Israeli military court extends detention of Palestinian child prisoner, son of man injured by Israeli medical negligence

On Thursday, 19 October, the Salem military court extended the detention of Anas Hamarsheh, 17, from the village of Ya’abad near Jenin, until next Tuesday, despite his need for ongoing medical care, said his sister Laila Hamarsheh to Wattan TV.

No charges have been issued against the boy, who was seized on Sunday, 8 October in a pre-dawn raid in which Israeli occupation forces invaded the family home. However, his sister stated that “we have learned that the arrest took place in the context of stone throwing.” Stone-throwing charges are some of the most frequent allegations used by the Israeli occupation when jailing Palestinian child prisoners, who overwhelmingly report experiences of threats, abuse, beatings and other forms of physical and psychological torture under interrogation.

Anas, a high-school student, is held in the Jalameh/Ketziot interrogation center at present. He suffers from osteonecrosis of the hip and requires treatment; he is in danger of losing his ability to walk. One leg is shorter than the other and he has difficulty running or playing sports; his leg is also at risk of infection.

He is the son of former prisoner Adnan Hamarsheh, who spent 11 years in Israeli prisons; Anas’ mother, Reem, was also imprisoned for eight months. His parents noted that they told the occupation forces when they took their son that they bear responsibility for any consequences from the arrest of Anas, as he urgently needs physiotherapy and other treatment as well as a special diet.

“Since his arrest, Anas has been transferred to the Jalameh interrogation center by the Israeli occupation. After several days in detention, the Israeli occupation extended his detention for eleven days. He is in a very tough condition now, based on my own experience in detention. His situation is contrary to the fact that he is still a child and should be at school, and not in the interrogation cells,” said his father to the Palestine Information Center. 

Hamarsheh noted that this issue has special significance to the family due to his own experience in Israeli prisons. He suffered a series of strokes on 17 February 2014 while under Israeli interrogation; after two days of hospitalization, he was returned to the prison. He was transferred several times between the hospital and the prison, losing vision and balance. He was not charged and was instead ordered to six months in administrative detention. Since that incident, he has used a wheelchair due to his balance problems and difficulty walking and has been denied the right to travel to receive medical treatment.

“The aggressions of the occupation would only increase our steadfastness in our land and our right to it. The occupation always seeks to break the will of all the families that believe in resistance to liberate Palestine,” said Hamarsheh, noting that he sees the arrest of their youngest son as part of a systematic and ongoing attack on the family.

(Source / 21.10.2017)

PA court acquits al-Araj’s comrades: “A correct decision at an incorrect time”

The Palestinian Authority’s Ramallah Magistrate’s Court dismissed charges against five Palestinian young men, comrades of Basil al-Araj, the assassinated Palestinian youth leader, in a hearing on Thursday, 19 October.

The six, al-Araj, Haitham Siyaj, Mohammed Salameen, Seif al-Idrissi, Mohammed Harb and Ali Dar al-Sheikh, were seized by PA security forces in April 2016; PA president Mahmoud Abbas touted their arrest as an example of the value of PA security coordination provides to the Israeli occupation. They were released after an open hunger strike and growing Palestinian popular demands for their freedom; the PA prosecution accused them of possession of unlicensed weapons.

Following their release, four of the six – Siyaj, Harb, Salameen and al-Idrissi – were seized by Israeli occupation forces; all four are currently held without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. They failed to arrest al-Araj; instead, on 6 March 2017, Israeli occupation forces stormed the Ramallah homewhere he was staying, shooting him down as he resisted.

Only one week after his assassination, al-Araj and his comrades’ case was scheduled for a hearing in the PA court, prompting mass anger and clashes outside the court when PA security forces attacked peaceful demonstrators demanding an end to the case. Charges against al-Araj were dropped due to his death; they were delayed several times against the others due to their ongoing imprisonment by the Israeli occupation without charge or trial.

A Palestinian commission set up to investigate the events outside the court when PA security forces attacked, beat and injured demonstrators urged that the charges be dropped against all six and the case closed.

