Palestinians cannot exit with food, toiletries or electronic devices at Erez Crossing

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assassination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on 24 March, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assassination of one of it’s leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on 24 March, 2016

Intake coordinators at Gisha received an email detailing new guidelines for passage through Erez Crossing. The instructions have not been published anywhere official and will encumber those passing, with no clear purpose.

A new directive has been instituted on the few Palestinians allowed to exit Gaza through Erez Crossing. As of August 1, it is forbidden to exit the Strip carrying electronic devices other than cellular phones. Exiting with food, even food intended for personal consumption on the long hours of travel out of Gaza, has also been newly prohibited. The directive was sent to Gisha from the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), the authority in charge of implementing the policy of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) at Erez Crossing. Those exiting the Strip for “humanitarian reasons,” most of whom are medical patients and their companions, as well as people visiting family members imprisoned in Israel will be allowed to pass through with food “for personal consumption,” but not those transiting abroad via Jordan.

The restrictions on those traveling abroad, who are in any case obligated to do so on direct shuttles from Erez to Allenby Bridge Crossing, mean that people leaving the Strip for long periods, such as students, will no longer be allowed to carry electronic devices such as laptops or even electric shavers. The new restrictions also apply to Palestinian employees of international organizations, who also need to travel with laptops for their work. People exiting Gaza, from all categories, are now forbidden to pass through Erez carrying hard-sided luggage, and are barred from bringing with them toiletries of any type. Travelers who are not Palestinian are exempt from these restrictions, obligated only to declare any electronic devices included in their luggage.

The new directive was sent via e-mail, a day before it went into effect, to the intake coordinators at Gisha and at HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual. It was not published in the “Status of Closure Authorizations,” where new directives are meant to be published. It is unclear how, why and through what process these restrictions were instituted, nor is it known who authorized them and to what end. The directive leaves no room for exceptions and no option of appeal.

As if it weren’t hard enough to get a permit, and as if the journey out of Gaza weren’t already a challenge, this new directive just makes life a little more difficult for Gaza residents and it’s hard to understand for what purpose. Security checks on luggage, toiletries, laptops and food are standard at airports, train stations, and other transit terminals around the world. Those checks are necessary and we all cope with the extra time it takes for the sake of keeping our fellow passengers and ourselves safe. The new directive reveals that Israeli authorities aren’t willing to conduct these basic checks on items that any traveler needs; that they don’t appreciate that students and businesspeople from Gaza also need to travel with laptops like anyone else in the world. It can happen because Israel doesn’t pay a price for inconveniencing Gaza residents, and just like that, from one day to the next, not even a sandwich can get through Erez Crossing.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Palestinian Youth Beaten and Tortured in Israeli Prison

06 AUG
12:30 AM

The lawyer of the prisoners and ex-prisoners’ commission, Loay Akeh, revealed the testimony of the Mohammed Shamasneh, aged 18, from the town of Qutneh in Jerusalem, where he recounts the harsh interrogation, assaults and beatings he was subjected to by the Israeli Prison Service.

Shamasneh explained to the lawyers, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that he was arrested on 4/4/2017, after Israeli occupation forces raided his house and took him to a nearby military checkpoint.

He said that soldiers did not stop beating him and hitting him with their rifle butts on various parts of his body.

Shamasneh stated that he was taken to Afula hospital for treatment, after he suffered fractures and injuries in his body, and was later taken to the Maskoubiya detention center for interrogation.

He reported that during his 32-day stay at the Muskubiya interrogation center, his health condition worsened as a result of injuries sustained, as well as being held in narrow, dark cells, causing respiratory failure.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (27 July – 02 August 2017)

06 AUG
12:42 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 27 July – 02 August 2017.

Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A civilian succumbed to his wounds in Hezma village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, while 38 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, a paramedic and a photojournalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli forces wounded 38 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, a paramedic and a photojournalist, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Twenty-eight of them were in the West Bank while 10 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

 

In the West Bank, on 28 July 2017, Israeli forces killed Abdullah Taqatqa (24), from Marah Ma’ala, south of Bethlehem. The aforementioned person was killed when Israeli fo rces opened fire at him while walking on Beit Fajjar-Bethlehem road leading to “Gosh Etzion” settlement, south of the city. They claimed he attempted to stab Israeli soldiers.

