Like Yemen Like Palestine: A Blood-stained Eid amid War, Blockade!

Like Yemen Like Palestine: A Blood-stained Eid amid War, Blockade!

By Yehya Salaheddin, Zeinab Abdallah

Eid is the usual occasion during which people, mainly children, celebrate. It is the day they wait and dream of, often sleeping over the Eid’s eve hugging their new clothes, shoes, and perhaps toys.

The unusual is the case some dear nations are passing through… War, famine, blockade and insecurity! In Palestine, the nation of the free people and the occupied land has been around the past week through the bloodiest attack by ‘Israeli’ aggressors. Likewise, Yemen has been in a state of war and blockade for the seventh year in a row.

Palestinians and their Yemeni counterparts are the contemporary oppressed nations in our region. Their Eids are the ones marred by blood and the smell of death.

The US-Saudi blockade and the inhumane practices against Yemenis can best be described through the tight siege targeting airports and seaports, especially Sanaa Airport and the Hudaydah Seaport. It is a matter that makes it almost impossible to get containers of food, clothes and Eid equipment into the country. Prices hence skyrocketed, reflecting negatively on the children’s requirements of ‘joy’.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus spread played another negative role in reducing visits that usually take place between relatives in times of Eid.

Traditionally, when life was normal, Yemenis used to hold Eid prayers in the early morning, before starting to exchange visits. Children, who accompany their parents, receive a symbolic financial treat from their visited relatives. They also eat some Eid delights such as raisins, nuts, sweets and juice.

They also used to exchange congratulations in gatherings of men and woman apart.

Since the war broke out, however, Yemenis started remembering theirs beloved ones whom they lost due to this war. Their sorrow, nevertheless, does not affect their determination and will to survive and confront this aggression.

Since March 2015, until May 2021, the Saudi-led and US-funded war on Yemen has killed, injured and maimed more than 40,000 civilians. Among the martyrs there are 3000 children and 2000 women. The injured are more than 20,000, not to mention the thousands of displaced citizens

Um Abdul Salam, a housewife, says the Eid under the aggression isn’t like before. Social relationships have changed and been affected by the hard livelihoods among most of the people.

“The impacts of war pushed many to send congratulations via phone instead of visiting each other, as visits would definitely mean more expenses.”

For his part, Hamza, a shop owner in Sabaa Neighborhood in the capital Sanaa, who buys some food, sweets and toys for kids, says:” People’s financial situations are very bad. Most of them cannot afford the basic needs, how would they be able to pay for the Eid requirements?” Then he assures that Yemenis are to stay solid and steadfast without submitting any to the criminal aggressors.

Meanwhile, Mr. Amin Ahmad, a citizen who has been enduring like his nationals a brutal and bloody war, underscores that neither the blockade nor the aggression would prevent the Yemenis from practicing their Eid rituals. “The war would rather push us for more determination to fight and support with money until achieving the greatest victory.”

Another testimony was from the young Um Abdullah [26 years] who said: “I don’t feel the Eid joy ever since my parents and siblings were martyred in a Saudi bombing that targeted our home in Saawan Neighborhood eastern Sanaa. However, despite the pain, I try to spread the joy among my little children.”

Salaries’ cut due to the aggression has also marred the Eid’s joy. It was very challenging for the tireless employees who remained patient amid this harsh circumstance.

Nu’man, a governmental employee, said: “We are able to tolerate this. As a Yemeni proverb says {Eid is the wellbeing.} We will endure this as long as we are confronting the aggression. We will remain steadfast for the sake of the nation.”

Another colleague, Khaled, commented on the matter as saying: “They wanted to break our will and humiliate us by delaying our salaries. They wanted us to submit but we will keep enduring and confronting the aggression. It is enough to buy the children’s clothes and the basic needs.”

The same issue is for Um Ousama [50 years], ana academic who describes the Eid as featureless and lacks the true meaning of joy.

“We, the unpaid employee, didn’t buy new clothes or good sweets. I just bought new outfits for my little children so that they can feel some happiness,” she said.

However, she noted that despite everything, Yemenis are determined to feel the Eid, draw a smile, and continue the path for achieving victory and liberating Yemen from the Al Saud and the US grip that is abusing the country’s wealth and resources. Only then, Eid’s joy will be doubled.

Gaza… A test to the conscience of humanity!

Meanwhile in central Gaza, a young girl received her Eid treat. Unlike other places, where in the background children hear songs and laughter, she went to spend her treat playing with the swing, with bombardment in the background. An ‘Israeli’ rocket hit the place. Yes, the rocket targeted the place where she was swinging with her fellows.

While people prepare for Eid by cleaning their houses for visitors to come and bake Eid delights, another heartbreaking scene showed a few-years-old boy cleaning stains of thick blood from the floor… Why on earth would children experience such monstrous incidents while the rest of the world is busy with the most superficial lifestyles!?

When an adult die, we usually avoid letting children be present at the scenes of funerals, but in Palestine the children are the ones that bid farewell to their martyred parents. The Palestinian children acquire the concept of death even before they learn to speak. But they are also the ones who lecture the world how on earth dignity is felt, nations are protected, and blood can be an offering they willfully sacrifice.

Like Yemen like Palestine, the lands where mothers give birth to heroes and heroes not only make history but also shape the crystal-clear future: Justice to prevail, injustice to fade forever…

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (28 April – 05 May 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 April – 05 May 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

29 April – 5 May 2021

  • IOF kill Palestinian child near Odala checkpoint in Nablus, and an elderly woman for alleged stab-attack at Gush Etzion Junction, southern Bethlehem
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 63 Palestinians wounded, including 3 children
  • 50 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises and stun grenades shrapnel wounds during IOF assault on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and nine others on fishing boats in the Gaza sea
  • In 135 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 89 civilians arrested, including 10 children, 3 women
  • Collective punishment policy: IOF siege several villages in Nablus and launch wide-scale demolition campaign
  • Two barracks and two car washers demolished in Bethlehem and Hebron
  • Wide-scale settler-attacks: elderlies wounded, cars damaged, and thousands of trees uprooted, and crops set ablaze across the West Bank
  • IOF established 66 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF repression against Jerusalemites in Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque; as well as the repeated assaults on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in in protest to the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evacuate several houses in a forcible deportation policy. As a result, dozens of civilians sustained wounds and dozens of others were arrested.  Settler-attacks witnessed a rise this week too on Palestinian civilians and their properties, particularly in Nablus. PCHR documented 244 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed two Palestinians this week, a child and a woman. IOF attacks also resulted in the injury of 63 others in an escalation of its attacks on the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. On 5 May 2021, Said Y. M. Odeh (16) was killed and his cousin was wounded in clashes near Odala checkpoint, southeast of Nablus. On Sunday evening, 02 May 2021, an elderly Palestinian woman succumbed to her serious wounds after IOF directly opened fire at her, claiming she attempted to carry out a stab attack near the “Gush Etzion” settlement junction, south of Bethlehem.  According to PCHR’s investigations and in a video published on Israeli social media, the old woman posed no imminent danger to the soldiers’ lives and could have been controlled without lethal force.

As to the injuries, they were as follows:

  • 1 Palestinian civilian was wounded at Gush Etzion checkpoint for alleged stab-attack;
  • 3 others, including a child, during IOF assault on a protest in Beit Dajan, Nablus;
  • A child in IOF incursion into Beita, Nablus;
  • A child in IOF assault on a protest in Jenin;
  • Two civilians in IOF assault on Kafr Qaddum protest, Qalqilya; and
  • 50 Palestinian civilians sustained bruises and stun grenades shrapnel wounds during IOF repeated assaults on Sheikh Jarrah sit-in.

Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in various IOF assaults across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza, and 9 shootings at fishing boats, western Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 135 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 89 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and 3 women. IOF imposed a siege on several villages in Nablus and shut their entrances with sand berms; IOF conducted a wide-scale raid operation in Aqraba under its collective punishment policy against Palestinians after a shooting occurred at Za’tara checkpoint earlier in the week.

Demolitions:

PCHR fieldworkers documented two violations:

A barracks (mechanic) and a car wash were demolished in southwestern Bethlehem; and another barracks and car wash were demolished in Hebron.

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

  • Jenin: assault on an elderly shepherd grazing sheep in Mariha
  • Nablus: 30 olive tree, sage and thyme seedlings uprooted; racist vandalization in Qusra; agricultural lands set on fire in Jalud; a car assaulted with stones in Lubban ash-Sharqiya village; greenhouse damaged and 3200 tomato seedlings and 1500 zucchini seedlings uprooted; assaults on civilian houses and agricultural lands set on fire in Burin
  • Qalqilya: an elderly man assaulted near Fara’ata.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

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

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

  • At approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Deir al-Balah shore in the center of the Gaza Strip, chased fishermen who were sailing in the sea to withdraw their fishing nets, opened fire around their fishing boats and forced the fishermen to leave No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:05 on Thursday, 29 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyia shore, west of Jabalia camp, and off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and heavily opened fire at them for an hour, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee and damaging the fishing tools. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased and clashed Palestinian young men for several hours, during which, they arrested Nassar Osama al-‘Is’es (19).
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 30 April 2021, an Israeli soldier opened fire at a Palestinian young man under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack at al-Nashash intersection near “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. As a result, the young man was shot with 3 live bullets and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem, where his health condition was classified serious. Footage published by Israeli media showed that an Israeli soldier fired 3 live bullets from a distance of 3 meters at Mansour Kamel ‘Abed al-‘Aziz ‘Amri (30), who attempted to attack him with a sharp tool. According to the footage, the young man did not pose imminent threat or danger to the soldier, as there was a distance of 3 meters between them, and the soldier could have used less lethal force to neutralize the young man. Israeli media claimed that the sharp tool used by the young man was a broken bottle, which does not pose real threat to the soldier who fired 3 bullets at the attacker’s head and chest. The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs later stated that Mansour’s heath condition is stable until now, and ‘Ofer Military Court will hold a session on Tuesday to extend his detention.
  • At approximately 13:45, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, northeast of Nablus, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 3 protestors, including a child, were wounded; the child was shot with a live bullet in his left foot, a 52-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left foot and back, and a 48-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at Palestinian young men gathered near the Return Camp. The IOF’s sporadic shooting continued for an hour; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, after 4 days of their withdrawal, IOF re-deployed in Bab al-‘Amoud area, established several checkpoints on its stairs and forcibly vacated its yard. Accordingly, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-‘Amoud area and chanted slogans. IOF immediately suppressed them, severely beat them up and arrested Mahdi Omar al-‘Ajlouni (13), taking him to a military checkpoint. IOF severely beat Mahdi, stomped on him, punched him with helmets until he lost his consciousness. IOF also chased Palestinian young men into al-Mosrara area and on al-Sultan Suliman Street. The clashes continued until 03:00 on Saturday. During which, IOF fired heavy sound bombs, pumped wastewater at Palestinians and arrested Mostafa Hani al-Yaseni.
  • At approximately 21:30, dozens of Palestinians, from Bethlehem, organized a peaceful protest in front of a metal- detector gate fixed on the annexation wall, calling for stopping IOF’s attacks in Jerusalem. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. During which, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased and clashed Palestinian young men until 23:30, during which, they arrested Husain Ibrahim Masalma (13) and Ahmed Raied al-‘Adam (17).
  • At approximately 22:00, a peaceful protest took off in Jenin in support of al-Aqsa Mosque. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against IOF and settlers. They then headed towards al-Jalma military checkpoint, north of Jenin, where clashes erupted between the protestors and IOF stationed at the checkpoint. IOF immediately fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, a 17-year-old child was shot with a live bullet in his right thigh and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received a treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them until 09:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, dozens of Palestinian young men and several international activities organized a peaceful protest in ‘Ain al-Bida area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron, calling for cancelling Israeli authorities’ decision stating that lands of ‘Ain al-Bida area are state-owned lands, and prevented its residents from planting or constructing on these lands. A large number of Israeli soldiers arrived at the area declaring it as a closed-military zone. Meanwhile, the residents of ‘Ain al-Bida area gathered on the main street, raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. IOF suppressed them and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at Palestinian young men, who gathered near the border fence. The IOF sporadic shooting continued for 4 hours; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, a group of Palestinian young men gathered at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, where IOF established a military watchtower. The young men threw stones at the military watchtower, during which, IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. The clashes continued until 17:30. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also closed the village’s entrance and prevented Palestinians’ vehicle from entering and exiting the village.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 27-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade in his back and a 22-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade below his back.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and fired sound bombs around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in the center of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, against eviction order issued by Israeli authorities against the residents of Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood in favor of settlers. Dozens of protestors gathered in front of houses under the threat of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans “We Will Stay Here” “We Will Not Leave”. The protestors then headed towards the main street. When they arrived there, Israeli police shouted at them via loudspeakers ordering them to leave the area within 5 minutes, or the police will suppress them. Few minutes later, IOF beat the protestors up, confiscated the flags, and arrested 3 civilians after pushing them to the ground and severely beating them. As a result, they sustained bruises and wounds in their faces. The arrestees were identified as Amr Abu Sninah, Anas Jabareen and Majd Sha’bi. It should be noted that the protest was organized a day before holding a session in the Israeli Supreme Court to consider appeal requests submitted by Sheikh Jarrah families regarding the eviction orders issued against al-Ja’ouni, al-Kurd, al-Qasem and Iskafi families.
  • At approximately 18:20 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, coinciding with a shooting attack at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, IOF stationed at the checkpoint indiscriminately opened heavy fire in the area. As a result, a Palestinian vehicle sustained damage as a live bullet penetrated the windshield and broke it. The vehicle was driven by Ziyad Farah ‘Awaad (49), from Talfit village, along with his wife ‘Afaf Lotfi ‘Abdullah ‘Awaad (46) and their daughter Marah (21).
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Beita village. Southeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicle. Violent clashes erupted in the area and continued until midnight. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child, were shot with live bullets in their lower limbs and taken to a hospital in Nablus for treatment. IOF’s incursion into the village came after carrying out a shooting attack at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, which resulted in the injury of 3 Israelis.
  • On Sunday, an elderly Palestinian woman succumbed to her serious wounds after IOF directly opened fire at her, claiming she attempted to carry out a stab attack near the “Gush Etzion” settlement junction, south of Bethlehem. According to PCHR’s investigations and in a footage published on Israeli social media, the old woman posed no imminent danger to the soldiers’ lives and could have been controlled without lethal force.
  • According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, a woman dressed in a black abaya and wearing a medical mask was carrying a bag while walking on the pavement of “Gush Etzion” junction, she slowly and hesitantly approached 2 Israeli soldiers, who were 4 meters away from her, with a knife in her hand. The 2 soldiers yelled at her in Hebrew only few moments before they directly shot her.  As a result, she was wounded, fell on the ground and was taken by IOF to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in critical condition.  At approximately 20:00, she was pronounced dead and was identified as Rehab Mohammed Mousa Za’oul (60) from Husan village, west of Bethlehem.

Following the incident, many videos went viral on social media documenting IOF’s shooting at Za’oul’s lower body and how Za’oul was hesitantly and slowly approaching, posing no imminent threat or danger to the lives of the soldiers, who were several meters away from her.  The footages showed that she could have been neutralized and controlled with less lethal force.The incident is part of IOF’s shoot-to-kill policy of using lethal force against suspects at checkpoints and near areas where IOF is usually stationed, particularly Gush Etzion Junction, which has been the scene of recurrent Palestinian deaths.  Za’oul is the third Palestinian killed by IOF at the Junction in similar circumstances out of the total 8 Palestinians killed by IOF since the beginning of the year, according to PCHR’s documentation.

  • At approximately 21:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire at them and fired sound bombs around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:45 on Monday, 03 May 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported
  • On Tuesday,04 May 2021, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians and wounded 10 others while suppressing a protest organized in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah’s families whose house are under threat of eviction in favor of settlers.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 03 May 2021, dozens of Sheikh Jarrah families along with international activities and Jerusalemite persons gathered and protested in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction. During which, Israeli settlers living in the Palestinians’ houses, which were seized, attempted to provoke the protestors and threw stones at them. After that, IOF arrived at the area and surrounded it. IOF ordered the protestors to leave within10 minutes, pumped wastewater at them and beat them up. The clashes continued until 02:00, during which, IOF raided Saleh Diab’s house, beat up all its residents and pepper-sprayed them. As a result, the elderly woman Fatema Diab and Saleh Diab suffocated and received treatment at the hospital. IOF also arrested Ahmed Farrah, from Bab Hettah neighborhood in the Old City, and severely beat him up while he was parking his vehicle in front of an Israeli settler’s house. As a result, Farrah sustained bruises and wounds in his face. Additionally, Jamal Abu Khudair and Ahmed ‘Aqbah were arrested by IOF. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that 10 Palestinians were wounded during the clashes erupted in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; 3 of them were taken to the hospital for treatment. Since few days, dozens of Sheikh Jarrah families along with international activists organize peaceful protests and sits-in and eat breakfast “Iftar” together in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction, north of occupied East Jerusalem, calling for extending the duration given to al-Ja’ouni, al-Kurd al-Qasem and Iskafi families to vacate their houses. It should be noted that on Sunday, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in front of the houses that are under the threat of eviction and arrested Hamza al-Sabbah (13) and an activist Samer Abu ‘Isha (33).
  • At approximately 20:00, a large number of Israeli soldiers moved into Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, closed its main entrance, prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from entering it, and turned the neighborhood into a military barrack in an attempt to ban the entry of international activists into the neighborhood who protest in front of houses that are under the threat of eviction. Despite all measures taken by IOF, dozens of Palestinians gathered in front of the houses, organized a sit-in along with the houses’ owners, sang national songs, and chanted slogans condemning the forced displacement of the Palestinians from the neighborhood. IOF immediately suppressed the sit-in, pumped wastewater at the Palestinians, chased them on the neighborhood’s streets, and brutally beat them up. During which, IOF arrested Mahmoud Nabil al-Kurd, whose family’s house is threatened to be vacated, after severely beat him up along with his sister Mona. IOF also obstructed the volunteer paramedics’ work, checked their IDs and pumped wastewater at them several time. The IOF’s attack against the participants at the sit-in continued for 3 hours, during which, an unknown woman sustained wounds in her head after she fell on the ground when IOF chased her. Also, IOF arrested Tala ‘Obaid and activist Omar al-Khatib after severely beat him up.

It should be noted that on Thursday morning, the duration given by the Israeli Supreme Court on last Sunday to al-Kurd, Iskafi, al-Ja’ouni and al-Qasem families in order to reach an agreement with a settlement company regarding the ownership of the lands on which their homes are built will be ended.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 05 May 2021, as part of the large Israeli military operation in Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, IOF surrounded an agricultural room and a barrack in al-Qit’a area, east of the village. The room and barrack belong to ‘Emad Fatahallah Bani Muniyia, who was arrested by IOF along with his wife a day before. IOF ordered persons present in the room via loudspeakers to surrender themselves and fired live bullets and sound bombs at the room and barrack, causing a hole at the room wall and damaging its door. IOF surrounded the room and barrack for 3 hours. After their withdrawal, IOF declared that they could not arrest the persons suspected of carrying out the attack at Za’tara military checkpoint on 02 May 2021.
  • In the evening, IOF arrested 12 Palestinians and wounded 10 others while suppressing a peaceful protest organized in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah families, whose houses are under the threat of eviction. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 19:30, dozens of persons who are in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah families organized a breakfast “Iftar” for all families. Following that, hundreds of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem organized a sit-in in the area, sang national songs, chanted slogans, and conducted interviews regarding the Supreme Court session scheduled to be next day morning. During which, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered in front of al-Ghawi residential building, placed loudspeakers, cursed the participants in the sit-in to provoke them, and instigated IOF to beat and arrest the protestors. After that, dozens of special forces and mounted police suppressed the sit-in, beat the participants up and pushed them. IOF also fired sound bombs at the participants in the sit-in, pepper-sprayed them and pumped wastewater at them. Additionally, IOF raided al-Kurd family’s house and forcibly vacated its yards from the residents and other persons standing in solidarity with them, and severely beat them up. After that, violent clashes erupted in the neighborhood and continued for 7 consecutive hours. During which, 40 Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation, pumping wastewater, firing sound bombs, pushing and beating; two of them were taken to the hospital. IOF also arrested 12 Palestinians after severely beating them up. PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees.
  • In the evening, in a new crime of excessive use of force, IOF killed a child and wounded one of his relatives in a protest and clashes near Odala checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, and hindered Palestinian ambulances access to the area.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 21:30, a number of civilians gathered in the center of Odala village, southeast of Nablus, to protest against IOF’s incursion into ‘Aqraba village and the closure imposed on their village for 2 days.  The protesters headed to the checkpoint established on the bypass road at the main entrance to Odala village and threw stones at the soldiers stationed there.  Clashes broke out and IOF fired teargas canisters and live bullets at the protesters.  As a result, Sa’id Yousif Mohammed ‘Odeh (16), who was few meters away from the soldiers, was wounded and then directly arrested; most of the protesters did not notice his arrest.  Also, his 24-year-old cousin was wounded with a bullet in his back and the protesters were able to drag him to safety and put him in a civilian car to drive him to a nearby clinic in Bita village.  The protesters informed the PRCS that there is an injured person in the clinic, without knowing of the Odeh’s injury and arrest.  When a PRCS ambulance arrived at Odala Checkpoint, IOF held them for 15 minutes before allowing them to cross the checkpoint at Odala village entrance.  The ambulance arrived at Bita Clinic, and Odeh’s injured cousin told them that his cousin, Sa’id Odeh, was wounded as well but arrested by the IOF.  Another ambulance headed to the checkpoint but was held for 15 minutes by IOF.  The ambulance was then allowed to take the child’s corpse from the Israeli ambulance.  The corpse was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where it was found that he was injured with two bullets; one in the right side of his back and exited the left side of the waist and the other in the right shoulder, causing his death.

  • At approximately 21:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired sound bombs at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

  II. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 29 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saff street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Atta Abu Tayeh’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jalbun village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Abdul Khaliq Ibrahim’s (20) house and arrested him. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF stationed at temporary military checkpoints established around the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron’s Old City, arrested ‘Amer Ardi Abu ‘Asab (28), from the city.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Zuhair Fawwaz Hussain (39), from Iskaka village in Salfit, while present in the occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Sa’ir, Halhul, Nuba and Beit Einun villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 31 April 2021:

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Jabal al-Mawaleh area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mohammed Waleed al-Harimi (28), Jehad Awad al-Ta’mari (26), and Eisa Nader Saleh (24).

At approximately 14:45, IOF stationed at Mevo Dotan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mohammed ‘Amer al-Zulfi (43), from Jenin refugee camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mo’tasem Mohammed al-‘Antouri (16), from Qalqilya, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Rabea’ Sultan (32), from Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established on the northern entrance of the city.

Saturday, 01 May 2021:

  • At approximately 14:15, IOF moved into Qusra, southeast of Nablus. They surrounded an excavator belonging to Qusra governorate, which was digging a water line between civilians’ houses in al-Qe’da area, classified as Area “C”. After a quarrel occurred between the governorate and the driver, IOF confiscated Abdul Raziq Dawoud ‘Arrabi’s excavator and broke a power pole in the street when one of the soldiers climbed on it.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested (4) civilians from Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Damascus Gate area, claiming that they hit an Israeli settler and then they were taken to one of the detention centers in the city. The arrestees are: Mohammed Nabil Basheer, Mohammed Ibrahim Basheer, Fadi Nidal Basheer and Mohye Ahmed Basheer.

Sunday, 02 May 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Mohammed Hamza Mubarak (23), Anis Khader Salah al-Dein (21), Nadeem Abdul Hameed al-Khateeb (26), and Abdullah Hussain al-Khateeb (23).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Majdi Khaled al-Hidra (24) and Mohammed Naji Abu Jom’a (19), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of al-Zababdeh village, southeast of Jenin. They stopped Omar Hasan al-Turki (20), from Qabatiya, while driving his motorcycle, detained him for over than 2 hours and then he was released.

Monday, 03 May 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, after civilians clashed with settlers who raided Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, IOF moved into Nablus and arrested (11) civilians. The arrestees are: Naseem Farah Abad (26), Samir Sami Abad (20), and his brother Mohammed (22), Rakan Shahir Fhaidat (23), his brothers Mahmoud (22) and Ibrahim (20), Mohammed Kamal Abad (20), Waleed Abdul Karim Hamoud (24), Younis Najeh Hamoud (19), Mohammed Ahmed Mutair (22), and Mohamed Kamel Abad (21).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohannad Jamal Nawawerah (25) and Ibrahim Naser al-Wardian (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on Deir Sharaf rotary, west of Nablus. Before removing the checkpoint, they arrested Malik Yousef Sharqawi (25), from Askar refugee camp, northeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Rif’at al-Salibi (18), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Beitar Illit” settlement, west of Bethlehem, after summonsing him via a phone call.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Bouziyya (24), from Kifl Haris in Salfit, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested al-Montaser Billah Darar Rayyan (24), from Beit Duqqu, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burin, Qusra, Howwarah and Aqraba, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 04 May 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Rashid Mousa al-Saliby’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Omar Ali al-Heah’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:25, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Turmus Ayya village, northeast of Ramallah. They deployed between civilians’ houses, raided several houses and arrested Ahmed Montaser al-Shalaby (17).

Ibtihal al-Shalaby, Ahmed’s mother, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 02:30, while we were sleeping, we heard knocks on our door,

so I opened the door to find 20-30 Israeli occupation soldiers entering our house with a police dog while dozens of soldiers surrounding the house. They deployed inside the house, detained me with my family in the bedroom, put the dog with us and locked the door for 30 minutes as we were really scared of the dog’s barking and its attempt to attack us. Meanwhile, a group of soldiers headed upstairs, searched and destroyed the contents of the house and the kitchen, pushed and handcuffed Ahmed before arresting him.”

