Tear Gas Dropped on Gazans by Drone for First Time

15 MAR
7:41 PM
Israeli forces used unmanned drones to drop tear gas on Palestinians in Gaza for the first time, last Friday, according to the Times of Israel.

Some 200 Gazans had gathered at the border fence with Israel, as part of a weekly protest against the ten-year blockade, when an unmanned aerial vehicle approached the scene. Footage from the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news agency shows the drone dropping canisters of tear gas on the protesters who can then be seen running blindly from the scene.

The Gazan Health Ministry said that at least two people were wounded in the clashes, with at least eight other Gazans injured by Israeli fire during protests elsewhere in the coastal enclave.

According to military sources, the usage of drones to fire tear gas is still experimental and has not yet been made operational.

Gaza has seen several clashes since the announcement of US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with protests planned every week. Last month, two Palestinian teens were killed after being shot with live ammunition as they approached the perimeter fence, reportedly in search of work in Israel.

Gaza has been facing a mounting humanitarian emergency for many months, confronted with an energy, water and healthcare crisis. Residents have also been prevented from leaving the Strip, forcing a young Gazan girl to travel without either of her parents to the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, yesterday, in order to have a kidney transplant last month.

A recent report also found that more than 1,000 Palestinians have died as a result of the ongoing 11-year Israeli siege imposed on the besieged enclave.

Coordinator of charities Ahmed Al-Kurd said that “450 of the victims died due to the fallout of the healthcare system and the lack of medicines, medical equipment and treatment transfers.”

“Today, we launch a resounding scream to the world: save Gaza from these disastrous conditions,” Al-Kurd said, asking: “How long will you wait and how many more victims do you want in order to take action?”

(Source / 15.03.2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (07 – 14 March 2018)

15 MAR
8:32 PM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 07 – 14 March, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while two Palestinian civilians were killed in Nablus and Hebron. 28 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children and a female university student, were wounded in the West Bank.

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and wounded 29 other civilians, including 5 children, a female university student and a fisherman, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  In the Gaza Strip as well, the Israeli forces continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and target the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, in 2 separate crimes of excessive use of force, the Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians.  The first who suffers from speech impairment was killed during his participation in a peaceful protest in the centre of Hebron while the second was killed while confronting a group of settlers who attacked under the Israeli forces protection the outskirts of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus.  In the second crime, a child was seriously wounded.  In the two crimes, the protestors did not pose any threat to the life of Israeli soldiers or settlers who lately escalated their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, particularly in Nablus.  Such settlers’ attacks usually occur under the guard of the Israeli forces, who instead of deterring settlers participate in the systematic attacks.

 

On 09 March 2018, two civilians, including a child, were hit with bullets to the lower limbs when Israeli forces moved into al-Laban al-Sharqiyah village, south of Nablus, and some civilians protested against them.  The incursion occurred after Palestinian civilians set a hut on fire that was built by settlers on the village lands.

 

On 07 March 2018, after civilians confronted a group of settlers who moved into the northern outskirts of Burin village, south of Nablus, under the Israeli forces’ protection, a 17 year old Palestinian child was wounded with a bullet to the left knee in the peaceful confrontation of settlers. On 09 March 2018, 2 civilians were wounded in similar circumstances when a group of settlers attacked the northern side of ‘Einabous village, south of the city.

 

Moreover, 12 Palestinian civilians, including a child and university students were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire at them and fired tear gas canisters directly at them during protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian villages in the West Bank.  These demonstrations are organized by Palestinian civilians in protest against the American President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and against the Israeli settlement activities and land confiscations.

 

In the Gaza Strip, 9 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded after Israeli forces fired bullets and tear gas canisters at them directly during protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.  These demonstrations are organized by Palestinian civilians in protest against the American President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and against the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip for 11 years consecutively.

As part of targeting fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating to the on-going Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  PCHR’s fieldworkers monitored 12 shooting incidents; 7 in north-western Beit Lahia, 4 others in Western Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia, and 1 in the southern Gaza Strip.  The Israeli forces arrested 11 fishermen, including a child, and wounded one of them with a bullet to the right leg.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 10 March 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij, opened fire at the Palestinian agricultural lands.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

 

Collective Punishment Measures:

 

As part of the collective punishment measures taken by the Israeli forces against Palestinian families of those accused and/or carrying out attacks against the soldiers and/or settlers, on 13 March 2018, Israeli forces closed with concrete a house belonging to prisoner Yousif Khaled Kmeil in Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin.  The house is a residential apartment in a 2-storey building with an area of 60 square meters.  It should be mentioned that the Israeli forces accuse the abovementioned prisoner of participating with prisoner Mohammed Abu al-Rub in killing settler Reuven Schmerling in Kafer Qasem in Israel on 04 October 2017.  The Israeli forces previously on 01 December 2017 demolished a house belonging to Abu al-Rub family in Qabatia village.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 42 Palestinians, including 2 children and a woman, in the West Bank.  Twenty seven of them, including 9 children and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Those incursions are accompanied usually with forcing children, women and elderly people to stay outside their houses for hours or locking families in one room, preventing them to move in addition to other acts of harassment and use of police dogs in house raids.

 

The Israeli forces continued to recruit “Mista’arvim” units to arrest Palestinian civilians, claiming they are wanted.  In contempt for the Palestinian universities, a group of these units raided the Birezeit University Campus, north of Ramallah, using fake Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Cards.  They kidnapped Chief of Student Union Council, ‘Omer al-Kasawani (22), and took him after severely beating him up and randomly shooting in the university campus.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 08 March 2018, Israeli forces moved 70 meters into the eastern side of al-Qararah village, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. the Israeli forces leveled and combed the lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel before the Israeli forces redeployed along the fence.