 

In the same context, on 27 July 2017, medical sources at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah pronounced Mohammed Kan’an (26), from Hezma village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, dead succumbing to wounds he sustained during clashes with Israeli forces. According to PCHR’s investigations, the aforementioned person was wounded on 24 July 2017, when Israeli forces moved into Hezma village.

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 28 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a photojournalist; 16 were wounded in occupied Jerusalem, while the 12 others were wounded in the West Bank.  Six of them were hit with live bullets while 22 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 28 July 2017, Israeli forces killed Abdul Rahman Abu Hmaisa (16), when they opened fire at dozens of youngsters protesting against the Israeli practices in al-Aqsa Mosque near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

 

In the same context, the border areas witnessed protests against the Israeli closure imposed on Gaza. The Israeli forces used force against the protestors. As a result, 10 Palestinians, including 2 children and a paramedic, were wounded. Three of them were hit with live bullets and 7 others were hit with tear gas canisters and sound bombs.

 

Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 27 July 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishermen, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip, and chased them. Similar attacks recurred against the Palestinian fishing boats in the same area on 30 and 31 July and 01 and 02 August 2017. Moreover, the Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya shore, north of the Gaza Strip, on 28 July and 02 August 2017. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported in all of the abovementioned incidents. It should be noted that the fishing boats were sailing within 3-5 nautical miles.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 66 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 7 ones in Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 83 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children. Forty-one of them, including 11 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. Furthermore, 123 civilians, who were present in al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, 27 July 2017, were arrested and then taken to al-Massqoubiya interrogation facility. Among those arrested was PLC Member of the Change and Reform Bloc (Hamas), Hosni al-Borini, who was arrested from his house in northern Asirah village, north of Nablus.

 

During the reporting period, on 29 July 2017, Israeli forces raided Palmedia Media Services’ head office in Ramallah. They damaged the doors and covered the surveillance cameras with adhesive tapes. It should be noted that company offers media services to a number of Arab and international satellite channels, including al-Quds, BBC, France 24 and RT.

 

Efforts to create Jewish Majority

 

Although the metal detectors, stands and railings were removed from the entrances of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities continued imposing restrictions on the Muslim worshippers. On 27 July 2017, after tens of thousands of worshippers entered the Mosque, Israeli forces stormed it while opening fire. They wounded 16 Palestinians with live and rubber-coated metal bullets. Besides, dozens sustained bruises as they were beaten up. Israeli forces arrested over 123 civilians, who were inside the Mosque, and took them to al-Masqoubiya interrogation facility. On Friday, 28 July 2017, the Israeli authorities announced banning males below 50 from entering the Old City. They also deployed a big number of Israeli officers in the streets and at al-Aqsa gates while blocked some streets with metal barriers.

 

In the context of demolition notices, on 02 August 2017, the Israeli authorities sent 13 demolition notices against buildings, including 9 houses in Ein al-Jwaiza area in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Ein al-Jwaiza area is located within the boundaries of the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem and its inhabitants pay the property tax “Arnona” although they do not hold a Jerusalemite ID.

 

Concerning settlers attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, hundreds of settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque on the anniversary of the so-called “Temple Destruction”. On 01 August 2017, 722 of them stormed the Mosque while 1,097 others stormed it on 02 August according to the Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department in Jerusalem.

 

Settlement activities and settler attacks

 

On 31 July 2017, the Israeli forces levelled a 500-square-meter plot of land in Mothallath Kharsa, south of Doura, southwest of Hebron in order to establish a military watchtower.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

  • At approximately 13:45 on Friday afternoon, 28 July 2017, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to the eastern entrance to the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child and a journalist, were wounded. Tareq Hekmat Shtaiwi (12) sustained a metal bullet wound to the back, Journalist Bashar Mahmoud Nazal Saleh (70) sustained a metal bullet wound to the neck, a 40-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the right shoulder, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the left leg and a 39-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the back.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

Demonstrations Against Israeli Measures in al-Aqsa Mosque:

