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
Israel has arrested 337,000 Palestinians since the start of the First Intifada in 8 December 1987, the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said yesterday.
In spite of the arrests, the centre’s spokesperson Riyadh Al-Ashqar said, the occupation has failed to achieve its goals of suppressing the Palestinian resistance and its efforts to liberate Palestine.
Israel has arrests Palestinians on an almost daily basis, he added.
Israel built and opened a number of prisons in order to administer the detentions. The most famous is Al-Naqab Prisoner, which is located in the middle of the desert and which hosted tens of thousands of the Palestinian detainees.
Between 1994 and 2000, the Israeli occupation arrested 10,000 Palestinians, 97,000 others were detained between 2000 and 2015. Since 2015 until today, Israeli occupation forces have arrested 20,000 Palestinians.
The report reiterated that detainees’ medical needs are ignored and as a result they suffer negligence and abuse in Israeli jails.
Al-Ashqar said that there are 27 Palestinians prisoners inside the Israeli jail who have been serving sentences since before the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.
They are, he said, the prisoners who Israel refused to release prior to the anticipated resumption of peace talks in 2014, meaning negotiations never got underway.
1 million Palestinians have been arrested by #Israel since the #Nakba.
A general view taken on January 26, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Burin, shows the Israeli Jewish settlement of Har Brakha
Evangelical Christian groups have invested up to $65 million in projects in the “Biblical Heartland” over the past decade, however, that doesn’t include services they provide free of charge, such as volunteer laborers, according to a Haaretz investigation, Maan News Agencyreports.
Haaretz news outlet reported that about 1,700 volunteers were sent by Christian Evangelical groups to the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Brakha, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
Sources pointed out that the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs allocated $16,000 annually to one of the evangelical associations for the production of media campaigns for Israel and settlements abroad.
Palestinian medical sources have reported that a man was injured, on Sunday evening, after an Israeli colonialist settler rammed a man him with his car near the entrance of Ni’lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the man, identified as Yousef Nafe’, is more than sixty years of age.
WAFA cameraman, Hotheifa Srour, said that Nafe’, from Ni’lin, was rushed to an Israeli hospital, after suffering very serious wounds.
There have been dozens of incidents where Palestinians,including children, have been killed or seriously injured after being rammed by colonialist settlers’ cars, and in mostcases, the drivers fled the scene.
In one of the incidents, a child identified as Enas Shawkat Dar Khalil, 5, was killed in October 2014, after a colonialist settler rammed her with his car,and fled the scene.
Chairman for the Defense Committee of the Israeli Parliament of the Knesset, Avi Dichter, recently made an underhanded remark expressing favor for killing all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
As he was commenting on the protests of the Great March of Return, taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”
Dichter is a senior member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling right-wing Likud Party.
A former director of Shin Bet internal security service and Minister of Internal Security, Dichter said that the Israeli army is prepared to use all means, including lethal force to deter the Palestinians protesters.
Since March 31, thousands of peaceful Palestinian protesters have been staging protests along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as “Nazis,” saying that there were no demonstrations, just “Nazi anger.”
He later added, according to Days of Palestine: “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis, anyhow.”
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the Tahadi 13 smalls school, near the entrance of the Sammoa’ town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and dismantled it.
The schools, which provides education to boys and girls, from kindergarten up to the sixth grade.
The cost of building the school arrived to 40.000 Euros, and provided education to 35 children from Seemia and Deir Shams villages.
It consisted of several tens, desks and chairs, provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education, and local donors.
It is worth mentioning that the soldiers dismantled and demolished the school several times before, including last Wednesday, and the soldiers confiscated all of its properties.
The head of the Ministry of Education, southern Hebron office, Khaled Abu Sharar, visited the school, and told WAFA Palestinian News Agency that took the tents, desks, chairs and other properties, before dismantling it.
Abu Sharar visited the school, and told WAFA that the ministry and locals are rebuilding the school, despite Israel’s constant violations, destruction and the ongoing attempts to force the Palestinian out, managed to install three tents at dawn, to ensure the continuation of the educational process.
