EU diplomats slam inauguration of Israeli settlement project in J’lem

Illegal settlement and EU

The European Union (EU) Representative and the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah Thursday decried Israeli inauguration of a settlement project in the heart of Silwan east of Occupied Jerusalem.

“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah express serious concern at the official inauguration on 1st August of a touristic center, run by a settler organization, in the Batn al-Hawa/Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, in the compound from which five households of the Palestinian Abu Nab family were evicted in 2015,” they said in a statement.

“Around 180 Palestinian households in East Jerusalem, out of which approximately 100 in Batn al-Hawa alone, face the risk of eviction from their homes, directly facilitating further settlement growth in the city, as in this instance,” they said.

“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall the successive Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions and statements in which the EU has repeated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, including evictions and demolitions”, the statement read.

“Settlement activity in East Jerusalem seriously jeopardizes the possibility of Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both States, is illegal under international law, and undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace”, the EU proceeded.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

Clashes flare up in Qalqilya, IOF arrests young man

Clashes Qalqilya.jpg

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Friday stormed Qalqilya city and arrested a Palestinian young man.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers arrested Yahya al-Houtari after raiding and searching his family house in Kafr Saba neighborhood in Qalqilya city.

The IOF further stormed Azzun town at daybreak after a group of Palestinian youths attacked IOF patrols with Molotov cocktails and installed several checkpoints in the area.

Raid and search campaigns are launched on a daily basis in the West Bank and Jerusalem and usually accompanied by arbitrary arrests and clashes.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

2515 Israeli violations documented during July

2515 violations July

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carried out over the past month 2515 violations in West Bank and Jerusalem, Hamas Information Office reported.

327 Israeli violations were documented in occupied Jerusalem including the injury of 39 persons and the arrest of more than 109 others.

According to the report, 927 Israeli raids and 39 demolitions were carried out during the reported period, while three Palestinians, including two minors, were killed and 172 were injured in West Bank.

The report also documented 109 arrests in occupied Jerusalem, 76 in Ramallah, 65 in Bethlehem, 59 in al-Khalil, 43 in Jenin, 36 in Nablus, 32 in Qalqilia, 16 in Tulkarem, 12 in Salfit, five in Jericho, and four in Tubas.

14 Palestinians houses were also demolished during July including nine in occupied Jerusalem, two in Nablus, and two others in al-Khalil and Jericho.

During the reported period, 25 Jerusalemites were denied access to the holy city while 364 Palestinians were prevented travel from West Bank and Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, 3743 Israeli settlers carried out 27 break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque last month while 60 settler attacks were reported against Palestinians and their properties.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

Occupation military court extends detention of Lama Khater

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli military court in Ashkelon on Thursday extended the detention of Palestinian writer Lama Khater, 42, for another eight days in order to subject her to further interrogation.

A lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner Society said that Lama is being exposed to long hours of cruel interrogation that continue into the night.

Israeli soldiers kidnapped Khater, a mother of five children, on July 24 because of her writings.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

Detainee Receives Additional Six-Month Administrative Detention Order Despite Medical Complications

02 AUG
11:01 PM

The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee reported, on Thursday evening, that detainee Mo’taz Mohammad Obeido, 38, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, has received a six-month arbitrary Administrative Detention order without charges or trial.

The Committee stated that the detainee, who was abducted on February 5th, 2018, already spent six months under the same orders, and was supposed to be released today, but was instead slapped with a new order despite his serious medical complications.

It is worth mentioning that the detainee, born in 1980, is a married father of three children; he was previously imprisoned by Israel for 33 months which he spent the Ramla prison clinic until his release on November 9th, 2015.

In 2011, and just before the soldiers abducted him from his home, he was shot by the army with expanding bullets, which led to damaging his bladder and intestines, forcing him to permanently need a urine bag and a colostomy bag, in addition to paralysis of his left leg.

Israel is holding at least 6500 Palestinians, including around 350 children and six elected legislators, in addition to around 1800+ who suffer from various health issues, among them 700 cancer patient who require urgent and professional medical treatment, and dozens with various physical or psychological issues.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

Ban on Entry of Foreign Academics Hindering Palestinian Education says Rights Group

03 AUG
6:04 AM

The Campaign for the Right to Enter the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Thursday, expressed deep concern at the rise in Israeli denial, of work or stay visa applications, for foreign nationals seeking to enter the occupied territories, saying this measure is hurting Palestinian education.

