Israel plans to further restrict Palestinian construction in West Bank

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

The Israeli government is working to further clamp down on already restricted Palestinian construction in so-called “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, reported Israel Hayom.

The paper reported that Defence Minister Naftali Bennett is working to fight Palestinian development in the region of the West Bank which he, and other right-wing leaders, have declared their intention of ultimately annexing.

Israeli occupation authorities make it almost impossible for Palestinians to build “legally” in Area C – where Palestinians must obtain construction permits from Israel.

ZERO building permits were issued by Israel in 2015 !

Israel tightens #Palestinian construction in Area C – #OccupiedPalestine

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

Now, Bennett has issued instructions to occupation authorities to intensify Israel’s crackdown.

According to Israel Hayom, Bennett has held several meetings in the past few weeks with senior officials within Israel’s occupation authorities, as the right-wing minister seeks a “total stop to illegal Palestinian construction within two years”.

In light of Israel’s discriminatory planning system, some European governments have provided modest funding to under-threat Palestinian communities, support that has infuriated Israel. For Israeli authorities, such Palestinian constructions constitutes an illegal “take over” of land.

READ: Israel’s right-wing sign pledge to annex 60% of West Bank

The paper, which claims to have seen Bennett’s instructions to officials, says Israel’s plan has four elements: “operational, economic, legal, and PR”.

One shift, in “enforcement priorities”, will see demolitions “carried out in accordance with Israeli interests, prioritising illegal buildings next to roads or settlements.”

Bennett also reportedly “wants to take steps to stop the flow of European money” supporting Palestinian construction, with the minister telling officials: “We will no longer stand aside while the European Union builds political, illegal construction here”.

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Addameer: ​​Israel covering up torture in prison

Megiddo prison in Israel

Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association condemned the statement issued by the Israeli Public Security Agency (Shabak) on Wednesday, regarding “the files of several prisoners who were subjected to brutal investigation and torture in the Israeli investigation centres.”

It also condemned the inclusion of the name of MP Khalida Jarrar in the case that the Shabak revealed on Wednesday, which held her responsible for an operation the occupation claims that members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine carried out and led to the killing of a settler. The Association considered that this inclusion has political purposes, “as the included information about Khalida in the statement conflicts with the indictment issued against her in the military court,” according to Addameer.

The Addameer indicated that this statement was published by the occupation forces to cover up the torture of many detainees in the investigation centres, silence human rights institutions and cover up the criticism against the occupation state. This came after an HRW report which concluded that there are no fair trial guarantees in the Israeli military courts and that the occupation authorities’ courts and military orders are used to suppress and violate the political rights and protection provided for the Palestinian prisoners.

READ: Lebanon’s President calls for international investigation into Israel’s infiltration of waters

Addameer explained that the Shabak’s statement on Wednesday “is considered a misuse of powers by them, despite the order prohibiting the publication issued by the intelligence and police from the Magistrates Court to all concerned parties in the Palestinian public,” which is supposed to end on 31 December, in addition to the mentioning of several figures in the statement and the publication of details about their activities, against which no indictment has so far been issued.

Addameer pointed out that the ban on publishing was renewed by the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem to prevent lawyers from publishing details of the torture the prisoners have been subjected to, and the court also used this order to prevent the prisoners’ families from attending their trials. On 17 December, one day before the issuance of the Shabak’s statement, the Military Prosecution prevented the prisoners’ families from attending the courts, like its attempt to prevent the family of the prisoner, Karmal Barghouti, from attending his trial.

Addameer stated that “the Israeli intelligence agency issued a similar statement in which it claimed that Samer Arbid and others were involved in carrying out an operation in the Ramallah area after he was transferred to the hospital, while he was in a serious health condition as a result of the torture he was subjected to at the Al-Maskubiya Investigation Centre. It is reported that this statement was issued before the submission of an indictment against Samer in an attempt by the intelligence service to cover up the torture he was subjected to with the aim of killing him.”

Addameer said that it “will publish all the details of the torture of the prisoners in the investigation centres, in addition to the complicity of the Israeli military court and Supreme Court in the crime of torture.”

What are #Israel‘s preferred methods of torture?