 

Efforts to Create Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of restricting the Palestinian organizations’ activities on 08 March 2018, the Israeli forces moved into “Rivoli” Hotel on Salah al-Deen Street in the centre of occupied East Jerusalem, and banned an activity for “Women for Life and Democracy” Society on the occasion of 8th of March “the International Women’s Day”, claiming it was organized by the Palestinian Authority.

 

On 09 March 2018, the Israeli forces banned a Palestinian Marathon organized against the Israeli marathon that is organized by the Israeli municipality and the Israeli Ministries of Tourism and Sports.  They arrested a number of activists and participants in the marathon after attacking them and confiscated their t-shirts relevant to the activity after forcing them to take the t-shirts off.

 

AS part of settlers’ attempts to seize Palestinian civilian property, on 10 March 2018, ”Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization  handed a notice to the heirs of late Sa’id ‘Odah, claiming the land on which their residential building is established in the central neighborhood “Baten al-Hawa” in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  The organization claim that this land belonged to Jews in 1889.  According to the judicial notice, this land is delimited by a plot of land with an area of 5 dunums and 200 square meters in the central neighborhood from the western side, and the organization attempts to seize it along with the buildings established on it claiming it is a Jewish property.

 

As part of profanation of cemeteries, on 12 March 2018, Israeli forces moved into al-Moujaidin Cemetery on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of the city.  They damaged the headstones of graves belonging to Palestinians from Jerusalem who were killed by the Israeli forces in the last two years.  The graves include the bodies of Mohammed al-Kaloati, ‘Abdullah Abu Kharoub; Thaer Abu Ghazaleh; Bahaa’ ‘Elian; Mohammed Abu Khalaf; ‘Abdel Muhsen Hassounah; and Mohammed Nemer as the Israeli police provided for burying them only in al-Mujahidin Cemetery.

 

Settlement Activities, Demolitions, and Settlers’ Attacks against Palestinian civilians and their Property:

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, the Israeli settlers cut 28 fruitful olive trees planted 30 to 40 years ago in al-Telmah area near “Rahlim” settlement established on the lands of Yatma village lands, south of Nablus; 20 fruitful olive trees planted 60 years ago in al-Sowanah area in Burin village near “Yitsihar” settlement, south of the city; 12 fruitful olive trees in Qaryout village, southeast of the city and 18 fruitful olive trees in al-Twiani village, east of Yata in the southern Hebron.

 

In the same context, on 09 March 2018, Israeli settlers from “Ma’oun” settlement attacked al-Tawani Kherbeh, east of Yata in southern Hebron.  As a result, the windows of a vehicle belonging to Gom’ah al-Rab’ie were broken.  On the same day, a group of settlers from “Yitsihar” settlement attacked Madma village, south of Nablus.  On the same day, a group of settlers from “Emmanuel” settlement threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Qana Valley Road, northwest of Salfit.  As a result, a number of civilians were wounded and windows of a bus on a children’s trip were broken.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Upon calls for demonstrations protesting against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Presidential Decree to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result, a civilian with speech disorder was killed. Moreover, 22 civilians, including 2 children and a female university student, were wounded. (This number does not include the number of those wounded during the incursions into the West Bank and shooting attacks of fishing boats in the Gaza Strip Sea.) It should be mentioned that PCHR keeps the names of wounded persons in fear of arresting them. The demonstrations were as follows:

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the end of Friday prayer on 09 March 2018, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyia area in the center of Hebron. The protesters threw stones at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to the closed Shuhada Street known as al-Container Checkpoint (56). Meanwhile, a number of Israeli soldiers deployed in the area and then fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at stone-throwers. The Israeli forces also chased the protesters between shops in Abu al-Humus area. After that, the protesters retreated while the Israeli soldiers raided a garage belonging to ‘Abed al-Jabbar and then they stationed behind the walls of Khadija ‘Abdeen School. In the meantime, the protesters throw Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers from long distance. The Israeli soldiers stationed about 200 meters away from the area heavily fired live bullets at the protestors who were on Abu al-Humus Street. As a result, Mohammed Zain Fazza’ al-Ja’bari (24), who is suffering from speech disorder, was hit with a live bullet to the right side of his chest. Mohammed was then taken via a car to the Hebron Governmental Hospital, which is 300 meters away from the scene. At approximately 15:40 on the same day, doctors announced Mohammed’s death.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized protests in Ni’lin, Bil’in, and Budrus villages west of Ramallah, al-Nabi Saleh and al-Mazr’ah al-Gharbiyah villages, northwest of the city, and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, in protest against the U.S President Donald trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Israeli forces used force to disperse the protestors by firing live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. The soldiers also chased the protestors into olive fields and between houses. As a result, a civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the abdomen. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered at the northern entrance to al-Birah. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at “al-Mahkamah” checkpoint near “Beit Eil” settlement, north of the city. The Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the right foot and a17-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the foot. The wounded civilians were transferred by an ambulance belonging to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 13:20, Palestinian civilians, international human rights defenders and Israelis organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah and headed to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years. When the protestors approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the shoulder.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 12 March 2018, dozens of Palestinian students from Birzeit University at the northern entrance to al-Birah, in protest against the Israeli forces raids to the university campus on 08 March 2018 and arresting the head of Students Council. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed at “al-Mahkamah” checkpoint. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 8 students, including a female student, were hit with rubber bullets. They were taken by a PRCS ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 01:30 on Friday, 09 March 2018, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in the northern Gaza Strip. The youngsters approached the security fence and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence. The soldiers stationed in military watchtowers and in their vicinity at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, northwest of Beit Hanoun village, north of Buret Abu Samrah, north of the abovementioned village, and stationed in the east of the Islamic Cemetery, east of Jabalia, fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child and blind man, were wounded. Three of them were hit with live bullets and 2 civilians were hit with a tear gas canister. The wounded civilians were transferred via a PRCS ambulance to the Indonesian Hospital to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified their injuries between moderate and minor.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian young men made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Khuza’a and ‘Abasan al-Kabirah and al-Jadidah villages, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, in protest against the U.S President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The clashes continued in the area for hours during which the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence and sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors and the area in the west of the border fence. As a result, 2 civilians were hit with live bullets to their lower limbs. They were transferred to the Gaza European Hospital, southeast of the city to receive medical treatment. Doctors classified their injuries as moderate.

