Israeli settlers establish new outpost near Jerusalem

Illegal outpost near Al Quds

Haaretz newspaper on Saturday reported that Israeli settlers of Efrat settlement last week established a new outpost on a nearby hill in protest at the killing of an Israeli settler at Gush Etzion junction earlier that week.

The hill, which the settlers call “Givat Eitam”, is known for its strategic importance.

Israel in the past tried to boost settlement construction on the hill but it backtracked because any construction project in the area would separate Bethlehem from Palestinian villages in the south.

Israeli settlers rallying in the new outpost affirmed that Efrat council had sent them. They even raised the council’s flag there.

As far as is known, Israel’s Civil Administration does not intend to evacuate the outpost immediately, in light of previous requests by Efrat council to allow settlement construction on Givat Eitam.

The new outpost is not the first of its kind. An outpost was built there in 2013 but it was evacuated two years later.

(Source / 22.09.2018)

Shin Bet detains father of martyr Arkan Tha’er

Father of martyr

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence, on Friday arrested the father of Palestinian martyr Arkan Muzher, from Bethlehem, after summoning him for interrogation.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), Tha’er Muzher received a summons for interrogation from the Shin Bet in Etzion detention center after soldiers stormed his home in al-Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Later, a PPS lawyer was informed by the Israeli security authorities that Muzher would remain in detention in Etzion center, without providing a reason for the measure.

15-year-old Arkan Muzher was killed by Israeli gunfire on July 23 during clashes between local youths and soldiers in Deheisheh camp.

(Source / 22.09.2018)

Israeli army warns of ‘security explosion’ in occupied West Bank

Israeli security forces intervene Palestinians during a protest held against Jewish occupation over Palestinians’ fields in Ras Karkar village of Ramallah, West Bank on 30 August, 2018

The Chief of Staff of the Israeli Occupation Army warned last week of a major outbreak of “violence” in the occupied West Bank, the Times of Israel reported on Friday. Gadi Eisenkot said that there is a “60 to 80 per cent” chance of this happening.

According to reports, Eisenkot attributed the expected outbreak to the waning political influence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as to his deteriorating health. He delivered his warning during a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet held last Sunday.

Any violence in the West Bank, said Eisenkot, would require more Israeli troops to be deployed as well as a corresponding escalation in the Gaza Strip due to the nature of the friction between the Palestinians there and in the West Bank.

UN: Israel has done nothing to halt settlement growth

The senior officer pointed to the declining support from the US and Arab states for Abbas, pressure on him to reach a reconciliation with Hamas and increasing anger among the Palestinian people over the PA’s “sacred” security cooperation with Israel. Abbas’s forthcoming speech at the UN General Assembly, he warned, could ignite the expected violence, which Eisenkot already believes would be based on lone wolf attacks. Israel claimed last week that it had undermined 3,000 possible lone wolf attacks against Israeli targets during the past two years in cooperation with the PA.

To avoid more violence, Eisenkot suggested improving the economic situation of Palestinians in the West Bank and stressed the importance of resolving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The consequences for the Palestinians of the US aid cuts must also be addressed, he added.

In closing, the Chief of Staff warned of the possibility of Israel finding itself trapped in a confrontation on three fronts: Syria, Lebanon and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

READ: Israel Supreme Court backs army’s refusal to prosecute killer of Palestinian activist 

(Source / 22.09.2018)

PA to halt security cooperation if Israel agrees a truce with Hamas

Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (R) [File photo]

Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (R) [File photo]

The Palestinian Authority will sever ties with Israel and stop security cooperation if it signs a truce with Hamas, Egyptian and Palestinian sources revealed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Friday. The PA would also abandon all of its financial obligations in the Gaza Strip, at the top of which are the salaries of public servants in the territory.

According to informed sources, the Egyptian intelligence agency has suggested that the truce talks between Israel and Hamas continue in tandem with reconciliation discussions. Cairo has apparently pledged to put pressure on the Palestinian factions to accept what is best for Fatah and the PA.

The latest discussions ended with the truce talks put on hold until further notice, while reconciliation discussions are being intensified, with more pressure put on Hamas to accept Fatah’s recommendations for the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation proposal.

