Facebook deletes Palestinian pages

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Thursday morning, the oldest site, “Facebook” has deleted several Palestinian pages, including the “Palestine TV” page.

The “Echo Social” center said that it had monitored a number of new violations against Palestinian media pages, including those who had been deleted and others that had received notification of a threat of deletion.

Activists accuse the Azraq site of fighting the Palestinian content and taking sides with the Israeli occupation.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

Israel releases prominent Hamas leader

Hamas MP Hassan Yousef [Twitter]
Palestinian MP Hassan Yousef, 2 April 2019

On Thursday, the Israeli authorities released Hassan Yousef, a prominent leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, from the city of Ramallah, after a year and a half of administrative detention without charge.

Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli authorities released Yousef at the Ofer Security Checkpoint near Ramallah.

Yousef is one of the most prominent Hamas leaders in the West Bank and a former member of the Legislative Council.

The member of the Change and Reform bloc in the Palestinian parliament has spent a total of 22 years in Israeli prisons. He was among the 415 Palestinians deported by Israel to “no man’s land” in South Lebanon in 1992, for up to two years.

READ: Israel renews administrative detention of Palestinian MP 

(Source / 24.07.2020)

Sheikh Raed Salah warns of Jewish extremists’ calls to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah addresses to the crowd during his welcoming ceremony, after he was released from Israeli prison, in Umm al-Fahm, Israel on 17 January, 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah addresses the crowd on 17 January 2017

The head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, yesterday warned of calls by Jewish extremists to storm Al- Aqsa Mosque in the coming days to perform Talmudic rituals in its yards.

Sheikh Salah called on Palestinians in Jerusalem and inside Israel to defend Al-Aqsa and resume worship in it to counter the extremists’ calls.

“The Israeli occupation has no legitimacy in Al-Aqsa Mosque, despite its false attempts to strip Palestinian and Islamic sovereignty over the mosque as a prelude to build the alleged temple.”

Last week, the Haifa District Court rejected an appeal filed by Sheikh Raed Salah against the 28-month prison sentence issued against him on charges of “incitement to violence” and joining a banned group in reference to the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch.

READ: Israel arrests Palestinian expert on settlements in Jerusalem

(Source / 24.07.2020)

West Bank under nightly, weekend lockdown as COVID-19 spreads

Police officers take security measures at streets after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on March 23, 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Police officers tend to the streets after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 March 2020 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday imposed a night-time and weekend lockdown on the occupied West Bank, to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, reported Wafa news agency.

In addition to the general dusk-to-dawn curfew and movement being prohibited between West Bank regions until 27 July, major cities Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem, where there were a large number of cases, will be under a total lockdown over the weekend.

Only pharmacies and bakeries will be allowed to open during this period.

The spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, Brigadier Dr Ghassan Nimer, said the government’s decision to reinstate the weekend lockdown is designed to prevent all forms of social gatherings and visits, and allow the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine to record all suspected COVID-19 cases.

A rapid increase in the number of cases was observed in occupied East Jerusalem, the statement added.

READ: When it comes to Covid-19 and colonisation, the UN surpasses its usual duplicity

The PA imposed a full lockdown in the West Bank after the first coronavirus cases were identified in early March, lifting it at the end of May. It was reimposed on 3 July and has since been extended following a spike in the number of infections.

According to the Ministry of Health, among the 11,875 cases of COVID-19, 6,401 were recorded in the West Bank, 2,131 in East Jerusalem, and 75 in the Gaza Strip.

It added that the death toll today reached 73, leaving a total of 8,710 active cases.

Meanwhile, Israel has been reporting around 1,000 new cases a day, higher than its peak during the previous wave. The government confirmed infections stand at more than 58,500 including 446 patients who have died as a result of coronavirus.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

Palestinian minor kidnapped by undercover Israel soldiers

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy who was demonstrating against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 20 December 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy on 20 December 2017

A 12-year-old Palestinian child was kidnapped by an undercover Israeli soldier yesterday from the occupied Jerusalem town of Issawiya, reported Wafa news agency.

According to local witnesses, undercover Israeli forces were in a civilian car which they abducted Moath Ewewi in and drove him away to an unknown destination.

The town has been subject to ongoing violations, including the abduction of many Palestinians, the daily invasions and violent searches of homes, in addition to excessively high fines and fees imposed on the residents.

This systematic and widespread campaign of regular raids and kidnappings to instill fear among the Palestinians, and to keep them suppressed, is a serious violation of international and humanitarian laws, according to human rights groups.

READ: For one Palestinian, a hunger strike was the ‘last resort’ against Israeli racism

Meanwhile, Israeli forces rounded up three Palestinians after breaking into their houses today in the occupied West Bank city of Tubas, claiming to search for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Palestinians in Jerusalem have witnessed noticeable escalation in Israeli attacks, home raids and arrest campaigns lately, which is seen as an attempt to put more pressure on Palestinian natives of Jerusalem to force them to leave the city and clear the way for new Jewish-only settlement projects.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

New MAP-funded Mobile Clinic in Hebron helps tackle COVID-19 surge

The epicentre of the West Bank’s ongoing spike in COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases is the Hebron governorate, accounting for 82% of all confirmed active cases. The World Health Organization has confirmed 11,800 cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank, almost four times higher than at the beginning of the month (3,315 cases on 2 July). Hebron has been the hardest hit, with hundreds of infections recorded each day and sadly the highest number of deaths.

Amid this crisis, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has started a new partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) to provide a mobile clinic for marginalised communities in Area C of the Hebron governorate.