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with 3 military vehicles moved into Tarqumiyah, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Hammam Omar Zabaniya’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed in the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested Fadi Abdul Mon’im Zibar (30), from Kobar village, north of Ramallah, while present at the Aqsa Mosque to perform prayers.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Bader Abu Asab’s house, assaulted all his family, severely beaten and arrested his sons; Ayyoub (22) and Abdullah (18), and Ahmed Kayed Abu Asab (19), causing bruises and wounds in the head. Meanwhile, IOF raided and searched Nasrallah Mahmoud Fayez Mahmoud’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF detained Ali Othman Zakarna, from Jenin, after stopping him on the entrance of al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. IOF searched his vehicle and confiscated (40,000 NIS) from his vehicle.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Aqraba, southeast of Nablus, after founding a burning car which they claimed that this is the car that was used to carry out Za’tara’s operation on 02 May 2021. IOF imposed tight restriction on Aqraba and the neighbor villages, and closed the entrances with the sand berms, as part of the collective punishment policy. The closure included Aqraba Majdal Bani Fadil, Odala, Osarin, road connecting Aqraba and Yanun, and road connecting Aqraba and Osarin. IOF carried out huge campaign as they stormed several houses and mosques in Aqraba, and held field investigations to find the perpetrator, and then they arrested Raddad Fawzi Bani Munia (34), and his brother Qasem (32).
  • The following morning, IOF arrested Emad Fathallah Bani Munia (58), and his wife, Amal Farah Bani Munia (52), and Fadi Adeeb Ziyad (28).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Ashqariya neighborhood in Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abu Ta’a’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Burin, Madama, Awarta, Majdal Bani Fadil, Osarin, Odala, Yanun, and Beita villages in Nablus; Halhul and al-Majd in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 05 May 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Turmus Ayya, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; including a woman. The arrestees are: Lafi Adeeb al-Shalaby (62), whose vehicle was confiscated, Zeyad Abu Zahra (48), and Sana’ al-Shalaby (44), who was released later. Sana’ al-Shalaby stated that when she arrived to the main entrance of the city, a military jeep stopped her and interrogated her for hours about her husband, Montaser al-Shalaby, and threatened her if her to keep storming their house if her husband did not surrender himself. It should be noted that Montaser al-Shalaby is charged of conducting Za’tara’s operation, and her son, Ahmed, was arrested on 04 May 2021.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians; including 2 children. The arrestees are Mahdi Hasan Salah al-Dein (18), Abdullah Murad al-Khateeb (17), Izz Osama Salah al-Dein (17), Salah Osama Salah al-Dein (17), and Mohammed Waheed al-Khateeb (23).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Wadi Hilwa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ali al-Tawil’s (17) house and arrested him.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Tuesday morning 04 May 2021, IOF demolished an auto repair barrack and carwash in the area between al-Khader village and Beit Jala, southwest of Bethlehem.

Hassan Breijiyeh, the office director of Settlement and Resistance Commission, said that IOF demolished an auto repair barrack and carwash belonging to the heirs of Hussein Mohhammed Abu Ghalyoun ‘Issa, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle moved into Beit al-Rush village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed ‘Issa Taha al-Jreibat a notice to stop construction works and remove 2 containers he put in his land to store the agricultural equipment.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 13:15, a group of settlers beat up Ibrahim Nayef Hamadoni (65) in Mariha village, southwest of Jenin, while he was heeding his sheep near his house in the village, causing him bruises and wounds in his body and head. He was taken to Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin, and his condition was reported minor.

Marihah village is surrounded by 4 settlements: “Mevo Dotan”, which is between Ya’bad and ‘Arrabeh villages, “Hermesh” from the west; and “Shakit” and “Hananit” settlements from the north. The village is also separated by military road where the Israeli soldiers are always there.

  • On Friday morning, 30 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost established on the eastern side of Qasra village, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ lands in Ras al-Nakhil area, southeast of the village, and uprooted 30 olive, sage and thyme seedlings. They also wrote slogans in Hebrew on the agricultural rooms and water well in a plot of land owned by Fathaallah Mahmoud Abu Reidah, from the same village.
  • At approximately 23:30 on Sunday, 02 May 2021, under IOF’s protection, a group of settlers from “Ahyha” settlement established on Jaloud village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ houses in the eastern side of the village and set the planted lands near the houses on fire. Citizens gathered to confront the settlers and IOF with stones, and intense clashes continued until late night.  Several civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday 3 May 2021, a group of settlers assaulted Mohammed Mahmoud Soliman Salman (73) from Fara’ata, northern Qalqilya, with a big stone that hit his head. Salman bled from his forehead and his wound was stitched at the hospital.
  • At approximately 21:50 on Monday, 03 May 2021, a group of settlers from “Alie” settlement established on Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village’s lands, southeast of Nablus, through the settlement’s entrance near a gas station on Ramallah-Nablus Street attacked a car belonging to Nayef Fakhri ‘Abdulatif ‘Aweis (72), from Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village. As a result, a stone broke the right car window and hit his wife, Najah Jamil Mousa ‘Aweis (62) in her neck, breaking the windshield, right-side window, and damaging the right side of the car.

Nayef Fakhri ‘Abdulatif ‘Aweis (72) said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

“At approximately 21:40 on 03 May 2021, I left the house with my wife Najah Jamil Mousa ‘Aweis (62) driving my car on Ramallah-Nablus Street and heading to Ramallah.  When we were near “Alie” settlement’s entrance established on the northeastern lands of the village near a gas station on the Ramallah-Nablus street, we were surprised with a number of settlers at the entrance throwing stones, hitting the right side of the car and breaking the right rear window.  One of the stones broke the right window and hit my wife’s neck, causing her severe pain.  The windshield and right mirror were broken while the right side of the car was damaged.  I did not stop the car and continued driving until I reached the entrance to Turmus Ayya village and entered the village clinic, where doctors saw my wife and checked the bruise in her neck. She was referred by an ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex and later left the hospital with so much pain in her neck.”

  • At approximately 10:30, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on Burin and Madma village lands, southeast of Nablus, crossing the “Yitzahar” bypass road, established south of the villages, threw stones at a car traveling under Madma Bridge belonging to Mohammed Najeh Mohammed Najjar (27) from Madma village. Najjar was with his wife Amnah ‘Ali Najjar (23) heading to visit his family in nearby Burin village.  As a result, the right and left car windows were broken, and Najjar was hit with a stone in his left hand after the window was broken.  As a result, he was taken to Rafida Hospital in Nablus and his hand needed 2 stitches. 
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 04 May 2021, ‘Abdullah Rustom Nemer ‘Issa from Burin village, southeast of Nablus, was surprised with “Yitzahar” settlement’s settlers attacking a 1-dunum plastic greenhouse at the eastern entrance to the village near Burin School for Boys and completely tore the plastic cover of the greenhouse. They also caused damage to the irrigation tools and tanks and uprooted 3200 tomato seedlings and 1500 squash seedlings about to be ready for harvest.
  • At approximately 22:50, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on Burin village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked civilians’ houses in the eastern side of the village and threw stones at them, terrifying the residents. They also set the agricultural lands on fire, burning tens of dunums before the villagers could confront them with stones and force them to leave.  The villagers extinguished the fire as the Civil Defense Crews could enter the area.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 66 temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF closed the checkpoint at Sho’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem, in both directions and later reopened it.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tekoa village, east of Bethlehem.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and the entrance to Jannatah village,east of Bethlehem.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, northern entrance to Tekoa village, the entrance to al-Khader village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Wednesday, 05 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tekoa village, the entrances to Husan and Nahalin villages and at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Mansura village, southwest of Jenin.

Nablus:

  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, and at al-Morab’a intersection, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established 6 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, at al-Morab’a intersection, southeast of Nablus, at Sarra intersection, at the entrance to Odala village, and at Deir Sharaf intersection, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 7 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city, at the entrances to Odala, Awarta, Aqraba, and Majdal Bani Fadil villages.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Silwad village.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF closed a metal detector gate established on the main street, adjacent to “Beit El” settlement. They also closed with sand berms the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village and at the entrance to Kafr Malik village. Also, two checkpoints were established at the entrance to Kharbatha al-Misbah and at ‘Ein Siniya intersection.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrances to
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho and removed it on Monday, 03 May 2021.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa village, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 30 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh, as-Samu and Deir Sammit village, at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 03 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Shyoukh village and western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Tuesday, 04 May 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and the entrances to Sa’ir village, al-‘Arroub refugee camp and Idhna village.
  • On Wednesday, 05 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, Hadab al-Fawwar village and the northern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 29 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Izbat al-Tabib and Jit villages, and at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • On Sunday, 02 May 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Nabi Ilyas intersection and at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • At approximately 09:30 on Saturday, 01 May 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

300,000 Workers Unemployed: Besieged Gaza Receives May 1 with Massive Unemployment (PHOTOS)

Source

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestine, like many countries around the world, commemorated International Workers’ Day on Saturday, May 1. But for a country that is overwhelmed with a persisting military occupation, thus exploitation and unemployment of large sectors of its workforce, the occasion was bittersweet. 

While many statements were issued in appreciation of the contribution of Palestinian workers, hundreds of thousands of these workers are unemployed at the moment, due, in part, to the Israeli occupation, and also to the COVID-19 lockdown. 

No other place, in Palestine, however, was hit as hard as the besieged Gaza Strip. The small enclave has been under the draconian economic blockade, imposed largely by the Israeli army but also by Egypt.

The Turkish Anadolu news agency, citing Palestinian sources, reported Friday that more than 300,000 workers living in the Gaza Strip are unemployed because of the ongoing Israeli blockade and coronavirus measures.

“The international community ignores the humanitarian situation of more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip,” the head of the Popular Committee to End Gaza’s Siege, Jamal al-Hudari, said in a statement issued on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day.

Al-Hudari called for international assistance through trade unions for workers in Palestine, especially the Gaza Strip.

Gaza authorities “imposed additional measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak in Gaza as the enclave has seen a surge in daily infections since the beginning of March,” Anadolu also reported. 

“International Workers’ Day, by definition, should compel us to look at the situation of workers beyond the borders of our cities and countries,” said Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud. 

“Of course, we must offer solidarity to our workers at national levels but we must also extend this solidarity to oppressed and exploited workers all over the world,” he added.

“In Gaza in particular, workers are not merely fighting for better job opportunities, they are fighting for sheer survival, as their families suffer malnutrition, lack of access to education, clean water and life-saving medication. On this day, we have to think about all of them and what the Israeli siege has done to Gaza, in fact, what the Israeli military occupation has done to all of Palestine.”

The densely populated Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006. The blockade has undermined living conditions in the coastal enclave.

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Hamas setting up a Christian media centre? You’re kidding….

Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

No, it could be for real

By Stuart Littlewood -April 30, 2021

The unlikeliest headline I’ve seen lately is Al-Monitor’s report that Hamas might be persuaded to set up a Christian media centre. Its purpose would be to defend the Islamic resistance movement from claims that it mistreats Christians, especially those living under Hamas rule in Gaza.

Then I saw who was doing the persuading: Father Manuel Musallam. Or to give him his correct title, Monsignor Manuel. And it all made perfect sense.

Apparently, several Christians have withdrawn from Hamas’s candidate list for the legislative elections in May after being pressured and intimidated by various media outlets. Fr Manuel says his nephew in Ramallah had intended to run on the Hamas list but his family asked him to reconsider. He blamed a smear campaign against Hamas that caused his family to worry that their business interests would be affected and the Israelis would persecute them.

Hamas’s media set-up fails to respond adequately to unjust smears, says Fr Manuel. Media outlets in Europe portray Hamas inaccurately, particularly its relationship with Christian residents. But contrary to what some Western outlets claim, Christians are not persecuted under Hamas.

Basem Naim, from Hamas’ international relations office, told Al-Monitor that Fr Manuel’s idea for a media centre will be considered and a Christian media adviser possibly appointed. He also explained that Hamas offered a number of Christian figures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip the chance to run on the movement’s list “but they withdrew for several reasons, such as family pressure or health issues, or even fear of Israeli restrictions on their travel and work”.

Failing to get the Holy Land message to the West

Every Palestinian I met during my visits urged me to “tell their story”, and this I’ve tried to do for 15 years. Hamas and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority don’t bother. They not only neglect to tell the world, they fail to brief people like me so that we can tell it.

And when, some years ago, I criticized the Palestinian embassy in London for their lackadaisical attitude, defunct website and dysfunctional media department, and called for the ambassador to pack his bags and go home, I was branded “an enemy of Palestine”. The embassy today is well staffed with political, media, cultural, civil society and economic departments. But what they do to combat the torrent of Israeli misinformation is still a mystery. The Fatah/PA position as collaborators with the Israeli occupation probably means that their paymasters demand silence. Hamas are under no such constraint. After their surprise 2006 election victory they could – and should – have immediately re-invented themselves and seized the media initiative. But they’ve left it too late and now have a mountain to climb. It took them far too long to re-write their much-criticised Charter and consequently failed to win friends or influence enough people here in the West.

Around 2013, according the Guardian newspaper, Hamas “began a public transformation… with a new head of media.” But did anyone notice?

It is largely thanks to dedicated activists, civil society campaign groups and online privateers that people in the West have become better informed about the evil occupation that defiles the Holy Land…. and no thanks whatsoever to the leadership in Palestine. With truth and so much more on their side Palestine’s politicians nevertheless carelessly allow the Israeli regime, with its brazen propaganda and monstrous lies, to run rings round them. Even Western Christendom is in a pathetic state of paralysis.

“Our love for God… is currently in intensive care”

That remarkable priest, Manuel Musallam, used to run the Catholic community in Gaza. I was privileged to meet him in 2007 when he hosted a visit by a small group I was with. The Gaza Strip had been under tight blockade for 18 months following the bizarre hostility to Hamas’s fair and square election victory the previous year. The situation was strained.

In the church’s school assembly hall I was surprised to see so many Muslim students. On one wall hung a huge portrait of the Pope and on the adjacent wall an equally large portrait of Yasser Arafat.

Fr Manuel whisked us off to a meeting at the House of Fatah and then we drove to see Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and some of his colleagues, who received us with utmost courtesy and friendship and gave straight answers to straight questions. Haniyeh and Fr Manuel declared their unity to the TV cameras, emphasizing that they were Palestinians first and Muslim or Christian second in the struggle against the common enemy. The two men know each other well and Haniyeh has since become Chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau.

The following year – and who can forget? – the Israelis launched their horrendous three-week blitzkrieg called Operation Cast Lead at Christmas-time and New Year 2008/09. At the height of the killing spree, Fr Manuel sent this message from the smoking ruins to anyone who would listen:

“Our people in Gaza … cry, but no one wipes their tears. There is no water, no electricity, no food, only terror and blockade… Our children are living in a state of trauma and fear. They are sick from it and for other reasons such as malnutrition, poverty and the cold… The hospitals did not have basic first aid before the war and now thousands of wounded and sick are pouring in and they are performing operations in the corridors. The situation is frightening and sad.”

He added: “May Christ’s compassion revive our love for God even though it is currently in ‘intensive care’.”

A few days later he wrote:

“Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured in the Israeli invasion. Our people have endured the bombing of their homes, their crops have been destroyed, they have lost everything and many are now homeless. We have endured phosphorus bombs which have caused horrific burns, mainly to civilians. Like the early Christians our people are living through a time of great persecution, a persecution which we must record for future generations as a statement of their faith, hope and love.

“Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

When Fr Manuel retired in 2009 in failing health I remarked in an article: “I doubt if God has finished with him just yet. There’s a mountain of work to be done and good men are hard to find.”

And so it was. In the run-up to Christmas 2010 he was one of a trio of churchmen from the Holy Land touring Ireland to raise awareness of the plight of the dwindling Christian community under the illegal Israeli military occupation. Together with Archbishop Theodosius Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church) and Constantine Dabbagh (Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches) he showed they were more than a match for Western politicians who fancied they knew all about the Middle East. “We need only one thing, to be protected by the world against the crimes of Israel”, was their central message. And they made this stark plea: “Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

Fr Manuel told Irish government ministers and their foreign affairs committee:

“I was in Gaza during the war [Operation Cast Lead] and suffered with my people for 22 days. I saw with my own eyes a phosphoric bomb in the school yard. I saw people injured by these phosphoric bombs, although these bombs are forbidden. These crimes against us were ignored by all the people of the world…

“What happened in Gaza was not a war. A war is a clash between soldiers, aircraft and weapons. We were victims, just victims. They destroyed Gaza. I was there and saw with my own eyes what happened. We in Gaza were treated like animals… We are not terrorists. We have not occupied Israel.

“We do not want to die to liberate Palestine. We want to live to build Palestine…. We are asking the world to give the Palestinian people their rights. The question is whether peace is possible. Despite all the difficulties, the crimes and the war, we as Palestinians say peace is possible if justice is possible.

“All we ask of Israel is to respect us and not treat us like animals. We also ask parliamentarians and governments across the world not to give us food aid. We do not need cookies from Israel. We do not even need to trade with Israel. All we need is to be protected. We are suffering a war that we have endured for more than 60 years.”

“Be assured that Hamas will protect Christians in Gaza”

Christianity in the region had been destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel, said Fr Manuel. “Israel destroyed the church of Palestine and the church of Jerusalem beginning in 1948. It, not Muslims, has sent Christians in the region into a diaspora.”

He told his listeners how he had seen the Israeli army target the Christian school in Gaza.

“Five Hamas ministers visited the school after it was attacked and promised they would repair the damage… Hamas paid more than 122,000 US dollars to repair all the damage caused. Afterwards I met the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh. When he embraced me he said this, and we believed it. He said: “Go to your family, but be assured that Hamas will employ weapons against Muslims to protect Christians in Gaza.” This is the reality. Christians in Palestine are not suffering persecution, because we are not considered to be a religious community but rather the people of Palestine. We have the same rights and the same obligations.”

He ended by describing how things really are:

“We have spoken to Israel for more than 18 years and the result has been zero. We have signed agreements here and there at various times and then when there is a change in the government of Israel we have to start again from the beginning. We ask for our life and to be given back our Jerusalem, to be given our state and for enough water to drink.

“We want to be given more opportunity to reach Jerusalem. I have not seen Jerusalem since 1990…. We want to see an end to this occupation, and please do not ask us to protect those who are occupying our territory.”

“Peace is possible if justice is possible. Make peace possible.”

Fr Manuel should have been a political leader. To improve the human condition, it seems to me, churchmen must also be politically minded and not afraid to “mix it” with the out-and-out scoundrels who infest our political institutions and cloak themselves in a national flag.

Inevitably, the message for politicians in the world outside the Holy Land is the one expressed by this feisty priest: PEACE IS POSSIBLE IF JUSTICE IS POSSIBLE.

The world should be saying to their political leaders loudly and clearly: “It is surely not beyond the wit of civilised man to stop mouthing platitudes and act to deliver justice. Make peace possible. Or find other employment, for you offend all decent people.”

Stuart Littlewood
30 April 2021

Featured photo: Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

AUTHOR DETAILS

Stuart Littlewood

After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.

http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.ukstu@f8.eclipse.co.uk

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

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

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

22 – 28 April 2021

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

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

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

Israeli occupation closes Gaza sea and bans fishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF repression against Palestinian worshipers in Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque, was the most prominent event as dozens were wounded and arrested. Settler-attacks witnessed a rise this week too on Palestinian civilians and their properties across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Also, this week, IOF closed the Gaza sea and banned fishing in violation of Palestinian fishermen’s social and economic rights and their right to work as per Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. PCHR documented 214 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

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

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

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 139 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 150 Palestinians were arrested, including 12 children, two journalists, a writer, and a paramedic. Most of the arrests and raids occurred during the clashes in occupied East Jerusalem, as 114 were arrested in the city.

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

Demolitions:

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

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

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

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 22 April 2021:

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

Friday, 23 April 2021:

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

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

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

Saturday, 24 April 2021:

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

Sunday, 25 April 2021:

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

Monday, 26 April 2021:

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

Tuesday, 27 April 2021:

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

Wednesday, 28 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Mohammed Abu al-Hawa (22) and Khalil Khaled Salah (23), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Abdullah Abdul Rahman Bushkar’s (17) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Helmi Abu Safiya’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Ra’fat Sameeh Najeeb’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burin and Qaryut, southeast of Nablus; Beit Kahil and Kurza, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday morning, 22 April 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration approved a decision to expropriate 147 dunums from Nahalin and Husan villages, west of Bethlehem, for settlement purposes.

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

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  39 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 20 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 22 April 2021, IOF closed Kalandia military checkpoint, north of the city, and reopened it later.

Bethlehem:

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

Ramallah:

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

Jericho:

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

Hebron:

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

Qalqilya:

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

Salfit:

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

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (15 – 21 April 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (15 – 21 April 2021)


Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

15 – 21 April 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 7 Palestinians wounded
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and six others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • Poultry farm damaged in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip
  • In 95 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 46 civilians arrested, including 8 children and a journalist
  • Two limited IOF incursions into eastern Rafah and Gaza
  • IOF arrest 3 election candidates and all election-related activities banned in the occupied East Jerusalem
  • House self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem
  • IOF delivers 13 cease-construction and demolition notices in Nablus and confiscates two construction vehicles in Jericho
  • Settler-attacks: 95 trees uprooted and set on fire in Nablus and Bethlehem; assault on Palestinians’ properties in prelude to land confiscation in Silwan
  • IOF established 40 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 11 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians running for the Legislative Council elections and an elections-related meeting was banned in occupied East Jerusalem; IOF also continued to suppress worshipers in Damascus Gate before and after Maghreb prayers. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 162 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Seven Palestinians sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: six were wounded in IOF suppression of worshipers and passersby in Damascus Gate, which leads to al-Aqsa Mosque; another civilian was wounded at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in various IOF assaults  across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes in the Gaza Strip: 2 on lands in Rafah and Buraij refugee camp, causing partial damage to a vacant poultry farm. Additionally, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 6 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 95 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 46 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 children and a journalist. IOF also arrested 3 runners for PLC elections (2 from Fatah List and the third from the United Left List) in occupied East Jerusalem; they were detained for several hours and informed that all election-related activities are banned in the city.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Rafah and Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents as follows:

  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against an Islamic cemetery that is being restored; mobile caravan confiscated and a car towing a caravan.
  • Jericho: wheel loader and tractor confiscated in Bardala in two separate incidents.
  • East Jerusalem: under-construction house self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber
  • Nablus: 13 cease-construction and demolition notices served in Qabalan.
  • Bethlehem: construction commenced on 96 new settlement units at “Gush Etzion.”

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

  • Nablus: 45 olive, fruit and citrus trees seedlings uprooted; construction equipment and materials damaged at construction site.
  • Hebron: assault on civilians and agricultural lands in Maghayir al ‘Abeed
  • Bethlehem: 50 fruitful olive trees set ablaze in Beit Fajjar
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: steel chains removed in prelude to confiscating a land in Silwan.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

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

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

  • At approximately 00:30 on Friday, 16 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky. At 07:30 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened sporadic fire at Palestinian fishing boats until 10:00. The shooting at fishing boats also recurred at 14:35, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:15, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at an empty land located near Gaza International Airport, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 23-year-old male was hit with a sponge grenade in his back.
  • At approximately 13:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Friday, for the 4th consecutive day, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF near Damascus Gate area, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, after IOF prevented Palestinians from sitting around Damascus Gate area and closed its entrances with iron barriers. As a result, 6 civilians sustained various wounds. It should be noted that Damascus and Herods Gates area witnessed violent clashes, especially following Tarawih prayer when Palestinian worshipers got out of al-Aqsa Mosque. IOF pumped wastewater at the worshipers to disperse them and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. IOF also severely beat some worshipers up. As a result, 6 worshipers were wounded; 4 of them were taken to the hospital for treatment. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society crews stated that on the 4th day of Ramadan, they treated 6 civilians around Damascus Gate area, who sustained fractures and rubber bullets wounds; 4 of them their injuries were classified moderate. Also, IOF arrested ‘Alaa Abu Jum’a (18). It should be noted that since the beginning of Ramadan, IOF escalated their arbitrary measures around the Old City and at al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, including closing Damascus Gate area and preventing Palestinians from sitting on its stairs or organizing any events. Following Tarawih prayer, daily clashes erupt between Palestinian worshipers and IOF, who forcibly disperse the worshipers and prevent them from gathering in the area.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, an Israeli warplane and a drone fired 2 missiles at an agricultural land in eastern Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip. As a result, Salem Mohammed Salem Abu ‘Abda (67)’s poultry farm (450 sqm) sustained partial damage, in addition to other damage caused in the targeted area.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and pumped water at them. At 14:00 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Saturday, for the 6th consecutive day, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF near Damascus Gate area, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem. During which, IOF severely beat Palestinian young men and fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. As a result, a young man sustained fractures and 3 others suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also arrested two children namely Hasan Mohammed ‘Issa (16) and Mohammed Waleed Sa’idah (17).
  • At approximately 08:10 on Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Abasan al-Kabira and al-Qarara villages; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, fired live bullets and teargas canisters at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, west of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 15 April 2021:

  • At approximately 14:00, IOF deployed in the Hebron’s Old City’s neighborhoods arrested Mo’men Salem Idris (18), while present in the Shari’a Court area. IOF claimed that Idris refused to comply with the soldiers’ orders, and he was taken to the police center of al-Ibrahimi mosque and released later.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Arraba, Jaba’ and Silat al-Dhahr, in Jenin governorate; Sa’ir and al-Kum villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 16 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Ramadan Abu Shaqra (19), from Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present near Bab al-Amud “Damascus Gate”, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 16:15, IOF stationed at Tayasir military checkpoint, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank, arrested Ahmed Ma’moun Daraghmah (33), from Tubas. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Fawwar refugee camp, Beit ‘Amra, and Nuba villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 17 April 2021:

  • At approximately 14:00, IOF banned a second meeting organized in occupied East Jerusalem by civil society organizations (CSOs) and several Jerusalemite candidates running for elections to discuss the Palestinian General elections. IOF also arrested four candidates and referred them to investigation before releasing them and threatening them not to hold similar activities which is part of the Israeli authorities’ attempts to impede holding the Palestinian general elections. Furthermore, these practices reflect a clear political decision to prevent Jerusalem’s participation in the elections and deny the Palestinians in Jerusalem their right to vote or run for the elections.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, IOF imposed a security cordon around St. George Hotel, established checkpoints at its entrances, banned civilians from reaching it, stopped vehicles passing by, and checked drivers’ IDs, ahead of the meeting organized by CSOs and several Jerusalemite candidates for the second time in the same hotel located on Nablus Street in central occupied East Jerusalem. Afterwards, IOF arrested Dr. Ashraf Hasan al-A’war, the Secretary of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and candidate on Fatah electoral list. In response, the candidates and their supporters gathered on Salah al-Deen Street sidewalk and protested against banning the meeting. IOF immediately dispersed the gathering, banned holding a press conference, and confiscated Palestinian flags. Moreover, IOF arrested Naser Mohammed Qaws, Director of Palestinian Prisoners Club and candidate on Fatah electoral list, in addition to Ratiba ‘Adnan Abu Ghush, a candidate on the united left-wing list. IOF also tried to arrest Fadwa Saliba Khader, Head of the united left-wing list.