READ: PA to take action against Hamas after reconciliation fails

Fatah and the PA insist on full control over Gaza’s border crossings and all tax sources, as well as control of the security services and the weapons of the Palestinian resistance factions. The latest Fatah delegation to Cairo is said to have passed Abbas’s message to the Egyptians that they should completely freeze truce talks in order to put pressure on Hamas and oblige it to hand over the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement is expected to receive an Egyptian delegation in Gaza today. It insisted that it has heard nothing new from Egypt regarding the truce and the reconciliation talks.

Hamas revealed that it had started internal discussions to reactivate the administrative committee in Gaza, which was dissolved in October 2017 as part of the reconciliation deal reached with Fatah. Although insisted upon by the Fatah-controlled PA, the dissolution of the committee was not enough for Mahmoud Abbas, who has imposed punitive measures on the Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

When asked about breaking the 12-year Israeli-led siege, Hamas stressed that it would not stop the Great March of Return protests until the blockade is brought to an end.

(Source / 22.09.2018)

Abbas: Palestine ready to enter peace talks with Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd R) is escorted by French president Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) as he leaves at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on September 21, 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday voiced readiness to resume peace talks with Israel, either behind closed doors or in public.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Paris with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Abbas said: “We’re ready for negotiations with Israel — either in public or behind closed doors — with the [Middle East] Quartet as sponsor.”

The so-called Middle East “Quartet” is comprised of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.

“The Palestinians haven’t rejected negotiations,” Abbas asserted. “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is the one who has derailed the peace process.”

Later in the day, French Presidency issued a statement on the meeting between the two leaders, noting the French leader reiterated that his country is attached to the two-states solution.

Macron “reiterated the full commitment of France to resume the thread of dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis and confirmed to President Abbas the willingness of France to mobilize on the diplomatic field to change the situation that is no longer tenable,” according to the Elysee statement.

READ: PA to halt security cooperation if Israel agrees a truce with Hamas 

Recalling the strict Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, Macron emphasized “the need to do everything possible to improve the humanitarian situation.”

The leaders also discussed the ongoing talks, between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas under the auspices of Egypt, according to the statement.

Macron said France supports the talks to reach an intra-Palestinian reconciliation in a bid “to allow holding elections in the coming months” in Gaza, which is “an essential contribution to the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state”.

He also “reiterated his attachment to the security of Israel and at the same time the condemnation by France of the policy of Israeli colonization, which has continued and accelerated in recent months”.

Abbas arrived in Paris on Thursday at the invitation of Macron.

On Saturday, the Palestinian president will leave France for Ireland, before moving on to New York for a UN General Assembly meeting.

Palestine-Israel talks broke down in 2014, due largely to Israel’s refusal to stop building Jewish-only settlement units on confiscated Palestinian land.

Hamas: Fatah’s conditions make reconciliation impossible 

(Source / 22.09.2018)

How the Spanish courts became a battleground for Israel’s anti-BDS efforts

An activist holds up a placard during a protest supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS)

By Rebecca Stead

On 4 September, a Spanish district court annulled a resolution to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution had been put forward by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a small town situated on the border with Portugal, and advocated for a ban on any association with Israeli companies or organisations.

In late August two Spanish municipalities, Villarrobledo and Sagunto, rescinded their support for BDS only months after declaring their towns “a space free of Israeli apartheid.” They were just two of some 60 Spanish towns and cities to have expressed their support for the BDS movement in the past two years. Among them was Valencia – Spain’s third-largest city – which joined BDS citing Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return in the besieged Gaza Strip earlier this year.

So why the about-turn? One thread tying the above three cases together is ACOM, or Acción y Comunicación sobre Oriente Medio (Action and Communication on the Middle East). ACOM describes itself as a “non-denominational and independent organization that aims to reinforce the political relationship between Spain and Israel by working with governments, political parties, the media and civil society.” Yet far from acting as an independent organisation, ACOM has been on the front line of Israel’s efforts to quash support for BDS, embroiling the Spanish courts in a tug of war in the process.

READ: Under BDS pressure, Israel to host Eurovision in Tel Aviv not Jerusalem

In the case of Ayamonte, ACOM filed a legal suit with the district court to have the council’s BDS resolution overturned. Villarrobledo and Sagunto were threatened with legal action if they did not renounce their support for the boycott movement. Speaking about Sagunto, ACOM’s President Ángel Mas said that “we will continue to stop the BDS extreme movement from infiltrating the institutions of all Spanish citizens and from breaking the democratic, pluralistic and open nature of our institutions.” ACOM has thwarted at least 26 initiatives by Spanish councils and municipalities to promote a pro-BDS position by using these tactics, the Times of Israel reported. The Jerusalem Post estimates this number could be as high as 35.

