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Dagelijks archief 13 augustus 2017

Hamdouna: IPS escalates suppressive measures against prisoners

Hamdouna vs IPS

Rafaat Hamdouna, Head of Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, said on Saturday that the so-called Dror Special Forces of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has recently carried out an exhausting search campaign against Palestinian prisoners. Entire prison sections were moved to other jails at the pretext of looking for communication devices, he highlighted.

In a press statement, Hamdouna said the IPS has been deliberately transferring prisoners between different jails in order to create a status of instability and tension among detainees.

The IPS has trained a number of Special Forces’ units for conducting search and storm campaigns and for controlling prisons through constant raiding of prisoners’ wards. The Israeli break-ins usually include firing of live bullets and assaulting captives in clear violation of Article 85 of Fourth Geneva Convention which stipulates the protection of prisoners, Hamdouna pointed out.

He asked international institutions including the UN Human Rights Council as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and other UN and Human rights organizations to pressure Israeli occupation authorities to protect Palestinian detainees from the Israeli Special Forces’ aggressive practices and violations.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

Belgian youth call for freedom for Khalida Jarrar

Photo: Comac

The youth of Comac, the student movement of the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) returned from a solidarity delegation to Palestine on 27 July. For two weeks, a group of 13 students were introduced to the daily life of Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank.

They also met the daughter of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar, imprisoned since 2 July in an Israeli prison. “The story of Jarrar is that of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and their families,” said Comac vice president Olivier Goessens, one of the participants in the delegation.

Comac called upon Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to admonish the Israeli government. “We call on the Belgian government to pressure Israel for her immediate release and to end all Belgian partnerships with the Israeli army and prisons.”

During the trip, the Comac delegation met with Suha Jarrar in Ramallah, the daughter of Khalida Jarrar. She recalled the brutality with which her mother was taken from her bed in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers.

Her mother was elected in 2006 to the Palestinian Legislative Council and represented Palestine in the Council of Europe. She has previously been imprisoned because of her human rights activism and political work. In 2015, she was arrested by the Israeli army after playing a key role for Palestine at the International Criminal Court, where Israeli officials could be pursued for their violations of international law. At the time, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz called her trial “a Kafkaesque perversion of military law” that followed a campaign of international support.

“Suha highlighted the fear and uncertainty that the family experiences today, that of thousands of Palestinian families,” Goessens said. According to the NGO Addameer, there are currently at least 6,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Of these, there are at least 200 under the age of 18, including many who are 13 or 14 years old.

The circumstances in which these political prisoners are held and the inhumane interrogations used by the Israeli army and police are, according to Amnesty International, techniques of psychological and physical torture. Last spring, 1,700 Palestinian prisoners conducted a hunger strike for 40 days against mistreatment during prison transport and denial of basic rights like regular family visits.

“Comac calls for the release of Khalida Jarrar in respect of her rights, but also as a symbolic first step to put an end to the political imprisonments in Israeli prisons,” Goessens said.

“We expect the Belgian government to not only passively observe how parliamentarians and human rights activists are locked up. We sent a request to Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to pressure Israel for the release of Khalida Jarrar. In addition, we ask him to end all Belgian partnerships with the Israeli army and prisons. In particular, the Belgian government, along with KULeuven, is involved in the LAW-TRAIN project which researches interrogation techniques in collaboration with the Israeli police. It is not acceptable to support torture ill-treatment, and the imprisonment of political prisoners by Israel, and moreover, to import these pratices in Belgium!” concluded Goessens.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

West Bank ex-detainees’ hunger strike enters its 16th day

Hunger strike ex-detainees

Palestinian ex-detainees, whose salaries were recently halted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), continue on Sunday their hunger strike for the 16th day in the sit-in tent erected in al-Sa’a square in Ramallah.

According to the PIC reporter, the sit-in tent frequently witnesses solidarity visits by activists and local and human rights organizations, the latest of which was by al-Dameer Association for Human Rights.

In a related context, Hand in Hand Association during an official visit to the sit-in tent called on the PA to keep ex-prisoners away from political disputes and to backtrack on its decision to cut their salaries.

