50 deaths and 1066 cases of corona among Palestinian communities in the world

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the total number of deaths among Palestinian communities in the world reached 50 deaths, and that the number of injuries reached 1066, while the total number of people recovered reached 298 cases.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that four new injuries were recorded in the Galilee Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, which brings the total number of injuries there to five and that their condition is stable.

According to the statement, a new death was recorded in the state of New Mexico, in the United States of America, and 14 injuries were recorded among the members of our community in the states of Chicago and New Jersey, bringing the total number of injuries in the United States to date to 640 injuries and 33 deaths, while recovery cases reached 168 cases Recover.

In Britain, the first death of corona in the Palestinian community, Nasser Zamil, in the fifties, was recorded, as indicated by the Foreign Office statement.

In Brazil, 6 new infections were recorded in the Amazon region among the Palestinian community, all of them with house stone, including the community leader, and their conditions were stable.

(Source / 24.04.2020)

The Red Cross: Corona´s departure from control in Gaza is frightening because of the fragility of the health situation and population density

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed that the outbreak of the Corona virus in the Gaza Strip is “frightening, given the fragility of the health sector and the high population density in the sector.”

“At the moment, only a few of the cases of corona in Gaza (17 cases) have been registered, but they need to remain on high alert,” Daniel Duvilar, head of the ICRC delegation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said in a statement.

Duvilar said, in the statement, that the equipment provided by the cross will help in achieving this, but the sector needs more in order to be able to deal with the worst-case scenarios, if they arise. ICRC donations include a respirator, patient monitors, pacemakers, suction devices and pumps, which are major equipment for treating critical conditions from Corona patients.

In its statement, the ICRC announced the provision of a shipment of intensive care equipment to Gaza Strip hospitals to counter Corona.

The cross pointed out that before the pandemic occurred, Gaza was suffering on the health level, as the Strip contains about 110 beds for intensive care for adults, most of them are already occupied, and there are only 93 respirators in intensive care units, compared to two million people.

The ICRC is also working to improve infrastructure in the European Gaza Hospital, the main facility responsible for treating Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, as it builds an infection control facility in the hospital and rehabilitates the water treatment plant. It also plans to make contributions to personal protective equipment to ensure that all employees at the facility are adequately protected.

The statement stated that the International Committee of the Red Cross donated to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in both Gaza and Ramallah, shipments of hygiene kits, and protective clothing such as surgical masks and protective glasses.

It is worth noting that the Palestinian Red Crescent Society operates ambulance services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in addition to the 101 emergency call center.

“National Societies stand at the forefront when we speak of fighting Covid-19, they are doing amazing work under exceptional and very difficult circumstances. And we stand side by side with the Palestine Red Crescent Society at this moment and we desperately need that,” added Mr de Vilar.

As part of its efforts to combat Covid-19, the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently launched an international appeal for US $ 823 million in funding to fight Covid-19, of which $ 256 million was for the International Commission to Combat Virus in Conflict-Affected Countries , Including about $ 9 million USD to Israel and the Occupied Territories.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

Hamas slams US statements on West Bank land annexation

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) in Ukraine on 31 January 2020 [Vladimir Shtanko/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) in Ukraine on 31 January 2020 

Hamas yesterday rejected statements by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo which supported the annexation of parts of the West Bank.

“The American stance on annexing the West Bank is illegal and incompliant with international laws,” Hamas’ head of media, Raafat Murra, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying. He described the US stance as “siding in favour of Israel, neglecting the historical rights of the Palestinian people, and ignoring the Palestinian issue.”

Murra called on the Palestinians “to unite and stand together to confront the American stance.”

On Wednesday, Pompeo said it was up to Israel whether or not to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. “As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions,” he told reporters, adding that the US would “work closely with them to share with them our views of this in a private setting.”

In response, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, vowed that his government would consider all its agreements with Israel and the US “completely abolished if Israel began to implement the annexation plan.”

READ: UN warns strongly against Israeli plans to annex West Bank 

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the head of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) coalition, Benny Gantz, signed an agreement on Monday to form a national emergency government, on the principle of power-sharing.

The coalition agreement says that while the new government will strive for peace and regional stability, plans to extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank – land the Palestinians seek for a state – could advance. The deal stipulated “annexing the [occupied] Jordan Valley and the Israeli settlements in the [occupied] West Bank in early July.”

Palestinian officials say the plan would lead to the Israeli annexation of more than 30 per cent of the entire West Bank.

The move comes as part of the US’ so-called “deal of the century” proposed in January which was deemed to give Israel everything it had asked for and provide Palestinians with much less than the state they desire.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

UK reduced support for Palestine Authority in past year

Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, in support of Gaza's anniversary march of the 'Great March of Return', in London, UK on March 30, 2018 [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, UK on 30 March 2018 

The UK government’s support for Palestine has declined over the past year, an internal e-mail released through a Freedom of Information request has revealed, the Jewish News reported.

