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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Land Day: Palestinians mark the 45th anniversary

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

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

By Maha Hussaini in Gaza Strip

Published date: 30 March 2021 12:22 UTC 

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

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

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

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

Land theft normalised

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

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

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

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

– Iyad Abughleiba, Palestinian farmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Modernised’ methods to steal land

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

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

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

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

– Um-Emad, 79, Gaza resident

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Every day is Land Day’

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

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

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

– Jalal Abujlala, 47, Gaza farmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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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Faced with ICC Investigation, Apartheid Israel Asserts Moral Superiority Over The Victims of Its Terror

Having created enemies by its own criminal behavior, Israel then claims the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through these criminal acts.

Source

March 29th, 2021

By Miko Peled

Israel ICC Feature photo

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Israel’s army chief of staff, General Aviv Kochavi, recently commented on the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to investigate Israel for war crimes. In his speech, General Kochavi said:

There is a moral abyss that exists between us and our enemies. They do everything in order to target civilians; we do everything to prevent hurting their civilians. They rejoice when our civilians are killed; we investigate when theirs are killed.”

Sounds like a pretty good opening statement for his defense once the trial at The Hague commences. The only problem is, none of what he said is true.

As these words are being written, Israel is in the process of figuring out the results of its fourth elections in two years. These elections mark what could be the final step in a political strategy that would make Machiavelli proud. This strategy is one that was planned and executed brilliantly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that brought about the total disintegration of his opposition. 

All that is left of those who ran against him are tiny fragments. The hungry politicians who lead these fragments cannot possibly compete with Netanyahu’s domestic political acumen. 

Similarly, no Israeli politician is able to compete with Netanyahu’s gravitas in the international arena. This is something that was clearly demonstrated by the recent visit to Tel-Aviv by the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, and the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, to discuss cooperation among the three countries.

“A moral abyss”

The speech given by the Israeli army chief represents a righteous indignation that is typical of Israeli officials. He says that “a moral abyss” exists between Israel and its enemies, and that is a very interesting choice of words. One might think it is self-defeating for the Israeli military and political officials to bring up morality. And yet, here is yet another general who made a career of killing civilians and maintaining a brutal military regime claiming moral superiority.

In truth, a moral abyss does exist between Israel and the Palestinian people. A quick comparison shows the following: From its very founding, Israel had invested billions of dollars in developing and maintaining its military; Palestinians have never had as much as a tank, much less a military force.

For decades Palestinians have been searching for ways to make Palestine peaceful again. Palestinians had suggested establishing a secular democracy with equal rights. When that was rejected, they had agreed to end their resistance and recognized the State of Israel. Then the Palestinian Liberation Organization entered negotiations with Israel and accepted that all it would receive was a small Palestinian State on less than one-quarter of historic Palestine.

When this proved to be impossible, the Palestinians initiated a peaceful, dedicated, and morally just campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanction against the State of Israel. The demands set out by this call are all remedial and are all rooted in international law.

During these same decades, Israel had been engaged in dispossession, land theft, and violence. Palestinians are targeted by Israel regardless of their status or geographic location. Be they citizens of Israel, residents of the West Bank or Gaza, internally displaced, or refugees in camps outside of Palestine, Palestinians are living without rights — pushed off of their lands, prevented from access to basic resources like water, roads, and health care — and are killed on a daily basis.

Israel will not even provide Palestinians with a Covid vaccine. So yes, General Kochavi is right about the moral chasm. However, he and his army have nothing to be proud of.

“Our enemies”

One constantly hears that Israel is surrounded by enemies and that therefore it has no choice but to maintain a strong military force and strike whenever and wherever it sees a threat.

This is not unlike criminals who steal and are then afraid of retribution from their victims or the authorities. The criminals are constantly in need of more weapons, more recruits, and they must always hit first in order to strike fear into their potential enemies.The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating FoundersSelf-Hating Jews: Miko Peled dives into the history of Zionism and its founder’s prosperity for racism and their disdain for non-secular JewsMintPress News Miko Peled | Mar 24

The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating FoundersSelf-Hating Jews: Miko Peled dives into the history of Zionism and its founder’s prosperity for racism and their disdain for non-secular JewsMintPress News Miko Peled | Mar 24

The State of Israel was established by acts that constitute crimes. Killing, mass displacement of a civilian population, theft of property and money, and the creation of an apartheid regime. Israel then built a military force that to this day continues to terrorize Palestinians and occasionally its neighboring countries, referring to them all as “enemies.”

One could argue, and indeed should argue, that Israel created enemies by its own criminal behavior. Then Israel feels it has the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through criminal acts.

The State of Israel was established by acts that constitute crimes. Killing, mass displacement of a civilian population, theft of property and money, and the creation of an apartheid regime. Israel then built a military force that to this day continues to terrorize Palestinians and occasionally its neighboring countries, referring to them all as “enemies.”

One could argue, and indeed should argue, that Israel created enemies by its own criminal behavior. Then Israel feels it has the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through criminal acts.

They rejoice

Driving south from Jerusalem towards Gaza, one reaches an intersection just north of the first entry point into Gaza, called Erez. Then you drive down a road that goes along the Gaza Strip just east. At one intersection there is a gas station and a dirt road that winds from behind the gas station and up a sandy hill.

At the top of the hill, there are a few trees — one can see the Mediterranean from there, and also Gaza City. When Israel drops bombs on Gaza one can see the smoke and hear the explosions from that spot. Someone dragged up a couch and a few chairs, turning this spot into a favorite for Israelis who enjoy the spectacle.

A Danish news report shows Israelis watching the 2009 bombing of Gaza. TV2 Denmark | YouTube

In fact, a piece in the British paper The Guardian describes the place and the scene during the 2014 assault on Gaza: “People drink, snack and pose for selfies against a background of explosions as Palestinian death toll mounts in ongoing offensive.”

It goes on, describing what I too personally witnessed:

A group of men huddle around a shisha pipe. Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke…Some bring their children.”

“We investigate”

Kochavi claimed the army investigates, though clearly Israel’s investigations of its own crimes are few, far between, and rarely end up with the violators being held accountable.

“We do everything to prevent killing their civilians,” he says, which should make us wonder in what world General Kochavi lives. Israel not only does not do anything to prevent the death of civilians but for decades has been targeting civilians in both Palestine and Lebanon. This is obvious because, as stated earlier, Palestinians have never had an army.

As the world wonders what the next Netanyahu government will look like, it is clear that Palestinians will continue to live in fear of Israeli terrorism. One has to wonder at what point the world is likely to end the destruction of Palestine and its people by Israel.