“Israel is waging this vicious campaign against the school; this is a cowardice act that target basic rights of the locals,especially the children,” he added, “The soldiers stole the tents, furniture and construction materials, which were placed there until the new school is rebuilt once again, and posted a note on the rubble, threatening more destruction if the school is rebuilt.”
The official also stated that the Education Ministry will not just step aside and watch the constant Israeli violations against the school and the basic human rights of the students, and added that every child has the right to attend a school in their communities.
The two were held under harsh interrogation for 44 days at the Moskobiyeh interrogation center, during which Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported that they were subject to torture and ill treatment, including sleep deprivation, lengthy interrogation sessions, the use of stress positions and threats against themselves and their families. In addition, occupation forces seized Haitham’s mother and brought her to the interrogation center in order to put further pressure and attempt to extract confessions from him.
Failing to do so despite these tactics, the occupation military commander over the West Bank ordered Haitham Siyaj to six months in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, on 21 October. On 24 October, Seif al-Idrissi received the same detention order, and they have been held without charge or trial since that time. The military court confirmed both of their administrative detention orders on 4 December.
Both al-Idrissi and Siyaj have been detained on multiple occasions. Neither has been charged or tried; instead they have been ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under these orders, which are used especially against leading activists and political figures like Palestinian legislator and feminist Khalida Jarrar.
Basil al-Araj was assassinated by Israeli occupation forces on 6 March 2017 after being pursued for monthsby these occupation soldiers. He was known as a youth leader and intellectual who wrote prolifically about the Palestinian cause, participating in protests, demonstrations and transnational mobilizations for boycott and against Israeli apartheid. In April 2016, al-Araj and five other Palestinian youth, including Siyaj and al-Idrissi as well as Mohammed al-Salameen, Mohammed Harb and Ali Dar al-Sheikh, were seized by Palestinian Authority forces in what was then hailed as a victory for security coordination between the PA and Israel.
During their time in PA prison, they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment and launched a hunger strikeafter almost six months held behind bars. They were detained without charge for most of that time. Shortly after their release, four of the youth – Siyaj, al-Idrissi, Harb and al-Salameen – were seized by Israeli occupation forces and ordered to administrative detention. Throughout this time, al-Araj remained outside their grasp, although armed occupation forces repeatedly invaded his family home in the pre-dawn hours.
When occupation forces attacked the apartment where al-Araj was staying in El-Bireh, he resisted their attack for two hours and refused to turn himself over to them. He was shot by at least 10 bullets, in his heart, back, chest, rib cage, abdomen, liver and spleen. Thousands of Palestinians marched in his funeral, and Palestinians and solidarity activists around the world organized protests to demand an end to PA security coordination with Israel. Outrage against the PA only deepened when the five surviving youth – and even al-Araj – were charged with dubious political charges in PA courts while being held in administrative detention, charges that were eventually dropped after mass protests.
Since that time, the al-Araj family and Basil’s comrades have been repeatedly subject to persecution and attacks by occupation forces; these administrative detention orders and the arrest of Said al-Araj are part and parcel of these same repressive tactics.
The First Intifada began on December 8th 1987 as a spontaneous response to murderous violence by illegal Israeli settlers and brought the Palestinian cause back to the global consciousness. The First Intifada would be driven by the occupied people themselves, and especially by the children and youths; it was a revolutionary cry for freedom by those directly under the military boot of the occupier. At least 1268 Palestinians would be killed by Israel’s occupation forces’ and Israeli ‘civilians’ by the time the Oslo-era began in 1993 with its false promises of coming liberty, that would be betrayed by Israel’s regime and United States, the self-appointed ‘honest broker’. 161 members of Israel’s occupation forces, illegal Israeli settlers and civilians in Palestine 1948 would die also, with 53 of them civilians outside the occupied territories. Hundreds of Palestinian children and couple of dozen of Israeli children were killed, but as we have been unable to find exact numbers (B’Tselem, whose statistics we otherwise used here, gives only the deaths of those of age 16 and under) we can’t report the child casualties exactly. (Source / 09.12.2018)
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.
According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.
Though the demonstrators were around tens of meters away from the border fence, the Israeli forces who stationed in sniper positions and military jeeps along the fence continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them, without the later posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.
