Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (11-17 February 2021)

 February 18, 2021

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

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

11 – 17 February 2021

  • Palestinian woman dies of heart attack during violent IOF raid into her house in Nablus
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 19 Palestinians wounded
  • Two IOF incursions into eastern Gaza, and two shootings reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip
  • In 106 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 71 civilians arrested, including 13 children and a woman
  • IOF delivers 20 demolition notices to houses in Nablus and Bethlehem; 5 buildings were self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem and evacuation notices served to several buildings in the city
  • Settler-attacks: settlers kidnap a Palestinian man in Tulkarm, and attack civilian homes and vehicles in Nablus and Ramallah
  • IOF hinder the entry of Covid-19 vaccines into the Gaza Strip for two days
  • IOF established 69 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 13 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary           

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Additionally, IOF conducted widescale demolition operations; and served demolition and cease-construction notices, mostly in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern West Bank. Settler attacks continued this week, particularly attacks on civilian houses and vehicles in Nablus.

Also, the Israeli occupation authorities stalled the entry of 2,000 Covid-19 vaccines into the Gaza Strip for two days. The vaccines were sent by the Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

This week, PCHR documented 199 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:

On 17 February 2021, 67-year-old Rahma Khalil Abu-Ahour, from Abu Nujaym village in eastern Bethlehem, died of a heart attack she suffered during an IOF raid into her nephew’s house where she was visiting. Additionally, IOF shot and injured 19 civilians in its attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank: 4 at a protest in Beit Dajan – Nablus; 9 others at two protests in Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya; and 6 by Salfit’s northern entrance.

In the Gaza Strip, two IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and twice at fishing boats off Gaza’s northern shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 106 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 13 children and a woman.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and Northern Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 12 incidents:

  • Nablus: 11 demolition notices served (4 houses, 6 barracks and water tank) in central Jordan valleys; and 13 demolition notices (houses) in Yatma.
  • Hebron: barracks served demolition notice in Halhul.
  • Bethlehem: 3 houses served demolition notices in al-Khader.
  • East Jerusalem:
  • 5 self-demolitions: an external room overlooking the al-Aqsa Mosque; an apartment in Sur Baher; 2 barracks in Silwan; an apartment building in Shu’afat.
  • IOF served an apartment building an evacuation order in Silwan.
  • An Israeli court rejected the appeal of 4 families to annul the evacuation order issued against their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
  • A house was demolished in Ras al-Amud.
  • Metal fence surrounding a plot of land in Jabel Mukaber removed.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 8 settler-violence incidents:

  • Hebron: shepherds and a Palestinian family assaulted in eastern Yatta
  • Nablus: assault on civilians and worshippers in Khan al-Laban; a farmer was also assaulted in the area. A bus and civilian houses were assaulted in Asira al-Qibliya and Qusra. Also, a car was set on fire.
  • Tulkarm: civilian was kidnapped while at his land; IOF later released him.
  • Ramallah: assaults on the vehicles of Palestinian workers parked near “Shilo” settlement, which is established on the lands of Turmus Ayya in northeastern Ramallah.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

  • At approximately 01:30 on Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF moved into Ramallah in the center of the West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 February 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, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. 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, 4 protestors were shot with live bullets and taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 12 February 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired live and sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 protestors were wounded; one was wounded in his face while the rest wounded in their lower limbs.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Salfit, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men against lands under the threat of confiscation in favor of settlement projects. IOF chased Palestinians gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians were directly hit with teargas canisters.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 13 February 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired live and sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old male was wounded with a sponge grenade in his thigh.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and stationed in al-Khelwa neighborhood. IOF established military checkpoints at the neighborhood entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF, who chased the protestors in the neighborhood and fired heavy rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested Mohammed Hatem Abu al-Hawa (19) and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them until 21:30, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Sunday, 13 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah, stationed in several areas and checked civilians’ IDs. IOF deployed between residential houses and patrolled the area, causing fear among the villagers and forcing the shop owners to close at gunpoint. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. At 22:00, IOF withdrew towards the village’s main entrance and established a military checkpoint there.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 15 February 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 11 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jalqamus village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Abdul Baset Abed al-Hajj (48) and Abdul Rahim Sami Suleiman al-Hajj (40) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (8) civilians; Mohammed Hamdi Abu Maria (50), Saqer Mahmoud Abu Maria (46), Ayesh Naser Ikhlaiel (26), Lo’ay Shehda ‘Alqam (35), Mohammed Sameer Abu Maria (20), Abdullah Mohammed Ikhlaiel (20), Mohammed Bassam al-‘Allama (20), and Issa Hashem Bahr (22).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Jalamah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mahmoud Anis Sha’ban (35) and Mohammed Ali Yehya (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yasine Taha’s (27) house and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Emad Hashash (17).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed As’ad Abu Khalifa’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Bireh, and stationed at al-Jinan neighborhood. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nadeem Saleem Ghaith (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Naser Saqer al-Soufi (18), and Musallam Dawoud Yehya (19).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Ra’fat Na’eem Abu Akr (53), from al-Doha, west of Bethlehem, while present in one of the Khader village’s streets, south of the city.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Waheed Eid Shabana (52), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, while present in Salah al-Dein street in the city center. IOF claimed that his presence in that area was not legal due to holding the West Bank ID card, and he was taken to al-Bareed police center until they returned him to the West Bank on the morning of the next day.

Shabana’s wife, an Israeli ID holder, said that her husband grew up, educated, and lived in Jerusalem, but his father moved to live in Ramallah in the 80s due to arresting Waheed when he was only 14. She added that her husband returned to Jerusalem after spending 4-years in the Israeli prisons, despite losing his right to obtain the Jerusalem ID card. After they got married he applied to the competent authorities to obtain unification four times, but his requests were rejected for security reasons. Shabana’s wife stated that she and her husband were arrested in June 2020, and they were mistreated and insulted at “Oz” police center in Jerusalem, as they stayed outside waiting their turns in the cold weather, then she was released without being investigated but Waheed was taken to al-Zaytouna military checkpoint. However, she mentioned that her husband was prevented to live between his sons, ages between 23-13, and from living in the city that he grew in, in addition to preventing him from his work and livelihood under the pretext of the illegal residence.

  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Ein al-Beida village in the northern valleys, east of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Maram Hikmat Abu Mutarea’ (28).
  • IOF carried out (15) incursions in Zeita, Attil, Nur Shams refugee camp, Tulkarm refugee camp, Tulkarm, and Kafr al-Dik villages, east of Salfit; Zababdeh, Arranah, and Umm al-Tut villages, southeast of Jenin; Tell, Badhan, and Sebastia in Nablus governorate; Dura, Samu, and Arrub refugee camp, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 12 February 2021:

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Monthir Atiya (20) and Mohammed Ahmed Atiya (19), from al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Damascus Gate area in the occupied city, after finishing the Friday prayers in the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed at al-Jib military checkpoint, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Laith Eid Barakat (29) and his brother Ahmed (27), from al-Nabi Samwil village, while passing through the checkpoint. It should be noted that the village is surrounded by the annexation wall, and its residents can pass to Jerusalem and the West Bank only through al-Jib checkpoint, and no one is allowed to pass through it despite being registered on the checkpoint passers’ list.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into al-Shuhada village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Rabea Fadel Wishahi‘s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Abdul Hafiz Atiya (17), while heading to a medical center in the Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, to receive treatment. IOF took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Sufian Ahmed Abu Nab (20), causing wounds and bruises that required taking him to hospital while he was under arrest.
  • IOF carried out (11) incursions in Azzun and Kafr Thulth villages, east of Qalqilya; Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin; Arraba and Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin; Sanur, Bir al-Basha, and al-Jalamah, southeast of Jenin; Nablus, Tall, and Huwwarah in Nablus governorate. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin; Azmut, northeast of Nablus; Sa’ir, Dura, and Nuba villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 14 February 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 Mohammed Ashraf Sbeitan (16) and Mohammed Samer Abu al-Hawa (16) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses belonging to Abu Khudair’s family and arrested (4) children; Saif Waleed Abu Khudair (16), his brother Mohammed (17), and their cousins, Abdul Rahman Abu Khudair (16) and Mohammed Emad Abu Khudair (17).
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Majd Khaled Sharifa’s (20) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services at Moscovia Detention Centre. It should be noted that Sharifa was accused of throwing stones at the settlers’ cars and arrested on 18 June 2017, when he was 16, and spent 11-months in the Israeli prisons.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Zububa and Jalamah, southeast of Jenin; Deir Sharaf, west of Nablus; Izbat Shufa, southeast of Tulkarm; Fawwar refugee camp, Dhahiriya, Beit Ummar, and Sa’ir villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 15 February 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched Hatem Mawhoob Dweikat’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; the photojournalist Saif al-Dein al-Qawasmi (19), Zuhair Ahmed al-Hinnawi (22), and Wissam Ra’ed al-Hinnawi (19), and released them after several hours. It should be noted that Wissam is a former prisoner, and he was injured with a rubber bullet in his left eye during clashes with the Israeli soldiers several years ago.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into a village north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Abu Danhash’s house and arrested Oday Issam Abu Danhash (22), and his brother Qusai (25).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the camp. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Jameel Nassar (19) and Assem Wael Awadallah (18).
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Mazen Seitan Abu al-Rab’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surda, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Qusai Alaa’ Bazzar’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Araqah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) children; Mahdi Saleh Yehya (15), Oday Tamim Yehya (15), and Shukry Hasan Lotfi (15).
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Azzun, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Saleem Mohammed Badwan’s (48) farm and arrested him along with his son (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Tareq Mahmoud Abu Srour’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ibrahim Ahmed al-Tamimi (21), Obay Saleh al-Tamimi (20), and Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Tamimi (18).
  • At approximately 08:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-squaremeters to the west of the border fence, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Subhi al-Sous (22), from Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of the camp.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided Sufian Abdullah Abu Fukhaida’s house in the eastern side of the village, evicted its residents and seized the house, and got on the top of the house and prevented anyone from entering it. Meanwhile, people of the village gathered, and quarrels occurred between them and the Israeli soldiers to withdraw from the house. At approximately 02:15, they withdrew and headed to a three-stories house which is under destruction belonging to Hamdi Fadel Samhan, as they stuck the Israeli flag on the top of the house and turned it into a military barrack.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rami Ahmed Abu Zneid (37) and Wael Abdul Aziz Abu Zneid (46). No arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in al-Karmel area. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Sami Issa Shatat (44) and Hatem Mahmoud Makhamra (49). No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yaser Dawoud Mansour (54), a member of Hamas Movement in the dissolved legislative council, and Adnan Ahed Asfour (58), a leader in Hamas Movement.
  • Around the same time, IOF infantry units reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Silwad, northeast of Ramallah. They deployed and stormed dozens of houses and arrested (19) civilians, including 2 children, and underwent to field investigation for three consecutive hours and half, before releasing 14 of them. IOF kept three young men and two children under arrest and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Mohammed Abdul Hameed Awwad (16), Ahmed Yousef Ayyad (17), Mahdi Abdul Qader Hammad (19), Tareq Ziyad Hamed (28), and Mohannad Sameer al-Tawil (20), who is a former prisoner.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Ramallah, and stationed in Kadoura refugee camp adjacent to the city. They raided and searched Ra’fat Shihda Abu Shaqra’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Salem village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Shadi Ghassan Jabara (30).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Eyad Ahmed Rawajba (32).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched al-Ja’bari’s houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mos’ab Omar al-Ja’bari (19), Ammar Mahmoud al-Ja’bari (52), and his son Emad (22).
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed at Checkpoint 300, north of Bethlehem, arrested Akram Emran al-Atrash (25), while passing through the checkpoint back from his work in Israel to his home in al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Rujeib, Urif, southeast of Nablus; Beit Kahil and Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Mostafa Abu Romouz (21) and Mohammed Maher Mutair (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers 50-meters to the east of al-Fukhkhari village, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence amidst Israeli sporadic shooting which continued for hours before deploying again inside the abovementioned fence.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 09:00 on 11 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein Shebli in the Central Jordan Valleys, northeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 4 houses, 6 barracks and a water tank with demolition under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
No.NameNotified Facility
1-Shehdah ‘Abed Rabboh Abu al-Kabbash5 barracks; each is 200 sqms
2-Nabil Mohammed ShtayyahAn under-construction house (80 sqms)
3-Aisha Mohammad ShtayyahAn under-construction house (100 sqms)
4-Nizam Khader ShtayyahA 60-sqm barrack
5-Shukri ShtayyahAn under-construction house (100 sqms)
6-Moussa Ka’abnahAn under-construction house (100 sqms) and 5 barracks; each is 120 sqms
7-Ministry of AgricultureA 500-cbm water tank established 10 years ago
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into northern Halhoul, north of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed Khairy ‘Abdel Qader al-Herbawi military order no. (1797) relevant to the demolition of a tinplate and steel barrack built on an area of 20 sqms.  The demolition notice was issued allegedly for building in Area C and gives al-Herbawi only 96 hours from the date he received the notice.  Al-Herbawi was supposed to graze sheep in that barrack as he owns 8 dunums in the area.
  • On Thursday afternoon, IOF handed 3 Palestinians 3 demolition notices in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, allegedly for having no license. The Coordinator of al-Khader Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, Ahmed Salah, said that Isma’il Mohammed Mousa, ‘Ali Salim Mousa and his son Ahmed were handed demolition notices for their houses in Abu Soud area, west of the village, allegedly for unlicensed construction, after Beit El Court rejected their appeal against the demolition decision.  Salah added that Mousa Family has suffered a lot due to the ongoing IOF campaign for years against them.  He said that Ismail’s Mousa’s house (70 sqms) shelters 7 persons, was demolished in 2014. The houses of ‘Ali Salim Mousa and his son, Khaled, are 80 sqms each.  Salah added that ‘Ali Mousa’s house was demolished four times within the last ten years under the pretext of unlicensed construction and for its location approximate to the annexation wall.  Salah also said that the houses of ‘Ali Mousa’s other sons, Mohammed and Ahmed, are threatened of demolition, which renders 20 persons  under the threat of losing their houses and becoming displaced.  It should be noted that Abu Soud area is adjacent to the bypass road around the village and is considered the only outlet for urbanization in the western side of al-Khader village.
  • On Friday morning, 12 February 2021, Abu Hedwan Family self-demolished an outside room built of steel and shed cloth and overlooking al-Aqsa Mosque, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Mohammed Abu Hedwan, one of the family members, said that the room was built few years ago in the Dung Gate (Magharba) neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  He said that it was not covered in the beginning but later roofed with shed cloth to protect it from rain.  Abu Hedwan explained that the family built the room so that all its members gather inside as their houses are very narrow and small.  He added that the Israeli Municipality sent them a notice to demolish the room and threatened them last week either to demolish it themselves or the Israeli Municipality crews will do and fine them with the demolition fees.  Abu Wahdan also said that the room is 90 sqms near al-Aqsa Mosque, 70 members of Abu Hedwan family benefited from it by using it as a family council to receive guests.
  • On Saturday afternoon, 13 February 2021, Nemer Khalil Nemer self-demolished his residential apartment in Sur Baher neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction. The house’s owner, Nemer Khalil Nemer, said that the apartment was built in 2015 on an area of 85 sqms, and he recently started repairing it so that his son, Jihad, and wife live in it.  However, the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish it and gave him until Monday morning to implement the decision.  Nemer said that he was forced to implement the demolition decision and collect the rubble to spare himself the demolition fees imposed by the Israeli Municipality.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Yatma village, southeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 13 houses of the demolition in Hazouret As-Sha’b, Khelet Qudeiri and Zaytoun Jabarin area, west of the village, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

Those affected were as follows:

No.NameNotified FacilityNumber of Family MembersNotes
1-Anwar Yousif Moti’a NajjarUnder construction house (120 sqms) 
2-Mo’in ‘Abdel Qader Najjar2-storey house and a roof (each floor is 150 sqms while the roof is 70 sqms)Ready
3-Mohammed Mahmoud Muti’a ‘Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqmsReady
4-Ahmed Nabih Tawfiq NajjarA 160-sqm houseReady
5-Mohammed Amjad Najjar2-sotey house (150 sqms)Under construction
6-Yahiya Wajih Najjar2-stoey house; each floor is 170 sqms7, including 4 childrenInhabited
7-Ahmed ‘Adnan Ahmed Sanobar2-storey houseUnder construction
8-Iyad ‘Ata Abu Baker2-storey house; each floor is 170 sqms6, including 3 childrenInhabited
9-Mus’ab ‘Ata Abu Baker2-storey house; each floor is 150 sqms3, including 1 childInhabited
10-Anas Mohammed Farah Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 150 sqms6, including 4 childreninhabited
11-Nidal Ahmed ‘Abdel Fattah Sanobar2-storey house; each floor is 140 sqms6, including 2 childrenInhabited
12-Mohammed Mahmoud farah Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqmsUnder construction
13-Yazid Mohammed Khudeir2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqms8, including 4 childreninhabited
  • On Sunday morning, 14 February 2021, ‘Awadallah family continued the demolition of their 2-storey residential building in Sho’afat neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision allegedly for unlicensed construction.

Jihad ‘Awadallah stated that his family’s residential building was built 20 years ago, and its construction cost nearly half a million shekels. He added that the building comprised two apartments, each with an area of ​​120 sqms; one of them was uninhabited while the other was for his brother Mohammad and his family after he prepared it and paid more than 100,000 shekels to live in it.  However, he had to leave it a while ago, after the Israeli municipality had haunted the family via courts and imposing fines of more than 120,000 shekels. ‘Awadallah added that at the end of last year, the Israeli court issued its final decision to demolish the building and gave them until 05 January 2021, to implement the decision.  As a result, the family had to demolish part of the building at the time, and today it resumes the demolition with the help of workers and vehicles, which cost them around 70,000 Shekels.

  • On Sunday afternoon, 14 February 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities handed Batn al-Hawa Families’ lawyer in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, a decision by the Israeli Magistrate Court to vacate a residential building belonging to Younis Shehadah and his sons in favor of Ateret Cohanim Jewish organization.

Ibrahim Shehadah, Younis Shehadah’s son, said that he was surprised with the Magistrate Court’s decision to vacate his family’s building comprised of 5 residential apartments and give them till next July to implement it.  Shehadah said that his father presented all the papers to the court that prove he has lived in the building since before 1967.  He added that “all the allegations are void and fake, and we will resort to the courts to refute them although we know that the Israeli judiciary will not bring us justice,” emphasizing they would stay at their home and stick to it.  Ibrahim also said that his father has not received the eviction decision yet, but their lawyer, Yazid Qe’awar, has it.  He added that his father and siblings live in the residential building comprised of 5 apartments in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood.  It should be noted that Younis Shehadah (83), his wife and children, Yousif, Mohammed, ‘Ali and ‘Alaa and their families of 22 members live in the building.

Head of Batn al-Hawa Neighborhood Committee, Zuhair al-Rajabi, said that 9 families out of 87 families have so far received eviction decisions from the Israeli courts from, indicating that most of them have filed appeals to the decisions, and others are waiting for the responses to their appeals. It is noteworthy that the families that received eviction decisions in Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood are: Dweik, Shweiki, ‘Awad Jaber al-Rajabi, ‘Odah, Jawad Abu Nab, ‘Abd Jaber al-Rajabi, Selm Ghaith, Rushdi Abu Ramouz and Shehadeh. The eviction decisions issued by the Israeli courts against the Palestinian families in favor of “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association came under the pretext of the land on which the houses are built belonged to the Yemeni Jews in 1892. Al-Rajabi indicated that the Israeli courts stated issuing eviction decisions against the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in 2015. The number of residents at risk of eviction ranges from 850 to 1000. He added that the Neighborhood Committee, in cooperation with human rights organizations, filed a case before the Israeli court against the “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association. The committee also filed a request to the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to stop the political evacuation decisions supported by the Israeli government, which aims to displace about 1,000 Palestinians.

  • On Monday afternoon, 15 February 2021, the Israeli District Court rejected the appeal filed by 4 Palestinian families from Karam al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, demanding the court to stop evacuation of their houses in favor of Israeli settlers, who claim their ownership of the land, where the houses are built.

The families’ lawyer, Sami Irshayed, said that the Israeli District Court rejected the appeal filed against the decision of the Magistrate Court to evict the families of Iskafi, Kurd, Ja’ouni and Al-Qasem from their houses in favor of settlers, and the families were given until 02 May to implement the eviction decisions.  The families’ lawyer, Sami Irshayed, added that Israeli bodies claimed ownership of the land where the families’ properties are built in the “Karam al-Ja’ouni” neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah, and it was registered in 1972.  Thus, the Magistrate Court issued an eviction decision against the aforementioned families last October, and the families filed an appeal to the District Court which was rejected on Monday. The families intend to go to the Supreme Court to file another appeal. Lawyer Irshayed explained that the residents of the “Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood” in Sheikh Jarrah have lived in their houses since 1956, upon an agreement between the Jordanian government represented by the “Ministry of Construction and Development” and UNRWA, to provide residences for 28 refugee families in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in exchange for giving up their UNRWA relief cards, and one of the conditions was to pay a symbolic rent, provided that the property will be authorized for housing after 3 years, but this has not been done.  Several years following the occupation of Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities began to pursue the residents of Sheikh Jarrah and demand that they vacate their houses under the pretext of “ownership of the land.”

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house built of bricks and fortified tinplate in Ras Kabsah area in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of building without a license.

The houseowner, Jihad Hasan Abu Romouz (40), said that he was surprised with IOF surrounding his house on Tuesday morning, ordering him and his children to leave and vacate the house contents.  He added that IOF did not allow him to take all his house contents and demolished it on the furniture, rendering him and his family homeless, without any prior warning in light of this cold rainy weather.  Abu Romouz said that he built the house last November with 2 rooms of bricks and a barrack of steel and fortified tinplate that included a living room, kitchen and toilet on an area of 90 sqms.  Jihad Abu Romouz lived in the house with his wife and 2 sons, Mohammed (12) and Qosay (10).  Abu Romouz added that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished last August a 90-sqm house and re-demolished it on Tuesday morning under the pretext of building without a license although the Israeli Municipality refused to give him a license to build the area.

  • At approximately 11:00, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers removed an iron fence surrounding a 55-sqm land in Deir As-Sanah in Jabal Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and damaged construction materials belonging to Amjad Talab.

Amjad Talab said that he set cement foundations on an area of 25 sqms to build a house, but the Israeli Municipality handed him a demolition decision and forced him to destroy it a month and a half ago.  Talab also said that the Municipality bulldozers raided his land in the morning and removed the fence and steel angles surrounding it in addition destroying bricks, cement and sand that were in the place.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 12 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Karmiel” settlement established on Palestinian lands confiscated from eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, moved into Sedet al-Tha’lah area near the settlement. The settlers attempted to attack shepherds with their sheep in their lands.  IOF intervened after the shepherds refused to leave.  The settlers attempted to attack the family of Mahmoud Mohamad Shonaran who lives in one of the caves in the area.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities declared the area state lands under the jurisdiction of the State of Israel; the Palestinian landowners filed a complaint before the Israeli Supreme Court to restore their ownership.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, settlers under IOF’s protection attacked worshippers while performing Friday Prayer in the Ottoman Khan threatened to be confiscated in eastern al-Laban village, southeast of Nablus. IOF fired teargas canisters at the worshippers; as a result, many suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 16:20, a group of settlers chased Mohammed Nabil Kattanah, from An-Nazla al-Gharbiya village, north of Tulkarm, while being in his land namely al-Mughraqah in the eastern side of the village and kidnapped him to “Hermesh” settlement. IOF released him at 18:30 following the Israeli Military Liaison’s intervention.
  • At approximately 16:55 on Saturday, 13 February 2021, settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement in eastern ‘Asiret al-Qabaliyah, southeast of Nablus, under IOF’s protection threw stones at Palestinian houses. The local residents confronted the settlers and IOF, who fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • Around the same time, settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement established in eastern Qusra village, southeast of Nablus, under IOF’s protection, threw stones at Palestinian houses. The local residents confronted the settlers and IOF, who fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and were treated on the spot.  The settlers burnt tires of a car belonging to ‘Awad Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Odah.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 14 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on southeastern lands of Nablus threw stones at a public transport bus belonging to Bisan Busses Company at ‘Asira al-Qibliya village in al-Hawouz area. As a result, the bus sustained damage, but no injuries were reported among its passengers, noting that the bus was driven by Naser Mousa ‘Abdel ‘Aziz ‘As’ous (51) from Burin village and carries 15 passengers.
  • At approximately 23:30 on Moday, 15 February 2021, settlers from “Levona” settlement established on Al-Laban As-Sharqiya village lands, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at Salah Majed Samih Daraghmah (27) while he was planting olive seedlings in his land, south of the village, and beat him up. As a result, he sustained bruises all over his body and was taken to Rafida Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Shilo” settlement established on Turmus Ayya village, northeast of Ramallah, attacked the buses carrying Palestinian workers parked near the settlement and punctured their tires.

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.

On Monday, 15 February 2021, Israeli authorities denied the entry of 2000 doses of Coronavirus vaccine into the Gaza Strip. These doses were sent from the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ramallah, but Israeli authorities refused its entry as the political leadership in Israel had not yet approved the Palestinian Authority’s request to transfer the vaccine to Gaza. The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. May Al-Kailah emphasized in a press statement that the Israeli authorities prevented the entry of 2000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine into the Gaza Strip. IOF allowed the entry of the vaccines on Wednesday.

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 62 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 2 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.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Nabi Salih village and near “Halamish” settlement, northeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints on a road connecting between Ni’lin and Shuqba villages, at Ras Karkar village’s intersection, at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, and at the entrance to Deir Nidham village.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Silwad villages.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village, north of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near “Ma’aleh Ephraim” settlement, north of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, at the entrance to Za’atara village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near Al-Khader village entrance, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala village, at the western entrance to Tuqu village and near Dar Salah Bridge, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 17 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Beita village intersection and on Madama village’s bridge, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at al-Moraba’a intersection, which connects between Nablus’ eastern and southern villages.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to An-Nassariya village, northeast of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Yatta city, Idhna village, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna village, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, at the western entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to Jalael village.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Al-Arroub refugee camp, and at the entrances to Surif, Beit Awwa and Tarrama villages.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, and at the eastern entrance to Dura City. Beit Ummar village, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Yatta, and at the eastern entrance to Dura village.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Ash-Shuyukh villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun, Izbat al-Tabib and Jit villages, and at the eastern and southern entrances to the city.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kifl Haris and Kafr ad-Dik villages, at the entrance to Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

Palestine elections: A leap into the unknown for Fatah and Hamas

HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

18 February 2021 14:31 UTC

Both parties are going into the elections without an agreed vision for Palestine and a detailed plan for obtaining it

You can tell when elections are being planned in the occupied West Bank. 

This is the fifth time elections across Palestine have been attempted in the past 15 years since they were held in 2006, when Hamas, to everyone’s surprise, not least their own, swept the board. This time President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be serious about holding them.

How can one tell? Because between them his Preventive Security and Israeli forces are arresting anyone who opposes their candidates. The Palestinian Prisoners Club says that 456 civilians were arrested in January in the West Bank and on one night alone in February, 31 Palestinians were rounded up. 

A Palestinian member of Central Elections Commission displays an ID to a colleague as they check the work of the first Voter Information and Registration Centre in Gaza City on 10 February, 2021 (AFP)

A serious escalation

The arrests are politically colour blind. Every faction has been targeted – even those that have not yet been established. For over a year, Israeli forces have been targeting hundreds of young men and women from a left-wing social and political network.

Politically motivated arrests are nothing new in the West Bank. What may surprise some is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is still pushing ahead with the election plan regardless

They face charges of  “terrorist activity,” “visiting an enemy state” or even vaguer “communicating with foreign agents”. Their interrogators put them in little doubt about why they are being detained . They want fear to spread in the community.  Detention and torture are tools to stop the network before it can grow. Hamas members in the West Bank are threatened they will be next if they dare to stand. 

Khaled al-Hajj, a Hamas leader in Jenin who supported President Abbas’s elections decrees, was arrested last week. Another Hamas member, who had just had surgery for cancer, was severely beaten.

Wasfi Kabha, a former Hamas minister, told MEE: “We are facing a dangerous and serious escalation, not only by the occupation, but also by the security services that belong to the PA. That arrest campaign aims to scare, intimidate and terrorise members of the movement and also those who have sympathy for Hamas. The arrests are meant to influence the election. There are many others that the Israeli forces threaten to arrest if they nominate themselves or take part in the elections.”

Kabha added: “The Palestinian security services severely beat Abdel Nasser Rabbi despite the fact he had suffered from cancer and had surgery a short time ago. Unfortunately, Palestinian security services finish the job of whoever Israel can not manage to arrest.”

Politically motivated arrests are nothing new in the West Bank. What may surprise some is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is still pushing ahead with the election plan regardless.

A divided Hamas

The interesting question is why? During three rounds of negotiations with Fatah in Beirut and Ankara, the Hamas leadership insisted on holding all three elections for the Legislative Council , the presidency, and the National Council of the PLO simultaneously. This is because they did not trust Abbas to keep his word once he himself had been reelected as president.After 15-year wait, Palestinian elections face new obstacles following law amendments

Hamas also insisted that the PA end its security cooperation with Israel and the arrest campaign in the West Bank. For a while Abbas complied, only to abandon that strategy when it became clear to him last November that Donald Trump was out of office. In subsequent talks in Cairo, Hamas failed to get either demand. 

The other two factions, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both tabled reservations. Islamic Jihad announced it was not running for the elections, but the delegation from Hamas stayed in.

Proponents of the deal with Fatah claim that Hamas were given guarantees that some 38,000 civil servants in Gaza would not only be paid by the PA, but receive permanent tenure. They claim a new election court would be formed to avoid the heavily weighted constitutional court that Abbas created. They also claim Hamas would secure the collaboration of the international community, including renewing relations with the European Union. They also claim that no one could criminalise the resistance.

Opponents of the deal within Hamas say all of these promises are wishful thinking. They point out that the issue of civil servants, which is at least a decade old, has been put off until after the elections. A new election court has not been announced by Abbas and, even if it were to be formed, it could not supplant the existing constitutional court, which remains the highest legal authority in the West Bank. 

Lastly, they say that it is not in Fatah’s power to guarantee international recognition of Hamas, which is still designated as a terrorist organisation by both the US and the EU

This combination of pictures created on 11 January, 2019 shows (L) Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)
This combination of pictures created on 11 January, 2019 shows (L) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)

Hamas’s senior leadership is clearly divided. Hamas in Gaza is hemmed in, unable to break out of the prison camp that has become Gaza following the 2006 elections, the attempted coup by Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, and the split with Fatah. They are fed up with being held responsible for the continuing siege and are desperate to find a way out. Money is also running out. Iran is no longer funding them as before, and there are signs that other foreign backers are pushing them into Fatah’s arms.  Israel’s arrest campaign aims to destroy a new Palestinian movement

But the anger at the crackdown on Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP members in the West Bank is mounting. While there is sympathy over the conditions they face in Gaza, the Hamas leadership, which is now based entirely in the enclave, will face mounting pressure to pull out of elections in which Hamas can only lose. 

No one expects a rerun of the 2006 result.

One measure of the backlash which the leadership in Gaza will face is spelled out in a leaked letter from one of the most prominent Hamas leaders in Israeli prisons. Ibrahim Hamid was a leader of the military wing in the West Bank during the Second Intifada and received one of the harshest terms: 54 concurrent life imprisonment sentences. Hamid called the decision by Hamas’ political bureau to run in the elections “hasty”.

He said the decision had been made independently of the Shura Council, a consultative body that elects Hamas’s politburo, and without the full knowledge of the prisoners’ movement. Ibrahim added that running for the elections would only serve Abbas’s purpose of reviving his legitimacy while curtailing that of Hamas.

In Hamid’s analysis, Hamas is facing a lose/lose scenario: should it win the elections, what is to prevent a repeat of the 2006 scenario, which launched the siege of Gaza and the split with Fatah? Should it lose the elections, would Hamas hand over both the administration and its rockets to Fatah in Gaza?

Even if Abbas kept his word and created a genuinely representative national Palestinian government, and Hamas was allowed to return to parliament and enter the PLO, what would stop Israel from arresting MPs as they do now? 

Fatah’s problems

Fatah is faring no better. Abbas’s drive to refresh his mandate and seek the legitimacy he has lost as one of the architects of Oslo is being threatened by two other Fatah leaders. Abbas has long been aware of the plan which I first revealed in 2016 to replace him with his arch-rival Dahlan.

The plan for a post-Abbas era was hatched by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. Since 2016, Egypt and Jordan have not stopped pressuring Abbas to reconcile with Dahlan. The latest message was passed to Abbas when Egypt and Jordan’s heads of intelligence visited Ramallah recently.

The new card in this operation is the man who ran against Abbas and then withdrew his candidacy in the 2005 presidential election, the Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, a leader of the First and Second Intifadas who is in prison on five concurrent life sentences. 

Barghouti remains a consistently popular figure of the resistance. At one point he polled higher than both Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader, for the post of president. In April 2017 Barghouti organised a hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

This time round, Barghouti announced his intention to run for the presidency and the PNC through one of his supporters, Raafat Ilayyan. Ilayyan quoted Barghouti as saying that a united Fatah list “should be open to all including those accused of taking sides and those sacked from the movement”.

A man holds a photo of prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally supporting those detained in Israeli jails after hundreds of them launched a hunger strike, in the West Bank town of Hebron on April 17, 2017
A man holds a photo of prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally on 17 April 2017 (AFP)

This was a clear reference to Dahlan, who lives in exile and has been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison on corruption charges and expelled from the party. Dahlan’s lawyer at the time called the conviction a “cleansing exercise” for Abbas.

Does Fatah want to liberate Palestine from the occupation, or does it want to govern as a surrogate for Israel, whatever conditions it is put under?

After nearly two decades behind bars, Barghouti wants to get out of jail. Is Dahlan, who is Israel’s preferred Palestinian leader, the Fatah leader’s get out of jail card? Barghouti’s announcement ruffled feathers in Fatah. Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s central committee, who led negotiations with Hamas, accused foreign countries of meddling in the Palestinian elections. 

Rajoub told Palestinian TV: “Some messages have been received from some countries trying to interfere in the path of dialogue, including Arab states which rushed [to normalise relations with Israel]. However, Fatah’s position is clear and does not take directions from any foreign capital.” 

In their campaign to position Dahlan as the next Palestinian leader, Egypt, Jordan and UAE are keen to exploit the distrust between Fatah and Hamas. The latest sign of this is the arrival of the first of what will be a large group of Dahlan men in Gaza after many years in exile. This could only have been achieved with the consent of Hamas leaders in Gaza. 

