Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 5 – 11 August 2021

August 12, 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 5 – 11 August 2021

5 – 11 August 2021

IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank:

1 Palestinian killed during IOF attacks on peaceful protest in Nablus; another dies in Jenin of wounds sustained earlier in IOF attacks

3 Palestinians wounded, including a journalist, a person with disability and a child

IOF air strike damages agricultural land in Northern Gaza; IOF shooting at fishing boats in the Gaza sea

In 143 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 75 civilians arrested, including 10 children

Construction of settlement project initiated on the grounds of Jerusalem International Airport in Qalandia, East Jerusalem

7 brothers forced to self-demolish their homes; residential building demolished in East Jerusalem

IOF demolished several houses, and commercial facilities in the West Bank

Settler-attacks in the West Bank: settlers cut trees and assault Palestinian civilians and their homes

IOF established 66 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, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian properties and land continued.. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 3 others in the West Bank: a journalist, a child, and a person with disability. Additionally, another Palestinian civilian died of wounds he sustained in an IOF attack in Jenin. On 6 August 2021, IOF killed 37-year-old Imad Ali Mahmoud Dweikat with a bullet in the chest; the victim was not involved in the clashes in Beita, as he was standing by an olive tree at least 150 meters from the area, and he did not pose any threat -nor were there any event that did- to IOF. A child, and a journalist, were also wounded during IOF attacks on the peaceful protest against settlement expansion in Beita, southeastern Nablus. Also, Deyaa Yusuf Yassin Kmail (24) died  on 11 August 2021 of wounds he sustained during an IOF raid into Jenin. A person with disability was wounded as a tear gas canister hit him during an IOF raid into Dayr al-Ghusun, northern Tulkarm; IOF arrested him after his injury, and later released him.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF launched an air strike that caused damage to an agricultural land in Beit Hanoun. Additionally, two IOF shootings at fishing boats were reported in northern Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 143 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, 75 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursions into Central Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR fieldworkers documented 13 violations:

  • Hebron: two under-construction houses demolished; cease-construction notice served against a house in Si’ir; also in Yatta, IOF demolished a water well, a room, and a barracks.
  • Ramallah: two residential tents and sheep barns dismantled and confiscated in Ramun; a barracks (used as shelter) was demolished on Ras al-Mo’rajat – the main road connecting Jericho and Ramallah.
  • East Jerusalem: Construction of settlement project initiated on the grounds of Jerusalem International Airport in Qalandia; 7 houses self-demolished in Beit Hanina; residential building demolished in Silwan
  • Jenin: 3 commercial facilities and water tank (used for vineyards) demolished in Yabad
  • Bethlehem: paved road in Battir bulldozed; chicken barn demolished in al-Walaja
  • Nablus: two barracks demolished in Luban e-Sharkiya

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

  • Bethlehem: dozens of olive trees cut in Jab’a; agricultural lands razed and the owner assaulted in Kisan
  • Jenin: smashed windows in assault on vehicle in Kafr Ra’i
  • Hebron: assault on Palestinian civilians in the Old City

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

This week, Israeli occupation authorities continued to ban the entry of dozens of goods, including construction materials, in collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the Israeli closure imposed on the territory entered its 15th year, without an end in sight that would fulfil Palestinians’ right to enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights. Despite the Israeli occupation’s announcement of a series of relief measures on both Karm Abu-Salem and Beit Hanoun crossing, severe restrictions remain in place as several types of products and raw materials are banned entry.

On Monday, 9 August 2021, the Presidential Committee for coordinating the entry of goods to the Gaza Strip via Karm Abu-Salem crossing announced that the Israeli occupation reversed its decision to allow the entry of certain goods to Gaza. According to the Committee, the goods in subject include 34 types, mostly cell phones, laptops/computers, and connection/internet materials.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

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

  • At approximately 05:45 on Friday, 06 August 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened sporadic fire at them. The IOF shooting and chasing continued until 09:00 on the same day, which caused fear among the fishermen and forced them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • On the same day, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded a child, and a journalist, during its attacks on a peaceful protest against settlement expansion in Beita, southeastern Nablus, northern West Bank. According to PCHR investigations, the victim was not involved in the clashes, as he was standing by an olive tree at least 150 meters from the area. Additionally, there were no threats to the lives of IOF soldiers during the protest, eliminating any justification to the murder crime. This crime is yet another stark example of IOF unjustifiable relaxed shooting standards in disregard for Palestinian civilians’ lives.

According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 13:00 on Friday, 6 August 2021, a peaceful protest took off from Beita village towards Mount Sbaih, where IOF established “Avitar” settlement outpost three months ago. The protestors held Palestinian flags and chanted against the occupation and settlers. Upon their arrival to Mount Sbaih, they found IOF troops stationed in the area; the soldiers fired at the protest and violent clashes erupted. A group of the protestors threw rocks at soldiers, who continued to fire live and rubber-coated bullets, as well as tear gas and stun grenades, at the protestors. The clashes continued until 15:17 and resulted in the death of a Palestinian civilian; a journalist and a child were wounded as well. The victim was identified as 37-year-old Imad Ali Mahmoud Dweikat from Beita village; he was shot with a live bullet in the chest and died after his arrival to Rafidia Hospital. Additionally, several other Palestinian civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

Kifah ‘Enad ‘Abed Bani Shamsa said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

On 06 August 2021, I performed the Friday prayer in Beita village Park near al-Hawata area and Sabieh Mount, south of Beita village, southeast of Nablus. At approximately 13:30 following the prayer, a number of Palestinians who performed the Friday prayer in the village’s mosque flocked to the area below Sabeih Mount to protest against the establishment of “Avitar” settlement outpost. A group of the villagers and I distributed food and drinks to Palestinians participating in the protest, which developed to clashes with IOF. During the clashes, IOF fired sound bombs, teargas canisters and live and rubber bullets at protestors. At approximately 15:10, I withdrew from the area of clashes and headed towards the ambulances parking. When I was four meters away from the parking, I saw my friend Imad Ali Mahmoud Dweikat ( 37) standing under an olive tree, 150 meters away from the clashes. I headed to him and stood next to him. We talked with each other for 5 to 7 minutes. Suddenly, Imad fell beside me on his right side and flipped onto his abdomen. I saw blood come out of his mouth, so I knew that he was injured. I flipped him onto his back and put my hand on his chest to stop the bleeding, noting that I did not hear any gunshots at that time. Afterwards, ambulance officers came, put Imad on a stretcher, got him into the ambulance, and then took him to the field hospital in the village. After that, Imad was transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. Few minutes later, he was pronounced dead. The villagers and I headed to the hospital to say goodbye to him.”

PCHR investigations show that IOF use excessive force and snipers to kill in a premeditated and unjustifiable manner. In a matter of a few weeks, IOF killed 6 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, during its attacks on peaceful protests against settlement expansion in Beita. This fact suggests that IOF’s conduct is in fact a systemic and political decision that is repeated on more than one occasion, eliminating any base for allegations of a security necessity or real threat.

  • At approximately 02:55 on Saturday, 07 August 2021, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land belonging to Zakaria Ahmed Mohammed Hamdan (77) in the center of al-Qerman Street in Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. Five minutes later, an Israeli warplane fired 2 missiles at the land, causing severe damage to it. Also, nearby houses’ windows were broken, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:15 on Saturday, 07 August 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 1-5 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire at them and fire flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:45 on Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF moved into Dayr al-Ghusun, northern Tulkarm. IOF raided several houses and arrested 5 civilians.[1] During the raid, IOF shot a tear gas canister at Loay Zeyad Abu-Zaytoun, a person with disability, and wounded him in the face. IOF arrested Abu-Zaytoun and took him to an Israeli hospital; he was later released to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

Aby-Zaytoun’s brother, Ayman, gave the following testimony to PCHR fieldworker:

“A large Israeli occupation force raided the village, as my brother Loay – who is mentally disabled, was getting out of the house. IOF immediate shot a tear gas canister at him, causing severe wounds in his face. They arrested him and took him on foot to the center of the village; there were traces of his blood on the ground where he marched. IOF put him in a military vehicle that drove into the area adjacent to the annexation wall where an Israeli ambulance arrived and gave him first aid. He was taken to Meir Medical Center. At approximately 19:00, an Israeli ambulance transferred him to a PRCS ambulance, who transported him to Dr. Thabet Thabet hospital, where we were shocked to find out that he was not given any medical care at the Israeli hospital, the blood on his face was not even cleaned. The doctors diagnosed him with retinal damage, fractures in the nose and jaw; he needs surgical intervention.”

  • Following the Friday prayers on Wednesday, 11 August 2021, dozens of Palestinians organized a peaceful sit-in to demands cessation of Israeli construction in the vicinity of the al-Haram al-Ibrahimi mosque, in the center of the Old City of Hebron, the latest of which was the construction of an elevator to allow settlers access to the roof of the mosque. Large forces of the Israeli Border Police arrived at the area, fired stun grenades at the participants, and arrested: Yazan Yusry Taha (36) and Akram Fakhry Massouda (42). They were taken to the Ibrahim Mosque police station. The Border Police also shut all gates leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque.
  • At approximately 17:15 on Wednesday, medical sources at Nablus Specialty Hospital announced the death of 24-year-old Deyaa Yusuf Yassin Kmail, from Jenin, of wounds he sustained in an IOF raid into Jenin. According to PCHR investigations, IOF moved into Jenin at approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 3 August 2021. During the raid, a number of Palestinians gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, two protestors were injured with live bullets; including Deyaa Kmail whose condition was deemed serious. Kmail remained in the hospital until his unfortunate death.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 05 August 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Sawahera, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Shadi Aziz Hilsa’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Mahmoud Mohammed Sabarnah (17) and Yasine Adel Za’aqiq (16), after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Eissa Hijazi (19), after raiding and searching his house in Jabal al-Mawaleh area in Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF arrested Mansour Mahmoud ‘Abahera (31), and Sharif Mohammed al-Bashir (32).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Najeh Abdullah al-Kilany (66), along with his sons, Mahdi (30) and Mujahed (24), after raiding and searching their house in al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested (4) civilians including 2 children after raiding and searching their houses in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees are: Nasim Zuhair Dumiri (14), Ahmed Saleh Kash’am (20), Mohammed Samer Sarhan (18), and his brother, Sultan (16).
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF arrested Yousef al-Rashaq (23), from al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, after summonsing him to refer to Moscovia Detention Center, in West Jerusalem, for investigation.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Abdul Hameed Majed Deiriyah (26), from Bayt Fajar, south of Bethlehem, after summonsing him for investigation in “Gush Etzion”
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF arrested Mo’ayad Fayez al-Qaq (27), from Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Wadi Qana near Deir Istiya, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Anwar Sami Obaid (23), after storming his engagement party in al-Isawiya village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, and transferred him for investigation before extending his arrest. It should be noted that Obaid was arrested over than 28 times during the last 10 years, as in the last 2 years IOF intensified tracking Obaid between summonses, house arrest in evening hours, house arrest and ban his entry to East and West Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Bani Na’im, and Dayr al-‘Asal al-Fawqa in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 06 August 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Yousef Deiriyah (21), while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at the western entrance of Bayt Fajar, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Abdul Jabbar Tamim Salem (24), from Bazariya in Nablus governorate, while present at Bab al-Amud area in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Majed Ragheb al-Jo’ba (41), while getting out of the Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, through Bab Huta, and took him to Bab al-Asbat police center. It should be noted that al-Jo’ba is a former prisoner who was banned to enter Jerusalem and West Bank for 6 months in 2018, and allowed him to enter Izariya, Israel and East Jerusalem. This decision was extended several times, and he recently received several summonses for interrogation, arrested 3 times during this year and warned to take serious actions against him.

Saturday, 07 August 2021:

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

Sunday, 08 August 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Ibrahim Na’eem Roumi (21), after raiding and searching his house in Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem governorate.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Mohammed Khaled al-Shawaheen (39), after raiding and searching his house in Yatta, south of Hebron governorate.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Nitham Roshdi Abu Romouz (40), while present in the Aqsa Mosque yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF handed Jameel Eissa al-Abassi (41) a summons to refer to Moscovia Detention Center in 2 hours after raiding and searching his house in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Eyad Deiriyah (15) and Anas Fadel Deiriyah (16), from Bayt Fajar village, southwest of Bethlehem, while present near the western entrance of the village.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Halhul and Surif villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 09 August 2021:

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested Wafa Khalil Idris (23) and Waleed Hammad al-Silmi (23), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of al-Bireh.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with 6 military bulldozers moved 50-100 meters into the west of the border fence with Israel, east of al-Maghazi. They leveled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence and redeployed again at approximately 15:00.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested (7) civilians after raiding and searching their house in Beita village, southeast of Nablus. The arrestees are: Zuhair Ahmed Bani Shamsa (45), Osaid Mohammed Mo’alla (23), Mo’tasem Met’eb Dweikat (32), Abdul Rahman Mohammed Ma’ali (18), Ahmed Emad Hamayil (31) and Islam Hamed al-Jaghoub (29).
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud Mohammed Taym (38), after raiding and searching his house in Ein Beit al-Ma’ refugee camp, west of Nablus.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Naser al-Qawasmi (24), after raiding and searching his house in Anata village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Yousef Houshiyah (40), from Yatta, after stopping his vehicle on a military checkpoint establishes at the northern entrance of the city.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Jalazone refugee camp and Deir Abu Masha’al village near Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Jaber (25), while passing through Shu’afat refugee camp checkpoint, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 01:45, IOF arrested (6) civilians including a child, after raiding and searching several houses in Dayr al-Ghusun village, north of Tulkarm. The arrestees are: Ahmed Abdul Fattah Badran (31), Firas Subhi Owda (44), his son Hamza (14), Eyas Subhi Owda (42), Abdul Mun’im Tayseer Owda (18), Yaser Ibrahim Ghanem (55), and Lo’ay Zeyad Abu Zaytoun (24). Abu Zaytoun was arrested after he sustained a teargas canister in his face and referred to one of the Israeli hospitals before releasing him in the same day evening.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians including a child, and confiscated 70,000 NIS while raiding and searching the houses of Subhi As’ad Ghanem, and his sons, Firas and Eyas in Dayr Ghusun village, north of Tulkarm. The arrestees are: Hamza Firas Ghanem (14), his father and uncle, Firas (44) and Eyas (42).

Their brother, Eyad Ghanem, stated that:

A large number of Israeli forces stormed our 3-storey house and detained all my family in one room on the ground floor, except my father who remained with them while they were searching and damaging the contents of the house. Meanwhile, they went to the first floor where they confiscated 70,000 NIS and some bank checks, as my brother withdrew this amount of money from the bank to finish his house, and they damaged his new bedroom. Then they went to the second floor to Eyas’s apartment and damaged his new bedroom which he brought 2 months ago, and then they arrested my brothers, Eyas and Firas, and my nephew Hamza (14).”

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Hafiz Mohammed al-Fasfous (29) and Mo’taz Mohammed al-Sharha (30), after raiding and searching their houses in Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Ihsan Ma’arik Hamamera (26), after raiding and searching his house in Husan, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:35, IOF arrested Mohammed Khalil Atta (17), after raiding and searching his house in Dair Abu Masha’al village, northwest of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 05:15, IOF arrested Baher Rfiq Salhiya (37), after raiding and searching his house in Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested the former prisoner, Israr Hatem Ma’rouf (21), after raiding and searching his house in Ein Qiniya village, northwest of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mus’ab Hamdan al-Rifa’i (28), after raiding and searching his house in Anata village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF arrested Ibrahim Atiya (26), after raiding and searching his house in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 13:45, IOF arrested Laith Abdul Raheem Mallouh (21) and Yosra Ahmed Zeidan (24), from Deir Istiya village, north of Salfit.
  • IOF carried out (13) incursions in Yatta and Samu in Hebron; Beitunia and Shuqba in Ramallah; Aqraba, Sebastia and Beita in Nablus governorate; Jenin, Jalamah, Kafr Qud, Kufeirat, Burqin and Kafr Dan in Jenin governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Izz al-Dein Osama Salah al-Dein (19) and Zayed Ahmed Kan’an (20), after raiding and searching their houses in Hizma village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF blew up the main door and stormed a money exchange shop belonging to Tayil Mohammed Owda, in Nablus, and then they withdrew but no confiscates were reported.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF arrested Mo’ad Emad Kan’an (30) and Eyad Yousef Malaysha (24), after raiding and searching their houses in Jaba’ village, south of Jenin.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Haitham Rida Jarrar (25), after raiding and searching his house in al-Zawiya village, southeast of Jenin.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Sbayten (23), after raiding and searching his house in Husan village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Kafr Qalil village, southeast of Nablus. The arrestees are: Jaber Hasan Mansour (27), Khaled Waleed ‘Amer (23), and Ahmed Atiya Mansour (23).
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Alaa Nidal Zughayar (26), while present near Bab al-Asbat gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

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

Demolitions, Confiscations, and Notices

  • At approximately 06:00 on Thursday, 05 August 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicles and 4 excavators moved into Sa’ir village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Wad al-Sharq area. The soldiers deployed in the area while the excavators started demolishing 2 houses built of stones and concrete, allegedly for unlicensed construction in Area C.  the demolition included the following:
  1. An under-construction house of 2 floors and small room on the roof built on an area of 400sqms in addition to a 160cbms well belonging to Khalil ‘Ali Yasin Thalji, who was supposed to move with his wife and son Mohammed to the house.
  2. An under-construction house of 2 floors and small room on the roof built on an area of 400sqms in addition to a 160cbms well belonging to Hayel Mohammed ‘Ali Thalji, who was supposed to move with his wife and 4 children; the eldest is 9 years old, as well as his father and brother.

Moreover, walls of concrete surrounding the 2 houses were demolished as well as a 10-sqm caravan used for storing construction tools.   The Civil Administration officer also handed ‘Ali Yasin Thalji a notice to stop construction works in a house he owns with the same specifications near what was demolished, ordering the house’s owner to settle his legal matters and submit a challenge to the Civil Administration until 01 September 2021.

During the demolition, many young men gathered and threw stones at the IOF stationed in the area while IOF randomly fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and civilians in the area on the main road.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation while the Border Guard officers arrested 4 civilians namely Jamal Mohammed ‘Ali; Kamal Mohammed ‘Ali Thalji (42); and  Yazan ‘Ahed Hijazi Thalji (25) and released them at 18:00.

  • At approximately 06:30, IOF backed by 3 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and a truck mounted train moved into Bariyah area in Ramun village to the west of “Caramilo” military checkpoint, northeast of Ramallah, where a Bedouin community belonging to al-Ka’abnah family lives. IOF brought workers from an Israeli private  company to dismantle and confiscate 2 residential tents and 2  sheep barns belonging to Mahmoud Salem Ka’abnah and his son ‘Odah, allegedly for building in Area C and without any prior warning.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF accompanied with a bulldozer and Civil Administration SUV moved into al-Rasifiyah area on al-Mo’arajat road between Jericho and Ramallah. The bulldozer demolished a residential barrack of steel and bricks on an area of 20sqms and sheltering Mohammed Soliman Salem Ka’abnah (45) and his family of 16, including 2 women and 14 children.  The demolition came without any prior warning and allegedly for building in Area C.
  • The same morning, the Israeli authorities started implementing the new settlement neighborhood construction plan on the lands of abandoned Jerusalem International airport in Qalendia village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. It should be mentioned that the Israeli municipality  in occupied Jerusalem started infrastructure works and building many streets in Qalendia Checkpoint as Road 45 was closed from the industrial area in “Atarot” settlement to the checkpoint in order to establish a huge settlement neighborhood on an area of 1,240 dunums that would include 6,900 to 9,000 settlement units in addition to stores on an area of 300,000 sqms. Moreover, 45,000 sqms will be  allocated for a hotel, water tanks and other facilities.  It should be noted that the construction and organization committee in Israel approved in 2020 the plan and the Ministry of Housing, which claims property of these lands to the Israel’s National Fund, will supervise the project in cooperation with the Israeli municipality.  The project will isolate Jerusalem from the West Bank, particularly the northern area, which will be closed for good, as part of the establishment of a settlement belt surrounding the City and building settlement units for settlers. The settlement projects also aims at expanding and changing Jerusalem’s boundaries in addition to cutting off the Palestinian villages in the area and blocking any communication even with the Palestinian neighborhoods and communities.
  • On Friday morning, 06 August 2021, 7 siblings from al-Radaydah family self-demolished their houses in al-Ashqariyah neighbor in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, implementing the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of building without a license, displacing 46 individuals, including 32 children under 15.