 

  • Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian youngsters made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Burij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, in protest against the U.S President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The youngsters set fire to tires and then threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The Israeli soldier then fired tear gas canisters and live bullets at them. As a result, a 21-year-old civilian was hit with live bullets to the right thigh and a 24-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the left knee. They were transferred by a PRCS ambulance to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Their injuries were classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of al-Sheja’eya neighborhood, east of Gaza City and then headed to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel (near former Nahel Oz crossing). The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the foot. He was taken by an ambulance to al-Shifa Hospital to receive medical treatment.

 

  • Collective Punishment Policy:

 

  • 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, Israeli forces closed with concrete a house belonging to prisoner Yousef Khaled Kamail in Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, Israeli forces moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin, and then stationed in the Eastern neighborhood. The Israeli forces surrounded a residential building belonging to Khaled Mostafa Kamail and his sons. The 2-storey building is comprised of 4 apartments, sheltering 10 members including 2 children. The Israeli forces raided the building and then locked all the families’ members in one room in an apartment belonging to Mohamed Khaled Kamail. After that, an engineering unit raided an apartment in the ground floor belonging to prisoner Khaled Kamail and then fixed a steel plate on the apartment’s main entrance and 2 similar plates on 2 windows of the northern room. The Israeli forces also brought 8 concrete mixers and then pumped the concrete in the 60-square-meter apartment. The apartment was closed to a height of 2.5 meters. It should be noted that the Israeli forces accused prisoner Mohamed Abu al-Rub of killing an Israeli settler Reuven Schmerling on 04 October 2017, in Kafur Qasem village in Israel. Moreover, on 01 December 2017, the Israeli forces previously demolished the house of Abu al-Rub Family in Qabatia village.

  • Restrictions on Palestinian Organizations’ Activities:

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 08 March 2018, Israeli forces raided Rivoli Hotel on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of occupied East Jerusalem and prevented an activity for “Women for Life and Democracy” Society on occasion of the International Women’s Day. The Israeli forces claimed that the activity was organized by the PA. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces stationed at the entrance to the hotel and prevented anyone from entering. The Israeli Intelligence officers raided the hotel, checked the IDs of all participants, and then prevented holding the activity in the hotel or in any other place. On 07 March 2018, the Israeli forces summoned Zuhour Abu Maiyalah, Director of Women for Life and Democracy, to question her in al-Maskobiyia investigation center. They asked her about the activity and then released her without any conditions without telling her about banning the activity.  She was surprised that the hotel was raided and she was handed the ban decision. Ahmed Jalajel, Media Officer at the organization, said that the Israeli police and intelligence officers ordered him not to cover the closure or preventing women from entering.  The Israeli Intelligence officers also verbally insulted him.

 

  • On Friday, 09 March 2018, Israeli forces prevented holding the “Palestinian Marathon” activity in protest against the “Israeli Marathon” which is organized by the Israeli Municipality and Ministries of Tourism and Sports. The Israeli forces arrested a number of activists and participants after assaulting them. They also confiscated the t-shirts of the marathon after forcing the participants to take off them. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces raided vehicles parking on Nablus Street in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, where they attacked a vehicle carrying a group of children and girls and then forcibly confiscated Palestinian flags, marathon’s T-shirts, and Palestinian hattah. The eyewitnesses added that the Israeli forces arrested activist Mohamed Abu al-Humus and Fadi al-Motour after pushing Abu al-Humus while attempting to stick to the Palestinian flag. It should be noted that the Israeli forces ordered the children to step out of the vehicle and then leave the parking. After that, Israeli mounted police officers arrived at the area and ordered the children to return to the vehicle. Few minutes later, the Israeli Intelligence officers came and told the children that the vehicle was confiscated and they should leave. The Israeli officers forcibly attempted to take the vehicle’s key from Shahd Abu al-Humus and then searched it several times before confiscating it. They also ordered all the children to take off the marathon’s T-shirts and confiscated them.

 

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize Palestinian civilian property

 

  • On Saturday afternoon, 10 March 2018, “Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization handed a judicial notice to the heirs of the late Sa’ied ‘Odah, claiming a plot of land where their house is established in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They claimed that the plot of land belonging to jews in 1889. Ya’qoub al-Rajabi, Member of Families Committee in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood, said that the notices were with the names of the late’s wife, sons and their wives, claiming the plot of land, where their building is built. The 4-storey building is comprised of 8 apartments, sheltering 50 members, most of them are children. He added that the judicial notices give the family 30 days to vacate the land while the neighborhood’s committee will head to a lawyer to cancel the vacation order and prove the family ownership of the land. Al-Rajabi also clarified Odah Family has ownedthe plot of land since the 1970s after buying it from a resident of Silwan village, who owned it in the 1950s. Years ago, the family could obtain the necessary licenses from all the Israeli departments to build the building, where they have lived for 20 years, and this confirms that the land belongs to ‘Odah Family. According to the judicial notices, the ‘Odah Family’s land is next to a land of 5 dunums and 200 square meters in al-Wusta neighborhood from the western side, which Ateret Cohanim organization attempts to seize along with other buildings established on it, claiming that it is a Jewish property. Moreover, Ateret Cohanim organization handed notices to over 70 families in the village starting from September 2015. Al-Rajabi warned of the seriousness of the judicial summonses handed to ‘Odah Family, pointing out that they would be the beginning for new other notices to vacate buildings and apartments built in the vicinity of the 5 dunums in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood.