ACOM makes no attempt to hide its pro-Israel agenda. Its website advocates for “disassembling BDS racism” and cites a strange amalgam of “facts about Israel,” including that Israel has a 20 per cent Arab population and that there have been no recognitions of Israel’s right to exist by Hamas. If one can draw any conclusion about an organisation from the friends it keeps, its close ties with the US-based Anti-Defamation League, Palestine Media Watch (PMW) – an Israel-based NGO that monitors “incitement” by Palestinian media outlets – and NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based group known to vehemently critique only leftist and pro-Palestinian NGOs, say a great deal about ACOM’s agenda.

The organisation also has strong links with Israel’s political establishment. In 2017, Israeli Knesset Member Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party joined a delegation from ACOM and NGO Monitor at Spain’s parliament to present a joint report on NGOs that “carry out political warfare campaigns against Israel.” Lapid has long been connected to the Israeli government’s settlement policy, in July 2017 participating in a ceremony at the illegal settlement of Netiv HaAvot, south of Bethlehem, even after the Israeli Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of the outpost and the evacuation of its illegal inhabitants. In May 2018, Lapid claimed that under US President Donald Trump’s forthcoming “Deal of the Century” the town of Abu Dis will replace Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

READ:  Israel has done nothing to halt settlement growth

These links with right-wing NGOs and the Israeli political elite have placed ACOM at the forefront of Israel’s anti-BDS war. From music festivals to international events and world football, this war is being fought on many fronts. Domestically, the drive has led Israel to ban several BDS activists from entering the country, including Ana Sanchez Mera who is thought to be affiliated with the BDS National Committee (BNC) and active in Spain’s BDS activities. Yet that this latest battle is being played out in the Spanish courts, an unlikely location to say the least, demonstrates that this tug of war extends far beyond the borders of the Jewish state. In this way, the Spanish courts have in many ways become a microcosm for the broader struggle for public opinion, a PR war fought in a murky world of NGOs and only partially-hidden agendas.

Yet in March 2018, ACOM President Ángel Mas was handed a taste of his own medicine. The Committee for Solidarity with the Arab Cause (CSAC), an NGO that receives funding from several Spanish municipalities, filed a 70-page lawsuit against Mas. The move represented the first time a pro-Israel entity had been taken to court in Spain for its activities. Mas said that he was “surprised and disappointed” at the judge’s decision to review the lawsuit, calling the move “a frivolous attempt to abuse the Spanish judiciary with propaganda.” Mas added that: “Having suffered crippling losses in court, the BDS movement in Spain is switching methods. They are targeting individuals in a smear campaign […] This will not succeed.”

This constant legal to-ing and fro-ing shows no sign of abating. Just this week, ACOM publisheda press release boasting of pending legal action against the city council of Pamplona, in northern Spain. The legal action accuses the council of discrimination against Israelis and Spanish Jews for its no-platforming of Israeli representatives and support for a military boycott, two staples of the BDS movement. With each precedent set, ACOM’s and, by extension, Israel’s efforts to quash the boycott campaign in Spain gain traction and strength. Though pro-BDS movements like CSAC have begun to play ACOM at its own game, such efforts still lag behind both in quantity and impact. If BDS wishes to maintain momentum and influence, it will have to pull harder in this protracted tug of war..

(Source / 22.09.2018)

Israeli Settler Runs Over Hebron Teen

21 SEP
9:01 PM

A 16-year-old Palestinian teen was hospitalized after an Israeli settler ran him over, on Friday, in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that an Israeli settler deliberately ran over the Palestinian teen with his vehicle, in Hebron City.

The teen was identified by locals as Munir Abdullah Gharib, aged 16.
Mounir suffered injuries from the attack, and was immediately transferred to the Alia Governmental Hospital in Hebron, for necessary medical treatment; his condition remained unknown.

Incidents involving Israeli settlers hitting Palestinians, in the occupied Palestinian territory, are a relatively regular occurrence, and are usually treated by Israeli security forces as accidents, even in cases when witnesses claim the car rammings were deliberate.

Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

Palestinian residents of Old City Hebron face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.

Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed to drive on al-Shuhada street, have had their homes and shops on the street welded shut, and in some areas of the Old City, are not permitted to walk on certain roads.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers move freely on the street, drive cars and carry machine guns.