‘Ali Ahmed Mahmoud Radaydah, owner of one of the houses demolished, said that he built his house 15 years ago on a land owned by his family on area of 2 dunums and then helped his other 6 brothers build their houses next to each other.  Radaydah said that he received a demolition decision of 2 houses 10 years ago; during which many hearings were held at the courts that imposed 2 financial fines of 65,000 and 35,000.  Al-Radaydah added that the Israeli court lately issued an administrative decision to demolish all the houses and refused to postpone or freeze the demolitions decisions, giving the family a last chance to self-demolish their houses or the municipality crews will do so and fine them with 100,000 to 200,000 shekels for the demolition costs. Radaydah added that he and his brothers were forced to self-demolish their houses by renting 2 excavators that cost him 30,000 shekels.  Al-Radaydah said 46 persons, including 32 children under 15, have become homeless, allegedly for establishing the houses on a green and unorganized land, which the municipality refused to license for construction.  Meanwhile, the municipality seeks to implement a new settlement plan in area on 70 dunums and issue prompt construction licenses for settlers.

  • At approximately 06:00 on Monday, 09 August 2021, IOF accompanied with 2 bulldozers and an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Yabad village via its eastern entrance, southwest of Jenin. The bulldozers immediately demolished 3 commercial facilities and a water tank used for irrigating the grapevines.
#NameDamagePlace of Residence
1.‘Omer ‘Abdel Rahman Zaid al-KayaniAn 80sqm butchery only built  a year ago of cement  was demolished120sqm stores built of cement and roofed with tinplate were demolished as it was built 2 months agoYabad
2.Mohammed Khaled ‘AtatrahA 300-sqm coffee shop and carwash were demolishedYabad
3.‘Abdel Fattah Sadeq ‘Abdel Qader al-Sha’erA water tank that cost 36,000 shekels and was used for irrigating grapevines on an area of 6 dunums.A shed of steel was also demolished while 6 fruitful grape seedlings planted 6 years ago were uprooted‘Arraba
  • On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF’s vehicles levelled a road in Battir village, west of Bethlehem, while clashes broke out between the villagers and IOF.

Zaki al-Batmah, Member of Battir Municipality, said that IOF moved into eastern Battir village and levelled a road in Karam Hadidone area.  He added that the villagers attempted to confront IOF and prevent their vehicles from levelling the road, but clashes broke out; during which IOF used teargas and sound bombs heavily.  As a result, tens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  Al-Batmah said that IOF assaulted him and Said Abu Harthiyah, the municipality’s employee, causing them bruises and wounds.

The settlers have recently targeted the village by establishing mobile houses and tents to seize it and building a new settlement outpost; however, the villagers could confront them and removed the tents.

  • At approximately 08:30 on the same day, IOF’s bulldozers demolished a building of 2 floors belonging to Remah and ‘Ali ‘Odah in Beer Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, allegedly for unlicensed construction.

Shadi ‘Odah, the brother of the houses’ owners, said that his 2 brothers built their houses 4 years ago after obtaining a “construction line” license from the Israeli municipality in prelude to obtain the needed legal licenses.  ‘Odah added that his 2 brothers received an order to demolish the 2 houses, so the family headed to the Israeli courts, but the judge refused to postpone or freeze the decision.  ‘Odah said that the family was surprised with IOF’s raiding the houses in the morning and giving the residents half an hour to evacuate and empty the contents before the demolition.  ‘Odah said that the construction of the 2 houses cost them more than 700,000 shekels in addition to 150,000 shekels his brothers paid for the engineers for the licensing procedures.  ‘Odah added that the first floor was of 100 sqms where his brother ‘Ali and his wife and 2 ids live while the second floor of 95 sqms shelter his mother and his 2 brothers.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 11 August 2021, IOF bulldozers moved into a poultry farm in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, allegedly for unlicensed construction.

Head of the village council, Khader al-A’araj, said that IOF accompanied with a bulldozer moved into ‘Ein Jweizah area after moving into al-Natouf area from the eastern side of the village via a gate in the annexation wall.  They headed to a poultry farm that included a barrack and an agricultural room belonging to Shadi Mousa ‘Abdel Sheikh from Beit Safafa village, south of occupied Jerusalem, and demolished it while the animals ran away.  As a result, many of the animals died due to the demolition and the hot weather.  Al-A’raj added that IOF 2 weeks ago notified the farm’s owner of an administrative demolition decision.  The demolition losses exceeded 400,000 shekels, i.e. USD 121,000, especially that the farm had 300 poultry birds from different types.

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF accompanied with a bulldozer and an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved via the main entrance into Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, southeast of Nablus. The bulldozer immediately demolished 2 barracks of tinplate on an area of 90 square meters and used as an automobile repair  shop belonging to Khalil Ibrahim Khalil ‘Aweis, from the same village, allegedly for illegal construction in Area C.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, a bulldozer, and an excavator moved into Khelet al-Dabe’a, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the vehicles demolished a water well under constriction belonging to ‘Ali Jaber Dababsah.  The latter received a notice within the (1797) military decision that gives citizens 96 hours to submit papers necessary for licensing the facility.  IOF also demolished a 75sqm dwelling of bricks and tinplate sheltering 12 individuals, including 7 children, belonging to Mohammed ‘Ali Dababsah, who was previously notified.

It should be noted that the demolition was allegedly for unlicensed construction while regarding the military order, the Israeli authorities referred when issuing this notice to Article (4) of the military order no. (1797) that targets the new buildings and facilities, which were resided less than a month ago, as well as the buildings that have been under-construction for 6 months.

This decision deprives citizen’s right to legally defend his facility or dwelling, and the Israeli authorities started using this order and obtained powers and legal cover from the Israeli Supreme Court, which rejected all petitions and challenges that were applied by human rights organizations to defend the Palestinian houses in addition to authorizing the Civil Administration to implement this decision.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, a bulldozer and an excavator moved into Kherbet al-Fakhit, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the vehicles carried out the following demolitions:
  • A 30-sqm agricultural room belonging to Fo’ad Fadel al-‘Amour who received on 27 July 2021 a notice within the 1797 military decision that givens citizens 96 hours to submit their papers needed for licensing the facility.
  • A 200-sqm barrack of tinplate sheltering 400 sheep belonging to Akram Sari Mohammed Abu Sabha.

The Israeli authorities demolished Abu Sabha’s facility without a prior warning as they previously demolished a dwelling, tents and barrack for the same person on 18 October 2020.

Kherbet al-Fakhit is part of Kherab Masafer Yatta village with a population of about 80 people, who depend on agriculture and livestock. Al-Fakhit is bordered to the east by Kherbet al-Majaz, to the west by Kherbet Shaab al-Butm, to the north by Kherbet al-Tabban, and to the south by the Green Line and the Annexation Wall.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Friday morning, 06 August 2021, Israeli settlers cut tens of olive trees in Shaqif al-Dab’a area in Jab;a village, west of Bethlehem.

Head of the Jab’a village council said that the settlers raided a plot of land belonging to Ref’at Hasan al-Tous in Shaqif al-Dab’a area, southeast of the village, and cut tens of olive trees planted 60 years ago.  It should be noted that IOF prevent Jab’a village’s farmers from entering their agricultural lands of 40 dunums, which were isolated by the annexation wall in 2005.  IOF stationed at al-Jab’a crossing and known as “Hala Border Crossing,” which isolates the lands occupied in 1948 from the lands occupied in 1967, allows the lands’ owners from the village to enter their lands twice a year only according to the security coordination.  It is once for plowing the land and trimming the trees and the other for harvesting the fruits after the season ends and the fruits are seized by the settlers of “Jab’out” and “Beit ‘Ayem” settlements.

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same day, a group of settlers from “Movi Dotan” settlement established on the lands of Jenin assaulted a car parked under Jabal Abu al-Shawareb in the northern side of Kafr Ra’ie village. The car belongs to Ibrahim Hafez Melhem from the same village when he was visiting his land.  As a result, his car sustained severe damage due to big stones thrown at it.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 07 August 2021, a group of settlers from “Beit Hadasa” settlement established on Palestinian lands in Hebron’s Old City, threw stones at houses belonging to the families of Sedr and Abu Hayyah in Souq al-Thahab area while IOF stationed on the houses’ roof near the settlement outpost were watching. Twenty minutes later, an Israeli Police force arrived and forced the settlers to go away.  When the police left, IOF raided al-Shalalah street in front of the houses that were stoned.  The soldiers beat up 2 brothers; one was a child and arrested them: Yasin (17) and Sa’ed (19) ‘Abdel Khaleq Nabil Seder.  Around 02:00, Yasin was released near Hebron’s municipal center, where IOF established a military checkpoint, while Sa’ed was released at approximately 04:00 from an interrogation center from “Karyat Arba’” settlement police station, east of Hebron.

‘Abdel Khaleq Seder said to PCHR’s fieldworker that his son Yasin sustained nose fractures due to IOF’s beating while the Israeli police asked his son Sa’ed to return the next day in order to complete the interrogation.

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 09 August 2021, a group of Israeli settlers moved into an agricultural land next to “Abi Hanahel” settlement established on western Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, and started leveling it to establish electricity poles after beating the owner.

Ahmed Ghazal, Kisan Village Council’s deputy chief, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the settlers moved into an agricultural land rented by Hussein ‘Abdullah al-‘Abyyat and his sons in the western side of the village.  Ghazal said that IOF prevented the owner of the land and his sons from entering the land where the settlers were levelling it, planting pine and olive trees in large numbers, and establishing electricity poles. Ghazal added that fistfights occurred between settlers and villagers, who tried to prevent settlers from seizing the land, but IOF increased their numbers in the area and detained the owner of the land ‘Abyyat and his sons for several hours.

It is noteworthy that Kisan village has been under large-scale settlers’ attacks, including the seizure of its lands in favor of expanding the existing settlements, assaults on the owners of agricultural lands there, preventing them from reaching their lands, and causing damage to their agricultural crops.

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

The Gaza Strip:

The Israeli authorities continued to impose collective punishments against the people of the Gaza Strip, including tightened restrictions on imports and exports, causing a serious deterioration in Palestinians’ enjoyment of their economic and cultural rights. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 15th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 66 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Here follows PCHR documentation of restrictions on the freedom of movement and IOF-established temporary checkpoints across the West Bank this week:

Jerusalem:

  • On Friday, 30 July 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Biddu village.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 05 August 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Tuqu villages, near al-Nashash intersection, in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, and near Dar Salah village’s bridge.
  • On Friday, 06 August 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Tuqu villages and near al-Nashash intersection.
  • On Saturday, 07 August 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Wadi Fukin village, in ‘Aqabet Hasna area and near al-Nashash intersection.
  • On Sunday, 08 August 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Tuqu villages.
  • On Monday, 09 August 2021, IOF established 5 temporary military checkpoints at the entrances of Bayt Fajar, Tuqu, Fureidis, in ‘Aqabet Hasna area and near al-Nashash intersection.
  • On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF established 3 temporary military checkpoints at the southern and the western entrances to Tuqu’ village: and at the southern entrance to Nahalin.
  • On Wednesday, 11 August 2021, IOF established 3 temporary military checkpoint at the entrances of Bayt Fajar, Tuqu, Nahalin, and Jab’a.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 6 August 2021, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at the entrance of Aboud.
  • On Saturday, 7 August 2021, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at Nabi Saleh’s northwestern entrance.
  • On Sunday, 8 August 2021, IOF established 2 temporary military checkpoints at the entrances of Turmus Ayya and Nabi Saleh villages.
  • On Monday, 9 August 2021, IOF established 2 temporary military checkpoints at the entrances of Aboud and Nabi Saleh villages.
  • On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF established 2 temporary military checkpoints at the entrances of Aboud village and Jalazone refugee camp.

Jericho:

  • On Saturday, 7 August 2021, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint at Jericho’s southern entrance.
  • On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF established 2 temporary military checkpoints at Jericho’s southern entrance and the entrance of Ein ad-Duyuk.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 05 August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beita village, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 06 August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jamma’in village, southeast of the city.
  • On Monday, 09 August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qusra village, southeast of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 05 August 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, and at the entrances to as-Samu, Khasa, Beit Awwa, and Idhna villages.
  • On Friday, 06 August 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Beit Ummar village.
  • On Saturday, 07 August 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Bani Na’im village, at the entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Ash-Shuyukh village.
  • On Sunday, 08 August 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Susya and Idhna villages.
  • On Monday, 09 August 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dura village, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Kahil villages.
  • On Tuesday, 10 August 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Khasa village.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 05August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Marda village, north of the city.
  • On Friday, 06 August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 07 August 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Marda village, north of the city, and at the entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of the city.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 06 August 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

11-06-2021

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

By Ali Abadi

The recent developments in the Zionist entity reopen the discussion regarding the extent to which this entity is influenced by the US policy as well as the changes inside the United States.

Since Trump’s failure in the US Presidential Elections, the countdown to Benjamin Netanyahu’s downfall has started -who represents the ‘Israeli’ version of Trump’s personality- even though the former was able to reproduce his leadership via three consecutive elections, and prepared to a fourth round to fortify his position against probes in cases of corruption, and to fight the possibility of moving him away from the political scene through a rival party coalition. However, Netanyahu’s ploys didn’t survive in front of the results of the recent war with Gaza, which turned the political atmosphere inside the occupation entity to the extent that Netanyahu’s government was found responsible or losing the deterrence with Gaza, not to mention his weakness to handle the resistance and its growing might.

Herein, we should notice the relative comparison between the American and the ‘Israeli’ arenas:

On the one hand, the extravagance of America’s right wing led to dangerous division that caused an intense desire among all of Trump’s opponents [including some of the Republican party members] to get rid of him via ballot boxes, so they voted majorly against the far-right policies [represented by Trump] more than to support his rival Biden and his electoral program. And in the ‘Israeli’ arena, the right policies led to attractions from within the Zionist society, not between the left and the right, but within the right itself. A dominant agreement emerged that Netanyahu is sticking to power at any price, even if it led to a ‘civil war’, and that he is using Zionist religious parties that exchange with him the electoral services and well as the governmental benefits.

On the other hand, it happened previously that the personalities of Trump and Netanyahu have been linked to each other, in the course of unprecedented similarity in political tendencies of both sides regarding several issues. Trump’s failure in the US has motivated many ‘Israeli’ politicians to think about a way to get rid of his closest ally, Netanyahu. However, they didn’t possess the required energy to unite. Then came the recent confrontation with the Palestinians to uncover the weak structure of the entity as well as the policies of Netanyahu’s government. The decision was among several political parties to scapegoat him based on the rule of preserving the rightist policies that are threatened with the strong Palestinian uprising on the one hand, and the harmony with the American policies as much as possible on the other hand. Hence, the Zionist right settlement scheme would be saved, while Netanyahu’s attempts to shake the alliance with the US due to his objection of its return to the nuclear deal with Iran would fail.

Separation

Both American and ‘Israeli’ societies suffer from not yet hidden political, ideological, and ethnic divisions. Both societies need to absorb the tension from time to time via changing the top of the pyramid. This is one issue. Another remarkable one is that ‘Israel’ didn’t succeed for long in staying away from the requirements of the American interests in the region. And without harboring hopes on a major separation between the two sides, we witness a sort of coldness in relations due to three main points over the past three decades.

First: With launching the Madrid Conference for settlement in the region in the beginning of the 1990s after the US-led war in Kuwait, when Isaac Shamir [Likud] government objected to the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state, but the Zionist entity’s need for the US financial support to contain the Jewish migration from the Soviet Union and other places pushed ‘Israel’ to reduce its objections and conditions. Washington was able, through guaranteed loans worth billions of dollars, to tame the ‘Israeli’ policy in favor of its wider interests. Then, Shamir was displaced from the ‘Israeli’ scene, and was succeeded by Isaac Rabin [Labor Party] to lead the Oslo track which happened to become later the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Ariha. However, after the assassination of Rabin in 1995, the abilities of the most harmonized Zionist parties with the US policy declined on the level of their potential to attract, and the base of the far-right parties, which reject the issue of ‘Two-state-solution’ or freezing the settlement activity grew, especially in the aftermaths of the major migration from the previously-known Soviet Union and other places. This led to a change inside the Zionist society, in addition to the structure of its successive governments.

Second: Netanyahu’s impediment of Barack Obama’s attempts to revive negotiations with the Palestinian Authority based on freezing the settlement activity in the West Bank, and then the US signing of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. Netanyahu objected to it publicly and inside the US congress in a famous speech. Meanwhile, the dispersion within Netanyahu’s rival ‘Israeli’ parties didn’t allow the formation of a change that suits the US regional policy.  Trump came to power in 2016 to revive Netanyahu’s hopes about change that he didn’t dream about from the part of the American orientation on other levels [such as moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds, recognizing the ‘Israeli’ sovereignty in the Golan, supporting the settlement activity in the West Bank, cutting funds of the Palestinian refugees’ UNRWA agency, shutting the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, and encouraging the ‘Israeli’ normalization with Arab states regardless to the Palestinians.] A parallel US shift took place when Trump left the nuclear deal with Iran.

Third: Biden’s rising to power in Washington, which modified the ‘Israeli’ expectations. This is not limited to some differences regarding the traditional support of ‘Israel’ between America’s Republican and Democratic parties. The truth is that a change started to be witnessed in the public American mood in which a new political generation in the US, and inside the Democratic party is more liberal than its predecessors and doesn’t grant ‘Israel’ an ultimate support. It also cannot digest the rightist ‘Israeli’ thinking to ban the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian people’s right to live on their land within internationally recognized borders. The ‘Israeli’ narrative, which has dominated the minds of the US elite over several decades regarding the right of Jews alone to establish their national Jewish state, has turned less tempting to many Americans. Additionally, the pro-Palestinian activism on social media platforms managed to breach the pro-‘Israel’ traditional media, in which Facebook and Twitter’s restrictions couldn’t curb this activism that was crystal-clear during the latest round of ‘Israeli’ aggression. It also scored important attractions in English and other foreign language.

Moreover, the Biden administration prioritizing of returning to the nuclear deal with Iran formed a separation from Netanyahu government’s orientations. He has started hinting to moving without an agreement from Washington, a matter that is not only underestimated in the US, but also among ‘Israeli’ milieus that are worried about losing the strategic alliance with the US.

Back to the house of obedience

After this third stop, ‘Israel’ returns to the so-called American ‘house of obedience’ or to adapting with the major US interests. This return is based upon avoiding confrontation with the US policies and their regional requirements to deal with the nuclear Iran in particular, reducing tension and difference with the American administration when dealing with the flaming Palestinian issue nowadays. However, it is not necessarily at the expense of the rightist tendencies regarding the settlement scheme that is the core of the Zionist project. The official US interest intersected with the internal ‘Israeli’ parties’ interests to remove Netanyahu from the scene. The US administration will take advantage of this shift in an attempt to revive negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation’s government to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance and the Axis that supports it in the region. Washington is to offer significant motivations to the future Zionist right government, led by Naftali Bennett, to allow progress in negotiations. Hereby, new obstacles will emerge from the side of Netanyahu’s successors who publicly adopt a hardline track regarding the rights of the Palestinian people, especially regarding the evacuation of some occupied land, freezing settlement, or establishing the Palestinian state. This will later turn things to the previous empty circle on the level of negotiations.

It is worth noting that Biden’s administration is not totally free to dictate its policies on ‘Israel’, especially amid the contradictions within the US political environment and inside the democratic party itself. However, ‘Israel’s’ dire need to the US support is an existential need to bear the pressures and preserve the qualitative military superiority. This will push the next ‘Israeli’ government to reduce the public contact with the US to overcome the challenges posed in this phase.

Finally, it is important to examine the extent to which the future Zionist government would succeed in:

– Managing the internal chaos along with threats of physical killing among the right affiliates

– Managing the military confrontation with the Gaza Strip

– Managing the variations with the US administration regarding the Palestinian issue and the Iran nuclear deal

On the American level, it is important to note the US administration’s ability to:

– Pass the nuclear deal with Iran without shockwaves inside the US congress and the circles of the conservatives who are more sticking to the ‘Israeli’ interests

– Dealing with the critical Palestinian issue, militarily and politically, based on the results of the recent confrontation that raised the voice of the Palestinian resistance

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

31/05/2021

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces have run over a Palestinian child in the occupied East al-Quds as he was carrying a Palestinian flag on his bike before detaining the wounded minor.

The Palestinian Shehab news agency reported that the occupation forces chased 15-year-old Jawad Abbasi with their vehicle in Ras al-Amud neighborhood in Silwan, south of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, on Sunday afternoon before running over him and wounding his legs.

The brutal attack on the Palestinian minor was carried out under the pretext of raising the Palestinian flag on his bicycle, the agency added.

Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of occupied al-Quds and its sacred sites. ‘Israeli’ occupation officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the neighborhood since the 1980s, and currently, several hundred settlers live there in heavily protected settlement compounds.

This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian residents. The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East al-Quds.

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy over 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Gaza – US and the West Supports Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity – Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict

May 18, 2021

Gaza – US and the West Supports Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity – Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict

By Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

“I said we would exact a very heavy price from Hamas and other terror groups, and we are doing so and will continue to do so with great force,” Netanyahu said in a fiery video address.

Israel’s PM Netanyahu is a war criminal and should be held accountable for war crimes throughout his PM-ship of Israel, according to the 1945 / 1946 Nuremberg trials criteria. His crimes against humanity, against a defenseless Palestine are comparable to the Holocaust.

