Israel’s New Right: Annex ‘Area C’, give 80,000 Palestinians citizenship

Israeli forces can be seen demolishing a Palestinian building 'Area C', in the West Bank on 14 February 2019 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli forces can be seen demolishing a Palestinian building in the ‘Area C’, West Bank on 14 February 2019

A right-wing Israeli political party, opposed to Palestinian self-determination, has proposed plans to annex most of the West Bank and impose full Israeli sovereignty over the occupied territory. With less than six weeks till the Israeli elections, the move seems intended to sweep up votes from large sections of the country’s electorates who are hostile to a Palestinian state.

The plan proposed by the outfit headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked knows as the New Right will seek to annex “Area C” which makes up 61 per cent of occupied West Bank. In what appears to be an attempt to curtail widespread fear amongst Israelis over “demographic threat” of having too many Palestinians, the right-wing group has estimated that only “80,000 Arabs” residing in the area will need to be awarded a citizenship.

A more accurate number of the Palestinian population in the area eyed for illegal annexation is said to be nearly four times higher; 297,000 according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the West Bank.

It’s a proposal that is likely to worry the international community and equally be a vote winner in the coming election. The proposal was set out as part of the platform released by the New Right party yesterday, whose leaders broke away from the Jewish Home party to form the new group. Established in December 2018, the party is said to include religious and secular groups.

READ: 11 Palestinians homeless as Israel demolishes 2 flats in Jerusalem

Both Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelat Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett have made no secret of their intention to annex most of the West Bank. In October Shaked said she was in favour of total annexation of “Area C” and that in doing so Israel would need to absorb some Palestinians into its territory.

Most of Israel’s illegal settlements are constructed in “Area C”, which under the Oslo Accords was placed under Israel’s administration control. The population of illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank is just short of 600,000, according to B’Tselem, and while “Israel has refrained from formally annexing the West Bank […] In practice, however, it treats the settlements established throughout Area C as extensions of its sovereign territory and has virtually eliminated the distinction for Israeli citizens.”

(Source / 01.03.2019)

Violence is fundamental to Israel’s ‘democracy’ and always has been

Israel yesterday attacked participants in the Friday protests taking place in the Gaza Strip [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli forces injured protesters during the Great March of Return on 19 February 2019By Ray Hanania

Israeli soldiers hiding behind bunkers and using long-range sniper rifles have intentionally murdered 35 children, paramedics, journalists and disabled people during its ongoing assault against Palestinian civilian protestors along the Gaza border, a report released by the United Nations concluded this week. The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) said that Israeli soldiers violated international human rights and humanitarian laws in killing 189 Palestinians and wounding more than 6,100 in weekly Friday protests since they began on 30 March, 2018. According to Palestinian sources in Gaza, those figures are very conservative.

In the 25-page report, UN officials said that the killings “may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity” and urged that the evidence should be submitted formally to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution.

Rather than addressing the contents of the report, Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responded in their usual way when confronted with overwhelming evidence of the mass murder of women, children and innocent civilians: they accused the UN of “anti-Semitism”, bias and hypocrisy. This is nothing new. The Israelis have been obfuscating and denying mass murder allegations since the ethnic cleansing and destruction of at least 400 Palestinian towns and villages during the “war of independence” between 1946 and 1949.

Israel’s history is built on terrorism and killing not just on the basis of race or ethnicity, but also on religion; what we might call “religicide”. Its murderous violence has continued throughout its seven decades of existence. The murder of Christians and Muslims by Israeli soldiers has always been justified by asserting that the Jewish soldiers were merely “retaliating” for attacks by Arabs. What’s more, news reports are censored and Israeli journalists are prohibited from reporting on the incidents.

READ: Israel killed woman and child protesters at ‘significant distance’ from Gaza fence

Ironically, rather than being punished for their crimes, the perpetrators have been lionised by Israeli Jews. Men and women branded as “terrorists” in the 1940s have gone on to serve as Israeli Prime Ministers and senior officials.

