Israel upholds prison term against Sheikh Raed Salah

Palestinian resistance icon Sheikh Raed Salah in the northern city of Haifa, on 10 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian resistance icon Sheikh Raed Salah in the northern city of Haifa, on 10 February 2020

The Haifa District Court yesterday rejected an appeal filed by Sheikh Raed Salah against the 28-month sentence issued against him on charges of “incitement to violence” and joining a banned group.

However, the court said Salah does not have to immediately start serving his sentence and can report to prison on 4 August.

Remarking on the court’s decision, Sheikh Salah said: “I will enter the prison free, and will go out free, and the [Israeli] occupation has no right to a grain of dust in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“There would not be any compromise on our demand for the departure of the [Israeli] occupation from Al-Aqsa Mosque. The occupation, injustice and evil are going to disappear, and we will be victorious,” he added.

In November 2019, the Haifa Magistrate’s Court convicted Sheikh Salah on “incitement to terror” and “joining a banned group”, in reference to the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement which he headed.

Israel banned the movement in November 2015.

READ: COVID-19 sickens Palestinian detainee in Israel

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Hamas blocks Saudi news networks in Gaza for ‘fake news’

A Palestinian man waits at a newspaper stand in Gaza city, on 8 May 2014 [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]
A Palestinian man at a newspaper stand in Gaza city on 8 May 2014

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has blocked two Saudi-owned news and media outlets from operating within the Gaza Strip over allegations of reporting “fake news”, AFP said yesterday.

The ban on Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath was confirmed by the Interior Ministry of the de facto Hamas government in the territory, as well as Al-Arabiya itself. Several members of the outlet’s staff were arrested after they allegedly collaborated with Israel and a senior member of the movement defected to the Zionist state.

The measures taken against the networks, which one anonymous Al-Arabiya journalist said prevents “anyone or any business from providing services” to them, came as Hamas first denied that it had made any arrests in this connection. It did admit, however, that a member of its military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, has gone over to the Israelis.

READ: Hamas reveals the hidden aspects of its relations with Saudi Arabia

Much of the tension between the channels and Hamas is said to have been caused by Al-Arabiya’s comparison of the group with the Muslim Brotherhood. It also ties in with the strained relations between Hamas and Saudi Arabia, which have been negotiating in recent months over the detention of Palestinians within the Kingdom, whose release Hamas has prioritised.

The Palestinian Journalists’ Union has condemned the Hamas move against the outlets. “Restrictions on press freedom and repeated shutdowns of media [in Gaza] are contrary to national values and principles,” the union insisted.

(Source / 17.07.2020)

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

Summary

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-faceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, a civilian was killed by Israeli forces while he was walking with his friend in Kifl Hares village.

In addition, the army’s excessive use of force rendered 9 injuries among Palestinian civilians during raids and attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Furthermore, Israeli forces continued to arrest and raid the houses of those working with the Palestinian security services in the West Bank.

Over the past several weeks, the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, witnessed wide-scale demolitions and distribution of demolition notices of civilian houses and properties as well as confiscation of lands for establishing roads for settlements. This week witnessed an increase confiscation lands decisions, especially in al-‘Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem.

This week, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 168 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

Israeli military shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: On 09 July 2020, Israeli forces shot and killed Ibrahim Mostafa Abu Ya’qoub (33) without justification while he was walking with his friend on a street, 600 meters away from the settlement street so-called “Aber al-Samerah”, in north Salfit. On 13 July 2020, Aseen Mahmoud Hamad Duhair(34), from Rafah, succumbed to wounds she sustained after Israeli warplanes targeted her uncle’s house on 04 August 2014. It should be noted that due the Israeli attack, Duhiar suffered a spinal fracture, causing paraplegia or paralysis.

Israeli forces shot and wounded 9 Palestinians, including a child, in excessive use of force against peaceful protests in the West Bank: 2 in separate incidents in Salfit, 2 in suppression a peaceful protest in Nablus; and 5 were wounded in IOF raid into al-‘Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem.

In Gaza, 5 shootings against fishing boats were reported; and once against agricultural lands western and eastern Gaza Strip.

Israeli military incursions and detention of Palestinian civilians: The Israeli military carried out 96 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inciting terror among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 76 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. During raids, a Palestinian vehicle was seized.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: The Israeli authorities continued their settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 13 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: demolition of 2 houses; 1 self-demolished, a demolition notice given to a building in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, and confiscation of dozens of dunams.
  • Bethlehem: 2 demolition notices and 2 cease-construction notices distributed, and 3 mixers and a concrete pump confiscated.
  • Salfit: 1000 square meters confiscated upon a military order.
  • Hebron: demolition of a 2-story house comprising of 2 apartments, 70 olive trees uprooted and confiscated, 70-square-long stone chains demolished, agricultural lands levelled, and an agricultural room demolished.
  • Tulkarem: a barrack and a cement wall demolished.

