Israeli official: BDS activists doing ‘great job’ but there ‘will be a price tag’

Image of BDS protest on 20 September 2012 [Kate Ausburn/Flickr]

Activist come together during a pro-BDS rally on 20 September 2012

A senior Israeli official has acknowledged that activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign are doing a “great job”, but warned that there “will be a price tag” for such actions.

Ron Brummer, executive director for operations of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, made the remarks at an Israeli American Council event on 5 November, at a panel on how to fight BDS, reports Mondoweiss.

Brummer told the well-attended session that “the BDS organisations…have evolved. They have improved. They are doing a great job on the other side and we have to adapt ourselves”.

Echoing the rhetoric of Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, whose purview includes combating BDS, Brummer said Israel has “to move from defence to offense”.

Read: Israeli ministers advance new anti-BDS legislation

He continued: If you want to promote boycotts against Israel, be my guest, it’s your right. But there will be a price tag.

According to Brummer, “what is happening now in Europe” with respect to “economic divestment” campaigning “might be ground zero for the next stage of BDS”, what he described as “a much more severe danger to Israel”.

Promoting divestment from Israel based on the alleged saying that companies who operate in the West Bank, over the Green Line, are violating human rights– this is the narrative that BDS organizations are trying to implement in the UN, in different institutions, but mainly when they encounter European companies.

The Israeli official recognised the success of BDS campaigners’ tactics.

Think about the process. I’m CEO of a company. I’m being approached time and time, over and over again by those BDS organisations, who claim that ‘Because you operate in the West Bank, you are violating human rights’. If I want to react and I want to do something – and all of us don’t want to be considered as violators of human rights – I might just consider stop working in the West Bank.

Revealingly, Brummer claimed that there is little to distinguish between boycotting West Bank settlements and Israel “proper”, telling the audience: “Israel does not have two different economic ecosystems, like, Israel within the green line and Israel over the green line.”

#BDS

“If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely. This is exactly what the BDS delegitimisation organisations are trying to do these days.”

According to Brummer, it is the growing threat posed by divestment in Europe that has driven the recent wave of anti-BDS legislation in US states.

Because eventually when a CEO of a company let’s say in Denmark, has to decide, Does he listen to any kind of UN institution or any kind of human rights report that is being published, or does he want to lose 10’s of millions of contracts in Texas or in Florida? –  most of the CEOs will decide not to lose those 10’s of millions of dollars.

Brummer claimed that “the Israeli government has nothing to do with” the legislative initiatives, “but we look at it from the side, and we think this is a very good process”.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

Palestinian shot, seriously injured by Israeli army

17-year-old Palestinian, Izz al-Din Karajeh, lies wounded on the floor after being shot by Israeli forces

A 17-year-old Palestinian has been critically injured after being shot by Israeli forces this morning, following a suspected resistance attack in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.

The young man was accused of ramming his car towards two Israeli settlers at Efrat Junction and then at Gush Etzion Junction, in the south of occupied Bethlehem. He was then shot by the army as he headed towards a group of soldiers; the military maintains that he attempted to stab soldiers before they shot him.

Israeli doctors confirmed that both settlers who were hit suffered mild to moderate injuries. The army subsequently closed the area, blocking all access to Palestinians.

The Palestinian driver, reportedly from the village of Halhoul, was severely wounded and was transported to hospital in occupied East Jerusalem for treatment, where he remains in a critical condition.

Read: Israeli occupation forces destroy commercial building in Jerusalem

Israeli forces regularly shoot Palestinians that they suspect of carrying out resistance attacks, even if eyewitness accounts point to the contrary.

At the end of last month, Israeli occupation forces opened fire on a Palestinian driver near the illegal settlement of Halamish, leaving the driver dead and his sister with a shoulder injury.

Despite many such incidences of unprovoked attacks on Palestinian, a culture of impunity with the Israeli military means no one is held accountable.

Israeli authorities also routinely seal entire villages following Palestinian attacks or alleged attacks and demolish the family homes of the perpetrators; one of many measures implemented as a form of collective punishment. Amnesty International is among numerous human rights organisations that have condemned such policies, which impact families for years after an attack occurs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increased the demolitions of Palestinian homes since 2015. The move is justified as part of a policy of deterrence, despite previous military committee statements that such actions do not prevent attacks.

