‘Israeli’ Occupation of Syrian Golan Heights Illegitimate, Invalid – UN

July 23, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations emphasized Syria’s sovereignty over the ‘Israeli’-occupied Golan Heights, stressing that annexation measures imposed by the Tel Aviv regime in the territory are invalid and illegitimate.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia [ESCWA] made the announcement in a periodic report distributed in Beirut, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported on Thursday.

“The compliance with the international law and the absence of impunity are two prerequisites for achieving peace and justice for all the peoples of the region,” the UN body added.

In 1967, the Zionist occupation waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

In 1973, another war broke out and a year later, a UN-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which Tel Aviv and Damascus agreed to separate their troops and create a buffer zone in the Heights.

The Zionist entity has over the past decades built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.

Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

The United Nations has time and again emphasized Syria’s sovereignty over the territory.

In March 2019, former American president Donald Trump controversially signed a decree recognizing ‘Israeli’ “sovereignty” over the Golan Heights during a meeting with then Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

The ESCWA report, which covers the period from April 2020 to March 2021, further stressed that it is impossible to achieve sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories in light of the continuing ‘Israeli’ occupation and the policies and practices pursued by the entity.

The UN commission also emphasized the necessity of halting such Zionist measures that hinder efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide additional humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

The report also stressed that the measures and policies adopted by the Zionist regime in Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, are all in sheer violation of international law.

Elsewhere in the report, ESCWA said that last year was one of the worst years in the Palestinian economy since 2002, as it shrank by 11.5 percent.

The UN commission prepares a report for the UN chief every year on the economic and social repercussions of the ‘Israeli’ occupation on the conditions of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and also the conditions of the Syrians in the Golan Heights.

‘Israeli’ Occupation Starts Demolishing Occupied Al-Quds’ Silwan Neighborhood

29/06/2021

‘Israeli’ Occupation Starts Demolishing Occupied Al-Quds’ Silwan Neighborhood

By Staff, Agencies

Confrontations with the Zionist military erupted after the demolition of a Palestinian business by Zionist occupation forces began in the al-Bustan area of the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday.

The Zionist occupation forces accompanied by bulldozers entered the Palestinian neighborhood and destroyed a butcher’s shop in Silwan. Soldiers used tear gas and batons to push back residents and Palestinian activists as they carried out the demolition.

At least four Palestinians were injured in the confrontations, according to the Palestine Red Crescent.

The Zionist forces also fired rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse angry Palestinians amid calls through mosque loudspeakers for residents to gather to protect their homes, witnesses said.

On June 7, the occupied al-Quds municipality issued a series of demolition orders to residents of the al-Bustan area in Silwan.

The 13 families affected, consisting of some 130 people, were given 21 days to evacuate and demolish their houses themselves. Failure to do so would mean the occupation regime’s municipality would destroy the houses and families would have to cover the demolition costs – an estimated $6,000.

Since 2005, residents of al-Bustan have received warnings to demolish nearly 90 homes under the pretext of building without a permit, in favor of a Zionist settler organization that seeks to turn the land into a national park and link it to the archaeological so-called ‘City of David’ area.

Silwan is located to the south of al-Quds’ Old City, adjacent to its walls.

At least 33,000 Palestinians live in the neighborhood, which has been targeted by ‘Israeli’ settler organizations for years. In some cases, Palestinian landowners have been forced to share homes with Zionist settlers.

Some of these Palestinian families have been living in Silwan for more than 50 years since they were displaced from the Old City in the 1960s.

Zionist Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood and the Silwan Village

19/06/2021

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By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh | June 19, 2021

In order to understand the issue of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist entity and its tools in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in colonized Jerusalem, we must not address it in the Zionist colonial settler context because it lacks scientific credibility. In order to solve this problem, we have to ask and answer the following questions: Who is the real side that legally owns the properties of the “Jewish Quarter” in colonized Jerusalem? Who legally owns the real estate of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Silwan village? What follows is a serious attempt to answer these two questions.

Who is the Legal Owner of the Real Estate of the “Jewish Quarter”?

As a result of capitalist contradictions and class conflicts that led to the birth and development of nationalist movements in Europe, European Jewish communities suffered arbitrary persecutions, which included a number of massacres against them. These campaigns of arbitrary persecution have prompted large numbers of European Jews to emigrate from Eastern Europe, particularly Tsarist Russia, to Western Europe. Some of these Jews emigrated also to the Ottoman Empire, particularly to the rising city of Jerusalem.

When the persecution of Jews intensified in a number of European countries in 1880, 

Youssef ibn Rahamim Miyohas arrived in Jerusalem seeking help. Abed Rabbo son of Khalil son of Ibrahim, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, rented him a plot of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 90 years. Due to the fact that the land was an Islamic trust land, this lease allows Jews to rent land and prohibits the sale of land to them under Ottoman regulations and laws. 1

In his research article entitled “Guests, then Renters, then Settlers”, Abed Al-Raoof Arnaoot, a Palestinian researcher, reported that after Miyohas signed the rent agreement, he brought 62 Jews to the location and divided the rented land into 62 pieces, which enabled each of them to build a small house of tens to hundreds of meters in area. They then lived in these houses. 2

The land was then registered in the name of Abed Rabbo, the person in charge of this Islamic trust. This is proven in the Turkish property ownership documents which are still owned by both the Abed Rabbo family and the Hijazi family. 3

In addition, the credible historical references indicate that “the year 1880 and its aftermath witnessed a remarkable influx of thousands of Jews from Europe to Jerusalem after facing persecutions. The then Ottomanic laws allowed the rental of these lands by Jews, but not their sale. According to Ottoman laws, Islamic trust lands are legally permitted for lease but are not legally allowed to be sold. 4

According to a reputable and highly credible scientific reference, 85 percent of the real estate in the ‘Jewish Quarter’ was owned by Muslim Arabsin the Ottoman period. This real estate belonged to the Islamic trusts. As is well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their real estate and are only allowed to rent it.

In 1968, the Zionist state expropriated for public usage 12 percent of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which included the “Jewish Quarter”. The equivalent of 80 percent of the expropriated area was not Jewish property.6 These expropriated properties were put up for sale only to the Israeli and Jewish publics.

Thus, the credible historical references undoubtedly prove that the territory of the so-called “Jewish Quarter” is mostly the land of the “waqf” Islamic trusts. As is also well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their property because they are endowed for the benefit of a social purpose or for the benefit of a mosque or a religious place. The land of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is leased land owned by Islamic trusts. Mr. Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who is the custodian of the bulk of the land, confirms that: “In 1880, some Jews emigrated to Jerusalem, they were in a deplorable state, they came to our ancestors and asked them to lease them this land, and because of their situation and persecution in Europe, our ancestors agreed. Our ancestors agreed to lease the land to a Jewish person named Yusuf ibn Rahamim Miyohas.” 7

Here we can come to the firm conclusion that the Jews who inhabited the so-called “Jewish Quarter” during the Ottoman rule rented their homes from Arabs and Islamic trusts, and did not buy them, because Islamic trusts do not sell their property. Legally, the majority of Jews are not owners of the properties they lived in, but remain tenants. Therefore, they are not entitled to claim ownership of this real estate. These properties are owned exclusively, and mostly by Islamic trusts.

How the Guardian of the Property of the Absentees Turned into a Despicable Thief

According to a credible research that was carried out by two Israeli criminologists, Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, the state of Israel reached in total area of 20,770 square kilometers (more than four and a half million dunams) at the end of the Zionist war of aggression, which began on November 30, 1947 and ended on July 30, 1949. Most of this area, was considered to be the property of the absentees, i.e. Palestinian refugees, and constituted 77 percent of the total area of the Zionist entity. The absentees, a Zionist term, were “Arabs who “left”, and there are those who say they were “expelled” and/or “fled”, during the war of independence. Absentees’ property includes real estate, land, workshops, factories, bank accounts and movable property.” 8

After the end of the war, the newly established Zionist State designated a custodian on the property of Palestinian refugees and gave him a temporary role, with established legal arrangement to determine that role. Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis explain this role as follows:

… Basically, these laws are based on the principle that in a period of war, the government temporarily uses these properties for the benefit of the war effort. Its role is to preserve the property for the benefit of their owners or for war damage compensation, in order to return it to them when the state of emergency is abolished. Under this concept, the custodian was given only a temporary role. His primary duty was to preserve the property of those absentees in the transitional period. 9

The justification set by the Zionist state for the “temporary” seizure of the property of Palestinian refugees was that,

Because of their status as hostile citizens, that are located outside the country, under arrest or under surveillance, the law does not allow them to use their property as long as hostilities are under way. The moment the owners stop being absent, the custodian must return their property to them. Therefore, he cannot make a permanent and final decision on the property that he holds temporarily. For the same reason, he can rent property for only a short period of time, which does not exceed five years, and is not authorized to sell or transfer this property to others in an irreversible manner. 10

As a result of the limitations imposed by the law, the custodian of the property of the absentees requested, in 1949, that the government expand his powers so that, for example, he can transfer or lease property for a longer period than five years and also provide him with freedom of disposal, in order to allow the property to be placed in the service of the colonial settlement and colonial objectives of the Zionist entity. This required the enactment of a new law. 11

All requests of the custodian regarding the expansion of his powers were accepted, and the Zionist parliament enacted the “Absentee Property Act of 1950”. Under this law, all property owned by refugees, including the property of the Islamic Waqf,12 was transferred to the absolute control of the Zionist state, represented by the Zionist custodian on the property of refugees. Thus, the power of the custodian has been transformed into a government institution that is the richest in the Zionist state. 13

It is worth mentioning that the establishment of peace between the Arabs and the Zionist entity required talks and concessions, especially on the issue of the return of the Palestinian refugees. The Zionists opposed the return or compensation of the refugees and threw the blame for the creation of the refugee problem on the Arab side, and falsely accused the Arab side of rejecting peace. Historical facts prove that those who ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and that those who occupied half of the Palestinian proposed state under the Partition Resolution, were the Zionist side. 14 These facts have been confirmed by the two researchers Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, who wrote that:

Thus, we believe that the first seeds of Israel’s anti-peace stance have been cultivated in Israel’s position on the return of refugees, which Israel has sharply opposed. All sources of living for Arab refugees who previously lived in the State of Israel has been completely obliterated. Their economy has been destroyed, so their re-absorption into Israel will produce a social and financial problem that is much worse than the arrangement of their absorption in every other country. 15

Thus, the Zionist State plundered and acted freely and without restrictions regarding the property of the Palestinian refugees, selling and renting it as it wished. In order to establish a false legal cover for this theft, the Parliament of the Zionist entity enacted the so-called “Absentee Property Act of 1950.” According to this law, the role of the custodian of the property of the absentees has changed from a “custodian” with temporary and limited powers, to a despicable thief armed with a settler colonial law. Here, the Zionist State has pursued, in its policies towards the property of the indigenous population, a settler colonial approach that is very similar to that pursued by all settler colonial states such as: the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa during the Apartheid regime, and Algeria under French settler colonialism. When comparing them with each other, one notices the great similarities among them regarding the course of action they adopted towards the lands of the indigenous population. Of course, there are special characteristics for each settler colonial project, and there is a different historical context. 

Today, the Zionist colonial entity is using the Absentee Property Act of 1950 to give justification and legal cover to all ethnic cleansing carried out in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Al-Khan al-Ahmar, the Al-Walaji village, Jaffa, Hebron and the Negev region.

The Zionist entity uses all its colonial tools to carry out operations associated with ethnic cleansing such as unjust law, false documents, complicit colonial courts, colonial police and army, herds of armed and violent settlers, and settlement organizations financed with American money from Jews and others. All of them, under the leadership of the extremist colonial government of the Zionist right-wing parties, are carrying out a fierce offensive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population. The focus of this study will be on the ethnic cleansing campaigns that are taking  place in Sheikh Jarrah and Salwan.

Preparing for Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

Ethnic cleansing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood began with the settlement organizations of “Benvenisti Endowment”, “Ateret Cohanim”, “the Nahlat Shamoun Limited”, and “El-Aad Society”, filing legal proceedings in Israeli courts against the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The first cases began in 1972, in which they claimed that Palestinian-inhabited houses were owned by Yemeni Jews. Lawyers for these organizations provided fake documents to prove their ownership.

In return, the Palestinians submitted their documents from Turkish agreements, and official receipts that clearly show that the land is Arab and owned by Islamic trusts, and that the Jews rented it from their owners and did not own it. The Palestinians have proved that they are the real owners of the land and that the land of the Islamic Trust is not sold, but is rented.

“We have provided all the documents,” said Yahya Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who was the custodian for the bulk of the land in Sheikh Jarrah: “We presented to the court all the documents which prove Palestinian ownership of the land. These documents were issued to us by the Islamic Shari’a Court in Jerusalem, the Ottoman Archives in Ankara, and the Land Department of Amman…” 16 The Zionist Central Court refused to accept these documents, arguing that the court does not recognize them as valid documents.

For its part, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry sent 14 official documents concerning Sheikh Jarrah’s houses to the Palestinian Authority. These documents show that in 1956, the Jordanian Ministry of Development and the UNRWA refugee agency, concluded an agreement with 28 Palestinian refugee families under which 28 housing units were built in the Al-Jani vineyard to house them. UNRWA’s condition was for Palestinian refugees to relinquish their legal status as refugees. After three years, their ownership will be legally established. 17 For reasons that remain unknown, these families have not been able to register the land in their names. Consequently, these Jordanian documents have been submitted to the Zionist Central Court, which also rejected them.

In 2010, cartographer Khalil Tofakji traveled to Istanbul. At the Ottoman State Archives he found documents which prove that the territory of Sheikh Jarrah is Palestinian and owned by Palestinians, which is contrary to the Zionist claim. These documents have been submitted to the Israeli court. 18

The Zionist Central Court rejected both the Jordanian and Tofakji’s documents and claimed that it did not recognize their credibility. The court then issued an order to adopt the Zionist position which was based on fake documents and false allegations. This has always been the controversial approach of the Israeli courts.