 

  • Damaging Headstones of Graves in al-Mujahidin Cemetery :

 

  • On Monday, 12 March 2018, Israeli forces raided al– Mujahidin Cemetery on Salah al-Deen Street in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, where they damaged tombstones of a graveyard where Palestinian civilians from Jerusalem were buried after being killed by the Israeli forces. Hussni al-Kilany, who is responsible for al- Mujahidin Cemetery, said that the Israeli forces, who had hand tools, broke the lock of the cemetery’s main entrance and then raided the cemetery. Moreover, other Israeli forces stationed at the cemetery entrance and in the vicinity of it. He added that the Israeli forces damaged a headstone of graveyard where Jerusalemite persons were buried after being killed by the Israeli forces during the last 2 years. They Israeli forces also damaged a Quran verse and another sentence saying, “Cemeteries of Jerusalem Intifada Martyrs”. Al-Kilany added that the Israeli authorities called upon the cemetery officials 3 months ago to remove the word of “Hero Martyr”, which was written before the name of each person killed by the Israeli forces. A day before raiding the cemetery and damaging the headstones, an Israeli officer raided the cemetery and took photos of the graveyard. It should be noted that the graveyard includes the corpses of Mohamed al-Kalouti, Abdullah Abu Kharoub, Thaier Abu Ghazalah, Bahaa’ Abu Khalaf, Abed al-Muhsen Hassonah, and Mohamed Nimer after The Israeli police ordered to bury all of them only in al-Mujahidin Cemetery.

 

 

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

 

 Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Wednesday, 07 March 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “’Arousa” outpost that extended from “Bracha” settlement established in the northern outskirts of Bureen village, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in the village’s outskirts under the Israeli forces’ protection. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian civilians gathered to confront the Israeli forces and settlers and threw stones at them. The Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, live bullets, and rubber-coated metal bullets at the youngsters. As a result, a 17-year-old child was hit with a live bullet to the left knee and was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where his wounds were classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 08 March 2018, a group of Palestinian farmers from al-Sawiyia village, south of Nablus, headed to plow their lands in al-Talmah area near “Rahlim”settlement, south of nearby Ytmah village. It should be noted that the famers coordinated with the Palestinian Liaison before heading to their lands. When the farmers arrived at their lands, they were surprised with damaging and cutting around 28 olive trees planted 30 to 40 years ago. The abovementioned trees belong to Suhail Abed al-Rahman al-Salman, who have 18 trees, and Ahmed Hamed Khalil, who have 10 trees.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 09 March 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from” Maon” settlement attacked Kherbit al-Tawani, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ houses and vehicles. As a result, vehicle’s windows of Jumm’a Mousa Jebreel Rab’I, were broken. After that, verbal quarrels erupted between the village’s residents and Israeli settlers. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces intervened, deployed in the village, and then fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the residents. It should be noted that the Israeli forces did not prevent the settler from throwing stones at the Palestinian civilians’ houses. Moreover, the Israeli forces declared lands adjacent to the village as a closed military zone to prevent the residents’ movement.

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, a group of Israeli settlers from” Yitzhar ”settlement established at the northern side of ‘Ainabous village, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in the village’s northern outskirts under the Israeli forces’ protection. A group of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of the houses and confronted the Israeli settlers by throwing stones at them. The Israeli forces immediately fired tear gas canisters, live bullets, and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. As a result, 2 of the protestors were wounded, the first one (25) was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen, while the second one (45) was hit with rubber bullet to the right eye. Both of them were then taken to Rafidia Hospital, where their wounds were classified as stable.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar ”settlement established at the southern side of Madamah village, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in the village’s southeastern outskirts under the Israeli forces’ protection. A group of Palestinian civilians gathered in the vicinity of the houses and confronted the Israeli settlers by throwing stones at them. The Israeli forces immediately fired tear gas canisters, live bullets, and rubber-coated metal bullets at the protestors and then chased them into the village. As a result, Osama Riyad Qat (16) was arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 19:30 on Friday, a group of Israeli settlers from “Emmanuel” settlement threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing through Qanaa Valley Road, northwest of Salfit. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians were wounded while the windows of a bus carrying children’s kindergarten were broken. ‘Alaa Jamal Ameen Zubaidi said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “We are the owners of kindergarten for children. On Friday, 09 March 2018, we organized a trip for the children. There was 2 buses carrying the children and their mothers. At approximately 19:30, when we were on our way at Qanna Valley intersection, a private car with a yellow registration plate attempted to harass us. The car was travelling slowly at “Emmanuel” settlement intersection. The first bus driver gave us a signal to hurry up because he felt that the situation is not reassuring, so we followed him. Suddenly, stones fell over us. The first bus was hit with many stones while the doors’ windows of our bus were broken, causing fear among children and their mothers. Moreover, the glasses scattered on the passengers’ clothes. Eventually, we managed to get out towards Salfit”.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 10 March 2018, a number of Palestinian farmers from Bureen village, south of Nablyus, headed to plow their lands in al-Sawwanah area near “Yitzhar ” settlement, south of the village. The farmers coordinated with the Palestinian Liaison before heading to their lands. When the farmers arrived at their lands, they were surprised with damaging and cutting around 20 olive trees planted 60 years ago. The olive trees belong to Mohamed Rajja’ Mohamed Zabin.
  • On Saturday, a group of Israeli settlers from” Ma’on” settlement established on Palestinian civilians’ lands, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, cut off around 18 olive trees from al-Tawani lands, whose Israeli settlers seek to seize them. The olive trees belong to Yaser Mousa Khalil Rab’i.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, a group of Palestinian farmers from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, headed to plow their lands in al-Karm al-Gharbi near “Eli “ settlement, which was classified as C area, southeast of the village. It should be noted that the farmer coordinated with the Palestinian Liaison before heading to their lands. When the farmer arrived at their lands, they were surprised with cutting of around 12 fruitful olive trees. The olive trees were cut with automatic saws.