The true winner of the election may, therefore, be a man who does not even stand on the ballot. One way or another, Dahlan is determined to return to Palestine at the expense of both Abbas and Hamas. 

The jockeying for position within Fatah is about power. But aside from this, Fatah has a real problem with its identity and its purpose. Does Fatah want to liberate Palestine from the occupation, or does it want to govern as a surrogate for Israel, whatever conditions it is put under?

Rajoub and Dahlan are sworn enemies only because they are rivals. Neither has a vision for a free Palestine. Abbas momentarily found his voice as a Palestinian leader in pushing back against the normalisation of ties with Israel, which he called a betrayal. But as soon it became clear Trump was on his way out, Abbas tossed his principles out of the window and returned to business as usual both with Washington and Israel.

The real leaders

Who then are the real leaders of this struggle? For this, we should not look to elections but to what is happening on the streets because it is only here that liberation movements are reborn. That was the case when the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat started Fatah and when Hamas became a dominant force in the First Intifada. No one, either in Ramallah or Gaza, is leading or directing events that are now taking place in Palestine.

Israel is playing a delaying game, and unhappily, both Fatah and Hamas leaders are playing into its hands

It has been a long time since there were major demonstrations by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Earlier this month, protests erupted in several towns and villages. The spark this time is the crime rate and the lack of policing. But the Palestinian flags and the slogans tell a different story, one that has not been seen or heard since the First Intifada. 

There are more and more youth initiatives taking root in the West Bank, including the one Israeli forces are so keen to dismantle. There is clearly a new generation of protest underway that is independent of Fatah, Hamas or the now divided Joint List in the Israeli Knesset.

In the diaspora, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is becoming an international movement. This, too, is independent of any Palestinian leadership. Rudderless, there is every chance that a new Palestinian movement in and outside Palestine will seize control. 

Israel is playing a delaying game, and, unhappily, leaders of both Fatah and Hamas  – one crippled by its decision to recognise Israel, the other imprisoned by it – are playing into its hands. If this continues, the impetus to break the deadlock will come from the streets, as it always has done in the past.

No vision

What a contrast Palestinian leaders make to other liberation movements. When Nelson Mandela walked out of prison on 11 February 1990, he made a speech that resonates to this day. He said the armed struggle would continue until apartheid collapsed. He called on the international community to continue the boycott of the apartheid regime.

Mandela and the ANC showed determination and vision to the end. Both are sadly lacking in Palestine

“The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle… To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid. Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way,” Mandela said.

Compare this to what Fatah has done. It signed the Oslo agreement that criminalised the armed struggle and opened the way for Israel to normalise its relations with China, the Soviet Union in its last days, India and many African countries. Oslo gave nothing to the Palestinians. It ended up giving a lot to Israel, culminating in the opening of embassies in Abu Dhabi and Manama. 

The Palestinian Authority created by Oslo became a surrogate of Israeli forces, even when Israel was starving Ramallah of tax revenue collected on its behalf. In Abbas’s own words, the PA provided Israel with “the cheapest occupation in history”.

What did Abbas get in return? Another 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

Mandela and the African National Congress showed determination and vision to the end. Both are sadly lacking in Palestine. The mice of this struggle are in Ramallah. The lions are on the street – where they have always been.

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

Related

Palestinian Resistance running in the New Legislative Elections Simulates Insanity,إستراتيجية فلسطينية واقعية في مقابل انتخابات تحاكي الجنون

**Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Palestinian Resistance running in the New Legislative Elections Simulates Insanity

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
* Palestinian writer and Political researcher

Amro Allan

First published in Global Research

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results:” this quote is wrongly attributed to Einstein, but regardless of who said it, this is what best describes the Palestinian resistance participation in the new Palestinian legislative elections. The new elections are being sold as the way for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. However, the Palestinian division occurred in the light of the results of the 2006 legislative elections, and as a direct result of the contrast between Hamas and Fatah strategies towards the Palestinian cause. 

The strategies of the Palestinian factions have not changed since the previous elections. On the contrary, the Palestinian Authority (which in fact represents Fatah) has become entrenched further with the occupation, and the foreign actors’ stance against the Palestinian resistance has become more rigid. And it is stands to reason that a significant change in at least one of these two factors is a prerequisite to expect different outcome of any new elections 

So, away from the slogans of the reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the accompanied PR campaigns, what does each of the Palestinian factions hope to achieve from these elections?  And more importantly, what is the solution to break the siege imposed on the Palestinian resistance in Gaza?

The Palestinian Authority (PA)

In January 2020, the former U.S. administration announced the ‘deal of the century’; this deal in fact exposed the hidden intention of the successive U.S. administrations. This announcement was preceded by the Zionist Entity revealing its intention to annex the West Bank. Add to this, the ‘Jewish nation-state’  laws which the Zionist Entity passed in 2018 that may lead to transportation of the Palestinians in the 1948 territories out of their homes. After all these developments, Mahmoud Abbas declared Oslo Accords dead and the end of the security coordination with the occupation. With this, a glimmer of hope within the Palestinian factions that the PA had finally benefited from its disastrous experience over the past 30 years has emerged. It was said at the time that it was possible for Fatah to agree with the other Palestinian factions on the basis of civil resistance to the occupation. And a meeting of the Secretaries-Generals of the Palestinian factions was held in Beirut on this basis. However, soon the hope of any change in the performance of the PA evaporated. The PA continued to coordinate fully with the ‘Israelis’ forces in order to thwart any attempt to resist the occupation and continued to suppress any popular movement on the ground, no matter how peaceful it was. The PA relentlessly suppressed Even the peaceful popular demonstration of solidarity with the hunger-striking detainee Maher al-Akhras at the time. Then came the shocking statement of Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA Civil Affairs Minister, when he announced the return of the PA diplomatic relations with ‘Israel’ to how it was, including the security coordination- which in truth never ceased. 

It has become clear to most observers that the PA function has become limited to two tasks: first, collecting financial aid; and second, paving the way (knowingly or unknowingly) for the occupation to accomplish its aims of annexing what little that remains of the West Bank. 

By stifling any form of Palestinian movements, peaceful or otherwise, to resist the occupation’s changing the facts on the ground, the Pa has become de-facto complicit of the occupation. Hence, all PA talk still possessing a Palestinian national project becomes no more than empty rhetoric. Because even he who believes in the negotiations as the only path to attain Palestinian rights does not strip himself of all negotiation leverages as the PA has indeed done. The PA has become a mockery of itself. It now mimics the French government of Vichy or the South Lebanon Army; with the difference that the last two had a project, regardless of our view of their projects, whereas the PA no longer has a task to speak of. These are not labels that can be given lightly or as a matter of populism, nor it is a call for internal fighting which must be avoided at all cost, especially in the presence of the occupation. But this is a description of the current situation that must be taken into account when assessing any future Palestinian strategy.

Thus, it can be reasoned that the goal of Mahmoud Abbas and the PA from the elections is to renew their legitimacy, or more precisely to take allegiance from Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian factions, and then to return to the vortex of what they call peace process and with no horizons in sight, of course. 

Hamas and the Palestinian resistance factions

Hamas and the Palestinian resistance are going through an evident crisis, because of their limited options and their failure to lift the 15-year siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. It can be argued that the origins of the blockade were Hamas’s strategic miscalculations to run in the 2006 legislative elections- which did not secure Hamas any immunity nor protected it as it had hoped. Notwithstanding this argument, the occupation remains the prime source of the blockade. The Zionist Entity is the holder of the blockade keys and no one else. This is the primary fact and must not be ignored when formulating any   strategy to dismantle the blockade.

It is not a secret that Hamas is hoping that running in the upcoming elections will lead to lifting the blockade or at the very least easing it. This presents two assumptions: either Hamas competes against Fatah to win the majority in the legislative elections or runs with Fatah on the same party list. Suppose it is the former, and Hamas wins the election. In that case, Hamas will face a repeat of the 2006 scenario if there is no change in the Palestinian faction’s policies nor any change in the key international players’ stance towards the Palestinian resistance. 

But if Hamas runs in the elections on a party list with Fatah, and it agrees to be a minority in the legislative elections, it will become an opposition party within the Oslo system. At which point, they will be obliged to play according to the Oslo rules. We observe the emergence of two parallel lines on the Palestinian scene- that can never converge. One represents the PA which has become linked to the occupation (and part of it, in reality), and which does not believe in any form of confrontation with the occupation, even a peaceful one; whilst the other believes in Resistance to restore Palestinian rights. As a result, the resistance factions will find themselves facing the same current dilemma. With the difference that this time they will have given to the opposite side new ammunition to use against them. The Palestinian resistance will be required internally and internationally to respect the elections’ results and hand over the Gaza Strip to the PA before any easing of the blockade takes place.  And because the blockade keys are with the occupation, the Palestinian resistance will have to follow the Zionist Entity’s definition of handing over control of the Gaza Strip. And that means the disarmament of the Palestinian resistance and nothing else.

The solution to break the siege on the Palestinian resistance

It must be recognized first that finding a solution to the Gaza crisis is not a simple task, because the blockade is linked first and foremost to the occupation itself and is only one of its   symptoms. Nevertheless, what deserves attention is that the Occupation Entity has allowed a lot of financial aid to the PA in Ramallah and even to the Gaza Strip, whenever the status quo nears the point of collapse in the West Bank or Gaza. This indicates that the Zionist Entity fears an explosion in either of these arenas. For instance, Netanyahu retreated from his decision to announce the West Bank’s annexation fearing the break of a third intifada based on the estimates of his security advisers and nothing else. This casts doubt on the idea that the West Bank    is not ready for a popular movement and a third intifada. It is true that starting a popular movement is not without many obstacles, first of which   is the presence of the PA intelligence services, who are now directly coordinating with the Shin Bet. Nevertheless, is it really possible that the Palestinian factions are short of the means to motivate people and move onto the street if they put their mind to it?

In addition to what has been said, if we put the blockade imposed on the Palestinian resistance in its broader context as part of the economic war imposed on all resistance forces in the region, movements and states alike, the lifting of the siege on Gaza clearly becomes a common interest for all these actors. And this calls for the Palestinian factions to try to formulate a unified strategy with all the resistance forces in the region (i.e. the Axis of Resistance) to lift the blockade. It is, of course, obvious that this requires rounds and rounds of discussion, and that any strategy to break the siege with the support of the Axis of Resistance will be a medium-term strategy, but this remains the more productive option. Engaging in uncalculated adventures such as new elections will only lead to more time-wasting, even according to the most optimistic estimates.

Conclusion

The siege imposed on the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip is a vital component in the overall strategy of the Zionist Entity, and any counter plan to break the siege that does not take in account this fact is bound to fail. Therefore, steps that can change the equations on the ground and the development of a comprehensive national Palestinian strategy are paramount for dismantling the siege. Today the Palestinians have a realistic opportunity to impose withdrawal of the occupation from the 1967 territories through a   third intifada. This would undoubtedly change all the existing equations on the ground. 

What is put forward in this article are only thoughts for deliberation. The formulation of a complete future Palestinian strategy needs the participation of many minds. But what this article has tried to avoid is sugar-coating the reality, simplifying the status quo, and providing solutions that appear attractive on the outside but bear the seeds of their own failure in the inside.

* Palestinian writer and Political researcher

إستراتيجية فلسطينية واقعية في مقابل انتخابات تحاكي الجنون

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

عمرو علان

First published in Arabic in Al-Akhbar Fri 5 Feb 2021

الأخبار الجمعة 5 شباط 2021

«الجنون هو أن تكرّر الفعل نفسه أكثر من مرّة وتتوقّع نتائج مغايرة». يُنسب هذا الاقتباس خطأ إلى آينشتاين، لكن بغضّ النظر عمّن كان قائله الحقيقي، لعلّه أفضل ما يُوَصِّف حالة انتخابات المجلس التشريعي الفلسطيني المزمع إجراؤها قريباً. لقد وقع الانقسام الفلسطيني، أصلاً، على ضوء نتائج انتخابات عام 2006 التشريعية، وكنتيجة لتباين النظرة بشأن الاستراتيجيات بين حركتَي «حماس» و«فتح»، ومنذ ذلك الحين، لم يطرأ أيّ تغيير على الظروف الداخلية الفلسطينية من ناحية المواقف، ولا الرؤى تجاه المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني، ولا الموقفان الخارجيان الدولي والعربي قد تبدّلا بشيء. بل على العكس، زاد انحدار السلطة الفلسطينية وارتباطها بالاحتلال داخلياً، وزاد الموقفان الدولي والعربي نكراناً للحق الفلسطيني وصلفاً تجاه القوى الفلسطينية عموماً، فكيف إذن يمكن توقّع أن تكون نتائج الانتخابات الجديدة أفضل من سابقتها، وأن تؤدّي إلى مصالحة فلسطينية؟ فما الذي يبتغيه، إذن، كلّ طرف من هذه الانتخابات بعيداً عن الشعارات المعلنة وحملات العلاقات العامّة؟ وما هو الحل للخروج من حالتَي المراوحة والتيه الواضحتين في الوضع الفلسطيني؟

السلطة الفلسطينية

مع إعلان الإدارة الأميركية السابقة عن صفقة القرن، هذه الصفقة التي تمثل التوجه الحقيقي للإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة، وما تلاها من إفصاح الكيان الصهيوني عن مسعاه لضمّ أراضي الضفّة الغربية، ناهيك بسَنّ قوانين يهودية الدولة التي تهدّد أصل وجود فلسطينيّي أراضي الـ48 في ديارهم، ظهر بصيص أمل ولو كان ضئيلاً عن احتمالية كون السلطة قد استفادت من تجربتها الكارثية، خلال الأعوام الثلاثين الماضية، عندما أعلن محمود عباس عدم الالتزام بمخرجات أوسلو ووقف التنسيق الأمني، وقيل حينها إنّه يمكن التوافق بين سائر القوى الفلسطينية على أرضية الحدّ الأدنى في مقاومة الاحتلال على أساس المقاومة الشعبية. وعلى وقْع ذلك، تمّ عقد اجتماع أمناء الفصائل في بيروت، لكن سرعان ما تبدّد الأمل في أي تبدّل ولو كان طفيفاً في أداء السلطة، فقد استمرت السلطة في التعاون الكامل مع قوات الاحتلال بهدف إحباط أيّ محاولة لمقاومة الاحتلال، وتابعت قمع أيّ حراك شعبي على الأرض مهما كان سلمياً، وحتى مجرّد التظاهرة الشعبية السلمية للتضامن مع الأسير المضرب عن الطعام آنذاك، ماهر الأخرس، تمّ قمعها دون هوادة. وتبع ذلك تصريح حسين الشيخ مستهزِئاً بعقول كلّ الشعب الفلسطيني بلا استثناء، عندما أعلن ما أسماه «انتصار الشعب الفلسطيني» وعودة التنسيق الأمني رسمياً (ويا دار ما دخلك شر).

لقد بات جلياً من طريقة تعاطي السلطة الفلسطينية مع الواقع الفلسطيني، أنّ وظيفتها صارت محصورة بأمرين لا ثالث لهما؛ الأول: تحصيل المخصّصات، والآخر: تمهيد الأرضية في الضفة الغربية – بعلم أو بدون علم – كي يُنجِز الاحتلال مشروعه بابتلاع ما بقي من أراضي الضفة عبر منعها لأيّ شكل من أشكال المقاومة أو الحراك من أجل التصدّي لخطوات الاحتلال التي يستمر بتنفيذها على أرض الواقع. وكلّ حديث عن مشروع وطني فلسطيني لدى السلطة ما هو إلا صرخات في البرّية، فحتى من كان يؤمن بطريق المفاوضات لتحصيل حقوقه لا يعمد إلى تجريد نفسه من كلّ ما لديه من أوراق ضغط أو تفاوض من تلقاء ذاته. وعلى هذا، صارت السلطة الفلسطينية تحاكي حكومة فيشي الفرنسية أو جيش لحد الجنوبي مع فارق أنّه كان لهذين الأخيرين مشروع، بغضّ النظر عن رأينا في مشروعيهما، بينما لا يوجد أي أفق مستقبلي أو مشروع للسلطة الفلسطينية، هذه ليست توصيفات يمكن إطلاقها بِخِفّة أو من باب الشعبوية، ولا هي دعوة إلى الاقتتال الداخلي الذي يجب اجتنابه بأيّ ثمن، ولا سيما في ظلّ وجود الاحتلال، لكن هذا توصيف لواقع حال يجب أن يؤخذ في الحسبان عند تقدير أيّ موقف.

وإذا ما ألقينا نظرة فاحصة، نجد أنّ السلطة فعلياً باتت تمثّل مشروع الفلسطيني المهزوم. لذلك، نجد محمود عباس يقول إنّه سيفاوض ويستمر بالمفاوضات والاستجداء عساه يُحصِّل شيئاً من الحقوق الفلسطينية، ويُعلّل ذلك بكون الفلسطيني جرّب الطرق الأخرى ولم يحصل على مراده لأنّ الظروف الدولية والإقليمية والداخلية في غير مصلحته، بحسب فهمه غير الدقيق ولا الواقعي. لكن يغيب عن هذا التصوّر أنّه حتى خيار الاستسلام غير متاح للفلسطيني الموجود في الضفة وأراضي الـ48، فالكيان الصهيوني لم يَعُد يخفي مشروعه في هضم أراضي الضفة وترحيل سكانها عاجلاً أم آجلاً، وربما يكون مردّ التشويش في هذا التصوّر تجاهل أصل المشروع الصهيوني الذي هو مشروع إحلالي يقوم على اقتلاع السكان الأصليين للأرض وإحلال المستوطنين مكانهم، وقد ساعد في ظهور هذا التصوّر بروز بعض الأطروحات المشوِّهة لحقيقة الصراع من قبيل نظريات الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد)، أو أنّ القضية الفلسطينية هي قضية كرامة أو مساواة. لكنّ المفارقة، هنا، أنّ خيار الاستسلام ربما يكون متاحاً لأهالي غزّة إذا ارتضوا العيش بذلّة تحت سيطرة الصهيوني، وليس لباقي سكّان المناطق الأخرى في أرض فلسطين. نكتفي بهذا القدر كي لا نستطرد عن أصل النقاش الحالي أكثر.

بناءً على هذا العرض، يمكن الخلوص إلى كون هدف محمود عباس والسلطة عموماً من إجراء الانتخابات هو تجديد شرعيتها، أو أخذ البيعة من حركة «حماس» وباقي الفصائل، بتأييد خطّها السياسي إن صحّ وصفه بالخط سياسي، ومن ثم لتعود إلى دوّامة ما يسمونه مفاوضات سلام وبلا أيّ أفق طبعاً، بينما تواصل تأدية دورها الوظيفي في تأمين الحماية لقوات الاحتلال والمستوطنين، ريثما يُجْهِز الكيان الصهيوني على باقي أراضي الضفة وعلى الوجود السكاني لأهالي الضفة وأراضي الـ48.

«حماس» وفصائل المقاومة

تمرّ «حماس» بأزمة خيارات واضحة وحقيقية، بسبب إخفاقها في فكّ الحصار عن قطاع غزة، هذا الحصار الذي تشارك فيه السلطة ذاتها وبعض الدول العربية المتواطئة، والذي بات يشكّل عبئاً على أهالي القطاع ويتسبّب في عجز الحكم في غزة عن تأمين الكثير من الحاجيات الأولية للغزّيين، ناهيكم بتعطيل حركة الدخول والخروج من وإلى القطاع، ما حوَّل قطاع غزة إلى سجن مفتوح بكل معنى الكلمة. ويمكن المحاجّة بأنّ منشأ الحصار كان بسبب تقدير «حماس» الاستراتيجي الخاطئ الذي خاضت بموجبه الانتخابات التشريعية في عام 2006، التي لم تؤمّن للحركة أي حصانة ولا هي حمت ظهرها كما كان مرجواً، لكن بعيداً عن كلّ هذا النقاش يبقى الاحتلال هو مصدر الحصار الأول والأخير، ومفتاح فكّه ليس مع أحد سواه، لا مع السلطة ولا مع تلك الدول العربية المتواطئة، وهذا أمر أساسي لا يصحّ تجاهله عند صياغة أي استراتيجية لفكّ الحصار.

بناءً على ما سلف، يمكن استنتاج أنّ «حماس» تأمل من دخول الانتخابات فكّ الحصار أو تخفيفه على أقلّ تقدير، وهذا بالتالي يطرح فرضيّتين: إما دخول «حماس» الانتخابات على أساس المغالبة، وإمّا خوضها على أساس المشاركة بصيغة قائمة مشتركة مع «فتح» أو بصيغة أخرى يُتّفَق عليها.

فإذا كانت الانتخابات مغالبة، واستطاعت «حماس» الفوز بالأكثرية، عندها نكون أمام تكرار سيناريو عام 2006 بحذافيره، طالما لا تغيير في المواقف الداخلية للأطراف ولا تبديل للمواقف الدولية كما ذكرنا. وأما إذا كانت الانتخابات بالمشاركة وارتضت «حماس» أن تكون أقلية، أو إذا ما فشلت في تحقيق الأغلبية بالمغالبة ففي الحالتين ستتحوّل إلى معارضة ضمن منظومة أوسلو، وعندها ستكون ملزمة باللعب وفق قواعدِه، وفي ظلّ وجود خطّين متوازيين على الساحة الفلسطينية لا يتقاطعان، أحدهما بات مرتبطاً بالاحتلال عضوياً وبالطبيعة لا يؤمِن بأيّ شكل من أشكال مجابهة الاحتلال حتى ولو كانت سلمية، والآخر يؤمِن بالمقاومة كسبيل لاستعادة الحقوق.

فستجد «حماس» وسائر فصائل المقاومة نفسها أمام ذات المعضلة الحالية، لكن هذه المرة ستكون قد منحت للطرف المقابل ذخيرة جديدة للاستقواء عليها، فهي ستكون مطالبة داخلياً ودولياً باحترام نتائج الانتخابات وتسليم قطاع غزة قبل أيّ تخفيف للحصار. وهنا لن ينفع التذاكي فالحصار مفتاحه مع الاحتلال والآخرون هم مجرد تفصيل كما جادلنا، وتسليم القطاع لدى الكيان الصهيوني يعني تسليم كلّ فصائل المقاومة لسلاحها الموجود فوق الأرض وتحت الأرض ولا شيء دون ذلك.

لكن يردُّ البعض بأنّ دخول الانتخابات يمكن أن يمنح «حماس» وسائر فصائل المقاومة وضعاً في الداخل الفلسطيني يماثل وضع حزب الله في لبنان، وهنا يمكن قول الآتي: من الصعب مقارنة وضع قطاع غزة وحال فصائله بالحالة اللبنانية، لا من ناحية وجود سوريا على الحدود اللبنانية التي لا تشارك في حصار لبنان، والتي فوق ذلك تشكّل خطّ إمداد لحزب الله منها وعبرها، ولا من ناحية قوة حزب الله الذي بلغ مرحلة من القدرة التسليحية يستطيع معها تبديل معادلات إقليمية. ومع هذا، يجب الانتباه إلى أنّ من يطْبِق الحصار على غزّة هو الكيان الصهيوني بشكل مباشر، بينما يعدّ الأميركي الوحيد الذي لديه قدرة على ممارسة أشكال من الحصار على لبنان. وكان الأميركي يتَّبِع في الفترات الماضية استراتيجية المساكنة في لبنان لحسابات معقّدة ومخاوف لديه لا مجال لذكرها هنا، بينما تخلّى اليوم عن فكرة المساكنة، وهذا ما يفسر الضغط الاقتصادي الذي يمرّ به لبنان بالأساس، بالإضافة إلى عوامل داخلية لبنانية أخرى مساعِدة. وخلاصة القول أنّ جميع قوى المقاومة في الإقليم تتعرّض، اليوم، لحصار مالي واقتصادي تتفاوت فعاليته وآثاره تبَعاً لظروف كلّ فصيل وجغرافياً موقع تواجده.

الخروج من حالة المراوحة

استعرضنا في ما سبق كيف أنّ دخول «حماس» الانتخابات لن يفضي إلى حلٍّ لحصار غزة، بل يرجّح أن يؤدّي إلى نتائج عكسية تعود بالضرر على المقاومة الفلسطينية. هذا ولم نفصل في المخاطر على المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني وثوابته وأهدافه لضيق المساحة. وقبل الخوض في الحلول، يجب الاعتراف بداية بأنّ إيجاد حلّ لأزمة غزة ليس بالأمر الهيّن كون الحصار مرتبطاً أولاً وأخيراً بالاحتلال ذاته وما هو إلّا أحد أعراضه، وهو ضريبة تدفعها قوى المقاومة إلى جانب ضرائب أخرى كثيرة يتحمّلها كلّ من يسعى إلى التحرير كما جادلنا. لكن يجب أيضاً الإشارة إلى أمر آخر جدير بالانتباه، وهو سماح كيان الاحتلال لقدر من المساعدات المالية بالوصول إلى سلطة رام الله، وحتى قطاع غزّة، كلّما أوشك الوضع على الانهيار، سواءً في الضفة أو قطاع غزة. وهذا يشير بوضوح إلى أنّ ما يخشاه العدو هو حصول انفجار في أيٍّ من هاتين الساحتين، ويبدو أنّ العدو بات مدركاً لمكامن ضعفه واختلال موازين القوى لغير مصلحته أكثر من إدراك بعض الفلسطينيين لهذه الوقائع، فنجد بنيامين نتنياهو يتراجع عن قراره الذي استثمر فيه كثيراً بإعلان ضمّ أراضي الضفة الغربية تحسّباً لانفجار الانتفاضة في أراضي الـ67، بناءً على تقديرات أجهزته الأمنية ولا شيء سوى ذلك، وهذا يدحض الفكرة القائلة بكون الضفة مترهّلة وغير حاضرة للتحرّك شعبياً. صحيح أنّ الحراك الشعبي دونه صعاب عديدة، أوّلها وجود جيش من مخبري أجهزة السلطة الذين باتوا يأتمرون بأمر الشاباك مباشرة، لكن هل يُعقل أن تعدم الفصائل الوسيلة في تحريك الشارع؟

وفي المقابل، فليس مردّ التذمّر الشعبي ضيق الحال المعيشي فقط، لكنّ حالتَي السكون والمراوحة اللتين يعيشهما الوضع الفلسطيني هما سببان لا يمكن تجاهلهما، حيث كون هذا الوضع يوحي بانسداد الأفق على الصعيد الوطني، وفي هذه الحالة تطفو المصاعب المعيشية على السطح لتأخذ موقع الصدارة على القضايا الوطنية الأخرى. وهذه ليست دعوة للهروب إلى الأمام كما ربما سيحاجج البعض، فأيّ حراك شعبي في الضفة هذه المرة ستكون حظوظه في فرض الانسحاب على كيان الاحتلال من أراضي الـ67 مرتفعة للغاية، بناءً على استقراء التوازنات الدولية والإقليمية وحالة التراجع التي يعيشها الكيان الصهيوني. ولا تغرّنكم حالة انهيار بعض الأعراب أمام هذا الكيان، فهؤلاء مصيرهم مرتبط بهذه المنظومة الاستعمارية وليس بمقدورهم تعديل موازين القوى بشكل حقيقي، ويصحّ فيهم القول الشعبي: «عصفور يسند زرزور».

بالإضافة إلى ما تَقدَّم، إذا ما وضعنا الحصار المفروض على قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية في إطاره الأوسع كجزء من الحرب المفروضة على كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم أحزاباً ودولاً، كما نوّهنا في الفقرة السابقة، يصير فكّ الحصار عن غزة مصلحة مشتركة لكلّ هذه الأطراف مجتمعة، ويستدعي العمل من جهة الفصائل الإسلامية والوطنية الفلسطينية على محاولة صياغة استراتيجية موحّدة مع كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم. ندرك كون هذا الأمر يلزمه جولات وجولات من التباحث، وكون أيّ استراتيجية لفكّ الحصار بالتوافق مع القوى الداعمة ستكون من طبيعة الاستراتيجيات المتوسّطة المدى، لكن هذا يظلّ أجدى من الدخول في مغامرات غير محسوبة العواقب كالانتخابات، التي لن تؤدي إلّا إلى المزيد من إضاعة الوقت بحسب أكثر التقديرات تفاؤلاً.

خاتمة

حصار قوى المقاومة في غزة ليس بالأمر الثانوي ضمن استراتيجية العدو، لهذا لا يُتوقع أن تفلح الخطوات الملتوية ولا الهروب من حقيقة الأمر في فكّه، ويلزم لذلك خطوات من شأنها تبديل المعادلات على الأرض، ومشروع وطني متكامل. واليوم، أمام الشعب الفلسطيني فرصة واقعية لفرض الانسحاب على الكيان الصهيوني من أراضي الـ67 عبر انتفاضة ثالثة، وهذا من شأنه بلا شك تبديل كل التوازنات القائمة، وما تمّ طرحه في هذا المقال هو عبارة عن أفكار للنقاش والتداول كون الأمر يحتاج إلى العديد من العقول للخروج باستراتيجية مجدية. يقول المثل الإنكليزي: «يُغَلِّف الموت بالسُّكَّر»، كناية عن عدم مواجهة الأمور على حقيقتها، وهذا ما حاول هذا المقال تفاديه بدلاً من تبسيط الوضع القائم وتقديم حلول ظاهرها سهل وباطنها فشل، وتبقى هذه هي ضريبة التحرير والمقاومة التي لا مناص من دفعها.

* كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

Israel will pull out all the stops to avoid facing war crimes charges

An ICC ruling has panicked Israeli officials who can now be investigated, but they will likely respond with intensified threats 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gaza%20rubble%202014%20afp.jpg
A Palestinian girl walks on the rubble around her family’s home in Gaza in 2014 (AFP)
Jonathan CookJonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Jonathan Cook

11 February 2021 11:04 UTC 

Israel has been sent into a tailspin by a ruling last week from the war crimes court in The Hague. Senior Israeli officials, including possibly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, can now be held accountable for violations of the laws of war in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The decision by judges at the International Criminal Court  (ICC) does not ensure Israelis will be put on trial for war crimes – not yet, at least. But after years of delay, it does settle the question of whether the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza fall under the court’s jurisdiction. They do, say the judges. 

While Israel is only too aware of what its top war crimes suspects have been up to, Netanyahu is right to observe that last week’s ruling by the ICC is a political one

Perhaps the most preposterous – if entirely predictable – of the reactions to the ICC’s decision came from Netanyahu himself. 

That the door is now open for Israelis to be investigated for war crimes is the reason Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum responded so angrily to the ruling. The court’s chief prosecutor has already completed a preliminary inquiry, in which she concluded there was a legal basis for a full investigation.

At the weekend, he falsely declared in a video in English, intended for foreign audiences, that the ICC was investigating Israel for what he called “fake war crimes” – and then attributed its imagined actions to “pure antisemitism”. He also threw in a reference to the Nazi Holocaust for good measure.

There was no little irony to his claims. On Friday, Netanyahu denounced the judges’ ruling as proving that the ICC was “a political body and not a judicial institution”. In fact, it is Netanyahu who is playing politics, by character-assassinating the court in what should be a purely legal and judicial matter. He hopes to use antisemitism smears, Israel’s favoured tactic, to keep the ICC’s investigators at bay. 

Court officials have already shown an interest in pursuing three separate lines of inquiry: Israel’s attacks on Gaza that have left large numbers of Palestinian civilians dead; the repeated lethal shooting of Palestinian protesters at Gaza’s perimeter fence; and decades of illegal Israeli settlement-building on occupied land, which has often entailed the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Attack on aid boat

Whatever Netanyahu’s current protestations, the truth is that Israel’s own legal teams have long advised that its military commanders, government ministers and senior administrators are vulnerable to prosecution. That is why they have travelled for many years with a special “panic button” on their phones to alert local diplomatic staff of the threat of arrest at a foreign airport. 

Just such an incident occurred in 2013, when former navy commander Eli Marom hit the button after he wrongly suspected border officials at London’s Heathrow airport were preparing to arrest him under so-called “universal jurisdiction” laws.

Three years earlier, Marom had approved a lethal attack in international waters by navy commandos on an aid convoy of ships trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Demonstrators chant slogans during a 2016 rally in Istanbul, Turkey, marking the sixth anniversary of the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident (AFP)
Demonstrators chant slogans during a 2016 rally in Istanbul, Turkey, marking the sixth anniversary of the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident (AFP)

Marom had reason to be nervous. Earlier, in 2005, a retired general, Doron Almog, hid on an El Al plane for two hours after landing at Heathrow before quickly taking off again, to avoid a UK arrest warrant over the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes. Scotland Yard reportedly allowed Almog to escape rather than engage in a gun battle trying to arrest him.

In fact, Israel knows enough about which of its senior officials have broken international law – and how – that last summer it compiled a secret list of hundreds who were most likely to be investigated for war crimes.  

Bid to terrorise court

But while Israel is only too aware of what its top war crimes suspects have been up to, Netanyahu is right to observe that last week’s ruling by the ICC is a political one. 

In fact, the court’s treatment of Israel has been deeply mired in politics ever since the Palestinian Authority acceded to the ICC in 2015. Western allies have sought repeatedly to intimidate and strong-arm the court to ensure Israeli officials are not tried for war crimes.The PA, the ICC and Israel

It is no coincidence that ICC judges found the backbone to assert jurisdiction over the occupied territories immediately after Donald Trump stepped down as US president. His administration had waged a campaign to intimidate the court, which included a ban on ICC staff entering the US and threats to freeze their assets.

The timing of the ICC’s ruling may also be related to the fact that its chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is due to quit her post in a few months. She is unlikely to launch any investigations of Israelis before then, leaving the task to her successor.

Such a delay will buy Israel more time. And under an onslaught of pressure, the new chief prosecutor may be persuaded that Israel – despite decades of law-breaking – is not a high enough priority to justify the court’s limited resources. 

Campaigning begins 

Just such a campaign has already begun. On Sunday, the Israeli foreign ministry sent an urgent, classified cable to dozens of its ambassadors, urging them to recruit their respective capitals to a campaign to put pressure on the ICC.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi – a former military chief of staff who is almost certainly on Israel’s secret list of war crimes suspects – rang his counterparts in foreign capitals, urging them to help. That will likely include lobbying for a more sympathetic chief prosecutor to replace Bensouda.

There will continue to be many large obstacles – few of them related to law – that need to be dealt with before any Israelis end up in the dock at The Hague

Israeli media reported security sources as saying that several ICC member states had already agreed to tip Israel off should they learn that any arrest warrants have been issued against Israelis.