“The mobile clinic serves as a lifeline to at least 2,736 people living in isolated communities in Area C of Hebron, where there are no permanent healthcare facilities as the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to build here and there is no regular public transport to take residents to towns and cities to access healthcare.” The supervisor of the mobile clinic, Dr. Suhail Aqabna, told MAP. 

Even before the outbreak of COVID1-9, these communities were extremely isolated and marginalised and were the target of Israeli occupation policies including home demolitions and destruction of basic infrastructure, settler violence and land confiscation. With extremely limited resources, high levels of poverty and food insecurity, these communities are extremely vulnerable to the global coronavirus pandemic.

A critical part of the mobile clinic’s work is providing community members with masks and disinfectants as well as awareness raising sessions on COVID-19 and the importance of preventative measures to restrict further transmission. “During the first weeks of our visits, many people thought of COVID-19 as a myth, and did not take the precautionary measures, such as social distancing, seriously. However, we now see a change as many people are asking us to provide them with hand sanitising gel and masks”, the clinic’s rehabilitation specialist explained. “At the moment we are following up -through home visits- including to  several people with disabilities who have chronic diseases. We are the only medical provider able to reach these communities due to the spike of cases in coronavirus”, he added.

The mobile clinic consists of a team of seven, a general practitioner, lab technician, gynecologist, two health workers, a driver and a rehabilitation specialist. They work six days a week. The communities they visit are Ghwain Alfoqa, Birin, Arab Alfreijat, Shweika, Zanuta, Anab Alkabeer and Wadi ar Reem.

“We start our day at 7am to prepare the medications, essential kits and our Personal Protective Equipment, including face masks and gowns. When we reach the community, we use one of the existing facilities, so we have to sterilise it and prepare it for patients. Around 9am we announce to the community that we are open. We try our best to maintain social distancing and avoid long queues. We usually see 20-25 patients a day. All patients with complaints will be examined by the general practitioner and / or the women’s health doctor. The latter follows up with all pregnant women and neonates. Patients are supplied with essential medicines if needed. The lab technician carries out all the needed blood tests. There is an increased need for blood tests now, as all Ministry of Health labs are closed due to the pandemic. In addition, people with chronic diseases, who are at high risk of COVID-19, are asked not to come to the clinic, and we follow up with them through home visits,” the PMRS mobile clinic health worker outlined.

The clinic’s team are working in extremely challenging conditions, delivering essential healthcare in extreme heat at the epicentre of the West Bank’s COVID-19 outbreak, whilst wearing gowns and face masks. Their dedication and hard work is helping to ensure marginalised communities in Area C of the Hebron governate are not forgotten during this global pandemic and have access to the vital healthcare services they desperately need.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

PCHR: “IOF Raid Yabous Cultural Centre and Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Occupied East Jerusalem”

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): On Wednesday, 22 July 2020, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Yabous Cultural Centre and Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in the center of occupied East Jerusalem and confiscated thousands of documents, files, PCs, tablets, and surveillance cameras. At the same time, IOF raided a house owned by the couple: Rania Elias and Suhail Khouri, Directors of the abovementioned centers, in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF searched the house and confiscated several devices and private files and arrested both Khouri and Elias.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns IOF’s illegal and systematic violations targeting the presence of Palestinian associations in occupied East Jerusalem and aiming at altering the city’s features. PCHR calls on the international community to pressure IOF to stop their attacks and attempts to change the city’s features and create Jewish majority in addition to threatening Palestinian presence, last of which was the arrest of Jerusalem’s Mayor a week ago pending investigation, and activating relevant Security Council resolutions, including the resolutions that cancel changing the status of the holy city.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, an Israeli force of the police and Intelligence Service raided Yabous Cultural Centre and ESNCM on al-Zahra’a street in occupied East Jerusalem and confiscated documents, files, PCs, tablets, and surveillance cameras. Mohammed Maraghah, Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, said that an Israeli force of police and Intelligence Service stationed adjacent to ESNCM waiting for the staff to arrive before raiding it, alleging that they have a search warrant from the Israeli police and approved by the court, that allows them to search ESNCM and confiscate the devices and files alleging connection to funding terrorism. An Israeli force also arrested Dawoud al-Ghoul, Director of Jerusalem Arts Network – Shafaq after raiding his house in Silwan village, and confiscated documents and files.

Maraghah added that IOF confiscated large numbers of files and PCs, financial files of the years from 2014 – 2020, and 7 PCs and all papers from the center. Mraghah also said that about 15 Israeli police and intelligence officers were inside ESNCM, in addition to other forces deployed in its vicinity. They also confiscated about 21 medium-sized boxes of files and devices from both centers and the surveillance cameras. It should be noted that IOF confiscated devices Khuori and Elias’ house, Directors of both centers.
Maraghah emphasized that IOF raided both centers under the pretext of counter-terrorism and alleged having a search warrant by the Israeli court that allowed them to confiscate any content in the center without explanation. Maraghah pointed out that IOF raided ESNCM auditor’s office in Jerusalem.

For his part, Nasser Oudah, the couple’s lawyer, said that Khouri and Elias were detained at Abu Ghnaim police station, south of occupied East Jerusalem on charges of financing terrorist organizations. They were interrogated for 12 consecutive hours and then released with conditions. As for Dawoud al-Ghoul, Director of Jerusalem Arts Network, his detention was extended until appearing before court the next day.

