrete and bricks sheltering Jihad ‘Issa Hamamdah and his 5 children along with his parents.
  4. Final notice no. (32252) to stop work and demolish a 100-sqm dwelling built of cement in 2018 and belonging to ‘Issa Jamal Mousa Hamamdah and his wife.
  5. Final notice no. (32252) to stop construction works and demolish an under-construction dwelling belonging to Raed Ibrahim No’man Abu ‘Aram on an area of 140 sqms. He started building the dwelling in 2018.
  6. Final notice no. (32253) to stop work and demolish a stone and marble workshop, which is a plot of land to display stones and a tinplate barrack of 40 sqms that includes electric tools used for cutting the stones belonging to Ibrahim Mohammed Khalil Dababsah.
  7. Notice to demolish a new building based upon (military order no. 1797) within 96 hours. The building belongs to ‘Ali Ismail Hamamdah and includes 2 floors; one is 120 sqms and the other is 40 sqms.  He was supposed to live in it with his wife and five children.

The notices gave them until 18 March 2021 to apply all the papers necessary for the construction to obtain a license from the competent authorities in the Construction Committee at the Israeli Civil Administration.

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF demolished a tent sheltering ‘Alian Family that was established by them on the rubble of their residential building, noting that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished the building at the end of the last month in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, for the second time.

Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiya village follow-up Committee, said that IOF raided ‘Alian Family’s tent, surrounded it and then started the demolition.  He added that IOF demolished the tent that was established on the rubble of the houses demolished by IOF on 22 February amid firing randomly sound bombs.  They also removed slogans in solidarity with the family and threatened all those inside the tent of coming in here.

It should be noted that ‘Alian family previously stated that the decision to demolish the family building, which included 2 floors and sheltered 20 family members, including 12 children, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, was a political decision par excellence, especially since their son, Fadi, previously received several calls from the Israeli Intelligence threatening him to demolish his family building if he continued to work as the Head of the Guard Unit in the mosque. The family added that Fadi was arrested several times and teased him lately until they demolished the family building which was established more than 10 years ago under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Mohammed ‘Issa Nader Abu Riyalah continued the demolition of his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Abu Riyalah said that his house was established in 2005 on an area of 120 sqms and included 4 rooms where he lived with his wife and 5 children; the eldest is 20 years old while the youngest is 16 years old.  He said that he received a notice from the Israeli Municipality to demolish his house a year ago, so he self-demolished the walls.  He added that the Israeli Municipality officers did not suffice with the demolition of the walls and ordered him to continue the complete demolition of the house as he was handed a new demolition decision a month ago and received a call from the Israeli Municipality and police a week ago informing him that if he did not demolish his house, the bulldozers will come on Sunday to carry it out and he will be fined with 150,000 shekels for the municipality crew’s demolition expenses.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, an excavator and a bulldozer moved into Khelet al-Ward area, east of Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the vehicles started demolishing an under-construction house comprised of a 130-sqm ground floor and an unroofed first floor in addition to a water well belonging to Joudah Mohammed ‘Abdel Hamid al-Rajabi, who was supposed to move in with his family of 9; the eldest of his children is 13 years old.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified al-Rajabi to stop construction works on 11 August 2020 and notified him again on 11 November 2020.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein Zawata area, northwest of Zawata village, west of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer fixed 3 notices to stop construction works in 2 houses and a barrack under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

Those notified were:

  1. Taleb ‘Abdel Rahim Zawatiyah: an 80-sqm ready-to-move in house, which is within the village structural plan that was approved by the Israeli authorities in 2008.
  2. Muhanad S’eifan from Nablus: an under construction house on an area of 120 sqms.
  3. An under-construction barrack belonging to ‘Adas Family on a plot of land where there are 20 partners.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, the Israeli authorities notified with demolition 10 facilities in al-Jib village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Ghassan ‘Allan, al-Jib Mayor, said that IOF moved into the area adjacent to the annexation wall in the village center and took photos of the residential buildings and facilities in the area.  They fixed 10 demolition notices on the walls and doors of buildings belonging to the families of Abu Hamoud, Abu Dayyah, and Za’al.  Among those, a house, storehouse and wedding hall belong to the prisoner in the Israeli jails, Shokri Abu Dayyah.