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, 28 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a protest and made their way to Howarah checkpoint, south of Nablus in rejection to the Israeli measures against al-Aqsa Mosque. When the protestors arrived at the abovementioned checkpoint, they set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired live and metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 16-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet shrapnel wound to the left cheek. He was transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment. His injury was classified as moderate.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer that was performed in al-Husain Ben ‘Ali Stadium in Hebron, the worshippers made their way to al-Zawiyah Gate. There was an Israeli force stationed at the military checkpoint (56) established on al-Shuhadaa’ Street, which is closed. They threw stones and fireworks at the soldiers, who fired tear gas canisters at them. The young men were dispersed and the soldiers chased them between the shops amidst Israeli soldiers’ firing live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian sustained live bullet wound to the leg, a 21-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the leg, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound and a 19-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the arm.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 28 July 2017, dozens of Palestinian young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, protesting against the Israeli violations committed in al-Aqsa Mosque. About 150 civilians gathered about 50 to 200 meters away from the security fence. They set fire to tires, raised the Palestinian flags and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Abdul Rahman Husain Jaber Abu Hamisah (16) from al-Buraij was killed by a live bullet that entered the right shoulder and exited the left one. Moreover, 2 civilians, including a child, from al-Buraij sustained live bullet wounds to the lower limbs (PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).

One of the wounded civilians said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

 

“Some young men and I approached about 50 meters away from the border fence where a number of the soldiers were lying down on two sand hills. We threw stones at them and they fired tear gas canisters at us, so we returned and then a number of the young men again approached the abovementioned border fence. At approximately 03:30, the soldiers fired live bullets at us. After an hour and a half, I knew that there was a wounded person bleeding. I moved forward and a child followed me. I then saw Abdul Rahman Abu Hamisah lying on the ground and putting his hand on his chest as he was bleeding. After the Israeli soldiers opened fire at us, the child, who was with me, was wounded and fell to the ground. I attempted to pull Abu Hamisah, but the soldiers opened fire at us again. I felt pain in my right thigh and fell to the ground. Ten minutes later, 3 young men came and carried Abu Hamisah, who was dying, and others carried the fainted child, who was with me. Moreover, 2 other young men came and took me by a motorcycle and drove for about 300 meters. After that, we saw an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which took me to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah.”

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khuza’ah and ‘Abasan villages, east of Khan Yunis. They set fire to tires and raised Palestinian flags. A number of them approached the abovementioned border fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed there. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them to disperse them. As a result, a 21-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg and was transferred to Gaza European Hospital. His medical condition was classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered few meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests in the border area against the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem. A number of the young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 7 civilians, including a child and a volunteer paramedic in the PRCS, were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Efforts to Create Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

 

Shooting Incidents:

 

  • On Thursday, 27 July 2017, Medical sources at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah declared the death of Mohamed Fathi Abed al-Jaber Kan’an (26), from Hizmah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, who succumbed to wounds he sustained in his head during clashes with Israeli forces. According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses, at approximately 14:30 on Monday, 24 July 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem through its southern entrance. The Israeli soldiers stationed in the eastern neighbourhood near the cemeteries area. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who heavily fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. At approximately 18:20, an Israeli soldier fired a live bullet at a Palestinian civilian, Kan’an, who was about 20 meters away from the soldiers. As a result, Kan’an sustained serious wounds to the head and was then taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, where he underwent a surgery to remove the bullet shrapnel. Kan’an’s health condition remained serious until he succumbed to his wounds. The spokesperson of the Israeli forces, Avichay Adraee, claimed on his Facebook page that Kan’an died during a Palestinian internal dispute and his death was not related to recent incidents in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Hizmah Media Center published a photo showed Israeli soldiers were half an hour earlier in the same area, where Kan’an was killed 20 meters away from the soldiers. The Hizmah Media Center stated that, according to eyewitnesses, the Israeli soldier, who killed Kan’an was standing alone to the right side of the photo. Hizmah added that 2 hours later of committing the crime, Israeli website (0404) published that “our soldiers killed a Palestinian young man near Hizmah, who after attempting to throw stones at the soldiers”.

 

  • Following Friday prayer, on Thursday, a large number of Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque and deployed in its yards. The Israeli soldiers raided the Qibli (southern) Mosque and fired live bullets, sound bombs, and rubber coated metal bullets at Palestinian civilians present there. As a result, around 16 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 15 of them were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets while one was hit with a live bullet to the leg. The PRCS declared that the Israeli forces obstructed the movement of Palestinian ambulances to al-Asbat (Lion’s) Gate and al-Sahera (Herod’s) Gate in order to help Palestinian worshippers and took them to hospital.

