Days after Palestinian family evicted, Israel settlers move in to West Bank land

Jewish settlers surround an agricultural field of Palestinians' after seizing it to start an illegal construction at Beit Jala neighborhood in Bethlehem, West Bank on 3 September 2019. [Wisam Hashlamoun - Anadolu Agency]

Jewish settlers surround an agricultural field of Palestinians’ after seizing it to start an illegal construction at Beit Jala neighborhood in Bethlehem, West Bank on 3 September 2019

Just a few days after Israeli occupation forces expelled a Palestinian family from land in the southern occupied West Bank, an unauthorised settler outpost was established there, reported Haaretz.

Last month, Israeli authorities carried out the eviction of the Cassia family near Beit Jala, demolishing their home and a restaurant they had been operating on the same site.

The land is located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians are systematically denied construction permits by Israeli occupation authorities.

In this case, however, a further element was at play, since Himnuta – a Jewish National Fund (JNF) subsidiary – claimed ownership of the land and sought to expedite the demolitions.

This claim is disputed by the Cassia family who, for now, are living in a tent near their former home while the ownership battle plays out in the courts.

READ: Why ‘moderates’ don’t have a clue what to do about Israel’s settlements 

However, just days after the expulsion, according to Haaretz, “a group of Jews came to a plot adjacent to where the house and restaurant had stood and began working the land.”

“A short time later, they erected temporary buildings that in practice turned the site into an unauthorized residential outpost,” the report added.

Officially, the JNF has acknowledged immediately leasing the land to the nearby Neve Daniel settlement for “agricultural use”.

However, “no permits have ever been issued for the construction of buildings at the site”, and thus even under Israeli regulations, the settlers’ structures are illegal.

Peace Now expressed dismay at the developments. “The establishment of a new outpost 70 meters (230 feet) from the Palestinian home that was destroyed under pressure from the JNF lets the cat out of the bag,” the group stated.

“It turns out that when JNF demanded that the Cassia family’s home be demolished, it didn’t care if illegal construction was carried out on its land, but it didn’t want Palestinians to build on its land.”

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

Two Raids on Gaza Early Thursday

12 SEP 11:42 AM

Israeli warplanes launched two raids on the northern Gaza Strip, early Thursday.

Palestinian sources said, according to the PNN, that an Israeli reconnaissance aircraft fired two missiles at a site in the town of Beit Lahia, followed by an F16 raid on the same site  a few minutes later.

No injuries were reported during the raids.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, Wednesday evening, that Tel Aviv was on its way to destroy the rule of Hamas, as he put it.

Netanyahu was asked, in a lengthy interview by Channel 7, “what had happened to his promise in 2009 that he would destroy Hamas’s rule.”

The prime minister said: “We are working on this, unfortunately we cannot avoid the military operation, I run a group of areas, and we work in all those areas.”

It is noteworthy that Netanyahu already threatened, several times, that his army is preparing for a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

Undercover Soldiers Kidnap A Teen In Al-‘Isawiya

12 SEP 3:24 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday evening, a Palestinian teenage boy, identified as Mohammad Nasser Mahmoud, in the al-‘Isawiya town, in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the undercover officers, wearing civilian clothes, infiltrated into the town, and abducted the teen, before taking him to an unknown destination.

It added that the regular army units invaded the town when the undercover officers invaded Obeid family home, and fired live rounds in the air, to prevent the Palestinians from approaching them, and withdrew from the town.

Earlier Wednesday, the soldiers abducted two Palestinians, and demolished several sheds and tents, in Masafer Yatta area, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

On Wednesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted sixteen Palestinians from their homes, in several parts of the West Bank.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 


Ramallah (QNN) – The Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib announced today Thursday that the Palestinian deceased Israa’ Ghrayeb died as a result domestic violence.

After almost three weeks of investigation, Al-Khatib said at a press conference in Ramallah that three members of Israa’s family had been detained, and will be transferred to the court for trial, for beating death of 21-year-old Ghrayeb.

“Israa’ was beaten and had suffered from domestic violence, but unfortunately she didn’t talk about it,” al-Khatib said.

Al-Khatib said that through investigations, it has been proved that Israa’ didn’t fall from the second floor of their house, and that her family made this reason up to justify the bruises and fractions on her body when she was hospitalized.

The Attorney General said that the violence and torture that led to the death of Israa’ had nothing to do with “honour killing”. He added that more details will be explained in the indictment.

The severe psychological and physical violence, al-Khatib added, that was imposed on Israa’ had contributed in the deterioration of her health condition.

According to the results of the forensic report, Israa’ died due to “failure to breathe” because of old and new injuries she sustained during the last weeks of her life.

Israa’ Ghrayeb, a Palestinian 21-year-old make-up artist who lives in Bethlehem, died on August 22, 2019. Her story spread like wildfire on social media after friends of hers accused her family of killing her.