It should be noted that al-Jib village is located northwest of Jerusalem and takes its name from the ancient Canaanite village, “Gibeon,” which means the hill. Al-Jib was known in the past for its agricultural lands, but nowadays it is isolated and surrounded by the annexation wall, settlement expansion and settlements. Al-Jib along with the villages of Beit Hanina, al-Judeira, and Bir Nabala form an “al-Jib” that is isolated by the wall. The village is surrounded by the Givat Ze’ev and Givon settlements from the west and Har Shmuel settlement from the south to the northwest. In 2006, the Israeli authorities established a military checkpoint to isolate it from Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 09:23 on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, IOF accompanied with 3 Israeli Civil Administration SUVs, a bus carrying Israeli soldiers, 15 Israeli military SUVs, and 6 excavators on 3 cranes moved into ‘Ein Shebli area in the Central Jordan Valleys, northeast of Nablus. The bulldozers immediately demolished 2 houses for 2 brothers under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

The demolition included:

  1. A 2-srotey building where each floor is 400 sqms; the first floor is for stores while the second floor included 2 apartments; each is 200 sqms. The building belonged to Mazen Khalil Mohammed al-‘Omor who lived with his family of 7, including 5 children, in one of the 2 apartments.
  2. A 2-srotey building where each floor is 400 sqms; the first floor is for stores while the second floor included 2 apartments; each is 200 sqms. The building belonged to Jamal Khalil Mohammed al-‘Omor who lived with his family of 7, including 3 children, in an apartment while his mother and 2 sisters live in the other apartment.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 05 March 2021, settlers from the “Price Tag” group coming from “Yitzahar” settlement established on the southeastern lands of Nablus attacked Madma village’s eastern outskirts and threw stones at the civilian houses before the villagers could confront them, forcing them to leave.
  • On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il in ‘Atsion area, south of Bethlehem.
  • Director of the annexation and settlement resistance committee in Bethlehem, Hasan Breijiyeh, said that Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees in Etzion area belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il from Urtas village, noting that “Gush Etzion” settlement is one of the oldest Israeli settlements which the Israeli authorities established on the Palestinian lands of Bethlehem following the 1967 war.
  • At approximately 17:00, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement, west of Salfit, attacked a vehicle belonging to Hatem ‘Othman ‘Omar al-Haji (66), from Burqin village, west of Salfit, when he was in his land with his family in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village. As a result, the tires were punctured, and the car windows were broken.

Hatem ‘Othman al-Haji said that:

“As I was about to leave my land in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village, along with my brothers, my wife and my sons’ the eldest is 10 years old, I heard sounds that seem like successive explosions. I looked at the vehicle parked in front of the land and found a group of settlers aging between 16 and 19 years old running away. They then turned to look at me and threw stones.  They quickly left. Afterwards, I found out that the tires were punctured as they tore them with knives, and also broke the windows. Few minutes later, a female settler and security guards arrived and opened an investigation into the incident as I gave my testimony.  I told him that there are still stones left in the vehicle with the fingerprints on them, but they ignored this. I also told them there are surveillance cameras in the area, and they can easily find out who attacked the vehicle. I called someone, and around 50 young people arrived and brought a crane to take the vehicle to my house.”