The memo came in response to a request submitted by Scottish officials enquiring whether Westminster’s “commitment to prevent public institutions from imposing their own international boycotts” announced last year, alongside the Queen’s speech, also applies to the north of the border.

In an email, the desk officer responded they “work in the Middle East Peace Process team” and that some information which was sent to the Scottish Government team by a colleague last year has been revised and marked red.

READ: Israel refuses to export ventilators to the UK

Statements regarding the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian state-building in the segment titled “When will the UK recognise Palestine?” were struck through.

The deleted statements include that “the PA has made important progress in state-building which has been recognised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund”.

Further deleted sentences say that “the UK also believes that the PA has the capability to run an effective, inclusive, accountable state… That is why it is so important that the PA now returns to Gaza to ensure that good governance is extended throughout the territory which will become a Palestinian state”.

READ: Reject Israel’s unlawful treatment of Palestinian prisoners, Peled tells London seminar

According to the Jewish News, the final deleted sentence states that “the UK is a leading donor to the PA and a strong supporter of its state-building efforts”.

It is believed the email was sent to the Directorate of External Affairs (DEA) which, in late February, wrote that the Scottish Government “strongly discourages trade with companies active in Israeli settlements”.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

Ramadan en zijn vele verdiensten!

Ramadan en Paradijs

Alle lof zij aan Allah, Schepper van de hemelen en aarde. Hij Die met Zijn wijsheid bepaalde tijden heeft verkozen boven anderen. Zo heeft Hij de maand Ramadan verkozen boven de overige maanden van het jaar en gezegend met vele verdiensten. Allah zegt:

“En jouw Heer schept wat Hij wil en verkiest (wat Hij wil van Zijn schepping)” [28:68]

Het kennen van de verdiensten van de maand Ramadan draagt ongetwijfeld bij aan het goed benutten van deze maand. Onze profeet heeft dan ook in meerdere overleveringen de vele verdiensten van deze maand verduidelijkt. Eén van deze overleveringen is dat de profeet vrede zij met hem gewoon was om tegen zijn metgezellen te zeggen wanneer Ramadan naderde:
 
“Ramadan is aangebroken, een gezegende maand ..”
 
Wanneer iets islamitisch als gezegend wordt omschreven, betekent dat dat het vol met goeds is. Net zoals de Koran een gezegend boek is omdat het vol met goeds is.
 
We zullen in dit artikel kort stilstaan bij enkele verdiensten van deze gezegende maand:
 
Vergiffenis
De maand Ramadan is de maand van vergiffenis. Allah de meest Verhevene wenst van Zijn dienaren dat zij zich in deze maand met allerlei aanbiddingen tot Hem wenden zodat Hij hun voorgaande zonden vergeeft. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Wie Ramadan vast met geloof en hoop op de beloning, diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven. En wie Ramadan staat (in gebed), diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven.”

De maand Ramadan is zo gezegend dat in een overlevering staat dat degene die Ramadan meemaakt en vervolgens niet wordt vergeven voor zijn zonden, groot verwijt wordt gemaakt. 
 
Paradijs opent poorten
De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

Wanneer de eerste nacht van Ramadan aanbreekt, worden de duivels geketend en de poorten van de Hel gesloten en de poorten van het paradijs geopend en er wordt geroepen: O jij die op zoek is naar het goede, komt nader. En o jij die op zoek is naar het slechte, houd je in (i.e. toon berouw)[Tirmidhi]

Het wordt de gelovige in deze maand makkelijk gemaakt om veel goeds te verrichten en zonden te laten. De invloed van de duivels die ons altijd ver van het goede houden is stukken minder.

Bevrijding van het Vuur
In elke nacht van deze gezegende maand bevrijdt Allah de meest Verhevene gelovigen van het Vuur. Degene die Allah bevrijdt van het Vuur, zal dit nooit betreden! 
 
Enorme beloning
Onze barmhartige Heer vertienvoudigt al onze goede daden (hasanaat). Allah zegt:

“Wie met een goede (daad) komt; voor hem wordt deze vertienvoudigd ..” [6:160]

De vertienvoudiging is het minimum, de daad kan vervolgens tot wel zevenhonderd keer worden verveelvoudigd, tot nog meer zelfs afhankelijk van de daad, zijn intentie, oprechtheid e.d. Dit is het geval van alle daden, behalve het vasten. Onze profeet overlevert van Zijn Heer:

Elke daad van de zoon van Adam (i.e. de mens) wordt verveelvoudigd, de hasanah wordt vertienvoudigd tot wel zevenhonderd keer. Allah zei: Behalve het vasten, dit is voor Mij en Ik beloon hiervoor. [Sahih Muslim]

De verveelvoudiging van de beloning van het vasten is niet gebonden aan aantal zoals de overige daden. Dit duidt op haar enorme beloning.