Palestinian lawyer Muhannad Karajah, who represents the youth, said in Quds News that “the charges were dropped because they did not commit any crime…the case has ended with a clear ruling confirming the acquittal of the five young people from any charges brought by the prosecution.”

Al-Araj’s mother spoke with Wattan TV after the verdict, saying “If they are acquitted now or not, what is the benefit of that now? After Basil died, what is left?” Speaking to her son, she said, “Are you now innocent, so you can go and come out of the grave and get them out of the prisons of the occupation?”

Al-Araj’s father said that “This is a correct decision at an incorrect time, as it has come after a lengthy procrastination. This decision was made after these youth have paid a very high price on their lives and their freedom.”

(Source / 21.10.2017)

Israeli Navy Shot, Wound Palestinian Off Gaza Coast

Israeli occupation carry out such attack almost every day

Israeli occupation navy has shot and wounded Palestinian youth off the northern Gaza coast, Palestinian medical source said.

The sources said that the 19-year-old youth, was sailing off the coast of Beit Lahiya when the Israeli naval forces opened fire on his boat.

According to them Palestinian medical sources, the youth was wounded in his leg, noting that his injury was moderate.

Israeli occupation forces carry out such attack against Palestinian fishermen in the sea and farmers in their farms almost every day.

Since 2007, the Israeli occupation has been imposing a strict siege on the Gaza Strip, preventing the entrance of basic materials, food, medical supplies and electricity.

Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights reported in May that since the beginning of the year, Israel had seized five fishing boats, abducted 14 Palestinian fishermen, shot and injured four, while two fisherman had been killed.

(Source / 21.10.2017)

Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns

The new Makor Chaim campus under construction, with Neve Daniel settlement in the background [provided to author]

The new Makor Chaim campus under construction, with Neve Daniel settlement in the background

By Ben White

The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.

It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt.

The new statement from the Commission comes in response to questions about UK Toremet, a charity which, as revealed by Middle East Monitor in September 2015, is acting as a conduit for donations to Israeli settlements in the oPt.

Settlements are considered a serious violation of international law, a position held by the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the British government, among others.

Following the initial report in Middle East Monitor, the then-Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office disclosed that the Commission would be meeting with the charity’s trustees to review UK Toremet’s “governance, policies, procedures and operational activity”.

In May 2016, the Commission confirmed that it had an “open case”, and a few months later, said UK Toremet had been issued with “an action plan” and that its “compliance” was being monitored. The Commission uses such plans to advise and require the trustees to carry out certain actions.

Revealed: the UK charity facilitating donations to Israeli settlements

The latest statement from the Commission, issued earlier this month, adds significant details to what is known about its communications with UK Toremet.

According to a spokesperson, the Commission has “informed the charity that it must consider the risk of making a grant to a charity operating in the occupied territories, including whether it would breach the Geneva Conventions Act 1957”.

While “a grant to a charity in the occupied territories does not automatically constitute a criminal offence in the UK”, the statement continued, it is “for the trustees to manage the risk of doing so and to consider whether it is in the charity’s best interests”.

The Geneva Conventions Act 1957 incorporates the provisions of the Geneva Convention into British law. Israeli settlements in the oPt are widely seen as constituting violations of the Convention’s prohibitions on, respectively, transferring the Occupying Power’s civilian population into the occupied territory, and the appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.

The Commission further added that it “is in continued engagement with the charity”, and that when this is completed, the Commission “will provide a report detailing the engagement”.

UK Toremet receives donations on behalf of what it calls ‘recipient agencies’, organisations or charities in Israel and elsewhere, who donors wish to support. By September 2014, it had distributed over £1 million, and represented “over 250 carefully-vetted Recipient Agencies”.

Read: UK charity under pressure over donations to Israeli settlements

Crucially, the charity enables “tax-efficient online donations”, making it “easier to gift money to charities outside the UK by facilitating a UK tax receipt and Gift Aid qualification”. Donating through Gift Aid enables a charity to claim from the UK government an extra 25p for every £1 given.

Among the list of UK Toremet’s approved recipients are several operating in, or for the benefit of, Israeli settlements in the oPt and their residents. These include a religious school built in the heart of Hebron, as well as projects in the settlements of Susya and Ma’ale Hever.

