Exclusive: Truce reached in Gaza, PIJ demands agreed upon

7 Aug, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al Mayadeen’s sources report that an agreement has been reached on a ceasefire in Gaza, and the announcement will be made in the coming hours.

A rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards the occupied lands, Gaza, Palestine, Sunday, August 7, 2022 (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Sources confirmed on Sunday to Al Mayadeen that a ceasefire in Gaza has been reached agreeing to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s demands in full.

The sources confirmed the agreement on a truce in the Gaza Strip and noted that the announcement will be made in the following hours.

The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

Israeli media, quoting Israeli political sources, said that the ceasefire will enter into force at 11:30 this evening.

In turn, political and military affairs writer, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, confirmed to Al Mayadeen that “the truce was delayed because the enemy renounced implementing the demands,” warning that they should be cautious “because the Israeli enemy is treacherous.”

Abdel Rahman added that “the rockets that targeted Ben Gurion Airport caused great losses for the enemy that is lying.”

He added, “The Al-Quds Brigades escalated and pushed the enemy to seek a de-escalation.”

This comes after Palestinian sources revealed earlier today to Al Mayadeen that “the Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) possesses a game-changing weapon.”

Earlier, the representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) in Lebanon, Ihsan Ataya, said in an interview with Al Mayadeen that “the mediations that are taking place seek to save the Zionist entity,” stressing that “we have not accepted any mediation that does not confirm our right to defend our people.” 

The Israeli occupation began on August 5 with aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Taiseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

Consequently, Al-Quds Brigades launched an operation in response to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is worth noting that at least five people, most of them children, were martyred and 10 were injured as a result of an Israeli shelling that targeted Jabalia Camp yesterday, bringing the number of martyrs since the beginning of the Israeli aggression to 31, including six children, and the number of wounded reached 253.

[To be updated]

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Al-Quds Brigades: Missile capabilities tiny portion of actual ability

August 7, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The military spokesperson for Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza, warns that the missile capabilities revealed so far, “draining our foolish enemy”, are but a small portion of the movement’s actual ability. 

Al-Quds Brigades: Missile capabilities are only a small part of preparations.

The military spokesperson for Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza, said today the Brigades pledge to God, our people, and our nation to make the so-called Gaza Envelope unviable.

Abu Hamza confirmed, “Our missile capabilities revealed so far are but a small portion of our actual abilities,” stressing that the movement still has a lot more undisclosed capabilities that can hurt the enemy…

Abu Hamza added that Al-Quds Brigades is stronger and prouder with the heroic blood of the two great martyrs, Tayseer Al-Jaabari and Khaled Mansour, spilled in the course of Operation Unity of Battlefields. 

He stressed that with every drop of blood spilled, they are overwhelmed with pride and honor as the Resistance fighters are fighting this battle with pride, honor, and loyalty, “side by side with the brave leaders and fighters of Al-Quds Brigades on the battlefield.” 

As for the on-the-ground operations, Al Mayadeen correspondent confirmed that Al-Quds Brigades targeted a group of military vehicles in Sufa with several mortar shells.

Read next: IOF pursue airstrikes in Gaza, martyrs fall in house strike in Jabalia

On their part, Al-Quds Brigades, National Resistance Brigades, Al-Mujahideen Brigades, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and others announced that they targeted the occupied city of Askalan with missile barrages.

As part of Operation Unity of Battlefields, Al-Quds Brigades targeted a group of vehicles in the “Kissufim” site with several heavy mortar shells.

The Israeli occupation launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

The Palestinian Resistance factions mourned the martyrs of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, stressing that the occupation shall bear all the consequences of the aggression. 

Palestine Resists

Kicking off with a brutal Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of nearly a dozen civilians, including children, “Tel Aviv” is launching a campaign of aggression on the blockaded strip. This promoted the Palestinian resistance to take up arms against the occupation and resist its barbaric offensives.

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‘Watani’: A Kanafanian Song in the Time of National Crisis (VIDEO)

July 13, 2022

Late Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: via as-Safir)

By Haidar Eid

Bodies fall, but not the idea. (Ghassan Kanafani)

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani coincides with the passing of 15 years of the Fatah-Hamas rift, instigated by the Bush administration in 2007 and which has led to the formation of two local, opposing administrations by the two parties in the 1967 occupied territories.

The clashes between the two parties created a new reality on the ground, the brunt of which has been paid, mainly, by the 2.4 million residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, and has led to one of the worst national crises Palestinians have had since the emergence of the contemporary Palestinian revolution and the formation of the PLO.

What would Ghassan Kanafani have said?! This song is an attempt to address this question.

The song is written and performed by Haidar Eid.

Nai: Ismail Harazeen

Oud: Mohammed Oukasha

Graphic Design: Alaa Samir

Lyrics:

Oh, WATANY (MY HOMELAND)

Patience and steadfastness

And forgiveness for what we have done

WATANY!

You are the throbbing heart

You are the throbbing HEART

You are the soul

The soul

THE SOUL

And the soul is dear (to the heart)

And so TRANSCENDENTAL

Israeli military officials sent to Qatar as US works to bolster security cooperation

Arrival of officials in Qatar underscores how normalisation impacts Arab states that have not formally established ties to Israel

A general view shows US Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft at al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar (AFP/File photo)

8 July 2022 

By Sean Mathews

Israeli military officials have secretly been dispatched to Qatar as part of a security reshuffle that places Israel in US Central Command’s area of responsibility, current and former US and Gulf officials have told Middle East Eye.

At least one location where Israeli officials have travelled is al-Udeid, a US air base and the forward operating headquarters of all US forces in the Middle East, also known as Centcom, the sources said.

Israel was absorbed into Centcom last year, in a move that built on the 2020 normalisation agreements which saw Bahrain and the UAE establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Morocco and Sudan normalised relations with Israel soon after.

A Gulf official with knowledge of the matter who spoke with MEE on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic did not say how many Israeli personnel were currently in the country.  

The Abraham Accords and Israel’s inclusion in Centcom ‘are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like’

– R Clarke Cooper, former US official

Despite lacking formal relations, Israel and Qatar – two key US allies – maintain ties, and are known to engage on issues including the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

“There is dialogue, and it is a good dialogue,” said the Gulf official.

Qatar publicly acknowledges what it calls a “working relationship” with Israel. Those ties came to the fore during Israel’s offensive on Gaza last year when Defence Minister Benny Gantz reportedly met with Qatari officials in an unnamed country to negotiate aid for the besieged Gaza Strip.

However, the disclosure, not previously reported elsewhere, of Israeli military officials travelling to Qatar underscores how ties are extending beyond traditional areas such as Palestine, particularly as the US works to bolster security cooperation between its Arab partners and Israel.

“The Abraham Accords, as well as the inclusion of Israel into the US Central Command, are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like,” R Clarke Cooper, former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs under the Trump administration and currently at the Atlantic Council, told MEE.

“Current considerations of military integration to address shared threats like Iran is a real-time example of such reassessment,” he added.

‘Exploring greater security coordination’

In March, Qatari military officials – along with those from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan – reportedly held a meeting with US and Israeli counterparts in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh to discuss a plan for joint missile defence.

The meeting took place against a backdrop of rising tensions with Iran, as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal stall. 

In contrast to other Gulf states, Qatar is seen as more supportive of a return to the deal. Qatar shares the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran. Its leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, travelled to the Islamic Republic in May in a push to jumpstart stalled talks. Last month, the US and Tehran held indirect negotiations in Doha aimed at reviving the accord.  

Biden Middle East visit: Why an Israel-led security pact is a paper tiger
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But Qatar’s geographic position also means that it would be vulnerable to any escalation in the region, analysts say.

“The Qataris, like other smaller countries between Saudi Arabia and Iran, are open to exploring greater security coordination with other actors, whether that be Turkey, whether that be Israel as well,” Anna Jacobs, a senior analyst on Gulf states at the International Crisis Group, told MEE.

Asked about the stationing of Israeli military officials at US bases in Qatar, Centcom referred MEE to the Israeli military. The Israeli military refused to comment on the topic.

Lt Col Dave Eastburn, US Central Command spokesman, told MEE in a written response that the “easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East, including our partners in Israel”.

‘Working relationship’

Qatar, a gas-rich country of 2.8 million people, of which only 300,000 are Qatari nationals, has had a complex relationship with Israel.

Qatar was the first country in the Gulf to establish trade relations with Israel. During the Second Intifada, it was reportedly pressured by Saudi Arabia and other states to close its trade office there. A reopened office was subsequently shuttered when Israel launched its 2009 invasion of Gaza.

Qatar has long positioned itself as an advocate of the Palestinian cause. The Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates, which are funded by the Government of Qatar, are viewed by many as critical of Israel.

Doha is also close to Hamas, the group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip, and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza in coordination with the UN, and with the backing of Israel.

Doha’s leverage with Hamas helped it negotiate a ceasefire to last May’s fighting which saw more than 260 Palestinians killed in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and 13 in Israel. Following the truce, Qatar pledged $500m in support of Gaza’s reconstruction.

A few months after the ceasefire, Qatar announced new measures to provide aid to impoverished families in Gaza. Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised Doha, stating: “I would like to thank Qatar for taking a positive role as a stabilising actor in the Middle East.”

“The Qataris have a win-win situation,” Yoel Guzansky, a Gulf expert at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, told MEE.

“They are appreciated on the Palestinian street for not normalising. They have good relations with the US and good relations with Israel.”

Navigating the grey zone

Biden is scheduled to embark on a four-day trip to the Middle East next week, where he will first visit Israel and the occupied West Bank. The visit will then culminate with a major gathering of regional leaders in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah.

Ahead of Biden’s trip, US officials have hinted that new states could take steps to normalise relations with Israel. The US is believed to be negotiating a deal to transfer two Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, in a move that could eventually pave the way for Riyadh to normalise in the future.

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Few expect Qatar to take similar measures.

The State Department denied MEE’s request to discuss Qatar and US normalisation efforts. Qatar also didn’t respond to requests for comment by the time of publication. 

In an interview earlier this year, Qatar’s foreign minister ruled out normalising ties with Israel “in the absence of a real commitment to a two-state solution” between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“If I was the Qataris, I would not normalise. And if I was the Israelis, I don’t know if I would want them to,” Guzansky said, explaining that both sides were so far apart on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that it was likely in each’s favour to keep bilateral ties in a “grey zone”.

Navigating that grey zone amid signs that normalisation in the region is proceeding will likely continue to test Qatar’s ability to balance the relationship. 

15 YEARS OF FAILED EXPERIMENTS: MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT THE ISRAELI SIEGE ON GAZA

JULY 7TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

Fifteen years have passed since Israel imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip, subjecting nearly two million Palestinians to one of the longest and most cruel politically-motivated blockades in history.

The Israeli government had then justified its siege as the only way to protect Israel from Palestinian “terrorism and rocket attacks”. This remains the official Israeli line until this day. Not many Israelis – certainly not in government, media or even ordinary people – would argue that Israel today is safer than it was prior to June 2007.

It is widely understood that Israel has imposed the siege as a response to the Hamas takeover of the Strip, following a brief and violent confrontation between the two main Palestinian political rivals, Hamas, which currently rules Gaza, and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

However, the isolation of Gaza was planned years before the Hamas-Fatah clash, or even the Hamas’ legislative election victory of January 2006. Late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was determined to redeploy Israeli forces out of Gaza, years prior to these dates.

What finally culminated in the Israeli Disengagement from Gaza in August-September 2005 was proposed by Sharon in 2003, approved by his government in 2004, and finally adopted by the Knesset in February 2005.

The ‘disengagement’ was an Israeli tactic that aimed at removing a few thousand illegal Jewish settlers out of Gaza – to other illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank – while redeploying the Israeli army from crowded Gaza population centers to the border areas. This was the actual start of the Gaza siege.

The above assertion was even clear to James Wolfensohn, who was appointed by the Quartet on the Middle East as the Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. In 2010, he reached a similar conclusion:

Gaza had been effectively sealed off from the outside world since the Israeli disengagement … and the humanitarian and economic consequences for the Palestinian population were profound.”

The ultimate motive behind the ‘disengagement’ was not Israel’s security, or even to starve Gazans as a form of collective punishment. The latter was one natural outcome of a much more sinister political plot, as communicated by Sharon’s own senior advisor at the time, Dov Weisglass. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in October 2004, Weisglass put it plainly: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process.” How?

“When you freeze (the peace) process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders, and Jerusalem,” according to Weisglass. Not only was this Israel’s ultimate motive behind the disengagement and subsequent siege on Gaza but, according to the seasoned Israeli politician, it was all done “with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.” The President in question here is no other than US president at the time, George W. Bush.

All of this had taken place before Palestine’s legislative elections, Hamas’ victory, and the Hamas-Fatah clash. The latter merely served as a convenient justification for what had already been discussed, ‘ratified’ and implemented.