Two months ago, the PA decided to suspend the salaries of 277 Palestinian prisoners and ex-prisoners in response to Israeli and US pressures. This move led some ex-detainees and their families to stage a sit-in and start a hunger strike later in protest at the decision.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

Asmaa Beltagy’s mother: My daughter sacrificed her life for Egypt’s victory, dignity and prosperity

Asmaa Beltagy, the 17-year old 'Baby of Rabaa', killed on August 14, 2013 by Egyptian snipers.

Asmaa Beltagy, the 17-year old ‘Baby of Rabaa’, killed on August 14, 2013 by Egyptian snipers

Asmaa Beltagy, a 17-year old Egyptian, was standing among protesters in a sit-in staged in support of former President Mohamed Morsi when shots from a sniper rifle ended her life on August 14, 2013.

That day Egyptian security forces violently dispersed the sit-in in eastern Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square, killing nearly 2,600 protestors, according to figures by the Muslim Brotherhood group.  Egyptian authorities, however, say only 623 people were killed in the dispersal, including a number of security personnel.

The dispersal came a few weeks after the military, led by then-defense minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, deposed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup.

In the aftermath of the coup, Egyptian security forces launched a harsh crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood groups, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

Asmaa Beltagy, the 17-year old 'Baby of Rabaa', killed on August 14, 2013 by Egyptian snipers.

Hundreds of Egyptians have fled the crackdown and sought refuge abroad, including Asmaa’s mother, Sanaa Abdel Gawad Mohamed, who resides in Istanbul, Turkey.

Read: How Asmaa was killed

Described as the Baby of Rabaa, her assasination sparked outrage across the globe. Upon her death, her mourning father wrote a letter to his beloved daughter. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke-down on live television when the letter was read out to him.

Sanaa Mohamed told Anadolu Agency:

It was not an easy decision to leave my country where my daughter sacrificed her life for its victory, dignity and prosperity

She said she had to leave Egypt “because they [authorities] wanted to take revenge on all of us”.

Sanaa Mohamed’s husband, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy, has been in jail for over three years on multiple charges, including violence and incitement. Her two sons, Anas and Khaled, were also detained by Egyptian authorities.

“They left none of our family members,” the bereaved mother said, adding:

Even Hossam, the little boy, 13, they didn’t leave him alone. They chased him to send him to prison.

For all of that, I was forced to leave my beloved country

Read: Letter from Dr Mohamed Beltagy to his martyred daughter

Asmaa Beltagy, the 17-year old 'Baby of Rabaa', killed on August 14, 2013 by Egyptian snipers.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

Israeli forces detain mother, brother of Palestinian assailant in Kobar

Mother Omar al-Abed

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained the mother and brother of 19-year-old Omar al-Abed — currently imprisoned by Israel after carrying out a deadly stabbing attack in Israel’s Halamish settlement last month — in the village of Kobar in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during a raid early Sunday morning.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Ibtisam al-Abed, al-Abed’s mother, during a raid on the family’s home. Ibtisam was released from Israeli prison some two weeks ago after Israeli forces detained her a week following the deadly attack. She was ordered to pay a 10,000 shekel ($2,801) bail at the time.
Israeli forces also detained al-Abed’s brother Khalid for the first time.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the two detentions, and told Ma’an that Ibtisam and Khalid al-Abed were suspected of having prior knowledge of the attack carried out last month.
Al-Abed broke into a home in the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, located nearby Kobar village, and stabbed three Israelis to death. He was shot and moderately wounded by a neighbor of the victims and subsequently detained following the attack.
The deadly attack took place on the same day as three Palestinians were killed — two of them by Israeli police and one by an Israeli settler — when large-scale civil disobedience demonstrations in occupied East Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes, in which hundreds more unarmed Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces, over heightened Israeli security restrictions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Meanwhile, Abd al-Jalil al-Abed and Ibrahim al-Abed, al-Abed’s father and uncle, were also detained during an overnight raid several days ago.
Almost immediately following the attack last month, Israeli forces raided Kobar, interrogated the family, and detained al-Abed’s 22-year-old brother Munir, a student at Birzeit University.
Ibtisam was detained by Israeli forces for the first time last month over accusations of “aggravated incitement” due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son’s actions, saying she was proud of him and hoped for his release.
Since the attack, Kobar has been sealed by Israeli forces, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that the al-Abed family home be demolished by Israeli forces as a punitive measure against the family.
Other Israeli ministers have demanded that al-Abed be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only carried out the death penalty once since the state was established almost 70 years ago. The man executed at the time was Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal who played a major role in organizing the Holocaust.
Rights groups have often called Israeli responses to Palestinian attacks a form of “collective punishment” by punishing family members and entire communities that are not accused of wrongdoing.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