#PalPrisoners

MEMO #Infographic The White Canvas

See more

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Palestine: Israeli occupation authorities reduce the fishing area in southern Gaza Strip

Israel to return 20 boats to Gaza fishermen on 2 July 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Gaza fishermen on 2 July 2019

The Israeli occupation authorities on yesterday decided to reduce fishing areas in the southern Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the occupation army said in a statement that there is a decision to reduce the area of ​​fishing in the Gaza Strip to be ten nautical miles as from Thursday morning until further notice.

The coordinator of the Palestinian fishermen’s committees, Zakaria Bakr, told Quds Press news agency that the Palestinian Ministry informed the committees of Civil Affairs that the occupation authorities had decided to reduce the fishing area.

READ: Turkey rejects ex-Israeli envoy’s remarks on Hamas ties

Bakr explained that the decision included the area from the fishermen’s port in Gaza City to the southern Gaza Strip, “and it was reduced to ten nautical miles after it was 15 nautical miles.”

“The Israeli occupation has kept the fishing area in the northern Gaza Strip as it currently is; 6 nautical miles,” the Palestinian coordinator added.

The warplanes of the Israeli occupation forces launched, at dawn, Thursday, an airstrike on a Palestinian resistance site northwest of Gaza City. The location and the houses surrounding it were severely damaged, and a Palestinian was lightly wounded.

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Céline Lebrun-Shaath: ‘Ramy’s arrest is an attack on solidarity with Palestine’

Egyptian-Palestinian politician Rami Shaath and his wife Céline Lebrun-Shaath [File photo]

Egyptian-Palestinian politician Rami Shaath and his wife Céline Lebrun-Shaath [File photo]

By Amelia Smith

When former Egyptian MP Ziad Al-Alimi was arrested by security forces, Ramy Shaath told his wife that of the coalition of activists that organised the 2011 protests against Hosni Mubarak, he was one of the last remaining.

Ten days later it was his turn.

At 12.45am on 5 July 2019Céline Lebrun-Shaath was returning home when she saw security forces had surrounded the building where she shared a flat with her husband.

Upstairs the door was wide open and she could hear her husband asking them for a warrant – Why are you here? What do you want? he asked, but they refused to answer.

“I asked for the right to call my consulate,” says Céline. “They replied, since you want to call your consulate, we have the right as a state to deport you, you have ten minutes to pack a bag and we will take you to the airport.”

They took us downstairs, put him in a van and me in another one. Since then I haven’t seen my husband. It’s been more than five months now.

As an Egyptian-Palestinian activist who has dedicated his life to fighting for Palestinian rights, it’s fitting that Céline met Ramy on a humanitarian convoy headed to Gaza during the 2014 Israeli bombardment on the Strip.

Ramy is a former consultant to the late Yasser Arafat and in the nineties was part of negotiations to secure an independent Palestinian state.

In 2015 he co-founded and co-ordinated the BDS movement in Egypt, which under his leadership secured a victory when its campaign for Orange to end its partnership with the Israeli telecommunications company Partners Communication was successful.

READ: Prominent anti-regime Egyptian journalist visits Palestine

His activism has long provoked the fury of Egyptian authorities – seven years ago they refused to renew his passport on the grounds that he was Palestinian and not Egyptian.

Ramy sued the Ministry of Interior, won the case and the judge ordered that his Egyptian passport be renewed. But the Interior Ministry appealed and are still trying to strip him of his nationality.

Ramy is the first to be targeted over his solidarity with Palestine, but not the last. In September one of his colleagues Mohamed El-Massry, a member of the boycott movement and the Strong Egypt Party, was arrested and forcibly disappeared for several weeks.

“Ninety per cent of [Mohamed’s] interrogation was about BDS,” Céline says.

When two months later a football fan was arrested for raising the Palestinian flag during a match at Cairo International Stadium it was clear that the authority’s patience with Palestinian solidarity had reached zero.

“We are seeing an attack on BDS through its general coordinator and another member, and also on solidarity with Palestine,” says Céline.

“To my knowledge, solidarity with Palestine was always something that was tolerated by all the different Egyptian governments, I mean even in times of repression. But it seems this is no longer the case.”