Gaza
Palestinian children play outside their homes on the outskirts of the Khan Younis refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

For Israel, the siege has been a political ploy, which acquired additional meaning and value as time passed. In response to the accusation that Israel was starving Palestinians in Gaza, Weisglass was very quick to muster an answer:

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

What was then understood as a facetious, albeit thoughtless statement, turned out to be actual Israeli policy, as indicated in a 2008 report, which was made available in 2012. Thanks to the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, the “redlines (for) food consumption in the Gaza Strip” – composed by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – was made public. It emerged that Israel was calculating the minimum number of calories necessary to keep Gaza’s population alive, a number that is “adjusted to culture and experience” in the Strip.

The rest is history. Gaza’s suffering is absolute. 98% of the Strip’s water is undrinkable. Hospitals lack essential supplies and life-saving medications. Movement in and out of the Strip is practically prohibited, with minor exceptions.

Still, Israel has failed miserably in achieving any of its objectives. Tel Aviv hoped that the ‘disengagement’ would compel the international community to redefine the legal status of the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Despite Washington’s pressure, that never happened. Gaza remains part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as defined in international law.

Even the September 2007 Israeli designation of Gaza as an “enemy entity” and a “hostile territory” changed little, except that it allowed the Israeli government to declare several devastating wars on the Strip, starting in 2008.

None of these wars have successfully served a long-term Israeli strategy. Instead, Gaza continues to fight back on a much larger scale than ever before, frustrating the calculation of Israeli leaders, as it became clear in their befuddled, disturbing language. During one of the deadliest Israeli wars on Gaza in July 2014, Israeli right-wing Knesset member, Ayelet Shaked, wrote on Facebook that the war was “not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority.” Instead, according to Shaked, who a year later became Israel’s Minister of Justice, “… is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people.”

In the final analysis, the governments of Sharon, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Naftali Bennett failed to isolate Gaza from the greater Palestinian body, and break the will of the Strip or ensure Israeli security at the expense of Palestinians.

Moreover, Israel has fallen victim to its own hubris. While prolonging the siege will achieve no short or long-term strategic value, lifting the siege, from Israel’s viewpoint, would be tantamount to an admission of defeat – and could empower Palestinians in the West Bank to emulate the Gaza model. This lack of certainty further accentuates the political crisis and lack of strategic vision that continued to define all Israeli governments for nearly two decades.

Inevitably, Israel’s political experiment in Gaza has backfired, and the only way out is for the Gaza siege to be completely lifted and, this time, for good.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 30 June- 06 July 2022)

07. 07. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Two Palestinians were killed and 34 others, including 5 children, were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)’s fire, while dozens of others suffocated in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Also, a Palestinian female detainee died in the Israeli jails due to medical negligence policy, while a patient, from the Gaza Strip, died after his health condition deteriorated and he was denied travel for treatment in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 02 July 2022, a Palestinian female detainee namely Sa’diyia Matar (64), from Hebron, died after losing consciousness in the Israeli ‘Damon’ prison, as she suffered from several diseases.  The death of Matar sheds the light on the medical negligence policy in the Israeli jails and detention facilities. More details available here

On 03 July 2022, Kamel ‘Alawna (18) succumbed to wounds he sustained a day before by IOF’s fire at Jaba’ village entrance, southern Jenin. More details available here.

On 06 July 2022, IOF killed in cold blood Rafeeq Riyad Ghannam (20) after shooting and wounding him near his house during their incursion into Jaba’ village in Jenin. IOF left him to bleed for at least 40 minutes before being transported by an Israeli ambulance. Ghannam’s death was later announced succumbing to his wounds, while his body is still under the Israeli custody.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force during incursions into the Palestinian cities and villages and IOF suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 01 July 2022, 17 Palestinians, including 5 children, were injured with rubber bullets during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On 02 July 2022, 8 Palestinians, including 3 children, sustained rubber bullet wounds during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya. On the same day, two Palestinians were shot with live bullets in their limbs and others, including journalists, suffocated in clashes with IOF near a military checkpoint in Bab al-Zawiyia area, central Hebron. Moreover, dozens of Palestinians suffocated during IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest against settlement activity in ‘Ein al-Baida area, south of Hebron.

On 04 July 2022, a Palestinian was injured with a live bullet in his thigh during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Abu Dis village in occupied East Jerusalem. Also, a Palestinian was wounded with shrapnel of a live bullet fired by an Israeli undercover unit ““Mista’aravim” in Dura in Hebron, but he could escape. Afterwards, backups arrived in central Dura, where clashes broke out, resulting in the injury of 4 Palestinians with live bullets; one of them sustained critical wounds.

On 06 July 2022, a Palestinians was injured with a live bullet in his leg in clashes with IOF during their incursion into Jenin refugee camp. IOF also arrested a Palestinian from the same area and later withdrew.

Moreover, 9 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Gaza shores. Also, IOF opened fire 3 times at agricultural lands in western and eastern Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 66 Palestinians, including 51 civilians: 14 children, 5 women (one was a journalist Shireen Abu ‘Aqlah), a Palestinian stabbed by an Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 6 of them were assassinated. Also, 950 others were wounded in these attacks, including 108 children, 5 women, and 19 journalists all in the West Bank, except 15 fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Also, a male and a female detainees died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, notices and settlement activity

IOF demolished 3 house, rendering 12 persons, including 7 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished a commercial facility, agricultural rooms and a water network. Moreover, IOF handed cease-construction notices against 4 houses in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 30 June 2022, IOF handed cease-construction notices against 2 houses in Ma’in village, and a tinplate livestock barrack in al-Rabya village, south of Hebron. Moreover, IOF demolished a 50-square-meter agricultural room, east of Yatta city in Hebron.

On 03 July 2022, IOF notified to stop construction works in two houses in al-‘Abadiyia and al-Kharou’a areas, south of Hebron.

On 04 July 2022, IOF demolished two houses; one of them was underconstruction, in Tam Qissa area, south of Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 12 persons, including 7 children, homeless. It should be noted that a family of 10 persons, including 6 children, was supposed to move to the under-construction house. On the same day, IOF demolished an under-construction building comprised of 3 floors built on an area of 400 square meters in As-Sawahira_ash-Sharqiya village in occupied East Jerusalem. During the demolition, IOF assaulted the building’s owner and his sons and arrested two of them. One of the arrestees is a high school student (Tawjihi), who was supposed to take his last exam in the morning.   Furthermore, IOF demolished a water well in eastern Yatta city in Hebron.

On 05 July 2022, Israeli bulldozers demolished retaining walls and a water network in Duma village, southeast of Nablus. On the same day, IOF demolished a 170-sqm tinplate-roofed facility used as an auto repair garage.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 79 families homeless, a total of 448 persons, including 92 women and 217 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 81 houses and 40 residential tents. IOF also demolished 54 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties

On 03 July 2022, a Palestinian sustained bruises after Israeli settlers assaulted him when he was working in his land between Kafr al-Labad and Shufa  villages, south of Tulkarm.

So far this year, settlers carried out 155 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank; one f these attacks resulted in the murder of a Palestinian after being stabbed to death by an Israeli settler.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians

IOF carried out 178 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 children. On 06 July 2022, IOF moved into Silwad village in Ramallah and conducted a wide scale arrest campaign, as 27 Palestinians were arrested. In the Gaza Strip, on 05 July 2022, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Maghazi Camp. Also, on 03 July 2022, IOF arrested two Palestinians, including a child, when they tried to infiltrate into eastern Rafah. The child was later released.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 4490 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2867 Palestinians were arrested, including 283 children and 25 women.  IOF also conducted 23 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 67 Palestinians, including 41 fishermen, 25 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. For several months, no remarkable change has been noticed either to the movement of goods at the Karam Abu Salem crossing, southeast of Rafah, or to the movement of individuals at the Erez crossing, north of Beit Hanoun.

Due to the Israeli closure, on 04 July 2022, Jihad Mousa Humaidan Al-Qedra (55) died after the  Israeli authorities denied his travel for treatment abroad. More information available here.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement since the beginning of the al-Aqsa intifada in 2000. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 90 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 3 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 30 June 2022, IOF closed the entrance to Jalazone camp, north of al-Bireh city, in front of vehicles’ movement, forcing Palestinians to use alternative dirt and longer roads.

On 03 July 2022, IOF closed a metal detector gate established at the entrance to Aboud village, northwest of Ramallah, for 5 consecutive hours. 

So far in 2022, IOF established 2188 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 112 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 16-22 June 2022)

June 23, 2022


Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians were killed; 4 of them by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)’s fire, and one after being stabbed by an Israeli settler, while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, except three fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Details are as follows:

On 17 June 2022, in a new crime of extrajudicial execution (assassination), IOF directly opened fire at 3 Palestinians and killed them after surrounding and targeting their vehicle in Jenin, northern West Bank.  The 3 persons killed were identified as Yousif Naser Salah (23), Laith Salah Abu Srour (24) and Baraa’ Kamal Lahlouh (24). Moreover, eight Palestinians were injured; one sustained a serious injury in subsequent clashes. More information available here.

On 19 June 2022, Nabil Ahmed Ghanem (53), from Nablus, was killed after IOF stationed at Eyal Crossing near the annexation wall in northern Qalqilya, opened fire at him while he was trying to infiltrate through a hole in the wall to work in Israel. Ghanem’s corpse is still in the IOF’s custody.

On 21 June 2022, ‘Ali Harab (27) was killed after an Israeli settler stabbed him in Iskaka village, east of Slafit, and was left to bleed to death as the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) obstructed the provision of medical aid to him. More information available here.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of IOF’s excessive use of force and suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 17 June 2022, 7 Palestinians, including 6 children, sustained rubber bullet wounds during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On 21 June 2022, two Palestinians, including a child, were injured, while another Palestinian was arrested during IOF’s incursion into Qabatiya village in Jenin.

In the Gaza Strip, three fishermen were injured after Israeli gunboats fired rubber bullets at them on 16 June 2022. Also, the Israeli gunboats deliberately crashed into their boat and flipped it in the water, putting their lives at risk and causing severe damage to the boat and its engine. More information available here. Also, 7 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shores. Moreover, IOF opened fire 3 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas in eastern Gaza Strip.  Additionally, on 17 June 2022, IOF warplanes fired a missile at an empty land in eastern Beit Hanoun.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 62 Palestinians, including 48 civilians: 13 children, 5 women (one was a journalist Shireen Abu ‘Aqlah), a Palestinian stabbed by an Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 6 of them were assassinated. Also, 891 others were wounded in these attacks, including 102 children, 4 women, and 19 journalists; all in the West Bank, except 15 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished an under-construction house and a water well and distributed 29 demolition and cease-construction notices in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 17 June 2022, IOF distributed 20 demolition notices in Kherbet Khellet al-Dabi’ in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron. The notices included: 13 agricultural tinplated dwellings, a water well and 4 bathrooms.

On 20 June 2022, IOF handed a cease-construction notice against an agricultural room, a water well and a fence, in addition to two other cease-construction notices against a house and a residential room in eastern Yatta city. Also, they handed a demolition notice against 3 agricultural tents in Ma’in village in Hebron.

On 21 June 2022, IOF delivered 3 cease-construction notices to three houses in al-Dayraat village, south of Hebron.

On 22 June 2022, in Ni’lin village in western Ramallah, IOF demolished an under-construction house and a water well belonging to a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli jails, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 77 families homeless, a total of 445 persons, including 90 women and 210 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 77 houses and 16 residential tents. IOF also demolished 49 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 142 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 68 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children, 3 women (one of them was a female journalist who was later released), and a journalist.  In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted three limited incursions into eastern Beit Hanoun, where they placed cement cubes behind the border fence on 19 June 2022; and in norther Beit Lahia, where they levelled 10 dunums planted with watermelon on 21 June 2022; and in eastern Rafah on 22 June 2022. Also, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians during two infiltration attempts into Israel in eastern Rafah on 20 June 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 4137 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2698 Palestinians were arrested, including 273 children and 23 women. IOF also conducted 21 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 65 Palestinians, including 41 fishermen, 23 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

On 18 June 2022, two Israeli settlers opened fire in the air during their raid on Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center Society in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Afterwards, IOF intervened and secured their withdrawal from the area.

On 16 June 2022, two Palestinians sustained deep wounds and fractures after being assaulted by Israeli settlers with sharp tools and knives in their workplace in “Ramat Eshkol” settlement, west of Jerusalem.  

So far this year, settlers carried out 152 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 80 temporary military checkpoints in the West bank, including East Jerusalem.

On 16 June 2022, IOF closed with sand berms several sub-roads in Kizma village in occupied East Jerusalem. On the same day, IOF closed the metal-detector gate established at Ash-Shawawra village entrance in Bethlehem and re-opened it later.

On 19 June 2022, IOF closed the eastern and western entrances to Husan village in Bethlehem and re-opened them later.  

So far in 2022, IOF established 2006 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 106 Palestinians at those checkpoints

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Spike in number of suicides among Israeli occupation soldiers – Report

June 22, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The head of the workforce department convenes an emergency meeting to address the reasons behind the spike in suicide numbers among Israeli occupation soldiers.

Report: Spike in the number of suicides among Israeli occupation soldiers.

