A Palestinian family collect their belongings amid ruins of their house after Israeli authorities demolished their home in East Jerusalem on 28 November, 2018
The Indonesian government condemned on Thursday the Israeli occupation’s demolition of Palestinian houses in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
A statement issued by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said that Indonesia calls on Israel to stop these practices as soon as possible.
The statement added that Israeli practices violate international laws and resolutions of the UN Security Council.
The statement also tackled Israel’s activities of digging a tunnel under Al-Aqsa Mosque last month, stressing that these practices threaten the peace process in the region.
Since Monday morning, Israeli bulldozers have started the demolition of several buildings at the same time in Wadi Al-Homs in Sur Baher neighbourhood, south of Jerusalem, after evacuating their inhabitants.
Students in Gaza seen during their high school final exams on 8 June 2019
Palestinian universities in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a severe financial crisis that threatens the continuity of their work next year, academics and university administrators said on Thursday.
On the sidelines of a meeting of officials of three universities (Islamic University, Al-Azhar University – Gaza, University College of Applied Sciences) with journalists, the academics and university administrators attributed the financial crisis to the decrease in students’ enrolment rate, by up to 30% at present.
Yahya Al-Sarraj, a member of the joint committee of solving the universities’ crisis in Gaza, said that the universities are suffering from a significant financial crisis.
“This crisis has resulted in the universities’ inability to pay the salaries of teachers, as the dues of university workers reach between $ 28-35 million,” Al-Sarraj added.
He explained that the debts that students owe to the universities reached this year between 28 and 35 million dollars.
Al-Sarraj expressed fears that universities will not be able to accept students next year because of the financial crisis.
Also, the students’ reluctance to enrol in universities threatens society with new social crises, which may lead to unexpected disasters, as he put it.
Al-Sarraj called on the donor parties and Palestinian officials to “realise the seriousness and consequences of the situation the universities are facing and to make efforts to save the next academic year.”
He also called for the need to provide “facilitation loans for students so that the student pays a small amount per month to be able to enrol in the university.”
Dr Mazen Hamada, Vice President of Al-Azhar University – Gaza – for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said that the financial crisis the universities (Islamic University, Al-Azhar University – Gaza, University College of Applied Sciences) have been facing started since about ten years ago.
He explained that the universities’ inability to cover the financial deficit threatens the next academic year and the possibility of these universities to continue their work.
The number of students enrolled in the three universities has dropped from 45,000 to less than 35,000 students, according to Hamada.
He pointed out that many students “have been reluctant to enrol in universities because they cannot pay tuition fees due to the difficult economic conditions.”
Hamada also indicated that about 10,000 students are unable today to get their retained university degrees because they are unable to pay the rest of the tuition fees.
“That means the deprivation of the Palestinian society or the outside communities from 10,000 competencies,” Hamada said in this regard.
He demanded that the concerned authorities provide quick solutions to help students cover their tuition fees.
Hamada also called for the need to provide aids to deliver university degrees for students, pointing out that this may increase their hope of finding a good job opportunity.
More than 2 million Gazans are enduring from severe economic and living conditions, which local and UN officials attribute to the Israeli siege.
The poverty rate in Gaza now exceeds 80 per cent, while the unemployment rate has risen to about 54 per cent, according to the Popular Committee against the Siege on Gaza and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
According to a report released by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on 19 December, about 70 per cent of Gazans suffer from food insecurity.
Israeli soldiers leave Palestinians homeless as they demolish a 2 storey building in Sur Baher, East Jerusalem on 22 July 2019
Palestinian activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement have called on campaigners around the world to step up their efforts in response to Israel’s mass demolition of Palestinian homes in Sur Baher.
In a statement published on the BDS Movement website, activists slammed Israel for committing “its biggest crime of ethnic cleansing since 1967” in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Wadi Hummus.
“If Israel’s aggressive home demolitions are not stopped now, other Palestinian communities will be next,” the BDS Movement continued.
In Jerusalem alone, at least one third of all Palestinian homes are at risk of demolition. This would mean the forcible displacement of some 100,000 Palestinians.
According to the campaign, “home demolitions are part and parcel of Israel’s regime of occupation, colonisation and apartheid over the Palestine people.”
“Our most effective response to this regime and the institutions and corporations that enable its crimes is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS),” the activists stressed.
