Report: Israel arrested 357 Palestinians in March despite coronavirus lockdown

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian protester during protest against bulldozing operations carried out by the occupation bulldozers near the village of Aqraba, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on 3 March 2020. [Ayman Nobani/ WAFA]
Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian protester during protest against bulldozing operations carried out by the occupation bulldozers near the village of Aqraba, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on 3 March 2020

A number of Palestinian associations concerned with Palestinian prisoners’ rights said Israel arrested 357 Palestinians including 48 children and four women in March despite the spread of the novel coronavirus and an almost complete lockdown to combat the highly contagious disease.

The associations include the Committee for Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs, the Prisoner’s Club, Addameer and others said in a report issued on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day that since the beginning of this year, Israeli occupation forces have arrested more than 1,300 Palestinians, including 210 children and 31 women, and issued 295 administrative detention orders.

The associations explained that Israel detains 5,000 Palestinians including 41 female prisoners held in the Damon prison and 180 children and minors held in the prisons of Ofer, Megiddo and Damon.

Report: Marwan Barghouthi enters 19th year in Israel prisons 

According to the report, Israel has been detaining 26 prisoners since before the signing of the Oslo Accords, including Karim Younis and Maher Younis, who have been detained since 1983.

The report explains that Israel has been detaining 51 Palestinians for over 20 years.

As many as 541 prisoners were handed life terms.

The report explained that since 1967 as many as 222 Palestinians have died in prison while hundreds of prisoners died upon their release as a result of medical negligence while in detention.

(Source/ 17.04.2020) 

Gaza makes millions of face masks for Europe

The factory will continue to operate for as long as the occupation allows the necessary materials into the Strip  

Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Gazans make millions of face masks for Europe [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Sewing factories in the Gaza Strip have been busy manufacturing face masks for the local and international markets in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Abdullah Shehadeh, one of the administrators at the Hasco sewing factory, said 40 workers have been working hard to make the masks.

They are continuing to operate in spite of the difficult situation in the Strip as a result of the ongoing 14-year Israeli imposed blockade and the coronavirus pandemic, he explained. They are doing this to help people in Europe and support their efforts to tackle the virus, Shehadeh added, because human life is above all political differences.

The factory will continue to operate for as long as the occupation allows the necessary materials into the Strip.

There have so far been 13 cases of the coronavirus in the besieged Gaza Strip, while globally nearly 2.2 million people have been infected with the disease and nearly 140,000 have died as a result of it.

READ: Despite the Israeli blockade, Gaza is tackling Covid-19 with typical determination

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

US to provide Palestine $5m to fight COVID-19

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman on 16 May 16, 2017 [Wikipedia]
US ambassador to Israel David Friedman on 16 May 16, 2017 

The US announced Thursday that it will provide $5 million to the Palestinian Authority to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Anadolu reports.

“I’m very pleased the USA is providing $5M for Palestinian hospitals and households to meet immediate, life-saving needs in combating COVID-19,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Twitter.

The U.S. had cut more than $200 million in aid to Palestine following a review initiated by President Donald Trump in August 2018.

READ: Coronavirus, Netanyahu and the implementation of the ‘deal of the century’ 

The Trump administration also cut financial aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) the same year.

The US had been UNRWA’s largest contributor by far, providing it $350 million annually — roughly a quarter of its overall budget.

Established in 1949, UNRWA provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

Calls for global action to save Palestinian prisoners

Palestinian Prisoners Day

The Palestinian Forum in Britain today called on international institutions and human rights organisations to pressure Israel to release thousands of prisoners in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

In a statement released to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the forum also urged human rights and humanitarian institutions to do their part to seek the release of Palestinian prisoners, persecuted and oppressed in prisons around the Arab world and around the world.“We commemorate the day of the Prisoner this year whilst more than 5,700 Palestinian men and women are locked behind bars in the prisons of the occupation; amongst them 700 patients, some of whom are suffering from life-threatening diseases whereas the countries of the world are racing to release the prisoners for fear of the spread of the coronavirus,” it said.The organisation went on to “salute and appreciate our courageous prisoners … who sacrifice their youth behind bars for the freedom of their people and their land”.

Israel, it continued, is “detaining Palestinian prisoners in inhumane and unhealthy conditions, in light of the spread of this pandemic, which threatens their lives.”