In 2016 Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu had been indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The trial is ongoing but has temporarily been “suspended”. Netanyahu has dismissed the charges as hypocritical and acts as if they didn’t exist. Even though he lacks the majority to form a government, he acts with impunity, because he can – he can because he has the backing of the United States.

More importantly, Israel has been accused before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for crimes against humanity and war crimes against Palestine. The prosecutor of the ICC, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, said on 3 March 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. She added the probe will look into “crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed” since June 13, 2014, and that the investigation will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

In a quick response, PM Netanyahu accused the Court of hypocrisy and anti-Semitism. Of course, the quickest and often most effective defense and counter-attack is calling any accusation, no matter how rightful it is, as anti-Semitism. Calling someone an anti-Semite shuts most people up, no matter whether the accusation is true or false. That explains in part why nobody dares to even come forward with the truth about crimes committed by Israel.

Imagine, Jews were the chief victims of the German Third Reich – a Nazi Regime, and today the descendants of these very Jews, persecuted and slaughtered in Nazi-concentration camps, allowed the transformation of Israel into a Zionist Fourth Reich, executing Palestinians Holocaust-style. They have done this with impunity for the last 73 years, with the current massacres reaching unheard-of proportions.

Pro-Palestine protests take place around the world – and especially now, finally, throughout Europe. Workers and young people joined protests across Europe on Saturday, 15 May, including in London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid, to oppose Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian population in Gaza. The demonstrations coincided with the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe Day, 14 May 1948)—marking the founding of the state of Israel, through the forced expulsion of 760,000 Palestinians from their villages.

Here is what one protester, Khalid, in Manchester, UK, had to say. Khalid held a placard reading “Lift the siege of Palestine-Stop bombing Palestine”. He said, “Israel should know better. They know how it feels to be exterminated. They had no homeland and came to Palestine as guests and now they have taken the Palestinians’ homes and are trying to throw them out. The Palestinians have no water, they have no food. You have got people like [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and presidents colluding with Israel and giving them money to destroy human life” – http://www.defenddemocracy.press/protests-across-europe-against-israeli-war-on-gaza/

Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, always take place with the unwavering support of the United States. No US presidential candidate has a chance of being “elected” to the empire’s highest chair, the Presidency, without having proven his or her unquestioned support for Zionist-Israel. Without that western support, Israel’s war against and oppression of Palestine would soon be over.

Palestine could start breathing again and become a free country, an autonomous, sovereign, self-sustained country, what they were before the forced UN Partition Plan for Palestine, and as was foreseen by UN Resolution 181 II of 1947. This genocidal conflict situation has lasted almost three quarters of a century – and has little chance to abate under the current geopolitical constellation of the Middle East and the world, where obedient submission to US-Israeli command and atrocities is the name of the game.

Background
The conflict started basically with the creation of Israel. The UK, since the end of WWI and the Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, occupier of the Palestine Peninsula (Palestine and Transjordan, see map), proposed to the UN as a condition for UK withdrawal, the creation of Israel in the western part of what was then known as Palestine and Transjordan. The so-called UN Partitian Plan for Palestine, was voted on 29 November 1947 by the UN General Assembly, as Resolution 181 (II). The then 57 UN members voted 33 (72%) for, 13 against the resolution, with 10 abstentions, and one absent. The Palestinian Authority was never consulted on this proposal. Therefore, for many scholars the UN Partition Plan’s legality remains questionable.

The Plan sought to resolve the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements, Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. The Plan also called for an Economic Union between the proposed two states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights.

However, immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. The remnants of this civil war, the non-acceptance by Palestine of this UN Resolution 181, for which the historic owners of the land were not consulted, are lingering on as of this day.

British Mandate Palestine map

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the British administration was formalized by the League of Nations under the Palestine Mandate in 1923, as part of the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate reaffirmed the 1917 British commitment to the Balfour Declaration, for the establishment in Palestine of a “National Home” for the Jewish people, with the prerogative to carry it out.

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War, announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The question is still asked today: How legitimate was that declaration in terms of international law? Many academics see this declaration still today as a unilateral move and a breach of international law, as no consultation of the Palestine Authority ever took place.
——

In the November 1947 UN General Assembly vote, the US was among the 33 countries voting FOR the Partition Plan. Interestingly, though, President Truman later noted, “The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders—actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats—disturbed and annoyed me.” – This Zionist pressure was to set the bar for what was to follow – up to this day.

David Ben-Gurion, Zionist statesman and political leader, was the first Prime Minister (1948–53, 1955–63) and defense minister (1948–53; 1955–63) of Israel. In a letter to his son in October 1937, Ben-Gurion explained that partition would be a first step to “possession of the land as a whole” (emphasis added by author).

As of today, seventy-three years later and counting, the conflict is not resolved. To the contrary. It has become the longest lasting war, or aggression rather, in recent human history. A war it isn’t really, because a sheer oppression and literal slaughter against a perceived enemy, like Palestine that has no weapons to speak of, being bombarded and shot with the most sophisticated US-sponsored weapons systems, cannot be called a war. It is sheer genocide. The Palestinian weapons of choice are mostly rocks; rocks thrown by Palestinians at the Israeli IDF invaders, who then mow them down with machine guns, mostly civilians, women and children.

The Israel armed-to-the-teeth Defense Forces (IDF), invade Gaza and Palestinian West Bank areas with the most sophisticated machine guns, bombs, white phosphorus, practicing indiscriminate killing. The IDF destroys Palestinian living quarters, administration buildings, schools, shops, the little manufacturing industries that makes up their economy – destroying a people already teetering at the edge of extreme poverty and despair. No mercy. What does one call people who are committing such unspeakable crimes?

What does one call this style of aggression? – Literally killing hundreds, thousands of people without defense, in the world’s largest open prison – Gaza – home to more than 2 million people, living in misery, housing and infrastructure constantly destroyed, painfully partially rebuilt – just to be destroyed and bombed to pieces again. Those who don’t die from Israeli direct aggressions, may die from the indirect effects – famine, misery, disease and suicide – of this constant, abject hostility perpetuated upon what was supposed to be, according to the UN Partition Plan, an autonomous Palestine home of the Palestine people.

It is an ongoing – seemingly never-ending conflict, ever since the first Intifada beginning in December 1987 (Intifada in the context of the Israeli-Palestine conflict is a concerted Palestinian attempt to shake off Israeli power and gain independence).

The Oslo Accords I and II are a pair of agreements between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of 1993 and 1995, respectively, sponsored by Norway in an attempt to achieve peace between the two parties. The Oslo Accords failed bitterly, over the issue of Jerusalem that was to become the religious capital for both countries, but Israel refused, claiming Jerusalem as her own, making the holy city to Israel’s capital. The first foreign leader recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, was US President Donald Trump on 6 December 2017.
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There was, however, another, less talked-about but equally important issue – an issue of survival – within the Oslo Accords: The fair sharing of the water resources. Israel never agreed, as about 85% of all water resources of what used to be the Palestinian Land, falls currently within the borders of what was defined by the Partitian Plan as Palestine. This is based on a World Bank study, in which I participated. On the insistence of Israel, the US vetoed publication of the study. Hence, the report was never officially published and publicly available.

Subsequent, so-called Peace processes, mostly US-sponsored, failed as of this day, because both Israel and the US have no interest in finding a peaceful solution. Neither one of the two nations have an interest in a Peace Accord, as the US needs the conflict to keep control over the Middle East, while Israel has no intentions to give up (slave)-control over Palestine, as her wellbeing depends on the overall control of what used to be Arab-Palestinian territory, and especially Palestine’s water resourcesWithout them, Israel would be a dry and unproductive desert.

There is a purpose behind these illegal, but ever-growing number of Israeli settlements on Palestine territories: Control over water. The settlements are usually over or near underground water resources. This is one way of controlling Palestine’s water. This happens not only in the so-called West Bank, but also in Gaza, where water resources are really scarce. Gaza is the world’s per capita water-scarcest area. The few Gaza water tables are super-posed by Israeli settlements.

This totally illegal and often UN-condemned Israeli Settlements strategy – also totally ignored by Israel – gradually reduces Palestine land and increases Israel’s control over crucial Palestinian water resources. See map

The impediment of being able to manage their own water resources, therefore increasing their food self-sufficiency through their own agriculture, makes out of Palestine an Israeli slave-state.

In addition, Israel has a handle on opening or closing the Gaza border, letting at will minimal food, medication and other life-essentials into Gaza, as well as allowing exactly the number needed of low-paid Palestinians (literally slave-labor) cross the border in the morning to work in Israel, and having to return at night to their Palestine homes. It is sheer Apartheid exploitation. Furthermore, Israel does not recognize Gaza’s territorial Mediterranean waters which would be a means towards Palestinians self-sustention and economic industrial activity.

According to an OECD report of 2016, Israel ranks as the nation with the highest poverty rate among OECD countries, i.e. 21% of Israelis are living under the poverty line. This is more than Mexico, Turkey and Chile. The OECD average is about 11%. This figure (21%) may be slightly exaggerated, given the relatively large informal sector and transfer payments to Israel from Jews abroad, as well as from international Jewish organizations.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Israel is economically not autonomous and needs Palestine to survive, both in terms of confiscated Palestinian water resources, as well as Palestinian slave labor. Therefore, there is hardly any hope for the UN-planned two-state solution to eventually materialize. There is little hope that this situation will change under the current geopolitical conditions. The US wants to dominate the Middle East and needs Israel as a garrison state that will be armed to the teeth for the US – to eventually grow and become Washington’s proxy ruler of the Middle East.

A question that is rarely asked, if ever: What is Hamas’ role in this never-ending Israeli-Palestine conflict? Since 2007 Hamas is officially governing the 2-million-plus population of the 363 square kilometer Gaza Strip. Hamas is also the Palestine paramilitary or defense organization. Hamas is said to be funded largely by Iran. Is it true? And if so, is Iran the only funder of Hamas?

It is odd, however, that ever so often, Hamas attacks Israel by launching unsophisticated rockets at Israeli cities, rockets that most often are intercepted by the IDF defense system, or cause minimal damage. But they cause, predictably minimal damage against an IDF which is US-equipped with the latest technology weapons- and defense systems.

Yet, a Hamas attack on Israel prompts regularly a ferocious retaliation; bombardments, not so much aiming at Hamas, as Netanyahu intimidates, “We would exact a very heavy price from Hamas and other terror groups…” , but at the civilian populations. The heaviest casualties are civilian Gaza citizens, many women and children among them, after an Israeli “self-defense” retaliation. This is of course no self-defense. The Hamas attacks usually follows an Israeli provocation.

Why would Hamas hit back, knowing that they won’t wreak any damage on Israel, yet they will trigger each time a deadly massacre on the Gaza population? – At the outset, Israeli provocations look like “false flags”. Could they be false flags with the willing participation of Hamas? If so, with whom does Hamas collaborate?

These are questions which certainly do not have an immediate answer. But the 14-year pattern of repeatedly similar events begs the question – is there another (Hamas) agenda behind what meets the eye?
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What is nearly as criminal as the IDF’s aggressions, is the almost complete silence of the west, and the world at large, vis-à-vis Israel’s atrocities committed on the Palestinian population. It is an unspoken tolerance for the carnages Israel inflicts on Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip, the world’s largest open-air prison.

For example, the political UN body, despite hundreds of Resolutions, condemning and flagging Israel’s illegal actions against Palestine, including the ever-increasing number of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestine territories, seems to be hapless against Israel. Weak condemnations of Israel, calling both parties to reason – leaves Israel totally cold and undisturbed. There is no punishment whatsoever, not from the UN system, not from the western allies, most of whom are Washington and NATO vassals.

The Biden Administration has taken the usual imperialist position of cynical neutrality, like it was an uninvolved disinterested player, while painting up Israel as being some kind of victim instead of the brutal Zionist apartheid state that it is. It is important to remember that the creation of Israel was so that the US had a garrison state to protect her interests in the Middle East.

Take the UN Secretary General. Instead of condemning Israeli ruthlessness and demanding accountability, the spokesman for UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, merely called on the Netanyahu regime to “exercise maximum restraint and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.”

The Secretary General himself reiterates his commitment, including through the Middle East Quartet, “to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.” The Quartet, set up in 2002, consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace. As of this day they have not achieved any tangible results.

Because they do NOT WANT to achieve any peace. For the reasons mentioned before, Peace is not in the interest of Israel, nor in the interest of the West, led by the United States. To keep the conflict burning, sacrificing hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of Palestinian lives is not important. It’s just a collateral damage of a larger agenda – control over the Middle East and her riches, a step towards controlling the entire world.

Time and again, Guterres disgraced himself and the office he holds by failing to denounce US/NATO/Israeli aggression and demand accountability for high crimes too serious to ignore.

If the UN is incapable or unwilling of assuming the responsibility of reigning in Israel, perhaps the Group of 77 (by now more than 120 UN member countries) should take a joint stand, exerting pressure on Israel, asking as an intermediary for outright negotiating with Israel and Palestine to reach a sustainable peace settlement, including the original two-state solution, back to the pre-1967 Israeli-Palestine borders. Let us, the UN, become pro-active in seeking and finding a permanent solution for the stressed-to-death, starving and tortured Palestinians, especially those from the Gaza Strip.


Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

المقاومة نحو تثبيت معادلتها: غزّة درع القدس

المقاومة نحو تثبيت معادلتها: غزّة درع القدس
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الأخبار

الأربعاء 12 أيار 2021

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

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

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


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

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

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

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US support for Israel | We the People

The US has been giving the Israeli regime unwavering support from the get-go. Thus Israel has no greater friend than the United States today. The US has given Tel Aviv billions of dollars in foreign military aid for Israel to remain a most strategic ally to the Zionist regime.

The rapid Zionist colonisation of Palestine

By: Dr. Ghulam Habib How did Palestine turn into a war-torn land after Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews were living in harmony and peace among themselves? This visual documentary presents historical perspective to shed light on how the first Zionist colony was built in Palestine in 1878 to where we are today with continued illegal occupation, massacres, destruction, and expansion in oppressed Palestine.

Music in this video: ‘The Feeling Begins’ by Peter Gabriel Licensed to YouTube by: itspetergabriel, WMG (on behalf of Real World Records); LatinAutor – SonyATV, SOLAR Music Rights Management, LatinAutorPerf, CMRRA, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., EMI Music Publishing, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, and 8 Music Rights Societies. Original post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcKUx…

هَبَّة باب العمود طريق لتصويب المسار

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter

عمرو علان

الأحد، 02 مايو 2021 07:31 م بتوقيت غرينتش

بناءً على تقدير موقف واقعي، وقراءة متكاملة للمشهد الفلسطيني بكافة أبعاده، كان قد استشرف البعض منذ بدايات مسار الانتخابات التشريعية الفلسطينية الجديدة بأن يقوم رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس بتأجيلها كما حصل فعلاً. ولسنا هنا بصدد العودة إلى النقاش الذي دار قبل قرار الفصائل الفلسطينية خلا حركة الجهاد الإسلامي حول خوض مغامرة انتخابية جديدة، لا سيما أننا في حضرة هبَّةٍ مقدسيةٍ عظيمة، قد أنجزت في الميدان وتُبشِّر بالمزيد إذا ما استفاقت الفصائل الفلسطينية لا سيما في الضفة والقدس من غفوتها، وتجاوزت ملهاة انتخابات مجلس تشريعي لدولة تخيُّلية؛ ما هي – في حقيقة الأمر – إلا جزءٌ صغير من كلٍ مغتصَب، يرزح تحت سلطة احتلال تتحكم بكل مفاصل حيات ذاك الفلسطيني الذي مازال صامداً على أرضه يقاوم، بما في ذلك انتخاباته وباعتراف رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية، بغض النظر عن وجاهة التبرير الذي ساقه هذا الأخير لتأجيل أو بالأصح لإلغاء الانتخابات التشريعية.

ما شهدته ساحات الأقصى وأزقة القدس العتيقة في الأيام القليلة الماضية يعيد التأكيد على معادلتين: أولاهما كون الشعب الفلسطيني في الضفة والقدس وحتى في أراضي 48 جاهزاً وحاضراً للقيام بحركة شعبية قابلة لأن تتطور وتتصاعد حتى تصل إلى العصيان المدني وانتفاضة ثالثة طال انتظارها. فبمجرد إقدام الاحتلال على المساس بالمقدّسات تراجعت الهموم الحياتية للمواطن الفلسطيني لتأخذ مرتبة ثانية بعد الهم الوطني، فهذا الصامد في أرضه الذي يرى بأُم العين تغوّل الاستيطان، سواءً في الضفة أو عبر المحاولات المستمرة لتهويد القدس، أثبت أنه يدرك طبيعة الصراع وجوهره، ويفهم أكثر من غيره مسؤولياته التي لا يتردد في القيام بها، وكان هذا شاخصاً في مدى رقعة امتداد الاحتجاجات التي شملت بالإضافة إلى القدس أراضي الضفة الغربية ومناطق 48. وقد تجلى الوعي الفلسطيني في طبيعة الهتافات التي صدرت من قبيل “سامع يا صهيوني سامع.. جاي تسكير الشوارع..”، و”مِن أم الفحم تحية.. لقدسنا الأبية..”، و”بلا سلمية بلا بطّيخ.. بدنا أحجار وصواريخ.. يا أقصى إحنا جينا.. والشرطة ما تثنينا..”. ولعل الهتاف الأكثر بلاغة كان “حط السيف قبال السيف.. إحنا رجال محمد ضيف..”، فكان لافتاً أنه لم يُهتف باسم أيٍ من السياسيين سواءً أكانوا من “حماس” أم من “فتح”، بل هُتِف باسم القادة العسكريين والشهداء.

بمجرد إقدام الاحتلال على المساس بالمقدّسات تراجعت الهموم الحياتية للمواطن الفلسطيني لتأخذ مرتبة ثانية بعد الهم الوطني، فهذا الصامد في أرضه الذي يرى بأُم العين تغوّل الاستيطان، سواءً في الضفة أو عبر المحاولات المستمرة لتهويد القدس، أثبت أنه يدرك طبيعة الصراع وجوهره


أما المعادلة الثانية التي أكدت عليها هبّة باب العمود فكانت الخشية الكبيرة لدى العدو من تفاقم الوضع في الأراضي المحتلة، وظهر ذلك جلياً في طريقة تعاطيه مع الأحداث، سواءً أكان مع صواريخ المقاومة التي انطلقت من غزة بشكل محسوب دعماً لهبّة القدس، أو في تعامل شرطة الاحتلال مع المتظاهرين المقدسيين التي على ما يبدو تفادت سقوط شهداء بين المتظاهرين خوفاً من التصعيد.

وتمكن قراءة القلق الأمريكي أيضاً من انزلاق الوضع إلى انتفاضة ثالثة في لغة التصريح غير المألوفة الصادر عن المتحدث باسم الإدارة الأمريكية نيد برايس، حيث أبدى قلق الإدارة الأمريكية من تصاعد العنف في القدس، وطالب بوقف شعارات الكراهية مع الدعوة إلى الهدوء، بالإضافة إلى مطالبة السلطات بحفظ أمن وسلامة جميع من في القدس، على عكس الموقف الأمريكي التقليدي الذي ما انفك عن تحميل الفلسطينيين مسؤولية جرائم الاحتلال مشفوعاً بعبارته الممجوجة بأن لدى “إسرائيل” حق الدفاع عن النفس. ولم تكن هذه صحوة ضمير، بل مؤشرا على إدراكه للنتائج الوخيمة على كيان الاحتلال إذا ما تطورت الاحتجاجات لتصل إلى انتفاضة ثالثة، يُحتمَل أن تعم هذه المرة كل الأراضي المحتلة في القدس والضفة وأراضي 48، ويكون ظهرها محمياً بمقاومة مسلحة قادرة في غزة يدعمها محور مقاومة صاعد بات يغير المعادلات على الأرض، ويمكنه رسم الخطوط الحمر أمام كيان الاحتلال في طريقة تعاطيه مع انتفاضة الشعب الفلسطيني، خطوط حمر وقواعد اشتباك لن يجرؤ الاحتلال على تجاوزها كما بات واضحاً في سلوكه خلال الأعوام القليلة الماضية.

هاتان المعادلتان كانتا الحاكمتين خلال السنوات الثلاث أو الأربع الأخيرة على أقل تقدير وما تزالان، ونُذكّر بهبّة كاميرات الأقصى التي خسرها الاحتلال، والعمليات الفردية وعمليات الطعن والدهس المتكررة ضد المستوطنين، وتراجع نتنياهو عن تنفيذ خطة الضم في الأول من تموز الفائت خوفاً من اشتعال الأراضي المحتلة حسب تقارير أجهزته الأمنية والعسكرية، ناهيكم عن الحذر الشديد لدى الاحتلال من الانزلاق إلى مواجهة جديدة مفتوحة مع المقاومة في غزة، وتوازن الرعب الذي يعيشه المحتل على جبهة جنوب لبنان المحرر أمام حزب الله.