The candidate Naser Qaws said that IOF deliberately closed all streets leading to St. George Hotel in central occupied East Jerusalem, to impede the second meeting organized to discuss holding the Palestinian legislative elections in occupied East Jerusalem. Qaws added that the candidates gathered on Salah al-Deen Street and held a press conference, stressing that no elections will be held without Jerusalem. IOF dispersed the gathering, stopped the conference, and arrested Qaws along with candidate Ratiba Abu Ghush. They were then referred for investigation in Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem along with candidate Ashraf al-A’war, who was previously arrested near St. George Hotel. Qaws added that the Israeli Intelligence Service interrogated them about their electoral activities, which are banned in occupied East Jerusalem, notified them that IOF will ban any election-related activities under the pretext that the Israeli Government did not issue any decision that allows holding elections in Jerusalem. The candidates were later released.

It should be noted that on 06 April 2021, IOF banned a similar meeting, which was supposed to be held at the Ambassador Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested two candidates, including Naser Qaws, a candidate on Fatah electoral list. The two candidates were then referred for investigation, where IOF informed them that any election-related activities are banned in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 16:30, IOF arrested Thabet Mahmoud al-Najjar (19), from al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of the camp that leads to Bypass Road (60).
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Ahmed Ali Melhem (29), after finishing his prayers at the Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.

Sunday, 18 April 2021:

  • At approximately 13:15, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Jericho arrested Mahmoud Ahmed Owda (27) and Khaled Ghassan Abu Halima (24), from ‘Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. IOF took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Jawdat al-Shawish (26), while present near Bab al-Amud “Damascus Gate”, in the occupied East Jerusalem, and took him to a police center. It should be noted that al-Shawish was arrested last Wednesday and released after several hours of investigation.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Bassam Salah al-Dein’s (49) house, a member of the Committee of the Families of Hizma Prisoners and arrested him.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Taleb Ra’ed Jweihan (22), while passing through al-Walaja military checkpoint, west of Bethlehem, returning from Jerusalem.

Jweihan’s family stated that big forces of the Israeli “Yasam” special unit assaulted their son, Talab, while passing through al-Walaja military checkpoint, returning to his house in al-Thuri neighborhood in Jerusalem, due to losing his ID card. His family added that Talab was provoked, insulted, severely beaten and kicked by the soldiers, resulted in wounds, bruises, headache and pain in his back. Afterwards, he was taken to one of the investigation centers where he was severely beaten again before he was released at approximately 05:00.

  • At approximately 23:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Mohammed Bashir Ahmed (23), and his brother, Majd (20), while present near Jaffa Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. IOF took them to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Beit Ummar and Tarqumiyah in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 19 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF arrested Samer al-Thaher (21), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarm. They raided and searched Adnan Ahmed al-Husary’s (56) house, a leader of Hamas Movement, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Marj Najah village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Aaref Khader Mohammed Bisharat (47), and his brother, Anis (44), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 11:00, an officer in the Israeli Intelligence Services handed al-Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the Aqsa Mosque, a summons to refer immediately to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. He was interrogated about his statements in motivating civilians to intensify their presence at the mosque, and he was released after several hours.
  • At approximately 12:15, IOF stationed at Tayasir military checkpoint, east of Tubas, arrested Ali Thalji Abu Arra (33), from ‘Aqqaba village, northeast of Tubas. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Abdullah Mustafa’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF handed al-Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, renewing his ban from traveling for another 4 months. It should be noted that on 26 March, IOF issued a decision banning Sabri from travelling for a renewable month, and he was arrested and banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque for several months.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Omar al-Nabulsi (17), while present at Ban al-Amud “Damascus Gate” yards, in the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Hebron and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) children; Mahmoud Sami Abu al-Hawa (15), Malek Othman al-Qarrawi (15), and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (17).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Sa’diya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) children; Yousef Ragheb Hazina (20), Nawras Hasan Abu Ghazalah (28), Eisa Samer Met’ib (21), and Yazan Maher al-Herbawi (22).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, near Nablus, arrested Mahmoud Sleit (19) and Mohammed Khalil Dmeiri (21), from Tulkarm refugee camp. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, arrested Nasr Hisham al-Natshah (28), while driving his car at the village entrance that leads to Bypass Road (60). IOF claimed that he attempted to run over a settler and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ayyad Khalil Ayyad (30) and Tamer Sami Owaidat (24), from al-Shuyukh village, north of Hebron, after stopping them on a temporary military checkpoint established on the entrance of the village and took them to unknown destinations. It should be noted that Oweidat is a member of the Palestinian National Security Services.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud al-Tahhan (21) and Shadi Amira (20), while present near the New Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s gates. A quarrel occurred between a group of Palestinian young men and a group of settlers, turned into small clashes which required the intervention of the Israeli police to protect the settlers, and arrested the abovementioned civilians.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Fawwar refugee camp and al-Rihiya village, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Dweirian. They raided and searched Nidal Emran al-Qawasma’s (44) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, and stationed in al-Karmil area. They raided and searched Mohammed Ali al-Jabbour’s (39) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Sateh Marhaba neighborhood in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and deployed in Alaa Hasan al-Rimawi’s (43) house and arrested him. It should be noted that al-Rimawi is a journalist and reporter for al-Jazeera Mubasher TV, and a director of JMedia Network.

His wife, Maymouna al-Rimawi, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “We woke up on the sound of the Israeli military vehicles near the main door of the house, so Alaa headed and opened the door, and suddenly 10-12 Israeli soldiers stormed and deployed in the house. The force officer ordered Alaa to bring his ID card, when he brought it they ordered him to wear his clothes to arrest him and put him in one of the military vehicles. She added: “while arresting Alaa he told me that he will start a hunger strike to condemn his arrest.” It should be noted that Alaa is a former prisoner who spent 12 years in the Israeli prisons.

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Nisreen Abu Gharbia;s house, a candidate running for the Palestinian Legislative elections on the list of “Renaissance of a Nation” and arrested 3 of her sons, two of them children: Ahmed (15), Shadi (17), and Fadi (18).
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Khaled al-Zeir (46), while present in front of the Israeli Court in West Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 100 meters from the border fence between Gaza and Israel heading to al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They combed and leveled lands before they deployed again after several hours.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF reinforced with 14 military vehicles and bulldozers moved into Shejaiya neighborhood, east of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands amidst Israeli sporadic shooting for an hour, and then they withdrew inside the border fence. No casualties were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle moved into al-Deirat village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed around the Islamic Cemetery in the village while the Civil Administration officer fixed a notice to stop the renovation of the old graves and construction of walls around it under the pretext of working without a prior permission.  The notice holding number (266771) gave the citizens until 5/5/2021 to appeal before the competent authorities in the Israeli Civil Administration in Beit El settlement.
  • At approximately 11:20, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into Bardala village, northwest of Jericho in the Northern Jordan Valleys. IOF seized a bulldozer working for a construction company on an agricultural road in the northern area of the village.  The confiscation was under the pretext of working in Area C.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, Amjad Mosalam Ja’abees self-demolish his under-construction house in Bashir neighborhood in Jabal Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Amjad Ja’abees said that IOF raided his house last week and gave him 5 days to carry out the demolition or he will be fined with tens of thousands of shekels if the Municipality crew did it.  Ja’abees said that he had to demolish his house on the American Street with his own hands and rented a bulldozer and an excavator to demolish it.  He added that his house was built on an area of 110 sqms and was almost ready.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into al-‘Azb area, north of Qabalan village, southeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 13 houses of stopping the construction and demolition works in the area, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C. 
No.NameNotified FacilityNumber of Family Members
1-       ‘Omer Johar MousaA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
2-       Ashraf ‘Abdel SnobarA 2-storey house; the first floor is used as storehouses and the second is residential and each of them is 400 sqms11 members, including 5 children
3-       Soheil ‘Abdel Ra’ouf Az’arA 180-sqm house2 families of 13, including 5 children
4-       Reema ‘Abdel Motaleb YasinA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
5-       Mohammed ‘Abdel ‘Aziz SnobarA 180-sqm house5 members, including 3 children
6-       Eyad ‘Abdel Men’em Az’arA 2-storey house of 150 sqmsUninhabited
7-       Osamah Hassan ‘AabedA 120-sqm houseUninhabited
8-       Saleh ‘Atallah HamlahA 2-storey house of 160 sqmsUninhabited
9-       Baraa’ Naser NajjarA 2-storey house of 150 sqmsUninhabited
10-   Mohammed Samih ZidanA 2-storey house of 100 sqmsUninhabited
11-   Qays Basem Helal Az’arA 120-sqm houseUninhabited
12-   Larem Basem Helal Az’arA 120sqm houseUninhabited
13-   Baker Mohammed ‘Abdel Jaleel Abu ZahrahA 160-sqm houseUninhabited
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a Civil Administration vehicle and a truck mounted crane moved into Wad al-Rakhim area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the Civil Administration officers confiscated a caravan and a car pulling a caravan belonging to Ahmed Nasser Da’ajnah (47) under the pretext of being located in Area C, where the residents are banned holding any activity without a prior permit.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a civil administration SUV moved into Bardalah village, northwest of Jericho in the northern Jordan Valleys. IOF seized a tractor belonging to ‘Ezzat Ahmed Khneifes Rashaydah who was in the western outskirts of the village herding the sheep.
  • In the same morning, the Israeli authorities built new 96 settlement units in Gush Etzion Settlement Cluster, south of Bethlehem.

According to the Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem the Israeli authorities started the construction of a new settlement neighborhood in Evy Settlement in Gush Etzion Cluster, where 96 new housing units will be built.  He added that the new neighborhood will be the first in the settlement since 1999.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Ahya” settlement established in eastern Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the lands in the area and uprooted 45 olive, citrus, and fruit seedlings planted around the house in a plot of land belonging to Hesham ‘Emad Hammoud. They also damaged the fence surrounding the same land as well as causing damage to the equipment and construction materials as they emptied a sack of cement on the construction steel and poured 3 cups of water on the cement.  They also stole construction equipment and a concrete mixer.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 17 April 2021, 2 settlers living “Mitzpe Yair” settlement outpost, south of Hebron, unleashed their sheep in the lands planted with winter crops in Moghayer al-‘Abid area near the settlement outpost, while IOF was watching them in the camp near the outpost. When members of ‘Abdeid Family arrived, the settlers tried to attack them.  IOF then arrived and forced the settlers to leave the area.  It should be mentioned that only one family was left in Moghayer al-‘Abid village due to IOF and settlers’ recurrent attacks and closure of the road leading to it constantly, forcing the residents in the residential caves to leave.
  • On Saturday evening, 17 April 2021, Israeli settlers burnt tens of olive trees in Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem.

Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that a group of settlers from Migdal Oz Settlement established on Beit Fajjar village lands burnt 50 fruitful olive trees in Deir Ma’ala area, north of the village, belonging to Nasim Taqatqah.  He added that an Israeli decision was issued to take over the area where the settlers burnt the olive trees and consider it a military zone.

At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 21 April 2021, a group of settlers removed chains and a tank to seize control of a plot of land used as a car park for the residents of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Hamoudah Siyam, one of the houses’ owners next to the park, said that a group of settlers started removing chains and a big tank placed by the neighborhood residents at the land entrance to park their cars and then closed the entrance with sacks of construction materials to prevent the neighborhood’s residents from using the land.  Siyam added that the residents confronted the settlers and expelled them from the land which belongs to the neighborhood’s residents.  Siyam said that the settlers called the Israeli police, which arrived after few hours and handed the residents a notice to remove the tank and steel pillars in front of their houses.

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

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  40 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 11 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and at the eastern entrance to Jab’ village, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, at the entrance to Nahalin village, and near Fureidis village’s square, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ur al-Fauqa and Turmus Ayya villages and at Taybeh village’s intersection.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 15 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho and at the entrance to Al-Auja village.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 14 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city’ and at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Arraba village, southwest of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 15 April  2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Sa’ir  villages; at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Hebron, on Beit Einun road, and on Farsh al-Hawa road.
  • On Saturday, 17 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Monday, 19 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Kahil village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Idhna village, and at the northern entrance to Yatta city. 
  • On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Surif villages and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 21 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Kahil, Hadab al-Fawwar and Beit Awwa villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 16 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 18 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of the city.

A Palestinian Prayer for Ramadan: May the Voices of the Oppressed Be Heard

April 21, 2021

Palestinian Muslims performing prayers and reading Quran in the Great Al-Omari Mosque in the early days of the holy month of Ramadan. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

COVID-19 cases in Palestine, especially in Gaza, have reached record highs, largely due to the arrival of a greatly contagious coronavirus variant which was first identified in Britain.

Gaza has always been vulnerable to the deadly pandemic. Under a hermetic Israeli blockade since 2006, the densely populated Gaza Strip lacks basic services like clean water, electricity, or minimally-equipped hospitals. Therefore, long before COVID-19 ravaged many parts of the world, Palestinians in Gaza were dying as a result of easily treatable diseases such as diarrhea, salmonella and typhoid fever.

Needless to say, Gaza’s cancer patients have little fighting chance, as the besieged Strip is left without many life-saving medications. Many Palestinian cancer patients continue to cling to the hope that Israel’s military authorities will allow them access to the better equipped Palestinian West Bank hospitals. Alas, quite often, death arrives before the long-awaited Israeli permit does.

The tragedy in Gaza – in fact in all of occupied Palestine – is long and painful. Still, it ought not to be classified as another sad occasion that invokes much despair but little action.

In fact, the struggle of the Palestinians is integral to a larger struggle for fundamental human rights that can be witnessed throughout the Middle East which, according to a recent Carnegie Corporation report, is one of the most economically unequal regions in the world.

From war-torn Libya to war-torn Syria, to Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and many parts of the Arab and Muslim world, the dual tragedy of war and want is a scathing reminder of the price ordinary people pay for frivolous power struggles that yield nothing but more uncertainty and achieve nothing but more hatred.

Once more, the holy month of Ramadan visits the Muslim Ummah while its tragedies are still festering – new conflicts, unfinished wars, an ever-expanding death toll and a never-ending stream of refugees. Sadly, not even Ramadan, a month associated with peace, mercy and unity, is enough to bring about however fleeting moments of tranquility, or a respite from hunger and war for numerous Muslim communities around the world.

In Palestine, the Israeli occupation often takes even more sinister turns during this month, as if to intentionally compound the suffering felt by Palestinians. On April 14, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque called on Arabs and Muslims to intervene so that Israel may cease its harassment of Palestinians at the holy shrines of Al Quds – occupied East Jerusalem.

Aside from the increased attacks by Jewish extremists, who are now storming Al-Aqsa Mosque at a significantly higher rate than ever before, the Israeli occupation authorities have “removed the doors of the Mosque’s minarets, cut the electrical wires of loudspeakers to prevent the Adhan (call to prayer) and seized (Ramadan) iftar meals, in addition to threatening to storm the Mosque on the final days of the holy month of Ramadan,” Sheikh Hussein said in a statement.

Israel fully comprehends the spiritual connection that Palestinians, whether Muslims or Christians, have to their religious symbols. For Muslims, this rapport is further accentuated during the holy month of Ramadan. Severing this connection is equal to breaking the collective spirit of the Palestinian people.

These are only a few examples of a multifaceted and deeply rooted tragedy felt by most Palestinians. Numerous similar stories, though of different political and spatial contexts, are communicated every day throughout the Muslim world. Yet, there is no meaningful discussion of a collective remedy, of a strategy, of a thoughtful answer.

Ramadan is intended to be a time when Muslims are united on the basis of a wholly different criterion: where political and ideological differences disappear in favor of spiritual unity which is expressed in fasting, prayer, charity and kindness. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing is not Ramadan as it was intended to be, but different manifestations of the holy month, each catering to a different class – a painful but true expression of the disunity and inequality that have afflicted the Muslim Ummah.

There is the Ramadan of boundless wealth, finely catered iftar meals, coupled with endless, cheap entertainment. In this Ramadan, platitudes are often offered about charity and the poor, but little is delivered.

There is also the Ramadan of Palestine, Sudan and Yemen, of the Syrian refugee camps and of little dinghies dotting the Mediterranean, carrying thousands of desperate families, holding little but their hope of a better future beyond some horizon. For them, Ramadan is a stream of prayers that the world, especially their Muslim brethren, may come to their rescue. For them, there is little entertainment because there is no electricity and there are no massive iftar feasts because there is no money.

“Dua” is Arabic for supplication. For the oppressed, dua is the last resort; at times, even a weapon against oppression in all of its forms. This is why we often see bereaved Muslims raising their open palms to the sky whenever tragedy has befallen them. Ramadan is the month where the poor, destitute and oppressed raise their hands to Heaven, beseeching God in various accents and languages to hear their prayers.

They are reassured by such hadiths – sayings of Prophet Mohammed – as this: “The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler and the supplication of the oppressed which is raised by Allah above the clouds, the gates of Heaven are opened for it, and the Lord says: By my might, I will help you in due time.”

There has never been a more critical time for the Ummah to work together, to heal its collective wound, to uplift its down-trodden, to care for its poor, to embrace its refugees and to fight for its oppressed. Many Muslim communities around the world are aching and their pain is unbearable. Perhaps this Ramadan can serve as the opportunity for social justice to be finally enacted and for the oppressed to be heard so that their hymn of torment and hope may rise above the clouds.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestinei (08 – 14 April 2021)

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08 – 14 April 2021)

 April 15, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

08 – 14 April 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: Palestinian child lost his eye by IOF’s shooting while 4 other civilians were injured, including a journalist.
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas
  • In 135 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 94 civilians arrested, including 6 children, 3 women and a candidate running for elections
  • Ramadan Iftar Meals Banned entry, al-Aqsa Mosque raided, and the loudspeakers for the Addhan damaged.
  • Children activity “Tamr Hendi” banned in East Jerusalem
  • 13 dunums confiscated and construction of 2540 housing units approved in 2 settlements in occupied Jerusalem
  • A house and an agricultural room demolished in Bethlehem while a house notified of stopping construction works in Hebron
  • IOF established 53 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. IOF arrested the representative of “Jerusalem is Our Destiny” list running for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections while Ramadan Iftar meals were banned entry into al-Aqsa Mosque, which was raided and the wires of the loudspeakers used for addhan were cut.  Moreover, 13 dunums were confiscated this week and construction of hundreds of housing units were approved in 2 settlements in East Jerusalem. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 200 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians, including a child and a photojournalist, were injured due to IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: the child was injured in his eye in clashes with IOF in Hebron; as a result, he lost his eye while the fourt civilians, including the photojournalist, were all injured in suppression of a protest in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assaults during house raids across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 135 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 94 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children and 3 women.  In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 6 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: 13 dunums confiscated from Hizma village and construction of 2540 housing units approved in “Givat Hamatos” and ” Har Homa” settlements.
  • Bethlehem: an agricultural room demolished in al-Khader village, and a house demolished in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour.
  • Hebron: construction works stopped in a house upon a notice in Susya village, south of Yatta, 2 tents and an iron fence used as a sheep barn dismantled, south of Dura.


Settler-attacks:
 PCHR fieldworkers reported settlers’ riots in the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabud village, east of Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

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

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

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

  • At approximately 10:30 on Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 09 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Zawiyia Gate area in the center of Hebron, and threw stones at the military checkpoint (56), which is established on the closed al-Shuhada Street. IOF chased Palestinian young men, fired sound bombs, and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF continued to chase the young men into Abu al-Humus road, which leads to al-Shiekh neighborhood’s entrance, and indiscriminately fired rubber bullets at them and at shops. As a result, ‘Izz al-Deen Nedal al-Batsh (13) was shot with a rubber bullet in his right eye while he was in his father’s grocery shop and was taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital. Al-Batsh was then referred to St John Jerusalem Eye Hospital, where he underwent a surgery to remove his eye completely due to a laceration. Clashes between IOF and Palestinian young men continued until 17:30; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men and international and Israeli activists in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against the displacement of 19 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, in favor of settlers. The protestors gathered near the neighborhood entrance, raised banners against the ethnic cleansing and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlement and ethnic cleansing decisions issued in favor of Israeli settlers. Afterwards, Israeli police arrived at the area and surrounded it. They then attacked the protestors and forcibly tried to disperse them. Meanwhile, hand to-hand fighting occurred between the protestors and IOF, who fired rubber bullets at the protestors. As a result, Mahmoud ‘Eliyan, a photojournalist at Al-Quds Newspaper, was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg, in addition to 3 other protestors. In addition, IOF beat the Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, pushed him to the ground and tore his clothes in addition to arresting three Israeli activists, who protested against the demolition and displacement decisions. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that its crews treated on the spot nine injuries in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; 5 were beaten and 4 were shot with rubber bullets.

The Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, stated to Israeli media that the Israeli police do not allow people to protest, and despite telling them that he is a Knesset Member, they beat them and broke his glasses. As a result, he sustained wounds and bruises in his left eye. Kseif pointed out that Israeli police only provides protection for settlers, who attack and seize Palestinians’ houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

  • At approximately 20:30 on Saturday, 10 April 2021, a large number of IOF accompanied with a Skunk carrying vehicle moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, after an Israeli bus, which accidentally entered the village, was set on fire. IOF closed the village, established checkpoints at its entrances and then pulled the bus out of the village. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who attacked the stone-throwers and fired teargas canisters at them. IOF also raided and searched several houses, where they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrestees were identified as Hasan Yaser Darwish (14), Ahmed ‘Issam Darwish (20) and his brother Majed (16).
  • At approximately 22:30 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village, and fired flare bombs in the sky. No causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, a large number of IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber camp, southwest of Jericho, and established a checkpoint at the camp’s entrance. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters heavily at the young men. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village; no causalities were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 08 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ma’rouf Khatatba’s house, in Bir al-Shid area. Meanwhile, IOF moved into al-Qubbah neighborhood. They raided and searched Mohammed Nasrallah al-Shambar’s house, confiscated 25,000 NIS, and handed them a warrant of the confiscated money.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Karisa village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Rizq Musallam al-Rajoub’s (55) house, and took him to an unknown destination. It should be noted that al-Rajoub is a leader in Hamas Movement, and he was arrested several times.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ibrahim Alaa al-Dein Bushaqar (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Anas Isma’el Mousa’s (22) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rajeh Ghazi Shubeita (19) and Mohammed Zuhair Abed (17), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Adham Omar Abu ‘Arqoub’s (23) house, and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Khaled Ahmed Ba’irat’s (42) house, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Wadi Abu al-Samen area, south of Hebron. They deployed in the area, closed the road leading to houses belonging to Abu Sbaih family, raided and searched several houses, and demolished walls around the houses. IOF claimed that they found military equipment, arrested (6) civilians, including a father and his 3 sons, before they withdrew at approximately 11:00. The arrestees are: Jehad Khalil Abu Sbaih (44), Hamza Khalil Abu Sbaih (49), Dawoud Mohammed Abu Sbaih (50), and his sons; Wael (20), Basel (19), and Na’el (24).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Ashraf Abdul Jabbar al-Hasanat (47), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, when he was near the main entrance to the camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stormed Sons of Jerusalem Sport Club, at al-Sa’diya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF hanged a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security to ban an event for children titled “Tamr Hindi”, which was to supposed to be held at the Club’s stadium in the afternoon. IOF claimed that the abovementioned event is funded by the PA and left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam.

The project coordinator at the club, Murad al-Ashhab, said to PCHR’s field worker that on Wednesday, IOF raided the club and started asking questions about “Tamr Hindi” event for children, after seeing the  advertising leaflets that were distributed to the children in al-Sa’diya neighborhood. On Thursday, IOF raided the club again and hanged a decision, signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security banning the event, and notified the employees of that. In addition, IOF left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam after raiding his house. They were interrogated for 3 hours about the event celebrating the reopening of the club after its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, and then they were released after warning them of holding any event in the upcoming days under the pretext of being sponsored by the PA. Al-Ashhab added that at approximately 13:30, IOF stormed the club again to make sure that no events were held inside the club, and ordered all the employees and children, who were playing football, to leave.

