The cultivation of Gaza calls for international parties to intervene to stop the occupation attacks

The Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip called on Thursday, international and human rights bodies to intervene to curb the Israeli attacks against fishermen and farmers, which are repeated on a daily basis.

In a statement, the Ministry indicated that the occupation deliberately deprived fishermen and farmers of searching for their livelihood as a result of their continuous targeting during the exercise of their profession.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

The European Union provides a 71 million euro aid package to tackle Corona in Palestine

The representative of the European Union announced an aid package amounting to 71 million Euros to confront the epidemic of Corona virus in Palestine.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, the European Union welcomed the preventive measures taken by Palestine, as well as its plan to confront the Covid 19 virus, stressing that it is aware of the challenges associated with implementing the confrontation plan, including restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, and complex challenges in the Gaza Strip under siege.

The statement pointed out that the European Union aid package, which also includes humanitarian aid, is a direct response to the confrontation plan related to Coved 19 of the Palestinian National Authority.

“The Coruna epidemic is an unprecedented global public health emergency that has repercussions for our citizens, our societies and our economies, and this is the time for solidarity between peoples and the time we stand together,” said European Union Representative Sven Cohan von Burgsdorf.

He added that the European Union understands that the Palestinians, like the Europeans and many others, are affected severely, and that today’s announcement is extremely important to ensure that the Palestinians are better prepared to combat the economic and social impact of this global epidemic.

He emphasized the message of the European Union: “Palestine does not stand alone, but we stand together in our battle against Coved-19.”

He explained that health care, which is a global priority in this crisis, is also a priority in helping us to the Palestinians, and therefore the European Union will allocate an additional 9.5 million euros to the six East Jerusalem hospitals, in addition to our current annual support of 13 million euros, to help it provide examination and medical care for the injured Palestinians With the virus. To support the provision of protective equipment in the health care sector, the European Union will help stimulate the local production of Palestinian companies. The European Union will also provide a 40 million euro payment to civil servants to ensure that the Palestinian National Authority has sufficient funds to cover the additional expenses expected in the confrontation plan.

He stressed that the European Union will increase its support for Palestinian small and medium-sized enterprises by 5.5 million euros so that it can continue to play the role of the backbone of the Palestinian economy, and the European Union will strengthen its efforts to support farmers and agricultural companies to continue to remain during the crisis.

The European Union will also increase its efforts to address the broader social impact of the crisis by boosting income for poor families, providing an additional 5 million euros to support the most needy groups whose numbers are expected to increase in the coming weeks as a result of the economic impact of the crisis measures taken.

The European Union has pledged 6.9 million euros of humanitarian aid to NGOs and United Nations organizations already on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to strengthen infection prevention and control measures, and will also assist the most vulnerable sectors of the population in accessing emergency health care and access to water and sanitation services Health, cash assistance.

The statement stressed that through the European policy tool, the European Union will provide 4 million euros to UNRWA to support Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The European Union indicated that it had paid the full amount of its 82 million euro contribution to UNRWA’s 2020 program budget, enabling UNRWA to continue to address the challenges faced by Palestine refugees, who were particularly affected by the epidemic, and in this regard, an additional 36 million euros of Support UNRWA in Jordan and Lebanon to focus on immediate health needs.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

Hamas: No mediator regarding prisoner swap proposal with Israel

Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk

Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk

A member of Hamas’ political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, said “until now” there is no mediator regarding the movement’s prisoner swap initiative with Israel.

Abu Marzouk said Hamas Chief Yahya Al-Sinwar has “only opened the prisoners exchange file” and noted the possibility of Russian mediation, adding: “We welcome any mediation, but it must be welcomed by the other side as well.”

Earlier, the head of Hamas movement in Gaza Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar said consultations regarding the prisoner swap deal stopped since the beginning of the political crisis in Israel.

“We told all the mediators that it is not possible to start negotiations on a new deal before [Israel] releases all the Palestinian detainees who had been released under the Shalit deal,” he said, explaining that Israel had rearrested a number of them after their release.

READ: Hamas insists on Palestinian prisoner release in any deal with Israel

He pointed out that Hamas can make a “partial concession” regarding the Israeli soldiers captured by the movement in return for “the [Israeli] occupation releasing the elderly and sick prisoners as a humanitarian initiative in light of the coronavirus crisis”.

The Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange followed a 2011 agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis, although there was also a Ukrainian, a Jordanian and a Syrian.

(Source / 10.04.2020)

UNRWA received only 28% of its needs to tackle coronavirus

UNRWA distributes food aid to families in Gaza, 2 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

UNRWA distributes food aid to families in Gaza, 2 April 2020

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) spokesman, Sami Mshasha, said on Wednesday that the agency had received less than $4 million out of the $14 million it had requested to confront the coronavirus.

He explained that the agency used the funds to purchase basic materials like sanitisers, cleaning materials, food baskets and medicines for those with chronic diseases in a number of refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

READ: $34m needed to counter coronavirus spread in Palestine

Mshasha explained that the agency, in coordination with Jordan and Sweden, will hold a meeting on 15 April to request countries support the agency to tackle the coronavirus in its five areas of operations.

The agency is requesting $14 million to cover the refugees’ needs to confront the coronavirus pandemic, but in Syria alone it needs $270 million to manage its emergency services.

Mshasha warned of the catastrophic conditions experienced by the Palestinian refugees in Syria even before the pandemic.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

Palestinian arrested in Gaza for ‘normalising relations with Israel’

Cofounder of the Gaza Youth Committee, Rami Aman

A Palestinian in the Gaza Strip was arrested for carrying out activities which encourage normalisation of relations with Israel, the Ministry of Interior reported yesterday.

Spokesman for the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip, Iyad Al-Bazm, said Rami Aman had been arrested after a warrant was issued by the prosecution because he had established “normalisation activities with the Israeli occupation via the Internet”.

Aman and his colleagues had been referred for investigation and the legal procedures will be taken against them, Al-Bazm added.

OPINION: The PA is provoking the Palestinians with its Israel normalisation meetings

“Establishing any activity or communicating with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law, and a betrayal of our people and their sacrifices,” the official said.

Cofounder of the Gaza Youth Committee, Aman held a two-hour Zoom call with “peace activists” from Israel, during which he discussed a number of topics including the coronavirus.

According to his family, shortly after the call, he was summoned by the Hamas security apparatus and they have not heard from him since yesterday.

Are Arab nations normalising their relation with Israel...- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

Arab League: Israel exploited coronavirus to escalate aggression on Palestinians

A member of Israeli security forces fires a tear gas canister towards Palestinian protesters in Nablus 

Israeli occupation authorities are exploiting the world’s preoccupation with confronting the novel coronavirus to escalate its ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people, the Arab League (AL) warned yesterday.

The AL said in a statement that the Israeli violations included “killing, arresting and displacing civilians, annexing new settlements, and Judaising and attacking Palestinian holy sites.”

“The [Israeli] occupation is exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic to expand their settlements and impose new realities on the ground, especially in East Jerusalem and its surrounding areas,” the league said.

New Israeli settlements in Jerusalem [Cartoon/Arabi21]

The statement condemned what it described as “Israel’s racist and terrorist practices against the Palestinian people, and its systematic violation against human rights,” calling on Israel to “immediately comply with the United Nations Security Council’s decisions, halt its aggression practices, and the release all the Palestinian prisoners.”

READ: Israel settlers spitting on Palestinian cars raises concern over attempt to spread coronavirus

The league called on the international community “to act immediately to stop the ongoing daily crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.”

“Despite the global concern about confronting the coronavirus, Israel did not care about the threat of virus spread among the Palestinian people, leaving more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held together in the its prisons,” the Palestinian official said.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

On Good Friday, Jerusalem archbishop urges prayer for the suffering and dying

Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem (C), Atalla Hanna [Muhesen Amren/Apaimages]

Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem (C), Atalla Hanna

On a sombre and quiet Good Friday in Jerusalem, the Vatican’s apostolic administrator in the Holy Land called for prayer for people suffering and dying from the coronavirus.

“We are celebrating Good Friday, the commemoration of the death of Jesus, under very difficult circumstances,” Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa said outside Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

He spoke briefly to Reuters before entering the sandstone church’s giant front doors. The church was closed to the public weeks ago but was opened on Catholic Good Friday specifically for his entry for prayers and service attended by a few clerics.

READ: Coronavirus cases in Israel near 3,500

COVID-19 has infected over 10,000 in Israel, with 92 fatalities. There have been 263 cases and one death in the Palestinian territories, mostly in the occupied West Bank.