وعليه يصير السؤال المطروح بإلحاح على الفصائل الفلسطينية: أما حان الوقت للبناء على معادلات القوة هذه في الميدان بشكل منظم، مما يؤدي إلى انتزاع تنازلات حقيقية من العدو من قبيل تفكيك المستوطنات في الضفة أو وقف تهويد القدس على أقل تقدير؟

أما حان الوقت للبناء على معادلات القوة هذه في الميدان بشكل منظم، مما يؤدي إلى انتزاع تنازلات حقيقية من العدو من قبيل تفكيك المستوطنات في الضفة أو وقف تهويد القدس على أقل تقدير؟


لدى الشعب الفلسطيني وفصائله اليوم فرصة جديدة واقعية تتمثل بهبّة مقدسية مباركة يمكن تطويرها وتأطيرها، ويمكن من خلالها استعادة وحدة وطنية حقيقية في الميدان بين كل من يؤمن بمقاومة الاحتلال، عوضاً عن اللهث وراء مشاريع لن تؤدي إلا إلى زيادة التشظي في الساحة الفلسطينية كما حصل عقب القرار البائس في التوجه إلى انتخابات تشريعية في ظل الاحتلال وتحت سقف “أوسلو”.

وإذا ما سلمنا بأنه قد ثبُت بالدليل الحسي انقطاع الأمل في قيام السلطة الفلسطينية ورموز التنسيق الأمني بتعديل مسلكهم، عندها يصبح على عاتق الفصائل مع الذين ما زالوا يؤمنون في “فتح” الرصاصة الأولى لا “فتح” القبيلة؛ اجتراح السبل لتفعيل العمل الميداني، لمواكبة تحركات الشارع الفلسطيني المنتفض، وعلى السلطة حينها الاختيار بين أن تكون جزءاً من الشعب الفلسطيني الثائر أو الوقوف على الحياد، وإما أن تستمر بالتنسيق الأمني مع قوات الاحتلال، وعندها لا ملامة على شعبنا إن عاملها معاملة العملاء في الانتفاضتين السابقتين.

وختاماً نُذكِّر بأن تفعيل المقاومة الشعبية الجادة والعصيان المدني كانا من أهم مخرجات اجتماع أمناء الفصائل الأخير المنعقد في أيلول الماضي، فماذا إذن هم منتظرون؟

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

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

Ghada Karmi

30 March 2021 13:32 UTC | Last update: 

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

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

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

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

The land-grabbing journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A turning point

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

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

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

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

A double heroism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Al-Walaja Feature photo

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Planning Committee did not respond to requests for comment.

Zones and no permits

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

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

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

An isolated village cut off from its surroundings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not just al-Walaja

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kronish explained:

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

Blockbuster: Biden Rolling Back Israel’s ‘Free Ride,’ Ready to Recognize Palestinian State

Plans for ‘reset’ of PA ties include rollback of Trump policies legitimizing settlements, $15 million in COVID-related aid to Palestinians

Times of Israel: The Biden administration will reportedly push for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, reinstating US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to more traditionally held positions than those of former president Donald Trump.

memo titled “The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” which was revealed Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi-based The National, also showed that the Biden administration is planning on announcing a $15 million aid package in coronavirus-related humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians as early as this month.

Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, the memo also details plans to roll back various Trump policies that Washington believes made reaching a two-state solution more difficult, such as US legitimization of the settlement enterprise.

Amr recommends in the memo that the White House back a two-state framework “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps and agreements on security and refugees.”

Hady Amr, now US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, speaks at the Brookings Institute, where he was a fellow, on December 3, 2018. (Screen capture/YouTube)

While behind closed doors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has participated in peace negotiations based on the 1967 lines, publicly the formula is not very popular in Israel, particularly among the right wing, which is expected to further expand in the Knesset after next week’s election.

The memo discusses “rolling back certain steps by the prior administration that bring into question our commitment or pose real barriers to a two-state solution, such as country of origin labeling.”

The memo was referring to a last-minute policy change announced by Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, which requires all US exports from the settlements to be labeled as having been “made in Israel.”

Since 1995, US policy had required products made in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such. That directive was republished in 2016 by the Obama administration, which warned that labeling goods as “made in Israel” could lead to fines. Prior to the Oslo Accords, however, all products manufactured in these areas were required to mention Israel in their label when exporting to the United States.

The Pompeo order went into effect in December, but manufacturers were given a 90-day grace period, until March 23, to implement the change.

“As we reset US relations with the Palestinians, the Palestinian body politic is at an inflection point as it moves towards its first elections in 15 years,” the new memo reads. “At the same time, we [the US] suffer from a lack of connective tissue following the 2018 closure of the PLO office in Washington and refusal of Palestinian Authority leadership to directly engage with our embassy to Israel.

The Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, pictured in 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission in Washington in 2018, against the backdrop of the PA’s boycott of his administration following the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In 2019, the Trump administration shuttered the US consulate in Jerusalem, which served as the de facto embassy to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The mission was folded into the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and the previous position of consul-general was dissolved.

Before the Trump administration began tightening the screws on the PA in 2018 for refusing to engage with its peace efforts, the United States was the single largest donor country to the PA.

The US paid hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the PA’s creditors, such as the Israeli state utility companies from which the Palestinians purchase water and electricity. They paid for training for the PA’s security forces and numerous infrastructure projects.

Washington also gave hundreds of millions a year in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — known as UNRWA — which is in charge of administering the daily needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East.

The memo, which was passed along to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, highlights UNRWA in particular as one of the organizations the Biden administration plans to back in order to aid the Palestinians.

Israel accuses UNRWA of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, criticizing the agency’s practice of extending refugee status to millions of descendants, rather than only to the original refugees as is the norm with most refugee populations worldwide.

Then-US president Donald Trump (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas leave following a joint press conference at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Noting major economic disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, the memo states that the Biden administration is “planning a full range of economic, security and humanitarian assistance programs [for Palestinians], including through UN Relief and World Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

“State and USAID are working towards a restart of US assistance to the Palestinians in late March or early April,” the memo says, adding that the COVID-related humanitarian relief package will be announced beforehand.

The memo reveals the administration’s plans to “take a two-fold approach of maintaining and ideally improving the US relationship with Israel by deepening its integration into the region while resetting the US relationship with the Palestinian people and leadership.”

It notes Amr’s “listening sessions” with senior officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry who “welcomed the restart of US-Palestinian relations.”

The United States consulate building in Jerusalem, March 4, 2019. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Notably, those two offices are controlled by Blue and White ministers Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi who hold more moderate public stances on the Palestinian issue than Netanyahu and his Likud party. Gantz and Ashkenazi have taken pride in their efforts to block Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plans last year.

One section of the memo likely to please both sides of the political spectrum in Israel is its support for expanding the normalization agreements brokered by the Trump administration between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.

However, Amr also writes of using such agreements “to support Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people.” Netanyahu has sought to divorce the normalization deals from the Palestinian issue, arguing that the peace deals prove that Israel can expand its diplomatic ties in the region without making concessions to the Palestinians.

As previously pledged by Biden officials, the memo floats the idea of reopening an independent consulate akin to the one that served as the de facto mission to the Palestinians and operated out of the western part of Jerusalem until 2019. Doing so would signal US recommitment to a two-state solution, the document says. However, no final decisions have been made yet on the matter.

Benny Gantz (left) and Gabi Ashkenazi of the Blue and White party arrive to give a joint a statement in Tel Aviv on February 21, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The memo notes the Biden administration’s commitment to engaging the international community via the UN and the Middle East Quartet, which consists of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

The document notes the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections in May and presidential elections in July, adding that it has been 15 years since Palestinians have been able to elect their representatives.

“But the implications of an election remain uncertain: the collapse of a power-sharing agreement after the prior elections led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza [in 2007],” the memo says, noting the PA request that the US push Jerusalem to allow elections to take place in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, but not stating Washington’s position on the matter.

“We are analyzing the evolving situation and will propose a US posture together with the inter-agency,” the memo reads.

The lack of position on elections is likely to disappoint Ramallah as Palestinian officials have been lobbying Washington in recent weeks to come out in support of the democratic process, sources familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Joe Biden after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Amr recommends the Biden administration push the PA to clamp down on incitement while also calling out Israeli settlement expansion on land that Palestinians hope will be part of their future state.

The memo reveals that talks are underway with the PA leadership aimed at altering Ramallah’s controversial payment of stipends to Palestinian security prisoners, including those convicted of terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

The altered policy currently being discussed in Ramallah would base the stipends on prisoners’ financial need rather than the length of their sentence, senior Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel in January.

The Biden administration will also seek to boost Palestinian institutions. “This includes strengthening civil society, media watchdogs and other elements of the fourth estate, such as emphasizing to the [Palestinian Authority] the need to protect civil society through the reductions of arrests of bloggers and dissidents,” the memo reads.

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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.

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Israeli settlement hits Palestinian dreams and memories of Jerusalem airport

Construction near Palestinian village of Qalandiya has residents reminiscing about when they could still access Jerusalem International Airport

Raafat Awadallah, the head of the Qalandiya village council, points to lands that have been confiscated by Israel due to settlement construction and the separation wall (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

By Shatha Hammad in Qalandiya, occupied Jerusalem

Published date: 19 December 2020 10:24 UTC 

Headers on official papers issued by the Qalandiya local council still bear the icon of an aeroplane, a reminder of the Palestinian dream of one day having their own airport. 

But Israel is inching closer to building an illegal settlement on the site of what was once known as the Jerusalem International Airport, burying with it Palestinian hopes of claiming it as their own. 

Israeli media reported last week that Israeli authorities had approved a plan for the settlement of Atarot with 9,000 housing units, which they described as a move deliberately taking place ahead of the inauguration in January of US President-elect Joe Biden, who has expressed his opposition to settlement construction, which violates international law. 

Located on land that is part of the Palestinian village of Qalandiya, north of occupied East Jerusalem, the airport, the only one in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem area, has been etched into collective memory since it was established in 1924 under the British Mandate. 

Residents of Qalandiya recall wistfully a time when it was a mainstay of their lives, as they brace for the area to become further out of reach.

Memories from the tarmac

Jerusalem International Airport, covering 4,000 dunams (400 hectares) and known locally as Qalandiya Airport, was built by British Mandate authorities, who used it as a military airport before transferring its administration to the Jordanian government in 1951, two years after the establishment of the state of Israel, during which Jordan operated it as a commercial airport. 

‘It was an indescribable feeling, to get on the plane and see my house and my village below’

– Youssef Awadallah, 84-year-old resident of Qalandiya

In the 1950s and 1960s, the airport contributed to bringing tourism to the West Bank, and witnessed the arrival of delegations from across the Arab world for touristic, cultural and commercial purposes.

While only a few of Qalandiya’s residents had the financial means at the time to take flights from the airport, it remains a part of the memories they cherish. 

Youssef Awadallah, an 84-year-old resident of Qalandiya, told MEE that he was one of the few villagers who travelled in 1963 from the airport, heading to Beirut to continue his studies. 

“As a student at the time, I got a reduction in the ticket price, and I travelled for the first time on the plane from Palestine to Lebanon. It was an indescribable feeling, to get on the plane and see my house and my village below,” Awadallah said.

“We spent our childhood at the airport, receiving and bidding farewell to travellers. We established relationships with airport employees, and they allowed us to be present there, as the children of the village.

“I remember when [Jordanian] King Hussein came and the military parade that was held for him at the airport… these memories have never left my mind.”

Abdelhalim Hamza, 67, told MEE he also spent much of his childhood running with friends on the tarmac. His favourite memories were his trips to buy juice from a small shop that had opened inside the airport. 

“When we didn’t have money, we would exchange the items for eggs or milk,” he said. 

Old homes have been preserved in Qalandiya, despite it being the only area of the village where Israeli authorities allow Palestinians to build (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
Old homes have been preserved in Qalandiya, despite it being the only area of the village where Israeli authorities allow Palestinians to build (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

Hamza also recalled the Israeli army’s occupation of the airport in 1967, when dozens of Israeli jeeps were dispatched to the area.

“I remember the Jordanian army’s withdrawal. The soldiers were very afraid, and they abandoned a new jeep with a machine gun at the entrance to the village. They told us ‘the Israeli army is coming’.

Raafat Awadallah, 63, said his father used to do construction work at the airport in 1920. “My father owned a cart pulled by two horses, which he used to transport stones during the runway construction process,” he told MEE.

One of his most cherished memories, Raafat said, was when he and the other residents of Qalandiya heard through the radio that the late, well-known Egyptian actor and musician Farid al-Atrash, was coming to the West Bank. They all flocked to the airport to receive him.

“We would listen to the radio to know if political or artistic figures were coming to the airport. It was a great pleasure for us,” he said.  

Shrinking village

After Israel occupied the West Bank in the wake of the 1967 Middle East War, the army took control and changed its name to Atarot airport, using it for domestic flights before shutting it down in 2000 at the start of the Second Intifada. 

The airport, which consists of a runway, control tower, and reception hall for arrivals and departures, still stands; the Israeli army operates an aviation factory on the premises. 

The area has now been turned into a military outpost with access or taking photographs forbidden. 

The airport is no longer accessible to residents of Qalandiya. The building with the orange roof on the left is now an Israeli military factory (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
The airport is no longer accessible to residents of Qalandiya. The building with the orange roof on the left is now an Israeli military factory (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

In February, the Israeli government announced that the Atarot settlement would be built on 120 hectares in the area of the former airport. It will include large commercial centres, a hotel, work spaces and other facilities. The settlement is set to fall between Qalandiya and the Palestinian villages of Kafr Aqab and al-Ram. 

If constructed, it will be the first new settlement in East Jerusalem since 1997. 

Khalil Tufakji, director of mapping at the Arab Studies Association, told Middle East Eye he believes certain indicators show that implementation of the settlement plan is close. 

Tufakji pointed out that the Israeli army announced two weeks ago a new building plan for a road and tunnel adjacent to the Qalandiya military checkpoint and the Atarot settlement industrial area, in order to link them to other illegal settlements around Jerusalem. 

He explained that before construction tenders are put out, authorities are expected to publish the plan and map for the settlement for any objections within a month. 

Raafat Awadallah, who heads the Qalandiya village council, told MEE that since 1967 the village’s land has shrunk from 4,000 to 800 dunams (400 to 80 hectares) in order for Israel to build settlements and military infrastructure in the area, as well as the illegal separation wall, which slices through the village. 

“The wall divided the village of Qalandiya into eastern and western parts. It now takes an hour, at times more, to reach the other half. Before that it only took a few minutes,” said Raafat.

In 2016, he said, Qalandiya witnessed an extremely difficult day when the Israeli army demolished 12 residential buildings. 

In 2018, the Israeli army delivered demolition notices to 21 more buildings in the village. 

The last demolition order was issued this month, targeting a section of Raafat’s own home, which has been standing since 1961. The Israeli court also imposed a fine of 60,000 shekels ($18,500).

He expects that matters will only get worse with the implementation of the new settlement plan on the lands of the airport.

“By establishing this project, one of the most important Palestinian dreams will be lost. And we will lose our memories of the airport, where we experienced our childhood,” he said.

Israel plans to expand settlement cutting off Jerusalem from West Bank towns Read More »

Jewish Settler Tries to Burn Gethsemane Church in Jerusalem (VIDEOS)

December 4, 2020

The Gethsemane Church in Jerusalem. (Photo: File)

A Jewish settler attempted today on burning down the Gethsemane Church in the Mount of Olives area in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.

Witnesses reported that an illegal Jewish settler sneaked into the premises of the church before he was seen pouring some flammable liquid there.

The settler then tried to set some of the seats on fire but was thwarted by local Palestinian citizens who handed him over to a police force that had just arrived at the scene.

“It must be understood that Palestinian Christians are neither aliens nor bystanders in Palestine. They have been victimized equally as their Muslim brethren, and have also played a major role in defining the modern Palestinian identity, through their resistance, spirituality, deep connection to the land, artistic contributions and burgeoning scholarship,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article.

“Israel must not be allowed to ostracize the world’s most ancient Christian community from their ancestral land so that it may score a few points in its deeply disturbing drive for racial supremacy,” Baroud added.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Biden will not end the ‘deal of the century’ – Palestinian leaders are acting in haste

Joseph Massad

24 November 2020 

The goal of the US ‘peace process’ has long been – and will continue to be under Biden – the obliteration of Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation

People denounce the ‘deal of the century’ in the occupied West Bank on 28 February 2020 (AFP)

Since the election of Joe Biden as the next US president, reports of the death of the “deal of the century” have been greatly exaggerated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has felt a sense of relief that its love affair with Israel and Israel’s allies could finally resume. 

The PA had cut off official security coordination with Israel in May, and cooled relations with Bahrain and the UAE after they opened diplomatic relations with Israel this summer. The PA used the pretext that President Donald Trump’s “deal” was detrimental to Palestinian interests.  

In the wake of Biden’s election, the PA declared the deal and annexation plans to be “no longer on the table”. It officially resumed security coordination with Israel, citing assurances from Israel that it would comply with prior agreements it had signed with the PA.

This came just days after Israel opened bidding on the construction of a new Jewish colonial settlement intended to cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The PA has also restored its ambassadors to Bahrain and the UAE. 

Palestinian prisoners

These PA moves seek to appeal to Biden, who is expected to be more sympathetic to their cause than Trump. And so, instead of announcing that the PA was looking forward to being welcomed back into the US capital, the adamantly anti-Palestinian New York Times, the US “newspaper of record”, announced that “in a bold move to refurbish their sullied image in Washington, the Palestinians are laying the groundwork for an overhaul to one of their most cherished but controversial practices, officials say: compensating those who serve time in Israeli prisons, including for violent attacks.” 

Israel has been demanding for decades that the PA not support the families of Palestinians killed by Israel, let alone the families of Palestinian prisoners of war. The US Congress “repeatedly passed legislation to reduce aid to the Palestinians by the amount of those payments”, which were also cited by Trump when he cut funding to the PA in 2018.

Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents

The New York Times added that “Palestinian officials eager to make a fresh start … are heeding the advice of sympathetic Democrats who have repeatedly warned that without an end to the payments, it would be impossible for the new administration to do any heavy lifting on their behalf”. 

This is an important example of how Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents. Biden has vowed not to move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, nor to rescind US recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of that city. Perhaps the only difference is that Biden may restore aid to the PA, while curtailing support to families of Palestinian prisoners – details of which are “being hammered out in Ramallah”, according to the Times.  

Security coordination

But as the “deal of the century” is predicated on the premise that the US and Palestinians must give Israel everything it wants, it remains unclear why the PA thinks the deal is no longer on the table. After all, the PA has acted in accordance with that very premise by resuming security coordination with Israel, returning its ambassadors to the Gulf states, and negotiating cuts to support for prisoners’ families – all without getting anything in return. 

The issue of financial support to Palestinian prisoners’ families is, in fact, a central feature of how the US “peace process” has always been premised on coercing Palestinians and other Arabs to join the US in legitimising Israeli colonial conquests and delegitimising any resistance to them. 

An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)
An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)

Since the 1993 Oslo I Accord, the PA has committed to stamping out all Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands, collaborating with Israel either by informing on or handing over resistors to Israeli security forces, or by having its own security agencies imprison or kill them. Why, then, Israel and the US complain, would the PA support their families?

This is to be contrasted with the fact that Israel and the US have always rewarded Israeli Jews who massacre Palestinians. A minuscule number of Israeli soldiers who kill Palestinians have ever been prosecuted, and even fewer found guilty, as has been documented by Israeli human rights groups and others. 

Israeli impunity

Last year, an Israeli soldier who fatally shot an unarmed 14-year-old Palestinian boy was sentenced to a month in military prison. The boy’s father told the New York Times: “This is unjust.” He said he feared that the soldier’s sentence would “encourage his colleagues to kill in cold blood”. 

Also last year, the Israeli army exonerated its soldiers in the killing of a Palestinian double-amputee protesting at the Gaza fence who was shot in the chest. The army said it could not ascertain that its soldiers were the ones who killed him. Another Israeli border police officer who killed yet another Palestinian teenager in 2014 was sentenced two years ago to nine months in prison, having been praised by the judge as “excellent” and “conscientious”. Biden victory means the end of an era for Netanyahu

Read More »

As for the Israeli military medic who shot dead an already injured Palestinian lying on the ground in 2016, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a year of probation and a demotion. His sentence was later decreased to 14 months, of which he served only nine before being released. 

These are neither aberrant nor new examples; they harken back to the establishment of Israel. Late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who expelled the Palestinian population of the city of Lydda in 1948 and devised the “break-their-bones” policy against Palestinians during the First Intifada, is celebrated in Israel and the US as a “hero” for peace. He never went to jail for his crimes.  

Nor did former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who, dressed in drag, headed a commando unit that assassinated several Palestinian leaders in their homes in Beirut in 1973. He, like Rabin, is hailed as a hero. 

In October 1956, the Israeli army committed a horrific massacre against its own Israeli-Palestinian citizens in the village of Kafr Qasim, when its soldiers shot dead 49 men, women and children coming home from their fields after a day of work, and injured dozens more.  