On 9 April, 1948, Zionist terrorists massacred Arab civilians in the village of Deir Yassin on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Initial reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross put the total of those killed at 250 but Israel prevented an official investigation once the area came under its control a month later. The massacre site was later wiped off the map and, without a touch of irony, became a part of the Holocaust Memorial built there in 1953 which houses millions of documents on the Nazi genocide of European Jews. Hypocritically, Israel suppresses investigations into the killing of non-Jews, as it is seeking to do in its response to the UNHRC’s Gaza report. The Deir Yassin massacre was ordered by the head of the Irgun terrorist group, Menachem Begin, who was elected as Israel’s Prime Minister in 1977.

An elderly Palestinian and a child during the Nakba [Hanini/Wikipedia]

On 12 July 1948, Israeli forces attacked the Arab city of Lydda, near Tel Aviv, killing hundreds of residents. The massacres were used as a threat and Israeli soldiers forced more than 35,000 of the city’s Christian and Muslim Arab residents to flee. The city was later renamed Lod, a Hebrew name for a Biblical city. The massacre and ethnic cleansing of Lydda was orchestrated by Yitzhak Rabin, who was first elected as Prime Minister in 1974.

In October 1953, Israeli forces, angered by skirmishes along the Jordanian border, launched a “reprisal raid” targeting a small West Bank village called Qibya. Sixty-nine unarmed civilians were massacred, two-thirds of whom were women and children. Israeli forces destroyed 45 homes, a school and a mosque. They were commanded by Ariel Sharon, who became Israeli Prime Minister in 2001 and asserted in his memoirs that most of the victims were killed when the homes in which they were hiding were destroyed. Sharon went on to sanction the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Beirut in September 1982 by right-wing Lebanese militias. Infamously, former US President George W Bush described Sharon as a “man of peace”.

READ: While Israel kills, the US condemns Hamas

On 29 October, 1956, Israeli forces massacred 48 Arab civilians, including 23 children, in the Arab village of Kafr Qasim, which was located in Israel along the border with Jordan. Non-Jews in Israel were designated as “hostile populations” between 1948 and 1966 and subjected to military law. The Israeli military issued a shoot-to-kill order for any Arab found on the street after the curfew. Palestinian workers from the village were unaware of the curfew and were gunned down as they returned home. The army commander testified that this was part of Israel’s plan for the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Israel, a confession that quite possibly prevented his election as Prime Minister.

A car is ablaze in the Palestinian-majority town of Kafr Qasim in central Israel after Israeli forces shoot and kill 20-year-old Ahmed Mahmoud Taha on 6 June 2017 [Israeli police]

These major massacres have helped to create a violent mindset in many Israelis, especially when serving in the military and the police; they are convinced that Arabs, whether within or beyond Israel, do not value human life. There have been dozens of incidents in which Israeli police have not only attacked and murdered Palestinians living in the occupied territories, but also Arab citizens of Israel itself.

On 30 March, 1976 for example, Israeli police shot and killed six unarmed Israeli Arab citizens and wounded 100 others who were protesting against government efforts to confiscate Palestinian–owned land. The massacre has since been commemorated annually by the Palestinians as “Land Day”. Last year, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip started weekly protests on 30 March, calling them the “Great March of Return”, along their side of the nominal border. They continue to demand an end to the oppressive blockade of Gaza and the fulfilment of their legitimate right to return to their land inside Israel.

On 28 September, 2000, Ariel Sharon entered the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa accompanied by hundreds of Israeli police, and declared the site to be Israeli and thus provoked protests. During the week that followed, police officers killed 13 Palestinians; all but one were Israeli citizens.

READ: Israel killing of Palestine children in Gaza protests amounts to ‘war crimes’

In little over ten years, Israel has launched three major offensives against civilians in Gaza: 1,400 Palestinians were killed in 2008-09; 177 were killed in 2012; and in 2014 more than 2,200 Palestinian men, women and children were killed by the Israelis.