(Source / 22.09.2018)

Israeli Live Rounds And Gas Bombs Burn A Farm Near Nablus

22 SEP
10:02 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at dawn, Sebastia town, northwest of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and started removing Palestinian flags, leading to protests, before the soldiers fired many live round and gas bombs, resulting in a fire that consumed a farm.

Mohammad Azem, the head of Local Council in Sebastia, said the farm was burnt shortly after the army invaded the town, due to the large number of gas bombs fired by the soldiers at random, to suppress local protesters.

Azem added that many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, and received the needed treatment at the scene.

The incidents took place after the soldiers started removing Palestinian flags, raised in several parts of Sebastia.

It is wort mentioning that Sebastia is subject to ongoing invasions by the soldiers, and by illegal colonialist settlers, especially in the archeological area.

(Source / 22.09.2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13 – 19 September 2018)

21 SEP
9:21 PM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 13 – 19 September, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 7 civilians, including 2 children, were killed, while a third child succumbed to his wounds. 278 civilians, including 46 children, 10 women, 4 journalists and 9 paramedics, were wounded. Twelve of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

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 25th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed 7 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, while a third child succumbed to previous wounds in the Gaza Strip.  Moreover, 278 civilians, including 46 children, 10 women, 4 journalists, and 9 paramedics, were wounded.  In the West Bank, A Palestinian civilian died only few hours after being arrested in light of having suspicions that the brutal beating he was subject to caused his death.  Moreover, a Palestinian was shot dead by the Israeli Police in occupied East Jerusalem and wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 14 September 2018, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians during their participation in the Return and Breaking the Siege protests. The first one was identified as Mohammed Shaqourah (20) from al-Maghazi refugee camp, after being shot with a bullet to the chest in eastern al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip while the second was identified as Hani ‘Afanah (21) after being shot with a bullet to the chest in eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

On 18 September 3018, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians during their participation in the Return and Breaking the Siege protests in the northern Gaza Strip.  Those killed were identified as Mohammed abu Naji (32), from Beit Lahia Housing Project, who was hit with a bullet to the chest, and Ahmed ‘Omer (24), from al-Shati’a refugee camp, who was hit with a bullet to the chest as well.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, when they approached the broder fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in eastern al-Qararah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.  They were identified as Naji Abu ‘Aasi (17) and ‘Alaa Abu ‘Aasi (20); who are both from Bani Suhaila.  PCHR’s investigations into emphasize that the two killed were civilians who were near the barbed-wire fence that is around 50 meters away from the main border fence.  Although no circumstances clarified the reason behind their presence in the scene, they did not pose any threat to the life of soldiers as both were unarmed; moreover, targeting them violates the principle of necessity and distinction as the Israeli forces used unjustified force.

 

On 19 September 2018, Israeli forces killed Mo’men Abu ‘Eyaadah (15) after being hit with a bullet to the head during his participation in a gathering of dozens of civilians in the Return encampment near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

In the same context, the medical sources at the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis on 15 September 2018 declared the death of Suhaib Abu Kashif (16) from Khan Younis refugee camp, after succumbing to his wounds.  The aforementioned child was wounded with a bullet to the neck during his participation in the Return March activities in eastern Khuza’ah village, eat of Kahn Younis on 03 August 2018.

 

As part of using excessive force against the peaceful protestors along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces during the reporting period wounded 278 civilians, including 46 children, 10 women, 4 journalists and 9 paramedics.  The injury of 12 of those wounded was described as serious.

 

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip during this Week

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 158 28 6 3 7 6
Gaza City 48 8 3 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 20 2 1 0 1 0
Khan Younis 29 4 0 1 0 3
Rafah 23 4 0 0 1 3
Total 278 46 10 4 9 12

 

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 14 September 2018, the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in eastern Khan Younis, fired an artillery shell that fell inside Abu T’eimah Elementary School for Noys and Girls in ‘Abasan al-Kabireh village.  As a result, two classrooms sustained damage, and the school was suspended in the next day.  It should be noted around 2500 female and male elementary and preparatory students go to the aforementioned school on 2 shifts.

 

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.  On 13 September 2018, the Israeli forces arrested 3 fishermen and confiscated their boat off al-Sheikh ‘Ejlin shore, west of Gaza City.