Alle goede daden verrichten wij voor Allah, alleen heeft Allah expliciet het vasten aan Zichzelf toegeschreven omdat deze daad zich kenmerkt met grote oprechtheid. Dit omdat niemand weet of je werkelijk vast, behalve Hij.

Godsvrees
Van de grote verdiensten van deze maand is dat het vasten een middel is tot het bereiken van godsvrees. Allah zegt:

O jullie die geloven, het vasten is jullie verplicht, zoals het ook verplicht was voor degenen voor jullie, opdat jullie Allah zullen vrezen.  [2:183]

Wat weerhoudt de moslim ervan om te eten in de afwezigheid van de mensen? Dat is het gevoel dat Allah hem ziet en dat hij niet door Hem als etende wil worden gezien. De gelovige praktiseert dit dertig dagen lang en leert dit gevoel vast te houden en toe te passen in het dagelijkse leven. Iedere keer wanneer de ziel neigt naar een zonde, gedenkt hij Allah en het feit dat Hij hem ziet en hoort. 

Een nacht beter dan duizend maanden
In deze maand bevindt zich een nacht die beter is dan duizend maanden! Deze is lailatoelqadr. De aanbidding in deze nacht is beter dan de aanbidding van duizend maanden. Als de maand Ramadan alleen deze verdienste zou hebben, zou dat voldoende zijn. Wie het goede van deze nacht misloopt, is werkelijk misdeeld zoals onze profeet dat zei.

Koran
Ramadan is de maand van de Koran. In deze gezegende maand is het neer zenden van de edele Koran, met de tussenkomst van de engel Jibriel, op onze nobele profeet Mohammed vrede zij met hem begonnen. Allah zegt:
 
“De maand Ramadan is (de maand) waarin de Koran is neergezonden als leiding voor de mensheid …” [2:185] 

Allah heeft de maand Ramadan geëerd met deze grote gebeurtenis en deze motiveert de gelovigen van hun kant om deze maand te eren met het veelvuldig reciteren van de Koran. Dit was dan ook de gewoonte van onze vrome voorgangers en de geleerden na hen.

Opvoeding
In deze maand leren we door deze unieke aanbidding waarbij we ons onthouden van de meest grote lusten waarnaar de mens neigt zoals eten, drinken en gemeenschap, om ons te onthouden van alle slechte eigenschappen waarnaar de ziel neigt. En dat zijn er veel!
 
Armen
In deze maand ervaren we wat honger en dorst, dit doet ons denken aan de situatie van de armen en behoeftigen. Zij die een dagelijkse strijd voeren om in hun basisbehoeften te voorzien.
 
Dit motiveert de gelovige om in deze maand uit te geven aan de armen en behoeftigen. Daarin het voorbeeld nemende van onze edele profeet. Hij was de meest gulle onder de mensen en het meest gul was hij gedurende de Ramadan. 
 
Gezondheid
Het vasten heeft vele voordelen voor de gezondheid en is rust voor het lichaam en met name voor de maag. Deze holte die het hele jaar door constant wordt volgepropt met van alles en nog wat, heeft eindelijk een moment om bij te komen en te herstellen. Ook is het vasten kalmerend en brengt het de zenuwen tot rust.

Etiquette van de Ramadan
Het is niet gepast om een maand met zoveel verdiensten als deze te onteren met zonden en allerlei onnozel gedrag. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:
 
“Wanneer een van jullie vast, laat hem dan niet vulgair spreken en ook niet schreeuwen (i.e. ruziënd zijn stem verheffen e.d.) 
 
In een andere overlevering (betekenis):
 
“Wie het slechte woord en het handelen ernaar niet achterwege laat, voor zo iemand is het niet nodig dat hij zijn eten en drinken laat.”

Deze overleveringen tonen aan dat deze maand een heiligheid geniet en dat het slecht gedrag dat het hele jaar dient te worden gemeden, nadrukkelijk dient te worden gelaten in de maand Ramadan.
 
Beste broeders en zusters: 
Dit is enkel een kleine greep uit de vele verdiensten van deze maand. Alleen Degene die het vasten van deze maand heeft voorgeschreven (Allah), kent zijn ware verdienste.

Wanneer de gelovige ziet hoe Allah deze maand heeft geëerd met allerlei verdiensten, brengt dit een bepaalde schaamte teweeg om deze maand niet goed te benutten.

De gelovige streeft er daarom naar om niet enkel met het lichaam te vasten door zich te onthouden van eten, drinken en gemeenschap, maar door te vasten met lichaam én hart.

We danken Allah voor de vele verdiensten van deze maand en vragen Hem om ons bij te staan in het goed benutten van deze maand.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

Israeli Forces Detain 14 Palestinians, including Former Prisoner

Israeli occupation forces invaded West Bank towns, early Thursday morning, and detained 14 Palestinians, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

In the northern occupied West Bank, soldiers stormed Tulkarem and detained a former prisoner. Also in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, Israeli troops abducted 2 Palestinian men from Arraba town after invading their family homes.