Israeli authorities claimed during a joint statement by the Israeli spokesperson for the Israeli police in Jerusalem, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, and a spokesperson for the Tax Authority, that the detention was based on a confidential investigation of suspicious violations and serious economic crimes related to income tax evasion, money laundering, and other crimes.

It should be noted that Suhail Khouri (57), contributed in establishing multiple artistic and cultural institutions in Palestine in addition to developing ESNCM with its branches spread across Palestinian cities. As for his wife, Rania Elias, who runs Yabous Cultural Centre, a Palestinian civil society organization founded in 1995 and based in East Jerusalem that aims at reviving the cultural life in the occupied city, and shedding a light on the city’s importance, its Arab identity, history, and its religious, political and cultural influences.

PCHR believes that IOF’s practices are illegal and falls under a systematic policy adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities against occupied East Jerusalem and its associations since its occupation in June 1967, which aims at uprooting Palestinians from the city, deleting their heritage and fighting any proof of their existence and history in the city; changing its features in favor of settlement expansion and to create a Jewish majority and identity to the City to impose facts on the ground that nullify the Palestinian right to it.

PCHR also emphasizes that East Jerusalem is an occupied city and that all measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities following the occupation of the city in 1967 do not change its legal status as an occupied territory.

PCHR also calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal obligations and ensure Israel’s respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention in the oPt, in accordance with Article (1) of the Convention. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community encourages Israel to act as a state above law, and to commit more violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including efforts to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

الاحتلال يقتحم مركز يبوس الثقافي ويصادر ملفات وأجهزة حاسوب ويعتقل مديرته رانيا الياس وزوجها سهيل خوري.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

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

Summary

Israeli military 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, the Israeli army’s excessive use of force rendered 5 injuries among Palestinian civilians, including a child, during raids and attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

This week, Israeli forces raided Yabous Cultural Centre and the Edward Said National Conservatory in occupied East Jerusalem, confiscated thousands of documents and equipment, and detained directors of both establishments for 12 hours.

Since announcing its plans to annex occupied West Bank territories, the Israeli military has continued systematic demolitions and land razing, establishing roads for settlements in an accelerated manner. This week witnessed an increase in land confiscation orders in al-‘Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem.

This week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 132 Israeli violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).

Israeli forces shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: Israeli forces shot and wounded 5 Palestinians, including a child, in excessive use of force against peaceful protests in the West Bank: 3 in Nablus; and 12, including 1 child, in a peaceful protest in Beita village; and 2 others were wounded in a military invasion into Jenin refugee camp and al-Jalazoun refugee camp in Ramallah.

In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands 4 times and 3 times at fishing boats in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: Forces carried out 77 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, inciting fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 65 Palestinians were detained, including 4 children and 1 woman. During raids, Israeli forces confiscated thousands of documents and equipment, especially during its raid on Yabous Cultural Centre and the Edward Said National Conservatory and raided the houses of both directors of the aforementioned establishments in occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: Israeli authorities continued their settlement expansion operations in the occupied West Bank, PCHR documented 16 violations, including:

  • Salfit: cease-construction notices to 15 houses in Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit; and 1 house demolished;
  • Hebron: 2 houses received cease-construction notices in Hebron; tin-plate house dismantled and demolished, another house demolished, as well as a car wash, a brick-and-wood agricultural room, a lavatory and a barracks in southeastern Yatta;
  • East Jerusalem: civilians forced to self-demolish their homes (2), demolition of an under-construction house;
  • Qalqilia: evacuation-notice for a land;
  • Bethlehem: confiscation of an archeological stone in Taqoua’ village, and demolition of a house; cease-construction and demolition notice to an under-construction house and 4 agricultural rooms in al-Walajah village, western Bethlehem.

PCHR also documented 2 settler attacks that rendered 3 civilians wounded and bruised; settlers also stole their bikes in Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: The people of the Gaza Strip continue suffer the effects of 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. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by Israeli authorities in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip. Of all the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, only 2 currently function: Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) for movement of goods and Beit Hanoun (Erez) for movement of individuals. The Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items”, despite their importance in reviving the market, manufacturing and maintenance. The Beit Hanoun crossing is only opened for extreme emergency humanitarian cases. Lately, 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 authorities continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the end of the Second Intifada (2005) and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to detention.

 
I. Shooting and Other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 00:00 on Friday, 17 July 2020, a peaceful protest took part from 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 of the village residents and with participation of Palestinian national factions in Nablus, the protest was organized upon calls by national factions in Nablus. The participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against IOF, 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 immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a number of participants suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field.
  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli Navy gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and severely 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 14:00 on Friday, 17 July 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence in eastern Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 18 July 2020, a peaceful protest took part from the center of Beita village, southeast of Nablus. The protest was organized upon calls of the village residents and with participation of national factions and Settlement and Wall Resistance Commission Nablus, to confront Israeli attempts to confiscate Sbaih Mount after Israeli settlers put a number of tents on the mount’s top, southeast of the above-mentioned village. 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 soldiers were waiting for them in the area. fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 32-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his left hand. He was transferred to Rafidia hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. A number of participants also suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, including a paramedic from Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), and they received medical treatment on the field. Tear-gas canisters, fired by Israeli troops, set fire to agricultural lands in the area.
  • At approximately 00:30 on Saturday, 18 July 2020, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on the same Saturday, 18 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Khan Younis shore 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 fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 19 July 2020, the Israeli army stormed Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at military vehicles stationed in the camp. IOF immediately fired live bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 2 civilians were injured, including a child. They were transferred to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus for medical treatment. Their injuries were classified as moderate. Israeli soldiers also invaded and searched a house belonging to Wae’l Samih Mohammed Husain Hashash (21) and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:30 on Monday, 20 July 2020, IOF stormed Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles stationed in the camp while the latter responded live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, an 18-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in his right hand. He was transferred to Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin for medical treatment. His injuries were classified as moderate. Israeli military forces also raided and searched 2 houses owned by Na’im Jamal al-Zubeidi (25) and Yusuf Emad al-Amer (27) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:40 on Monday, 20 July 2020, IOF stormed al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the center of West Bank. A number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles stationed in the camp. Israeli troops fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 19-year-old civilian was shot with a live bullet in his left foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment. IOF also raided and searched Husain Yasser al-‘Ishawi’s (17) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 19:30 on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. The shooting continued for 15 minutes. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:30 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Khan Younis shore 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 fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 15:20 on Tuesday, 21 July 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence eastern al-Maghazi, Central Gaza governorate, opened fire at adjacent agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.