 

In the West Bank, Mohammed al-Khatib, from Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, died only few hours after being arrested by the Israeli forces on 18 September 2018.  His family said that the Israeli forces had brutally beaten him before arresting and taking him to an unknown destination.  In the morning, the family received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison informing them that their son died.

 

On the same day, Israeli police officers opened fire at Mohammed ‘Alian (26), from Qalendia refugee camp, north of East Jerusalem, wounding him with 15 bullets throughout his body, and immediately died.  The Israeli police claimed that the abovementioned attempted to stab an Israeli settler who was walking in al-Mesrarah area near the Damascus Gate in the central of the occupied City.

 

In the same context, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist,

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 75 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 42 Palestinians, including 5 children, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 33 other civilians, including 3 children, and a French activist were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 13 September r308, the Israeli forces moved 50 meters into al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.  On 14 September 2018, the Israeli forces moved 70 meters into eastern al-Qararah, east of Khan Younis.  In the 2 incursions, the Israeli forces levelled lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

 

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the house demolitions and other civilian objects, on 13 September 2018, the Israeli forces demolished 5 dwellings temporarily set by Palestinian activities near Khan al-Ahmar and called it Wadi al-Ahmar village in solidarity with the Bedouin Community that is decided by the Israeli authorities to be demolished and its residents to be displaced.

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 13 September 2018, settlers burnt 200 olive trees located in al-Menia village, south of Bethlehem, and  belonging to the Sa’ir village residents in eastern Hebron.

 

On the same day, a group of settlers attacked civilian houses in Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus.  They slashed the tires of 6 cars with sharp tools and spray-painted hate graffiti against Arabs on the walls of a house in the village.

 

On 18 September 2018, a group of Israeli settlers established mobile houses in “Khelet al-Nahlah” area, which is a 400-dunum hill off Urtas village, south of Bethlehem. They raised the Israeli flag on the hill and supplied it with electricity.  Hasan Breijeyah, Head of the Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that there is an Israeli plan to establish a settlement outpost and connect it with “Afrat” Settlement, south of Bethlehem, until it reaches the eastern lands of Bethlehem and then turn towards “Har Homa” settlement, which has become of West Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods.

Civilian Died only Few Hours after Being Arrested by Israeli Forces:

 

  • Mohammed al-Khatib, from Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, died only few hours after being arrested by the Israeli forces. PCHR calls for an immediate and impartial investigation into the death circumstances of al-Khatib and expresses its deep concern that the Israeli forces had possibly practiced torture against him.

According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 06:00 today, 18 September 2018, Israeli soldiers sneaked into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, via a civilian white Volkswagen Caravelle with a Palestinian registration plate.  The vehicle stopped near a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Zaghloul al-Khatib (24), and the Israeli soldiers stepped out of it to raid al-Khatib’s bedroom.  They had brutally beaten him before arresting and taking him to an unknown destination.  In the morning, an Israeli officer called the brother of the abovementioned and asked him if Mohammed suffers from a certain disease, but his brother denied so.  Shortly, the family received a phone call from the Palestinian Liaison informing them that their son died.  It should be mentioned that al-Khatib was previously wounded by the Israeli forces with a bullet to his foot one year and a half ago.

Bashir al-Khatib, Mohammed’s brother, said to a PCHR’s fieldworker that:

 

“I woke up to the loud screams of my brother Mohammed, so I immediately went to his bedroom, which is separated from our main house around 10 meters away.  When I arrived, I saw 10 Israeli soldiers severely and brutally beating him with their riffles and feet throughout his body.  I tried to move them away, but the soldiers forcefully drove me off and tied my hands.  They then locked my mother, sisters and I in a room in our house.  After Five minutes, we no longer heard the screams of Mohammed, and I saw one of the Israeli soldiers holding Mohammed on his shoulders to a white vehicle and taking him to an unknown destination.  At approximately 09:00, I received a call from an Israeli officer asking me If Mohammed suffers from any disease.  I answered No, he does not have any, and the soldiers then surprisingly ended the call. I then received a call from the Palestinian Liaison in Ramallah informing me with the death of Mohammed.”