Despite an initial government cover-up, a trial took place and prison sentences were handed down in October 1958 to eight officers ranging from eight to 17 years. Appeals were filed, and all the sentences were reduced with all the convicted killers released by 1960, having spent their sentence in a sanatorium in Jerusalem, and not in a prison cell.

Officer Gabriel Dahan, convicted of killing 43 Palestinians, was appointed as officer responsible for Arab affairs in the city of Ramle in September 1960. The brigadier most responsible for giving the orders for the massacre, Yshishkar Shadmi, had a separate trial, and was found guilty of a “technical error” and fined one cent. 

Better deal next time?

What Biden and his friends are demanding of the PA today is precisely what Israel and Trump also demanded: namely, that it consider Israeli conquest, colonisation and occupation of Palestinian land – including the killing of Palestinians who resist (or do not resist) Israel – as heroic acts.

Since the PA did right by Israel and the US when it agreed in Oslo to quash any resistance to these Israeli heroic acts, it must continue to do so by not supporting the families of Palestinian prisoners or martyrs. 

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world

The goal of the PA, as envisaged by the Oslo Accords, is not only to obliterate any remaining resistance to Israel, but also to quash the Palestinian people’s will to resist their insidious coloniser once and for all. That was the essence of the US “peace process” in the 1970s and 1980s, of the Oslo deal, of former US President Bill Clinton’s Camp David offer in 2000, and of Trump’s “deal of the century“.  

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world. The much-awaited Biden, however, will be sure to indulge the PA. He will pretend, alongside the PA, that Palestinians will get a new and better deal next time.

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

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

Ramzy Baroud on Pompeo’s Designation of BDS as ‘Antisemitic’

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November 20, 2020

Ramzy Baroud speaks about Pompeo’s visit to illegal Jewish settlements. (Photo: Video Grab)

The United States Secretary of State has made an unprecedented visit to an Israeli settlement in the illegally occupied West Bank and the disputed Golan Heights – the first chief diplomat from the U.S to do so.

Mike Pompeo visited The Psagot Winery – part of a network of settlements in the West Bank – which are considered illegal under international law.

Well, how significant is this trip? More so, that it comes hot on the heels of the projected victory of President-Elect Joe Biden, a past critic of illegal settlements.

To look into this, we spoke to Skype Dr. Ramzy Baroud, a US-Palestinian journalist, and Editor of the Palestine Chronicle.

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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (12- 18 November 2020)

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12 – 18 November 2020

  • In 101 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 77 civilians arrested, including 5 children
  • Annexation and settlement expansion: Israel issues calls for tenders for the construction of 1,365 settlement units
  • IOF demolished 5 houses and confiscated 6 tractors; several establishments in the West Bank and East Jerusalem served demolition notices
  • Settler-attacks: settlers steal 20 sheep in Ramallah and assault a child in Hebron
  • IOF established 80 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 16 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. This week, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Israel Lands Authority issued a call for tenders for construction of 1,257 settlement units in “Givat Hamatos” settlement, which was established on the lands of Beit Safafa village, southern occupied East Jerusalem. These units would connect “Gilo” and “Har Homa” settlements with “Talpiot” settlement.

The construction of these settlement units would seal off Bethlehem from Beit Safafa village and southern occupied East Jerusalem and will entail further restrictions and obstacles on Palestinians’ freedom of movement and access to their lands.

This Israeli bidding was released 4 days after Israel’s approval to construct 108 settlement units in “Ramat Shlomo” settlement, northern occupied East Jerusalem. With these two bids, Israel is resuming construction in two settlements, where expansion efforts were frozen in 2014 due to international pressures. These tenders coincide with escalated IOF demolition and confiscation of Palestinian properties and lands, particularly in Area “C” in the West Bank.

PCHR fears that Israeli intends to accelerate settlement expansion before President-elect Joe Biden assumes US presidency on 20 January 2021, as it is reported that Israel plans to approve the construction of at least 13,000 settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.

This week, PCHR documented 215 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:

Twelve Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, sustained wounds in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 6 were wounded, including one child who lost sight in his eye due to his injury, in an IOF raid into Qalandiya refugee camp in Jerusalem; 3 others sustained wounds in IOF raid into Qaddura refugee camp in Ramallah; and 2 others, including 1 child, in IOF suppression of Kafr Qaddoum’s weekly protest against settlement expansion activities; and a photojournalist was wounded while covering clashed in Hebron.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and once against fishing boats, western Gaza. Israeli war planes launched an airstrike on a vacant land in eastern Rafah.

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, 77 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. In Gaza, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 15 incidents, including:

  • Bethlehem: house foundations, a retaining wall and concrete floor demolished in Beit Jala; one house and heritage sites razed, as well as a retaining wall and farm road in al-Walaja ; tractor confiscated in Tuqu’; and an agricultural barracks, a house, and a water well demolished in Artas.
  • Tubas: 5 tractors and excavator confiscated; room and pool demolished; a tin-plated barracks that is used for shelter was dismantled in the northern Jordan valleys.
  • East Jerusalem: call for tenders for the construction of hundreds of settlement units; 4 commercial barracks demolished and 2 houses self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber
  • Hebron: settlement road constructed, and 8 demolition notices served in Yatta.
  • Nablus: an under-construction facility was demolished.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented two settler-violence incidents: 20 sheep stolen from north-eastern Ramallah; and a child was assaulted in Hebron.

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 02:20 on Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF backed my military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah.  They stationed in Wadi al-Sheikh area, where the soldiers deployed between the neighborhoods.  Some of them raided Mo’atasem Zibar’s (22) house while dozens of Palestinian young men gathered to throw stones at the IOF infantry forces.  The soldiers fired sound bombs and teargas canisters randomly at the stone-throwers and between houses.  As a result, some stone-throwers suffocated.  The clashes continued until 04:30 when IOF withdrew and deliberately collided Najjab al-Barghouthi’s black Ford car that was parked on the roadside, causing damage to the backside of it.

Over the last few days, Kobar has witnessed several house raids and incursions by the IOF that included searches of Zibar family houses and others. Many members of the family were detained and arrested to put pressure on former prisoner Raed Yousif Zibar to surrender himself. It should be noted that Mo’atasem is the former prisoner’s nephew.

  • At approximately 07:00, IOF attacked an elderly man, Mohammed ‘Abdel Hamid Jaber Sleibi (74), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, when he was with his daughters in their land in Wadi Abu al-Rish in western Beit Ummar to harvest olives.  As a result, he sustained bruises.

Sleibi said to PCHR fieldworker that:

“I went in the morning with my daughters to my land in Wad Abu al-Rish area in western Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, to harvest olives. As my land is located near Beit Ein settlement that was established in the 1980s, it has always been subject to settlers’ continuous attacks.  Around half an hour after arriving, 4 IOF soldiers approached and ordered us to leave.  I told them that I would call the Israeli Military Liaison to inform them about my presence in the land.  One of the soldiers then came to push me and I fell on the ground.  He started beating me with riffles’ butts on my right side.  My daughters ran to me and started screaming at the soldiers, who insisted we leave the land.  we went back home but I felt pain in my right side.  Later, I filed a complaint to the Israeli police about what happened.”

  • At approximately 13:20, IOF stationed inside the Israel-Gaza border, eastern Khan Younis, opened fire at the agricultural lands and bird hunters in eastern Khuza’a adjacent to the border.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Ramallah towards Qaddura Refugee Camp in the city center.  IOF stationed at the entrance to the camp and patrolled the streets.  A number of Palestinian young men gathered to throw stones at the soldiers, who chased them and started shooting live bullets and firing teargas canisters.  As a result, 3 civilians sustained bullet injuries in the lower extremities and were taken by a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex in the City.  IOF later withdrew from the city, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, villagers from Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus, and representatives of the National Action Factions in Nablus organized a peaceful protest, which started from the village council heading to the lands under threat of confiscation east of the village.  The protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and the Deal of Century.  When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. IOF suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of al-Bureij, central Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the “northern entrance” established on Kafr Qaddum lands, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian civilians. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area and clashed with them, firing live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a 17-year-old child was injured with teargas canister in the waist, and another 18-year-old was injured with a teargas canister in the head.
  • At approximately 13:00, Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in central Hebron and threw stones and empty bottles at the checkpoint, known as Checkpoint 56 and established at the entrance to the closed Shuhadaa’ Street leading to Tel Rumeida area. IOF stepped out of their vehicles and stationed behind cement cubes, firing teargas canisters randomly in the area.  They chased the stone-throwers on Wad al-Tofah Street and the area near Mahrouqat Hassounah Court.  As a result, a photojournalist, Hazem Jamil Ragheb Bader, was injured with a sound bomb in the right leg and treated on the spot by another journalist, who was present to cover the events.  Bader was then taken in his car to al-Ahli Hospital, where it was found that the injury caused a calf muscle tear. The clashes continued until 16:00; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:20, Palestinian young men gathered at the northern entrance to al-Bireh.  Some of them approached al-Mahkamah Military Checkpoint established near “Beit El” settlement, north of al-Bireh and threw stones at the checkpoint.  The soldiers chased the stone-throwers and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at them.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until 18:00, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:15 on Saturday, 14 November 2020, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, sporadically opened heavy fire at them, causing fear and panic among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF warplanes launched 4 missiles at a vacant land near the area where the former Gaza International airport was located, eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah. no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed adjacent to the annexation wall established on al-Midya village lands, west of Ramallah, randomly fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the Palestinian workers, who were trying to enter Israel for work.  As a result, 2 civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 18:30 on Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of al-Maghazi, central Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00, an IOF infantry unit moved into al-Thaher area, south of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, where “Karmei Tzur” settlement is established on the Palestinian lands.  IOF soldiers deployed in the agricultural lands and when they approached houses, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones.  The soldiers chased the young men and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs randomly at them.  As a result, some of the young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation while IOF arrested Aysar Mohammed Za’aqiq (17) and took him to the IOF camp in the settlement.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, large numbers of Israeli forces stormed Kafr ‘Aqab village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They stationed along Jerusalem – Ramallah Road, adjacent to Qalandiya refugee camp, set military checkpoints, checked civilians’ ID cards, deployed the village neighborhoods, and gave fines to the passersby, who do not wear face masks. Large numbers of Israeli soldiers raided commercial shops and imposed big fines on their owners, alleging that they did not commit with the Israeli government instruction to combat the outbreak of corona virus. In the meantime, young men gathered at the entrance to Qalandiya refugee camp and threw stones, fireworks, and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, causing the injury of one Israeli soldier. An Israeli force immediately stormed the camp and fired live ammunition, rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and clashed with civilians for 2 hours. As a result, the window shield of 9 vehicles was smashed. Furthermore, 6 civilians, including a child, were shot with rubber bullets. They were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. The child was directly shot in his eye with a rubber bullet, and he lost sight as a result of that. Dozens of civilians also suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. The wounded civilians were identified as: Bashar Ahmed Elian Hamad (16), Yusuf Mohammed Taha Abu Latifa, Mohammed Fayez Ya’qoub, Mohammed Sami Mtair, Mahmoud Khalid Hamad, and Jadallah Husam Obeid.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 18 November 2020, IOF stationed inside the Gaza-Israel border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of al-Fukhari town, adjacent to the fence.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF backed by military vehicles stormed Tuba village in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers searched civilians’ houses. In the meantime, Ahmed Omer Mohammed Jendiyah (27), a volunteer at the Israeli Information Center for Human Right in the Occupied Territory, arrived at the scene to document the incident. Israeli soldiers attacked him by heavily beating him. They pushed him into the ground and confiscated his camera. Half an hour later, the soldiers returned the camera to Ahmed and ordered him to leave the area.
  • At approximately 14:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Tawil Mountain area, east of al-Birah. They threw stones at the Israeli checkpoint established near “Psagot” settlement, which is established on lands, east of the city. Israeli soldiers chased stone-throwers in the area and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 12 November 2020:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Abdullah Bassam Abu Ghannam (21) and Hasan Yasin Hmaidi (19) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Abdul Aziz Mutair (21) and Anas Shaher al-Khatib (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:50, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Samer Mahmoud Jaber (21).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Majed Salem Abu Zahra’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nablus. North of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Obada Saher Abu Sir (21).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Saf street and al-Fawaghera neighborhood in Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Emad Ali al-Harimi (19) and Jebril Khalil Kawazba (25) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ayoub Riyad Bani Shamasnah (23).
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested ‘Areen Haitham al-Za’aneen (25), from Wadi al-Juz, while present near al-Asbat Gate area in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and took him to al-Qishla investigation center. The following evening, IOF released him with a 1-week bn on entry to al-Aqsa Mosque and order to return for investigation after this period. It should be noted that Za’aneen is a paramedic in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and a former prisoner who was released less than a month ago.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into al-Sharea al-Jadid area in al-Tur neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Eyad al-Hidra’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Sa’ir and Samu in Hebron governorate; Jenin and Beit Dajan, northeast of Nablus; Jayyous, north of Qalqiliya; and Azun, east of Qalqiliya. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 13 November 2020:

  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Nahed al-Nadi (25).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jayyous village, northeast of Qaqiliya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazeed Jehad Slim (21).
  • At approximately 11:43, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They arrested ‘Aqeel Es’eed ‘Afif Moqbel (19), from the abovementioned village, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF detained Mo’ath Abu ‘Arafa (32), after going out of the Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al- Qishla police station on the next Sunday.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the main street between Nablus and Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They arrested Ra’ed Mohammed Qar’an (25), from Qalqilya.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Hableh village, south of Qalqilya, south of the West Bank. They arrested Fahmi Khaled ‘Attal (17), from the abovementioned village.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at al-Zaytouna military checkpoint, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Omar Hasan Nofal, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:45, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Bizzariya village, northwest of Nablus. They arrested Waleed Issam Asfour (26), from Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Silwad, east of Ramallah governorate; and Salim village, northeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 14 November 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Alaa’ Mahmoud Younis Thawabta’s (19) house and arrested him. At approximately 16:00, IOF stormed the house again and arrested his brother, ‘Ammar (15).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested one of the Palestinian National Security Forces’ soldiers, Monjed Salama Debis (23), while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established on the entrance of Beit Jala village. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Burin, southeast of Nablus; Arraba, southwest of Jenin; al- Dhahiriya, Beit Ummar, and Edhna villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 15 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Wad al-Hareya area. They raided and searched Anas Hatem Qfaisha’s (29) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched Ameer Sa’eed Abu Hadid’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the road that connected Nablus with villages located to the southeast of Nablus. They arrested Mahmoud Saleem Yamien (45), from Nablus, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and al-Dhahiriya in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 16 November 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Wadi Qadum neighborhood in Silwan, southeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Obada Nidal Dandis’s (25) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Obada is a former prisoner who spent 50-months in the Israeli prisons and released in 2018.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Kahl village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Osaid Sabri al-Zuhour (29), and Izz al-Dein Ibrahim Shihada (30).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron and stationed near the UNRWA distribution center. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Basem Haitham al-Badawi (17), and Waleed Abdul Latif Jawabra (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mousa Shaker Jabarin’s house and arrested his two sons: Wael (32) and Mohammed (28).
  • At approximately 02:30, 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; Haitham Nasim Khwais (20), Ameer Maher Abu Jom’a (25), and Fareed Eyad Abu al-Hawa (19).
  • At approximately 04:30, a group of Mista’arvim (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinians) sneaked into Kobar village, north of Ramallah governorate. They used a white vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate and holding the name of “Brothers Transportation” and stationed at the main roundabout in the center of the village. Meanwhile, 8 Israeli military vehicles stormed to provide protection to the Special Units; they surrounded, raided and searched Mo’taz Mohammed Mahmoud Zibar (26) and Yehya Hussam al-Barghouthi’s (32) houses, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mousa Jamal Salama (23), Yousef (21) and his brother Mohammed Mahmoud Hilwa (24).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, arrested Baha’ Bassam al-‘Allami (18), and Mahmoud Ahmed al-‘Allami (18), while present near the military watchtower, claiming that they were throwing stones at the tower. IOF took them to the detention center of “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, arrested Samir Raja Ahmed al-Khateeb (31), from al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas, north of the West Bank. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint, arrested Mahmoud Hammad Shraiteh (43), from Yatta in Hebron governorate, while passing through the checkpoint. He was taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested the deputy mayor of al-Izariya village, Mohammed Hasan Mattar (41), while passing through a military checkpoint on the entrance of the abovementioned village. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sa’ir, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Khalil Sa’eed al-Faroukh’s (27) house in the center of the village and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nayef Khalil Khamamera (38).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ya’ad Abu Ayyash (21), a student at Birzeit University, and Yousef Mousa Hosha (57).
  • At approximately 02:35, IOF moved into Deir al-Hatab village, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abdullah al-Namrouti’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Mohammed Ashraf Azmi al-‘Ashibi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Mohammed Omar Hashash’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Akram Mo’een Johar’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Karkafa area in the center of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdul Rahim Faraj Salhab’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Majd Marwan Dari (19), Mohammed Emad Dari (19), Wadea’ Tawfiq Abu al-Hums (27), and Mahmoud Omar Ghrayyeb (28).
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 100-meters to the east of al-Fukhary village, east of Khan Younis. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence then redeployed after hours.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at the Container military checkpoint, north of Bethlehem, arrested Mahmoud Hammad Shraiteh (21), from al-Karmel area in Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, while heading to Ramallah.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF stormed and searched one of the stores in Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested Ibrahim (36) and his brother Abdullah al-Mallah (30).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Bab al-Asbat road in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched As’ad Ali ‘Ajaj’s (44) house and arrested him.

Ali Ajaj, the detainee’s father, said that he was surprised to see huge numbers of the Israeli soldiers storming his house without knowing the reason. They searched the house and the ID cards of all the people in the house and then took his son, As’ad, to an investigation center. It should be noted that As’ad ‘Ajaj was banned from entering al-Aqsa Mosque for 6 months, and he was detained several times from inside the mosque.

  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohannad Naser Mahmoud’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF severely beaten and arrested Naseem Harbi Obaid (23), while present near al-Arba’in Mosque in the center of the Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. He was taken to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Sanur, southeast of Jenin; Yatta and Tarqumiyah villages in Hebron governorate; and al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020:

  • At approximately 12:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Yehya Jamal Sowah (20), Rami Samir Abu Samra (35), and Abdullah Khader Rasras (35).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Adnan Ahmed Khader al-Hosari (53).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hamada Mohammed Sarahna (17), and the policeman in the Palestinian Police Services, Mahmoud Abdul Karim Hamash (35), and arrested them. It should be noted that Hamash was a former prisoner who spent a year and half under the administrative detention in al-Naqab al-Sahrawi prisons “Ktsi’ot” and released in April 2019.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm refugee camp, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mathna Fo’ad Raba’ (24), from Jabal Abu Taqa in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Nasib Mohammed Obaid’s (48) house and arrested his son, Mohammed (20).
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Mavi Dutan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mahmoud Mohammed Nazzal (22), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. He was taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Ala’ Omar Zakarna (21), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. He was taken to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem after summonsing them. The arrestees are: Ra’ed Khalil al-‘Amour (42) and Maher Nabil Tarawa (29), from Taqu’, east of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Sebastiya, northwest of Nablus; Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin; and Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah 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

  • On Thursday morning, 12 November 2020, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a house foundation, a retaining wall, and a concrete floor in Beit Jala, under the pretext of building without a license. Hasan Brijiyah, Head of the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that a number of Israeli bulldozers stormed Beit Jala amid tight security measures and started demolishing foundations of Nicolas Awad’s under-construction house in Beir Ounah neighborhood. IOF also demolished a retaining wall and a concrete land owned by Monther al-Walaji in al-Jadawel area in the center of Beit Jala.
  • At approximately 06:00 on the same Thursday, IOF demolished a house and a number of archeological remains and retaining walls. IOF also leveled an agricultural land in Ein al-Juweizah are, northeast of al-Walaja, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of building without licensing.

Khader al-A’raj, Head of al-Walaja Village Council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that an Israeli force accompanied with a bulldozer stormed Ein neighborhood, northeast of the village, and demolished an under-construction house and retaining wall owned by Mohammed Abu al-Haija under the pretext of building without a license. Al-A’raj clarified that IOF demolished Abu al-Haija house that is built on (120sqm) for the third consecutive time. He added that IOF demolished 2 archeological remains, that were previously restored, owned by Abu al-Tin family. IOF also demolished an agricultural road that lead to Khelat al-Hour area; the road is used by farmers to reach their lands. For years, al-Walaja village is subjected to recurrent attacks by settlers represented in demolishing dozens of houses and handing demolition and halt the work notifications and leveling lands and retaining wall in favor of settlement expansion. It should be noted that Ein al-Weijah area is one of the areas that are mostly targeted with demolition processes under the pretext of non-licensing as the Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem considers the land affiliated to it and it prevent construction in it. Therefore, half of the area residences are threatened to be expelled out of their houses.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday13 November 2020, Israeli authorities started paving a settlement road that is A new settlement road that extends from the Bypass Road (60) through civilians’ lands in Ma’in village, and reaches Avigal settlement established on Palestinian confiscated lands, east of Yatta, south of  Hebron. The lands are owned to al-Hamamdah family. IOF imposed severe restrictions on civilians, which prevent them from using or reclaiming it under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C) as work in it requires a previous permit from the Israeli Civil Administration Office that do not allow civilians to use or retrieve their lands.
  •  On Friday evening, 13 November 2020, IOF sized an agricultural tractor and forced its owner to leave his land in Tuqu village, east of Bethlehem at gunpoint. 