Other recipient agencies listed on the UK Toremet website include one foundation established “for the benefit of the residents of Efrat [settlement]”, and another which supports some 20 settlements south of Jerusalem and works to maintain “maximum Jewish presence in the region”.

The recipient agency that has attracted most attention, however, is Makor Chaim, a religious school raising funds for a new campus under construction on land adjacent to Neve Daniel, a settlement west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.

According to the school’s website, the campus “will serve as the beachhead for a whole new expansion, tripling the size of Neve Daniel”. Building permits were issued by the Israeli authorities after the land was “clear[ed]… of contesting Arab claims”, the website adds.

Based on updates posted in August and September, construction of the site is now well advanced, including a dormitory complex, parking lot, and access road.

This effective expansion of Neve Daniel settlement bodes ill for the nearby Tent of Nations, a well-known Palestinian-owned educational and environmental farm whose land is at the centre of a decades-old legal battle with the Israeli occupation authorities.

In a recent newsletter sent to supporters, the Tent of Nations warned that they “may face a permanent closure of our main access road to the farm” as a result of the settlement expansion. Photos taken this week show the proximity of the religious school to the farm, and how Israeli soldiers have already blocked the access road to vehicles.

UK Toremet currently lists Makor Chaim as a recipient agency for donations, and, as the school itself proudly states, donations given via the UK charity are “tax deductible”.

In May 2016, this state of affairs was the subject of a Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM), tabled by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Tommy Sheppard. The EDM attracted support from dozens of cross-party MPs, who expressed “serious concerns regarding donations to UK charities that are alleged to be funding construction projects at Neve Daniel”.

Read: Fact-checking Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev

The EDM noted how “existing UK case law demonstrates that activities carried out abroad are not charitable if contrary to public policy” and affirmed that “charity funds should under no circumstances be directed towards the development or maintenance of Israeli settlements”. The text urged the government to “liaise” with the Charity Commission “to investigate this matter”.

Welcoming the latest developments, Tommy Sheppard described the Charity Commission’s new statement as “very important and a step forward”.

“There is no question that Israeli settlements in the oPt are illegal under international law”, the SNP MP continued. “As a general principle, British charities shouldn’t be supporting illegal activities, and especially, as in the case of Israeli settlements, when it leads to the oppression of the Palestinians and violation of their human rights”.

The Charity Commission also revealed that UK Toremet has appointed a QC to legally review the list of organisations to which it distributes funds, but as this is being done independent of the Commission, the timescale or nature of this review is unclear. UK Toremet founder and CEO, Jonny Cline, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

UK Toremet CEO Jonny Cline in materials for the 2013 municipal elections. [http://send.hadavars.com/images/mikihr2911/joni.pdf]

Cline is a city councillor as part of the religious Zionist party Jewish Home, whose leader – Minister Naftali Bennett – is a vocal opponent of Palestinian statehood and supporter of the settlements. Cline moved to Israel from Manchester aged 18, and has previously both lived in a West Bank settlement himself, and also worked for senior, settlement-based officials.

One question presumably being considered by the charity, in light of the Commission’s communications, is to what extent trustees are obliged to ensure the removal of settlement-linked recipient agencies, given their duty to protect the charity from risk. The British government already actively discouragesUK citizens from pursuing “economic and financial activities in the settlements”, based on the “legal and economic risks”, as well as the “potential reputational implications” and “possible abuses of the rights of individuals”.

One issue that remains unaddressed directly by the Commission is the human rights angle; Israeli settlements in the oPt are not just illegal under international law, but are also – in the words of Amnesty International – part of an “inherently discriminatory” policy.

“Since the occupation first began in June 1967, Israel’s ruthless policies of land confiscation, illegal settlement and dispossession, coupled with rampant discrimination, have inflicted immense suffering on Palestinians, depriving them of their basic rights”, Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty International UK Campaigns Manager, told Middle East Monitor.

“Any organisation, including charities, which enable and support Israel’s illegal settlements is fuelling the suffering of Palestinian civilians and complicit in discrimination, violence and illegality”.