Already, the Biden administration in the US, Germany and the Australian government, stalwart defenders of Israel, have issued denunciations of the ICC decision – and implicitly the international norms of war the court is supposed to uphold. 

Responding to Germany’s attack on the court, Hanan Ashrawi, a former senior Palestinian official, tweeted on Tuesday: “So your ‘legal view’ supersedes the ruling of the ICC judges and the resolutions of the UN [General Assembly]? No self-respecting state should accept instructions from (or intimidation by) Israel.”

Other states, with their own self-interested calculations, may soon follow suit. Those that have allied themselves most closely with the US-led “war on terror”, including the UK, have every reason to ensure that Israel – a state very much in the “western diplomatic club” – is not held to account for war crimes of the kind they too have committed. They prefer that the ICC continues to limit its indictments to African leaders. 

Behind-the-scenes lobbying and intimidation may explain the seemingly perverse reasoning of the ICC in December to close its investigation of UK officials without issuing any indictments. It did so even while accepting that British forces had likely committed war crimes in Iraq. Israel may hope for a similar, fudged reprieve.

Shielding Israel

The reality is that the case against Israel was always going to depend on political factors far more than legal ones once it became vulnerable to investigation. But the shielding of Israel over war crimes was evident long before Palestine’s ratification of the Rome Statute in 2015.

Six years earlier, for example, Israel orchestrated a campaign of intimidation against a celebrated South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, over the report of his UN committee into Israel’s 2009 attack on Gaza. The report found Israel and Hamas responsible for committing war crimes, and possibly even graver crimes against humanity.

Richard Goldstone, the UN investigator who probed the 2009 Gaza conflict, attends a media conference in Geneva in July 2009 (AFP)
Richard Goldstone, the UN investigator who probed the 2009 Gaza conflict, attends a media conference in Geneva in July 2009 (AFP)

Goldstone repudiated his strongest findings months later after the personal campaign against him culminated in the South African Zionist Federation barring him from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah.

Similarly, “universal jurisdiction” rules, which allow foreign citizens to seek the arrest of an official suspected of violating international law if his or her state refuses to adjudicate, have never been enforced in practice against Israelis. 

Foot-dragging by ICC

The ICC had an opportunity to investigate Israeli officials over the attack in international waters on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010. Ten Turkish civilians, one of whom was also an American citizen, were killed by Israeli commandos who boarded the ships. Israel is losing the fight to obscure its apartheid character

Instead, Bensouda chose in 2014 not to proceed with the case initiated by the Comoros, the flag under which the boat was sailing. In an appeal last year, ICC judges criticised her for a series of “errors” in reaching that decision, in refusing to reconsider after they mandated she do so, and in failing to investigate the incident again in 2019.

But the judges concluded it was “unclear” what power they themselves had to rectify these failings and so did not ask for a further review.

Delays and buck-passing have also plagued the ICC’s latest ruling. The court has been foot-dragging on jurisdiction issues ever since 2015. There will continue to be many large obstacles – few of them related to law – that need to be dealt with before any Israelis end up in the dock at The Hague.

Slivers of hope

Nonetheless, last week’s ruling offers Palestinians a few slivers of hope. It confirms that Israel’s battle to deny the Palestinian fight for statehood is not entirely going its way. And it suggests that the post-Trump political climate may turn out to be more stormy for Israel than expected. Its leaders may have to be slightly more cautious about the scale and visibility of the war crimes they approve. 

The real test is whether it can rise above the name-calling and gaslighting to apply international law in a way that truly protects Palestinians

The court may settle to leave the sword of a possible investigation hanging over Israel, hoping that alone will be enough to curb Israel’s worst excesses, such as plans to annex swaths of the West Bank. 

Or the ICC may trust that its jurisdiction ruling will serve as a wake-up call to the Israeli Supreme Court, whose failures to enforce international law in the occupied territories paved the way to The Hague. But settling for any of these outcomes will be more evasion by the court, more playing politics. 

The test of whether the ICC is a judicial body rather than a political one is not, as Netanyahu demands, that it refuse to investigate Israel. The real test is whether it can rise above the name-calling and gaslighting to apply international law in a way that truly protects Palestinians. 

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

RELATED

WARNING Zionist brutality: the everyday nightmare in Palestine

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 04-10 January 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 04-10 January 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

04 – 10 February 2021

  • Palestinian killed by settlement guard in Mount Al-Risan
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 19 Palestinians wounded, including six children
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural lands, and twice at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 95 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 95 civilians arrested, including 7 children
  • Two houses demolished; 21 residential tents, 11 barracks and sheep barn destroyed; and 4 pools and 3 wells razed in the West Bank
  • Settler-attacks: attacks on civilians across the West Bank, and a settler attacks the Romanian Orthodox Church in east Jerusalem
  • Collective punishment policy: house of Palestinian imprisoned by Israel was demolished
  • IOF established 69 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 13 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, a settler killed a Palestinian civilian at Mount al-Risan in Ramallah; and another settler attacked the Romanian Orthodox Church. Settlers also conducted wide scale attacks on Palestinian lands and houses and at intersections. Additionally, IOF conducted widescale demolition operations; and served demolition and cease-construction notices, mostly in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 209 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:

On 05 February 2021, Israeli settler (security guard) killed Khaled Maher Nofal (32); the settler shot Nofal in Mount al-Risan area, western Ramallah. IOF announced that Nofal arrived at an Israeli farm and attempted to break into a house; quarreled with a settler before being shot. IOF also announced that Nofal did not carry any weapon.

Additionally, IOF shot and injured 19 civilians, including six children, in excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: 10 at two protests in Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya; 3, including a child who was arrested after his injury, in Ramallah; 4, including a child, in Jenin; another Palestinian was injured after his arrest; two more children sustained injuries in Bethlehem.

In the Gaza Strip, four IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and twice at fishing boats off Gaza’s northern shore.

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, 95 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 4 incursions into eastern Beit Hanoun, Deir al-Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 12 incidents:

  • Hebron: an under-construction house was demolished; and 4 demolition notices were served, and 4 tents were demolished in al-Towana village.
  • Ramallah: 3 water wells demolished in Al-Mughayyir village.
  • Tubas: 12 residential tents demolished and confiscated; as well as 11 barracks and a sheep barn owned by 9 Palestinian families in Kherbet Yazra; also, 5 tents were removed in Kherbet Humsa in northern Jordan valleys.
  • Nablus: 13 demolition notices served (11 houses and 2 barracks) in Sarra.
  • East Jerusalem: abandoned house demolished in Sheikh Jarrah
  • Bethlehem: demolition notice (barracks used for cattle).
  • Jericho: 4 rainwater collection pools razed.
  • Salfit: 13 cease-construction notices served (11 houses, a playground, and a street).

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 9 settler-violence incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: attack on Romanian Orthodox Church
  • Nablus: assault on Khan al-Laban, and civilian houses in Asira al-Qibliya
  • Hebron: shepherds assaulted in al-Twana village
  • Salfit: 60 olive and citrus trees uprooted; Palestine TV crews assaulted while covering open media day
  • Ramallah: civilians assaulted in Sinjil
  • Bethlehem: settler scheme discovered to establish a community in al-Baidya al-Sahrqia

Collective Punishment:

Within the Israeli collective punishment policy practiced against Palestinians and the families of those accused of carrying out actions against IOF or settlers, on Wednesday, 10 February 2020, IOF demolished Mohammed Kabha’s house in Tura, Jenin. Kabha is imprisoned by Israel.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

  • On Friday dawn, 05 February 2021, Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian civilian after opening fire at him in Mount al-Risan area in Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. According to Israeli media, at approximately 03:30, Khaled Maher Nofal (32), from Ras Karkar village, arrived via his car at Sde Ephraim farm, which is established by Israeli settlers on Palestinians’ lands in Mount al-Risan area. Nofal attempted to enter an Israeli settler’s house, where hand-to-hand fighting occurred between Nofal and an Israeli settler. Meanwhile, another Israeli settler, a security guard in the area, opened fire at Nofal, killing him immediately. The Israeli authorities declared later that they did not find any weapons with Nofal.

Nofal’s family told PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 05:00, a large number of Israeli soldiers raided and searched their house and told them that Khaled sustained serious wounds, and he is receiving treatment at a hospital in Israel. IOF claimed that Nofal attempted to carry out an attack in an Israeli farm. IOF also asked Nofal’s father to look at his son clothes and belongings on an Israeli soldier’s cellphone. Nofal’s father and his son Mohammed were taken to the scene in Mount al-Risan area. Upon their arrival, they saw Khaled’s car parked there, but IOF did not allow them to see his corpse. Next day morning, the family received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison office informing them that Khaled died, and IOF refused to deliver his corpse. It should be noted that Khaled was married with a 4-year-old child.

  • At approximately 07:55, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Abasan village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of al-Showka village, 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 peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were shot with rubber and sponge bullets in their lower limbs and one was shot in his back.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Friday, 05 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah, and stationed in the village’s eastern side. IOF deployed between Palestinians’ houses and indiscriminately fired teargas canisters at them, breaking solar heaters above ‘Abed al-Qader Sa’ied’s house. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. During which, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who immediately responded with rubber bullets. Violent clashes erupted in the area, during which, Wesam Yousef ‘Aqel (17) headed towards the bypass road adjacent to the village. When he arrived there, IOF opened fire at him, wounding him with 2 live bullets in his foot and hand, and then arrested him. Wesam also sustained a teargas canister shrapnel wounds in his eye. At approximately 16:00, IOF released him and delivered him for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s ambulance, which took him to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital for treatment. Medical sources classified his medical health as stable. Clashes between IOF and Palestinian young men continued until 17:30. During these clashes, IOF chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets at them. As a result, a 24-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed on “60” street, which is located near “Ofra” settlement, east of Ramallah, opened fire at 3 civilians while present near the eastern entrance to Silwad village, near the mentioned street. As a result, a 22-year-old male, from Jalazone refugee camp, was shot with a live bullet in his left thigh, while another male sustained fractures in his foot. Both of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF stationed in a military watchtower established at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at Palestinian vehicles parked near the village’s entrance. IOF claimed that Palestinian young men threw stones at them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF closed the village’s entrance, established a checkpoint there, stopped Palestinians’ vehicles, and checked the passengers’ IDs.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 06 February 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were shot with rubber and sponge bullets in their lower limbs; two of them were shot in their face and back.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and stationed in al-Nakhla neighborhood. IOF established military checkpoints at the neighborhood entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails, and fireworks at IOF, who chased the protestors in the neighborhood and fired heavy rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. IOF withdrew later from the neighborhood; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 07:15 on Sunday, 07 February 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire around them and pumped water at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:20, IOF moved into Jenin and stationed in the Old City. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with live and rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, 2 civilians, including a child, were shot with live bullets in their lower limbs. Also, IOF ran over another civilian, wounding him in his left ankle. The wounded civilians were taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital for treatment. Moreover, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. During IOF incursion, they raided and searched Osama Hasan Naser Salah’s (25) house and arrested him, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:45 on Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF moved into Tal’at al-Khuboz area, southwest of Jenin, and topped houses’ roofs. Nour ‘Abed al-Kareem Mohammed al-Betawi (31) knew that IOF stationed near his 2-storey house, so he went up to the house roof to look at the soldiers. When he arrived at the roof, IOF stationed in a nearby house roof opened fire at him, wounding him with a live bullet in his chest from the left side, and 3 other bullets penetrated the house wall. Al-Betawi went down quickly to his wife, Nadiyia al-Betawi, and told her that he was wounded. Al-Betawi heard IOF entered his brothers Omar and Mahmoud’s house located in the ground floor, so he went down to them and told them he was wounded. Al-Betawi’s wife followed him while she was carrying her 4-month daughter and crying. IOF provided first aid to al-Betawi, arrested him, and threw a sound bomb in the house before leaving.

Nadiyia al-Betawi (23) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “At approximately 04:00 on Monday, my husband Nour ‘Abed al-Kareem Mohammed al-Betawi (31), our 4-month daughter and I were sleeping in our house located in Tal’at al-Khuboz area, southwest of Jenin. Our house is comprised of 2 floors; we live in the 1st floor while my brothers- in- law Omar and Mahmoud live in the ground floor. My husband woke me up and told me that IOF were present near the house. He got off the bed and went to the roof. Few minutes later, he returned and told me that he was wounded in his chest. I screamed for help, meanwhile, IOF entered our house and headed to the ground floor. My husband went down, and I followed him shouting “he was wounded”. The soldiers asked my husband how he was wounded. He told them by IOF soldiers on our neighbor’s roof. The soldiers provided first aid to him and I asked them to call an ambulance, but they fired a sound bomb at me while I was carrying my daughter. Fifteen minutes later, they arrested my husband and took him to an unknown destination. The following morning, I went up to the roof and I saw that 3 live bullets had penetrated the house wall. I informed the camp’s head about what happened, and she conducted many calls to help us, noting that my husband is not a wanted person and I do not know why IOF opened fire at him.” Also, IOF raided and searched Ahmed Marwan al-Ghoul’s (15) house in Jenin camp, and arrested him.

  • At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of al-Qarara village, no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near Barta’a military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel through the wall holes for working. As a result, a 29-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his foot and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 09 February 2021, a large number of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mostafa Ibrahim Da’amsah (21) and Islam Mohammed Sabateen (19). During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered on Hebron-Jerusalem Street and threw empty bottles and Molotov cocktail at IOF, who attacked the protestors, chased them on the camp’s streets and fired heavy live bullets and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child was shot with a live bullet in his foot and taken to Beit Jala Hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 08:40, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them until 10:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Tuqu village, east of Bethlehem. They established military checkpoints on the village’s main streets and stationed in the center of the village. Israeli soldiers topped Palestinians’ houses’ roofs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who responded with live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters. Clashes between IOF and Palestinians continued for over 3 hours. As a result, Mahmoud Sameeh Sabbah (9) was hit with a teargas canister in his head and taken to a hospital for treatment. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF arrested Riyad Talal ‘Issa al-‘Amour (16) while walking on the street and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands in ‘Abasan village; no causalities were reported.

Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 04 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Eizariya, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Alaa Bassam Odwan (26), Ashraf Mohammed al-Yassini (21) and Fares Ramzi Warny (17).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Deir Sammit southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Naji Saleem al-Horoub (24).
  • At approximately 01:55, IOF moved into Jaba’, south of Jenin. Dozens of civilians gather and threw stones at the Israeli vehicles. As a result, several civilians suffered teargas inhalation and treated on the spot. Meanwhile, IOF raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’een Othman Hamamra (27), and Khaled Mohammed Fashafsha (62). Later, IOF released Fashafsha.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Hadaf neighborhood, west of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ibrahim (32) and Amro Khaled Hammad (31) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00. IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fares Khader Zriena (21), and Malek Nayef Zboun (28).
  • At approximately 16:35, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at the entrance of al-Nassariya village, in the middle valleys, north east of Nablus, north of the West Bank. IOF arrested (3) civilians; Abdallah Mohammed Meskawy (24), Sa’eed Abdullah Majdalawi (24), from Balata refugee camp, and Yousef Ahmed Masa’eed (23), from Tubas.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Asira al-Shamaliya, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Esmat Jamil al-Shouli (72).
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ahmed Mahmoud Jouda al-Harami (24), from Abu Nujaym village, south east of Bethlehem, while present near “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Beit Ummar, Samu, and Simia villages in Hebron governorate; Kafr Ra’i and Fahma villages in Jenin governorate. No arrested were reported.

Friday, 05 February 2021:

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF stationed at al-Za’eem military checkpoint, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Mahmoud Khalil al-Hadra (17), while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Qabalan, southeast of Nablus; Tura, and Nazlet Zeid, southwest of Jenin; Hebron and Taffuh in Hebron governorate. No arrested were reported.

Saturday, 06 February 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Talal Yousef al-Sammak’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Sanniriya and Qalqilya. No arrested were reported.

Sunday, 07 February 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Sami Obaid’s house and arrested his sons; Anwar (23) and Mohammed (16).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Obaidat neighborhood, in Jabel Mukaber, southeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Yazan Arafat Obaidat (16) and Khaled Ibarhim Obaidat (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Haris village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched Ra’ed Nayef Souf’s house, which contains 3-stories, in the western side of the village, and categorized into B Area. IOF took the measurements of the house without a known reason.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Deir Istiya, north of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hosny Abdul Hadi Ajarma and Mohammed Abdul Raheem Zeidan, from al-Khayusa neighborhood in the western side of the city, which categorized into B Area. IOF took the measurements of the two houses; each has 3-stories, and claimed that they are updating the maps, and not a prelude to demolish it.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Nitham Abu Romouz (39), while present in the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to al-Qishleh police center in the Old City. IOF handed him a decision that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week. It should be noted that he was banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque several time, in total of 3 years in separate periods.
  • At approximately 14:20, IOF arrested Hosney Tareq Abed (21), from Beit Lid, south of Tulkarm, while passing through a checkpoint established near Abu Dis, while heading to Abu Dis University, east of Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF moved into Azzun, east of Qalqilya. IOF raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Bassam Abu Haniya (22), Oday Samir Abu Haniya (24), and Adham Shaher Saleem (24).
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Jenin and Tura villages in Jenin governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 08 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Bireh and stationed inside of the city. They raided and searched Mo’ayad Amjad al-Eryan’s (22) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, dozens of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who responded by firing teargas canisters and sound bombs and arrested (4) civilians. The arrestees are: Mohammed Borhan Daraghma (25), Abdul Rahman al-Tawil (21), Adham Hammouda Kharoubi (21), and Mohammed Mahmoud Omeira (21).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ibrahim Sultan Nazzal (24) and Sanad Hasan Nazzal (26) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Bizzariya village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Aws Jehad Salem (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched Etaf Mohammed Rajabi’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:10, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Hamza (14), Mohammed Khaled Hammad (18), and his brother Hasan (26).
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Nadi al-Hashlamoun’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF, stationed at Bab al-Ghawanima, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Mustafa Abu Zahra (69), Head of the Committee for the Preservation of Islamic Cemeteries in Jerusalem, while getting out of the Mosque. IOF took him to Moscovia Detention Centre where they handed him a summons that bans his entry to the Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s Old City for 15-day, then he was released.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Emad Az’ar (32), from Qabalan, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF arrested (4) Arab Israelis while present east of the al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to al-Qishleh police center in the Old City. IOF handed them decisions that banning their entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week before releasing them. Two of the arrestees were identified; Majd Kabha (18) and Ameer Abu Atta (26).
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed at Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Mahmoud Zughayyar (27), while passing through the checkpoint. IOF confiscated his vehicle and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF arrested Hazem Wael al-Sharbati (27), while present near Bab Hutta, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kafr Qalil, southeast of Nablus; Dura and Deir Sammit in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 09 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Hamza Zaki Khwais (18), Mohammed Hatem Abu al-Hawa (19), and Zeid Abu Sbitan (18). Meanwhile, IOF severely beaten Mostafa Dawoud Abu al-Hawa (15), while present in al-Qa’, and he was taken to the hospital.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Issa Horoub’s (22) house, from al-Namous neighborhood, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ishaq Abu Hadwan’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Sary Issam al-Barghouthi’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Madama village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Yousef Ziyada (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Ahed Samer Abu Sharekh’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Edhna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Mujahed Mohammed Abu Juhaisha’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:30, a group of Mista’arvim (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinians) sneaked into Jenin. They used a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate and raided two houses belonging to Qaid Munir Hamdan (21) and Nabil Jamil Jarrar (25) and arrested them. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:50, IOF reinforced with 4 military vehicles “4 bulldozers and a jeep”, moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They leveled and combed lands for 5 hours before they redeployed inside the abovementioned fence.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested the Aqsa Mosque’s guard, Ammar Othman Bkeir (43), while present in al-Silsila Gate area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 16:10, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved 50-meters to the west of the border fence. They launched from the (16) military site, northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, leveled and combed lands amidst sporadic shooting before they withdrew at approximately 16:45. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at ‘Inab military checkpoint, arrested Nihad Suliman Sakran (44), from Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Nablus, Tubas and Tammun, in Tubas governorate; Fawwar refugee camp and Bani Na’im in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abu Roumi’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Faqir area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mohammed Khaled Jebreel Makhamera’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Jebreel Makhamera’s (55) house, and no arrested were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Khaled Suliman al-‘Adra’s (50) house, an activist in the Popular Resistance Committees, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Samed Mahmoud Salah (20) and Hasan Khaled Salah (21) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Dahiya neighborhood, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hasan Helmi Toffaha (21).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Quds street, adjacent to Balata refugee camp, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Omar Salama (21).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Sa’ir, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Jabarin’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Eizariya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Abdul Aziz Khaled Damoudim’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Ahmed Mustafa Melhem’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into ‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and stationed in the middle of the camp. They raided and searched Hamza Shehda Abu Sil’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Basem Qasem Taza’a (22) and Yousef Basem Kmeil (18) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF station at Huwara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Issam Abu Hantash (26), Khaled Ammar Hashash (20), and Sameer Abdul Karim Hashash (18). IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Ein Yabrud, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; Ali Shaker Sara (23), Khaled Suhail Sara (22), Mohammed Akram Fareed (24), Maher Malik Howaij (23), and Baha’ Mohammed Atiya (23). Furthermore, IOF confiscated Atiya’s vehicle for allegedly an illegal registration plate.
  • At approximately 05:35, IOF moved into al-Mazra’a al-Sharqiya village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nafez Shehada Hijaz (43) and Fares Ahmed Shibli (19). IOF released them later.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beitin village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched (5) houses belonging to Ameen Bassam Jarab’a, Fo’ad Kan’an Abdul Jalil, Jamal Asmar al-Barqawi, Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Sheikh, and Mohammed Obaida al-Hamzawi, and arrested them. IOF took them to a detention center in “Beit El” settlement and released them after hour and a half.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 100-meters east of the Fukhkhari village, east of Khan Yunis. They combed and leveled lands adjacent to the border fence heading to the south. At approximately 11:30, they moved 100-meters into al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, they leveled and combed lands before they deployed again at approximately 15:00.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested the photojournalist of WAFA News Agency Mashhour Hussain al-Wahwah (38), while present near Susia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. IOF searched his vehicle thoroughly and released him an hour later.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 08:00 Thursday, 04 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with 2 Israeli Civil Administration vehicles and a bulldozer moved into Wad Abu Hethwah area, east of Deir Sammit village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area while the vehicles demolished a 140-sqm under-construction dwelling built of bricks and concrete belonging to Noah Zeeb Saleh al-Horoub under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).  Part of al-Horoub thirty-member family, including 4 women and 20 children, were supposed to move in.  The vehicles also destroyed the 450-sqm electricity network supplying the area by cutting the cables and wooden pillars.  The demolition occurred for the second time upon a military order (1797).  Moreover, a tent set by activists near the house demolished months ago was confiscated along with barbed wires brought by Mahmoud Mohammed Iqteil whose nearby house was notified of demolition.

It should be noted that the Israeli Administration handed al-Horoub and other civilians notices to stop construction works on 19 July 2020 under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  IOF ordered them in the notices to stop immediately the construction works and set 16 August 2020 as the date for the Supreme Regulatory Council’s inspection subcommittee to convene in its headquarter in “Beit El” settlement  in order to discuss the demolition or returning the place to its previous state.  After a while, the Israeli authorities notified again the facilities to be demolished.

  • At approximately 00:07 on Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, bulldozer and excavator moved into eastern al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. They destroyed 3 water wells supplying the family of Fadel Ibrahim Hamed Abu ‘Alia (41) and the families of his 2 sons, ‘Omran (25) and ‘Amer (20), who all depend on the wells to meet their daily needs and for grazing the sheep.  The demolition in ‘Ein al-Rashash area in Kherbet Jab’eet, where the mentioned family members live, allegedly for the presence of these wells in an archeological site and under so-called (property of the state), which is under the Israeli control.  The targeted area is in eastern al-Mughayyir village and surrounded from the west by the “Angels of Peace” settlement outpost, whose settlers poisoned the Abu ‘Alia’s sheep and killed 16 of them last year.  The area is under constant attacks by settlers from time to time.  The settlers levelled the area and built a road in Kherbet Jab’eet to access “‘Adi ‘Ad” settlement established on the northern lands of the village.
  • At approximately 07:45 on Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF accompanied with 3 Israeli Civil Administration vehicles, 2 cranes, a car with workers inside and a bulldozer moved into Yerza Kherbet in the Northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas. The bulldozer and workers immediately dismantled and confiscated 12 residential tents, 11 barracks and a sheep tent owned by 9 Palestinian families.

Those affected were as follows:

 NameDamage
11.    Harb Soliman Ifreij Abu Lekbash2.    Walid Soliman Ifreij Abu LEkbash3.    Mohammed Soliman Ifreij Abu Lekbash1.    4 residential tents (each is 40 sqms)2.    sheep barracks funded by the EU (each is 50 sqms)3.    sheep barns were completely ( each is 400 sqms)4.    Shed clothes were confiscated
2- 1.    Isma’il Ifreij ِ  Abu Lekbash2.    Nazem Ifreij Abu Lekbash3.    Nizam Ifreij Abu Lekbash1.   Residential tents (each tent is 45 sqms)2.   sheep barracks (each is 150 sqms)3.   barracks used for straw storage4.   open 400-sqm  barns demolished5.   Barbed wires confiscated
3-1.    Abdel Ghani ‘Abdel Karim al-‘Awawdah2.    Wanes ‘Abdel Karim al-‘Awawdah3.    Mo’az ‘Abdel Karim al-‘Awawdah 1.   tents dismantled and confiscated (180 sqms):2.   residential tents  (each is 25sqms)3.   A sheep barn (300 sqms)

IOF then moved into Kherbet Humsah in the Northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas, and uprooted 5 tents; each is 40 sqms, used for sheep and owned by Harb, Mohammed and Walid Soliman Ifreij Abu Lekbash.  This was the third time the tents were confiscated and demolished within a week.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into al-Rous area, west of Sarra village, southwest of Nablus. IOF handed 11 houses and 2 barracks 13 notices under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C) and their location near the “Havat Gilad” settlement.

Those affected were as follows:

 NameNotified FacilityNumber of Family MembersNotes
1-‘Abdel Baset Mohammed Turabi2-storey house built on area of 120 sqms7, including 5 childrenHe has lived in the house for 15 years
2-‘Abdel Qader Mohammed ‘Abdel Qader Turabi2-storey house built on area of 120 sqms8, including 4 childrenHe has lived in the first floor for 20 years and the second floor was recently built for his son Saif
3-‘Asem ‘Abdel Qader Mohammed Turabi100-sqm floorUninhabited and in last finishes
4-Zuhdi Maher Zuhdi Abu Turabi150sqm barrack built of bricks and roofed with tinplateUsed as an aluminum workshop
5-Mohammed Rawhi ‘Abdullah Turabi2-storey house built on an area of 130 sqms5, including 3 children, Inhabited
6-Helmi Mahmoud ‘Ali Turabi2-storey house built on an area of 150 sqms5, including 3 children, Inhabited
7-Shadi Najeh Mohammed Turabi100-sqm floor–           Under-construction
8-Ayman Mohammed Sharif GHanem140-sqm floor7, including 5 children, Inhabited
9-Taysir Mohammed Sharif Ghanem150-sqm house5, including 3 children, Inhabited
10-MA’moun Ibrahim Khalil Ghanem100-sqm house7, including 5 children, Inhabited for 10 years
11-Ahmed Ibrahim Khalil Ghanem130-sqm house5, including 3 children, Inhabited
12-Faris Mohammed Faris Ibrahim2-storey house built on an area of 170sqms7, including 5 children, Inhabited
13-‘Abdel Rahim ‘Abdel Majid Mohammed Ghanem400-sqm barrackUsed as an animal barn

At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron.  The soldiers deployed in the village while the Israeli administration officer notified civilians to demolish 4 facilities under the pretext of unlicensed building in Area C.  The notices were as follows:

AffectedFacilityAreaFacility DescriptionUsed asType of noticeNumberNote
Mohammed ‘Issa Rab’ieBarrack70 sqmsTinplates and steelLivestock barnDemolition32117Sheltering 50 sheep
Ashraf Mahmoud al-‘AmourDwelling100sqmBrick and tinplateResidentialDemolition31530Sheltering 10 persons
SameWater well70 cbmsConcreteCollecting waterDemolition31531
Fadel Mohammed al-‘AmourAgricultural room20sqmsStones, clay and tinplateAgricultural equipmentDemolition31532
Hatem Mahmoud MakhamrahTent30sqmsShed cloth and angelsMilitary notice1779
  • At approximately 00:30 on Tuesday, 09 February 2021, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an inhabited house in an old cave in al-Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, belonging to Amnah Mohammed ‘Ata Yousif without a decision to demolish it.

The house’s owner, Amnah Yousif, said that the house belonged to her father Mohammed ‘Atah Yousif who built it on a land belonging to the endowments before 1948 in an old cave.  Yousif said that none has lived in the house since her mother’s death in 1995, but she comes from time to time to check it.  Yousif said that she was surprised with the demolition of the house despite there was no decision by the Municipality to demolish it.  She said that she only received only one day before an Israeli municipality decision preventing her from accessing the house within 15 days until she brings papers to the municipality and hire a lawyer to have an appointment at the court.  Yousif said that the decision also would force her to pay 25,000 shekels if she approached the house within the mentioned period.  Yousif emphasized that the Israeli municipality exploited the decision issued to demolish the house, which was 55sqms and included 2 rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom in addition to a yard.  She added that although the house was old, but it had an amazing view as it overlooks the intersection and main entrance to al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

In the afternoon, the Israeli authorities issued a notice to demolish a barrack for grazing sheep in al-Fardis area, east of Bethlehem.  Director of the Bethlehem Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, Hasan Breijiyeh, said that the IOF and Israeli Civil Administration moved into the area and fixed a notice to demolish a livestock farm belonging to Soliman Ahmed al-Wahsh under the pretext of unlicensed construction and gave its owner only a week to implement the decision.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities target the Palestinian houses and facilities in al-Fardis area, east of Bethlehem, to prevent any Palestinian existence.  They also seize control of al-Fardis Historical Mountain full of Romanian remains and invest it in a blatant violation of the international laws.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, mounted-crane truck and an excavator moved into Kherbet ‘Alan in al-Shonah area, north of Al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho in the Central Jordan Valleys. IOF deployed in al-Kherbeh and levelled 3 rainwater collection pools belonging to Munir ‘Othman Nasasrah and Naser Mohammed Zbeidat used for irrigation of agricultural crops.  The levelling was carried out allegedly for unlicensed construction in Area C and without any prior warning, noting that this is the second time the IOF level this are
  • At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 10 February 2020, IOF moved into Yasuf village in eastern Salfit, and served 13 cease construction notices to 11 houses, a playground and a street, allegedly for non-licensing construction in area C.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Rakiz area, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron. IOF deployed between Palestinians’ houses while Israeli Civil Administration officers demolished 3 tents established by al-Tawana village council in solidarity with Abu ‘Arram family, whose son Haroun (23) was wounded by IOF on 01 January 2021. IOF also confiscated 2 mobile bathrooms used by Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram family. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Abu ‘Arram a list of confiscated items. After that, IOF moved into Susya village, south of Yatta city, and confiscated Ghaled Yunis al-Shamasti’s residential tent sheltering 5 persons, including 3 children, under the pretext of non-licensing. IOF wandered in Yatta eastern area, where they confiscated Mur family’s mobile bathroom from al-Tawameen area.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Um al-‘Ubar, near Marj Na’jah village, north of Jericho. Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Hussain Saleh Suliman Daraghmah’s tin-plate water pool used for irrigating agricultural crops, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that on 05 February 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Daraghmah a demolition notice upon Military order (1797), which gives Palestinians 96 hours to challenge before Israeli authorities. The new military order came into force in the West Bank on 01 April 2019 and its details hinder any attempt to challenge before the Israeli court.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 23:00 on Thursday, 04 February 2021, an Israeli settler attacked the Romanian Orthodox Church in in occupied East Jerusalem’s al-Musrara neighborhood, attempting to raid it. As a result, the Church gates and main yard sustained damage.  Head of the Romanian Palestinian Friendship Association, Hashem Abu Lafi, said that a settler attacked the Church after breaking one of its doors’ lock and a surveillance camera.  He added that this attack was part of a long series of attacks by Israeli extremist settlers and attempts to attack the clerks there.  Meanwhile, the Israeli police issued a statement on Sunday morning saying that a 41-year-old Israeli was arrested on suspicions of causing damage to the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.  The Israeli newspapers commented on that statement by saying that the suspect threw stones and bottles at the church yard in al-Musrara area, and the Israeli police opened an investigation where they found out that the suspect threatened in the last weeks that he would burn the church.

It should be noted that the Romanian Orthodox Church is considered one of the most prominent churches located in a settlers’ community in Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 05 February 2021, settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group under the IOF protection attacked eastern Khan Lubban, which is an archeological site on the main Ramallah-Nablus Street, southeast of Nablus. Many citizens gathered in front of al-Khan and confronted the settlers with stones, while the IOF threw teargas canisters to disperse the citizens.  As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

Lately, the Israeli settlers’ attempts to raid the Ottoman Khan escalated and were followed by clashes between the IOF and Settlers and the residents.

Khan al-Lubban is an archeological site established in the ottoman era and has a spring beneath it.  Settlers have attempted for years to take over it while these attempts recently escalated over the last few months; they attack it every weekend and damage its contents.  Also, the IOF bulldozers previously demolished recent works and developments added to the site for its protection.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 06 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Ma’on” settlement established on al-Tawani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, threw stones at the shepherds, who were grazing in the pastures near the settlement. The settlers chased the sheep, forcing the shepherds to leave for fear of being attacked.
  • At approximately 16:00, a group of settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement attacked the eastern outskirts of ’Asira al-Qibliya village, southeast of Nablus, and threw stones at the houses there. Neither casualties nor damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 07 February 2021, settlers from Brukhin settlement uprooted 30 olive and citrus trees from a land belonging to Yousif Mohammed Jebril Sabrah, from Burqin village, west of Salfit, and stole 84 steel angles from the same land in addition to cutting the surrounding fence. This was not the first time the Israeli settlers attack this land.

Yousif Sabrah said that what the Israeli settlers damaged was a project funded by the French International Relief in coordination with the Municipality of Burqin, which provided workers.  This project was to help me reclaiming my land after it was destroyed by the settlers in the first time.”