“Israel’s” national broadcaster Kan reported that the number of suicides in the Israeli occupation forces has increased in the last six months. Since the beginning of 2022, 11 troops have committed suicide, compared to 11 soldiers in the previous year and nine soldiers in 2020.

In the wake of this alarming jump, Kan reported that the head of the Labor Force Department in the IOF, Yaniv Ashour, held an emergency session with mental health officials to study the reasons that led to this alarming rise in suicide cases.

The session didn’t have a clear conclusion, but the army commanders ordered increased vigilance and attention to the issue. The head of the workforce also ordered the opening of a hotline for the Israeli army. 

The IOF’s spokesman stressed that all deaths of Israeli troops would be investigated in-depth, with aim of reaching the truth and obtaining the required conclusions. “This also happened during the recent incidents, after investigations were completed, and conclusions were sent to the Military Prosecution for examination.”

In a report last year, three Mossad agents committed suicide in one year, Israeli Channel 12 reported. “Two of the agents committed suicide in the Mossad headquarters,” Israeli media said.

The agents’ families argued that working in the Mossad is what pushed the agents to kill themselves. “Their families are now struggling to have the Mossad acknowledge its responsibility” for the suicides, the reports added.

The Mossad has always been unstable, especially during the latest period, as Channel 13 reported in November that three senior Mossad officials, whose ranks equated that of a lieutenant in the IOF, resigned following adjustments made by the new Mossad chief.

Moreover, while “Israel” investigates the reasons behind the high number of suicides, children in Gaza are suffering from trauma, as a result of the Israeli occupation and its aggression on Palestine. 

A report by Al Mayadeen English discussed that children in Gaza, with a total area of 365 km2 and a population of over 2 million, were already under Israeli occupation and suffered from a 15-year blockade.

“Any aggression against children leaves very difficult psychological effects. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are restoring the psychological situation of children as much as possible, but in the event of renewed aggression, we relapse from zero”.

It is worth mentioning that 91% of Gazan children now suffer from some form of trauma, to say the least, according to a new report from the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a Geneva-based independent, nonprofit organization that the Israeli occupation government outlawed in 2016.

Before May 2021, approximately 33% of children in Gaza required mental health support as a result of trauma, the same study reported.

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“معاريف”: فقدنا الردع تماماً.. و”إسرائيل” منحنية على ركبتيها

ليئور تسوكرمان 

السبت 21 أيار 2022

مسؤول سابق في “الشاباك” الإسرائيلي يقول إن”إسرائيل” تُظهر ضعفاً مستمراً أمام حركة “حماس”، في كل ما يتعلق بروتين الحياة في قطاع غزة، ويرى أن جيش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي فقد الردع تماماً.

متظاهرون فلسطينيون يرشقون قوات الاحتلال بالحجارة في قرية كفر قدوم، الـ20 من أيار/مايو 2022 (أ ف ب)

نشرت صحيفة “معاريف” الإسرائيلية مقالاً للمسؤول السابق في “الشاباك” الإسرائيلي، يذكّر فيه كيف انحنت “إسرائيل” على ركبتيها، طوال 15 عاماً، أمام حركة “حماس”، التي تسيطر على قطاع غزة بأكمله.

فيما يلي ترجمة المقال كاملاً:

حرب “إسرائيل” على قطاع غزة، والعكس صحيح، مستمرة منذ أعوام متعددة. لقد بدأت خلال حكم السلطة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة، لكنها استمرت فترةً أطول منذ سيطرة “حماس” على غزة في حزيران/يونيو 2007.

نظراً إلى أن التاريخ له طريقة غريبة في تكرار نفسه، وخصوصاً في المواقف التي لم يتم فيها فعل أي شيء لتغيير الواقع، فقد يكون من المفيد تذكير الجميع كيف وصلنا إلى الوضع الحالي. وضع تنحني فيه “إسرائيل” على ركبتيها، لمدة 15 عاماً، في مواجهة منظمة تعدّ 20 ألف مقاتل.

في صيف عام 2005، انفصلت “إسرائيل”، من جانب واحد، عن قطاع غزة، بموجب قرار رئيس الحكومة آنذاك، أرييل شارون، ولم يعد من الممكن، عملياً وقانونياً، الحديث عن “الاحتلال” الإسرائيلي المزعوم لقطاع غزة.

هذه الحقيقة لم تمنع الفلسطينيين من الاستمرار في تنفيذ العمليات، وزيادة وتيرة تهريب الأسلحة من الحدود المصرية، وتكديس مزيد من الأسلحة للقتال في المستقبل ضد “إسرائيل”. بدأت “حماس” تهاجم بقوة سلطة فتح في القطاع، والتي وافقت على الحكم بصورة مشتركة، لكن الاتفاق تمّ خرقه، وسيطرت “حماس” على قطاع غزة بأكمله.

وحتى اليوم، نفذ الجيش الإسرائيلي 9 عمليات عسكرية ضد قطاع غزة، خمس منها بعد بداية عهد “حماس”: قوس قزح وأيام التوبة عام 2004، وأول المطر عام 2005، وأمطار الصيف عام 2006، وشتاء حار عام 2008، والرصاص المسكوب في عام 2009، وعمود السحاب في عام 2012، والجرف الصلب في عام 2014، وحارس الأسوار في عام 2021. كانت كل العمليات بمنزلة ردود سريعة ومحدودة الشدة، ونتيجة عمليات بادرت إليها “حماس” وسائر المنظمات “الإرهابية” ضدّ “إسرائيل”. كل هذه العمليات اكتفت بضرب جزئي للبنية التحتية وقدرات المنظمات “الإرهابية”. كل هذه العمليات أبقت “حماس” في السلطة من دون الإضرار بقوة المنظمة.

يركز الإعلام الإسرائيلي على الشخصيات التي تقود “حماس” بدلاً من الأيديولوجيا التي تقودها. يجب على “إسرائيل” أن تفهم أن محمد ضيف ويحيى السنوار ليسا المشكلة الرئيسة. “حماس” هي المشكلة. الأيديولوجيا الكامنة في أساس نشاطها هي المشكلة. القادة والمحاربون ينهضون ويسقطون. الأيديولوجيا، وخصوصاً الدينية، تبقى فترة طويلة. وعندما يتم دعمها بنشاط عسكري شديد لا يتم علاجه بيد قوية، فإنها تتطور وتنتشر مثل السرطان في الجسم. وهنا تكمن المشكلة الرئيسة. لقد فقدنا تماماً الردع.

قررت “إسرائيل”، على مر السنين، عدم اتّباع أي سياسة استراتيجية، أو تحديد هدف واضح فيما يتعلق بمواقفها تجاه قطاع غزة. وبهذه الطريقة، مكّنت “حماس” وتسمح باستمرار تعاظمها وتسلّحها، والتحريض المستمر لها ضد “إسرائيل” وسياستها في جبل الهيكل (المسجد الأقصى)، وتقوية “حماس” في مناطق يهودا والسامرة أيضاً.

إذا بحثنا عن أمثلة على العزلة الإسرائيلية، فلن نضطر إلى بذل كثير من الجهد. بينما تسمح الحكومة الإسرائيلية باستمرار حكم “حماس” في قطاع غزة، فإنها تشارك، في الوقت نفسه، في مثل هذه المبادرات وغيرها من المبادرات السياسية، المصمَّمة للتخفيف إنسانياً عن سكان غزة. في غضون ذلك، على سبيل المثال، يتعامل المجتمع الدولي مع إمكان إنشاء ميناء دولي، واحتمال إدخال البضائع والسفن التجارية لقطاع غزة.

بالإضافة إلى ذلك، تجد الحكومة نفسها تعتذر، من حين لآخر، إلى جهات دولية، لأن الجيش الإسرائيلي أوقف سفينة في المياه القريبة من قطاع غزة، وأجرى عمليات تفتيش فيها. هذه هي الحال مع “كارين آي” في عام 2002، و”أبي حسن” في عام 2003، ومع السفينة “فيكتوريا” في آذار/مارس 2011، و”كلوس سي” في آذار/مارس 2014.

كما اعتذرت” إسرائيل” عن استيلائها على سفينة “مافي مرمرة” في عام 2010، بل دفعت تعويضات من منطلق رغبتها في إنهاء الحدث وتجنّب النزاعات الدولية، على الرغم من أن لجنة توركل، التي حققت في الحادث، حددت بصورة، لا لبس فيها، أن الجيش الإسرائيلي تصرّف على نحو جيد، ووفقاً للقانون الدولي. لقد تصرفت “إسرائيل”، بصورة قانونية ووفق القانون الدولي، ومع ذلك اضطرت إلى إذلال نفسها والاعتذار ودفع تعويضات إلى الضحايا.

إن السلوك الانهزامي لــ “إسرائيل”، في مواجهة قطاع غزة، لم ينته عند هذا الحد. فإلى جانب فشل الردع البحري، فضلاً عن فشل الردع البري بسبب فشل مختلف العمليات لتغيير المعادلة، أظهرت “إسرائيل” ضعفاً مستمراً في مواجهة “حماس”، في كل ما يتعلق بروتين الحياة في قطاع غزة. تستمر ملايين الدولارات في التدفق في القطاع، من قطر ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي، بدعوى تأمين الاحتياجات الإنسانية، لكن يتمّ عملياً تحويل هذه الأموال إلى التسلّح وبناء البنية التحتية العسكرية في القطاع.

تقرأ “حماس” الخريطة جيداً، وتتصرف بعزم ومثابرة، على عكس “إسرائيل”، من أجل تحقيق رؤيتها. تقود الخطاب بشأن جبل الهيكل (المسجد الأقصى) والقدس، وتُمْلي توقيت العمليات والاعتداءات على “إسرائيل” ونطاقَها، وتشجّع الخلايا في يهودا والسامرة (الضفة الغربية) وتموّلها، وتدير، على نحو غير مباشر، حواراً دبلوماسياً مع “إسرائيل”، كما لو أنهما دولتان ذات سيادة، وطبيعيتان، وتواصل الإمساك بمئات آلاف الإسرائيليين في غلاف غزة، رهائنَ منذ أعوام.

والأهم من ذلك، أن “حماس” تفهم المعادلة المستحيلة التي نشأت بيننا وبينها، بموافقة (ضمنية) من “إسرائيل”. وينص هذا الاتفاق على أمور سخيفة تماماً:

أولاً، “حماس” متحصّنة في حكم قطاع غزة، وليس هناك نية في إطاحتها.

ثانياً، تستطيع “حماس” وقادتها العمل والتحرك بحرية من دون التعرض لخطر استهدافهم في الأيام العادية. 

ثالثاً، يمكن أن تستمر “حماس” في تسليح نفسها وتعاظمها وبناء الأنفاق والاستعداد عسكريّاً لهجوم على “إسرائيل”، من دون مواجهتها أيَّ ازعاج.

رابعاً، يمكن لـ”حماس” إطلاق صواريخ أو بالونات متفجرة وحارقة نحو غلاف غزة، من دون أن تتعرض لرد إسرائيلي قاسٍ. 

خامساً، إطلاق الصواريخ على “إسرائيل”، والذي لا يعبر خط أشدود، ترد عليه “إسرائيل” على نحو محدود بقصد “احتواء” المواجهة ومنع التصعيد. 

سادساً، تستمر “حماس” في العمل وتمويل الخلايا في يهودا والسامرة (الضفة الغربية)، وتكون هي البديل الحكومي عن أبي مازن في كل مناطق السلطة الفلسطينية.

والنتيجة المؤسفة لكل ما سبق، هي أن منظمة، قوامها نحو 20 ألف مقاتل، تسيطر على قطاع غزة بأكمله، وتحتجز “إسرائيل” بأكملها رهينةً، تجرّها عبر ردود احتوائية بعد مبادراتها وهجماتها. يقولون لنا إنه لا توجد مشكلة في إسقاط “حماس”، لكن الخوف هو ممن سيأتي بعدها، لكن هذه الحجة لا تصمد. “الجهاد الإسلامي” ليست بديلاً واقعياً للسيطرة على قطاع غزة، و”إسرائيل” تفهم ذلك أيضاً. الخشية هي من الحاجة إلى الوقوف مرة أخرى في مقابل اتفاقات سابقة مع السلطة في موضوع إقامة دولة فلسطينية.

هنا أيضاً، كما في حالة جدار الفصل، تمنع الأسباب السياسية الداخلية “إسرائيل” من خلق الردع والحكم والأمن لمواطنيها. لا تشكل “حماس” تهديداً وجودياً أمنياً لـ “إسرائيل”. يأتي التهديد الوجودي الحقيقي من الداخل، وينبع من الافتقار إلى القيادة والشجاعة القيادية، على مدى أعوام، ومن الافتقار إلى السياسة والاستراتيجية، وإظهار مستمر للضعف والاحتواء، والرغبة في المحافظة على الهدوء. يجب أن يتغير هذا، بسرعة.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي الصحيفة حصراً

Seif Al-Quds: The battle which ushered in a new era of Palestinian armed struggle

12 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

The battle fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel” completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Seif Al-Quds: The Battle Which Ushered In A New Era Of Palestinian Armed Struggle

Although for many, the Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem) battle, last May, represented significant suffering and loss of Palestinian life, the war fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel”, completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Lasting between May 10 and May 21, dubbed the “11-day war”, Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip combined their strength with that of the entire Palestinian population inside occupied territories. After consistent Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa mosque last Ramadan, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam brigades [armed wing of Hamas], Abu Ubaydah, gave Israeli occupation forces a 6 PM deadline to withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop a far-Right settler march. On the deadline, a barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza, into Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem. It was then that “Israel” officially announced it was going to war with Gaza.

