Israel approves 2,300 settler homes in West Bank

Image of labourers building units of homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem [Sliman Khader/Apaimages]

Labourers work on building units for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem

The plans for 2,342 settler homes in the occupied West Bank has been given final approval for construction by Israel, confirmed settlement watchdog Peace Now.

Approval for a building permit for the construction of the new Tunnel Road, which bypasses Bethlehem to the west has also been granted by Israeli occupation authorities, which is expected to increase the number of settlers in the area.

The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee — responsible for authorising settlement construction — published the protocol yesterday from a meeting it held earlier this month when it made the approvals, Peace Now said.

According to Israeli movement Peace Now, which follows settler activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, 59 per cent of the new homes will be erected in “settlements that Israel likely may evacuate under a peace agreement” with the Palestinians.

Report: 73 attacks by Israel settlers against Palestinian farmers

“Netanyahu continues to sabotage the possibility of a political agreement with the Palestinians by promoting more settlement construction in the West Bank, including in places where Israel may have to evacuate as part of a future agreement,” said the NGO.

Plans for 8,337 housing units in the settlements have been approved since the beginning of the year, an increase of close to 50 per cent compared to 2018, when plans for 5,618 housing units were approved.

“This brings the average number of housing units approved in the three years since President Trump was elected, to 6,899 housing units, almost twice the average in the three years preceding them,” added Peace Now.

The Trump administration has avoided criticising settlement construction, as reported by the Times of Israel, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman claims he does not see anything wrong with Israel maintaining control over parts of the West Bank.

Airbnb complicit in ‘plunder of Palestinian refugee properties’ says new report

He also participated in the official opening ceremony for an Israeli settlement’s new medical school, deep in the occupied West Bank this week.

Friedman is notorious for his longstanding personal support for the Israeli colonisation of the occupied Palestinian territory, and is a key influence in the shaping of Trump administration policy.

All Israeli settlements and associated activity are illegal under international law.

Peace Now called on the next government to “put a freeze on the development of settlements and to strive for immediate resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions and to end the bloody conflict based on the principle of two states for two peoples.”

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Report: 73 attacks by Israel settlers against Palestinian farmers

Palestinian farmers in Deir Al-Hatib discovered sewage run-off from the illegal settlement Elon Moreh had killed their olive trees and other crops on 24 October 2017. [Rabbis for Human rights/Twitter]

Palestinian farmers in Deir Al-Hatib discovered sewage run-off from the illegal settlement Elon Moreh had killed their olive trees and other crops on 24 October 2017

Israeli settlers have carried out 73 attacks against Palestinians since the beginning of the olive harvest season, a senior Palestinian Authority official said yesterday.

Ghassan Daghlas, who is responsible for monitoring settlements in the occupied northern West Bank, said in a statement that the Israeli army forces have also prevented Palestinian farmers from accessing their lands to harvest olives in the areas of Hafar and Naqar in the town of Huwwara; south of Nablus.

He added that settlers also stole the fruits of 400 olive trees in the Ras Hazem area in Deir Al-Hatab village in Nablus governorate.

The Palestinian official pointed out that the recorded attacks included; theft of olive fruits, breaking the branches off the trees, attacking Palestinians and expelling farmers from their lands by force.

He added that the Palestinians continue to document the Israeli violations against them to hold the occupation accountable for its crimes.

READ: Settlers steal olives from Palestinian groves in Nablus

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

UN begins follow-up examination ahead of possible listing of Israeli forces for violations against children

Israeli troops take position during clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on 22 June, 2018 [Shadi Jarar'ah/Apaimages]

Israeli troops take position during clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on 22 June, 2018

United Nations investigators have recently undertaken the initial stages of “special examination” ahead of the potential listing of the Israeli military on a ‘list of shame’ of armed forces guilty of grave violations against children.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC) initiated the review as follow up to the annual report on children and armed conflict published in July. However, the “special examination” was not announced publicly by Ms Virginia Gamba, the current SRSG-CAAC mandate holder.