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power on the back of the 2013 coup, relations between Egypt and Israel have significantly warmed, symbolised by the Egyptian government’s decision to transfer the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, which opened up the Straits of Tiran to Israel.

Under a $15 billion deal, Egypt will begin importing gas from Israel imminently, whilst a joint air campaign carried out by the Egyptian and Israeli army in the Sinai Peninsula has become an open secret.

To justify increasing security cooperation between the traditional foes, the pro-regime press has ramped up animosity towards Palestinians, including peddling the charge that Ramy was using embezzled Palestinian money to finance terror groups.

Following the family’s statement denouncing Ramy’s arrest, state-run media started a smear campaign against him, alleging he was only Palestinian and that he allied with the Muslim Brotherhood after failing to obtain Egyptian nationality.

Ramy is currently accused of assisting a terror group as part of the Alliance of Hope, but his arrest is actually part of a wider geopolitical struggle between the Egyptian and the Palestinian governments who fell out over Egypt’s participation in a June conference in Bahrain.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his government would boycott the Manama workshop and its promise to unveil the economic component of the US proposed, so-called “deal of the century”.

Amid calls across the region that Arab participation amounted to normalisation with Israel, Ramy openly criticised Egypt’s decision to send a delegation. He also vocally opposed US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

Ramy is the son of the former acting Palestinian Prime Minister Nabil Shaath, who is now Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser for foreign affairs and international relations.

The PA has been involved in negotiations to secure Ramy’s release and in July sent an envoy to Cairo to this end. Despite his father receiving promises Ramy would be released within days, he was not.

When they realised behind the scenes diplomatic efforts were not working, the family went public with his arrest. Nabil, now 82, even went himself to visit a month and a half ago after his daughter, Ramy’s sister, had a heart attack which doctors confirmed was from the high level of stress.

But when Nabil tried to return so he could attend his son’s pretrial hearing, his request was refused.

“It is an issue, and how big is it going to become I don’t know but it is an issue,” says Céline.

“You can’t jail the coordinator of the BDS movement in Egypt who advocates for Palestinian rights and expect your relations with the Palestinian authorities to be great. I mean this should come at a cost.”

1 week after minor faces death penalty, UK bolsters defence cooperation with #Egypt

READ: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190614-1-week-after-mi…/

MEMO #Infographic by QUAD Business House

Ramy is allowed visitors in a private room once a week for 20 minutes. For the duration of the visit, a member of the prison authorities sits and takes notes about what is being said.

Ramy shares his 25 square metre cell with 18 other prisoners who cook and sleep in the same small space. As winter approaches it’s becoming more and more difficult to sleep on the floor as they are not allowed blankets. If they want to shower, it’s with cold water.

As it stands, Ramy’s family is asking for his immediate and unconditional release. A number of political prisoners have been let out on probation, which means they have to spend a certain number of hours every day in the police station. Another fear is that he may be banned from travelling.

Céline has spoken to Ramy once since that night they were bundled into separate vans, a five-minute call on speakerphone from the prosecutor’s office.

“I haven’t seen him and obviously this is very tough on both of us,” says Céline. “So, it’s a way to some kind of torture or punishment for him and for me.”

In a meeting at the Egyptian embassy, with a representative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was supporting her request, Céline asked if she can go back to Egypt, where she lived and worked as a researcher and teacher for seven years, so she can be close to and visit her husband.

READ: 10 women begin open-ended hunger strike in Egypt’s Qanater prison

“That was two months ago. So far we haven’t received any answer.”

Céline was told in July that she has been blacklisted from the country despite not being given an official legal reason as to why she was deported in the first place.

While she waits to hear back, Céline has dedicated her life to campaigning for her husband: “This has become my 24/7 job and I’m not going to stop until Ramy’s released.”

“I’m determined to continue and I have the chance to be surrounded by friends and supporters and I’m not alone and together we’re going to keep fighting for Ramy’s release, for Mohamed El-Massry, and the other human rights defenders that are being detained.”

(Source / 20.12.2019)  

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12 – 18 December 2019)

Summary

This week, PCHR documented 149 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.