Al-Ashhab said that the event was an entertaining day for children, and the employees were preparing various games for them.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Yehya Ayyad (28), from Abu Dis village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while crossing a temporary checkpoint established near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stopped a car in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested Ahmed Dawoud al-Hidra (17) and Mahmoud Khalil al-Hidra (17), from the abovementioned neighborhood. They were taken to one of the police centers, interrogated for several hours and then were released.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established near “Psagot” settlement, east of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate, arrested Abdul Rahman Jamil Matariyya (17), from al-Bireh.
  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin; Sebastia, Salem, Deir al-Hatab, Azmut, Kafr Qallil, and Rujeib villages in Nablus governorate; Bani Na’im and al-Majd villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 09 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Abu Freiha area in Beit Sahur, east of Bethlehem governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ra’ed Ibrahim ‘Abayat (42), and handed Abdullah Mohammed Abu ‘Abayat (26) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jareh Farouk Salah al-Dein (48) and Ibrrahim Ali Salah al-Dein (30), and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the prisoner Nafiz Nayef Haj Husein (42), in the eastern side of the village, arrested his wife, Elham ‘Aaref Haj Husein (40), and confiscated her husband’s monthly salary, (4,000 NIS). Elham was taken to “Ariel” settlement, near Salfit, interrogated about the salary for 3 hours, and released next day morning. IOF informed her not to receive any salary for her husband.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ghassan Mansour (19), and Ahmed Eyad al-Sa’di (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Iraq Burin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Osama Mohammed Qa’dan (25) and Amro Jubran Qadous (21).
  • At approximately 10:20, IOF moved into al- Nassariya village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amro Husny Jabara (30).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Beita, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 10 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura and Sa’ir villages, in Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Isma’el Hussein al-‘Awawda (33), and Isma’el Fawzi al-Tarwa (40).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Beit Ummar, and Surif villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 11 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Harmala village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Fadi Adel Attallah (22), Hamza Awad Attallah (24), Ibrahim Wajeeh al-Sabbah (23), and Bassam Ibrahim al-Zeir (38).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mahmoud Ahmed Abu al-Rab (19), Mohammed Tayseer Thyab (20), and Mohammed Najeh Kmeil (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They deployed in several neighborhood in the city, raided and searched three houses and arrested (3) civilians. The arrestees are Mustafa Kamel Shawar, Anas Ameer Rasras (51), and Omar Abdul Qader al-Qawasmah (52).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Waheed Abu Maria’s (29) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF handed Hatem Ahmed Rasheed Abu Maria (31) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hindaza village in Bethlehem. They blew up the door, raided and searched Hasan Mohammed Wardian’s (62) house, one of the candidates on the Hamas-affiliated list “Jerusalem is Our Destiny”, after 5 days of his arrest.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mujahed Sa’ed al-Shunni (22) and Yousef Monthir Alian (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF backed by five military bulldozers moved 50-100 meters into the east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip to the west of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands, and deployed inside the border fence after several hours.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF severely beaten and arrested Adam Qara’in (18), from Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, when he was at Ras al-Amud neighborhood. Qara’in sustained wounds and bruises, and he was taken to one of the detention centers in the city before he was referred to Hadassah Medical Center to receive treatment.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Arraba and Mirka villages, southwest of Jenin; Dura, Idhna, Deir Sammit and Samu villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 12 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint arrested Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria (28), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses and arrested Mahmoud Naser Ma’ali (24), and Abdul ‘Alim Olwi (52). Later, IOF released Olwi.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Sameer Abu Obaida (23), and his brother, Ramiz (19).
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Urif village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Fo’ad Sabbah (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Burqin, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan Atef Obaidy (26).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Yehya Mohammed Mir’ai’s (24) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (10) civilians. The arrestees are: Mohammed Mahmoud al-‘Amour (22), Mohanad Nimir al-‘Amour (23), Mohammed Rebhi al-‘Amour (22), Sufian Awdat Allah al-‘Amour (26), Mohammed Ibrahim al-‘Amour (25), Anas Adel al-‘Amour (25), Oday Izzat al-‘Amour (20), Mohammed Ali al-’Amour (22), Shady Nayef al-‘Amour (23), and Bara’ Ta’ed al-‘Amour (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed in ‘Asida area. IOF raided and searched Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria’s (36) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mona Hussain Qa’dan (48).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Yasid village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Shams Ghaleb Mashaqi (31), a Masters Student and novelist.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Khwais (49), Mohammed al-Sayyad (49), and Tawfiq Abu Sbeitan (50).
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into al-Balu’ neighborhood, in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Najeh Abdullah Dar ‘Assi’s (47) house, detained his family in one room and arrested him. It should be noted that ‘Assi is a candidate on the “Jerusalem is Our Destination” electoral list and its representative in the West Bank in the 2021 Legislative Council elections scheduled on 22 May 2021.

Alia Abdul Samad, Najeh ‘Assi’s wife, said to PCHR’s field worker that:

IOF backed by four military vehicles stationed near our building, where we live in the second floor. We heard knocks on our door, so my husband went to open the door.  We were surprised with 17 Israeli soldiers shouting and then held my husband and handcuffed him.  The soldiers spread in the house and held me and my children; Mohammed (10), Abdullah (14), and Sadil (18), in the living room. They ordered my husband to give them his cell phone  and confiscated it. I tried to give my husband a jacket and shoes to wear due to the cold weather, but the soldiers refused, threatened me at gunpoint and one of them ordered me not to move and stay with my childrenBefore they withdrew, IOF arrested Najeh and took him in one of the military vehicles stationed in front of our house.  The lawyer informed us then that Najeh was taken to “Ofer” detention center in Beitunia village, west of Ramallah.”

  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Nablus, Tulkarm, Shufa, and Far’un villages in Tulkarm goverorate; Bani Na’im and Surif, in Hebron; Ramallah, Deir Abu Masha’al, and Shuqba, near Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mukhtar ’Amer Qara’een’s (19) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Nawwaf Ayman Abu al-Hawa’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • In the evening, IOF tightened its restrictions on the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, established checkpoints and increased the number of its forces, especially at the gates of the Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Ramadan. Few minutes before Iftar, IOF banned distribution of hundreds of Iftar meals on the people fasting in al-Ghazaly yard, near al-Asbat gate (Gate of the Tribes), one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and confiscated them. And before the Isha Prayer, IOF stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, and raided the minarets there after breaking the doors. They cut all the loudspeaker cables in the Mosque to mute the Addhan, the Taraweeh and Isha prayers so it cannot be heard in al-Buraq yard, west of the Mosque. IOF claimed that they were disturbing the settlers’ Talmudic prayers and rituals.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Nablus, Beit Furik, and al-Badhan in Nablus governorate; Mirka, southeast of Jenin; al-Jalamah village, north of Jenin; Jaba’, Silat al-Dhahr, and Fandaqumiya, south of Jenin; al-‘Aroub refugee camp and Bani Na’im, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF chased, attacked and arrested (6) civilians near Bab al-‘Amoud neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that they were throwing stones at three Israeli busses carrying settlers. Eyewitnesses said that IOF vacated the terraces of Bab al-Amud by force, beat up the people there and chased them.  They arrested (6) civilians and took them to al-Bareed police center on Salah al-Dein street in the city. The arrestees were Mo’taz Mahmoud al-Hajj, Qusai Ashour, Ahmed al-Rashq, Ali Hamdan, Mohammed Isma’el and Nabil Shreiteh.
  • At approximately 06:00, Ahmed Marwan Abu Jom’a (20) surrendered himself to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem, after IOF raided his house, on Monday, to arrest him, but nobody was home.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Jawad Eisa Jaradat (24), from Sa’ir, north of Hebron, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established at the northern entrance of the village.
  • At approximately 18:45, IOF arrested Mahmoud Shawish (26), when he was in al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 19:10, IOF arrested Mohanad al-Bashiti (24), while present at Bab Hutta area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday morning, 08 April 2021, IOF handed citizens from Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, decisions to confiscate 13 dunums from their lands in the village to build a new street.
  • Shokri Radaydah, Mayor of Hizma, said that the decision issued by the IOF include 13 dunums from the village lands extending from the village entrance in the western side to the northern side in order to build a new high Radaydah added that in addition to the 13 dunums, the 150 dunums located behind the street will be affected as well as IOF will control the access of the owners into their lands by establishing 3 gates as declared by the IOF.  Radaydah said that if IOF decided to continue building the road in the future, hundreds of other dunums will be confiscated.
  • In the same morning, the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem approved the construction of 2000 housing units in “Givat HaMatos” settlement established on the lands of Beit Safafa village and 540 housing units in “Har Homa” settlement established on Abu Ghneim Mountain, south of Jerusalem.

Ha’aretz said that the final approval on the construction of the housing units in Har Homa settlement, south of Jerusalem, just needs the approval of the Ministry of Interior’s District committee. However, Ha’aretz added that construction of more than 2,000 additional housing units is slated to begin in “Givat Hamatos” settlement near Har Homa, south of Jerusalem.  The construction in the two settlements would cut off the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa from the West Bank and would block any possible division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a solution to the conflict.

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Salah al-Deen Ahmed Salah in al-Bireh and al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem for the second time under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah al-Deen Salah said that an Israeli military force stormed his land and demolished the room in addition to confiscating its contents.  Salah added that the room is built of steel and wood and this kind of rooms does not need a license as it is used for storage and agricultural purposes.  Salah said that this is the second time IOF demolish the room as it was demolished last January.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Susya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between the houses while the Civil Administration officer handed Khalil Hussein Mohammed Shreih a notice to stop construction works in his under-construction house of 200 sqms under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer moved into Khelet Taha area, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area and the Civil Administration officers started dismantling 2 tents of shed cloth and steel pillars set on 10 sqms in addition to an iron fence used as a sheep barn belonging to ‘Eid Soliman Saray’ah (40) from Yatta, south of Hebron.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities declared Um Hothwah area as a state property declared in 1981.  In the last few months, the settlers built a settlement road connecting that area with “Negohot” settlement.
  • In the same morning, IOF demolished a house belonging to Shaker Nayef Ja’abees in Marj al-Ghozlan area in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of its location near the main street.

Hussein Breijiyieh, Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission, said that IOF demolished a 80-sqm house in Marj al-Ghozlan area in Beit Sahour belonging to Shaker Ja’abees from Jerusalem after giving him 96 hours to demolish it and vacate the contents.  It should be noted that Shaker Ja’abees self-demolished his house in Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in 2013 pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction, and he moved to live in his parents’ house with his wife and 5 children.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 10 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Ofra” settlement, east of Ramallah, attacked the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah. The settlers rioted the area while the villagers attempted to confront them and threw stones at them.  Immediately, the settlers opened fire and fled away; no injuries were reported.

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

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

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

The West bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 53 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 7 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Biddu and Anata villages, and near Jab’ village’s intersection, northeast of the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF closed Kalandia checkpoint, under the pretext of finding a suspicious object, and reopened it later.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Dar Salah village’s bridge, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and under Al-Khader village’s bridge, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village and at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Turmus Ayya and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Al-Bireh city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit_Ur_al-Fauqa and Turmus Ayya villages, and at the intersection of Taybeh village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Al-Jiftlik village, north of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village.

Nablus:

  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, and at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa  villages and at the southern and northern entrances to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Al-Majd villages.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Surif, Ash-Shuyukh and Beit Kahil villages.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Salfit, Kafr ad-Dik and Qarawat Bani Hassan villages.

‘Split in half’: Gaza mother’s years-long wait to reunite with her children in West Bank

Source

Rights groups say Israel’s ‘separation policy’ is keeping apart dozens of families

Niveen Gharqoud has submitted five exit permit requests to Israeli authorities since 2018 in the hope of joining her husband and children (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

By Maha Hussaini in Gaza

Published date: 29 March 2021 08:23 UTC

Niveen Gharqoud has only seen one of her five children in the past four years. She has been cut off from the others since sending them to live with their father, roughly 100 kilometers away in Qalqilya, a city in the occupied West Bank.

Niveen and Ameer on a call to the rest of their family in the West Bank, March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Niveen and Ameer can only interact with the rest of the family in the West Bank through the phone, March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)

Gharqoud, 39, who lives with her parents and youngest son in the Juhr al-Deek village, in the central Gaza Strip, has submitted five separate exit permit requests to Israeli authorities since 2018 in the hope of joining her husband and children in the West Bank.

None have been approved.

“It has been four years since I last saw my children. I used to sleep with the five of them on one bed, and now I cannot see them except through a mobile phone screen,” Gharqoud told Middle East Eye.

“It is painful to accept the idea that my four children are taking care of themselves without a mother, while their father is working most of the time.”

Policy of separation

In 2007, a year after it won legislative elections, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Israel soon imposed a suffocating blockade on the coastal enclave, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, under what the Israeli government calls “the separation policy”.

According to the Israeli government, the policy aims to restrict travel between Gaza and the West Bank to avoid transferring “a human terrorist network” out of the Strip.

“Even if the Israeli government wants to reduce what it calls the transfer of terrorists into the occupied territory, its separation policy imposed on over two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is simply collective punishment that is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” Mohammed Emad, director of the legal department of the Stockholm-based advocacy group Skyline International for Human Rights, told MEE.

“Such restrictions are imposed arbitrarily on random civilians and are resulting in the separation of dozens of families.”

Families like the Gharqouds.

A family divided

Niveen married Sami Gharqoud in Gaza 18 years ago. He has been working various labourer jobs in Israel throughout their marriage.

“He used to move between Gaza and the West Bank,” Niveen said. “He worked there and used to come to visit me every now and then.

“He has not witnessed any of the births of our five children, and has never seen me pregnant except in photos and video calls,” Niveen told MEE.

“I used to go to the hospital with my mother, go through all the pain [of labour] alone, give birth and return home. He would visit us only after the delivery of each child, stay a couple of weeks then leave to the West Bank again.”

Niveen and Sami Gharqoud. March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Niveen and Sami Gharqoud, March 2021 (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

But since the start of the ongoing blockade, Sami has only visited his family in Gaza once.

“Before the last war on Gaza [in 2014], I visited him in the West Bank, stayed for about six months, and got pregnant with my last child, Ameer,” said Niveen. This turned out to be the only time she could visit Sami.

“I then had to come back to Gaza, because the [Israeli authorities] only allowed me to take two of my four children with me to the West Bank. They intentionally did not allow me to take all four children. They wanted to force me to return to Gaza. So I was obliged to come back.”

‘They [Israel] intentionally did not allow me to take all four children. They wanted to force me to return to Gaza’

– Niveen Gharqoud, Gaza 

Sami has never met his youngest child, Ameer, who is now six years old.

Niveen has been trying to rejoin her husband since the birth of their last child, in 2014, but Israeli authorities have not allowed her to travel to the West Bank.

She decided in 2016 to send her children to their father first, after her relatives and friends told her that this would help her get a permit to join them all later on.

“My father took my four children and travelled via the Rafah border [with Egypt] to Jordan. But he left them at the Allenby Bridge [that connects Jordan to the West Bank] because he could not cross – his ID states that he lives in Gaza, unlike my children and their father, whose IDs state that they live in the West Bank.

“Now I cannot send Ameer to join his four siblings. My eldest daughter, who is now 17, already shoulders the responsibility of her three brothers and takes care of them. She is still a child, but she is overwhelmed with all those responsibilities.”

Niveen’s four children in Qalqilya see their father barely once or twice a week due to his work, and spend the rest of the week alone. Whenever they need anything, the children call their mother in Gaza.Covid-19: US announces $15m aid package for Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza.

“About two years ago, my daughter called me screaming,” Niveen Gharqoud recalled. “She said that boiling water had spilled onto her younger brother’s face while she was boiling some eggs for him to eat. I did not know what to do – I called their neighbour and begged her to go help them.”

“This was not the last time that such a thing happened,” Niveen continued. “A few days ago, Malak [the eldest sister] called me, scared. She told me that someone was trying to open their apartment door. I could not do anything but tell her to lock the door very well and turn the television on to make noise.”

“I have their neighbours’ numbers in cases of emergency because I am helpless here, while their father is absent most of the time.”

Gharqoud is still hopeful that she will make it to her children and husband in Qalqilya, but says that the Israeli authorities “do not even respond to my exit permit applications, they leave them pending”.

When an exit permit is denied or pending, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have to wait for three months until they can submit another request.

A long history of separations

In July 2003, the Israeli parliament passed a law that prevents family unification for Israeli citizens married to Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory.

According to Amnesty International, the law constitutes a “further step in Israel’s long-standing policy aimed at restricting the number of Palestinians who are allowed to live in Israel and in East Jerusalem.”

Israel has long been criticised for separating Palestinian children from their families, including those from the Gaza Strip who are referred for medical treatment in the occupied Palestinian territory.

‘Since he saw his siblings leave, he has become so needy that he follows me everywhere – to make sure I don’t abandon him’

– Niveen Garqoud

Figures collected by NGO Physicians for Human Rights Israel revealed that more than half of the applications filed in 2018 by parents attempting to accompany their children for medical treatment in the occupied territory were rejected. 

In 2019, around a fifth of the children referred for medical treatment from the Gaza Strip travelled without their parents.

A position paper released by the Israeli human rights group Gisha in 2020 said that by isolating the Gaza Strip and imposing movement restrictions on Palestinians between cities and villages, Israel has “pursued a divide and conquer strategy” to disrupt the ability of Palestinians to maintain unified social and family life.

Israeli authorities didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Traumatic separation

The Garqouds’ youngest son, Ameer, accompanied his grandfather and siblings to the Rafah border crossing when he was three years old. Once they arrived at the border, he realised that his closest brother, Muhammed, and three other siblings, were leaving without him. Unlike them, Ameer was too young to travel without a parent.

“A few months ago, I went to attend a relative’s wedding. When I left, he kept screaming and fainted, thinking that everyone was lying to him and that I had gone to the West Bank and left him behind.”

Fearing her son Ameer's anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home. March 2021 (Mohammed A. Alhajjar)
Fearing her son Ameer’s anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home. March 2021 (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

To avoid leaving him alone at school, and fearing his anxiety might worsen, Gharqoud now teaches him at home.

“Since he saw his siblings leave, he has become so needy that he follows me everywhere – to make sure I don’t abandon him.”

‘Missing mum’s dishes’

“Your sister told me that you did not go to school the other day, why is that?” Niveen asked her 10-year-old child Muhammed during a video call.

“I woke up and looked for my pants and couldn’t find them, so I could not go,” he answered.

“If he had a mother living with him, this would never happen,” Niveen, sitting in her living room, told MEE.Palestine elections: Gaza voters sceptical about upcoming pollsRead More »

With Sami still in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, Niveen also made sure her children had eaten their lunch.

“We usually eat sandwiches or order food deliveries because we have nobody to cook for us. But Malak sometimes calls mum and asks for some food recipes to feed us,” Muhammed, 10, the Gharqouds’ fourth child, told MEE.

Niveen said that she avoids sending photos of family gatherings to her children so that they do not feel they are missing out, or crave “food they cannot have”.

“Malak cooks well,” said Muhammed, “but I am missing mum’s dishes, that only she can make this good.”

Malak, who celebrated her 17th birthday in February, has taken on her mother’s role: keeping an eye on her brothers’ studies and helping with their day-to-day needs.

“A few weeks ago, her 23-year-old neighbour asked for her hand in marriage,” said Niveen. “In the normal situation, I would never accept the idea of allowing my daughter to get married at this age. But since she has no one to take care of her, I want her to feel emotionally stable with someone she can rely on.

‘What is so hard about allowing me and my six-year-old son to reunite with our family?’

– Niveen Gharqoud

“We initially agreed on her engagement, but Malak still refuses to proceed with it until I can join them and meet the man.”

Niveen says her children could easily come back to Gaza, but she refuses to bring them back to live away from their father. She is unsure if they would get a permit to leave again if they did return, and the trip, via Jordan and Egypt, is too expensive.

“My children are growing up and they need their father in their life. I am split in half; I want them here with me, but I also want them to live in a healthy environment with me and their father together,” she told MEE.

Recommended

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 18 – 24 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 18 – 24 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 18 – 24 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 1 Palestinian killed and another wounded in Nablus
  • Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and four others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • In 167 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 98 civilians arrested, including 6 children
  • Three houses self-demolished and IOF demolished another one in occupied east Jerusalem
  • Israeli military order to confiscate 17.5 dunums in Salfit for settlement road construction
  • Settler-attacks: 2 vehicles set ablaze in Jerusalem; 2400 seedlings uprooted in Ramallah and 25 others in Nablus
  • IOF established 75 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 6 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 193 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed Atef Y. A. Hanaysheh (46) on 19 March 2021 with a bullet in the head while suppressing a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan, northeastern Nablus. No threat was present to the lives of Israeli soldiers. IOF also shot and wounded another Palestinian in another peaceful protest in Nablus.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 4 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 167 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 98 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted one limited incursion into eastern Rafah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: 2-storey house demolished in Silwan; 3 houses were self-demolished in Isawiya and Shufat camp; land and cement pillars demolished (under-construction house) in Shufat.
  • Jenin: demolition notice served to car repair workshop in Arraba.
  • Salfit: military order to confiscate 17 dunums and 497 meters from Bruqin, Haris and Sarta.

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

  • Occupied east Jerusalem: 2 vehicles set ablaze.
  • Ramallah: 2400 almond seedlings uprooted, and fence cut
  • Bethlehem: lands razed in Kisan for construction of a settlement road
  • Nablus: 25 tree seedlings uprooted.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

IOF imposed a complete 24-hour shutdown from Tuesday midnight, 23 March 2021, justifying it with the Israeli Knesset elections.

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

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

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

  • At approximately 08:20 on Friday, 19 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:50, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, in a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus, northern West Bank. The civilian died with a bullet in his head shot by an Israeli soldier at him without him posing danger or imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 March 2021, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, northeast of Nablus, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the national labor factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village.  The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers.  They parked their vehicles in al-Marhan area, east of the village, and continued walking to the settlement outpost established on the eastern mount, around 2000 meters away from al-Marhan area.  At approximately 12:50, the protesters were surprised with IOF deploying on the top of the mountain, around 1500 meters away from the outpost. IOF immediately opened fire at the protesters, and clashes that continued for 10 minutes broke out, during which the protesters threw stones where the Israeli soldiers were stationed.  The soldiers moved forward until they were 70 meters away from the protesters.  Meanwhile, one of the soldiers fired a live bullet at a protester; the bullet settled in his head wounding him under his right eye.  The protesters carried the injured protester, whose face and head were all covered in blood, and took him to Harayeq al-Damanah prairie, where they put him in a civilian car that drove him to Nablus.  A Palestinian ambulance was there, and when they wanted to put him inside the ambulance, he was already dead.  His body was taken to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus.  He was later identified as ‘Atef Yousif Ahmed Hanayshah (46), Imam of al-Jadeed Mosque from Beit Dajan village in Nablus.  He was a father of 3 children, including a daughter with cancer.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by the residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, international activists and representative of national activities in protest at vacating and displacing 7 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of Israeli settlers. The protest started from the neighborhood, at the call of the families whose houses are threatened to be vacated, towards the neighborhood’s main entrance. The participants raised banners, chanted slogans against Israeli occupation and ethnic displacement in favor of Israeli settlers. The Israeli police surrounded the area and ordered the protestors to leave. Meanwhile, the participants headed to another place in the neighborhood. Few minutes later, IOF returned, attacked the suppressed the protest, prevented the protestors from raising the Palestinian flags, fired sounds bombs at them, beat them up, and attempted to arrest Bodour Hasan. It should be noted that the Israeli Central Court recently gave al-Kurd, al-Qasem, al-Ja’ouni, and Iskafi families until the beginning of May to vacate their houses for settlers, under the pretext that the ownership of the lands, where houses are established, belongs to settlers. Additionally, the Israeli Central Court gave Hammad, al-Dawoudi and al-Dejanu families until the beginning of August 2021 to vacate their houses.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 20 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, and east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek) village, southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 20:05 on Sunday, 31 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Gaza Seaport, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles, causing fear among them and forcing them to leave. No causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, heavily opened fire around them and pumped water at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40 on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF along with Israeli settlers and accompanied with a bulldozer and a helicopter moved into al-‘Umra Mount, southeast of Beita village in Nablus, north of the West Bank. IOF suppressed dozens of civilians, who gathered in the area at 20:00 in the previous day to protect it from settlers. IOF fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the civilians to disperse them. The clashes continued until 11:40. As a result, a 25-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his head and taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. Also, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. IOF arrested Salem Hussain Dowikat (38), taking him to an unknown destination.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 18 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Waleed Salem al-Khateeb’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Abdul Hameed Abu Maria’s (52) house, damaged its contents and detained all his family in one room. Meanwhile, IOF stormed two houses belonging to ‘Alqam and Awad families, and arrested Omar Abdul Aziz ‘Alqam (39), and Mahmoud Mohammed Awad (32).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Ameed Ghazi Jabareen’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ghassan Ali Shawamra’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Thabet Waleed ‘Ataterah (23).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Ashraf Abu Sbeitan (16) and Abdullah Abu Ghannam al-Mukhtar (17) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Salfit, arrested Yousef Mahmoud al-Yousef (32), from Kifl Haris, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Dawoud Bader’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (11) Saffarin and Shufa, north of Tulkarm; Beit Lid, south of Tulkarm; Burin, Rujeib, Huwwarah and Sebastia, in Nablus governorate; Surif, Karma, Shuyukh and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Awwa, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Sweity’s (37) house and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Khader Abdullah al-‘Amour’s (20) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services at “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Tura village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Majd Mohammed Qabha (19).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on a bypass road, northwest of Jenin. They arrested Sedqi Sadeeq Zakarnah (18), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (13) incursions in Ya’bad, Bir al-Basha, Kufeirit, Jaba’, Fandaqumiya, Sanur, Arabbuna and Deir Ghazaleh, in Jenin governorate; Dura, Sa’ir and Shuyukh al-Arrub in Hebron; Abu Shukheidim and Kobar, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Anwar Mohammed Massouda’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Ra’fat Sameeh Najeeb (39), while present in Souq Khan al-Zeit (market), in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to one of the police centers. IOF released him after several hours of interrogation.
  • At approximately 16:20, IOF moved into Khillat Hassan area, west of Salfit, arrested (7) civilians from Sanniriya village, south of Qalqilya, and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Mohammed Ibrahim A’mar (35), his brother Hussam (32), Mahmoud Ali Taha (27), his brother Ahmed (24), Mohammed Hamed Younis (32), Anis Ma’zouz Younis (26), and Anas Riyad Younis (23).
  • At approximately 15:05, IOF stationed at the bypass road between Tulkarm and Kafr al-Labad, south of Tulkarm, arrested Mohammed Nabil al-‘Amouri (22). IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Shuyukh and Deir al-A’sal villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 21 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ahmed Wael al-Toll’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses, severely beaten and arrested (4) civilians; Fayez Mohammed Taqatiqa (27), his brother, Salama (25), Waleed Eisa Taqatiqa (23), and Atef Mohammed Thawabtah (22).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ayman Abu al-Hawa (16), and Dawoud Khaled al-Huneity (21).
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF established a checkpoint to ambush civilians near Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, and arrested Ahmed Mohammed al-Damj (21) and Wadea’ Sameer al-Ghoul (21), both from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. IOF took them to unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Shuqba, northwest of Ramallah; Dura and Kharsa, in Hebron; Saffarin, Shufa and Beit Lid villages in Tulkarm governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 22 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ameer Yousef Rabea’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron, and stationed at al-Deir area. They raided and searched (3) houses and arrested (3) civilians; Hani Abdul Aziz Qaisiyah (30), Nabil Hashem Qaisiyah (37), and Mohammed Fadel Qaisiyah (39). IOF took them to “Otniel” settlement military camp, south of Hebron, and released them on the morning of the next day.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed at the city center. They raided Ali Izz al-Dein Abu Maria’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Jadawil area in Beit Jala, northwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Nafiz Othman Shehada’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (13) civilians including 2 children. The arrestees are: Mohammed Khaled Sharifa (20), Mohammed Bassem Hijazi (17), Abdullah Omar al-Hirbawi (22), Ameer Fareed al-Basti (24), Mahmoud Hasan al-Shawish (21), Sufian Omar al-‘Ajlouni (22), Mustafa Eyad Abu Ghazaleh (17), Rawhy Mahmoud Kulghassi (24), Jihad Naser Qaws (25), Ameen Mohammed Dweik (35), Ya’qoub Mohammed Dabbagh (19), Mohammed Hazina (23), and Khaled Milhis (22).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdu Faisal Abu Hammad’s (37) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at Tamra area. They raided and searched Abdul Samea’ Mohammed al-Ja’bari’s (46) house, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Eid Abu Akar (33) and Hamdi Mustafa Abu Akar (24), from Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present in ak-Khadir village, south of the city. It should be noted that it was not the first time for IOF to raid the arrestees’ houses.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Bilal Kifaya’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Shurfa neighborhood in al-Bireh. They raided and searched Mohammed Ahmed Hawamda’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Mansur Mahmoud (23) and Ahmed Haitham Mahmoud (20), while present at the entrance to al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took them to one of the police centers and released them after several hours of investigation.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Ameer Anwar Qindah (23)v and Ahmed Nafiz Abu Shukheidim (22), from Abu Shukheidim village, north of Ramallah, while present at al-Khilla area, near “Nahliel” settlement, northwest of the city.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF arrested Tha’er Jaber (22), while present near the bus station of Nablus street, in the occupied East Jerusalem.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ra’ed Najeh Abu Ali’s (26) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Bir Ayub neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Abdullah Owda’s (44) house and arrested him along with his sons; Abdullah (20), and Khader (15).
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Suhaib Hamed Karaja (28), from Halhul, north of Hebron governorate, after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established on the northern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli Intelligence Services arrested Ali Hussain Deiriyyah (26), from Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, after summonsing him for investigation at “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyas Hussain Obaid’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Ra’ed Rami Abu Sbeitan’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Beit Ummar, and Tarqumiyah villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Samer Mousa Abu Malash (39), and Mohannad Mahmoud Abu Malash (37).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ahmed Issam Abu al-Rab (21), Majed Faisal Nazzal (31), ‘Allam Ahmed Nazzal (22), and Mohammed Adel Saba’na (22).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Hashemiya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Sati Jarrar (27).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tammun, southeast of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Marwan Ahmed Bisharat (30).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street, in the center of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Islam Adel Hijazi (22) and Marwan Saleh Abu ‘Aahour (27), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Anazzah village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohammed al-‘Amour (27).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, south of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched the house of Hamas leader, Jamal Mohammed al-Tawil (58), and arrested him. IOF released him after several hours. It should be noted that al-Tawil spent 13 years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Makroum Naser al-Ja’bari’s (29) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) civilians; Bajes Ma’rouf Nakhla (57), his son Ma’rouf (30), Eyad Mahmoud Safi (49), Maher Ayoub Dalaisha (46), Awwab Ahmed Mubarak (28), Abdul Aziz Mohye al-Dein al-Khateeb (20), and Mohammed Saher Dabour (21).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ibrahim As’ad Baddad (45), Mohammed As’ad Shreim (32), Fareed Mohammed Balsha (48), and Nasri Saleh Khaliliyah (26).
  • At approximately 06:00, a group of Mista’arvim, (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinian civilians), sneaked to a local market in the center of Jenin, using a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. Three gunmen came out of the vehicle and arrested Majdi Azmi Hasaniya (26), from Jenin refugee camp, while he was organizing vegetables at his father’s shop. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Khalil Atta Abu al-Hawa’s (18) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint near the entrance to Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They arrested Asem Mustafa Arqawi (18), and Mohammed Eyad Souqiyya (18), from Jenin. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-meters to the west of the border fence, east of al-Shawka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again later.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and Idhna villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, Two brothers, Khaled and Monir al-‘Abbasi, vacated the contents of their 2-storey house in Deir al-Saneh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, upon an Israeli Municipality’s notice to vacate their houses under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Khaled al-Abbasi said that the 2-storey building was established in 2016; he lived with his wife, 5-year old child and 7-month baby in a 100-sqm apartment in the first floor while his brother Monir lived with his pregnant wife in his 90-sqm apartment in the second floor.  Al-‘Abbasi added that the Israeli municipality promptly pursued them and issued an administrative decision to demolish their houses. Their lawyer managed to freeze the decision and applied for a house license, but in vain.  Al-‘Abbasi pointed out that the Israeli Municipality imposed on him a fine of 70,000 shekels in 2019, and he is still paying it.  He added that he and his brother were handed an order to vacate their houses within 21 days last September, so they headed to the Israeli court, which gave them until 11 March to self-demolish the house, but he did not do it.  He said that the Israeli Police called him on Thursday morning to notify him to vacate his house to demolish it in the coming days.  Al-‘Abbasi said that the construction of the house cost him 700,000 shekels while the lawyer fees were around USD 13,000. 