Local sources said that 2 Palestinians were abducted from Azzoun village in the Qalqilia district, and 3 were detained from Kufr Nimeh village near Ramallah, in the central West Bank.

Sources added that Israeli soldiers stormed the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, invaded family homes, and abducted 2 Palestinians.

In a similar invasion of Taqoa town, near Bethlehem, 2 other Palestinians were detained. In Hebron, soldiers detained 2 Palestinian men after breaking into and ransacking their homes.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

Israeli Forces Storm East Jerusalem Town, Palestinian Youths Resist

Confrontations broke out on Thursday morning, between Israeli forces and Palestinian young men in Kafr Aqab town in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local source..

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center that soldiers were cutting down street signs, when the youth resisted the invasion,
the soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear-gas canisters at them.

Israeli occupation forces are seen in the photos below, storming the town of Kafr Aqab, north of occupied Jerusalem.

Reposted from Shehab News Agency:



(Source / 24.04.2020) 

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 – 22 April 2020)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Summary of Israeli Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16-22 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.

This week, PCHR documented 89 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.

IOF Shooting and Violation of Right to Bodily Integrity: 10 Palestinian civilians were shot and wounded by IOF as the latter continues its excessive use of force; 9 in the West Bank and 1 fisherman in Gaza. IOF opened fire 5 times during raids into the West Bank; 12 shootings against the agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip while 5 shootings were reported against Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.

IOF Incursions and Arrests of Palestinian Civilians: IOF carried out 39 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, 38 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children and a woman. Also, IOF conducted two limited incursions into southern and northern Gaza Strip.

Settlement Expansion Activities and Settlers’ Attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented the demolition of a café, barracks and barn; demolition notices to a house in Nablus and another one in Bethlehem; 4 notice to cease work at agricultural rooms in Hebron and confiscation of a “Mercedes Benz” truck and a construction vehicle in Jericho.

PCHR also documented 6 settler attacks: uprooting and sabotaging olive trees in Qalqilia; assaults on a Palestinian and uprooting of olive trees in Ramallah; banning Palestinians from working in their lands and assault on a Palestinian and theft of two sheep in Hebron.

Israeli Closure Policy and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement: Israeli authorities declared that Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing and West Bank Crossings will be opened on 16 April 2020 after a 5-week closure, under the pretext of confronting the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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

  • At approximately 08:50 on Thursday,16 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’a village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 00:00 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City, fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian shepherds. As a result, the shepherds had to leave the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 17 April 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 23-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the head, a 49-year-old man was shot with a rubber bullet in his chest and a 25-year old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the left leg.
  • At approximately 13:40 on the same Friday, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:15 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northeast of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing are (2 – 3 nautical miles). The attack continued from time to time until 10:00 on the same day. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian farmers in eastern Khuza’a village, adjacent to border fence. no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli gunboats stationed at sea off al-Balakhiyah area, northwest of Gaza City, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (4 nautical miles). As a result, a fishing boat owned by Ahmed Ahmed Hasan Zedan (29), from al-Shati refugee camp, sustained live bullets. As a result, the boat was broken. Fishermen also panicked and sailed back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Saturday, IOF stationed along the border fence, northeast of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are adjacent to the border area, panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 07:40 on Sunday, 19 April 2020, 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 08:50 on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of al-Balalikhah area, northwest of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (5 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Sunday, IOF stationed along the border fence, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border area. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 20 April 2020 IOF stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, detained and attacked 3 civilians, from Jenin, by their feet and rifle’s butt at the checkpoint before they released them. The wounded civilians were transferred to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. The wounded civilians were identified as: Ra’ed Yusuf Suleiman Khanfar (43), who works at the Palestinian national security service, sustained bruises in his right shoulder; Nasim Omer Mustafa Salah (22), sustained bruises in front side of his neck, lower back, right thigh, abdomen and a fracture in his left hand; and Suheib Maher Tawfiq Abu Obeid (23) sustained bruises in the lower back.
  • At approximately 15:30 on the same Monday, IOF stationed along the border fence, southeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area, adjacent to the border fence. Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands are adjacent to the border fence, panicked. Neither casualties nor material was reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Monday, a number of Palestinian young men and youngsters protested at the western entrance to Taqou’s village, east of Bethlehem. They threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers stationed in the military watchtower near the above-mentioned entrance. Israeli soldiers fired live bullets at the protestors. As a result, a civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in the thigh and was arrested by IOF. He was taken to Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital in West Jerusalem, for treatment. IOF claimed in a statement that Israeli soldiers saw a number of Palestinians who were about to throw Molotov Cocktails at a military site. Israeli soldiers opened fire at them and wounded one of them. The wounded civilian received medical treatment on the field and was taken via an Israeli ambulance to a hospital in Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, IOF stationed in the vicinity of the annexation wall, north of Qalqilya, fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians, claiming that they were stoned. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian was shot with a live bullet in the right foot. He was transferred to Darwish Nazal Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 09:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area(3 nautical miles). As a result, a fishing boat’s engine was broken owned by fisherman Fahed Ziyad Hasan Baker (43), from al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City. IOF surrounded and opened fire at the boat for 10 minutes and withdrew after that. Palestinian fishermen managed to drag the boat to Gaza Sea port. The owner’s son, Ziyad Fahed Baker (25) was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. He was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and his injury was classified as minor.
  • At approximately 13:20 on the same Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds. The shepherds were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:15, on the same Tuesday, 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. Palestinian shepherds and a number of famers, whose lands are adjacent to the border fence, panicked. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on the same Tuesday, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah and stationed in the vicinity of the western entrance to the village. A number of Palestinian young men protested and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers and the latter chased them and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 32-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his abdomen. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 21:30 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 – 4 nautical miles). IOF also fired a number of artillery shells in the vicinity of the boats. As a result, fishermen panicked and fled from the area. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 22 April 2020, IOF moved into al-Sawahrah eastern village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched family houses of Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Ali Halsah (25), who was killed an hour after he carried out a run-over attack and stabbed an Israeli soldiers at al-Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem. In the meantime, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the latter responded with live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. As a result, a civilian was shot with a rubber bullet and another civilian sustained wounds in his face according to the statement of Palestine Red Crescent Society. IOF arrested 3 civilians, including the victim’s, Ibrahim, mother, ‘Aeshah Halsah (54) before they withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 15:30 on the same Wednesday, IOF stationed southeast of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence. As a result, Palestinian shepherds and a number of farmers, whose lands adjacent to the border fence, panicked. No casualties were reported.

2. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 16 April 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Talfit village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Mujahed Mohammed al-Talfiti’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli Intelligence Services summoned Palestine TV reporter in Jerusalem, Christine Khaled Rinawi (31), via a phone call to refer to al-Maskoubeya Police Station in West Jerusalem, at approximately 22:00 of the same day. Al-Rinawi said that the Israeli Intelligence Services investigated with her for 3 consecutive hours about her work at Palestine TV and the media messages that she spread via TV and her Facebook page. She added that the Security Officers accused her that she did not commit to the Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decision to ban the TV staff from doing any work for 6 months, which was expired two days ago. Al-Rinawi said that she was threatened by the Israeli Authority to renew the decision of banning the Palestine TV staff in Jerusalem again. Six months ago, IOF has shut down Palestine TV office in Jerusalem, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, arrested and barred its employees from doing any work for the TV in Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 09:30, IOF summoned Head of Silwan Institutions, Fawzi Ghaleb Sha’ban (56), via a phone call to refer to al-Maskoubeya Police Center in West Jerusalem. Sha’ban said that the Israeli security services investigated with him for 5 consecutive hours about the medical check-ups and the emergency room’s services provided to the civilians in Silwan, which was established after increasing the cases number of Coronavirus and the clear deliberate neglect by the Israeli Authorities. Sha’ban said that he refused to be released on their conditions which are bail and 5 days of home confinement, so he was released without conditions.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Hebron and Tarqoumeya in Hebron Governorate, Nablus Awarta, and Salem villages in Nablus Governorate, al-Maddeya, Na’leen in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 17 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF chased the Palestinian farmer Shihada Salama Makhamra (50) while he was passing with his shepherds in al-Hamra area heading to al-Masafer, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. Basel Suliman al-Adra (24) was documenting the settler’s violations, when two of the Israeli soldiers came and ordered him to give them his camera, but he refused. IOF beaten al-Adra and seized his camera, then they tried to arrest him, when al-Tawani village people gathered and intervened which allowed al-Adra to leave. During that time, a group of settlers arrived from “Ma’on” settlement and pulled their guns at the civilians which forced them to leave their lands.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested (4) civilians including children, while present in Qanater Khudair neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees are: Anas Mustafa Marqasto (19), Abdul Rahman Daher l-Sharbati (16), Mohammed Taha (24), and Waseem Taha (20). Eyewitnesses said that IOF quarrelled with Qanater Khudair people due to issuing tickets for a group of them claiming that they breached the IOF orders to reduce the Coronavirus infection. During that, IOF came and arrested 4 civilians.
  • At approximately 20:20, IOF reinforced by several military vehicles moved into Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Khaled Mohammed Abu Baker’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in al-Asja and Raboud villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 18 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians: Yaqoub Mohammed Ramadan (18), Adham Mohammed Ramadan (19), Nayef Ali al-Rajabi (20), Marwan Ali Ghaith (20), and Salem Saleh Abu Shukhaidim (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Obaideya village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Zaid Nour Rabay’a’s (20) house and arrested him.