The group said, in a press release, that, in June, seven international faculty members at Birzeit University (BZU) — one-third of the international staff at the university — were refused visa extensions by the Israeli authorities; several others have already been obliged to leave the country, according to WAFA.

This policy, it added, “has severely diminished opportunities for development of faculty, courses, and research programs at Palestinian institutes of higher education.”

The Campaign said that, while international academics seeking to enter or work in the occupied Palestinian territory have long faced obstacles, the situation has dramatically declined, over the past year. Since 2017, foreign nationals wishing to maintain a presence in the occupied territories, whether for reasons of work or family unity, have faced an alarming escalation in the rejection of visa extension requests and in the frequency and range of arbitrary demands and conditions imposed by Israeli authorities.

“Palestinian educational institutions have been hard hit by Israeli denials or restrictions on entry and presence in the occupied Palestinian territories,” it said, explaining that this has caused serious disruption to the academic programs and administration of these institutions, and “has undermined Palestinian universities’ ability to attract further external expertise as foreign academics are deterred from accepting teaching and research posts by the arbitrary rejections and destructive restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities.”

The Campaign called for an immediate halt to Israel’s practices and “arbitrary and abusive practice of denying entry to foreign nationals traveling to the occupied Palestinian territories to promote educational development,” urging the international community to “stand with us in protecting the Palestinian people’s right to education.”

(Source / 03.08.2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (26 July – 01 August 2018)

03 AUG
6:54 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 26 July – 01 August, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use force against peaceful Palestinian protestors in the Gaza Strip. 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed in the southern Gaza Strip. 138 Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics, were wounded; 22 of them sustained serious wounds. Fifty-one Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank; 40 of them were wounded in Al-Aqsa Mosque yards.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 18th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children.  Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 138 others, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics. Twenty-two of those wounded sustained serious wounds. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 51 civilians, including 4 children; 40 of them were wounded in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, on 27 July 2018, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, while participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March. Majdi al-Satari (12) and Mo’min al-Hams (17) were killed while participating in the demonstrations organized in Rafah, while Ghazi Abu Mustafa (43) was killed while participating the a demonstrations organized in Khan Yunis.

 

  • During the reporting period, while using the excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces wounded 138 Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, 2 women, a journalist, and 6 paramedics. Twenty-two of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip during this Week

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 59 13 1 1 6 16
Gaza City 22 3 0 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 17 5 0 0 0 3
Khan Younis 10 1 1 0 0 0
Rafah 30 6 0 0 0 3
Total 138 28 2 1 6 22

 

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 26 July 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Dir al-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands. On 27 July 2018, an Israeli artillery fired a sell at an empty land, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, and no injuries were reported.

 

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 7 shooting incidents at the fishermen, including 6 in the northern Gaza Strip and 1 in the centre of the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 51 civilians, including 4 children; 40 of them were wounded in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 79 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 9 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 52 Palestinians, including 4 children, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 38 other civilians, including 12 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Among those arrested were 5 journalists; 4 of them work at al-Quds Satellite Channel while the last one works as a Director of Hawa Nablus Radio and a reporter at Quds News Agency.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 30 July 2018, Israeli forces moved into Return encampments, east of Abu Safiyia Hill, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, and levelled lands, which are previously levelled.

 

 

Israeli Forces continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

Following the Friday prayer, on 27 July 2018, Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and turned it into a military  barrack after surrounding it, closing it for 4 hours, forcibly evicting its yards, attacking Palestinian worshipers, firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at them, and beating and pushing them. As a result, around 40 worshipers sustained sound bombs and rubber bullets shrapnel wounds. Moreover, about 22 worshipers, including 7 children, were arrested after getting out of the mosque and some of them were arrested from al-Qibali Mosque.

 

As part of demolishing houses and civilian facilities, on 31 July 2018, Israeli forces notified the owners of 7 houses in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, to demolish their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khadir al-‘Araj, Head of al-Walaja Village Council, said that Jerusalem Municipality staff distributed 7 notices to the owners of these inhabited houses.

 

As part of settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem, on 01 August 2018, the Israeli authorities opened a new settlement project in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to serve Israeli settlers, under the name of ” Jewish Yemeni Heritage Center”. It should be noted that the Israel authorities opened the settlement project in Abu Nab property, which is built on an area of 700 square meter and seized in 2015.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

As part of demolishing crimes, on 29 July 2018, Israeli forces demolished a barrack built of tin plates in al-Shareef area in Kherbit Tuba, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The 150-square-meter barrack belonging to Tawfiq ‘Awad was used for breeding livestock. The barrack was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C.

