Israel demolishes 2,000 Palestinian homes in West Bank, Jerusalem over last 12 years

Palestinian Home Demolitions - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Home Demolitions – Cartoon

Israeli authorities have demolished at least 1,964 Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bankand East Jerusalem over the last 12 years, according to new data by human rights NGO B’Tselem.

From 2006 until the end of February this year, Israel demolished at least 1,328 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, making 5,979 Palestinians homeless – including at least 3,025 children.

In East Jerusalem over the same time period, meanwhile, which Israel has illegally annexed, 636 Palestinian homes were demolished, leaving 2,353 homeless (including 1,276 children).

In both “Area C” of the West Bank (which is under a military regime) and in East Jerusalem, Palestinians find it impossible to obtain the required permit for building from Israeli authorities.

B’Tselem also noted that in a number of Palestinian communities, who face “the threat of expulsion”, Israel is “repeatedly” demolishing residents’ homes.

Read:45 Palestinian schools under Israeli demolition threat

From 2006 to the end of February this year, “the homes of at least 983 people living in these communities – including 471 minors – were demolished more than once by Israel”.

The B’Tselem data does not include the thousands of Palestinian homes destroyed in the Gaza Strip during a number of Israeli military offensives since 2006.

(Source / 08.03.2018)

Undercover Israeli Agents Arrest Head of Student Council at Birzeit University (VIDEO)

Campus University

Israeli forces raiding the campus of Birzeit University in the West Bank

Omar al-Kiswani, the president of the student council at Birzeit University, was arrested today by a group of undercover Israeli agents from inside the university campus.

Protecting this group’s incursion into the university was an armed Israeli army unit.

This is not the first violent raid by Israeli army forces, which systematically invade and routinely harass students, faculty members, and staff at Birzeit University and other Palestinian educational institutions.

(Source / 08.03.2018)

Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem’s Palestinians

Palestinians slam new ‘breach of loyalty’ legislation as ‘extremely racist’ and a violation of international law

Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri will now have the power to revoke residency of Palestinians in Jerusalem [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri will now have the power to revoke residency of Palestinians in Jerusalem

The Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the minister of interior to revoke the residency rights of any Palestinian in Jerusalem on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

The bill, ratified on Wednesday, will also apply in cases where residency status was obtained on the basis of false information, and in cases where “an individual committed a criminal act” in the view of the interior ministry.

Under the new measure, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas, will be able to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a threat.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), described the law as “an extremely racist piece of legislation.

“By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws,” said Ashrawi, according to a statement published on Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

‘Security of Israeli citizens’

Despite Israel’s claims that occupied East Jerusalem is part of its “eternal, undivided” capital, the Palestinians who are born and live there do not hold Israeli citizenship, unlike their Jewish counterparts.

Palestinians in the city are given “permanent residency” ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only used for travel purposes. They are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo – they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine.

The new bill will only worsen the difficult conditions for the 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by the state.


Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

Any Palestinian who has lived outside of Jerusalem for a certain period of time, whether in a foreign country or even in the occupied West Bank, is at risk of losing their right to live there.

Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of at least 14,000 Palestinians.

In a statement on his Twitter page, Deri, the interior minister, said this law would allow him to protect the “security of Israeli citizens”.

Deri, who was, in the past, convicted of bribery, fraud and “breach of trust”, said the law would “be used against permanent residents who plan to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens”.

Illegal under international law

Adalah, a Palestinian rights group in Israel, said the law is illegal under international humanitarian law.

“East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) – like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population. It is therefore illegal under IHL to impose upon them an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power, let alone to deny them the permanent residency status on this basis,” a statement by the group said.

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said such residency revocations, which force Palestinians out of Jerusalem, “could amount to war crimes” under the treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Palestinians submit Israel ‘war crime’ evidence to ICC

The development comes amid heated tensions in Jerusalem, after US President Donald Trumpdecided to publicly recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. Trump also vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv – the Israeli commercial capital – to Jerusalem.

No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with the exception of the US and Russia. The latter had recently announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and East Jerusalem as “the capital of the future Palestinian state”.

 Jerusalem: A momentous change, but at what cost?

(Source / 08.03.2018)

Palestinian girl kidnapped after being aggressively beaten by Israelis

Pal girl kidnapped

Israeli soldiers on Wednesday evening kidnapped a Palestinian girl after she was violently beaten by an Israeli settler in al-Khalil’s southern town of Yatta, in the southern occupied West Bank.

Coordinator for the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee, Rateb al-Jabour, said the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 13-year-old Jamalat Abu Kbeita shortly after an Israeli settler assaulted her.

The girl was accused of attempting to carry out an anti-occupation stabbing attack.

Eye-witnesses refuted the Israeli allegations, saying the girl was on her father’s land when she was attacked.

The settler reportedly beat the girl moments after her father headed to the local authorities to file a complaint against Israeli settlers who misappropriated six dunums of his private land lot and grazed their livestock in his cultivated ranches.

(Source / 08.03.2018)