PCHR also documented 2 settler attacks: assault and vandalization on Palestinians’ vehicles in Laban al-Sharqiyia village, and establishing a settlement road in southern Hebron.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst blockade 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, since the Palestinian Authority (PA) ended security coordination with Israeli authorities in May 2020, hundreds of critically ill patients whose condition cannot afford delays in treatment were denied travel. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by Israeli forces since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip population. Recently, a very limited number of individual cases of patients who have obtained medical referrals and financial coverage to Israel were able to travel, and some others referred to Israeli organizations working in the field of health for assistance in coordination.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces 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

  • On Thursday, 09 July 2020, IOF shot dead a Palestinian civilian without justification while he was walking with his friend in Kifl Hares village. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 23:00 on Thursday evening, Israeli forces deployed in an olive field in Kifl Hares village, north of Salfit, fired 4 – 5 live bullets at 2 Palestinians who were walking on a street, 15 meters away from the olive field. The olive field is about 600 meters away from a bypass road by Israeli settlers and IOF and links between several Israeli settlements and sites. As a result, Palestinian Ibrahim Mustafa Abu Yaqoub (33), from Kifl Hares village, was shot with a live bullet in his neck. Abu Yaqoub’s friend and two passersby transferred his via a civilian vehicle to Yasser Arafat Hospital, but he died before arriving to the hospital.

“At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, 09 July 2020, I called my friend Ibrahim and informed him that I am on my way to his house in Kifl Hares village in Salfit. We went out and made a phone call with one of our friends and told him that we are going to visit him, but the said that he went to Bedia village. Therefore, we decided to go back to Ibrahim’s house. While we were walking on the street, we heard a sound of gunfire as we were near Ali Saleh Hamad’s house next to olive fields that were about 15 meters away from our place. I thought that the shooting was far away, but Ibrahim suddenly stopped and said: “Haitham call my family and tell them that I got shot”. I was surprised because I thought that the gun fire was around us as IOF fired 4 – 5 sporadic live bullets. Ibrahim said he was shot in his chest and asked me to call his family. I thought he was joking, but I saw his shirt was covered with blood and he fell on the ground. I immediately called his brother. 2 young men, who were in the other side of the street, rushed to me and one of them namely Sari, moved Ibrahim to his vehicle and we all stepped into it. We attempted to leave from the village’s main entrance, but the shooting renewed from the olive field again. We returned to Hares village’s road and took Ibrahim to Salfit Hospital. However, Ibrahim died 10 minutes later and stopped moving as blood came out of his mouth. I later learnt that Israeli soldiers were deployed among the olive field, noting that for the last 5 five days, Israeli forces have been storming the village and deploying between olive trees. Four days ago, an Israeli military vehicle stopped me and an officer said to me, that if stoning did not stop in the village’s main street, they would carry out killings.”

  • Simultaneously, Israeli forces deployed in another olive field in the same village, as they were about thousand meters away of the above-mentioned olive field, opened fire in the adjacent neighborhoods. As a result, a 15-year-old child , from Kifl Hares villages, was shot with a live in his foot while being present adjacent to a house located in the main street, which about 10 meters away from the olive The child was transferred to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah and his injury was classified as moderate. According to Israeli media, IOF alleged that they opened fire in the area after a Molotov cocktails was thrown at “Aber al-Samerah” street, south of the Kifl Hares village.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 10 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to the border fence in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 11:30 on the same Friday a peaceful protest took part from the center of Asirah northern village, north of Nablus, into lands threatened to be confiscated in al-Marj and Beit al-Zaki areas in Ebal Mount, east of the above-mentioned village. The protest was organized upon calls national factions in Nablus. The participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against Israeli forces, settlers, Israeli annexation plan, and the U.S president Donald Trump’s Middle East plan. When the participants arrived at the area, a large number of IOF were waiting for them in the area. The participants performed Friday prayer in the above-mentioned land while Israeli soldiers were surrounding OF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Hazem Yusuf Taher Yaseen (46), was shot with a sound bomb in his right hand that caused amputation of the middle finger and fracture in his index finger. A 52-year-old man also was shot with a sound bomb in his left leg that caused fracture in his leg’s instep. Another civilian’s leg was fractured after he was pushed by Israeli forces. The wounded civilians were transferred to al-Najah Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. Many civilians also suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field. Israeli forces detained Yazan Khalid Yaseen (25), from the same village, severely beat him with their legs and rifles’ butt, dragged him on the ground, and took him to an unknown destination. Yaseen was later released and he referred to al-Najah Hospital for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces chased young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of a military watchtower established on lands of Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Salfit, fired live bullets at dozens of Palestinians participating in a funeral procession of Ibrahim Mustafa Abu Yaqoub, who was killed by IOF the previous day. Israeli forces chased 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 22-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 11 July 2020, Israeli forces stormed al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed in the village neighborhoods, established checkpoints at its entrances and searched vehicles before allowing them to leave the village. In the meantime, a number of young men protested at Al Mahmoud neighborhood’s entrance, west of the village, and threw stones, fireworks and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the neighborhood, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at civilians and clashed with them. As a result, 5 civilians were injured, 4 of them were shot with rubber bullets and the fifth was hit with tear gas shrapnel. Two civilians also sustained burns to their faces after Israeli soldiers pepper-sprayed them. IOF arrested Sa’di Mahmoud and his sons Mohammed (23) and Ahmed (20) and withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 22 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of the Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 14 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 4 nautical miles ). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 22:40 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of the Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 – 5 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Johur al-Dee), south of Gaza city, opened fire at agricultural lands, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 09:50, on the same Wednesday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (6 nautical miles) and fired flare bombs. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