 

Ongoing Arbitrary Measures against al-Aqsa Mosque:

 

  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 27 July 2017, Israeli authorities removed stands and railings in al-Asbat (Lion’s) Gate area in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Israeli forces installed those stands and railings after an armed clash erupted in al-Aqsa Mosque yards on 14 July 2017.

 

  • At approximately 10:00, religious figures in Jerusalem held a press conference calling on all Palestinian worshipers in the city and Muslims inside Israel and anyone who can access to al-Aqsa Mosque to enter to al-Aqsa Mosque yards after they make sure through the technical committee that the Israeli authorities removed all procedures such as metal detectors, smart cameras, metal railings and stands, and the situation returned to what it had been before. The religious figures added that the entry to al-Aqsa Mosque would be in groups to perform the ‘Aser prayer. After that, tens of thousands of Palestinian worshipers gathered in al-Asbat (Lions) Gate area and then entered the al-Aqsa Mosque while thousands refused to enter the Mosque and called for reopening Hotah Gate without restrictions. Due to the unified demand of the worshipers, the Israeli soldiers were forced to re-open the gate.  While the worshippers were entering the Mosque through Hotah Gate, the Israeli forces suppressed the worshipers while other soldiers, who were on the top of the houses overlooking the area, heavily fired sound bombs at the worshippers in the Mosque Yards. The Israeli forces then raided the Mosque and deployed in the Dome of the Rock yards. Eyewitnesses stated that al-Aqsa Mosque yards turned into clashes between the Israeli forces and Palestinian worshipers. The Israeli forces also chased the worshipers, attempted to vacate the al-Qibili (southern) Mosque and fired sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers. In addition, the Israeli forces assaulted dozens of Palestinian worshipers, hit them with batons and pepper-sprayed at them. In spite of this, the Palestinian worshipers insisted to remain and performed prayers at the Mosque. The Israeli forces continued to deploy and suppress the worshipers until al-Maghrib prayer and withdrew to station at the Mosque Gates. They prevented the worshipers from entering the mosque, so the latter were forced to perform the prayer on the threshold of al-Aqsa Mosque’s in al-Asbat (Lion’s) Gate area. Following al-‘Isha prayer, the Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque, deployed in its yards and raided al-Qibili (southern) Mosque. In the meantime, they fired sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the worshipers, arrested over 123 persons and then took them to al-Maskobiyia police station. The Israeli soldiers also arrested 6 civilians, including 5 children, from the vicinity of al-Aqsa Mosque and took them to an unknown destination.  The arrested persons were identified as Zaid Iyad Ghaith (9) and his brother Yazan (10); Hamza Samer Abu Diyab (17); ‘Azmi Fadi al-Natsha (15); Abdullah Khadir (13) and Nidal Hamad Abu Diab (42).

 

  • On Friday dawn, 28 July 2017, Israeli authorities announced that men under the age of 50 were prevented from entering occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. A large number of Israeli soldiers deployed on the streets of the city and at the al-Aqsa Mosque Gates and closed several streets with metal barriers. Thousands of Palestinian young people performed Friday and ‘Aser prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates and on the Old City streets, where prayers were performed in Wadi al-Jouz, Sawwanah and Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhoods; on Salah al-Deen street; at al-‘Amoud Gate; al-Sahera Gate and al-Asbat (Lion’s) Gate. The Palestinian young men insisted on praying in the last point they could reach after being prevented from entering the mosque. In the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, the Israeli forces threw a sound bomb at a group of worshipers, while a female settler raised the Israeli flag in front of other worshippers in the area to provoke them and then the Israeli police forced them to leave. In al-Asbat (Lion’s) Gate area, while a group of young men gathered for the al’Aser prayer after they were prevented from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Israeli forces indiscriminately threw sound bombs at them to disperse them, but the worshipers insisted on performing the prayer in the area. In the meantime, the Israeli forces arrested Malek Wajeeh Baseet (17) and Anas Motawer.