The Role of Zionist Judicial Institutions in Land Cases

The writer Abdelkader Badawi believes that these Zionist judicial institutions have an important role in the settler colonial system and that they provide the Zionist government with a legal cover for the plunder of Palestinian property. No matter how fragile and discredited this cover may be, the oppression and arrogance of the Zionist entity and its instruments, make the settlers’ cases successful through falsification and when unjust judicial decisions are made, the Palestinians have no real power to change them. It is a racist and colonial justice that is devoid of justice, fairness and credibility. The writer further believes that,

It is customary in the Israeli judiciary system to accept the account of Jews and settlers, particularly in matters of land and property, without paying attention to the nature or eligibility of legal justifications, as these institutions have already existed to be, among other objectives and endeavors, an instrument of the settler colonial system to control the land, and to overcome all legal obstacles to this goal. 19

The writer Abdelkader Badawi stated that Zionist settler colonial associations played a big role “… Through its expansionist post-occupation settlement activities, which have never been separated from the activity, in support of successive Israeli governments, as well as, the Israeli judicial system. They constituted a tool of the Israeli settler colonial system of control, expropriation, displacement and expulsion…” 20 

These associations have emerged as “… a representative of the settlers, through the legal cases it filed in the Israeli courts requesting the evacuation of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from its Palestinian residents…” 21

The Process of Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah

After the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, and its illegal annexation of it to Israel by the Zionist entity, “… The residents of The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were surprised when two Jewish committees registered, in 1972, the ownership of the Palestinian-owned 18-dunum land, in settler’s name at the Israeli Department of Lands.” 22

Commenting on the Zionist courts and their arbitrary decisions against the Palestinian population in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian-American writer Stephen Salaita wrote that,

Palestinians don’t need to respect the institutions of the Zionist state precisely because those institutions negate the Palestinians’ simplest political imperative: existence. Those institutions represent the machinery of colonization. All settler colonies come equipped with a legal apparatus to validate their cruelty. We cannot expect Western pundits and politicians to question the institutional logic so harmful to Palestinians, for their own legitimacy is contingent on the reproduction of state power. 23

Salaita elaborates on his explanation of the logic on which the idea is based that “property is Jewish” and that the Zionist state seeks to restore it and return it to Jewish ownership. 

More nonsensically, we’re asked to assign ethnic characteristics to abstractions and inanimate objects. The basis for Israel’s aggression in Sheikh Jarrah (as throughout all of historic Palestine) is repossession of so-called Jewish property. The property, in other words, doesn’t belong to people who happen to be Jewish. The property itself is Jewish—nobody can specify which denomination—and is therefore fit only for a certain kind of inhabitant. The property has some kind of innate disposition. It is apparently capable of worship. It becomes a crass approximation of humanity. Endowing housing units with confessional qualities exemplifies the problem of prioritizing property over sentient life:  a dwelling has no utility beyond the project of demographic engineering. Under the Zionist regime, even brick and mortar are sectarian. 24

Both Noura Erikat and Mariam Barghouthi described the atmosphere at today’s Sheikh Jarrah as being “… practically a war zone as armed Israeli settlers, under the protection of Israeli police, terrorize the Palestinian residents. These are the very settlers who are looking to kick out families, including El-Kurd’s.” 25

The Settlers are Cowardly Thieves

I have observed Zionist colonial settlers for a number of years. I have also studied their conduct and explored their ideology. Based on my close observation of their conduct inside Israel proper, as well as inside the colonized territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Syrian Heights, I can certainly state the following.

All Zionist settlers are armed militia of fascists, psychologically deranged, cowards as individuals, and work with great passion as mercenaries of the Zionist settler colonial regime. They’re armed with guns and their Jewish religiosity is nothing but a fragile cover to hide their obnoxious behavior. They are inhuman, school dropouts and have a psycho-social willingness to earn their living by theft, bullying and extreme violence. They work in small groups that look like flocks of wild hyenas that go after their victims and keep tirelessly attempting to eat their flesh. They lack any human moral system but they seem to possess a capitalist system of robbers’ morality. In contrast to this distorted human situation, the Zionist and settler colonial class system is ready to defend their violent banditry behavior because it is itself an inhuman system that uses extreme colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian population. In addition, the Zionist settler regime deploys the settlers in its colonial schemes. Consequently, the Zionist colonial system is extremely violent. It cannot live in tranquility and thus is unable to conduct a calm and civilized dialogue with the indigenous Palestinians.

Some settlers admit that they are thieves who steal Palestinian houses, some of whom openly admit it, such as the settler who lives in half of Mona al-Kurd’s house, where he told her, “If I don’t steal, your house it will be stolen by someone else,” said Mona al-Kurd, a young Palestinian woman who accused him of stealing her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. 26

Other settlers hide their motives by offering bribes with a threat to the owner of the house. Zuhair Rajabi, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood in a house with his wife and four children, said the settlers “tried to bribe me by paying 1 million shekels [$300,000], provided I will leave my house quietly. When I refused, they threatened to put me in prison. They then sent the Israeli police to my house to try to arrest me, claiming that I physically attacked the man who was suing me.” 27

These two examples could serve as a proof that the settlers do not own these houses and that the Israeli courts are complicit in the plunder of the indigenous Palestinians.

Inhuman Colonial Brutality

The methods of removing Palestinians from their homes are varied, but some are carried out with extreme cruelty and inhumanity, as happened to the Al-Ghawi family.

Nuha Atiyeh, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood recalls the following incident. “I watched the doors of our neighbors, the Al-Ghawi family, crash during a black night. The women were evicted by force and were thrown, in their night clothes, outside their house. This scene doesn’t escape my imagination. I remember taking some clothes from my house and giving them to the women.” 28

As a result of dozens of lawsuits filed by the settlers’ committees at the Zionist Central Court in Jerusalem, the Court issued a decision to vacate against 28 Palestinian nuclear families. The total number of people facing expulsion for settlers reached 500, including 111 children. 29/sup>

The Central Zionist Court itself ruled that seven other families would leave their homes from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by August 1, 2021. In total, an additional 58 people, including 17 children, are to be forcibly displaced to allow Jewish settlers to occupy their homes. 30 The Zionist Central Court also ruled that four families — Kurd, Skaif, Qasim and Al-Jawaani — must leave their homes for settlers, or reach an agreement with these settler organizations by paying rent and recognizing settlers as landowners. 31

Here we clearly see that there are no limits to settler’s arrogance and no limits to colonial insolence, as aggressors and thieves ask real house owners to pay their rent for their houses to the thieves. Of course, if the real Palestinian house owners had acquiesced to this request, they would have lost their right to property.

Ethnic Cleansing in Silwan

In 2002, the custodian of Absentee Property transferred land from the village of Silwan to the “Benvenesti Development Fund”, whose administration belongs to the settler organization “Ateret Cohanim”. This decision was upheld by the Jerusalem District Court, and the transfer was made without informing the Palestinian residents living on the land since the 1950s, and who have contracts to prove it. 32

The colonial settlement project in the village of Silwan began “in 2004, when two outposts were established in the village. By 2014, there were six outposts ranging from apartments for individuals and entire buildings. “Since then, the “Ateret Cohanim” committee has submitted eviction orders against other Palestinian families. In 2017, Palestinian residents petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to challenge the evictions, arguing that in accordance with applicable Ottoman law at that time, the property applied only on buildings, which no longer exist, but not on the same land… 33

Similar to what happened in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, on 26 May 2021, the Jerusalem District Court held a hearing on the forced eviction of some 108 Palestinians from 18 families from their homes in the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan. The Jewish “Benvenisti Development Fund” claims to own 5.2 dunums of the land of Batan al-Hawa neighborhood. 34

Israeli television channel 12 reported that settlers had placed Israeli flags on 15 houses in Silwan after they were captured by the “Ateret Cohanim”, association and handed over to the settlers’ families. The channel noted that these new houses that were seized joined 22 other houses recently captured by “Ateret Cohanim”. 35

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist state has “… A settlement strategy called the “Holy Basin”, consisting of the construction of housing units for settlers and a series of parks themed after Biblical places and figures around the Old City of Jerusalem. The plan would require the expulsion of Palestinian residents from Silwan neighborhoods and then the evacuation of 87 Palestinians from the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This will be done for the “Ateret Cohanim” settlers association.

Since 1995, the Israeli Antiquities Authority has been excavating sites in Silwan with the official support of the Settlers’ Foundation “Ire David” (the city of David), in order to create a new tourist attraction and find evidence of the 3,000-year-old “City of David”. 36

The group, which aims to expand the presence of settlers within the predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem around and inside the Old City, sued the residents of Batan al-Hawa, a district of Silwan, claiming that the land belonged to Yemeni Jews during the Ottoman period until 1938, when the residents were transferred to another location by the British Mandate authorities because of political tensions. 37

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist policy of uprooting and ethnic cleansing has been followed in a number of places in Palestinian geography such as the Red Khan, Jaffa, Hebron, the village of Al-Walajeh, and the Palestinian Negev region. These remain tense hotbeds ignited by right-wing leaders who have lost their minds. But this fire will burn their fingers and will increase the determination of the indigenous Palestinian population to unite efforts, escalate the struggle and continue the process of liberation.

The essence of Zionist claims about the property is that it is “Jewish property”, some of which belonged to Jews 3,000 years ago, and some of which belonged to Jews a little more than one hundred years ago. These allegations give no regard to modern laws in determining the legal acquisition of real estate, which have changed radically from the time of the Greeks, the Romans, the Mongols and the Vikings, where the property belonged to the usurper and the occupier, not to the indigenous peoples who lived above these properties.

This Zionist nonsense is sponsored and adopted by the Zionist colonial bodies, and those who defend them from Arab protectorates and vassals, European and American imperialists, and by the Zionist and reactionary Arab media, who are hostile to the rights of the Palestinian Arab people in their homeland especially their right to self-determination. 

It is scientifically known that the Jewish Torah does not constitute an official and credible document that is recognized by international law and therefore, can be presented in modern courts as a document of legal ownership. Moreover, God has not been recognized as a feudal landlord who owns the lands of the peoples and can distribute them to whoever he wants and denies them from whoever he wants. Consequently, the British imperialist Lord Balfour does not own Palestine, nor does the extremist right wing President Donald Trump own the colonized land of Palestine or the colonized Syrian Golan Heights, so he has no right to give these lands to the Zionist settler colonialists. 

It should be added that many of the historical events and “facts” mentioned in the Torah were partly a form of broad religious fiction and partly came out of the misappropriation of the heritage of Mesopotamian civilizations. The Torah has no solid scientific credibility, and whoever adopts it reflects the fact that he lacks credible legal documents. Therefore, the claims by the Zionist settler colonialists to their right to own Palestinian land and real estate based on the Torah are fragile and null and void because the real owners were and still are the Arab Palestinians, who are the indigenous people of Palestine, which constitutes a part of the greater Syrian motherland.

International Law is not a Tool in the Service of Zionist Settler Colonialism.

International law prohibits the occupying power from imposing its laws on the inhabitants of the area it has occupied because it is a war zone outside the sovereignty of the belligerent state. International law also prohibits the belligerent occupying power from transferring its citizens to live within the area it has occupied. Moreover, the occupying power may not change the laws in force within the occupied zone.

The Al-Haq human rights foundation stated that,

… the legal framework applicable in occupied East Jerusalem is international humanitarian and international human rights law. Israel is specifically prohibited from annexing the occupied territory under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, Israel’s application of its domestic law, including the Legal and Administrative Matters Law in 1970, and provisions of Israel Tenancy law are not only wrongful acts in violation of international law, of which there can be no recognition, but acts which third States must collectively work to bring to an end. 38

There are clear obligations under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, to continue the status quo ante bellum including the preservation of private tenancy rights, which are further protected as private property of the civilian population under Article 46 of the Hague Regulations. In particular, such acts amount to forcible transfer, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. 39

American imperialism helps Zionist colonialism, embraces its wars of aggression and provides it with money and weapons. The imperialist West abandoned the Palestinian people, and the son-in-law of the American President, the Zionist Jared Kushner, who financed the right-wing settlement movement in Israel, was given absolute authority to fabricate “A peace process”, aided by the regimes of colonial mercenaries in the Gulf, the most important of which is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who just imprisoned his relatives, after he ordered the assassination of the Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Al-Khashoukji. 

Expected Results of a Deteriorating Zionist Path

Many indications are that the Zionist settlement entity will continue its Judaization quest in colonized East Jerusalem, but during this insane colonial quest, it has transformed East Jerusalem into the world’s most tense outpost that will become the poorest, most racist and most heinous “capital.” No matter how much the colonial mentality brings about more racist laws and more inhumane practices, the situation that is formed before the eyes of the peoples of the world will make the Zionist entity a rogue, aggressive, hideous and repulsive state.

The deteriorating path chosen by the extreme right-wing leadership of the Zionist entity has generated a severe political crisis that has shown a deep structural imbalance in the level of political leadership, which in turn has produced a turbulent political right, fragmented, and does not benefit, either from elections or from democracy to get out of its acute crisis. This deteriorating path has also produced a Zionist voter with callous consciousness, racial intolerance and ideological blindness. This deteriorated situation has produced more failed leadership than its predecessor. After four parliamentary elections that produced repeated results, the Zionist entity got itself into a fiasco that has no equivalent in the world. It is a lost entity that cannot save itself from the path of deterioration because it is the same path that South Africa followed until the world came to save it from its fiasco by imposing on it a solution that it does not desire.

Here it appears that the Palestinian steadfastness and determination to fight for its patriotic rights, with the assistance of Arab and international solidarity, will lead the Zionist regime to choose a solution similar to that chosen by South Africa. The Palestinian national struggle will not be extinguished, as it is developing and promoted by the united efforts of workers, and progressive elements in the Middle Class. During its development, all the reactionary elements, Palestinian, Arab and international, who together are attempting to preserve the dissonant parts of a rogue state that insists on falling, will disappear forever.

References

  1. Arnaout, Abdul Rauf, “Sheikh Jarrah: Guests, Tenants and Settlers”, Palestinian Studies Foundation, https://www.palestine-studies.org, access to the site on 1-6-2021
  2. Scholch, Alexander, “Jerusalem in 19th Century (1831 – 1917 AD)” in Jerusalem in History, Edited by K.J. Asali. 1989. ISBN 0-905906-70-5. Page 234. Quoting Muhammad Adib al-Amiri, “Al Quds al-‘Arabiyya“, Amman, 1971, page 12 and ‘Arif al-‘Arif, “Al-Nakba“, vol 2, Sidon and Beirut, page 490 (90%). As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  3. Dumper, Michael (2017). Najem, Tom; Molloy, Michael J.; Bell, Michael; Bell, John (eds.). “Contested Sites in Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Old City Initiative”. Routledge. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-317-21344-4. As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  4. Livia, Uzi and Aboksis, Ariel, “For the development of the country and for the benefit of its citizens” (in Hebrew), https://web.archive.org, 30-10-2017
  5. 2. See Ilan Papi’s Book, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine https://www.ebay.com, 9-6-2021
  6. Alsaafin, Linah, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera 
  7. Badawi, Abdel Kader, “Nahalat Chamoun”: A private settler’s company and the arm of the Israeli government in the case of the displacement of the people of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”, https://www.madarcenter.org,17-5-2021
  8. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  9.  Salaita, Steve,  “Sheikh Jarrah: Zionism Distilled to Its Purest Expression”, https://alethonews.com, 12-5-2021
  10. Erakat, Noura, and Barghouti, Mariam, “Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel’s colonialist project”, https://www.washingtonpost.com, 10-5-2021
  11.  AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian house”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 4-5-2021
  12. Kunzl, Kelly, “Families face imminent evictions in East Jerusalem”, The Electronic Intifadahttps://electronicintifada.net, 24-12-2020
  13. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  14. Linah, Alsaafin, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 1-5-2021
  15. Palestine Chronicle, “East Jerusalem: Jewish Settlers Seize 15 Palestinian Homes in Silwan”, https://www.palestinechronicle.com, 8-4-2021
  16. MEE staff, “Not just Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinians elsewhere are facing forced eviction”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  17. AL-JAZERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Hundreds hurt as Palestinians protest evictions in Jerusalem”,  https://www.aljazeera.com, 8-5-2021

Zuhair Sabbagh is a writer on Israeli and Palestinian issues. He has published a number of books and research articles in both English and Arabic. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He lives in Nazareth, Palestine

After the slaughter, Raab tells Netanyahu: “You can always count on us”

Then he assures Abbas the UK supports the Palestinians

By Stuart Littlewood -June 5, 2021

…by Stuart Littlewood, Britain

[ Editor’s Note: Stuart has many years on the ground observing the British-Israeli relationship, and has brought us a timely review of its evolution. While reading his carefully selected quotes I put myself in the shoes of a new observer reading on the subjet for the first time.

