Israeli troops abducted early on Sunday a Palestinian university student in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Palestinian media sources and witnesses said that Israel soldiers, stationed on a mobile military roadblock, near the Khan Alahmar neighborhood, mainly on the Ramallah-Jericho street, intercepted student Majdy Abuzaid, 20, before they abducted him.
The sources added that the soldiers took Abuzaid to an unknown destination.
Israeli troops’ operations of abduction, also involve invasion and occur almost on daily basis, across the West Bank’s cities, towns and villages. Such operations are believed to have been taking place within Israel’s continued crackdown on the Palestinian population.
They have been recently reportedly increased, following Israeli announcement of plans to annex about 30 percent of the West Bank territories, to the occupation state of Israel.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, jailed in 20 prisons, inside the West Bank and in Israel. Hundreds of those prisoners are children and women.
The so-called Israeli settlement council in the West Bank, announced on Sunday a new colonial illegal settlement project, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Chief for the Palestinian file for illegal colonial Israeli settlement in the Bethlehem city, Hassan Brega, confirmed earlier today that the so-called Israeli settlement council, across the West Bank, is set to construct 164 housing units in the Israeli illegal settlement of Navaih Danial, south of Bethlehem.
Brega told media outlets that based on Israeli media sources, the planned new construction is aimed at expanding the aforementioned settlement by adding new settlement units, at the expense of Palestinian-owned lands in both Bethlehem’s outskirt towns of Alkhader and Nahaleen.
He added that the expansion would grab tens of acres of Palestinian-owned farm lands.
The Palestinian official also noted that Israel has recently embarked on an illegal settlement project, called ‘Greater Jerusalem’, which is aimed at expanding the boundaries of the already-occupied East Jerusalem that is adjacent to Bethlehem.
He noted that over the past several weeks, Israeli colonist settlers have been storming vast areas of Palestinian farm lands, nearby, under the protection of Israeli troops.
” Israeli occupation authorities, have recently delivered evacuation warrants to a number of local residents and farmers, apparently ahead of planned annexation and expansion”, Brega was quoted as saying.
Noteworthy, Israel has recently officially postponed embarking on annexation of almost 30 percent of the West Bank territories, given Palestinian, Arab and international pressure. Yet, Israeli officials have signaled their determination to ago ahead with the annexation plan.
International players and United Nations regard existence of colonist Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, as illegal and that Israel should dismantle all illegal settlements, across the area, to pave the way for an internationally-long-envisioned two state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of future Palestinian state.
Currently, there are around 600,000 colonist Israeli settlers, surrounding more than 3 million Palestinian residents in the West Bank. Israeli army ensures full protection for those settlers, as Israel has erected an apartheid wall around West Bank cities, towns and villages.
Fifteen Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers, Friday, at the weekly protest in the northern West Bank village of Kufur Qaddoum, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.
Locals in Kufur Qaddoum village, in the Qalqilia governorate, have been organizing protests every Friday for several years, to express their rejection of the illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.
Local official, Morad Eshteiwi, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies, told WAFA that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel rounds and tear-gas at the demonstrators, injuring 15 of them rubber-coated steel rounds, while many others suffered the toxic effects of toxic tear-gas inhalation.
All injuries were said to have been treated by local medics on site.
Deputy Chairman of the ruling Fatah Movement, Mahmoud al-Aloul, who took part in the demonstration, said the protest was a clear statement that the Palestinian people and their leadership are unified in their rejection of Israel’s plan to expropriate more Palestinian-owned land, in addition to their struggle for freedom and independence.
15اصابة بالرصاص المعدني والعشرات بالاختناق خلال قمع جيش الاحتلال لمسيرة كفر قدوم الاسبوعية
اصيب 15 شابا بالرصاص المعدني المغلف بالمطاط والعشرات بالاختناق الشديد جراء قمع جيش الاحتلال لمسيرة كفر قدوم الاسبوعية المناهضة للاستيطان والتي انطلقت احياء للذكرى التاسعة لانطلاقها رفضا لقرارت حكومة الاحتلال ضم اراض من الضفة الغربية للسيادة الاسرائيلية.