Sunday, 19 April 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Share’ al-Salam area, in Hebron. They raided and searched anti-settlement activist Mohammed Ahmed Zughayar’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched Suhaib Ali al-Junaidi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Rasheed Kayed Abu Sara’s (16) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed at Mafi Dutan temporary military checkpoint near ‘Araba, southwest of Jenin, arrested Murad Mohmoud Abu Salah (25). IOF took him to an unknown destination.

Monday, 20 April 2020:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Taqoua’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mousa Mohammed al-‘Amour’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Samit village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians: Basheer Salama al-Haroub (30), Mohammed Wael al-Haroub (29), Mohammed Dawoud al-Haroub (24), and Issa Mohammed al-Haroub (22).
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at Mafi Dutan temporary military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Basel Mohammed Atatera (17), from the above mentioned village, and took him to an unknown destination.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Far’oun village, south of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Mohammed Omar’s (17) home and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nahaleen village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hasan Ibrahim Fanoun (29) and Mohammed No’man Ghayatha, and arrested them. IOF also handed Saif Ahmed Najajera (23) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Ya’bud, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Kareem Kamal Abu Baker (19) and Antar Oqab Nufai’at (20), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with 9 military vehicles, moved 100-meters from Abu Safeya Gate, north of the Gaza Strip, to the west of the border fence. They levelled and combed lands that were previously levelled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Marzouq Hashima (31) while present in al-Wad Street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Marzouq was taken to one of the investigation centers in the village.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Samit village, southwest of Hebron Governorate. They raided and searched Ra’fat Nimir Masalma’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Abu Roman area, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Anas Ali al-Najjar’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Rahman Mosbah Olwi (21). It should be noted that Olwi is a student at Birzeit University.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers, moved 100-meters from the border fence with Israeli into al-Shouka neighborhood, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. They levelled and combed lands before they redeployed again at approximately 12:00.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child: Mohammed Awni Ateya (15), Mohammed Omar Ateya (20), and Ahmed Jamal Ateya (24).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Betounya, al-Jalazoun refugee camp, and Sarda villages 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 12:00 on Friday, 17 April 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Froosh Beit Dajan, northeast of Nablus. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Ahmed Ibrahim Banayyat a notice to demolish his 120-square-meter house, that is under construction, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Saturday, 18 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into al-‘Ojah village, northeast of Jericho. The soldiers were deployed in the area, where they confiscated Tayseer Mohamed Jaraheed’s truck and bulldozer, under the pretext of working in Area C.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 19 April 2020, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tiba are, east of Tarqumiyia village, northwest of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers hanged 3 notices on agricultural rooms to stop working under the pretext of non-licensing.
    The notices were as follows:
    – ‘Ayed Mohamed Fataftah: stop work on 50-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and roofed with tin plates.
    – Kayed Ahmed Fataftah: stop work on 60-square-meter agricultural room and its facilities. The room was built of bricks and roofed with concrete.
    – Tareq Mohamed Zabaniyia: stop work on 70-square-meter agricultural room and its facilities. The room was built of bricks and roofed with concrete.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 20 April 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Athar area, west of Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. IOF demolish Nael Rizeq Diyab al-Sakha’s 50-square-meter café. On 05 February 2020, IOF handed al-Shakha a demolition notice and gave him until 26 February 2020 to implement the demolition, under the pretext of “illegal construction”. It should be noted that IOF demolished al-Sakha’s café, which was built in the same area 4 years ago.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Mas’ouda area, southwest of Barqah village, northwest of Nablus. IOF demolished Mosheer Suliman Saif’s barrack and livestock barn. It should be noted that on 05 February 2020, IOF hanged a demolition notice on Saif’s 150-square-meter facility and gave him until 26 February 2020 to implement the demolition, under the pretext of “illegal construction”. On 07 March 2019, IOF demolished Saif’s house located in the same area, under the pretext of illegal construction.
  • IOF notified a Palestinian civilian, from Jorat al-Sham’ah village, south of Bethlehem, to demolish his agricultural barrack, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF handed Mohamed Ahmed Abu Hammad a notice to demolish his 120-square-meter barrack.
  • On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, IOF notified Saleh Mohamed al-Mahsari to demolish his under-construction house in Um Rokba area in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Breijieh, Head of the Bethlehem office of Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission, said that IOF notified al-Mahsari to demolish his 130-square-meter house within 96 hours, under the pretext of non-licensing. Breijieh pointed out that IOF escalated their attacks against Um Rokba area, where many houses are threatened to be demolished and stop construction works in them.
  • At approximately 10:00 on the same day, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Toni village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Jamal Mohamed ‘Issa al-Yateem a notice to stop working in a 40-square-meter residential room, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 14 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Helmish” settlement, which is established on Tal al-Qastal lands in Ramallah, severely beat with sticks ‘Issa ‘Abed al-Ghani Qattash and his brother Mousa, from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the city, while present in their agricultural land. As a result, they sustained moderate wounds and bruises and received treatment at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 20 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Karmi Yatsour” settlement, which is established on Beit Ummar village lands, attacked al-Bowirah area, under the IOF protection. The settlers and IOF prevented Slaibi family from reclaiming their land and forced them at gunpoint to leave. It should be noted that al-Bowirah area witnesses recurrent IOF’s attacks, under the pretext of throwing stones at Israeli settlers.
  • Around the same time, at least 15 Israeli settlers, from “‘Adi ‘Ad” settlement, attacked ‘Abed al-Qader ‘Abdullah al-Kouk’s agricultural land in al-Seder area in Termas’iyia village, northeast of Ramallah. The settlers damaged a barbed wire surrounding the land and cut about 22 olive trees planted 5 years ago.
  • Israeli settlers, from “Kodomin” settlement, raided Ahmed ‘Abdullah Barham’s land in Khelet al-Natsh area in Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia. The settlers damaged 35 olive trees, uprooted 19 others and broke the twigs of at least 16 trees.
  • On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Adi ‘Ad” settlement, attacked Jameel ‘Abdullah Na’san’s agricultural land, under the IOF protection. The settlers cut al least 30 olive trees planted 10 years ago in Abu Lemwas area in al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 13:00, two Israeli settlers, from ” Matsi Yaier” settlement outpost, which is established on the confiscated Palestinian lands, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, attacked Jebreel No’man Na’meen (55) while returning with his sheep to his house in Kherbet Qawawees. The settlers stole two sheep and left the area.