I found myself wondering whether Israel was part of Britain, or was Britain part of England, or had they contrived to pretend they were two countries so they would have two UN votes, including one on the Security Council.

Meanie Jim Dean might suggest that it is way past time the UN formed an Insecurity Council for ‘problem members, so as to eliminate any confusion between the two. And ‘no’, a country could not be on both, but which I am sure Israel would demand such and if rejected would claim as uber proof on anti-semitism, and demand reparations.

Meanwhile, back on the Zionist ranch, Stuart tells us that the potential new Prime Minister Mr. Bennett thinks that Palestinian prisoners must always be killed. If that became the case it might trigger the thinking that maybe uncaptured Zionist terrorists should be killed, also.

I think that would complicate the situation Mr. Bennett would not like… Jim W. Dean ]

Anti-Zionist Neturie Karta Jews

First published … June 05, 2021

When UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab visited Israel immediately after the 11-day onslaught against Gaza which killed some 250 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu told him:

Dominic Raab – Zionist apologist

“Thank you and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for the staunch, unwavering support of our right to self-defence during the recent operation. It’s much appreciated.”

Mr Raab responded: “You can always count on us.”

Raab then met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and tweeted: “I reiterated UK support for the Palestinian people and expressed condolences for civilians killed in recent hostilities.”

He said the UK remains committed to the two-state solution “as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity”.

For one thing, Israel doesn’t have a democratic identity – it’s an extremely unpleasant ethnocracy.

For another, the so-called two-state solution hasn’t solved anything since 1947 and is long dead. No-one these days promotes it except to buy more time for the Zionist regime to complete its annexation and dispossession programme.

And for another, what gives Raab the right to pledge that the odious Netanyahu can always count on us? Who is “us”. You and me? Maybe a handful of twisted stooges among the Westminster establishment?

Certainly not the millions of decent citizens of Britain who are sickened by Israel’s greed and murderous intent on stealing another people’s land, Palestine, to which they have no ancestral claim.

Nor do respectable British people have any truck with Israel’s brutal, decades-long military occupation, cruel 14 year blockade of Gaza and daily contempt for international law and the norms of decent behaviour.

It seems only stooges of the Westminster swamp, like Raab and his insufferable boss Johnson, love the Zionist regime and its twisted leaders enough to pledge undying support. But they splash it around to make it sound like all Brits are adoring followers of the racist delinquents who have trashed the Holy Land for over 70 years.

Bifurcated Benny Gantz

During Raab’s visit The Times of Israel reported that he met with Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

“Gantz stressed to Raab the importance of tight and effective monitoring of Iran’s nuclear sites and said Israel maintains the right to act in self-defense against any threat, a hint that the Jewish state could act alone in a military strike against Iranian nuclear sites.”

Raab tweeted: “Recognised Israel’s right to self-defence and discussed UK Israel bilateral relationship in my meeting with @gantzbe today.” The joke here is that Israel refuses to submit to inspection of its own nuclear facilities never mind the imposition of safeguards but endless bangs on about inspections and curbs on Iran’s embryonic programme.

And what is Raab doing recognising Israel’s “right” to self-defence? Israel isn’t illegally occupied. On the contrary Israel is the aggressor illegally occupying Palestine. Has he ever recognised the Palestinians’ right to self-defence and with it the right under international law to put up an armed resistance? Let’s hear it, Mr Raab!

It’s strange to see someone who won the Clive Parry Prize for International Law at Jesus College, Cambridge, and who led a team at The Hague to bring war criminals the justice, getting it so wrong. Jeez, doesn’t he see Netanyahu as a war criminal?

In 1998 Raab was in the West Bank studying the Israel-Palestine conflict and working for a principal Palestinian negotiator, but he seems to have learned little given his actions today. On the other hand he had a Jewish father and spent time during his formative years at a kibbutz.

“They’ll never get a state”

Meanwhile Netanyahu’s 12 year reign as the apartheid entity’s leader looks like coming to an end now that opposition leader Yair Lapid’s cobbled-together coalition registers an overall 1-seat advantage. The plan is to form a new government with Naftali Bennett as prime minister initially.

Bennett is opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, saying: “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state.”

In 2010 Bennett was appointed director-general of the Yesha Council and led the fight against the settlement freeze in 2010. In November 2016 he said that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States gave him hope that the two-state solution would no longer be considered viable, claiming “the era of the Palestinian state is over”.

The Geneva Conventions refers to four treaties (1864, 1906, 1929, and 1949) establishing international law on humane treatment during warfare of … Civilians. Wounded. POW. Applies to all nations agreeing to the treaty.

In 2013 Palestinian officials denounced him saying “Bennett’s calling for the murder of Palestinian captives is in blatant disregard of international law and the Third Geneva Convention, which delineates the protections entitled to prisoners by international law upon their capture.

It is extremely alarming that a public Israeli official at the ministerial level calls for murder and utters explicitly racist remarks without being held accountable.”

Bennett had made the remark at a cabinet discussion when opposing the release of Palestinian prisoners in order to enable the resumption of peace talks.

He reportedly said: “If you capture terrorists, you simply have to kill them.” When National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror told him that was illegal Bennett replied: “I already killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is absolutely no problem with that.”

In Israel you get rid of one racist lunatic and there are plenty more waiting to pop up. No doubt Raab and Johnson will waste no time giving this one a rapturous welcome to London.

Stuart Littlewood
3 June 2021

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

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

May 28, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Without going into history, how the Jewish State of Israel was created in the middle of the Arab World (Muslim World), let’s focus on the current issues and find a solution. As long as it was recognized by the United Nations in 1948, we have to accept this reality; either one likes it or not. The irony is that, since 1948, Israel kept on expanding and pushing Arabs out of their homes and lands and forcing them to leave their land and property, either to immigrate to other countries or live a miserable life in refugee camps.

After Eleven days of recent aggression, it is encouraging that the ceasefire has been implemented. There were multiple reasons for the truce, but the most important was public opinion, which was condemning Israel worldwide. Almost all big cities all over the World have witnessed mass protests, demonstrations, and agitations. It seems the whole World was standing in solidarity with Palestinians. Although few Governments, like the UK, US, and France, were supporting Israeli acts of brutalities, but the public in their own countries was against Israeli aggressions. Some of the biased Western Media was supporting Israel and fabricating lame excuses and irrational justification for Israeli aggressions. But Social Media has played a positive role and rectified public opinion globally. Of Course Russian, and Chinese pressure was also irresistible on the State of Israel to stop air raids. On the ground, within Israel, a civil war erupted among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Moreover, the Israeli defense system was not so much practical and could not save its territories from rocket attacks. There are reports that the Israeli defense system has shot down its own drones and fighter jets too. Also, there are reports that Israeli security forces killed one suspect within Israel, which was identified as American Jew later on.

Since 1848, Isreal was building its defense and spending lavishly. American economic assistance and Military aid were generous. Even during the recent 11 days conflict, the US was supplying the latest and advanced weapons to Israel, which is an open breach of the UN charter and all norms of the civilized World. Even the US was behind to postpone three times the UNSC statement to stop killings of innocent Palestinians.

Israeli defense capabilities are unmatched in the whole region. With Nuclear weapons, hi-tech, advanced systems, missiles, and the latest war techniques, Israel maintains hegemony. There is no comparison between the whole Arab World’s defense capabilities with Israel alone. Nothing to talk about Palestine or Gazza only, which is a fraction of Israel and that is too dependent on Israel for day-to-day life even.

Looking at the Israeli atrocities and brutalities against the Arab World since 1948, one can reach the conclusion that The Jewish State of Israel is Zionist, aggressive, and illegitimate. Based on its military might, it keeps on expanding and becoming bigger and stronger day by day.

This phenomenon is not new; history tells us there were Germany and Japan, two aggressive countries, and were held responsible for World Wars. But soon, they were brought to justice and held responsible for war crimes. They were made to pay war compensation, and their Military might was scattered and capped to revive in the future. Under the treaty, both Germany and Japan were prevented from rebuilding their Military power again. Both countries are still paying for war crimes, compensation as well as could not reconstruct their military might again.

Once it is established that Israel is an aggressive state and held responsible for killings of Muslims in millions, making them homeless in millions, and refused to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. It is time for International Community to take action.

The international community must do more to safeguard the lives and fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer under illegitimate foreign occupation. It should also not condone the violations of international law that underpin global and regional security.

For long-lasting and durable Peace in the region, it is imperative that the Palestinian people are granted their inalienable right to self-determination according to respective UN consensus. It is believed that a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State, with the pre-1948 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, is the only just, comprehensive and ever-lasting solution to the Palestine issue in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions. All Arab lands occupied in 1967 and 1973 should be returned back to Arabs.

International Community should mobilize all possible humanitarian assistance for the devastated Palestinian population in Gaza and other parts of the occupied territories. In addition to the UNRWA emergency appeal, the UN Secretary-General should launch a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan to deliver succor and sustenance to the Palestinians. There is a dire need to provide medical teams, medicines, and other supplies, food, and other necessities to Gaza and other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories immediately. Egypt’s immediate supply of humanitarian assistance to Gazza is highly appreciated. Israel must open all the access and entry points to Gaza to ensure the timely and urgent delivery of international aid and end the siege of Palestine immediately.

The UN General Assembly should call for concrete steps to protect the Palestinians and should deploy an international peace force, as was called for in General Assembly Resolution ES-10/20 and as demanded by the Islamic Summit Conference held on 18 May 2018.

If the Security Council cannot approve immediately to send the safeguarding force, a “coalition of the willing” can be shaped to provide at least civilian observers to monitor a cessation of the hostilities and supervise the delivery of humanitarian help to the Palestinians.

The UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to offer safety to Israel’s Arab (Muslims and Christians both) citizens living within Israel who are being lynched and murdered by fascist Israeli gangs at the present time.

The UN General Assembly should condemn: Israel’s forcible and illegal eviction of Palestinians, including in Al-Jarrah district of Jerusalem and constantly construction of Jewish new settlements; the onslaught against Palestinian worshipers in Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa mosque, the first Qibla of Islam, during the month of Ramadan; and Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate aerial and land wild-bombardment of Gaza.

Israel’s crimes against humanity should not spurt accountability. There should be no exemption for violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and other human rights Conventions. The Human Rights Council, the ICC, the ICJ, and other avenues should be actuated to ensure Israeli accountability for its war crimes.

International Community should enhance concrete efforts to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to dismantle the illegal settlements and the apartheid-like regime Israel has enforced in the occupied territories. The General Assembly should secure unconditional implementation of resolution 242 of November 1967 in which the Security Council declared the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and demanded that Israel withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war. It is, therefore, commanding to initiate bold steps to secure the implementation of the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling for the establishment of a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. President of Palestine (Fateh Group) Mehmood Abbas’s call for an International Conference to secure a peaceful settlement must be appreciated.

The Palestine catastrophe is at the heart of the chaos and conflicts in the Middle East. It is also the principal root cause of the humiliation and irritation in the Muslim and Arab world – anger which breeds extremism and often spawns acts of violence. A just solution for Palestine is imperative for the preservation of regional and global peace and security. It is to be understood well that Peace and stability in the Arab-Isreal are vital for international Peace, stability, and prosperity. Our next generations deserve a peaceful and happy life; we must understand that the Peace in Middle-east is an energy-rich region and can play a vital role in the global economy and prosperity. Peace in the Middle-east is a prerequisite for international Peace

It is only through determined and significant action that this Assembly can reinstate the credibility of the United Nations and demonstrate its effective role in stabilizing world peace and global order based on equity and justice.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Gaza Shatters Israel’s Prestige

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

https://misionverdad.com/sites/default/files/styles/mv_-_712x400/public/f880d557-98bd-4d66-810e-08543aa4ef53.jpg?itok=IxRoxrWT
A fire breaks out at dawn in Khan Yunis after an Israeli airstrike on targets in the southern Gaza Strip, May 12, 2021 (Photo: Youssef Massoud / AFP)

Elijah J. Magnier

With its different factions, Gaza collectively enshrined the state of consciousness of all of Palestine and achieved its goal of breaking Israel’s prestige, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that the country had become “a superpower, not just a regional power.” This new Palestinian awareness was achieved in the wake of the escalation and aggressive Israeli campaign against the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, inhabited by more than 38 Palestinian families threatened with eviction from their homes. Israel also savagely attacked protesters and worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The fate of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has become an international issue raising global awareness and solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. The Palestinian cause had been absent from the international scene following the normalizations of Arab and Islamic countries after Donald Trump offered all of Jerusalem to Israel.

However, the battle in Gaza is not expected to end any time soon, because Israel will try to restore the deterrent power it has lost due to Palestinian missiles successfully fired from Gaza. A noteworthy fact is the 1948 Arab uprising. After 72 years of coexistence, in the city of Lod in particular and in other mixed Arab-Israeli cities, they have shown that the new generation wants its occupied territory back, rejecting the unsuccessful Oslo and Camp David agreements.The turn of events is not only generated from the field: Gaza rockets burn the ground under the feet of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas delayed parliamentary and presidential elections that would inevitably lead to the loss of the presidency he has held since 2005. Of course, Israel believes that the current Palestinian president is its best partner, because he has rejected armed resistance. Moreover, Abbas maintains security cooperation with Israel and avoids any possibility of Palestinians living in the West Bank joining Gaza to confront both Israeli aggression and expansion.