On 07 December 2018, the incidents were as follows:
At approximately 14:30, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the five encampments established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege adjacent to the border fence with Israel in eastern Gaza Strip cities. Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and gathered tens of meters away from the main border fence. Further, setting fire to tires and throwing stones, incendiary balloons and Molotov cocktails were almost absent. The demonstrators gathered in areas open to the Israeli snipers stationed on the top of the sand berms and military watchtowers and inside and behind the military jeeps. Despite the prevailing calmness, the Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets in addition to hundreds of teargas canisters, particularly in eastern Jabalia, Gaza and al-Bureij refugee camp. The Israeli shooting, which continued at around 17:00, resulted in the injury of 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 child, 1 woman and 2 paramedics. The injury of 3 civilians, including a child, was reported serious. In addition, hundreds suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures due to tear gas canisters that were fired by the Israeli forces from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.
The following table shows the number of civilian victims due to the Israeli forces’ suppression of the Great March of Return since its beginning on 30 March:
Among those Killed, there were 6 Persons with Disabilities and a girl.
Among those wounded, 511 are in serious condition and 94 had their lower or upper limbs amputated; 82 lower-limb amputations, 2 upper-limb amputations, 10 finger amputations and 17 children had their limbs amputated according to the Ministry of Health. The number of those wounded only include those wounded with live bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.
PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention. Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.
PCHR hereby condemns the excessive use of force and commission of crimes by the Israeli forces despite the prevailed calmness, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.
PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.
In the area of Salfit, harassment by settlers is a regular occurrence. They come to the villages, often late at night, to graffiti messages of hatred, and also vandalize cars and property. New settlements are being established frequently and are rapidly expanding.
Farris is a university teacher living in the village of Kufr al-Dik. He drove us to his land of Deir Samaan, a beautiful olive grove with panoramic views, and a complex of Roman ruins at it’s heart. It’s only a stone’s throw from his village, but we had to drive 15 minutes extra, as the occupation’s gate to the village’s main entrance has been closed for three weeks. This is a common practice of collective punishment inflicted by the army. Farris and the rest of the village were perplexed as to why they were being “punished” just now.
Up until now, it’s still possible to access Farris’ land, but one must pass the brand new constructions of Leshem, and an array of JCBs and cranes. Leshem appeared in 2010, and now hugs the west edge of Deir Saaman. It is the newest of many illegal settlements that now surround him. This year a further 1200 units were added.
Leshem, 1200 units built this year
“Leshem means Holy Rock in Hebrew. I think they used this name because I have a Roman castle on my land. They used bombs, a lot of bulldozers, and a lot of time to build Leshem. Construction has been constant since 2010 until now, and I suffer for this. There is a lot of dust because of this, so during the olive harvest I cannot collect the olives until the rain comes.”
Alei Zahhav intrusively overlooking the ruins of Farris’ land
Alei Zahhav, a settlement on the East side of Farris’ property, was established in 1983. It has now joined up with Leshem to the North, creating a large crescent of houses that have eaten into his land. “On the other side of the settlement, I have another piece of land with 300 olive trees. Now, because of the new constructions, I cannot come to my land because the road was closed. I need to go around the whole valley, and then more than 3km off road, through the valley, which is very bad for the car. So a lot of time is wasted and I have to get a tractor which is expensive.”
Alei Zahhav pinching the border of Farris’ land
He tells us that another huge impact from the Alei Zahhav settlement is the emptying of its sewage directly into the fields, which runs down the valley into his land. “Aside from being disgusting and affecting the trees, it is attracting many wild boars which are destroying everything I plant.”
In the midst of the interview a Settler nonchalantly strolled through the middle of Farris’ private property. Farris tells us that many of the ornately carved Roman stones have been destroyed by settlers. They often enter, vandalize the ruin, and also swim in his well occasionally.
The crescent has now expanded around to the South side of the property, with a new double fence, only a few weeks old, completely surrounding him. He was recently notified that he’ll soon be locked out from his olive trees and will have to obtain permission from the Israeli military to pass through. Based on previous cases, it’s likely he’ll only get permission for a few days a year to harvest olives.