As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity:

In terms of excessive use of force, IOF wounded 9 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, on the 84th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protest (GMR) in eastern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, 4 civilians were injured, including a paramedic and a child. IOF arrested the child, claiming that he attempted to throw a Molotov Cocktails in Bethlehem.

Under IOF incursions and house raids, 99 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, were reported. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, arresting and/or injuring many others. During this week’s incursions, 77 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and 5 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 2 limited incursions in northern Gaza Strip and eastern Khan Younis. A Palestinian civilian was arrested by IOF while travelling via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Moreover, 6 shootings were reported by IOF at agricultural lands in the northern and eastern of the Gaza Strip; while 3 others were reported by the Israeli gunboats against the Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Gaza Shore.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, PCHR documented 6 IOF violations that included demolishing 3 residential houses in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 25 stalls in Jenin, 2 buses’ structures in Hebron, and a car showroom as well as 2 car washes in occupied East Jerusalem.

PCHR also documented 3 settler-attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, including attacking busses in Bethlehem; damaging road construction machines in Northern Jordan Valleys, and shootings in eastern Qalqiliyah, which caused material damage to a house and fear among its residents, but no injuries among them were reported.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.  During the reporting period, IOF arrested a Palestinian civilian, from Gaza City, while travelling to Turkey via Erez Crossing.  Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest as 5 Palestinians were arrested this week only.

Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the Gaza Strip

On the 84th Friday, 13 December 2019, weekly protests were launched in the Rafah, al-Buraij refugee camp in addition to Gaza City and were cancelled in Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip, on the anniversary of the founding of Hamas Movement. This Friday’s protest titled: “Palestine Unites us and Jerusalem is our Capital”, resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 4 children.

Details at PCHR official.

Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

  • At approximately 13:40 on Thursday, 12 December 2019, moved into Ramallah and stationed in ‘Ein Mesbah neighborhood in the center of the city. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers, who responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, volunteer paramedic, Majd Omer (25), was shot with a rubber bullet in the foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment and his injury was classified as moderate. Meanwhile, an Israeli force raided and searched the house of Shatha Majed Hasan (20), a student at Birzeit University, and arrested her.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Janiyah village, northwest of Ramallah. A number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with live bullets and tear gas canisters. A live bullet hit the window of Mohammed Ahmed Nassar’s house and settled in the walls; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 14 December 2019, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall gate, adjacent to Nazlet ‘Essa village, north of Tulkarm, opened fire at a group of civilians present at the area. As a result,  2 civilians, from western al-Nazlah village, were wounded while attempting to enter the gate to work in Israel. The wounded civilians were identified as Ahmed Hasan Katanah (26), who was shot with a live bullet in the right leg; while Darrar Rasem Katanah (28) was shot with a live bullet in the left foot.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands in eastern Beit Hanoun. As a result, a tilling machine that was about 150 meters into the west of the border fence and dragged by a farmer was hit with 2 live bullets, causing its damage. The machine is owned by Mohammed Hasan Ahmed al-Za’anin (40). IOF also fired a number of sound bombs in the area, causing fear among farmers.
  • At approximately 16:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and fired a number of tear gas canisters at the border As a result, farmers, whose lands are nearby the area, forced to leave it fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 15 December 2019, IOF stationed along the border north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Beit Hanoun Municipality crews, who were adjacent to a land fill in the area. As a result, the municipality truck was hit with several live bullets; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed in west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Kahn Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters adjacent to al-Najjar neighbourhood, east of Khuza’ah village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within3 nautical miles. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF opened fire at a Palestinian civilian while being present on al-Anfaq Street, west of Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem. As a result, he was shot and injured in the thigh. He was arrested by IOF and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel for treatment.

Abdul Halim Ja’afrah, Head of Emergency & Ambulance Services at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he received an information about a civilian shot and injured by IOF in al-Anfaq area. An ambulance headed to the area, but IOF banned it from reaching the wounded civilian, who was identified as Hamzah Khalid ‘Ayad al-Haremi (16).

Avichay Adraee, the spokesperson of the Israeli forces, claimed that IOF spotted  a person throwing a Molotov Cocktail at Israeli vehicles near Beit Jala village. He added that IOF opened fire at him, wounding him. They then chased and arrested him, without revealing the nature of his injury.