Campaigners are heartened by the Charity Commission’s latest stance. “We welcome the news that the Charity Commission is taking a more serious approach to the complicity of a British charity with Israel’s illegal occupation”, said Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, “but further action is required, especially from the Government”.

“Whilst the government recognises the illegality of Israeli settlements it has taken no decisive steps to end UK financial support for them”, he added. “Such steps would include introducing a ban on the import of settlement goods to the UK, and excluding from public procurement all companies involved in settlements”.

Explained: Israeli Settlements

(Source / 21.10.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Release Two Teens After Holding Them For Several Hours

21 OCT
3:28 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday afternoon, Palestinian agricultural lands, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and detained two teenagers for several hours.

Media sources in Jenin said the soldiers invaded Palestinian lands in Zabbouba village, and abducted Suleiman Jamal Jaradat, 16, and Ahmad Hamdan Shar’a, 16; both from Sielet al-Harithiyya town, west of Jenin.

The sources added that the soldiers cuffed and blindfolded the two teenagers, and took them to Salem nearby military base.

The two were interrogated for several hours, before the army released them, and handed them to the Palestinian District Coordination Office.

(Source / 21.10.2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12 – 18 October 2017)

21 OCT
7:04 AM

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 12 – 18 October, 2017.

20 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children, were wounded in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 20 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children; 4 of them including a child were in the West Bank while the 6 others, including 3 children, were in the Gaza Strip.  In the Gaza Strip, Israeli naval forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea and open fire at farmers and houses in the border areas.  The fishermen in the Sea were subject to 12 shooting incidents during the reporting period.

 

In the West Bank, 15 October 2017, a 13-year-old Palestinian child sustained shrapnel wound to the left leg when Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of youngsters and students, who threw stones at the soldiers after their incursion into Rojib village, southeast of Nablus.

 

On 16 October 2017, a young man was wounded to the foot when Israeli forces moved into al-Dheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and opened fire.  On 18 October 2017, 2 civilians were wounded in Nablus and Ramallah following the Israeli forces’ incursion into the cities and closure of 8 media offices.

 

In the Gaza Strip, the border areas witnessed protests against the on-going unjust closure on the Gaza population.  During the protests, the Israeli forces used force against the protestors and opened fire in order to disperse them.  As a result, 6 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded; Five were wounded in eastern Jabalia and the other in al-Brueij refugee camp.

 

In the pretext of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Sea, PCHR monitored that Israeli forces escalated their attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea although declaring fishermen are now allowed to fish until 9 nautical miles instead of 6.  This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy of targeting fishermen and their livelihood.  During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats 12 times; 11 of which were in the north-western Beit Lahia and western Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip and one was off Kahn Younis shore in the southern Gaza Strip.  On 15 October 2017, 4 fishermen were arrested off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and 8 fishing nets were confiscated.  The arrested fishermen were later released.

 

On 17 October 2017, Israeli gunboats fired shells at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within 2.5 nautical miles.  As a result, the boat was destroyed and drowned in the Sea.

It should be mentioned that the Ministry of Agriculture said that Israel informed the Ministry of Affairs that the allowed fishing area expanded from 6 to 9 nautical miles starting at 15:00 on Wednesday, 18 October 2017.

 

In the context of targeting the border areas, on 13 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village and al-Sunati area in ‘Abasan al-Kabirah.  As a result, farmers and civilians panicked, but no casualties were reported.

 

On 15 October 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip opened fire at the lands and houses in the eastern areas.  No casualties were reported.

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 47 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 50 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children. Six of those, including a child, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

As part of the Israeli attacks against media, on Wednesday, 18 October 2017, Israeli forces closed 8 branch offices of 3 media companies in the West Bank, providing media services in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah. These companies are PalMedia, Ram Sat, and Trans Media, noting that the offices are rented by the channels of al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Palestine Today.  Israeli forces confiscated the broadcasting devices and equipment and closed the offices for 6 months without identifying the reasons in addition to arresting 2 journalists from Hebron.  These attacks are part of systematic steps to silence the voice of truth and cover up the serious violations of human rights in the oPt.