Former Israeli attorney-general calls eviction of Sheikh Jarrah family ‘unjust’

Sit-in Shamasna

Palestinians sit infront of Shamasna family home in Sheikh Jarrah (File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s former Attorney-General, Michael Ben Yair, has spoken out against the forcible expulsion of Palestinians from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, saying that the Israeli government should expropriate disputed properties in East Jerusalem and give them to the Palestinian inhabitants of the homes, who have lived there for decades.

The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday that Ben Yair made the comments on Friday while speaking to a crowd of Palestinians who had gathered in solidarity in front of the home of the Shamasna family, who is facing imminent evacuation from their home of 53 years to make room for Israeli settlers claiming they own the family’s home.
According to Israeli law, Jewish Israelis are permitted to claim ownership over property believed to have been owned by Jews before 1948 during Ottoman or British rule. However, such a law does not exist for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their lands and homes during and after the establishment of the state of Israel.
Israelis have also claimed that Sheikh Jarrah was once the site of a 19th century Jewish community.
“The current Israeli law that enables double compensation only for Jews for [lost] properties in East Jerusalem from the times before 1948 is unjust,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Ben Yair as saying, adding that the former attorney-general’s family owned properties in Sheikh Jarrah prior to 1948.“If the Israeli government would have acted decently toward all its residents, including you (the Palestinian residents), it would have appropriated the properties in the neighborhood (from the alleged Jewish owners) and given these properties to the Palestinians who live there today,” Ben Yair said.“My family and the family of my cousin who were forced to leave the neighborhood in January 1948 got properties of Palestinians refugees on Jaffa Road and in the Katamon neighborhood in west Jerusalem,” he added, saying “they were worth much more than the properties that we left in Sheikh Jarrah.”The Jerusalem Post added that Ben Yair said if Israel conductrf land registration in Sheikh Jarrah, “he would demand that the ownership of the building that his family had would go to the Palestinians who live in it today.”
Some of the properties that had once been owned by Jews — thousands of whom fled East Jerusalem during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war — were repurposed by the Jordanian government, who took control over the territory following the war, to house some of the approximately 750,000 Palestinians who were forced from homes that were consumed by the new Israeli state.However, when Israel took control over the territory after the Six-Day War in 1967, the Jordanian-controlled properties were transferred to Israel’s general custodian.
Before 1967, the Shamasna family, who has lived in their home for 53 years after fleeing their village of Qatanna in 1948, had rented the property from the Jordanian government.
In 2009, when a wave of Israeli settler ownership claims targeted the neighborhood, the building’s custodian refused to renew the Shamasnas’ lease, stating that the heirs of the Jewish homeowner had filed a lawsuit.
However, the family has refused to leave.
If the eviction plans are carried out, it would be the first eviction in the neighborhood since 2009, when the Um Kamel al-Kurd, Ghawi, and Hanoun families were evicted from their homes by Israeli settlers under similar ownership claims.
The 2009 evictions sparked widespread protests in Sheikh Jarrah. At the same time, a group of Israeli settlers took over the front section of the al-Kurd family home claiming that their ancestors had once owned the plot of land; eight years later, the family has continued to live side-by-side with the Jewish extremists.
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, mass demolitions of Palestinian homes, and stringent laws making it difficult for Palestinians to maintain their East Jerusalem residency.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

‘The PA can now arrest anyone’: Palestinian journalists declare hunger strike

Journalist at demo in WB

A journalist during a protest at Israel’s Ofer detention center in the West Bank

By: Jaclynn Ashly

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As local and international criticism continued to mount against the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s (PA) tightening noose on freedoms of expression in the occupied West Bank, seven Palestinian journalists imprisoned by the PA have begun a hunger strike after being detained under the controversial Cyber Crimes Law, approved by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month.