Around 270 Palestinians were killed across the occupied territories by Israeli occupation forces and settlers, however, the story of human suffering during the war was not the only significant element. Unlike had been the case in 2014, 2008-9, and even in 2012, all years when the Israeli occupation forces launched military operations against the Gaza Strip, no significant win could be taken from the side of the Palestinian resistance. With the exception of the 2012 war, the other battles between Gaza’s armed groups and “Israel” had resulted in the weakening of the position of the Palestinian armed struggle. During Seif Al-Quds, things were quite the opposite, for the first time, it was a real strategic victory on the part of a unified front of armed factions, making up what has become known as the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions.

“Israel” was forced into political and military disarray, as the victory of Seif Al-Quds only further led to the downfall of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ushering in a new Israeli ruling coalition. “Israel”’s military strategy of attempting to draw the resistance forces into the attack tunnel systems, in order to bombard them and kill hundreds, failed tremendously and completely took the Israeli military by surprise. The Gazan forces had somehow figured out, most likely through intelligence gathering methods, what “Israel” had been planning – a fake invasion announcement – preemptively preparing themselves for such an Israeli attack. Hamas even dictated to the Israelis in “Tel Aviv” when they could come out of their bomb shelters, telling them that they would stop their rocket attacks for 2 hours on one given night. The sight of Israelis listening to the guidelines set to them by Hamas and the other armed factions, made “Israel’s” air defense systems and military strategy seem weak, proving the Zionist forces useless at defending their own population.

Furthermore, the tactics used by the armed groups, such as; slowly revealing new weapons technology, striking everywhere inside the 1948 territories, putting Israeli airports on temporary lockdown and controlling the course of the battle, all showed the entire region the weaknesses of “Tel Aviv”. If little besieged Gaza could foil “Israel’s” military strategies that they had worked on for years, not lose their military capabilities, force “Israel” to accept a non-conditional ceasefire, imagine what a force like Lebanese Hezbollah, or the Syrian Arab Army, would do to them? This was the question in the minds of world leaders at the time. To conclude the battle of Seif Al-Quds, “Israel” did not fire the final shot by midnight when the ceasefire kicked in, it was Hamas that had the last say. 

Seif al-Quds proved for the Palestinians, as well as regional allies of the camp of resistance to “Israel”, that the armed struggle was the only way forward. The Palestinian Authority (PA), based in Ramallah, chooses the path of “security coordination” and refuses to resist “Israel” with violence and has failed to achieve a so-called “two-State solution”. The PA, of President Mahmoud Abbas, has little legitimacy left in the eyes of Palestinians and has no negotiating chips to bring to the table of any talks with the Israeli side, on top of this, no Israeli ruling coalition will have anything to do with the PA and talks of “two-States”. Now, the answer, following the era of Oslo, which really died with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, is again the armed struggle and this is clearly what we see, as the rising belief, all throughout occupied Palestine.

A regional coalition, to fight for al-Aqsa Mosque, is now developing in its coordination and capabilities, included in which will be; Hezbollah, Ansarallah, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Palestinian armed factions. The head of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has vowed that the war for Jerusalem will begin after Ramadan and that the armed factions in Gaza will be on high alert to thwart Israeli plots against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. 

The battle of May 2021 represents the opening of a new chapter in the conflict with “Israel”, forcing the entire region and beyond to pay attention. Having said this, the questions to now be answered are; How will a regional coalition launch a successful military campaign against “Israel”? When will the Israeli ruling coalition collapse and how will the resistance deal with this? When will the PA change hands from its current rulers or collapse? And, when will the international community begin to start approaching Hamas as a representative of the Palestinian movement and people? The answers to these questions will be determining factors to how the Palestinian cause will once again emerge as a top priority on the regional and international stage. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine Weekly Update (07- 13 April 2022)

 April 14, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Eight Palestinians, including 2 children and 2 women, were killed, and 48 others, including 6 children, a girl and 2 who lost their eyes, were wounded by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire while tens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. 

On 10 April 2022, a Palestinian woman was shot dead by IOF near an Israeli checkpoint in Husan, western Bethlehem.  More information available here.  On the same afternoon, IOF killed another woman in Hebron, claiming she stabbed an Israeli soldier near the Ibrahimi Mosque and killed another Palestinian after directly targeting him in al-Khader village, Bethlehem, claiming he threw  stones and Molotov Cocktails.  More information available here. 

On 11 April 2022, a child succumbed to wounds he sustained a day earlier in Jenin.  More information available  here.

On 13 April 2022, IOF killed a lawyer without justification while their troops withdrew from Nablus after conducting a widescale incursion in the city, wounding 3 Palestinians, including a child.  More details available here. In the afternoon, IOF killed a Palestinian and wounded 6 others during clashes when IOF withdrew from Silwad village in Ramallah.  During the incursion, IOF surrounded 2 houses; one was uninhabited, and opened fire at them, detaining the residents inside and then beating and arresting 3 of them. On the same afternoon, IOF opened fire and killed a child with several bullets in Husan village, western Bethlehem.  They detained his body and took him with them but few hours later his body was delivered.  IOF claimed that the child was targeted after he was seen trying to throw Molotov Cocktails at a military checkpoint in the area.

Most of them were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings and they were as follows:

07 April: 4 fishermen were wounded with rubber bullets and then arrested by IOF when the latter chased 2 fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (8 nautical miles ) off Rafah shore, southern Gaza Strip.  They were released the next day, but their boats were

confiscated.  Another chase recurred in the same area and IOF arrested 3 other fishermen and confiscated their boat.  A child sustained teargas canister shrapnel wounds in his hand, and another Palestinian was arrested in clashes erupted during IOF’s incursion into al-Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah.  In the afternoon, IOF again suppressed Palestinians gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud in occupied East Jerusalem and arrested 3 of them, including a child, after assaulting them.  This recurred the next day after setters gathered and chanted slogans against Arabs and Muslim; during which, IOF arrested and severely beat up a Palestinian.

08 April: 3 Palestinians were wounded, including 2 children, with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya.  A Palestinian child lost his eye when IOF directly targeted him with a rubber bullet during their suppression of protesters in northern East Jerusalem.  More details available here.  IOF wounded 3 Palestinians near Gate 104 near the annexation wall, northern Tulkarm, during their attempt to enter Israel for work.  In the afternoon, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber bullet in his foot and 2 others were arrested, including a child, during clashes with IOF in Kafr Malek village in Ramallah.

09 April: 13 Palestinians, including a child and a girl, were wounded; 2 sustained serious wounds in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Jenin refugee camp to surround the house of the Palestinian who carried out the shooting in Tel Aviv in Jenin.  The area witnessed clashes between IOF and members of Palestinian armed groups; as a result, one of the latter was killed.  IOF arrested 2 Palestinians; one of them was wounded, and later withdrew. 

10 April: a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in his waist and others suffocated in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Yabad village, Jenin.  IOF arrested 8 Palestinians after raiding their houses and 3 shops, damaging their contents, and later withdrew. A Palestinian also sustained bullet shrapnel wounds in his hand and 3 others were arrested in similar circumstances in the eastern neighborhood in Jenin.  Another Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in the right thigh in clashes during IOF’s incursion into al-Bireh, northern Ramallah.  Moreover, two Palestinians were arrested in clashes during IOF’s incursion into ‘Aqabet Jaber refugee camp in Jericho.

11 April: a child was wounded with a bullet in his right leg, and 9 Palestinians were arrested, including a national security officer, during IOF’s incursion into Kafr Qalil village and the down suburb adjacent to the village, eastern Nablus.

12 April: IOF wounded 4 Palestinian university students after raiding Khadouri University’s campus in Tulkarm.  In the next day, an Israeli Special Force raided the university in a civilian car and opened fire at a student, visitor, and a security officer whom they arrested after wounding him.  Further information available here.

13 April: 7 Palestinians were wounded, including one in critical condition and another lost his eye by a rubber bullet that penetrated his eye in clashes during IOF’s incursion into Bita village, southeastern Nablus. Also, IOF wounded a Palestinian near the annexation wall, southern Tulkarm, when they targeted workers in their attempt to infiltrate in order to work in Israel.  In the afternoon, a young man was wounded in his chest with shrapnel of a sound bomb fired by IOF in their incursion into Kobar village, Ramallah.  IOF arrested 4 Palestinians and later withdrew.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 3 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis. Also, five IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 28 Palestinians, including 7 children and 2 women, and wounded 235 others, including 45 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics and 10 journalists: all in the West Bank, except 5 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, settlers carried out 9 attacks in the West Bank, wounding 6 Palestinians, including 2 with bullets, and damaging many vehicles. The details were as follows:

07 April: setters from “Beit El” settlement, northern al-Bireh, threw stones at the Palestinian car traveling on the main street adjacent to the settlement and leading to al-Jalazone refugee camp.  No injuries were reported.  On the same day, settlers from “Shiloh” settlement, eastern Ramallah, threw stones at the Palestinian cars traveling on Ramallah-Nablus main street.  no injuries were reported.

08 April: 2 Palestinians were wounded with bullets when settlers opened fire at the Palestinian vehicles in Tarmesi’yah village, Ramallah.  IOF’s patrols arrived and took the wounded to an Israeli hospital.  On the same day, a Palestinian vehicle sustained damages after settlers threw stones near Ras Karkar intersection, western Ramallah.  Also, settlers sneaked into Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah, and opened fire at a house.  No injuries were reported.

09 April:  a Palestinian sustained wounds in his face when he was working in a kindergarten near his house in the closed Martyrs Street neighborhood in H2 area in Hebron.  Settlers from “al-Daboya” settlement outpost threw a stone at him.  in the afternoon, settlers beat up an elderly when the latter was herding his sheep in al-Hafasi pastoral areas surrounding ‘Inab settlement, eastern Tulkarm.  Also, settlers stormed agricultural lands in ‘Anabta

village, eastern Tulkarm, and raised the Israeli flag on the roof an agricultural room.  Settlers also threw stones and sprayed pepper gas at a Palestinian and his wife in an agricultural room in Kafr al-Deek, western Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 95 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

On 10 April, IOF confiscated a bulldozer and a truck for Palestinians in Tarmesi’yah village, Ramallah.

On 12 April, IOF uprooted 2 tents; one is residential and the other is for grazing sheep in Kafr Malek in Ramallah, under the pretext of building in an archeological area and within Area C.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 40 families homeless, a total of 244 persons, including 47 women and 113 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 50 houses and 5 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, razed 174 dunums and delivered 49 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 210 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 131 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children. 

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 2260 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 1360 Palestinians were arrested, including 153 children and 14 women. IOF also conducted 12 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 27 Palestinians, including 14 fishermen, 11 infiltrators, and 2 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 09 April 2022, Major General Ghassan Alian, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced collective punitive measures against Jenin, northern West Bank, following the shooting in Tel Aviv carried out by one of the city’s residents. 

The announcement published on ‘Alian’s Facebook page says: “following the latest incidents in Jenin and upon the Israeli Defense Minister’s decision: businessmen from Jenin are not allowed to enter Israel, and Arabs in Israel are not allowed (neither in cars nor on feet) to enter or exit via al-Jalbou’a and Barta’a crossings.  Also, the rock rubble will not be transferred via DTD at crossings in Jenin, and due to security concerns, family visitations to Palestinians in Jenin will not be allowed (within the 5000 approved permits)                                                                          

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s February monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

 In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 93 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (39) and Bethlehem (17).  Jerusalem also witnessed many restrictions on freedom of movement in Ramadan,

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 1056 checkpoints and arrested 59 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Talking Reality Theories, With Airika Dollner, the Amazing Creative Mind of Art With Aim

 

Eva Bartlett

Some months ago, while chatting about world events, media lies, and how people who dare to think critically are often dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”, we joked about being “reality theorists”, and I liked the sound of that term. Our plans to have a conversation got delayed, but finally came about the other morning.

In our first conversation, Airika and I discussed a variety of things, from Palestine to Syria to Ukraine and more. Airika is a phenomenal researcher & very expressive, articulate, woman. We’ll be having these conversations a lot more frequently, on a wide range of issues, particularly things she has researched deeply.

Apartheid “Israel” Prevented Baby Fatima’s Treatment, Now She’s Dead!

April 1 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A 19-month-old child has died in Gaza after waiting for five months for the apartheid “Israeli” entity to grant her permission to leave the blockaded enclave for treatment.

Human right groups said “Israel’s” blockade of Gaza was responsible for the death of Fatima Al-Masri, who was diagnosed last year with a hole in the heart and who died on Friday.