 
II. Israeli Incursions and Detention of Palestinians:

Thursday, 16 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, the Israeli army reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Kharsa village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Kamal Mohammed Eqtail’s (26) house and took him into custody.
  • At approximately 01:30, the Israeli army moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Saleh Abu Akar’s (24) house and took him into custody.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’men Omar Deriyah’s (25) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafr Ne’ma village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched the leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement; Juma Abdullah Khalil al-Tayeh’s (51) house and detained him. Israeli troops released him several hours later.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Wadi Ma’ali area, in the central Bethlehem. They raided and searched Eissa Mohammed al-Hremi’s (21) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli troops moved into Henadza area, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Mustafa Nabahin (18) and Sa’eed Ahmed Owda (27) and detained them.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli troops moved into Artas village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Khaled Ayyad’s (23) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli troops moved into al-Issaweya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mo’tasem Hamza Obaid’s (17) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 20:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services arrested (7) former prisoners in the Israeli prisons, after surrounding their vehicles in the French Hill neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City; and two of them was detained while passing through Route “6” that connects between Jerusalem and territories occupied in 1948. The detainees are: Saleem Ishaq al-Jo’ba (47), Owais Ibrahim Hamada (40), Hamza Bader Zughaiar (39), Lo’ay Naser al-Dein (39), Omar Basem Zughaiar (21), Ya’qoub Mahmoud Abu Asab (47) and Ameen Roshdy al-Shuwaiky (50).
  • At approximately 21:00, Israeli soldiers, stationed at ‘Anata military checkpoint, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested the Palestinian Space scientist and physician, Prof Emad Ahmed al-Barghouthi (57). Israeli soldiers took him to an unknown destination.
  • The Israeli army carried out (5) incursions in Jenin, Deir Samit, Hebron, and Yatta in Hebron governorate; and Shabtin village, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 17 July 2020:

  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli army stationed at al-Asbat Gate, one of the al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, arrested Omar Fawzi Muhaisn (36), an took him to al-Qishla investigation center in the Old City. The army released him after several hours of investigation, banning his entry to the Old City for 15 days.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli soldiers detained a number of Abu Sufian family members near the military roadblock established in Wad al-Nasara, and prevented their access to their houses, claiming that they were securing the settlement’s passing from “Kiryat Arba’” settlement to the Ibrahimi Mosque in the eastern side of Hebron’s Old City. After an hour of argument, the military opened the road for them to reach to their houses near the above-mentioned settlement.
  • At approximately 20:39, Israeli forces detained the Aqsa Mosque’s guard, Raja’i al-Tarhi (33), while working in the mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and took him to al-Qishla investigation center in the Old City. Israeli forces investigated with him about preventing an Israeli soldier from entering Bab al-Rahma prayer while wearing his shoes, and he was released after several hours on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Ethna, Dura, Beit Oula, and al-Thahereya in Hebron governorate; Deir Nizam, northwest of Ramallah; and Azoun, east of Qalqilia. No detentions were reported.

Saturday, 18 July 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli troops reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians: Qusai Ra’ed Barakat (19), Abdullah Mohammed Sharaka (18), and Ra’ed Ibrahim al-Bayari (19).
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli troops moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Haitham Mahmoud (18) and Yazan Amjad Obaid (19) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli troops moved into Obaid neighborhood, west of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Esmat Obaid’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Sa’deya neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Mohammed al-‘Ajlouni (16), Mohammed Hujaij (20), and Alaa al-‘Ajlouni (19). Israeli soldiers took them to al-Bareed police station to investigate with them about flying a kite painted with the colors of the Palestinian flag and released them several hours later.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in Hebron, al-Shoyoukh, al-‘Arroub refugee camp, and Bani Na’eem villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 19 July 2020:

  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Hara al-Wosta area in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Jerusalem’s Governor, Adnan Adel Tawfiq Ghaith’s (46) house and arrested him along with his escort, Ra’ed Hijazi. Israeli forces took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center. It should be noted that IOF arrested the governor Ghaith three times since the beginning of this year, as he was arrested in April and May.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarem, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ali Hussain Owda (40) and Bashar Darwish Masarwa (41) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli soldiers, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested (2) civilians: Ameer Mohammed Abu Zreina (30) and Issam Ibrahim al-Natsha (28).
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli soldiers arrested General Jihad al-Faqih (51), director of the Palestinian Authority intelligence apparatus in Jerusalem. Al-Faqih was driving his car and passing through a temporary military checkpoint in the entrance of the tunnel barrier of Bedouin village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, heading to his home in Qatanna village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli soldiers carried out (2) incursions in Sa’eer and Noba villages in Hebron governorate. No detentions were reported.