Feature photo | Palestinians block Israeli soldiers targeting peaceful protesters near a Jewish settlement Beqa’ot in Jordan Valley in the West Bank, Feb. 29, 2020. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

An Old Green Colonial Trick: Israel Masking Land Grabs as Environmental Conservation

Al-Walaja Feature photo

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

“More and more open areas in East Jerusalem are being designated as preservation or national parks, and this is clearly in order to prevent Palestinian urban development.” — Sari Kronish, Israeli planning rights organization Bimkom

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — For decades, a Palestinian village on the southern tip of Jerusalem has lived on and cultivated the land. But a series of recent efforts by Israel is not only threatening their way of life but potentially displacing them from their homes.

On January 25, the Jerusalem District Planning Committee rejected the residents of Palestinian village al-Walaja’s plan to legalize their homes and further develop the community. Instead, the committee declared their land an ancient agricultural area in need of environmental conservation that should be transformed into a national park.

The notion of environmental integrity struck Amy Cohen, director of international relations and advocacy at Israeli non-profit Ir Amim, as contradictory.

“The planning committee and the [Israel] Civil Administration within the West Bank [have] been promoting and advancing plans within the same area for Jewish settlers,” Cohen said. “It shows massive discrimination in how [Israel] treats Palestinian areas in order to suppress the residential development.”

The committee’s decision paves the way for the lifting of the demolition freeze on 38 al-Walaja homes. On April 26, Israel’s Supreme Court will convene for a hearing on al-Walaja’s 2018 petition over its resident-initiated outline plan.

al-Walajeh Map
The portion of al-Walaja (spelled Al Walajeh on this map) facing mass demolitions is shaded in brown within the purple circle between the apartheid wall (red line) and the Jerusalem municipal border/annexation line (blue line). Credit | Ir Amim

Ibrahim A’raj, 37, grew up in al-Walaja. The home he built for his family in 2016 is now under threat of demolition. A’raj expects the court will not rule in al-Walaja’s favor in April and his house will be demolished.

“It’s not logical or legal,” A’raj said, referring to the Planning Committee’s rejection of the development plan for environmental reasons. “The village is surrounded by settlements and the wall, which destroyed the nature and environmental landscape.”

The Planning Committee did not respond to requests for comment.

Zones and no permits

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it took the northern section of al-Walaja as well. Today, al-Walaja is split between Jerusalem and Areas B and C of the West Bank, so one-third of the land is controlled by the Jerusalem Municipality and the rest by the Bethlehem Governorate.

The Jerusalem area of al-Walaja has been at risk of forced displacement for a decade as a result of the Planning Committee’s refusal to discuss an outline plan. This refusal has made it impossible for the community to obtain building permits, so A’raj had to construct his house without one.

Amid the absence of building permits, demolition orders have increased. More than 20 homes have been razed in al-Walaja since 2016.

An isolated village cut off from its surroundings

Israeli authorities have prevented al-Walaja from developing while expanding Jewish settlements around the village and the apartheid wall (the barrier separating the West Bank and Israel).

Construction of the wall on three sides of al-Walaja cut off the village from nearly 300 acres of its agricultural land and turned that land into Nahal Refaim National Park. Har Gilo settlement lies to the south of al-Walaja. The Israel Civil Administration’s proposed expansion of the Har Gilo settlement to the west of the village will extend the wall, thereby enclosing al-Walaja and fully isolating it from its surroundings. The Civil Administration did not respond to requests for comment.

“The wall and the settlements deprived us from accessing our own land that we worked so hard to cultivate,” A’raj said, mentioning how the villagers are now blocked from the olive trees they harvested before the wall was built.

al-Walaja wall
Ancient agricultural terraces in al-Walaja (left) and Israel’s destruction of ancient terraces to build the wall (right). Photos | B’Tselem

Al-Walaja residents experience harassment daily from Israeli settlers and authorities. A’raj explained:

The Civil Administration confiscates our equipment when we start building a new house. The settlers around us use drones to take pictures when we start building and send them to the Civil Administration. The police put checkpoints at the entrance of the village and sometimes inside the village and the Walaja Bypass Road [connecting Har Gilo settlement to Jerusalem] gets a lot of traffic, so it limits our movement.”

A’raj lamented that if his home is demolished, he will likely leave al-Walaja, the place he’s called home his whole life. “It’s a huge tyranny that I have to leave my own house and my own land,” he said.

Israel doesn’t provide alternative or temporary housing for Palestinians whose homes they demolish. Sari Kronish — East Jerusalem planner for Bimkom, an Israeli planning rights organization — described the government’s lack of consideration in helping displaced families find housing as one of the “dark sides of the Israeli regime at the moment.”

“The very sad reality is that the authorities don’t offer [the uprooted Palestinians] anything. They just treat them as lawbreakers who are receiving their penalty,” Kronish said. “People just become homeless and become displaced.”

Ir Amim’s Cohen emphasizes that what Israel is enacting isn’t just the wide-scale displacement of Palestinians but also an attempt at annexation. She elaborated:

It’s an acute humanitarian toll that’s exacted upon the families, but it is also in service to the Israeli objective of consolidating control, which completely undermines any sort of conditions for a two-state solution based on two capitals. Because if you can completely segment Palestinian contiguity and advance steps toward de facto annexation of these areas, then you’re foiling a prospect of an agreed resolution.”

Not just al-Walaja

In what many Palestinians have described as a continuation of the Nakba (Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine), Israel is currently in the process of expelling thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem under the pretext of preservation.

“More and more open areas in East Jerusalem are being designated as preservation or national parks, and this is clearly in order to prevent Palestinian urban development,” Kronish said.

In the Al-Bustan neighborhood of the East Jerusalem district of Silwan, mass dispossession looms over the residents in order to make room for the touristic venture, Garden of the King. The community of Sheikh Jarrah is experiencing displacement at the hands of settler groups for the Shimon HaTzadik National Park.

Israel has long employed the practice of stealing Palestinian land and claiming it for recreational purposes. Many of Israel’s prized national parks were built on top of Palestinian villages destroyed during the Nakba. In Jerusalem, for instance, the remains of the village of Lifta are now a national park and hotel. Garbage and graffiti adorn what’s left of Lifta’s stone houses. Most of the village’s inhabitants, who were expelled in 1948, and their descendants live in refugee camps around Jerusalem — unable to return to home.

“It’s a form of institutional confiscation and settlement in the guise of green protection,” Kronish said.

Displacing indigenous peoples under the claim of conservation is an inherently settler-colonialist tactic spanning regions and centuries. Most well-known national parks in the United States like Yellowstone and Yosemite were once Native American tribal territories. In order to create an “uninhabited wilderness,” the federal government first had to remove the native peoples living on that land.

Modern environmentalism ignorantly dictates Some environmentalist assumptions suggest humans cannot coexist with wildlife. But that racist assumption idea ignores the history of indigenous communities living with and preserving nature.

Native Americans understood how to sustainably tend to the land. And just as in al-Walaja, maintaining the land is part of their livelihood.