  • On Monday morning, 08 February 2021, Israeli settlers declared their intention to establish a community in al-Badiya Sharqiyah in Bethlehem. The Director of the Bethlehem Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, Hassan Breijiyeh, stated that settlers had distributed a leaflet declaring their intention to establish a community in that area in favor of settlement expansion. Breijiyeh pointed out that during the past few days, settlers plowed and planted the land while the citizens confronted them and expelled them from it.
  • At approximately 10:40, a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Levona” settlement outpost under the IOF protection attacked citizens who were plowing their agricultural lands in Ras al-‘Aqabah area, northeast of Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah. The settlers attempted to expel the farmers by force and pushed Soliman Kararah (33) who owns a vacant area of land in the area; part of it is planted with olive trees and the other part is planted with winter crops.  “Ma’ale Levona” agricultural settlement outpost is located near this area as settlers their own livestock and a cow farm.  The area has been always under settlers’ constant attacks to prevent citizens’ access to the area.
  • At approximately 16:00, a group of settlers from Brukhin settlement cut with an electric saw and hand tools 30 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to Mohammed Ayoub ‘Ali Ahmed, who lives in Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit.
  • On 21 January, a large group of settlers from “Nikodim” settlement moved into a hill in Badiyet Bethlehem al-Sharqiyah after making 2 dirt streets preluding to seize it. It should be noted that the hill is around 800 dunums and extend to the Dead Sea belonging to al-Zawahrah family near Jeb al-Theeb village that is 20 kilometers away from Bethlehem.  It should be noted that the plan to seize the hill is an official one supported by the Israeli government and settlement organizations who fund the settlers as part of a huge Israeli settlement project connected with other projects established in the Jordan Valleys.  Breijiyeh pointed out that if the hill was seized, the Israeli organizations would have the eastern Badia area under their control in Kisan and al-Rashayidah villages in addition to Jeb al-Theeb village, which is around thousands of uninhabited dunums but planted with different trees. Breijiyeh said that those who seize this area call themselves “Hilltop Youth”, who have a long history in seizing mountains and hills across the West Bank.
  • At approximately 11:00, the security guards of “Ariel” settlement attacked the Palestine TV crew while covering the Israeli settlers’ attacks on “the Open Press Day” near the northern entrance to Salfit. The settlers attacked the photojournalists while on Livestream and took their press IDs.  They tried to confuse the journalists and forced them to leave from the northern entrance.

Collective Punishment Measures

Within the Israeli Collective Punishment Policy, IOF Demolishes House of Palestinian Prisoner in Jenin

  • As part of the IOF collective punishment policy against the Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against IOF or settlers, on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, IOF demolished a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Kabha, a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli jails from Toura village, southwest of Jenin.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, IOF accompanied by a bulldozer, Special Unit Members, and Engineering and Explosive Devices teams of experts moved into Tourah village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank.  They surrounded Mohammed Marouh Soliman Kabha’s (42) house in the village center and forced its residents to leave along with 10 other families living in nearby houses. IOF fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs to cause fear among civilians and prevent them from approaching.  Afterwards, IOF planted explosives inside the second and third floors and remotely detonated them at approximately 20:00, completely destroying both floors.  The second floor is 150 sqm and the third floor (a roof) is 70 sqm. Kabha’s wives, Donia Ayoub Kabha (30) and Manar Saleh Kabha (29) and their three children lived in the house.

 It should be noted that on Wednesday, 03 February 2021, the Supreme Court of Israel approved the demolition of Mohammed Kabha’s house. Kabha was arrested by the IOF on 24 December 2020 after accusing him of killing an Israeli female settler, Esther Horgen, in an attack in Ahrash Ya’bad , whose body was found on 21 December 2020.

It should be noted that this the first demolition carried out by IOF within its collective punishment policy in 2021 while IOF demolished 6 houses on the same grounds last year, displacing dozens of Palestinians.

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 69 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 13 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints on Jerusalem-Jericho Street, and at the entrances to Hizma, Biddu, and Al-Eizariya villages.
  • On Tuesday, 09 February 2021, IOF stationed at al-Jab’ military checkpoint, which connects between Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah, tightened their measures and obstructed vehicles’ movement.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 04 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages, and at the entrance to Aboud village.
  • On Friday, 05 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beitillu village.
  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Silwad villages and on Ein Yabrud village’s bridge.
  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrance to Birzeit city, at the entrance to Deir Ibzi village, on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages, at Ein Siniya village’s intersection, and near Atara village’s bridge.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 04 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 05 February 2021, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of Jericho, tightened their measures, obstructed Palestinians’ vehicles’ movement, and checked the passengers’ IDs. IOF also established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of Jericho, tightened their measures, obstructed Palestinians’ vehicles’ movement and checked the passengers’ IDs. IOF also established 4 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho, at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, and on al-Mo’arajat road.
  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint on al-Mo’arajat road.
  • On Tuesday, 09 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 04 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Nahalin village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Husan village, at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 09 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Husan village, west of the city.

Nablus:

  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Bizzariya village’s intersection, northwest of Nablus, and on Madama village’s bridge, southeast of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 04 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Friday, 05 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Susya villages, at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Yatta, and at the eastern entrance to Dura village.
  • On Tuesday, 09 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Idhna village, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 10 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Susya, Sa’ir, Ash-Shuyukh, Bani Na’im, and Beit Awwa villages.

Tulkarm:

  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF closed with cement cubes a road leading to Deir al-Ghusun village and prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from entering the village.

Qalqilya:

  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.
  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Jayyous, Izbat al-Tabib and Azzun villages, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 08 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Saturday, 06 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut, Deir Istiya and Kifl Haris villages.
  • On Sunday, 07 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Deir Ballut village and at the northern entrance to Salfit.

Investigation to Move Forward: Everything You Need to Know about ICC Latest Ruling on Israeli War Crimes (SPECIAL REPORT)

February 6, 2021

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: UN Website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On Friday, February 5, the last hurdle in the way of an international investigation into war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been removed, as the International Criminal Court in the Hague has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

“Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court .. decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the ICC said in a press release that was made available to international media, including The Palestine Chronicle.

The Investigation

After years of haggling, the ICC had resolved in December 2019 that, “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to Article 53(1) of the Statute.”

Article 53(1) merely describes the procedural steps that often lead, or do not lead, to an investigation by the Court.

That Article is satisfied when the amount of evidence provided to the Court is so convincing that it leaves the ICC with no other option but to move forward with an investigation.

Indeed, Bensouda had already declared late last year that she was,

“satisfied that (i) war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip… (ii) potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and (iii) there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”

The Reactions

The decision, then, has angered Israel and its Western allies, who insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction, since Palestine, they alleged, is not an independent state. 

As soon as Bensouda made her decision, although, after much delay, the US administration swiftly moved to block the Court’s attempt at holding Israeli officials accountable. On June 11, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order slapping sanctions on members of the global judicial body, citing the ICC’s investigations of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

In an historic irony, Germany, which had to answer to numerous war crimes committed by the Nazi regime during World War II, stepped in to serve as the main defender of Israel at the ICC and to shield accused Israeli war criminals from legal and moral accountability.

Germany, among others, then argued that the ICC had no legal authority to discuss Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. These efforts, however, eventually amounted to nil.

Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the ICC,  told Palestine Chronicle TV: 

“There are at least eight countries that are openly against an investigation of the Palestinian situation. Germany is one. Some of the others came as a surprise, to be honest, for at least four other countries, Uganda, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Hungary had explicitly recognized that Palestine is a State under international law, yet are now submitting statements before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber saying that this is not true anymore.”

The Pre-Trial Chamber

Consequently, Bensouda referred the matter to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, requesting a “ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine”.

The pre-trial chamber consists of judges that authorize the opening of investigations. Customarily once the Prosecutor decides to consider an investigation, she has to inform the Pre-Trial Chamber of her decision.

According to the Rome Statute, Article 56(b), 

“… the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor, take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the defence.”

According to Dr. Mariniello:

 “This request to the Pre-Trial Chamber was not necessary, for a simple reason: because the situation is being referred by the State of Palestine. So, when a State party refers a situation to the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor does not need authorization by the Pre-Trial Chamber.”

The Court’s Jurisdiction

The State of Palestine became a signatory of the Rome Statute in January 2015. By accepting the jurisdiction of the Court, Palestine became a State Party. 

The Pre-Trial Chamber 1 reiterated that Palestine is a State Party, therefore the Court has jurisdiction over its territory. Dr. Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle: “The Pre-trial Chamber did not only recognize that Palestine is a State, they also stated that the Court’s jurisdiction extends to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. What we feared was a further fragmentation of the Palestinian territory” but, according to the ruling, this was not the case.

A Victory

“It is a landmark decision since all the comments expressed by the legal team representing the Gaza victims have been approved. Therefore, they rejected all the arguments by civil society organizations or even states who were trying to persuade the Court that Palestine is not a State,” Dr. Mariniello added.

Professor Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, told Palestine Chronicle TV that the ICC investigation is a “breakthrough”.

“It’s a breakthrough even to consider the investigation, let alone the indictment and the prosecution of either Israelis or Americans that was put on the agenda of the ICC, which led to a pushback by these governments … Israel has denounced the Court as if it is improper to examine any State that claims the matter of geopolitical impunity. So you have a core denial of the rule of law.”

The Narrow Scope

Professor Falk elaborated, 

 “The scope of the investigation is something that is ill-defined, so it is a matter of political discretion,” Professor. Falk said, adding that “the Court takes a position that needs to be cautious about delimiting its jurisdiction and, therefore, it tries to narrow the scope of what it is prepared to investigate. I don’t agree with this view … but it does represent the fact that the ICC, like the UN itself, is subject to immense geopolitical pressure”.

The legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’ had expressed their concern on behalf of the victims regarding “the ostensibly narrow scope of the investigation into the crimes suffered by the Palestinian victims of this situation.”

The ‘narrow scope of the investigation’ has thus far excluded such serious crimes as Crimes Against Humanity. According to the Gaza legal team, the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands of unarmed protesters participating in the ‘Great March of Return’ is a crime against humanity that must also be investigated.

The ICC’s jurisdiction, of course, goes beyond Bensouda’s decision to investigate ‘war crimes’ only.

Article 5 of the Rome Statute – the founding document of the ICC – extends the Court’s jurisdiction to investigate the following “serious crimes”:

(a) The Crime of Genocide

(b) Crimes Against Humanity

(c) War Crimes

(d) The Crime of Aggression

It should come as no surprise that Israel is qualified to be investigated on all four points and that the nature of Israeli crimes against Palestinians often tends to constitute a mixture of two or more of these points simultaneously.

That in mind, according to Mariniello,

“The scope of the investigation is not binding for the future. The Prosecutor can decide, at any moment, to include other crimes. We hope it will happen because, otherwise, many victims will never get justice.”

What Now

Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle,

 “Now, the hard work starts for the legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’, we cannot lower the guard. We need to work so that the ICC Prosecutor can identify the people responsible for international crimes and their criminal behavior as soon as possible.”

The Prosecutor

The decision that there were sufficient elements to investigate war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was taken by ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who is currently nearing the end of her term. 

A new prosecutor should be elected soon.

(Managing Editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Romana Rubeo, composed this report) 

Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC

Meanwhile, Hamas is reportedly split on decision to participate in elections, and Egypt and the UAE feel alienated after results of UN-sponsored Libyan elections

Image result for Arabic press review: Palestinians step up efforts to sue Israel at ICC
The Bakr family in their house in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on 7 February, with posters of four children from their extended family killed during the 2014 Gaza war (AFP)

By Mohammad Ayesh

Published date: 8 February 2021 15:13 UTC

Palestinians to sue Israel at International Criminal Court

Palestinians have started intensifying their efforts to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), following its recent decision recognising its jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported.

The ICC’s ruling that it has jurisdiction over the situation in the Palestinian territories opens the way to it investigating alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza.ICC rules it has jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to transfer the record of Israeli crimes documented during the Gaza war, including settlements in the West Bank and Palestinian detainees in occupation prisons, according to the newspaper.

The ministry is reportedly expected to start making extensive contacts at the international and regional levels. The paper added that an official Palestinian delegation would visit the ICC soon with the aim of moving the cases forward to prosecute Israeli leaders for the crimes they committed in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian circles said that the Palestinian foreign minister would formally request that the ICC prosecutor open a criminal investigation as soon as possible.

Disagreement within Hamas over election participation

The decision to participate in the Palestinian elections has caused disagreement within Hamas, whose members said they had not been adequately consulted prior to the move.

Members and supporters of the movement in the West Bank have rejected the decision, due to the continued repressive practices of the occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority against them, Arabi21 reported.After 15-year wait, Palestinian elections face new obstacles following law amendments

The news website interviewed several sources within the movement in the West Bank, who said: “Hamas leaders and commanders in the West Bank have informed the leadership of the widespread dissatisfaction over the movement’s decision to participate in the election, which was made hastily and without consulting with the movement’s institutions.”

The sources said the conditions facing Hamas in the West Bank, which is under the control of President Mahmoud Abbas, remain the same. The movement says it is still facing restrictions imposed by the PA, while Israeli forces continue to crack down on its members, restricting their ability to participate in public meetings, form lists or hold meetings with other political forces.

Anger in Egypt, UAE following Libyan elections

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been actively attempting to contain the latest developments in Libya, namely the establishment of a new executive authority under the auspices of the United Nations headed by personalities who have no affiliation to either country, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

According to Egyptian sources, the loss of the Cairo-backed list, headed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Tobruk Aguila Saleh, was a shock to the Egyptian authorities involved in the Libyan crisis, especially after the victory of figures known to be inclined towards Turkey.

The sources emphasised that the Egyptian presidency had been uneasy over the victory of the Al-Manfi/Dbeibah list and the formation of a new executive authority in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations.Libya: Dbeibah surprise pick as new interim prime minister

The sources pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi considered what happened as a “great victory for Turkish policies in Libya”, adding that “Cairo still has bargaining chips to tame the new executive authority”.

The sources also said that the retired general Khalifa Haftar and his forces still presented a major pressure card for Abu Dhabi and Cairo to obstruct the work of the new government in Libya if it expressed hostile or militant positions towards the interests of the two countries – or showed a clear bias towards Turkish interests at the expense of the Egyptian and Emirati states.

Haftar’s militia spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari, welcomed the results of the vote and congratulated the newly elected officials. Sisi has also declared his support for the transitional government.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

The ‘Western’ Racist Roots of Israeli Apartheid

by Jeremy Salt

Source

Palestinian phoenix 4510c

Joe Biden supports a two-state solution to the ‘Palestine problem’. Well, first of all, it never was a Palestine problem. It was a  zionist problem, leading to the colonization and takeover of Palestine by a settler minority. 

Second, the two-state solution is a chimera. Israel is not interested and by supporting a two-state solution that is a delusion,  Biden is actually supporting the continuation of a policy of no solution. In fact, his bogus two-state solution is no more than a mask drawn over the face of his real policy, of continuing lavish support for Israel whatever it does. The one issue Biden does have to face is the Israeli threat to attack Iran if he dares to take the US back into the nuclear agreement breached by Trump. We have to wait to see how he works this out.   

By themselves, the Palestinians have never counted for less in the strategic and political calculations of the zionists. They are treated as a defeated people who should have surrendered long ago and true, the zionists have never been stronger at the material level,  the Palestinians never weaker. 

Only the Palestinians have the right to decide what to do next in the current calamitous situation, but friends can make suggestions and an obvious one would be the need to reconstitute themselves as a national community, building tactical and strategic consensus, before going any further.

In the absence of a two-state solution, the pendulum swings back to one state, either one  Jewish national state or one state for all.  This second aspiration takes the issue back to the 1960s and the one secular state advanced at that time by the PLO.

This soon foundered on the reef of zionist ideology, which from the beginning was based on a Jewish state established over all of Palestine.  That was the whole point of taking the land in the first place: it was a delusion to think the zionists would ever accept anything less than a Jewish state.  Israel’s extended dissembling over the past two decades has merely enabled what was intended,  its colonization of east Jerusalem and the West Bank to reach the point of what many believe to be irreversibility.   

Irreversibility has no meaning in history, of course. The examples are too numerous even to bother proving the point but apparent irreversibility manifested in the 600,000 settlers occupying East Jerusalem and the West Bank has led many Palestinians back to the idea of  one state for all across all of Palestine. 

The pooling of resources in one state with equal rights for Jews, Muslims and Christians (and anyone else) is an attractive and sensible option, of course,  even with all the immense practical difficulties that such an idea entails, beginning with acceptance of the right to return of Palestinians (and their heirs) to the places they came from,  taken over by Jewish settlers in 1948/9 as illegally as the settlers living in east Jerusalem or the West Bank since 1967.

However, even if all this could be sorted out theoretically (and a new name devised for this shared land),  the Jews of today’s Israel do not want it any more than their forebears did.   

For secular Jews living in pre-1967 Israel/occupied Palestine,  the ‘right’ of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is the rock of their collective existence:   for religious Jews living in the territories taken in 1967,  God’s mandate and not Israel’s ‘right’ to exist explains their position but the two positions dovetail in the belief of the necessity of a Jewish state, across all if not most of Palestine.

Just as there were a handful of brave Afrikaners who fought white settler apartheid, so there have always been Jews who challenge zionist racism:  Judah Magnes and the small circle around him in the 1920s-40s who believed in a binational state,  Uri Avnery and the peaceniks in the 1960s and 1970s and currently,  the scholar Ilan Pappe and the journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy.  They expose the lies of the state and the endorsement of its crimes by the people but they represent a tiny minority, allowing the state and the people to shrug them off. 

The similarities between apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel should not blind people into thinking that the outcome will be the same, that one day,  like the white settlers in South Africa,  the zionists will voluntarily see the error of their ways and change course. 

As far as we can see ahead, this would be another delusion. By 1990 the small white minority of South Africa had declined to about 13 percent of the total population.  Apart from the numbers, the apartheid regime was isolated internationally, with sanctions being imposed that spelled economic ruin: ultimately it had no choice but to give in to what was manifestly inevitable.    

By comparison, while the demographics continue to change against them all the time,  Jews still constitute about 50 percent of the population of Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. They still have sufficient numbers as well as the armed might for Israel to be able to put down any Palestinian challenge from inside.   

Furthermore,  there is little effective pressure on Israel from the ‘western’ world to change its ways.   BDS has damaged Israel,  but at the cost of a counter-reaction which has resulted in  Israel being given additional protection by the passage of anti-BDS measures by state legislatures across the US and by parliaments in Canada,  Britain, France and Germany.  The gains have been heavily offset by the cost.

The cash flow from the US continues undiminished,  and neither the UN as a collective body or any of its member governments seeks to restrain Israel in any serious way. Not only that,  but they give their fervent support to the charge of anti-semitism which Israel continues to use unscrupulously to destroy those who stand against its racism, the most recent high profile scalp being Jeremy Corbyn’s.

In such an environment of international indulgence,  with only notional marginal interest at home in a genuine one-state settlement, the Israeli government sees no need to change course.  It knows it can do virtually whatever it wants  without the ‘international community’ stepping forward to stand in its way.  Not even the killing of children on the West Bank or in Gaza have been sufficient to push it into making Israel pay for the consequences of its actions.   

Holocaust guilt helps to explain indulgence of Israel but so does the racism of the ‘west,’  past and present,  as manifested yet again by the recent slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Middle Eastern lands.

Far from generating absolute horror at such crimes,  these deaths count for little in the ‘western’ homeland.  Black lives in the US, Canada, or Australia might matter but black or brown lives destroyed in Iraq,  Syria,  Libya, Yemen,  Palestine and numerous other places count for very little in these same countries.

The deaths of 3000 people on 9/11 were widely described as a turning point.  By comparison, no episode of the mass killing of people of color has ever been described as a turning point in history. 

These deaths have little impact in the countries where they are decided:  the faces are faceless, the names nameless,  the features featureless,  the deaths not counted,  no more than an estimate if someone asks.    

There is no turning point for these victims of racist wars:  their world will continue to turn the same way it always has done.  Their deaths do not register because they are not exceptional  – as the deaths on 9/11 were –  but only the normal continuation of what has been going on for centuries in Latin America,  Africa, the Middle East and South-east Asia, with no end in sight even now, and one does not sit up and take notice of the normal.

The ending of these lives of unequal value at the hands of ‘western’ armies is ignored or quickly forgotten:  no-one in the ‘western’ homeland is ever held responsible, not the politicians launching the wars,  not the pilots firing the missiles, and not the media giving encouragement on the home front.

These two complementary forms of racism, zionist apartheid  on one hand and deeply imprinted  ‘western’ racism on the other,  have been fundamental to the success of Zionism from the beginning. 

With support continuing from the US at all levels,  and with the ‘international community’ reluctant to intervene,  it would be a delusion to think that Israel will one day voluntarily accept a genuine one-state settlement.  The great bulk of Jewish Israelis do not want it and the state will fight it tooth and claw if it ever becomes a serious threat (an extremely remote prospect at the moment).   

There are no signs that sufficient momentum can be developed to compel Israel to accept such a solution.  BDS is effective but only up to a certain point.  The ‘international community’ is not interested in challenging Israel in any meaningful way.  Arab governments never genuinely committed to the Palestine cause in the first place are now coming out of hiding and signing agreements with the enemy who never was. 

To see where any prospect of breaking this deadlock might lie, one has to look at the regional strategic situation as seen through Israeli eyes. The dominant feature in military circles is alarm, born not just of Israel’s failure to intimidate its enemies but the fact that they are stronger now than they were a decade ago. 

The exception is Syria, which has withstood the most determined attempt ever made to destroy an Arab government, has had to pay a terrible price in the loss of life and destruction of its towns and cities and is still battling armed takfiri groups in different parts of the country. It has to concentrate on its own recovery: there is not much else it can do at the moment but its strategic allies, Iran and Hizbullah, remain a standing cause of active preparation for war in Israel.

Inside their homeland, the Palestinians can be killed, bullied and beaten, and otherwise oppressed by a suffocating network of pseudo-legal ‘laws’ but Israel has no such control beyond Palestine’s borders. This external dimension of the Palestinian question –  as an Arab question, historically, politically, culturally, and geographically; as a Muslim question, with the enormous weight that this signifies; and as a human rights question that resonates around the world – has always represented the greatest threat to the zionist state,  as by themselves the Palestinians would never have been capable of overcoming the vast power wielded against them after 1918. 

Resistance to Israel by Iran and Hizbullah arises from the centrality of Palestine in Arab and Muslim consciousness.  They have paid heavily for their commitment but they have not backed off because,  to put it as it is understood in Iran and by Hizbullah, the cause is sacred. Their resistance is deeply principled,  something the ‘western’ homeland cannot allow itself to understand if Israel is to be defended,  but as much as they are demeaned and abused in the ‘western’ homeland as ‘terrorists’  it is they who have human rights and international law on their side,  not Israel.  

In this external form, from beyond Palestine’s borders, the Palestinian phoenix rises again from the ashes of its suffering to haunt its enemy.  An idea can be much harder to crush than a people, because it has to be countermanded by ideas and Israel has none in its armoury, at least not any good ones. 

In the event of another regional war, unfortunately, a probability more than a possibility, on the basis of all past experience, Iran and Hizbullah have the missile capacity to damage Israel well beyond anything it has ever experienced.

Only the trauma of such an experience is likely to push Israel in the direction of one state for everyone living in the land of Palestine,  with the doors of return opened to the refugees. This is clearly the common-sense solution, the humane solution, but it is not one that Israel is likely to embrace voluntarily.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 28 January – 03 February 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 28 January – 03 February 2021

28 January – 03 February 2021

  • Palestinian killed at “Gush Etzion” junction in alleged stab attack
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 13 Palestinians wounded, including two children
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural lands, and once at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 123 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 137 civilians arrested, including 22 children
  • 51 homes and facilities demolished, displacing dozens of Palestinians in northern Jordan valleys
  • 1 commercial facility demolished, as well as 3 houses (one self-demolished) in occupied East Jerusalem; another house was demolished in Hebron; and 51 street vendor carts and stands removed in Jenin
  • Supreme Court of Israel ratifies house demolition of Palestinian imprisoned by Israel
  • Settler-attacks: attacks on civilians in Qalqilya and 8 car windows smashed
  • IOF established 76 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 8 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 witnessed a continued escalation in IOF demolitions particularly in the northern Jordan valleys, which witnessed 3 razing operations that displaced more than 20 families. IOF also dismantled and destroyed dozens of street vendor carts and stands near Jalamah checkpoint and the Annexation Wall in Jenin, depriving dozens of Palestinians of their livelihoods.

This week, PCHR documented 237 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 Mohammed Hussain Mohammed Amr (36), from Hebron, on 31 January 2021, in an alleged stab attack on the “Gush Etzion” junction, southern Bethlehem. PCHR investigations indicate that IOF could have resorted to a less lethal force to control Amr. Also this week, IOF shot and injured 13 civilians, including two children, in excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: 8 shot and wounded, including one child, in IOF attack on Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya weekly protest; 3, including a child, were shot near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm and Jenin; and 2 others were shot and wounded in Kafr Malik, Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, four IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and once at fishing boats off Gaza’s northern shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 123 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, 137 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 15 incidents:

  • Northern Jordan valleys: 8 barracks demolished ( 5 used for cattle, and 3 for residence); 28 homes and facilities demolished in Hemsa al-Foqa, displacing 85 Palestinians including 45 children. Also, 15 tents, used for residential purposes and for cattle, were demolished along with other properties of9 Palestinian families in Kherbet Hemsa al-Bikai’a.
  • East Jerusalem: tin-plated residence home demolished in as-Sawahira; house self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber; commercial facility self-demolished in Ras al-Amud; another under-construction house was demolished in Anata.
  • Hebron: agricultural room self-demolished; 3 cease-construction notices served to 3 houses, and an under-construction house was demolished
  • Jenin: 40 street carts removed near Jalamah checkpoint; 11 other street vendor stands were removed near the Annexation Wall.
  • Nablus: notice served to remove fence surrounding a land in Sebastia.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 3 settler-violence incidents that included assaults on civilians in Qalqilya and breaking the windows of 8 vehicles in Salfit.

Collective Punishment:

Within the Israeli collective punishment policy practiced against Palestinians and the families of those accused of carrying out actions against IOF or settlers, the Supreme Court of Israel ratified on 03 February 2021 the decision to demolish Mohammed Kabha’s home in Tura, Jenin. Kabha is imprisoned by Israel.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

  1. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 01:30 on Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF accompanied with Israeli intelligence officers moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Marwan Muneer Dari’s (47) house after blowing up their doors, beat his family members and electrocuted them with stun guns. IOF also arrested Marwan’s sons Mohanad (13) and Majd (19), taking them to Moscovia Detention Centre in west Jerusalem. Marwan said that at least 10 soldiers attacked his sons, electrocuted them with stun guns, pushed them to the ground, handcuffed them, prevented them from wearing clothes or shoes, blindfolded them, and took them in the cold weather to an unknown destination. Marwan added that when he attempted to help one of his sons, Israeli soldiers beat him with gun butts, fracturing his bottom teeth.
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters, sound bombs, live and rubber bullets to disperse them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF also raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrestees were identified as Mohammed Raed Masarwa (16), Mahmoud Mohammed al-Ghaleeth (17) and Mohammed Ahmed Sharaka (29).
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall on Zeita village’s lands, north of Tulkarm, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel for working. As a result, a 25-year-old male, from Zeita village, north of Tulkarm, was shot with a live bullet in his lower limbs.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at border areas, causing fear among Palestinian farmers. No causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 29 January 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 civilians, including a child were shot with sponge bullets in their limbs; a child was shot in his head; a civilian was shot in his abdomen; and another civilian was shot in his waist.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian, claiming that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at “Gush Etzion” junction, south of Bethlehem. According to PCHR’s investigations, IOF could have used less lethal force. PCHR’s fieldworker stated that at approximately 06:00, an Israeli soldier stationed behind a sand berm near “Gush Etzion” intersection, south of Bethlehem, opened fire (5 m distance) at a Palestinian male, who was walking on the street and suddenly ran towards the soldier. The Palestinian male was wounded. He then fell on the ground and bled to death. IOF detained his corpse and took it to an unknown destination. IOF declared later that the Palestinian male attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at “Gush Etzion” intersection against Israeli soldiers, who could have neutralized him immediately. Israeli authorities published a video clarifying the incident, and the video showed the Palestinian male while he was walking on the sidewalk and suddenly running towards a soldier stationed behind a sand berm. During which, the Palestinian male was trying to pull out  a sharp tool, which later turned out to be a small knife attached to a stick. The soldier, who was 5 meters away from the Palestinian male, opened fire at him and directly hit him, killing him immediately. It should be noted that the Palestinian male did not pose threat to the life of the soldier, who could have used less lethal force or could have arrested him. It was later found that the victim is Mohammed Hussain ‘Amro (36), married with 3 children from Wad al-Jeef area, east of Halhul city, north of Hebron. ‘Amro was working in the cleaning services of Halhul municipal. At approximately 23:00, IOF summoned the victim’s brother Suliman to Halhul city northern intersection, told him about what happened and interrogated him before releasing him. It should be noted that on 05 January 2021, and in similar circumstances, IOF killed ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Quqas Ikhlayil (25), from Hebron, in the same area, claiming that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.  “Gush Etzion” complex is comprised of 20 settlements and random settlement outposts, and the intersection there is fortified and full of advanced surveillance cameras and guards.
  • At approximately 14:05, IOF stationed in military site no. 16, north of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the border fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 07:23 on Monday, 01 February 2021, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near Barta’a checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel through openings in the wall. As a result, 2 workers were shot and injured with live bullets in their lower limbs. At approximately 17:33, IOF stationed in the same area re-opened fire at Palestinian workers, wounding 2 of them, including a 15-year-old child, with live bullets in their lower limbs. The wounded were taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital in Jenin for treatment.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and stationed in al-Hedra neighborhood. IOF established military checkpoints at the neighborhood entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them in the neighborhood streets and fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also arrested 3 civilians after severely beating them and electrocuting them with stun guns. The arrestees were: ‘Ali Sameer Abu Ghannam (22), Mostafa Mohammed Abu al-Hawa (28) and Mo’taz Khaled Abu al-Hawa (19).
  • At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF moved into Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters, sound bombs, rubber and live bullets to disperse them. As a result, two civilians sustained wounds; a 22-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot; and a 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh. Both of them received treatment on the spot. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  IOF raided and searched several houses and arrested Fadi Ahmed Shokat ‘Imrah (23). They also handed Yaseen Ahmed B’irat’s family a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service (Shabak) in “Ofer” prison, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city and Maghazi refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:15 on Wednesday, 03 February 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3-6 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and pumped water at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, fired teargas canisters at Palestinian farmers. As a result, many farmers suffocated to due teargas inhalation, and were forced to leave.
  1. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 28 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Mohammed Hussain al-Khateeb (19), Ali Yasser Kan’an (24), Waleed Salem al-Khateeb (20), and Mohammed Hamza Mobarak (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Eizariya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Bassam Odwan’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Araqa village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) children; Ahmed Nidal Yehya (15), Abdul Rahman Abdullah Salah (15), and Ibrahim Ammar Salama (15).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Halhul, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Yaser Ahmed Zama’ra’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Karf Aqab, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Izz al-Dein Atef Mutair (24) and Rajab Maher Mutair (26) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Omar Zaki Khwais’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:10, IOF moved into Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They raided and searched Mohammed al-Mimi’s (23) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services at Beit El DCO checkpoint, in the southern entrance of Jericho.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Dawoud Afana’s (59) house and arrested him along with his son, Mo’tasem (27). IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and handed Alaa’ Baker Naser (18) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah. Meanwhile, IOF arrested (4) civilians; Mohammed Sameer Abu ‘Adi (23), his brother Ahmed (29), Mohammed Sa’di Naser (22), and Mohammed Suliman Abu ‘Adi (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Thulth, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Arkan Yousef Abu Safiya (23).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Azzun, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Yehya Wael Shbeita (26), Mohammed Emad Shbeita (18), and Waleed Isma’el Redwan (15).
  • At approximately 03:45, IOF moved into al-Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Omar Kamel al-Ja’bari (32).
  • At approximately 03:55, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Omar Zakarna (24).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Yousef Hisham Arafa’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Alaa Baker Naser (18), from Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Ayyoub Abu Hadwan’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at Beit Furik military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, arrested Anas Basel Abu al-Reesh (23), from Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, and took him to an unknown destination. After four hours and half, IOF arrested (3) children from the abovementioned camp. The arrestees are: Omar Emran Hashash (16), Ameer Naser Hashash (17), and Hamadallah Ahmed Hashash (16).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Marwan Obaid (21) and Ali Sufian Obaid (19), while present near the western entrance of al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Ma’moun Muhaisen (17), Hasan Belal Mahmoud (18), and Mahmoud Sa’di al-Rajabi (25).
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Atuf village southeast of Tubas; Beita, Qusra, Asira al-Shamaliya, and Sebastia in Nablus governorate; Dhahiriya, Beit Ummar, and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 29 January 2021:

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of then occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yazan Emran Obaid’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Ayesh Obaid (23), while present near the western entrance of al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Samu and Dura in Hebron governorate; Tulkarm; Qarawat Bani Hassan, west of Salfit; Saffarin and Beit Lid, south of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 30 January 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Obaidat neighborhood in Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Mousa Obaidat (20) and Maher As’ad Obaidat (19) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mo’taz Kamal Fahmawi (26), Mohammed Fayez Nasra (25), and Mosallam Sa’eed Masarwa (23).
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Dawood Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa’s (19) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Abu al-Hawa spent several days in the Israeli prisons, and he was released 6-days ago.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Qabatiya and Misilyah; Ya’bad, Arraba and Kafr Ra’i in Jenin governorate; Hebron and Surif in Hebron governorate; Jayyous, Azzun, and Sir in Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 31 January 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (2) civilians; Khaled Saleh Hashash (21) and Mohammed Kayed Hashash (19).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Ali Zakarna (19), Bashar Mahmoud Abu al-Rab (20), and Mohammed Ali Abu al-Rab (19).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Basel Dawood Abu Sbeih (22), from Hebron, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established on the southern entrance of Hebron.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Hara al-Wusta area (central quarter) in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Marwan Othman al-Ghoul’s (47) house, the chairman of Silwan football club, and confiscated several documents and files. Meanwhile, IOF headed to the club, they raided and searched it and then they took al-Ghoul to Moscovia Detention Centre.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem, and threatened to break the doors if they did not open. They raided and searched the school, the classes, and the club next to the school.