Palestinian journalists Mamduh Hamamra, a correspondent for Al-Quds News, Al-Aqsa TV correspondent Tariq Abu Zeid, and freelance journalist Qutaiba Qassem all declared a hunger strike immediately after their detentions were extended by up to 15 days on Thursday, according to a statement released by Omar Nazzal, a member of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and former prisoner of Israel.
Issam Abdin, a lawyer and head of advocacy at Palestinian NGO al-Haq, confirmed to Ma’an that four more Palestinian journalists –Al-Quds News correspondent Ahmad Halayqa, Shehab News Agency correspondent Amer Abu Arafa, and reporters Islam Salim and Thaer al-Fakhouri — had declared a hunger strike on Thursday to protest their detention.
The journalists had all been detained several days prior for allegedly violating the terms of the new law, according to Abdin.
All seven of the journalists reportedly work for media outlets that were among 30 sites blocked by the PA in June — all of which were reportedly affiliated with the Hamas movement, the ruling party in the besieged Gaza Strip which has been embroiled in a bitter ten-year rivalry with the Fatah-led PA, or Abbas’ longtime political rival, Muhammad Dahlan.
While the move to block the websites in the West Bank was condemned at the time as an unprecedented violation of press freedoms in the Palestinian territory, Abbas took the crackdown on media to another level last month by passing the Cyber Crimes Law by presidential decree.
‘A draconian law’
In a statement on Thursday, Nazzal said that at least six of the imprisoned journalists — omitting al-Fakhouri — were being detained over allegations of violating Article 20 of the Cyber Crimes Law.
The article states that an individual could face at least one year in prison or be fined at least $1,410 for “creating or managing a website or an information technology platform that would endanger the integrity of the Palestinian state, the public order, or the internal or external security of the State.”
Meanwhile, “any person who propagates the kinds of news mentioned above by any means, including broadcasting or publishing them” faces up to one year in prison or a fine ranging from $282 to $1,410, according to the new law.
Abdin told Ma’an that these “loose articles,” through which individuals would face imprisonment simply for publishing certain articles on their social media accounts, set the groundwork for arresting Palestinian journalists and “destroying the freedom of journalism work in Palestine.”
Nadim Nashif, the cofounder and director of Palestinian and Arab digital advocacy group 7amleh, called the law “terrible” and “draconian.”
“It’s the worst law in the PA’s history,” Nashif told Ma’an. “It allows the PA to arrest anyone under unclear definitions.”
Nashif noted that not only did the law criminalize the creation, publication, and propagation of certain information deemed dangerous by the PA, it also ruled that individuals found to have bypassed PA blocks on websites through proxy servers or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) could face three-month prison sentences.
Nashif told Ma’an that the law had dragged the West Bank “backwards.”
Despite Israel’s decade-long occupation of the West Bank and the more than 10-year political split with Hamas, “generally, the media and websites were left alone,” Nashif said. “They were not part of this political fight.”
“The PA is kind of breaking the last spaces of freedom of speech,” he said.
Palestinian journalists trapped between Hamas-PA divide
Rights groups were quick to condemn the detention of the journalists, claiming that the new law was aimed at rooting out political dissent against Abbas and the PA — likely under the auspices of the PA’s widely condemned security coordination with the Israeli state, although the PA has repeatedly stated that it has halted this policy since July.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, a PA security official had initially said that at least five of the imprisoned journalists were arrested for “leaking information and communicating with hostile parties.”
However, Addameer added, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate contacted Palestinian security forces on Wednesday morning and were told that the journalists were detained “in order to pressure Hamas to release another journalist detained in the Gaza Strip,” referring to Fouad Jaradeh, a correspondent for official PA news channel Palestine TV who has been imprisoned in Gaza for more than two months.
Both Hamas and the PA have been criticized for carrying out retaliatory acts on individuals affiliated with the opposing group, most notably in the shape of politically motivated arrests and imprisonment.
Abdin told Ma’an that Palestinian journalists have been “plunged into the Hamas-Fatah division,” as both groups have targeted journalists in order to quash opposition that could affect their political hold in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said in a statement on Wednesday that the journalists’ arrests were “part of a marked escalation of violations against media freedoms” in both the West Bank and Gaza.
However, the new law and Abbas’ moves to stifle dissent against the PA are “not just problematic for journalists,” Nashif told Ma’an. “Any activist or individual who the PA thinks is an opponent can now be arrested without any clear reason.”
The PA has also been accused of conducting sweeping detention campaigns targeting Hamas-affiliated residents of the West Bank, while the PA has escalated measures in recent months to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of the Gaza Strip.
A study by Palestinian think tank al-Shabaka documented the consequences of the PA’s security campaigns, “whose ostensible purpose were to establish law and order,” but have been perceived by locals as criminalizing resistance against Israel.
‘It’s illegal under Palestinian law’
Abdin pointed out that both the website blocking and the new cyber crimes law violated Article 27 of Palestinian Basic Law, which protects the press freedoms of Palestinian citizens, including their right to establish, print, publish, and distribute all forms of media. The law also guarantees protections for citizens who are working within the field of journalism.
The article also prohibits censorship of the media, stating that “no warning, suspension, confiscation, cancellation, or restriction shall be imposed upon the media,” unless a law violating these terms passed a legal ruling.
Abbas, however, has not received permission from the judiciary to approve these far-reaching restrictions on the press, according to Abdin.
Since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not convened in Ramallah, meaning that the vast majority of laws passed by the PA in the past ten years have been passed by Abbas, who extended his presidency indefinitely in 2009, via presidential decrees.
Al-Haq has pointed out that the new legislation violates international law, including Article 19 of theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Rights groups, activists, and journalists have demanded that the PA amend the law to abide by pre-existing Palestinian legislation, rescind its blockage of news sites, and end its practice of routinely arresting Palestinian activists, writers, journalists, and others for their political opinions.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