Kronish explained:

This type of agricultural lifestyle is very dependent on people living [on] and working the land harmoniously. Once people are displaced, attempts at preservation become artificial. The residents would argue that by continuing to live there, they are more able to continue to preserve. For them, it’s not a question of preservation. It’s a question of a way of life and connection to the land.”

JOE BIDEN’S HEARTFELT ILLOGIC ABOUT ISRAEL

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

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Stale Foreign Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part III—Conclusion

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

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

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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (11-17 March 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (11-17 March 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine

11 – 17 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 23 Palestinians wounded, including 3 children and Palestinian minister
  • One Palestinian sustained wounds after an explosive device left by IOF detonated in the central Jordan valleys
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and three others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • In 138 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 71 civilians arrested, including 12 children and 2 sisters
  • IOF arrest a child attempting to cross the Gaza border fence
  • IOF conducted limited incursion into eastern Central Gaza
  • 5 commercial facilities and 4 houses demolished (2 self-demolished ) in occupied east Jerusalem
  • Israeli decision to confiscate 50 dunums in Bethlehem and demolish 15 tents in Khirbet Tana
  • Settler-attacks: attacks on civilians and attempts to confiscate lands in Salfit, Hebron and Nablus
  • 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 228 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF shot and injured 23 civilians (including 3 children and a minister) in its excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: 11 were wounded in clashed during IOF demolition of buildings in Kafr ‘Aqab, occupied east Jerusalem; 3 during IOF incursion into Dheisha refugee camp, Bethlehem; 5, including Minister of Labor Nasri Abu-Jash (54) who sustained to bullets in the abdomen and back in IOF suppression of a peaceful protest in Nablus; another civilian was wounded in Nablus 2 children in al-Jalazone refugee camp, Ramallah; and another civilian was shot near he annexation wall in Qalqilya. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.  Also, one civilian was wounded after an explosive device left by IOF detonated in central Jordan valleys.

In the Gaza Strip, 5 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 138 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, 71 Palestinians were arrested, including 12 children and 2 sisters.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion into eastern Central Gaza and arrested a child attempting to cross the Gaza Border.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 14 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: house gate demolished in Isawiya; shop and two houses self-demolished in Silwan; 4 barracks dismantled (2 used as residences and 2 used as shops) in az-Za’ayyem; shop and warehouse demolished and several business owners received demolition notices in Kafr ‘Aqab.
  • Bethlehem: ratification of Israeli decision to confiscate 50 dunums from Husan and Nahalin villages; 4 agricultural rooms demolished in Beit Ta’mir; and 4 dunums razed in al-Makhrour area.
  • Hebron: room and barracks demolished eastern Halhul; and agricultural room dismantled eastern Yatta.
  • Nablus: 15 tents (residential and for sheep) demolished in Khirbet Tana.
  • Ramallah: n15 dunums razed in Ras Karkar.
  • Jericho: 4 residential barracks demolished.

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

  • Salfit: rioting in Kifl Haris.
  • Hebron: civilians assaulted in Yatta and road constructed in a 25-dunum land in eastern Hebron in prelude to its confiscation.
  • Nablus: Palestinian lands assaulted in Jalud as well as an under-construction house in Burin.

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.

  1. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 04:00 on Thursday, 11 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces Unit moved into Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched houses, blew up its doors, frightened its inhabitants, and arrested Khader ‘Abed al-Jabbar al-Hasanat (44). During which, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the camp’s eastern neighborhood and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who attacked the protestors, chased them on the camp’s streets and fired live bullets and heavy sound bombs at them. As a result, 3 protestors were shot with live bullets.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, and east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek) village, southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 March 2021, 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, 5 civilians, including a child, were wounded. The wounded civilians were as follows:
  1. A child was shot with a Two-Two bullet in his left foot.
  2. Minister of Labor Nasri Khalil Saleem Abu Jash (54) was shot with 2 rubber bullets in his abdomen and back.
  3. 26-year-old male was shot with 2 live bullets in his feet.
  4. 60-year-old elderly was shot with 2 rubber bullets in his feet.
  5. 30-year-old male was shot with 2 rubber bullets in his feet.

All of the wounded civilians were taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.

  • Following the Friday prayer, on 12 March 2021, IOF suppressed hundreds of Palestinian worshipers gathered in al-Ghazlay yard in al-Asbat Gate area. IOF beat and pushed the worshipers while they were getting out of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and fired sound bombs at them. During which, IOF arrested Omar Basem Zaghir (22) after severely beating him. It should be noted that IOF imposed a cordon on the Old City in the morning, established dozens of military checkpoints at al-Aqsa Mosque gates, checked Palestinian worshipers’ IDs, prevented 321 persons living in the West Bank from performing prayers at the mosque, and arrested 4 civilians under the pretext of entering Jerusalem without permits. Among the arrestees were: ‘Abed al-Raheem al-Sa’idi and Ahmed Abu ‘Asem, from Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Saturday. 13 March 2021, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, at Bereen Gate, southwest of Qalqilya, fired teargas canisters at Palestinian workers, who attempted to enter Israel for working. As a result, a 26-year-old male, from Beita village in southern Nablus, was hit with a teargas canister in his head and taken to a governmental hospital in the city for treatment. He was then referred to Istishari Arab Hospital.
  • At approximately 15:05 on Saturday, 13 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 and fired live bullets and sound bombs around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:10, settlers from “Givat Ronim” settlement outpost established in southeastern of Nablus, and under IOF protection, attacked Montaser Nafi’ Mansour’s under-construction house located in the eastern side of Burin village. The settlers demolished the house walls before the villagers’ arrival. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between the villagers and settlers and continued for an hour. During which, IOF fired live bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters to disperse the villagers. As a result, a 19-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his left thigh and below his abdomen and taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 14 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 heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF attacked Nabil Saqer ‘Obad, from Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit, adjacent to “Ariel” settlement, north of the city. ‘Obaid said that while he was heading to his work and walking on the street, Israeli soldiers shouted at him, saboteur stop! They pointed their guns at him and ordered him to stop. He added that he stopped and Israeli soldiers stationed behind trees approached him. Meanwhile, the soldiers pushed him to the ground and an Israeli soldier kicked him at his head and asked him, where is the knife? ‘Obaid told the soldier that his is not a saboteur and he is a worker waiting his employer to go with him to work. IOF confiscated ‘Obaid’s cell phone and called his employer to make sure that he is really waiting him. They released him later.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed at military site no(16), north of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened heavy fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus, and fired heavy sound bombs and teargas canisters at residential houses. Meanwhile, 3 paramedics namely ‘Abed al-Raheem Mahmoud Falah Hamdan, Bashar Mu’amer Qaryuti and Mo’tasem Mefleh Ahmed Badawi drove a vehicle with Red Crescent plate and headed to help civilians, who suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The paramedics provided help for Kasab and ‘Awad Rateb families. When the paramedics got out of Rateb’s house, they found that IOF broke the vehicle’s rear window. The paramedic Bashar Mu’amer Qaryuti said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 14 March 2021, while I was at my duty in the Palestinian Red crescent office in the center of  Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus, along with my colleagues ‘Abed al-Raheem Mahmoud Falah Hamdan and Mo’tasem Mefleh Ahmed Badawi, we knew that IOF moved into the village and they fired teargas canisters at residential houses. We immediately got into the PRCS vehicle and headed to Kasab family’s house, where we provided aid for 6 persons. After that, we headed to ‘Awad Rateb’s house and found 4 soldiers stood in front of the house. We managed to enter the house and provide help of its inhabitants. When we got out of the house, we found the vehicle’s rear window was broken. We asked neighbors and they told us that IOF broke the window and flee towards ‘Ali settlement. We phoned the Palestinian Liaison office and told them about what happened.”  