While such killings of Palestinian civilians by Israeli soldiers is not a new phenomenon, a strong stand by the UN against Israeli atrocities certainly is. Platitudes are the norm, but now the international organisation appears to be calling for justice.

Palestinians need to remind the world of Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, and counter the intense anti-Palestinian bias in the Israeli media and their Western counterparts. Such media bias allows Israel to brush aside its responsibilities, citing “self-defence” and “retaliation” against Palestinian infringements. Israel’s narrative that all legitimate Palestinian resistance to its occupation is “terrorism” has been swallowed wholesale by the Western media.

There is no “statute of limitation” on the murder of innocent civilians by any government, so there should be no barrier to the prosecution of the individuals responsible. The UNHRC report details the most outrageous conduct by a government engaged in entirely punitive acts and killing civilians in the process. Israeli officials have never killed Palestinians for the sake of justice or international law; they almost always do so purely for the sake of revenge or to quell their anger. This is not the behaviour of a law-abiding democratic state. Violence, it seems, is fundamental to Israel’s “democracy”, and always has been.

(Source / 01.03.2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (21 – 27 February 2019)

01 Mar 6:13 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 21 – 27 February, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip, and killed a Palestinian child in eastern Gaza City. 117 civilians, including 19 children, eight women, a journalist, and a paramedic, were wounded. The injuries of three were reported serious.

Shooting:

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 48th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women, a journalist, and a paramedic, while participating in the Return March. The injury of three of them was reported serious. In the West Bank, 4 civilians, including a child, were wounded by the Israeli forces in different shooting incidents.

In the Gaza Strip, in new crime of excessive use of force, on 22 February 2019, Israeli forces killed Yousef al-Dayiah (14), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Yousef was wounded at approximately 16:50 after being hit with a live bullet to the chest while present 50 meters away from the border fence, east of al-Shuja’aiyia neighborhood. His death was declared at 18:10.

In the same context, Israeli forces wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women, a journalist, and a paramedic. The injury of three of them was reported serious.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 21 to 27 February 2019 According to the Governorate

GovernorateInjuries
TotalChildrenWomenJournalistsParamedicsCritical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip2964002
Gaza City5174000
Central Gaza Strip1320000
Khan Yunis2240111
Rafah200000
Total117198113
  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 11 incidents were as follows: 6 incidents in western al-Sodaniyia shore, 4 incidents off al-Waha resort and 1 incident off Khan Yunis shore.
  • As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands.
  • On 23 February 2019, =Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village.
  • On 25 February 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, east of Dir al-Balah in the center of the Gaza Strip. On 26 February 2019, the Israeli shooting recurred at agricultural lands, east of Dir al-Balah in the center of the Gaza Strip. No casualties and damages to property were reported.
  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded four Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist, in different shooting incidents.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 81 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 55 Palestinians, including 3 children. Moreover, the Israeli forces conducted a wide-scale arrest campaign in occupied East Jerusalem, where they arrested 73 civilians, including a child. Among the arrestees were the governor of Jerusalem, the two leaders Khader ‘Adnan and Tareq Qa’dan, and the two sheikhs ‘Abed al-‘Azim Suhlob and Najeh Bakirat. Moreover, the Israeli forces insulted Palestinian civilians, whose houses were stormed in addition to confiscating their money and vehicles.

In the Gaza Strip, on 24 February 2019, Israeli forces moved around 100 meters into the west of the border fence with Israeli, east of al-Buriej Camp in the center of the Gaza Strip.

On 26 February 2019, the Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli vehicles leveled and combed lands previously leveled.

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

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks and demolition, on 21 February 2019, Israeli soldiers accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration Officer uprooted 300 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago from a plot of land belonging to al-Warasnah and al-‘Ayaydah familes in Was Aseer area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The soldiers confiscated the seedlings under the pretext that the land belongs to the state lands.

On 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Khelet al-Dabi’ village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They uprooted 50 olive seedlings planted a year ago from a plot of land belonging to ‘Ali Mohamed Jaber Dababsah.