Eng. Ahmed al-Safadi, the former principal of Silwan School, said that while he was with the engineering crew of the Ministry of Education in the school yards making surveys for the school walls and yards, they were surprised to see large numbers of Israeli soldiers storming the school. Al-Safadi clarified, after IOF stormed the school, they called the school principal, Suha Shwaiky, and head of the sport club close to the school, to open all the classes and rooms in order to search them. He added that IOF only found books and stationery and withdrew from the school and no confiscates were reported.

Monday, 01 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:45, IOF moved into al-Nabi Elias village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Omar Khaled Jaber (25), a soldier in the Palestinian Security Forces.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ahmed Abu Shanab (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Lo’ay Monjed Qazzaz’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdul Baset Abu Alya’s (48) house and arrested his sons; Abdul Rahman (22) and Watan (19).
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at Ein Sara street. They raided and searched Abdul Haleem al-Oweiwi’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Isma’el Dawood Abu al-Hawa (15) and Ra’ed Hazem al-Sayyad (16) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 21:15, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Jit village, east of Qalqilya, and arrested Mohammed Jawad Qafini (22), from Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Azzun village, east of Qalqilya, and arrested Yehya Ali Odwan (22), from the village.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Jalamah, Beit Qad, Arranah, Faqqua, Yamun, and Jaba’ villages in Jenin governorate; Far’un village and Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 02 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Isma’el Ahmed al-Awawda’s (55) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the camp. They raided and searched (4) houses and arrested (4) civilians, two of them were children. The arrestees are: Bashar Yaser Hassan (15), Nimir Hasan Jawabra (16), Jamal Nawwaf Jawabra (18), and Ahmed Ra’fat al-Badawi (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Taffuh, west of Hebron, and stationed in the west of the village. They raided and searched three houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ghassan Mohammed Irzeiqat (32), Waleed Mahmoud Irzeiqat (28), and Yousef Abdul Kareem Irzeiqat (29).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Qatanna village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ashraf Ibrahim Shamasna’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (9) civilians; Mo’nes Marwan Qabha (27), Baker Nafe’ Qabha (26), Ma’moun As’ad Qabha (27), Ahmed Mahmoud Qabha (28), Orwa Abdul Qader Jad (28), Suhail Nasif Jad (25), Mohammed Jad Jad (32), and his brothers Haitham (35) and Anan (26).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Tura village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Riyad Ayyoub Qabha’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Abdul Salam al-As’ad (16).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Tammun, southeast of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Monawar Mohammed Bsharat (47), along with his son, Fahed (23).
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Ramallah, and stationed in several neighborhoods in the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Wissam Saqer Hanaisha (28), and Atta Khattab (30).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beitunia, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Naseem Sami Owda (26), and Diaa’ Mahmoud al-Faroukh (26).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Riyad Hashash (24), Ahmed Naser Hashash (20), and Saleh Mohammed Abu Asab (38).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Jenin, and stationed in al-Hadaf area and Burqin valley near Jenin refugee camp. They raided and searched Ahmed I’temad Qasrawi’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Yaser al-Jayyar’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Nathir Mohammed Nassar (23), after referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, after summonsing him via a phone call.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Yassin Ahmed Ba’irat (22), from Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. While referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Obeid neighborhood in al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They stormed and searched a fish store and arrested Saif Ramadan Obaid (25).
  • At approximately 21:15, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the main street between Nablus and Qalqilya. They arrested Mohammed Qaher Abu Haniya (22), Bara’ Qaher Abu Haniya (25), and Mahmoud Khaldoun Redwan (26), from Azzun village, east of Qalqilya.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Ya’bad and Burqin in Jenin; Shuqba and Budrus in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 03 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Nablus, and stationed in the eastern side of the city, in “Joseph Tomb” area to secure the entry of dozens of settlers to the Tomb. The settlers prayed then IOF secured their withdrawal.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kafr al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and arrested the lawyer Hussam Abdul Hakim al-Dik (34).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ibrahim Hafez al-Warni (16), Abdullah Mohammed Ma’touq (19), and Salam Salah (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Qasem Saba’na (27).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Shwiaka, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ayman Khaled Obaid (23), Wassim Maher As’ad (20), and Yousef Mohammed Muhanna (24).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two civilians: Ibrahim Mostafa Abu Awad (21), and Mohammed Bassam Ghatasha (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hizmah, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians, including a child. The arrestees are: Hamad Ali al-Khateeb (34), Owda Ahmed Askar (25), Bashar Askar al-Khateeb (25), Qusai Hamed al-Khateeb (19) and his brother, Fadi (16).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Ibrahim Hussain Abu Ayyash (20), and Izzat Ahmed Awad (25).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; the twins Naser and Nasr Ahmed al-Sha’er (19), Malik Medhat Kayed (22), and Assem Abdul Majeed Dababsa (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Asira al-Shamaliya, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Azzam Emad Jawabra (23).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians including two children. The arrestees are: Ahmed Suliman Abu Mfarreh (17), Bashar Hatem Sabbah (16), Ahmed Owdallah al-‘Ammour (29), Oday Mohammed al-‘Ammour (22) and Awadallah Adel al-‘Ammour (19).
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Jericho. They arrested Samer Mohammed Abu Murad (19) from Jenin refugee camp and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several stores and arrested Ehab Zakariya Nasr al-Dein (42), and Rabea’ Nidal Ghaith (32).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Sa’ir, and al-Aroub refugee camp, in Hebron governorate. 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 09:00 on Thursday, 28 January 2021, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an agricultural room in Khelet al-Nahel area in Wadi Rahhal village, south of Bethlehem, allegedly for unlicensed construction.
  • Rami Abu ‘Ahour, Head of Wadi Rahhal village council, said that IOF moved into Khelet al-Nahlah area and demolished a 20-sqm agricultural room belonging to Na’im Mohammed Mustafa Radi and levelled areas of Palestinian agricultural land. They uprooted dozens of olive trees and beat up Mousa Mohammed Herzallah, causing him bruises.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed up by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Administration vehicle and crane moved into al-Wad al-Ahmar area, north of Fasayil village in the Northern Jordan Valley, north of Jericho. IOF deployed in the area and surrounded it.  They brought workers from Israeli private companies to dismantle 8 barracks; 5 were used for grazing sheep and 3 were residential.  Those barracks belong to Ibrahim Soliman Abu ‘Arouj (48) and his son Ra’fat (27) and were demolished without a prior warning allegedly for building in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Administration vehicle and a truck moved into Um al-Rayan area in as-Sawahira village, east of occupied Eat Jerusalem. The Civil Administration officers dismantled a tinplated dwelling built on area of 60 Sqms and a barrack for grazing sheep belonging to Isma’il Saray’ah and confiscated them allegedly for unlicensed construction.
  • On Saturday morning, 31 January 2021, Mazen ‘Abdel Fattah ‘Awawdah, from Deir Sammit village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron, self-demolished an agircutotural room built of bricks and tinplate on an area of 15 Sqms in his land near the annexation wall 4 months ago in western Deir Sammit. The demolition came after ‘Awawdah received a military notice to demolish the room within 72 hours, during which he could not file any challenge before the competent authorities in the Israeli Administration.
  • His son, Mousa (30), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “we carried out the demolition fearing that the military bulldozers would enter and damage our land as well as cutting olive trees. Moreover, the demolition decision did not give us the enough time to challenge it.”                                   
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 01 February 2021, IOF backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with an Israeli Administration vehicle moved into Khelet al-Fara near Umm el Amad village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area while the Israeli Administration officer handed Fawzi Hammad Khalil Abu Tabikh 3 notices to stop construction works in 3 dwellings that shelter his family of 15 members: his 3 wives and children.  The notices were allegedly for unlicensed construction in Area C, noting that IOF previously handed Abu Tabikh notices to stop work when he started constructing those dwellings back in 18 July 2018.
  • On Monday morning, 01 February 2021, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out a large-scale demolition operation against civilian properties in Hemsa al-Foqa area in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. Twenty-eight homes and facilities were demolished, displacing 85 Palestinians, including 45 children in the operation. These demolitions are part of an accelerated campaign by IOF to demolish and destroy Palestinians’ homes and properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, under the Israeli annexation and settlement-expansion schemes in what can only be considered an act of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population.
  • According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 08:45 on Monday, IOF accompanied by Israeli Civil Administration SUVs and construction vehicles, moved into Kherbet Hemsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. Immediately, workers accompanying IOF proceeded to demolish and dismantle civilian homes and sheep barns, loaded them onto their trucks and confiscated their contents. The demolition included 14 residential tents, 7 tents and 5 barracks for cattle; the destroyed structures belonged to 11 families (85 civilians, including 45 children) who were rendered homeless. IOF told the affected area’s residents to accompany them to be transferred to Ein Shibley area, west of Al-Hamra checkpoint in the central Jordan valleys; however, they refused to leave the area. IOF threatened the residents that they would return the following day and expel them from Hemsa al-Foqa. It should be noted that on 03 November 2020, IOF conducted a wide-scale demolition campaign in the same area that included the demolition of 70 homes and facilities and displacing 60 Palestinians (mostly children).
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF accompanied with a truck-mounted crane moved through al-Jalama village entrance on Jenin- Nazareth Street near al-Jamalah Checkpoint, north of Jenin. IOF removed 40 stalls for selling vegetables, fruits and food supplies near al-Jalamah checkpoint after confiscating all the contents, including the vegetables, fruits, strollers and tin plates, under the pretext of being located near the checkpoint.  Some owners of the stalls were identified as Mohammed, Rayeq, Mahmoud and Fayez Sha’aban; Ahmed Zidat, Walid Abu Zahow; Mazen NAssar; Ahmed Abu Hannanah; Mohammed Abu Shahlah; Mohammed Abu Jomhour; Mohammed al-‘Ejawi; Mohammed Jerar; Ma’an Qasrawi; Papers al-Sa’di and Monjeh Jaramnah.   The owners’ losses were estimated at more than ILS30,000.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into the archeological site near al-‘Aaj Palace in western Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer stuck a notice to remove the fence surrounding the 3.5-dunum land owned by Mustafa Yousef Sokar from the village under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • In the evening, Mo’ataz Ahmed Khalil self-demolished his house in al-Shayyah area in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision allegedly for unlicensed construction.

The houseowner, Moa’taz Khalil, said that he built his house 10 years ago where he lived with his wife and 2 kids, Norsin and Wadi’a.  Khalil added that the Israeli Municipality has been haunting him since he moved to his house.  Over the last years, the Israeli court held 9 hearings for the house and fined him with 24,000 shekels.  Khalil said that the Israeli court asked his lawyer in the last hearing to pay 35,000 shekels as a guarantee until the next hearing on 17 February or he demolishes the house within a month.  The lawyer informed the court that he cannot afford it as he has been unemployed since last March due to coronavirus pandemic.  Khalil added that an Israeli officer arrived at the house and threatened him if he did not demolish his house, he will be forced to pay 50,000 shekels as well as the demolition costs for the Israeli Municipality officers.  As a result, he had to self-demolish his house with his brothers’ help so that he spares himself the high demolition costs, which he cannot afford.  Khalil also said that his 50Sqm house is comprised of 2 rooms and a bathroom in addition to an old room built on an area of 20 Sqms.  Khalil pointed out that building his house cost him 200,000 shekels and he had to pay tens of thousands of shekels as lawyer’s fees over the last years.

  • On the same evening, Ihsan Abu al-So’oud self-demolished his commercial facility in Ras al-‘Amoud, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision allegedly for unlicensed construction. The facility’s owner said that he had owned an automobile repair shop in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood for 17 years on an area of 120 Sqms. Abu al-So’oud added that when renewed the shop 7 years ago, the Israeli municipality chased him and imposed construction fines of more than 70,000 shekels and he still pays for it.  Abu al-So’oud also said that the court held several hearings for the shop, and in the last one, it issued a final decision to demolish it and gave him 21 days to carry out the demolition.  As a result, he had to implement the demolition decision by himself although the shop was the only source of living for him and his sons who work with him.
  • At approximately 06:45 on Wednesday, 03 February 2021, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration SUVs and workers in Israeli private companies and backed by 2 bulldozers and 3 truck mounted cranes moved into Kherbet Humus (al-Baqi’ah) in the Northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas. Immediately, the bulldozers and accompanied workers demolished and dismantled dwellings and sheep barns and loaded them on the cranes.  They confiscated them along with all the residential contents.  The demolition included 15 residential and sheep barn tents in addition to other property belonging to 9 Palestinian families.  They also confiscated 2 cars belonging to the Wall Resistance Commission and another car belonging to Ayman Rabah Bani ‘Odah.
Person AffectedDamage
1-Harb Soliman Ifreij Abu Kabbash and his brother Mohammed3 sheep barns demolished and confiscated (800 meters)3 residential tents demolished and confiscated (120 meters)An open sheep barn demolished (700 meters)A mud oven demolishedA 40-meter tent confiscated
2-‘Abdel Ghani al-‘Awawdah and his sons Anas and Mo’azA sheep barrack demolished and confiscated (200 meters)A feeds barrack demolished and confiscated (100 meters)2 residential tents demolished and confiscated (90 meters each)A mobile bathroom demolished and confiscated2 water tanks confiscated
3-Isma’il Freij Abu al-Kabbash and his sons, Nazem and Nizam,3 mobile bathrooms demolished2 sheep tents demolished (200 meters)Residential tents (80 meters) demolished2 tents confiscated (90 meters)A mud oven demolishedA water tank confiscated

In the evening, IOF headed to Kherbet Humus al-Foqa and removed 4 tents set by Palestinians to protect the residents whose dwellings were demolished in the last few hours.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 03 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV and a bulldozer moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. Immediately, the bulldozer demolished 11 stalls near the annexation wall in al-Thaher area near ‘Anin School for Boys in western ‘Anin.  Those stalls were the only source of income for their owners as they sell food supplies for the workers heading to work in Israel via the holes in the wall.  IOF expelled the owners after damaging the contents under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.  It should be noted that IOD notified the stalls’ owners on 16 February 2020 of removing them.  On 17 January 2021, IOF damaged contents of the stalls belonging to Radi, Mahmoud and Mohammed Yehia Khaddour; Osayd, Yazid and Walid Yousif ‘Issa; Isma’il Khalil Yasin; ‘Issam Dawwas ‘Issa; Hakam and Ashraf Hussein Yasin; and Mohammed Nader ‘Issa.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF bulldozers demolished an under-construction house and 70-meter fences in Marj al-‘Anati area in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Taha No’man, ‘Anata Mayor, said that IOF demolished an under-construction house which included a concrete-roofed room and fences belonging to ‘Abdel Majeed ‘Eid Ziyad, under the pretext of unlicensed-construction. No’man said that the Israeli authorities demolished 12 facilities in ‘Anata village last January and still carry out a fierce demolition campaign against houses and facilities in the village.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and two excavators moved into ​​Khelet al-Forn, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while vehicles began to demolish a 200-Sqm under construction house belonging to Mohammed Jamal al-Sarsour. The demolition was carried out allegedly for illegal construction in Area C. The Israeli authorities had previously notified al-Sarsour to stop construction work and demolish it.

Kherbet Khelet al-Forn is located in southern Hebron, west of the Bypass Road 60, opposite to the intersection leading to the “Bani Hefer” settlement built on the Bani Na’im village.  The village is inhabited by 150 persons; most of them are Bedouins who came from Beersheba and bought part of its lands.  The residents work in agriculture and sheep grazing.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 19:15 on Thursday, 29 January 2021, a group of Israeli settlers closed the main street that connects Nablus with Qalqilya (Street 55.) Immediately, citizens from Izbat al-Tabib village in eastern Qalqilya, attempted to open the street and prevent settlers from closing it.  IOF then fired sound bombs and teargas canisters to disperse the citizens and beat some of them, including the head of the village council, Bayan al-Tabib, IOF detained a number of citizens and later released them.
  • At approximately 10:20, a group of settlers sneaked into the Jinsafut village outskirts in eastern Qalqilya. And when they were recognized, citizens confronted them and forced them to leave, especially after citizens’ calls to gather in the area.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Monday, 01 February 2021, a group of settlers moved into Kafl Haris village, north of Salfit, under the pretext of visiting tombs to perform religious rituals inside. During which, settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles and houses and threw stones at them.  As a result, windows of 8 vehicles were broken and a house’s lighting.

Collective Punishment Measures:

As part of the IOF’s collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against it and/or settlers, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the demolition of a prisoner’s house in Jenin.

On Wednesday, 03 February 2021, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the demolition of a house belonging to Mohammed Kabha, a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli jails from Tourah village, southwest of Jenin. IOF accused Kabha of killing an Israeli female settler, Esther Horgen, in an attack in Ahrash Rihan on 20 December 2020.  The Court decided to demolish 2 floors of the house where he lived with his wife and 3 kids.

  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 76 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 8 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, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Hizma village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Az-Za’ayyem village intersection and at the western entrance to Isawiya village, northeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Biddu village and at the intersection of Al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ni’lin village.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Ur al-Fauqa village.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Sinjil village.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Silwad, Turmus Ayya, Sinjil, and Deir Abu Mash’al villages, and on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages, west of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hussina area.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF closed al-Container checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, and re-opened it later. IOF also established 2 checkpoints in in ‘Aqabet Hussina area and near al-Nashnash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Beit Jala city.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 01 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashnash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash area, south of Bethlehem.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho, and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint on al-Mo’arajat road, which connects between Ramallah and Jericho.
  • On Monday, 01 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho, and near the intersection of Ein ad-Duyuk village.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Jenin:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint between Silat al-Harithiya and Ti’inik villages, west of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the southern and western entrances to Hebron, at the entrances to Bani Na’im and Jalajel villages, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir, Beit Ummar and Idhna villages, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Ummar village and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Wednesday, 03 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and Yatta, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and Jayyous villages, north of the city.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, at the southern entrance to Qalqilya, and between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas villages, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 01 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Azzun village and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 28 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint twice at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Friday, 29 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 30 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut, Kifl Haris and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of Salfit.
  • On Sunday, 31 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Salfit and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Kifl Haris villages, and at the northern entrance to Salfit.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 21- 27 January 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 21- 27 January 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine

21- 27 January 2021

  • Child killed in Salfit in alleged stab attack
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 9 Palestinians wounded, including a child and a journalist
  • Two IOF shootings reported at agricultural lands, and three at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 101 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 97 civilians arrested, including 10 children and 2 women
  • Patient companion arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, northern Gaza Strip
  • Israeli decision to confiscate 600 dunums from Deir Istiya, Salfit
  • 5 establishments demolished in Jerusalem; mosque foundation demolished, and 14 demolition notices served in Hebron
  • 10,300 trees razed, cease-construction and demolition notices served to 3 houses in the northern Jordan valleys
  • Settlers seized an 800 dunums hill in Bethlehem and attack houses and vehicles in the West Bank
  • IOF established 74 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours.

Additionally, this week witnessed a continued escalation in settler attacks, mainly stone throwing at civilian houses and vehicles in the West Bank. Also, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem; a wide-scale confiscation and seizure campaign of Palestinian lands was conducted by IOF in the West Bank.

This week, PCHR documented 225 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 wounded 9 Palestinians, including a child and a journalist, in excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank. Atallah Mohammed Rayan (17) was killed by IOF on 26 January 2021 near Haris village intersction, northern Salfit, after IOF alleged he attempted to stab a soldier. PCHR investigation into the incident indicates that IOF could have controlled the teen using a less lethal force. Additionally, 4 Palestinains, including a jouranlists, were wounded by IOF in separate incidents during the occupation forces’ incursions into Ramallah and al-Bireh; 3 were wounded in IOF attacks on two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya; and a child was wounded in IOF incursion into Jenin refugee camp, and another Palestinain was injured in IOF incursion into occupied East Jerusaelm.

In the Gaza Strip, two IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Khan Younis, and three shootings on fishing boats off Gaza’s northern shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 101 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, 97 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and 2 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested a patient’s companion at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 14 incidents:

  • Tubas: 2 houses received demolition notices in Kherbet Yerza; a cease-construction notice served to a house in Kherbet al-Meyta. Also, 7 tents and sheep barns dismantled in the northern Jordan valleys; 10,000 forest trees and 300 olive trees destroyed in a 400 dunum land in Kherbet Einon.
  • Salfit: Confiscation decision of 600 dunums from Deir Istiya.
  • Bethlehem: demolition notices to an agricultural room and a water tank in al-Khader village; under-construction house demolished in al-Walaja.
  • Nablus: al-Khan spring demolished and a steel fence in Khan al-Laban; 5 demolition notices served to 4 buildings and a barracks in Asira ash-Shamaliya.
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 5 establishments demolished, and a land razed in Anata.
  • Hebron: 14 demolition notice served in Khirbet Zanuta; mosque foundations demolished in Kherbet Um Qassa; lavatory dismantled in al-Rakeez village, eastern Yatta.
  • Settler-attacks:PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 16 settler-violence incidents:
  • Ramallah: Palestinian vehicle assaulted near Burqa wounding a 3-year old.
  • Bethlehem: settlers constructed two roads and seized an 800 dunum hill in Baddyet Bethlehem (east); civilian vehicles assaulted on the bypass road between Za’atara and Teqoa and the “Kfar Etzion” settlement junction. Also, 3 dunums were razed in Al-Masara and shepherds were assaulted.
  • Nablus: settler attacks and stone thrown on vehicles near Hawara checkpoint, “Yitzhar” settlement and Burin and in southeastern Nablus. Settlers also attacked civilian houses in Burin and Madama.
  • Qalqilya: civilian vechiles assaulted by Jinsafut entrance.
  • Hebron: settler attacks on vehicles travelling on Bypass Road (60); 100 olive tree seedlings uprooted and shepherds assaulted.
  • Salfit: 100 olive trees damaged in Kafr ad-Dik.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

  1. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 04:50 on Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF moved into al-Bireh city, north of Ramallah, and stationed in al-Balou’ neighborhood. They raided and searched Amal Mo’amer ‘Arabi Nakhlah’s (17) house and arrested him. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, journalist, Mohammed Turukman (24) was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in the right shoulder and was taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:15, IOF stationed in military site no. 16 along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in ‘Obaid neighborhood, west of the village. IOF established a military checkpoint at the village entrance, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters; no casualties were reported. IOF arrested Mohammed ‘Aziz ‘Obaid (17) and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and stationed in al-Nakhla and al-Qa’ neighborhoods. IOF established military checkpoints at the neighborhood entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, empty bottles and fireworks at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters; no casualties were reported. IOF arrested Ahmed Marwan Abu Jum’a (21), Ibrahim Nader Abu Hatab (19) and Ibrahim Khaled al- Haniti (18) and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 22 January 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; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 21 January 2021, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village council, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in al-Shurfa area, where Israeli settlers set up a tent and a water tank on the village’s agricultural lands. 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 performed the Friday prayer on the lands under the threat of confiscation while Israeli soldiers surrounding them. Following the Friday prayer, 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, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 22 January 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 22-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his hand, causing fractures in it, and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 23 January 2021, 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 20-year-old male was hit with a teargas canister in his elbow and an 18-year-old male was hit with a teargas canister in his back.
  • At approximately 13:30, dozens of Palestinian young men, from Yatta City, along with international and Israeli peace activists organized a peaceful protest at the entrance to Tawameen village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and banners written on them slogans against settlement, and chanted slogans. The protest was organized a day after Israeli settlers’ arrival at caves belonging to Mur family in Tawameen village and damaged its contents. In the meantime, a large number of IOF arrived at the area and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many protestors and journalists suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also prevented the journalists from photographing, declared the area as a closed-military zone and threatened the protestors to be arrested. Meanwhile, a number of Israeli settlers arrived at the area, cursed the protestors and attempted to beat them. The protestors withdrew from the area while journalists passed through the Bypass road in order to reach Susya village, where their vehicles were parked. While they were on their way, a number of Israeli settlers attacked them and unleashed their dogs towards them, forcing them to flee. As a result, journalist Hamza Hattab (37), a reporter of “Wafa” news agency, sustained bruises in his hand; and journalist Mashhour al-Wahwah, cameraman at“Wafa” news agency, sustained bruises. In the meantime, the settlers gathered and chanted racist slogans against Arabs.
  • At approximately 18:20, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3-6 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, and closed the village’s main entrance and sub-roads. IOF vehicles stationed in the center of the village, near Deir Abu Mash’al mixed school. Meanwhile, a number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicles, deployed in the neighborhoods’ entrances, raided and searched several houses, and fired teargas canisters around them. IOF detained Fateh Rezeq Zahran (28) while present in front of his house, handcuffed him, took him to Israeli vehicles, and interrogated him for half an hour before releasing him. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers and vehicles. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them in the village’s neighborhoods and fired live and rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, two protestors were wounded and taken to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment. The wounded were identified as: a 20-year-old male, who was shot and injured with a live bullet in his foot; and a 22-year-old male who was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in his foot. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF also detained at least 25 civilians at the village’s main entrance and prevented them from enter the village. The IOF incursion into the village continued until 17:30. This IOF action came as a collective punishment policy after unknown persons threw stones at a vehicle belonging to a female settler passing through the settlement road “64”, which connects between Deir Abu Mash’al and “Hallamish” settlement.
  • At approximately 09:15 on Monday, 25 January 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3-6 nautical miles, opened heavy fire and fired shells around them for an hour, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF moved into Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many protestors suffocated to due teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 17:15, IOF moved into Sanur village, south of Jenin, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many protestors suffocated to due teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 00:30 on Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF moved into Tubas city, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many protestors suffocated to due teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters, sound bombs and live and rubber bullets to disperse them. As a result, a 16-year-old child was shot and injured with a live bullet in his left thigh and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated to due teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. Before IOF withdrawal from the city, they raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested ‘Ali Ahmed ‘Ali ‘Amer (20) , from Jenin refugee camp, and ‘Imran ‘Emad al-Deen Ahmed Saqer (22), from Wad Burqin.
  • On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian child on ‘Aber al-Samera Street near Haris village intersection, north of Salfit, under the pretext that he attempted to stab an Israeli female soldier. PCHR’s investigations points out that IOF could have controlled the child by using less lethal force.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 11:30, while the child was walking on ‘Aber al-Samera street, few meters away from the vehicles lane,  female and male soldiers were walking in front of him heading to a military checkpoint established on the street, 20 meters away. Verbal altercation erupted between the two soldiers and the child and then developed to a fist fight. Few moments later, a third soldier present in the area intervened and shot the child, wounding him directly. A number of Israeli soldiers gathered around the child who fell on the ground, beat him with gun butts and left him to bleed out without providing first aid until he succumbed to his wounds. Forty minutes later, the soldiers took him via an Israeli ambulance to an unknown destination.

The Israeli spokesperson said that a Palestinian child attempted to stab a female soldier several times before the soldiers neutralized him. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not publish any video corroborating the incident, despite that there were cameras in the area. It was found later that the victim is ‘Atallah Mohammed Rayan (17), from Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. PCHR’s fieldworker said that Rayan is a senior high school student and he used to head to his father’s marble factory in Rujeib village after returning from school. PCHR points out that IOF could have controlled the child without killing him, and that even if the Israeli claims were true, the child did not pose threat to the lives of the soldiers who could have controlled him, arrested him and used less lethal force against him without killing him and leaving him to bleed out without providing first aid, despite the presence of an Israeli medical crew.

At approximately 17:00, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Rayan’s house and interrogated all the family members. During which, IOF informed Rayan’s family that he attempted to stab a female soldier; Rayan’s family denied having any information about the incident or that their son intended to carry out a stab attack, expressing their shock to what happened to him. During the IOF incursion into the village, Palestinian young men threw stones at IOF and clashes erupted between them. IOF fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the young men; no casualties were reported.

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF attacked and severely beat a Palestinian male while present near “Beitar Illit” settlement, which is established on Husan, Nahalin and Wadi_Fukin villages’ lands, southwest of Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses stated that the guards of “Beitar Illit” settlement severely beat Hider Eyad Hider Hamamra (24), from Husan village, while he was at the entrance to the settlement, causing bruises to him. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in the center of the village. IOF raided and searched several shops. During which, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who attacked the protestors, chased them in the eastern neighborhood and fired rubber bullets, teargas canisters and heavy sound bombs at them. As a result, Qusai Hamed Shareef al-Khatib (21), was shot and injured with a live bullet in his foot and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Wednesday, 27 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Kafr_Malik village, northeast of Ramallah, and stationed in the village’s eastern side. The IOF deployed between civilians’ houses and indiscriminately fired teargas canisters at them. During which, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 20-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was taken to a medical center in Silwad village. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The IOF incursion continued until 19:00; no arrests were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 21 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Hazem Hadoush’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed at several neighborhoods in the city. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians; Mohammed Maher Bader (59), a member at the dissolved legislative council, Mohannad As’ad al-Tawil (40), Dia’ Hesham Zaheda (34), and Arafat Mohammed al-Qawasmi (38).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Hosny Isma’el Za’aqiq’s (59) house and arrested his two sons Isma’el (25) and Nidal (21).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hussain Thabet Ba’jawi (26).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed As’ad Nazzal (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Aqabat Jabr refugee camp. Southwest of Jericho. They raided and searched Mahmoud Arafat Jalaita’s (29) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF arrested Ahmed Bassam al-Mimi (18), while present in al-Quds street in the southern entrance of the camp.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobar, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched three houses in al-Tahta neighborhood and arrested (3) civilians; Jameel Mohammed Daraghmeh (38), Naseem Abdul Salam al-Barghouthi (25), and Mohye Wissam al-Barghouthi (24). Meanwhile, another IOF stormed Ali Waheed al-Barghouthi’s house in the center of the village, opened fire at the windows and doors of the house and threw sound bombs inside it, then they severely beaten and arrested his son, Alaa’ (27).

Alaa’s mother said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“While I was sleeping, I heard the Israeli soldiers using loud speakers calling my husband by saying “Ali, get out of your house”, they kept calling him for 30 minutes without storming the house, so my son Alaa and I went to open the door. As soon as we opened the door, the Israeli soldiers came in,  caught, and handcuffed Alaa and started beating him with their riffles’ butts and detained him out of the house. And then, one of the soldiers ordered me to wake up my daughters, but I told him to let them sleep, so he said: “If you are worried about your daughters, get them out of the house in 3 minutes,” and then he threw a sound bomb inside the house, so I ran out of the house with my daughters, and they were very scared. My daughter, Mira (7), was running barefoot while she was crying all the way until we arrived at my mother in law’s house, next to ours. We kept looking at our house, and saw the Israeli soldiers beating Alaa nonstop, noting that Alaa was ill a few day ago, and the doctors told him that he better gets rest to recover. However, the soldiers ordered us to get out of the houses, and one of them confiscated the mobile phone of my 17-years-old daughter, investigated with Alaa and asked him about his father, Alaa replied that his father is at work. Immediately, they stormed and searched the house thoroughly and damaged its contents and opened fire at the walls and the windows. In the end, they threatened me while I was trying to give Alaa a jacket because it was cold outside and he was not feeling well, but they refused and arrested him two hours after the raid.”

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ayoub Baha’i Obaid’s (29) house and arrested him, and handed his brother, Roshdi (24), a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Fatema Khader’s (65) house and took her to al-Qishleh police center and released her after several hours of investigation on conditions that ban her entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week and ordered her to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services on Thursday.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at the entrance of Izbat al-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya, and arrested Shaddad Hisham Odwan (25), from Azzun, east of Qalqilya.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in al-Shuyukh and Beit Ula villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 22 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:05, IOF moved into Asira al- Shamaliya, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amjad Afif Sawalmah (30) and his brother Ali (29).
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Majd al-Dein Maher Fhaidat’s (15) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Fhaidat is suffering heart issues, and he underwent open-heart surgery since years, and he needs continued medical follow-up. Furthermore, Fhaidat’s father was a former prisoner and he died inside the Israeli prisons in 2005 due to medical negligence.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF arrested Majed Ragheb al-Jo’ba (40), while present near al-Sahera Gate “Herod’s Gate”, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. IOF took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street.

It should be noted that al-Jo’ba is a former prisoner who spent 7-years in the Israeli prisons on charge of belonging to Hamas Movement, and his activities within the Aqsa Youth Group. Furthermore, IOF banned al-Jo’ba from entering Jerusalem and the West Bank for 6-months in 2018, and allowed him to present only in the occupied territories of 1948 and Eizariya, east of Jerusalem, and renewed that decision several times for separated periods, summonsed him and threatened of taking serious actions against him.

Saturday, 23 January 2021:

  • At approximately 05:10, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’taz Ziyad Saba’na (21).

Sunday, 24 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed in several neighborhoods. They raided and searched several houses and handed six civilians summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion”, south of Bethlehem. The civilians are: Ahmed Yaser al-Sharbati (40), Anas Sidqi al-Jo’ba (39), Mohameed Redwan al-Hashlamoun (41), Yousef Othman Salhab (38), Yazan Emad Nairoukh (27), and Taleb Mahmoud al-Dwaik (36).
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Qabatia, southeast of Jenin, and stationed at Jabal al-Damuni area. They surrounded a Hyundai vehicle and arrested 3 civilians inside it, bombed the vehicle and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Ahmed Hasan Abu al-Rab (26), Jehad Abu al-Rab (24), and Majdi Kmeil (25).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Ra’fat Deiriya’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli Infantry Unit stormed and searched Mohammed Mostafa al-Jamal’s (38) house, in the southern side of Hebron’s Old City, and arrested him.
  • In morning hours, IOF stormed Dome of the Rock Mosque, in the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They prevented the restoration works inside it for the second consecutive day. The Islamic Endowments (Waqf) Department in Jerusalem stated that IOF banned the restoration crew from continuing their duty inside the Dome of the Rock Mosque, as they started restoring the ground two weeks ago.

The Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem said in a statement that the Israeli police interrupted all the restoration works in the Aqsa Mosque, took photos of ID Cards of the workers and technicians, banned them from working in the Mosque and threatened them of arresting if they attempted to continue their work in the Mosque. They added, the Israeli police is working on stopping all the activities and works of the Construction Committee in the Aqsa Mosque, and prevented the restoration works in places that need immediate restoration. Also, the Israeli Authorities prevented the entry of the most basic materials needed for restoration, as they were left unable to do their restoration or maintenance duties in the Mosque facilities, in addition to their employees who are exposed to prosecution or threatens of arrest or exit.