For the full report, visit pchrgaza.org

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

Watchdog: ‘Israel’ punishes any entity that deals with Palestinian prisoners and their families

‘Israel’ issued a new military order to punish individuals, institutions, and even banks that deal with Palestinian prisoners or their families or open bank accounts for them

Ramallah (QNN)- Human rights sources stated that the occupation state has been practicing a new form of terrorism against the Palestinian people as it issued a new military order to punish individuals, institutions, and even banks that deal with Palestinian prisoners and their families or open bank accounts for them.

The Prisoners’ Association explained that the Israeli military order, which will come into effect on May 9, is a serious turn that requires preparation for a new kind of resistance between the occupation state and the Palestinian people, including all its political, official, and civil frameworks.

The association added that the occupation state continued to use all tools to violate the rights of the Palestinian prisoners and their families. ‘Israel’ has imposed more military orders on Palestinian prisoners after its failure in forcing the Palestinian Authority to pay the prisoners’ allocation of funds.

It also added that the occupation state has been recently trying to link the Palestinian resistance and resilience to terrorism.

Furthermore, the association stressed that the occupation state is terrorizing the Palestinian banking system, which could lead to dangerous consequences on dozens of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and their families. The Israeli authorities have already started punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners from the land occupied in 1948 and their families.

The Prisoners’ Association called on all institutions to reject and confront the Israeli repressive measures in the field and in international forums and courts.

(Source / 24.04.2020) 

How the debate on privacy rights in Israel is a smoke-screen for a colonial regime

Both the state of emergency and the segregation of Palestinians were from the beginning rooted in the colonial character of a state built around its military institution, in constant need of more “security”

The Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank

By Qassam Muaddi

After a month of debate over the Israeli government’s controversial use of mass surveillance to track down covid-19 infection cases, the Israeli attorney general is expected to give green light to yet wider surveillance, the Hebrew media reported last Monday.

Since mid-March, the Israeli public opinion has been spinning around the use of surveillance technology by the Israeli government to try to contain the spread of coronavirus. Technologies to which Israelis are used, but that have been designed and historically implemented to repress Palestinians.

The fact that these techniques are being used for the first time publicly to control Israelis themselves is at the center of the current controversy. However, this controversy hides underneath it a much more structural reality. One that is a symptomatic complex of a colonial regime, rather than a debate over individual rights and privacy.

Security Fixation

Intellectuals, journalists, activists and politicians have been criticizing Netanyahu for “going too far” with the surveillance measures. Indeed, when Netanyahu first announced the state of emergency in the Zionist state, on the 12th of March, he sounded more like declaring a war than explaining his government’s measures to contain the spread of a pandemic. Equating the Covid-19 virus with the resistance, Netanyahu said that his state was at “war against an invisible enemy”, as he made public the fact that his government was going to use “technological means” to track Covid-19 patients and their entourage.

These means include essentially phone tracking logarithms, that allow police to geographically locate cell-phones and trace their movement. These logarithms also collect and store data about individuals and their social interactions, exposing their lives completely to the surveillance of government agencies. Considering themselves living in a democracy, Israelis would see these measures as a violation of the right to privacy. However, as with basically every single right violation in the Israeli, there is always a justification. The mother of all justifications: Security.