  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village, east of Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:35, 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.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at a military watchtower established near “Beit El” settlement, near Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, fired live bullets at two children, who were present near the entrance to al-Yasmin neighborhood, adjacent to the mentioned settlement, under the pretext of throwing stones. As a result, the 16-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in his leg and the 15-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. Both of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment. This coincided with IOF incursion into the neighborhood, as they raided and searched houses and confiscated the recording device of the surveillance cameras.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Tuesday, 16 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.
  • On the same day, 11 civilians were shot with rubber bullets, while 31 others suffocated due to teargas inhalation during the IOF incursion into al-Matar neighborhood in Kafr ‘Aqab village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF also demolished a shop and a store, levelled plot of land and delivered several notices for shops’ owners.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 14 March 2021, ‘Ali Mousa Jahaleen Abu Dahok (18), from Deir Hajla village in eastern Jericho, sustained critical wounds due to the explosion of an object of Israeli military remnants. According to PCHR’s investigations, Abu Dahok was wounded while breeding sheep in central valley area, near the Jordanian border, east of the city. Abu Dahok sustained deep wounds in his feet and taken to Arab Society Hospital in Bethlehem.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 11 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Harmala village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Na’eem Asakra’s house and handed his two sons, Emad (27) and Eyad (22), summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Azza refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Nadeem al-Azza’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Moneef Qazzaz’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ulla, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Hussam Hami Fawargha’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Sa’ir, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaradat family, and arrested Safa’ Hazem Jaradat (24), and her sister, Amany (21).
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Sawahira al-Sharqiya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Izz al-Dein Mohammed Mashahera’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed at Alsilsila Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, and arrested Khaled Riyad al-Issawi (38), head of the preaching and guidance department at the Aqsa Mosque, after ending the Isra’ and Mi’raj prayers. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city and released him on the next day on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week.
  • At approximately 21:00, Israeli Intelligence Services handed the Jerusalem Affairs Minister, Adnan Adel Tawfiq Ghaith (46), two military decisions after summonsing him to al-Maskobiya police center. First decision is renewing his ban from leaving his residence place in Silwan and preventing him from moving and being present inside the occupied Jerusalem. The other decision is banning any communication with dozens of officials and activists including the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.

It should be noted that Ghaith was arrested and interrogated several times since being issued as a governor, and several military decisions, renewable every 6-month, were issued against him, such as imposing the house arrested into his place of residence in Silwan; preventing him from communicating with specific figures; banning his entry to the West Bank; banning him from holding or presenting any activities or conferences inside Jerusalem; and providing financial aids for institutions.

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Kifl Haris, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 12 March 2021:

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Abdul Rahim Rami al-Khaldi (17), from al-Bureij camp, while attempting to pass the border fence with Israel, east of the camp.
  • Abdul Rahim’s father, Rami al-Khaldi (born in 1974), said that at approximately 14:30, on Friday, his son got out of the house, so they noticed his absence and started asking their relatives about him. At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, Rami received a phone call from the Israeli police to inform him that his son is under arrest and he will be presented before the Court of Ashkelon.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF arrested Ehab Abu Sneina (23) and Shadi ‘Amira (21), after getting out of the Aqsa Mosque, and took them to one of the police centers in the city. IOF released them on bail of 1000-NIS and banning their entry to the Aqsa Mosque for 15-days.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Azzun, east of Qalqilya, Halhul, Yatta, and Beit ‘Amra villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 13 March 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Husan, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Younis Hamamera’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Tawfiq Nasasera (47).
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Zububa, west of Jenin, stationed at the entrance of the village, and arrested two high-school students; Mohammed Hasan Za’al (18) and Ahmed Mohammed Atatera (18).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 14 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mostafa Rweidy’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, claiming that they attacked settlers’ vehicle and caused damages in the vehicle and the driver was injured. The arrestees are: Aziz Ghassan Alian (18), Lo’ay Abed Alian (20), and Mohammed Abed Alian (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, and stationed in al-Karmel area. They raided and searched five house and arrested (5) civilians; Yehya Saleh al-‘Amro (37), who was released 15-days ago, Eisa Khaled al-‘Amour (33), Qusai Khaled al-‘Amour (32), Eisa Mohammed al-‘Amour (35), and Fadi Bader al-‘Amour (33).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Majdi Mershed Za’aqiq (17), and Mohanad Yousef ‘Alqam (20).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ibrahim Khaled al-Haniti’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Teqoa, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Ali Sabbah’s (23) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ali al-Ghoul (17) and Qais Mahmoud Hassouna (17) and handed them summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF detained Nader Samer Ibdah (23), a driver from Marda village, north of Salfit, while driving to Salfit. IOF detained everyone in the vehicle, handcuffed Ibdah, and released them at approximately 23:30.
  • At approximately 12:00, Abdul Rahman al-Bashiti (16) surrendered himself to the Israeli occupation jail, to complete the legal measures against him. His family stated that their son is under house arrest and has been banned from entering his place of residence since January, and that Abdul Rahman was arrested and interrogated for 3 weeks, despite suffering from diabetes, and he was released on conditions that included the ban on returning to his home, which led him to stay in Beit Hanina away from his family.
  • It should be noted that al-Bashiti family frequently subjected to arrests and violence, as their old son, Hisham (20), was arrested when he was only 13, and he was arrested several months ago on charge of throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers. Hatem (18), was arrested and summonsed dozens of times with his brother Abdul Rahman (16), wo was arrested up to 20-times during 2020, despite suffering from diabetes and deteriorating his health condition inside detentions and during investigations.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Salah al-Dein Osama Salah al-Dein’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Yousef Rebhi al-Rajabi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, a big occupying force along with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces stormed Shu’afat refugee camp, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed at the main street. Dozens of young men gathered and threw stones, empty bottles and cocktail Molotov at the Israeli soldiers and vehicles, who indiscriminately responded with rubber bullets and teargas canisters, chased the prosecutors, and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Abed al-Haq (16), Mahmoud Hamdan (17), and Wael ‘Arrar (21).
  • At approximately 21:15, IOF stationed at Mevo Dotan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Ameen Ashab Zakarna (23), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Aroub refugee camp, Halhul, Beit Awwa, and Taffuh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 15 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Emad Mahmoud al-Jondi (19), and Anas Yasser Abbad (20).
  • At approximately 01:10, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghusun village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Fo’ad Mohammed Bani Saleh’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:20, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Fares Samer Fattouh (22) and Ahmed Issam ‘Ateiwi (28) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Ra’ed Adel Hammad’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:10. IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Najeeb al-Shahbour (26).
  • At approximately 05:20, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched ‘Ahed Riyad al-Tirawi’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed at Kifl Haris, north of Salfit, arrested Palestine TV crew, while shooting a program about Ariel Rotary in Kifl Haris. IOF ordered them to delete they taken pictures, end shooting, and leave the location. IOF released them after an hour.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at Huwwarah military checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Yousef Jihad Owda (35), from Kafr Thulth. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Kafr al-Dik, west of Salfit; Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah governorate; Samu and Yatta, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Lo’ay Manasra (19).
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Kifl Haris, north of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Ra’ed al-Qaq (17), Hamza Marwan Bouziya (22), and Hamad Abdul Aziz al-As’ad (24).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Zeid, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Saoud Mohammed ‘Arrar (30) and Wajdi Shujei’ ‘Arrar (33) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Salah’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ali Sufian Obaid (17), and Mohammed Mahran Dirbas (14).
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF and 6 military bulldozers moved 100-meters to the west of the border fence, east of al-Bureij, then to the south of the border fence, east of al-Maghazi. They leveled and combed lands and redeployed at approximately 15:40.
  • At approximately 13:00, Abdullah Amjad Obaid (16), from al-Isawiya, surrendered himself to the Israeli prisons to serve his sentence of 2-months. His family stated that the Israeli Authorities sentenced Abdullah of 2 months of the actual arrest, despite the fact that he was under the house arrest 4-months ago.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Eisa al-Firawi’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Jenin, Awarta and Qaryut, southeast of Nablus; Ramin, south of Tulkarm; and Biddya, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jamma’in, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Jamal Ibrahim Abu Amr (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Karkafeh area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdullah Abdul Naser Salhab (31) and Abdul Rahim Faraj Salhab (39) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, including a child; Ma’moun Ibrahim al-‘Amour (16), Ammar Yaser al-‘Amour (20), and Mo’taz Khader al-‘Amour (22).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, west of Jericho. They raided and searched the house of the former prisoner, Hamza Ahmed Irmilah (28), and arrested him. IOF released him later.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Fadi Abdullah Mahmoud (32) and Anwar Sami Obaid (23) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Beit Ummar, Beit Ulla, and Deir al-Asal al-Tahta 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