Monday, 20 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli soldiers reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mohammed Hijazi Zein’s (32) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli soldiers moved Abu Njaim area, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mustafa Abu Ahour’s (32) house and arrested him after severely assaulting him.
  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli soldiers moved into Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mustafa Ahmed al-Bayya’s (34) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli soldiers, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Mazra’a al-Gharbeya village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and detained Salah al-Dein Ali Shriteh (22) and Jihad Mousa Abu Laila (26).
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli military moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani’s (41) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “al-Qishla” investigation center.
  • Israeli military carried out (3) incursions in Karma, Abu al-‘Asja, Beit Ummer villages in Hebron Governorate. No detentions were reported.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli soldiers moved into al-Sahel street, in the central Beit Jala. They raided and searched Nicola Shibly Rizkallah’s (63) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli soldiers moved into Jerusalem Hebron street, in the central Bethlehem. They raided and searched Shibly Nicola Rizkallah’s (33) house and took him into custody.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli soldiers reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Jalazon refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and detained (3) civilians: Mustafa Adnan Abu Shanab (25), Jehad Yousef al-Badawi (27), and Mohammed Mahmoud Ghawanmah (22).
  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli soldiers moved into Beit Fujjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Salah Taqatiqa’s (!5) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces established a temporary military checkpoint on Dei Sharaf village’s rotary, west of Nablus, north of the West Bank, and detained Mohammed Khairallah Mohammed Salah (19), from Barqa village, northwest of Nablus. The army took him to an unknown destination.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eisa Saleh al-‘Amour’s (40) house and detained him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli troops, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Owa, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Mahmoud Eisa al-Swaity’s (36) house and detained him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli troops reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Samoua’ village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Muhannad Ahmed al-Hawamda (33) and Ghassan Mohammed al-Mahariq (34).
  • At approximately 03:00, the Israeli military, reinforced with several military vehicles moved into three houses in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and detained (3) civilians: Ehab Kamal Jawabra (22), Omar Kamal Khamees (24), and Emad Mohammed al-Jundi (19).
  • At approximately 03:20, Israeli military moved into al-Beira, north of Ramallah, and stationed in Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, southeast of al-Beira. They raided and searched Ibrahim Saleem Abdu’s (27) house and detained him. They took him to an unknown destination.
  • Around the same time, Israeli soldiers moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Beira, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ibrahim Jamal Alian’s (25) house and detained him. They took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli soldiers moved into Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Salama Abdul Razik Dabak (31), Eyad Mithqal Abu Muhsen (37), and Jorouh Fayez Sbaih (30).
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli soldiers and Israeli Intelligence officers stormed Yabous Cultural Centre and Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in al-Zahra’ street, in the occupied East Jerusalem, and confiscated documents, laptops, and surveillances cameras. Meanwhile, Israeli troops raided and searched Rania Elias, director of Yabous Cultural Center, and Suheil Khoury’s, director of Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, house thoroughly. Elias and Khoury are a married couple. They ransacked the house and confiscated records and other documents before detaining them.Israeli troops also stormed Daoud al-Ghoul’s house, director of Jerusalem Arts Network – Shafaq, who was formerly an administrative at Yabous Cultural Centre, after raiding his house in Silwan, and confiscated some documents. They also stormed and searched the conservatory’s auditor’s office.Director of Edward Said Conservatory, Mohammed Maragha, said that Israeli troops and its intelligence officers came and surrounded the headquarter and waited for the staff to arrive. Maragha said that Israeli troops claimed having a decision signed by the court to allow searching the Conservatory and confiscate whatever they thought would be linked to “financing terrorism.” Maragha explained that Israeli forces confiscated a large number of files, documents, and seven computers, they confiscated all the financial reports since 2014 to 2020, which filled 21-medium-sized boxes of papers. He added, in Yaboud Cultural Centre, Israeli forces confiscated all the surveillances cameras. He mentioned that 15 Israeli police and intelligence officers were inside the Conservatory, and dozens of them were deployed around it. Furthermore, Israeli troops confiscated several devices from Suhail and Rania’s house.Lawyer Naser Owda said that Israeli troops detained the couple in Abu Ghunaim police station, south of the occupied East Jerusalem, accusing them of funding terrorist organizations. They were interrogated for 12 consecutive hours, until they were released under conditions, but they kept Dawoud al-Ghoul until the next day. Owda confirmed that the Israeli anti-terrorism law is loosely termed and includes a large number of crimes, including obtaining funding from organizations classified as ‘terrorist’ by the State of Israel.
  • Israeli troops carried out (3) incursions in Kharouba neighborhood, east of Jenin; Beit Oula; and Halhoul village in Hebron governorate. No detentions were reported.