Usually, security has meant the security of Israelis, in the name of which violations have always been justified to other populations, mainly the Palestinians. Khaled Odetallah, Palestinian writer and lecturer in colonial studies explains that “the basic idea behind the security argument is that it ‘saves lives’ of Israelis. These mass surveillance techniques are also meant to ‘save lives’, which makes it a security issue”.

To this logic, privacy is an essential target, because the ‘threat to lives’ is supposed to be, as Netanyahu himself put it; “invisible”. According to Khaled Odetallah; “the entire terminology and the logic behind it comes from anti-insurrection doctrine, replacing ‘terrorism’ with ‘Coronavirus’. They are both contagious, they are both invisible and most importantly, they spread socially”.

Legal problematic

This time, however, the field of action as well as the threat are within the Israeli society. Legally, this means that the security measures are to be implemented in a different legal framework. When it comes to Palestinians in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, it is the Israeli martial law that sets the context; The Israeli army legislates through military orders, executes out of any kind of judicial control and even runs the military courts in which Palestinians are prosecuted. But in the case of surveilling Israelis, things are different.

Netanyahu had first to declare the state of emergency, accused by many critics of ignoring the Knesset. The Israeli attorney general approved the state of emergency under the promise that the data collected will be destroyed after 30 days and that it will not be used for judicial purposes. The only problem with these commitments is that they have no guarantees. Sharon Abraham Weiss, an Israeli legal activist, has described the implementation of mass surveillance by her government as “huge and without any checks and balances”. This could create a situation that would be very hard to reverse, according to Weiss, who believes that “the Shin Bet is given too much power and it will be difficult to climb back down the tree”.

A structural problem

Many Israeli activists like Weiss criticize the Israeli use of mass surveillance from the perspective that it is the result of a growing hegemony of the executive branch. A lack of institutional oversight. But there is much more into it. In fact, Weiss herself explains that “since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, it has been living in a default state of emergency. It’s there all the time”.

In fact, not only the state of emergency has been the default since 1948, but its discriminatory nature as well. For the first 20 years of the state’s history, its Palestinian population, those who weren’t expelled during the Nakba, were submitted to a military rule that lived side by side with the civil regime, reserved for the Jewish population. During those first years, there was no organized Palestinian resistance and there was no war going on with Arab neighbors, who were undergoing internal upheaval following their defeat in 1948. Both the state of emergency and the segregation of Palestinians were from the beginning rooted in the colonial character of a state built around its military institution, in constant need of more “security”.

This militarization has only grown since then. Today, it crosses the Israeli political and economic system, through and through, with cybersecurity technology at the heart of it. In fact, cybersecurity is one of the most influential industries in the occupation state. Not only because the state invests in portraying itself as a “cybernation”, but also because of the “revolving door” between this industry and the military and intelligence institutions. As Palestinian writer and analyst Marwa Fatafta points out; “Those who are serving in the Israeli intelligence or army cyber units go to the private sector and sell tech solutions to the world, based on the experiences they gained at the army, without any legal framework”.

Whitewashing

This cybersecurity economy, however, has been exposed in recent years due to the implication of Israeli companies in several human rights violations affairs. One of them is the Israeli NSO Group, producer of the “Pegasus” spyware, later proved to have been used in the surveillance of UAE citizen and human rights activist Ahmed Mansour, as well as in the tracking of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. NSO was later sued by WhatsApp, who claimed that the firm used its application to collect data on over 1400 users, including 100 journalists and civil society activists.

Another case is the Israeli company AnyVision, which was exposed last year and with it, the entire mass surveillance system of the Israeli occupation. Last November, Microsoft decided to divest from Anyvision after a pressure campaign over the use of the company’s facial recognition cameras in the occupation’s checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. In fact, the occupation regime and the Israeli cyber industry’s reputation are closely related, since the occupied territories are the trial field of all Israeli cyber-surveillance technologies.

The wrong debate

As more governments announce their will to use mass surveillance to counter the Covid-19 virus, the opportunity presents itself not only to overcome Israeli companies’ exposure in human rights violation cases but also to whitewash the entire Israeli security-based system. Phone tracking might be causing debate for its use on Israelis, but in the name of containing the pandemic, the Israeli occupation has been expanding repressive measures on Palestinians in the West Bank, for whom mass surveillance is every-day life. Imposing closure on entire towns, like Shuafat, in East Jerusalem, home to 100.000 Palestinians is one example. The covid-19 infection has also become, by military order, a reason for arbitrary, indefinite detention of Palestinians and renewal of previous administrative orders as well.

“Worldwide, the state is spreading its hegemony, but with less opposition” points out Khaled Odetallah; “It is a capitalization of the crisis to reinforce power”. In the case of Israel, however, it is an opportunity to rebrand a deeply-rooted repressive nature as another case of debate over the hard choice, between health and privacy.

(Source / 24.04.2020)