  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 14 March 2021, IOF moved into al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to demolish the main gate and tin plates of what was left from the rubble of ‘Alian family houses that were demolished by IOF 3 weeks ago.

‘Alian Family said that they were surprised with IOF surrounding the land and starting to demolish the main gate which was left from their houses’ rubble.  The Israeli Municipality vehicles removed the iron gate and tin plates from the land and left the area.  They added that IOF handed their son Fadi a notice to remove the rubble of their building that was demolished by the Israeli Municipality bulldozers on 22 February, within 10 days or they family will be fined.  It should be noted that IOF stormed the land many times; the last was on 04 March when they demolished a tent sheltering the family and established on their houses’ rubble for the second time within 10 days.  ‘Alian Family previously stated that the decision to demolish the family building, which included 2 floors and sheltered 20 family members, including 12 children, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, was a political decision par excellence, especially since their son, Fadi, previously received several calls from the Israeli Intelligence threatening him to demolish his family building if he continued to work as the Head of the Guard Unit in the mosque. The family added that Fadi was arrested several times and teased him lately until they demolished the family’s 360-sqm building, which was established more than 10 years ago under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • On Thursday as well, Israel Supreme Council for Planning and Building of the Israeli Civil Administration ratified a decision to confiscate 50 dunums from Husan and Nahalin villages, western Bethlehem, and to change their agricultural nature for the expansion of “Beitar Illit” settlement, established on Palestinian lands western Bethlehem.

Hasan Brejiyeh, director of the Wall and Colonization Resistance office in Bethlehem, stated that the targeted lands are plots 3 and 4 in Nahalin and Husan. He added that the land to be confiscated will be used for opening settler-only roads and building new housing units for the Israeli settler population.  Breijyeh stressed that this decision is extremely dangerous as it asserts the occupation authorities’ intent to confiscate additional Palestinian owned-lands for the above-mentioned settlement.

  • In the afternoon, Mohammed Hasan Ja’afrah self-demolished his commercial facility located in al-Jeser area between the Municipalities of Silwan and Jabal Mukaber, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mohammed Ja’afrah said that his commercial facility is a restaurant built 20 years ago on an area of 55 sqms.  He added that he received the first demolition notice 3 years ago, and 3 hearings were held in the Israeli court in this regard under the pretext of unlicensed construction. He said that the court imposed on him in the third hearing in 2019 a construction fine of 40,000 shekels and he is still paying it.  He pointed out that the court issued a decision last December to demolish the restaurant, but his lawyer could appeal the decision and postpone the demolition until the beginning of March.  He said that he received a call today morning from the Israeli police to inform him to self-demolish the restaurant before 10:00 on Monday or they will bring the bulldozers to carry out the demolition and fine him with thousands of shekels.  It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality forced Ja’afrah last August to self-demolish his under-construction 100-sqm house in al-Farouq neighborhood in Jabal Mukaber.

  • On the same afternoon as well, Ahmed ‘Issa Hijazi self-demolished his house in ‘Ein al-Lozeh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Ahmed Hijazi stated that the Israeli police raided his house this morning and ordered him to self-demolish his house before 10:00 on Monday or they fine him with demolition costs, between 100,000 to 150,000 shekels, forcing him to take the furniture out of the house and then self-demolished it.  He added that he built his house in 2014 to make it wider so it could be enough for his big family of 14 members, including 3 children.  He built 3 bedrooms, a living room and its facilities on an area of 90 sqms.  Hijazi said that the Israeli Municipality imposed on him in 2019 a construction fine of 25,000 shekels.  He added that the court issued a month ago a decision to demolish his house under the pretext of failing to fulfill the geometric requirements.  His lawyer filed an appeal to the Magistrate and District Courts but in vain.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF, accompanied by several military vehicles and a civil administration vehicle, moved into Wad al-Shunaar, Halhul and commenced demolishing a 15sqm room and a 30sqm tin-plated barracks allegedly for unlicensed construction, both properties of Khairy A. Hirbawey. IOF had served Hirbawy military order no. 1779 on 08 February 2021, giving him 96 hours to conduct the demolition.
  • On Monday evening, IOF demolished 4 agricultural rooms in Beit Ta’mir, east Bethlehem, allegedly for non-licensing. Hasan Brejiyeh, director of the Wall and Colonization Resistance office in Bethlehem, stated that IOF demolished 4 agricultural room in Beit Ta’mir, owned by: Ibrahim A. Mubarak; Haroun I. Mahamid; Suliman A. al-Wahsh; and Hasem I. Mohammed. IOF confiscated their contents allegedly for non-licensing. It should be noted that the demolition was not preceded by any notice or warning.