“Boycotts and sanctions played a decisive role in ending apartheid in South Africa, and they are playing an increasingly impactful role in ending Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid.”
The BDS Movement highlighted the need “to step up our grassroots efforts for accountability and to ensure respect for Palestinian rights.”
Examples of how to “escalate” campaigning include “building awareness and campaigns for cutting all military and security ties with Israel, including ending joint military/security research with Israel,” as well as “joining the calls for HSBC to divest from Caterpillar, whose machinery has been used to destroy homes in Wadi Hummus.”
Other campaigns include pressuring “HP corporations to end their complicity in Israeli human rights violations, including the provision of servers to Israel’s National Population Registry”, a database which “administers the citizenship policies that deprive Israel’s Palestinian citizens and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem of their basic human and civil rights”.
The BDS Movement also urged a strengthening of campaigns “calling on churches, trade unions and pension funds to divest from and/or exclude from procurements all corporate criminals involved in Israel’s human rights violations, including home demolitions and ethnic cleansing.” These include Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Volvo and JCB.
Finally, activists are also seeking to maintain the pressure on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights “to stand up to pressure from Israel and its lobby groups and to release the database of 206 corporations involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.”
“Israel’s ability to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian population of Jerusalem and to force Palestinians into Bantustans carved out by its illegal wall and settlements can be hampered by the mobilisation of people power,” the BDS Movement stated.
Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 8 – 24 July, 2019.
125 civilians were injured during the Great March of Return, in Eastern Gaza, including 53 children, 3 women, 5 journalists and 4 paramedics, by Israeli forces. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, 48 civilians were injured, including 5 children and 3 journalists.
Shootings and other threats to bodily integrity
At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim” undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Ismail Tawfiq al-‘Essah (19) and Fares Hasan Shamarkhah (35). Meanwhile, tens of children and young men gathered and threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers used live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a live bullet to the right thigh. He was taken to al-Husein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.
At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces raided a sit-in tent established by civilians protesting the Israeli authorities’ decision to demolish 16 residential building in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Sour Baher village, south of East Jerusalem, east of Bethlehem. The soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, journalist Ayat ‘Arqawi (29), was hit with a tear gas canister to the waist and then taken to a medical point to receive treatment.
At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiya village, north east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched al-Issawiyah Secondary School, blew up the doors and then confiscated flags of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and pictures of Mohammed Sair ‘Obaid, who was killed by Israeli forces in ‘Obaid neighborhood 20 days ago. Meanwhile, tens of Palestinian children and young men attempted to confront the Israeli raid. They threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canister at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a rubber bullet to the abdomen. He was taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem, to receive treatment. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Head of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Issawiyah village, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli forces deliberately used live ammunition and rubber bullets in targeting buildings’ entrances and balconies as live ammunition penetrated houses belonging to al-‘Ajlouni and ‘Obaid families. Israeli forces also attacked and pepper-sprayed and used stun gun against Rami (34) and ‘Ala’a ‘Esmat Obeid (36), who were in front of their commercial shop. Abu al-Humus emphasized ambulances crews of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) tried to offer first aid for the 2 young men, but Israeli soldiers prevented them and arrested the young men while unconscious and was on the stretcher.
At approximately 22:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed off Rafah shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They surrounded a fishing boat manned by ‘Essam Nabil Nayef al-Aqra’a (29) and his brother Riyad (23), from Deir al-Balah. The soldiers ordered them to take off their clothes, jump into water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were detained and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 July 2019, the Israeli authorities released the fishermen through Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint; their fishing boat is still confiscated.
At approximately 21:35 on Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 – 5 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 23 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 24 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported. At approximately 22:30, Israeli forces sporadically opened fire at fishermen in the same area until 23:45, neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Kroum area in northern Nablus. An Israeli bulldozer then uprooted a steel fence surrounding a 750-sqaure-meter plot of land and belonging to ‘Adnan ‘Abed al-Razeq Yaseen ‘Ayyad. The Israeli forces also confiscated a caravan from the land under the pretext of being in Area C. ‘Adnan refuted the Israeli forces’ claims.
At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit al-Hadidiyah in eastern Tubas. An Israeli bulldozer uprooted a residential tent and livestock barracks belonging to Naje’ Ka’abnah. The Israeli forces then confiscated 2 residential tents, 2 livestock tents, a tent used as a kitchen, a barn, and other contents.