 

On 01 August 2018, Israeli forces demolished unused graves built of concrete in the Western Ahrash area in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

 

As part of settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property, on 27 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yish Kodesh” outpost established in eastern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in al-Khila al-Wasta area, east of the village. The Israeli settlers set fire to an under-construction house and attacked another house after destroying its main door and damaging its contents.

 

On 28 July 2018, three Israeli settlers attacked Samir Mutlaq Ibrahime Ghanem (39) and his wife, Lina, with pepper gas and contaminated water while returning home in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood in Hebron. The Israeli forcrs did not intervene to stop them. Samir and his wife were taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment.

 

On 30 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Adi Ad” outpost established on al-Magheer village’s lands, northeast of Ramallah, moved into the outskirts of the village from the northwest side. The Israeli settlers burned tires of 8 Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans on the walls of the houses calling for revenge and killing the Palestinian civilians. The Israeli settlers later withdrew.

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

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force for the  18th consecutive Friday against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The demonstrations were named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege. The demonstrations were also in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. The demonstrations were as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday 27 July 2018, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. The numbers of participants increased at approximately 16:30, as the participants gathered inside and outside the encampment’s yard and raised flags, chanted national slogans and flew dozens of kites and balloons as dozens of them, including women and children, approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and set fire. A number of them attempted to throw stones at Israeli forces. The Israeli snipers stationed behind sand barriers and hills, more of which were established this week, along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, deliberately and selectively opened fire at participants of the peaceful demonstrations that included hundreds of civilians. On this week, the shooting was more than firing tear gas canisters, which were limitedly used in the last 2 hours of the demonstration by the military vehicles and drones. The shooting, which continued until approximately 20:00, resulted in the killing of Ghazi Mohammed Mustafa Abu Mustafa (43), from Khan Younis, after being hit with a live bullet that penetrated the right side of the head and exited the left ear at approximately 16:30, as he was sitting under an olive tree, which is about 150 meters away from the border fence. Ghazi’s death was announced after half an hour of his transfer to Gaza European Hospital. It should be noted that Ghazi was wounded to the left leg by Israeli forces on 08 June 2018, and he walks on crutches since his injury. Moreover, 10 others, including a child and a woman were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel throughout their bodies. The wounded civilians were taken to the field hospital and then transferred to Nasser, Gaza European and Algerian Hospitals. Dozens further suffered tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot or at the field hospital. Some of them were transferred to hospitals due to suffering severe tear gas inhalation and seizures.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 27 July 2018, thousands of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City in the 18th consecutive Friday titled “Our Martyrs Children.” The activities included raising flags, chanting national slogans, setting fire to tires and flying kites. Though the demonstrations were fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 22 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Nineteen of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, 400 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 15 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. Thirteen of them were hit with live bullets and 2 others were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were taken via ambulances belonging to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious and they were then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The injuries of the other wounded civilians were classified between minor and moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted national slogans and set fire to tires. Dozens of them approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli forces deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 21:00 on the same day. As a result, 59 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, 6 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. Forty eight of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel while 11 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to PRCS, Medical Services and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian and al-Awda Hospitals. Doctors classified the injury of 16 civilians as serious. The wounded journalist identified as Samer Sa’adallah Abdul ‘Ati al-Za’anin (26), a freelance journalist, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right thigh. As for the paramedics, they were identified as follows:

 

  1. Fares ‘Awad ‘Atiyah ‘Afanah (37), Director of the Emergency Medical Services, was hit with a live bullet to the right leg;
  2. Hani Mahmoud Husein Wadi (32), a paramedic at PRCS, was hit with live bullet to the head and back;
  3. Ramez Mesbah Mohammed Abu Dayer (27), a paramedic at the Palestinian Civil Defense, was hit with a live bullet to the head ad back;
  4. Maisa’a ‘Aref Salman al-‘Aar (20), a paramedic at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the right hand;
  5. Alin Yahiya Rashad ‘Ashour (22), a volunteer paramedic at the Ministry of Health, was hit with a live bullet to the left leg; and
  6. Ahmed Abdul Bari al-‘Abed Abu Foul (34), a volunteer paramedic at PRCS, was hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