According to local sources, PCHR’s fieldworker stated that IOF took the wounded child to “Ofer” military prison established on lands, west of Ramallah. After that, al-Haremi underwent a surgery at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. An extension hearing will be held  for the arrested child next Thursday in the Israeli Military Court.

  • At approximately 02:30 on Friday, 18 December 2019, IOF moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. A number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli vehicles. IOF chased the young men between house and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers arrested Yusuf ‘Ezzat Abu Diaya (21) and Yusuf Mohammed Sadouq (22) after they raided and searched their houses.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli gunboats stationed, west of Jabalia, northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire and chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs in the sky. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, south of the Gaza Strip. As a result, farmers fled away fearing for their lives; no casualties were reported.

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • On Saturday, 14 December 2019, Naser Za’atrah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his tin-plate house willing of 25 square meters in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Za’atrah said that the Israeli authorities ordered him several times to demolish his house and threatened him if he did not demolish it, he would pay the demolition costs. Za’atrah added that the construction of his house cost NIS 90.000 and the Israeli Municipality imposed a construction fine on him of NIS 115.000, noting that he is still paying it. Lately, the Israeli Municipality escalated its self-demolition policy in occupied East Jerusalem and forced over 50 civilians to self-demolish their houses.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Hebron’s Dir Razzah area. They demolished two buses’ structures of Basel Rashid Suliman D’ais used as café and auto repair workshop. After that, IOF levelled and dug the plot of land to ban using it again, under the pretext of being in Area C. It should be noted that on 19 August 2019, IOF demolished D’ais’s barrack established on the mentioned plot of land.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, Israeli vehicles demolished Sameeh Ahmed Salah’s house in Kherbet ‘Alia, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Salah said that IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles raided his 120-sqaure-meter house, which sheltered 5 persons, and demolished it. Salah clarified that his plot of land is officially registered, but IOF prevented him from building on it, claiming that there was a military order banning any construction works in the area. He added that in 1996, IOF demolished his plot of land and agricultural rooms. In 2002, IOF demolished a house built there. Salah pointed out that he re-built the house for the 2nd time years ago, but IOF notified him that they would demolish it. After that, he requested help from St. Yves Society and headed to the Israeli Supreme Court that issued the demolition decision, but IOF did not recognize the court’s decision and demolished the house. It should be noted that IOF aims at evacuating Kherbet ‘Alia from all houses and seizing over 120 dunums in order to build a bypass road, which would be the northern entrance to “Afrat” settlement.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into al-Jalma village, where they demolished at least 25 vegetable and fruit stalls roofed with sheds, under the pretext of being in Area C. These stalls were established near al-Jalma checkpoint due to the traffic jam at the checkpoint. PCHR keeps the names of stalls’ owners, who were deprived of the sole source of income.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished Hatem Hussain Aby Riyalah’s under construction house in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Raied Abu Riyalah, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that Israeli special forces accompanied with military vehicles moved into Abu Riyalah neighborhood, where they imposed a tight security cordon near Hatem Hussain Abu Riyalah house and demolished the second storey of his house for the 3rd Raied Abu Riyalah pointed out that Hatem attempted to license his house, but in vain. It should be noted that Hatem’s house was built on an area of 180 sqaure meters and comprised of 2 stories; the first was inhabited while the second was under-construction.
  • Around the same day, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into Sho’fat village in occupied East Jerusalem and demolished a car showroom and 2 car washes of Meswada, Bader and Abu Isninah families. Wadi al-Helwa Information Center stated that Israeli bulldozers demolished ‘Azzam Meswada’s car showroom built of tin plates and damaged walls surrounding it. In addition, IOF demolished Bashar Bader’s car wash, comprising of 3 tin-plate rooms, and another car wash belonging to Kamal Abu Isninah. IOF confiscated a container from Kamal’s car wash.

Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 23:00 on Friday, 13 December 2019, Diyab Mash’alah, Head of al-Jab’a Village Council, said that, dozens of Israeli settlers, from “Beit Ayin” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ lands, moved into al-Jamjoum area in western Bethlehem. They attacked and threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles. As a result, the windshield, rear window and lights of  Akrama Hamdan’s vehicle were broken as well as many vehicles sustained damage.  Mash’alah added that settlers continued to carry out ongoing attacks against Palestinians and their properties years ago, clarifying that these attacks have recently increased. Mash’alah said that settlers from time to time threw Molotov Cocktails at Palestinian vehicles, causing incidents and injuries among them, without taking any measures by IOF to end and stop these attacks.
  • On Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers from the “Price Tag” group damaged road construction machines of Salah al-Zayed in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, for the 2nd
  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019, settlers opened fire at ‘Ali al-Sedaa’s house in the outskirts of Qalqiliyia’s Jeet village. As a result, the house sustained material damage and its residents were terrified, but no injuries among them were reported.
  • On Tuesday, 17 December 2019, a group of Israeli settlers damaged road construction machines in northern Jordan Valley, north of the West Bank.

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

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Human Rights Watch: Israel Using Draconian Military Orders to Repress Palestinians

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has shed light on Israel’s decades-long violations of Palestinians’ fundamental rights through restrictive military orders, urging the occupying regime to grant the oppressed nation the same rights as Israeli settlers.

In a 92-page report published on Tuesday, the New York-based NGO said British Mandate-era regulations which still remain in force, in addition to military orders that Tel Aviv has issued since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, allow the Israeli army to strip the Palestinian people of their basic civil rights.

The report, dubbed “Born Without Civil Rights: Israel’s Use of Draconian Military Orders to Repress Palestinians in the West Bank,” also criticized Israel for unjustifiably relying on those orders to jail Palestinians for anti-occupation speech, activism, or political affiliations, outlawing political and other non-governmental organizations and shutting down media outlets.

“Israel’s efforts to justify depriving Palestinians of basic civil rights protections for more than half a century, based on the exigencies of its forever military occupation just don’t fly anymore,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division at HRW.

“Given Israel’s long-term control over Palestinians, it should at minimum allow them to exercise the same rights it grants its own citizens, regardless of the political arrangement in place,” she added, according to Press TV/Al Ray.

According to the report, Israel’s sweeping military orders apply only to the 2.5 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem al-Quds, but not to the more than 400,000 Israeli settlers.

“Nothing can justify today’s reality where in some places people on one side of the street enjoy civil rights, while those on the other side do not,” Whitson noted.

The Israeli orders, the report said, allow imposing prison terms of up to 10 years on civilians convicted by military courts, for influencing public opinion in a way that could “harm public peace or public order.”

A 10-year sentence can also be imposed on Palestinians who participate in a gathering of more than 10 people without a military permit, on any issue “that could be construed as political,” or if they display “flags or political symbols” without army approval,” it added.

Meanwhile, the HRW estimated that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2019, the Israeli army prosecuted 4,590 Palestinians for entering what it calls a “closed military zone,” 1,704 for “membership and activity in an unlawful association,” and 358 for “incitement.”

Israeli authorities further rely on military orders to ban 411 organizations, including all the major Palestinian political movements, and to detain people affiliated with them, it added.

“Suspending rights for a short period may temporarily disrupt public life, but long-term, indefinite suspension cripples a community’s social, political, and intellectual life,” the report said. “In cases of indefinite occupation, such as Israel’s, the rights granted to an occupied population should be at least equal to the rights afforded the occupier’s citizens.”

Whitson said the orders give the army “carte blanche to prosecute anyone who organizes politically, speaks out, or even reports the news in ways that displease the army.”

“Israeli military law, in place for 52 years, bars Palestinians in the West Bank from such basic freedoms as waving flags, peacefully protesting the occupation, joining all major political movements, and publishing political material,” she pointed out.

The report was based on 29 interviews, primarily with former detainees and lawyers, reviews of military court indictments, and examination of eight illustrative cases of activists, journalists, and other Palestinians detained under Israeli military orders over the past five years.

It was the first report issued by HRW since Israel expelled the organization’s regional director Omar Shakir, last month

Israel accused Shakir of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for exerting financial pressure on the Tel Aviv regime, to end its rights abuses against Palestinians, an accusation the activist and HRW have both denied.