Jerusalem residents are locked down in their homes for all but essential activities, which do not include religious ceremonies.

The Christian denominations that share custody of the Holy Sepulchre face closures unprecedented in living memory, as do Jewish and Muslim leaders in a city that has sites sacred to all three faiths.

Passover, Easter and Ramadan all fall this month, with Catholics celebrating Good Friday today, and Easter Sunday on April 12.

Death has surfaced itself all over the world, Pizzaballa said, “so it is important … in this place, where this (Jesus’s crucifixion) happened that we can pray (and) commemorate (it)”.

Pizzaballa called on people “to be united in the heart, in the prayer, with all those who are suffering and dying.”

READ: Workers in hazmat suits collect prayers from ‘God’s mailbox’ in Jerusalem

He then entered the church, its large doors swinging shut behind him.

Soon afterwards, the piercing sound of singing and prayers emerged from high up in an ancient courtyard atop the Holy Sepulchre, where a church was first built in the fourth century.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (02 – 08 April 2020)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR is concerned that Israeli raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government. Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property.

This week, PCHR documented 98 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. As the state of emergency enters its 5th week, as well as the extreme Israeli restrictions on movement of individuals, have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is a comprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.

IOF Shooting and Violation of Right to Bodily Integrity: 2 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF; 1 during suppression of civilians at Qalqilia; and a fisherman in Gaza. IOF opened fire 8 times during raids into the West Bank; 10 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 6 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

IOF Incursions and Arrests of Palestinian Civilians: IOF carried out 49 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inciting fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 22 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 children and a woman. Fady al-Hadmi, Jerusalem Affairs Minister, and Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem Governor, were among those arrested, which is part of the Israeli occupation’s policy to combat the work of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied city. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into northern Gaza Strip and eastern Khan Younis.

Settlement Expansion Activities and Settlers’ Attacks: PCHR documented 9 IOF operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: bulldozing an agriculture room and house and confiscation of a barracks in Hebron; warehouse and agricultural lands destroyed in Bethlehem; farmers banned access to their lands in Bethlehem; and notices to halt construction at 2 houses in Jenin and the Northern Valley.

PCHR also documented 7 settler attacks: assaulting 5 civilians, kidnaping two of them and surrendering them to IOF; sewer water pumped into Bethlehem lands; 4 dunams razed, lands confiscated and olive trees uprooted in Hebron; and civilian houses assaulted in Nablus.

Israeli Closure Policy and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement: Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Wednesday 08 April 2020, IOF imposed closure and additional restrictions on the movement at crossings, for the Jewish Passover holiday. Israeli authorities stated that the closure that has already been imposed on the Palestinian areas will remain the same, as entry through the crossings will be allowed only for exceptional humanitarian cases and urgent medical cases.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, only humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing. Concerning Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the crossing will be operated on a limited scale.

Also, Israeli authorities stated that the crossing will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, 08/09 April 2020, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, 14/15 April 2020. This comes at 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 or goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.