 

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 against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 22:50 on Thursday, 13 September 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians, who approached the abovementioned border fence. As a result, a 27-year-old civilian from Jabalia was hit with live bullet shrapnel to upper part of his body and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 14 September 2018, thousands of Palestinian civilians protested in the east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. A number of them approached the border fence with Israel, set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers stationed along the border fence fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 47 civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, were wounded. Thirty three of them were hit with live bullets, and 14 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on the same day, 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 protestors. As a result, Mohammed Khalil Ghazi Shaqourah (20), from al-Maghazi refugee camp, was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the chest. Moreover, 13 civilians, including 2 children and a paramedic, were wounded. Twelve of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel. Dena Ibrahim Hasan Salem (22), a volunteer paramedic at PRCS, was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh.

 

  • Around the same time, thousands of civilians swarmed to the Return encampment, 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 sporadically fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, Hani Ramzi Mohammed ‘Afanah (21) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the chest when he was about 100 meters into the west of the border fence. He was reported Dead on Arrival (DOA) at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Moreover, 19 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic, were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel. The paramedic identified as Zuhair Mahmoud Abdul Ra’ouf al-Sheikh (Jouda) (30) was hit with a live bullet to the right leg. The wounded civilians were taken to the medical point in the Return encampment, east of Rafah, and then transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • Around the same time, thousands of civilians, including children and elderlies, protested in the east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis. Hundreds of them approached the border fence with Israel, set fire to tires as a number of them threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The Israeli snipers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors, who were about 300 meters away from the main border fence. As a result, 25 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • Around the same time, thousands of civilians protested in the east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. A number of them approached the border fence with Israel, set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers stationed along the border fence fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 51 civilians, including 9 children and 5 paramedics; 4 of them were females, were wounded. Nineteen of them were hit with live bullets, and 32 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as:
  1. Mohammed Ibrahim Abdul Fattah Kutkut (46) was hit with a live bullet to the left arm;
  2. Salwa Mohammed Nathmi Jnaid (20) was hit with a tear gas canister to the left foot;
  3. Noor Fayez Ahmed al-Kafarnah (21) was hit with a tear gas to the left thigh
  4. Habibah Mahmoud Abdul ‘Aziz al-Sekafi (22) was hit with a tear gas canister to the back; and
  5. Reem Mansour Abdul Jawad Shatat (20) was hit with a tear gas canister and bruises to the pelvis.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 15 September 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, opened fire at a group of civilians, who approached the border fence. As a result, a 16-year-old child was hit with a live bullet to the left foot.

 

  • At approximately 23:35 on the same Saturday, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians, who approached the border fence. As a result, a 25-year-old civilian from Khan Younis was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh. He was taken to the Indonesian Hospital. Doctors classified his injury as serious due to a cut in the main artery in the thigh. The wounded civilians were then transferred to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Sunday, 16 September 2018, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the Return encampment near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and fired fireworks and turned on sounds similar to warning sirens. The soldiers sporadically fired live bullets at civilians. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the upper limbs.

 

  • At approximately 20:20, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel adjacent to the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at a group of Palestinian young men, who protested in the area. As a result, a 26-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh and Mazen Suleiman Mahmoud Qdaih (25), a reporter at Rebat Radio Station and a photographer at Noor News Network, who was hit with shrapnel to the left hand palm.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 17 September 2018, hundreds of Palestinian civilians protested near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in al-Sefa area (adjacent to “Zikim” military base), northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the seventh time for Palestinian boats to sail for breaking the Siege from Gaza Seaport towards the northern Gaza Strip coastline. The Israeli gunboats heavily opened fire at the boats for breaking the siege that approached the water barrier established by the Israeli forces. The Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence heavily fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 59 civilians, including 12 children and a woman, were wounded. Thirty eight of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 21 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified 4 civilians’ injuries as serious. At approximately 23:35 on the same day, 2 other civilians were wounded in eastern Abu Safiyah Hill in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of civilians, who approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Monday, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel adjacent to the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at a group of civilians, who protested in the area. As a result, a 26-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the chest.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, Israeli forces stationed at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip fired live bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds of civilians who were protesting near the crossing upon calls from the National Committee of March for Return and Breaking the Siege to participate in the “Together for the Rights of Refugees and Breaking the Siege” activity. The Israeli Forces’ shooting resulted in the killing of 2 civilians who were identified as Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Abu Naji (32) from Beit Lahia Housing Project who was hit with a bullet to the chest; and Ahmed Mohammed Muhsen ‘Omer (24) from al-Shati’ refugee camp who was hit with a bullet to the chest. Moreover, 44 civilians, including 7 children, 2 women, 3 journalists and 2 paramedics, were wounded. Seven of the wounded were hit with bullets while the rest were directly hit with tear gas canisters in addition to dozens who suffered tear gas inhalation.  Further, a tear gas canister hit and broke the window of a PRCS ambulance. The two paramedic, who work at PRCS were identified as Jamal Ibrahim Ahmed al-Sayed (30), was hit with a tear gas canister to the head and Shaima’a Hani Ibrahim al-Masri (20) was hit with a tear gas canister to the pelvis. The wounded journalists were identified as Tha’er Khalid Fehmi Abu Rayash (24), a journalist at the Turkish Newspaper, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right knee, and Mohammed ‘Atef Mohammed al-‘Arabid (23), a photojournalist at the North Media Network and Palestine News Network, was hit with a tear gas canister to the face.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Tuesday, Israeli forces stationed along the border with Israel adjacent to the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets at a group of young men, who protested in the area. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 7 civilians were hit with live bullets during their participation in a demonstration that was organized near the border fence with Israel, adjacent to “al-Namer Gate” belonging to the Israeli forces, east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