It is plausible that Israel also acted in its own self-interest by disrupting the Palestinian presidential elections that coincided with the illegal eviction of families from Sheikh Jarrah, with the aim of preventing Palestinians in Jerusalem from participating in the polls. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is no doubt aware that attacking al-Aqsa and Jerusalemites is like lighting the fuse of a powder keg. The first and second intifadas were the best proof that such acts have consequences.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all other factions in the Gaza Strip have achieved unity with Jerusalem by defending it. Hamas did not start shelling Israeli settlements before giving Israel many hours to stop attacking the civilian population of Jerusalem. However, Tel Aviv insisted on its position and dragged everyone into the battle for Benjamin Netanyahu to achieve his goals of postponing Israeli elections, thus saving his political future for the time being. Palestinian groups in Gaza shelled Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Ashdod with hundreds of rockets, which landed not far from Haifa. Israeli officials did not anticipate the intensity of the Palestinian rocket response or the reaction to the Gaza shelling. The various resistance groups proved their credibility with time and intimidation. They gained increased popularity among the Palestinian and Arab population who supported the cause and were against normalization with Israel.

One of the most important goals the Palestinians have achieved has been to demonstrate the failure of the Iron Dome system to intercept all the cheap rockets – domestically made – that were launched into Israeli areas. Gaza overwhelmed the sophisticated Israeli interception systems by launching more than 100 rockets simultaneously. Israel admitted that it was unable to stop the rocket fire despite the Israeli army shelling dozens of targets. To intimidate the population, Israel bombed several civilian towers (al-Hanadi, al-Jawhara and al-Shorooq) in prestigious commercial and residential areas with the intention of turning the inhabitants against Palestinian groups confronting Israel.

So far, at least 60 Palestinians have been killed and 6 Israelis, including a serviceman, have been killed in the exchange of shelling. Palestinian groups managed to launch more than 1,300 rockets. Shameful scenes appeared of members of the Israeli Knesset and Defense Minister Gantz fleeing to bomb shelters.

https://misionverdad.com/sites/default/files/Sheikh%20Jarrah.jpg

Israel has not only lost its deterrence capability, but also its prestige. In the 1940s, a Jewish terrorist group attacked British forces and blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, killing 91 people. The Irgun group claimed responsibility for the bombing, which killed British officials of the British Empire, which ruled Palestine at the time. David Ben Gurion, the founder of the so-called State of Israel, was asked at the time, “Will the Haganah gangs defeat Britain with this bombing?” He replied, “The aim is to break the prestige of the British Empire.” Now, Gaza has shattered the prestige of the Israeli myth.
Israeli policemen crack down on demonstrators protesting the eviction of local Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, May 8, 2021 (Photo: Menahem Kahana / AFP).

The history of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood:

Following the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, known as the “Nakba”, some 750,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. Following these events, 28 families (today numbering 38) settled in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in 1956. They reached an agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development and the UN refugee agency (UNRWA) to provide them with housing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. At that time, the West Bank was under Jordanian rule (1951-1967).

The Jordanian government provided the land, while UNRWA covered the cost of building 28 houses for these families. It was agreed that the residents would pay a token fee, provided that ownership was transferred to the residents more than three years after the completion of construction. However, this was interrupted by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in 1967, which prevented the registration of the houses in the families’ names.

This month, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said it had provided the Palestinian Foreign Ministry with 14 ratified agreements intended for residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah that support their claim to their land and property. In a statement, the Ministry said it provided the residents with a certificate proving that the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development had agreed with UNRWA to establish 28 housing units in Sheikh Jarrah to be delegated and registered in the name of these families. The process, however, was interrupted as a result of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967. The Ministry had previously provided the Palestinian side with all documents that could help the Jerusalemites maintain their full rights, including lease contracts, lists of names of beneficiaries and a copy of the agreement concluded with UNRWA in 1954.

In 1972, the Sephardi Committee and the Israel Knesset Committee claimed that they owned the land on which the houses were built in 1885, and asked the court to evict four families from their homes in the neighborhood, accusing them of land grabbing.

In 1982, Israeli settlement associations filed an eviction suit against 24 families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and 17 families hired Israeli lawyer Tosia Cohen to defend them. In 1991, the lawyer signed an agreement, without the families’ knowledge, whereby the ownership of the land belonged to the settlement associations. The lawyer put the Palestinian families under threat of eviction if they did not pay rent to the settlement associations.

In 1997, Suleiman Darwish Hijazi, a resident, filed a lawsuit in the Israeli Central Court to prove ownership of his land, using title deeds issued by the Ottoman Empire, brought from Turkey. However, the court rejected the claim in 2005.The court said the documents did not prove ownership of his land, and Hijazi’s appeal filed the following year was also rejected. In November 2008, the al-Kurd family was evicted from their home, followed by the eviction of the Hanoun and al-Ghawi families in August 2009.

So far, 12 Palestinian families in the neighborhood have received eviction orders issued by Israeli central and lower courts. Four Palestinian families filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, Israel’s highest judicial body, against the decision to evict them from their homes. The Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved earlier this year a decision to evict four Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in favor of far-right Israeli settlers.

In 1948, Al-Sabbagh’s family already fled their home in Jaffa, which is now inhabited by Israelis. Al-Sabbagh, a family of 32, including ten children, fears that the court verdict will make him and his family refugees again.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (22 – 28 April 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 April 2021)
Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (22 – 28 April 2021)

22 – 28 April 2021

IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 181 Palestinians wounded, including 4 journalists and 3 children

177 injuries were reported in occupied East Jerusalem, including the 4 journalists

Five IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and six others on fishing boats in Gaza sea

Israeli occupation closes Gaza sea and bans fishing

1 fisherman wounded and fishing boat damaged in 5 shootings reported at fishing boats off the Gaza coast

In 139 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 150 civilians arrested, including 12 children, two journalists, a writer, and a paramedic

Limited IOF incursion into eastern Rafah and Khan Younis; 3 Palestinians arrested, including a child, after crossing the border fence

The occupation ratifies decision to confiscate 147 dunums west of Bethlehem for settlement expansion purposes

Wide-scale Settler-attacks: shootings and assaults on Palestinian civilians and trees uprooted across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

IOF established 39 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 20 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF repression against Palestinian worshipers in Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque, was the most prominent event as dozens were wounded and arrested. Settler-attacks witnessed a rise this week too on Palestinian civilians and their properties across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Also, this week, IOF closed the Gaza sea and banned fishing in violation of Palestinian fishermen’s social and economic rights and their right to work as per Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 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:

181 Palestinians sustained wounds, including 4 journalists and 3 children, as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: 177, including 4 journalists, in the largest IOF repression campaigns against Palestinians in recent month, centered in Bab al-‘Amoud are in occupied East Jerusalem. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in various IOF assaults  on protests in solidarity with Jerusalemites across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, a fisherman was wounded, and a fishing boat damaged in 5 IOF shootings on fishing boats in the Gaza sea. Also, Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, 3 of them targeted agricultural lands in eastern Rafah and Khan Younis. Additionally, 5 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands and protests eastern Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 139 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, 150 Palestinians were arrested, including 12 children, two journalists, a writer, and a paramedic. Most of the arrests and raids occurred during the clashes in occupied East Jerusalem, as 114 were arrested in the city.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Rafah and arrested 3 Palestinians, including 1 child, after they crossed the border fence. Two of them were later released.

Demolitions:

The occupation authorities ratified a decision to confiscate 147 dunums west of Bethlehem for settlement expansion purposes.

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

  • Salfit: shooting at Salfit entrance; 12 trees uprooted in Haris.
  • Bethlehem: Palestinian-owned lands planted in Teqoa
  • Hebron: farmers and vehicles assaulted in eastern Yatta, and others assaulted in Haret Jaber
  • Ramallah: assaults and roads blocked in eastern Umm Safa
  • East Jerusalem: 3 vehicles set ablaze in Beit Iksa
  • Nablus: vehicles assaulted

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Monday, 26 April 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities closed the Gaza sea and banned all fishing or sailing activities in a manifestation of its collective punishment policy against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip that directly denies fishermen their sources of livelihood.

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.

  1. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • Israeli suppression campaign in occupied East Jerusalem
  • On Thursday and over few days, occupied East Jerusalem witnessed mass assaults by IOF and settlers against the Palestinian civilians in hit and run clashes, mainly at Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate, one of East Jerusalem’s Old City gates), and reached many streets and neighborhoods.  As a result, 177 civilians, including 4 journalists and a paramedic, were injured and 94 others were arrested, including 9 children and a paramedic.  This escalation came after Palestinian civilians gathered following a protest for settlers organized by the Jewish supremacist group “Lehava” to raid Bab al-‘Amoud Area and assault the Palestinian civilians there.  This Israeli suppression campaign is the largest in the last months and escalated since the beginning of Ramadan following IOF’s decision to close off Bab al-‘Amoud area and ban any gatherings in its yard or on its stairs, peaking last night.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR), on Thursday, 22 April 2021, hundreds of Israeli police and Border Guard officers, deployed around occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, preemptively upon calls by the Lehava Jewish supremacist group to organize a mass protest for settlers titled as “Defending the National Honor” from Yaffa Street to West Jerusalem, heading to Bab al-‘Amoud, one of East Jerusalem’s Old City Gates, at approximately 22:00, to assault the Palestinians there. Following al-Maghreb Adhan, worshippers flocked to al-Aqsa Mosque via Jerusalem’s wall gates while the Israeli police increased the number of its officers, tightened the restrictions and cordoned off Bab al-‘Amoud area with checkpoints by isolating it from its surrounding.  At approximately 21:00, dozens of young Palestinian men gathered near Bab al-‘Amoud area in an attempt to prevent the settlers’ raid.  Immediately, IOF assaulted them, sprayed skunk water and heavily fired sound bombs to disperse them.  As a result, clashes broke out and spread to the nearby streets and neighborhoods.  The clashes intensified when the settlers’ protest arrived at Bab al-‘Amoud area, where they maliciously attempted to cross the checkpoints and clash with the Palestinian young men.  The clashes continued between IOF and the Palestinian protesters until 05:30 on Friday 23 April 2021 and resulted in tens of injuries; mostly with rubber bullets and sound bombs or due to suffocation due to teargas inhalation.  21 of the injuries were hospitalized.

During the escalation, IOF carried out a wide-scale arrest campaign against more than 50 Palestinians, including 4 children, according to the Israeli police; most of them were beaten and assaulted. Among the detainees were: As’ad Murad Dari (21), Mohammed Khader Abu al-Hawa (20), Tareq Baker Abu al-Hawa (23), Omar Abu Ghannam (14), Yousef Abu Ghannam (14), Khalil Abu al-Howin (150, and ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud ‘Abed al-Rahman (21).

In the evening, several clashes erupted between Palestinians and IOF and settlers in various areas of occupied East Jerusalem due to settlers’ ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians. 

In the Old City, Israeli settlers topped the roofs of their settlement outposts, attacked Palestinians’ houses during Iftar time, and threw stones and construction materials at their houses’ yards and entrances.

In Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, a group of Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles crossing on Street No.1 and assaulted the drivers. As a result, the windows of many vehicles were broken, an elderly woman was wounded as a result of the shattered glass, and Omar Taha (18) was wounded in his face after Israeli settlers beat him up and broke his vehicle’s windows while he was inside. 

Moreover, an Israeli settler opened fire at Palestinian civilians present on Salah al-Deen Street, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, and fled in his vehicle.

Also, several Palestinian workers were wounded on Jaffa Street after dozens of Israeli settlers beat them up with sticks and sharp tools.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), the toll of injuries caused by IOF’s attacks and escalation in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, has reached 105; 21 of them were taken to the hospital for treatment while the rest were treated on the spot. The injuries caused by firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters and beating; one of those injured was shot in his head and his condition was deemed moderate.

Furthermore, Israeli police announced that they arrested 50 young Palestinian men, who will be brought before Magistrate Court. Also, 20 policemen sustained wounds during clashes in Bab al-‘Amoud area.

Lawyer Feras al-Jebreni told PCHR’s researcher that most of the detainees were assaulted, especially on their heads and faces, and there were signs of beating and bruises on their bodies. He added that among the detainees were a blind man and a boy with heart disease.

Also, on Friday, 23 April 2021, 50 Palestinian protestors, including 3 journalists, were wounded during clashes renewed with IOF in Bab al-‘Amoud area and in occupied East Jerusalem’s villages and neighborhoods against the continued closure of Bab al-‘Amoud area by IOF and banning any gatherings in its yard or on its stairs for the 12th consecutive day, in addition to the ongoing setters’ attacks against Palestinians.  

In Bab al-‘Amoud area, when Palestinian worshipers flocked to perform Tarawih prayer in al-Aqsa Mosque, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in the area and chanted slogans against settlers’ attacks and in support of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque. Few minutes later, IOF surrounded the protestor, forcibly dispersed them, chased them on the city’s streets, and heavily fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at them. As a result, 11 Palestinians, including a journalist, sustained rubber bullets, and sound bomb shrapnel wounds. The wounded journalist Rajay Mahfouz ‘Abed al-Hafiz al-Khatib (42), a reporter and cameraman at Jordan T.V, sustained fracture in his foot after being shot with a rubber bullet. Moreover, 14 protestors sustained bruises after being beaten by IOF. Also, IOF arrested many Palestinians; 4 of them were identified as: Ahmed al-Natsha (23), Mohammed ‘Ali Naser (21)m Rami Baraka (45), and Suhib Hamada (24).

During the escalation, IOF deliberately hindered medical crews’ work in Bab al-‘Amoud and Bab al-Sahera areas and prevented them from providing aid to those injured and arrested during the clashes. Also, many paramedics were beaten.

In Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Westa neighborhood and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at settlement outposts. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at them, chased them in the city’s neighborhoods, and arrested them. Among the arrestees was Mahdi Jaber. 

In Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, violent clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men. During which, 5 protestors were shot with rubber bullets and 2 others fell to the ground and sustained fractures after IOF chased them on the village’s streets.

In Wadi Al-Joz and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods, medical crews treated 11 protestors; 2 of them were shot with rubber bullets and 9 sustained sound bombs shrapnel wounds during clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young men and IOF after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians’ houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, attempted to raid it and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Palestinians’ vehicles parked there. Also, IOF pushed and beat Zina al-Helwani (27), a journalist and reporter at al-Kofiyia channel, and Wahbi Mekkeya (37), a cameraman. As a result, Mekkeya suffered a dislocated shoulder and received treatment at the hospital.

In al-Tur and al-Sewana neighborhoods, east of occupied East Jerusalem, violent clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men and continued for next day dawn. During which, Palestinian young men set pillars of IOF surveillance cameras ablaze and damaged a military vehicle. After that, IOF flooded al-Tur neighborhood with wastewater and fired teargas canisters in the neighborhood.

At Kalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, violent clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young man and IOF after organizing a protest took off in Kalandia camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, in support of Jerusalem. As a result, a protestor was shot with a rubber bullet in his leg and a volunteer paramedic was shot with a rubber bullet in his head while providing aid to other protestors. Also, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

At military checkpoint (300), which separates Bethlehem from south occupied East Jerusalem, clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young men and IOF. During which, IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 30-year-old male, from Dheisheh refugee camp in southern Bethlehem, was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg and taken to al-Hussain Hospital for treatment.

On Saturday, 24 April 2021, 22 Palestinian protestors, including a reporter, were wounded and 17 others were arrested during violent clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young men and IOF in Bab al-‘Amoud area and occupied East Jerusalem’s villages and neighborhoods for the 13th consecutive day against the continued closure of Bab al-‘Amoud area and banning gathering in its yard and on its stairs since the beginning of Ramadan.

In Bab al-‘Amoud area, dozens of Palestinians performed al- Tarawih prayer on its stairs and chanted slogans following the prayer, but IOF immediately dispersed them and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. As a result, violent clashes erupted in the area and continued for several hours. During which, 14 protestors, including a photojournalist working at Anadolu News Agency, were wounded. The photojournalist namely Fayiz Hamza Abu Irmilah was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot. Also, IOF arrested 3 protestors after severely beat them up. The arrestees were identified as Mansour Ibrahim Mahmoud (24), Nedal Josefe ‘Aboud (25) and Mohammed Abu Farah (21).

In al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered near “Beit Ort” settlement, which is established on the neighborhood lands, and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at it. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at them and arrested Mohammed Rajay Abu al-Hawa (19).

At Kalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the checkpoint. As a result, clashes erupted, during which, IOF fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at the protestors, wounding 8 of them.

At military checkpoint (300), which separates Bethlehem from south occupied East Jerusalem, clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young men and IOF. During which, IOF fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the protestors, wounding 4 of them with rubber bullets.

Furthermore, Al-Eizariya, Silwan and Hizma villages witnessed clashes erupted broke out between Palestinian young men and IOF. During which, IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. Also, Israeli police published several statements declaring in them that several police officers were wounded during the clashes erupted on Saturday in various areas of Jerusalem. Also, the police declared that they arrested 17 Palestinians during the clashes.

At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 25 April 2021, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud yard and on its stairs, central of occupied East Jerusalem, for the 13 consecutive day of its closure. They removed iron barriers that separate the area from its surrounding and IOF withdrew from the area. Few minutes later, hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the area to celebrate IOF’s withdrawal from Bab al-‘Amoud area after 13 days of its closure and banning gathering in it. Hundreds of worshipers performed Isha and Tarawih prayers, chanted slogans following the prayer and raised Palestinian flags. Meanwhile, Special Israeli forces moved into Bab al-‘Amoud area, confiscated the flags, forcibly dispersed the protestors, and pushed and beat them up. They also arrested Mohammed Omar al-‘Anati (27) and Murad Muneer Abu Qalbeen (16).

On the same day, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF in several areas of occupied East Jerusalem, in solidarity with protestors gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud area. Isawiya, Al-Eizariya and Beit Hanina villages, al-Tur neighborhood and Kalandia checkpoint witnessed clashes. During which, IOF fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at the protestors and arrested 4 Palestinians, from Beit Hanina village; 2 of them were identified as Mostafa al-Haimouny and Omar ‘Atallah.

At approximately 21:30 on Monday, 26 April 2021, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud yard celebrating the 2nd day of iron barriers removal. They chanted slogans and raised Palestinian flags. IOF immediately surrounded the protestors, beat them, arrested 4 of them, and confiscated Palestinian flags. The arrestees were identified as ‘Amer Rezeq, Mohammed Abu Ramilah, Mohammed Nassar, and Mohammed ‘Ali Surara.

At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Base, Maher Sbetani (22) and Hamada ‘Abdo Abu al-Hawa (20) and arrested them. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, fired rubber bullets at them and arrested ‘Alaa Ibrahim al-Sayyad (19).

Following Tarawih prayer on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, hundreds of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud area, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, to celebrate removing iron barriers, that were placed by IOF in Bab al-‘Amoud area since the beginning of Ramadan. The Palestinian young men chanted slogans, sang national songs and raised Palestinian flags. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, forcibly dispersed them and confiscated the flags. They also arrested 8 Palestinians, including 4 children, assaulted the team of Al-Amal Association for Health Services, beat a paramedic, and arrested another one.

Director of Al-Amal Association, ‘Abed al-Majeed Taha, said that he and his team present in Bab al-‘Amoud area since the beginning of escalation to aid wounded civilians. He pointed out that IOF assaulted him, in addition to 3 other paramedics without any cause while they were present on Bab al-‘Amoud stairs. He added that IOF arrested the paramedic Loai Ja’afrah after severely beating him up and pushing him to the ground. Ja’afrah was then taken to Salah al-Bareed Police Station in occupied East Jerusalem. Taha also said that an Israeli soldier slapped the paramedic Mohammed Mahmoud, causing bleeding in his eye. The paramedic was then taken to a hospital for treatment. He added that IOF assaulted Al-Amal Association team despite wearing their uniform.

Lawyer Feras al-Jebrani said that IOF arrested 8 Palestinians, including 4 children, when IOF forcibly dispersed protestors from Bab al-‘Amoud area. Among the arrestees were: Ibrahim Ramzi al-Rajbi (17), Adam Kastero (16), Mo’tasem ‘Abdullah Abu Nab (18), the paramedic Loai Ja’afrah, and ‘Areen Hitham al-Za’aneen (26). Al-Jebrani stated that most of the arrestees were taken to al-Bareed Police Station, and two children, who were arrested, were severely beaten by IOF.

  • Shooting incidents in other cities:
  • At approximately 08:45 on Thursday, 22 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them until 90:30, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:30 on Friday, 23 April 2021, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate No. (104), which is established near Showika suburb in Tulkarm, fired ruuber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at Palestinian young men, who organized protest in the area in support of Jerusalem. As a result, a 20-year-old male, from al-Showika suburb, was shot with a rubber bullets in his leg.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at Eyal crossing established in northern Qalqilya, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at Palestinians who protested in the area in support of Jerusalem. IOF chased the protestors and arrested Islam Mohammed Ameen Nazzal (20).
  • At approximately 01:25 on Saturday, 24 April 2021, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicles. IOF immediately fired live bullets and teargas canisters at them to disperse them. After that, violent clashes erupted between IOF and the Palestinians and continued for an hour and half. As a result, two protestors were wounded; the first (14), was shot with a live bullet in his right thigh, while the second (22), was shot with a live bullet in hos left leg. Both of them were taken to Jericho Governmental Hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also raided and searched Montaser Yehia Abu ‘Azzoum (72)’s house and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 04:50, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles in about 10 minutes at an empty land located near Gaza International Airport, east of al-Shawka village, southeast of Rafah; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:20, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at am empty land near Sofa military site, east of al-Shawka village, northeast of Rafah; no casualties were reported.
  • Around the same time, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at an agricultural land in Al-Fukhari village, southeast of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza Strip, causing a large hole in the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyia area in the center of Hebron, and set fire to tires near a military checkpoint established at the entrance to the closed Shuhada Street. Palestinian young men threw stones and empty bottles at the checkpoint while IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them and chased them between shops. As a result, many Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until 23:00, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, a protest took off from Nablus in solidarity with al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to another protest from the central of Huwara village, southeast of Nablus. The protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted slogans against Israeli occupation and settlers and headed towards a point of friction at Huwara checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, to express their refusal of IOF and settlers’ practices in Jerusalem. Clashes erupted at the checkpoint, during which, IOF fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian young men performed Tarawih prayer at Deir Sharaf village’s square, west of Nablus, in solidarity with al-Aqsa Mosque. While Palestinians were performing the prayer, military vehicles arrived at the area and stationed in front of the worshipers. Following the prayer, IOF suppressed the worshipers. After that, clashes erupted in the area, during which, IOF fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the worshipers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF also arrested Mo’awiyia Jehad Sa’ied ‘Antari (15) from his father’s nursery and released him later.
  • Furthermore, Palestinian worshipers performed Tarawih prayer at the entrance to al-Lubban ash Sharqiya village, southeast of Nablus, in solidarity with al-Aqsa Mosque. While Palestinians were performing the prayer, military vehicles arrived at the area and stationed in front of the worshipers. Following the prayer, IOF suppressed the worshipers. After that, clashes erupted in the area, during which, IOF fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the worshipers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 21:30, dozens of Palestinian young men, from Husan village, west of Bethlehem, organized a protest in solidarity with Jerusalem and against the ongoing police’s attacks against Palestinians. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, Israeli border guard officers arrived at the area and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 21:30, a group of Palestinian young men gathered near the Return camp, near the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khuzaʽa village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and chanted slogans condemning the ongoing IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. IOF fired teargas canisters in the area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:30, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, Israeli border guard officers arrived at the area and ordered the protestors to leave. After that, IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors, who responded with stones. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:30, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city and threw stones at IOF stationed at al-Mahkama military checkpoint, which is established near “Beit El “settlement, north of the city. After that, IOF clashed the protestors and fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. As a result, a 16-year-old child sustained teargas canister shrapnel wounds in his head and received treatment at Palestine Medical Complex. Also, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, 25 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camo, south of Hebron, where IOF established a military watchtower. The Palestinian young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the military watchtower. After that, IOF headed to the camp’s main entrance and prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from exiting the camp. They also fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until the midnight. IOF also forced the camp’s residents to pass through a dirt and bumpy road to exit the camp.
  • At approximately 21:30 on Sunday, 25 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered near the Return camp, near the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khuzaʽa village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and chanted slogans condemning the ongoing IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. IOF fired teargas canisters in the area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Monday, 26 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israeli, east of Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 26 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered near the Return camp, near the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khuzaʽa village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and chanted slogans condemning the ongoing IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. IOF fired teargas canisters in the area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no casualties were reported. During the protest, two Palestinian young men crossed the border fence and IOF arrested them. The arrestees were identified as:
  • Bassam Mohammed Abu Tiba (17), from Bani Suheila village in eastern Khan Yunis, who was released at 02:40 on Tuesday, through Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in northern Gaza Strip.
  • Mohammed Ahmed Shehda Abu Tair (25), from Abasan al-Kabira village, who was released at 21:40 on Tuesday.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore, in the center of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened fire at them and forced them to leave. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:20, Israeli gunboats stationed off Beit Lahia Shore, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 400-700 meters, and heavily opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to ‘Awad ‘Abed al-Fattah Mohammed al-Sultan (33), from al-Salateen neighborhood in Beit Lahia. The boat was manned by al-Sultan and another fisherman namely Ghaith ‘Eliyan Mohammed Abu ‘Un (33). As a result, Abu ‘Un was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg, and his condition was classified minor. It should be noted that on Monday, Israeli authorities declared the complete closure of Gaza Sea, but some fishermen sailed near the shore. Despite this, they were targeted by Israeli naval forces.
  • At approximately 21:00, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters at the protestors, who responded with stones. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased the protestors until 23:30 and arrested Mohammed Ashraf Mohammed Abu Lebda (17) and Mohammed Dawoud Mohammed Shosha (17).
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 28 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore, in the center of Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened fire at them and forced them to leave. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis Shore, south of the Gaza Strip, chased a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within 1.4 nautical miles and approached it. The boat was manned by Khaled ‘Ali Mohammed Inshasi (25) and ‘Emad Shaheen (27). IOF fired several live bullets at the boat’s engine. As a result, the boat’s engine was broken, and no casualties were reported. Khaled Inshasi’s father said to PCHR’s researcher that his son along with ‘Emad shaheen sailed in the sea to get their fishing nets out, during which, their fishing boat was shot with several live bullets from an Israeli gunboat. He added that the Palestinian Marine police returned them along with the fishing boat to the Gaza Shore, while their fishing nets are still in the sea.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 22 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Oday Akram Fareed (22) and Ahmed Shaker Musleh (24), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed at al-Hawooz area. They raided and searched Mohammed Zeyad al-Titi’s (30) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Saffa village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Tareq Amjad Karaja (19), and Ahmed Ja’far Karaja (18).
  • At approximately 09:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 100-meters from the border fence to al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands before they redeployed at approximately 13:30.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Hamdan al-Wahsh (39), after stopping his vehicle on a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Beit Jala, northwest of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Sa’ir, Tarqumiyah and Beit al-Rush al-Tahta, in Hebron. No arrested were reported.

Friday, 23 April 2021:

  • At approximately 10:30, IOF arrested the journalist Qutaiba Saleh Qasem and Yousef Moammed ‘Adawi (36), while passing through Checkpoint 300, north of Bethlehem, heading to Jerusalem. IOF took them to unknown destinations.
  • Qasem’s family stated that their son, Qutaiba, was with Yousef ‘Adawi heading to Jerusalem by a tourist-bus, before they were arrested.

It should be noted that Qasem is a former prisoner who spent 25 months in the Israeli prisons.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested the journalist Mohammed Ali ‘Atiq (27) and the writer Mofeed Taher Jalghoum (53), from Jenin, heading to the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, after stopping and searching the bus that they were in.
  • Ali ‘Atiq, Mohammed’s father, said that IOF arrested his son after detaining their bus in a Atarot military settlement, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. He added that IOF stopped the buss, searched the ID cards of the passengers, arrested his son along with Mofeer Jalghoum, from Faqqoa village in Jenin, and then they were taken to an unknown destination.
  • It should be noted that ‘Atiq was arrested 2 times, and spent several months in the Israeli prisons, and so do Jalghoum.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed at Hizma military checkpoint, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ahmed Fawaz Abu Dawwas (19), and Laith Mo’amar Daraghmah (22), from Tubas, southeast of Jenin governorate, while passing through the checkpoint returning from the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to an unknown destination.