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. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity
Shooting and Other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 02 April 2020, IOF reinforced with several military SUVs moved into Wad al-Haryah neighborhood, south of Hebron. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF soldiers. Israeli soldiers deployed in the area and fired several tear gas canisters at stone-throwers. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF later withdrew from the above mentioned village; neither arrests nor house raids were reported.
  • At approximately 07:00 on the same Thursday, IOF gunboats stationed west of Gaza City, chased and heavily opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within the fishing limited area (4 nautical miles), owned by fisherman Ahmed Shaban al-Hessi (69) and manned by 3 fishermen. The fishermen managed to get away, however severe damage was caused to the boat.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands for 2 hours; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:20 on the same Thursday, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall, adjacent to Fsr’oun village, south of Tulkarem, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the Emergency Committee in the aforementioned village, while checking the outlets in the annexation wall to control the movement of workers to and from Israel and conducting testing procedures to make sure they are free of Coronavirus. As a result, the committee crews suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Friday, 03 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee from the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:15 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, northeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers panicked and left their lands that are near the border area. Neither casualties nor damage was reported.
  • At approximately 00:45 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, sporadically opened fire at agricultural lands for 20 minutes; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Friday, IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian young men, who gathered at the entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilia. As a result, a 22-year-old young man was shot and injured with a rubber bullet in his right hand.
  • At approximately 15:40 on the same Friday, IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear-gas canisters at a group of Palestinian young men, who were present near the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Qifin village, north of Tulkarem, claiming that their soldiers were hit with stones.
  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Friday, Israeli gunboats stationed gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee from the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Friday, IOF fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian young men, who were present near the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Shweikah Suburb, north of Tulkarem, claiming that they were hit with stones.
  • At approximately 18:10, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Atil village, north of Tulkarem, fired rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian Emergency Committee crews while checking the outlets in the annexation wall to control the movement of workers to and from Israel and conducting testing procedures to make sure they are free of Coronavirus.
  • At approximately 01:10 on Saturday, 04 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israeli, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds in the area adjacent to the border fence; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee from the area fearing for their lives. Later, the shooting recurred for 3 hours; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear-gas canisters at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. IOF also, through loudspeakers, called on the farmers to evacuate the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, northeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers panicked and left their lands that are near the border area. Neither casualties nor damage was reported.
  • At approximately 20:00 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, fired tear gas canisters at the camp’s main road, alleging that the military watchtower was stoned. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:00, an Israeli infantry unit moved into al-Dawarah area, east of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers and the latter responded with sound bombs and tear-gas canisters. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF later withdrew from the area; no raids were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Sunday, 05 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee from the area fearing for their lives. Later, the shooting recurred for 3 hours; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:10 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of farmers present in eastern Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:20 on Monday, 06 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, sporadically opened fire at agricultural lands for 15 minutes; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:35 on Monday, 06 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, northeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers , whose lands are adjacent to the border fence, were panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 07 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Johur al-Deek), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:10 on Wednesday, 08 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles) and opened fire at a fishing boat. As a result, fisherman, Ibrahim Amin Rushdi Abu Wardah (23), from Jabalia, was shot and injured with rubber bullets in his right leg and the palm of his right hand as he was on the fishing boat. Abu-Wardah was taken to the Indonesian Hospital for medical treatment, where his injury was classified as moderate and he was diagnosed with a fracture in the hand. The shooting caused fear among fishermen, who sailed back to the shore. No casualties were reported.

2. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 02 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Ya’bod village, southwest of Jenin. They raided several houses and arrested (4) civilians including (3) children: Islam Nidal Hamarsha (17), Yazeed Abdul Rahman Abu Abed (17), Mohammed Firas Turkman (15), and Maher Mohammed Ba’jawi (20).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Bahaa Mohammed Abu Tayeh (21), and Nasrallah Munir al-A’war (18), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Eyad Abu Sbaih and Ahmed al-Abbasi, while present in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center. Al-Abbasi family said that Ahmed was referred to the hospital after he was wounded due to attacking him while in prison.
  • At approximately 19:0, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied city of East Jerusalem. They invaded and searched the home of Nadeem Harbi Obaid (23) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 20:55, IOF moved into Howara, southeast of Nablus. They invaded and searched several stores, and checked the surveillances cameras of the stores claiming that they were searching for a group of young men who threw stones at settlers’ vehicle in the city.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Kherbit Humsa in the northern valleys. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 03 April 2020:

  • At approximately 04:35, IOF moved into al-Daheya village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ibrahim Ahmed Ismael Abu Ghush (40) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved IOF and Israeli Intelligence Services with their police dogs, moved into al-Sowana neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Fadi Arafat al-Hidmi’s (44) house, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs of the Palestinian Authority. IOF broke the doors of the house and arrested him and confiscated (10,000 NIS). After a few hours of investigation with the minister al-Hidmi in al-Maskoubeya investigation center, IOF released him on bail and on condition that ban his Palestinian activities in Jerusalem and restrict his movement for two weeks.
    Al-Hidmi’s office confirmed that: “on Friday, IOF deliberately smashed the external and internal doors of al-Hidmi’s house; they raided and searched all the rooms of his house with police dogs which caused fear to al-Hidmi’s children”. Furthermore, IOF severely beat the minister in al-Maskoubeya investigation center and forced him to wear a blood-contaminated mask. All the investigation session with the Minister was about the provided Palestinian Government aid to confront the Coronavirus in the occupied East Jerusalem. It should be noted that IOF have arrested the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs of the Palestinian Authority many times for investigation.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Zarta, Burin, and Tal in Nablus, Beit Marsam and Tarama in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 05 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nimra neighborhood, east of Hebron. They deployed between Palestinian houses and spat on the doors of the stores and houses under precautionary measures of confronting the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Lately, IOF withdrew and no house raiding was reported.
  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli occupation planes proceeded to spray chemical pesticides in areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip eastern border for 3 hours, affecting Palestinian lands. According to eyewitnesses’ testimonies to PCHR fieldworker, the Israeli side had also set a fire at 06:20 of the same morning, that emitted black smoke within the Israeli side to identify the direction of the wind. This is a standard action by IOF before spraying pesticides. Minutes later, Israeli planes commenced the spraying.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into the central neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the Governor Adnan Adel Ghaith’s (46) house in Jerusalem, and arrested him. IOF claimed that the governor Ghaith was arrested under the pretext of illegal activity in Jerusalem, and he was taken to al-Maskoubeya police station. IOF arrested Ghaith for at least 6 times in 2019 for the same reason.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Wadi al-Jooz, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They invaded and searched Hanady Mohammed al-Halawani’s (41) house and she was taken to al-Qishla investigation center in the Old City. After investigating with al-Halawani on charge of allegedly endangering the lives of civilians, and ‘inciting the occupation’, she was released. It should be noted that al-Halawani has been detained approximately 30-times, banned from travelling, and banned from entering al-Aqsa Mosque many times.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They invaded and searched the houses of Sa’ed Mohammed al-A’war (17) and Mohammed Subhi Zalloum (19), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF moved into Ein al-Mita in the northern valleys. They raided and searched Salama Ali’s tent, and no arrests were reported.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Zabouba, west of Jenin, Silat al-Thuhr, south of Jenin, Deir Sharaf, west of Nablus, Burin and Ma’dama, southeast of Nablus, and Ein al-Bayda in the northern valleys. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 06 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Kifah Mahmoud Hantouli’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Yabad village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Saif al-Deen Adnan al-Kilaney’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Fadi Tayseer Abu Salah’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They deployed between houses and threw disposable gloves, light signals and needles, and spat on the doors of the stores and houses which caused fear in the village. After the withdrawal, the Emergence Committee cleaned and sterilized all the public facilities in the village and burned all the IOF’s remnants to prevent Coronavirus.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF reinforced with military bulldozers, moved 100-meters into the east of Khuzaa, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled lands along the border fence heading to the north, before they redeployed again after hours.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested two civilians from Kafr al-Lubad village, east of Tulkarem, while working in their agricultural land close to ‘Inab settlement, east of Tulkarem. IOF released Tahseen Omar Abu Laila (51) and Wa’ed Yousef Kabha (50) later.

Tuesday, 07 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Asa’ad Obaidat (40) and Mohammed Salah Owda (35) and arrested them. It should be noted that the above mentioned prisoners are former-prisoners.
  • At approximately 07:45, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved 100-meters from Zikim military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip heading to the western side of the border fence. They levelled and combed lands that were previously levelled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Shady Matour’s house, the Fatah Movement’s Secretary in Jerusalem, and informed his family that he should surrender himself in al-Qishla police station in Jerusalem’s Old City. It should be noted that this is 2nd IOF raid into Shady’s house within two days, and the third one within the preceding 10 days.

3. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 02 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Taiba area, east of Tarqumiyia village, northwest of Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area while the Israeli Civil Administration officers vacated Khalil ‘Odah al-Haroub’s 50-square-meter agricultural room before demolishing it under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that on 17 June 2019, Israeli authorities handed al-Haroub a notice to stop working in the agricultural room. Under the Oslo Accords, the village’s lands are categorized into B and C areas; B areas constitute 37% of the land; whereas 63% are considered area C and fall under the full control of the Israeli occupation.
  • On Saturday, 04 April 2020, Israeli authorities ordered ‘Amer ‘Odah to self-demolish his store in Kherbet Beit Askaria, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that ‘Amer self-demolished his store roofed with tin plates after Israeli authorities notified him on 03 April 2020 to demolish it along with his house under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Israeli authorities also notified to demolish 2 houses in Shoshahla village and Kherbet Bin Iskariyia, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • On Sunday, 05 April 2020, Israeli construction vehicles levelled lands in Bir’ona area, north of Beit Jala. Suhail Khalilieh, Head of Settlement Monitoring Unit at Applied Research Institute, said that Israeli authorities will conduct excavation works in the mountain located northern Beit Jala city in order to open tunnels similar to those built in the first half of the nineties of the last century. These tunnels will be part of the main road crossing the West Bank lands, known as the bypass road (60) extending 235 km. According to the data, there is a plan to construct at least two tunnels, the first of which is with a length of 270 square meters, and the second with a length of 900 square meters, connected by a long and high bridge in the Bir’ona area.
  • On Sunday, 05 April 2020, IOF and settlers denied Palestinian farmers’ access to their lands in Taqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem. Tayseer Abu Mifreh, Mayor of Taqou’a Municipality, said that IOF and settlers intercepted Palestinian farmers in Taqou’a village and denied them access to their lands in Qanan al-Saghira area. It should be noted that during the last weeks, IOF and settlers escalated their attacks in Bethlehem. They chased farmers, denied them access to their lands and cut hundreds of olive trees and grape vines.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 05 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into the western area of Daher al-Maleh village, west of Ya’boud village, southwest of Jenin. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed ‘Abed al-Latif Shareef Kamel ‘Amarnah a notice to stop working in his 200-square-meter house, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 06 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Qalqas village, south of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area while the Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled Mohamed Mahmoud Abu Isninah’s 100-sqaure-meter barrack built of tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Israeli authorities are still closing the entrance to Qalqas village from the southern side with sand berms and large rocks since the beginning of the year 2000. This entrance connects between Hebron and Qalqas village. As a result, Qalqas village residents are forced to pass through other long roads.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Monday, 06 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into northern Jordan Valley. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Salem ‘Abed al-Raheem Abu al-Tayib a notice to stop working in his under-construction house, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 07 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Taiba village in eastern Tarqumiyia village, northwest of Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area while the Israeli Civil Administration officers raided Yunis Mohamed Ghareeb’s 42-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and got its contents out before demolishing it. Ghareeb said that Israeli authorities raided his agricultural room on 27 March 2020 and did not challenge its construction. On 31 March 2020, IOF returned and hanged a 96-hour-demolition notice on the room. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities issued these demolition notices upon Military order No. (1797) on the “removal” of a new structure- issued in 2018. This order includes both uncompleted structures and structures completed within the last six months. This military order is one of the most dangerous orders issued by the Israeli authorities, targeting thousands of houses and facilities under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 08 April 2020, IOF moved into Khelet Aseer area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. They prevented ‘Ayadah family from plowing their land and confiscated Hamed Mohamed ‘Ayadah’s agricultural excavator under the pretext of working in State-owned lands.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 05 April 2020, three Israeli settlers attacked and severely beat Majed al-Fasfous (39) with sharp tools while he was in his workplace in west Jerusalem. They also pepper-sprayed him. As a result, he sustained wounds in his head and back and bruises throughout his body. Al-Fasfous, from Sho’fat camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, said that while he was in his workplace, three Israeli settlers approached him and ordered him to come with them. He asked them about their names and what they want from him, trying to know if they are Israeli intelligence officers. During which, the settlers randomly pepper-sprayed them, so he fell on the ground. Al-Fasfous clarified that his colleagues attempted to help him but they could because they were pepper-sprayed as well. He added that the settlers attacked him with sharp tools, wounding him in his head. They also stabbed him in his back and attempted to stab him in his neck. Al-Fasfous’ colleagues phoned the police and brought ambulance to take him to the hospital. Al-Fasfous said that his colleagues Ameer al-Debs and ‘Izz Mohamed ‘Ali were pepper-sprayed.
  • Israeli settlers, from “Gush Etzion” settlement, which is established in southern Bethlehem, pumped wastewater at agricultural lands in Beit village. As a result, the wastewater flooded about 20 dunams of land planted with grape vines. These dunams belong to Bahar and Sabarna families.
  • Israeli settlers, from “Sham’a” settlement, which is established in eastern al-Dahiriyia village, south of Hebron. The settlers levelled 4 dunams of Palestinian lands to build a settlement road leading to a settlement outpost that was established on a hill near the mentioned settlement. It should be noted that Israeli authorities consider Shewiki area lands as confiscated lands according to the Absentees’ Property Law.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 06 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Price Tag group”, attacked the outskirts of Qasrah village from the southern side, under IOF protection. They threw stones at ‘Abed al-Majeed Tawfiq Hasan, Mahmoud Zaghal, and Mohamed Daifallah Sadeq Hamdan’s houses. As a result, the houses sustained material damage. The village residents gathered and confronted the settlers. Clashes erupted between them, during which, IOF heavily fired tear gas canisters and rubber-bullets at Palestinian young men and their houses. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. It should be noted that Israeli settlers raided the village after imposing a curfew on the village by Palestinian security services to combat Coronavirus.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 07 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Helmish” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands, northwest of Ramallah, attacked Palestinian farmers: Sameer al-Qatawi and his sons ‘Abed al-Fattah (33) and Mahmoud (27), from Kobar village, north of the city, while plowing their agricultural land located near the settlement. Sameer and Mahmoud were beaten and kidnapped by the settlers, who took them to an Israeli camp in the settlement. At approximately 18:00, both of them were released.
  • A group of settlers, from “Asfar” and “Metsada” settlements, which are established on al-Shayyoukh and Sa’ir villages’ lands, north of Hebron, raided al-Halayqah family lands in al-Majales area. The settlers brought construction material to fence part of al-Halayqah lands (130 dunams), which are threatened to be confiscated. While settlers working in the lands, persons from al-Halayqah family arrived and attempted to prevent them. During which, one of the settlers unleashed his dog at Isma’il Diab al- Halayqah (50), wounding him in his foot. Meanwhile, a large force of IOF arrived and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to disperse them. IOF declared the area as a closed military zone. Isma’il was taken to a clinic, where his wounds were classified as minor.
  • Israeli settlers, from “Ma’oun” settlement, which is established on the confiscated Palestinian lands in eastern Yatta, uprooted 15 olive seedlings planted a month ago in Hafez Isma’il al-Hereni (46)’s land in al-Tawana village, south of Hebron. It should be noted that the settlers previously uprooted 100 olive seedlings from al-Hereni land.