 

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 this year 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 / 15.03.2018)

World Bank: Palestinians’ standard of living is falling

Palestinian children play outside their home in a poverty-stricken quarter of Al-Zaytoon in Gaza City

The standard of living in the West Bank is stagnating, after rising significantly in previous years, according to a report released by the World Bank earlier today, which also expressed concern at the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The latest data suggests that while the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) income has increased by 22 per cent due to better tax measures, GDP per person for Palestinians has fallen. The unemployment rate in the West Bank is currently at 18 per cent, but rises to 40 per cent for adults under 30.

According to the report, one of the main reasons for the stagnating economy is a decrease in Israeli lending to Palestinian banks, triggering a severe credit crunch. A rise in the price of goods in Israel has also led to increased costs for Palestinian families in the West Bank, whilst salaries have remained low.

However the bulk of the research addressed the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, with the Strip having been confronted with an energywater and healthcare crisis for many months. Gaza’s economy expanded 0.5 per cent in 2017, compared to an eight per cent growth in 2016. Meanwhile unemployment rose from 41.7 per cent in 2016 to 43.6 per cent in 2017. Unemployment has also risen, with the report also noting that the PA, which employs 80,000 Palestinians in Gaza, did not pay their salaries for six months in 2017.

Read: Despite economic development in Israel, Arab workers live in poverty

The World Bank presented the situation in the occupied territories in an even bleaker light following current funding crisis of the Palestinian refugees’ agency UNWRA. The report shows that there has been a sharp drop in the donations made to the Gaza Strip, from $400 million in 2016 to only $55 million in 2017. The agency is currently experiencing a deficit of some $446 million.

US President Donald Trump froze some $65 million promised to the organisation last year following the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. UNRWA warned at the time that US cuts will hurt half a million children; the UN agency runs 700 schools, where 525,000 boys and girls study, and operates 143 health clinics.

Yesterday, the UN launched its 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Strip, reiterating calls for the international community to donate to the agency to support their three-year development strategy.

“Overall, the 2018 humanitarian plan appeals for $539.7 million to address urgent humanitarian needs in the areas of protection, food security, health, water and sanitation, shelter and education. Of the request, 75 per cent targets Palestinians in Gaza. Half of the overall amount is for UNRWA emergency projects,” the humanitarian coordinator said at the press conference.

However, the World Bank’s regional director Marina Wes highlighted earlier today that aid alone would not help Gaza in the long term, with trade restrictions on the Strip urgently needing to be lifted to create jobs and increase consumer spending.

Read: UN: $30m in urgent aid for the UNRWA

(Source / 15.03.2018)

Popular Conference launches ’70th anniversary of the Nakba’ events in Beirut

Nakba Day 1948 - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Nakba Day 1948 – Cartoon

The Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad held a press conference on Wednesday 14 March at the headquarters of the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut to launch national and popular events on the occasion of the Palestinian “70th anniversary of the Nakba.”

In his speech, Fuad Al-Harakah, representative of the president of the Lebanese Press Syndicate, said that the Lebanese people “stand by all Palestinians inside and outside of Palestine to regain their rights.” He went on, “the people who follow resistance will not give up their rights … The crime cannot be subject to any statute of limitation.”

In the Popular Conference speech, engineer Hisham Abu Mahfouz, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference, pointed out that on 15 May of each year the Palestinian people commemorate the Nakba. Today, the Conference launches a campaign to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba under the title “Aidoun,” in partnership with several Palestinian institutions.

Abu Mahfouz said that “despite the Zionist and American attempts to erase the right of return the will of the people  still triumphs.” He stressed that despite the seventy years since the Nakba and all attempts to annihilate the Palestinians “send a clear message to the world assuring that there is no single Palestinian who would like to sell his land.”

Read: An urgent Palestinian rescue plan is needed

Abu Mahfouz also called on the world to inform decision-makers around the world that the Palestinian people are preparing to return and liberate their country. In his turn, spokesman for the Popular Conference, Ziad Al-Aloul, stated that “the seventieth anniversary of the Nakba is a campaign to unite efforts and show solidarity between the Palestinian institutions in support of Palestine, which is gaining importance in conjunction with Trump’s efforts to transfer his embassy to the city of Jerusalem.”

Al-Aloul added that “through the campaign that will be launched on 31 March, the Conference aims to activate the role of Palestinians abroad, mobilize the potential which advocates the issue and highlight the suffering of refugees in the camps.”

He pointed out that the Conference wanted to send several messages through the campaign, including those addressed to “the occupation that the battle with it is still fierce until the land is recovered, to the world that there is a population who has been ravaged for 70 years, and whose case must remain present in all its aspects, and to the Palestinian people that it is an opportunity to regain the spirit of hope and to assert adherence to full rights and return to Palestine.”

The general coordinator of the International Campaign for the Preservation of Palestinian Identity “Intima,” Yasser Kaddoura, considered that “the Intima” campaign is keen that the 70th anniversary of the Nakba will be kept alive in the memory of the world, and that 70 years of the Nakba is only a long process; the process of return, which began 70 years ago and will soon end with the return to Palestine all Palestine.”

“Seventy years after the Nakba, we must stand firm to declare our commitment to the right, to regroup and mobilize our potential so as to serve the Palestinian national project that preserves the three pillars: return, Jerusalem and refugees,” said Kadhim Ayesh, president of the Jordanian Society for the Return of Refugees.

Read: Palestinians are facing genocide; Israel deserves its international pariah status

“We, in Jordan, are united in our fight against Israel and to build our partnership with civil society to confront the deal of the century … We will have a significant role in reviving the morale among our people in Jordan,” insisted Ayesh.

The head of the Committee to Support the Steadfastness of the People in the Inside at the Popular Conference, Hilmi Al-Bilbisi, said that after seventy years of the Nakba, massacres and forced displacement could not eliminate the Palestinian identity. This is evidenced by the increase in the number of Palestinians in the occupied territory.