  • As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented during the reporting period 4 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers. Those attacks were as follows:

On 21 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Talmoun” settlement, punctured the tires of 10 vehicles belonging to the residents of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. They also wrote 2 racist slogans and drew David Star on 2 of the mentioned vehicles.

On the same day, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus from the eastern side. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians, who gathered to confront the setters. As a result, Hamam Anwar ‘Abed al-Hafiz Shehahda (18), was hit with a stone to the right leg, causing rupture in ligaments and fracture in his right leg.

On 22 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Bani Qadim “ and “ Asfar“ settlement, which is established on Palestinian civilians’ lands, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron, uprooted 200 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago in Mares Ras al-Hait area.

On 23 February 2019, an Israeli settler attacked Husam ‘Abed al-Raheem Abu Hadeed (48) and punched him while heading to his work in the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

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 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. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

Gaza Strip:

On Friday, 22 February 2019; the 48th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women and a paramedic. The injuries of three of them were reported as serious. The incidents were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 29 civilians, including six children and four women. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, eight were directly hit with tear gas canisters and five with rubber bullets. The injuries of two of them were reported serious while the others’ injuries were between moderate and minor.
  • Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the killing of Yussuf Sa’eed Hussein al-Daya (14), from Zeitoun neighborhood, east Gaza City. At approximately 16:30, Yussuf was hit with a live bullet to the chest while he was around 50 meters away from the border fence, east of Shuja’iyya neighborhood. His death was declared at 18:10. Furthermore, 51 civilians, including seven children and four woman were wounded. Twenty-three of them were hit were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 25 with were directly hit with tear gas canisters and three with rubber bullets.
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting and throwing tear gas canisters at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 17:30, resulted in the injury of 13 civilians. Eight of them were hit with a live bullet and shrapnel and five were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Khan Yunis: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators in Khuza’a village resulted in the injury of 22 civilians, including four children and a paramedic. Four of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 18 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified the injury of one of them as serious others’ injuries were between moderate and minor. The wounded paramedic was identified as Fares Hassouna Ahmad al-Qedra (30), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the head, and the wounded journalist was identified as Muneeb Sameer Ahmad Abu Hatab (23), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the chest.
  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of two civilians with live bullets and shrapnel.

West Bank:

  • Following the Friday prayer, on 22 February 2019, a peaceful demonstration started in front of ‘Ali al-Bakka’ Mosque. Dozens of civilians, from Hebron, along with local and international human rights defenders participated in the demonstration to commemorate the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre “the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre”. This massacre was carried out by an Israeli settler namely Baruch Goldstein against the worshipers at al-Ibrahimi Mosque on 25 February 1994. The demonstrators also called for opening al-Shohadah Street, which was closed since the mentioned date. The demonstration entitled: “Dismantle the Ghetto” and organized by national parties in the city. The participants raised Palestinian flags and banners calling for ending the closure in the center of Hebron and chanted national slogans. They then arrived at the municipality old building near Ossama Ibn al-Monqeth School and gathered, while a large force of Israeli soldiers were in the place. After that, the participants headed to the entrance to the closed al-Shuhada Street, where Shotir (al-Shuhahda) military checkpoint established. They chanted slogans for around 15 minutes in front of the checkpoint before throwing stone at the soldiers. Dozens of Israeli border guard officers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the participants and stone-throwers and chased them on Wad al-Tuffah Street. As a result, many participants suffered tear gas inhalation. In the meantime, the Israeli border guard officers attacked press crews and prevented them from approaching the checkpoint. Moreover, the Israeli border guard officers pushed the participants by hands and threatened a number of them of opening fire at them if they present in the area. The young men continued to throw stones at the Israeli border guard officers, who fired rubber bullets at them. A number of the Israeli border guard officers surrounded the press crews, forced them to retreat and fired sound bombs at them. As a result, Mashhour Hassan al-Wahwah (35), a photojournalist at the Palestine News Agency “Wafa”, sustained shrapnel wound to his left foot. A journalist, Moss’ab Shawer al-Tamimy, said to the PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli border guard officers violently attacked the journalists, pushed them and shouted at them. He added that an Israeli border guard officer pointed the rifle at his chest and threatened him of opening fire at him if he would not leave. He added that the journalists were forced to leave after firing a sound bomb, which deliberately fell over them.
  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders headed to al-Naqar agricultural area, which is located in the northern side of al-Moghir village, northeast of Ramallah, in order to peacefully protest against Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize and confiscate Palestinians’ lands. When the Palestinian civilians arrived at the area, Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were hit with live bullets and taken via a PRCS ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive treatment.
  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