At dawn on Monday, 22 July 2019, hundreds of Israeli police officers backed by dozens of military construction vehicles moved into Wadi al-Humus neighborhood, in Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They declared it as a closed-military zone and prevented entering or exiting it in order to carry out a large-scale destruction operation in Jerusalem since occupying it in 1967. Israeli forces raided 3 residential buildings belonging to Isma’il Abu Sarhan , Belal al-Kasawani and Ghaleb Abu Hadwan and his son Monther in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood and vacated them for demolition. In the meantime, the Israeli police officers beat the residents and pepper-sprayed them, in addition to firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at many apartments after their inhabitants refused to exit. As a result, 10 persons of Abu Sarhan family sustained bruises and were then taken to hospitals. At approximately 06:00, Israeli bulldozers demolished 10 residential buildings; 3 were inhabited while the others, comprising of 72 apartments, were under-construction. Additionally, 4 floors of Mohamed Idreis Abu Tair building were blew up. It should be noted that the destruction operation was carried out within 18 hours. During the demolition, the Israeli forces detained the buildings’ owners and dozens of persons stood in solidarity with them after forcibly getting them out of the buildings and dispersing them few meters away. It should be noted that around 22 persons, including 14 children, became homeless after demolishing their houses and over 70 families were deprived of living in their under-construction apartments. The destroyed houses belong to:
Ghaleb Hawan and his son Monther: a 2-story house built on 210 square meters and sheltering a 10-member family, including 6 children;
Isma’il ‘Ebeidiyah: a 2-sotry house built on 250 square meters and sheltering a 7-member family, including 5 children;
Belal al-Kiswani: a 1-story house sheltering a 5-member family, including 3 children;
‘Alaa’ ‘Amirah: a 2-story house built on 200 square meters (uninhabited);
‘Ali Khalil Hamadah: a 4-sotry building (under-construction);
Ja’afar Abu Hamed: a 1-story house (under-construction);
Akram Zawahrah: a 4-sotry building and a penthouse (under-construction);
Na’eem Musallam: a 2-sotry building (uninhabited);
Tareq Mahameed: his house was located behind the security street from the West Bank side;
Ra’fat ‘Obaidat: (under-construction); and
Mohammed Idris Abu Teir: a 7-story building comprised of 40 residential apartments (under-construction), where explosives were planted in 4 story in order to blow them up.
It should be mentioned that on 13 June 2019, the Israeli High Court approved the Israeli military’s decision to demolish 16 residential buildings comprised of 100 apartments in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood under the pretext of being near the annexation wall which was established on the village’s lands. On 20 June 2019, the Israeli forces handed tens of residents’ notices to self-demolish their property by 18 July or the Israeli forces will later do so. On 21 July 2019, the Israeli High Court rejected the appeal filed by the residents to freeze the demolition orders, and within hours the Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and started the demolitions.
Wadi al-Humus neighborhood (area: 3,000 dunums; population: 6000) is located on the edge of Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem. The neighbourhood is not within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and most of its lands are classified in Area A that is under full control of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords; thus, the buildings’ owners obtained construction licences from the Palestinian Ministry of Local Governance. Following the construction of the annexation wall in 2003, the neighbourhood was split as some houses ended up in the Israeli side but not under jurisdiction of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem.
Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods
As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment. During the reporting period, 6 shooting incidents, chasing fishermen and their boats, arresting and releasing fishermen were documented.
Note: No updates occured on the state of the crossing during the reporting
In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 34 temporary checkpoints, from which they arrested 8 civilians.
The military checkpoint were as follows:
On Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Hijjah village, east of Qalqilyah; and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah. They then arrested a civilian.
At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 19 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah.
At approximately 21:50 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilyah.
At approximately 21:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqilyah.
On Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah; between al-Nabi Iyyas and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages; and at the entrance to al-Nabi Iyyas village, east of the city.
On Monday evening, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah, where they arrested 4 civilians.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, two young Palestinian men at a sudden military roadblock, near Tulkarem, in northern West Bank, Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported.
PNN said that the two young men, who remained unidentified at the time of this report, were driving near Taybeh military roadblock, when the soldiers stopped them at a sudden roadblock which was installed in the area.
The soldiers stopped the car and searched it, before reportedly locating a rifle. The two young men were detained and moved to an interrogation facility at a nearby military base.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces arrested Friday 11 Palestinians during routinely arrest campaign in Issawiyyeh neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem and northern occupied Jericho.