 

Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

In the context of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, dozens of settlers continued to raid al-Aqsa Mosque and its yards in East Jerusalem’s Old City under the Israeli forces’ protection and provoking Palestinians there.

 

Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their property:

 

As part of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 12 October 2017, hundreds of settlers under the Israeli forces’ protection moved into several neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City coinciding with the last days of the Jewish Sukkot Holiday.  They attacked shops and damaged 4 vehicles and a motorbike in al-Wad neighbourhood in the Old City.  They also moved into the African Community neighbourhood near the Council “al-Majles” Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and threw stones, sticks and chairs at the houses’ doors and windows in the neighbourhood.

 

On 16 October 2017, the Israeli authorities declared seizing dunums from al-Ta’amrah lands, east of Bethlehem.

 

On 17 October 2017, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses in Yasoul Valley neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, without any prior warning under the pretext of building without a license.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces were preparing to demolish a third house but the demolition was delayed after its owner resorted to the Israeli court.

 

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

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30, following Friday prayer on 13 October 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international activists organized a protest in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to the eastern entrance to the village in protest against closing that entrance since al-Aqsa Intifada. When the protestors approached the abovementioned entrance, the Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. As a result, a number of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 13 October 2017, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee in the central Gaza Strip, in solidarity with Jerusalem and protesting against the Israeli violations in al-Aqsa Mosque. About 30 youngsters gathered near the security fence and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 17-year-old child, from al-Buraij refugee camp, sustained a live bullet wound to the right foot. He was transferred to Shuhadaa’ al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah to receive medical treatment. His wound was classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, protesting against the Israeli closure and violations on the Gaza Strip. Some of the protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The shooting and clashes sporadically continued until approximately 18:45 on the same day. As a result, 5 civilians, including 2 children, were directly hit with tear gas canisters. They were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, and their condition was classified as minor.

 

Note: PCHR Keeps the names of the wounded persons.

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 01:30 on Thursday, 12 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bahaa Ahmed Abu Tayieh (20) and arrested him.
  • In the evening, Israeli forces turned al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, into a closed military zone. They also fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at the village residents. Activist Mohamed Abu al-Humus said that, on Thursday, hundreds of Israeli soldiers moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, where they heavily fired sound bombs, tear gas canisters and live bullets. They also turned the village into a closed military zone by closing all streets, surrounding the village, and imposing curfew. The Israeli soldiers also arrested Mohamed Abed al-Raaouf Mahmoud (17) while he was in a car at the village entrance. Due to firing the tear gas canisters, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Moreover, the closure imposed on the village, especially at the eastern and western entrances to the village; firing sound bombs and metal bullets at vehicles and residents; topping at houses’ roofs; and stationing in many neighborhoods caused a state of tension and anxiety in the village.

 

  • At approximately 23:20, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abed al-Raheem ‘Isaa (24) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 15 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers deployed in many neighborhoods and confiscated flags and banners, which were hanged on walls for welcoming prisoners. They also pushed and beat up Yousef Muhasin, his wife Fadia and their daughter Salsabil while they were near al-Salam Amusement Park at the northern entrance to the village. Yousef was arrested and then taken to Salah al-Deen police center for investigation. PCHR’s fieldworker said that Yousef’s wife and his pregnant daughter were taken to hospital to receive medical treatment due to sustaining bruises. Moreover, the Israeli forces removed a banner for welcoming the prisoner Nimer Mahmoud and confiscated it. They also confiscated flags for welcoming the prisoners Mahmoud and ‘Ata Mohamed Derbas. The Israeli forces also moved into al-‘Issawiyia village cemetery in an ongoing violation of the sanctity of the dead persons.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 16 October 2017, a large force of Israeli soldiers moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They searched houses and shops from which they confiscated surveillance cameras and arrested civilians, who were later released. The Israeli forces raided and searched a house and a toys shop belonging to Ziyad ‘Afanah after damaging the door locks and then arrested him. Clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers, who heavily fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at an UNRWA school for girls, causing fear among female students. The Israeli soldiers topped the houses roofs and deployed snipers before their withdrawal.