II. Incursions and Detentions

Thursday, 09 July 2020:

  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces detained Rami Mohammed Ghaith (26), while present near al-Baraq (Wailing Wall) in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to one of the investigation center in the city.
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Ras Ateya village, south of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and detained Tareq Majed Mara’ba (17).
  • At approximately 01:25, Israeli forces moved into Mithlon village southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Majed Hafiz Na’irat’s (53) house, head of health department in Mithlon village, and detained him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Sa’eer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and detained Sowah Atta Jaradat (45) and Wajdi Nayef Mohammed Jaradat (23).
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in al-Daheya area. They raided and searched Mohammed Salah al-Qawasma’s (24) house and detained him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ayman Obaid (21) and Omar Ahmed Mahmoud (16), and detained them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Betounia, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Fahmi Assi’s house and detained his daughter Ruba Fahmi Assi (18), a student in Birzeit University.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Anan village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Obaid al-Mutairy (24) and Mo’ath Mujahed al-Mutairy (20), and detained them.
  • At approximately 03:20, Israeli forces moved into al-Beireh, north of Ramallah, and stationed at Um al-Sharayt neighborhood, southeast of al-Beira. They raided and searched Hussain Mohammed Hussain Abu Kwaik’s (65) house, one of Hamas Movement leaders, detained him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Beira, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Jamal Mohammed al-Taweel’s (57) house, one of Hamas Movement leaders, detained him and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and detained (4) civilians: Allam Sami Massad (51), Bassam Hassan Tayeh (49), Abdulla Afeef Zakarna (57), and Mazen Mohammed Zreiki (58).
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces reinforced with two military vehicles moved into al-Shoyoukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Eid Halayqa’s (39) house and no detentions were reported.
  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Hanini’s (24) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 10:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services moved into Beit Hanina, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Shady Saad al-Mtawar’s (44) house, the Secretary of Fatah movement in Jerusalem, and handed him a summons to refer to al-Muskobeya investigation center in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into Khillat Hassan, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Azmi Taha Hamdan’s (24) house and detained him.
  • In the evening of the same day, Israeli forces established a temporary military checkpoint between Ramallah and Jenin, north of the West Bank. IOF detained Mohammed Falah Yousef Owais (26), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. Israeli forces took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (10) incursions in al-Jadida and Siries, southeast of Jenin; Ein al-Bida, east of Tubas in the northern valleys; Silwad in Ramallah; Ein al-Sultan refugee camp and Jericho, in Jericho governorate; Qafin in Tulkarem; Hebla in Qalqilia; Kifl Hares and Derastya in Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Friday, 10 July 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Shamisty’s (40) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and detained Amjad Mahmoud Jaber (22) and Malek Haroun Jaber (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdullah Sami Dwaik’s (17) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Jaba’ village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Zeyad Zaki Twam’s (25) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara military roadblock, southeast of Nablus, detained Shady Mahmoud Mohammed Hammad (33), member of the Palestinian National Security, from al-‘Arqa village, west of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’deya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Tamer Mohammed al-Khalafawi’s (22) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 21:40, Israeli forces established a temporary military roadblock at the entrance of Jebia village, north of Ramallah, stopped Ra’d al-Barghouthi’s (35) car while driving with his friend, Mohammed Ali Saleem (31), and detained them. IOF released them after several hours but confiscated their car, under the pretext of being illegal.
  • Israeli forces carried out an incursion in Tayaseer village, east of Tubas. No detentions were reported.

 
Saturday, 11 July 2020:

  • At approximately 00:40, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Ibrahim Samir al-Banna (28), member of the Palestinian National Security, from Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Siraj Eshaq Abu Hashhash’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Eissa Ali Abu Arram’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:40, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Adham Omar Qabha (25), Mohammed Bassam Ba’jawi (35).
  • At approximately 04:10, Israeli forces moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abd Rabbo Khaled Hashash (21) and Fathi Hani Abu Rizq (20).
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Ali al-Mallah (26) while present near Qalqndia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.

 
Sunday, 12 July, 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli army, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched Yazeed Mohammed Abu Eisha’s (20) house, in Ras al-Joura neighborhood, and detained him.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in al-Samoua’ and Dura villages in Hebron governorate; Hares and Kifl Hares villages, north of Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Monday, 13 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Towr neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians; Mohammed Tayseer Abu Sbaitan (29), Ahmed Khaled Abu Ghannam (21), and Mousa Abu Ghannam.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mo’taz Waleed Shwaiky’s (18) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied east Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mousa Na’eem Fatafita’s (33) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Hindaza, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Huthaifa Yasser Abayat’s (23) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians; Ahmed Adnan Suliman Murdai (33), Ja’far Fawzi Abdullah Abu Salah (53), and Hassan Ramzi Hussain Abu Salah (43). IOF released Ja’far Abu Salah in front of “Mafi Dutan” settlement on the entrance of Arraba at approximately 10:00.
  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Abayat village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mahmoud Abdul Karim Ayyad (29) and Mohammed As’ad Nawawra (26), and detained them.
  • At approximately 06:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqoua’, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Salem al-Sabbah’s (24) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces stationed at al-Nafaq military checkpoint, west of Beit Jala, detained Mustafa Kamel Ayesh (21), and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces stationed at the end of al-Wad street, near Bab al-Majles, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, detained (5) civilians including 3 children. The detainees are: Abdul Rahman Ayman al-Bashiti (16), his brother Hatem (14), Ameer Mohammed al-Malki (19), Mustafa Mousa Abu Sanina (19), and Suhaib Abu Saleh (16).
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Wad street in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched al-Aseel Deserts store, and detained its owner Jehad Nazmi Abu Sbaih (37).
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in ‘Allar village, north of Tulkarem; Kifl Hares and Hares villages, north of Salfit. No detentions were reported.