  • On Sunday morning, 21 March 2021, Raja’ie Talal ‘Atiah self-demolished his house in al-Madares neighborhood in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Raja’ie ‘Atiah said that the house was under construction and he lived in the 120-sqm third floor.  He added that he started building the house 5 months ago so that his son, Ahmed, move in, but the Israeli Municipality promptly haunted him and issued a decision to demolish the house.  ‘Atiah added that he hired a lawyer to appeal the decision, but the Israeli District Court issued a decision to self-demolish his house and gave him a month to carry out the demolition.  He pointed out that the Israeli Municipality called him yesterday afternoon and threatened him that a fine of 200,000 shekels would be imposed on him if the Municipality’s vehicles carried out the demolition.

  • On the same morning, Mohammed Bassam al-Sabbah Karshan self-demolished his 2-storey house in Sho’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mohammed Karshan said that he built his house 7 months ago on an area of 500sqms, but it is still under construction.  The first floor was supposed to include 5 shops and the second floor should include 2 residential apartments.  Karshan added that the Israeli Municipality notified him last November to stop the construction works and then handed him an administrative demolition decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction and its location near Sho’fat refugee camp checkpoint. He said that he appealed the decision and hired a lawyer, but the court notified him that a fine of 300,000 shekels would be imposed on him if he did not carry out the demolition.

  • In the same morning, Sami Mohammed Sa’ied ‘Abbeid self-demolished his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Sam’ ‘Abbeid said that the 100-sqm house was under construction, and he started building it at the end of last year so that his son, Mohammed, moves in, but the Israeli Municipality promptly pursued him and issued a decision to demolish his house.  ‘Abbeid added that he hired a lawyer to try to freeze the demolition decision, but the court rejected his request and insisted on the demolition decision.  ‘Abbeid said that he was forced to self-demolish his house after the Israeli Municipality threatened him of imposing a fine in case its vehicles carried out the demolition.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV raided an auto-repair workshop near ‘Arraba intersection, southwest of Jenin. The Civil Administration officer asked the workers for the workshop’s owner.  When they told him that the owner was not here, he fixed a notice to the workshop door relevant to the demolition of the workshop, which is a 150-sqm tinplate barrack and costs 150,000 shekels.  The workshop, which belongs to Hussam ‘Emad Abu Salah, from ‘Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, was notified under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF handed a military order to confiscate 17 dunums and 497 sqms from civilians’ lands in Burqin village and Haris and Sarta villages, to build a settlement road that connects Barkan settlement with the “Trans-Samaria Highway,” which connects Tel-Aviv with the Jordan Valleys. Tens of settlements were established on both sides of the road, and many changes and expansions were made to the road that led to changes in the features of Salfit City and confiscation of tens of Palestinian agricultural dunums.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished the concrete pillars and floor belonging to Mahmoud ‘Alqam in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mahmoud ‘Alqam said that he built a cement floor 2 months ago on an area of 100 sqms, intending to build a house so that he moves in with his wife and 5 children; the eldest is 16 years old and the youngest is 6 months old.  ‘Alqam added that he was surprised with IOF moving into Ras Khamis neighborhood and surrounding the place.  They started demolishing the pillars and floor in addition to completely levelling the land and the fence surrounding it, without a prior warning.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At dawn on Friday, 19 March 2021, a group of settlers burnt 2 vehicles and wrote racist slogans in Beit Iksa village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Sa’adah al-Khatib, Mayor of Beit Iksa village, said that a group of settlers moved into the village at dawn and wrote racist slogans on some walls in the village.  They also burnt 2 vehicles belonging to Hamdan Karshan, and the Palestinian Civil Defense crews arrived to extinguish the fire, which completely caught the 2 vehicles. He added that this is the fourth incident of its kind during the past period.

  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 March 2021, Monjed Ahmed al-Tamimi, from Deir Nidham village, arrived at his agricultural land in Wad Raya area, north of the village, which is 700 meters away from “Halamish” settlement, and was surprised that the land fence was cut and around 2400 almond seedlings were uprooted and broken. He added that he later found out that a group of settlers from “Halamish” settlement did this.  It should be noted that in March, IOF confiscated a tractor belonging to al-Tamimi as well when he was plowing another land near al-Nabi Saleh village near Deir Nidham village.
  • On Sunday morning, 21 March 2021, settlers levelled vacant lands in Thaher al-Mazareb area in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, to build a settlement road.
  • Ahmed Ghazal, Head of Kisan Village Council, said that a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Amos” settlement established on the Kisan lands built a settlement road of 4 kilometers in Thaher al-Mazareb area, east of the village, preluding to confiscate hundreds of dunums from the area lands.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, 3 settlers on tractors from “Havat Gilad” settlement, established on southern Tal village, southwest of Nablus, attacked the Palestinian lands in Khelet Mohra al-Qebli, south of the village, uprooted 25 five-year-old olive seedlings and confiscated 22 of them. Those seedlings belong to Mohammed Ibrahim ‘Othman Ramadan from the village.

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

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  75 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 6 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Biddu village’s tunnel, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Biddu village’s tunnel, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the entrances to Jannatah and Marah Rabah villages, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the entrance to Marah Rabah village, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.

 Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Hallamish” settlement, northwest of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF stationed at “al-Mahkama” military checkpoint established near “Beit El” settlement, north of Al-Bireh city, tightened their measures, searched Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. Also, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Silwad and Ein Yabrud villages and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beitin, Deir Abu Mash’al and Nabi Salih villages.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Al-Auja village’s intersection and at the northern entrance to Jericho
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the norther entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Awarta village and near the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near the intersection of Sarra village, southwest of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 18 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 19 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit Ummar village.
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and ad-Dhahiriya villages, at the southern entrance to Halhul city, on Khelet al-Mayia road, and at the southern entrance to Dura city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Susya villages, at the western entrance to the city, and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dura city and at the entrance to ad-Dhahiriya village.

Qalqilya:

  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jit village, northeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints under the bridge of Azzun villages and at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Hableh and Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Saturday, 20 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Kifl Haris and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 21 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik, Deir Ballut and Haris
  • On Monday, 22 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik and Deir Istiya villages and at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 23 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Iskaka, Deir Istiya, Deir Ballut, and Az-Zawiya villages.

Yemen: Trilogy of victory,, in the seventh year اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابعة

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Yemen: Trilogy of Victory, in the seventh year

Nasser Kandil

– None of the observers and followers of the Yemeni scene, supporters of the Yemeni people and their resistance represented by Ansar Allah, nor of their opponents supported the Saudi aggression to expected that the war will continue for this long, nor that the Yemenis can bear this amount of killing, destruction, siege, hunger and suffering, and stand at their goals to stop the aggression and lift the blockade as a condition for accepting any call for a cease-fire and the beginning of negotiations.

– Compared to all the wars that have been fought against the peoples of the region and their resistance forces, there is nothing that can be compared to the Yemeni case, as the six-years war is being fought directly by armies possessing tremendous military superiority, accompanied by a tight siege, which can be similar in terms of intensity of fire to the wars of Gaza and the 2006 aggression against Lebanon. But there is nothing like the Yemeni situation, they are wars of days and weeks, not years, and despite the fiery siege on Gaza, the Egyptian outlet remains a breathing lung for the besieged Gaza. In Syria Lebanon remained a lung to breath from, and in Syria, where the war continued for ten years accompanied by fierce sanctions, the fiery superiority of the Syrian state and its allies remained, and the sea remained under the hands of the Syrian state and its army, and a resource for armaments and imports that could be secured behind the back of the blockade, Whereas in Yemen, supremacy was for the camp of enemies, with fire and siege, and the six years continued and produced havoc, destruction, death, hunger and epidemics, and Yemen was steadfast

– During the sixth year, Yemen moved from steadfastness to regaining, developing missile salutations and drones, an unmistakable deterrent force despite the electronic jamming techniques possessed by the Americans and through them the Saudis, and within a year this weapon proved high technical capabilities that produced a military deterrence balance based on exceptional scientific superiority, and within a year the security of the Saudi rear in Yemen, and burned Aramco times, and became the security of the water The gulf and the energy corridors and ensure their flow in the hands of the Yemenis, and proved the failure of the war miserably to all those who were behind it, led by The American Joe Biden, who became president and was vice president on the day of its launch with the promise of ending it in weeks or months, and began maneuvers to get out of the war with the least losses, from trying to distinguish America from Saudi Arabia, to Saudi offers of a cease-fire, to U.S. calls for a political solution.

– On the eve of the seventh year, the Yemenis demonstrated their strength, so they presented the trilogy of victory, and their leader, Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, appeared in a detailed explanation of the war, its objectives and context, and the conditions for accepting solutions through the duality of stopping aggression and lifting the siege, based on steadfastness, determination and clarity in reading the past and the present and drawing the horizon of the future. Within hours of the zero hours of the seventh year, the army and the resistance presented an intense and concentrated dose of deterrence elements, inflaming the Saudi depth with raids and missiles, saying with a full mouth that the threats of their leader had taken their way to implementation. During the day, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis gathered in the squares and streets, celebrating the Day of National Resilience, affirming their loyalty and cohesion with their leadership and army, the 2006 July scene of the destruction of the destroyer Sa’er, the speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and scene of the people marching to southern Lebanon amid the cluster bombs in response to the call of the Leader of the Resistance. This trilogy victory was a harmonious symphony, drawing a clear ceiling in front of the American-Saudi alliance entitled, no place for maneuvers, the war will be a scourge, not a debate, and the negotiation path has a mandatory path: stop the aggression and lift the blockade, opening of the port and airport and the departure of foreign troops.

– Yemen enters the seventh year with the strongest confidence in victory, and the great victory has become the fruit of great patience, but this time it is really the patience of an hour.

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اليمن: ثلاثيّة النصر سنة سابع

ناصر قنديل

لم يكن أحد من المراقبين والمتابعين للمشهد اليمنيّ، من مؤيّدي الشعب اليمنيّ ومقاومته التي يمثلها أنصار الله، وحكماً من خصومه المؤيدين للعدوان السعوديّ ليتوقع قبل ست سنوات في مثل هذه الأيام، أن تستمرّ الحرب طول هذه المدة، ولا أن يتمكّن اليمنيون من تحمل هذا الكم من القتل والدمار والحصار والجوع والمعاناة، ويصمدوا عند أهدافهم بوقف العدوان ورفع الحصار كشرط لقبولهم بأية دعوة لوقف النار وبدء التفاوض.

بالمقارنة مع كل الحروب التي خيضت وتخاض ضد شعوب المنطقة وقواها المقاومة، ليس هناك ما يمكن تشبيهه بالحالة اليمنية، فحرب ست سنوات تخوضها مباشرة جيوش تملك تفوقاً عسكرياً هائلاً، يرافقها حصار محكم، يمكن أن تشبهه من حيث كثافة النار حروب غزة وعدوان عام 2006 على لبنان، لكنها حروب أيام وأسابيع، وليست سنوات، ورغم الحصار الناري يبقى المنفذ المصري رئة تنفس لغزة المحاصرة، وتبقى سورية رئة يتنفس منها لبنان، وسورية التي استمرّت الحرب عليها عشر سنوات وما يرافقها من عقوبات، بقي التفوق الناري فيها للدولة السورية وحلفائها وبقي البحر تحت يد الدولة السورية وجيشها، ومورداً للتسلح وتأمين المستوردات التي يمكن تأمينها من وراء ظهر الحصار، بينما كل شيء في اليمن تفوق لمعسكر الأعداء، بالنار وإحكام الحصار، والسنوات الست تتواصل وتنتج الخراب والدمار والموات والجوع والأوبئة، واليمن صامد.

خلال السنة السادسة انتقل اليمن من الصمود الى استرداد زمام المبادرة، مطوّراً سلاح الصواريخ والطائرات المسيّرة، قوة ردع لا تخطئ رغم تقنيات التشويش الإلكتروني التي يملكها الأميركيون ومن خلالهم السعوديون، وخلال سنة أثبت هذا السلاح مقدرات تقنية عالية أنتجت توازن ردع عسكري مستنداً الى تفوق علمي استثنائي، وخلال سنة صار أمن العمق السعودي بيد اليمن، واحترقت آرامكو مرات، وصار أمن مياه الخليج وممرات الطاقة وضمان تدفقها بيد اليمنيين، وثبت فشل الحرب فشلاً ذريعاً لكل من كان وراءها، وفي طليعتهم الأميركي جو بايدن الذي صار رئيساً وكان نائباً للرئيس يوم انطلاقها بوعد إنهائها خلال أسابيع أو شهور، وبدأت المناورات للخروج من الحرب بأقل الخسائر، من محاولة التميّز الأميركي عن السعودي، الى عروض سعوديّة لوقف النار، الى دعوات أميركية لحل سياسي.

عشية السنة السابعة أظهر اليمنيّون بأسهم، فقدموا ثلاثيّة النصر على الملأ، فظهر قائدهم السيد عبد الملك الحوثي في شرح مفصل للحرب وأهدافها وسياقها وشروط قبول الحلول تحت شعار وقفها، وتختصرها ثنائيّة وقف العدوان وفك الحصار، وعبر عن مستوى الثبات والعزم والحزم والوضوح في قراءة الماضي والحاضر ورسم أفق المستقبل، وخلال ساعات حلّت الساعة صفر من السنة السابعة فقدم الجيش والمقاومة، جرعة مكثفة ومركزة من عناصر الردع فألهبوا العمق السعودي بالغارات والصواريخ، قائلين بالفم الملآن إن تهديدات قائدهم قد أخذت طريقها للتنفيذ، مستعيدين مشهد تدمير المقاومة في لبنان للمدمّرة ساعر ترجمة لخطاب السيد حسن نصرالله، وخلال ساعات النهار احتشد مئات آلاف اليمنيين في الساحات والشوارع، يحيون يوم الصمود الوطنيّ، يؤكدون تمسكهم بثوابتهم وتماسكهم مع قيادتهم وجيشهم، مستعيدين مشهد زحف الشعب الى جنوب لبنان وسط القنابل العنقودية تلبية لدعوة قائد المقاومة، فكانت هذه الثلاثيّة سمفونية متناغمة، ترسم سقفاً واضحاً أمام الحلف الأميركي السعودي عنوانه، لا مكان للمناورات، الحرب ستكون وبالاً لا سجالاً، وطريق التفاوض له ممر إلزامي وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار، أي فتح المرفأ والمطار وخروج القوات الأجنبية.

اليمن يدخل السنة السابعة أشدّ ثقة بالنصر، وقد بات النصر العظيم ثمرة للصبر العظيم، لكنه هذه المرة فعلاً صبر ساعة.

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Gaza has suffered the longest, most barbaric, lockdown in the world – I know, because I lived through three years of it

*Jaber Rjila’s home and farmland in al-Faraheen, Gaza’s southeast, have been attacked, damaged or destroyed by Israeli tanks and bulldozers on many occasions.
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Eva Bartlett an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. https://serenashimaward.org/laureates/ Since April 2014, she has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos

By Eva Bartlett 


March 8, 2021, RT.comWhile the rest of the world may rightly moan about the ways in which the miserable Covid-induced lockdowns have affected our lives, spare a thought for the 2 million Palestinians imprisoned in Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade.

“We’re all Palestinians now,” some say, as people around the world are under Covid-19 lockdown and rendered jobless. While the reference is apt, Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most severe lockdown in the world for 14 long years.

As 2021 has gone on, it has become increasingly clear that lockdowns are affecting people around the world in painful and deadly ways beyond the already awful effects of slashed incomes and isolation.

So imagine life where the lockdown isn’t for a period of weeks or months, but throughout the year, every year, with no end in sight, making life utterly unlivable.

That is life in the Gaza Strip, which although only 40 km long and 365 square km in size, is appropriately dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison.

And while there is absolutely no just reason for Israel’s imprisonment of two million people, it continues, year after year, in violation of Israel’s legal obligations under international law, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) notes.

It is collective punishment. As the UN reminded“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

Blockade brutality

The power outages, fuel and cooking gas shortages, dramatic food insecurity, stunted growth in children, 50 percent unemployment, and 96 percent undrinkable water have been Gaza’s reality for years.

Since 2012, the UN has warned that Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020.

It was already unlivable when I first set foot in Gaza in November 2008. From then until March 2013, I lived a cumulative three years (and two wars) there, the latter half of that time in the humble home of a Palestinian family in central Gaza.

The power was out for 20-22 hours daily, mostly a result of the 2006 Israeli bombing of Gaza’s power plant, which was never fully reconstructed, thanks to the blockade that prevents the import of much-needed materials.

Picture a functioning hospital with dialysis machines, working ICUs, etc. Now imagine it with limited or no electricity, for 14 years, and after three wars. That’s Gaza.

And every year, due to the Israeli restrictions on imports, Gaza has less than a month’s supply of essential medicines (48 percent in 2019; 42 percent in January 2021). In December 2019, for example, 58 percent of chemotherapy drugs and 41 percent of kidney dialysis medicines were at zero stock.

Gaza’s lockdown has rendered vast numbers jobless, unable to travel, and prevented university graduates with scholarships abroad from completing their studies.

Exports have ground to a trickle. Formerly, Palestinians used to export not only the succulent strawberries grown in Gaza’s north but also many other goods including furniture, clothing, food products.

Imports are even more severely limited. When I arrived in 2008, only between 30-40 items (vs 4,000 before) were permitted entry to Gaza’s merchants.

Dangerous things like diapers, shoes, A4 paper, livestock, seeds, refrigerators, washing machines, fabrics, light bulbs, musical instruments, crayons, clothing… and much more, were explicitly banned entry.

As was, of course, building materials, desperately needed in Gaza as the population grew, and to rebuild destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Banning the entry of seeds and livestock seems like an attack on Palestinians’ food sources, deliberately causing starvation.

Indeed, at the time, near-starvation, according to the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, was the planThe security establishment had calculated the number of calories consumed by Gaza residents and used it to establish a ‘humanitarian minimum’, a bottom line to which it was possible to reduce food supply to Gaza without causing hunger or malnutrition…

Not quite dying of hunger, as the special adviser to numerous Israeli prime ministers, Dov Weissglass, said in 2006:

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

As of November 2020, Israel continues strictly restricting imports to Gaza. The UN’s Relief Web noted“The Israeli authorities officially list 62 items as “dual-use items” which include hundreds of goods and basic materials. The items on the “dual-use goods” list are essential to the life of the population…”

Attacking the food providers

Israel also puts Palestinians “on a diet” by firing on and abducting farmers and fishers, destroying wells and cisterns, destroying or stealing fishing boats and burning or spraying chemicals on farmland.

During my time in Gaza, I documented Israeli live machine gun and sniper fire, routinely coming under fire myself, including for extended periods.

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Were Israeli soldiers targeting ‘terrorists’?  No, these were farm labourers and families, including the elderly and women. None posing any threat to Israel.

Israeli soldiers also target labourers and children collecting rubble and metal from demolished or bombed homes, transporting it, usually on donkey carts, to places where it can be sold for re-use in construction.

Israel maintains its gunning down of farmers and labourers is about ‘security,’ and has long ago imposed a ‘buffer zone’ on the Gaza side, supposedly 300 metres from the fence. But in my own experience with farmers on land 500 metres or more from the fence, Israeli soldiers still shoot to maim and kill.

Like the 20-year old deaf farmer I accompanied one February 2009 morning. As he and other labourers pushed their stalled pick-up truck, Israeli soldiers began sniping, shooting around me and hitting him in his ankle.

A few weeks prior, an Israeli soldier had shot the man’s cousin in the neck, killing him. An extended family of 16 people depended on the meagre income of these young farm labourers.

Or the 17-year old girl an Israeli soldier shot in the knee when, a month after the 2008/2009 war ended, she returned to her southeastern Gaza destroyed home to see what remained. This was 800 metres from the fence.

Or the 20-year old farm labourer shot in his chest while working on land beyond the ‘buffer zone’. The 16-year old working beside him died from the bullets to his chest.

Or the youth left paralyzed after being shot by an Israeli soldier. His crime? Sitting outside the home of an aunt he was visiting.

The ‘buffer zone‘ robs Palestinians of a third of Gaza’s agricultural land – the best and most fertile bits. Decades and Israeli bulldozers prior, this same area was rich in olive, nut and fruit trees, and a variety of grain, legumes and vegetable crops.

Nowadays, if Palestinians are lucky, they can plant low maintenance crops, hoping they don’t get burned, or bulldozed before harvesting, testimonies of which I’ve taken time and time again, and have witnessed while it happened.

A 2020 UN report noted that at the time Gaza’s fishers were allowed to access water eight nautical miles off the coast (less than half the 20-mile distance agreed on under the Oslo Accords).

However, from my experience working with fishers when the limit was just six miles, Israeli gunboats would target them even less than one mile off the coast, machine-gunning, shelling, water-cannoning or kidnapping the fishers and boats.

As a special bonus, the Israeli navy often adds a chemical to the spray which leaves the soaked victims stinking of excrement for days.

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The preventable stench

When travelling from central or southern Gaza on the coastal road, the shared taxi I was in would pass through Wadi Gaza, a slight valley which at times was overwhelmed by the stench of up to 90 million litres of raw and partially-treated sewage daily draining into the sea.

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Because Gaza cannot treat its sewage and is not allowed to import materials needed to maintain or improve its sewage holding tanks, the only solution is dumping it into the sea. Otherwise, the sewage holding pools overflow into residential areas.

In 2007, a sewage treatment reservoir’s wall ruptured, overflowing into a village, drowning five people, including two children.

*Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant (photo November 2008). This pool overflowed in March 2007, killing numerous living in the surrounding area below.

Less dramatic but still terrible, heavy rains combine with the sewage to flood streets, leaving people to wade through the foul water, and damaging homes of people that have neither the money nor means to rebuild.