Read: Israel deports 320 Palestinians in East Jerusalem

(Source / 18.11.2017)

French delegation delays visit to Palestinian prisoners

Israeli security forces break up Palestinian protests organised to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, in Ramallah, West Bank on April 23, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces break up a Palestinian protest organised to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 April 2017

A French delegation of elected officials and lawmakers on Friday decided to postpone their visit to imprisoned Palestinian activists, “faced with Israeli government threats”.

The members of the delegation made the decision after meeting Friday night with officials from the French foreign ministry.

The delegation, part of the “Barghouti network” — named after prominent Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israel — were scheduled to start a five-day visit to Palestine and Israel on Saturday.

Attitude of Israeli government amounts to ‘contempt of the French Republic and its elected officials’

delegation says.

The delegation was planning to visit Barghouti and Salah Hamouri, a French-Palestinian prisoners’ rights activist arrested by Israeli forces in August.

“The growing pressure by the Israeli government on our Israeli and Palestinian partners, its strategy of tension, does not ensure the security of the delegation. We would not have been able to ensure our program of meetings with Israeli parliamentarians in the Knesset and the Palestinian Authority in the Muqata as well as with NGOs,” said the representatives of the Barghouti network in a statement.

READ: French lawmakers walk out of parliament in protest of anti-Palestinian comments

The network said the attitude of the Israeli government signifies “a contempt of the French Republic and its elected officials”.

“In this situation, we will redo steps to ask the French government to support a new application for authorization to meet Marwan Barghouti and Salah Hamouri in prison.”

Israel announced Monday it would not allow the seven-member delegation to enter the country due to their support for a boycott of Israel, according to the Haartez newspaper.

It reported the decision was based on legislation passed by Israel’s parliament earlier this year that forbids entry visas or rights of residency to foreigners who support an international campaign against Israel.

Some of the group’s members had reportedly supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, a global campaign launched in 2005 to create more economic and political pressure on Israel as well as to end international support for its occupation of Palestinian land.

Barghouti on April 16 wrote an article for the New York Times from Hadarim Prison describing the difficulties faced by Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons and launched a hunger strike.

At least 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 while about 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested or detained so far. This corresponds to 40 percent of the Palestinian male population.

READ: 500 Palestinian prisoners serving life terms in Israel jails

(Source / 18.11.2017)

UN: 400,000 starving Yemen children face risk of death

In addition to the Cholera outbreak, at least 3 million children in Yemen suffer from malnutrition as a result of the current conflict [File photo]

In addition to the Cholera outbreak, at least 3 million children in Yemen suffer from malnutrition as a result of the current conflict [File photo]

Three UN agencies have warned that hundreds of starving Yemeni children are facing the risk of death if assistance does not reach them soon, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

In a joint statement, the WHO, UNICEF and WFP said thousands of innocent victims, including many children in Yemen will die if no humanitarian assistance reaches them soon.

They added: “More than 20 million people, including 10 million children are urgent need of humanitarian assistance,” noting that 400,000 children are facing the risk of death due to “acute malnutrition”.

READ: 50,000 Yemeni children will die by end of the year, says Save the Children

Meanwhile, Save the Children said that 50,000 Yemeni children under 15 years old are dying due to sickness and lack of food.

Save the Children warned in a statement of the continuous deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country, stressing that this would end the life of tens of thousands of children.

UN statistics have revealed that about seven million Yemenis are also facing imminent death due to starvation in Yemen.

For his part, the UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed his disappointment of the rejection of the Saudi-led coalition to response to the UN Security Council to lift the siege on Yemen, which is witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis due to the “stupid war”.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

Israeli Colonists Burn Palestinian Lands Near Nablus, Attack Villagers And Firefighters

18 NOV
3:44 AM

A group of extremist Israeli colonists burnt, Friday, Palestinian agricultural lands in Burin village, southwest of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, and attacked many villagers and firefighters.

The Israeli assailants came from Yitzhar illegal colony, and nearby outposts, built on illegally confiscated Palestinian lands, and set fire to olive orchards in the area.