 

  • At approximately 13:30, a large force of Israeli soldiers moved into the schools street in the center of al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They heavily deployed in the area and indiscriminately fired rubber-coated metal bullets and sound bombs at the students when students were leaving their schools. As a result, 10 students, who are between 9 and 16 years old, were hit with sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets and sustained shrapnel wounds. Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that Israeli forces raided al-‘Issawiyia village and wounded 10 students who are between 9 and 16 years old while getting out of the school. The students sustained wounds to the face, limbs, abdomen and waist. All of them were then taken to hospitals and clinics. Moreover, dozens of students were afraid due to raiding the main street near their school by the Israeli soldiers. Abu al-Humus added that one of the wounded persons was transferred from al-Maqased Hospital to Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital in the evening. It should be noted that the abovementioned wounded person was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the waist and his health condition was serious as his spleen was removed. Abu al-Humus also said that the Students’ Parents Committee decided to suspend the school day in all schools in al-‘Issawiyia village until further notice in protest against the Israeli forces’ daily incursions coinciding with the start and end of the school day. He said the Israeli forces are trying to provoke and intimidate the students and erupt clashes.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 17 October 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’diyia neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Salah Sharifah (22) and arrested him.

 

  • Houses Demolition:

 

  • On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers without a prior warning demolished 2 houses in Yasoul Valley neighbourhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. The bulldozer also started to demolish another house, but the demolition decision was delayed because its owner went to the Israeli court. According to PCHR’s investigation and eyewitnesses’ statement to PCHR’s fieldworker, on Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff moved into Yasoul Valley neighbourhood and stationed in Abu Tayieh area. They then demolished 2 houses belonging to Abu Rajab family.

Omar Abu Rajab said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli bulldozers demolished his house and his brother’s house, Raied, after fully surrounding the houses. He added that the demolition was carried out although the judge has not yet considered the appeal submitted by the family lawyer. He also said that the family had a decision to delay the demolition, but the Israeli municipally staff refused it and carried out the demolition without a prior warning.

Abu Rajab said that the two houses were built 14 months ago, and the Israeli Municipality handed them the demolition decision in last April and from that time the demolition decision was delayed several times. Lately, a hearing was held to delay the demolition and the judge has not yet considered the decision, pointing out that the family submitted the documents requested by the court and began the licensing procedures.

Abu Rajab also pointed out that his family told him about raiding the house to demolish it when he was in his work. When Abu Rajab returned, he could not enter his house or helping his family in vacating the contents due to the closure imposed on the area. He added that they demolished the houses without vacating all the contents.

It should be noted that the house sheltered 9 persons, including 2 children, and after demolishing the house, Abu Rajab family set a tent in front of their house rubble. The family became homeless due to the demolition.

 

  • In ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood, Israeli forces raided a house belonging to Sha’ban Abu Tayeh and completely surrounded his house. The Israeli Municipality staff vacated the house contents to demolish it under the pretext of non-licensing. The house’s owner managed to delay the demolition decision after he resorted to the court. Two hours later, the Israeli forces withdrew from the neighborhood.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property:

 

On Thursday, 12 October 2017, hundreds of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into many neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, concurrently with the latest days of Jewish Sukkot Holiday. The Israeli settlers attacked shops and damaged 4 vehicles and a motorcycle in al-Wad neighborhood. They also moved into the African Community neighborhood and threw stones, chairs, and sticks at the houses’ doors and windows. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered to stop the Israeli settlers’ attacks. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians sustained wounds and fractures while Ya’qoub al-Dabbagh (13), was arrested. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli settlers severely beat up Ibrahim al-Hashlamoun, raided his shop and damaged its contents in Al-‘Amoud Gate area. They also raided a house belonging to Maher Abu Isneinah on al-Wad Street. Eyewitnesses added that the Israeli forces only moved the Israeli settlers away from al-Wad Street and when the settlers arrived at al-Amoud Gate area, they beat Ibrahim up after raiding his shop.

In next day morning, the Israeli settlers organized a demonstration on al-Wad Street, while the Israeli forces heavily deployed in the area. The Israeli settlers also established iron barriers on roads and obstructed the civilians and traders’ movement.