When, in December 2013, massive flooding and sewage overflow ruined 400 homes, a UNRWA spokesperson said“Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.” 

That was over seven years ago, and nothing has changed.

End the lockdown

Protesting against the lockdown of Gaza, the “Great March of Return” from March 2018 to the end of 2019 saw 214 Palestinians killed by Israel, including 46 children, with 36,100 injured, including nearly 8,800 children, according to the UN.

Imagine the headlines were this in Russia or Syria.

As of January, the Rafah Crossing (the sole crossing controlled by Egypt, not Israel) remained closed. Over 7,000 Palestinians are registered to exit Gaza, and thousands are waiting to enter, the UN reported.

According to the UN, Gaza now gets 14 hours of power a day, the one improvement I’m aware of since my time living there.

The rest – the targeting farmers and fishers, the random Israeli bombings and psychological warfare, and most notably, the blockade – remains as per the many previous years.

Indeed, according to a March 3 statement by UNRWA’s Gaza director, conditions in Gaza have only gotten worse.

Conditions have become so bad that “the well-known definition of extreme or absolute poverty is no longer suitable, most of the Palestinian refugees in Gaza need help.”

Those under Covid-19 lockdowns now have experienced a mere fraction of what Palestinians in Gaza have endured for so long. I would hope that, as a result, more people might be moved to demand Israel end its 14-year lockdown of Gaza.

RELATED:

UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

Israeli tank and bulldozer invasion of Palestinian farmland

Dignified beyond losses:Palestinian farmers’ livelihoods destroyed by Israel

Homes and livelihoods destroyed by Israeli bulldozers

How israeli policies and attacks have ravaged Gaza’s agricultural sector

Israeli Navy Terrorism: Destroying Boats and Lives

Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine

stars and bombs: random israeli bombing a few hundred metres from home

Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis

Gaza drives

Leaving Gaza: Egypt’s treatment of “undesirables”…or, that time I was locked underground in an Egyptian airport with dozens of other civilians

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine 04 – 10 March 2021

11 03 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 04 – 10 March 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

04 – 10 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 3 Palestinians wounded, including 2 children
  • IOF naval attacks: Two fishermen were shot and wounded, and a boat was damaged in IOF shooting; also 3 shootings were reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip
  • Three IOF shootings at agricultural areas and two incursions reported in eastern Gaza
  • In 162 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 91 civilians arrested, including 13 children and 3 women
  • IOF raid Union of Health Work Committees Headquarters in al-Bireh
  • 4 houses and a residential tent demolished, and 20 cease-construction and demolition notices served in the West Bank, including occupied east Jerusalem
  • Settler-attacks: attacks on farmers and houses, and an attempted kidnap of a Palestinian male in the West Bank
  • IOF established 54 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 14 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Additionally, IOF raided and ransacked the headquarters of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) in al-Bireh and confiscated several hard desk drives.  This incident was conducted simultaneously with the arrest of an UHWC employee from his house in Ramallah.

PCHR emphasizes that these practices are part of campaigns led by Israeli officials against Palestinian civil society organizations and activists to undermine their work, either by distorting their credibility, arresting them, or closing the organizations that provide services to promote Palestinians’ identity and resilience.

Another notable incident that occurred this week was the IOF arrest of five children, aged between 8 -11, in Hebron and the violent manner with which they were led to a military vehicle while crying. The children were released 3 hours later.

Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Settlers also carried out multiple attacks on civilians and their properties and attempted to kidnap a Palestinian man. PCHR documented 214 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF shot and injured 3 civilians (including 2 children) in its attacks in the West Bank: one was wounded in IOF raid into Tubas, and both children sustained their injuries in another IOF raid into al-Khader- Bethlehem. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.  Also, one child was wounded after an explosive device left by IOF detonated in Tubas.

In the Gaza Strip, two fishermen sustained wounds in one of the three shootings that were reported at sea. Also, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 162 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir al-Balah and Buraij in Central Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents:

  • Hebron: 7 demolition and cease-construction notices served in Ma’in, an under-construction house and a water well were demolished in eastern Bani Na’im.
  • East Jerusalem: residential tent demolished in Isawiya, a house was self-demolished; and 10 demolition notices were served in al-Jib.
  • Nablus: 3 demolition and cease-constriction notices served in Zawata; two houses were demolished in central Jordan valleys.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 6 attacks:

  • Nablus: stones thrown at houses in Madama and Burin.
  • Bethlehem: 15 olive trees cut in Etsion area; farmers were assaulted, and one kidnapping attempt occurred in Kisan.
  • Salfit: a vehicle attacked in Bruqin.
  • Ramallah: farmer assaulted, and his tractor confiscated in Nabi Saleh.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into ‘Obaid neighborhood in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses after destroying its doors and frightening its inhabitants. IOF also arrested 6 civilians, including 3 children, and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as: Mo’tasem Hamza ‘Obaid (18), Mohammed Marwan ‘Obaid (20), Yazan Bassam ‘Onaid (21), Ameer Khader ‘Obaid (17), Rohi Yaser al-Jayyar (17), and Mohammed Hamza ‘Obaid (14). During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, a military vehicle was set ablaze. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them on the neighborhood streets and fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them. The clashes continued until next day dawn. IOF brought a wastewater vehicle to spray the protestors and residential houses with wastewater. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas and wastewater inhalation.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on Friday, 05 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia waters, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to Ashraf Ramadan Hamed al-‘Awour (45), from Jabalia refugee camp. The boat was manned by Ashraf’s son Mohammed (23) and another fisherman namely Adham Naser ‘Abed al-Hameed Abu Qasem (27). As a result, Mohammed was shot with a rubber bullet in his mouth while Adham was shot with a rubber bullet in his right arm. Both of them were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, where Mohammed’s injury was classified moderate and Adham’s injury was minor. Also, the boat was shot with several live bullets and its engine was damaged due to the heavy shooting. Additionally, Israeli naval forces beat the two fishermen. Fisherman Mohammed Ashraf al-‘Awour, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli naval forces directly targeted the fishing boat manned by him and opened fire at its engine. As a result, the boat’s engine sustained damage and the boat stopped working. Also, Israeli naval forces continued to fire rubber bullets, wounding his friend Adham Abu Qasem. After that, another Israeli gunboat approached their boat at zero distance and Israeli naval soldiers beat them up with stun batons, despite that the blood was pouring from his mouth. The fishermen were later released and taken to the hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley village (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, established a military checkpoint at the village’s entrance and checked civilians’ IDs, obstructing vehicles’ movement. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested two siblings namely Mahmoud (14) and Mohammed (15) Naser Mohammed Rabah under the pretext of throwing stones. IOF withdrew later.
  • At approximately 07:35 on Sunday, 07 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia shore, west of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF moved into Tubas city, north of the West Bank, and stationed near the Old Market in the center of the village. They then surrounded Mos’ab Faze’ al-Kilani’s (19) house and topped the roofs of nearby houses. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF. Clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men for over 3 hours. During which, IOF fired live bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, a 25-year-old male was wounded in the left thigh artery and taken by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s ambulance to the Tubas Turkish Hospital. He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as his health condition was deemed critical. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Additionally, IOF arrested Mos’ab Kilani and withdrew at 06:00.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Abu Soud area, west of Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and stationed near the annexation wall. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, IOF clashed with Palestinian young men, and fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. At approximately 19:00, IOF opened fire at Mohammed Rami Salah (17) and Khaled Khalil Ghunaim (17), under the pretext that they attempted to threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles. As a result, Salah was shot with 2 live bullets in his foot and waist; his health condition was deemed serious, and Ghunaim was shot with a live bullet in his foot. They were taken to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment. The Israeli authorities claimed that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two civilians, who threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles in Gush Etzion area, south of Bethlehem. The wounded children’s family emphasized that the children were returning from their work while there were clashes erupted in the village, and they were present in front of their houses in order to go to a shop in the village. The two families refuted the Israeli claims that they their sons had tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the Israeli military vehicles, and pointed out that Salah’s health condition is stable while remaining in the ICU, and Ghunaim will undergo a surgery in his left leg in the Arab Society Hospital.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 19:00, Taj al-Deen ‘Izz al-Deen Mohammed Sawaftah (14), from Tubas city, sustained serious wounds due to the explosion of an object of Israeli military remnants. According to PCHR’s investigations, Sawaftah was wounded while playing an explosive object, 100 meters away from his father’s shop in the center of the city. Sawaftah sustained first, second and third degree burns in his hands and face and received treatment at Tubas Turkish Hospital. It should be noted that the area, where Sawaftah was wounded, witnessed an Israeli incursion the day before, during which they surrounded a residential house and fired live bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them until 10:15, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

 Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 04 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Yehya Salama (43).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jenin and Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Majdi Raja Abu al-Wafa (41), from Jenin refugee camp, Ashraf Fathi Haweil (19) and Saif Ali Abu Obaid (20), from Jenin.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ayed Thabet Abu Sharekh’s house and arrested his son, Mohammed (18).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Sami Emad al-Ja’bari’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mofeed Mohammed Shihab (30), Shahed Arafat Kayed (21), and Khaled Nadi ‘Aazem (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Yousef Alian’s (21) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Lo’ay Tawfiq Hamayil (20) and Laith Saleh Hamayil (22).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qaffin, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Emad Harsha (26) and Sohaib Fo’ad Harsha (28) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Omar Khaled Saleem (22) and Abdullah Ahmed Howari (25) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Tha’er Abdullah Arabia’s (32) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF moved into Wadi Yasul neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Majdi Qa’rour’s (20) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF stationed on a military checkpoint established on the entrance of Auja village, northeast of Jericho, arrested Omar Izz al-Dein Abu Dayya (34), from Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at al-Za’eem military checkpoint, arrested (3) civilians from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took Dawoud Mahmoud Abual-Hawa (19), Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (18), and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (18), to unknown destinations.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir and Tarqumiyah in Hebron governorate; Yamun village, west of Jenin; Safa and Shaq villages in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 05 March 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, a huge IOF moved into Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Faraj Shuqair and his brother, Jamal, and arrested Tareq Faraj Shuqair (28), and Yehya Jamal Shuqair (26). IOF took them to unknown destinations. should be noted that Yehya Jamal Shuqair is a former prisoner, whose brother, Nour Shuqair (37), was killed by the Israeli soldiers at al-Za’eem military checkpoint in 25 November 2020.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Abu Zahra’s house and arrested Jamal Abdul Karim Abu Zahra (35) and his brother, Mohammed (28).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Khaled al-Jinny (22) and Basel Ya’qoub Badawi (19).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdullah Ayed Abu Skarekh’s (44) house and no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Halhul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Nadi al-Baba (32), and Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Yousef (30).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint established on the northern entrance of Bethlehem, arrested Mohab Wael Ajarma (23), from al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Nehad Bader Zughayyar (43), while present near Bab al-Amud gate “Damascus Gate”, in occupied Jerusalem, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem and released him later. It should be noted that Zughayyar is a former prisoner who was released 6 months ago, as he spent 35-months in the Israeli prisons in charge of joining the “Aqsa Youth Movement”, a charge used by IOF to criminalize Palestinian resilience at al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF summonsed Yazan Zuhair al-Rajabi (21) and Jadallah al-Rajabi (40), for interrogation the police center of Salah al-Dein street, in East Jerusalem. IOF released them after several hours of investigation.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Beit Ula, Idhna, and Hadab al-Fawwar, in Hebron; Salim village, northeast of Nablus; and Rummanah village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 06 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, arrested Mo’taz Kamel Jawabra (20), while passing by the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF arrested Ahmed Abdul Latif Zayyoud (26), from Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin, while present near of Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:20, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall, north of al-Bireh, arrested Ali Musleh al-Nibali (16) and Mohammed Hmeidan al-Malhi (16), while present in a street adjacent to the annexation wall. IOF took them to “Ofer” detention in Beitunia, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Bara’ Murad Kassab (21), from Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed adjacent to the annexation wall of al-Shwiaka, north of Tulkarm, arrested Rayyan Azzam Abu Sheikha (27) and Wisam Nehad Abu Sheikha (25), while attempting to pass through a hole in the annexation wall to work inside Israel.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Shuyukh and Karazah villages in Hebron; Tayibe and Sinjil villages, northeast of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 07 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Hammad Owda’s (17) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s (38) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Riyad Mohammed Karawi’s (19) house and handed him a summons to refer to am-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Majed Ragheb al-Jo’ba’s (40) house and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Yaser Hamdan (24) and Rashad Mohammed Abu Riyala (22), while present near the western entrance of al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Ti’nik and Zububa, west of Jenin; Kifl Haris, north of Salfit; Samu, Bani Na’im, and Beit al-Rush al-Fauqa villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 08 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp. They raided and searched Mohammed Mahmoud al-Khateeb’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Ramallah. They raided and searched Sa’eed Mahmoud Abbas’s (27) house, in al-Tira neighborhood, and arrested him. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered, set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces, who responded with firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; they received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed into the center of the village, randomly fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among the civilians. Meanwhile, an Israeli force stormed an under construction house, belonging to Ibrahim al-Tamimi, and transfer it to a military point. Furthermore, IOF stormed and searched the house of the prisoner Ahmed Mezhir al-Tamimi, and confiscated the cell phone of his son, Ahmed. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ward Abed al-Kilani (22) and Mohammed Naser Sibti (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Bireh and stationed in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood. IOF raided UHWC’s headquarter (2 floors in al-Sartawi building).  Israeli soldiers ransacked the offices, removed the main doors with a special device used by IOF to open doors, and raided and searched the 6 offices in both floors.  The search included opening the office lockers and drawers, where UHWC’s private files are saved, and threw them all over the ground.  IOF also dismantled the PBX (Private Branch Exchange which is a private telephone and internet network used within a company or organization); as a result, it broke down.  Before they withdrew at 05:00, IOF confiscated all the hard disks from the computers found in the offices.
  • Simultaneously, IOF moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, south of al-Bireh.  They raided and searched Taysir Hasan Abu Sharbak (46)’s house, UHWC’s accountant. IOF arrested Abu Sharbak before their withdrawal from the area.
  • It should be noted that UHWC is a well-respected Palestinian non-governmental organization that was founded in 1985. UHWC is active in the field of health and community development in the Palestinian territory from a human rights perspective; it has branches in most Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Yousef Muzein (23), and Basem Haitham Badawi (20).
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested the former prisoner, Mohammed Yousef Washha (19), a student at Birzeit University. IOF handed Fadi Sidqi Washha and Mousa Washha summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Farsh al-Hawa area, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Tareq Nidal Naji’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF and Israeli Intelligence Services stormed the Women’s Centre headquarter in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF confiscated the ID cards of most of the people, some contents of the exhibition and banned them from carrying out any events, in coincidence with Women’s International Day, then they arrested the event organizers; Ikhlas al-Sayyad and Manal Abu Sbeitan. IOF claimed that they were charged of receiving fund and support from the PNA and that the event contained Palestinian national and political terms.
  • Yasmine al-Sayyad, one of the event’s organizers, stated that IOF dispersed a cultural exhibition for Jerusalemite women, confiscated traditional dresses and exhibition pieces. IOF alleged that the event was funded by the Palestinian Authority. She added that they arrested the director of the center, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, and the fashion designer of the exhibition, Manal Abu Sbeitan, and took them to an investigation center in Jerusalem. IOF released them later.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Anhar Sami Hijja (21), from Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, while present near “Sede Efraim” settlement, west of the city. IOF claimed that she was in position of a knife. It should be noted that Hijja is married and has a baby girl.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Baqa al-Sharqiyya, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 09 March 2021:

  • At approximately 00:50, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Hasan Jouda (31).
  • At approximately 01:10: IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Monir Tahaina (25).
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Saleh Sabri al-Shamali (23).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed in Harat al-Sheikh area. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hani Shaker al-Fakhouri (23) and Oday Hmeidan al-Sharbati (20).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched two houses belonging to Hussam Husain Far’oun (25) and Nizar Eyad Bassa (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khamees Waleed Bahar’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Ya’bad, Kafr Ra’i, Jab’, Jalbun, Faqqoa, Zabuba, and Rummanah villages in Jenin governorate; Deir Sharaf, Qusin, and Sarra villages in Nablus governorate; al-Fawwar refugee camp and Kharsa in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ameer Adnan al-Karam (25).
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’tasem Ahmed Jaradat (44).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Izz al-Dein Yousef Freihat (27).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah, and stationed in the center of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Nazeeh Abu ‘Aadi (15), and Mahmoud Ghaleb Abu ‘Aadi (15).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Malek Allan’s (28) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mamdouh Salah’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Issam Hussain Deiriyya (22) and Eyad Ahmed Taqatiqa (20) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to from the east of Wadi Gaza area to al-Bureij village in the south, adjacent to the border fence. They combed and leveled lands and redeployed inside the border fence at approximately 18:00.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF reinforced with 6 military bulldozers, moved 50-100 meters west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and redeployed at approximately 14:00.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into al- Saouane neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. Sheikh Sabri’s lawyer, Hamza Qutaina, said that a large number of Israeli soldiers and Intelligence Services members arrested Sabri and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre to interrogate him on his alleged intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, which is considered illegal by the occupation authorities. Qutaina added that Israeli intelligence released Sheikh Sabri at approximately 14:30.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Khirbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. IOF chased a group of children while present near “Hafat Ma’un” settlement, 300-meters away from the village. IOF arrested 5 children and took them to a police center of “Kiryat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, and released them after 3 hours. A video showed the Israeli soldiers while they were pushing the children inside the military jeep, and their parents attempted to prevent the Israeli soldiers from arresting their children, but to no avail. The children are: Jaber Mohammed Abu Hmeid (9), and his brothers, Zeyad (10) and Saqer (11); Zeyad Jaber Hmeidat (8), and Yaseen Jabrin Hmeidat (10).
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tura and Silat al-Dhahr villages in Jenin; Halhul and Surif villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Ma’in village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed between houses while the officer distributed notices to stop construction works and others to demolish houses under the pretext of building in Area C.
  • The notices were as follows:
  1. Notice no. (266764) stop construction to stop works in a 150-sqm dwelling of concrete belonging to Tariq Ziad Makhamrah, who lives there with his 3 children.
  2. Notice no. 32252to stop construction works in a 30-sqm dwelling of concrete belonging to Tariq Ziad Makhamrah, who lives there with his wife.
  3. Notice no. (266762) to stop construction works in a 140-sqm building of concrete and bricks sheltering Jihad ‘Issa Hamamdah and his 5 children along with his parents.
  4. Final notice no. (32252) to stop work and demolish a 100-sqm dwelling built of cement in 2018 and belonging to ‘Issa Jamal Mousa Hamamdah and his wife.
  5. Final notice no. (32252) to stop construction works and demolish an under-construction dwelling belonging to Raed Ibrahim No’man Abu ‘Aram on an area of 140 sqms. He started building the dwelling in 2018.
  6. Final notice no. (32253) to stop work and demolish a stone and marble workshop, which is a plot of land to display stones and a tinplate barrack of 40 sqms that includes electric tools used for cutting the stones belonging to Ibrahim Mohammed Khalil Dababsah.
  7. Notice to demolish a new building based upon (military order no. 1797) within 96 hours. The building belongs to ‘Ali Ismail Hamamdah and includes 2 floors; one is 120 sqms and the other is 40 sqms.  He was supposed to live in it with his wife and five children.

The notices gave them until 18 March 2021 to apply all the papers necessary for the construction to obtain a license from the competent authorities in the Construction Committee at the Israeli Civil Administration.

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF demolished a tent sheltering ‘Alian Family that was established by them on the rubble of their residential building, noting that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished the building at the end of the last month in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, for the second time.

Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiya village follow-up Committee, said that IOF raided ‘Alian Family’s tent, surrounded it and then started the demolition.  He added that IOF demolished the tent that was established on the rubble of the houses demolished by IOF on 22 February amid firing randomly sound bombs.  They also removed slogans in solidarity with the family and threatened all those inside the tent of coming in here.

It should be noted that ‘Alian family previously stated that the decision to demolish the family building, which included 2 floors and sheltered 20 family members, including 12 children, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, was a political decision par excellence, especially since their son, Fadi, previously received several calls from the Israeli Intelligence threatening him to demolish his family building if he continued to work as the Head of the Guard Unit in the mosque. The family added that Fadi was arrested several times and teased him lately until they demolished the family building which was established more than 10 years ago under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Mohammed ‘Issa Nader Abu Riyalah continued the demolition of his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Abu Riyalah said that his house was established in 2005 on an area of 120 sqms and included 4 rooms where he lived with his wife and 5 children; the eldest is 20 years old while the youngest is 16 years old.  He said that he received a notice from the Israeli Municipality to demolish his house a year ago, so he self-demolished the walls.  He added that the Israeli Municipality officers did not suffice with the demolition of the walls and ordered him to continue the complete demolition of the house as he was handed a new demolition decision a month ago and received a call from the Israeli Municipality and police a week ago informing him that if he did not demolish his house, the bulldozers will come on Sunday to carry it out and he will be fined with 150,000 shekels for the municipality crew’s demolition expenses.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, an excavator and a bulldozer moved into Khelet al-Ward area, east of Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the vehicles started demolishing an under-construction house comprised of a 130-sqm ground floor and an unroofed first floor in addition to a water well belonging to Joudah Mohammed ‘Abdel Hamid al-Rajabi, who was supposed to move in with his family of 9; the eldest of his children is 13 years old.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified al-Rajabi to stop construction works on 11 August 2020 and notified him again on 11 November 2020.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein Zawata area, northwest of Zawata village, west of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer fixed 3 notices to stop construction works in 2 houses and a barrack under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

Those notified were:

  1. Taleb ‘Abdel Rahim Zawatiyah: an 80-sqm ready-to-move in house, which is within the village structural plan that was approved by the Israeli authorities in 2008.
  2. Muhanad S’eifan from Nablus: an under construction house on an area of 120 sqms.
  3. An under-construction barrack belonging to ‘Adas Family on a plot of land where there are 20 partners.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, the Israeli authorities notified with demolition 10 facilities in al-Jib village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Ghassan ‘Allan, al-Jib Mayor, said that IOF moved into the area adjacent to the annexation wall in the village center and took photos of the residential buildings and facilities in the area.  They fixed 10 demolition notices on the walls and doors of buildings belonging to the families of Abu Hamoud, Abu Dayyah, and Za’al.  Among those, a house, storehouse and wedding hall belong to the prisoner in the Israeli jails, Shokri Abu Dayyah.

It should be noted that al-Jib village is located northwest of Jerusalem and takes its name from the ancient Canaanite village, “Gibeon,” which means the hill. Al-Jib was known in the past for its agricultural lands, but nowadays it is isolated and surrounded by the annexation wall, settlement expansion and settlements. Al-Jib along with the villages of Beit Hanina, al-Judeira, and Bir Nabala form an “al-Jib” that is isolated by the wall. The village is surrounded by the Givat Ze’ev and Givon settlements from the west and Har Shmuel settlement from the south to the northwest. In 2006, the Israeli authorities established a military checkpoint to isolate it from Jerusalem.

  • At approximately 09:23 on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, IOF accompanied with 3 Israeli Civil Administration SUVs, a bus carrying Israeli soldiers, 15 Israeli military SUVs, and 6 excavators on 3 cranes moved into ‘Ein Shebli area in the Central Jordan Valleys, northeast of Nablus. The bulldozers immediately demolished 2 houses for 2 brothers under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

The demolition included:

  1. A 2-srotey building where each floor is 400 sqms; the first floor is for stores while the second floor included 2 apartments; each is 200 sqms. The building belonged to Mazen Khalil Mohammed al-‘Omor who lived with his family of 7, including 5 children, in one of the 2 apartments.
  2. A 2-srotey building where each floor is 400 sqms; the first floor is for stores while the second floor included 2 apartments; each is 200 sqms. The building belonged to Jamal Khalil Mohammed al-‘Omor who lived with his family of 7, including 3 children, in an apartment while his mother and 2 sisters live in the other apartment.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 05 March 2021, settlers from the “Price Tag” group coming from “Yitzahar” settlement established on the southeastern lands of Nablus attacked Madma village’s eastern outskirts and threw stones at the civilian houses before the villagers could confront them, forcing them to leave.
  • On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il in ‘Atsion area, south of Bethlehem.
  • Director of the annexation and settlement resistance committee in Bethlehem, Hasan Breijiyeh, said that Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees in Etzion area belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il from Urtas village, noting that “Gush Etzion” settlement is one of the oldest Israeli settlements which the Israeli authorities established on the Palestinian lands of Bethlehem following the 1967 war.
  • At approximately 17:00, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement, west of Salfit, attacked a vehicle belonging to Hatem ‘Othman ‘Omar al-Haji (66), from Burqin village, west of Salfit, when he was in his land with his family in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village. As a result, the tires were punctured, and the car windows were broken.

Hatem ‘Othman al-Haji said that:

“As I was about to leave my land in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village, along with my brothers, my wife and my sons’ the eldest is 10 years old, I heard sounds that seem like successive explosions. I looked at the vehicle parked in front of the land and found a group of settlers aging between 16 and 19 years old running away. They then turned to look at me and threw stones.  They quickly left. Afterwards, I found out that the tires were punctured as they tore them with knives, and also broke the windows. Few minutes later, a female settler and security guards arrived and opened an investigation into the incident as I gave my testimony.  I told him that there are still stones left in the vehicle with the fingerprints on them, but they ignored this. I also told them there are surveillance cameras in the area, and they can easily find out who attacked the vehicle. I called someone, and around 50 young people arrived and brought a crane to take the vehicle to my house.”

  • On Saturday evening as well, armed Israeli settlers under the heavy guard of IOF moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem. They attacked the farmers in the land and tried to kidnap the owner’s son.  Saddam ‘Abyat, Mayor of Kisan village, said that a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Amos” settlement established on the village land moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land near “Eibi Hanahel” settlement while he was planting the land with his family.  He added that the settlers threatened the farmers in the land at gunpoint.  During which, dozens of the village residents gathered in the area and tried to confront the settlers and IOF, who heavily fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at them, forcing them to leave the land.  As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  ‘Abayat said that the settlers lately escalated their attacks and storms of civilian lands in the village as part of their attempts to seize large areas of lands and annex them to the settlements under IOF’s protection.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, moved into the agricultural area near the settlement. They tried to attack farmer Monjed Ahmed al-Tamimi, from Deir Nizam village, and expel him from his land which he was plowing.  IOF intervened after he refused to leave his land and seized his agricultural tractor.  They forced him to leave the land under the pretext that the area is located within the lands the Israeli authorities declared as a state property, noting that al-Tamimi owns papers proving his ownership of the land which is around 35 dunums.