Palestinian Youth Activist Tareq Mattar Imprisoned Without Charge or Trial

13 AUG
6:19 AM

Palestinian youth activist Tareq Mattar was ordered to six months imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention on 10 August 2017. The order was issued by the Israeli occupation military commander over the West Bank and a confirmation is expected from an Israeli military court within 72 hours.

Mattar, 28, is a Palestinian youth leader who is active in a variety of projects, initiatives and forums to organize Palestinian youth and promote study and discussion of the Palestinian cause.

Mattar was seized on 3 August after Israeli occupation forces invaded his family home twice in two days, ransacking and destroying his family’s belongings. While in the family home, occupation forces threatened his family members that they will return every day, tear apart the home and harass and even arrest if Tareq did not report for interrogation. When Mattar appeared at the occupation military base with his family, he was seized by occupation forces and his family sent back. Only days later, he has joined 500 other Palestinians in being ordered imprisoned without charge or trial under an indefinitely renewable administrative detention order and 6,200 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Administrative detention orders are frequently used to target and imprison community leaders and Palestinian organizers. The orders are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians have spent years at a time held in indefinitely-renewable administrative detention.

Via the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

(Source / 13.08.2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (03 – 09 August 2017)

13 AUG
6:11 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 03 – 09 August 2017.

Ten Palestinian were wounded, including 9 civilians, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them were wounded in the West Bank and 5 others in the Gaza Strip, while Israeli warplanes targeted two military sites in northern Gaza.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including 9 civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them were in the West Bank while the 5 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea.  Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against military training sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups.

 

In the West Bank, on 28 July 2017, Israeli forces wounded 5 Palestinian civilians. Three of them were hit with metal bullets during Kafr Qaddoum weekly demonstration, northeast of Qalqilya, in protest against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village with an iron gate.  The 2 others were hit with bullets when the Israeli forces raided Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to arrest them.

 

In the Gaza Strip, border areas witnessed protests against the continued and unjust closures imposed on the Gaza population.  The Israeli forces used force against the participants.  Due to the shooting used to disperse the protestors, 4 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 2 of them with live bullets while the other 2 with tear gas canisters and sound bombs that directly hit them.

 

In the context of airstrikes, on 09 august 2017, Israeli warplanes targeted in separate air strikes a military training site and checkpoint belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas Movement) in the northern Gaza Strip.  The first airstrike resulted in the injury of a Member of Palestinian armed groups with shrapnel to the head.  The 2 airstrikes caused damage to the site and checkpoint.