  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Saber Mohammed Abu Nab’s (16) house, severely beaten and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ameer Khaled al-Malki’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:20, IOF arrested (4) children while present near the entrance of Beit Ijza village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Majd Ramadan Abu Kafia (10), Mo’tasem Ahmed Ghareeb (9), Mohammed Saleem Ghareeb (10), and Aysar Mousa Salem (10).
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Hisham al-Bashiti (46), while present in Bab al-Asbat “Lions’ Gate” area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. It should be noted that the Israeli Authorities are attacking the family of Mohammed al-Bashiti, in order to pressurize them to leave their house which overlooks the Mosque, as al-Bashiti family stated that the Israeli Authorities wanted to desperate us to take our house. Mohammed al-Bashiti’s sons are always exposed to arrests and attacks, as his elder son, Hisham (20), was arrested for the first time when he was 13, and now he is under arrest on charge of throwing stones. Referring to the second son, Hatem (18), he was arrested and summonsed dozens of times with his younger brother Abdul Rahman (16), who was arrested up to 20-times last year, despite of suffering of diabetes.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in Sa’ir and al-Mowreq villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 25 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohannad Fahmi Qawar (24), his brother Rani (19), and Adham Jamal Farraj (29).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Hatem Abu al-Hawa’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Sayed Abu ‘Adi (47), Mohammed Nabil Abdo (20), and Mohammed Naji Abdo (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beitunia, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ahmed Noah Hreish’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Anata village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mahdi al-Rashq’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Tha’er Abdul Raheem Washha’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Omar Jameel al-Rimawi’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint, arrested a man while accompanying his wife, who is a brain cancer patient.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 08:00, Walaa Mohammed Mostafa al-Refa’i (35), married with 3 children from al-Maghazi camp, headed to Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing with his wife Walaa Nabil Mahmoud al-Refa’i (33), who has a brain tumor. Mrs. Al-Refa’i has a scheduled surgery at al-Maqassed Hospital. At approximately 11:00, an Israeli soldier took Mr. Al-Refa’i for investigation, while the patient remained waiting in the hall. At 16:30, the Israeli soldier ordered Mrs. Al-Refa’i to travel alone or to return to the Gaza Strip. She told the Israeli soldiers that she was going to have a brain surgery and could not go alone; she was instructed to have her companion replaced by someone else. Mrs. Al-Refa’i’s mother joined her and they went to al-Maqassed Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem. At approximately 19:00, Mr. al-Refa’i phoned his wife and told her that he is detained by Israeli authorities and was taken to Ashkelon Prison.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Sherin Khalil al-A’raj (49), from al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, while present near the Magistrate Court in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took her to “Petah Tikva” investigation center, and extended her arrest for 7-days, and prevented her from meeting her lawyer.

It should be noted that al-A’raj is living out of oPt, and she is a UN employee for more than 15 years and hold UN travel documents. Noting that the Israeli Authorities banned al-A’raj from entering Palestine for 5 years, and she was summonsed and arrested when she came to visit the West Bank to spend the vacation with her family.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Haitham Hisham al-‘Abbasi’s (30) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskoubiya police Center in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at Shu’afat refugee camp’s military checkpoint, arrested Fadi Zakaria Kashur (32) and Hussam Naser Yaghmour (28), while passing through the checkpoint.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested (9) civilians, claiming that they were throwing stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers. The arrestees are: Mo’taz Jaradat, Yazan Saya’ra, Bara’ Saya’ra, Hamza Jaradat, Mahmoud Alqam, Hamido Alqam, Yasine Taha, Qotaiba Farhan, and Mohammed Farroukh.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Abdul Kareem Hashash (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fadi Nizar Jab’awi (24) and Oday Issam Qasem (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Eizariya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Nizar Eyad Bassa (22) and Hussam Mohammed Far’oun (18) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya, north of the West Bank, and stationed in the center of the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Abdullah Zuhair Walwil (30), Abdul Rahman Belal Hijjawi (20), and Qasem Abdul Raheem Nazzal (35).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Qusai Hani Taqatqa’s (16) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ahmed Jameel al-Silwadi’s (18) house amd arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Yazan Emad Nairoukh (27), from Hebron, after referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. Nairoukh received a summons when IOF raided his house in the previous day.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF handed Samed Asila (51), Head of al-Aqsa Mosque Night Guards, a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services. Lately, the Israeli police increased bothering the Aqsa Mosque’s guards and Islamic Endowments (Waqf) Department’s employees.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into the African Community Quarter, near al-Majlis Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Jehad Naser Qaws’s (26) house and took him to one of the investigation centers in the city. It should be noted that Qaws was arrested three times during this month.
  • At approximately 20:10, IOF moved into Qalqilya, north of the West Bank, and stationed in the middle of the city. They chased a group of young men claiming that they were throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers in the southern checkpoint area. Later, IOF arrested ‘Asef Azzam Owda (16).
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Khalil Atta Abu al-Hawa’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tayasir, east of Tubas; Beit Ummar, Halhul, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Wadi Shaheen area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ameer Sameer Tabanja’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; Owda al-Khateeb (24), Osama Ali al-Khateeb (29), Adel Issam al-Khateeb (19), Mos’ab Abdul Rahman al-Khateeb (27), and Nadeem Abdul Hameed al-Khateeb (26).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ayham Nahed Aqel (22).
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Majdi Naser Washha (27) and Mohannad Najeeb Saif (24) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Madama, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Thabet Nassar Ezzat Nassar (43).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tammun, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mostafa Hussain Bani Owda (25).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qabatiya southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Tareq Ziyad Abu al-Rab (20), and Anwar Nidal Saba’na (22).
  • At approximately 03:45, IOF moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ghassan Mohammed Ali Shalamish (41), along with his sons; Haitham (18) and Eyad (15).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Nizar Mohammed Nawaj’a (33), working at the Palestinian Intelligence Services, and Issa Ali al-Najjar (36).
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Mevo Dotan checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mostafa Faisal Zakarna (20), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Tubas, Zububa, west of Jenin; Ramallah, Beitunia, and Silwad in Ramallah governorate; Fawwar refugee camp and Beit Ummar in Hebron governorate. 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 10:30 On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Kherbet Yerza in the Northern Jordan Valley in eastern Tubas, north of the West Bank. The Civil Administration officers handed 2 notices for 96 hours regarding 2 houses belonging to Rami and Hafiz Na’im Hafiz Masa’id.
  • On the same day, the Israeli authorities declared on its Civil Administration website that they will confiscate 600 dunums from the agricultural lands of Deir Istiya village, north of Salfit, in favor of Karnei Shomron and Immanuel settlements, west of the village. According to the Israeli authorities’ announcement, they will change the agricultural lands into industrial lands regarding Immanuel settlement and confiscate the lands of nature resorts, yards, and services in favor of settlement residential units in Area C, settlement area in al-Bala’ah neighborhood, and Khelet al-Karsone.  The lands that will be confiscated in favor of Immanuel settlement are around 300 dunums belonging to Mahmoud ‘Abed Mahmoud ‘Afounah and his siblings; Yousif al-Haj Dawoud Jadallah; and ‘Abdullah Abu Salem Hazeem.  Also, 300 other dunums will be confiscated from Deir Istiya village in favor of Karnei Shomron belonging to ‘Abdel Rahman Qaddourah ‘Ali; ‘Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Mansour; and Ahmed Mustafa ‘Issa Abu Hajlah.

It should be noted that the Israeli authorities gave the mentioned civilians 60 days to challenge the decision; they started the legal proceedings.

  • On Sunday evening, 24 January 2021, IOF notified to demolish an agricultural room and a water tank in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
  • Hasan Breijiyeh, Director of Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF notified to demolish an agricultural room belonging to Ibrahim Soliman Salah in Wad al-Shami area, west of the village, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Breijiyeh added that IOF notified also to destroy a water tank used by the farmers in the area.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Administration SUV, a bulldozer and crane moved into al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, southeast of Nablus. IOF surrounded Khan al-Lubban, which is an ottoman caravansary located in the eastern side of the village. The bulldozer destroyed al-Khan Spring and a 40-meter iron fence and confiscated it. IOF also destroyed and confiscated 2 steel gates of al-Khan gates along with a mobile bathroom belonging to Khaled al-Daraghmah, who lives in al-Khan as well, to expel him and seize control of al-Khan.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbet al-Mayetah in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The Civil Administration officer handed a notice to stop construction works in an under-construction house belonging to Khaled ‘Ali Salamah al-Faqir from al-Kherbeh.  IOF took photos of the civilian houses there and notified 2 residential rooms belonging to ‘Adnan ‘Abdel Mahdi Ghayyad al-Salamin in Zeraa’ ‘Awwad Community in the Northern Jordan Valley under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF demolished 5 facilities and levelled a plot of land in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mayor of ‘Anata village, Taha al-Refa’ie, said that IOF accompanied with bulldozers moved into Marj al-‘Anati area in the village and started destroying a fence belonging to Waleed ‘Aref al-‘Ajaleen and another belonging to ‘Alaa’ Abu Shames in addition to a barrack used as a store belonging to ‘Abdel Baqi Helweh and another one of 200 sqm used as a horses stable belonging to Samer al-Natshah.  Al-Refa’ie added that before their withdrawal, IOF demolished a barrack belonging to Mohammed Ibrahim Helwah and levelled the land surrounding a gas station belonging to Amin Ja’afrah near the village entrance.

  • At approximately 10:30, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into al-Sarih area and Khelet al-Lahham near the northern entrance to ‘Asirah village, northwest of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer handed 5 demolition notices for 4 buildings and a barrack in the area under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C

The persons affected were:

NameNotified Facilitynotes
1-Mohammed ‘Abdel Jalil al-SholiA 7-storey residential building comprised of 23 apartments and shops ( each floor is 180 sqms)The building shelters 9 families 30 persons, including 19 children
2-Sa’id Salim Mohammed YasinA house built on an area of 89 sqmsIt shelters a family of 6, including 3 children
3-Bader al-Deen Ahmed ‘Abdullah HamadnahA 2-storey house; first floor is 116 sqms and the second is 160 sqmsIt shelters 2 families of 5
4-Mohammed Mahmoud Sa’id NajiA 3-storey house; the first floor is 116 sqms, the second is 240 sqms, and the stairwell is 20 sqms.It shelters 2 families of 10, including 4 children
5-Nabil Hamed Mousa HamadnahA house of a first 35sqm floor and 184sqm second floorIt shelters 6 persons, including 4 children
6-Hussein Sa’id HamadnahA barrack roofed with tin plates and built of bricks on an area of 120 sqms in 1779Used as a store for the family
  • At Approximately 10:30 on Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF demolished an under construction house in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Khader al-A’araj, Head of Al-Walajah Village Council, said that IOF moved into Khelet al-Samak, northwest of the village, and demolished a 2-storey under-construction house built on an area of 190 sqm belonging to Mohammed ‘Abdul Latif Jayousi, from Jerusalem.  Al-A’araj added that following the demolition, clashes erupted in the area between the village young men and Israeli soldiers, who heavily fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters; as a result, the protesters suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  IOF also arrested Nabil Ahmed al-Teen (16) and severely beat him.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Kherbet Zanuta, west of ad-Dhahiriya village and located 20 kilometers south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer distributed 14 demolition notices under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.  Nearby localities include ad-Dhahiriya to the northwest and Khirbet Shweika to the northwest, as well as two Israeli settlements, “Teneh Omarim” to the west and “Shim’a” to the east. The Meitarim industrial zone just to its east was built for the settlers. The village has a population of 70 citizens, who live in rooms built of tin plates, stones, and clay and in caves.   On 14 December 2020, IOF handed notices to stop construction works in those facilities, and the new notices included the following:
Person affectedFacilityDescriptionAreaBuilt inFamilyChildren (male)WomenChildren (female)Funded byNotice
Shehdah Soliman Hamad KhdeiratDwellingTin plates16sqm201821SelfDemolition order
Same personA barrack for grazing sheepTin plates, shade cloth and stones120sqm20202SelfDemolition order
Basim Melhem Hamad KhdeiratResidential roomStones and tin plates30sqm2018421SelfDemolition order
Same personSheep barrackShade cloth and iron pipes100sqm2019841SelfDemolition order
‘Amer ‘Amer Isma’il al-TolDwellingShade cloth, tin plates and iron pipes40sqm19947514SelfDemolition order
Ahmed ‘Arm al-TolSheep barrackStones, tin plates and iron pipes80sqm20183114SelfDemolition order
‘Aser Shafiq Soliman al-TolResidential roomTin plates and concrete slab30sqm2015631SelfDemolition order
Same personPergolaTin plates20sqm2010631SelfDemolition order
Same personSheep barrackShade cloth and iron angles90sqm2018631YMCADemolition order
Same personDwellingTin plates and concrete slab35sqm2014631YMCADemolition order
Fares Hasan Fares SamamrahSheep barrackPipes and shade cloth150sqm2018171123YMCADemolition order
Susya village councilA roomTin plates40sqm2020OrganizationsDemolition order
ClinicA roomTin plates20sqm2020OrganizationsDemolition order
MAghidah ‘Ali Ahmed BattahA roomTin plates40sqm201921Her ownNotice to stop construction works
  • At approximately 10:45 on Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF accompanied with 3 Israeli Civil Administration SUVs and other vehicles with workers and an excavator, moved into Khirbat Al-Burj in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The workers immediately dismantled tents and sheep barns belonging to 5 Palestinian families and confiscated them.
No.Person affectedDamage
1-Mustafa Khalil Warrad Zawahrah2 tents dismantled and confiscated (160sqms for each)A 130sqm sheep barn confiscated and dismantled
2-Khalil Warrad Zawahrah2 sheep barns confiscated and dismantled (130sqms and 80sqms)A 100sqm Pergola confiscated
3-Redwan Khalil Warrad Zawahrah3 tents uprooted and confiscated (180sqms for each)A 120sqm sheep barn dismantled and confiscated
4-Nayef Mohammed Saray’ah al-FaqirA 160sqm sheep barn destroyed and confiscatedA 60sqm sheep tent uprooted and confiscated
5-Radi Khalil Warrad Zawahrah2 sheep tents uprooted and confiscated (160sqms for each)

Afterwards, IOF headed to Hamamat al-Maleh in the Northern Jordan Valleys, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank.  IOF uprooted and confiscated 2 tents; one was residential and the other was used for sheep.  Each tent was 60 sqms and belonged to Burhan ‘Ali Zamel Daraghmah.

  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 27 January 2021m IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Um Qussa, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area and demolished a 120-sqaure-meter floor and concrete columns built in August 2018 to establish a mosque in the area. It should be noted that the Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Palestinian civilians military orders to demolish the mosque on 25 January 2021, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and environmental and nature crews moved into Kherbet ‘Aynoun, east of Tubas. Israeli soldiers cut and damaged 10 thousand forest trees and 300 olive trees planted 8 years ago in 400 dunums. These trees were planted within a project funded by the Brazilian Consulate.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Rakiz village, east of Yatta City. The Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled and confiscated a two-square-meter lavatory belonging to Mohammed Hasan Abu ‘Arram (44), under the pretext of non-licensing in Area “C”. 

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday morning, 21 January 2021, Israeli settlers from “Nickodem” settlement established on the eastern lands of Bethlhem, moved into a hill in eastern Badia of Bethlehem after making two roads to reach it in order to seize control over it.

Hasan Breijiyeh, Director of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission in Bethlehem said that the hill that was stormed by settlers is 800 dunums and extend to the Dead Sea belonging to the family of al-Zawahrah.  Breijiyeh added that the settlers moved into the hill with their cars on the same day morning under IOF’s protection after making 2 dirt roads to reach it.  Breijiyeh added that this crowned a series of measures taken by the settlers over months in the area, including recurrent raids and making roads and other measures that were all under the very eyes of the IOF and their protection, encouraging settlers to seize more Palestinian lands.  Breijiyeh also said that the owners of the hill have papers proving their ownership of it and that they have not received any confiscation notices in this regard.  He explained that the plan to seize the hill is an official one supported by the Israeli government and settlement organizations who fund the settlers as part of a huge Israeli settlement project connected with other projects established in the Jordan Valleys.  Breijiyeh pointed out that if the hill was seized, the Israeli organizations would have the eastern Badia area under their control in Kisan and al-Rashayidah villages in addition to Jeb al-Theeb village, which is around thousands of uninhabited dunums but planted with different trees. Breijiyeh said that those who seize this area call themselves “Hilltop Youth”, who have a long history in seizing mountains and hills across the West Bank.

  • At approximately 20:00, settlers gathered at the crossroads of Huwara checkpoint, “Yitzahar” settlement, Burin village and Shilo traffic lights, southeast of Nablus. The settlers rioted the streets and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles crossing the crossroads.
  • At approximately 20:30, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on the southeastern lands of Nablus, north of the West Bank, attacked the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Ramallah-Nablus Road near Burin village intersection and broke the windshield of a car belonging to ‘Abdel Karim Idris ‘Odah, from Huwara village.
  • Around the same time, a group of settlers attacked near Burqa village, northeast of Ramallah in central West Bank a Palestinian car driven by Hanin Walid Sawaftah (26) and accompanied by her husband ‘Alaa Ihsan Sawaftah (36) and her 2 children, Jad (3) and Majd (6), from Ramallah. They were on their way to Tubas to visit their family in the city.  As a result, Jad was injured in the head and taken to the Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.

‘Alaa Sawaftah said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

“At approximately 20:30 on the same day, I was with my wife Hanin Walid Sawaftah who was driving the car along with our kids Jad and Majd.  We were on our way out of Ramallah heading to Tubas to visit our family, taking Burqa village road, northeast of Ramallah.  When we approached the village, we were surprised with settlers gathering at the village intersection and throwing stones at our vehicle.  As a result, a stone hit the window next to my wife and another in the backside window, breaking the glass and wounding Jad’s face.  Many stones also fell on the car before my wife could drive away to DCO Checkpoint at the western entrance to Ramallah, where there were Israeli soldiers and police. My wife stopped at the checkpoint and told them what happened.  The Israeli police brought a paramedic who gave us first aid and then called a Palestinian ambulance.  My child and I got in the ambulance while my wife came in the car to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, where we were all checked by the doctors, but Jad sustained cuts in the face and was treated.  We left the hospital home in Ramallah.”

  • At approximately 20:30, dozens of Israeli settlers protested on the bypass road between Za’atarah and Teqoa villages, east of Bethlehem, and threw stones at the civilians.

Eyewitnesses said that the settlers were under the protection of IOF and closed the bypass road in front of the Palestinian cars.  They threw stones at the civilian cars and caused damage to some of them.

  • At approximately 21:00, dozens of Israeli settlers at Kfar Etzion settlement’s intersection, south of Bethlehem, for the fifth consecutive week.

Eyewitnesses said that the settlers were under the protection of IOF and raised slogans demanding Arabs to leave.  They closed the main street in front of the Palestinian cars and threw stones at the civilian cars, causing damage to some of them.

  • At approximately 22:00, a group of settlers gathered at Jinsafut village, east of Qalqilya, and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles. As a result, the windshield and side window of a car belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Abdel Karim Yousif were broken.  The settlers also threw stones at the houses belonging to Falah Mohammed Bashir and ‘Alaa Mohammed Bashir, breaking the house windows.  The settlers also punctured wheels of a car belonging to Khaled ‘Abdel Rahman Bashir.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Friday, 22 January 2021, dozens of settlers from “Karmei Tzur” settlement established on the confiscated Palestinian lands, north of Halhoul, north of Hebron, gathered on Bypass Road (60) leading to Hebron. The settlers threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles and obstructed their movement.  No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, a group of settlers gathered on Bypass Road (60) leading to the southern entrance to Hebron near “Beit Hagai” settlement and stopped the Palestinian vehicles. They obstructed their movement and chanted slogans against Arabs.  During which, IOF closed the road, forcing the Palestinian drivers to take the internal roads for fear of settlers.
  • On Saturday, 23 January 2021, Israeli settlers under the protection of IOF levelled vacant areas of land in al-Mo’asara village, south of Bethlehem, to make an Israeli settlement road connecting “Migdal Oz” settlement with “Efrat” settlement established on Bethlehem lands.

Hasan Breijiyeh, Director of the Settlement and Colonization Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that the Israeli authorities levelled a 3-dunum land belonging to Soliman Mousa Breijiyeh near “Migdal Oz” settlement on Beit Fajjar village lands near al-Ma’asara village, south of Bethlehem.  They started establishing a new settlement road connecting “Migdal Oz” settlement with “Efrat” settlement.  The landowner, Soliman Breijiyeh, said that he was surprised with the Israeli settlers’ moving into the area on the same day morning.  They levelled a land near the “Migdal Oz” settlement.  Breijiyeh added that he went to the Israeli police in “Beitar Illit” settlement and them to the police in “Etzion” settlement attempting to stop the settlers’ attack on his land.  However, the Israeli police did not receive his complaint, forcing him to stay in his land to prevent settlers from building the settlement road through his land.  Breijiyeh said that despite having papers proving ownership of the land, the IOF have always prevented him from approaching or exploiting his land under the pretext of being located near the settlement.

  • At approximately 15:00, a group of settlers from the “Price Tag” groups made their way from “Yitzahar” settlement established on Madma village, southeast of Nablus, and attacked the southeastern outskirts of the village. They threw stones at a house belonging to Mashhour Mohammed Qot, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, a group of settlers from the “Price Tag” groups made their way from “‘Arousa” settlement outpost established on the eastern Burin village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked the eastern outskirts of the village and threw stones at a house belonging to Ibrahim ‘Adel ‘Eid, but no casualties were reported.
  • On the same day, a group of settlers from the “Protectors of Mountains” group damaged 100 olive trees in a land belonging to Jamal ‘Ali Ahmed in Kafr ad-Dik village in Salfit.

Jamal Ahmed said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“at approximately 10:00, I received a phone call from a friend in the village telling me that he saw the olive trees in my land destroyed and the land damaged.  I headed there immediately in Hriket al-‘Aweinah area in Thaher Subh Mount, north of Kafr Ad-Dik village in Salfit, I found the olive trees (around 100) destroyed.  I own 50 dunums in the area; 18 of them were attacked.  I have filed many cases before the Israeli courts in this regard since the ninety’s, and no final ruling has been issued so far to expel us from the land; however, a previous decision was issued by the Supreme Court in ‘Ofer in 1990 saying this land is a private property but in vain because the settlers continued to carry out their almost weekly attacks in the area.  These settlers call themselves the “Protectors of Moutnains”.  They riot lands, damage and break trees.  I bought these 100 seedlings 6 years ago and they cost me 50 shekels for each.  The rest trees were damage by settlers previously and are useless now.”

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 25 January 2021, settlers attacked shepherds and prevent them from herding sheep in the area surrounding their settlements established on Kisan village lands, east of Bethlehem.

According to Ahmed Ghazal, Head of Kisan village Council, said that “Ibei HaNahal” settlers threw stones at the shepherds from Kisan village, wounding Khalaf ‘Abayat after a stone hit him.  The settlers used their dogs to attack the sheep and prevented shepherds from herding sheep in the lands surrounding the village near their settlement established on the Palestinian lands.  Ghazal added that the settlers’ attacks against the shepherds in Kisan recently escalated in addition to seizing vacant areas of lands and demolishing barracks.

  • On the same morning, a group of settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement established on confiscated Palestinian lands moved into eastern Hebron. Settlers uprooted about 100 olive seedlings planted one year ago from a 25-dunum land belonging to Aref Mohammad Omar Jaber (44) in al-Baqa’a area next to the aforementioned settlement. It is noteworthy that around two months ago, settlers built a room of bricks and wood on the aforementioned civilian’s land in an attempt to seize it. Jaber filed several complaints before the Israeli police about the recurrent attacks of settlers on his land.
  • At approximately 10:00, a group of settlers from “Ma’on” settlement established on the confiscated Palestinian lands in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked shepherds while herding their sheep in Sedet al-Tha’lah area, forcing them to leave the land. The Israeli authorities declared the area as a state property and started establishing settlement roads to reach the agricultural projects established by settlers there.
  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 74 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 5 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, 23 January 2021, IOF tightened their measures at Jaba’ checkpoint, which connects between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and obstructed vehicles’ movement.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF tightened their measures at Jaba’ checkpoint, which connects between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and obstructed vehicles’ movement.
  • On Wednesday, 27 January 2021, IOF tightened their measures at Jaba’ checkpoint, which connects between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and obstructed vehicles’ movement. IOF also established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Hizma village and at Jaba village’s square, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021m IOF established 2 checkpoints under the bridge of Atara village and at the entrance to Ein Yabrud village.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir_Ibzi village.
  • On Saturday, 23 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Silwad, Deir_Ibzi and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beitin, Aboud, Ein Yabrud and Deir Dibwan villages.
  • On Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih, Deir_Ibzi, Ras Karkar, Sinjil and Ein_Siniya villages.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrances to Tuqu village, at the northern entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrances to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrances to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, in ‘Aqabet Hussina area, and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Husan and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrances to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Wednesday, 27 January 2021, IOF stationed at al-Container checkpoint tightened their measures. IOF also established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hussina area.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 23 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk and on al-Mo’arajat road.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 25 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the intersection of al-Auja village, near the Arab Construction Project Association, east of the city, at the southern entrance to the city, and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village.
  • On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF closed al-Hamra checkpoint for 3 consecutive hours, north of Jericho. IOF also obstructed the vehicles’ movement, forcing Palestinian civilians to pass through sub-roads. IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho and at the intersection of al-Auja

Nablus:

  • On Saturday, 23 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near the intersection of Sarra village and neat the entrance to Tell village.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to ad-Dhahiriya and Sa’ir villages.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Halhul city and at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Idhna villages.
  • On Saturday, 23 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Beit Awwa, Khasa, and Ash-Shuyukh village.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Hebron, and at the entrances to as-Samu and Bani Na’im villages.
  • On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city, and at the northern entrance to Qalqilya and at the entrance to Hableh village.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint between Izbat al-Ashqar and Kafr_Thulth village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 21 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik and Deir Ballut villages, west of Salfit, and at the entrance to Salfit.
  • On Friday, 22 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Kafr ad-Dik villages, north of Salfit.
  • On Sunday, 24 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Qarawat_Bani_Hassan, Kifl_Haris and Deir Ballut villages, west of Salfit.

Related

Five Palestinian Minors Say They were Beaten, Tortured during Detention

February 2, 2021

Palestinian minors are tortured and abused in Israeli jails. (Photo: File)

Five Palestinian minors said they were severely beaten and tortured by Israeli soldiers and interrogators during detention, today said the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

The Commission said it got affidavits from the five minors, who gave details of the beating and torture they were subjected to at the hands of Israeli soldiers and security agents during arrest and interrogation.

Mustafa Salameh, 17, was detained at his family home in Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya. He was beaten with the butt of guns, smacked and kicked around, then shoved into an army jeep where he was thrown on the floor as soldiers kept trampling on him with their army boots, and kicking him while cursing him.

Salameh said in his affidavit that he lost consciousness after that for a while and when he woke up he found himself in Jalama detention center where he was later interrogated for long hours while tied to a chair before being moved to the Majeddo prison for minors.

Mohammad Zalloum, 17, was detained at his family home in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. He was dragged out of his house, severely punched on his stomach causing him to vomit and then moved to Asqalan detention center where he was kept in the cells for 23 days, occasionally severely beaten.

Hani Rmeilat, 17, from Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, was interrogated in difficult conditions at Jalama detention center, assaulted with clubs by five prison guards causing him bruises on his body which required hospitalization at an Israeli hospital, after which he was taken back to the Jalama prison where he was kept for 20 days before being moved to Majeddo prison.

Majd Waari, 17, from Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem, underwent severe interrogation at the infamous Russian Compound detention center in West Jerusalem for several hours while tied up on a small chair, smacked on the face and insulted.

Munir Arqoub, 17, from Kufr Ein, north of Ramallah, was detained at the Beit El military checkpoint north of Ramallah, attacked by three soldiers and thrown to the ground, beaten severely, then thrown into an army jeep before he was taken to a nearby military base. He was there left in an open area during cold weather conditions for several hours and denied sleep. He was taken the next day to Ofer military camp and detention center for interrogation and then moved to Majeddo prison.

The Commission said Israel is holding 170 Palestinian minors in its prisons, most of them were subjected to some form of cruelty, abuse, and brutality during their arrest.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Related News

#STANDWITHISSA: Issa Amro Stood Against Israel’s Settler State and is About to Pay a Heavy Price

By Miko Peled

Source

Anyone familiar with the Israeli occupation and the violence of the settlers would find the following story impossible and unthinkable, however, Issa Amro was able to pull it off.

Occupied Hebron — “Israel wants to steal our history. They want to focus only on one small part of the history and ignore all the rest,” Issa Amro told me in an interview for the “Miko Peled Podcast,” (also available at Mikoeled.com). Issa was talking about why Israeli settlers are so keen to take over Tel Rumeida, a hill overlooking the city of Hebron. It is a hill that contains an archaeological and historical gold mine. Not because it contains actual gold, but because along with the ancient olive trees that have been alive and have sustained people who lived in Hebron for thousands of years, it contains proof of an ancient civilization and continuous life that goes back thousands of years.

Violent extremist take over

The city of Hebron has the misfortune of having been invaded by extreme religious Zionist settlers. These are settlers who have a very particular reading of Biblical stories and are extremely violent and uncompromising. Their hate for Palestinians knows no bounds and like other Zionists, these settlers have no regard for the actual historical significance of the city of Hebron, but only see it in terms of their narrow, fanatic reading of the Old Testament.

Zionists in general, and the Zionist settlers in Hebron, in particular, feel that Old Testament stories represent history and completely disregard the fact that archaeological evidence points in a different direction. They interpret the archaeology in a way that satisfies their greed, their bigotry, and their desire to take the city away from its rightful inhabitants, the Palestinians of Hebron.

These fanatic settlers serve an important role within the larger Zionist takeover of Palestine. The method that Zionists have always used in order to take over land, even before the state of Israel was established, was to send young ideological zealots who are willing to use violence to forcibly take over Palestinian land. Then, they send in the military and claim that the area is a military base or is required for military use. Then the military leaves and invites settlers back to create a permanent settlement.

A portion of Tel Rumeida has already been taken over by settlers, but they will not be content until the entire Hill is in their hands. One man has made it his mission in life to make sure that this does not happen. This man, Issa Amro, was recently convicted by an Israeli military court of a list of charges that read like a textbook of civil disobedience. While he is yet to be sentenced, sentencing is expected to take place on February 8, 2021. There is reason to believe he will be serving time in an Israeli military prison. His only crime is that he dared to stand up to the vicious violence of fanatic Zionist settlers and the Israeli Army which is at their service using the tool of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance.

“I’m going to murder you Issa Amro!”

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take a few friends to visit Hebron. We met with Issa and he was kind enough to give us a tour of the city, the city in which he was born and now can only walk along roads in which he, as a non-Jew, is permitted to walk. It just so happens that the house in which he was born has been closed off by the Israeli army and Issa cannot access it.

As we reached a point in the city where non-jews (or rather Palestinians) are not permitted to walk, we saw a soldier standing and next to him a young settler who could not have been more than 14 years old. The boy looked at Issa and said to him in Hebrew, “Issa,  I am going to come and murder you one of these days.” He repeated this statement and then turned to the soldier and they gave each other a high-five. That is the environment in which Issa and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have to live because of the Zionist occupation of Hebron.

Saving a house in Hebron

Anyone familiar with the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the violence of the settlers and the Israeli military would find the following story impossible and unthinkable, however, Issa Amro was able to pull it off.

One house that was strategically placed on Tel Rumeida, and from which one can see the entire Old City of Hebron, was about to be taken over by settlers. It had gone through the process of the military takeover and was then handed over to settlers. Issa managed to find the Palestinian owner of the house and rent it from him legally. It had cost Issa agony, arrest, detention, endless interrogations, and required the intervention of hundreds of activists from around the world, but in the end, Issa was able to salvage the house from the settlers and establish a center from which he runs one of the most effective grassroots operations in Palestine, Youth Against Settlements (YAS).

Tel Rumeida Hebron
Miko Peled, left, with Issa Amro at YAS Center in Tel-Rumeida, Hebron. Photo | Miko Peled

The work of Issa Amro and Youth Against Settlements includes documenting human rights violations by the army and settlers. Their work also includes organizing creative nonviolent actions, establishing and renovating community spaces such as a community center, kindergarten, woman empowerment center, and the beginnings of a cinema for which Issa may go to jail. Palestinians in Hebron are constantly at risk of forced displacement, and empowering this community in the most vulnerable areas through home repair, protective presence, and distributing charity is a crucial part of the local grassroots activism of Issa and the YAS.

Sentenced for civil disobedience

After a trial that has lasted several years and finally ended late in 2020, a military judge, Lt. Colonel Menahem Lieberman, himself is a religious Zionist settler who emigrated from the United States and has close ties to the settler community in Hebron, found Issa guilty of six out of the 18 counts of which he was charged. The indictment with 18 charges was presented in summer 2016, roughly three weeks after a campaign to establish a cinema in Hebron began.

THE CHARGES – CONVICTED:

  • First count – assaulting a public servant
  • Fifth count – participating in a rally without a permit
  • Eight count – participating in a march without a permit
  • Tenth count – obstructing a soldier
  • Seventeenth count – participating in a march without a permit
  • Eighteenth count – participating in a march without a permit

Between the time that this is published and February 8, at which time the judge will rule regarding sentencing, there is still time to act in order to help Issa Amro.

For information regarding the campaign please visit the Friends of Hebron where you can publish photos of yourself holding a sign in support of Issa, publish a video statement telling why you believe Issa Amro should go free. You can also call or email elected officials and reach out to your community centers, activist groups, local charities, religious organizations, and churches to request they release statements in support of Issa and contact your local elected and unelected officials.

Anyone wanting to help out is also encouraged to reach out to writers, journalists, celebrities, professors, and notable community members and ask them to make public statements or write editorials about the case. Friends of Hebron is also circulating a petition you can sign and send to others.

The risk of losing invaluable historical monuments and forgetting the rich history of Palestine is real. Doing what we can to prevent that is our responsibility as people of conscience for future generations. The first step is to stand with Palestinians like Issa Amro.