The attackers also assaulted many villagers and firefighters, while trying to extinguish fires set in Palestinian lands close to Givat Ronin illegal colonialist outpost.

The Palestinians eventually managed to remove the colonists and extinguish the fires.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

Bethlehem Checkpoint to be Moved further into al-Walaja, Cutting Villagers Off from Water Supply

17 NOV
11:19 PM

The Israeli government has reportedly informed the Palestinian residents of al-Walaja village, located in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, just on the border of Israel’s Jerusalem municipality, that they are to be cut off from a large portion of their lands due to the relocation of a checkpoint in the area.

Israeli news daily Haaretz reported that an Israeli Jerusalem district planning committee announced that the Ein Yael checkpoint between Jerusalem and the illegal Har Gilo settlement — which was built on al-Walaja’s lands — would move deeper into Palestinian area, where it will become part of the “Jerusalem metropolitan park.”

Inside the land that is to be annexed, is the Ain al-Haniya spring, the second-largest spring in the occupied West Bank according to Haaretz.

The spring is also one of the main water sources for the residents’ livestock to bathe and drink from, and also serves as a recreational spring for the people of the surrounding areas, who flock to the spring to picnic and swim.

According to Haaretz, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Jerusalem Development Authority have already started renovation work at the spring and the surrounding areas, and plan on surrounding the spring with a fence, building a visitors center and a restaurant and turning it into one of the entrances to Jerusalem’s metropolitan park — a park where the residents of al-Walaja and Bethlehem would not be able to access without special permits.

Haaretz further reported, according to Ma’an, that the resident of al-Walaja received letters telling them that the checkpoint will be moved closer to their village, some two and a half kilometers deeper into Palestinian territory from where it is currently located.

The villagers were reportedly given 15 days to appeal the decision.

Once the checkpoint is relocated, Palestinians without Jerusalem resident papers or Israeli-issued visitor permits will not be allowed to pass through it and will be prevented from accessing the spring, fields, and farming terraces to which they have tended to for generations.

“Ironically, the well-groomed, carefully tended terraces that al-Walaja’s residents have nurtured over the years were one of the reasons given by the Israeli authorities for setting up a park in the area,” Haaretz said.

Haaretz quoted Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at Israeli NGO Ir Amim as saying that “Israelis will stroll among the beautiful terraces, tended to and fostered by al-Walaja residents, with the land owners locked behind a barbed wire fence a few dozen meters away, unable to come to the lands that were robbed from them.”

“That’s the rightist government’s vision: instead of peace and justice, fences and increasingly brutal oppression,” he said.

The village of al-Walaja has long been the target of Israeli land confiscations and mass Israeli demolitions for the purpose of expanding Israel’s illegal settlements and advancing the construction of Israel’s separation wall — deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

At the end of April, Israel resumed construction of the separation wall in the village after a three-year hiatus.

Residents of al-Walaja lost over three-quarters of their lands since the state of Israel was established in 1948, when most of the village’s residents became refugees.

During Israel’s military takeover of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967, 50 percent of al-Walaja’s lands were annexed to the Jerusalem municipality.

Meanwhile, Israel’s separation wall encircles al-Walaja, and swathes of land have been re-appropriated by the Israeli government for the construction and expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo, Har Gilo, and Givat Yael.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

Army Isolates Halhoul, North Of Hebron

18 NOV
4:30 AM

The Israeli military completely surrounded and isolated, on Friday evening, the town of Halhoul, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, as a collective punishment measure against the entire town, after a Palestinian boy attacked and mildly injured two colonist settlers, earlier in the day.

The Palestinian has been identified as Ezzeddin Ibrahim Karja, 17, from Halhoul. The soldiers shot him with several live rounds, causing serious wounds.

The Israeli army said that it decided to impose a siege on the town, “after assessing the security situation,” and that Karja’s family has been summoned for interrogation.

Lawyer Karim ‘Ajwa, of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, stated that Ezzeddin was still in a very serious condition at the Intensive Care Unit in Hadassah Israeli Medical Center in occupied Jerusalem.

In related news, Israeli colonists attacked two Palestinian children in Wadi an-Nassara area, near the illegal Keryat Arba’ colony, east of Hebron city.