 

  • At approximately 17:00, hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampment established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. A number of young men approached the border fence, flew kites, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until approximately 20:30. As a result, Majdi Ramzi Kamal al-Satri (12) was killed after being hit with a live bullet that entered the front and exited the back of the head. Majdi died in the ambulance that transferred him from the field hospital in the Return encampment to Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Moreover, 30 civilians, including 6 children, were wounded. Twenty nine of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and one civilian was hit with a tear gas canister. Those wounded civilians were taken to the field hospital and then transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors classified the injuries of 3 civilians as serious. At approximately 05:00 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, medical sources at Gaza European Hospital announced the death of Mo’men Fathi Yusuf al-Hams (17), succumbing to his wounds. Mo’men was hit with a live bullet that entered the left shoulder and exited the chest. Mo’men underwent a Surgery that continued for 5 hours and then stayed at the ICU until his death was announced.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 30 July 2018, dozens of Palestinian children and young men gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, to participate in the Return encampment. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the b order fence. the soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 children were hit with live bullets to the lower limbs. They were transferred via a PRCS ambulance to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified their injuries as moderate.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:40 on Friday, 27 July 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation, condemning the decisions to demolish Khan al-Ahmer Bedouin Community and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. Several representatives of national factions and representatives of National Action Factions in the north of the West Bank and a number of foreign and Israeli activists participated in the demonstration. Israeli soldiers suppressed the demonstration and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 5 civilians, including a 3 children age between 12 and 13, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the left hand.

 

  • At approximately 16:40 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, a group of Palestinian organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah and headed to the eastern entrance, which has been closed for 15 years. Israeli forces opened fire at the protestors. As a result, a 40-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the right hand.

House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 31 July 2018, Israeli forces notified the owners of 7 houses in al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, to demolish their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing. Khadir al-‘Araj, Head of al-Walaja Village Council, said that an Israeli military force accompanied with the Jerusalem Municipality staff moved into ‘Ein al-Jwaiza neighborhood in al-Walaja village. The municipality staff distributed 7 notices to the owners of these inhabited houses. The notices included summonses for the houses’ owners forcing them to self-demolish their houses, or they will be forced to pay the demolition costs. Al-‘Araj pointed out that the neighborhood, which is adjacent to al-Malha village that its residents were evicted, is clearly targeted in order to be fully annexed to the Jerusalem Municipality boundaries. It should be noted that the Jerusalem Municipality, during the past 30 years, attempted to annex the neighborhood. The Israeli authorities are also seeking to deport the neighborhood residents in favor of expanding the Israeli settlement as a prelude to add 330 settlement units in “Har Gilo” settlement established on the village lands. The Israeli forces also demolished al-Nour Mosque in the same neighborhood 20 years ago and destroyed the paved street that connects the neighborhood with the rest of the village. Additionally, they demolished over 30 houses and there are about forty cases in the Israeli Courts due to issuing demolition notices against those houses.

 

  • Opening New Settlement Project in Silwan:

 

  • On Wednesday evening, 1 August 2018, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and turned it into a military barrack. This happened in coinciding with opening a new settlement project in the village to serve the settlers, under the name of ” Jewish Yemeni Heritage Center”. According to eyewitnesses, a large force of Israeli soldiers moved into the neighborhoods and stationed at its entrances. They then deployed in Batn al-Hawa, al-Wosta, al-Bostan, and ‘Ein al-Lawza neighborhoods and closed some streets and roads to facilitate the access of participants to the opening ceremony of the settlement project. The eyewitnesses also said that before the beginning of the ceremony, the Israeli forces, arrested Zuhair al-Rajabi, Head of Batn al-Hawa Committee, and Jawad seyam, Head of the Wadi Helweh Information Center, while they were in the neighborhood. After that, the Israeli forces evicted the streets, forced the residents to enter their houses, and kept the press crews and some of foreign and Israeli activists away from the area.  Meanwhile, they prevented Silwan village’s residents from heading to the neighborhood and many residents were prevented from reaching their homes. Ze’ev Elkin, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Israeli Minister, Miri Regev, Israeli Minister of culture, Rabbi of Jerusalem, and representatives of the settlement associations participated in the opening Ceremony of the Cultural Center. It should be noted that the Israel authorities opened the settlement project in Abu Nab property, which is built on an area of 700 square meter and seized in 2015.