He pointed out that the Conference “was keen to support the steadfastness of the Palestinians in the occupied inside to confront the arrogance of the occupation which claims that Palestine is a people without land.” During the press conference, a documentary film about the campaign of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba was presented, and it was concluded by launching the slogan of the campaign on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, which represents an important event in the history of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 15.03.2018)

Arab-Israeli MP voices defiance despite Knesset ban

Israeli Arab Knesset member, Haneen Zoabi

“I didn’t know I had to lie and distort the truth and say that Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians ‘accidentally’ or ‘by mistake’,”Israeli Arab Knesset member, Haneen Zoabi said on Thursday

Haneen Zoabi, an Arab member of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), declared Thursday that she would continue to “speak the truth” regarding Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

Zoabi made the assertion a day after being banned from attending Knesset sessions for criticizing Israeli aggression against Palestinians and describing Israeli soldiers as “murderers”.

“I didn’t know I had to lie and distort the truth and say that Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians ‘accidently’ or ‘by mistake’,” the MP said in a Thursday statement.

“When Israel bombs entire neighborhoods in Gaza, do they not mean to kill them [i.e. Palestinians]?” she asked.

“My job isn’t to whitewash these crimes but to condemn them,” she asserted, adding: “Anyone who kills children should be prosecuted.”

Arab Knesset members are often criticized by their Jewish counterparts for condemning Israeli army practices in the occupied Palestinian territories and the widespread discrimination faced by Arab citizens of Israel.

(Source / 15.03.2018)

Israel bars Arab MPs from speaking engagements abroad, as part of BDS crackdown

MK Yousef Jabareen, one of the participants in the advocacy mission in Brussels [רדיומן -/Wikipedia]

Knesset Member Yousef Jabareen

For the first time, the Knesset Ethics Committee has banned parliamentarians from traveling abroad on a trip paid for by groups supportive of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen had been invited to conduct a US speaking tour hosted by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which backs BDS. MK Haneen Zoabi, meanwhile, Jabareen’s Joint List colleague, is invited to a conference organised by Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).

Both JVP and IPSC appeared on a BDS “blacklist” compiled by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, which oversees the Israeli state’s battle against the boycott.

According to reports, Jabareen was invited by JVP “for a planned week of speeches in late April at universities, think tanks and public events across the East Coast, including a proposed briefing on Capitol Hill, where he was scheduled to speak about the deterioration of democracy in Israel.”

Read: US university demands Palestinian academic not criticise Israel in speech

“We are deeply disappointed that MK Yousef Jabareen won’t be able to join us in the US due to the Knesset decision to effectively block his travel”, said JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson.

“We were very much looking forward to learning from his experience as an MK and his leadership on issues of democracy and equality in Israel. This decision is sad evidence of the further deterioration of Israeli democratic standards,” she continued.

Jabareen, who is reportedly set to appeal the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, described the “travel ban” as “a serious blow to my freedom in my political activity as a Knesset member”.

“Without funding from the group inviting me I obviously won’t be able to travel to the US due to the high costs. Participating in conferences and giving speeches is a significant part of my job as an elected official, and it is unthinkable that I be prevented from doing that job.”

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, meanwhile, praised the decision. “It is unacceptable for a Knesset member in Israel to lend a hand to the boycott organisations,” he said.

In January, “the Knesset House Committee called on the Ethics Committee to consider barring Knesset members from undertaking travel funded by groups on the Strategic Affairs Ministry list.”

ReadCambridge university apologies for removing Palestinian chair of BDS event

(Source / 15.03.2018)

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian villages leaves locals living in fear

19-year-old Omeir Shahada was killed last week by Israeli troops during a raid by notoriously aggressive settlers

Armed settlers Yitzhar

URIF, Occupied West Bank – In the mountainous northern West Bank, a ring of notoriously violent Israeli settlements sits like watchtowers on the hilltops surrounding the Palestinian city of Nablus and a dozen smaller villages.

The most infamous of those settlements, all of which have been built in contravention of international law, is Yitzhar and its adjoining outposts, home to more than 200 militant Israelis.

For the thousands of Palestinians living in the six villages in the valley below Yitzhar, attacks from settlers are a weekly occurrence. In recent weeks, settlers have launched an onslaught on the villages, subjecting Palestinians to near-daily attacks.

According to activists and locals from the villages who spoke to Middle East Eye, the attacks and the events that ensue in the aftermath almost always unfold in a routine manner: settlers raid the outskirts of a village, local youth attempt to push them back into the hilltops, and Israeli soldiers arrive to protect the settlers and suppress the Palestinians with tear gas, sound bombs, and live ammunition.

This well-documented pattern culminated on Saturday 10 March, when 19-year-old Omeir Shahada was killed by Israeli soldiers during one such settler raid in the village of Urif, where a cluster of Palestinian homes sit a mere 200 meters away from Yitzhar.

‘Always a risk of death’

Just before sunset, a group of around 30 settlers descended into the outskirts of Urif, and began attacking residents and their homes with rocks, according to several witnesses.

Shahada and his friends, who, like him, work in construction in the village, got word of the attacks and took to the top of the hill with several other youths from the village.

Just as they usually do, confrontations broke out between the settlers and the youth trying to push them back, and within minutes armed Israeli forces arrived in the area.

Ahmad Sabah, 21, one of Shahada’s best friends, was there with him that day.

Ahmad Sabah, 21, points to the spot where his best friend Omeir Shahada was killed after settlers from Yitzhar settlement (background) raided the village of Urif  

“When the soldiers came, they provided cover for the settlers, as they usually do,” he told MEE as he walked in the area where Shahada was killed, adding that the soldiers fired intensive tear gas rounds and sound bombs at the youth from the outset.

“It wasn’t long before they started firing live ammunition at us. Many of the guys saw the lasers from the snipers being pointed at them during the confrontations.”