“I loved her from deep inside my heart. I wish I had died as well as her,” said Jalal al-Masri, Fatima’s father. “They kept saying the application was ‘under review, under review’ and then she died.

“It felt like I had died as well without Fatima in my life. Nothing breaks a person more than losing their child.”

Masri said that Fatima missed two appointments for treatment at Occupied Al-Quds’ Al-Makassed hospital in December and February while her family were told her case was “under review” by the “Israeli” authorities.

“We are under blockade. I don’t understand how ‘Israel’ can send me this message about her case being under review,” said Masri.

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, a Palestinian NGO, took on Fatima’s case when Al-Masri complained in February, urging the Zionist regime to issue the permit in time for her to be taken to al-Makassed in the week after the appointment, before the hospital takes a patient off its list.

“Al Mezan deeply regrets Fatima’s death and strongly condemns ‘Israel’s’ ongoing closure on the Gaza Strip and its associated restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, that includes denying patients access to the hospitals in the West Bank, East Al-Quds, ‘Israel’ and abroad,” the NGO said in a statement.

According to the World Health Organization’s monthly report, 56% of applications for companions to patients in Gaza were not responded to in time for the appointment.

Palestinians have to travel for serious conditions that the overburdened health system in Gaza cannot treat, but face long waits for permits to 1948 Palestinian lands and Egypt, where they also endure a difficult journey through the Sinai desert.

The UN’s special rapporteur for Palestine, Michael Lynk, in a report last week that described “Israel’s” control over Palestinian territories as “apartheid”, said Gaza’s health system “is flat on its back, with serious shortages of healthcare professionals, inadequate treatment equipment and low supplies of drugs and medicines.”

Mahmoud Shalabi, program manager in Gaza for the charity Medical Aid Palestine, said the blockade had “suffocated” the health system, leaving hospitals short of medicine and equipment, and that conditions had worsened during the pandemic.

“My cousin, who was suffering from cancer, tried to seek specialist care in East Al-Quds, but died while waiting for a permit. She left behind five young children,” said Shalabi.

“Accessing care feels like a lottery. The case of 19-month-old Fatima is another devastating story. But these stories will keep appearing while ‘Israel’s’ blockade and restrictions are in place.”

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update  10 – 16 March 2022)

 March 17, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinian Civilians killed, including a child, and 13 others wounded, including a journalist, by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Moreover, tens of others sustained bruises in separate incidents in the West Bank.  On 15 March 2022, IOF killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 9 others during clashes triggered by IOF’s incursion into Balata refugee camp, eastern Nablus, and Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem.  Further details available here.   Most civilians were wounded during IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians. On 10 March 2022, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber bullet in his right knee and others suffocated due to teargas inhalation during clashes with IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.  On 11 March 2022, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber bullet in his leg during IOF’s incursion into Tulkarm while a journalist was wounded with 2 rubber bullets in his waist and right hand although he was wearing his clearly marked Press uniform while covering clashes in Bab al-Zawiyah in central Hebron.  On 16 March 2022, a Palestinian was wounded in his back during IOF’s incursion into Jenin and arrest of a Palestinian. 

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 6 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, three IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern and southern Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 16 Palestinians, including 4 children, and wounded 133 others, including 23 children, 1 woman, 2 paramedics and 10 journalists, all in the West Bank, except one fisherman in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF razed a 38-dunum plot of land, demolished a fence and handed 9 notices to stop construction works in 9 civilian objects in the West Bank.

  • On 10 March, a 20-meter fence built of cement and bricks was demolished in northwestern Jericho.
  • On 11 March, the Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of 730 new settlement units in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Beit Hanina in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On 14 March, 9 notices were distributed to cease construction in 9 facilities, including 6 dwellings, classrooms, a barn and an agricultural barrack, eastern Yata in Hebron.
  • On 15 March, 38 dunums in Beit Safafa village, southern occupied East Jerusalem, were razed in favor of expanding “Giv’at HaMatos” settlement.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 40 families homeless, a total of 244 persons, including 47 women and 113 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 50 houses and 4 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, and delivered 37 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, 3 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank and they were as follows:

  • 11 March: settlers placed 3 caravans on a hill next to Kherbet Birin in a de facto seizure of civilian lands, eastern Hebron.
  • 13 March: a settler fired a bullet from his gun at al-Khansaa’ Elementary School, eastern Bethlehem, enticing fear among students.
  • 15 March: settlers from “Burchin” settlement uprooted around 50 olive trees in Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 53 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 158 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 76 Palestinians were arrested, including 2 children.  IOF also conducted a limited incursion into northern Gaza Strip on 14 March 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 1539 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 940 Palestinians were arrested, including 117 children and 9 women. IOF also conducted 11 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 12 Palestinians, including 7 fishermen, 4 infiltrators via the border fence, and one travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

This week, an Israeli military decision was issued to impose new restrictions on the number and identity  of foreign lecturers and students that would be allowed in the Palestinian universities in the West Bank.  The decision imposes a new set of rules defining the criteria required to obtain a work permit and visa for foreign academics and students in order to study or teach at a Palestinian higher education institution. The decision sets a yearly limit of visas to 100 teachers and 150 to students.   Moreover, In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 89 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 2 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (29) and Bethlehem (20). 

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 712 checkpoints and arrested 40 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Turks Rally against Zionist President’s Visit to Ankara

12 Mar, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Turkish protesters took to the streets of the capital Ankara to vent their outrage at a controversial visit by the Zionist regime’s ‘president’ Isaac Herzog.

In Friday’s demonstration, the participants carried the flags of the Lebanese and Yemeni resistance movements, Hezbollah and Ansarullah, as well as pictures of Iran’s top anti-terror and anti-Zionist commander General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the United States in early 2020.

They chanted slogans such as, “Down with the US,” “Down with ‘Israel’,” “Hello to jihad [endeavor for the sake of God],” “Hello to Hezbollah,” and “We are all Qassem Soleimani.”

Herzog visited Turkey on Wednesday at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the most senior Zionist visit since 2008.

Erdogan described Herzog’s trip “a new turning point” in long-strained ties, expressing Turkey’s readiness to cooperate with the occupying regime in the energy sector.

Relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv hit a low in 2018 when they expelled ambassadors in a dispute over the killing by the Zionist regime’s forces of dozens of Palestinians during the Great March of Return protests near the Gaza fence erected by ‘Israel.’

It halted years of reconciliation following a row over a 2010 ‘Israeli’ raid on Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara that killed 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists.

On Wednesday, Turkish people held protests in the cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep and Burdur against Herzog’s visit.

They urged Ankara to reverse the “mistake” of boosting ties amid lingering animosity over the killing of the activists.

“Mavi Marmara is our pride,” the demonstrators chanted, holding up banners reading, “We don’t want a killer in our country.”

“This is a great pain and a torment, it is like a knife to our people’s chest,” said Mehmet Tunc, one of those who was on the Mavi Marmara ship at the time of the deadly ‘Israeli’ raid.

Abdullah Sharif disavows Erdogan || And the Turks are tearing up the Zionist flag
Reply: Saber Mashhour makes fun of Palestine and Jerusalem || Erdogan’s betrayal

Related

Criminal ‘Israeli’ Regime Refusing to Hand over Bodies of Palestinian Kids

 FEB 23, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A rights group said the criminal Zionist regime has refused to hand over the bodies of nine Palestinian children, whom it has killed since 2016.

Reporting the matter on Tuesday, Defense for Children International – Palestine [DCI] said the practice was in violation of both the international law and the principles of human rights.

The international law, which the regime was contravening by withholding the bodies, “includes an absolute prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and stipulates that parties to armed conflict must bury the dead in an honorable manner,” the DCI said.

“It falls under the policy of collective punishment practiced by the occupation against the Palestinian people, and the harm caused to the families of the martyrs as a result, amounts to collective punishment that violates international humanitarian law,” it added.

The Palestinian children were all under 18, when they were murdered by the regime under the pretext of “carrying out stabbing attacks.”

The youngest of the children, who were martyred as early as 2016 and as late as December 2021, were two 15-year-old.

The DCI called 2021 the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014, with ‘Israeli’ occupation forces killing as many as 76 Palestinians inside the occupied territories and the Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip.

As early as 1967, when the regime occupied huge swathes of Palestinian and other regional Arab territories, the regime started setting up cemeteries inside closed-off military zones, where it would retain the bodies of the people, who had been killed as a result of its aggression.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 10 – 16 February 202

 February 17, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinian Civilians, including child, killed, 22 others wounded, including 3 children, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics, by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire in the West Bank.

  • 11 February:
    • 10 Palestinians, including 2 children and paramedic, sustained rubber-bullet wounds in an IOF attack on the weekly protest against settlement activity in Qaddoum village, Qalqiliya. 
    • 3 Palestinians sustained wounds, including a child and a female journalist who sustained sound bomb wounds, in IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest in Bita village against the establishment of “Evytar” settlement outpost in Nablus.
  • On 12 February, a Palestinian was wounded in the suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest against settlement activity in Qalqiliya.
  • 13 February:
    • Palestinian child was killed, and 6 others were wounded, including a child, During IOF raid into Silat al-Harithiya village, western Jenin, and demolition of a prisoner’s house as Part of IOF collective punishment policy. More information available here.  
    • 2 Palestinians, including a paramedic and a journalist, sustained rubber bullet wounds while others sustained bruises and suffocated during IOF protection of a group of settlers, who conducted widescale attacks and seized a plot of land in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. More information available here.
  • 14 February, IOF attacks continued in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem. As a result, a photojournalist sustained wounds and bruises after being hit with batons while 2 brothers were arrested.
  • 15 February
    • in a new crime of excessive use of force, Palestinian civilian was killed in Ramallah, West Bank, during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest against IOF violations. More details available here.
    • 17 students suffocated after IOF heavily fired teargas canisters in al-Quds University Campus in Abu Dis, northern occupied East Jerusalem, during clashes near the annexation wall adjacent to the University.
  • 7 shootings and uses of teargas canisters were recorded in IOF incursions in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, causing several cases of suffocation due to teargas inhalation among civilians.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 5 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Gaza, mostly in eastern Central Gaza Strip. Also, four IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores. Neither casualties nor damage was reported.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 7 Palestinians, including a child, and wounded 69 others, including 11 children, 2 paramedics and 6 journalists, all in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF demolished 6 houses, displacing 4 families of 23 indviduals, including 15 children and 4 women.  IOF also demolished 4 civilian objects and razed 85 agricultural dunums and 500-meter street in the West Bank:

  • On 11 February, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his house, east of occupied East Jerusalem, where an elderly man lived with his wife.
  • On 13 February, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish a 2-storey house in Sour Baher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 2 families of 13 individuals, including 9 children; a 120-sqm auto repair garage and a 500-meter paved road in Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, northeast of Nablus, were demolished; a 200-sqm under-construction house was demolished in al-Bireh, northern Ramallah, under the pretext of unlicensed construction; 70 dunums were razed from the lands between Biddya and Kafr al-Deek, western Salfit; an under-construction dwelling housing a family of 8, including 6 children, was demolished, a gate, 40 seedlings and a water wall were levelled and a tinplate-roofed storehouse built of concrete was self-demolished pursuant to an IOF demolition decision in Beit Ummar village; and a 220-sqm agricultural hut was self-demolished in Halhoul, northern Hebron, pursuant to an IOF demolition decision.
  • On 14 February, 15 dunums planted with vegetables were levelled during IOF incursion into eastern Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip; and a commercial barrack was demolished in Beit Hanina, northern occupied East Jerusalem.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 25 families homeless, a total of 151 persons, including 27 women and 65 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 33 houses and 3 residential tents. IOF also demolished 14 other civilian objects, and delivered 12 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 140 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 14 children.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 837 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 522 Palestinians were arrested, including 49 children and 6 women.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, 12 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank, resulting in the uprooting of 375 olive trees.  Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood witnessed widescale violence by settlers over the 6 days of this week, particularly in Salem Family house area.

  • 10 February: settlers damaged windows of 3 Palestinian vehicles and showered Palestinians with discriminatory insults in Kafl Haris, northern Salfit, and performed prayers in Islamic shrines “Maqams” in the area.
  • 11 February: settlers cut 30 old olive trees in al-Sawiya village, southeastern Nablus.
  • 12 February: settlers damaged branches of 80 olive trees and seedlings in Sorif village in Hebron.
  • 13 February:
    • Settlers uprooted 215 olive trees and seedlings in Yasouf village, al-Matwi area and Burqin village in Salfit
    • Settlers attacked 5 agricultural rooms and damaged their contents in Kafr al-Deek village, western Salfit.
  • 14 February: settlers threw stones at Palestinian buses and broke windows and punctured wheels of 15 vehicles parked in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem.
  • 16 February: settlers uprooted 50 olive trees in an attack on Kafr al-Deek village, western Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 31 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 15 February, Khan Younis Municipality said to PCHR fieldworker that Development Projects (Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance) suspended due to IOF banning import of “bitumen” material that is used to create asphalt concrete for the fourth month in a row.  Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 65 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 2 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (33).