⁨انتخابات كلٌ يغني على ليلاه – New Elections or a Third Intifada?⁩

** Please scroll down for the English machine translation **

انتخابات كلٌ يغني على ليلاه

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

عمرو علان

عربي 21، الجمعة 29 يناير\كانون الثاني 2021

تدخل القوى الفلسطينية معترك انتخابات المجلس التشريعي التي تم التوافق على إجرائها وكلٌ يغني على ليلاه، فمحمود عباس يسعى من وراء هذه الانتخابات إلى الحصول على إقرار بكونه الممثل الشرعي لكل الفصائل الفلسطينية في الضفة وقطاع غزة، وعينه على طاولة مفاوضات جديدة تُعْقَد بمباركة إدارة جو بايدن الأمريكية، وعلى استئناف تلقي المخصصات من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية والكيان الصهيوني، فهو لم يَعُدْ عنده أي شيء آخر ليقدمه للفلسطينيين، سوى ربما المزيد من تنسيقه الأمني “المقدس” مع قوات الاحتلال وبلا أدنى خجل، ولا يحتاج الإنسان إلى الكثير من العناء لتوقُّع مصير هذه المفاوضات، فيكفي النظر إلى تجربة الثلاثة عقود المنصرمة، وإذا كان هذا غير كافٍ فيمكن الاستئناس بما قاله جو بايدن مؤخرا عندما بشّرنا بأن التوافق بين أطراف النزاع يحتاج إلى المزيد من الوقت، وطبعا الكيان الصهيوني مستمر أثناء ذلك في تنفيذ مشروعه بقضم القليل المتبقي من أراضي الضفة عبر زيادة الاستيطان، وصولا إلى تهجير من تبقّى من سكان الضفة لأن الصهيوني يريد الأرض دون البشر الذين عليها، ويقدر أحد أصحاب الرأي بأنه لن يمضي الكثير من الوقت قبل أن يبدأ المستوطنون بحملات الإرهاب ضد سكان الضفة، حملات بدأت بوادرها بالظهور من خلال القتل الاعتباطي لبعض سكان أراضي 67، ولِما لا والسلطة الفلسطينية صارت وظيفتها الوحيدة حفظ أمن المستوطنين موفرةً بذلك للكيان الغاصب أرخص احتلال عرفه التاريخ، هذا ولم نتحدث عن الانتشار المريب للسلاح غير المنضبط بين أيادي بعض المشبوهين من أهالي 48، الذي أدى إلى حصول عدة جرائم في الشهور الماضية.

إن كل ما شهدناه من سياسة الحرد التي اتبعها محمود عباس فترة حكم دونالد ترامب، وصولا إلى اجتماع أمناء الفصائل الفلسطينية في بيروت لم يكن إلا مجرد مناورات تكتيكية، والمضحك المبكي أنه كان يُصرّح طيلة تلك الفترة عن تمسكه باستراتيجية المفاوضات العقيمة، لكن هناك على الساحة الفلسطينية من لا يريد أن  يسمع.

أما حركة حماس فهي تأمل من وراء هذه الانتخابات الخروج من المأزق الذي وضعت نفسها فيه بعد خوضها انتخابات عام 2006، لعلها تستطيع تخفيف وطأة الحصار الظالم على قطاع غزة، وهنا يُطرح السؤال الوجيه الذي يرِدْ على لسان الكثيرين: كيف لانتخابات جديدة أن تؤدي إلى انهاء الانقسام بينما كان منشأ الانقسام انتخابات 2006 بالأصل؟

واهمٌ من يظن أن حصار فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة سببه الانقسام، الحصار يا سادة سببه تمسك المقاومة الفلسطينية بالحقوق والثوابت الوطنية، وحملها عبء قضية فلسطين المقدسة، ومربط فرس الحصار عند كيان الاحتلال لا عند سواه، لذلك أي محاولات لفك الحصار أو تخفيفه لا تمر عبر الاشتباك مع العدو الذي يفرض الحصار لن تكون ذات جدوى، ولن تفضي إلا إلى المزيد من تعمق الأزمة وإضاعة الوقت والجهود.

تشهد الضفة هذه الفترة حالة غليان لا يمكن تجاهلها، والعمليات الفردية والبطولية المستمرة تدلل عل أن النار تحت الرماد، فلا يمر أسبوع دون حصول عملية أو اثنتين، فأيهما أجدى؟ تأطير هذه الطاقات وتفعيل الحراك الشعبي وصولا إلى الانتفاضة، أم تنفيس هذا الغضب الشعبي الكامن عبر دخول انتخابات غير مقتنع بجدواها غالبية الشعب الفلسطيني؟

شعبنا بعمومه مدرك لكون فكرة انتخابات تحت حراب الاحتلال الذي يتحكم بكل مفاصل الحياة في الضفة الغربية ما هي إلا مزحة سمجة، لكن أحد أخطر عواقب هذه المزحة السمجة إدخال الإحباط في نفوس الشباب الغاضب في الضفة وتثبيط هممه.

خروج المقاومة الفلسطينية من أزمتها وتخفيف الحصار الظالم المفروض عليها لن يكون عبر سلوك الطريق الأسهل غير المجدي بل من خلال الطريق الأنجع حتى ولو كان الأصعب، والانتفاضة الثالثة سيكون من شأنها قلب المعادلات وتغيير الوقائع، ناهيكم عن فرصتها الحقيقية في دحر الاحتلال عن أراضي 67 دون قيد أو شرط في ظل حالة التراجع التي يعيشها العدو الصهيوني، والتي باتت تتحدث عنها مراكز دراسات العدو ذاته، ولا يغرنكم حالة التذمر الشعبي من صلافة العيش وضيق الحال، فلتبدأ الخطوات الجدية اتجاه حراك شعبي منظم وانتفاضة جديدة وستجدون خلفكم مارد اسمه الشعب الفلسطيني، يعض على الجراح ويربط الحجَر على المَعِدة لكتم الجوع – متمثلا بالرسول الأعظم – في سبيل الهدف الوطني الأسمى. 

New Elections or a Third Intifada?

Amro Allan

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*Palestinian writer and Political researcher

Arabi 21, Friday January 29 2021

On the 15th of January Mahmoud Abbas called for new elections to be held in the next couple of months in the occupied territories. But let us ignore the fundamental contradiction of holding a poll in an occupied territory under the watch of the occupation forces for now, and try to look in the motives behind this step.

We believe that each of the Palestinian factions is planning to run in this elections with a different ulterior motive.

First, Mahmoud Abbas is seeking  recognition as the legitimate representative of all Palestinian factions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And all he has in mind is a new negotiating table held with the blessing of the new Joe Biden administration, and to resume receiving financial support from the United States of America and the Zionist Entity.  That is because he no longer has anything else to offer  to the Palestinians, except perhaps more security coordination with the occupation forces without any hint of shame. 

The outcome of this new negotiations is predictable, at least from the experience of the last three decades. And if this is not enough, we can draw on what Joe Biden has said recently when he warned that a consensus between the parties to the conflict needs more time. Of course, the Zionist Entity will continue to implement its project of annexing the little that remains from the West Bank lands by increasing settlement activities, with the aim to displace the remaining Palestinians in the West Bank. The Zionist Entity wants the land without the people on it. One expert envisages that it will not be long before the settlers start a campaigns of terror against the inhabitants of the West Bank; campaigns that began to appear through the arbitrary killing of some of the inhabitants of the territories occupied in 1967. And why not, when the Palestinian Authority sole function has become to maintain the security of the settlers. Thus, providing  the usurped entity the cheapest  occupation  in  history.

And we have not mentioned the suspicious appearance of uncontrolled weapons in the hands of some shady individuals in the territories occupied in 1948, which led to several homicides in the past few months alone.

All the steps that we witnessed from Mahmoud Abbas hinting to the withdrawal from the Oslo Accord during the days of Donald Trump was nothing but   a tactical maneuver. And the irony is that he was openly reaffirming all along his adherence to his futile strategy of negotiations.

Turning to Hamas, we find that it hopes that the new elections will break the deadlock in which they set themselves up after the last elections in 2006. Also, they hope to ease the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip as they believe that a new elections will lead to unity between Hamas and Fatah. But here the valid question arises: how can new elections lead to an end to the division between Hamas and Fatah, when the elections of 2006 was what caused the current division in the first place?

In any case,, all who think that the siege of the Palestinian  resistance  factions in the Gaza Strip is because of the current division are deluded. The siege, gentlemen, is because of the Palestinian resistance’s adherence to the Palestinian’s national rights and principles, as well as carrying the burden of the holy cause of liberating Palestine.

The siege locks are in the hands of the Occupation Entity and not in Abbas’s hands nor any one else. Thus, any attempts to dismantle or ease the siege do not pass through the clash with the occupation which imposes the blockade will be sterile, and will only lead to further deepening of the crisis and wasting more time and efforts.

We have been witnessing a boiling situation over the passed year or two in the West Bank that cannot be ignored, and the continuous individual and heroic operations almost on a weekly bases clearly indicate that the fire is under the ashes. So which is more useful then, Framing  these energies and activating the popular movement to the intifada, or venting this underlying popular anger by running a new elections? 

The Palestinians in their majority are not convinced of the usefulness of this new elections. Our people in general are aware that the idea of elections under the bayonets of the occupation, which controls every detail of the life in the West Bank, is nothing but a joke. But one of the most serious consequences of this silly joke is to introduce dismay in the hearts of angry youth in the West Bank and discourage them.

The Palestinian resistance’s exit from its crisis, and the easing of the unjust siege imposed on it will not be through the easier and useless way, but through the most effective way, even if it is the more difficult one. And a third intifada will change the status-quo and the facts on the ground. Not to mention its real chance to force the occupation withdrawal from the 1967 territories without conditions.

Today the Zionist Entity is witnessing a real deterioration due to many reasons. Even ‘Israel’ thinktanks and strategic  centers acknowledge this deterioration , and it would be wise of the Palestinians to build on these new conditions. 

Finally, to the Palestinian resistance factions we say, do not be fooled by the discontent displayed by many Palestinians because of the present harsh economic situation in Palestine, let the serious steps towards an organised popular movement and a new intifada begin, and you will find behind you a giant called the Palestinian people, who will bear their wounds, and tie the stone on the stomach to bate the hunger as Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, once did, for the sake of the supreme Palestinian national goal.

Realities of politics and Palestinian aspirations حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, Occupied Palestine

Saada Mustafa  Arshid_

Many Arab and Palestinian policies are built on the fact that Joe Biden’s presidency will  be a natural extension of the policies of the Obama administration, in which Biden was vice president, and president Biden is the same person. I think that’s an inaccurate estimate. The man has a strong personality, he is experienced and experienced in both domestic and foreign politics, and his long experience in Congress has given him the experience and statesmanship he needs, and then there is a lot of water that has taken place  in the valleys of politics  both in Washington and  in the Middle East during the four years  of Trump’s administration, which  has been full of events, which makes the new president obliged to deal  with  those  variables, albeit with a different mentality and policies. If he ever talked about a two-state solution, he ever talked about a two-state solution, it goes back  to a long time ago, and that  does not  mean that he will remain steadfast when he speaks. The new U.S. State Department, which supports the two-state solution, a state (Israel) as a Jewish state and besides it a Palestinian state without sovereignty and dignity, without borders without crossings, without sovereignty over its airspace or the hollow of its territory, without its Jerusalem and some of the West Bank. Last Tuesday, exaggerated statements were made in Ramallah following a speech by the Acting United States Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Richard Wells, in which he said: We will restore relations with the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people, and that many mistakes were made by the administration of former President Trump in this context and must be corrected, but it does not specify what are those mistakes, and it seems certain that the subject of Jerusalem and the transfer of the embassy to it are not one of those mistakes, as well as the annexation of the West Bank from the Jordan, settlements and  goods that have become sold in the United States and written on them.  By Israel, these mistakes may not go beyond cutting off financial aid, closing the PLO office in Washington, and closing the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that the election of Biden was in some respects a coup in the Arab balances  that  have  repercussions on the Palestinian affairs, and he acknowledged in the certainty of many Arab leaders that Trump will remain in the White House for a second term, which led them to invest in supporting his re-election financially and politically, and indeed At the  expense of national security through the processes of normalisation and alliance in its political, security and then economic forms, and this has put them in trouble with the new administration, which has enough files and tools to their necks, making it their plans and dreams and illusions autumn papers, blowing the wind. Biden’s victory, at the same time, was a victory for other regional  powers, which entered into a bitter and strained conflict with the Trump administration, Iran  breathed a sigh of relief, even if there were adjustments to the  nuclear deal with the Obama administration, but with Biden’s arrival, she had passed the difficult stage and had come out  of the bottle, as well as Qatar, a permanent ally of democratic administrations in Washington, and a victory for Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood allies and Qatar’s Palestinian guests, i.e. Hamas, while at the same time defeating Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and its Palestinian guest, while dealing with an adversary with the Trump administration can be optimistic (and perhaps He is overly optimistic, as we see the Palestinian Authority, which see President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Trump’s house to be  ruined, has been met with caution, and those who have treated the Trump administration cautiously in its last year find an opportunity to build better relations with the new administration, as Jordan has. Some Arabs are optimistic under Biden, including the Palestinians, as they carry expectations and aspirations above what they can afford, and what comes out of the new U.S. administration is nothing more than delusions and signs that may be misleading — such as talking about a two-state solution — because there are no clear policies or strategies that can be read or built upon yet, This is while the Arab, Islamic and international violations are expanding, with new countries candidates for normalisation, and others in the process of transferring their embassies to Jerusalem, while (Israel) exchanges with Sudan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates embassies, missions, economic and cultural  missions and iron domes, an Arab who was the back of Palestine Its issue and the rights of  its people  will  be at its best only a neutral  intermediary, in the Palestinian (Israeli) relationship, while the Palestinian is totally  absent  from any comment, condemnation or criticism of this nefarious behaviour.

حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-726-780x470.png
سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

يتمّ بناء كثير من السياسات العربية والفلسطينية منها على أنّ رئاسة جو بايدن ستكون امتداداً طبيعياً لسياسات إدارة الرئيس الأسبق أوباما، التي كان فيها بايدن نائباً للرئيس، وانّ الرئيس بايدن هو الشخص ذاته. وفي ظني أنّ ذلك تقدير غير دقيق. فالرجل يملك شخصية قوية، وهو مجرّب ومتمرّس في السياسة الداخلية والخارجية على حدّ سواء، وقد منحته تجربته الطويلة في الكونغرس ما يحتاجه من خبرة وحنكة، ثم أنّ مياهاً غزيرة قد جرت في وديان السياسة سواء في واشنطن أو في الشرق الأوسط خلال السنوات الأربع من حكم ترامب والتي كانت مليئة بالأحداث، ذلك ما يجعل الرئيس الجديد ملزماً بالتعامل مع تلك المتغيّرات وإنْ بعقلية وسياسات مختلفة. وإذا كان قد تحدث ذات يوم عن حلّ الدولتين، فإنّ ذلك يعود الى زمن مضى، ولا يعني ذلك أنه سيبقى متمترّساً عند كلمته، فالسياسة أمر دائم التغيّر ولا ثوابت فيها، وكذلك مفهوم حلّ الدولتين الذي يحتمل أكثر من تفسير، مما يدعم هذه النظرة ما قاله منذ أيام، وزير الخارجية الأميركي الجديد بلينكن أمام الكونغرس، من أنه يدعم حلّ الدولتين، دولة (إسرائيل) كدولة يهودية وإلى جانبها دولة فلسطينية منزوعة السيادة والكرامة، بلا حدود بلا معابر، بلا سيادة على أجوائها أو جوف أرضها، بلا قدسها وبعض من الضفة الغربية. الثلاثاء الماضي، صدرت تصريحات مبالغة في تفاؤلها من رام الله اثر حديث أدلى بها القائم بأعمال مندوب الولايات المتحدة في هيئة الأمم السفير ريتشارد ويلز، قال فيه: سنعيد العلاقات مع القيادة الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني، وإنّ أخطاء عديدة كانت قد اقترفتها إدارة الرئيس السابق ترامب في هذا السياق ويجب تصحيحها، ولكنه لم يحدّد ما هي تلك الأخطاء، ويبدو أنّ من الأكيد أنّ موضوع القدس ونقل السفارة إليها ليسا من تلك الأخطاء، وكذلك ضمّ أراضي الضفة الغربية من أغوار ومستوطنات وبضائعها التي أصبحت تباع في الولايات المتحدة ومكتوب عليها أنها من إنتاج (إسرائيل)، ولعلّ تلك الأخطاء لن تتجاوز قطع المساعدات المالية وإغلاق مكتب منظمة التحرير في واشنطن، وإغلاق القنصلية الأميركية في القدس الشرقية.

مما لا شك فيه أنّ انتخاب بايدن كان في بعض جوانبه انقلاباً في التوازنات العربية التي لها انعكاساتها على الشأن الفلسطيني، فقد وقر في يقين عديد من القادة العرب أن ترامب باق في البيت الأبيض لفترة رئاسية ثانية، الأمر الذي دعاهم لأن يستثمروا في دعم إعادة انتخابه مالياً وسياسياً، لا بل وعلى حساب الأمن القومي من خلال عمليات التطبيع والتحالف بأشكاله السياسية والأمنية ثم الاقتصادية، وهذا الذي أوقعهم في مأزق مع الإدارة الجديدة التي تملك من الملفات والأدوات ما يكفى لليّ رقابهم، فجعل ذلك من خططهم وأحلامهم وأوهامهم أوراق خريف، تذروها الرياح. فانتصار بايدن، كان في الوقت ذاته انتصاراً لقوى إقليمية أخرى، دخلت في صراع مرير ومجهد مع إدارة ترامب، إيران تنفست الصعداء، حتى لو جرت تعديلات على الاتفاق النووي الذي أبرمته مع إدارة أوباما، لكنها مع مجيء بايدن، قد تجاوزت المرحلة الصعبة وقد خرجت من عنق الزجاجة، وكذلك قطر، الحليف الدائم للإدارات الديمقراطية في واشنطن، وانتصار لحلفاء قطر من الإخوان المسلمين وضيوف قطر من الفلسطينيين وأقصد هنا حركة حماس، وفي الوقت ذاته هزيمة للسعودية ومصر والإمارات وضيفها الفلسطيني، فيما يستطيع من تعامل بخصومة مع إدارة ترامب بأن يتفاءل (وربما يبالغ في تفاؤله) كما نرى السلطة الفلسطينية التي ترى أنّ دعاء الرئيس أبو مازن على بيت ترامب بالخراب قد تمّت الاستجابة له، ومن تعامل بحذر مع إدارة ترامب في عامها الأخير، أن يجد فرصة لبناء علاقات أفضل مع الإدارة الجديدة، كما حال الأردن. يبدي بعض العرب تفاؤلاً برئاسة بايدن، ومنهم الفلسطينيون، إذ يحملون الأمور توقعات وأماني فوق ما تحتمل، فما يصدر عن الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة ليس أكثر من تهويمات وإشارات قد تكون مضللة – كالحديث عن حلّ الدولتين – إذ لا سياسات أو استراتيجيات واضحة يمكن قراءتها أو البناء عليها حتى الآن، هذا فيما يتسع الخرق العربي والإسلامي والعالمي، بدول جديدة مرشحة للتطبيع، وأخرى بصدد نقل سفاراتها للقدس، فيما تتبادل (إسرائيل) مع السودان والمغرب والإمارات السفارات والبعثات والملحقيات الاقتصادية والثقافية والقباب الحديدية، وهو العربي الذي كان ظهيراً لفلسطين ومسألتها وحقوق شعبها، لن يكون بأحسن أحواله إلا وسيطاً محايداً، في العلاقة الفلسطينية (الإسرائيلية) فيما يغيب الفلسطيني تماماً عن أيّ تعليق أو إدانة أو انتقاد لهذا السلوك الشائن.

Dr Tim Anderson: dismantling apartheid in occupied Palestine

HRW: “Israel” Systematically Repressed Palestinians in 2020

HRW: “Israel” Systematically Repressed Palestinians in 2020

By Staff, Agencies

Human Rights Watch [HRW] says the apartheid “Israeli” regime “systematically repressed and discriminated” against Palestinians last year.

HRW said in a report on the year 2020 that the “Israeli” regime’s practices “far exceeded the security justifications” it often gave.

In the occupied West Bank, including East al-Quds [Jerusalem], the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] martyred 20 Palestinians and injured at least 2,001 as of October 5, HRW cited figures presented by the United Nations [UN] Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA].

“‘Israeli’ authorities have rarely held accountable security forces who used excessive force or settlers who attacked Palestinians,” HRW said.

It also cited the “Jerusalem [al-Quds] Legal Aid and Human Rights Center” as saying that the apartheid  “Israeli” entity held, as of September, the bodies of 67 Palestinians martyred since 2015.

The apartheid “Israeli” regime said in September last year that it would use the bodies of deceased Palestinians as bargaining chips to have the bodies of IOF members purportedly held by resistance factions in Gaza released.

The HRW also criticized the entity’s 13-year-old siege of the Gaza Strip and other restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the enclave.

“These restrictions, not based on an individualized assessment of security risk, robbed with rare exceptions the 2 million Palestinians living there [the Gaza Strip] of their right to freedom of movement, limited their access to electricity and water, and devastated the economy,” the organization said.

The HRW also denounced the “Israeli” move to tighten the restrictions in August as “unlawful collective punishment.”

The report added that, “Egypt also sharply restricted the movement of people and goods at its Rafah crossing with Gaza.”

The New York-based group also said that the apartheid “Israeli” regime facilitated the further transfer of “Israelis” into settlements constructed in the occupied West Bank, slamming the practice as “a war crime”.

The HRW referred to a report by Peace Now in which the “Israeli” group said the “Israeli” entity last year approved the construction of more settler units in the occupied West Bank – 12,159 as of October 15 –more than in any other year since the group began tracking those statistics in 2012.

More than 600,000 “Israeli” settlers live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 “Israeli” occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All “Israeli” settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land.

The HRW also cited OCHA as saying that the “Israeli” entity demolished 568 Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank, including in East al-Quds, as of October 19, 2020, leaving 759 people displaced.

Most buildings were demolished under the pretext of lacking “Israeli” building permits, which are almost never given.

Referring to about 600 checkpoints and other permanent obstacles set up by the entity within the West Bank as of June, the HRW said, “‘Israeli’ forces routinely turn away or humiliate and delay Palestinians at checkpoints without explanation.”

Israel is losing the fight to obscure its apartheid character

Israel’s separation wall is pictured on 11 February 2020 (AFP)
Jonathan Cook
Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Jonathan Cook

14 January 2021 11:31 UTC

New report by rights group B’Tselem will make it harder to smear Israel’s critics as antisemites for arguing that Israel is a racist state


For more than a decade, a handful of former Israeli politicians and US diplomats identified with what might be termed the “peace process industry” have intermittently warned that, without a two-state solution, Israel is in danger of becoming an “apartheid state”. 

The most notable among them include Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, two former Israeli prime ministers, and John Kerry, who served as former US President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Time is rapidly running out, they have all declared in the past. 

Their chief concern, it seems, was that without the alibi of some kind of Palestinian state – however circumscribed and feeble – the legitimacy of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” will increasingly come under scrutiny. Apartheid will arrive, the argument goes, when a minority of Israeli Jews rule over a majority of Palestinians in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan controlled by Israel. 

Demographic threshold

The apartheid threat has been wielded by the so-called “peace camp” in hopes of mobilising international pressure on the Israeli right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The goal has been to force it into making sufficient concessions that the Palestinian leadership agrees to a demilitarised statelet, or statelets, on fragments on the original Palestinian homeland. 

Meanwhile, demographic trends have continued apace, and the Israeli right has ignored all warnings, preferring to pursue their Greater Israel ambitions instead. But strangely, the apartheid moment never arrived for the Israeli peace camp. Instead, its expressions of concern about apartheid fizzled into silence, as did its once-vocal worries about a Palestinian demographic majority.

How much sense would it have made in the former South Africa to claim that apartheid existed only in the Bantustans or black townships, while exempting white areas?

This entirely cynical approach to Palestinian statehood was very belatedly blown apart this week with the publication of a report by B’Tselem, Israel’s most prominent and respected human rights group. It broke ranks to declare what has been obvious for many, many years. Israel has created a permanent reality in which there are two peoples, Jews and Palestinians, sharing the same territorial space, but “a regime of Jewish supremacy” has been imposed by the stronger side. This unequivocally qualifies as apartheid, B’Tselem said. 

It dismisses the sophistry that apartheid relates to some self-serving demographic deadline – one that never materialises – rather than the explicitly segregationist practices and policies Israel has enforced throughout the territories it rules. It also dismisses arguments made by Israel’s partisans abroad that Israel cannot be an apartheid state because there are no South African-style “whites only” signs on park benches. 

Hagai El-Ad, B’Tselem’s executive director, notes that Israel’s version – “apartheid 2.0, if you will – avoids certain kinds of ugliness … That Israel’s definitions do not depend on skin colour make no material difference: it is the supremacist reality which is the heart of the matter.” The report concludes that the bar for apartheid was met after considering “the accumulation of policies and laws that Israel devised to entrench its control over Palestinians”.

Daring analysis

What is perhaps most daring about B’Tselem’s analysis is its admission that apartheid exists not just in the occupied territories, as has been observed before, including by former US President Jimmy Carter. It describes the entire region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River – which encompasses both Israel and the Palestinian territories – as an apartheid regime. It thereby denies Israel’s claims to be a democratic state even inside its internationally recognised borders.

B’Tselem has abandoned the pretence that apartheid can be limited to the occupied territories, as though Israel – the state that rules Palestinians – is somehow exempt from being classified as integral to the apartheid enterprise it institutes and oversees.

That was always obvious. How much sense would it have made in the former South Africa to claim that apartheid existed only in the Bantustans or black townships, while exempting white areas? None at all. And yet, Israel has been getting away with precisely this clearcut casuistry for decades – largely aided by the peace camp, including B’Tselem.

Palestinian workers cross the Nilin checkpoint on 18 March 2020 (MEE/Mohammad Abu Zaid)
Palestinian workers cross the Nilin checkpoint on 18 March 2020 (MEE/Mohammad Abu Zaid)

Now, B’Tselem observes: “Jews go about their lives in a single, contiguous space where they enjoy full rights and self-determination. In contrast, Palestinians live in a space that is fragmented into several units, each with a different set of rights – given or denied by Israel, but always inferior to the rights accorded to Jews.”

Israel’s “Jewish supremacist ideology” is revealed in its obsession with “Judaising” land, in its bifurcated citizenship laws and policies that privilege Jews alone, in its regulations that restrict movement for Palestinians only, and in its denial of political participation to Palestinians. These discriminatory policies, B’Tselem notes, apply also to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian and have nominal Israeli citizenship. 

El-Ad concludes: “There is not a single square inch in the territory Israel controls where a Palestinian and a Jew are equal. The only first-class people here are Jewish citizens such as myself.”

Permanent occupation

What B’Tselem has done is echo the arguments long made by academics and Palestinian civil society, including the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, that Israel is a settler-colonial society. 

In an emailed response to the report, Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, said it helped to put an end to “the vicious and deeply racist lies about the not-so-perfect Israeli democracy that has a problem called ‘the occupation’”. Why acknowledging Israeli apartheid is not enough

The B’Tselem report observes that, while “occupation” must be a temporary situation, Israel has no intention of ending its military rule over Palestinians, even after more than five decades. A Palestinian state is not conceivably on the agenda of any Israeli party in sight of power, and no one in the international community with any influence is demanding one. The two-state solution has been smothered into oblivion.

For that reason, it argues, all of Israel and the Palestinian territories under occupation are organised “under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians”.

There are good reasons why B’Tselem is biting the bullet now, after decades of equivocation from it and the rest of the Israeli peace camp. Firstly, no one really believes that Israel will be pressured from outside into conceding a Palestinian state. Trump’s so-called “peace plan”, unveiled a year ago, gave Netanyahu everything he wanted, including support for annexing swaths of the West Bank on which illegal settlements have been built. 

Four years of Trump, and the recruitment of much of the Gulf to Netanyahu’s side, has shifted the conversation a long way from efforts to secure Palestinian statehood. Now, the focus is on how best to delay Israel’s move towards formal annexation. US president-elect Joe Biden will at best try to push things back to the dismal state they were in before Donald Trump took office. At worst, he will quietly assent to all or most of the damage Trump has inflicted on the Palestinian national cause.

Deeply isolated

Secondly, B’Tselem and other human rights groups are more deeply isolated at home than ever before. There is simply no political constituency in Israel for their research into the systematic abuses of Palestinians by the Israeli army and settlers. That means B’Tselem no longer needs to worry about messaging that could antagonise the sensibilities of Israel’s so-called “Zionist left” – because there is no meaningful peace camp left to alienate. 

The disappearance of this peace camp, unreliable as it was, has only been underscored by the Israeli general election due in late March. The battle for power this time is being waged between three or four far-right parties that all support annexation to varying degrees. 

Israel’s apologists will now face the much harder task of showing that B’Tselem is antisemitic, along with the Palestinian solidarity activists who cite its work

The Israeli left has ceased to exist at the political level. It comprises a handful of human and legal rights groups, mostly seen by the public as traitors supposedly meddling in Israel’s affairs on behalf of “European” interests. At this stage, B’Tselem has little to lose. It is almost entirely irrelevant inside Israel.

Thirdly, and as a result, the only audience for B’Tselem’s careful research exposing Israeli abuses is overseas. This new report seeks to liberate a conversation about Israel, partly among Palestinian solidarity activists abroad. Their campaigns have been stymied by the failure of the Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas to signal where they should direct their efforts, now that prospects for Palestinian statehood have vanished.

Activists have also been browbeaten into silence by smears from Israel’s partisans in the US and Europe, decrying any trenchant criticism of Israel as antisemitic. These slurs were relentlessly deployed against the UK’s Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn because of his support for the Palestinian cause.

Breaking a taboo

By calling Israel an apartheid state and a “regime of Jewish supremacy”, B’Tselem has given the lie to the Israel lobby’s claim – bolstered by a new definition promoted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – that it is antisemitic to suggest Israel is a “racist endeavour”. 

B’Tselem, a veteran Israeli Jewish organisation with deep expertise in human rights and international law, has now explicitly declared that Israel is a racist state. Israel’s apologists will now face the much harder task of showing that B’Tselem is antisemitic, along with the Palestinian solidarity activists who cite its work.

Palestinian protesters confront Israeli soldiers during a protest in the occupied West Bank on 29 January 2020 (AFP)
Palestinian protesters confront Israeli soldiers during a protest in the occupied West Bank on 29 January 2020 (AFP)

The report is also intended to reach out to young American Jews, who are more willing than their parents to foreground the mistreatment of Palestinians and to forgo the Zionist idea that Israel is their bolthole in times of trouble. 

Significantly, the B’Tselem report has been published in the wake of two groundbreaking essays this past summer by influential American Jewish journalist Peter Beinart. In them, he broke a taboo in the US Jewish mainstream by declaring the two-state solution dead and calling for a single democratic state for Israelis and Palestinians.

It doubtless served as a wakeup call to Israeli groups such as B’Tselem that the conversation about Israel is moving on in the US and becoming much more polarised. Israeli human rights groups need to engage with this debate, not shy away from it.

Battle for equality

There is one possible lacuna in B’Tselem’s position. The report suggests a reticence to focus on outcomes. Nowhere is the two-state solution ruled out. Rather, the report notes: “There are various political paths to a just future.” Statements by El-Ad to Middle East Eye indicate that his organisation may still support a framework of international pressure for incremental, piecemeal change in Israeli policies that violate Palestinian human rights.Israeli settlers’ racism is not an aberration. It’s part of an apartheid systemRead More »

That is very much what western states, particularly Europe, have been paying lipservice to for decades, while Israeli apartheid has entrenched.

Does B’Tselem hope its apartheid criticisms will prove more effective than Barak and Olmert’s apartheid warnings, finally galvanising the international community into action to push for a Palestinian state? If so, Biden’s performance in office should soon dispel any such illusions. El-Ad observes that the goal now is “a rejection of supremacy, built on a commitment to justice and our shared humanity.” 

That cannot happen within the two-state framework, even on the untenable assumption that the international community ever seriously rallies behind Palestinian statehood, against Israel’s wishes. So why not say so explicitly? The best-case two-state scenarios on the table are for a tiny, divided, demilitarised, pseudo-Palestinian state with no control over its borders, airspace or electromagnetic frequencies.

That would not offer “justice” to Palestinians or recognise their “shared humanity” with Israeli Jews.

As welcome as the new report is, it is time for B’Tselem – as well as Palestinian solidarity activists who look to the organisation – to explicitly reject any reversion to a “peace process” premised on ending the occupation. The logic of an apartheid analysis needs to be followed to the very end. That requires unequivocally embracing a democratic single state guaranteeing equality and dignity for all.

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

Read more

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine
31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021
  • Palestinian man killed near “Gush Etzion” Junction, southern Bethlehem, in an alleged stab attack
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 30 Palestinians wounded, including 4 children and a paramedic
  • 9 IOF shootings reported at Palestinians and agricultural lands, and 3 times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 79 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 58 civilians arrested, including 11 children
  • Wide-scale land razing in the West Bank and 4050 trees uprooted; Bethlehem lands’ confiscation decision ratified
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: one house received evacuation order; 6 walls, a water well and a barracks demolished
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: 300 trees uprooted; civilians and their properties assaulted
  • IOF established 56 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 2 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 witnessed an escalation in settler attacks, mainly stone throwing at civilian houses and vehicles in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued as part of Israel’s de facto annexation and under various pretexts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This week, PCHR documented 189 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed one Palestinian and wounded 30 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic in excessive use of force in the West Bank: ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25) from Hebron was killed on 05 January 2021 near “Gush Etzion” Junction in the southern parts of Bethlehem. IOF alleged the victim attempted to stab Israeli soldiers. Moreover, IOF wounded 14 Palestinians, including a child and a paramedic, in its oppression of a peaceful protest in Deir Jarir – Ramallah; 8 others sustained wounds in IOF attack on Kafr Qaddum weekly protest in Qalqilya; another child was injured in IOF attack on another protest in northern Qalqilya; and three sustained wounds, including a father and son, near the Annexation Wall in Jenin. Also, another Palestinian from Hebron was shot from a close distance by Israeli soldiers without any threat to their security; his injury resulted in complete paralysis.