 

Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 04 August 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 05, 07 and 08 August 2017.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 64 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 710 ones in Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 106 Palestinian civilians, including 21 children and 4 women. Thirty-six of them, including 8 children and a woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 03 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into east of Khuza’ah village, northeast of Khan Younis.  They levelled lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Efforts to create Jewish Majority

 

In the context of house demolitions, on 08 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamzah al-Shaloudi in al-Rabay’ah neighbourhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing.  The wife of the house’s owner said that she lived with her husband and 2 children for 3 months in the 65-square-meter house.  She added that the Israeli Municipality demolished the house without any prior warning.  When the Municipality staff arrived to demolish the house, she called the lawyer who headed to the Municipality and managed to get a decision to delay the demolition.  However, the bulldozers had already demolished the house.

 

On 09 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction room belonging to Siyam family in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of no licensing.  The family said that the 45-square-meter room was built of wood as the family started building it 2 months ago.

 

Settlement activities and settler attacks

 

In the context of demolition notices and house demolitions, the Israeli authorities notified 14 residential, commercial and industrial facilities in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, to be demolished under the pretext of no licensing although the facilities are located within Area B according to Oslo Accords.  The Head of the municipality said that among those notified facilities is a private school located within Silwad Municipality.  This school was built 10 years ago and is the only private school in the eastern Ramallah villages.

 

Concerning settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 04 August 2017, dozens of settlers from “Karayat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian houses in Jaber neighbourhood to the east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque with stones.  They also attacked Palestinian civilians under the protection of the Israeli police and forces, who did not lift a finger to prevent them.  As a result, Tariq Rebi’ie Tamimi (40) was wounded to the left hand and sustained fracture in the palm of his hand.  Moreover, Menwer Jaber (40) was wounded to the head and transferred to Hebron Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment.

 

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 Against Israeli Measures in al-Aqsa Mosque:

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following Friday prayers on 04 August 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians from Dura organized a protest and made their way to Muthalath Kharsa area, south of the city, southwest of Hebron, in rejection to the Israeli policy of confiscating a 500-square-meter land belonging to al-Shahatit family as the soldiers transferred it to a military watchtower. The land is located in area (A) that is under the Palestinian control according to 1993 Oslo Accords near the bypass road (60) and “Negohot” settlement. At the end of the prayer, the protestors raised the Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans condemning the Israeli policy of confiscating lands. Large Israeli forces patrolled the area and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many civilians sustained tear gas inhalation. A number of young men threw stones and empty bottles at the soldiers and set fire to tires. Meanwhile, a wastewater pumping vehicle arrived to the area and sprayed the main road and shops with wastewater. Clashes continued until the evening hours, but neither injuries nor arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 13:45 on Friday afternoon, 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, a 36-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the Back.

 

  • At approximately 13:45 on Saturday afternoon, 05 August 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, a 26-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the right hand and a 39-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the back.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, 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, 4 civilians were wounded. Two civilians sustained live bullet wounds while the 2 others were hit with tear gas canisters.

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, Israeli forces deployed in Tal al-Ramidah neighbourhood in the centre of Hebron, arrested ‘Emad ‘Awni Abu Shmaisah (45), a human rights defender, while he was in front of his house. ‘Emad was then taken to “Kiryat Arba investigations centre, east of the city, and was released in the evening. ‘Emad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

While I was near my house, an Israeli patrol stopped me and then detained me. I was then taken to an investigation centre in Kiryat Arba settlement, where they took me to an investigation room. After that, they informed me that there was a video showing I pushed an Israeli soldier in order to seize his firearm. I denied all their claims and asked them to show me the video. At approximately 18:00, I was released on one condition that I should return back for interrogation if they summon me.

 

  • At approximately 12:10 on Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Jawhar Jameel Suliman al-Deek (35), from Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit, after checking his ID card.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces stationed at al-Karama crossing, arrested Sa’d Khalid Riyad Haj Mohamed (22), from Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. Sa’d was arrested while travelling to Jordan through the crossing.

 

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:

 

  • Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 21:00 on Thursday, 03 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Maragha neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Yousef Maher al-Rajbi (19) and Mohamed Fayiz al-Rajbi (15).