 
Tuesday, 14 July 2020:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Anas Awni Abu Balaha’s (25) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Barqin village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Abdullah Hasan Soboh’s (19) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Jadida village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Thafer Sami Zaqouq’s (20) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:50, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mujahed Ayed Flaih’s (28) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into Hizma village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hasan al-Khateeb’s house and detained his sons, Hamada (30) and Omar (24).
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Sa’eer, and Yatta, in Hebron governorate. No detentions were reported.

 
Wednesday, 15 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafr Ein village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hussam Yousef al-Barghouthi’s (30) house house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Silat al-Thuhr village, south of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jarrah Abdullah Hantouli (25) and Mofeed Fathi Za’rour (35), and detained them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Urif village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Khaled Mustafa Sbbah’s (22) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces infantry unit moved into Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Saleem Rasem al-Rimawi’s (36) house and detained him. It should be noted that al-Rimawi is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons for 9 consecutive years.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mish’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Wael Mohammed Atta (27) and Taha Hussain al-Barghouthi (29), and detained them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Kobar village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided anmd searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Maher al-Barghouthi (26) and Fladimir Majed al-Barghouthi (45), and detained them.
  • At approximately 05:20, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah, and stationed in al-Masayef neighborhood, in the northern side of the city. They raided and searched Husni Mohammed Dars’s (47) house and detainedhim. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in al-Nabi Saleh, Deir al-Swadan, Um Safa, ‘Aroura, and Berzeit, in Ramallah; and Burin village, south east of Nablus. No detentions were reported.