The Israeli army has admitted using live fire, and says the incident is being investigated.

During the commotion of trying to push back the settlers and dodging the soldiers’ bullets, Shahada was shot twice in the torso – once on either side – while another 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg, according to his family and friends.

Of course I wonder if the soldiers hadn’t stopped us at the checkpoint, maybe those extra 15 minutes could have saved his life

– Ahmed Sabah, friend

Sabah and another friend evacuated Shahada from the area and rushed out of the village in a private car to the nearest hospital – 15 kilometres away in Nablus city.

“When we arrived to the Huwwara military checkpoint, the soldiers stopped our car and refused to let us through. We fought with them for 15 minutes before they let us go,” Sabah told MEE.

But by the time they reached the hospital, it was too late. Shahada had died from his wounds, and Sabah lost his best friend.

“I was devastated, I still am,” he said. “Of course I wonder if the soldiers hadn’t stopped us at the checkpoint, maybe those extra 15 minutes could have saved his life.”

Shaking his head with disbelief, a meek smile spreads across Sabah’s face.

“You know as we were heading up into the mountain, Omeir joked that if he was to become a martyr today, we would need to find someone else to work with us.”

“He knew, we all knew, there is always a risk of death when confronting the settlers. How could we know that he would be the one to die that day?”

Israeli soldiers advance during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank village of Madama after Israeli settlers from Yitzhar settlement reportedly attacked the southern side of the village on 28 December 2017 

Back at the local village council where Shahada’s family was receiving mourners for the third day in a row, Sabah sat down next to his deceased friend’s older brother, Ibrahim, and father, Omar.

For the family, the settlers are just as responsible for the death of Shahada as the soldiers who shot him.

“The soldiers and settlers are the same,” Omar said, “there is no difference between them.”

The soldiers and settlers are the same… there is no difference between them

– Omar Shahada, father

When asked if they would be seeking justice for Omeir’s killing, Ibrahim let out a faint laugh, as Omar answered indignantly “Why? What’s the point? The same soldiers who killed my son will be the ones to decide his case in court,” he said, referring to Israel’s military courts which rights groups have labelled “kangaroo courts.”

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din has reported that 75 percent of investigations by Israel into ideologically motivated attacks against Palestinians are closed “due to police failures”.

“The soldiers and settlers have killed so many before Omeir, and nothing bad has happened to them. My son was not their first victim, and he won’t be the last,” his father said.

Locals fear another ‘Dawabsheh’ attack

Middle East Eye spoke to locals and activists from four of the six villages surrounding Yitzhar settlement: Urif, Madama, Burin, and Asira Qibliya.

When recounting decades-worth of stories of Israeli settler attacks, several of which have resulted in deaths, every single Palestinian, including Shahada’s family, mentioned the Dawabsheh family.

In 2015, young Israeli settlers entered the Nablus-area village of Duma about 30 km southeast of Urif, and firebombed the home of the Dawabsheh family.

Read more ►

Palestine’s arson victims wait for justice: ‘He just wants to go to heaven’

Eight-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive in the fire, while both his parents later died from their injuries. They were survived by four-year-old Ahmad, who suffered from critical burns all over his body.

“There is this constant fear that people have every time the settlers raid our villages, that maybe they will suffer the same fate of the Dawabshehs,” Hakmeh Hassan, head of a local women’s council in Asira Qibliya village, told MEE.

Sitting in her home, which lies where Madama village ends and Asira Qibliya begins, a boisterous and outspoken Hassan spoke to MEE about years of settler attacks on the village, including the burning and cutting down of olive trees, the killing of livestock, and the constant destruction of property.

“Two boys, brothers, from Asira were killed in the span of a few years in the early 2000s,” Hakmeh said, adding that she estimates at least 10 Palestinians have been killed directly by settlers from Yitzhar, or by soldiers as a result of attacks from Yitzhar settlers, since the settlement was established in 1984.

“Last month, settlers came in the middle of the night and started attacking a home with young children inside. They broke all the windows and were going to set the house on fire, but thank God, people from the village got there in time to drive the settlers out before they burned the house down.”

South of the city Nablus, lies the village of Asira al-Qibliya (foreground) and the Israeli Jewish settlement Yitzhar in the background

Though MEE could not verify her claim, Hassan suspected the attackers belonged to the religious-nationalist Hilltop Youth organization – which she called a terrorist organisation – whose members are responsible for dozens of hate crimes, or “price-tag attacks” against Palestinians and their property.

For years, Yitzhar has closely been linked with the “price tag” movement, with many crediting its foundations to the now-shuttered Od Yosef Chai yeshiva school.

Located in Yitzhar, the religious school used to be run by Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg, who was charged in 2003 with incitement to racism for his book Tipul Shoresh, which called for Palestinians to be expelled from Israel and the Palestinian territory. The charges were dropped when he later issued a “clarification letter”.

There is this constant fear that people have every time the settlers raid our villages, that maybe they will suffer the same fate of the Dawabshehs

– Hakmeh Hassan, head of local women’s council 

According to reports, it was in this yeshiva where rabbis would encourage students to attack Palestinians and their property, as well as Israeli security forces.

It is unclear why they also attack Israeli security forces, but some settlers seem to believe the authorities are unfairly “protecting” local Palestinians.

In 2010, another of Yitzhar’s rabbis, Yitzhak Shapira, was arrested for allegedly firebombing a mosque, and released hours into house arrest.

Shapira was the author of a book called The King’s Torah, which said it was permissible under Jewish law for a Jew to kill a non-Jewish civilian. He also advocated the expulsion or genocide of male Palestinians over the age of 13.

“These settler youth are radicalised in Yitzhar where they are taught to hate Palestinians and attack us,” she said, adding that on many occasions, the settlers will make a family event out of a raid on a Palestinian village, with parents bringing their children along for the attack.