Media sources in Hebron said the colonists hurled stones at many Palestinian homes, and sprayed several children with pepper spray, causing two to suffocate.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09 – 15 November 2017)

17 NOV
11:05 PM

(photo: house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal, blown up in Beit Sorik village.)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 09 – 15 November, 2017.

Israeli forces continued to apply the collective punishment policy, while a house belonging to the family of Nemer al-Jamal was blown up in Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use force against the protests in the West Bank.  In the Gaze Strip, They also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Sea and target farmers and houses in the border areas.

 

In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting fishermen in the sea, PCHR monitored the Israeli naval forces’ escalation against fishermen in the Gaza Sea although it was announced that the Gaza fishermen are allowed to sail to 9 nautical miles instead of 6.  This proves that the Israeli forces continue their policy of targeting fishermen in their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats chased fishing boats and opened fire at them 4 times; 3 of them in the north-western Beit Lahia and one in the western Soudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 09 November 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza Valley village in the central  Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands along the eastern areas.

 

On 13 November 2017, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah.  As a result in both incidents, farmers there were terrified and forced to flee and leave their work behind.  Neither casualties nor property damage was reorted.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use force against the protests organized by Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders against the annexation wall, confiscation of lands and crimes of settlement expansion.  During the reporting period, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 89 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank while they conducted 7 incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 48 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank while 34 civilians, including 19 children and 2 women, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Collective Punishment Measures:

 

As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the families of Palestinians accused of and/or carried out attacks against the Israeli soldiers and/or settlers, on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli soldiers blew up a house belonging to the family of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal in Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.  The house is an apartment in a residential building.  As a result of blowing up the house, the other apartments in the building sustained severe damage in addition to the nearby houses.  Residents of the area said that their houses are in danger of collapse due to the severe damage and cracked walls.  It should be mentioned that al-Jamal carried out an armed attack on 27 September 2017 against the soldiers stationed at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement and killed 3 of them before al-Jamal being killed by an Israeli military force in the area.

 

Measures to Make a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

As part of house demolitions and demolition notices, on 11 November 2017, ‘Abdel Moghni Dweik self-demolished parts of his house in al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, upon a decision by the Israeli municipality, which threatened him of demolishing the house and charging him with all the demolition costs, which are usually very high.  Dweik said that the Israeli Municipality threatened to fine him with 80,000 shekels.  He added that he built his house 2 years ago and tried to obtain a license but in vain, noting that the 60-square-meter house sheltered 4 family members.

 

On 14 November 2017, Amin al-‘Abasi self-demolished his shop in ‘Ayn al-Lozah neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City, upon the Israeli Municipality’s decision.  The abovementioned civilian said that his 55-square-meter shop was built of reinforced sheet 2 years ago.  It should be mentioned that in the latest incursion, the municipality officers orally threatened of forcing him to pay the demolition costs in case he did not self-demolish the shop.

 

On 15 November 2017, Israeli municipality’s heavy vehicles demolished an under-construction building belonging to Ibrahim Salamah in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of East Jerusalem, without any prior warning.

 

Following this, an Israeli municipality bulldozer demolished an agricultural facility belonging to ‘Omer Dari and comprised of rooms built of tin plates and a storehouse in al-‘Issawiyah village. Meanwhile in al-Joz Valley neighborhood, the Israeli municipality and Nature Authority crews demolished a storehouse and confiscated a container.

 

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

 

As part of the demolition of houses and other civil facilities, on 13 November 2017, Israeli forces built a road for military purposes passing in the civilians’ lands in al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces destroyed 300 meters of the road between ‘Atouf and al-Ras al-Ahmar.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces levelled a 70-meter waterline belonging to al-Baqi’ah Modern Company in al-Baqi’ah area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  This waterline supplied 250 dunums planted with onion, so this would cause severe damage to the area.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces established an iron gate, which is the third of its kind in al-Khelat in al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Jordan Valley.  Therefore, civilians and owners of lands can hardly reach their lands in al-Baqi’ah area.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 09 November 2017, Israeli settlers in the outposts in Hebron’s Old City set up tents in al-Ibrahimiyah yard adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque to receive the settlers coming to the city to celebrate the “Sarah Shabbat.”