 

  • At approximately 23:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrested persons were identified as Abdullah Abu ‘Asab (11), Ahmed Naser Dayiah (11) and Yousef al-Za’tari.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, on 04 August 2017, Israeli forces deployed at al-Aqsa Mosque Gates in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City arrested 9 Palestinian civilians while they were on their way out from al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli forces stopped the civilians, checked their IDs and then searched them. In the meantime, the arrested persons were taken from al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate) to al-Rahama Gate Cemetery, where there was an investigation center. According to Lawyer Mohamed Mahmoud, the arrested persons were identified as photojournalist Mohamed al-Fateh Abu Isneinah; Mohamed al-Taweel; Mohamed al-Baby; ‘Obaidah al-Taweel; Nour al-Herbawi; Hassan Abu Lail; Samer Tawfiq Shaniq; Rayan Hamed and Basil Jaber.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Saturday, 05 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saleem Abu Kowaik and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Basil Dowaik (19) and arrested him.

 

  • On Sunday, 06 August 2017, Israeli forces arrested 9 Palestinian civilians after beating them up at al-Silsilah and al-Majles Gates of al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Palestinian civilians were arrested in concurrent with an activity organized for children in al-Aqsa Mosque yards. Eyewitnesses stated that the Israeli forces beat up and pushed Palestinian worshipers while entering al-Majles and al-Silsilah Gates. They also raided nearby houses from which they arrested Mayada Shawamrah and 6 other civilians. The arrested persons were identified as ‘Alaa al-Haddad, Mo’ayad Idreis, Mo’az Idreis, Ahmed Idris, Abdullah Badran and ‘Atif Badran. At al-Silsilah Gate, the Israeli forces pepper-sprayed al-Aqsa Mosque guards and worshipers after beating them up. They also detained al-Aqsa Mosque guard, ‘Imran al-Rajbi, in the detention center for few minutes before he was released. Before al-Maghrib prayer, the Israeli forces arrested Tareq Ziyad Abu Mayalah at al-Majles Gate while attempting to enter al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

  • At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amjad Hassonah (19) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:30 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into Beir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Adullah al-Qumairy and arrested his two sons Mohamed (22) and Rashid (20).

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 07 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mofeed Ziyad ‘Imran Sa’idah (17) and Jihad Naser Sa’idah (18).

 

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces arrested and beat up Nour al-Deen Ishaq al-Rajabi (54) while he was near al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate), one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.

 

  • At approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Omar Mohamed Showaki (14), Sameer Bakhtan (13) and Omar Bseilah (14).

 

  • At approximately 00:30 on Tuesday, 08 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Adli Khalil al-Salaimah (34) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Tuesday, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mustafa Mohamed Abu Jamal (14) and arrested him.

 

House Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 08 August 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Hamza al-Shalodiy in al-Rabaiy’ah neighborhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hamza said that large number of Israeli Special Forces accompanied with sniffer dogs, Israeli Municipality crews and bulldozers moved into al-Rabaiy’ah neighborhood. He added that the Israeli Special Forces raided his house, forced his family to leave the house, took some its contents out and then demolished it.

Sanna’ Halsah al-Shalodiy, Hamza’s wife, said that she lives with her husband and their 2 children in their house for 3 months. It should be noted that the house was built on an area of 65 square meters. She stated that the Israeli Municipality demolished the house without any prior warning. Sanaa’ added that when the bulldozers came to demolish the house, she called the lawyer who then headed to the municipality and managed to get a decision to delay the demolition, but the bulldozers had already demolished her house. Moreover, she said that the Israeli Municipality crews, who were surrounding the house, refused to delay the demolition until the lawyer came with the decision to delay the demolition. When the Israeli court decided to delay the demolition, the bulldozers had already demolished most of the house except for parts of a room.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 09 August 2017, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction residential room belonging to Siyam family in Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Siyam family stated that the Israeli municipality bulldozers accompanied with Israeli forces surrounded the house and demolished it. They also demolished the fence surrounding the land on which the room is established. The family said that the 45-square-meter residential room was built of wood 2 months ago.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • On Tuesday, 08 August 2017, the Israeli authorities notified many residential, industrial and commercial facilities in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the abovementioned facilities is located in (B) areas according to the 1993 Oslo Accords.  The Chairman of Silwad village Municipality, ‘Abed al-Rahman Saleh, stated that Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Silwad village. They handed 14 administrative demolition notices to owners of houses, facilities and a private school. He added that among the notified facilities, there was a private school located within Silwad village municipality. He also said that this school is the only school for the villages in the eastern side of Ramallah.