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Illegal Israeli Colonists Burn Two Palestinian Cars, Write Racist Graffiti, Near Nablus

A group of fanatic Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on private Palestinian lands burnt, on Friday at dawn, two Palestinian cars and wrote racist graffiti, in Far’ata village, west of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the colonists infiltrated into the village and burnt two cars, owned by Saher Abdul-Rahim Hussein and his brother Tha’er.

Daghlas added that the colonists also wrote racist, anti-Palestinian graffiti on several walls and cars in the village, before fleeing the area.

The attacks are the latest in ongoing and escalating violations by groups of fanatic right-wing Israeli colonists targeting the Palestinians, their homes, lands and other property, in addition to holy sites, including graveyards.

   (Source / 20.12.2019) 

Israeli Air Force Fires Several Missiles Into Gaza

The Israeli air force fired, on Friday at dawn, several missiles into a few areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, causing damage. The army claimed it was retaliating to one shell reportedly fired from the coastal region.

Media sources in Gaza said the army fired at least two missiles into Asqalan site, run by the al-Qassam Brigades the armed wing of Hamas, northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

They added that an Israeli drone fired at least one missile into a land, east of Rafah city, in the southern part of the coastal region.

Hours later, the army fired two more missiles into Palestinian lands, south of Rafah.

Furthermore, Palestinian resistance fighters fired live rounds at Israeli drones flying over several parts of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army claimed that a shell was fired from Gaza, on Thursday at night, and landed in an open area in one of its colonies.

The army added that it targeted infrastructure “belonging to Hamas movement in southern Gaza, and one of its military compounds in northern Gaza.”

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

Illegal Israeli Colonists Attack Shepherd, Unleash Their Dogs Toward Him Near Bethlehem

Many fanatic Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on Palestinian lands, attacked a Shepherd from Kisan village, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and unleashed their dogs at him, causing various injuries.

Ahmad Ghazal, the deputy mayor of Kisan Village Council, said the colonists came from the illegal Ibei Hanahal outpost, which was installed on stolen Palestinian lands, near the illegal Maali Amos colony.

He added that the assailants attacked the farmer, Atallah Ibrahim Obeyyat, 53, causing many cuts and bruises, before unleashing their dogs toward him. The dogs also attacked and bit some of his sheep.

The wounded farmer was transferred to Beit Jala Governmental hospital for treatment; he said the attack took place when the colonists invaded the Palestinian lands and started trying to force him out of the grazing lands.

Ghazal stated that the attack is one of the numerous violations against farmers and shepherds in the area, and is part of the ongoing Israeli attempts to force the Palestinians out in order to build and expand the illegal colonies, built in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, International Law and various United Nations resolutions, and treaties.

(Source / 20.12.2019) 

US’ Bernie Sanders Calls Israel’s Netanyahu A ‘Racist’

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders delivers a speech during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College in New York, United States, 2 March 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders delivers a speech during his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College in New York, United States, 2 March 2019

US Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading candidate to be the Democratic presidential candidate, slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “racist” yesterday.

According to reports, Senator Sanders (I-Vt.) made the remarks during a Democratic debate amongst 2020 presidential candidates that covered a wide number of issues.

When asked specifically about how he would manage relations with Israel and the Palestinians, Sanders struck a very different tone to many of the Democratic party mainstream.

“Israel has the right not only to exist, but to exist in peace and security,” said Sanders, noting how he had “lived in Israel as a kid” (a reference to his time on a kibbutz), and is “proudly Jewish”.

However, Sanders continued by declaring that “what US foreign policy must be about is not just being pro-Israel. We must be pro-Palestinian as well.”

The candidate added some biting criticism of the Israeli premier.

“We must understand that right now in Israel we have leadership who has been indicted for bribery, who, in my view, is a racist,” said Sanders, referring to Netanyahu’s corruption charges.

Sanders’s position on Israel is often seen as a reflection of his own base, which includes activists and party members drawn from the left-wing of the Democratic party, where criticism of Israel, and support for Palestinians, have both increased in recent years.

(Source / 20.12.2019)