 

  • At approximately 20: on Wednesday, 19 September 2018, dozens of civilians gathered in the Return encampment near the border fence between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. They set fire to tires and fired fireworks at the soldiers. The Israeli soldiers sporadically fired live bullets. As a result, Mo’men Ibrahim Salim Abu ‘Eyadah (15) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 23:30 on the same day. Mo’men died before his arrival at Abu Yusuf al-Najjar hospital in Rafah. Moreover, 3 civilians were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel.

 

Child Succumbed to His wounds:

 

  • A approximately 23:30 on Saturday, 15 September 2018, medical sources at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis announced the death of Suheib Abdul Salam Mohammed Abu Kashef (16), from Khan Younis refugee camp, succumbing to his wounds. Suheib was hit with a live bullet to the neck during his participation in the activities of the Return March in the east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis on 03 August 2018. Suheib was at that time taken to Gaza European Hospital and doctors classified his injury as serious. He then stayed at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until his death was announced.

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday Prayer on 14 September 2018, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters moved into the entrance to Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron where the Israeli forces established a military watchtower. When they arrived at the area, the Israeli soldiers chased them amidst firing sound bombs and tear gas canisters. The soldiers then arrested 5 children and took them to the military watchtower. The arrestees were then transferred to a detention center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The arrestees were identified as: Qais Mohammed Kamel Abu Maria (15), Khatab Wahid Hamdi Abu Maria (16), Rakan Nasser Abdul Hamid Abu Maria (15), Sayel Jihad ‘Ali Sabarnah (16), and Mahdi Ibrahim Abdul Hamid Abu Maria (15).

 

  • At approximately 13:40 on the same Friday 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 and 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. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Nidal Shafiq Taher Eshtiyah (49), a journalist at New China News Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the chest. At approximately 17:30 on Saturday, 15 September 2018, a similar demonstration was organized. The Israeli shooting resulted in the injury of a 47-year-old civilian with a rubber bullet to the right leg.
  • House and Civilian Property Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 04:00 on Thursday, 13 September 2018, Israeli bulldozers leveled Wadi al-Ahmar village that was established by Palestinian activists near Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community that is threatened to be demolished. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration staff moved into Wadi al-Ahmar village, imposed a closure on it and then declared it as a closed military zone. The Israeli bulldozers demolished 5 dwellings temporarily established by Palestinian activists near Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community and called it Wadi al Ahmar village in solidarity with Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community, which is decided by the Israeli authorities to be demolished and its residents to be displaced. On Wednesday morning, 12 September 2018, the time given by the Israeli Supreme Court to vacate the Kahn al-Ahmar Bedouin Community established in East Jerusalem ended. It should be noted that the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by the residents of Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community against the decision of vacating their community and demolishing its building.