Tayseer Abu Mefreh, Head of Tuqu Village Council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF stormed al-Arabiya area, north of the village, and forced Mahmoud Hasan al-Sabbah to leave is land while he was plowing it. IOF confiscated his tractor. Abu Mefreh added that al-Sabbah plows and saws his plant each year and owns the deeds to the land.

  • At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF stormed al-Rawq area, east of Kherbat al-Haidiya in Jordan’s northern valleys, southeast of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They confiscated 4 tractors; three of them belong to Jamal Mohammed Qasem Bani Ouda, while the fourth belongs to Yusuf Husein Asmar Basha, both are from the abovementioned Kherba. IOF confiscated the tractors under the pretext of illegal work in Area (C).
  • On the same Sunday, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Land Authority issued a call for tenders for construction of 1,257 settlement units in “Givat Hamatos” settlement, which was established on the lands of Beit Safafa village, southern occupied East Jerusalem. These units would connect “Gilo” and “Har Homa” settlements with “Talpiot” settlement.

The construction of these settlement units would seal off Bethlehem from Beit Safafa village and southern occupied East Jerusalem and will entail further restrictions and obstacles on Palestinians’ freedom of movement and access to their lands.

It should be noted that “Givat Hamatos” settlement is a neighborhood of temporary housing projects, built on an area of 170 dunums and bordered by “Talpiot” settlement from the north and “Gilo” settlement from the south, and Beit Safafa village from the west. “Givat Hamatos” is considered among the last areas of open lands in Jerusalem that fall adjacent to the 1967 border line; it is a rocky land with few demolished buildings and mostly abandoned trailers. Consequently, the Israeli announcement carries greater significance than it shows, it is not merely the creation of new residential units in a settlement as it appears; in fact, it would be the first new Israeli neighborhood to be established on the 1967 border-line in East Jerusalem in the last 20 years.

The Israeli government had previously conducted such a construction in 1997, when “Har Homa” settlement was first established only two days after signing the first Hebron Protocol with Palestinians. Nowadays, “Har Homa” settlement houses more than 50,000 settlers.

This Israeli bidding was released 4 days after Israel’s approval to construct 108 settlement units in “Ramat Shlomo” settlement, northern occupied East Jerusalem. With these two bids, Israel is resuming construction in two settlements, where expansion efforts were frozen in 2014 due to international pressures.

These tenders coincide with escalated IOF demolition and confiscation of Palestinian properties and lands, particularly in Area “C” in the West Bank.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF bulldozers demolished an agricultural barracks, a residential house, and a water well in Khelat al-Nahlah area in Artas village, south of Bethlehem under the pretext of non-licensing.

Hasan Brijiyah, Head of the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF demolished a house inhabited with 5 individuals and built on an area of (80sqm) owned by Mohammed Romi, who have official document of his property. Brijiyah clarified that the Israeli bulldozers demolished a water well, adjacent to the abovementioned house and then leveled large areas. He added that Israeli authorities notified Romi three times before demolishing his house. Brijiyah mentioned that IOF also demolished an agricultural barrack owned by Mahmoud Shuweiki before their withdrawal from the area.

It should be noted that Khelat al-Nahlah area is a high hill where Israeli settlers established their mobile houses for several years and they are secured by an Israeli military force around the clock. Despite that these lands’ owners filed a judicial complaint at the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem, which issued a decision for settlers to evacuate; the Israeli authorities encourage settlers’ existence and protect them for the importance of the area. IOF seek to empty this area from Palestinians and seize it to expand the boundaries of “Efrat” settlement established in the south of Bethlehem and connect it with “Tuqu’” settlement established on the east side of Bethlehem. It should be noted that Khelat al-Nahla area is located between “Efrat” settlement and “Givat Eitam” settlement outpost established in Khelat al-Qutun nearby area.

Khelat al-Nahla area and Tuqu’ village fall within the Israeli Plan (E2), which is a settlement project aiming at isolating Bethlehem from the southern countryside and from southern West Bank. This isolation can be done by linking “Efrat” settlement with “Tuqu’” settlement by the road of “Givat Eitam” settlement outpost. According to the project, Israeli authorities will seize control of over 1182 dunums as they have already announced building 2500 settlement units in this area to complete isolate Bethlehem from other cities.

  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF accompanied with Civil and Administration vehicle and a bulldozer stormed al-Dowar area, west of Deir Sharaf village, west of Nablus, north of the West Bank. The bulldozer demolished an under-construction facility built on an area of (350sqm) under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C). The facility, which is a store’s floor and pillars is owned by Fares Montaser Abdul Jabbar Yaseen, from Asira ash-Shamaliya village, north of Nablus.
  • At the same time, IOF demolished a number of industrial facilities at the intersection of ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license.

Taha al-Refa’i, Head of Anata village, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that a large Israeli force accompanied with bulldozers stormed Anata village’s main street from the eastern side ad closed the intersection in both sides in front of civilians’ vehicles. They demolished 2 commercial barracks owned by Salem and Adeeb al-Qawasmah, 2 other commercial barracks that includes vegetables stall, a barrack, a fence that surrounds 2-dunum land and includes a shop selling spare parts owned by Mohammed Ibrahim Helwah.

On 10 November 2020, Israeli authorities demolished a carwash, a barrack, and a wall in Anata village. The process of demolishing commercial facilities recently is part of IOF’s constant violations against Palestinian civilians and their property in the area. Israeli Construction Supervisory Committee revealed recently that it will issue new tenders within a few weeks for the construction of new settlement units under plan 23185/a. This new settlement project, if implemented, would completely seal off the eastern area of occupied East Jerusalem and would encircle (Anata, At-Tur, Hizma) areas to deny any future expansion possibilities towards the east.

  • At the same time, Mohammed Qanbar and his son Atiyah implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished their houses under the pretext of building without licensing. Mohammed stated to PCHR that he and his son had to demolish their houses after the Israeli police arrived at the place several times and ordered them to do that or the municipality staff  will implement the demolition decision and will force them to pay the demolition costs estimated at NIS 100,000. Qanbar clarified that he received a demolition notice 3 months ago and his lawyer managed to delay the demolition process until 10 November 2020, during which the lawyer applied to license the house; however, the municipality did not consider the application. Qanbar pointed out that he and his wife and 2 children lived in the house for 7 years in addition to his son’s family, who lived in a nearby house. Both houses were built on an area of 170sqm.
  • At approximately 10:11, IOF accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle and 2 bulldozers stormed Atouf Palin, east of Tammun village in Jordan’s northern valleys, north of the West Bank. A bulldozer demolished a residential room built of concrete and zingo sheets on an area of (40sqm) owned by Rami Bani Ouda, from Atouf village, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C). The same Israeli force stormed Furush Beit Dajan village, adjacent to Jordan’s central valleys. The bulldozer demolished a250-cubic meter water pool owned by Khalousi Abdul Rahim Haj Mohammed, from Furush Beit Dajan village. The pool was built of tin-plates and was funded by the European Union and was present in the land for more than 15 years.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle stormed Masafer area in Yatta, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed 4 military notices with No. 1797 to demolish facilities within 96 hours under the pretext of illegal construction, and they were as follows:
Affected PersonFacilityDescriptionDistanceArea
Jamil Mahmoud al-AmourbathroomTin plates and bricks1sqmSarourah
Hatem Mahmoud MakhamrahAgricultural roomTin plates and bricks20sqmAl-Mofaqera
Rasmi Yusuf Abu ArarmresidenceTin plates and bricks50sqmAl-Rakiz
Service CouncilWater supply systempipes—-Safi al-Fuqa

It should be noted that IOF based this demolition on Military Order No. 1797 of 2018, which allows the “building inspector” at the Israeli Civil Administration, to issue a demolition/removal order on any construction that is not completed within 6 months, or has been occupied for less than 30 days after the inspector’s visit. This type of notices deprives Palestinians of their right to defend their houses and facilities, as the High Court of Israel refuses any petitions made to freeze or cancel such notices. Furthermore, demolition notices based on Military Order No. 1797 deprive citizens from applying for licensing their targeted buildings.

  • At approximately 13:50, IOF stormed Atouf Plain, east of Tammun village, southeast of Tubas in Jjordan’s northern valleys, north of the West bank. IOF confiscated a digger owned by Ayman Rabah Gharib Bani Ouda, from Tammun village. Ayman was paving an agricultural road in favor of the village council. IOF confiscated the digger under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle, a number of staffs, and a bulldozer stormed Kherbat al-Farsiya, east of Tubas in Jordan’s northern valleys, north of the West Bank.  The staff dismantled a residential barracks roofed with tin-plates and steel pillars on an area of 40sqm in addition to a bathroom and confiscated them. IOF also confiscated a 2cubic-meter water tank funded by “ACTED” organization. IOF claimed that the demolition of the water tank and barracks owned by Radad Hamed Rezeq Daraghmah, from Kherbat al-Faresiya, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).

The same Israeli force stormed Um al-Jamal village in Joedan’s northern valleys as the staff started to dismantle an arbor built of steel and shader sheets built by activists to protect children and civilians from rains. IOF claimed that the demolition was due to illegal construction in Area (C).

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

  • At approximately 20:00 on Friday, 13 November 2020, a group of settlers from “”Sons of Hills” group moved from the Israeli new settlement ourpost established east of At-Tayba village, northeast of  Ramallah, and attacked Ka’abna Bedouin Community in the village’s outskirts. The settler sneaked into the livestock barrack and stole about 20 sheep aged between 6 months and 2 years, owned by Farah Ibrahim al-Ka’abna. After that settlers returned to the settlement outpost.
  • It should be noted that settlers, who called themselves “Sons of Hills” established the settlement outpost in 2019 on Palestinians’ lands, east of al-Tyba village, on an area of 9 dunums. The settlement is about 200 meters far away from “Rimonim” settlement established on the village lands.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Wednesday, 18 November 2020, a settler from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in Tal al-Ramidiyah neighborhood in the center of Hebron, attacked Haitham Tayseer Abu Aishah (15) and punched him on his face while Haitham was on his way home with his father. When Haitham’s father attempted to move the settler away from his son, an Israeli soldier approached him and punched on his back, so, he fell on the ground. After that, Israeli back-ups arrived at the area as Haitham returned home with his father. Later on, Abu Aishah filed a complaint at the Israeli police.

V. 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 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 80 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 16 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 evening, 12 November 2020, established a checkpoint at the Biddu village’s tunnel.
  • On Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  •  On Wednesday, 18 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al Jib village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at Tuqu, al-Khader, and Beit Fajjar villages, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints the northern and western entrances to Tuqu, Husan, and Tuqu villages, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 14 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Marah Rabah villages and near “’Osh Ghurab” area, east of Beit Sahour village, and at Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Beit Jala, Tuqu, Marah Rabah villages in Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the northern and western entrance to Tuqu village, entrance to Maah Rabah village, and Aqabat Hasnah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 17 November 2020, established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Tuqu and Husan villages and near al-Nashash area, south of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints under the bridge of ‘Atara village, north of Ramallah, and at the entrance to  Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah.
  • On Wednesday, 18 November 2020, IOF closed the northern entrance to al-Bira, leading to Jalazone refugee camp, and north of Ramallah. The soldiers searched Palestinian civilians’’ vehicles, checked their ID cards, and obstructed the traffic movement. The closure continued for 3  and half hours.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Fasayil village, north of Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 14 November 2020, IOF tightened its military measures at “Al-Hamra” checkpoint, north of Jericho, obstructed the traffic movement for civilians, and checked their ID card and established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nablus – Tubas road, northeast of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Majdal Bani Fadil village, and al-Bathan road linking between Nablus and Tubas.
  • On Saturday, 14 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Shavei Shomron settlement, west of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Asira ash-Shamaliya village, and at Einabus village square.
  • On Monday, 16 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Shavei Shomron settlement (the road linking between Nablus and Jenin).

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 15 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kufeirit village, southwest of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at Sa’ir and Idhna villages and al-Aroub refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at: Hebron’s southern entrance, Beit Kahel, and Kharsa villages.
  • On Saturday, 14 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at Beit Awwa, al-Hadab, and Surif villages, and al-Aroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 15 November 2020, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the Halhoul northern entrance to (Nabi Yunus), Beit Einun, Beit Ummar villages, Hebron’s southern entrance, Yatta and Idhna village.
  • On Tuesday, 17 November 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at Hebron’s southern entrance (al-Harayeq), ad-Dhahiriya, Beit Ummer, and Bani Na’im villages.
  •  On Wednesday, 18 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at Halhoul southern entrance, and al-Aroub refugee camp, and  ad-Dhahiriya village.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat at-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 13 November 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Izbat at-Tabib village, at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya, the entrance to Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. These checkpoints were removed; no arrests were reported.

Tulkarm:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Innab” settlement, east of Tulkarm.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 12 November 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to Deir Istiya, north of Salfit.

Israel to Build Over 1,000 Settlement Units in East Jerusalem

November 15, 2020

Illegal Israeli settlement in Jerusalem. (Photo: File)

Israel on Sunday issued a tender for the construction of 1,257 settlement homes in the occupied East Jerusalem, according to local media, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Walla news website said the new settlement units will be constructed in the Givat HaMatos settlement in East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

In 2014, Israel froze a decision to build 2,600 housing units in the same settlement due to international pressure.

There was no comment from Palestinian authorities on the Israeli construction plan.

On Thursday, the Israeli authorities approved the construction of 108 housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem.

According to Haaretz newspaper, the Israeli government plans to approve thousands of settlement units in East Jerusalem as a pre-empt step before the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stated in their electoral campaign that they would abide by the two-state solution to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a solution that contradicts with the Israeli settlement activity and Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as an “occupied territory” under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (24– 30 September 2020)

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (24– 30 September 2020)

24 – 30 September 2020

  • 17 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist, wounded in IOF excessive use of force:
  • 11 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya; 2 others in Ramallah; 3, including a journalist, in Nablus; and a child in Hebron.
  • Israeli naval forces drown and damage 3 Palestinian boats;
  • 2 shootings reported eastern Gaza Strip;
  • In 62 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 49 civilians arrested, including 7 children, a woman, and a person with disability;
  • West Bank: IOF demolished 4 houses, 3 residential tents, and 7 barracks; 3 dunums razed and lands confiscated;
  • Palestine TV denied from covering demolition in Tubas, and its broadcast vehicle confiscated;
  • Settler-attacks: 50 olive trees burned; 2 farms attacked in Nablus and Bethlehem;
  • IOF established 54 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. This week, IOF attacks rendered 9 Palestinian civilians wounded in excessive use of force, including a child and a journalist in the West Bank. IOF also continued its policy of demolishing and destroying Palestinian houses and facilities for its settlement expansion schemes.

In another evidence of the systematic Israeli policy against press crews, and Palestinian and international media agencies operating in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), IOF confiscated Palestine TV vehicle and handed its driver a confiscation warrant, under the pretext that the vehicle and Palestine TV its staff were present in a closed military zone in Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, to obstruct their work and prevent them from revealing the truth about Israeli violations. PCHR considers these violations part of a well-planned scheme to isolate the oPt from the rest of the world and to eliminate stories about IOF crimes against Palestinian civilians in the oPt.

This week, PCHR documented 35 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: 9 civilians wounded in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank; 11 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya; 2 others in Ramallah; 3, including a journalist, in Nablus; and a child in Hebron.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands and twice at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip. Israeli naval forces drowned and damaged 3 Palestinian boats.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 62 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, 49 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children, a woman and a person with disability. In Gaza, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Rafah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 violations, including:

  • Bethlehem: 3 residential tents and 5 barracks demolished; 3 dunums razed;
  • Hebron: 3 houses served cease-construction notices, concrete pump and cement mixer confiscated; and 2 houses (built of bricks and tin-plates) demolished;
  • Tubas: 1639 sqm confiscated; 2 houses demolished in the Northern Valley; and 2 cars confiscated, including Palestine TV’s car.
  • Nablus: tin-plated barracks demolished;
  • Jericho: barracks demolished.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers documented 2 attacks: 50 Perennial olive trees burned, southern Bethlehem; and two poultry farms assaulted with stones and sharp tool, one in Nablus.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, 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.

Also, internal restrictions continued in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive week to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, after coronavirus cases were confirmed outside the quarantine centers in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the suffering of Gaza Strip population has increased especially in terms of health and the economy.

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. IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF stationed near Tal al-‘Asur street adjacent to the entrance of Kafr Malek village, west of Ramallah governorate, opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle while entering the abovementioned village. As a result, Mahmoud Farouq Ba’irat (18), was hit with a live bullet to his leg; and Jehad Fahed Ba’irat (19), was hit with a live bullet in his shoulder. Meanwhile, IOF prevented the access of the Palestinian Red Crescent’s medical personnel to the scene and took the two injured Palestinians to an Israeli hospital. IOF called the families of both Mahmoud and Jihad Ba’irat and informed them that their sons went into surgery at “Shaare Zedek” Medical Center in Israel. They told them that their health was stable, and that their detention was extended pending investigation, claiming that they threw Molotov cocktails at IOF.
  • At approximately 03:15, IOF moved into Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, in the central Jericho governorate. Dozens of young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers who responded by firing sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. The clashes continued for about an hour and half, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Friday, 25 September 2020, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuzaa and al-Qarara, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30, Nablus residents with the participation of the Factions of National Action in Nablus gathered in front of al-Abrar Mosque in Asira al-Qibliya, southeast of Nablus to hold a peaceful protest that was occurred heading to the Khilat al-Sakhra area, east of Nablus. The protestors raised the Palestinian flags and sang against the occupation, annexation and the Deal of the Century. As soon as they arrived, they found a large number of the Israeli soldiers are waiting for them, they suppressed the protest and fired live bullets, rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters against the peaceful protestors. As a result, three civilians were injured including the journalist Naser Suliman Shtayyeh (49), working at Flasha Agency, hit with a teargas canister to his back and treated in the spot; and the two other injuries were a 35-year-old man who was hit with a tear gas canister to his face, and the other one (25), was hit with a rubber bullet to his leg.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 7 civilians were shot with direct rubber bullets and sound bombs; two to the head, one in the chest, one in the hand, one in the back and the rest sustained rubber bullets in the limbs.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 26 September 2020, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of al-Shawka, east of Rafah. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint established at al-Shuhada’a closed street. A number of Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs, live bullets and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and chased them. Resulted in a number of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation and forced the owners of the stores to close their stores.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including a child, were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs, and one was hit in his back.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 27 September 2020, an Israeli infantry unit coming from “Karmei Tzur” settlement, stormed al-Thuhr neighborhood, south of Beit Ummar, and deployed between civilians’ houses. A group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with sound bombs, rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the stone-throwers. As a result, IOF withdrew at approximately 19:00, leaving a number of Palestinian civilians suffering teargas inhalation, and no incursions or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Monday, 28 September 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed at sea off al-Soudaniya area, in western Jabaliya, opened fire and water pumped Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5-6 nautical miles. As a result, 3 fishing boats were severely damaged and sank, and no injuries were reported. The 3 fishing boats belonged to fishermen from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of the Gaza Strip. Following are the details:
  1. Boat belonging to Ali Nafiz Salah (34), a boat used for lighting, fishermen were able to retrieve the boat later; 27 boat lights and a generator were lost.
  2. Boat belonging to Adel Sa’eed Abu Riyala (47), whose boat sank and was not found.
  3. 10 boat lights damaged; the boat belongs to Mahmoud Khalil Abu Riyala (34).
  • At approximately 07:15 on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and intermittently opened fire at them, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed between civilians’ houses, established checkpoints at the village’s entrances and closed the village. IOF searched the vehicles and ID cards of Palestinians before letting them leave the village. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing rubber and live bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. The clashes continued for over than 3 hours and resulted in dozens of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation, and Younis Sufian Obaid (17), and Mohammed Wael Obaid (23), were arrested.
  • At approximately 19:30 on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron, and stationed in al-Qrinat area, and deployed between civilians’ houses. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing rubber and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. As a result, a 16-year-old child was shot in his chest and he was referred to the PRC in Hebron by an ambulance. Medical sources described his health condition as moderate. No arrests were reported.