READ: On Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the struggle should frame the call for freedom, not Covid-19

(Source / 17.04.2020)

PCHR Fears Coronavirus Spread in Israeli Prisons and Detention Centers

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is celebrated every year on the 17th of April, which was endorsed by the Palestinian National Council in 1974 as a national day to pay tribute to Palestinian prisoners and their sacrifices, and to support, advocate and promote their right to freedom.

Ever since, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day has been an annual day for celebration and to remind the whole world of the Palestinian prisoners’ cause and the daily violations they suffer inside Israeli prisons, which violate all international and humanitarian covenants.

Across Israeli prisons, Palestinian prisoners suffer numerous and endless violations of their rights, as Israeli occupation authorities purposefully and persistently neglect their obligations under the international humanitarian law (IHL). Certainly, these practices fall under a systematic Israeli policy to humiliate and degrade the dignity of prisoners through arbitrary measures.

The Israeli practices and violations against prisoners have enhanced and intensified the suffering of Palestinian prisoners for several decades, most prominently the:

  • Inhuman and cruel detention conditions;
  • Psychological and physical torture, and solitary confinement;
  • Administrative detention;
  • Unjust military orders and decisions;
  • Ban on visits from medical professionals; and
  • Ban on visits from international organizations and investigation committees.

This year, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is commemorated extremely bitter and cruel conditions under the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli occupation authorities did not suffice with their daily violations of prisoners’ rights, as it chose to intensify their suffering through its systematic policy of medical neglect against prisoners, abusing their pressing needs and right to health care in these dangerous times.

PCHR expresses its extreme concern over the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that may ensue among Palestinian prisoners, especially that the Israeli prison administration has a bad track record in dealing with Palestinian prisoners. Over decades, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners died under extremely poor health conditions due to the deliberate medical negligence policy.

In the face of the extremely grim and grave implications of the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli authorities have yet to take any of the measures it had announced for the protection of Palestinian prisoners, as the authorities’ interventions have been limited measures that are inherently discriminative and in violation of prisoners’ rights and privileges, including banning prisoners’ families from visiting their sons and preventing prisoners from meeting their lawyers.

On the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and every day, PCHR reiterates the need to stand for the systematic and inhumane Israeli practices against Palestinian prisoners, and:

  • Calls upon the international community to intervene urgently in fulfillment of its legal and moral obligations towards Palestinians, and take effective measures to pressure  Israel to comply with its obligations towards Palestinian prisoners  according to the rules of international law, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners in addition to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions;
  • Calls for allowing the medical staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Palestinian prisoners and monitor their health conditions to ensure that they enjoy their right to health care and medical treatment; and
  • Reiterates its call for the immediate release of all prisoners, especially minors, patients, elderlies, and women.

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09 – 15 April 2020)

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Summary of Israeli Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09 – 15 April 2020)

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to violate Palestinians’ human rights and commit crimes against civilians and their properties, conducting raids into Palestinian cities without regard to the state of emergency declared across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 06 March 2020, in the efforts put forward to combat the spread of coronavirus. IOF raids are conducted without proper attention to prevention and safety standards to mitigate the risk of transmitting coronavirus to Palestinian territory, as the virus is widespread throughout Israel. PCHR’s concerns over Israeli raids still stand, as those raids undermine preventive measures adopted by the government.

Meanwhile, settlers backed up by IOF continued to seize more civilian property and attack civilians and their property. Furthermore, PCHR expresses its concern over the Israeli occupation’s policy of banning any preventive measures by the Palestinian Authority in occupied East Jerusalem, especially that Israel has adopted lenient measures in the city despite its responsibility for it under international law as an occupying power.

PCHR has also been increasingly wary of Palestinian prisoners’ situation in Israeli jails under the coronavirus pandemic; instead of adopting the necessary measures to protect inmates from the pandemic, Israeli authorities have adopted a number of measures that further violate prisoners’ rights. PCHR reiterates its calls for the Israeli authorities to urgently and immediately adopt the necessary measures for the protection of Palestinian prisoners from COVID-19, and calls for immediate release of all imprisoned patients, elderlies, women, and children.

This week, PCHR documented 71 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have hindered our fieldwork team’s ability to cover all incidents in the oPt and were forced to collect information via phone from trusted local sources. As such, this report is an in-comprehensive record of Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians in the oPt, as IOF continues its attacks against civilians despite the exceptional circumstances that have overcome the whole world in the face of a life-threatening viral pandemic.