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Friday, 14 September 2018, Israeli forces besieged Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community, east of occupied East Jerusalem, and closed with sand berms the roads leading to it. An Israeli bulldozer closed a sub road leading to Wadi al-Ahmar village, which was leveled the day before in the dawn in the northern area of the community adjacent to “Kfar Adumim” settlement.  Following that, the Israeli bulldozers moved towards the eastern areas adjacent to the main road leading to Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community to level it. Moreover, dozens of Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin Community residents and activists sit in on the main road (Jericho- Jerusalem) in protest against closing the sub roads leading to the Community. The Israeli forces attacked the protestors to disperse them. In addition, a hand fight occurred between the protestors and Israeli forces, in which 3 civilians from the community were arrested in addition to a French activist holding a US passport. The persons arrested were identified as Ibrahim Hussain Mousa Abu Dahouk, Suliman ‘Eid Yameen Hathaleen, ‘Omar ‘Abdullah Ahmed al-Haj, and Frank Romano.  The coordinator of “Save Khan al-Ahmar Community” Campaign, Abdullah Abu Rahmah, said that the Israeli authorities extended the arrest of the abovementioned activist to 4 days. He added that the activist declared his hunger strike until the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar will be cancelled. It should be noted that Frank Romano is a Law Professor at the French Sorbonne University and he is in solidarity with Palestinians and has been in the sit-in for many days in Khan al-Ahmar community.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • On Thursday, 13 September 2018, a group of Israeli settlers burned around 200 fruitful olive trees in al-Minyia village, south of Bethlehem. Those trees belong to civilians from Sa’ir village, east of Hebron. Zayed Kawazbah, Head of al-Minyia Village Council, said that the Israeli settlers burned 10-dunum agricultural lands. It should be noted that the Israeli settlers escalated their attacks against the olive trees as the harvest season is coming next month.

 

  • On Thursday morning, a group of Israeli settlers from “Ahiya“ settlement established on Jaloud village lands, southeast of Nablus, attacked Palestinians’ houses in al-Shaiykh Basher Mount area and Qassrah Street area, under the abovementioned mount. The settlers punctured 6 vehicles’ tires with sharp tools and wrote racist slogans on walls against Arabs. The vehicles belong to:

1-Mohamed Kamal Farhan ‘Abbad: punctured the tires of his agricultural vehicle.

2- Hussain Kamal Farhan ‘Abbad: punctured the tires of his agricultural vehicle.

3-‘Ali Kamal Farhan ‘Abbad: punctured the tires of his agricultural vehicle.

4-Hisham ‘Emad Ahmed Hammoud: punctured the tires of his agricultural vehicle.

5-Mohamed Hisham ‘Emad Hammoud: punctured the tires of his vehicle.

6-Riyad Ahmed Hammoud: punctured the tires of his vehicle.

 

  • On Tuesday, 18 September 2018, a group of Israeli setters established a number of mobile dwellings in Khelet Nahlah area, which is a 400-sqaure-meter hill adjacent to Artas village, south of Bethlehem. The Israeli settlers fixed the Israeli flag on the hill and suppled it with electricity. Hasan Barijiyah, Member of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that a number of Israeli settlers from “Efrat” settlement brought mobile dwellings to the area after supporting them by the Israeli Agriculture Minister, Youri Ariel, who visited the area and said that it is called “Giv’at  ‘Enam“ that is one of the Jewish Holy sites, so we cannot give it up and shall build on it.” Hasan Barijiyah also said that there is a plan to establish an outpost and connect it with “ Efrat“ settlement, which extends longitudinally from southern Bethlehem on al-Khadir village lands to reach  the eastern Bethlehem and then turns towards Har Homa settlement which has become one of West Jerusalem’s neighborhoods. This plan only constitutes part of the Greater Jerusalem Project that is gradually applied by Israel.  It should be noted that the settlers previously established a number of mobile dwellings in the abovementioned area, which was vacated upon a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court following a petition submitted by the lands’ owners and Settlement Resistance Commission.

 

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 / 22.09.2018)

Army Summons 20 Jerusalemite Palestinians For Interrogation

22 SEP
1:05 AM

Israeli soldiers summoned for interrogation, on Friday evening, twenty Palestinians, including the Secretary of Fateh movement, in occupied Jerusalem.

The Palestinian New & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the soldiers summoned Fateh Secretary in the city, Shadi Mitwer, along with 19 other Palestinians, for interrogation for protesting the repeated and escalated invasions and provocative tours by colonialist settlers and soldiers into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

WAFA added that the Palestinians were summoned by phone, and were ordered to head to the al-Maskobiyya interrogation facility, Sunday.

The summoning of the Palestinians for interrogation comes while more fanatic Israeli colonizers are calling for provocative tours into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, this coming Monday.

||Israeli Army Kills One Palestinian, Injures 312, In Gaza|

|PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13 – 19 September 2018)|

(Source / 22.09.2018)