A Palestinian protester faces off with Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar Jewish settlement

Earlier this month, Yesh Din reported that settlers have, in recent weeks, stepped up their attacks against Palestinians in the area around Yitzhar.

Between February and March alone, settlers have attacked homes and civilians in Asira Qibliya, and Huwwara with rocks, beaten farmers and slaughtered sheep in the village of Einabus, and reportedly attempted to kidnap two Palestinian children in the Madama village.

And last week, settlers sparked clashes in the village of Burin that culminated in Israeli soldiers throwing a sound grenade at a Palestinian couple attempting to evacuate the area with their five-month-old baby, according to the NGO.

Hassan does not anticipate that the near-daily attacks will die down any time soon, blaming both the Israeli government as well as the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the ongoing violence.

“Every day the settlers become more and more aggressive,” she said, “and unfortunately, the PA is useless, they can’t do anything,” highlighting the fact that the PA has no jurisdiction over the near 600,000 settlers living in the occupied territory.

“For years they have made our lives in these six villages a nightmare, and they will continue to do so for as long as they are permitted to by both governments.”

(Source / 15.03.2018)

Israel has destroyed 5,000 Palestinian homes in al-Quds since 1967: Report

Palestinians walk over the rubble of a house that overlooks the Israeli apartheid wall, background, and was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank village of Qalandia, near Ramallah, July 26, 2016.  (Photo by AP)

Palestinians walk over the rubble of a house that overlooks the Israeli apartheid wall, background, and was demolished by the Israeli army, in the West Bank village of Qalandia, near Ramallah, July 26, 2016

A new report shows that Israeli forces have destroyed some 5,000 Palestinian houses in Jerusalem al-Quds since the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.

The Palestinian Land Research Center (LRC) reported on Monday that the Israeli regime demolished some 1,706 homes between 2000 and 2017, displacing 9,422 Palestinians, including 5,443 children.

According to the report, around 380,000 Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied city need 2,000 new housing units annually, while the Jerusalem al-Quds municipality has put in place a series of procedures that would make Palestinian construction there impossible.

It also said that some 70,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem al-Quds were displaced in 1967 – the year of the Six-Day Israeli-Arab War – and were prevented from returning to the city.

The report also said that Israeli forces razed 39 villages around Jerusalem al-Quds in 1948, displacing 198,000 Palestinian residents.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.

The report comes amid anger among Palestinians at US President Donald Trump’s hostile measures in favor of Israel, especially his decision last December to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of the regime and begin work to transfer Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

Washington’s dramatic U-turn on Jerusalem al-Quds drew global condemnations, prompting the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly approve a resolution against Trump’s declaration in December 2016.

Israel lays claim to the entire city of Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. The regime is expanding settlements on the parts of the city which the Palestinians want to make the capital of their future independent state.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

On Wednesday, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) passed the so-called “breach of loyalty” law allowing the interior minister to revoke the permanent residency status of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem al-Quds who are deemed to be a threat to the Tel Aviv regime.

Under the measure, Israel can deport anyone whose residency status is withdrawn and the Israeli Supreme Court cannot challenge the rulings by the interior minister.

(Source / 15.03.2018)

14 – 03 Vandaag aanklacht in Nederland tegen Israëlische generaals

Zaak tegen generaals voor Nederlandse rechter

Namens hun cliënt hebben de advocaten Zegveld en Klomp twee Israëlische legerleiders gedagvaard om op 27 juni aanstaande te verschijnen voor de Rechtbank Den Haag. De eiser is de heer Ismail Ziada, afkomstig uit de Palestijnse gebieden en sinds 2005 wonend in Den Haag. Zijn familie woont in Gaza. Hij heeft een groot deel van zijn familie verloren toen het woonhuis van de familie op 20 juli 2014 door Israël werd gebombardeerd. Het huis is daarbij volledig verwoest en zeven van de acht aanwezige personen zijn gedood. In 1998 leerde hij zijn Nederlandse vrouw kennen met wie hij sinds 2005 in Den Haag woont. Zij hebben drie kinderen.

Zes familieleden gedood, niet naar begrafenis

Het bombardement van het huis van de familie Ziada vond plaats tijdens de massale aanval van het Israëlsche leger op Gaza in de zomer van 2014. Het Israëlische leger voerde een beleid dat mede als doel had om – in strijd met internationaal humanitair recht – civiele woonhuizen te bombarderen.

Zes leden van de familie Ziada zijn bij de aanval om het leven gekomen:

  1. Muftia Mohamed Ziada, 70, moeder van eiser;
  2. Jamil Shaban Ziada, 52, broer van eiser;
  3. Bayan Ziada, 39, vrouw van Jamil Shaban Ziada;
  4. Yousef Shaban Ziada, 44, broer van eiser;
  5. Omar Shaban Ziada, 31, broer van eiser;
  6. Shaban Jamil Ziada, 12, zoon van Jamil Shaban Ziada.

Ismail Ziada kon niet bij de begrafenis aanwezig zijn.

Geen toegang tot rechter in Israël

De gedaagden zijn Benjamin Gantz en Amin Eshel, in 2014 commandant van de strijdkrachten (Chief of General Staff), respectievelijk commandant van de luchtmacht (Air ForceChief) in het Israëlische leger. Zij hebben het beleid woonhuizen te bombarderen (mede) opgesteld. De heer Ziada heeft Gantz en Eshel op 19 juni 2017 aansprakelijk gesteld. Hij heeft daar geen inhoudelijke reactie op ontvangen. In de dagvaarding wordt geconcludeerd dat voor Ziada de toegang tot de rechter in Israël en de Palestijnse gebieden volledig is afgesloten

Eis

De advocaten verzoeken de rechter om namens de Ziada te verklaren dat de gedaagden onrechtmatig hebben gehandeld en hoofdelijk aansprakelijk zijn voor de schade die hij heeft geleden en nog zal lijden als gevolg van de onrechtmatige gedragingen van gedaagden.

(Source / 15.03.2018)