See the full document at PCHR.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

Israeli Troops Abduct One Palestinian, Close Town East of Hebron

Israeli troops reportedly closed down the entrance to Bany Naeem town, on Friday, on the eastern edge of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

Local media sources and witnesses said that an Israeli army force surrounded the town, before it abducted a Palestinian youth, identified as Mahdi Abusnaina, near the Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimy (Ibrahimi) Mosque.

Sources added that the Israeli imposed closure of Bany Naeem town forced local Palestinian residents to take other unpaved rural roads, causing Palestinians longer and more difficult travel.

The Palestinian district of Hebron is frequently exposed to Israeli military measures including closure of roads and villages, arrest of local residents and other restrictive measures.

In Hebron, a number of Israeli colonial settlements surround Palestinian populations, mainly in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The Israeli settlements, illegal under international law and many United Nations’ resolutions, are protected by a heavy Israeli military presence.

(Source / 10.04.2020) 

‘Israel’ uses Coronavirus to spy on Palestinians’ phones

The COGAT asked Palestinian workers to download a spying app on their cell phones

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli Haaretz reported that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) asked thousands of Palestinian workers to download an application that allows the Israeli army to hack their phones.

The COGAT request for Palestinians working in the occupied land was under the pretext of using the app to check on their permissions instead of visiting the office. The Israelis claimed that it aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The newspaper added that the app, named ‘The Coordinator’, grants the Israeli army access to private files and to the camera in the targeted phones. It also allows the Israelis to know the location of the targeted phones.

A message appears as soon as the app is downloaded, which states that the COGAT can use any information collected from the targeted phone for several targets, including ‘security targets’. The app also asks its users to agree on providing information that will be used by the occupation state when needed.

The head of Sada Social Center, Iyad Rifa’i, told QNN that the occupation state is imposing a stranglehold on social media under several pretexts, including the novel coronavirus.

Rifa’i added that the Israeli practice is deemed as a violation against the users’ privacy and hacking for their data, exploiting their humanitarian needs amid the coronavirus crisis, which violates the digital and human rights.

He also warned Palestinians from downloading the app or any other applications that would violate their privacy and personal information.

(Source / 10.04.2020)