 

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

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • On Monday, 16 October 2017, the Israeli authorities declared seizing many agricultural dunums from al-Ta’amrah lands, east of Bethlehem. Hasan Braijah, Representative of Committee against Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, said that the Israeli forces declared a military order holding No. 25/17 T, to seize of 3dumuns and 600 square meters in a plot of land No. 4 from al-Ta’amrh lands near “Nokdim” settlement, west of al-Ta’amrah lands. Hasan Braijah pointed out that the military order warns civilians of using the plot of land only through the Israeli forces, in which by this way the Israeli settlers will easily seize the land.

 

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 (PCHR.)

(Source / 21.10.2017)

Japan Funds Construction of West Bank Schools

21 OCT
6:38 AM

Japan’s Representative Office to Palestine, Thursday, signed two grants to fund the construction of additional classrooms in two secondary schools in the Jenin-district village of Kufr Dan and Nablus-district village of Farkha.

Japan’s ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative to Palestine Takeshi Okubo and a representative of Kufr Dan municipality signed a US$90,690 grant contract at the office of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Ramallah.

The funds will be used for the construction of a new building consisting of three classrooms in Kufr Dan Secondary Boys School, according to WAFA.

“This project aims at securing extra classrooms and creating more efficient learning environment for 88 fifth-grade students. Once the project is implemented, the current fifth grade classrooms will be used by first-grade students who are currently studying at rented classrooms,” a press statement from the representative office said.

Separately, Okubu and a representative of Farkha Village Council signed a US$89,851 grant contract for the construction of an additional floor consisting of four classrooms (each 48 m²) in Farkha Secondary Girls School.

“This project aims at securing extra classrooms and creating more efficient learning environment. Once the project is implemented, the 4 new classrooms will be used by 76 students of 9th -12th grades,” a statement from the representative office read.

Okubo emphasized Japan’s firm commitment to supporting the Palestinian people from human security perspective, as well as the importance of implementing social and economic development projects needed for Palestinian communities.

Since 1993, Japan’s assistance to Palestinians has amounted to approximately $1.8 billion.

10/19/17 Upscale Tokyo Department Store Withdraws Products from Illegal Israeli Settlements

(Source / 21.10.2017)

IOF arrests two Palestinians east of Jenin

2 Pal's arrested Jenin

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) rounded up two Palestinians in eastern Jenin city in the northern West Bank on Saturday.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF soldiers raided al-Swaitat area in the city and arrested each of Hadi Khamayseh and Adham al-Qadi.

IOF troops were deployed in the area and embarked on combing it. A military barrier was also erected at the bypass road leading to the city.

(Source / 21.10.2017)

Palestinian volunteers help farmers harvest olives in Zububa town

Volunteers Zububa

A group of Palestinian young volunteers participated in an olive harvest campaign launched on Friday in Zububa town, which is located near Israel’s separation wall and Salem military base, west of Jenin city in the occupied West Bank.

The campaign was organized by the Green Life Association under the slogan “Our olive is our identity” with the aim of supporting local farmers and strengthening their steadfastness in the face of Israeli violations.

Town chief Imad Jaradat stressed, in press remarks, the importance of continuing to stage such voluntary activities to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive crops and uphold their lands in all areas affected by the separation wall and threatened with annexation.

Jaradat said that Zububa, in particular, is greatly afflicted by Israel’s separation wall, which is strangling it from three sides and isolating vast tracts of its land.

 

(Source / 21.10.2017)

IOF arrests two minors west of Jenin

2 minors arrested Jenin

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued, Friday evening, attacks on Palestinian farmers working in their agricultural lands, located near the apartheid wall.

Local sources affirmed to the PIC reporter that IOF stormed overnight Zabouba village, west of Jenin, and detained two minors while picking olive trees.

The two detained minors were taken to the nearby Salem military camp for investigation before being shortly released.

IOF soldiers stationed in Salem military camp routinely raid nearby Palestinian villages, forcing local farmers to leave their agricultural lands.

Such Israeli attacks notably escalate during Palestinian olive harvest season.

(Source / 21.10.2017)