Last year, a synagogue was built in the same property, in which Israeli authorities claim that the property was a synagogue for the Jews of Yemen in the late 19th century.

 

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 9:00 on Sunday, 29 July 2018, Israeli Border Guard officers, accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Sharif area in Khirbet Tuba, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces deployed in the area while the bulldozer demolished a 150-square-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock. The barrack belongs to Tawfiq Isma’il ‘Elyan Awad. The barrack was built in 2016 and demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in areas classified as Area C. Tawfiq was notified to stop construction on 23 April 2017.

 

  • At approximately 8:00 on Wednesday, 1 August 2018, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into the western al-Ahrash area in al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a number of unused graves built of concrete under the pretext of non-licensing in an area classified as security area by the Israeli forces. It should be noted that the Israeli forces previously notified to hold construction in these graves.

 

 Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 26 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into al-Nabi Yunis neighborhood, north of Halhool village, north of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed in the vicinity of al-Nabi Yunis Old Mosque while the Israeli settlers performed their Talmudic prayers in the area. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many stone throwers suffered tear gas inhalation and were then treated on the spot.

 

  • At approximately 12:45 on Friday, 27 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yish Kodesh” outpost established in eastern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinian civilians’ houses in al-Khila al-Wasta area, east of the village, 200 meters away from the abovementioned outpost. The Israeli settlers set fire to an under-construction house belonging to a civilian, from Kafur Qasem village in Israel. The 100- square-meter under-construction house was burnt. The Israeli settlers attacked another 60- square-meter house belonging to Tawfiq al-Showiki after destroying its main door and damaging its contents.

 

  • At approximately 22:30 on Saturday, 28 July 2018, three Israeli settlers attacked Samir Mutlaq Ibrahime Ghanem (39) and his wife, Lina, with pepper gas and contaminated water while returning home in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood. The attack happened near the military checkpoint at the entrance to the neighborhood (checkpoint 56) but Israeli soldiers did not intervene to stop it. Samir along with his wife were admitted to Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment. Samir Ghanem said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “We were returning home after a visit to my wife’s family house in al-Namra area and my nephew, Tariq (14), was with us. When we arrived at the Container checkpoint in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood at approximately 22:30, there were three settlers between 15 and 18 years old, sitting 3 meters away from the checkpoint. My nephew was holding a shopping cart and the settlers began to curse and threaten us. I took Tariq away and moved one meter forward. The settlers sprayed us with a contaminated water and a pepper gas that hit our heads and clothes. My wife fell on the ground and I started shouting. The settlers approached us and pepper-sprayed us. I was shouting, but the soldiers, who stationed 3 meters away, didn’t move and continued to watch what was happening through cameras covering the area. Moments later, a red car arrived, and a settler, in thirties, stepped out of the car and tried to attack us, but I tried to defend myself. The three settlers pepper-sprayed us again. Two soldiers arrived as I was raising my hands up and one of them pointed his rifle at my face and asked me to let my hands down. I called my relatives in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a number of civilians gathered and a number of soldiers, including an officer, arrived as well. The officer approached the settlers, spoke to themand moved away after two minutes. We talked to the soldiers who denied knowing what was happening. An ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society arrived and took us to Hebron governmental hospital for treatment.”

 

  • On Monday morning, 30 July 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Adi Ad” outpost established on al-Magheer village’s lands, northeast of Ramallah, moved into the outskirts of the village from the northwest side. The Israeli settlers burned tires of 8 Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans on the walls of the houses calling for revenge and killing the Palestinian civilians. The Israeli settlers later withdrew.

 

 

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 for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 03.08.2016)

Israel ‘employs unlawful tactics’ to control Gaza’s land, sea

Israeli forces intervene in a protest against construction of Israeli settlement and separation wall at Kafr Qaddum village in Nablus, West Bank on 28 July, 2018 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces attack Palestinians during a protest against the construction of Israeli settlement in Nablus, West Bank on 28 July, 2018

The extent of Israel’s control over swathes of occupied Gaza Strip, and systematic violence towards Palestinian civilians in unilaterally declared “no go” zones, has been detailed in a new report.

The report, by Israeli human rights NGO Gisha, details the use of live fire, access restrictions and aerial herbicide spraying by Israeli occupation authorities.

Gisha says its report “exposes the impact of enforcement measures employed by Israel against what it perceives as breaches of its directives in the [Access Restricted Areas].”