  • On Saturday evening as well, armed Israeli settlers under the heavy guard of IOF moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem. They attacked the farmers in the land and tried to kidnap the owner’s son.  Saddam ‘Abyat, Mayor of Kisan village, said that a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Amos” settlement established on the village land moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land near “Eibi Hanahel” settlement while he was planting the land with his family.  He added that the settlers threatened the farmers in the land at gunpoint.  During which, dozens of the village residents gathered in the area and tried to confront the settlers and IOF, who heavily fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at them, forcing them to leave the land.  As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  ‘Abayat said that the settlers lately escalated their attacks and storms of civilian lands in the village as part of their attempts to seize large areas of lands and annex them to the settlements under IOF’s protection.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, moved into the agricultural area near the settlement. They tried to attack farmer Monjed Ahmed al-Tamimi, from Deir Nizam village, and expel him from his land which he was plowing.  IOF intervened after he refused to leave his land and seized his agricultural tractor.  They forced him to leave the land under the pretext that the area is located within the lands the Israeli authorities declared as a state property, noting that al-Tamimi owns papers proving his ownership of the land which is around 35 dunums.

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  54 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 14 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:

  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Khan al-Ahmar intersection and at the entrance to Anata village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Jala city.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, at the southern entrance to Nahalin village and at the entrance to Beit Jala city.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hasnah area, west of the city.

 Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF closed with cement cubes the entrance to Sinjil village, north of the city, for 5 consecutive hours. IOF also established a checkpoint at the entrance to Turmus Ayya village, northeast of the city.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the main entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Saturday, 06 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Deir Ibzi and Ras Karkar villages, and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ein Siniya and Turmus Ayya villages and near “Beit El” settlement (on the road leading to the Jalazone refugee camp), north of al-Bireh.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kharbatha Bani Harith village, northwest of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near ‘Atara village’s bridge and at the entrance to Sinjil village.

Jericho:

  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Madama village, southeast of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh and Surif villages and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and as-Samu
  • On Saturday, 06 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and Sa’ir villages.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Susya villages, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.

Qalqilya:

  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and Jit villages.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Azzun village and at the intersection of Jit village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Salfit city and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Bruqin and Deir Ballut villages, west of the city, and at the entrance to Haris village, north of Salfit.

حماس تجتاز نصف طريق العودة إلى دمشق

أحمد الدرزي

المصدر: الميادين نت

حماس تجتاز نصف طريق العودة إلى دمشق
حماس تجتاز نصف طريق العودة إلى دمشق


بذلت طهران والضاحية جهوداً كبيرة لإصلاح العلاقة بين دمشق وحركة “حماس” بقياداتها الجديدة، التي رفضت التورط في الحرب السورية، وحافظت على قنوات الاتصال مع طهران والضاحية، وهو أمر يحتاج اكتماله إلى عودة العلاقة مع دمشق

تميّز وضع غزة عن بقية الأراضي الفلسطينية من الناحية الجغرافية والتاريخية بأنها كانت نقطة التقاء وادي النيل مع بلاد الشام، ما انعكس على علاقاتها مع الطرفين عبر التاريخ، وهو ما أظهرته في تاريخها المعاصر بشكل كبير وواضح المعالم، وخصوصاً بعد انطلاق العمل العسكري لحركة “فتح” في العام 1965 وبقية فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، التي اصطدمت بصعوبات العمل الفدائي فيها بفعل طبيعة الالتزام الديني ودور حركة الإخوان المسلمين التي ترتبط عضوياً بشكل كبير بالحركة الأم التي تأسَّست في مصر في العام 1928، الدولة الأقرب والأكثر عراقة كدولة مركزية في المشرق العربيّ، والتي كانت ترى في إصلاح المجتمع أولوية على أيّ عمل عسكري، وفقاً للمنظور الإخواني.

أحدثت الثورة الإسلامية في إيران في العام 1979 زلزالاً عنيفاً في الأفكار والمفاهيم على مستوى العالم الإسلامي، وفرضت على كل القوى إعادة قراءة أبجدياتها السياسية وإعادة ترتيب أولوياتها وفقاً لتصورات جديدة، وخصوصاً بعد تحويل السفارة الإسرائيلية في طهران إلى سفارة فلسطين، وإطلاق شعار “اليوم إيران وغداً فلسطين”، ما دفع ثلّة من الفلسطينيين المقيمين في القاهرة، وفي مقدمتهم طبيب الأطفال فتحي الشقاق، إلى تشكيل حركة “الجهاد الإسلامي”، كرد فعل متجاوب مع ما حصل في إيران في العام 1979.