       II. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 24 September 2020

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City neighborhoods. They raided and searched Sufiyan al-‘Ajouni’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF raided ‘Adnan Yousef Mostafa Jaradat’s (53) house located at the entrance to Silat_al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. IOF ordered ‘Adnan to bring all his money before searching the house. ‘Adnan’s wife, Salam Burhan Jaber, brought NIS 6400 and gave them to the Israeli officer.  After that, IOF were deployed in the house as a prelude to search it. Before their withdrawal, IOF wrote on a paper the value of the confiscated money, ordered ‘Adnan to sign on the paper and handed it to him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar  village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Abdullah Ibrahim Abu Mariyia’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, where they raided and searched Mostafa Jamal al-Remhi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ashraf ‘Abdullah al-Masry (43) and Mohammed Ashraf Abu al-Humus (21) and arrested both of them.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Yaser al-Razem (24) and Mohammed Khaled Hazinah (23) while they were near Bab Huta Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and took them to a police station in the Old City.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF arrested Yousef Ya’qoub al-Rashq (20) while he was near Bab Huta Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and took him to a police station in the Old City.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, Yousef ‘Ali al-Kaswani (22) and arrested him. It should be noted that al-Kaswani was arrested 3 times during the past 6 months; latest of which was a week ago. Al-Kaswai has been placed under house arrest for 3 months.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Zububa village, west of Jenin; Anabta village, east of Tulkarm; Kafr Qaddum village, east of Qalqilya; and Yatta, Beit Awwa, Sa’ir, and Hadab villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 25 September 2020

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF raided and searched Yazan Jamal ‘Atallah’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Shuyukh al-Arrub village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Kamal ‘Awidat’s ( 29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into al-Sa’diyia neighborhood, one of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City neighborhoods. They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, Nehad Bader Younis Zaghir (42), and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:20, IOF stationed at a temporary checkpoint established at the entrance to ‘Anin village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank, arrested Yousef al-Shami (26), from Jenin camp, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested Basem Mohammed ‘Asaliyia (46) and his son Malek (19) after severely beating them while they were near Alsilsila Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates. They were then taken to a police station in the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Far’un village, east of Tulkarm; and Halhul city and Hebron city in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

  • At approximately 12:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Mobtasem ‘Obaid (20) while he was at the eastern entrance to Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall in al-Dahra area, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank, arrested 3 children, including 2 siblings, and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as Mostafa (13) and Mohammed (12) Yousef ‘Asa’d Khalil Yaseen, and Mohammed Ayman Khalil Yaseen (13).

Sunday, 27 September 2020

  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 27 September 2020, the two children Saied Mohammed al-A’war (17) and Mohamed Subhi Zaloum (17) surrounded themselves to the Moscovia Prison in West Jerusalem, in order to complete their trial procedures after they were placed under 5-month actual and house arrest, in addition to deporting them away from their house located in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  It should be noted that al-A’war and   Zaloum surrounded themselves as a prelude to take them to Damon Prison until issuing a sentence against them. Both of them were accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at a bus carrying settlers. The two children were arrested on 05 April 2020 after raiding their houses in Silwan village. They were taken and interrogated in Ashkelon prison for 22 days; during which they were beaten, caused and shackled (shabeh) for several hours. After that, they were transferred to Megiddo Prison and then to  Damon Prison. The court extended their arrest until issuing the indictment. Al-A’war and Zaloum’s lawyer, Mohammed Mahmoud, submitted applications to the District Court, calling for releasing them and placing them under a house arrest, but the court refused his request. The lawyer filed an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court and managed to release them on parole on 06 April 2020.

Monday, 28 September 2020

  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Husan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Atiyia Shosha’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, ‘Emad al-Deen Khalil ‘Abisan (33) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF who were patrolling near “Elon Moreh“ settlement, which is established on Beit Furik, Deir al-Hatab and Salem villages lands, northeast of Nablus, arrested 4 civilians. IOF claimed that those civilians had Molotov cocktails. It turned out later that the arrestees are from Ein Beit al-Ma’ refugee camp, west of Nablus, and IOF took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as Mohammed Eyad Hamdi (18), Kareem Shaheen (19). Mohammed Akram Hamdi (19), and Mohammed Jalal Abu al-Reesh (18).
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Dura city, Beit Ula, al-Hadab and Beit ‘Amra villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed ‘Emad al-Badawi’s (14) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF stationed at Jit village intersection, north of Qalqilya, arrested ‘Alaa Hussam Nassar (20), from Anabta village, east of Tubas, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Qusai ‘Abed ‘Olayan (22), Mohammed Mousa Mostafa (19) and Yunis Wesam Abu al-Humus (18).
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Salam suburb in Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hazem Ayman al-Tamimi’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khalil Mohammed ‘Abed al-Latif’s (45) shop and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed at Deir Ballut intersection, west of Salfit, arrested Mo’taz Mousa Hussain Bari (22), from Immatain village in eastern Qalqilya, while heading to his workplace in Israel.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Immatain village in eastern Qalqilyia. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mousa Hussain Bari (49) and Mo’az Ibrahim Yamen (20) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Far’un village, east of Qalqilya; and Sa’ir, Imreish, Ash-Shuyukh, and Beit Einun villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses, from which they arrested 2 civilians; one of them was with disability while the other was a child. The arrestees were identified as Aows Mousa al-Salibi (20), a person with disability, and Obai Yousef Abu Mariyia (16).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Idna village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Shadi Hasan al-Batran’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child. The arrestees were identified as Hamza Khowis (18), Ayham Abu Jum’a (16) and Mohammed Abu Ghannam (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested ‘Ali Mousa al-‘Ajouri (21) and Saif Majed al-‘Ajouri (18).
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF moved into Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shadi ‘Abdullah al-Motawer (43), Fatah Movement Secretary, and arrested him. It should be noted that al-Motawer was deported from al-Aqsa Mosque for several months, and he is exposed to ongoing harassments by Israeli Intelligence Service; last of which was in mid-September 2020. Also, al-Motawer’s wife was deported to the West bank and her residency was withdrawn.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, where they raided and searched ‘Ayida Mohammed al-Sedawi’s (60) house and arrested her.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested 2 siblings identified as Ahmed (24) and Yaseen (26) Mohammed al-‘Araishi.

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

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF demolished 3 residential tents  and 5 barracks to graze sheep in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of  building without licensing. Ahmed Ghazal, Head of Kisan Village’s Council, said that IOF stormed Tina area, east of Kisan village, completely closed it, and prevented civilians from entering or leaving the village. He added that IOF bulldozers also demolished 5 barracks and 3 tents owned by Saleh Ahmed Obayat, Issa Abdullah Ghazal, and Salah Ahmed Obayat.
  • At approximately 10:00 on the same Thursday, IOF backed by several military construction vehicles accompanied with Civil Administration officers stormed Masafer Yatta area, south of Hebron and stationed in Ma’in area. Israeli authorities handed civilians 3 notices to halt construction in their houses under the pretext of building without licensing. Following are details of the notices:
  1. An under-construction house built on (100sqm); property of Issa Jamal Hamamdah.
  2. An under-construction house built on (110sqm); property of Ibrahim Mohammed Dababsa.
  3. An under-construction house built on (90sqm); property of Ibrahim Shehadah No’man.
  • On the same day, IOF issued a military order No. (20/12/H) to confiscate a 1,639 square meters from a land owned by Adnan Mustafa Amin Daraghmah in Kherbat Ghazal area in Jordan’s northern valleys to expand a water pumping station from an artesian water well feeding Israeli settlements and  military camps.
  • At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 26 September 2020, IOF backed by 2 military construction vehicles accompanied with Civil Administration officers stormed al-Khaldiyah area, east of Yatta area, south of Hebron. The soldiers raided a construction site and Israeli authorities prevented a concrete pump and mixer from reaching the site, detained them for a short time before confiscating them under the pretext of illegal work in Area (C).
  • At approximately 10:20 on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, IOF accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle and 2 bulldozers stormed Kherbat Yarza in Jordan’s northern valleys, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. IOF demolished 2 houses built on (60sqm) owned by Hafeth and Rami Nai, Hafeth Masaeed under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C). IOF also prevented Palestine TV Satellite crews from covering the incidents and confiscated their vehicle.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 10:20, on Monday, 29 September 2020, the Palestine TV reporter in Tubas, Ameer Shaheen, headed to Kherbet Yerza in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, to cover the demolition of two houses by IOF. The reporter arrived at the area in a Palestine TV vehicle, driven by Suliman Hejjeh (34). Upon their arrival, the two journalists saw an SUV of the Israeli Civil Administration present in the area to secure the demolition of two houses by Israeli bulldozers. Shaheen stepped out of the vehicle, 500 meters away from the two houses, and started to photograph the demolition. Meanwhile, Hejjeh said that: “Five minutes after our arrival, an Israeli liaison officer came and asked for my ID card and I gave it to him. He took it to another officer and then returned and told me to take everything from the vehicle because he would confiscate under the pretext of being in a closed military zone. They confiscated the vehicle and took it to an unknown destination after allowing us to take our belongings from it. The officers handed me a confiscation warrant.” Hejjeh added that his colleague Shaheen continued to photograph the demolition for half an hour until it was over. He called Tubas Governor and told him about the incident. The Governor sent a taxi for them to take them to Palestine TV office in Tubas.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stormed al-Baqi’ah hell in Jordan’s northern valleys, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. IOF confiscated a vehicle owned by Yusuf Qasem Mohammed Abu Arrah, a farmer, and handed him a paper of the confiscation decision.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF accompanied with Civil Administration bulldozer stormed al-Sababah area, east of Howarah area, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. The bulldozer demolished a barrack built of zinco sheets on (120sqm) owned by Jamil Jamal Khader, from Howara village. Khader  built  the barrack 3 months ago and cost him NIS 20,000 to use it as a car wash, but he was surprised  of a notice fixed on the barrack’s walls by IOF 4 days ago to demolish it within 96 hours under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, IOF uprooted dozens of olive trees after they leveled a land in Husan village, west of Bethlehem and demolished a pergola and pertaining walls.

Mohammed Sibatin, Head of Husan Village Council, said that IOF uprooted dozens of olive trees after leveling lands (estimated of 3 dunums) of many farmers in Kherbat Hammoudah, west of the village. Sibatin emphasized that IOF demolished pertaining walls and a pergola that was used as a store and implanting owned by Adel Sa’di Shushah under the pretext that these lands are under the Israeli full control and no one is allowed to enter them or prepare them. Sibatin also said that Israeli soldiers lately escalated their military measures against Palestinian farmers in the abovementioned area as they prevented them from approaching their lands adjacent to “Beitar Illit” settlement established on civilian’s lands, west of Bethlehem.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by several military construction vehicles accompanied with Civil Administration officers, a bulldozer, and a digger stormed Shi’b al Batin in al-Masafer area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between civilians’ houses while the bulldozer demolished 2 houses built of tin plates under the pretext of building without a license. The demolition included the following:
FacilityDistanceDescriptionConstruction yearOwnerIndividuals
Residential house50sqmBricks and tin plates2011Mohammed Ishaq Mahmoud Jabrin11
Residential house50sqmBricks and tin plates2011Mousa Ishaq Mahmoud Jabrin3
tent20sqmShader and pipes2015Mousa Ishaq Mahmoud Jabrin3
  • At the same time, IOF accompanied with Civil Administration vehicle ( bulldozer) stormed Jiftlik village, north of Jericho, north of the West Bank. The bulldozer demolished a barrack built of zinco sheets on (100m)owned by Hasan Salem Mousa al-Ka’abnah, from Jiftlik village. Al-Ka’abnah used part of the barrack as a home for him and his family comprised of 10 individuals, most of them are children, and the other part as animals’ barn. The demolition came under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and their Property

  • On Friday, 25 September 2020, Israeli settlers burnt 50 olive trees in Wadi al-Shami area, southwest of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Mohammed Brijiyah, Head of Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission said that Israeli settlers from “Neve Daniel” settlement established on lands of al-Khader village, burnt 50 olive trees implanted for more than 20 years in Wadi al-Sham area, southwest of al-Khader village, owned by Amin Khader Salah.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 26 September 2020, a group of Israeli settlers from the group of “Paying the Price”, from Esh Kodesh settlement outpost, southeast of Nablus, attacked Ras al-Nakhel area, east of Qasrah village, adjacent to the abovementioned The settlers attacked 2 poultry farms, one of them is owned by Fadi Awatlah and Adli Mohammed Rezeq and the other is owned by Abdul Haki, al-Wadin using stones and sharp tools. The settlers  punctured the water tanks feeding the land with sharp tools, damaged electricity panels, water and cooling pumps,  and  sat fire into a land owned by Adli Mohammed Rezeq, as a tractor and an illegal car were completely burnt before civilians gathered and  extinguished the fire. In the meantime, clashes erupted between settlers and civilians and Israeli soldiers intervened in favor of the settlers and protected them and took them back to the settlement outpost. Clashes between Israeli soldiers and civilians continued during which the soldiers fired tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

        IV. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

IOF declared closing the West Bank and Gaza Strip crossings on Sunday, 27 September 2020, and Monday, 28 September 2020, due to Jewish holiday of “Yom Kippur.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that West Bank crossings will be closed during the abovementioned days, except for the following crossings: al-Zaytoun crossing, Checkpoint 300/Bethlehem Road, Qalandiya Checkpoint in Jerusalem Suburbs, Barta’a checkpoint, Nabi Ilyas checkpoint for residents in seam points. The Coordinator added that these crossings will work on a limited  scope for humanitarian and urgent cases and for specific groups of people, who can enter Israel through their permits.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities declared that only humanitarian  and life-saving cases will be allowed to travel through Beit Hanou “Erez” crossing, while Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum)  will be closed.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 54 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 Sunday, 27 September 2020, IOF established metal detector gates, and put cement cubes at the entrances to Arab neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem and completely closed them, obstructing the traffic movement in all neighborhoods. This was coincided with Israel’s celebration of Jewish holiday of “Yom Kippur”, in which it is prohibited to use vehicles and all kinds of transportations until late hour on the next day evening. It should be noted that the Israeli government declared  on 22 September 2020, imposing a wide-scale lockdown that included several sectors, coinciding with the widespread of coronavirus  as they impose huge fines on occupied East Jerusalem’s residents who move about 1000 meter away from their houses or leave their house to do their business without a permit.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Atara village’s bridge, Silwad, and Ein Yabrud villages, in Ramallah.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, the entrance to Nahalin village, Aqabet Hasanah area leading to villages, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 25 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to  al-Khader, Bet Fajjar, and Nahalin villages, west of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 26 September 2020, IOF completely closed military Checkpoint (300), north of Bethlehem” in front of civilians’ movement and tightened their measures at “al-Nafaq” and al-Container checkpoints. IOF also  established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar, Tuqu, Nahalin, and Marah Rabah villages, near al-Nashash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 27 September 2020, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Tuqu villages, the entrances to Nahalin, Ash-Shawawra, and Marah Rabah villages,  and near al-Nashash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 26 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Tuqu village, and near al-Nashash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 29 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Jala, Beit Fajjar, Tuqu, and al-Kahder villages.
  • On Wednesday, 30 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, and Aqabet Hassnah leading to villages west of Bethlehem.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to: Beit Awwa village, Hebron’s southern entrance, and Kharsa village
  • On Friday, 25 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Jalajel and Beit villages, Hebron’s western entrance, and ad-Dhahiriya village.
  • On Saturday, 26 September 2020, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa village, al-Fawar refugee camp, Hebron’s western and eastern entrances, and Bani Na’im village.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 27 September 2020, IOF closed al-Ibrahim Mosque in the center of Hebron’s Old City and prevented Palestinian civilians from approaching it or performing prayers in it. Israeli authorities claimed that the closure was due to “Simchat Torah”
  • On Monday, 26 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu villages, and Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Tuesday, 29 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Kharsa village, and Beit Ummar village.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 24 September 2020, IOF established2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beita village, branching from Nablus-Ramallah street, at intersections of Sarra village, branching from Nablus-Qalqilya street, southwest of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 27 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qabalan village, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Monday, 28 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near the intersection of Deir Sharaf village (on Nablus – Tulkarm main road), west of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 27 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin.

Salfit:

  • on Saturday, 27 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 28 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit.

Qalqilya:

  • on Saturday, 27 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafr Laqif village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Tuesday, 29 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Tulkarm:

  • On Monday, 28 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to Saffarin village, southeast of Tulkarm.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (17– 23 September 2020)

Source

September 24, 2020 – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

17 – 23 September 2020

  • Palestinian dentist dies of heart attack after an Israeli stun grenade fell next to him near the annexation wall in Jenin;
  • 9 Palestinian civilians wounded in IOF excessive use of force:
  • 8 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya, and the 9th was wounded in Tulkarm;
  • shootings reported at agricultural lands and 3 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip;
  • In 84 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 68 civilians arrested, including 4 children;
  • Israel imposed lockdown on the West Bank and sealed off Gaza crossing for the Jewish New Year;
  • 2 Palestinians from Gaza arrested, one at Erez Crossing while travelling for medical treatment abroad; and another after attempting to sneak into Israel;
  • IOF demolished a house, wedding hall, and an apartment in Ramallah and Tulkarm; lands confiscated in Hebron and Nablus;
  • Settler-attacks: 16 dunums razed, a farm destroyed, and 1050 trees uprooted in Salfit and Nablus;
  • IOF established 59 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. This week, IOF attacks caused the death of Palestinian dentist, and wounded 9 Palestinian civilians in excessive use of force during raids into Palestinian cities. IOF also continued its policy of demolishing and destroying Palestinian houses and facilities for its settlement expansion schemes.

The curfew continues in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive week to limit the spread of coronavirus after cases were discovered outside quarantine centers. PCHR warns of the catastrophic implications of coronavirus spread in the Gaza Strip, especially with its already-exhausted health care system due to 14 years of illegal and inhuman closure and collective punishment policies imposed by IOF on the Gaza Strip.

This week, PCHR documented 166 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 attacks caused the death of Palestinian dentist and wounded 9 civilians in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank. Nedal Mohammed Akram Jabarin (54) died after he suffered a heart attack after Israeli soldiers fired concussion grenades approximate to him, near the Annexation Wall, southwestern Jenin, northern West Bank. The dentist was en route to his clinic, located in a village inside Israel. As to civilian injuries: 8 were wounded in IOF suppression of two peaceful protests in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya, and the 9th was wounded in Tulkarm;

including a child and a journalist: 4 were wounded, including journalist Nasser Shtayyeh (52) from Salem village who sustained a live bullet in the neck, at Kafr Qaddum weekly protest against settlement expansion activities in Qalqilya; another civilian sustained wounds near the Annexation Wall in Jenin, and a child was wounded in IOF raid into Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands and 3 others at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 84 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, 68 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 children. In Gaza, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Rafah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 11 violations, including:

  • Ramallah: house and support wall demolished;
  • Bethlehem: demolition notice served to an under-construction house;
  • Hebron: a tin-plated room, stone chains, and an agricultural room were demolished; cease-work for a treatment centre, two excavators and trucks were confiscated; also, a 70 m³ concrete-built water tank was demolished. IOF also demolished a 600 m electric-network. Several land plots were razed, including one made with ready mix concrete. A sit-in tent was confiscated; and military confiscation orders of 3000 m² were served, as follows:
  • Nablus: confiscation notice for 803 meters for “Tomer” settlement (considered an agricultural community).
  • Tubas: demolition notices for two agricultural facilities (barracks);
  • Tulkarm: wedding hall and an apartment demolished (area of approximately 900 m²).

Settler-attacks: 16 dunums of fruitful-trees razed, an entire farm demolished, and 950 trees uprooted. Additionally, settlers demolished a caravan, fences and support-walls, an several Zawiyas in Salfit. In Nablus, settlers uprooted at least 100 olive trees.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Thursday, 17 September 2020, Israeli authorities declared a full security lockdown on the West Bank, and closed Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) and Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossings for the Jewish New Year. The lockdown continued from Friday morning until Monday, 21 September 2020, during which Palestinians were not allowed to enter Israel, except for humanitarian, medical and urgent cases after obtaining a special permit from the Coordinator Office in the Territories. IOF usually imposes a full-scale closure and restriction on Palestinian’s movement during the Jewish holidays.

Meanwhile, 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.

Also, internal restrictions continued in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive week to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, after coronavirus cases were confirmed outside the quarantine centers in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the suffering of Gaza Strip population has increased especially in terms of health and the economy.

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

 I. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 18 September 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and intermittently opened fire at them for an hour, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 18 September 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were shot; one of them was shot to his head, and the rest was shot to their limbs.
  • At approximately 14:00, a number of Palestinian young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint established at al-Shuhada’a closed street. A number of Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs, live bullets and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and chased them around Be’er Sheva and Beir al-Hums streets. Resulted in a number of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation.
  • Also on Friday evening, a Palestinian dentist died after he suffered a heart attack due to Israeli soldiers’ firing of concussion grenades approximate to him, near the Annexation Wall, southwestern Jenin, northern West Bank. The dentist was in route to his clinic, located in a village inside Israel.