1. IOF Shooting and Violation of Right to Bodily Integrity: 3 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF; 1 during suppression of civilians at Qalqilia; and 2 fishermen in Gaza. Also, 3 children sustained wounds as a suspicious device left by IOF exploded in Hebron. IOF opened fire 5 times during raids into the West Bank; 11 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 5 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

2. IOF Incursions and Arrests of Palestinian Civilians: IOF carried out 26 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 26 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 3 young Palestinians while attempting to cross into Israel through the border fence area in Rafah; they were released after investigation.

3. Settlement Expansion Activities and Settlers’ Attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented the confiscation of a construction vehicle in Beit Dojon village, northeast of Nablus, under the pretext of working in area C.

PCHR also documented 8 settler attacks: sabotaging olive trees seedlings in Ain Qesis, al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem; raids into Palestinian cities and neighbourhoods and a settlers’ tent erected in Salfit; 2 children assaulted an a settlers’ tent erected in Hebron; sewer water pumped into Bethlehem lands; and olive trees cut in Nablus.

4. Israeli Closure Policy and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement: For the fifth consecutive week, Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing and West Bank Crossings under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

IOF continued to impose closure declared on Wednesday 08 April 2020, on the pretext of the Jewish Passover holiday. Israeli authorities stated that the closure that has already been imposed on the Palestinian areas will remain the same, as entry through the crossings will be allowed only for exceptional humanitarian cases and urgent medical cases.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities still continued to impose restrictions on Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, except humanitarian cases would be allowed to pass through the crossing. Concerning Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the crossing will be operated on a limited scale.

Also, Israeli authorities closed Erez Crossing on Wednesday and Thursday, 08/09 April 2020, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, 14/15 April 2020.

This comes in a time when 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.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank 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.

1. Violation of the Right to Life and to Bodily Integrity: Shooting and Other Violations

  • At approximately 07:50 on Thursday, 09 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen Obai Adel Mohammed Jarbou’a (21) and Ahmed Abdul Fattah Ahmed al-Shurafi (23), from al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, were shot with several rubber bullets throughout their bodies. They were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and their injuries were classified.
  • At approximately 19:00 on the same Thursday, IOF moved into Abu Tayeh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of commercial shops and imposed a fine on their owners, claiming that they violated the Israeli government orders within combating the spread of coronavirus. When IOF raided a shop owned by Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh, the soldiers quarrelled with him, so they heavily beat him. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men attempted to protect Abu Tayeh, but Israeli soldiers heavily fired live bullets and sound bombs in the air to disperse them. Israeli soldiers also arrested 4 young men after they beat them and they were identified as: Ala’a Tawfiq Abu Tayeh (22),his brother Ahmed (19), Mahmoud Wa’el Abu Tayeh (37) and his brother Mohammed.
  • At approximately 13:20 on Friday, 10 April 2020, IOF stationed at the eastern entrance established at lands of Kufur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian young men participated, to demand opening the eastern street, which has been closed since 2003. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) crews. Several live bullets hit a water tank on house’s roof of Asem Kamal ‘Aqel, causing its damage.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Friday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 23:20 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, south of Qalqilia, fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinian security services units and the emergency crews while they were watching water ferries to control the movement of workers from the West Bank to Israel after IOF opened them within the spread of corona virus under fears it would be used to smuggle workers.
  • At approximately 08:20 on Saturday, 11 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:40 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 12 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a and Abasan villages, adjacent to the border fence. The shooting continued at 11:30 on the morning, east of Abasan village; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. The shooting recurred at 22:25 on the same day; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:15 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are near the border area, panicked. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:45 on the same Sunday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian farmers. The shooting continued sporadically until 18:00 on the same day. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 14:30 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of Qalqilia, fired rubber bullets and sound bombs at a 22-year-old Palestinian young man, adjacent to Qalqilia, when he attempted to enter Israel for work. As a result, he was shot and injured with 3 rubber bullets in his right leg. The young man was transferred via a PRCS ambulance to the governmental hospital in Tulkarem.
  • At approximately 20:00 on the same Sunday, IOF moved into Obeid neighborhood, west of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed between houses and checked the residents’ ID cards. In the meantime, a number Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the latter responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. They received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boat sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 – 3 nautical miles). IOF also pumped water at the boats. The attack continued from time to time until 09:55 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Monday, 3 Palestinian children, from Bani Dar neighborhood, southeast of Hebron, sustained various wounds due to the explosion of a suspicious object from the remnants left by the Israeli forces, when the children were grazing sheep in the area. The wounded children identified as: Jamal Fares Jamal al-Badawai (13), Riyad Fares Jamal al-Badawi (16),a dn Mohammed Bilal Arafat Abu Turki (17), were transferred to the governmental hospital in Hebron.
  • At approximately 17:40 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 13 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 – 3 nautical miles), the stack continued sporadically until 07:50 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and flare bombs when 3 Palestinian young men attempted to sneak into Israel. IOF later declared that they arrested the 3 young men after they sneaked into Israel. IOF questioned the 3 young men and then released them.

2. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 09 April 2020:

  • IOF carried out an incursion in Qalqilia. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 10 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:50, IOF moved into Kufur Qaddoum, northeast of Qalqilia, and re-stormed it again at approximately 08:50, setting ambushes for the purpose of arresting civilians before the starting of the weekly march. No arrests were reported.
    IOF carried out an incursion in Ein Qinya, northwest of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 11 April 2020:

  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Taha Fannoun’s (23) house and arrested him. Mayor of Nahalin, Subhi Zaidan, said that IOF arrested Mohammad Taha Fannoun, who suffers from difficulties in pronunciation, after raiding his house in the Nahalin. Zaidan also stated that the IOF deliberately spit on the ground and walls during the raid.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Deya’ Ayman Obaid’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Central Hebron’s Old City, arrested Mahdi Mohammed Abu Snaina (19). IOF claimed that Mahdi did not obey to the IOF’s orders. Mahdi was released after hour and a half.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, south of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 14 April 2020:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’aweya Abdul Latif Ridwan (25), and Mahmoud Nidal Salim (24), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Baha’ Ra’ed Ekhlaiel’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:10, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint near Azoun village, east of Qalqilia, and arrested Wajdi Tawfiq al-Jayyousi (29), from Tulkarem. IOF took Wajdi to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into the agricultural lands of Um al-Mawaker, west of Salfit. They arrested ‘Ameer Azzam Aziz Mar’i (22) and his brother Abdulah (24), and confiscated their mobile phones and ID cards, claiming that they were working in an agricultural land belonging to the State of Israel. IOF released them later.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Betin village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Karam Hashem Zain al-Deen, and Mohammed Ayman Taher (22).

Monday, 13 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Karkafa neighborhood, in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Shadi Mohammed Hasasna’s (34) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched Ahmed Ateya Mousa’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:10, IOF moved into Betounya, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ibrahim Naser Abu Radaha’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Beira. They stormed two houses in Um al-Sharayet and Sateh Marhaba neighborhoods, and arrested two civilians; one of them is a member of the Legislative Council dissolved by the authority. The arrestees are: Mohammed Hasan Abu Tair (69) and Abdul Jawad Omar Hamayel (30).
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at Salem detention center, west of Jenin, arrested Suhaib Nasr Jarrar (31) from Barqin village, west of Jenin. IOF arrested him after the Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed him. It should be noted that IOF arrested Suhaib 3 times before and spent several years in the Israeli prisons. Furthermore, IOF killed his father and brother.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020:

  • At approximately 04:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Beira, they raided and searched two houses in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and arrested Omar Abu al-Rab (27), and Lo’ay al-Sho’la (25).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at the border fence, east of Faqou’a village, northeast of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Jamil Abu Khamees (32), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:20, IOF stationed at the border fence northwest of Tawra village, southwest of Jenin, arrested two children; Abdul Rahmad Mo’ayad Qabha (15) and Aysar Muthanna Qabha (13), and took them to an unknown destination. At approximately 21:50, the two children were released after the intervention of the Palestinian liaison.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched the house of the Secretary of Fatah Movement, Ahmed al-Abbasi (53), and handed his family a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem. Al-Abbasi said that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called him and ordered him to refer immediately to the Barid police station on Salah al-Deen Street. While he was on his way he informed that IOF stormed his house and left a summons for him to refer to “Ouz” police station, southeast of Jerusalem. IOF investigated with him about the establishing of the Coronavirus medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Silwan. Al-Abbasi also was interrogated for his interview with a Palestinian channel where he talked about the efforts of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the occupied East Jerusalem. Al-Abbasi added that IOF released him next day at approximately 04:30, in condition of banning him from leaving his house for 5 days, and signed a bail of (5000NIS) and cut the connections of the emergency committees in the city. After a few hours of releasing him, IOF re-summonsed him for investigation and forced him to pay bail of (500) NIS claiming that he was present in the medical center which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ein Silwan Mosque yard, the place which the emergency committee specified to Coronavirus checkup, which is funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Kharbet Bani Hareth, Badrs, and Shabtin, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

3. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, IOF accompanied with a military SUV moved into Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Yousef Sari Yousef Nasasrah (58), from Beit Foreek village, while working in ‘Adel Abu Helwan’s land, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. IOF forced Nasasrah at gunpoint to drive the bulldozer toward “Makhoura” settlement in northern Jordan Valley and allowed him to leave later.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • On Sunday, 12 April 2020, Israeli settlers broke olive seedlings in ‘Ain Qisees lands in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that settlers broke at least 50 olive seedlings from Safi al-Deen Mohamed Da’dou’s land. Breijieh pointed out that since the beginning of the emergency state declared in Bethlehem, Israeli settlers escalated their attacks against Palestinian farmers and their properties as they damaged hundreds of trees and seedlings in the lands of al-Khader, Wadi Fokeen, Hosan and Wadi Rahaal villages.
  • At approximately 20:00, three settlers attacked and pepper-sprayed Samour (16) and Wajeh (17) al-Rajbi while they were playing in al-Salayimah neighborhood in Hebron’s Old City. Both of them were taken to Mohamed ‘Ali al-Mohtaseb Hospital. In the meantime, Palestinian young men gathered to confront the settlers, so IOF closed a fence surrounded al-Salayimah and Ghaith neighborhoods.
  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli settlers drove their vehicles and attempted to enter Qarawet Bani Hassan village lands, west of Salfit. Meanwhile, members of the village protection committee and Palestinian farmers intercepted them.
  • On Monday, 13 April 2018, Israeli settlers, from “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, pumped wastewater at agricultural lands planted with grape vines in Wadi Shakheet, east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. As a result, farmers suffered financial losses and their lands sustained material damage. It should noted that it was the second time that the settlers pumped wastewater at dunums belonging to Bahar and Sabarna families.
  • At approximately 17:00, settlers, from “Borkheen” settlement, attacked Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. They set up tents on ‘Abed al-Hameed Suliman ‘Ali Ahmed’s land and withdrew at 20:50.
  • At approximately 19:00, four settlers attempted to move into Qirah village, north of Salfit. The village emergency committee intercepted them before handing them to IOF at 22:30 through the Palestinian Liaison office.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian lands in Tel al-Rumeidah neighborhood. The settlers set up tents near Youth against Settlement Center, which is surrounded by “Ramati Yashi” settlement. When the village residents intervened to prevent them, IOF infantry unit moved into the area, dispersed the settlers and removed the tents.
  • At approximately 08:15 on Tuesday, 14 April 2020, Palestinian farmer Mahmoud Rateb Mahmoud Hussain, from Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus, headed to his plot of land (42 dunams) in Khela area to plow it, upon a prior security coordination with the Israeli authorities. When Hussain entered his land, he was shocked to find that 12 Roman olive trees were cut from the root and their stems confiscated, 2 days ago. It should be noted that Hussain is allowed to visit his land 6 days a year to harvest the crops and plow it, upon the security coordination.

Read the full document here.

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

Arab Parliaments Call for Immediate Release of Palestinian Prisoners

On the eve of Palestinian Prisoners Day, the Cairo-based Arab States’ Parliaments Forum, on Thursday, called for the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners from various Israeli prisons and detention centers, as well as halt of all Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.

In a statement, issued by the forum on the eve of Palestinian Prisoners Day, head of the forum, Mr. Mash’al Alselmy, demanded all relevant international bodies, including the United Nations, right groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to take the lead by ensuring full protection for Palestinian prisoners, under the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, worldwide, Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

He asserted that the suffering of Palestinian people, especially those women, children, patients and elderly, inside Israeli prisons, should dictate all concerned bodies to pressure Israeli government to respect the international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons, in Time of War, which he believes could be applied on current times, as Coronavirus is reported to have spread widely including Palestinian prisoners themselves.

Alselmy held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the lives of Palestinian prisoners, after some of them have tested positive for the Coronavirus. He believed that Israeli authorities have intentionally ignored the fact of such an infection.

Currently, there are about 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, inside Israeli more than 20 Israeli detention facilities and prisons, across the occupied West Bank and Israel. Recently, some media reports have suggested that few of those prisoners have tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus.

Noteworthy, several hundreds of those prisoners are patients with chronic diseases, while hundreds others are women and children, under the age of 18.

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

Palestinian President: “No Peace Deal with Israel, unless Prisoners Released”

On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, on Friday, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asserted that Palestinians will not sign a final peace deal with Israel, unless Israel clears all it’s prisons of Palestinian prisoners, which he called heroes and fighters for freedom.