رغم ذلك، استمرَّ الإخوان المسلمون المتجذّرون في مصر في سياساتهم الإصلاحية لبناء المجتمع وتصحيح مساراته إلى حين اندلاع الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى التي قادها أبو جهاد، خليل الوزير، من تونس في العام 1987، ما دفع “إسرائيل” إلى غضّ النظر عن تشكيل حركة المقاومة الإسلامية “حماس” في قطاع غزة وفلسطين، لمواجهة حركة “فتح”، الأقوى بين المنظمات، وإزاحة حركة “الجهاد” التي تبنّت نهجاً مقاوماً بعيداً عن أية مطامع في بناء سلطة فلسطينية،

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ولكن مسارات الحركة لم تكن كما ترغب تل أبيب، بل فاقت كلّ المنظمات الفلسطينية في مواجهتها الكيان الإسرائيلي، وخصوصاً بعد العمليات الاستشهادية التي هندسها المهندس يحيى عياش، بوجود قيادات مقاومة صلبة، في مقدمتها الشيخ أحمد ياسين، الذي قاوم بشلله الكيان الإسرائيلي، والشيخ صلاح شحادة، وعبد العزيز الرنتيسي، وغيرهم من القيادات المؤسّسة، بخلاف ما قدّمته المقاومة المشلولة بفعل هواجسها في الوصول إلى أيّ سلطة، مهما كانت محدودة، ولو على حساب فلسطين من البحر إلى النهر.

كان من الواضح من المقدمات أنَّ هناك تناقضاً خفياً في حركة “حماس” بين أن تنزع نحو المقاومة لتحرير فلسطين كاملة وأن يكون هدف هذه المقاومة هو إثبات مدى جدارتها، لتكون بديلاً سلطوياً من “منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية”، التي ذهبت بعيداً بعنوان استقلال القرار الفلسطيني نحو إيجاد أية بقعة من فلسطين بأي شكل من الأشكال وبناء سلطة فلسطينية.

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رغم ذلك، إنَّ دمشق التي خرجت من تجربة دموية ومأساوية في صراعها مع الإخوان المسلمين في سوريا، بعد الأحداث الدموية التي بدأت بسلسلة اغتيالات للكوادر العسكرية والعلمية قام بها تنظيم “الطليعة المقاتلة”، مجموعة “مروان حديد”، وخصوصاً الشخصية العلمية الكبيرة محمد الفاضل في منتصف العام 1977، وانتهت بعد أحداث حماه في العام1982 ، استطاعت الفصل بين الإخوان المسلمين السوريين وإخوان حركة “حماس” التي تعود بأصولها إلى حركة الإخوان المسلمين، رغم انتماء الطرفين إلى التنظيم العالمي، وقدّمت الملاذ الآمن لرئيس مكتبها السياسي خالد مشعل بعد محاولة اغتياله في الأردن من قبل الموساد الإسرائيلي في العام 1997، بطلب من الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين أحمد جبريل، وتحوّلت إلى ملاذ آمن للقيادات السياسية والعسكرية لحركة “حماس”، وأكثر من ذلك، إلى درجة أن تكون ممراً ومصدراً للأسلحة المهرّبة إلى قطاع غزة، الذي أفشل العدوان الإسرائيلي في نهايات العام 2007 وبدايات العام 2008.