 
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 10 July 2020, Israeli authorities notified to demolish parts attached to 2 inhabited houses in al-Walajah village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Activist Ibrahim ‘Awadallah said that Israeli forces notified Ahmed Mohammed ‘Awadallah and Mohammed ‘Abdullah Rabah to demolish parts attached to their houses in ‘Ain Jowizah area, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Awadallah added that the notification gave the houses’ owners until next Sunday to implement it, or they will bear the demolition costs. It should be noted that ‘Ain Jowizah area is exposed to a settlement attack, including demolishing houses and retaining walls and stop construction works in other houses.
  • At approximately 13:00 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into Um Rokba area and distributed notices to stop construction works in 2 inhabited houses located in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The first 330-square-meter house belongs to Nader ‘Abed al-Salam Salah, and the second 500-square-meter house belongs to Mohammed Mahmoud Salah. Also, IOF detained 3 mixers and a concrete pump from Mohammed’s house.
  • On Sunday, 12 July 2020, Israeli Municipality staff raided al-Tahan family’s facility in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The municipality staff informed the family to evacuate the facility comprising of 3 apartments as a prelude to demolish it. Weal Tahan clarified that the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition notice against the facility built in 1990, under the pretext of non-licensing. He added that in 1993 the municipality issued a decision to confiscate the land for the “public benefit” and began pursuing the family after construction on their land. Tahan added that many hearings were held to stop demolition and confiscation, but in vain. Tahan said that the municipality imposed a fine of NIS 260,000 on the family and they paid it. Tahan pointed out that 5 families lived in the facility.
  • On the same day, Bahaa’ ‘Adnan Zaytoun implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his house in Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Zaytoun said that the Israeli Municipality threatened him to pay heavy fines if its staff implemented the demolition. He added that his 75-square-meter house sheltering 6 persons, including 4 children, was built 4 years ago. It should be noted that since the beginning of this year, Israeli authorities forced 25 Jerusalemite families to self-demolish their houses or they will pay the demolition costs. Regarding the Israeli Municipality staff, they demolished 31 houses in occupied East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2020, in addition to 11 facilities and an under-construction house. Israeli authorities imposed many obstacles on Jerusalemites citizens and refused to license their houses.
  • On Monday, 13 July 2020, Israeli Municipality staff hanged eviction notices on dozens of dunams in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being state owned-lands. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Isawiya Follow-up Committee, said Israeli police officers accompanied with the Israel Lands Administration staff hanged notices on Palestinian lands confiscated in 1967. Parts of these lands were given to Hadasah Hospital to establish parking and other facilities, and were given to expand “French hill” The owners of these lands are prohibited from using the rest of their lands. Abu al-Humus clarified that the dunams belong to ‘Eliyan, Mostafa, Derbas, Abu Reyalah, Darwish, Mahmoud, and ‘Obaif families. Abu al-Humus added that the notices ordered the owners to demolish and remove all constructions and trees from the land. It should be noted that Israeli authorities recently distributed dozens of eviction notices in al-‘Isawiya village for settlement expansion.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 13 July 2020, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet Bereen, southwest of Bani Na’iem village, east of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Ya’qoub Ishaq Ya’qoub Burqan and As’ad Yousef Burqan final demolition notices against their under-construction house (120 sqm). The notices gave them 7 days to challenge. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified the mentioned civilians on 07 June 2020 to stop construction works in their house comprising of 2 apartments and gave them until 17 June 2020 to challenge. Fareed Burqan, Head of the Village Council, said that;
    “I went with the owners of the house to the Israel Lands Administration Department in order to challenge the decision, but Israeli soldiers there prevented us from entering, under the pretext of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-‘Adisa area, south of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. The soldiers were deployed in the area while the Israeli Civil Administration officers cut Yousef Isma’il Yousef Jaradat’s 70 olive trees plated 5-10 years ago and confiscated them. This land is located within a land of 350 dunams, adjacent to “Kiryat Arba ” settlement, east of Hebron, and Israel considers it as state-owned land. It should be noted that Jaradat was previously handed a seizure notice by Israeli forces.
  • At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-‘Eidah area, east of Hebron. The Israeli bulldozer demolished a 70-meter-long stone chains and levelled Nemer Fahmi Mostafa Jaber’s 2-dunam land, under the pretext of being state-owned land. The losses were estimated at NIS 40,000. It should be noted that Israeli authorities distributed eviction notices on 17 March 2020.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Boq’ah area, east of Hebron. IOF leveled Mohammed Mostafa ‘Awwad Jaber’s agricultural land (1.5 dunams), under the pretext of being state-owned land and near the bypass road (60) and “Kiryat ‘Arba’” and “Karsina” settlements. It should be noted that on 05 July 2015, Israeli authorities demolished stone chains surrounding the agricultural land. On 03 May 2015, the Israeli authorities notified Jaber to vacate the agricultural land within 45 days and return it to its previous status, under the pretext of being state-owned land, or he will pay the eviction costs to the Israeli authorities. During the previous years, Jaber had obtained a land reclamation project from the agricultural labor committees, which included a 10-dunam plot of land, a water well, barbed wire and stone chains. The Israeli bulldozers demolished the water well and stone chains and razed the agricultural land. They also confiscated irrigation networks, fertilizer, generator, and pesticide spraying machine. At the beginning of 2014, Jaber reclaimed the land at his own expense and rebuilt part of the chains that had been destroyed by IOF, but the Israeli Civil Administration Department issued new notifications against the land, so he bulldozed it for the 2nd time.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Izbet Shofa village in eastern Tulkarem, where they demolished a barrack and a cement wall surrounding ‘Amer Mohammed Hamed’s parking. Also, Israeli forces demolished another wall surrounding Malek Abu Safiyia’s land, under the pretext of being in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Ghassan Mostafa Shoqirat’s residential house in al-Mokaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqirat (24) said that Israeli forces moved into Shoqirat neighborhood, closed the area surrounding his 120-square-meter house and demolished it. Shoqirat clarified that Israeli forces handed him a fine and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers move into Beit Marsam village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. Israeli forces demolished Mahmoud ‘Abed al-‘Aziz al-Sharha’s 60-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates. Al-Sharha’s losses were estimated at NIS 24,000. It should be noted that the Israeli Civil Administration Department handed al-Sharha a cease-construction notice on 02 June 2020, and handed him a demolition notice on 03 July 2020.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 09 July 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Price Tag” groups, attacked al-Laban al-Sharqiyah village, southeast of Nablus. The settlers attacked Palestinian civilians’ vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses and on the village streets. Also, they vandalized the vehicles with racist slurs and punctured the tires of 8 of them before leaving. PCHR keeps the names of affected persons.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli settlers, under Israeli army protection, built a new road connecting between “Ma’oun” settlement and a dairy farm established on Palestinian confiscated lands in Um Zaytouna area, east of Yatta in southern Hebron. Israeli forces seized these lands upon the Israeli Military Order No. 59 “Order Concerning State Property (Judea & Samaria)” (1967) established the ‘Custodian of Government Property’ to take control of land owned by the Jordanian Government (occupied in 1967).

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Israeli Forces Detain Several Palestinians, Including a Recently Released Prisoner

Israeli forces, on Thursday at dawn, detained several Palestinian civilians after invading homes in several occupied West Bank areas, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

Local sources stated that soldiers detained five Palestinian young men from various areas of the Bethlehem governorate, in the southern West Bank.

In the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli forces re-detained senior Islamic Jihad official, Jum’ah al-Tayeh, from his home in Kafr Ni’ma town. Important to note that al-Tayeh was recently released, after spending 18 years in Israeli prison.

The Israeli army stormed Dura town in Hebron (al-Khalil), southern West Bank, and detained Katamel Akteel.

Israeli forces also took Mumen Dairya into custody from Aqraba town in Nablus, in the northern West Bank.

Hebrew media reported that the Israeli army detained four Palestinian young men in Sahel Salem area in Nablus, claiming they were in possession of Molotov cocktails and a homemade explosive device.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) stated that al-Tayeh spent 18 years in occupation prisons for resisting the occupation.

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained two Palestinian civilians from the Silwan neighborhood, the PPS further reported.