Saturday, 24 April 2021:

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Majd Mo’taz al-Karaki (17), from Hebron’s Old City, after stopping him at Abu al-Rish military checkpoint, on the northern entrance of Hebron’s Old City. IOF took him to “Kiryat Arba’” police center.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Riyad al-Joulani (23), while present at Bab Huta neighborhood, one of Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Belal Omae al-Saifi (30), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint near “Etzion” rotary, south of Bethlehem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • It should be noted that al-Saifi was arrested up to 6 times, and he went on a hunger strike to protest against his administrative arrest.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF arrested Oday Samer Abu Tayeh (22), while present near Herod’s Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. IOF took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street in the occupied city.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed inside the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawka village, south of the Gaza Strip, arrested Issam Redwan al-Hissy (21), while attempting to sneak through the border fence.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Yousef Qais Amarnah (26), from Ya’bad in Jenin, while passing through Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, returning home. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested ‘Aamer Owaisat (34), from Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present near Bab Huta area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 25 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mansour Ibrahim Mansour (21), from al-Thuri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present at his work place in a petrol station in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the occupied city.
  • Around the same time, IOF suppressed a peaceful demonstration demanding to stop violations against Palestinians in Jerusalem. Several hours later, IOF moved into Bethlehem through the northern entrance of the city, stopped 3 young men, searched their ID cards and arrested them while present at al-Qubbah street. The arrestees are: Kefah Ashraf Mustafa al-Najjar, Ahmed Mustafa al-Najjar and Tareq Ayman Kan’an.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Eyad Sa’eeda’s (22) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Nidal Asfour (38), while present near al-Qatanin Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Ali Jaber (23), from al-Sa’diya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, while present in front of his house. It should be noted that IOF severely beaten him, resulted in losing his consciousness, then he was pulled several meters on the floor and carried to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street, in a humiliating way.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Tulkarm, Nur Shames refugee camp and Tulkarm refugee camp, al-Khader, and Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 26 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Beita, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Hussam ‘Allan Dwaikat’s (20) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Siris village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Osama Izz al-Dein Nijim’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Zahrat al-Finjan landfill, near Fahma village, southwest of Jenin, and arrested Mohammed Tareq al-Sa’di (27), from Jenin refugee camp, while working at the landfill. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Iqbal Simrin (26), after stopping his vehicles in Beit Hanina neighborhood, while heading to the Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to Moscovia Detention Centre.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF severely beaten and arrested (4) civilians after a quarrel occurred between them and the Israeli soldiers stationed at Bab Huta, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates. The quarrel was about closing Bab Huta and preventing the prayers from entering the Aqsa Mosque through it. The arrestees are Ahmed al-Hazina (23), was wounded and taken to hospital, Ahmed al-Rajabi (24), Alaa’ al-Razim (26), and Wissam Mohammed Sidr (29).
  • During the day, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Jit village, northeast of Qalqilya, arrested (3) civilians and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Yousef Omar Ayoub (23) and Mohammed Omar Ayoub (25), from Tulkarm refugee camp; and Naser Mohammed Dasouqi (21), from Dhinnaba in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into Shams al-Deen al-Asyooti street in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Majd Ahmed Ghorab’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Burqa and Odala villages in Nablus governorate; Ya’bad and Jalamah in Jenin; Dura, Beit Ummar, and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Anan Mohammed Safi (19) and Jihad Mohammed ‘Alqam (20), and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Husan village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Abdul Hadi Shousha’s (33) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohsen Daraghmah (23), an employee at the Security Services, and Mustafa Mershed Abu Syaj (26). IOF took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Immatain village, east of Qalqilya. They raided, searched Ja’far Yousef Ghanim’s (28) house, destroyed its contents and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the house of the head of Fatah Youth movement in al-Issawiya, Mansour Mahmoud (26), and arrested him.
  • It should be noted that Mansour Mahmoud who appeared in the most trending picture in the social media when the Palestinians celebrated the removal of the Israeli barriers at Damascus Gate area since the beginning of Ramadan. Mahmoud was assaulted and hit with the Israeli soldiers’ riffles’ butts last Saturday, resulted in suffering bruises all over his body.
  • At approximately 21:20, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint established at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, arrested Moqbel Habib al-Barghouthi, from Ramallah. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Battir and al-Ubeidiya villages in Bethlehem. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Mohammed Abu al-Hawa (22) and Khalil Khaled Salah (23), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Abdullah Abdul Rahman Bushkar’s (17) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Helmi Abu Safiya’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Ra’fat Sameeh Najeeb’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burin and Qaryut, southeast of Nablus; Beit Kahil and Kurza, 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 morning, 22 April 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration approved a decision to expropriate 147 dunums from Nahalin and Husan villages, west of Bethlehem, for settlement purposes.

Hassan Breijiyeh, Director of the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said the targeted lands are planted with many fruitful trees and located in “Thaher al-Matrasaba” area in Nahalin village and “Khelet al-Sarawil” and “Sha’b al-Beesh” area in Husan village, to expand “Beitar Illit” settlemen established on lands of Wadi Foqin, Husan and Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 22 April 2021, a group of settlers randomly opened fire near the northern entrance to Salfit under the pretext that unknown persons removed Magen David Adom and the Israeli flag at the entrance. No casualties were reported.
  • In the early morning, a group of settlers from “Nicodem” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Teqoa village, south of Bethlhem, planted olive seedlings in confiscated lands belonging to Tanouh family. It should be noted that on 09 May 2012 settlers from “Teqoa” settlement fenced vacant areas of agricultural lands, around 1000 dunums, planted with olive trees and winter grain in addition to denying the owners access to their lands and preventing them from planting or plowing. 
  • At approximately 16:40 on Friday, 23 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Revava” settlement moved into Khelet al-Nasakh area in Haris village, north of Salfit. The settlers uprooted 13 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to ‘Aisha Mahmoud Qassem from the same village.  The head of the village council, ‘Omer Samara, said that the uprooted olive trees were 4-5 years old.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 24 April 2021, settlers from “Havat Ma’on” settlement outpost established on the Palestinian lands of eastern Yatta assaulted farmers in their lands in al-Hamrah area and chased them into the nearby al-Mafqarah area.

The settlers threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on the road between al-Mafqarah and Tuwani villages, breaking windows of cars belonging to Soliman Salem al-‘Adrah, Hafez Hussein al-Hreini; Mos’ab Mor Reb’ie, Khaled Rabah Reb’ie and Qasem Mohammed al-Tahhan, who was wounded in his left leg after being hit with a stone.  Meanwhile, a number of young men gathered in the area and started throwing stones at the settlers to keep them away.  IOF arrived at the scene and opened fire in the air in addition to firing teargas canisters at the Palestinian civilians while the settlers started withdrawing at approximately 15:00.

  • At approximately 22:00 on Sunday, 25 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement, northwest of Ramallah moved into the eastern outskirts of Umm Safa village, northwest of Ramallah. The settlers rioted in the area and closed the eastern entrance to the village with sand berms.  Next day, Palestinians removed the stones and sand berms at the entrance and managed to reopen it.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 26 April 2021, settlers, who were passing by the worshippers road between al-Ibrahimi Mosque and “Karyat Arba” settlement and crossing Jaber neighborhood, assaulted Rasmi Tariq Jaber 19 and Basil Mohammed Jaber 18 who were both in front of one of the shops and attempted to assault them. When they tried to stop the settlers, IOF arrived at the area, which is only few meters away from an Israeli control point and arrested both civilians, taking them to the interrogation department in “Karyat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, Israeli settlers from Ramot settlement established on Palestinian lands of Beit Eksa village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem burnt 3 Palestinian vehicles that were parked in ‘Aqbet Zayed area in the village.

‘Issa Hamoudah Ghaith al-Kiswani, one of the affected cars’ owners, said that settlers moved into the village today evening and wrote racist slogans on some walls and on the parking lot floor.  They poured diesel on his vehicle and 3 others and set them on fire, burning the 3 vehicles completely, including his, and breaking the windows of a forth vehicle.  Al-Kiswani said that the other vehicles belonged to Anas al-Khatib and Ahmed Abu Khalaf.  All the cars were licensed and had Israeli legal registration plates.  Al-Kaswani said that eyewitnesses told him that IOF were in the area at the moment the settlers burnt the vehicles to provide them protection.

  • At approximately 23:30 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement established on Urif, Burin, ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Huwara and ‘Einabus, southeast of Nablus, assaulted civilians’ cars that were traveling on the road between Urif and ‘Asira al-Qibliya villages and damaged the windshield and the glass ceiling of one of them in addition to the right mirror belonging to Merwan ‘Abdel Hamid ‘Abdel Karim Ahmed before they left to his village “‘Asira al-Qibliya.

Merwan ‘Abdel Hamid ‘Abdel Karim Ahmed said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“at approximately 11:30 on that day, I came out of my house in ‘Asira al- Qibliya heading to nearby Urif village, southeast of Nablus, which is two kilometers away from our village.  On the road, I was surprised with blocks on the street, so I knew that the settlers from Yitzahar settlement, which is established on our village lands, placed them on the street as an ambush for the vehicles traveling on the street between the 2 villages.  When I wanted to go back, a group of settlers came out from behind olive trees on the street and threw stones at my vehicle and damaged the windshield, the ceiling and the mirror before I could leave to my village.”

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

On Monday, 26 April 2021, Israeli authorities closed Gaza Sea completely and prevented fishermen from sailing and fishing. These Israeli measures are part of the Israeli collective punishment policy practiced against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip that aims to harass fishermen and prevent them from sailing and fishing freely in areas where fish breed.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)’s follow-up, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) declared the complete closure of Gaza Sea, starting from 06:00 on Monday until further notice. The Israeli Coordinator stated that, “This decision came in response to the launch of rockets towards Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip.”

This decision is part of Israel’s policy of inhuman and illegal closure and collective punishment against the Gaza Strip. As a result, the livelihoods of 4,160 fishermen and 700 workers in professions associated with the fishing sector; the main providers for their families (a total of 27,700 persons) are threatened with further deterioration. Even before this decision, Gazan fishermen already suffered and were unable to fish and sail freely in the allowed fishing area due to the recurrent Israeli attacks at sea, the entry ban of equipment and necessary supplies for fishermen. Consequently, hundreds of fishermen are effectively unable to provide their families’ basic needs, such as food, medicine, clothing, and education.

Furthermore, the impact of the new Israeli decisions would deepen the humanitarian and living crises in the Gaza Strip, especially raising unemployment, poverty, and food insecurity. Statistics pre-recent restrictions indicate a dangerous unemployment rate at 45%, i.e. 217,100 unemployed workers; this rate is highest among youth at 63%. Also, more than half of the Gaza Strip population suffers poverty, as data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) indicate that the prevalence of poverty among the Gaza Strip population exceeds 53%, and more than 62.2% of the Gaza population is classified as food insecure according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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  39 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 20 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, 22 April 2021, IOF closed Kalandia military checkpoint, north of the city, and reopened it later.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 22 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, and at the entrance to ‘Atyat Hasanat area.
  • On Friday, 23 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village.
  • On Tuesday, 27 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Tuqu village, in al-Nashash intersection, in ‘Aqabet Hasna area and at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 23 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Sinjil village.
  • On Sunday, 25 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ras Karkar village.
  • On Monday, 26 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Abu Mash’al

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 22 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 23 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to the city.
  • On Saturday, 24 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 22 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Friday, 23 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta village, on Beit Einun road, and on Wadi Al-Joz road.
  • On Saturday, 24 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 25 April 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh, Karma, Beit Ummar and Surif villages, and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Monday, 26 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and as-Samu villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Wednesday, 28 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Tarqumiyah, Sa’ir and Beit Ummar villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 22 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Qalqilya and at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 26 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Istiya, Kafr ad-Dik and Deir Ballut villages, west of the city.

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.

‘I Can’t Breathe’: “Israeli” Military Army Closes Case Against Soldier Kneeling on Palestinian’s Neck

23/4/2021

‘I Can’t Breathe’: “Israeli” Military Army Closes Case Against Soldier Kneeling on Palestinian’s Neck

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist occupation military police said on Wednesday that it will not open an investigation into an officer who was filmed kneeling on the neck of a 60-year-old Palestinian protester while arresting him.

This Israeli soldier had no idea he put his knee to the head of a  Palestinian George Floyd - Opinion - Haaretz.com

The video, released in September, shows the officer kneeling on the neck of Khairi Hannoun, whom he had arrested at a demonstration outside the village of Shufa near Tul Karm. Hannoun then entered his car and the officer was filmed breaking the car window with his rifle and pointing it at the head of another Palestinian.

The occupation army claimed at the time that the demonstration was violent and that the clip was “only partial, biased and doesn’t reflect the disruption of order and the violence toward the military force ahead of the arrest.”

Lawyers representing Hannoun asked the Military Advocate General this month whether an investigation had been opened into the incident.

The ‘Israeli’ military first said the event “would continue to be looked into in the coming days,” but on Sunday the Military Advocate General alleged the officer’s conduct was “part of implementing the power to arrest your client, it did not exceed reasonable [conduct] in the circumstances and doesn’t indicate a suspicion of a criminal offense.”

The army claims Hannoun pushed the officer, who in response used reasonable force when Hannoun resisted arrest.

The Military Advocate General’s office said the smashing of the window was intended to prevent Hannoun from fleeing and that he was welcome to ask the Defense Ministry for compensation “as an exception.”

The demonstration Hannoun had taken part in was held by residents protesting the Zionist confiscation of their land.

“It’s a legitimate, entirely non-violent demonstration,” Hannoun said at the time. “We, a few adults, were walking. We didn’t think the soldiers would attack us. But we were wrong. They attacked us like hooligans. I’m 60, what can I do to an armed soldier? But for the officer there I’m a threat and he attacked me brutally.”

Hannoun mentioned George Floyd, who died last May after a policeman kneeled on his neck in a similar way.

“He kneeled on me just like what happened with that Black American [in reference to George Floyd]. I felt he was choking me,” he said.

Hannoun was arrested by a Border Police force two weeks after the video of the demonstration was published. The Border Police said at the time that he was “arrested after he was seen taking part in several order disruptions and actively causing provocations, forcing them to take control of him by force.”

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, steal land with impunity. Imagine outrage & calls for sanctions if any other state did it

moi

April 16, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Every aspect of their existence on occupied Palestinian land is illegal. Still, the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against civilians continues, propped up by Israel’s legal system and the world’s blind eyes.

Periodically, we will hear in the news something about the illegal colonies (settlements), but increasingly rarely over the years, and generally without a human face: just numbers and false promises to end the expansion of these colonies choking Palestinians from their land.

Recently, UN Special Rapporteurs and experts shed light on the uptick of brutality and land theft by Israeli colonists. In a new UN report, they noted:

In 2020, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah. Already, during the first three months of 2021, more than 210 settler violent incidents were recorded, with one Palestinian fatality.”

Stop for a moment and imagine this was a report on violent incidents by Russia, Syria, Venezuela, or any of the nations in NATO’s crosshairs. Media would be howling with outrage and faked tears, with demands for heads to roll, or at least for perpetrators to face justice.

But this is occupied Palestine, where the Israeli legal system serves continued colonist expansion and terrorism against Palestinians. And, let’s be clear, what the colonists do to Palestinians is indeed terrorism.

Colonists have burned alive a Palestinian youth, shot and killed Palestinian civilians, have run people over, including children, leaving them to die. They routinely attack farmers trying to work their land or harvest their olives. 