 

On 11 November 2017, Israeli settlers raided an archeological tomb, claiming it is a tomb for one of their ancestors namely “Othniel.”  The tomb is a Palestinian archeological building on Beersheba Street where the religious rituals are held.  While the Israeli soldiers were protecting settlers, an Israeli soldier attacked Ahmed Merwan Hadib (16) by hitting him with the riffle’s nozzle.  As a result, Ahmed started to bleed and then taken to the government hospital in the city.  A number of young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers; meanwhile, the settlers left the area and went back behind Checkpoint 56 after finishing their religious rituals.  The soldiers then randomly fired sound bombs and gas canisters at the civilians, and one of the sound bombs fell in front of Salah Wa’ed al-Zarou (22), who suffers from a mental disorder. A number of soldiers attacked him and started severely hitting him with the riffles’ butts and kicking him.  He was then handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to the abovementioned military checkpoint.  He was later released and taken by a PRCS ambulance to the government hospital in the city 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 in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following Friday prayer on 10 November 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin and Bil’in villages, west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

  • Following the end of Friday prayer, dozens of civilians from Kherbet Qalqas, east of Hebron, organized a protest at the southern entrance to the village that has been closed by the Israeli forces for 17 years under security claims, hindering the movement of the village residents. Large Israeli forces arrived at the area, and an Israeli officer in the Civil Administration known as “Hariz” promised the residents to find solutions. However, the soldiers threatened the residents if they do not leave the area they will use force to disperse them. It should be noted that the village residents are about 1300 persons, who take dirt roads while others use the entrance, which is closed with sand down to the main street. During those years, 7 deaths were reported in the village due to run-over accidents by the vehicles on the bypass road when civilians walk on it.

 

Collective Punishment Procedures:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers, on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli forces blew up a house belonging to the family of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal from Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.

According to PCHR’s investigation and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, large force of Israeli soldiers moved into Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem and imposed a security cordon on it. They then surrounded the neighborhood, raided the house of Nemer Mahmoud al-Jamal and forced its residents, who were about 15 persons, to leave it immediately. The soldiers also evacuated the neighboring houses and gathered all the residents in a school yard in the village. Following that, special forces planted a big amount of explosives in the house, which is an apartment in a residential building and then blew it up.  As a result, the apartment was demolished, and the other apartments sustained cracks. Moreover, the owners of the neighboring houses said that their houses might collapse due to the material damage as the walls cracked. It should be noted that the Israeli forces handed the family through their lawyer an evacuation decision until the 4th of this month in preamble to demolish it. They also raided the house on 09 November 2017 and handed al-Jamal family a decision to evacuate the house within a week to demolish it. It should be noted that al-Jamal carried out an armed attack on 27 September 2017 against Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrance to “Har Adar” settlement. As a result, 3 soldiers were killed and then al-Jamal was killed by an Israeli military force that was in the area.

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 00:00 on Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sorik village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nemer al-Jamal and handed his family a decision to vacate the house within this week to demolish it.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces moved into Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khattab al-Khatib and arrested his son Suliman (24) and his daughter Mervat.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 10 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested Rami ‘Emad Mmansour (19), from Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. Rami was arrested while he was near “Kochav Ya’akov” settlement, northeast of the city. The Israeli police later issued a statement claiming that Rami was arrested under the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the area.

 

  • At approximately 18:30 on Saturday, 11 November 2017, Israeli forces arrested Ameer Khalid Abu Mefreh (15) while walking in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Sunday, 12 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into many neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched many houses from which they arrested 5 civilians, including 4 children. The arrested persons were then taken to al-Mascobiyia police center in West Jerusalem. They arrested persons were identified as Abed al-Rahman Showiki (14), Qusai Husam Zaitoun (13), ‘Imran Mofeed Mansour (15), Mahdi Mofeed Mansour (12) and Khalid Waleed Abu Maiyalah (20).