Local and international activists and human rights organizations have been, since then, demanding the Palestinian authorities to bring justice to Israa’s soul.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 


Ramallah (QNN) The Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs said that Israeli courts imposed over 22,000 Shekels as bails on detained Palestinian children at Ofer jail last August.

The committee stated in a statement that last month 21 Palestinian children were detained; 17 of them were arrested from their houses, one from the street, two for not having permissions, and one arrested after summoning him for interrogation.

The statement mentioned that two children were brutally beaten during the arrest.

The statement also stated that 15 children were sentenced last month. The total number of detained children has reached 220, 95 of them are detained at Ofer jail.

The committee said that “imposing such heavy financial penalties by Israeli courts on Palestinian children is a vindictive action and an arbitrary punishment, which have been practiced by the occupation state against prisoners and their families in order to put pressure on them and overburden them with astronomical sums, taking into account the difficult economic circumstances, which Palestinians endure”.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

Israel is still planning to displace even more Palestinians

By Adnan abu-Amer

Israeli occupation has never stopped trying to evacuate historical Palestinian from its indigenous residents because any single Palestinian in Palestine poses danger on the state of Israel multiple times more those in diaspora.

Since the 1948 Nakba when Israel was created in the historic land of Palestine, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland, successive Israeli governments have continued to propose political and demographic plans for the displacement of more Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and from within Israel itself. This is all with the aim of creating an ethnically pure “Jewish state” emptied of its indigenous population.

Although the majority of these plans were destined to fail, this hasn’t deterred Israel. A few days ago, another plan was unveiled which seeks to encourage Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip. Israel will open its airports to facilitate this migration and make other travel arrangements to whichever countries are willing to host them. A senior Israeli official stressed that this matter was proposed several times in cabinet meetings, and the government has tried to convince some countries to host Palestinians, but without any success.

Palestinian and Israeli reactions suggested that this is related to the US “deal of the century”. If it is, why did Israel reveal the details now, and which countries have been approached to take Palestinians from Gaza? There are also questions about whether this would be considered as a resettlement of Palestinian refugees, or “merely” emptying Gaza of its inhabitants. What is Hamas’s position on this, and the PA’s in Ramallah? Indeed, what do ordinary Palestinians think about it.

According to Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, the government has discussed the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza on five occasions, but it was felt to be unfeasible. The leader of the New Right party and former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, believes that such displacement is at the top of Israeli interests. She has called for anyone who wants to migrate from Gaza to be allowed to do so. Apparently, this is because she believes that Gaza is overpopulated, so it is time for Israel to wake up and let people go.

The Palestinian factions have condemned this displacement policy as very dangerous. It should be seen, they insist, in the context of the eventual “transfer” of all Palestinians from their homeland. The theory is that Israel, with US support, wants Palestinians to migrate and obtain other nationalities so that they forget about their rights as Palestinians. It is yet more ethnic cleansing by any other name.

Like its predecessors, this Israeli plan will also fail, because Palestinian perseverance will continue to come to the fore, despite the unjust siege and Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy, ongoing displacement and house demolitions. They will remain steadfast until they achieve liberation and fulfil their legitimate right of return.

The real danger to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip is the repetition of the mass expulsion that occurred in 1948, but this can only be achieved through a comprehensive war against Palestinian civilians in the territory, under the diplomatic, political and military cover of the United States and some Arab countries. This would make the Rafah Border Crossing the main route to safety in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Israel’s thinking is that the Palestinians can leave Gaza for the Sinai, ending at stroke any chance of a Palestinian state, or even quasi-state, coming into being and posing a strategic threat.

It is a fact that the Zionist ideologues who planned and created the state of Israel always knew that they would have to displace the indigenous population in Palestine. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, believed that the Arabs shouldn’t be there, as did American Jews. He made it his objective to ensure that the Palestinians live in an Arab country.

Moreover, Israel’s Operation Yohanan (1949-1953) intended to provide farms for “Arab Israelis” in Argentina, specifically Christians living in the Galilee. This was followed by a plan to provide jobs for Palestinians in Europe, which needed workers after World War Two. It received support under the US Marshall Plan, but neither plan was implemented and both had disappeared by the mid-1950s.

Similar proposals emerged after the 1967 Six Day War, geared towards the Palestinians in the newly-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 1968, the Israeli Foreign Ministry prepared a plan whereby the movement of Palestinians from Gaza to the West Bank, and some to Jordan, would be facilitated, leading to their onward migration to other parts of the Arab world. The intention was for this to appear to be spontaneous, rather than on the orders of Israel. The “El Arish Plan” included the development of projects such as water desalination plants, energy production and factories that would provide jobs for the Palestinians who would move to the Egyptian-Sinai town, but they did not leave.