They hail stones, large rocks, sewage and waste onto Palestinians walking or living below their illegally occupied homes, steal Palestinians’ flocks of sheep (or poison them), even uproot and thieve their olive trees.

This has been going on for decades, and the so-called international community allows it, in spite of overwhelming documentation of these crimes.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has been reporting on such attacks since 1989. A 2017 B’Tselem article noted:

Thousands of testimonies, videos and reports, as well as many years of close monitoring by B’Tselem and other organizations, reveal that Israeli security forces not only allow settlers to harm Palestinians and their property as a matter of course – they often provide the perpetrators escort and back-up. In some cases, they even join in on the attack.

After more than 25 years of this work, there is no escaping the conclusion that the authorities merely make a show of law enforcement in this context and that, with few exceptions, they have no interest in seriously investigating settler violence against Palestinians.”

*Above images from web

Disturbing memories of colonist brutality

In 2007, I witnessed and heard of colonist violence and land theft when I spent eight months in the West Bank as an activist documenting the crimes against Palestinian civilians by both the Israeli military and the illegal colonists.

The city of Hebron has some of the most violent squatters, who, like colonists all over the West Bank, walk with guns slung over their back and routinely attack and abuse the Palestinian residents, including children. 

In fact, during my two-week stay in Hebron in mid 2007, one of the things I and other activists did was simply to stand on shara Shuhada, the once vibrant main street, now a shuttered ghost town.

We stood, or sat, on that street for hours, in the heat of the day, to deter colonists from attacking children going to or from school, or adults going to market, work or mosque. It seemed a colossal waste of time, but there had been many precedents of Israeli colonists stoning or beating Palestinians.

South of Hebron, in a desert-like hamlet called Susiya, over the course of many months I stayed in the makeshift tent and metal structures of the Palestinians living there. Prior to their shantytown, they, and generations before them, had lived in stone houses and even cave dwellings. But, they were evicted in the 1980s, when Israel declared the area an archaeological site.

As I wrote, “We stayed with them in hopes of preventing the inevitable attacks by the nearby colonists. Hajj Khalil, an elder in his eighties, had been brutally beaten by colonists the year before I met him.”

Eva K Bartlett, 2007

The recent UN report also noted:

“Settler violence was predominantly ideologically motivated and primarily designed to take over land but also to intimidate and terrorize Palestinians. The violence and intimidation often prevents Palestinians from accessing and cultivating their land, and creates a coercive environment pressuring Palestinians to stay away from certain areas or even move.”

Indeed, in the Susiya region, I witnessed land being stolen and quickly annexed by the illegal Jewish colonists.

As I wrote, “The elderly Palestinian landowners have been harassed and threatened, and physically abused. They have been moved off of the land by menacing of the illegal colonists. The owners of the land very much want to use it for agricultural purposes and have tried–mostly unsuccessfully–to file complaints at the nearest police station, Kiryat Arba, nearly two hours away. These illegal tactics have been largely successful in the region, with many Susiya residents and landowners leaving their land for nearby cities and towns.”

During the olive harvest that year, I accompanied Palestinian farmers to their orchards in a northern West Bank region. Not long after they had begun collecting olives, six masked colonists descended a hill, slinging hefty stones at us, for forty minutes stoning and then physically hitting people in our group.

I wrote about that at the time, noting, “One of the six attackers slung a large rock at me. Hitting my camera hand, the rock missed my temple. One of the farmers, on the other hand, was not so fortunate, with severe gashes on his head from multiple stone strikes.

On another occasion, the Palestinians had the needed paperwork to be on their land (that’s right, they have to ask their occupiers for permission to access their land for limited amounts of time, to harvest their olives), and had only just begun to harvest when gun-toting colonists dressed in white descended the hill and began menacing the Palestinians.

What did the Israeli army do? Point their guns at the farmers and tell them to take a hike. Get off their land. The setters have spoken…

There are far worse examples. My encounters and documentation at the time was more on the crimes of the Israeli army against Palestinians. But, B’Tselem has pages of reports and videos of Israeli colonists’ attacks on Palestinians.

In 2015, Haaretz reported colonists had “firebombed” a West Bank house, the ensuing fire burning to death an infant.

The youth I mentioned earlier, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was indeed burned alive by Israelis, in mid-2014. As I wrote some years ago, “Khdeir went missing while going to mosque for morning prayers in occupied Jerusalem. His slight body was found a few hours later charred and beaten. The autopsy report “showed soot in the victim’s lungs and respiratory tract, indicating he was alive and breathing while he was being burnt.”

In a rare instance of justice, the colonist was sent to prison for life for his crime.

But as Israeli rights group Yeshe Din in December 2019 reported, most attacks go unpunished. 

According to their research, “Israeli Police failed in the investigation of 82% of the files opened between 2005 and 2019. 91% of all investigation files were closed without an indictment. After 15 years of monitoring Israeli law enforcement authorities in their handling of complaints filed by Palestinian victims of ideological crimes committed by Israelis, the picture that emerges demonstrates that the State of Israel is failing in its duty to protect Palestinians in the occupied territories from those who would harm them and, in fact, leaves them defenseless as they face assault and harassment.”

In their 2017 report, B’Tselem further noted, “Violent actions of settlers against Palestinians are not exceptions to a rule. Rather, they form part of a broader strategy in which the state colludes, as it stands to benefit from the result. Over time, this unchecked violence is gradually driving Palestinians from more and more locations in the West Bank, making it easier for the state to take over land and resources.

That is the essence: the crimes of Israel’s colonists actually benefit Israel in occupying more and more Palestinian land. So there is incentive to look away, close investigations, let the attacks and murders continue.

In researching for this article I came across yet another account of colonists beating a Susiya resident I knew. The article described an attack in December 2020 on 78 year-old Khalil Haraini. In which, “about 10 settlers rushed out from behind a hill, armed with pistols, rifles, clubs, axes and iron chains. One of them assaulted the elderly farmer, knocking him to the ground. Settlers then beat him with their clubs.

Although I’m not naive enough to believe anything will change after a UN report here or there, I feel the need to write about it still, 13 years after meeting people like Khalil Haraini or the farmers I accompanied.

Their hell continues and, tragically, no one is going to rein in the terrorists known as Israeli settlers. 

RELATED:

-Stealing Palestinian Land in Susiya

illegal colonists assault Palestinian farmers & me

Observations from Occupied Palestine, part 1

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza

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.

Jewish National Fund Plans to Purchase Land to Expand Illegal Settlements

April 14, 2021

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) in Israel approved on Sunday plans to purchase land in the occupied West Bank to expand illegal settlements, mainly in Nablus and Jenin, Haaretz has reported.

The fund is known in Hebrew as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and still needs to obtain final approval from its board of directors at their meeting on April 22.

According to Haaretz, JNF World Chairman Avraham Duvdevani wants the board to approve the plan so that “controversial land purchases that have already been made” can be approved retrospectively. A JNF-KKL subsidiary has spent “around $30 million” on buying occupied land since 2017.

Moreover, said the Israeli daily, “A group of progressive American Jewish organizations said it was ‘deeply troubled’ by the prospect that the JNF-KKL was moving toward making ‘Palestinian dispossession into its policy.’ The Progressive Israel Network said in a statement it was ‘hopeful that JNF-KKL’s general voting body will reject the decision to participate in settlement expansion when the decision comes to a final vote’ [on 22 April].”

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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.

Palestinian sisters face challenges of daily life in West Bank village under threat

Source

Surrounded by Israeli settlements in southern Hebron, the Abu Kabbash family remain determined to fight for their dreams and land

Zeina Abu Kabbash, 15, and her younger siblings have been missing online classes due to lack of the internet and electricity in their village (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

Published date: 10 April 2021 08:59 UTC

On a sunny spring morning in the occupied West Bank village of Khirbet al-Radhim, Zeina Abu Kabbash goes about her day, looking after crops and feeding the cows on her family’s land.

‘Life here is very hard, very different from that of my friends who enjoy a comfortable and luxurious existence’

–  Zeina Abu Kabbash, 15

The 15-year-old should be attending online lessons, as are her schoolmates. But since her village in the southern governorate of Hebron has no electricity or internet, she has been missing classes ever since her school moved to virtual lessons following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zeina has been warned by her teacher that, if she continues to miss online classes, she will have to repeat the grade next year.

“Life here is very hard, very different from that of my friends who enjoy a comfortable and luxurious existence,” she tells Middle East Eye while picking beans in the field. “I miss school very much. I need it… But what should I do? I only have a humble, broken mobile phone.”

The Abu Kabbashes are one of seven families still living in Khirbet al-Radhim, the last Palestinian village in the far south of the occupied West Bank. They have no access to electricity, water or internet, and the call connection services remain poor.

Despite the lack of modern necessities, the village’s residents refuse to leave their homes and ancestral lands, which have been surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements since the 1980s and face the constant threat of demolition.

Last village standing

The Abu Kabbash family lives in a cave and has an additional room constructed with zinc sheets on their 150-dunam (15-hectare) plot of land. The family of 11 depends on its crops, beekeeping and honey production for a living.

The head of the household is 74-year-old Issa Safi Abu Kabbash. He says that although his land is large, he can barely make ends meet for his wife, eight daughters and one son.

Issa Abu Kabbash with his daughters (from left) Narmin, Eman and Maram outside their home (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
Issa Safi Abu Kabbash with daughters (from left) Narmin, Eman and Maram outside their home (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

“Our land is not fertile. If the soil is fertile one year, it won’t be in the following five years,” he says, adding that this was due to a lack of water in the area.

Water shortages have been exacerbated by the fact that the Israeli Civil Administration, the military body that rules over the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C, has refused to give him a permit to dig a well. There hasn’t been much help or compensation coming from the Palestinian Authority either, he adds.

Issa inherited his land from his father and grandparents, and possesses property ownership documents dating back to the Ottoman era. But Israeli authorities do not recognise his ownership papers, and have issued demolition orders on his home.

“With this military force that besieges and haunts us every day, we have no choice but to sacrifice our comfort and dreams to stay here, to continue cultivating our land and live in it,” he says.

One of Zeina's daily duties is to feed her family's cows (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
One of Zeina’s daily duties is to feed the family’s cows (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

However, the threat of demolition hasn’t stopped him from continuing to plough the land every morning to prepare it for his wife and eight daughters to plant the seeds.

Pointing at the peak of a mountain near his field, he says: “This one settler moved there two years ago. Since then, he has constantly released his animals onto our lands. So far [his animals have] destroyed around 20 dunams of our crops.”

Dangerous neighbours

Since the 1980s, Israeli settlements, which violate international law, have expanded across the West Bank, notably in the southern Hebron governorate, where dozens have sprouted on hilltops and mountains, and lands confiscated from Palestinians living in the area.

Three settlements – Asael, Shama and Otniel – surround Khirbet al-Radhim, as well as the outpost whose animals have destroyed the Abu Kabbashes’ crops. While outposts are also deemed illegal under Israeli law, in effect they are tolerated by Israeli authorities, and many are legalised retroactively. 

“Since 1984, Israel has used the military force to impose settlements. It destroyed us, confiscated our lands, and besieged what had remained,” Issa explains as he rolls a cigarette. “Nowadays, Israel does not only target our homes. It targets us [the residents], because it considers us an obstacle to its settlement expansion. It does not want us here.”

‘I continue to dream of dogs chasing me. I wake up terrified’

– Eight-year-old Maram

The settlers have not treated the villagers kindly, according to the Abu Kabbash sisters.

Before the pandemic, Zeina and her eight-year-old sister Maram used to walk one kilometre every morning to catch the bus to school in the village of Khirbet al-Shweika.

“The journey [to school] is hard, and we are always worried and afraid of shepherd settlers. They would block our path, scare and threaten us, and even set their dogs on us,” Zeina recalls.

Maram was once attacked by settlers dogs and still has nightmares about the incident.

“I continue to dream of dogs chasing me. I wake up terrified,” she tells MEE.

Maram, 8, poses in front of a colourful wall inside her family's home painted by her sister Rania (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
Maram, eight, poses in front of a colourful wall inside her family’s home, painted by her sister Rania (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

Zeina just wants the settlers to “get out” of the area so villagers can feel “safe and never fear displacement at any moment”.

“This is my land that the [Israeli] settlers covet and wish to take,” the teenager says, vowing never to leave her village in order to protect her family’s claim to the land.

‘Painting our destiny’

Zeina’s older sister, Rania, is responsible for preparing lunch for the family while others work in the field. An aspiring illustrator, the 20-year-old has stayed at home after graduating from high school because a university education is out of her reach.

“I wish to continue my studies and learn more about art, but all the universities are very far from our home, and my family wouldn’t be able to afford my university expenses,” she says.

She wakes up early each morning to feed the sheep and cultivate the land. Whenever she finds spare time, she uses it to practise her self-taught anime drawing techniques.

“I need to improve my skills and acquire new ones. Although I spend a lot of time on housework and helping my family in the field, I always find some time to train myself on drawing,” she says.

Rania, 20, prepares lunch for her family (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
Rania, 20, prepares lunch for her family (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

Rania has turned the walls of her family’s humble home into works of art, with colourful murals inspired by her thoughts and emotions, including one depicting birds flying out of cages.

“I think of our destiny all the time. What would happen to us if they demolished our home or evicted us from our land?” she asks. “This fear never leaves my mind.”

Faced with obstacles outside their control, the Abu Kabbash sisters nonetheless never stop harbouring dreams of their own.

Zeina wants to become the first nurse in Khirbet al-Radhim, in order to provide healthcare for its 70 residents. Currently, villagers need to travel 45 minutes by car to seek medical care in the closest village, Samu, or more than an hour to the nearest hospital.

As for Maram, who often speaks with a shy, closed-lipped smile, her aspiration is to become a dentist so she can treat children in her village with poor teeth, just like herself.

From His Solitary Confinement, Marwan Barghouti Holds the Key to Fatah’s Future

April 7, 2021

By Ramzy Baroud

If imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti, becomes the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the status quo will change substantially. For Israel, as well as for the current PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, such a scenario is more dangerous than another strong Hamas showing in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The long-delayed elections, now scheduled for May 22 and July 31 respectively, will not only represent a watershed moment for the fractured Palestinian body politic, but also for the Fatah Movement which has dominated the PA since its inception in 1994. The once-revolutionary Movement has become a shell of its former self under the leadership of Abbas, whose only claim to legitimacy was a poorly contested election in January 2005, following the death of former Fatah leader and PA President, Yasser Arafat.

Though his mandate expired in January 2009, Abbas continued to ‘lead’ Palestinians. Corruption and nepotism increased significantly during his tenure and, not only did he fail to secure an independent Palestinian State, but the Israeli military occupation and illegal settlements have deepened and grown exponentially.