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into Beit Haninah neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. They raided a house belonging to the colonel in the Palestinian police, Hussain al-Kasawani, who was not home during the incursion. The Israeli forces then arrested his wife and 2 children, taking them to a police station in “Prophet Jacob” Colonel Hussain al-Kasawani said that the Israeli forces along with Israeli Intelligence officers raided and searched his house for 3 hours and then arrested his wife and 2 children. He added that the Israeli forces called him and summoned him for interrogation. Al-Kasawani said that the Israeli Intelligence Service did not tell him anything about the arrest or summons reasons. It should be noted that the Israeli forces arrested the Police Chief of Jerusalem’s Suburbs, Colonel Ali al-Qumairi, 2 days ago and asked him about the Palestinian Security Services’ activities in the areas around occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli forces released later him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into many neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched many houses from which they arrested 5 children. The arrested children were identified as Mo’taz Abdullah Zaytoun (15), Mohamed Zaytoun (16), Qusai Nidal al-Rajbi (11), ‘Odai al-Rajbi (16) and Mahdi Qara’een (14).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Baraa’ Khalil ‘Isaa (22) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 00:30 on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 16 civilians, including 7 children. The arrested persons were then taken to Salah al-Deen Police Station for investigation. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested persons.

 

  • House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • On Saturday, 11 November 2017, ‘Abed al-Moghni al-Doweek self-demolished parts of his house in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, after the Israeli municipality threatened to demolish his house and force him to pay all demolition costs. Al-Doweek said that on Saturday, he vacated his house contents and then demolished it to implement the Municipality decision. The Israeli Municipality threatened him to fine him with NIS 80,000, unless he demolished it himself. Abed al- Moghni said that his house was built 2 years ago and he attempted to license it but in vain. The abovementioned 60-square-meter house was comprised of 2 rooms and sheltered 4 persons.

 

  • On Friday, 10 November 2017, the Israeli Municipality staff, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Municipality staff took photos of the houses and streets in many neighborhoods before handing house demolition notices to civilian under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • On Monday, 13 November 2017, the Israeli Municipality staff took photos of shops in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli Municipality staff accompanied with an Israeli military force moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and took photos of 5 shops, including a pharmacy. He also said that the Municipality staff hanged a decision to vacate and remove a commercial container in the village. It should be noted in the morning that the Municipality staff handed administrative demolition notices and summonses for many civilians, ordering them to refer to the Israeli Municipality, west of the city, regarding their houses under the pretext of building without licenses.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Ameen al-‘Abasi self-demolished his shop in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. Ameen said that he forced to demolish his house after the Israeli Municipality raided his shop many times and 2 weeks ago the Municipality raided the shop and hanged a demolition decision issued by the Israeli Court. The Israeli Municipality gave Ameen 30 days to carry out the demolition. Ameen said that his 55-square-meter shop was built of tin plates 2 years ago. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality staff orally threatened him of paying the Municipality’s demolition costs, if he did not obey the orders.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozer without prior warning demolished an under-construction residential building in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff and bulldozers moved into al-‘Issawiyia village and stationed in the center of the village.  The Israeli forces surrounded a residential building belonging to Ibrahim Mousa Salamah and denied him access to the building. They then demolished the building under the pretext of non-licensing. Ibrahim Salamah said that he was surprised with a phone call from one of the neighbors informing him of the demolition. When Ibrahim arrived at the village, the Israeli forces refused to allow him to enter the area until they finish the demolition. Ibrahim said that he received a demolition decision under the pretext of licensing months ago, and his lawyer managed to extend the demolition decision until Wednesday, 15 November 2017, but the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished the building without waiting the court to issue the decision to stop the demolition. It should be noted that Salamah built the 350-square-meter building 8 months ago comprised of 2 floors and another one under-construction. Lately, the Israeli Municipality targeted al-‘Issawiyia village by raiding the village and taking photos of houses, buildings and shops.