At the time, the failure to list Israeli forces – despite severe and well-documented violations committed against Palestinian children, including casualties in the context of the Great Return March – was heavily criticised by human rights activists.

However, in a press conference at the time, when asked whether she would be able to conduct a follow-up visit before the end of 2019 – which could ultimately lead to a retroactive listing of the Israeli military – SRSG-CAAC Virginia Gamba replied in the affirmative.

READ: Morocco: Activist tried for protesting against Israel’s participation in exhibition

According to a source within a child rights organisation working on monitoring grave violations against children in the occupied Palestinian territory, civil society actors have not yet been informed of any outcome of the particular examination.

The source expressed concern over transparency in the decision-making process of the SRSG-CAAC and Secretary-General, following repeated failures to list Israeli forces over the years, despite extensive evidence of violations including unlawful killings.

That concern over transparency is what is driving the desire of human rights activists and NGO workers on the ground to have the special examination made public.

Parties placed on the list are required by the UN Security Council “to sign and carry out an action plan with the UN to end their violations against children”, with “parties that refuse to sign or carry out an action plan…subject to sanctions, including arms embargoes, travel bans, and asset freezes”.

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Gaza Strip: Israeli army injures 59 Palestinians

34 of the wounded were injured by live ammunition, without elaborating on the rest of the cases

Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the separation fence in Gaza for the Great March of Return on 1 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

At least 59 Palestinians were injured by Israeli army during the weekly Great March of Return rallies in eastern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Hamas-run ministry said that 34 of the wounded were injured by live ammunition, without elaborating on the rest of the cases.

Almost 270 protesters have been martyred — and thousands more wounded — by Israeli forces at the security fence areas with Gaza since the rallies began in March last year.

Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its 2 million inhabitants of free movement in and out from Gaza and prevented many basic amenities.

READ: This Gaza garage brings classic cars back to life 

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Soldiers Abduct A Former Political Prisoner Near Ramallah

Several Israeli army jeeps invaded, on Friday at dawn, the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched many homes and abducted a former political prisoner.

Local sources said a large military force invaded the refugee camp, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes, causing excessive property damage.

They added that the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Abdullah Jamal Mubarak, 34, who was only released just a few months ago, after serving many months under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges.

Several Palestinian youngsters hurled stones at the invading army jeeps before the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs.

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Army Injures Many Nonviolent Protesters in Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West bank city of Qalqilia, wounding many Palestinians and international peace activists.

Medical sources said many Palestinians and international suffered the effects of teargas inhalation and received the needed treatment.

The soldiers invaded the town and fired a barrage of gas bombs on the protesters, in addition to chasing many young men.

The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum said the soldiers also fired gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at many young men, who hurled stones at them after the army invaded the town and attacked the procession.

It added that the soldiers stormed a home, and tried to use it to ambush the protesters, but their hideout was discovered, and the soldiers fled the scene.

Kufur Qaddoum witnesses frequent Israeli invasions, assaults and abductions as it continues to hold its weekly nonviolent processions against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and against the closure of the main road, which was blockaded by the military fifteen years ago, to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from the Kedumim colony, built on private Palestinian lands.

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Undercover Israeli Soldiers Kidnap A Teen Near Ramallah

Undercover Israeli soldiers broke into a Palestinian home, on Friday at dawn, in Beit Liqya village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped a Palestinian teenage boy.

The family said the undercover soldiers stormed their home, pointing the guns at them, before many uniformed soldiers surrounding the property and invaded it.

They added that the soldiers forced them in one room, and kidnapped Ahmad Saleh Bader, 17, before placing him in one of their vehicles, and drove away.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah,, identified as Abdullah Jamal Mubarak, 34, who was only released just a few months ago, after serving many months under the arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges.

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

llegal Colonists Steel A Donkey Near Salfit

Several illegal Israeli colonists invaded, on Friday morning, a Palestinian orchard in Yasuf village, east of the central West Bank city of Salfit, and stole a donkey, blankets and olive picking tools.

Eyewitnesses said the Israeli assailants came from Taffuh illegal colony, which was built on Palestinian lands, owned by Yasuf villagers.