In a statement he issued Thursday night, Abbas stressed the point “Palestinian prisoners are on top of our priorities, in spite of all other challenges that Palestinians have been facing in their quest for their inalienable legitimate rights”.

His statement further noted “We would extend our warmest greetings to those prisoners, who have sacrificed many years of their lives, for the sake of freedom and the realization of a Palestinian statehood, with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

The president also called on the international community, including right groups, United Nations, and key countries, to pressure the Israeli government to make every possible effort to ensure the safety of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, under the threat of the internationally-spread Coronavirus pandemic.

Abbas held the Israeli government responsible for the well-being and safety of all those Palestinian prisoners, particularly women, children and those with chronic diseases.

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is an annual occasion, in which Palestinians bid support to and solidarity with around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, who Israel continues to hold in more than 20 Israeli prison facilities and detention centers, across the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Israel.

Palestinian prisoners’ file remains one of the most contentious issues of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that were kicked off, right after the signing of Declaration of Principles, known as Oslo Peace Accords, in Washington, D.C. back in 1993.

(Source / 17.04.2020) 

Human rights watchdog: Int community must pressure ‘Israel’ to uphold Palestinian prsioners’ rights amidst coronavirus spread

The Israelis arrest eight Palestinian prisoners in the same cell while they hold four Israeli criminals in cells of the same size

Occupied Palestine (QNN)-Commemorating Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Al Mezan human right watchdog called on the International community to uphold the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, especially with the spread of coronavirus.

The human rights center stressed that ‘Israel’ continues to hold Palestinians in overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and inadequate access to healthcare, which, as the highly contagious COVID-19 spreads through the occupation state, puts them at increased risk.

“The risks increase amidst the Israeli media blackout and the lack of precautionary measures to protect them from the virus”, Al Mezan stated in its statement.

The center added that the overcrowded Israeli jails contain 5000 Palestinian prisoners, according to recent statistics, including 43 women, 180 children, and 430 administrative detainees.

The statement also said that the Israelis arrest eight Palestinian prisoners in the same cell while they hold four Israeli criminals in cells of the same size.

(Source / 17.04.2020)

Palestinian Prisoners’ Day… ‘Israel’ uses coronavirus to impose further restrictions on prisoners

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Today, Palestinians mark the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day amid increasing concerns over the lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially with the outbreak of coronavirus and the Israeli restrictions on prisoners.

Nearly 5000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails face repression, physical and psychological torture, and deprivation of basic rights.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Day will not see this year any events on the ground, online conferences and events, however, will be organized due to the coronavirus crisis.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association, the occupation state has arrested nearly one million Palestinians since 1967.

‘Israel’ currently arrests nearly 5000 Palestinians in its jails, including 130 children, 700 patients, 300 patients with chronic diseases, and 10 cancer patients.

51 Palestinians have been in Israeli jails for over 20 years while 541 of Palestinian prisoners have sentences of at least one life imprisonment.

The association stated that 222 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli jails since 1967, 73 of them died under torture, 67 from medical negligence, 75 in direct executions, and 7 during Israeli repression.

Since the start of 2019, five prisoners died due to the Israeli torture and medical negligence policy. The Israeli authorities handed over the body of one of the five martyrs while they continue to withhold the bodies of the other four martyrs.

The occupation state holds six Palestinian PLC members from all Palestinian political parties in its jails. It has also arrested nearly 16,000 women since 1967.

Recent numbers reveal that ‘Israel’ currently holds 41 Palestinian women in its jails, seven of them are wounded.

Palestinian Prisoners and the Coronavirus crisis

The occupation state has exploited the coronavirus crisis to impose further restrictions on Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli authorities prevented all family and lawyers’ visits while the Supreme Court rejected an appeal to release prisoners, who are over 60 years old to protect their lives.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) also denied prisoners’ access to cleaning supplies.

The head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Association, Qaddourah Fares, accused the Israeli authorities of not taking any precautionary measures to protect the prisoners from the coronavirus.

He held the occupation state responsible for the lives of Palestinian prisoners and doubted the Israeli claims that there are no cases among the prisoners.

Shortly after Fares’ statement, the association announced that Nuriddin Sarsour, who had his freedom on March 31 and had contacted several prisoners, tested positive for the virus.

The Israeli authorities, shortly thereafter, announced that three jailers had the virus.

(Source / 17.04.2020)