Abbas’ rivals from within the Fatah Movement were sidelined, imprisoned or exiled. A far more popular Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, was silenced by Israel as he was thrown into an Israeli prison in April 2002, after a military court found him guilty of involvement in Palestinian resistance operations during the uprising of 2000. This arrangement suited Abbas, for he continued to doubly benefit: from Barghouti’s popularity, on the one hand, and his absence, on the other.

When, in January, Abbas declared that he would hold three successive rounds of elections – legislative elections on May 22, presidential elections on July 31 and Palestinian National Council (PNC) elections on August 31 – he could not have anticipated that his decree, which followed intense Fatah-Hamas talks, could potentially trigger the implosion of his own party.

Fatah-Hamas rivalry has been decades-long but intensified in January 2006 when the latter won the legislative elections in the Occupied Territories. Hamas’s victory was partly attributed to Fatah’s own corruption, but internal rivalry also splintered Fatah’s vote.

Although it was Fatah’s structural weaknesses that partly boosted Hamas’ popularity, it was, oddly, the subsequent rivalry with Hamas that kept Fatah somehow limping forward. Indeed, the anti-Hamas sentiment served as a point of unity among the various Fatah branches. With money pouring in from donor countries, Fatah used its largesse to keep dissent at a minimum and, when necessary, to punish those who refused to toe the pro-Abbas line. This strategy was successfully put to the test in 2010 when Mohammed Dahlan, Fatah’s ‘strong man’ in Gaza prior to 2006, was dismissed from Fatah’s central committee and banished from the West Bank, as he was banished from Gaza four years earlier.

But that convenient paradigm could not be sustained. Israel is entrenching its military occupation, increasing its illegal settlement activities and is rapidly annexing Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Gaza siege, though deadly and tragic, has become routine and no longer an international priority. A new Palestinian generation in the Occupied Territories cannot relate to Abbas and his old guard, and is openly dissatisfied with the tribal, regional politics through which the PA, under Abbas, continues to govern occupied and oppressed Palestinians.

Possessing no strategies or answers, Abbas is now left with no more political lifelines and few allies.

With dwindling financial resources and faced by the inescapable fact that 85-year-old Abbas must engineer a transition within the movement to prevent its collapse in case of his death, Fatah was forced to contend with an unpleasant reality: without new elections the PA would lose the little political legitimacy with which it ruled over Palestinians.

Abbas was not worried about another setback, like that of 2006, when Hamas won majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)’s seats. Until recently, most opinion polls indicated that the pro-Abbas Fatah list would lead by a comfortable margin in May and that Abbas would be re-elected President in July. With his powers intact, Abbas could then expand his legitimacy by allowing Hamas and others into the PLO’s Palestinian National Council – Palestine’s parliament in the Diaspora. Not only would Abbas renew faith in his Authority, but he could also go down in history as the man who united Palestinians.

But things didn’t go as planned and the problem, this time, did not come from Hamas, but from Fatah itself – although Abbas did anticipate internal challenges. However, the removal of Dahlan, the repeated purges of the party’s influential committees and the marginalization of any dissenting Fatah members throughout the years must have infused Abbas with confidence to advance with his plans.

The first challenge emerged on March 11, when Nasser al-Qidwa, a well-respected former diplomat and a nephew of Yasser Arafat, was expelled from the movement’s Central Committee for daring to challenge Abbas’ dominance. On March 4, Qidwa decided to lock horns with Abbas by running in the elections in a separate list.

The second and bigger surprise came on March 31, just one hour before the closing of the Central Election Commission’s registration deadline, when Qidwa’s list was expanded to include supporters of Marwan Barghouti, under the leadership of his wife, Fadwa.

Opinion polls are now suggesting that a Barghouti-Qidwa list, not only would divide the Fatah Movement but would actually win more seats, defeating both the traditional Fatah list and even Hamas. If this happens, Palestinian politics would turn on its head.

Moreover, the fact that Marwan Barghouti’s name was not on the list keeps alive the possibility that the imprisoned Fatah leader could still contest in the presidential elections in July. If that, too, transpires, Barghouti will effortlessly beat and oust Abbas.

The PA President is now in an unenviable position. Canceling the elections would lead to strife, if not violence. Moving forward means the imminent demise of Abbas and his small but powerful clique of Palestinians who benefited greatly from the cozy political arrangement they created for themselves.

As it stands, the key to the future of Fatah is now held by a Palestinian prisoner, Marwan Barghouti, who has been kept by Israel, largely in solitary confinement, since 2002.

– 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 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.

Land Day 2021: Existence, Resistance, Resurgence

March 30, 2021

A child raising a Palestinian flag on Land Day. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

“In 2019 I went to Palestine twice,” wrote Ibtisam Barakat, “one time with Palestine Festival of literature in April.” When an officer informed her at the border that she didn’t exist in Israeli records, Barakat started to cry. She “cried for two weeks nonstop. Nothing and no one could stop [her], not even a delicious falafel sandwich.” All that time, recalled the Palestinian-American poet, she “ate falafel and cried.”

On Land Day 2021, Barakat’s words are more relevant than ever. Forty-five years ago, on March 30, 1976, Israeli police murdered six Palestinian protestors as they were calling attention to the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land. Since then, notes Yara Hawari, March 30 has been commemorated as Land Day.

An important “event in the Palestinian collective narrative,” explains Hawari, it incorporates resistance to colonization, in particular “colonial policies of erasure,” efforts by Israelis to erase all Indigenous presence on the land. Indeed, since 1948, Palestinians have defied those policies with characteristic sumud (resilience), both by holding fast to a collective narrative that incorporates individual perspectives.

When Barakat returned to Palestine, an officer asked why she was coming back a second time in one year. At the time, she had no idea how to reply. “Now,” she explains, she knows “the world was going to change and the universe knew that I needed to see Palestine twice in a year” before it became impossible. “Seeing my Palestine or not seeing my Palestine is a spiritual experience for me,” she says, thereby calling attention to her individual refusal to be erased that is in turn part of a collective experience.

On March 30, 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began a series of weekly demonstrations that would last for months, resulting in a staggering number of deaths and injuries from Israeli snipers that drew the attention of the media. What did not get covered so much were the cultural aspects of the rallies—storytelling, cooking traditional dishes, performing dabke, and even weddings took place—thereby passing down traditions to a younger generation.

“What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilization,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “and why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.”

In the same way that Barkat worked through her grief at being told of her non-existence, so Palestinians on a collective scale have maintained a narrative that resists the official story. As Baroud explains,

“For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of recreation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected among the people. The Great March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance.”

Two years later, in 2020, the spread of Coronavirus added to ongoing problems. In order to provide a safe space to commemorate the day, Samidoun: Palestinian Solidarity Network issued a virtual call to action:

“Mark Palestine Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard), a day of remembrance for six Palestinian citizens who were murdered by Israelis while protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of their land. March together online on the second anniversary of the Great March of Return.”

Thanks to donations from Russia and the UAE, Gaza recently initiated a vaccine program in an effort to confront the virus pandemic and break the cycle of deaths.

According to Hawari, Land Day commemorates ongoing resistance, but it also “reminds us how the domination of space is an integral aspect of the Zionist settler-colonial project.” Moreover, she points out, “settler-colonial states the world over are in a constant process of colonizing more and more indigenous land while squeezing indigenous peoples into as little space as possible.”

In order to steal more land, colonists in both Israel and North America developed the myth of the vacant land. For example, on March 8, 1969, Golda Meir reportedly asked: “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”

Propaganda around the Indigenous in North America sounds much the same. As Steven Salaita tweeted: “you’ll never understand Zionism without a concomitant understanding of Manifest Destiny,” a phrase devised in 1845 to explain that the United States was destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its territory across the entire North American continent.

“Of all myths associated with American Indians,” explains Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes), “no myth is as pervasive as the myth of the vanishing Indian.”

In my American history classes, there would invariably be the student who said that Native people no longer exist, despite the fact that just by looking around the classroom that student might have reached a different conclusion. Nevertheless, because dominant society has been “indoctrinated with the idea of the vanishing Native their whole lives,” Gilio-Whitaker asserts, “the assumption that there is no such thing as real Natives anymore is like a software program constantly running in the background.”

To these deniers, the “real Indians were the ones who dressed in buckskins and hunted buffalo and deer for their living, and didn’t speak English,” Gilio-Whitaker notes, and, in reality, they have “been gone a long time.”

Despite all of the efforts to deny their existence, which makes it all the easier to steal land and resources, both Palestinians and Indigenous people in the States are still around. The commemoration of Land Day attests to that, as do efforts on the part of Native Americans to make their presence known.

Quoting Gerald Vizenor, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz calls attention to his notion of “survivance”:

“Survivance is an active presence: it is not absence, deracination, or ethnographic oblivion, and survivance is the continuance of narratives, not a mere reaction, however pertinent. Survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, the unbearable sentiments of tragedy, and the legacy of victimry” (An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, 2014, p. 217).

Decades after their displacement, the Palestinians long for a place, a homeland that could provide them with grounding to affirm that they exist. In the introduction to Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and The Claims of Memory (2007), Ahmad Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod write that “making memories public affirms identity, tames trauma, and asserts Palestinian political and moral claims to justice, redress, and the right to return” (p.2).

Memory, then, “continuance of narratives” as Vizenor calls it, serves as an expression of the need to officially exist. Manifested in events like Land Day, alternative histories affirm what happened in the past but also what should be done in the present to assure that all formerly oppressed peoples have a future.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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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.”

Land day: Israel’s programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed

Palestinian protesters mark Land Day in the Umm Al-Hiran village in the Wadi Atir area of the Negev (Naqab) desert (AFP)
Ghada Karmi is a former research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation.

Ghada Karmi

30 March 2021 13:32 UTC | Last update: 

For Palestinians, Land Day continues to be an inspiration and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land

The centrality of the struggle for land has always been fundamental to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is at the heart of two major events whose anniversaries fall due on 30 March. The first, Land Day, commemorates the surge of Palestinian resistance to the takeover of their land by Israel in 1976; and the second marks the start of the Great March of Return in 2018, when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated for the right of refugees to return to their confiscated lands in Israel.

From the start the Zionist movement was predicated on the acquisition of an empty territory on which to establish a state exclusively for Jews. Since no such land was available in the Palestine of the time, it had to be carved out, first by purchase, and later by war.

The land-grabbing journey

As Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the country in increasing numbers after 1917, Zionist organisations such as the Jewish National Fund and the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association set about buying Palestinian land, provided it was untenanted at the time of purchase.

Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent

Many Arab landowners living outside Palestine, in addition to a minority of Palestinian peasants, sold them land. These sales were mainly motivated by economic necessity, since the Zionist organisations had access to foreign funds unavailable to Arabs.

Years of intense Zionist effort, however, yielded disappointing results. By 1947, and despite their funding and connections to powerful supporters of Zionism, these organisations had acquired no more than a meagre 6.7 percent of Palestine’s land.

But this disappointment was soon reversed by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. In that war Israel captured 78 percent of Mandate Palestine, taking large swathes of Palestinian land, mostly untenanted thanks to population flight and expulsions in the war. 

After 1948 the new Israeli state swiftly enacted a series of laws designed to acquire more Palestinian land by pseudo-legal means. These included the 1950 Absentee Property Law, permitting the state to take over Palestinian land and property in their owners’ absence; and soon after, the 1953 Land Acquisition Law, which introduced a new category of “state lands” and “closed areas”.

This had the effect of making the state the majority owner of the land, which was to be permanently out of the reach of its previous Palestinian owners.

Subsequent events up to and including the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, that put Israel in occupation of the rest of Palestine, have been stages on the same land-grabbing journey. Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent. That is set to diminish further as the settlement process continues with further land loss. 

Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)
Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)

This is the background to the dramatic protests of Land Day in 1976. Their trigger at the time was the Israeli government’s plan to expropriate thousands of dunums of Arab land in the Galilee to build Jewish industrial villages. In line with the Israeli government’s 1975 “Galilee Development Plan” to expand Jewish settlement, it would accelerate Judaisation of what was a majority Arab area. 

A turning point

On 30 March a general strike was called, and widespread demonstrations in Arab towns erupted from the Galilee to the Negev. Thousands marched in protest, while solidarity demonstration were held in the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.Land Day: A potent symbol of the Palestinian struggle

Unexpected at the time from what had been a largely quiescent Arab population, Israel was alarmed and deployed thousands of police, army units and tanks to quell the protests. Six Arabs were killed, hundreds wounded, and hundreds more arrested.

Land Day, as it became known, was a turning point. It was the first time since 1948 that the Arabs in Israel acted as a national collective, refusing to accept the theft of their land after years of control by Israel’s military rule. Land Day was an expression of national pride and self-confidence. It marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore, and the starting point for Arab political participation in Israel. 

From that time to this, Land Day has been commemorated annually by Palestinians everywhere. In 2018 it was marked by the start of another great Palestinian protest over land. The Great March of Return saw 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza demonstrate near the Israeli separation fence of electrified barbed wire and sensors. It was a peaceful protest, demanding the right of refugees to return to their lands and an end to the blockade of Gaza. Intended to last from 30 March to 15 May, Nakba Day, the same protests took place every Friday.

A double heroism

As in 1976 Israel retaliated with murderous violence. Between 30 March and 15 May 2018 an estimated 110 protesters were killed, and 13,000 wounded by a combination of sniper fire and drones. By the time the March of Return was halted by Hamas in December 2019, 214 people had been killed, and 36,000 wounded. Of these, 1,200 needed long term rehabilitation following bone infections and limb injuries. Israeli soldiers seemed to be using a “shoot-and-maim” policy, deliberately targeting the legs of protestors to cause maximum disability.

Land Day marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore

Gaza’s health system, damaged by years of blockade, understaffing, and equipment and power shortages, has been unable to cope with the toll of so many injured. Yet that did not stop Palestinian youth braving death and injury each week for nearly two years, and creating a new Palestinian legend to commemorate on 30 March. 

Israel never changed course in the face of that double Palestinian heroism celebrated on Land Day. It went on to build “Development towns” for Jews, 26 by 1981, with the effect of altering the Galilee’s demography in favour of Jews.

In Gaza, likewise, the blockade continues, and Israel’s pretext of its brutality as self-defence against the Great March of Return has been accepted by many Western governments. Its programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed.  

But for Palestinians on 30 March, Land Day continues to be an inspiration, and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Related

Historical References:

The Story of Palestine’s Land Day

The Story of Palestine’s Land Day

By Staff

Palestine’s Land Day is commemorated on March 30 every year marking the day on which in response to the ‘Israeli’ occupations government’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land in 1976.

A general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the al-Naqab. In the ensuing confrontations with the Zionist army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were martyred, about one hundred were wounded, and hundreds of others detained.

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