وشارك في المسيرة محمود العالول نائب رئيس حركة فتح ووليد عساف رئيس هيئة مقاومة الجدار والاستيطان وكادر الهيئة ورافع رواجبة محافظ محافظة…Meer weergeven
Israeli naval forces abducted, on Thursday evening, four Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah city, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.
Local fishermen sources reported that a number of Israeli naval vessels attacked a Palestinian fishing boat, off the coast of Rafah city, before soldiers abducted four of the fishermen on board.
The sources identified those abducted as Emad Albardaweel, Mohammad Siyam, Wadee’ Albardaweel and Khaled Albardaweel.
The abduction occurred within the fishing zone, determined earlier by the Israeli naval authorities and that the fishermen were attempting to earn a living under harsh economic conditions, across the Israel-besieged Gaza Strip, the sources noted.
They added that the naval forces also seized the fishermens’ fishing boat.
Since Israel imposed a land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, in 2007, its navy has repeatedly attacked Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, resulting in the death of many fishermen, injury of dozens others, and the abduction of many hundreds, as well as damage of hundreds of fishing boats.
Prior to the Israeli siege of Gaza, around 3,000 Palestinian fishermen used to sail within 25 nautical miles, off the coast. For the time being, fishing is limited by Israeli authorities to within 6 to 9 nautical miles. Last year, Israel allowed fishing within 15 nautical miles, but only in the southern parts of the coastal enclave.
Israeli troops forcibly dispersed, on Friday afternoon, dozens of Palestinian Muslim worshipers, while performing the Friday sermon on Palestinian-owned land in the Aseera Al-Shamaliya village, north of Nablus city, in northern West Bank.
Local Palestinian media sources and witnesses said that the piece of land, on which dozens of locals wanted to perform the Friday prayer and sermon, has recently been threatened by illegal Israeli colonists.
The sources added that last week, several armed colonialist settlers, placed two mobile caravans on the hilltop of Ebal mountain in the area number 37 of Aseera Al-Sahamaliya village, known as the Khalat Aldaliya neighborhood.
According to the sources, dozens of the villagers set their Friday prayer on the land, threatened by illegal colonists.
Witnesses noted that as soon as the local worshipers began their Friday sermon, Israeli troops opened fire with rubber-coated steel rounds and tear-gas canisters, towards the crowd, causing many of them to suffocate and disrupting the prayer.
Noteworthy, a number of illegal Israeli colonies have been erected on Palestinian-owned lands in the Nablus city.
Recently, armed colonist settlers have carried out a series of provocative actions, including placement of mobile caravans, and breaking into Palestinian-owned farm lands, under the full protection of Israeli soldiers.
Such measures by illegal settlers, come at a time when the Israeli government has declared its intentions to annex at least 30 percent of the West Bank region.
This week, Israel seemingly delayed the expropriation, given international pressure and Washington’s discussions with Tel-Aviv over such a highly-controversial plans.
According to United Nations Security Council resolution of 1967, the West Bank is an occupied Palestinian territory, which Israel occupied in June, 1967, and later filled with internationally-dubbed illegal settlement blocks.
Currently, there are around 200 of such Israeli colonial settlements, inhabited by more than 600,000 illegal Israeli colonists, across the West Bank.
The story of Mohammad Abukhdeir is one of countless examples of Israeli oppression. His death, and the injustices that followed, are a reminder of what can happen when racism goes unchecked. $10 million a day in unconditional funding from the US makes Americans complicit.
by Kathryn Shihadah
Mohammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was kidnapped and murdered on July 2, 2014, near his East Jerusalem home. He was beaten, then doused with gasoline and, according to his autopsy, set on fire while still alive. His Israeli killers were caught; two are serving life sentences, and a third was sentenced to 21 years.
The day before Mohammad’s kidnapping, 3 Israeli teens from an Israeli settlement had been buried, after having been themselves kidnapped and killed by Palestinians. (In the previous months, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, 7 teens, and 26 other Palestinians had been buried after having been killed by Israelis. Since 2000, Israelis have killed 2,172 Palestinian minors, while Palestinians have killed 134 Israeli minors.)