(Source / 17.07.2020)

OCHA Report: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement | June 2020

The United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Summary for June 2020

  • 100 structures demolished or seized in June, the highest level since January 2017.
  • Of the targeted structures, ten were humanitarian aid, including a tent used as a quarantine site.
  • Only 0.009% (6 out of 700) housing units applied for by Palestinians in Area C were issued permits.

 
In June 2020, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 100 Palestinian-owned structures, a sharp increase compared with previous months and the highest such figure since January 2017. As a monthly average, the number of structures targeted during the first half of 2020 is the same as during the whole year of 2019.

The continuous targeting of Palestinian properties amidst the ongoing pandemic, especially inhabited homes (25), water and sanitation structures (5) and a tent used as a quarantine site, remains of serious concern, as it undermines the capacity of already vulnerable communities to prevent infection.

77 of this month’s demolitions and seizures were in Area C and 23 in East Jerusalem, resulting in the displacement of nearly 140 people, while over 400 others had their livelihoods, or access to services, affected. All the incidents were under the pretext of a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.

In July 2019, the Israeli security cabinet announced the promotion of 700 housing units for Palestinians in Area C. However, by end June 2020, only one building permit, allowing for the construction of six housing units, has been issued, according to official information obtained by the Israeli organization ‘Peace Now’.

By contrast, between July 2019 and March 2020, the Israeli authorities issued a total of 1,094 building permits in illegal Israeli settlements in Area C, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

10 of the structures demolished or seized by the Israeli authorities in June 2020 had been provided as humanitarian assistance at a value of over 27,000 euros. Another 4 donor-funded aid structures were destroyed or damaged by Israeli settlers in Lifjim, a small herding community in Nablus.

The Hebron Governorate, which is the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, was also the most affected by demolitions, accounting for over 40 per cent of the targeted structures in Area C (33).

Over half of these structures were located in Massafer Yatta, an area declared a closed ‘firing zone’ for military training, where some 1,200 Palestinians are at risk of forcible transfer. The largest incident in this area took place on 3 June in the community of Mirkez, where 14 residential and livelihood structures, including four donor-funded, were targeted, displacing 36 people, including 23 children.

In Maghayer al Abeed, within the same ‘firing zone’, the Israeli authorities seized a donor-funded tent that had been provided as a quarantine site for the community and recently used by a family with COVID-19.

Also affected this month were 4 Palestinian Bedouin communities in Area C of the Jerusalem Governorate, located within or next to an area slated for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement (the E1 plan), where 17 structures, including two donor-funded, were demolished or seized.

In another community in the same area, Jabal al Baba, Israeli authorities carried out a land survey and handed over demolition orders. Two of the structures targeted this month, including one donor-funded structure, were demolished based on Military Order 1797, which allows for the expedited removal of unlicensed structures deemed as “new”, down from eight in May.

Since coming into effect in July 2019, at least 12 donor-funded structures, have been demolished based on this order.

In East Jerusalem, over half of the structures targeted this month were self-demolished by their owners, following the receipt of demolition orders, to avoid demolition fees and reduce damage to adjacent structures and personal belongings.

This follows a trend observed since the start of 2020. Six of the structures demolished in East Jerusalem were in the Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood, the most affected area over the past three years.

One of these structures, home to 11 people, including seven children, was located on the route of a major road (the so called ‘Eastern Ring Road’), currently under construction; the road cuts through the neighborhood and will connect Israeli settlements in the southern West Bank to Jerusalem.

See the full report here.

(Source / 17.07.2020)

2 Palestinian-owned Homes Demolished by Israeli Forces, 15 Receive Stop Work Orders

Israeli forces, on Thursday, destroyed two Palestinian-owned homes near Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank, according to a local source.

Rateb Jabour, from the anti-wall, anti-settlements popular committee, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian-owned homes in the village of Lesfayier, southeast of Masafer Yatta, under the pretext of being built without an Israeli issued permit.

The Palestinian-owned homes are located in Area C of the occupied West Bank, as a result of the Oslo Accords of 1993. The West Bank was divided into Areas A, B, and C.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem; Area C covers 60% of the West Bank and is home to an estimated 180,000-300,000 Palestinians and to a settler population of at least 325,500 living in 125 settlements and approx. 100 outposts. Israel retains control of security and land-management in Area C and views the area as there to serve its own needs, such as military training, economic interests and settlement development.

Jabour added that the homes were inhabited by 10 Palestinian civilians, noting that the now displaced owners have legal documents to prove their ownership of the lands, which are located close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Yatir.

The Palestinian Information Center added that the buildings belonged to Mahmoud Abu Qubita and his son Ismail.

In the same context, Israeli authorities, on Thursday, delivered halt construction orders to 15 Palestinian-owned houses in the town of Kafr al-Dik, west of the northern West Bank city of Salfit, according to Ibrahim al-Issa, mayor of Kafr al-Dik.

Al-Issa told WAFA that Israeli forces invaded the town and handed the halt stop work orders to the owners of the under-construction homes.

Article 17 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states;

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

See also OCHA Report: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement | June 2020

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Gearing up for imminent ICC probe… ‘Israel’ drafts list of hundreds of Israeli war criminals

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The occupation state is drawing up a secret list of military and intelligence officials who may be subject to arrest abroad over war crimes they committed against Palestinians if the International Criminal Court in the Hague opens an investigation their crimes, according to Israeli media.