“I opened a new agricultural road to come to my land because they destroyed the previous one. Now they’ve constructed a fence, which means that I will need a permit to come to my land. I have here 170 olive trees, and I recently planted 200 trees of other kinds. The restrictions mean these will be destroyed.”
Double fence recently installed
“Israel is annexing everything from the green line to the Jordan Valley. That is a big finger which cuts across the middle of the West Bank” he explains.
It’s clear that the settlements are being strategically planned and positioned.
Another settlement, Shalem to the south
“If you go to the high mountain and look around, to the West you will see Kafr Qasim, that’s the green line. From there the Israelis put settlements as a finger in the middle of the West Bank. All the mountains in that line have settlements on top, and they’re near to each other. If there is an Israeli city in the middle of the west bank there is no state of Palestine.”
The progression of annexation and dividing of the West bank
There are now 24 settlements in the Salfit area and only 18 Palestinian villages. Ariel, at the top of the valley from Farris’ land, with a population of around 20,000 is one of the largest settlements in the West Bank. “They want to make Ariel a city, all the settlements you can see refer to Ariel”.
Just bellow Ariel is a huge Israeli industrial area called Barkan. Palestinians have suffocating restrictions on what they can build. For example, they are prohibited from building industrial facilities. Whereas Israel has managed to flaunt International laws, and even Israeli laws, to establish these massive industrial zones, thus giving Israel evermore control over the region, and the Palestinian natives.
Barkan employs many Palestinians. At a time when unemployment is very high in the West Bank, the Palestinians take the work out of necessity, receiving much lower wages than their Israeli colleagues. Working for your illegal occupier is beyond humiliating, and gives rise to intense frustration. It’s not surprising that this forces people over the edge at times.
For land owners there is not always a choice. The accumulated obstructions and violent interventions take away the capacity to earn a living, forcing younger generations into accepting the low wages at Barkan. Traditional ways of village life are eroded, land is left untended, and therefore open to settler land-grabbing, as per Israeli law, and against international law. The objective is obvious, frustrate the occupants into leaving, or act out so as to be thrown into prison or worse, leaving the land empty.
Sewage and waste from all settlements, and the Barkan industrial complex, is emptied on to the fields of Palestinian farmers. This is causing a big loss of income, there are also significant cancer clusters within the villages of the valley below.
“I hope the Israeli people change their government because their government are terrorists to the Palestinian people. They don’t want peace, they lie all the time saying they do want peace, they lie about everything. They lie just to make the people keep wanting them. If the government wanted peace it would take ten minutes to do, we can start with 1967, but the Israeli government wants to take all of the land.”
Former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the targeting of densely populated areas, in the 2008 war on Gaza.
The revelation was made yesterday by Israeli newspaper “Maariv”, which reported that Barak had been frustrated with his failure to stop the firing of primitive Qassam rockets, from the besieged Gaza Strip.
In response, he ordered any location from which the rockets were fired to be hit with 155mm artillery shells, regardless of the population density and the destructive consequences of the proposed shelling.
However, according to Days of Palestine, Barak’s order was denied by then Chief Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit, who told the prime minister: “The order you want to be approved by the chief of staff is illegal”.
Mandelblit – who is now Israel’s Attorney General – stressed that Barak would be “defined as a war criminal” and could be “convicted by the International Court of Justice at The Hague,” if he went through with the order.
Mandelblit suggested that, though rockets could be fired from densely populated areas, this does not justify turning the civilian area into a military target.
He argued: “The proportionality of the response must be examined in light of the danger posed by the source of the shooting, and it would be inconceivable to kill 100 civilians in a hospital in order to destroy one rocket launcher.”
In addition, Mandelblit said that it was necessary to “respond with weapons with high precision when it comes to a specific target, rather than responding with a shell which causes shrapnel to scatter in a very wide area,” stressing it was “very doubtful” that artillery shells would hit the target.
When Mandelblit rejected the order, Barak met with him and then Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Barak claimed that Mandelblit was not the army commander, but rather that Ashkenazi was, and so he should carry out the order as instructed.
However, Ashkenazi replied: “You are right, Avichai [Mandelblit] is not the commander of the army and I am the commander, but I am telling you that this order will not be implemented […] I am not willing to carry out such an order which is illegal and immoral.”