 

  • In the same context, at approximately 12:00, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an agricultural facility and storehouse in al-‘Issawiyia village. Mohamed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an agricultural facility comprised of many agricultural rooms built of tin plates. The agricultural facility belonging to Omar Dari was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Dari attempted to license the facility and had a decision to stop the demolition. Abu al-Humus added that the demolition was in the area, which is threatened of confiscation in favor of the “National Park.”
  • In al-Joz Valley neighborhood, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli Municipality accompanied with the Nature Authority staff demolished a storehouse and also confiscated a container in Imro’a al-Qais Street in Wad al-Jouz neighborhood.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 military bulldozers moved into Ras al-Ahmar area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers built a road for military purposes in the civilian’s lands. The road is 1000 meters long and 6 meters wide. While building the road, the Israeli forces destroyed parts of a road between ‘Atouf and Ras al-Ahmar. The destroyed parts were 300 meters long. This project was carried out at the end of 2016 and donated by institutions in the European Union (EU).

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozer demolished a 700- meter -long water line belonging to al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha Company. It should be noted that the abovementioned water line was supplying a 250-dumums planted with onion. This demolition completely damaged the area.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and a crane moved into al-Khilaat area in al-Ras alAhmar in Northern Jordan Valley. They established an iron gate in the area, which is the 3rd one in the area. As a result, civilians and lands’ owner were denied access to their lands located in al-Boqi’a area.
  • On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with a military vehicle and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelit al-Dabie’ area, between “Mitzpe Yair” and “Maon” settlements, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Jaber Ali al-Dababsah (39) a notice to stop construction and vacated his 40-square-meter house, which is comprised of 2 rooms built of bricks and roofed with tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jaber was given 7 days to carry out the orders.
  • At approximately 14:55 on Tuesday, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Hares village, northwest of Salfit. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed a notice to stop building of an under-construction house belonging to Husam Ali Jaber. Moreover, Jameel Moahmed Dawoud was handed a notice to stop construction a barrack for breeding livestock, under the pretext of non-licensing in the area (C) which is under the Israeli control, according to Oslo Accord.
  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli Forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 13 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 military bulldozers moved into Ras al-Ahmar area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers built a 1000-meter road for military purposes on Palestinians’ lands. While building the road, the Israeli forces destroyed 300 meters of the road between ‘Atouf and Ras al-Ahmar.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into al-Boq’iyia al-Haditha area in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozer demolished a 700-meter waterline belonging to al-Boq’iyia Modern Company. It should be noted that the abovementioned waterline was supplying 250 dumums planted with onion, so this would completely damage the area.At approximately 14:30 on Monday, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and crane moved into al-Khilaat area in al-Ras alAhmar in Northern Jordan Valley. They established an iron gate in the area, which is the 3rd of its kind in the area. As a result, civilians and lands’ owner were denied access to their lands in al-Boqi’a area.
  • On Tuesday, 14 November 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with a military vehicle and vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Khelit al-Dabie’ area, between “Mitzpe Yair” and “Maon” settlements, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Jaber Ali al-Dababsah (39) a notice to stop the construction and vacated his 40-square-meter house, which is comprised of 2 rooms built of bricks and roofed with tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. Jaber was given 7 days to apply the notice.
  • At approximately 14:55 on Tuesday, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Hares village, northwest of Salfit. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed a notice to stop the construction works in an under-construction house belonging to Husam Ali Jaber. Moreover, Jameel Moahmed Dawoud was handed a notice to stop construction works in a barrack for breeding livestock under the pretext of non-licensing in Area (C) which is under the Israeli control, according to Oslo Accords.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • On Thursday, 09 November 2017, Israeli settlers from the outposts in Hebron’s Old City, set up tents in in al-Ibrahimiyah yard adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque in order to receive settlers coming to the city to celebrate the “Sarah Shabbat”. This coincided with the Israeli closure of the area and tightening the security measures in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and checkpoints leading to the Old City. The Israeli forces also prevented civilians outside the village from entering the area.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Saturday, 11 November 2017, Israeli forces closed Bab al-Zawiyia area and Beersheba Street in the center of Hebron and forced the shops’ owners to close. A large force of Israeli soldiers and border guard officers deployed in the area in preparation for the arrival of Israeli settlers via the closed Shushed Street at an archeological site, which the settlers claim it is a tomb for one of their ancestors namely “Othniel.” The tomb is a Palestinian archeological building on Beersheba Street where the religious rituals are held.  While settlers were passing by, some of them attempted to climb to remove the Palestinian flags attached to the shops’ doors in the area.  The Palestinians who were in the area expressed their anger by chanting slogans and exclaiming Allah is great under the very eye of the Israeli soldiers.  During the soldiers’ movement between the gathered civilians, an Israeli soldier attacked Ahmed Merwan Hadib (16) by hitting him with the riffle’s nozzle.  As a result, Hadeeb started to bleed and then taken to the government hospital in the city.  A number of young men threw stones at the Israeli soldiers; meanwhile, the settlers left the area and went back behind Checkpoint 56 after finishing their religious rituals.  The soldiers then randomly fired sound bombs and gas canisters at the civilians, and one of the sound bombs fell in front of Salah Wa’ed al-Zarou (22), who suffers from a mental disorder.  As a result, his pants was torn, and a number of soldiers attacked him and started severely hitting him with the riffles’ butts and kicking him.  He was then handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to the abovementioned military checkpoint.  A number of civilians attempted to intervene so he would be released, but in vain.  His detention continued for a few hours before being released and taken by a PRCS ambulance to the government hospital in the city to receive medical treatment.