For Every Life Matters: Save Humanity When Saving Rayan!

February 6, 2022

By Zeinab Abdallah

Imagine that you have the chance once in your lifetime to prove that your humanity is still valid.

Rayan’s story proved that it is not a time issue to draw the world’s attention to humanitarian sufferings. While the world was busy praying for Rayan’s safety, thousands of Yemeni children were terrified by Saudi warplanes bombing their houses.

Spending several tough nights deep in the well, Rayan experienced some of the endless toughness children in Yemen and Palestine have been through.

Rayan’s story exposed the world’s double standards at their most impudent level.

The mental health of Rayan matters, and so does that of the Yemeni children who had the shattered bodies of their loved ones stuck deep in their memories. The injuries Rayan will be treated for will hopefully disappear, but the maims in the bodies and faces of the children of Yemen and Palestine will last as scars forever, as no hand was extended to lend them support. Some of them will continue their lives as disabled due to the deprivation of the necessary medical care that has no tools available in their country.

It was mind-blowing how the same world that decided to remain blind, deaf, and silent towards all the massacres, war crimes, and crimes against humanity and childhood was watchful enough to stand in solidarity with the poor Rayan. For those who don’t know him, I doubt, Rayan is a five-year-old Moroccan boy who fell down a 32-meter deep well on Tuesday, as darkness fell with diggers clawing out dirt under floodlights to create a hole next to the narrow shaft.

Messages of solidarity poured from all over the world. Different satellite channels opened live coverage as rescue teams rushed to the place. By this accident, Rayan have experienced for several days the seven-year-long suffering of the children of Yemen; insecurity, hunger, fatigue, mental anxiety, and the unknown fate.

Little has been known about Rayan’s peers in Palestine, and Gaza in particular, during the 11 days of the May 2021 ‘Israeli’ war. When children were celebrating Eid al-Adha across the Muslim world, perhaps Rayan’s parents bought him some new clothes and delights, but Gazan kids either had their parents killed, injured, or in case they survived, none of the features of festivities was something suitable to ask for. The same case applies for the children of Yemen.

For Every Life Matters: Save Humanity When Saving Rayan!
A caricature by Palestinian cartoonist Mahmoud Abbas depitcting the children of Gaza as also stuck in a similar well as Rayan since many years

Early grownups are children in those spots of the world…

When Rayan recovers and returns to school, children in the other part of the world, which is not in the spotlight of mass media and social media, will remain unschooled. This will not be due to their injuries, although they exist. It is because their schools have been bombed by the Saudi warplanes. But almost all Saudi crimes, massacres, and grave human rights violations go uncovered as the petrodollars have the power to shut up those who might report about them.

The absentminded international community, the one that composes the United Nations, a body that once wrote the Convention on the Rights of the Child, claims in its text that: All children have all these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what language they speak, what their religion is, what they think, what they look like, if they are a boy or girl, if they have a disability, if they are rich or poor, and no matter who their parents or families are or what their parents or families believe or do. No child should be treated unfairly for any reason.

Perhaps Rayan was lucky to grab the world’s attention as his tragedy was not caused by any dictator who spends hush-money to keep his image shining. However, hope still lies in the few voices that took it upon themselves to say it loud: Whether in Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, and the Arabian Peninsula, as same as Rayan’s, every life matters!

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (30 December 2021 – 05 January 2022)

January 6 2022

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestinie

30 December 2021 – 5 January 2022

  • IOF shoot and Kill Palestinian with mental health issues on Haris intersection, northern Salfit
  • 16 Palestinians wounded, including 5 children and 1 in critical condition, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • 8 IOF shootings reported against agricultural lands, and 4 against fishing boats in the Gaza Sea
  • 103 IOF incursions in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 78 Palestinians arrested, including 7 children
  • Demolitions and notices in occupied East Jerusalem: 5 houses demolished, 2 of them self-demolished; 5 other establishments demolished, including a medical center; several demolition and cease-construction notices served against Palestinians in the city
  • Demolition notices served against 8 houses, a mosque, a civilian establishment in Bethlehem; and 8 tents removed in Tubas (2 residential and 6 for cattle)
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: damage includes cutting of trees and attacks on Palestinian vehicles and houses
  • IOF established 35 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 1 Palestinian

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 arrests against civilians. This week’s events witnessed an escalation in Israeli demolitions and demolition notices against Palestinian properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip has entered its 15th year under occupation and closure, as Israel has continued to exercise the worst known collective punishment in human history, exacerbating humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian with mental health issues and wounded 16 civilians, including 5 children, as they continue to exercise excessive use of force in the West Bank. On the 31st of December 2021, IOF killed Amir Atef Khader Rayan, a 36-year-old male with mental health issues. Rayan was killed near Haris intersection in northern Salfit, allegedly for attempting a stab attack. Filed investigations indicate that the victim was several meters away from where the Israeli soldiers stood, meaning he did not pose any form of threat to them. This crime reflects the unjustifiable leniency in IOF shooting standards and a disregard for Palestinians’ lives.

Additionally, PCHR documented the following incidents:

  • 3 Palestinians wounded, including one in critical condition in Jerusalem;
  • 2, including 1 child, wounded in Nablus;
  • 11, including 4 children, wounded in Qalqilya.

In the Gaza Strip, PCHR documented 8 instances of IOF opening fire, and 4 shootings on fishing boats.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 103 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings. During this week’s incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 13 incidents:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 5 houses demolished, including 2 self-demolished, in Sur Baher, Silwan and Beit Hanina. A commercial facility was self-demolished in the old city. Wide-scale distribution of demolition notices against houses, commercial and agricultural establishments. Also, IOF disbursed summonses against Palestinians, issued a cease-construction order of a mosque, and confiscated a tin-plated greenhouse in Isawiya. A commercial barracks demolished, and a container confiscated in al-Za’im. A health center used as a Covid-19 vaccination hub was also demolished in Jabel Mukaber, as well as 2 barracks used for cattle in Anata.
  • Bethlehem: demolition notices served against 8 houses, a mosque, and a civilian facility in Nahalin.
  • Tubas: 2 residential tents removed, as well as 6 others used for cattle, along with 80 steel barriers, and 15 cattle feeders in the northern Jordan valleys.

Settler-attacks: 

PCHR documented the following attacks by settlers in the West Bank:

  • Nablus: Palestinian lands in Burin attacked; 46 olive trees cut; a vehicle struck, and its windshield shattered; civilian homes attacked in Burqa.
  • Hebron: a house attacked in Tel Rumeida.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises. Unemployment has skyrocketed at 45% of the population, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip’s population suffer from poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is impoverished and more than 62.2% are food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Additionally, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada in 2000, restricting civilian movement with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian are also subjected to arrests, especially at al-Karama border crossing located alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

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

Thursday, December 30th, 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday 30th of December 2021, IOF arrested Mohammed Rateb Sar’awi (30) and his cousin Malek ‘Issa Sar’awi (27) after they raided Adam Housing Compound in Kafr ‘Aqab village, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. During the incursion, tens of young men gathered near the compound and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who immediately fired live and rubber-coated bullets at them.  As a result, three were wounded with live bullets; one of them sustained serious wounds.  They were identified as follows: Mohammed Nafez Farhan was wounded with a bullet in his abdomen and sustained serious wounds while Eyad Mohammed al-Shahrouri and Samed Mohammed ‘Afanah were wounded in their lower limbs.  All of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF stationed along the border fence east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00 IOF arrested Monther al-Rowidi (21) and Ihab Abu Sneinah (19) after raiding and searching their houses during their incursion into al-‘Ain neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  During the incursion, tens of young men gathered at the neighborhood entrance and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and their vehicles.  They set fire to an Israeli police watchtower with surveillance cameras.  IOF immediately attacked the protesters and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and teargas canisters at them.  The clashes continued in their neighborhood for hours and extended to Beer Ayoub neighborhood, where intense clashes broke out between dozens of young men and IOF, which drowned the neighborhood with skunk water.

Friday, December 31st December 2021:

  • On Friday morning, 31st of December 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian with a disability (a mental disorder), near Haris village intersection, north of Salfit. They claimed that he has attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. Statements collected by the victim’s family refute the Israeli allegation, and IOF have yet to release any images or videos of the incident despite the abundance of surveillance cameras at the site.
  • According to information obtained by PCHR’s fieldworker, at around 09:00, IOF stationed near Haris village intersection, north of Salfit, opened fire at a person after he stepped out of his car and headed towards a bus station, where IOF were standing.  As a result, he was wounded, fell on the ground, and was left to bleed to death.  IOF announced that they blocked an attempted stabbing attack by a Palestinian at the intersection stating that he stepped out of his car with a knife in his hand and ran toward the Israeli bus stop, and that the IOF opened fire at him, killing him. No injuries were reported among the soldiers.

Following the incident, IOF closed the intersection and roads in the area and blocked traffic.  They stopped the car that carried the Palestinian victim and arrested its driver, later identified as ‘Omar Mohammed ‘Ali Abu ‘Ali (19) and his cousin Mohammed Abu ‘Ali (25), who was also in the car at the time.  Later, the person killed was identified as Amir ‘Atef Khader Rayyan (36), a father of five. Rayyan’s body remains in Israeli custody.  According to the family, the victim had a mental disorder that was diagnosed a year ago and was in therapy.

The driver, ‘Omer Abu ‘Ali, Ameer’s brother in-law, told the victim’s father before his arrest that Amir asked him to drive him to the hospital; he asked him to stop at the intersection as he needed to vomit.  Amir got out of the car and ran towards the bus station, where the soldiers were standing. They opened fire at him, wounding him in the abdomen.

According to field investigations, there were meters between the place where IOF stationed and the place where the victim was targeted.  This means that there was no imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives and proves IOF’s unjustified lenient shooting standards in disregard with Palestinians’ lives, noting that a similar incident ocurred at the same intersection last year.

  • At approximately 10:20, IOF stationed along the border fence east of al-Bureij in central Gaza Strip, opened fire and teargas canisters at the shepherds.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:15, a peaceful protest took off Bita Park, southeast of Nablus, towards al-Houta area to the east of Mount Sabih, east of the village, where IOF established “Avatar” settlement outpost 8 months ago.  The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers.  When they arrived, they were surprised with IOF taking their positions near the Mount, so intensive clashes broke out.  The protesters fired stones at IOF, who continued to fire live and rubber-coated bullets as well as teargas canisters at the protesters. During the clashes, which continued until around 16:00, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded bullets in their lower limbs and were taken to the Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment while others suffocated due to teargas inhalation, but were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the southern Qalqilya checkpoint suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinians.  IOF chased the protesters, and clashes broke out.  IOF fired sponge-tipped bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 5 protesters were wounded with bullets, including a child; all of them were wounded in the limbs except one in the abdomen. 
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF suppressed a weekly protest against the occupation and settlement activity in Sheikh Jarrah, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and attacked the protesters by pushing and beating them.

Dozens of Sheikh Jarrah residents and international activists gathered at the main entrance to the neighborhood as usual on Fridays and took off to the eastern side of the neighborhood.  However, IOF prevented them from moving forward and chased them into the eastern and western sides of the neighborhood.  IOF surrounded them from all sides and prevented them from approaching the land of Salem family, who is threatened with forced displacement. After IOF suppressed the protesters, dozens gathered in the western side of the neighborhood in solidarity with the Salem family and raised Palestinian flags and pictures of Salem’s family.  They chanted slogans in Arabic, English and Hebrew against the occupation, settlement and displacement of Sheikh Jarrah’s families, and others in solidarity with the people of Silwan, Bil’in, Bita, prisoners, and Jerusalem. IOF surrounded the activists, beat, and pushed them, confiscated Palestinian flags, and beat Mohammad Khader Abu al-Hummus (56), an activist, after breaking his crutch. They also arrested Ahmed al-Shweiki (12).

  • Around the same time, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest of dozens from Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, against the Israeli municipality’s ongoing house demolitions in the village.

Dozens of civilians gathered near the Mount intersection in the village and raised banners against the house demolitions in the village and forced displacement of their residents under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  They also chanted slogans against the municipality’s attacks on the village neighborhoods.  IOF surrounded the protesters and pushed and beat them.  They dispersed the protesters and chased some young men after firing teargas canisters at them.  They also arrested ‘Alaa Nayef Ja’abis (21).

  • At approximately 16:20, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Na’aymah Street, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence.  Neither injuries nor damage was reported.