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مع بدايات “الربيع العربي” المرقّط وصعود حركة الإخوان المسلمين كمعتمدين للإدارة الأميركية في بناء شرق أوسط إسلامي كبير يمتدّ من حدود الصين وحتى المغرب، مع دور تركي واضح بقيادة حزب “العدالة والتنمية” التركي ورئيسه رجب طيب إردوغان، انقسمت حركة “حماس” على نفسها بين تيارين أساسيين، الأول بقيادة خالد مشعل الذي أظهر أولوياته بالانتماء إلى حركة الإخوان المسلمين الساعية إلى السلطة بأي شكل من الأشكال، بالاصطفاف مع المشروع الأميركي بعنوان التمكين ثم الانقلاب، ما دفعها إلى حضور المؤتمر الذي عقدته مؤسّسة “راند” الأميركية العائدة إلى البنتاغون في قطر في العام 2012، ضمن إطار “أميركا والعالم الإسلاميّ”، لتقريب وجهات النظر بين الطرفين، ما دفعه إلى الانقلاب على دمشق وطهران والضاحية الجنوبية، والاصطفاف مع تركيا وقطر اللتين تقودان تنفيذ المشروع الأميركي، وهو ما دفعه إلى الانخراط في سفك الدم السوري ونقل الخبرات العسكرية التي تلقّتها مجموعات من “حماس” في العواصم الثلاث إلى المجموعات العسكرية السورية التي تمرّدت على دمشق.

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في المقابل، بقيت مجموعات عز الدين القسام بأغلبيتها الساحقة في غزة، بقيادة رئيس أركان المقاومة الإسلامية محمد ضيف، إضافة إلى عضو المكتب السياسي في الحركة محمود الزهار، رافضين أي تدخل عسكري في سوريا، ومعتبرين أنَّ الأولوية للمقاومة، وليست للمشروع السياسي الذي سيذهب إلى الاستسلام لـ”إسرائيل” بعنوان التصالح والتسوية والسلم. واعتبروا أنه لا يمكن التفريط في محور المقاومة الذي استطاع تحقيق إنجازات متتابعة في لبنان وغزة والعراق والخروج منه، وأنَّ الأولوية للمقاومة، وليست لبناء سلطة هشة لا مقومات لوجودها وبقائها ضمن المشروع الأميركي.

بعد الانكسار الواضح للمشروع الأميركي في مصر بعد سقوط حكم محمد مرسي على يد الجيش المصري بفعل انتفاضة 30 تموز/يوليو، وفي سوريا بعد سقوط منطقة القصير وبروز التحالف الروسي الإيراني السوري في مواجهة المجموعات المسلحة المدعومة أميركياً وتركياً وخليجياً، تراجعت الأحلام الإخوانية في السيطرة على المنطقة العربية، وبقيت الأطماع التركية لتحقيق الميثاق الملِّي.

استطاع الجناح المقاوم في غزة إزاحة خالد مشعل وفريقه عن قيادة الحركة، والإتيان بإسماعيل هنية رئيساً للمكتب السياسي، ويحيى السنوار قائداً سياسياً وعسكرياً لقطاع غزة، في انتخابات 2017، وبدأت عملية إعادة التموضع من جديد في إطار المحور الذي كان السبب الأساس بدعم بقاء الجناح السياسي والعسكري الرافض لأية تسوية، وبأي عنوان، مع الكيان الإسرائيلي.

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بذلت طهران والضاحية جهوداً كبيرة لإصلاح العلاقة بين دمشق وحركة “حماس” بقياداتها الجديدة، التي رفضت التورط في الحرب السورية، وحافظت على قنوات الاتصال مع طهران والضاحية، وهو أمر يحتاج اكتماله إلى عودة العلاقة مع دمشق إلى حالتها الأولى كمسألة استراتيجيّة في المواجهة مع المشروع الغربي الإسرائيليّ، لكن دمشق المكلومة لم تستطع تجاوز الجرح الكبير الذي سبّبه تدخّل جزء من “حماس” في الحرب على سوريا والمحور، وأصرّت على التريّث لحين وضوح الصورة الانتخابية للحركة، وهي تعلم طبيعة البيئة العشائرية والعائلية للانتخابات في غزة، التي تستطيع تقرير قياداتها السياسية والعسكرية، كما أنها تنتظر اعتذاراً واضحاً وصريحاً من الحركة عما قام به بعض قياداتها وأبنائها. في المقابل، تتخوف قيادات الحركة من الاعتذار وعدم وجود صدى إيجابي من قبل دمشق، وخصوصاً أن بعض الإشارات الإيجابية الأولية منها لم تلقَ صدى إيجابياً من بعض المسؤولين السوريين، وربما كان صداها سلبياً.