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

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  54 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 14 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Khan al-Ahmar intersection and at the entrance to Anata village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Jala city.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, at the southern entrance to Nahalin village and at the entrance to Beit Jala city.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hasnah area, west of the city.

 Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF closed with cement cubes the entrance to Sinjil village, north of the city, for 5 consecutive hours. IOF also established a checkpoint at the entrance to Turmus Ayya village, northeast of the city.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the main entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Saturday, 06 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Deir Ibzi and Ras Karkar villages, and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ein Siniya and Turmus Ayya villages and near “Beit El” settlement (on the road leading to the Jalazone refugee camp), north of al-Bireh.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kharbatha Bani Harith village, northwest of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near ‘Atara village’s bridge and at the entrance to Sinjil village.

Jericho:

  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.

Nablus:

  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Madama village, southeast of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Ash-Shuyukh and Surif villages and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 05 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and as-Samu
  • On Saturday, 06 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 07 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and Sa’ir villages.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Susya villages, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.

Qalqilya:

  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and Jit villages.
  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Azzun village and at the intersection of Jit village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Salfit city and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Bruqin and Deir Ballut villages, west of the city, and at the entrance to Haris village, north of Salfit.

Three Fishermen Killed in Southern Gaza (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

March 7, 2021

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle, Supplied)

Three Palestinian fishermen were killed on Sunday morning while fishing in an area adjacent to the town of Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wafaa Aludaini, Palestine Chronicle correspondent from the Gaza Strip, reported.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted Nizar Ayash, the head of the Fishermen Union in the Strip, confirming the death of the three fishermen.

They have been identified as Yahya Mustafa al-Laham, Hamdi Hijazi al-Laham, Zakarya Hijazi al-Laham. 

The agency also reported that a committee, which documents Israeli human rights violations in Gaza, confirmed that the three fishermen were killed as a result of Israeli shelling. 

The spokesman for the Israeli army, however, claimed that “our forces did not carry out any attacks near the Gaza coast.”

More updates on the story to follow. 

(All Photos: The Palestine Chronicle)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (25 February – 03 March 2021)

March 4, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

25 February – 03 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 5 Palestinians wounded, including 4 children
  • Eight IOF shootings reported at agricultural lands eastern Gaza, and once at fishing boats western Gaza Strip
  • In 94 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 104 civilians arrested, including 11 children and 2 women
  • Patient’s companion arrested after a summons for interview with Israeli intelligence services at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing
  • Israeli occupation announces plans to confiscate 193 dunums in Ramallah
  • 4 houses (one self-demolished) and 4 shops (one self-demolished) demolished in occupied east Jerusalem
  • Settler-attacks: a child was injured; entrance of the Romanian Church Monastery set on fire; and the Anadolu News Agency press crew was assaulted.
  • IOF established 60 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 11 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Additionally, IOF conducted widescale demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem; settlers launched scales across the West Bank, set fire onto a church and assaulted a media crew in Jerusalem.

This week, PCHR documented 195 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF shot and injured 5 civilians (including 4 children) in its attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank: 3 Palestinians, including 2 children, in Hebron; another child was arrested after IOF injured him near the Annexation Wall in Ramallah; and another child was wounded during IOF attacks on Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya weekly protest. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

In the Gaza Strip, eight IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and once at fishing boats, western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 94 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 104 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children and 2 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested the companion of a patient (from Khan Younis) after he was summonsed for an interview with Israeli intelligence at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 11 incidents:

  • Ramallah: the occupation announced plans to confiscate 193 dunums from Deir Dibwan and Rammun.
  • East Jerusalem: residential tent demolished, as well as 2 under-construction houses in Isawiya; another house was self-demolished in Silwan. A shop was self-demolished in Beit Hanina; and a residential building and 3 shops were demolished in Shu’afat refugee camp.
  • Jericho: 2 barracks demolished in northern Jordan valleys.
  • Bethlehem: 2 rooms demolished, and land razed in Battir.
  • Hebron: two residencies and a room were demolished; a tire-made tent was also demolished. A 220 sqm barracks was dismantled and confiscated.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 11 attacks:

  • Ramallah: sharp-end steel bars were planted on a dirt road in Kafr Malik, puncturing a tractor’s tires.
  • Bethlehem: 20 olive trees cut in Kisan.
  • Hebron: attacks and provocations against civilians in Haret Jaber and Al-Shuhada Street.
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: child assaulted in the French Hill neighborhood; vehicles assaulted; the entrance of the Roman Church was set on fire; and Anadolu News Agency team was assaulted while working in Mea She’arim neighborhood in Jerusalem.
  • Nablus: civilian houses and vehicles assaulted in Jabel Sheikh Basher and Hawwara.
  • Qalqilya: Palestinian was rammed over on the main road near the Al-Funduq village intersection.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

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

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

  • At approximately 08:30 on Friday, 26 February 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Qarara village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers towards lands under the threat of confiscation and against the establishment of settlement outpost in al-Shorfa Mount area, where Israeli settlers established a tent and a water tank and conducted excavation works in the agricultural lands 2 months ago. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors performed Friday prayer and chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired live and sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, Mahmoud Bashar Ishtawi (10) was hit with a sponge grenade in his chest.
  • Following the Friday prayer, on 26 February 2021, dozens of Palestinian young men and international activist organized a peaceful protest to commemorate the 27 anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, which was carried out by American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein against Palestinian worshipers in al-Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994. The Palestinian protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted slogans and raised banners calling for lifting the closure imposed on Hebron and removing the checkpoints. When the protestors arrived at the gate established at al-Shuhada southern entrance, they found a large number of IOF deployed in the area. IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF declared the area as a closed-military zone and threatened to arrest the protestors if they would not leave the area.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near al-Kherba area, west of Saffa village, west of Ramallah, arrested Ahmed ‘Abed al-Razeq Falenah (16) after opening fire at him and wounding him. It should be noted that Palestinian civilians are used to head to al-Kherba area for picnic. Falenah’s family was later informed that his son was wounded with a live bullet in his lower limbs and taken to an Israeli hospital. Falenah’s family was prevented from visiting his son. PCHR’s fieldworker is still investigating the Falenah’s injury circumstances.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 27 February 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 28 February 202, IOF moved into Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF stationed in front of residential buildings’ entrances and photographed them. During which, IOF deliberately provoked Palestinian young men, pushed them and beat them. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and IOF, who fired heavy teargas canisters in the area. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also arrested members of Baten al-Hawa Defense Committee Zuhair al-Rajbi (52) and Mohammed Salah (29) after severely beating them.
  • At approximately 19:30 on Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF moved into Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah. IOF stationed on the village’s main street, adjacent to Ein Yabrud Old mosque, and fired teargas canisters at Abu Shokri supermarket. As a result, the villagers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, the rear window of Abu Shokri’s vehicle was broken after being directly hit with a teargas canister. Sultan Ziyad Abu Shokri (32), the supermarket’s owner, said to that: “ At approximately 19:30, while my father and I were in my supermarket located in the center of the village, near Ein Yabrud Old mosque on the village’s main street, I saw a military USV parked 30 meters away my supermarket. After that, a number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the USV and fired at least 18 teargas canisters at the supermarket. Civilians, who were present in the area, suffocated due teargas inhalation. I immediately got my father out of the supermarket and took him to his vehicle to drive it and go to home. When my father got into the vehicle, an Israeli soldier fired a teargas canister at the vehicle, breaking its rear windows. Additionally, my father suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. After that, IOF withdrew from the village and no clashes between Palestinian young men and IOF were reported.”
  • At approximately 23:00, a large number of Israeli soldiers accompanied with Special Forces Units moved into ‘Obaid neighborhood in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF raided ‘Obaid family’s house after damaging its doors, frightening and assaulting its inhabitan. As a result, ‘Adnan ‘obaid (54) sustained wounds in his head after being hit with a sharp tool and his son Mohammed (23) sustained bruises throughout his body. Also, IOF arrested Tareq Marwan ‘Obaid (21) after severely beating him and took him to an unknown destination. During which a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF, wounding 5 of them as later declared by Israeli authorities. IOF immediately fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until next day dawn. IOF called up a wastewater vehicle to spray the protestors and residential buildings with wastewater. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas and wastewater inhalation.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 03 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, eastern, central and southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Deir al-Balah city, in Maghazi camp, in Khuzaʽa, al-Qarara and Abasan villages in eastern Khan Yunis; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of al-Showka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, via a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. IOF raided Abu Hashhash family’s house in the center of the camp and locked the family members in one room. They arrested ‘Alaa Ishaq Abu Hashhash (24) and withdrew from the house. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with sound bombs, teargas canisters, and live bullets. As a result, 3 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded; the first (16) was shot with 2 live bullets in his lower limbs and the second (22) was shot with a live bullet in his right thigh. The wounded were taken via an ambulance to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta city.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 25 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Osarin, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested the police officer Raslan Jaber Adeli (48).
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at the entrance of Qusra village, southeast of Nablus, stopped the vehicle and arrested Ali Rizq Allah Owda (30) and Fadi Rebhi Kan’an (33), from Qusra.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Yazan Hamza al-Kurdi’s (19) houses and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Rummanah village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mahdi Mershed Bushnaq (47).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Sawahira al-Sharqiya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Shukri al-Hansh’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp. North of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hashem Hatem al-Sharif (19) and Mo’ayad Amer Banat (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Abu Shukheidim village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mohammed Sami Abu Dhaher’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed in al-Hawooz al-Awal area. They raided and searched Ayman Yusri Shannan’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Anwar Sami Obaid (23) and Mahmoud Sa’d al-Rajabi (24) and took them to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. It should be noted that Obaid was arrested 23 times during the last two years.
  • At approximately 05:30, a group of Mista’arvim (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinians) sneaked into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They used a bus and stationed around the house of the former prisoner Wissam Mohammed Abu Zeid. They stormed and searched his house to arrest him, but he was not there, so they broke the glass of his brother’s car, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched Nehad Ahmed Edris’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Baqat al-Hatab village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Zakariya Wasfi Abu Tabikh’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:20, IOF stationed at the entrance of Rujeib village, northeast of Nablus, arrested Morad Ali Sharai’a (20), from Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:50, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Antar al-Natour (26), Hammam As’ad Na’alwa (28), and Qais Murad Barhoush (28).
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Husam Salayma al-Qammousi (17) and Alaa Mohammed al-Kronz (16), from al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, while present in a land adjacent to Bypass road (60), in the southern side of the camp. IOF took the two children to an investigation center in “Kiryat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Ali Arabi (16), while present in front of Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursion in Tammun, southeast of Tubas; Yatta, Fawwar refugee camp, Sa’ir, and Hadab al-Fawwar villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 26 February 2021:

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Fares Abu Sbeitan (21), after stopping his vehicle while entering al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Jamal Ghaith (22) and Yousef Ali Salah (20) and arrested them.

It should be noted that IOF released Salah, on the next day, on conditions that banning his entry to Batin al-Hawa neighborhood for 15-days, and pay a bail of 5,000 NIS, and extended the arrest of Ghaith until the next Monday.

  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at Mevo Dotan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Yazan Sa’eed Hamarsha (17) and Mohammed Yaser Hamdoni (16), from Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, while riding a motorcycle on the main entrance of the village.

Saturday, 27 February 2021:

  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Maher Hamdallah Othman (28), from Abwein, northwest of Ramallah. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at Huwwarah military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Ahmed Howeiti (28), from Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Halhul and Shuyukh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 28 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Khaled Khwais’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Feras Khader Obaid (24) and Hadi Ibrahim Derbas (17) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Issam Mohammed Taqateqa’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at Huwwarah military checkpoint, southeast of Tubas, arrested Zohdi Theeb Qawariq (27), from Awarta village, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Ti’nik village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 01 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Shuyukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Thameen Ahmed Halayqa’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Bait Kahil, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested (3) civilians; including a father and his son. The arrestees are: Wael Hasan Jouda (55), his son Hassan (21), and Bara’ Yousef Asafra (29).
  • Also around 01:30, IOF, stationed on the entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, arrested Mahmoud Ahmed Mansour (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Hamza Salah al-Dein (23), Nadeem al-Khateeb (26), and his brother Mohammed (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Omar Mohammed Thiab’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Araqah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Mohammed Ahmed Mahmoud Yehya (24), Hisham Ahmed Mohammed Yehya (20), and his brother Hussam (17).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Yousef Abdul Malek al-Sa’di’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Awni Yousef Obaid (24) and Hussain Yaser Darwish (15) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested two civilians: Izz al-Dein Mustafa Abu Hussain (23), and Mothanna Omar al-Qawasmah (20).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mahmoud Abdul Fattah Ta’amra’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Shufa village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched three houses belonging to Mohammed Mofeed Droubi (14), Yousef Mohammed Droubi (14) and Ahmed Ghaleb Droubi (20) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians while riding a car near the annexation wall adjacent to Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and took them to unknown destinations. The arrestees are: Ahmed Nabeel Bader (26), his brother Abdullah (23), and Khaled Jamal Bader (28).
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Odai (23) and Ahed (21) Qar’oush, from Deir Ballout, near the village entrance in western Salfit.

Tuesday, 02 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bal’a village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Yousef Samara (30), and the former prisoner Mahdi Hasan al-Hajj (29) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mousa Mohammed Dwaikat (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Khader, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ibrahim Suliman al-Da’doua’ (21) and Mahmoud Ahmed Issa (21) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) former prisoners; Morad Waleed Malaysha (32), Mohammed Mahmoud Alawna (33), Morad Mohammed Fashafesha (31), and Lotfy Taher Malaysha (32). Later, IOF tortured them before they were released.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mohammed Suleiman Kan’an’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Shwaika, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Khaled Adnan al-Zibda (28), Amjad Waleed Na’alwa (34), Mahmoud Muhanna Musleh (23), and Mansour Mansour Idhelliya (50).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Ali Abdul Ghaffar Doufish’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Jericho, north of the West Bank. They surrounded, raided, and searched Sa’eed Abu Ali’s house, and arrested Shadi Abdul Ra’ouf Sbeihat (44), from al-Rummanah village, west of Jenin.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Bireh. They raided and searched Majd Mohammed Jarrar’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rabea’ Hussain al-Sayyad (42) and Eid Waheed Shabana (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Malek Belal Shtayyah (28) and Assem Jameel Shtayyah (25).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ramallah. They deployed into Ein Misbah neighborhood, stormed several houses and arrested Saad Farouq Zalloum (22).
  • In morning hours, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, arrested Karam Salem Abu Hadayed (38), from Khan Yunis, while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Services. Abu Hadayed applied to obtain an exit permit to Israel to accompany his cancer patient mother, so the Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed him for security interview.

His sister, Samah, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that her mother, Aziza Mohammed Abu Hadayed (60), got a medical referral to receive treatment at Augusta Victoria Hospital “al-Motale’a” in occupied Jerusalem, so she applied to obtain a permit for her and her son Karam, as a companion. At approximately 08:40, on Monday, 01 March 2021, they received the approval for the mother to travel on Tuesday, and after an hour, Karam received a summons, via a text message, to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in Beit Hanoun Crossing. On Thursday morning, when her mother and Karam headed to the crossing, the Israeli authorities allowed the mother to travel to the hospital alone and informed her that her son may follow her or return to Gaza. At approximately 22:00, we were informed that Karam is under arrest, noting that my mother is an old-sick woman, and seriously needs help during treatment.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF surrounded and stormed the Women’s Center in Shuafat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They stationed on the main door and its yards, arrested Jehad Abu Zneid (54), a member in the legislative council, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into Sawaneh neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Alaa Nidal Zughayyar’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:30, IOF moved into Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hussam Sameeh Alian’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Zeid al-Sawwaf (24) and Najy Akram Sughayyar (26), while present at al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. IOF took them to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into the African Community Quarter, near al-Majlis Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Belala family and severely beaten, pushed, pepper-sprayed and arrested Ro’a Belalah (23), her brother Mustafa (21), and her cousin Abdullah (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Issac Abu-Hashash (62) from al-Fawwar camo in Hebron, after detaining him on a temporary checkpoint at the camp entrance.
  • At approximately 20:40, IOF stationed in eastern Qalqilya arrested Muhanad Rabe’, an employee of the Palestinian intelligence services, and released him by 09:30.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF arrested Hamza Abu Habla (22) from Tulkram while he was reporting for a summons he received earlier by the Israeli intelligence services.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Nur Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm; Beitunia, Birzeit, and Jifna in Ramallah governorate; Aqabat Jabr refugee camp in Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 03 March 2021:

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Bassam Ragheb al-Sa’di (61), and his nephew, Abdul Rahman Qasem Ragheb al-Sa’di (34). Later, IOF released them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Ali Belal Abu Bakr’s (23) house and arrested him. At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Oraib Jaber Darwish’s (33) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Bassam Ragheb al-Sa’di (61), and his nephew, Abdul Rahman Qasem Ragheb al-Sa’di (34). Later, IOF released them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Ali Belal Abu Bakr’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved nto Obaidat neighborhood, in Jabal al-Mukaber village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Hasan Obaidat (16) and Hashem Ahmed Obaidat (19), and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beit Kahil and Dura, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday 25 February 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities announced that 193 dunums will be annexed from the Deir Dibwan village and nearby Rammun village, east of Ramallah, to establish a landfill for the settlements near the village. Mayor of Deir Dibwan, Mansour Mansour, said that IOF distributed leaflets to farmers’ lands about their intention to confiscate 193 dunums from these lands in Deir Dibwan and Rammun villages to establish a landfill site for settlers in the area.  Mansour added that the Municipality has not received from the Israeli authorities any official confiscation decision; also, no official notices were handed to the owners.
  • At approximately 00:45 on Friday, 26 February 2021, IOF demolished a tent sheltering ‘Alian Family that was established by them on the rubble of their residential building, noting that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished the building last Monday in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, amidst IOF’s heavy firing of rubber-coated bullets and sound bombs.

Fadi ‘Alian, al-Aqsa Mosque’s guard and one of the owners of the residential apartments demolished, said that IOF tore down his family tent set up on the rubble of their residential building that included 4 residential apartments and sheltered 20 persons, including 12 children, near the entrance to al-‘Issawiya village.  ‘Alian said that IOF was irritated by the citizens’ solidarity with the family cause as they previously raided the tent and attacked those who were inside.  They threatened the citizens in case they returned to the tent in solidarity with the family. ‘Alian added that IOF again raided the tent in the dawn and removed it after firing sound bombs randomly to disperse those inside the tent.  They also removed the solidarity slogans fixed on the building rubble.  It should be noted that ‘Alian family previously stated that the decision to demolish the family building, which was implemented last Monday under the pretext of unlicensed construction, was a political decision par excellence, especially since their son, Fadi, previously received several calls from the Israeli Intelligence threatening him to demolish his family building if he continued to work as the Head of the Guard Unit in the mosque. The family added that Fadi was arrested several times and teased him lately until they demolished the family building which was established more than 10 years ago under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 01 March 2021, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished 2 under-construction houses belonging to Hatem Hussein Abu Riyalah near the eastern entrance to al-‘Issawiya, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Hatem Abu Riyalah said that Israeli Special Forces’ members backed by several vehicles moved into Abu Riyalah neighborhood in the village and closed the area surrounding the building, started to demolish the 2nd floor without any prior warning for the fifth time consecutively.  Abu Riyalah added that the Israeli Municipality has haunted him since 1999, and in 2009 the bulldozers demolished his house for the first time; during which he fell on the ground and since then has become hemiplegic and on a wheelchair.  Before this, he was sentenced to prison allegedly for not paying the fine imposed on him for the unlicensed construction, and only few days after his release, the Municipality demolished his house.  Abu Riyalah said that it was the fifth time IOF demolish his house and the second time within 13 months as in December 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished his house, forcing him to re-build it and trying to obtain a license after submitting all the necessary papers but in vain although the land was identified for construction.   Abu Riyalah added that he built 2 houses above the first floor for him and for his nephew last June but did not receive any construction fine.  He noted that he had monthly paid the engineer a salary of 8300 shekels since last August to organize the land after the Israeli Municipality approved the organization.  He said that he was supposed to live in the house with his wife and 2 sons along with his nephew Yasin with his wife and kids, i.e. 9 persons, noting the house was built on an area of 200 sqms.  Abu Riyalah emphasized that he has paid since last January 650,000 shekels for the construction of the 2 houses.

  • At approximately 09:00, Nidal al-Salaymah self-demolished his house in Wad Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municpality’s decision, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Nidal al-Salaymah said that the Israeli Municipality raided his house at approximately 09:00 and notified him to vacate the house in order to demolish it within hours, forcing him to gather his family members to start the self-demolition for fear of paying a fine and demolition costs of 80,000 shekels in case the Municipality crews carried out the demolition.  Al-Salaymah added that 8 years ago, he got married and lived in an old room of 20 sqms, but the room did not suffice his family as he had 3 kids; the eldest is 7 years old and the youngest is one year old and a half.  Therefore, in 2019, he decided to build 2 additional rooms of 40 sqms, but the Israeli Municipality pursued him immediately and raided the house from time to time despite his attempts to license the house and hire a lawyer to freeze or delay the demolition decision.  Al-Salaymah added that a year ago he was diagnosed with cancer and has become incapable of either building a house or renting another due to the high prices in occupied Jerusalem.

  • On Monday morning as well, the Israeli occupation authorities forced Abu Sneinah family to self-demolish a commercial facility in Atarot” industrial zone, north of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license.

Adham Tabash Abu Sneinah said that lately the Israeli Interior Ministry’s crews raided his family commercial facility several times; the last was last Thursday, gave him until Monday to self-demolish the facilities or their crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with 300,000 shekels.  He added that he along with his father, brother and cousin work in this land, which is around 1 dunum and 600 sqms.  During the last 3 years, they had prepared the land to establish a car showroom and they had already established a concrete flooring and 3 offices of fortified tinplate on an area of 100 sqms.  They were preparing for the inauguration, but the Ministry of Interior refused their license and insisted on implementing the demolition notice despite all the attempts and efforts to license the facility.

Abu Sneineh said that the land was all hills and stones.  They excavated in the land and built for years costing them 570,000 shekels.  He added that there was an old caravan in the land, and they repaired it; all the money and effort of the last years vanished in hours.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle in addition to a truck mounted crane and a bulldozer moved into Fasayil village in the Northern Jordan Valley, north of Jericho. IOF deployed in central Fasayil village, and the bulldozers demolished 2 barracks built of steel and tinplate.  The barracks were used for sheep-grazing and included a toilet and a water tank.  IOF confiscated the barracks and water tank allegedly for building in Area C.  The 2 barracks belong to Ahmed Musalam Soliman Sawarkah as the area of the first barrack is 200 sqms and used for sheep-grazing while the second is 100 sqms and used for storing the fodder.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF demolished 2 rooms in an old building, a storehouse and stone fences and leveled plots of lands in Battir village, west of Bethlehem, allegedly for unlicensed building.

Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Battir village, Ghassan ‘Alian, stated that IOF accompanied with bulldozers and workers moved into the al-Batin area on the Graves Street near the railway, west of the village, and demolished two under-construction rooms, which were attached to an old building belonging to Mohammad Fouad ‘Aweinah, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. ‘Alian added that IOF also demolished a storehouse in the area belonging to the ‘Aweinah family and fences built of stones used by farmers to retain the soil and protect it from erosion, while plots of lands were levelled in the area.

It should be noted that Battir village has been under settlers’ attacks accompanied with IOF’s protection as they established caravans and tents in al-Khemar area, northeast of the village that has been targeted in a prelude to annex it for settlement expansion, but citizens there confront the settlers and removed all the encroachments.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, a bulldozer and an excavator moved into Kherbet Khelet al-Dabe’a, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area, and the Civil Administration officers took out the contents of the dwellings to be demolished by the vehicles.

The following were demolished:

  • A 70-sqm dwelling of bricks and concrete built few months ago and belonging to Jaber ‘Ali Mohammed Dababsah, who was supposed to move in with his family of 5 children and a wife.
  • A 20-sqm room of bricks and tinplate built few months ago belonging to Jaber ‘Ali Dabasah.
  • An 80-sqm unroofed dwelling of bricks belonging to ‘Amer ‘Ali Mohammed Dababsah, who was supposed to move in with his family of 7, including 5 children.

The Israeli authorities carried out the demolition without any prior warning, claiming that the citizens built in the same place where the previous dwellings were demolished on 25 November 2020.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, a bulldozer and an excavator moved into Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed between civilian houses and demolished a tent that included tires, stones and shade cloth belonging to Hatem Mohammed Ibrahim Makhamrah who was set to shelter his family of 11, including 8 children after IOF demolished his dwelling on 25 November 2020.  It should be noted that the new demolition occured without any prior warning.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an excavator, a truck mounted crane and an Israeli Civil Administration in Zeef area, north of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the Civil Administration officers dismantled the 220-sqm tinplate barrack used for sheep-grazing and confiscated it.  The barrack belonging to Farid Khader al-Ja’abrai (70) was established 4 months ago with a cost of 170,000 shekels.  The Civil Administration officer handed al-Ja’bari a confiscation writ and IOF withdrew from the area.
  • On Wednesday, 03 March 2021, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction residential building belonging to Khalil Abu Mayyalah and 3 under-construction shops belonging to ‘Issa Ghaith in Sho’afat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, allegedly for unlicensed construction. Khalil Abu Mayyalah said that IOF moved into Sho’afat refugee camp at approximately 08:00 via the annexation wall gate next to Ras Khamis neighborhood and deployed way to al-Harah al-Tahta, which was closed to surround the building and demolish it without any prior warning.  Abu Mayyalah said that his 2-story building was built on an area of 200 sqms and included 4 under-construction apartments.  Abu Mayyalah added that he self-demolished his 50-year-old house 7 months ago to reconstruct it and build the new building instead; however, the Israeli authorities handed him a demolition notice although he obtained a license from UNRWA which owns the land.  It should be noted that when IOF was on their way out of al-Hara al-Tahta in Sho’afat refugee camp via the annexation wall gate, they surprisingly fired teargas canisters at the residents; as a result, some of them suffocated due to the gas inhalation.  After IOF bulldozers returned to Ras Khamis neighborhood in the refugee camp, they demolished 3 under-construction shops and arrested Mohammed Ra’ed Ghorab (22) after beating him all the way out of the neighborhood.  The father of the arrestee said that IOF beat his son, Mohammed, because he asked them not to sit on his car during their presence in the area, where the demolition was carried out.  He added that IOF attacked him and his wife while trying to rescue Mohammed and his brother Mo’ataz from the Israeli soldiers.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 06:00 on Friday, 26 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Kokhav HaShahar” settlement, northeast of Ramallah, fixed iron bars on the dust road between al-Tbeil and ‘Ein Samiah areas in Kafr Malik village, northeast of the city. As a result, the wheels of a tractor belonging to Majed Jaser Mohammed al-‘Omari were punctured, costing him between 7000 to 10,000 shekels, when he was on his way to fill water from ‘Ein Samiah area, where he lives in the Bedouin Community established near the abovementioned area.