Arrests and Incursions:

  • On Thursday, 21 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, from occupied Jerusalem, claiming that they participated in opening al-Rahma Gate. The arrested civilians identified as Fadi al-Motwer, Hijazi Abu Subieh, Jehad Qus, and Murad Misk were then taken to an investigation center in the city.
  • On Friday, 22 February 2019, Israeli forces raided dozens of houses in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. They then arrested 38 civilians and took them to an investigation center. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested civilians.
  • On Saturday, 23 February 2019, Israeli forces raided many houses in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. They then arrested 4 civilians under the pretext of participating in opening al-Rahma Gate, which was closed since 2003 upon a court decision, in al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City. The arrested civilians were identified as Naser Qus, Head of Palestinian Prisoner’s Club; ‘Ali ‘Ajjaj; Hussni al-Kilani; and Samer al-Qabbani, a guard at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • On Sunday, 24 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested Shiekh ‘Abed al-‘Azim Suhlob, Khateeb of al-Aqsa Mosque; and Shiekh Najeh Bakirat; Director of Heritage Foundation  at al-Aqsa Mosque. Both of them were arrested under the pretext of participating in opening al-Rahma Gate. The Israeli authorities handed them a decision to deport them from the al-Aqsa Mosque for 7 days.
  • On Tuesday, 26 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Izariyia village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Mahmoud Khakled Damdoum (25) and Ahmed Jawad Othman (14).
  • On Wednesday, 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to the governor of Jerusalem ‘Adnan Gaith and arrested them. He was then taken to al-Maskobiyia Police Center in West Jerusalem. On the same day evening, the Israeli forces released him upon the Magistrate Court decision.
  • On Wednesday, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens of houses, arrested 22 civilians and then took them to investigation centers. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested civilians.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • On Thursday, 21 February 2019, Israeli soldiers accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration Officer uprooted 300 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago from a plot of land belonging to al-Warasnah and al-‘Ayaydah familes in Was Aseer area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The soldiers confiscated the seedlings under the pretext that the land belongs to the state lands. It should be noted that it was the second time that the Israeli forces and settlers attacked the lands. In February 2019, the Israeli settlers uprooted 400 olive seedlings from the mentioned plot of land. Before their withdrawal, they handed a notice to the family members, who arrived at the area, ordering them to evacuate the land during 45 days and challenge before the competent authorities.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Ethna, west of Hebron, and stationed in the western area. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Tayseer Mohamed Tamizah a notice to stop construction work in a 50-sqaure-meter agricultural room built with bricks, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 25 February 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Qinan Nayyas area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed 3 civilians notices to stop construction work in their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, according to Oslo Agreement. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities targeted the lands of the mentioned area. In 2015, the Israel authorities declared the confiscation of 100 dunums from those lands under the pretext of being state lands. The notices were as follows:
    • A 180- square-meter house built of concrete and belongs to Mohamed Hamdan Hammad Haliyqah (32).
    • A 150-sqaure-meter under-construction house built of concrete and belong to Ahmed Jaber Mohamed Warasnah (28).
    • A 70-sqaure-meter house built of concrete and belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Warasnah (50).
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Khelet al-Dabi’ village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They uprooted 50 olive seedlings planted a year ago from a plot of land belonging to ‘Ali Mohamed Jaber Dababsah. Khelet al-Dabi’ village is located in the east of Yatta village, where 100 persons live. Most of the village’s houses are built with bricks and roofed with tine plates. The Israeli forces handed the village residents notices to stop construction work in addition to demolition notices. The Israeli forces also handed the residents decisions to evacuate their lands under the pretext of being state lands.