Saturday, 1st of January 2022:

  • At approximately 08:50 on Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia and al-Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  The shooting recurred at 18:30, enticing fear among fishermen and forcing them to leave.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley village “Johr al-Deek”, southeast of Gaza, opened fire at the agricultural lands.  No causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on the same day, IOF stationed at the southern Qalqilya checkpoint suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinians.  IOF chased the protesters, and clashes broke out.  IOF fired sponge-tipped bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 6 protesters were wounded with bullets, including 3 children; all of them were wounded in the limbs except one in the back. 
  • At approximately 13:50, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah, east of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:

  • At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Monday, January 3rd, 2022:

  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 03 January 2022, IOF’s gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  As a result, fishermen fled away out of fear.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00, tens of young men gathered near the annexation wall next to al-Quds University in Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.  They set fire to tires and attempted to destroy parts of the wall in protest against the ongoing administrative detention of Hisham Abu Hawwash and in solidarity with him during his hunger strike which lasted for 140 days.  IOF attacked the protesters and heavily fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, dozens suffocated.  During the clashes, which continued in the village for hours, IOF fired live and rubber bullets at the protesters who threw Molotov Cocktails at an IOF camp in the Mount area in the village.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 05 January 2022, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balak in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:05, IOF’s gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  IOF also fired sound bombs and flare bombs in the sky, enticing fear among fishermen and forcing them to flee away.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:40, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of al-Fokhari village, southeast of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, December 30th, 2021 

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, where they stormed and searched Palestinians’ houses and arrested 25 of them. At approximately 08:00, all the arrestees were released. (PCHR keeps record of their names). It should be noted that Hizma village is subjected to IOF daily violations, including closing its entrances, storming it, arresting its villagers, and interrogating them.
  • At approximately 02:25, IOF arrested Ziyad Mohammed Yaseen Jaradat (65) and his two sons Tareq (41) and Mohammed (39) after raiding and searching their house in Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Deir Sammit village inm Hebron. They raided and searched Hasan Shaher Hasan al-Sharawnah (26)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF summoned via a phone call 10 members and leaders of Fatah Movement in occupied East Jerusalem, to interrogate them next day evening, which marks the anniversary of Fatah Movement launch, in ‘Oz investigation center in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and in Moscovia investigation center in West Jerusalem. The summoned persons were identified as: Secretery of Fatah Movement, Shadi Motwer; Fadi Motwer; Naser ‘Ajjaj, ‘Ahed al-Reshiq; Hadallah al-Goul, Eyad Basheer; Ahmed al-‘Abasi; Ayman al-Shurbati; Yaser Darwish; and ‘Amer ‘Awad.
  • Member of Fatah Movement, Eyad Bsheer, said that on Thursday evening, which marked the anniversary for the launch of Fatah movement, he received two phone calls from Israeli Intelligence Service summoning him for interrogation in ‘Oz investigation center in Jabel Mukaber village and in Moscovia investigation center in West Jerusalem, about incidents occurred in occupied East Jerusalem and demolishing Basheer family’s house and erupting clashes in Jabel Mukaber village. Basheer indicated that on Friday evening, he was interrogated in Moscovia investigation center about the restrictions on Fatah Movement to prevent its members from commemorating its launching anniversary. Also, Basheer was handed a notice to ban him from entering al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, where they raided and searched Mohammed Maher Zaytoun (13) and Omar Ahmed Aby Mayalah (14)’s houses and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Arraba and Ya’bad villages, southwest of Jenin governorate; in Tubas City; Tammun village, southeast of Jenin; and in Halhul city in Hebron.  No arrests were reported.

Friday, December 31st, 2021

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, where they raided and searched Hisham Maher Mahmoud Taqatqh (17)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Anas Omar Kan’an (31), from Jab’ village, south of Jenin, while he was present in al-Aqsa Mosque yard in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Sebastia, Burqa, and Iraq Burin villages in Nablus.  No arrests were reported.

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

  • At approximately 01:20m IOF moved into Idhna village in Hebron. They raided and searched Palestinians’ houses, from which they arrested Ahmed Islimiyia (26), Akram al-Qisi (24) and Isma’il Tamizi (25).
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested ‘Ali Sabi Abu Diyab (26), from Silwan village, while he was in French Hill area, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF handed Khalil ‘Emad al-‘Amour (27) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence in “Gush ‘Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem, after raiding and searching his house during their incursion into Teqoa village, east of the city.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF arrested ‘Omar Hisham Abu Kamlah (35) and Mohammed ‘Adnan Taher Jaber (33) after raiding their houses during the incursion into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF arrested Ra’fat Rasem al-Barghouthi (25), from Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, at the Military Court Checkpoint near “Beit El” settlement, north of al-Bireh.
  • IOF carried out 3 incursions into Beit Ummar village, Dura, and Bani Na’im village in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, January 3rd, 2022:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested 3 children after raiding and searching their houses during IOF’s incursion into Silwan village, south of occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees were identified as Nasim Zuhair Dmeiri (15) and Ahmed (13) and Mahmoud (15) ‘Ez al-Deen Shobaki.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses during IOF incursion into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin.  The arrestees were identified as ‘Omran Hasan Sadeq Abu al-Kheir (38), Mohammed Yasin Hasan Jaradat (39) and Khaled Mohammed Mas’oud Jaradat (30).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Sa’ed Abu al-Bahaa’ (45), a former prisoner, after raiding and searching his house in Bitounia village, north of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ahmed Zaid al-Nibali (47), after raiding and searching his house in al-Masayef neighborhood in central Ramallah.
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Liqya village, southwest of Ramallah.  The arrestees were identified as Najeeb Ahmed Najeeb Mafarjah (37), a former prisoner, Mohammed Saleh Mousa (26) and Laith Mahmoud Mafarjah (24).
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF arrested Kattab Ashraf al-Shurbati (20) and Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Atiq (20) after raiding and searching their houses in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians from al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, when they were near a building in al-Ram village, north of Jerusalem.  The arrestees were identified as Saleh Bader Abu ‘Asab (22), Mahmoud Zidan Mahmoud (43) and Ahmed Kayed Mahmoud (27).
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Hadi Derbas (18) when he was on Jaffa Street in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Ayman Abu al-Humus (21) after raiding and searching his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, ‘Azzoun and Qalqilya City, Saffarin and Ramin villages, east of Tulkarm and Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Yahia Merwan Salim Yousef (23), after raiding and searching his house in al-‘Arouj village, east of Bethlehem.
  • At around 02:00, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses in Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem.  The arrestees were identified as Wasim ‘Abeidat (20), Saif Halsah (18) and Mohammed Subaih (21).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Bahaa’ Mohammed Abu Yabes (28) after raiding and searching his house in al-Dheisha refugee camp, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Mahdi Hussein al-Shahrour (35), from Turqumiya, west of Hebron, after stopping and searching his vehicle near Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Wasim Murad al-Rajabi (13) after raiding and searching his house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Salah (47)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20m IOF moved into Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched 3 houses, from which they arrested Taleb Ghasan Taleb Saif (20), ‘Esam Ayman ‘Abed al-Latif Abu Omar (20) and Khuzam Iyad Daghlas (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beita village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched Nabil Ahmed ‘Awad Diyab (24)’s house and then arrested him.

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

Land razing, demolitions, and notices:

  • On Thursday morning, 31 December 2021, ‘Ali Dabash implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his house in Sur Baher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Bushra Dabash, ‘Alis’ wife, said that her family comprised of 11 members, including 9 children, has been living in the house for 6 years. She indicated that the 180-square-meter house included 6 rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Over the past years, Israeli authorities pursued her family and imposed a construction fine on them estimated at NIS 25,000. She added that her family several times headed to the municipality to freeze the demolition or delay it, but the municipality handed her a final demolition order 2 weeks ago. The municipality asked her if her family wants to self-demolish the house or the municipality staff do so, in exchange for taking demolition fees estimated at more than NIS 100,000. She also pointed out that self-demolition of the house was a very difficult choice, especially in the cold weather and her who children became homeless.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, Rami Yunis ‘Owidah implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his house in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Owidah said that he lives in a room and living room in Silwan village, along with his mother, his wife and their 5 kids.

In 2019, he built a new house to live in it with his family. He indicated that the 70-square-meter house was comprised of 2 rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. He added that he could not complete the house construction due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, but he was intending to live in it within few weeks. ‘Owidah pointed out that in last August, he received an administrative demolition notice, and he managed to delay the demolition several times, but the Israeli District Court issued a self-demolition notice against his house and gave him until 09 January 2022 to implement the decision. Also, the court ordered him to pay 25,000 NIS in order to freeze the demolition. He said that he was forced to self-demolished the house to avoid paying more than NIS 100,00 as construction fees for the municipality staff, and to stop IOF storming to his house which caused fear among his children. ‘Owidah indicated that his children lost their hopes and dreams after demolishing their house and he stressed that he attempted several times to license the house, but in vain.

  • At approximately 10:00, Jamal Abu Nijmah implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his commercial facility in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Nijmah said that in 2010, he built a small cafeteria and a 35-square-meter room above it, but the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition order against it and gave him until the end of this week to implement the demolition or he will be fined. He added that in 2000, the municipality built a road in his land and demolished a store that was built on the land, and IOF now forced him to demolish his cafeteria, his only source of income.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 03 January 2021, IOF distributed demolition notice to 8 inhabited and under-construction residential houses, a mosque, and a civilian facility in Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mayor of Nahalin village’s municipality, Saleh Fanoun, said that IOF notified to demolish houses and facilities in al-Raha and Qurnet al-‘Adasa areas, southwest of the village. He indicated that the notified houses and facilities were:
  • Husam Mahmoud Najajrah’s under-construction house (one floor);
  • Bahaa Yehia Najajrah’s 1-storey-house;
  • Shadi Ahmed Zayid’s 2-stroey-house;
  • Ghanem Hasan Najajrah’s under-construction house (2 floors);
  • RaiedYousef Shakarna’s under-construction house (3 floors);
  • Mohammed Hani ‘Awad’s 2-storey-house;
  • Mohammed Yehia Najajrah’s 1-storey house;
  • Mohammed Yousef ‘Awad’s under-construction house (2 floors); an under-construction mosque, and
  • Sameh ‘Atif Najajrah’s facility.

It should be noted that Nahalin village is subjected to unprecedented settlers’ attacks, as during the past month, Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential house and 4 agricultural rooms and greenhouses, and distributed dozens of demolition notices to houses and facilities in the village. Also, IOF confiscated more than 97% of Nahalin village lands, as its area decreased since 1948, from 23,000 dunums to 7,000, of those there is 1,000 dunums taken for the structural scheme and cannot be surpassed in construction; while 3,000 other dunums remain under the threat of confiscation.

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli Municipality distributed notices to demolish houses and commercial and agricultural facilities, and distributed summonses to citizens. They also hung a cease-construction notice on al-Taqwa Mosque in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Activist and Member of Isawiya follow-up committee, Mohammed Khader Abu al-Humus, said that municipality staff along with police officers moved into the southern side of Isawiya village, where they photographed residential houses, hung demolition notices, and distributed summonses to refer to the municipality. Abu al-Humus clarified that the municipality staff photographed al-Taqwa under-construction Mosque and other buildings surrounded int. They also hanged a cease-construction notice on the mosque, under the pretext of non-licensing, or the mosque will be demolished upon an administrative demolition notice. Abu al-Humus indicated that the municipality staff handed other citizens notices to demolish their agricultural facilities in the village, including two barracks belonging to Naser ‘Obaid and Ahmed ‘Abed al-Nabi.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 04 January 2022, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a commercial barrack and confiscated a container in Az-Za’ayyem village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Irmilah, a commercial barrack’s owner, said that IOF raided his barrack without prior warning and demolished it. He added that the 200-square-meter barrack belongs to his factory, which was previously demolished by IOF at the entrance to al-Ram village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, 2 months ago. He said that IOF confiscated a container for goods and threatened him not to construct any building on the land.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 04 January 2022, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished a building belonging to ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center in al-Qonbur neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.

Executive Director of ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center, Ghasan Jalajel, said that Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a tip-plate building (85 sqm) annexed to the ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center. The building includes an emergency room for vaccination against the Coronavirus. Jalajel clarified that the vaccination room is annexed to the medical center a year and a half ago and const at least 250,000 NIS, in order to provide services for thousands of people in the village, as more than 1200 citizens got vaccinated. Jalajel added that the medical center has received a demolition notice from the Israeli municipality 4 months ago, and the center managed to stop the demolition and obtained a decision to delay the demolition a week ago. He pointed out that the court judge requested an inquiry from the municipality until the ninth of this month, to obtain its response about the reason for demolishing the medical center. He said that he and the employees were shocked by demolishing the center without prior warning and not allowing them to get its contents out. Also, IOF pushed him and forcibly deported him from the area.