The Israeli teens’ funerals had included hundreds of Israelis rioting and shouting “Death to Arabs.” Right-wing government officials and politicians joined demonstrations or posted on social media, encouraging vengeance. Few, if any, mentioned the Palestinians previously killed by Israelis. Similarly, U.S. news reports on the Israeli deaths neglected to include that information.
Mohammad was chosen apparently at random for a revenge killing. He was abducted in view of witnesses and a surveillance camera. Israeli police found his charred body an hour later in a forest near Jerusalem. Burns covered 90% of his body.
The perpetrators included a 29-year-old settler named Yosef Haim Ben-David and two 16-year-old boys. They confessed soon after, and gave a detailed account of the incident. Ben-David said the three regretted their actions. “We’re not like the sons of Ishmael [meaning Arabs]… We’re Jews. We have a heart,” and “I request forgiveness from the family for what happened…That’s not my character and I am not that kind of man.”
Insult to injury
The day before Mohammad Abukhdeir’s life was taken, Netanyahu’s eulogy at the Israeli boys’ funerals similarly rang with self-congratulation and condemnation of the “enemy “:
Three gifted, innocent and upstanding boys were struck down by evil murderers…despicable kidnappers of children, heinous murderers whose brothers rejoice at the spilling of innocent blood…
A deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion.
When Netanyahu heard about Mohammad’s murder, he managed to denounce the incident, while once again applauding Israeli righteousness and vilifying Palestinians:
I would like to send my condolences to the Abu Khdeir family…I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers.
And that’s the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison.
Israel’s leading politicians vowed that the Jewish murderers would be treated the same as any other murderer:
Netanyahu: I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law…We do not differentiate between [Jewish and Palestinian] terrorists and we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand.
President Shimon Peres: “If a Jew kills they will be put to the court like any other criminal, there is no privilege, the law is equal to all and all are equal before the law. On that there is no compromise. We do not distinguish between blood and blood.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman: “The shocking murder of Mohammed Abukhdeir is beyond being a despicable crime…The murderers should be punished to the full extent of the law.”
When a Palestinian is convicted of murder – or even suspected of murder – he is often hunted down and killed (nicknamed “trial by assassination”). The perpetrators of Mohammad Abukhdeir’s murder were spared this custom: they had their day in court.
Yosef Haim Ben-David received a life sentence plus 20 years; one of the minors also received life, and the other was handed a 21-year sentence.
Palestinians can also expect to have their family’s home demolished, whether they have been found guilty, are believed to be guilty, or were already killed by Israeli law enforcement. This is known as punitive home demolition, and although it is illegal under international law, Israel has demolished about 80 homes and apartments since 2014, leaving well over 300 innocent family members homeless. (Read this report on punitive home demolitions.)
Mohammad Abukhdeir’s parents demanded that their son’s killers’ homes also be demolished, the judge in the case responded,
[I] understand the feelings of the victim’s family, which submitted the petition. And yet, [home demolitions] are a preventative tool, not a punishing tool. We must remember that the perpetrators underwent legal proceedings, they were convicted, and were given lengthy sentences.
The Israeli Defense Ministry also argued that because Israeli Jew-on-Palestinian terror is so “infrequent,” home demolition as a deterrent is unnecessary. In fact, Jewish settlers have for years attacked Palestinians and their property. Even the Washington Post reported that the frequency of such terror attacks have been rising at an alarming rate, especially since the Trump administration has been vigorously pro-Israel.
Many Palestinians see this as proof that Israel’s punitive home demolition policy is racist.
Israel has also begun yet another punitive practice, that of suing the families of Palestinian attackers for “reparations.” In what is being hailed as “a new era against terrorism,” the first case seeks $2.3 million from a young widow who with 3 small children whose husband was killed after allegedly ramming his car into a group of Israeli soldiers.
Other Palestinians have been subject to similar lawsuits, even when the family’s breadwinner had been killed and the family home demolished.
In Mohammad Abukhdeir’s case, however, no reparations were required of the killers because, according to Ha’aretz, they had “no real assets.”
Palestinians have much to mourn. Some still remember the Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948, when 750,000 were exiled from their homes and lands; hardly a day has gone by since without persecution, injustice, and tragedy.