Local sources told QNN that violent confrontations erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian locals following an Israeli raid. Israeli soldiers tear-gased Palestinians houses, causing dozens of suffocation cases among families.
Israeli forces carry out daily night raids throughout different areas in occupied Palestine and randomly arrest Palestinian men, women, and even children.
Ramallah (QNN)- Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has announced on Thursday afternoon the suspension of all agreements signed with Israel amid worsening relations between the two sides.
“We announce the leadership’s decision to stop implementing the agreements signed with the Israeli side,” he said after a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Ramallah city of the occupied West Bank.
Mechanisms will be set in order to implement the decision, Abbas said.
“We will not bow to dictates and imposing a fait accompli by force in Jerusalem and elsewhere,” he said, in reference to Israeli government’s recent demolition of dozens of Palestinian houses in Wadi Hummus in occupied Jerusalem.
“The hands of the Palestinians are still stretched out towards a just and comprehensive peace, … but this does not mean that we are ready to capitulate and coexist with the occupation,” he added.
Tel Aviv recently announced plans to clear the way for new settlements in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. The move was slammed by the European Union as “an obstacle to peace” which “continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two state solution.”
On Monday, bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers moved into the neighborhood of Wadi Homs in East Jerusalem and began to raze several buildings in the area under the pretext of being “too close to the apartheid wall”.
Lama Khater kisses her little son as she was released from Israeli jails
Ramallah (QNN) – Palestinian writer and mother Lama Khater was released by Israeli occupation authorities today after serving a 13-month jail sentence.
Hazem Al-Fakhouri, Khater’s husband, said his wife was released by the authorities at the Jalameh checkpoint in the north of the West Bank. He told Anadolu Agency that “Lama is in good health and is on her way home.”
Khater, aged 42 and the mother of five children, was arrested on 24 July 2018 in her home city of Hebron after Israeli occupation forces started to investigate her “writings and membership in a banned organisation”, accusing her of incitement to violence through her numerous articles for Palestinian and Arab papers and online sites.
Following her arrest, she was transferred to Asqalan prison and, according to the non-governmental organisation the Palestinian Prisoners Club, she was subjected to “a harsh and continuous investigation, which lasted for more than 20 hours a day, confined to a chair all the time.” Then followed months of her trial being constantly postponed and her being repeatedly moved to different prison locations, with no official charges revealed.
In the days leading up to her arrest, she wrote a series of tweets in which she criticised the Israeli authorities’ prevention of Muslims entering and worshiping in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Previously in her years of work as a journalist and political analyst, she had been threatened by the Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence services.
Khater’s case is one of many in Israel’s widespread persecution of Palestinian journalists, which has increased throughout the years as the Jewish state has conducted a crackdown on media organisations and individuals criticising it. In April this year, Israel was reported to have committed 150 violations against journalists over the previous three months alone.
Two days after her release from a Palestinian Authority (PA) jail, the Israeli intelligence apparatus arrested Palestinian teacher Alaa Basheer after summoning her for interrogation on Thursday.
Her detention was seen as part of the security cooperation between the PA and Israel.
The PA preventive security apparatus last Sunday released Basheer on bail after illegally detaining her for 40 days.
The PA preventive security rearrested Alaa al-Basheer, a holy Qur’an teacher from Qalqilya, two days after releasing her on June 13. She had spent over one month in her first detention.
The preventive security has fabricated accusations against Basheer in order to justify her detention. She was accused of inciting sectarian strife, one of the claims usually used by the PA security agencies against political detainees.
United States has blocked an attempt by Indonesia, Kuwait and South Africa to get the United Nations’ Security Council to issue a formal statement on the destruction of Palestinian homes earlier this week by Israel’s occupation forces in the West Bank. Illustrating the cowardice of the rest of the Security Council and the Trump administration’s total commitment to supporting ethnic cleansing by Israeli regime, the statement would not have even directly condemned the demolition of 10 apartment buildings at Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood of Sur Baher. Instead it would have merely declared that the Security Council expresses “grave concern” over Israeli occupation actions and that the mass demolition “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace”. The statement was partly rewritten after initial objection by the USA, but even diluting it more was not enough for the Trump administration which has made the United States a Siamese twin of Israel in the occupation, forever ending the cliché claim of it being ‘a honest broker’. (Source / 26.07.2019)