Mubarak Az-Zawahreh, Head of Beit Ta’mir Village Council, added that dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered to stop the demolition and the confiscation of materials used for agricultural purposes. They demanded IOF provide them proof and a list of confiscated items, but they were only given the confirmation from the solider in charge that they will be given these papers after the removal and confiscation is done. It should be noted that Beit Ta’mir and the adjacent Jib a-Theeb villages are subject to constant IOF demolitions at the request of settlers who want to confiscate the lands.

  • On Tuesday, 16 March 2021, IOF dismantled 4 barracks (2 used for residence and 2 for commercial purposes) in in az-Za’ayyem, eastern occupied east Jerusalem, and confiscated two containers near the village’s intersection.

Abdul-qader Klaib, az-Za’ayyem village council chairman, said that this is the second time IOF dismantled Murad and Imran Mohammed Zar’ey’s barracks (80sqm/each). IOF also confiscated two containers for:

  • Mohammed Abu-Ghalia, equipped with photography equipment and surveillance devices; and
  • Mohammed Saa’di, used as a gas station.
  • On Tuesday evening, 11 Palestinians sustained rubber bullets and 31 suffocated due to inhalation of tear gas during an IOF raid into al-Matar neighborhood in Kafr Aqab, occupied east Jerusalem. IOF demolished a shop, a warehouse and a land, and served multiple business owners demolition notices.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 14:00 IOF raided al-Matar neighborhood through a hole dug by a military bulldozer in the annexation wall surrounding it and commenced demolishing Sadiq al-Hatawy’s shop and warehouse and his land. IOF served other business owners demolition notices; these demolitions are in prelude to the construction of a sports complex and park for settlers on Palestinian-owned lands, according to Raed Hamdan, Media Officer at Kafr ‘Aqab Municipality. A group of young Palestinians gathered in the are and threw stones at the Israeli forces and military vehicles. IOF immediately responded violently, firing rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them causing clashes that lasted until late evening where dozens sustained rubber bullets and suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society stated that 31 Palestinians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; and 11 sustained rubber-bullet wounds – one in the head – during the IOF incursion into Kafr ‘Aqab.

  • In the evening, IOF razed Ramzi N. Qaisyeh’s lands in al-Makhrur area, western Bethlehem. According to Hasan Brejiyeh, director of the Wall and Colonization Resistance office in Bethlehem, IOF raided al-Makhrur after closing the area and commenced razing Qaisyeh’s 4-dunum land, uprooting trees and confiscating equipment. It should be noted that Qaisyeh’s land was previously raided by IOF in April 2020 and August 2019.
  • In the evening, Saif Abdul-Latif self-demolished his house in Silwan in execution of the Israeli Municipality decision allegedly for non-licensing. Abdul-Latif said that he started building his house 3 months ago, as he intended to get married and move there in four months. He added that the 50sqm house is still under construction; yet, the Israeli Municipality in the city persecuted him and insisted on demolishing the house immediately, which forced him to demolish it himself before the municipal crews who watched him conclude the demolition.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, IOF, accompanied by the Civil Administration, workers and several construction vehicles, moved into Kibet Tana, northeastern Nablus, and demolished 15 tents. The tents, 35-40 sqm/each used as residence and sheep barns, belonged to 7 Palestinian farmers: Ibrahim Hanni; Hakam Nasasra; Hamdi Mlitat; Mirwan Khatatba; Bassam Nasasra; Hamoudeh Hanni and his brother Kamal. IOF alleged the demolition was for illegal presence in Area C.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 17 March 2020, IOF, accompanied by several military vehicles and construction vehicles as well as the Civil Administration, moved into Ras a-Zaytoun area in Ras Karkar, northwestern Ramallah. The dozer razed a 5-dunum land, uprooted 15 olive trees (aged between 5-7 years). This is the third IOF attack on this land, owned by Ni’man A. Nofal, allegedly to improve services for “Talmon” settlement, which is established on Palestinian-owned lands.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, Civil Administration vehicle, JCB bulldozer and two trucks moved into Arab al-Zayed Bedouin Community in An-Nuway’imah village, north of Jericho. They completely demolished 4 barracks, 60 square meters for each, for being unlicensed and located in Area C. the demolishing decision came with no prior warning on the morning of the same day.

The three barracks belonging to Abu Kharabish brothers:

  1. Nayef Salama Abu Kharabish, his 60-square meters barracks which is used as a shelter for 8 civilians; including 6 children and a woman, was demolished and confiscated.
  2. Fadi Salama Abu Kharabish, his two barracks (60 square meters for each), which are used for sheltering 3 civilians including a woman and a child, and the other one is used for grazing sheep, were demolished and confiscated.
  3. Ali Salama Abu Kharabish, his 60-square meters barracks which is used as a shelter for 8 civilians; including 6 children and a woman, was demolished and confiscated.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and Civil Administration vehicle al-Fakhit area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area while the Civil Administration staff started demolishing agricultural tent owned by Fo’ad Fadel al-‘Amour (48), for being unlicensed.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 11 March 2021, a group of settlers raided Kifl Haris, northern Salfit, and started rioting in the streets, breaking properties and statues and trashing the streets.
  • At approximately 08:30, 13 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Mitzpe Yair” settlement outpost established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked Sa’id Mohammed ‘Alian ‘Awad (48) and his wife Reema ‘Awad (38) with stones and batons when the couple were with their 6 children and their relatives’ children in their plot of land in Sho’ab al-Butm, south of the settlement outpost. As a result, ‘Awad sustained fractures in the face and bruises all over his body while the windows of his car were smashed.