 
III. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 08:30 on Thursday, 16 July 2020, Israeli troops moved into Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit. Israeli soldiers distributed 15 cease-construction notices to houses in al-Sha’b neighborhood, southwest of the village, under the pretext of being in Area C, i.e. under Israeli control. The village is surrounded by several settlements “Alei Zahav” from the east, “Peduel” from the south and “Leshem” from the north, which have taken up more than 90% of Kafur al-Deek village.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 16 July 2020, Israeli troops backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Lasifer area, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area while Israeli Civil Administration officers vacated Mahmoud Khalil Abu Qubita’s 100-square-meter house contents. It should be noted that Abu Qubita’s house was built of tin plates few months ago. Israeli forces dismantled the house and then placed it in a truck. Abu Qubita family lives in Lasifer village, which is located behind the annexation wall and in “ Beit Yatir ” settlement. Israeli authorities annexed “ Beit Yatir ” settlement, that is established on Abu Qubita family’s confiscated lands, so Abu Qubita family became behind the annexation wall. The family enters their village via a gate established on the annexation wall and Israeli authorities obstruct their movement by delaying the issuance of their permits and subjecting them to searches. Also, their houses and agricultural lands were attacked by Israeli forces, in an attempt to displace them.
  • On Friday, 17 July 2020, Abu Turki family implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished 2 houses in al-Mukaber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The two 85-square-meter houses sheltered 13 persons, including 7 children. Ya’qoub Turki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the 2 houses were built of tin plates and bricks 8 years ago, and the municipality issued a demolition decision against the houses 3 years ago. He added that the municipality imposed a fine of NIS 70,000 on him and the municipality staff returned 2 weeks ago and notified to demolish the houses without telling the family members or handing them the demolition notices. Turki clarified that he decided to self-demolish the houses to avoid paying demolition costs for the municipality.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 19 July 2020, Israeli authorities handed Ahmed Saleh Ahmed Hussain, from Amateen village, an eviction notice against his agricultural land, under the pretext of being in an industrial area belongs to “Deir Qatis” settlement in Amateen village, east of Qalqilia. Hussain said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
    “the Israeli army handed me an eviction notice against my plot of land located in southern Amateen village and adjacent to Emmanuel settlement factories, east of Qalqilia. This land (40 dunams) was belonging to a civilian living abroad and he has 10 heirs. I owned a part of this land after cultivating it while 12 other dunams remain uncultivated. From time to time, Israeli occupation authorities were conducting an aerial survey, and if they discovered that there was uncultivated land in the area, they confiscate it on the pretext of being absentee property, and then transfer it to state property. IOF prevented me from cultivating it several times, as when I was cultivating it, they uprooted the trees under the pretext of being state-owned land. Also, Israeli soldiers levelled 2 dunams to build a road and seized 9 other dunams upon the notice that gave him a month to challenge.”
  • On Monday, 20 July 2020, the Israeli army, backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbet Taqou’a in eastern Bethlehem, where they seized an artifact from a site located near Taqou’a Municipality. Mayor of Taqou’a Municipality, Salem Abu Mefreh, said that at approximately 03:00, Israeli soldiers, backed by military construction vehicles moved into the village and imposed tight measures in its surroundings, especially in al-Kherba site, an archaeological site with many antiquities. Abu Mefreh clarified that the artifact is a very large rock, which was taken to his home garden upon a decision from the municipality before placing it in a museum. He pointed out that an Israeli force raided his house at dawn and ordered him to remove a truck parked in front of his house, but he told them that the truck is broken down. Thus, Israeli forces brought a mounted-crane truck to take the rock and place it in a large truck. Abu Mefreh added that while stealing the rock, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the army, who fired a barrage of live and rubber-coated steel rounds in response. Abu Mefreh said that a video showed the mounted-crane truck while uploading the rock on a military truck, under heavy army protection. Abu Mufreh said that Israeli occupation authorities are stealing Palestinian antiquities to obliterate the Palestinian presence and erase the history of the Palestinian people.
  • At approximately 09:30, Israeli soldiers, backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Halhoul village, north of Hebron. Israeli soldiers demolished Foad Khalil Shamsity’s 50-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and a 2-square-meter bathroom, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that Israeli authorities handed Shamsity a demolition notice upon military order No. (1797) issued in 2018.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 20 July 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished a residential house in Shoshahla area in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. Mayor of al-Khader village, Ahmed Salah, said that Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Mohammed Mostafa Abu ‘Amous’s 110-square-meter house in Shoshahla area, under the pretext of non-licensing. He added that the house was rebuilt after Israeli soldiers demolished it in 2002.
  • At approximately 05:00 on Tuesday, 21 July 2020, Israeli soldiers started to demolish Radi Tawfiq Mer’i’s house in Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit, but at approximately 06:00, Jerusalem Legal Aid Center issued a precautionary order from the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the demolition. IOF stopped the demolition after receiving the order. Mayor of Qarawet Bani Hassan village, Husam ‘Asi, said that:“at approximately 05:00, Israeli bulldozers started to demolish Radi Tawfiq Mer’i’s house and completely demolished it. Meanwhile, Jerusalem Legal Aid Center issued a precautionary order from the Israeli Supreme Court to freeze the demolition of 5 other houses in the village. Israeli forces stopped the demolition and withdrew from the village.”Jerusalem Legal Aid Center’s lawyer Wael Qatt said that:“since February 2020, Israeli authorities notified at least 25 persons to stop construction works in their houses in Qarawet Bani Hassan village, which means that there houses were threatened to be demolished. The houses owners informed us and we managed to freeze demolition notices issued against their houses, except for 5 persons, whose files are not ready because of closure imposed on the village due to coronavirus. Yesterday at 16:30, we shocked when Israeli Civil Administration Department informed us that all requests we submitted to them are refused, so we appealed before the Israeli Supreme Court that issued a precautionary order to freeze the demolition. Israeli soldiers stopped the demolition and withdrew.”
  • At approximately 05:30, Israeli bulldozers levelled agricultural lands in Dirsitiyia village, west of Salfit, and uprooted at least 230 olive trees belonging to Hussain ‘Abed al-Raheem Zidan under the pretext of being in Area “B” and “C”. Many Palestinian farmers headed to the area in order to stop the levelling, but in vain. Zidan said that:
    “Israeli troops hung a demolition notice on his agricultural land 2 months ago, under the pretext of being s’tate-owned land’. The notice ordered him to stop working in the land and return it to its previous status. It should be noted that Israeli troops uprooted at least 70 olive trees from the land and demolished stone chains 7 years ago.”
  • At approximately 09:00, the Israeli army, backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into the southern entrance to Hebron. Israeli troops were deployed in the area while military construction vehicles demolished Raied Hazem Meswada’s 200-square-meter barrack built of tip plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Israeli authorities handed Meswada a 96-hour demolition notice No. (10313) on 12 July 2020 to return the place to its previous status.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli army, 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. Soldiers were deployed between Palestinians’ houses while military construction vehicles demolished Ya’qoub Ishaq Burqan and As’ad Yousef Burqan’s under-construction house (120 sqm) built of brick and concrete and comprised of 2 apartments, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that the Israeli Civil Administration officers distributed a cease-construction notice to the house on 07 June 2020 ,and on 13 July 2020 the officers handed another notice to challenge the demolition within 7 days.
  • At approximately 10:00, the occupation army, backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Qeren area in Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. soldiers were deployed in the area while military construction vehicles demolished Mohammed Ahmed Abu ‘Ayyash’s 200-square-meter car wash built of concrete and sheds, under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C. It should be noted that ‘Ayyash’ received a 96-hour demolition notice 2 weeks ago upon a military order No.(1797).
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces, backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Sha’b al-Harathat area, west of Kherbet al-Daqiqah in southern Hebron. Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Jameel Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Najajdah and his son Mahmoud a cease-construction notice to their houses built of tip plates and comprised of 2 rooms, under the pretext of non-licensing. The houses sheltered 12 persons, including 4 children. It should be noted that on 10 October 2019, Israeli authorities demolished three 70-square-meter rooms belonging to al-Najajdah and his son. They also demolished Jameel al-Najajdah’s two 50-square-meter livestock barns built of tin plates and barbed wires.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house in al-Shayyah neighborhood in al-Mokabber Mount area, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli Municipality staff raided Saif al-Deen ‘Ali Jum’a’s house to checked if he implemented the municipality order to self-demolish his under-construction house. Eyewitnesses clarified that the Israeli Municipality staff withdrew and later returned with military construction vehicles to complete the demolition of the house wall and foundations. It should be noted that Jum’a’ attempted to complete the construction of his 100-square-meter house, but the municipality prevented him, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Tawana village, south of Hebron. Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Jamal Mohammed ‘Issa Rab’I (40) 2 cease-construction notices to his 40-square-meter agricultural room and a water well, under the pretext of non-licensing. Israeli soldiers gave al-Rab’i until 27 July 2020 to challenge the demolition.
  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli authorities notified to demolish and stop construction works in an under-construction house and 4 agricultural rooms in al-Walajah village, west of Bethlehem. An activist Ibrahim ‘Awadallah said that IOF moved into al-Walajah village, where they distributed a cease-construction notice and a demolition notice to Ameen Fawzi Khalifa’s house, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Awadallah pointed out that IOF also distributed cease-construction notices and demolition notices to 4 agricultural rooms belonging to Taha Mohammed ‘Awadallah, Khaled and Ahmed Mohammed al-A’raj, and ‘Emad Khader al-A’raj. ‘Awadallah added that Israeli troops ordered the facilities’ owners to self-demolish their facilities or they will pay the demolition costs for the Israeli municipality.