According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 14:30 on Friday, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) deployed by the Annexation Wall, near Barta’a checkpoint, southwestern of Jenin, shot stun grenades and teargas canisters at Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel via holes in the annexation wall, some going to work in Israel. Several stun grenades fell near the late dentists, Nedal Mohammed Akram Jabarin (54), from al-Marah neighborhood in Jenin, while he was at least 100 meters away from the gates. Jabarin was going to his dental clinic in Barta’a village, located behind the annexation wall. As a result, he suffered a heart attack and was transported to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin where he was pronounced dead. Jabarin’s family confirmed to PCHR’s fieldworker that the dentist did not suffer any illnesses or any health problems.

It should be noted that the late Dr. Jabarin had two dental clinics, one in Jenin and the other in Barta’a village; the latter was recently opened, and he was heading for work at the Barta’a clinic when he was killed. Dr. Jabarin went through one of the holes in the annexation wall due to the Israeli-imposed full lockdown on the West Bank since Friday morning for the Jewish New Year; the lockdown will continue until Sunday midnight, as well as the 3-week complete lockdown announced in Israel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While stun and tear gas grenades are widely used across the globe to disperse protests and gatherings, they are often used by IOF in violation of international standards which prohibit shooting such grenades directly at people. This practice has led, in dozens of cases, to death and extreme injuries. Additionally, the explosion of stun grenades near targeted persons causes temporary hearing loss as well as direct injuries.

  • At approximately 00:30 on Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Ali al-Kaswani’s (22) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing rubber and live bullets and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. Resulted in dozens of civilians in the area suffered teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 09:15, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and intermittently opened fire at them for an hour, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Fukhari village, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area. Clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were shot with live bullets; one to the shoulder, two in the back, and the fourth sustained a bullet in the thigh.
  • At approximately 21:00, an Israeli infantry unit stormed the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and deployed between civilians’ houses causing fear and panic. A group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with teargas canisters against the stone-throwers. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered teargas inhalation, and no incursions or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Sunday, 20 September 2020, IOF moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron and stationed near the UNRWA distribution center. IOF stopped and searched the Palestinian vehicles and checked their ID cards. A group of young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with sound bombs and teargas canisters randomly against the stone-throwers and houses. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered teargas inhalation, and no incursions or arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:10 on Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF moved into Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at Palestinian civilians, claiming that they were exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, a 20-years-old civilian was shot with a direct teargas canister to his lower limbs, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ibrahim Abu Shammala (21) and Hamada Abu Shammala (19). Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets and teargas canisters against them. As a result, dozens of Palestinian civilians suffered teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of al-Qarara village, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 07:40 on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, IOF stationed inside the annexation wall, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands east of Khuza’a village, adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. No injuries were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and intermittently opened fire at them, causing fear and panic among the Palestinian fishermen forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

  II. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 17 September 2020:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin, where they raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mohammed Khaled ‘Abdullah Jaradat (20), Rafeeq Mohanad Rafeeq ‘Amarnah (21), Taleb ‘Abdullah Jaradat (22), Ahmed Maher Sa’ied Sha’abnah (20), and Ahmed Rafeeq Mohammed ‘Amarnah (20).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta city in southern Hebron, where they raided and searched Yunis Mohammed al-Najjar’s (39) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched three houses, from which they arrested Ahmed ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Sel (20), Mohammed Khaled Abu Sel (19) and Jehad ‘Emad al-Titi (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mo’ath Nehad ‘Obaid (22) and Akram Ghadeb ‘Obaid (18) along with his brother Mohammed (26).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Harsh al-Sa’ada area, east of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested two siblings Ahmed (22) and Mohammed (24) Ziyad Abu Kharj.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Lid village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched ‘Emad ‘Abed al-Raheem al-Rayys’s (49) house and arrested his him along with his son Ja’far (18).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Iba village, west of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mojahed Jamal Saleem’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr Dan village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mohammed Fareq ‘Abed (34) and Mohammed Ahmed Salah (38).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed in Abu Ktilah neighborhood. They raided and searched two houses, from which they arrested Ahmed Fahed al-Natsha (30) and Mansour Ahmed al-Natsha (28).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mo’tasem Salem Srour’s (23) house and arrested him. Srour was later released after interrogating him for few hours.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Ali Mahmoud al-Qaq (22) and Ibrahim Foad Khalil Abu Ya’qoub (24) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 13:40, an Israeli special undercover unit “Mista’arvim” sneaked into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank, via a bus with a Palestinian license plate and stationed near Ya’bad fuel station. They arrested Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Awidat Zakarna (26), from Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin, taking him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, where they raided and searched Ibrahim Mohammed al-Natsha’s (24) house and arrested him. Few hours later, al-Natsha was released provided that he would be deported from al-Aqsa Mosque for a week, and then he will return to al-Qashla Police Station to renew his deportation.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tammun village in  Tubas; in Saffarin, southeast of Tulkarm; and in Al-Bireh and Birzeit in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 18 September 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hanthaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Jameel ‘Abed Jawareesh’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF stationed at lions gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested 7 civilians while getting out of al-Aqsa Mosque and took them to al-Qashla police station for interrogation. The arrestees were identified as: Rami Salah al-Fakhori (29), Ibrahim Mohammed al-Natsha (24), Jehad Naser Qawas (26), Ahmed ‘Abdullah Abu Ghazala (51), Ahmed al-Natsha, Rafat Sameeh Najeeb (32), and ‘Esam ‘Abdullah ‘Emirah (72). After interrogating them for few hours, Israeli police released ‘Esam‘Emirah and Rafat  Najeeb provided that they would be deported from al-Aqsa Mosque for 6 months, in addition to imposing a fine of NIS 5000 on them, under the pretext of inciting Palestinians and organizing illegal assembly.. Also, Israeli police released Rami al-Fakhori  provided that he would be deported from al-Aqsa Mosque for  a week.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint in central Jordan Valley, north of the West Bank, arrested Khaled Mohammed al-Bazour (33) from Raba village, southeast of Jenin.
  • At approximately 19:20, IOF backed by military vehicles moved 100 meters towards al-Shawka village in eastern Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The military vehicles leveled and combed lands before they redeployed along the border fence.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Hamza Abu Nab (17) while he was near Herod Gate, central of occupied East Jerusalem. Abu Nab was severely beaten and taken to “ al-Breed” police station on Salah al-Deen street.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Sebastia, Madama, Burin, and Sarra villages in Nablus; and As-Samu, Surif and Haska villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Arraba village, southwest of Jenin; and in Al-Bireh  and Beit Ummar and Nuba villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron, where they raided and searched Adham Ziyad Abu ‘Aisha’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Deir Sammit village, southwest of Dura city, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Islam Sabri Daib Masalma’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at lions gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested ‘Abdullah al-Joulani (20) and Mohammed ‘Atieq (20), taking them to a police station in the city.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus; and as-Samu, ad-Dhahiriya and Kerza villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 21 September 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Sa’ir village in Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed ‘Isaa Shalaldah’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Anabta village in  eastern Tulkarm, where they raided and searched Khairy Sa’ied Hanoun’s (60) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Isawiya  village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Malek Mostafa’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to journalist Mohammed Qarout Edkidak (27) and handed him a notice to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Moscovia “ police station in west Jerusalem. It should be noted that IOF arrested Edkidak 3 weeks ago after storming his house and interrogated him in al Bareed police station about his journalistic work and owning drone for aerial photography. Edkidak was released next day dawn on bail.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Qalqilyia, where they raided and searched Mo’tasem Mohammed Nazzal’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF and accompanied with military vehicles moved into Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus, and patrolled the village streets. They arrested Omar ‘Atallah Hazem (13) and Mohammed Sa’adah Khalil (14) and released them later in front of “Ali” and “Shvut Rahel” settlements near the village.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in An-Nassariya, Salim, Azmut, and Madama villges in Nablus; and Ash-Shuyukh and Deir al-‘Asal villages in Hebron.No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Aida Camp, north of Bethlehem, where they raided and searched Mohammed Ziyad ‘Ateeq’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Al-Eizariya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Khaled Hamad’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Handaza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Aseed Hasan al-Wardayn’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Moneer Nasee, Taqatqah’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Husam Mohammed al-Sheikh’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:20, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saied Mahmoud Nakhla (62), Leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:40, IOF moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rashad Mohammed Hammad (27) and Mujahed Mahmoud al-Najjar (30) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Fadi Bajes al-Remawi’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:40, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched ‘Abdul Qader Mostafa al-Khawaja’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Mohammed al-Zain (25), from al-Thawri neighborhood in southern occupied East Jerusalem, while he was on al-Wad Street in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Al-Zain was severely beaten and taken to al-Qashla Police Station. Few hours later, al-Zain was released after paying a fine of NIS 500, under the pretext of violating COVID-19 rules, and was deported 1000 meters away from his house.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Birzeit village, north of Ramallah; and Sa’ir, Khasa and Halhul villages. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into as-Samu village in southern Hebron, where they raided and searched Mohammed Eyad Khalila’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed in Johar Mount area. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Abu Hamida’s (40) house and withrew later. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into      Beit Fajjar village in southern Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to a former prisoner, Shaher ‘Isaa Taqatqah’s (25) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Tubas city, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested ‘Obada Shareef ‘Abed al-Razeq (29), taking him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at Mavi Dotan checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Saleh Khaled Sadeq Yaseen “Kmail” (18) and Hafiz Ibrahim Zayoud “ Kmail” (40), from Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Burqa village, northwest of Nablus; and Al-Arroub refugee camp and Al-Majd village in Hebron.  No arrests were reported.

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

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • At approximately 02:20 on Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF reinforced with military construction vehicles and 2 bulldozers stormed Beit Sira village, west of Ramallah and stationed at the entrance to al-Latroun street (443), adjacent to the village’s intersection. They demolished Mohammed Ismail Anqawi’s house (37).

Mohammed said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he started constructing his 2-story house on (100sqm) in 2010, and he and his family lived in it on 10 May 2020.  Anqawi emphasized that on 15 June 2020, he received a notice from the Israeli Civil Administration to demolish his house under the pretext non-licensing and illegal construction in Area (C) according to the 1993 Oslo Accords. He added that he headed to Israeli courts more than one and the appeals decisions to demolish the house were rejected. On the same day, at dawn, he was surprised when IOF completely demolished his house.  Anqawi pointed out that the house cost him about NIS 300,000.

  • On Thursday, morning 17 September 2020, IOF notified an under-construction house in Tuqu village, southeast of Bethlehem and confiscated a concrete pump. Mayor of Tuqu village, Tayseer Abu Mefreh, said that IOF stormed al-Halqoum area, west of the village and notified Faisal Mohammed al-Amou to halt construction in his under-construction house. Abu Mefreh said that IOF notified his 2-story house built on (140 sqm) under the pretext of non-licensing. He added that IOF confiscated a concrete pump from al-Ma’moun Concrete Factory while pouring cement on his house. IOF threatened Abu Mefreh of not working on the house he would be subject to legal prosecution.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by several military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and a bulldozer stormed Kherbat al-Tibah, east of Tarqumiyah village, northwest of Hebron. The soldiers deployed the area and the bulldozer demolished a tinplate room built on (16 sqm) and stone chain fixed with barbed wire around the ground owned by Mohammed Nayef Mahmoud Shalalfah (45), from Tarqumiyah village.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF backed by 2 military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and a bulldozer stormed Kherbat al-Jomjomah, north of Hebron. They demolished an agricultural room built of bricks and tinplate on (70 sqm) and a 70-sqaure-meter water well owned Ashraf Mohammed al-Hamouri under the pretext of non-licensing and illegal construction in Area (C). Israeli authorities gave notices to halt construction in the site on 05 November 2020.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF fixed a notice on an electricity column in Madama village, southeast of Nablus, to confiscate 803 meters of a basin No. (7) in Nabe’a Fasayel, al-Zummarah area, well No. (3) affiliated with Madama village lands, south of the village, in order to establish a water purification plant in favor of Tomer agricultural settlement.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF reinforced with Israeli Civil Administration vehicles stormed Jordan northern valleys, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. Israeli authorities fixed to notices on agricultural facilities’ walls owned by Rami and Hafeth Masaeed. The notices were to remove the 2 facilities within 96 hours under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (c).
  • At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, IOF backed by several military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers stormed Zif village, northeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. They stationed a land donated from the owners of the Senneh family belongs to Cancer Patients Charitable Society that was leveled to build a treatment center. The soldiers stopped the construction vehicles’ work and confiscated 2 diggers, 2 trucks owned by civilians from Abu Romouz family. It should be noted that this land that has been worked on for 2 months is about 18 dunums.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, IOF backed by 6 military construction vehicles and bulldozer stormed Kherbat Jbarah village, south of Tulkarm. They demolished a wedding hall and an apartment built on (900 sqm) owned by Jawhar Farah Abu Jaber and registered under his step-mother’s name, Hanan Hamed Abu Jaber, from al-Tiaba city, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (G). The property was under the threat of confiscation in favor of constructing an industrial zone for settlements in the abovementioned area. It should be noted that the period to appeal the wedding hall case before the Supreme Court has not ended as 12 days remain; meanwhile, a final demolition order had not been issued.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet Taha area, south of Dura City, southwest of Hebron. IOF were deployed in the area, while military construction vehicles demolished Mohammed Mahmoud Qateel’s water tank and electrical power network, in addition to electricity poles belonging to Dura Municipality. IOF also demolished Mofeed ‘Abed al-Rahman Hamdan’s concrete floor.

Moreover, IOF confiscated a sit-in tent established by the village residents a month ago to protest against declaring the area as state-owned lands.  It should be noted that on 14 September 2020, Israeli authorities served the aforementioned civilians 96-hour demolition notices, Military orders No. 1797, that gave the concerned civilians 4 days to sort out their legal matters before the demolition and removal. The military decision No. (1797) issued in 2018, which authorizes the Israeli Civil Administration inspector to issue a demolition or removal decision against any building, in which construction has not been completed within (6 months) or has not yet been inhabited (30 days) from the date of the inspector’s arrival to the site.

This kind of notices deprives civilians of their right to defend their houses or facilities. The Israeli Supreme Court also refuses all appeals submitted to freeze or cancel these notices. Also, civilians are denied the opportunity to license their targeted properties, because of the limited time period granted in the military order.

  • At approximately 10:40, IOF backed by Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer stormed Bab Shehab area, south of Ni’lin  village, west of Ramallah. The bulldozer demolished a retaining wall built of bricks and cement. The land is surrounded with an agricultural land (1 dunum and 200 meter) owned by Husein Fayez al-Khawaja. The demolition decision came with no prior warning under the pretext of illegal construction in Area (C).
  • On Wednesday morning, Israeli authorities handed civilians in the southern area in Hebron a decision to confiscate 3000 square meters of civilian’s lands distributed on several areas ( the confiscation was for military purposes), which expires 21 December 2022, and civilians have the right to submit an appeal to obtain compensation from the competent authorities. Israeli authorities use these decisions to establish watchtowers, most of the sites defined in the decision are classified as H2 area, which fall under the Israeli jurisdiction according to Oslo Accords

Israeli Settlers’ Attacks

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 17 September 2020, an group of Israeli settlers accompanied with bulldozers stormed Bedia village, west of Salfit, secured by IOF. the settlers attacked civilians’ lands in Khelat Eliyah and Abu Sharoukh area and leveled 16 dunums planted with fruitful trees, completely demolished a farm, uprooted 950 trees, demolished a caravan, and fences and retaining walls and corners. Following are details of the demolition construction:
Owner’s namePlot NumberItem NumberItem NameType of AttackLand area
Saleem Mohammed67Khelat EliyanLeveling 4 dunums, uprooting 100 olive trees, 500 almonds, 10 figs, 20 grapes, 2 citrus, demolishe 280-meter fence, demolish 70 corners,   and demolish 500-meter retaining walls4 dunums
Kamel Yusuf Salamah and Wael Yusuf Salamah612Khelat EliyanLeveling 6 dunums, uprooting 100 olive trees, qnd 50 almods, 40 figs, and 40 grapes, demolishing 640-meter fence, and 200-meter retaining wall6 dunums and 993 meters
Dawoud Abdul Rahman Abdullah Hassan21Abu SharoukhDemolishing a 30-square caravan, uprooting more than 20 olive trees, leveling a 50-meter fence. Demolishing a 50 meter retaining wall5 dunums and 967 meters
  • On Friday morning, 18 September 2020, a group of Israeli settlers from the group of “Paying the Price” attacked took part from “Rahlim” settlement, southeast of Nablus, into the northern area in As-Sawiya, southeast of Nablus, near the abovementioned settlement. They uprooted 100 olive trees, each tree is 50 years old, owned by Ahmed Khairi Abdul Rahman, Motlaq Mousa Motlaq Abu Ras, Abdullah Yusuf Abdullah Abu Ras, and Oudah Abdul Karim al-Khatib.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

On Thursday, 17 September 2020, Israeli authorities declared a full security lockdown on the West Bank, and closed Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) and Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossings for the Jewish New Year. The lockdown will continue from Friday morning until Monday, 21 September 2020, during which Palestinians were not allowed to enter Israel, except for humanitarian, medical and urgent cases after obtaining a special permit from the Coordinator Office in the Territories. IOF usually imposes a full-scale closure and restriction on Palestinian’s movement during the Jewish holidays.

Gaza Strip:

  • 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. Of all the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, only 2 currently function: Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) for movement of goods and Beit Hanoun (Erez) for movement of individuals. The Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items”, despite their importance in reviving the market, manufacturing and maintenance. As to Beit Hanoun crossing, it is almost completely closed except for emergency humanitarian cases. Lately, a very limited number of individual cases of patients who have obtained medical referrals and financial coverage to Israel were able to travel, and some others referred to Israeli organizations working in the field of health for assistance in coordination.

For the third consecutive week, curfew is still imposed on the Gaza Strip to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, especially after coronavirus cases were confirmed outside the quarantine centers in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the suffering of Gaza Strip population has increased, and there are warns of catastrophic deterioration in their living conditions, especially if the state of emergency is maintained for a lengthy period without establishing mechanisms to protect the poor, unemployed and day laborers, and support low-income households who lost their incomes due to the state of emergency and curfew.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 59 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 Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Anan village, and the northern entrance to al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Thursday, 18 September 2020, IOF imposed a complete closure on neighborhoods and villages of occupied East Jerusalem and restricted its measures on all checkpoints that connects between the West Bank cities and occupied East Jerusalem, within measures taken by the Israeli government to combat the spread of corona virus, which is increasing, especially during the Israeli holidays. IOF also denied access of workers from the West Bank, including permits holders, from entering occupied Jerusalem and Israel, except for diplomatic and international missions, humanitarian cases and emergency medical cases after prior coordination for them.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF tightened their measures at Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem and Jaba military checkpoint connecting between occupied Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Jericho cities, and they obstructed the traffic movement.
  • On Sunday, 20 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Biddu village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • At approximately 21:00 on 21 September 2020, IOF established a military checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of Ramallah. They searched vehicles, checked civilians’ ID cards and confiscated 2 vehicles with illegal Israeli registration plate owned by Ouda Abu Rajilah and Hasan al-Bazar, from ‘Atara village. On the same day, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to: al-Mazra’a eastern village, Silwad, and Ein Yabrud village, Ramallah.
  • On the same day, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to: al-Mazra’a eastern, Silwad, and Ein Yabrud villages in Ramallah.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Marah Rabah village, the western entrance to Tuqu village, near al-Khader village, Aqabet Hasnah area, leading to villages west of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday 18 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western and northern entrances to Tuqu village, east of Bethlehem, and in Aqabet Hasnah area, leading to villages in west of the city.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF closed al-Container” checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, obstructed the vehicles’ movement, and established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrances to Tuqu village, western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, the entrance to Marah Rabah village, and near al-Nashash area, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 20 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Rashiadah and Marah Rabah villages, near the entrances to Jannatah and Tuqu villages, Aqabet Hasaniah area, leading to villages in west of Bethlehem, and near the intersection of al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF tightened their measures at al-Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem and established 6 checkpoints at the entrances to Tuqu, Beit Fajjar , Jannatah, and Nahalin villages, Aqabet Hasaniah area leading to villages west of Bethlehem, and near the intersection al-Nashash area, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 22 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Fajjar area, south of Bethlehem.

Jericho:

  • On Friday, 18 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to: Idhna village, al-Aroub refugee camp, and al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 18 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, and Bani Na’im villages
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrances to Hebron, al-Fawar refugee camp, and ad-Dhahiriya village.
  • On Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to: Hebron’s southern entrance, entrance to Yatta city, Bani Na’im village’s entrance, and al-Fawar refugee camp.

Nablus:

  • On Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersections of Shavei Shomron settlement, west of Nablus.
  • On Wednesday, 23 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Howarah village entrance, southeast of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 18 September 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersections of Ya’bad village, and Arana village’s intersection.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection if Arana village, northeast of Jenin.
  • On Wednesday, 23 September 2020IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kfairet village’s entrance, west of Jenin.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 19 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.
  • On Sunday, 20 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 18 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, and the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Tuesday, 22 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of Qalqilya.

Tulkarm:

  • On Thursday, 17 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qifin village, north of Tulkarm.
  • On Monday, 21 September 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ertah Suburb, south of Tulkarm.
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