Reema Isma’il ‘Awad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 8:00, I went with my husband Sa’id ‘Awad (48) and my six children; the eldest is Sanad (15), along with other children of my in-laws, to picnic in our land in Sho’ab Al-Butm, where my husband, his brothers and his uncle own around 288 dunums overlooking “Mitzpe Yair” settlement from the northern side. The Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision that we own the land except for a small part, which is not settled yet. When we arrived at the land, there was a settler namely, Yusi, whom we know grazing his sheep amid the olive seedlings and winter crops. We went to tell the Israeli police, who asked us to take a video to prove that the settler is present in the land, so I started taking the video of the settler with his sheep, while my husband called the Israeli police and the popular committees in al-Masafer area in order to come to the land. A few minutes later, the settler made phone calls, and we saw a number of young settlers coming towards us from behind a caravan close to the settlement’s borders; a number of them were masked and carrying sticks. They approached us, and one of them hit me on my back with an iron bar in his hand and I fell on the ground.  He tried to take my cell phone with which I was taking the video to capture what was going on. My son, Sanad, tried to defend me and take away the settler who had attacked my husband and hit him on the head with an iron bar on his head and body.  My husband fell unconscious on the ground and the settler broke his cell phone. The rest of the settlers threw stones at us and our car; as a result, they broke the windshield and side windows. I started screaming at the settlers, who ran away. Few minutes later, three soldiers arrived, followed by Magen David Adom ambulances, which gave us first aid, while residents of the area arrived. We asked the soldiers to take my husband to an Israeli hospital, but they refused, claiming that the attack was by settlers and not by IOF.  Around an hour later, the Israeli police arrived.  The ambulances drove us to a place close to the “Susiya” settlement, where a Palestinian ambulance took us to the Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment.  At approximately 22:00, doctors there decided to refer my husband to Al-Ahli Hospital, where he underwent a surgery for his jaw. My husband is still receiving treatment due to bruises in his face and the rest of his body, in addition to a fracture in his left jaw.”

  • At approximately 08:30 on Tuesday, 16 March 2021, a group of settles from “Kiryat Arba” settlement raided lands belonging to Jaber family in eastern Hebron. The settlers commenced construction of a road in prelude to confiscating the 25-dunum land. This occurred under the protection of several Israeli military forces to deter landowners from reaching the settlers. After Palestinian civilians intercepted the construction vehicles and several arguments with soldiers and settlers, the settlers withdrew. It should be noted that almost two months ago, settlers built a room in the above-mentioned land that was later demolished by the landowners.
  • Early on Wednesday, 17 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Ehyaa” settlement – established on Jalud village’s lands in eastern Nablus, attacked Palestinian lands in Jabal Sheikh Bashar, Area (B), land plot no. 6 and removed 40 olive seedlings belonging to Rajeh M. S. Hamoud.
  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  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 Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Rafat village and at the entrance to Biddu village’s tunnel.
  • On Tuesday,16 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Jab’ village’s intersection.  

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 11 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 13 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Beit Fajjar village and on Caritas Hospital Road, north of the city.
  • On Sunday, 14 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jannatah village.
  •  On Tuesday, 16 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, near al-Khader Cemetery and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 17 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Maniya village, southeast of the city.

 Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 11 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near ‘Atara village’s bridge and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Friday, 12 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the main entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Saturday, 13 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near ‘Atara village’s bridge and at the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village.
  • On Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Sinjil and ‘Aboud villages and at Rawabi city square, north of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 16 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near ‘Atara village’s bridge and at the entrance to Sinjil village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 11 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 14 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Al-Auja village’s intersection and at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 15 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Tuesday, 16 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on Madama village’s bridge and near the intersection of Deir Sharaf village, west of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 11 March  2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Sa’ir village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 12 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Idhna village.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF closed with rocks and sand berms the entrance to Ma’een village, in order to prevent civilians’ access to bypass road 60 via their vehicles. The road closure came after notifying several houses to be demolished.
  • On Saturday, 13 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Idhna village.
  • On Sunday, 14 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to as-Samu village, and at the southern entrance to Bani Na’im village.
  • On Wednesday, 17 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Bani Na’im village, at the northern entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 11 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • On Friday, 12 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 14 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun, Jayyous, Izbat al-Tabib and Jit villages, north of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 11 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance Salfit and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 12 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Deir Istiya village, north of Salfit.

Save Sheikh Jarrah: The online campaign giving hope to Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem

Residents of Karm al-Jaouni live under the threat of forcible eviction that would see them replaced by Israeli settlers

Nabil al-Kurd, a long-time resident of Karm al-Jaouni, stands next to a wall graffitied with “We will not leave” in Arabic (MEE/Aseel Jundi)

By Aseel Jundi in Sheikh Jarrah

Published date: 22 March 2021 16:06 UTC 

At first glance, everything looked seemingly normal in Karm al-Jaouni in the Sheikh Jarrah district, but the clamour of gathering news outlets and legal institutions last week told another story of a neighbourhood in turmoil.

The Sheikh Jarrah district is inhabited by refugees who were expelled from their towns and villages by Zionist militia during the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948. But due to Israel’s push to populate the area with Israeli settlers, Palestinian residents are now, once again, facing the spectre of expulsion.

In an effort to garner international support, activists launched an online campaign, #SaveSheikhJarrah, in Karm al-Jaouni on Monday to help save the residents, who have lived in the neighbourhood for decades, from forcible removable, which many of their neighbours have already endured. 

Nabil al-Kurd, a 70-year-old Jerusalemite and resident of Karm al-Jaouni, sees the campaign as a glimmer of hope that could help him retain his current home, and avoid reliving the experience of having been forced out of his family house in Haifa in 1948.

Karm al-Jaouni
Israel’s judicial system has repeatedly shown bias toward Israeli settlers (MEE/Aseel Jundi)

“We want to relay our voices to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations and international law organisations because all these parties are involved in our issue, which has certainly reached the level of war crime,” he said.

In 1956, the Jordanian government, together with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, reached an agreement to settle these families in Jerusalem in return for their UNRWA documents.

Some 28 families were selected and provided with housing units, built by the Jordanian government, for three years, after which the ownership of the property will be automatically theirs. The lease contracts expired in 1959 and the residents became the owners of the property.

‘Their dogs attack us, their trash floods the entrance, they have killed the trees and turned the house into ruins’

– Nabil al-Kurd, resident

However, after the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, with the eastern part of the city coming under Israeli control, the inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah district were taken by surprise when two Jewish committees registered their ownership of the 18-dunums of land at the Land Department in 1972.

Thereafter, dozens of judicial cases were raised in Israeli courts, as the 28 nuclear Palestinian families expanded and the number of residents facing eviction in favour of settlers rose to around 600 Palestinians.

In 2019, lawyer Sami Ershied told MEE that Sheikh Jarrah eviction cases are discriminatory because the legal procedures do not take into account that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory.

Under international law, an occupying state cannot forcibly transfer residents of occupied territories because it has an obligation to preserve the demographic composition of the inhabitants.

Another point of contention has been claims made by religious Israelis that a sacred shrine belonging to Shimeon al-Siddiq (founder of the Israelite Tribe of Simeon) is located in the heart of the Karm al-Jaouni district.

Palestinian residents refute this claim, asserting that the shrine is Islamic, and known as the saint Saad al-Din Hijazi, who was buried there 400 years ago, and that “Ottoman maps” prove their narrative.

Relentless harassment

Al-Kurd’s experience with the Israeli occupation is a flagrant example of Palestinians suffering at the hands of settlers.

In 2001, he built a house adjacent to the one he already had, only for Israeli occupation authorities to confiscate the keys to the new house, just four days before he was planning to move in. In 2009, settlers came and occupied the house, turning Kurd’s life into hell. 