House Demolitions:

 

  • On Wednesday, 02 August 2017, Israeli authorities handed 13 demolition notices to houses, facilities and retaining walls in al-Waljah village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khadir al-‘Araj, member of the village council, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli authorities issued notices to demolish 13 facilities, including 9 houses in the village. He also stated that the period of time given to challenge such notifications is short and limited, not exceeding several days. He pointed out that the Israeli authorities deliberately notify civilians in subtle ways without directly informing the civilian in question so that he could not challenge the demolition orders, and after the limited period of time of the notification exceeded, the demolition will be carried out. Al-A’araj clarified that the Israeli authorities intensified the number of demolition notices against the civilians’ houses in al-Waljah village, especially in ‘Ain al-Jowaizah area, where around 70 houses were notified. Ahmed al-Atrash said that the Israeli authorities handed him an administrative demolition notice to demolish his family house under the pretext of non-licensing. He pointed out that the notification is limited to 24 hours “and if there was no challenge to the decision within the specified period, the house will be demolished without prior warning. He also said that “We who live in ‘Ain al-Jowaizah area periodically suffer from notifications which affected all families living in the area, and all civilians have cases before the Israeli courts to stop demolition orders and notices”. The Israeli authorities recently intensified their arbitrary measures against al-Walajah village in order to complete the construction of the annexation wall, in addition to implementing new settlement plans, including the confiscation of more land for the so-called “Israeli National Park”. It should be noted that ‘Ain Jowaizah area is located in Walaja village within the boundaries of the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem and under the Israeli control, where civilians are forced to pay taxes “Arnona” even though they do not hold a Jerusalem ID.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • On Tuesday, 01 August 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers raided the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to commemorate the so-called “Temple Destruction”. Firas al-Debs, the media coordinator in the Department of Islamic Endowments in occupied Jerusalem (Awqaf), said that around 722 Israeli settlers raided the mosque in consecutive groups through al- Magharbah Gate, with large presence of the Israeli forces accompanying them during their tours.

 

  • At approximately 08:30 on Wednesday, 02 August 2017, around 1097 Israeli settlers raided al-Aqsa Mosque. Firas al-Debs, the media coordinator in the Department of Islamic Endowments in occupied Jerusalem (Awqaf), said that around 870 Israeli  settlers raided the mosque during the morning incursions, and around 209 Israeli settlers raided it in the afternoon in consecutive groups through the al- Magharbah Gate, under the protection of the Israeli forces. The Israeli settlers intentionally stole rocks from the mosque yards and broke trees, and some of them performed their own rituals in the yards. They also organized a demonstration and performed prayers in the outside of al-Aqsa Mosque Gates. Israeli police tightened their presence at al-Aqsa Mosque gates and prevented Palestinian young men and women from entering it. When the worshipers entered the mosque, the soldiers held their IDs.

 

  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • On Monday, 31 July 2017, Israeli forces demolished a 500-square-meter plot of land in Muthalath Kharsa, south of Dura village, southwest of Hebron. The plot of land belongs to al-Shahateet family. Israeli forces intend to establish a military watchtower on the security street that passes between the houses of civilians in the area classified as “A”, (areas which are under Palestinian control), according to the Oslo Accords. This security street connects the Bypass Road (60) and “Nighot” settlement, west of Dura city. The Israeli authorities issued military order No. 22/17 M/ D- an Order to seize the lands. He claimed that for urgent security reasons the plot of land would be seized. The military order included aerial photos showing the location of the seized land. The photos also showed that the Israeli forces will establish four checkpoints at the intersection. These checkpoints are expected to be iron gates that will cut the connection between villages, south of Dura village. Last week, a force of Israeli soldiers topped a house belonging to ‘Ayid al-Shahateet near Muthalath Kharsa and adjacent to the demolition area. The Israeli forces installed a tent over the house roof and raised the Israeli flag. If the Israeli forces permanently established the military watchtower in the area, heavy harm will be inflicted on the civilians. In this case, the watchtower will be adjacent to a social facility, civilians’ houses, Girls Kharsa secondary school, the mosque, as well as many shops and workshops at the intersection. Therefore, all these facilities will be damaged. In addition, Civilians will be feared of the soldiers’ movement at night, in addition to the military checkpoints, which will daily be established by the soldiers as it happens in the rest of the city.

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 10 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

 

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC in 2017 to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Syrian Coalition Reaffirms Support for Demonstrators’ Insistence on Regaining Freedom & Dignity

The Syrian Coalition reaffirmed support for demonstrators who took to the streets of many towns and villages across Syria on Friday.

In a press release issued on Saturday, the Coalition said that thousands of Syrians participated in the demonstrations whose aim was “to preserve the true character of the revolution.”

The Coalition stressed that the Syrian people will not accept any attempts to pressure them into giving up their demands for freedom, justice and dignity.