The list includes between 200 and 300 Israeli officials, some of whom have not been informed, reported Haaretz. The mere disclosure of the list’s existence could be considered a recognition of committing the crimes and consequently would endanger the suspects on it, according to the Israeli newspaper.

However, it likely includes some of the Israeli top leaders, especially those involved in the 2014 aggression on Gaza, resulting in the murder of 2147 civilian Palestinians, among them would be PM Benjamin Netanyahu; War Minister Benny Gantz, who was then at the helm of the Israeli occupation forces; then-war minister and current opposition MK Moshe Ya’alon, and current IOF chief Aviv Kohavi, who was then head of Military Intelligence.

Former defense ministers Avigdor Liberman and Naftali Bennett, heads of the opposition Yisrael Beytenu and Yamina parties, respectively, may also be on the list, along with former and current heads of the Shin Bet security service and other, lower ranking officers.

A three-judge panel at the ICC is set to rule in the coming days or weeks on the possibility of launching an investigation into Israeli war crimes committed in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

The occupation state has attacked the ICC claiming it was “hostile towards Israel”.

US President Donald Trump had also imposed economic and travel sanctions against ICC employees investigating abuses by Americans and US allies, including ‘Israel’, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened the court against asserting jurisdiction over the occupation state, claiming the United States will “exact consequences” for any “illegitimate” investigations.

Confronting Israeli and American smear campaign against her investigation, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), had stressed that “misinformation and smear campaigns do not change facts about the conduct of my Office’s work concerning the situation in Palestine.”

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Israel orders halt on construction of 15 houses in West Bank village

Ramallah (QNN) – Israeli occupation forces ordered today a halt on the ongoing construction of 15 Palestinian-owned houses in the village of Kafr al-Dik, near the occupied West Bank town of Salfit, according to Ibrahim al-Issa, mayor of Kafr al-Dik.

He told official news agency WAFA that Israeli forces raided the town and handed the halt on construction orders to the town residents.

Israel claims the construction is in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military control, where Palestinians are not allowed to build.

Israeli occupation authorities almost ban all kinds of development for Palestinians in Area C, leaving Palestinians with no choice but to built illegally in order to fulfil their increasing housing needs.

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Over 80 organizations call for accountability to Israel’s fatal shooting policy

Ramallah (QNN) – More than 80 Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organizations from across 16 countries submitted yesterday a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Procedures on the extrajudicial execution and willful killing of Ahmad Mustafa Erekat, 26, by the Israeli occupying forces, in cooperation with the Erekat family, urging international justice and accountability for Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy targeting Palestinians.

Erekat, a resident of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, was shot dead by Israeli forces at a checkpoint near Bethlehem on 23 June. “Ahmad was shot with lethal force by Israeli soldiers in the absence of necessity and without posing a threat to life or serious injury. He was then left to bleed to death for an hour and a half, while the Israeli occupying forces denied him access to medical care, despite the presence of an Israeli ambulance at the scene. They also prevented a Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance from reaching Ahmad,” said the organizations.

“Under international law, the killing of Ahmad Erekat amounts to an extrajudicial execution and a willful killing, giving rise to individual criminal responsibility as a war crime at the International Criminal Court (ICC),” they said.

Erekat was the 21st Palestinian killed by the Israeli forces throughout the occupied Palestinian territory during the first half of 2020. Less than a month before his killing, the Israeli forces killed Iyad Hallaq in occupied East Jerusalem while he was on his way to a day center for persons with disabilities in the Old City, “in what amounts to an extrajudicial execution, a willful killing, and war crime,” said the organizations.

“The killings of Ahmad Erekat and Iyad Hallaq, as well as countless Palestinians, must be understood within the context of Israel’s widespread and systematic shoot-to-kill policy targeting Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line,” they said.

Al-Haq human rights organization said it has documented an escalation in Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinians over the past five years, resulting in the killing of 754 Palestinians by the Israeli occupying forces in the occupied Palestinian territory since October 2015. “Israel’s pervasive impunity must be seen as part and parcel of its institutionalized regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people, which constitutes the crime of apartheid,” said al-Haq.

Since the killing, Erekat’s body has been punitively withheld by the Israeli occupying authorities, as unlawful collective punishment, thereby prolonging his family’s suffering and denying him a dignified burial. The Israeli occupying forces continue to withhold the bodies of 63 Palestinians, under the pretext of using them as “bargaining chips.” In addition, the bodies of at least 253 Palestinians have been languishing, yet to be identified, in Israel’s “cemeteries of numbers.”

In 2016, the UN Committee against Torture considered that the practice of withholding Palestinians’ bodies amounts to prohibited ill-treatment, and called on Israel, the Occupying Power, to “take the measures necessary to return the bodies of the Palestinians that have not yet been returned to their relatives as soon as possible so they can be buried in accordance with their traditions and religious customs, and to avoid that similar situations are repeated in the future.”

Accordingly, the organizations urgently called for international justice and accountability to put an end to Israeli impunity and urged the UN human rights experts to publicly condemn the killing of Ahmad Erekat, to call for the unconditional release of Ahmad’s body as well as the bodies of all Palestinians punitively withheld by the Israeli occupying authorities, and to call on Israel, the Occupying Power, to revise its rules of engagement for the use of live fire.