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • At Thursday dawn hours, on 21 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Talmoun” settlement, punctured the tires of 10 vehicles belonging to the residents of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. They also wrote 2 racist slogans and drew David Star on 2 of the mentioned vehicles. Akram Abu Fakhidah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that when they checked the surveillance cameras fixed on his shop door, it turned out that 2 masked persons one of them carrying a bag wrote slogans and punctured the tires of his truck. He added that the two persons wandered on the street, punctured the tires of vehicles parked on the street sides and wrote racist slogans. Akram stressed that the two persons were settlers because they wrote slogans in Hebrew and drew David Star. The attacked vehicles belong to:
    • Hamidan Mohamed Mahmoud Dar Sa’d.
    • Sa’d Mohamed Dar Sa’d.
    • Akram Abu Fakhidah.
    • Montaser Nofal.
    • Kareem Saleh Dar Sa’d.
    • Adham Mazloum.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Thursday, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus from the eastern side. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians, who gathered to confront the setters. As a result, Hamam Anwar ‘Abed al-Hafiz Shehahda (18), was hit with a stone to the right leg, causing rupture in ligaments and fracture in his right leg. He was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.
  • On Friday, 22 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Bani Qadim “ and “ Asfar“ settlement, which is established on Palestinian civilians’ lands, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron, uprooted 200 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago in Mares Ras al-Hait area. The olive seedlings belong to al-Warasnah Family. Yousef Warasnah (47) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “My family owns hundreds of dumuns in eastern al-Shayyoukh village. In the previous years, we planted part of the land with olive seedlings and reclaimed another part through funded projects. Two months ago, we planted 200 olive seedlings cost NIS 2300. On Friday, 23 February 2019, I headed with my family to plant olive seedlings. When we arrived at the land, we found the olive seedlings planted 2 months ago were uprooted and damaged. The Palestinian shepherds told me that the Israeli settlers uprooted the seedlings and damaged them.”
  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 23 February 2019, an Israeli settler, who lives in a settlement outpost in Hebron’s Old City, attacked Husam ‘Abed al-Raheem Abu Hadeed (48) and punched him while heading to his work in the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee. As a result, he sustained bruises, swelling over left side of head and severe pain in his jaw. Husam said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “I was heading to my workplace in Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, where I work as a warehouse secretary. I passed through Abu al-Rish checkpoint, south of the al-Ibrahimi Mosque. When I arrived at al-Shari’a Court, I saw a number of Israeli soldiers along with an Israeli settler in his twenties stood in the area. After I walked around 20 meters, the settler chased me and cursed me. Few minutes later, the settler attacked and punched me to my head. I shouted at the Israeli border guard officers, who were 20 meters away. They came and took the settler. I headed to my work and then went to a medical center, because I was suffering from swelling over the left side of my head and severe pain in my jaw.”
  • Recommendations to the International Community

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 01.03.2019)

PCHR Welcomes UN Investigative Report on Violations Committed during March of Return

01 Mar 9:27 PM

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights – Press Release: On 28 February 2019, The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory held a press conference in the UN Headquarters in Geneva.

During the conference, the Chair and Members of the Commission presented the conclusions and findings of their investigation during the period from 30 March until 31December 2018.

PCHR expresses its satisfaction with what the UN Commission and report presented as it transparently and impartially shows the truth about the violations committed by the Israeli forces against the peaceful demonstrators.

The Commission Members emphasized that the activities of the Great March of Return were peaceful in nature, and the applicable legal framework was thus based in international human rights law, being rejected by Israel.

The Members also criticized the rules of engagement, which apparently permitted live fire at the “main inciters”, emphasizing this is illegal.