Also in 1968, a US Congressional Committee considered a plan for the voluntary displacement of 200,000 Palestinians from Gaza to a number of countries, including West Germany, Argentina, Paraguay, New Zealand, Brazil, Australia, Canada and the United States. The plan was never put into effect, not only because the Palestinians did not agree to emigrate, but also because those countries did not agree to host them.

In the same year, the Israeli army collected thousands of Palestinian youths and transported them in hundreds of buses to the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal; Israel occupied the Sinai side from 1967 to 1982. The Israelis then offered money to anyone who would leave Gaza. In 1970, Israeli General Ariel Sharon wanted to empty Gaza of its inhabitants by moving them to El Arish so that he could put an end to the resistance and solve the overpopulation problem in the coastal enclave, where 400,000 Palestinians were then living.

As part of its efforts to encourage migration, Israel claims that 35,000 Palestinians left Gaza last year, although this did not make a dent in the population. That is hardly surprising, given that there were more than 57,000 births in the territory in 2018.

The idea of the “transfer” of Palestinians from their homeland is entirely consistent with the racist Jewish Nation State Law. Gaza may be the focus at the moment, but Israel’s eye is also on the displacement of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements is all part of this plan.

Removing the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip makes sense from Israel’s colonial-expansionist perspective, but it will require close coordination with major countries such as the US, Russia and the members of the EU, as well as places closer to home like Egypt. It is ironic that the proposals put forward by the likes of Rabbi Meir Kahane in the 1970s and 1980s, for which he was banned by Israel for being too extreme, are now being discussed in mainstream political circles.

Israel is aware that Western countries have enough problems with migrants on their borders and do not want to add to these. Why do Israeli politicians, therefore, believe that they will now agree to host tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees as part of a new plan to help the state of Israel? Whatever the answer is, rest assured that Israel is still planning to displace even more Palestinians than it has already.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

UN warns of eminent collapse of Palestine economy

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Tuesday warned of the eminent collapse of the Palestinian economy due to the destructive measures of the Israeli occupation.

In a report, UNCTAD said that the performance of the Palestinian economy and humanitarian conditions reached an all-time low in 2018 and early 2019.

It added: “The depression-level unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to climb in 2018, reaching 31 per cent; 52 per cent in Gaza and 18 per cent in the West Bank.”

It also said: “The real wage and labour productivity have been declining. In 2017, the real wage and productivity per worker were 7 and 9 per cent below their levels in 1995, respectively.”

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Due to the Israeli occupation’s measures, “the economy of Gaza contracted by 7 per cent and poverty deepened, investment practically vanished, falling to 3 per cent of GDP, 88 per cent of which was channelled to the rebuilding of structures destroyed during several major military operations in the last 10 years.”

Slowdown of economy in the West Bank, UNCTAD said, “is explained by the decrease in donor support, contraction of the public sector and deterioration of the security environment, which discouraged private sector activities.”

“The overall share of manufacturing in total value added shrank from 20 to 11 per cent of GDP between 1994 and 2018, while the share of agriculture and fishing declined from over 12 per cent to less than 3 per cent.”

“The Palestinian people are denied the right to exploit oil and natural gas resources and thereby deprived of billions of dollars in revenue,” it added.

The UNCTAD added: “The international community should help the Palestinian people to secure their right to oil and gas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and ascertain their legitimate share in the natural resources collectively owned by several neighbouring States in the region.”

At the same time, the organisation said: “In March 2019, the Government of Israel started to deduct $11.5 million monthly from Palestinian clearance revenues… This fiscal shock is compounded by declining donor support.”

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

IOF kidnap Palestinian youth at Jenin checkpoint

JENIN, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday arrested a Palestinian young man at a military checkpoint south of Jenin City.

Local sources said that the IOF kidnapped Oday Abu Na’sah at a checkpoint abruptly installed near Ya’bad town, southwest of Jenin.

Abu Na’sah was handcuffed and transferred by an IOF vehicle to an undeclared destination, they added.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

IOF Breaks Into Palestinian Bakery In Bethlehem

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday afternoon stormed Jabal al-Mawalih area in Bethlehem.

Local sources said that the IOF raided a bakery owned by a Palestinian resident and wreaked havoc on it.

They added that the IOF soldiers, after searching the bakery, deployed in the neighboring areas and searched other places. No reasons were given for the campaign.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Palestinian Facilities In Hebro

Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday morning knocked down a number of Palestinian-owned facilities in Masafer Yatta town south of the West Bank city of Hebron.

Local sources said that the Israeli bulldozers demolished a number of caravans used as mobile homes by Palestinian families since the Israeli authorities prohibit any construction activity in the area.

Israeli occupation forces earlier at daybreak stormed the neighboring village of Khirbet ad-Dabe’, searched several homes, and detained scores of Palestinian residents for hours.

(Source / 12.09.2019)