They added that the colonists stole a donkey, in addition to blankets and olive picking tools, owned by a local farmer, identified as Jabr Abdul-Hamid Bayer.

The attack in that area is one of the dozens of violations carried out by the colonists against the Palestinians, who are just trying to enter their lands isolated behind the illegal Annexation Wall, especially those adjacent to the Ariel colony, east of west of Salfit.

Such attacks, including those carried out by soldiers, take place in various areas across the occupied West Bank, always escalate during the olive harvest season, and include cutting, burning and uprooting trees, picking olive trees and stealing the produce, in addition to assaulting the Palestinians and forcing them out of their orchards.

The orchards were this attack took place are isolated behind the illegal Annexation Wall, while the Palestinians have to obtain permits from the army to enter their own lands, and are forced to wait until the soldiers open the gate for them, and sometimes the soldiers do not open it at all, or force them to wait for longer periods.

|Illegal Colonists Attack Palestinians Farmers In Olive Orchards Near Jenin|

|Illegal Israeli Colonists Invade Olive Orchards, Steel Ladders|

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

IN PICTURES| HALAWANI: THE ISRAELIS ARE STALKING ME LIKE BATS TO ARREST ME

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces continue routine raids into the house of Hanadi al Halawani, a Palestinian woman activist who has stood up against the provocative raids of Israeli forces and settlers to the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

On Thursday, Israeli forces stormed Halawani’s house and vandalized it after assaulting Halawani’s children.

Halaawani posted on Instagram picture of the Israeli raid and said: “It seems that staying at the Silsila gate [of Al Aqsa mosque] for worship annoys the occupiers. It deprives them of comfort and makes them use large groups of soldiers”.

“They did not only order to evict me and prevent me of travel, however a large number of Israeli soldiers stormed the house today at afternoon. They intimidated my children, vandalized the house, and confiscated many stuff”, she added.

Halawani said that the Israeli police sent a group to her husband’s work, taking him home so that he turns her in. “They have been stalking me like bats trying to arrest me”, she said.

Halawani was first evicted from the Al Aqsa mosque in 212, however a series of eviction orders came after that.

Whenever she is evicted, Halawani keeps visiting the mosques gates to pray or prepare Maqloubeh to eat it with her family and other evicted worshipers.

(Source / 01.11.2019) 

Israel sniper who killed Palestinian child given month’s community service

‘Family of the boy did not expect justice from Israeli occupation, which has been killing Palestinians for decades,’ his father said

An Israeli soldier was sentenced this week to month’s labour for killing Palestinian child during Great Return March protest in occupied Gaza Strip.

The Times of Israel reported that the soldier – whose name has been banned from publication – was convicted by a military court in relation to the death of 14-year-old Othman Hilles.

The boy was shot during a peaceful demonstration on 13 July 2018 at the eastern fence of the Gaza City.

It is the first conviction in connection to the huge number of casualties amongst Great Return March demonstrators, with Israeli forces killing more than 310 and wounding around 30,000 since March 2018.

Despite Hilles being shot while unarmed and posing no threat to Israeli soldiers, the soldier was only convicted of “disobeying an order leading to a threat to life or health”, as opposed to manslaughter.

The military court sentenced the soldier to one month’s labour, as well as a demotion.

Shooting the boy was captured by an activist on his mobile phone and the video went spiral on the internet, likely a factor in the soldier being brought to trial at all.

According to the Times of Israel, the soldier – a sniper from the Givati Brigade – was not convicted of a more serious offense like manslaughter “as military prosecutors were unable to collect sufficient evidence connecting his gunshot to [the boy’s death]”.

Rights groups said that such “naïve” conviction encourages the Israeli occupation forces to shoot more and more Palestinians and proves Israel’s belief that “Palestinian blood is so cheap.”

Defense for Children@DCIPalestine  

Israeli forces shot dead 14-year-old Othman Hilles today in Gaza. Video shows he posed no direct or mortal threat at the time he was killed. A live bullet struck him in the chest and exited through his back. #GazaReturnMarch

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