 

  • 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 11 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 / 18.11.2017)

Prisoner Mohammed Duwaikat loses his sight due to medical negligence

Mohammed Duwaikat

Family of the Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Duwaikat, 30, who is a resident of Balata refugee camp in Nablus, on Friday announced that their son has lost his sight and is now staying at Afula hospital.

Mohammed’s father, Sheikh Mazen Duwaikat, said that they were informed by human rights organizations on Friday that Mohammed lost his sight and was transferred to an Israeli hospital after a long delay in providing medical treatment for him.

He added that Mohammed’s mother visited him in prison in October and noticed signs of fatigue appearing on his face despite the fact that he told her that he was in good health.

He also pointed out that the family were supposed to visit Mohammed at Gilboa prison two days ago but the visit was suddenly canceled, so they had to contact human rights organizations to figure out the reason behind this decision but they were informed that Mohammed was transferred to Afula hospital.

Mazen Duwaikat held the Israel Prison Service fully responsible for the deterioration in his son’s health, saying that Mohammed was only having kidney stones when he was arrested a year ago and has never suffered from sight problems.

(Source / 18.11.2017)

Syrian Coalition: Int’l Community is Obliged to Condemn Assad Regime & Russia’s Attacks on Eastern Ghouta

The Syrian Coalition emphasized that the fierce attacks being carried out by regime forces and their allies on the Damascus suburbs and rural Aleppo are clearly aimed at undermining all chances for a political solution by violating all agreements in place and insisting on carrying on with murder and crimes.

Over the past few days, dozens of civilians have been killed and wounded in rocket shelling and airstrikes by the Assad regime using cluster bombs on towns and villages of besieged eastern Ghouta as well as in Russian airstrikes on a public market in the town of Atareb in rural Aleppo though all these areas are covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that “initial reports indicated that at least 37 civilians have been killed and more than 200 more wounded in various areas of eastern Ghouta over the past three days. The area has been hit by no fewer than 1,000 mortar shells, 35 cluster bombs, and 130 airstrikes.”

“Regime forces used the banned poisonous chlorine gas on Thursday, November 17 in attacks on the town of Harasta in eastern Ghouta. Assad regime’s helicopters also dropped chlorine-filled barrel bombs on the town of Beit Jinn in western Rural Damascus in violation of UN Security Council resolutions 2209 and 2235. The shelling on Beit Jinn caused many cases of asphyxiation among residents of the area after the bombs released toxic chlorine and yellow smoke,” the Coalition added.

The Coalition went on to say that “the Assad regime and its allies have been trying desperately to disrupt the UN-OPCW inquiry into the use of chemical weapons in Syria since the first day it was launched. They also sought to obstruct the investigation through diplomatic means in the UN Security Council as well as by committing more crimes on the ground.”

The Coalition called upon the international community and friends of the Syrian people publicly and explicitly condemn these atrocious attacks if they are to prove they are committed to a genuine political solution.

Undermining all chances for political solution has always been the only and foremost goal of the Assad regime and its allies. The international community and friends of the Syrian people are therefore obliged to assume their responsibilities to exert real pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to force them to abide by the requirements of political solution in line with UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva Communiqué of 2012, the Coalition said.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 18.11.2017)