Within days of Mohammad’s murder, Israel launched a major, devastating attack on the Palestinian territory of Gaza – the third such attack in just six years. About 2,200 Palestinians were killed in this operation, of which two-thirds were civilians; 73 Israelis were also killed, 6 of them civilians.
The story of Mohammad Abukhdeir is one of countless examples of Israeli oppression – and one of only a handful in which due process even made a showing.
This has gone on for decades because the US, Israel’s benefactor (to the tune of $10 million a day in aid) and the international community have turned a blind eye. It is time for compassionate and justice-loving people of the world to say Stop.
Statement By Amnesty International: The Israeli authorities must immediately abandon plans to further “annex” territory in the occupied West Bank which breach international laws and exacerbate decades of systematic human rights violations against Palestinians there, Amnesty International said on the day the Israeli cabinet is due to begin its deliberations on the plans.
Amnesty International is also calling on the international community to take firm action against the “annexation” proposals and illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territory.International law is crystal clear on this matter – annexation is unlawful. Israel’s continued pursuit of this policy further illustrates its cynical disregard for international lawSaleh Higazi
“International law is crystal clear on this matter – annexation is unlawful. Israel’s continued pursuit of this policy further illustrates its cynical disregard for international law. Such policies do not change the legal status of the territory under international law and its inhabitants as occupied nor remove Israel’s responsibilities as the occupying power – rather it points to the ‘law of the jungle’ which should not have a place in our world today,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy regional director for Amnesty Middle East and North Africa
“Members of the international community must enforce international law and restate that “annexation” of any part of the occupied West Bank is null and void. They must also work to immediately stop the construction or expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and related infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a first step towards removing Israeli civilians living in such settlements.”
Under a deal to form a coalition government in April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and political rival Benny Gantz agreed that a cabinet and parliament deliberations on the domestic process of “annexing” parts of the occupied West Bank, that include Israeli settlements and the area of the Jordan Valley, could begin as of 1 July.
Members of the international community must enforce international law and restate that “annexation” of any part of the occupied West Bank is null and void Saleh Higazi
Annexation is the claim to acquire territory by force and is a flagrant violation of international law. Such a step by Israel would violate the UN Charter, jus cogens norms of international law, and obligations under international humanitarian law. The prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force is enshrined as a fundamental principle in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.
Under domestic Israeli law, moves towards further “annexation” of Palestinian territory would mean a continuation of Israeli settlement expansion. It would also further entrench policies of institutionalized discrimination and mass human rights violations that Palestinians face in the OPT resulting from the occupation.
According to reports, the Israeli proposal could include as much as 33% of the total area of West Bank.
Recently, dozens of UN experts have voiced concerns that the proposed annexation plan would create a “21st century apartheid”.
Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local Palestinian population continues to contravene fundamental rules of international humanitarian law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.
Transferring the occupying power’s civilians into the occupied territory is a war crime. Furthermore, the settlements and associated infrastructure are not temporary, do not benefit Palestinians and do not serve the legitimate security needs of the occupying power. Settlements entirely depend on the large-scale appropriation and/or destruction of Palestinian private and public property which are not militarily necessary.
“Settlements are created with the sole purpose of permanently establishing Jewish Israelis on occupied land; this is a war crime under international law and “annexation” has no bearing on this legal determination.” Said Saleh Higazi
On 20 April, following Israel’s third elections in 10 months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz formed a coalition government under a unity deal. The deal included an agreement which would allow Israel’s government to start the domestic process of “annexing” parts of the occupied West Bank that include Israeli settlements and the area of the Jordan Valley. Israel’s “annexation” plans follow the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” in January 2020 which proposed areas of the occupied West Bank be annexed by Israel.
Amnesty International has made it clear that the Trump Administration’s plan would serve only to worsen human rights violations and enshrine the entrenched impunity that has fueled decades of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other grave violations.
The international community should also reject the so-called “deal of the century”, and any other proposal seeking to undermine the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Amnesty also calls on governments to offer their full political and practical support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it decides on its jurisdiction over the “situation in Palestine”.