جرت الانتخابات الأخيرة في غزة، والتي تترقبها دمشق وتعتمد عليها في تحديد قرارها تجاه الحركة، في ظل تجاذبات دولية شديدة التعقيد، وخصوصاً بعد استعادة الدولة العميقة سيطرتها على كل مفاصل السياسة الداخلية والخارجية للولايات المتحدة بعد تولي جو بايدن الرئاسة فيها، ما ترك ظلاله على طبيعة الاصطفافات الإقليمية، ودفع أعداء سوريا والمحور إلى إعادة الاصطفاف من جديد بعد تفرقهم إثر سقوط القصير وتراجع دور الولايات المتحدة أكثر وأكثر في عهد دونالد ترامب.

وهو ما ترك آثاره في طبيعة الانتخابات في غزة، ما دفع تركيا وقطر والسعودية والإمارات إلى الاجتماع على دعم تيار خالد مشعل ذي البعد الإخواني العالمي وبين تيار محمد ضيف ويحيى السنوار وبقية قادة القسام الذين يَرَوْن أولوية المقاومة على أي مشروع سياسي لا يملك أية ضمانات بالاصطفاف مع الدول التي لا تستطيع الخروج عن إرادة واشنطن، وخصوصاً أن الحركة وقعت في مجال الحرج الشديد بعد الهرولة الواضحة نحو التطبيع مع “إسرائيل”.

إذ إن حركة “النهضة” في تونس منعت تجريم التطبيع في البرلمان التونسي. وفي المغرب، ذهب حزب “العدالة والتنمية” المغربي إلى التوقيع باسم رئيس الوزراء مع الكيان، وسعى الرئيس التركي الذي يعتبر الزعيم الروحي السياسي لكل الإخوان في العالم نحو تعميق العلاقة مع “إسرائيل”، وتوسّطت قطر في ذلك، وذهب حزب “الإصلاح” اليمني بعيداً في قتال “أنصار الله”، بالتحالف العميق مع المملكة العربية السعودية والإمارات و”القاعدة” و”داعش” بغطاء أميركي إسرائيلي.

مع نجاح السنوار في الانتخابات وتبوّئه قيادة غزة، فإن الطريق أصبحت أكثر سهولة لاستمرار إسماعيل هنية رئيساً منتخباً للمكتب السياسي للحركة. ويبقى الدور الأساسي لغزة في تحديد مساراتها، والأهم من كل ذلك، كيف تستطيع أن تحفظ نفسها من التجاذبات الإقليمية والدولية المتناقضة بشكل صارخ، وهو ما لا يمكن أن يتمّ إلا بالانفصال عن التنظيم العالمي للإخوان المسلمين، الذي تورّط في المشروع الأميركي الذاهب إلى الانكسار، والتحوّل إلى حركة مقاومة من دون أي مشروع سياسي مختلف عليه، وفي ذلك قوة لها ولدمشق ولكلّ المحور الذي رسّخ نفسه كلاعب أساسي لا يمكن تجاوزه في غرب آسيا، فهل تفعل ذلك؟

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Three Fishermen Killed in Southern Gaza (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

March 7, 2021

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle, Supplied)

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wafaa Aludaini, Palestine Chronicle correspondent from the Gaza Strip, reported.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted Nizar Ayash, the head of the Fishermen Union in the Strip, confirming the death of the three fishermen.

They have been identified as Yahya Mustafa al-Laham, Hamdi Hijazi al-Laham, Zakarya Hijazi al-Laham. 

The agency also reported that a committee, which documents Israeli human rights violations in Gaza, confirmed that the three fishermen were killed as a result of Israeli shelling. 

The spokesman for the Israeli army, however, claimed that “our forces did not carry out any attacks near the Gaza coast.”

More updates on the story to follow. 

(All Photos: The Palestine Chronicle)

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