The organizations also called on the Special Procedures to “Recognize Israel’s systematic shoot-to-kill policy as contributing to the maintenance of Israel’s apartheid regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole, which, embedded in a system of impunity, prevents Palestinians from effectively challenging Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.” As stressed by the Erekat family, “These killings are taking place in a broader context of apartheid and settler-colonial expansion.”

Overall, the organizations endorsed calls by the Erekat family for international justice and accountability, including for Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy. They requested that the UN Special Procedures urge third States to activate universal jurisdiction mechanisms to try suspected perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in their own jurisdictions, and to call for “the immediate opening, without any further delay, of a full, thorough, and comprehensive ICC investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.”

Finally, the groups urged “Member States and the UN at large to address the root causes prolonging Palestinian oppression, including by bringing an end to Israel’s prolonged occupation and illegal annexation of Jerusalem, lifting the Gaza closure with immediate effect, and dismantling Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, in order to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to return to their homes, lands, and property, as mandated by international law.”

The organizations addressed their appeal to five UN Special Rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism.

(Source / 17.07.2020)

Israel regrets withdrawing from Gaza

Settlers are buying goods in a supermarket in Neve Dekalim settlement in the Gaza strip, 10 August 2005. [NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images]
Settlers are buying goods in a supermarket in Neve Dekalim settlement in the Gaza strip, 10 August 2005

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer

In 2005, the Israeli army began withdrawing from the Gaza Strip as part of the unilateral disengagement plan, and with this anniversary many Israeli circles criticised the plan, due to its major disadvantages.

Palestinians and Israelis commemorate each summer the anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, amid Israeli fears that similar action will be taken in the occupied West Bank. This could be through the annexation plan that is being talked about, or through the American ‘deal of the century’.

A quick review of the most important Israeli articles published in recent days to commemorate this anniversary shows an unprecedented state of frustration, and some writers have not hesitated to say that the withdrawal is one of the most foolish steps that Israel has ever taken. This is because it did not achieve its specific goals, but rather resulted, according to those opposed to the move, in a number of consequences, the most important of which is the intensification of the security threats against Israel and international hostility towards Israel did not wane as a result of the measure.

Read More: Gaza women rally against Israel’s annexation of West Bank

Opponents claim that the withdrawal resulted in a set of failures, despite the fact that those around Ariel Sharon, the prime minister at the time and the mastermind behind the plan, have always referred to Gaza as the “Hong Kong of the Middle East” in the post-withdrawal period. Today, a decade and a half later, Israel is facing a hostile state threatening its southern border.

From the political point of view, Israel’s goal of withdrawing from Gaza is to declare it is not responsible for what happens in it politically and legally and to deny the claims against it regarding its responsibility towards the Palestinians. Israel also wanted to lock Gaza’s doors and throw the key in the sea, and while this is a perfect wish, it is unrealistic. The international community still considers Israel responsible for Gaza and when Gaza suffers from hunger and power cuts, fingers are pointed as Israel.

Read More: Palestinian woman dies of injuries sustained in 2014 Israeli offensive against Gaza

It is worth noting that the Israelis who initiated the withdrawal assumed they would work to resume negotiations with the PA in order to achieve its responsibilities of combatting the armed attacks and implement the road map. However, this did not happen and instead Abu Mazen’s men fled Gaza in the face of Hamas. Today no one expects the Israelis to reach peace with the movement that participated in the legislative elections only a few months after the withdrawal, which constitutes a resounding Israeli political failure.

One of the reasons for the widespread Israeli support for the withdrawal from Gaza was the increase in repeated attacks against the Israeli army and settlers in the Gaza Strip, and the difficulty they found in dealing with what seemed to be endless Israeli bloodshed. Therefore, they promised to stop the bleeding that ached the hearts of many with this withdrawal.

Those who reject the withdrawal from Gaza claim that Hamas was allowed to form a real army, including an air, naval and ground force. They also claim that they were allowed to create an underground tunnel city and a missile system that can be controlled remotely that the very expensive Iron Dome could not neutralise, all of which Israel faces with failure and inability because it knows that the massive elimination of the armed infrastructure in Gaza will cost massive loss of Israeli life.

Fifteen years after the withdrawal from Gaza, Israel does not know what it wants from it, as evidenced by the continued debate over the years about whether the withdrawal contributed to preserving its security, or harming it, even though opponents of the withdrawal are convinced that it weakened it. The evacuation of the settlers unilaterally showed that Israel gave in to armed resistance, and this process may encourage further withdrawals under the same pressures.

On the other hand, supporters of the withdrawal are convinced that they have strengthened Israel’s security, and instead of investing military forces in useless tasks, they are fighting today only for what is necessary for its security. However, this did not eliminate the assumption that the Israeli withdrawal was them fleeing from the Palestinians.

The withdrawal from Gaza, according to the Israelis who reject the decision, has portrayed Israel as giving away areas for free without getting anything in return.

Israel is not exempt from failure in the post-disengagement era, so the vow that any violation of its sovereignty from Gaza will result in a harsh reaction quickly turns into empty words. Even the capture of Gilad Shalit ended five years later in 2011 with a prisoner exchange deal. One Israel has backtracked on by re-arresting Palestinian detainees released under the terms of the deal.

(Source / 17.07.2020)