“Preserving the unity of the Syrian people and the integrity of Syria’s territory is only option that is acceptable to the Syrian people under a new free, democratic system of rule that guarantees respect for human rights, freedom, and dignity,” the Coalition added.

The Coalition highly praised the demonstrations that took to the streets on Friday “to reaffirm commitment to the guiding principles of the revolution and its demands.”

“The Friday demonstrations carried abundantly clear, unmistakable messages that need no further explanation or interpretation as evidenced by the flag of the Syrian revolution which was raised above all other flags and banners.”

The Coalition went on: “Rallying around the flag of the revolution, the Syrian people have once again showed unshakeable determination to regain their legitimate rights and to keep on the path set for them by the flag of the revolution to freedom and salvation from all forms of injustice, tyranny, terrorism, and extremism.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.08.2017)

PA: Palestinian internet facing ‘fierce’ cyber attack

Cyber attack

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Over the past two days, internet access in the occupied Palestinian territory has been under the “fiercest” cyber attack since 2012, the Palestinian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology said on Saturday.

In a statement, the ministry said that the ongoing cyber attack was targeting internet providers in Palestine by flooding their servers with millions of messages, paralyzing the servers and slowing down access across to users across the Palestinian territory.
Palestinian Authority computers have meanwhile been on the receiving end of cyber attacks coming from Europe and East Asia, the statement added, while assuring that governmental databases were protected and not under threat by the large-scale attack.
The ministry said that it had created a crisis management team working with internet providers and telecommunications company Paltel to try to control the attacks. The ministry also contacted cyber security experts for help with technical procedures which could contain the crisis and stop its negative impact on internet users in Palestine.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Israeli settlers hurl rocks at Palestinian homes in Hebron’s Old City

Settlers attack Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers hurled rocks at Palestinian homes on Saturday night in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron’s Old City in the southern occupied West Bank.

Local sources told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, threw rocks at Palestinian homes near the Ibrahimi Mosque and shouted curses at the Palestinian residents. No injuries were reported by the sources.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident. An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

Settlers attack Hebron1

On Friday night, Israeli settlers had also attacked Palestinians in the Wadi al-Hassin neighborhood, located directly beside Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement. At least four Palestinians were injured during the incident.
The settler attacks came some two weeks after an Israeli settler takeover of the Abu Rajab family home located in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Some 6,500 Palestinians and 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live in the Old City of Hebron, according to a 2016 report by legal rights NGO BADIL.
Palestinian residents of the Old City face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.
Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed to drive on al-Shuhada street, have had their homes and shops on the street welded shut, and in some areas of the Old City, are not permitted to walk on certain roads.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers move freely on the street, drive cars, and carry machine guns.
Palestinian activists in Hebron have also connected recent settler attacks on Palestinian communities to a decision by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inscribe Hebron’s Old City and Ibrahimi Mosque as protected sites on the World Heritage in Danger list.
According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 77 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.
Palestinian activists and rights groups have long accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.
Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Israelis are often shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed “extrajudicial executions,” or face long prison sentences.
Palestinians also face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not. Israeli settlers who also routinely hurl rocks at Palestinians rarely face any consequences.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Israeli naval forces open fire at fishermen in northern Gaza Strip

Naval zio's

GAZA (Ma’an) — Israeli naval forces opened fire towards Palestinian fishermen in the northern besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip, forcing the fishermen to flee to the shore for safety.
No injuries were reported during the incident.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the army was not aware of such an incident occurring in Gaza.
The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called “buffer zone” — on the Gaza side of the Israeli-Gaza border — as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.
The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Ma’an responds to Israeli accusations of incitement

Ma'an

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Doing everything within their means to cover events in Palestine in a professional and independent manner, Ma’an News’s journalists work day and night under exceptionally difficult circumstances to provide comprehensive coverage of Palestinian and Israeli affairs.