“For more than a decade,” the NGO stated, “and long before the recent wave of protests in Gaza began, the restrictions Israel has imposed in the buffer and fishing zones through aggressive enforcement tactics have resulted in death, injury, heavy damage to property, the collapse of two major economic sectors, and have hindered economic growth.”

Read: UN expresses concern for children’s rights in Gaza

Between 2010 and 2017 – before the “Great Return March” protests that began in March this year – there were a total of 1,300 incidents of live-fire by Israeli occupation forces on farmers, herders, scrap collectors, demonstrators and other Gaza residents near the perimeter fence.

At least 161 Palestinians were killed and more than 3,000 injured, in these incidents.

Meanwhile, “since 2014, Israel has also conducted aerial herbicide spraying along the fence with Gaza, causing extensive damage to crops and tremendous financial losses for farmers.”

According to the report, “the chemical agents used have destroyed crops and grazing pastures as far as a kilometre away from the fence, inside Palestinian territory.”

Read: Israel bans entry of gas, fuel in to Gaza

“Since the spraying began,” the report continues, “nearly 22,000 dunams (around 5,400 acres) of land have sustained damage, of which about 8,000 dunams (nearly 2,000 acres) are grazing lands damaged in the last six months.”

#GazaCrisis

At sea, Israel “shrinks and expands the [fishing] zone regularly, often as a punitive measure, causing uncertainty and insecurity.”

“From 2010 to 2017, there were nearly 1,000 incidents of live-fire reported at sea, 107 injuries, five deaths, and 250 instances of confiscation of boats and other equipment,” Gisha stated.

The NGO urged Israel to “end its destructive and disproportionate actions and enable Palestinian residents of Gaza, including members of the farming, herding and fishing communities, to lead normal lives.”

(Source / 03.08.2018)

EU builds largest solar energy field in Gaza

Image of solar plant [USAF/Wikipedia]

Solar panels in a power generation plant

The European Union yesterday announced the completion of the largest solar energy field in the Gaza Strip that will provide 0.5 megawatts of electricity per day to fuel a desalination plant.

The European Commission said in a statement that the desalination plant currently provides drinking water to 75,000 people in the provinces of Khan Yunis and Rafah, south of Gaza Strip, adding that with the completion of the new solar project, water will reach 250,000 people in Gaza by 2020.

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said: “Limited energy supplies in Gaza are one of the main challenges when improving access to safe and drinkable water to the local population.”

“The photovoltaic solar field is essential to respond to the urgent water needs in Gaza and create dignified living conditions for its people, thus mitigating tensions in a highly conflict sensitive area,” he added.

Read: Israel bans entry of gas, fuel in to Gaza

He pointed out that 97 per cent of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption, warning of the high population density in the sector, which puts enormous pressure on infrastructure damaged by repeated conflicts.

In March, the European Union held a conference in Brussels, co-chaired by the European Union and the Palestinian Authority. The conference pledged €456 million ($532 million) to construct a central desalination plant which will be the biggest infrastructure project in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 03.08.2018)

Activists call on Tunisia to stop Israel ship from docking

Crowds gather to greet the crew of the Freedom Flotilla ships as they prepare to leave Spain

Crowds gather to meet the crew of the Freedom Flotilla ship as they prepare to leave for Gaza

Tunisian activists and trade unionists are demanding their government prevents and Israeli-chartered cargo ship from docking in the country.

The vessel, which is Turkish-flagged, “appears to be operated on behalf of the Israeli shipping company Zim”, the Electronic Intifada reported yesterday.

“It would be extremely scandalous to allow this boat to dock in Radès, especially since last Sunday [the] Israeli navy intercepted the Freedom Flotilla in international waters,” TACBI, the Tunisian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said.

Last weekend Israeli forces stormed the Al-Awda ship which was part of the Freedom Flotilla’sattempts to break the siege on Gaza.

Read: Israel intercepts Freedom Flotilla bound for Gaza

Israeli forces then commandeered Al-Awda and redirected her to Ashdod port where activists faced questioning and deportation.

Sami Tahri, the deputy secretary general of the Tunisian General Labour Union, told local radio on Wednesday that the labour federation had asked the government to “verify” the information regarding the ship, and to act to stop it landing. He said that the government had not responded to the UGTT’s urgent requests.

(Source / 03.08.2018)