  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Suhaib al-Rajbi’s house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Rajbi said that he built a new floor above his house (established more than 23 years ago) in Beit Hanina village. He added that he resides there along with his wife and their 3 children. Al-Rajbi indicated that 3 years ago, the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition decision against his house and imposed construction fines on him, and he paid them monthly. He said that during the 3 years, he paid 428,000 NIS as construction fines and for the lawyer and other fees in order to delay or freeze the demolition. He pointed out that he was shocked as his house was stormed and surrounded in the morning by a large number of police officers, border guard officers and municipality staff. He immediately phoned the lawyer, who obtained a decision from the court to stop the demolition, but the municipality staff insisted on going through with the demolition and only allowed al-Rajbi to get out his family’s clothes. Al-Rajbi added that his father’s house which is home to his mother and his three brothers was affected by the demolition, as its walls cracked. It should be noted that the demolition order did not include his father’s house. Al-Rajbi clarified that over the past years, he tried to license the house several times, which cost him more than 10,000 NIS, but the municipality obstructed all his attempts to license it.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and two bulldozers moved into Kherbet Ibziq in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas City. They demolished two residential tents, 6 livestock tents, 80 steel boards, and 15 cattle feeders. Also, more than ten tons of fodder belonging to Mohammed ‘Ali Nasarallah and his son Mahmoud have been damaged. IOF also demolished two residential tents, 3 livestock tents, a water tanks, a number of steel boards, and a fodder store belonging to ‘Adel Nasrallah Hroub.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF confiscated an agricultural room built of tin plates and iron in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Activist and Member of Isawiya follow-up committee, Mohammed Khader Abu al-Humus, said that the municipality staff moved into the eastern side of Isawiya village, and dismantled Sa’d Mostafa’s agricultural room built of tin plates and iron on an area of 15 square meters, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF completed the demolition of Attah Ja’afrah’s house in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, noting that they began to demolish the house in the mid of December 2021, under the pretext of non-licensing.

Ja’afrah said that he has built his 90-square-meter house sheltering 11 members, including 6 children, since 2010. He indicated that 10 years ago, the Israeli Municipality pursued him and issued a demolition decision against his house. He said that over the past years, he attempted to freeze the demolition decision, despite imposing heavy fines on him by the Israeli municipality and courts. Ja’afrah added that 15 months ago, the Israeli court issued a final demolition decision against his house and notified him that it will impose a large amount of money on him if he does not self-demolish the house. Ja’afrah could not self-demolish the house, so the municipality staff demolished it partially on 14 December 2021, and completed the demolition in the evening.

  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished two livestock barracks in al-Fahiday neighborhood in Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Majed al-Fahidat said that IOF surrounded the neighborhood in the morning and demolished his barrack and another barrack belonging to his brother Saleh without prior warning. He indicated that, the barracks, which have been established for10 years on an area of 130 square meters, shelter 50 livestock.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished Sultan Sa’ied al-Helasi’s house on Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Helasi said that his 65-square-meter house has built since 2015, and he has been lived in it along with his wife and their 4 kids. He indicated that 4 years ago, the Israeli Municipality pursued him and issued a demolition decision against his house, in addition to imposing a construction fine on him estimated at NIS 33,000. He added that he attempted to license the house, but in vain. Al-Helasi pointed out that the municipality notified him 2 months ago to demolish his house and threatened him to impose a fine of NIS 100,000 on him if he does not self-demolish the house. Accordingly, at the beginning of December 2021, al-Helasi was forced to evacuate his house, removed all windows and doors, and made holes on its walls, but the municipality insisted to demolish the house completely. Al-Helasi said that municipality staff moved into the neighborhood today and closed all streets leading to the house after the military construction vehicles were unable to reach the house. After that, the municipality staff started to demolish the house and destroy its walls via automatic saws.

Setters’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their Property:

  • On Thursday morning, December 30th, 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement, which is established in southeastern Nablus, attacked Palestinians agricultural lands in Burin village, and cut 46 olive trees belonging to Nimer Mahmoud ‘Issa and Muhaimen Mousa.
  • At approximately 20:30, a group of settlers, from “Homesh” settlement, which is established in northern West Bank, attacked the vehicle of Malek Kamal Tawfiq, from Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus, and broke its rear window while he was passing through Bizzariya village’s intersection, northwest of Nablus.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, a group of settlers, from “Ramati Yishai” settlement outpost, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron, threw stones at Tayseer ‘Adnan Abu ‘Ishaa’ (55)’s house located near the settlement outpost, and cursed him. As a result, some of the house windows were broken. After that, the Israeli police arrived at the area and took the settlers away from the neighborhood.

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 35 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs, and arrested one of them. 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.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, December 30th 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-‘Ein neighborhood in Silwan village.
  • On Tuesday, January 4th, 2022, IOF established a checkpoint near Abu Dis village.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, December 30th, 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Shawawrah and al-Freidis villages as well as in ‘Aqbet Hasnah leading to western Bethlehem villages.
  • On Friday, December 31st, 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beir Fajjar village.
  • On Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Husan village near al-Nashash intersection.
  • On Monday, January 3rd, 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Jannata village and in ‘Aqbet Hasnah leading to western Bethlehem villages.
  • On Tuesday, January 4th, 2022, IOF established 3 checkpoints near al-Nashash intersection, in ‘Aqbet Hasnah area leading to western Bethlehem villages, and at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Mughayyir village, east of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Beit El” settlement on the main road to al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah and at the entrance to Deir Nidham village.
  • On Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and Turmus ‘Ayya villages.
  • On Monday, 03 January 2022, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Nidham village, northwest of the City.

Jericho:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to southern and northern Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 04 January 2022, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho and the entrance to ‘Aqbet Jaber refugee camp.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Idhna village and Halhoul Bridge in Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, al-Shyoukh village, northern Yatta and northern Hebron.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Romanah village, west of Jenin.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit

No Christmas where Christ was born

Dec 25 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Rasha Reslan

In Palestine, particularly in Beit Lahm, the cradle of Christ, Christmas is celebrated under the Israeli occupation.

Christ’s birth is celebrated under the violence of the Israeli occupation.

Christians around the world simultaneously light up their Christmas trees to inspire joy and hope, and awaken the spirit of Christmas; but for Fouad, Christina, Iyad, Hanin, and many Palestinians in Beit Lahm,  Gaza, and the occupied West Bank, this is going to be yet another sad Christmas.

Beit Lahm in December 

No Christmas where Christ was born

A large Christmas tree and decorations do little to brighten up a Christmas celebrated under the Israeli occupation most notably in Beit Lahm. Like many occupied Palestinian cities and towns, Beit Lahm is deprived of having any guests, with the tree rejoicing no one but the city’s residents. 

No Christmas where Christ was born

“I hope that this coming year brings about good, despite all the problems and challenges, as well as the corona pandemic and Israeli occupation,” a Palestinian elderly from Beit Lahm told Al Mayadeen English.

All that he can hope for in such days is a life full of goodness and blessings and a year that witnesses the end of the occupation. 

The resilient Palestinian recalls how around this time of the year, the Israeli occupation forces hold Palestinian youth under administrative arrest. 

“They would take Palestinians and throw them in prison, depriving the people of Palestine of joy.”

Read More: Hunger Strikes: Palestinian Prisoners’ Last Resort

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen English, he stressed that the Israeli violence would escalate during the holiday season in Gaza and the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and Al-Bustan, and in all of Palestine, not to mention the ongoing events and attacks across the occupied West Bank where Israeli settlers repeatedly assault innocent Palestinian people.

Read More: “It Is Fun to Shoot Palestinians”: Six Former Israeli Soldiers Speak Up

A Palestinian woman from Beit Lahm tersely stressed that Christmas is a special occasion where one gets to spend time with family and friends and visit wonderful Christmas holiday venues, as well as the Christmas market across Beit Lahm, but this is always not allowed in Palestine.

The Grinch that stole Gaza’s Christmas

No Christmas where Christ was born

Gaza has survived past crises, notably the latest Israeli aggression that has dampened its already critical situation, and residents are only surviving on hope.

“The atmosphere of Christmas in Palestine differs from the atmosphere of Christmas anywhere else in the world”, Palestinian youth Fouad Ammar told Al Mayadeen English.

Like all Gazans, Fouad has been suffering from a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. 

The celebration of Christmas by Christians in Palestine is limited to very minimal events and attendees inside the church. Regardless, joy prevails and shines from within the church, and it is reflected in a cohesive Palestinian community. 

Since March 1993, Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank (except for residents of Al-Quds) have been required to obtain permits from the Israeli occupation authorities.

On this issue, Fouad said, “We are facing the issue of permit denials due to Israel’s blockade. It is almost impossible here for anyone to get a permit to visit the Church of the Nativity or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. And then Israelis grow more insolent giving a permit for the son and denying it for the father or giving a permit for the father and denying it for the son.”

“As a result, our joy remains incomplete; we constantly face the issue of permits in almost every mention of joy. We also face the difficulty of bringing the family together on our holidays as Christians, which makes us a little desperate and sad,” he added.

He heartfully shared his personal experience with Al Mayadeen English. Fouad’s parents live in Yafa, and he lives in Gaza. From 2007 till this very day, he has been denied any permit to visit his family. Eventually, he celebrates religious festivals online and on social media. 

“The Israeli occupation is behind our suffering,” he concluded.

Whether it’s Christmas or any other day, there’s no joy whatsoever left. 

Like all Palestinian youths from Gaza, Iyad Saba, wishes to be able to enter the occupied Palestinian towns without having to go through obstacles and visit the holy places in order to celebrate with his family and friends in the Church of the Nativity, in Al-Aqsa Mosque, or in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 

“We hope that next year we will be able to visit the holy places together. On every holiday, we go through the same pain, as half of the family is allowed to visit holy places, whereas the second half remains in Gaza”, he added.

The young Palestinian told Al Mayadeen English that his friends are waiting for him to get a permit to celebrate holidays with them.

“Israel insists on depriving us of any chance of joy,” he said, sighing heavily.

Atallah Tarazi, a Palestinian from Gaza, said the Israeli occupation is innately inhuman and brutal. 

“This is what [the notion of] occupation is; one people ruling over another, silencing the truth and repressing equality, and replacing justice with injustice. This takes its toll on all sects and groups,” he stressed.

Reiterating the endless suffering of getting permits, Atallah has only one wish which is to gain his freedom so that he can spend the holidays wherever he wants, “but I have no freedom; circumstances govern us,” he said.

On her account, young Palestinian woman Christina Al-Amash told Al Mayadeen English that some Gazans have family members who live outside Gaza, stressing that they would like to celebrate with them, but since Gazans live under an Israeli siege and they do not have permits, they are obliged to stay behind and celebrate in Gaza.

Christmas is a time of love, warmth – and often, huge family gatherings, yet not in occupied Gaza. 

“It is wonderful that the whole family gathers during holidays in Beit Lahm because it is the land of Christ’s birth and a holy symbol for us. Some of us are able to travel to Beit Lahm, but most of us cannot”, Hanin Al-Jalda, a Palestinian woman from Gaza said.

She went on to say that those who cannot leave Gaza contact their families in Beit Lahm through the phone. 

“A lot of us are not able to get out of Gaza. Our joy is incomplete. We are always at home, but we try to create a holiday spirit wherever we go, such as the cultural center. We make sure to decorate and light up our Christmas trees to celebrate and let the children rejoice and have fun, “she added.

Unity between Muslims and Christians 

A Muslim family has held the key to one of Christianity’s holiest sites for centuries. This is more than just a matter of custom. It is the essence of Al-Quds, and it is part of what makes the Old City’s cultural and religious history so unique.

It is the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This Church is one of Christianity’s holiest sites. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visit it during the holidays. Few people are aware of the role Muslim ancestors have played in the history of this holy site.

“Christians and Muslims live together – one home, one family,” Jad from the occupied West Bank told Al Mayadeen English

He stressed that Muslim brothers and sisters join Christians in Christmas celebrations.

No Christmas under occupation

No Christmas where Christ was born

Theodosius Atallah Hanna, the Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of occupied Palestine, sent a heartfelt message, urging the whole world, most notably those celebrating this occasion, “to keep an eye on this land that was blessed with Christ’s birth.”

“When you celebrate Christmas, keep in mind that this land is under occupation and is struggling because of it. Palestine is enduring utmost levels of injustice, oppression, and tyranny,” the Palestinian Archbishop said.

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen English, Hanna said we should call for the freedom, dignity, and retrieval of the stolen rights of Palestine. 

“Remember that Christ was born on this land, the bleeding Palestine, which is awaiting all the free people of the world to side with it and support its oppressed people,” he stressed.

The Palestinian Archbishop wished the whole world a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Bleeding Santa 

A Palestinian man, dressed as Santa, suffocated after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli occupation forces. (Reuters)

On Christmas morning 2000, Abed was so excited to meet Santa and get his gift. He was 10 years old, yet his joy was turned into a lifetime trauma.

“There is an image from my childhood that doesn’t leave my mind. The image of a Palestinian man wearing Santa’s costume. He was confronting the Israeli occupation forces with a stone, when he was shot by a live bullet,” he told Al Mayadeen English.

Abed also said that he will never forget the 39-day siege of the Church of the Nativity by the Israeli occupation forces, where Palestinians were shot and killed by snipers inside the church’s compound.

“Many pictures come to my memory about Christmas. The joy is incomplete despite our Christmas procession and our attempts to share the Christmas spirit. Nonetheless, we have a constant feeling of dread that something is looming on the horizon. The Christ is Palestinian, he is one of us. I call him the first Palestinian revolutionary.”

“Our biggest joy will be when Palestine is fully liberated from the Israeli occupation forces,” he concluded.

The Israeli occupation has ruined another Christmas for Palestinians, with Santa’s arrival and much-awaited family gatherings intentionally repressed.

With each passing year, the occupation further takes the joy out of Palestine, the land where Christ was born.

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