b. Israeli Settler Violence

On Thursday, 16 July 2020, 4 vehicles carrying Israeli settles moved into Kaful Hares village, north of Salfit. They headed to the central of the village, where religious shrines are located, to perform prayers. The settlers later withdrew from the village.

At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 18 July 2020, 7 Israeli settlers, from a settlement outpost located in northeastern of Ramallah, attacked 5 civilians with batons and threw stones at them while riding bicycles in Tarmesi’yah village. As a result, 3 of them sustained bruises and 3 bicycles were damaged and confiscated. The wounded civilians were identified as ‘Amer al-Kurdi (29), Samer al-Kurdi (26) and Grace Rayan (22). It should be noted that the settlers attacked the civilians while IOF were present in the area. ‘Amer al-Kurdi said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 06:00 on Saturday, 18 July 2020, my friend and I were riding our bicycles coming from Ramallah and heading towards Tarmesi’yah village. While we were on our way, we found a group of masked settlers, who asked us, where are you come from? We told them that we came from Ramallah. The settlers threw stones at us and severely beat us with batons. They also stole our bicycles and cell phones. Israeli troops later intervened without doing anything to the settlers and took us at the entrance to the village.”

(Source / 24.07.2020)

Jerusalemites caught up in annexation plight

By Essam Yousef

Jerusalemites live in a complex situation, amid an immense sense of suffering and concern about the current stage, as headlines of escalating violations, whether by the occupation authorities or extremist Jewish groups, prevail in the media scene. On the other hand, the spectre of the annexation plan of the lands on which the settlements are built, and the increasing spread of the coronavirus with its dramatic rise in cases, add to the locals’ fears.

The gravity of their suffering deepens the Jerusalemites’ apprehensions regarding the fateful challenges awaiting the city and its people, especially in light of the acceleration of Zionist plans to impose political control on the administrative side, while competing against time in order to fully dominate the situation, by annexing 30 per cent of the lands of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Although East Jerusalem is under Israel’s control, the implementation of the annexation plan will further enshrine the hegemony of the occupation, as the Israeli authorities have insisted on postponing negotiations on the future of the holy city and adding the file to the list of issues that will be discussed in the “final status” stage of the Oslo agreement. This allowed them to impose new procedures on the ground that led to a pivotal event, after US President Donald Trump announced the city as the capital of the Jewish state, more than a year ago.