The investigation findings also revealed the same as the human rights organizations’ conclusions that the Israeli forces used lethal force against the demonstrators, who did not pose imminent threat to the life of Israeli soldiers nor directly were participating in hostilities, in violation of the international human rights law.

In violation of law, the Israeli forces intentionally and directly used lethal force against civilians, including children, women, journalists, health workers, and persons with disabilities.

The Israeli snipers targeted them while the demonstrators, at the time, did not pose any threat to the life of the Israeli soldiers nor were they participating in hostilities.  The Commission added that these actions may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The report also mentioned denying persons wounded of their treatment outside the Gaza Strip, which has been under blockade for 12 years, rendering the health-care system in a disastrous status.

The Commission also called  for lifting the inhuman and illegal blockade on Gaza  and ensure that all those injured at demonstrations are given permits to travel for medical treatment abroad in addition to developing the medical services in Gaza.

The Commission emphasized that the international community should holds its responsibilities relevant to protection of civilians and apply the recommendations of the International Commissions of Inquiry.

It should mentioned that On 18 May 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution (S-28/1) in which it decided to dispatch the commission of inquiry that will present its report and recommendations to the Council at its fortieth session on 18 March 2019 in the UN Headquarters in Geneva.

PCHR believes that this report stresses civilians’ right to peaceful assembly and emphasizes the conclusions by all Palestinian, Israeli and international organizations that Israel has deliberately killed Palestinian civilians.

PCHR believes that this position of the Commission is a victory for the rule of law against the law of jungle applied by the Israeli forces against the peaceful demonstrators.  PCHR adds that this report came to emphasize the human, moral and legal superiority of the Palestinian people over the occupation.

PCHR welcomes the results of the international investigation into the Great March of Return; and:

  1. Calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to adopt and ratify the report when it is discussed on 18 March at the fortieth session of the Council.
  2. Calls upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit the report to the International Criminal Court.
  3. Calls upon the Member States of the Human Rights Council to adopt a decision to renew the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, in the light of the continuation of Return March and the ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Israeli forces during the period following the Committee’s work period.

To view full report click here:

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoIOPT/A_HRC_40_74.pdf

(Source / 01.03.2019)

Illegal Colonialist Settlers Attack Al-Mughayir Village

01 Mar 9:16 PM

A number of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, Friday, Ein Samia and Marj ath-Thahab area, in the al-Mughayir village, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Media sources said the colonists came from an illegal outpost, which was built on private Palestinian lands, and assaulted many farmers and shepherds.

They added that the villagers then rushed to the lands, and managed to force the assailing colonists away.

It is worth mentioning that the village, and its lands are subject to frequent assaults by the illegal colonists, in addition to repeated Israeli military invasions.

(Source / 01.03.2019)

Army Injures Several Nonviolent Protesters In Ni’lin

01 Mar 9:04 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, several nonviolent protesters, during the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, in Ni’lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Media sources said many Palestinians, accompanied by international peace activists, marched from the center of the village, heading towards the villagers’ lands, isolated behind the wall.

They added that the soldiers fired a barrage of gas bombs and concussion grenades, at the protesters, causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

Some Palestinians used hammers to smash sections of the concrete wall, while the protesters chanted against the ongoing Israeli occupation, its illegal wall and colonies, and the escalating violations the Palestinian people, their lands and holy sites.

(Source / 01.03.2019)

IOF shot and injured 17 Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces “IOF” shot and injured 17 Palestinians peaceful protesters of the Great March of Return, on Friday.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 17 Palestinians wounded by the Israeli occupation forces with live ammunition in the 49th Friday of the peaceful  Great March of Return, east of Gaza Strip.

3 paramedics and one press crew member were deliberately shot with direct gas bombs in the feet, the Ministry added.

Local sources mentioned that 2 women and a child are between the injuries.

Israel killed more than 260 Palestinians and injured more than 27,000 since the beginning of the Great Return March protest in the eastern parts of the Great March of Return.

(Source / 01.03.2019)