Lately, the settlers many times attempted to storm al-Tbeil and ‘Ein Samia areas and seize its agricultural lands and was followed by clashes between IOF, the settlers and the residents.  It should be noted that there are 6 water wells in ‘Ein Samiah, which supplies most of Ramallah’s eastern villages with water since 1960s, and settlers have been trying for years to seize them.  Over the past months, the attempts escalated as the settlers had beaten up and intimidated the farmers, forcing them to leave their lands in the above-mentioned area.  IOF also close the entrance from time to time with sand berms and deny citizens access to the area.

  • At approximately 17:00 on Friday, Israeli settlers cut 20 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyyat in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem.

The Head of the village Council, Ahmed Ghazal, said that the settlers under IOF’s protection uprooted 20 olive seedlings from a plot of land belonging to Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyyat near “Eibi Hanahel” settlement established on the village lands.  Ghazal added that the villagers confronted the settlers and prevented them from continuing to uproot more seedlings.  Ghazal added that this is the second attack by settlers within 48 hours as last Wednesday Nayef Mohammed ‘Abyyat was attacked by settlers and their dogs while grazing sheep near “Ma’ale Amos” settlement, southeast of the village, under IOF’s protection for the settlers.  He was held for few hours and later withdrew from the area.

  • At approximately 15:00 on Sunday, 28 February 2021, dozens of settlers living in Hebron’s Old City center under IOF’s protection organized protests in Jaber neighborhood and on Shuhadaa Street, where Palestinians live. They chanted racist slogans calling for Arabs to leave.  IOF prevented the Palestinian residents from getting out from their houses while settlers threw stones at their houses in Jaber neighborhood and knocked on the doors on al-Shuhdaa’ Street with batons as well as shouting at the residents.  These protests came after hundreds of settlers arrived at the City Center to celebrate “Purim”, which is a Jewish holiday; thus, IOF denied Palestinians’ movement and closed al-Ibrahimi Mosque for the Muslim worshippers. 

An hour later, a number of settlers living in the settlement outposts in Hebron’s Center attacked civilian houses with stones in Wad al-Hasin area near “Kiryat Arba” settlement established on the confiscated Palestinian lands. They also broke the windows of a car belonging to Thaer Fadel Da’na.  After the residents confronted the settlers, IOF arrived at the area and moved the settlers away.  At approximately 23:00, IOF raided 3 houses belonging to Da’ana Family in the same area and arrested Adham ‘Abdel Jalil Da’ana (22), Mustafa Yousif Da’ana (28) and Thaher Fadel Da’ana (30), claiming the settlers filed a complaint against them.  They were taken to an interrogation center in “Kiryat Arba” settlement and later released.

  • At approximately 15:30 on Sunday, 28 February 2021, a group of settlers attacked Mohammed Hasan Abu al-Hummus (17) when he was on his way to work in the French Hill neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. As a result, his finger was fractured, and he sustained an open wound in his face and bruises all over his body.

Abu al-Hummus said that when he was on his way to work in the French Hill neighborhood, he found a large group of more than 30 settlers; some of them were drinking alcohol and dancing while the others were beating and insulting a citizen he knows from Shuafat neighborhood. Abu Al-Hummus explained that when the settlers saw him, they ran towards him and shouted, “an Arab, an Arab” and hit him with a bottle of wine on his head and with another bottle under his left eye.  They then started punching and kicking him, causing him a deep wound under his left eye and wounds to his head and hand in addition to a fracture in his finger in the right hand. Abu Al-Hummus added that he was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Al-Issawiya and then to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem, where glass was extracted from his under eye area, and he received treatment for his retina, which was severely damaged. Abu Al-Hummus pointed out that the Israeli police did not investigate the attack against him and did not arrest any of the settlers who attacked him.

  • At approximately 20:00, dozens of Israeli settlers protested on Street (1) in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, and closed it, teasing the Palestinians. They then moved to al-Musrara neighborhood and threw stones at the Palestinian civilians and their vehicles, breaking windows of many vehicles. Eyewitnesses said that the settlers closed the street near al-Musrara tunnel and started provoking the Palestinians and insulting them with racist words.  They then threw stones at the vehicles parked in the area, breaking the windows of 3 of them.
  • On Monday, 01 March 2021, Israeli settlers set fire to the entrance of the Romanian Church Monastery in Musrara neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s center, causing damage to the entrance. The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) said in a statement that unknown persons set fire on Monday afternoon to the entrance of the Romanian Church Monastery, but the local priest managed to extinguish the fire quickly.  “This act of vandalism is the fourth in a month that targeted the same monastery; according to the authorities, some religious Orthodox Jews are suspected as the probable assailants,” ACOHL said in a statement, calling upon the Israeli authorities to open a serious investigation into these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.

It is noteworthy that this attack on the Romanian Church in Jerusalem is the fourth in one month and was preceded by a long series of attacks by extremist settlers and their attempts to attack the clerks there. The Romanian Church is considered one of the oldest churches in Jerusalem with a historical landmark and was built hundreds of years ago in an area adjacent to the “Mea Shearim” Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, which is inhabited by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

  • At approximately 00:50 on Tuesday, 02 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Ahyah” settlement established on the southern lands of Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian houses in Jabal al-Sheikh Beshr in southern Jalud around 200 meters away from it. They broke the windows of a vehicle parked in front of one of the houses and belonging to Mohammed Kamal Farah ‘Ayyad.  The citizens then wake up and confronted the settlers with stones, forcing them to withdraw.
  • At approximately 23:00, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established in southern Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian houses in the southern village and broke the windows of the second floor in a 2-storey house belonging to Ghaleb ‘AbdulalAtif Demdi. They also broke the windows of a car parked in front of Demdi’s house belonging to Hazim Walid ‘Odah and another vehicle parked 30 meters away belonging to Mohammed Soliman ‘Odah before the residents could wake up and confront the settlers with stones, forcing them to leave.
  • At approximately 20:35, a settler who was driving on the main road near al-Fondoq village’s intersection, east of Qalqilya, ran over ‘Ali Sa’id Zidwan (26) from Deir Istiya village, north of Salfit. As a result, he sustained bruises and taken to the governmental hospital in Nablus to receive treatment.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 03 March 2021, Israeli settlers attacked assaulted the Anadolu News Agency team who were making a report in the “Mea Shearim” neighborhood, in West Jerusalem.

The team included: The Agency’s editor for the Middle East news, Turgut Alp Bouiraz, photojournalist Mustafa Kharrouf (33) and photographer Fayez Abu Rumailah (28.)  Anadolu Agency said in a statement that while its team was making interviews on the streets of ” Mea Shearim” neighborhood, which is densely inhabited by the “Haredi” groups, they were informed that their car was attacked, so they immediately rushed towards it. Upon their arrival at the scene, the team saw that the car’s windshield, front part and registration plate were all damaged, and there were sticks, stones and garbage inside, so they reported to the police directly. When the police arrived at the scene, a group of “Haredi” Jews tried to attack the team with sticks and stones. The team managed to run away without any injuries and filed a complaint against the attackers, while the police opened an investigation into the incident.

It is noteworthy that “Mea Shearim” Jewish neighborhood is one of four neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem, with an area of ​​116,000 sqms, and located southeast of the Jerusalem City’s wall.  More than 20,000 Israeli settlers from the Haredi Community live in it. The “Mea Shearim” neighborhood attracts all the Israeli radical and fundamentalist Jewish religious movements or organizations that adhere to the biblical rituals strictly.

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

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  60 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 11 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 28 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • On Monday, 01 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at Khan_al-Ahmar intersection, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 03 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Jab’ village intersection, northeast of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nshnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 26 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and checkpoint near al-Nshnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 28 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and checkpoint near al-Nshnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Monday, 01 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nshnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nshnash intersection, south of the city.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Wednesday, 03 March 2021, IOF closed a metal detector gate established at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, obstructing vehicles’ movement, and reopened it later.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Atara village’s bridge and at “Halamish” settlement intersection, northwest of Ramallah.
  • On Sunday, 28 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih, Dura_al-Qar’ and Turmus Ayya villages and Birzeit city.
  • On Monday, 01 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Aboud and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir_Ibzi villages, and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF stationed at al-Hamra northern checkpoint tightened their measures against Palestinians’ vehicles’ movement and checked the passengers’ IDs. IOF also established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Jiftlik village, north of the city.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at al-Moraba’a intersection between Nablus southern and eastern villages and at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, that connects between Tulkarm and Nablus, west of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 26 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at, the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement and at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, that connects between Tulkarm and Nablus, west of Nablus.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at al-Moraba’a intersection between Nablus southern and eastern villages and at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, that connects between Tulkarm and Nablus, west of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron, at the entrances to Beit Ummar and ad-Dhahiriya villages and at the entrance to Al-Arroub  refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 26 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Idhna and Beit Kahil  villages, and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, and at the entrances to Bani Na’im and as-Samu
  • On Monday, 01 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir, Ash-Shuyukh, Bani Na’im and Beit Awwa villages.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to Idhna and al-Moreq villages and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Wednesday, 03 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir, Bani Na’im and as-Samu

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and Izbat al-Tabib villages and between Jayyous and Azzun villages.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to the city, at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, on a road connecting between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas villages, and at the western entrance to Azzun villages, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 25 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 27 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Haris village, north of Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 02 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

US Backs ’Israel’ Amid ICC Probe into War Crimes against Palestinians

US Backs ’Israel’ Amid ICC Probe into War Crimes against Palestinians

By Staff, Agencies

If you don’t feel shy, do whatever you want!

In brazen contempt for the international law, the US administration announced that it backs the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity’s war crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories amid the International Criminal Court [ICC] probe into those crimes.

In a phone call with Zionist premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, US Vice President Kamala Harris underscored Washington’s support for the Tel Aviv regime, opposing what she referred to as the ICC’s “attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over ‘Israeli’ personnel”, the White House said in a statement.

Harris, the statement noted, “emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to ‘Israel’s’ security”, while resisting any move to expose the regime’s genocidal project in the occupied territories.

The first call between the two officials came a day after the ICC prosecutor said her office will formally launch a probe into Zionist war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The announcement follows a February 5 ruling by the international court claiming jurisdiction in the case.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who is set to be replaced by British prosecutor Karim Khan in June, said in December 2019 that war crimes had been or were being committed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

She named the Zionist military, which has for years unleashed a reign of terror on Palestinians, as perpetrators of war crimes.

Bensouda further noted that there was a “reasonable basis” to launch a probe into ‘Israeli’ military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, as well as illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

She then asked judges to rule on the extent of the court’s jurisdiction in the case, and the court last month established that it had jurisdiction.

Judges at ICC said the decision was based on jurisdictional rules in court’s founding documents, and it does not imply any attempt to determine statehood or legal borders.

The international court, which has often sought to expose war crimes committed by the ‘Israeli’ regime and the US around the world, has faced bullying and intimidation from both Tel Aviv and Washington.

The ‘Israeli’ regime occupied East al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza.

About 700,000 Zionists currently occupy in over 230 illegal settlements built in the West Bank and East al-Quds, which have been deemed illegal under international law.

Palestine is a party to the ICC’s founding Rome Statute and has long carried out diplomatic efforts for the investigation of the war crimes by the ‘Israeli’ regime in the occupied territories.

Both the Tel Aviv regime and the United States have refused to be a party to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to be the only international tribunal to investigate war crimes.

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

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

Palestinian Resistance running in the New Legislative Elections Simulates Insanity

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

Amro Allan

First published in Global Research

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

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

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

The Palestinian Authority (PA)

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

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

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

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

Hamas and the Palestinian resistance factions

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

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

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

The solution to break the siege on the Palestinian resistance

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

* Palestinian writer and Political researcher

إستراتيجية فلسطينية واقعية في مقابل انتخابات تحاكي الجنون

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

عمرو علان

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

الأخبار الجمعة 5 شباط 2021

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

السلطة الفلسطينية

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

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

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

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

«حماس» وفصائل المقاومة

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

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

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

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

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

الخروج من حالة المراوحة

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

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

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

خاتمة

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

* كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

انتخابات فلسطينيّة تحاكي الجنون

انتخابات فلسطينيّة تحاكي الجنون
فلسطيني يستخدم المقلاع لرشق الحجارة خلال مواجهات بين المتظاهرين وقوات الاحتلال في الضفة الغربية ضدّ مصادرة الأراضي (أ ف ب )
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الجمعة 5 شباط 2021

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


السلطة الفلسطينية

مع إعلان الإدارة الأميركية السابقة عن صفقة القرن، هذه الصفقة التي تمثل التوجه الحقيقي للإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة، وما تلاها من إفصاح الكيان الصهيوني عن مسعاه لضمّ أراضي الضفّة الغربية، ناهيك بسَنّ قوانين يهودية الدولة التي تهدّد أصل وجود فلسطينيّي أراضي الـ48 في ديارهم، ظهر بصيص أمل ولو كان ضئيلاً عن احتمالية كون السلطة قد استفادت من تجربتها الكارثية، خلال الأعوام الثلاثين الماضية، عندما أعلن محمود عباس عدم الالتزام بمخرجات أوسلو ووقف التنسيق الأمني، وقيل حينها إنّه يمكن التوافق بين سائر القوى الفلسطينية على أرضية الحدّ الأدنى في مقاومة الاحتلال على أساس المقاومة الشعبية. وعلى وقْع ذلك، تمّ عقد اجتماع أمناء الفصائل في بيروت، لكن سرعان ما تبدّد الأمل في أي تبدّل ولو كان طفيفاً في أداء السلطة، فقد استمرت السلطة في التعاون الكامل مع قوات الاحتلال بهدف إحباط أيّ محاولة لمقاومة الاحتلال، وتابعت قمع أيّ حراك شعبي على الأرض مهما كان سلمياً، وحتى مجرّد التظاهرة الشعبية السلمية للتضامن مع الأسير المضرب عن الطعام آنذاك، ماهر الأخرس، تمّ قمعها دون هوادة. وتبع ذلك تصريح حسين الشيخ مستهزِئاً بعقول كلّ الشعب الفلسطيني بلا استثناء، عندما أعلن ما أسماه «انتصار الشعب الفلسطيني» وعودة التنسيق الأمني رسمياً (ويا دار ما دخلك شر).
لقد بات جلياً من طريقة تعاطي السلطة الفلسطينية مع الواقع الفلسطيني، أنّ وظيفتها صارت محصورة بأمرين لا ثالث لهما؛ الأول: تحصيل المخصّصات، والآخر: تمهيد الأرضية في الضفة الغربية – بعلم أو بدون علم – كي يُنجِز الاحتلال مشروعه بابتلاع ما بقي من أراضي الضفة عبر منعها لأيّ شكل من أشكال المقاومة أو الحراك من أجل التصدّي لخطوات الاحتلال التي يستمر بتنفيذها على أرض الواقع. وكلّ حديث عن مشروع وطني فلسطيني لدى السلطة ما هو إلا صرخات في البرّية، فحتى من كان يؤمن بطريق المفاوضات لتحصيل حقوقه لا يعمد إلى تجريد نفسه من كلّ ما لديه من أوراق ضغط أو تفاوض من تلقاء ذاته. وعلى هذا، صارت السلطة الفلسطينية تحاكي حكومة فيشي الفرنسية أو جيش لحد الجنوبي مع فارق أنّه كان لهذين الأخيرين مشروع، بغضّ النظر عن رأينا في مشروعيهما، بينما لا يوجد أي أفق مستقبلي أو مشروع للسلطة الفلسطينية، هذه ليست توصيفات يمكن إطلاقها بِخِفّة أو من باب الشعبوية، ولا هي دعوة إلى الاقتتال الداخلي الذي يجب اجتنابه بأيّ ثمن، ولا سيما في ظلّ وجود الاحتلال، لكن هذا توصيف لواقع حال يجب أن يؤخذ في الحسبان عند تقدير أيّ موقف.
وإذا ما ألقينا نظرة فاحصة، نجد أنّ السلطة فعلياً باتت تمثّل مشروع الفلسطيني المهزوم. لذلك، نجد محمود عباس يقول إنّه سيفاوض ويستمر بالمفاوضات والاستجداء عساه يُحصِّل شيئاً من الحقوق الفلسطينية، ويُعلّل ذلك بكون الفلسطيني جرّب الطرق الأخرى ولم يحصل على مراده لأنّ الظروف الدولية والإقليمية والداخلية في غير مصلحته، بحسب فهمه غير الدقيق ولا الواقعي. لكن يغيب عن هذا التصوّر أنّه حتى خيار الاستسلام غير متاح للفلسطيني الموجود في الضفة وأراضي الـ48، فالكيان الصهيوني لم يَعُد يخفي مشروعه في هضم أراضي الضفة وترحيل سكانها عاجلاً أم آجلاً، وربما يكون مردّ التشويش في هذا التصوّر تجاهل أصل المشروع الصهيوني الذي هو مشروع إحلالي يقوم على اقتلاع السكان الأصليين للأرض وإحلال المستوطنين مكانهم، وقد ساعد في ظهور هذا التصوّر بروز بعض الأطروحات المشوِّهة لحقيقة الصراع من قبيل نظريات الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد)، أو أنّ القضية الفلسطينية هي قضية كرامة أو مساواة. لكنّ المفارقة، هنا، أنّ خيار الاستسلام ربما يكون متاحاً لأهالي غزّة إذا ارتضوا العيش بذلّة تحت سيطرة الصهيوني، وليس لباقي سكّان المناطق الأخرى في أرض فلسطين. نكتفي بهذا القدر كي لا نستطرد عن أصل النقاش الحالي أكثر.

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

«حماس» وفصائل المقاومة

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

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

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

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

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

الخروج من حالة المراوحة

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

وفي المقابل، فليس مردّ التذمّر الشعبي ضيق الحال المعيشي فقط، لكنّ حالتَي السكون والمراوحة اللتين يعيشهما الوضع الفلسطيني هما سببان لا يمكن تجاهلهما، حيث كون هذا الوضع يوحي بانسداد الأفق على الصعيد الوطني، وفي هذه الحالة تطفو المصاعب المعيشية على السطح لتأخذ موقع الصدارة على القضايا الوطنية الأخرى. وهذه ليست دعوة للهروب إلى الأمام كما ربما سيحاجج البعض، فأيّ حراك شعبي في الضفة هذه المرة ستكون حظوظه في فرض الانسحاب على كيان الاحتلال من أراضي الـ67 مرتفعة للغاية، بناءً على استقراء التوازنات الدولية والإقليمية وحالة التراجع التي يعيشها الكيان الصهيوني. ولا تغرّنكم حالة انهيار بعض الأعراب أمام هذا الكيان، فهؤلاء مصيرهم مرتبط بهذه المنظومة الاستعمارية وليس بمقدورهم تعديل موازين القوى بشكل حقيقي، ويصحّ فيهم القول الشعبي: «عصفور يسند زرزور».
بالإضافة إلى ما تَقدَّم، إذا ما وضعنا الحصار المفروض على قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية في إطاره الأوسع كجزء من الحرب المفروضة على كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم أحزاباً ودولاً، كما نوّهنا في الفقرة السابقة، يصير فكّ الحصار عن غزة مصلحة مشتركة لكلّ هذه الأطراف مجتمعة، ويستدعي العمل من جهة الفصائل الإسلامية والوطنية الفلسطينية على محاولة صياغة استراتيجية موحّدة مع كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم. ندرك كون هذا الأمر يلزمه جولات وجولات من التباحث، وكون أيّ استراتيجية لفكّ الحصار بالتوافق مع القوى الداعمة ستكون من طبيعة الاستراتيجيات المتوسّطة المدى، لكن هذا يظلّ أجدى من الدخول في مغامرات غير محسوبة العواقب كالانتخابات، التي لن تؤدي إلّا إلى المزيد من إضاعة الوقت بحسب أكثر التقديرات تفاؤلاً.

خاتمة

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

مقالات ذات صلة



Zionists’ Efforts to Coopt the BLM Movement: Can Racists Be Anti-Racist?

February 14, 2021

Palestinian artists painting George Floyed on the walls on UNRWA office, in Gaza. (Photo: via UNRWA Website)

By Benay Blend

On February 6, 2021, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza announced that she was pulling out of a World Values Network online gala with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a prominent American Zionist.

“They approached me about having a conversation about the importance of solidarity between black communities and Jewish communities,” she explained, then thanked Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour for amplifying the larger picture.

According to journalist Michael Brown, Garza has a history of denouncing other public figures who joined propaganda trips to Israel. Boteach’s gala, Brown continued, appears just as egregious, for it “follow[s] Boteach’s years of backing the racist Donald Trump, thereby making a mockery of the efforts promoted by Black leaders and the wider Black community to advance racial justice and decolonization.”

Placed within a larger context, Boteach’s move comes at a time when Zionists are increasingly fearful of the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS)’s success. Coupled with the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision to investigate Israel for War Crimes, any support for Palestinian rights will undoubtedly come under attack.

There is a long history of Pan-African support for Palestine which has resulted in Zionists denouncing that alignment. In a lecture series “Palestine and Us: Black and Palestinian Solidarity,” Ahmad Abuznaid traced the history of Black support for Palestine as well as the fall-out from it. Referring to Malcolm X’s Zionist Logic (1964), Abuznaid explained that this statement drew from Malcolm X’s shift from Black Nationalist to a more Pan-Africanist position, particularly after he saw connections between Pan-Arabists, represented by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Pan-Africanists that he was beginning to support.

After the 1967 war, Black Radicals began to move away from seeing Zionism as a liberation movement to viewing it as a colonialist venture, much like the colonialism that was oppressing Africans around the world. Following in this direction, Ethel Minor, a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), wrote a piece in their newsletter entitled “Third World Round-up: The Palestine Problem: Test Your Knowledge,” leading to a split between those, like Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) who would continue to support Palestine on principle, and others who feared that without taking a more “balanced position,” one that included mention of the Holocaust, there would be loss of funding.

Indeed, as Ture made clear“immediately after the statement, phone calls rang in and the checks stopped coming.” Today, organizations, politicians and others who depend on funding are leery of taking a principled stance on Palestine, because, much like what happened with SNCC, Zionist supporters will use whatever means necessary to launch a targeted smear campaign of anyone who is critical of the Israeli state.

For example, in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement’s 2014 platform that denounced the US government’s military aid to Israel, there were claims of “one-sided” and “unfair” from pro-Israel commentators who rejected the coalition’s critique. Several years before B’tselem’s quite similar statement, which was either ignored completely or applauded for its courage, BLM charged the following:

“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.”

The BLM platform also drew ire for its support of BDS. Fear of its success continues to motivate Zionists into the present time. In a piece for Haaretz, Rabbi Dan Dorsch of Atlanta declared that the mainstream Jewish community, and also Palestinian Government officials, have rejected BDS.

He continued that connecting the Black struggle in American to that of Palestinians is “unquestionably shortsighted and will only undermine the credibility of the movement and the important cause of civil rights in America”.

Like several years before, when pro-Israel donors withdrew their funds from SNCC, Rabbi Dorsch was warning that the pattern would continue as long as BLM lent its support to Palestine. Returning to the question of whether Zionists can be anti-racist, the short answer is an emphatic “no.” Quoting a message from Jewish Voice for Peace: “If you oppose racism, you should oppose Zionism too.”

As BDS successes grow and the ICC moves closer to investigate Israel for war crimes, pro-Israel groups will increasingly try to sever anti-racist movements in the US from their ties to Palestinians. Nevertheless, given several factors—the historic connections between Palestine and anti-colonial movements around the world, coupled with the waning acceptance of Progressive Except Palestine–Israel will not succeed.

For example, in a recent article Ramzy Baroud noted that

“Israeli efforts at co-opting Africa countries received a major setback on Saturday, February, 6 when the African Union issued a strong statement of solidarity with Palestine, condemning Israel’s illegal settlement activities and the US’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.”

In return, Palestinians have supported movements against injustice around the globe. Documenting a new round of Palestinian uprisings within the Zionist entity, Gaza-based journalist Wafaa Al-Udaini chose to use a photo from another protest against the Israeli regime.

Dating back a year to the shooting of Iyad al-Halak, an unarmed autistic Palestinian man, Palestinians in the picture also hold signs calling attention to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis the previous week, an extralegal murder that they link with al-Halak.

While Palestinians understand the connections between their struggles and anti-colonial movements in other countries, many liberals in the U.S. do not. Nevertheless, as Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick outline in their new book, Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, the days are over when so-called progressive public figures can join the anti-racist struggle at home while accepting gifts from Zionist organizations who fully support the Israeli apartheid state.

As Sarah Doyel notes in her review of Hill and Plitnick’s book, the authors observe that

“Democrats will take to the global stage to champion victims of other humanitarian crises, but Palestinians in Gaza living in what is commonly described as ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’ somehow merit little succor in the liberal worldview.”

Their work, Doyel concludes, is “a crucial and ultimately hopeful tool that better equips progressives to combat injustices within their own political circles.” Combined with the work of members of anti-colonial coalitions, some of whom convinced Alicia Garza to withdraw from Shmuley’s gala, perhaps anti-Zionists in the future will be strong enough to resist what will surely be increasing attacks on their political alignment with Palestinians.

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

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

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

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

Jonathan Cook

11 February 2021 11:04 UTC 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attack on aid boat

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bid to terrorise court

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

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

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

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

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

Campaigning begins 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shielding Israel

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

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

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

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

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

Foot-dragging by ICC

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

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

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

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

Slivers of hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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