The Jerusalemites are expressing alarming concerns about the occupation’s intention to change the demographic traits of the city after the approval of the annexation plan, by continuing the Judaisation process and the uprooting of the city’s residents at a faster pace, while covering up for its foul policies by a sense of “legitimacy” acquired by the US decisions in light of the deal of the century.

After annexing the lands of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, Jerusalemites are expecting that the Israeli authorities will proceed in changing the status of Jerusalem at a fast pace, starting with granting the occupation state the legitimacy of all decisions issued against the city and its Arab residents since 1967. In addition, there are fears that adopting new policies will aggravate the rift within the community, and establish larger Jewish settlements that would completely erase the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city.

Israel’s secretive intentions to carry out a comprehensive change of the status of Jerusalem can be clearly depicted through the situation of the East Jerusalemites, who were ambushed by the authorities to unwillingly remain “stuck” with the status of residents rather than of citizens. This comes in addition to the occupation’s unfair handling of the Palestinians’ right to legally own real estate, which facilitates the expulsion of families from their homes under several pretexts, either for the absence of a building license, or failing to pay exorbitant taxes. In fact, confiscating houses and lands does not require significant legal justifications, especially since the authorities often take advantage of the owner’s absence to argue for expropriating their land or home.

The occupation’s goals are translated through a number of procedures and practices, including the violation of the Jerusalemites’ right to access neighbourhoods and areas with an Arab minority in the holy city, as the annexation plan requires the consecration of the essential ​​”larger land with less people”. However, East Jerusalem neighbourhoods were, and are still, overcrowded with Palestinians, which constitutes a fundamental problem for Israel.

The occupation state anticipated the annexation phase, which is described by its leaders as historical, through implementing policies and measures for many years on the ground with the aim of changing the features of the holy city. The most prominent step in this direction was to build the apartheid wall that cuts off Palestinian lands, including Jerusalem, in order to separate the settlements from Palestinian communities on the one hand, and East Jerusalem from the West Bank and Palestinian areas, on the other. The objective of this strategy was to bring about a change in the area’s demographic features in favour of the Jewish settlers.

The occupation strategy regarding the situation of the Palestinian population in the coming stage was voiced by Israeli leaders calling for the isolation of Palestinian areas and neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, east of the separation wall, and then working to transfer them to separate regional directorates under Israeli control, with the aim of preserving the Jewish majority of the population. This would serve as a model to unfold the essence of the entire annexation plan, which is to take over large parts of the West Bank and transfer the Palestinian residents, who will be considered as residents rather than citizens, to separate Israeli administrative units.

The Israeli frenzy to finalise the afore-detailed demarche appears in the final touches to prepare the last stage that precedes the annexation declaration by: “Implementing several plans to disperse Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied Jerusalem, and to prevent geographical communication between the Arab communities, while continuing to build roads and move the existing barriers between settlements, to ensure that geographic connectivity between the Jewish residential areas that may tighten a demographic belt around Jerusalem from all sides,” according to Jerusalem affairs expert Fakhri Abu Diab, who described the occupation’s measures as a “silent annexation” in occupied Jerusalem.

The particular infrastructure project currently implemented by the occupation, including the railway line linking the coast to the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and paving the so-called “American Street”, to facilitate the passage from one settlement to the other, while systematically demolishing Palestinian homes, is telling about the future of the area under these extreme changes that will result in taking Jerusalemites out of the equation. Jerusalemites, after being isolated in areas where they lose their legal status and citizenship, may not even enjoy residents’ rights.

The holy city, which is suffering due to the actual application of a racist “apartheid” system that has been working on tearing the Arab Jerusalemite society apart and imposing extremely difficult social and economic conditions on them, stands as an epitome for the Palestinian people’s plight amid the annexation crisis. Jerusalemites have been fighting the occupation authorities on their own, who imposed a new reality on the ground over the years, and took advantage of an ideal opportunity that was created with regional and international complicity, to execute the recent crackdown on the rights of the Palestinians to their lands, resources and holy sites.

This bitter situation was further complicated by a series of shocks that ravaged the peace of Jerusalemites, as the occupation authorities are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic in the city to intensify the arrest campaigns, to distance the population, including many officials, from Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and hampering the provision of medical assistance to combat the spread of the virus, in addition to speeding up the demolition of more houses.

Amid this crisis, Jerusalemites found no other solution but to stand alone in the face of the pandemic and confront the violations committed by the occupation, while hoping for a change in political balances in their favour, and a push of support from brotherly countries, as well as everyone with a vivid conscience. Jerusalem has become a leading humanitarian and liberation cause that no logic, pure instinct, or even basic principle of law, can accept half-solutions for.

(Source / 24.07.2020)

Israeli forces prevent Friday prayer on threatened Palestinian land

 Israeli soldiers prevent worshipers from performing Friday prayer in Kifl Haris. July 17, 2020

Salfit (QNN)- Israeli soldiers prevented worshipers from performing Friday prayer on threatened land in Kifl Haris in Salfit.

Local sources stated that Israeli soldiers set military barriers and imposed restrictions, preventing locals from entering or leaving the area. They also imposed penalties on worshipers.

For the ninths week in a row, Palestinians have been performing Friday prayer every week on land that the Israeli threaten to confiscate.

(Source / 24.07.2020)