 

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

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 04 August 2017, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba settlement, east of Hebron, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in Jaber neighborhood “al-Masharqa al-Foqa”, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque. They threw stones at the houses under the Israeli forces protection. As a result, Tareq Khadir Hasan “Rabi’y Tamimi” (40), sustained wounds to the left hand and the palm of his hand was fractured. Moreover, Ahmed Hamed Jaber (40) sustained wounds to the head. Both of them were then taken to Hebron governmental hospital to receive medical treatment. Minwer Jaber said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

I live with my family in al-Masharqa al-Fouqa area between “Kiryat Arba’ settlement and al-Ibrahimi Mosque. At approximately 21:00 when I was home, I heard some shouting in front of the house. I then headed to the window and saw 5 children from our neighborhood walking on the street and around 30 Israeli settlers; most of whom were young, cursing them. One of the children namely Mahmoud Nihad Jaber (7), shouted at the settlers. In the meantime, one of Israeli soldiers came and pushed Mahmoud to the wall and held his hand. I then opened my house door to see what was going on, during which a number of Palestinian young men gathered and attempted to rescue Mahmoud. Meanwhile, the Israeli settlers attacked Ahmed Abed al-Kareem Jaber (15) and hit him with their hands. Ahmed attempted to defend himself, but 3 Israeli soldiers attacked him and pushed him to the wall. Ahmed fell into the ground, during which 2 Israeli soldiers sat over him and started punishing his head and back and then took him away. The Israeli settlers threw stones towards the Palestinian young men and their houses; one of the settlers had an automatic firearm and then pointed it at the Palestinian young men. After that, an Israeli soldier intervened and took the settler away. In the meantime, my neighbor, ‘Aref Jaber (45), arrived at my house filmed what was happening via his phone. Three Israeli settlers then attacked us, so a number of Israeli soldiers approached and took the Israeli settlers away from us, while another Israeli soldier came towards us and sarcastically asked us what is going on? The Israeli settlers continued to throw stones and curse us. The stones heavily fell over my house, so ‘Aref was hit with a stone to his head and started bleeding.  I then took him inside the house.”

 

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 / 13.08.2017)

Abbas, Israel Pull The Power Plug On War-Torn Gaza Strip

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor gaza crisis 2017

The nearly two million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, under the dual thumbs of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, have faced waves of military destruction, along with enforced shortages of basic goods and services. Israel, at the Authority’s request, has cut off most of Gaza’s electricity as well.
 

GAZA — The Gaza Strip — one of the most densely populated areas in the world and often referred to as an open-air prison — rarely makes headlines nowadays, despite a situation there that is becoming increasingly dire for local Palestinians. The Strip, which is about the size of Detroit, is home to nearly 2 million people, a majority of whom are under the age of 25.

Since the 2005 election of Hamas in Palestine, the Israeli government has controlled Gaza’s airspace, food access, acquisition of building materials, and electricity. In the last 10 years, the local population has faced recurrent, if not perpetual, military action, including six full-fledged military operations launched by Israel, with the unwavering support of the United States. In 2014, Operation Protective Edge—a 51-day war—further devastated Gaza, killing over 2,200 Palestinians, more than 500 of them children. It also left the small enclave still more vulnerable, as the homes of some 18,000 residents were destroyed by Israeli bombs.

Still reeling from war, the Palestinians of Gaza have continued to face electricity shortages that leave them without power in extreme weather conditions for up to 20 hours a day. According to the Israeli head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas requested that Israel stop supplying electricity to Gaza in April of this year, due to the Authority’s power struggle with Hamas for control over the Strip. Israel has happily obliged.

These outages have led to creative endeavors such as solar power initiatives. But, especially with Israel denying crucial building materials from entering the Strip, the solar power alternative falls short of allowing residents to have normal lives. Having electricity for two to four hours a day is the worst it has been, according to locals; but they’re not holding out hope that things will get better.

Not until Israel’s siege ends, and those funding the siege, and larger occupation, stop financing this devastation.

(Source / 13.08.2017)