Special efforts have been made to cover the events surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in July. These efforts included translating reports from Hebrew and including reactions from both Palestinian and Israeli sides at official and popular levels. Quotes from press releases issued by Palestinian factions in response to the situation around Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque were also published. So were threats by Israeli extremists who called for the expulsion of Palestinians and the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Ma’an did so as part of its mission to provide its readers and audience with a comprehensive a coverage as possible — as we have done every day in the past 13 years, regardless of local and international reactions.
Ma’an considers itself a “popular” media outlet — meaning that it is the property of the Palestinian people, and won’t be phased by Zionist lobbies’ attempts to intimidate or bully by exerting pressures on donors.
On Tuesday Ma’an wrote an article in Arabic about a Hebrew-language song advocating violence against Israelis. The network did so as part of its duty to cover all events and reactions to the situation in Palestine in general, and in Jerusalem in particular.
As a result of this report, Ma’an has come under attack by right-wing Israeli entities. Such a campaign against Ma’an is similar to what other Palestinian media outlets have gone through. Attacking Palestinian media won’t help stop the uprising, nor will it end violence. It is yet another example that extremist Israelis want to intimidate Palestinian journalists and distract from the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is a political conflict, not a religious one.
When asked to comment on the case during a televised report by Israel’s Channel 2 criticizing Ma’an, Editor-in-Chief Nasser Lahham pointed out that Channel 2 and other Hebrew-language news outlets had also recirculated the song, exactly as Ma’an has done.
“To involve the European Union and other donors who fund free journalism in this fabricated crisis is just an attempt to punish Ma’an and Palestinian media,” he said.
“We don’t incite because we don’t believe in incitement, and we don’t practice violence because we aren’t combatants but rather journalists,” Lahham added. “We welcome any nonpartisan party to be the judge between us and the occupation, but it is unacceptable that the occupation play the role of both the prosecution and the judge at the same time.”

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Abbas: ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine’

M Abbas and Jerusalem

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In a speech on Saturday evening, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and nothing else.”

Addressing hundreds of Jerusalemite Palestinians in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Abbas as saying that the “Palestinian leadership listened to Jerusalemites’ appeals and would continue to do so.”
Abbas applauded Palestinian residents of Jerusalem for their courage and strength during 13 days of protests in July denouncing new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the wake of a deadly shooting at the compound on July 14.
Despite Israeli forces’ violent repression of demonstrations across the occupied Palestinian territory, during which six Palestinians were killed, Israel eventually backtracked and removed all new security apparatus at the compound, in what was celebrated as a victory of popular Palestinian mobilization.
“We should preserve the victory achieved in Jerusalem to achieve another victory or to take another step forward,” Abbas said.
“We will all remain as murabitun (recruits) in Jerusalem, in Al-Aqsa, and in the land of ribat,” he added, using an Islamic term referring to the defense of Islam.
While Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, according to Palestinians and the international community the city has remained an intricate part of the occupied Palestinian territory and would be considered the capital of any future Palestinian state.
The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.
Abbas added that the mistakes of 1948 — when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced during the creation of the state of Israel, in what came to be known as the Nakba, or catastrophe — would not be repeated.
Speaking about intra-Palestinian issues, Abbas confirmed that the PA would continue to reduce financial support to the Gaza Strip as long as the Hamas movement did not stick to the PA-mandated terms of reconciliation.
Abbas’ comments on the issue came as Hamas announced on Thursday its readiness to do away with its administrative committee in Gaza, should the Fatah-led PA retract all punitive measures imposed on the besieged coastal enclave in recent months.

(Source / 06.08.2017)

Israel assisting Saudi Regime in aggression against Yemen

The Israeli regime is providing logistic and material assistance to Saudi regime in its military offensive against Yemen, reports say.

An Israeli warplane recently provided large volumes of light and heavy military equipment and mobile spying devices to Saudi military forces in a regional base.

Israeli regime military officers are also training the Saudi officers on urban and irregular warfare.

el Aviv regime is “manipulating” the UAE and Saudi Arabia to achieve its expansionist goals in the Middle East region.

In April, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the Saudi government unleashed deadly air raids against Yemen after it had received the green light from the United States and Israel, and was promised military cooperation by some regional states.

It is also believed that the Tel Aviv regime has been closely collaborating with Saudi Arabia in the aggression against Yemen.

“I see this war once again is a product of the unholy alliance between the Saudis and the Israelis,” Saeb Shaath, an author and Middle East expert in Belfast, told Press TV in June, adding, “this is a war executed by the Saudis and the Israelis and led I think by Israeli generals who are executing this for the Saudis.”

“The Israelis see Ansarullah as enemies and they see Saudis as friends,” Seif Da’na, professor at University of Wisconsin in Chicago, told Press TV in June.

The development comes as Saudi Arabia intensifies its deadly aggression against the Yemen people.

(Source / 06.08.2017)