At the time, al-Kurd erected a tent at the entrance of the house where Palestinian, European and Jewish activists came to demonstrate their support. Settlers harassed the activists by spraying them with spoiled milk, hitting them with rotten fruits, vegetables, and waste and setting rodents on them while they slept.A decade in, Palestinian family fights on against East Jerusalem eviction

Five years later, the settlers set fire to the tent and burned it down, but the harassment of the family did not stop, even after the sit-in ended.

“Settlers would take their clothes off and stand at the windows overlooking our home. I had to hang a fabric barrier to protect my wife and daughters,” Nabil said. 

“Their dogs attack us, their trash floods the entrance, they have killed the trees and turned the house into ruins.”

Since his retirement several years ago, this elderly Jerusalemite has divided his time between keeping an eye on settlers, lest they suddenly attack his family, and countering the Israeli judicial system.

The Israeli district court has recently issued a verdict giving al-Kurd a grace period to vacate his house before May.

Al-Kurd said that although the settlers lack any proof of ownership of the land, they are adamant to evacuate its residents in accordance with the Judaisation policies in occupied East Jerusalem.

Residents of the neighbourhood, he said, have had no means of defending themselves except resorting to the law, but that avenue has been marred with challenges as the judicial system has repeatedly shown bias toward the settlers.

‘I did not surrender’

The online campaign, which has been trending in both Jordan and Palestine, has given hope to Fawziah al-Kurd, who was forcibly removed from Karm al-Jaouni in 2008, that an international campaign would stop Israel from expelling these refugees for a second time, and allow her to return to her neighbourhood.

Fawziah, who is better known as Um Kamel al-Kurd, said that although it has been 13 years since she was forced to leave, she still visits the place three times a week. 

Fawziah al-Kurd
A 2008 photo shows the tent that Fawziah al-Kurd lived in for a year after she was expelled from her home in Sheikh Jarrah (provided)

She said she passes by her house, which is currently occupied by settlers, as a show of resilience and to reiterate her refusal to abandon it. 

“I lived in the house for 40 years, the last five of which were the hardest because Israelis took half of my house by force before practically throwing me out on the street along with my ailing husband,” Fawziah told MEE. 

“Despite all of this, I did not surrender and I lived in a tent adjacent to my house for a whole year.”

Save Sheikh Jarrah

One of the coordinators of #SaveSheikhJarrah, Karmel al-Qasim, who lives in the area, said that his family was given until early May to vacate their house in which they have been living since 1956.

‘Our one and only demand is to let us live peacefully in our homes just like any normal family anywhere in the world’

– Karmel al-Qasim, resident

He pointed out that the goal behind the campaign is to convey the voice and the suffering of Karm al-Jaouni residents to the whole world and generate international political pressure to stop the displacement and dispersion of its inhabitants, once again.

“Our one and only demand is to let us live peacefully in our homes just like any normal family anywhere in the world, without the threat of eviction and displacement,” Qasim said. 

“Through the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign, we call upon UNRWA and Jordan to assume their legal and moral responsibilities toward us because we have been living here in compliance with an agreement that both parties reached in the 1950s.” 

Karmel said he will not abandon his right to resist the policy of eviction and will continue to follow in the footsteps of his late mother Amal al-Qasim, a refugee who was expelled from Jaffa in 1948. 

He, along with his brothers and sisters, intend to stand fast in their neighbourhood, which is strategically located near the Old City of Jerusalem.

Aref Hammad, a member of Sheikh Jarrah Refugees Housing Units Committee, told MEE that the Skafi, Qasim, al-Kurd, al-Jaouni, Hammad, al-Daoudi and al-Dijani families are in the process of filing an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, in a last push in the legal recourse against the eviction verdicts recently issued by the district court. 

Hammad said that 169 residents of the neighbourhood have received orders to vacate their homes, including 46 children from 12 different families. 

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The Israeli occupation continues to implement its Judaization plan in occupied Al-Quds

The Judaization of Al-Quds, Jerusalem - How it Works - Palestine Chronicle

SOURCE

Created on Saturday, 20 March 2021 19:11

The Israeli occupation authorities continue to implement their plan to Judaize the occupied city of Al-Quds through expanding settlement building operations that threaten thousands of Palestinians with forcible displacement in a new ethnic cleansing crime committed amid the complete silence of the international community.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) National Bureau for Defending the Lands and Resisting settlements said in its weekly report issued on Saturday that thousands of Palestinians in Al-Quds are facing the risk of displacement due to the settlement occupation plans in the city, especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where the occupation authorities have notified 2200 Palestinians to evacuate their houses with the aim of handing them over to settlers, and in Al-Bustan neighborhood in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the occupation delivered notifications about demolishing 100 houses inhabited by about 1500 Palestinians with the aim of evacuating Al-Quds from the Palestinian presence and Judaizing it.

The report indicated that the occupation authorities announced a plan to change the features of the historic markets in the old city of Al-Quds as part of implementing their plans to change the city’s demographic character and its Arab Palestinian identity. The report pointed out that the occupation is also escalating demolition operations against Palestinian houses and facilities in Shuafat Camp and the towns of Al-Issawiya and Kafr Aqab in occupied Al-Quds to seize the locals’ lands and expand settlement activities.

 According to the report, the occupation continued throughout the past week to displace the Palestinians from the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank. It announced a plan to demolish houses in the water and antiquities-rich village of Khirbet al-Mateh, threatening 700 Palestinians with displacement, indicating that this plan is paving the way for the seizure of 45 thousand dunums of the Jordan Valley lands.

The report went on to say that the occupation authorities seized more than 75 dunums of Palestinian lands in several villages and towns in the cities of Bethlehem, Al-Khalil and Salfit and bulldozed 100 dunums in a village east of Qalqilya, and in wide areas of land in Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem with the aim of expanding a number of settlements.

The report added that the occupation demolished a house and three agricultural facilities in Silwan city, four houses in Issawiya in occupied Al-Quds, five agricultural facilities in Beit Ta’amer area in Bethlehem and several houses and facilities in the villages of Kharabsheh in Ariha city and Beit Furik in Nablus.

The report indicated that the Israeli settlers continue to attack the cities and towns of the West Bank under the protection of the occupation forces. They stormed the village of Beit Iksa northwest of occupied Al-Quds where they attacked Palestinian houses and properties. They also stormed the archaeological area of Burj Al-Bardawil, west of Silwad town in Ramallah and razed Palestinian lands in the vicinity of the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil.

The settlers seized wide areas of Palestinian lands in the village of Wadi Al-Nis in Bethlehem to establish a settlement outpost and uprooted dozens of olive and fruit trees from the Palestinians lands in the towns of Qaryut, Burin, and Jalud in Nablus and attacked Palestinian farmers in the town of Masafer Yatta in Al-Khalil.

Hamda Mustafa

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