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

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 79 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, 58 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 incidents, including:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: house floor self-demolished; evacuation decision issued against a house in Silwan; 6 walls, a well and a barracks were demolished in Anata.
  • Nablus: construction vehicle detained in Rujeib.
  • Salfit: 550 trees razed in Biddya; 300 dunums razed and 3500 trees uprooted in Deir Ballut.
  • Bethlehem: Israel ratifies land confiscation for settlement expansion; agricultural room demolished in al-Khader.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 16 settler-violence incidents:

  • Salfit: 300 trees uprooted, and a notice of land confiscation placed; sand and blocks put in a land in Deit Ballut.
  • Nablus: attacks on the streets and stones thrown at vehicles passing by the entrance of “Homesh” settlement; assaults with stones on civilian houses in Huwara where a Palestinian woman sustained wounds; attacks on Ramallah – Nablus road damaging a journalist’s vehicle; al-Khan area assaulted and an attempted confiscation of the area.
  • Qalqilya: attacks and stone throwing on the main street near Kafr Qaddum.
  • Hebron: civilians and farmers assaulted in southern Yatta.
  • Bethlehem: sewage water flooded lands in Husan village on wide-scale.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

      I. Shootings and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 13:45 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Abu Safiyia area, northeast of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 15:45, IOF stationed in the memorial site, southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at the border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stoned and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles. Israeli soldiers stepped out of the military vehicles, stationed between residential houses and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at stone-throwers. As a result, many of Palestinian young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Clashes continued until 03:00 and IOF withdrew later; no raids to houses were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, 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, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. 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 protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village council, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in the area, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in al-Shurfa area, where Israeli settlers set up a tent and conducted excavation works on the village’s agricultural lands. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors performed the Friday prayer on the lands under the threat of confiscation while Israeli soldiers surrounding them. Following the Friday prayer, 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, 14 protestors, including a paramedic and a child, were wounded; 2 were shot with rubber bullets, while the rest sustained teargas canisters shrapnel wounds and received treatment on the spot. The wounded were:
  • The paramedic Ahmed Mohammed ‘Alawi (25), shot with a rubber bullet in his foot;
  • A 20-year-olf male, shot with a rubber bullet in his head.

Both of them were taken to Silwad Medical Center for treatment. Also, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.

  • Around the same time, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the eastern outskirts of Kafr Malik village, near ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, northeast of Ramallah. The Palestinian young men threw stones at IOF stationed at the entrance to ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, which is closed with sand berms. IOF fired heavy sound bombs and teargas canister at the stone-throwers and chased them between agricultural fields. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation; no arrests among them 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 Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 protestors, including 2 children, were shot with rubber bullets and another protestor was shot with a teargas canister.
  • At approximately 13:30, Haroun Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram (23), was shot with a live bullet in his neck from the left side by an Israeli soldier when he attempted to prevent IOF from confiscating an electric generator in Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron. According to investigations conducted by PCHR’s fieldworker, at approximately 13:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta City, south of Hebron, and stationed near Ashraf Khalil Abu ‘Arram’s (39) house. The Israeli Civil Administration officers raided and a searched a cave, where Abu ‘Arram lives, in addition to a tin-plate barrack used for breeding livestock.

The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated an electric generator and other tools. When Abu ‘Arram attempted to stop them, an Israeli Civil Administration officer beat him with a gun butt in the left side of his head , pushed him to the ground and kicked him in his back and abdomen. In the meantime, Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram, who lives 150 meters away, arrived at the area and intervened to prevent the Civil Administration officers from confiscated the electric generator, but they assaulted him and pushed him to the ground. Meanwhile, Haroun’s brother also arrived at the area on the same time and attempted to help his father and withdraw the generator. The hand-to-hand combat continued for 3 minutes, during which, an Israeli soldier fired 2 live bullets from 2 meters distance; a live bullet wounded Haroun in his neck, so he fell on the ground. Haroun’s mother and father started to scream, meanwhile, Ashraf quickly drove his relative vehicle in order to take Haroun to a medical center in Yatta city. In the meantime, an Israeli soldier opened fire at the vehicle and punctured its rear tires. Al-Tawana villagers arrived at the area and IOF fired live bullets at them, forcing them to flee. The al-Tawana villagers managed to take Haroun via a vehicle which passed on al-Tawana village road. When they arrived at al-Karmil village intersection, Israeli soldiers attempted to stop them, but the vehicle’s driver did not obey the soldiers’ orders. Haroun arrived at a medical center in al-Karmil village, where he received first aid. After that, Haroun was transferred via an ambulance to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta city and was admitted to the emergency department at 15:30. The doctors stopped the bleeding and referred him to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). According to medical sources at al-Ahli Hospital, Haroun was shot with a live bullet in the left side of his neck, causing fractures and laceration in his backbone. Haroun’s four limbs are paralyzed.

  • At approximately 14:25, IOF stationed at “Eyal Crossing”, which is established in northern Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the young men, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canister at them; a 15-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot.
  • At approximately 20:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Islamic Shuhada Cemetery, and off Abu Safiyia area in eastern and northeastern Jabalia refugee camp, opened sporadic fire at the border area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Sunday, 03 January 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 causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Sinjil village, north of Ramallah, and stationed in the western neighborhood. IOF pushed Maher Ahmed ‘Awashrah (10) while he was on his way to the market. As a result, he sustained bruises in his back and neck and received treatment in a medical center in Turmus Ayya village.
  • At approximately 20:25, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-SudaniyiaShore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Tulkarm, chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs at them. IOF also raided Dr. Thabet Hospital at 03:10 and fired sound bombs in the hospital, under the pretext that the stone-throwers were hiding there, causing fear among patients, their companions and medical staff. The Palestinian Ministry of Health stated that IOF raided the mentioned hospital and fired 4 sound bombs inside it; a sound bomb in the reception and 3 others in the emergency yard, causing fear and panic among the patients, especially children and elderlies. The ministry emphasized that 81 patients are receiving treatment at the hospital, including 10 premature babies in the nursery department, 5 children in the pediatrics department, 7 patients in the ICU, 13 patients in the obstetrics department, in addition to 39 medical and health staff.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the camp and patrolled its streets. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at IOF, who fired sound bombs, teargas canisters, rubber bullets at the protestors and clashed with them. As a result, a 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his leg, and a 23-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh. Both of them were taken to Jericho Governmental Hospital.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi and Bureij refugee camps, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near al-Mariha and Daher al-‘Abed villages, west of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel via the annexation wall halls. As a result, 3 civilians, including a father and his son, were wounded and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Governmental Hospital in Jenin.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Dawara area, east of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. IOF were deployed between residential houses. After that, they indiscriminately fired sound bombs at Palestinians’ houses, under the pretext that they were exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. At 20:30, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF indiscriminately fired teargas canisters at Palestinians’ houses in al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, under the pretext that a military watchtower established adjacent to the camp’s entrance was exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:45, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, southeast of Beit Hanoun, east and northeast of Jabalia refugee camp, opened heavy fire at border area; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohammed Jawabra’s (62) house in ‘Ereq al-Latoun area and withdrew later. No arrests were reported. During IOF withdrawal from the village, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. A number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicles and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. At approximately 03:00, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 11:00, dozens of Palestinians and foreigner activists organized a peaceful protest in lands under the threat of confiscation in al-Jomjoma area, east of Halhul city, north of Hebron. The activists brought olive seedlings and planted them. Meanwhile, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also uprooted the olive seedlings, declared the area as a closed military zone and threatened to arrest anyone present in the area. It should be noted that the protest was organized after an Israeli settler set up a tent in al-Jomjoma area a week ago.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed near “Gush Etzion” intersection, south of Bethlehem, killed ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25), from Hebron, with several live bullets under the pretext that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. IOF stated that Ekhlayl approached a checkpoint, where a number of Israeli soldiers stationed, in front of “Gush Etzion” petrol station, and carried an ax. IOF also claimed that when they ordered him to stop, he refused, so IOF opened fire at him. IOF in its statement stated that: “ there was an attempt to carry out a stabbing attack near “Gush Etzion” intersection, and the suspect was neutralized.” In addition, Israeli media claimed that another young man was accompanied Ekhlayl, but he managed to escape. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not publish any video to prove their claims or to show the threat that Ekhlayl posed to the soldiers, especially that “Gush Etzion” intersection is a fortified area, full of advanced surveillance cameras and military watchtowers, and settlement guards are heavily deployed in it. Israel Hayom Newspaper published that the settlement guard opened fire at Ekhlayl. PCHR’s staff continue to investigate the incident, as no Palestinian eyewitnesses were available so far.
  • PCHR also notes that the soldiers could use less lethal force against Ekhlayl such as wounding or arresting him instead of killing him, because he was walking on his feet and did not have a firearm. Following the incident, IOF closed the main street (367), which connects between Bethlehem and Hebron, and established many checkpoints in “Gush Etzion” intersection, causing jam traffic. It should be noted that Ekhlayl was a resident of Safa area in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and he had opened a sweets shop in the village less than a month ago. IOF summoned his father and uncles to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service “Shin Bet” for investigation.
  • At approximately 14:35 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF stationed in (16) military site, northeast of Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Ramallah. They were deployed between residential houses. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 20-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was treated on the spot. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:35, IOF stationed in a military site (16), northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties of material damage were reported.




       II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 31 December 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya and Kafr Thulth, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fo’ad Na’eem Jitawi (22), and Omar Ayman Shawahna (19).
  • At approximately 02:55, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp and Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Oday Samer Jaber (23), who is a former prisoner, Sa’eed Izzat Jaber (22), and Ahmed Tareq al-Nimri (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Dheesha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians after beaten them. The arrestees are: Ibrahim Munir Arafa (26), Haidar Izzat Abu Dayya (23), and Ahmed Tawfiq Tayeh (33).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Rebhi al-Haremi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and stationed at al-Iskan street. They deployed between civilians’ houses, while dozens of soldiers stormed a 4-storey building, included 6 apartments, and stormed and searched Omar Abdul Raheem al-Barghouthi’s (29) apartment, which is in the ground floor, and arrested him. IOF also raided and searched the houses of Ali al-Ka’ba and Mohannad al-Rayyan.

Haya al-Barghouthi, Omar’s cousin, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

My husband and I woke up to loud noise in our building; we went out of our apartment to see a number of the Israeli soldiers and border guards in the third floor with the building owner, Shadi. They were shouting loudly “where is al-Barghouthi”, and asked Shadi about Omar’s apartment, and headed there, immediately detonating the front door. Omar lived alone, as his wife was travelling abroad. I asked the soldiers to go and wake Omar up, but they refused and stormed his apartment and started beating him and insulting him, then they handcuffed him and took him to their military vehicle. At approximately 08:00, Saif, Omar’s brother, received a phone call from an Israeli Intelligence Services’ officer, and told him that Omar is in a critical health condition and he was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, and that the soldiers hit him on his head and all over his body, which caused wounds, bruises, and loss of consciousness”.

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Ummar, Hebron, Sa’eer, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 01 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eyad Hasan Abu Obaid’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Khalil Mo’een Fawzi Mousa (27), from Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Eyad Mohammed al-Jo’ba (27), while present near al-Silsila gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • In the evening hours, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Istiya, north of Salfit. They took the measures of the location and withdrew.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tarqumiyah and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate; Haris village, north of Salfit; Kafr Laqif, Sir and Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 02 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Suliman Amarna (19).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed at al-Harayiq area. They raided and searched Tareq Anwar Da’eis’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at “Eyal” military checkpoint, established in the north of Qalqilya, arrested Ahmed Mahmoud Ayyash (16) and Anis Mohammed Abu Tayba (17).
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Alaa al-Haddad’s (11) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Ammar Mahmoud Thawabta (15) and Ahmed Jamal Taqateqa (16) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Halhul, Beit Kahil, and Nuba villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 03 January 2021:

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohammed Alawna (21).
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Diya’ Mohammed Obaid’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah governorate, after throwing stones at an Israeli settler’s car in the street adjacent to “Halamish” settlement, where the settler suffered serious wounds, according to the Israeli media. However, the Israeli vehicles, IOF, the border guards and the Israeli infantry units surrounded the village and closed the main and western entrances of the village. IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among civilians. Meanwhile, they raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested (20) civilians including two children in the main street and detain them for 3 consecutive hours under the investigation. Lately, IOF released 17 civilians while kept the two children and the young man under arrest and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Sajed Abdul Ghani al-Khateeb (17), Mohammed Kheir al-Tamimi (17), and Osama Firas al-Tamimi (18), who is a student at Birzeit University. IOF established a tent near the main entrance and confiscated all the surveillances cameras of the houses and stores.
  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli bulldozer combed al-Ein land, near “Wad Rayya”, adjacent to the village, they raided and searched several houses and continued closing the entrances and some streets, then stormed the village and the houses again until Monday’s evening, 04 January 2021.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan (25), and his brother, Islam Kamel Abu Shamla (18).
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Sanniriya and Azun, east of Qalqilya; Sa’ir, Bani Na’im, Samu and Dura, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 04 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hadi Mahmoud Ghunaimat (30), and Fadi Mousa Ghunaimat (29).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians; Hussam Hasan Abu Hussain (32), Miqdad Abdullah al-Qawasmah (38), Abdul Aziz Abu Sunaina (34), and Mohammed Hamed al-Rajabi (29).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus, from its southern side, Jabal al-Tur, north of the West Bank, and stationed at Nablus’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Alaa Nidal Abu Shamla (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jannata village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Sa’eed al-‘Arouj’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jericho. They raided and searched Hasan Shaker Ballou’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Abdul Rahman al-Bashiti (16), Zakariya al-Bakry (19), and Mustafa Abu Sunaina (18).
  • At approximately 21:00, 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, including a child; Hamza Abu Ghannam (19), Fadi Abu Ghannam (17), and Mohammed Abu Sbaitan (22).
  • IOF carried out (1) incursion in Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, in the western side of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 05 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyas Hussain Obaid’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, entering it from the northern side by checkpoint (17), and stationed in Baker street and Kallet al-Amud neighborhood, northeast of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yaser al-Madmouj (28), and took him to Millennium Technology Company, where he works. It should be noted that the company’s owner was arrested on 21 December 2020.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched Ra’ed Mohammed Qawzah’s (50) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Zeita Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Zakariya Ahmed Rayyan (51) and Jom’a Mahmoud Ramadan (53).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Harbi Abdul Samea’ Abu Subaih (43) and his brother, Wajdi (39), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed on the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village arrested Ahmed al-Rimawy (32) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, only 3 of the houses were identified; Oday al-Shahrouri, Munir and his brother Omar Foqaha, and interrogated the civilians, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sami al-Fakhouri’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall west of Rummanah village, west of Jenin, arrested Kareem Ahmed al-‘Ammour (28), while present near the wall. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. They threatened to destroy and set fire to street carts that were previously served removal notices.
  • IOF carried out 2 incursions in Deir Ballut and Sarta in western Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 06 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, from its eastern entrance. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Subhi Tabanja (38), from Khallat al-‘Amud, southeast of Nablus; and Omar Eyad Staitiya (26), from Zawata village, west of Nablus.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beita, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Musbah Abu Mazen (23), a water technician employee in Beita municipality.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Kahil in northern Hebron and raided Mohammed Assafra’s (30) house. They searched and ransacked through the house before arresting Assafra and taking him with them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Alqa al Fawqa, southern Hebron and raided Ahmed Dodeen’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed between civilians houses, raided and searched Ragheb Mohammed al-Tamimi’s (18) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military and construction vehicles moved 100 meters into Al Fukhkhari, eastern Khan Younis. They razed the area for hours and then withdrew.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with military bulldozers moved into Khelet ‘Elian in Biddya village, west of Salfit. IOF started leveling 550 fruitful trees and retaining walls as well as the fence wires surrounding the land belonging to the heirs of Yousef Salim, ‘Abdel Rahim Salim and Mohammed Salim.

The landowners said that land razing had wiped off the agricultural field that was funded by the International Relief, inflecting a loss of ILS 300,000.  It should be noted that that was the second time the project was destroyed, and the trees uprooted.

Youssef Kamel Youssef Salamah said that:

“IOF moved into the area and closed the entrances, denying citizens and journalists’ access to it.  IOF leveled all the olive, almond, grape and fig trees my cousins and I had planted in a joint project funded by the International Relief.  The uprooted  trees included around 250 olive trees, 100 grapevines, 100 almond trees and 100 fig trees.  We also bought huge amount of sand and brought workers and vehicles to work in the land.”

  • On Saturday morning, 02 January 2021, Amjad Ja’abees self-demolished a concrete slab he built on his land in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and removed the steel-wired fence surrounding the land, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Ja’abees said that last October, he established a concrete slab as a prelude to build a small house on a plot of land he inherited from his family in Jabel Mukaber village.  Ja’abees added that the Israeli Municipality instantly warned him to self-demolish the slab and remove the fence surrounding his land.  However, when he did not obey, the Municipality handed him an administrative decision signed by the Israeli Ministry of Interior regarding the slab and gave him only 7 days to implement the decision; otherwise, the Municipality crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with the costs.  Ja’abees said that the Israeli Municipality previously reject his request for the land use regulation and to have construction license, and this applies to all the surrounding plots of land in the area.

  • On Sunday morning, 03 January 2021, the High Planning Council (HPC) ratified confiscation of Land plots in different areas of Bethlehem to allocate them to settlements.

Hasan Breijiyah, Head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission in Bethlehem said that the Israeli authorities had ratified the allocation of the following land plots for settlement expansion: Land plot no. (8) in al-Shefa and Wad al-Hendi areas in al-Khader village; Land plot no. (1) in Artas village; Land plot no. (4) in ‘Arab Ta’amra and Land plot no. (5) in al-Morouj area.  Breijiyah added that in the morning IOF handed ‘Ali Salim Mousa from al-Khader village a notice to stop construction works in Jabel Abu Sodah area allegedly for being located in an archaeological area.

  • In the afternoon, IOF handed Nizam Abu Romouz a decision to vacate his family house in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of settlers.

Abu Romouz Family said that the evacuation decision was issued in absentee in 2016 when court hearings were held in absentee to deliberate the status of the estate without notifying or summoning the family to attend the court or even handing them any judicial notices in this regard.  The family added that the court fined them ILS 7,000 for the court and the settlers’ lawyer fees.  The family also said that they will file an urgent appeal to the District Court’s evacuation decision, denying receiving any judicial notice to seize the land where the estate is established.  It should be noted that the family estate is comprised of 3 floors and shelters 3 families.  The estate is within the “Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization’s plans to seize 5 dunums and 200 sqm from the Central quarter in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood under the pretext of being a Jewish ownership since 1881 as ruled by the Israeli Supreme Court.  It is also noteworthy that 87 families live in the plot of land under the threat of confiscation and evacuation.

  • On Monday morning, 04 January 2021, IOF demolished 6 fences, a water well and an agricultural barrack in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mayor of ‘Anata village, Taha al-Refa’ie, stated that the Israeli Municipality’s vehicles started demolishing a fence belonging to Mohammed al-Bayaa’ and another fence as well as a 40 sqm agricultural barrack and a water well belonging to Jamal ‘Alqam in al-Nejmah neighborhood in eastern ‘Anata near the industrial area.  The demolition came after a week of handing both civilians  demolition notices allegedly for unlicensed construction. Al-Refa’ie added that the Municipality crews demolished 3 more fences in al-Rahinah area belonging to Isma’il Shihah, ‘Othman Abu ‘Omer, Rami Hamdan, and Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim and another belonging to Mohammed Helwah in al-Thaher area.  Al-Refa’ie said that the Municipality crews distributed many demolition notices in the nearby area and withdrew.

  • In the same morning, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Lutfi Salah in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah said that an Israeli military force raided his land and demolished the room and confiscated its contents, including chairs and water tanks used for irrigation.  Salah added that the demolition was carried out without any prior notification, noting that such tin-roofed rooms do not need a license as it is used for agricultural and storing purposes.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 05 January 2020, IOF accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus, northern West Bank.  They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Majed Ibrahim ‘Abed Dweikat while working in an under-construction house in Khelet Rajeh area, northeast of Rujeib village, and arrested the driver.  IOF took the driver and the bulldozer to “Huwara” military camp, southeast of Nablus, and later released the driver but kept the bulldozer under custody allegedly for illegal construction work in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF backed by 8 bulldozers and tens of SUVs and trucks moved into  Khalet al-‘Abhar Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, where part of the annexation wall is established on its lands.  IOF leveled a vacant area; around 200 dunums and 3400 olive and olive trees and grapevines planted 5-10 years ago.  IOF also seized a large number of trees after uprooting them.  These leveled lands belong to ‘Ezat Mousa, heirs of Husni ‘Issa Mousa and ‘Abdullah Mousa. 

IOF also handed 5 new notices to the nearby lands’ owners to vacate them as a prelude to confiscate them in favor of settlement expansion.

While land-razing, IOF attacked and beat up the owners of the leveled lands, including Mohammed Husni Mousa and ‘Aisha ‘Abdullah Mousa.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday morning, 31 December 2020, a group of settlers from “Rafafa”  attacked a plot of land belonging to the head of the village council, ‘Omer Samarah,  in al-Ta’erat area in Haris village, north of Salfit.  The settlers uprooted around 300 olive trees planted on an area of 14 dunums 14 years ago, without any prior warning.  They also left a notice in a plot of land belonging to Khaled Mohammed ‘Ali Shamlawi in the same area, saying that this land is owned by the state and giving the owners 45 days to appeal.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, settlers rioted at the entrance of “Homish” settlement that was vacated in 2005 and established on the lands of Burqa and Silat ad-Dhahr villages, northwest of Nablus.  They also threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Jenin Street, but no damage was reported.
  • At approximately 21:55 on the same day, a group of settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement established on Nablus lands threw stones at civilian houses in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus.  As a result, Mo’ataz ‘Ezat Qasrawi’s house windows were broken and his wife, Lina Hasan ‘Awad ‘Odah (34) was injured with a stone in her right leg when she was in her bedroom in the first floor of the 2-storey house while her 4 children and husband were in the second floor of the house. 
  • At approximately 22:00, settlers from ” Shiloh” and “Eli” settlement established on the villages of Qaryout and al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Ramallah Street.  As a result, a car belonging to Salim ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Salim Bsharat, Palestine TV photojournalist in Tubas, sustained damage; the right door window and mirror were broken while the front and right side sustained damage.
  • On Friday morning, 01 January 2021, settlers from “Leshem” settlement attacked a plot of land belonging to Ya’qoub Hadrous in Khelet Mathar area in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.  The settler added tons of sand piles on the land, burying the olive trees there, without any prior notice or warning.

‘Omer Ya’qoub Hadrous said that:

“On Friday morning, we found settlers from Leshem settlement transferring piles of sand into my land in Khelet Mathar area, east of Deir Ballut village. We informed the Liaison, and the settlement guardian came after we refused what was going on.  He told the workers who were transferring the piles, “wait until I make a phone call to know if this land belongs to the state or what.”  He made the phone call and immediately ordered them to stop the transfer into this land because it belongs to ‘Omer and not a state property. This talk occurred after they completely covered the land with around 1.5 meter sand and construction remnants, and even if I cleaned it, the land won’t return as it was because it was all ruined.  This means that all the olives were damaged and the land as well.”

  • At approximately 16:55 on Friday, 01 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Shvut Rachel” settlement established on the lands of southeastern al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village  attacked and tried to seize al-Khan area.  A number of citizens immediately gathered and throw stones at the settlers to force them to go back.  It should be noted that al-Khan is an ottoman site which IOF has been trying to seize for a while.
  • At approximately 18:30, a group of settlers from “Kedumim” settlement gathered on the main street near Kafr Qaddum village in Qalqilya.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling in the area and closed the main street connecting Qalqilya with Nablus to perform religious rituals in the area.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Saturday, 02 January 2021, a group of settlers from ” Beit Yatir” and “Susya” settlements attacked members of al-Nawaj’ah family while plowing their land in Um Lakhous area, south of Yatta, southern Hebron.  The settlers attempted to stop the tractors despite the Israeli court’s decision to prevent settlers from entering that land.  Clashes occurred between the settlers and citizens while IOF patrols and Israeli Civil Administration crews arrived to force settlers leaving the land.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 03 January 2021, a group of settlers from the Israeli “Hilltop Youth” group called for protests at the intersections of the main streets  used by the Palestinians.  An hour later, large groups of settlers gathered at the intersections of Adam, northeastern Jerusalem; “Yitsahar” and “Ma’ale Efrayim”, southwestern Nablus; Bypass 60 Ofra; “Pisgat Yahuda” Street on Ramallah-Nablus Street, “Nof Hasharon” settlement; Jit Sarra, southwestern Nablus; and “Shiloh” and “Eli” settlements, southeastern Nablus.  The settler rioted at the intersections and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling there.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement moved into Sarta village, west of Salfit.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles and houses, breaking windows of cars belonging to Sa’id Sarsour, Mukhtar ‘Abdullah Sarsour, Mustafa Ibrahim al-Khatib, Mohammed Hisham Sarsour and Ma’zouz Sarsour.  Moreover, wheels belonging of a bulldozer belonging to Youssef Mohammed al-Khatib were punctured.
  • In the morning, settlers from “Beitar Illit” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Husan, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin villages, southwest Bethlehem, flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands in Husan village, west of the city. 

Husan Village Council stated that settlers flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands planted with grapevines and olive trees, inflecting huge losses and damage in these lands.  The Council added that such attacks are constant as settlers often pump wastewater into Palestinian-owned lands in the villages of Husan, Jab’a, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin.

  • At approximately 19:00, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on Street no. (1) in central occupied East Jerusalem and closed it, starting to attack Palestinian vehicles and passers-by.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers closed the abovementioned street and nearby Musrara Street and set fire to tires.  They then threw stones at passers-by and Palestinian vehicles, causing damage to them.

  • At approximately 20:00, settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted the streets and threw stones at different intersections, particularly Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Beit El Camp Road; Route 60 between Hizma and Jaba’ on Ramallah-Nablus Highway; and al-Nabi Younis intersection in Hebron.
  • At approximately 22:00, dozens of Israeli settlers on Jerusalem-Hebron Street protested near Gush Etzion settlement intersection for the third week consecutively.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers under IOF protection raised slogans calling for Arabs to leave and closed the main streets before Palestinian vehicles.  The settlers threw stones at the vehicles, causing severe damage to them.

  • At approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted and threw stones at different intersections, particularly at the entrance to Homish settlement on Jenin-Nablus Road, northwest of Nablus; Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Za’atara checkpoint intersection; at the entrance to “Shilo” settlement, southeast of Nablus; Kedumim intersection and completely closed it, southeast of Qalqiliya; and at the entrance to Jurat ash-Sham’a village between “Efrat” settlement and Teqoa on Hebron Road. However, no injuries were reported.
  • On Wednesday morning, 06 January 2021, settlers from “Amihai” settlement established on Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, uprooted and stole 150 olive seedlings from Mahmoud Fawzi Haj Mohammed’s land in Ma’aser Ghzayel area, 100 meters away from the abovementioned settlement.
 IV. 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 56 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 Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Ofra settlement, which is established in northeast of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Taybeh village.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF closed Wadi al-Dalb road, which leads to Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. IOF also established a checkpoint at the main entrance to the village. They also closed the metal detector gate established at the entrance to Aboud village and established a military checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of Shuqba village and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • IOF established three military checkpoints on the northern and southern Jericho entrances, and on al-Mo’arajat road intersection.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala village, at the western entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, leading to Bethlehem’s western villages.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, in Kermizan area in Beit Jala village and near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho for 5 consecutive hours.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho, at the entrance to Al-Auja village, and on al-Mo’arajat road (connecting between Jericho and Ramallah).
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, north of the city.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at the entrance to Beita village, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at al-Moraba’a intersection.

Tubas:

  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in al-Me’yar area, east of ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Yatta city and at the entrance to as-Samu village.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, and at the southern and western entrances to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021. IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Sa’ir and Jalajel villages, at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp, and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Hebron and at the entrances to as-Samu and Beit Ummar villages.
  • On Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to ad-Dhahiriya and Beit Kahil villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr Laqif and Azzun villages, at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya, and at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and to Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik, Kifl_Haris, Rafat amd Qarawat_Bani_Hassan villages.

A New Year’s Wish

See the source image
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

PHILIP GIRALDI • JANUARY 5, 2021 
Source: The Unz Review

Let’s remove Israel from American politics

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pollard-and-Netanyahu-600x337.jpg

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump swore that he would be the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, a pledge that some of us viewed skeptically as Trump was also committed to bringing the troops home from “useless wars” in Asia, most of whom were in the Middle East supporting Israeli interests. More recently Trump admitted that America was in the Middle East to “protect Israel” and he has indeed proven to be the great benefactor he promised to be in responding fully to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wish list. Trump has increased tension dramatically with Iran, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, and has basically given Israel the green light to do whatever it wants on the Palestinian West Bank, including getting rid of the Palestinians. And as all that has played out the Israelis have attacked and killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Syria and the West Bank with impunity, protected by the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council against any consequences for their actions while a subservient Congress gives Netanyahu twenty-eight standing ovations and bleats that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Trump has made the United States completely complicit in Israeli war crimes and has committed a few of its own to include the widely condemned assassination of the senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad one year ago.

Israel more-or-less openly admits that it controls the actions of the United States in its region, its leaders having boasted how the U.S. federal government is “easily moved” when it comes up against the Israeli Lobby. Nor is there any real secret to how the Lobby uses money to buy access and then exploits that access to obtain real power, which is then used to employ all the resources of the U.S. government in support of the Jewish state. The top donor to the Democratic Party, Israeli-American Haim Saban has stated that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. This single-minded focus to promote Israel’s interests at the expense of those of the United States makes the Israel Lobby the most formidable foreign policy lobby in Washington and it recalls the warning once issued by George Washington in his Farewell Address, where he stated that “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

The complete contempt that the Israelis and Israeli supporters in the U.S. have for other Americans and their interests was on full display last week when convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard flew “home,” meeting Netanyahu as he disembarked from a private plane that had departed from Newark New Jersey before being given a hero’s welcome.

Pollard is the most damaging spy in American history, having stolen the keys to accessing U.S. communications and information gathering systems. He was an unlikely candidate to become a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, and one review board determined that he had been hired in the first place under pressure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A month after Pollard’s arrest in 1985, C.I.A director William Casey stated: “The Israelis used Pollard to obtain our war plans against the USSR – all of it: the co-ordinates, the firing locations, the sequences, and Israel sold that information to Moscow for more exit visas for Soviet Jews.” According to a C.I.A. after-the fact-damage assessment “Pollard’s operation has few parallels among known U.S. espionage cases…. his first and possibly largest delivery occurred on 23 January [1984] and consisted of five suitcases-full of classified material.”

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger wrote a forty-six page review of the case that remains largely classified and redacted to this day, detailing what incredible damage Pollard had done. Part of the document states: “In this case, the defendant has admitted passing to his Israeli contacts an incredibly large quantity of classified information. At the outset I must state that the defendant’s disclosures far exceed the limits of any official exchange of intelligence information with Israel. That being the case, the damage to national security was complete the moment the classified information was given over. Ideally, I would detail…all the information passed by the defendant to his Israeli contacts: unfortunately, the volume of .data we know to have been passed is too great to permit that. · Moreover, the defendant admits to having passed to his Israeli handlers a quantity of documents great enough to occupy a space six feet by ten feet… The defendant has substantially harmed the United States, and in my view, his crimes demand severe punishment… My foregoing comments will, I hope, dispel any presumption that disclosures to an ally are insignificant; to the contrary, substantial and irrevocable damage has been done to this nation. Punishment, of course, must be appropriate to the crime, and in my opinion, no crime is more deserving of severe punishment than conducting espionage activities against one’s own country.”

The Pollard trip to his “home” occurred because Donald Trump had obligingly lifted the travel restrictions on him the week before, one more favor to Israel. At the airport, Pollard and his wife knelt to kiss the Israeli soil before Netanyahu handed him an Israeli citizen ID and welcomed him. The 737 luxury-fitted executive jet Pollard and his wife flew on belongs to Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chief donor to the Republicans and to Donald Trump. Adelson is married to an Israeli and famously has said that he regrets having worn a U.S. Army uniform when he was drafted, much preferring instead that he might have done military service in the Israel Defense Force.

I should point out that permitting dual nationals with singular loyalty to a foreign nation to have such significant influence over the two leading political parties in the U.S. by virtue of money alone is a recipe for disaster, and so it has proven. What were Trump and Hillary Clinton thinking when they tied themselves to Adelson and Saban? Or were they thinking at all?

The Israeli boosters in the United States have flat out corrupted our political process to get where they are. They have bought or intimidated every politician that matters to include presidents, congressmen and even those in state and local governments. Anyone who criticizes Israel or Jewish collective behavior in support of the Israeli state is subject to character assassination and blacklisting a la Mel Gibson and Rick Sanchez. Those who persist are denounced as anti-Semites, a label that is used liberally by Zionist groups.

Anyone who is bold enough to either criticize the Israelis or defend the Palestinians is targeted, and if they happen to be in Congress like Cynthia McKinney, Pete McCloskey, Paul Findlay, James Traficant, William Fulbright and Chuck Percy they are first vilified in the media and then set up against a very well-funded candidate to drive them from office. The end result is that when Israel kills civilians and rampaging armed settlers destroy their livelihoods the United States government chooses to look the other way and shower the rogue state with money so it can continue to do its dirty work.

The corruption extends to the state level, where twenty-six governments have passed Israel lobby-promoted legislation that limits free speech rights if anyone seeks to criticize Israel. This sometimes includes forcing employees, under threat of dismissal, to sign a pro-Israel oath and promise not to support any boycott of the Jewish state. The massive interference in the internal governance of the United States by Israel and its U.S. born lackeys far exceeds that of any other country, including inappropriately vilified Russia or China.

It is well past time to get rid of the Israel parasite that feeds on the American government and people. The special relationship with Israel, sanctified in the halls of Congress and by a Jewish dominated media, does nothing good for the United States and for the American people. Israel’s constant interference in the U.S. political system and economy comes at a huge cost, both in dollars and in terms of actual American interests.

And then there are the hot buttons which, if the U.S. actually had a functional government that is responsive to the people, should have been pushed long ago. Israel is ranked by the FBI as the number one “friendly” country in terms of its spying against the United States. Pollard is an exception, but Israeli spies are routinely slapped on the wrist when caught and never face prosecution. The Mossad agents who were the “Dancing Shlomos,” celebrating while the twin towers went down on 9/11, were allowed to go home. And Israel has never truly paid any price for the horrific bombing and torpedoing of the U.S.S. Liberty fifty-three years ago, which killed 34 Americans and injured over one hundred more. The completely unprovoked attack took place in international waters and was later covered-up by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Congress. May they burn in hell. The surviving crew members are still waiting for justice.

So, let’s all resolve for 2021 to do whatever we can to pull the plug on Israel. Let Israel pay its own bills and take care of its own defense. American citizens who prefer the Jewish ethno-religious state to our constitutional republic should feel free to emigrate. Lacking Washington’s backing, Israel will also be free to commit atrocities and war crimes against all of its neighbors but without the U.S. United Nations veto it will have to begin facing the consequences for its actions. But most of all, as Americans, we will no longer have to continue to carry the burden of a country that manipulates and uses us and also has a certain contempt for us while doing so. And maybe just maybe freeing the United States from Israel could lead to an end to all the wars in the Middle East that Washington has been waging in spite of the fact that we Americans are threatened by no one in the region and have no real interest whatsoever in prolonging the agony of staying there.

%d bloggers like this: