Caught between covid and settlers: How a West Bank school is struggling to survive

Across Palestine, schools are closed to try and stem the spread of the virus, but Al-Maleh Elementary has struggled to offer remote learning, because of the lack of internet and electricity in the village

By Laila Ahmet and Amelia Smith

For the 170 pupils in Al-Maleh village in the West Bank, the three-hour journey to school was arduous. Sometimes it took three hours after they had navigated the Israeli security checkpoints, some on foot and others on donkeys. Eventually, many of them simply stopped going.

In mid-2019 Mahdi Daraghma, chairman of the local council, set up two tents which served as a makeshift school for the children in the hope that having it close by would encourage pupils to attend classes.

It worked, but there were other challenges. In the winter months the pupils shivered and rubbed their hands together – so Mahdi appealed to international organisations for funding. When it arrived a year or so later, he used the money to build four classrooms, each room 15 by 20 square metres, with brick walls and a tin roof.

If you look north from Al-Maleh Mixed Elementary School, you can see the mountains of Khirbet Jabaris; to the south are the Salama Mountains and to the east is the Jordanian border. Fake grass lines the playground and a wire mesh fence surrounds it.

Inside, there are two grades to a classroom and the pupils share desks. There is no electricity or internet, but at least the children have access to lessons: “The school is very important for the students and the village community,” says Mahdi. “The students now wake up at a normal time and the parents can follow up on their children and go to speak to the teachers as it is near to their homes.”

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Hanan Dabak started in the school as a volunteer teacher, when it was still made up of tents, teaching Arabic, maths, English and National Education. Now she works there officially and receives her salary from the Palestinian Education Ministry.

For roughly one week, everything in the new school was going well. Then a notice arrived at Mahdi’s office from the civil administration of the Israeli army – Al-Maleh Elementary was set to be demolished on the pretext that it had been built on an archaeological area. With that, it became one of 44 schools across the occupied West Bank currently at risk of demolition.

Mahdi himself was arrested and detained for four hours and when he was released the army confiscated his car and tractor, which they have not yet returned. He has submitted an appeal to an Israeli court challenging the demolition order but has not heard anything back.

[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]

On 17 December 2020 a second demolition notice was issued informing Mahdi that in 96 hours the Israeli army would destroy the new building.

“We didn’t increase the size of the school. We just built a school in the same area as the tents. Just four classrooms with bricks and tinplate,” he says, pausing.

The aim is for the Palestinians to own nothing.

“The demolition order for the school is part of the settlement support policies because if they accept the school, they think that will give the citizens a motive to stay in the area,” adds Hanan. “Because if the school is far from where the people live, people would leave the area to go to places with services.”

After they received the notice, teachers erected a billboard outside the school and attached it to the fence, displaying the name of its funders. The EU, Belgium and Denmark are all on there. Hanan and the other two teachers hope this might dissuade the army from razing it.

“We as teachers felt very sad when we learnt that the school will be demolished, and that the future of many students will be in danger and there is nothing we can do,” says Hanan. “However sad we feel, we never show the students, and we encourage them and say we will stay here.”

[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]
[Mahdi Daraghma/Middle East Monitor]

“What danger would a six or nine-year-old student pose for the Israeli occupation to issue a demolition order to the only place they have to attend lessons, the only school they can reach?” she asks.

“The psychological state of the children, the fear and anxiety is worrying. Many students come to speak to me and say, ‘Miss Hanan, I’m afraid that the Israeli army will attack us, or the settlers will attack the area and harm us.”

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Al-Maleh is a Bedouin village situated in the Governorate of Tubas and the Northern Valleys, which is registered as Area C and has been under the full control of Israel since the Oslo Accords.

The area has been classified as a military zone and nature reserve which means it is out of bounds for Palestinians. Mahdi says that whilst roughly 19 Palestinian structures, largely made of tents and tin, received demolition orders in 2020, Israeli settlements have expanded.

“Since 1967 until now, the Israeli occupation exercises the most heinous violations against Al-Maleh’s civilians,” says Mahdi. “Construction is banned, any infrastructure or services are banned, the people of the village live in camps.”

Al-Maleh is an agricultural area and the population relies on sheep and cows to make a living, yet it’s not easy because there are no essential services, including electricity. Residents import water for approximately 20 shekels a cup, explains Mahdi.

The village is surrounded by five settlement outposts and their inhabitants’ assault and attack the Palestinians on a daily basis, locals report, including preventing them from entering their fields to tend to their animals. The Israeli army has seized some 30 tractors from farmers in the community.

[Hanan Debek/Middle East Monitor]
[Hanan Debek/Middle East Monitor]
[Hanan Debek/Middle East Monitor]

“For the last two years, farmers have been prevented from cultivating their lands,” says Mahdi. “They confiscate any tractor that enters the land under the pretext that it is a military zone. Settlers, however, are allowed to farm and raise their livestock.”

Added to the challenges faced by these villagers is the global coronavirus pandemic, which has driven down the price of products as demand has eased. On top of this, it has made it harder to transport milk and cheese products amidst travel restrictions.

Across Palestine, schools are closed to try and stem the spread of the virus, but Al-Maleh Elementary has struggled to offer remote learning, because of the lack of internet and electricity in the village.

After the demolition notice, 30 of the original 50 students – 1st to the 3rd grade – were brought back to try and deter the Israeli army from demolishing the school. Mahdi explains that the number of schools being knocked down has increased as the army takes advantage of empty premises.

In the meantime, the teachers try to reassure their pupils that they will be able to continue with their education. “When will the Israeli army demolish our school?” they ask Hanan. “Where will we study if they do; will we continue our education, will we have to make the long journey in the morning again?”

The parents are worried also. The mother of Mahmoud Zamil, one of the pupils at the school, said she is deeply anxious about her child’s schooling and if he will once again have to make the difficult journey just so he can learn to read and write. Other mums and dads have asked Hanan and Mahdi if they have a plan for what will happen if the school really is demolished.

“If they demolish the school, we will build tents again in its place,” says Mahdi. “If they demolish the tents, we will teach them under trees. The students will stay there, and we will keep educating them.”

(Source / 15.01.2021)

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Summary for January 7 – 13, 2021

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered 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 that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week witnessed an escalation in the shooting of Palestinian workers near the Annexation Wall in the West Bank, as 7 workers were shot and wounded in Tulkarem. Settlers’ attacks, mainly stone throwing at civilian houses and vehicles in the West Bank, were also reported. Additionally, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued as part of Israel’s de facto annexation and under various pretexts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This week, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 225 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF wounded 14 Palestinians, including person with speech impairment, in excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: 7 were wounded near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarem; 2 in IOF attack on Kufur Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilia; a speech-impaired Palestinian was shot and wounded near a checkpoint in Jericho. Also, one Palestinian was arrested after he was shot near a checkpoint set by the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in an alleged attempt to conduct a stab attack. The remaining injuries were recorded in Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin and Ramallah. Also, a child sustained wounds in Hebron while playing with items left by IOF.

In the Gaza Strip, 13 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands, and five times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 139 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 127 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis where soldiers left pamphlets demanding farmers harvest their crops and the area was razed. Additionally, IOF arrested a Palestinian while attempting to cross the border area in eastern Central Gaza. He was released later.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 10 incidents, including:

Jenin: house evacuated (its contents were damaged and confiscated).

Ramallah: tractor confiscated

Nablus: wheel loader and tractor confiscated

Occupied East Jerusalem: house self-demolished in Ras al-Amud neighborhood; lands vacated in Wadi a-Rababeh neighborhood; a wall demolished in Anata.

Tubas: truck confiscated; demolition notice served to a house in the northern Jordan valleys.

Bethlehem: greenhouse dismantled.

Hebron: 8 dunams razed.

Settler-attacks:

PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 11 settler-violence incidents:

Ramallah: assaults on farmers, 3 were wounded, in Kafr Malik; assault on several vehicles near the Turmus Ayya intersection

Nablus: 9 settler attacks, including stone-throwing at intersections and vehicles; 190 olive tree seedlings uprooted and confiscated in Qusra village; 150 seedlings uprooted in Jalud; land confiscated in Aqraba and two Palestinian civilians sustained wounds after being assaulted in Khirbet Minim.

Hebron: settler attacks and stone-throwing on Jerusalem-Hebron road.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 07 January 2021, IOF accompanied with a large number of Israeli soldiers and special forces moved into Dheisheh refugee camp and Al-Dawha village, southwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses after blowing up their doors, causing fear to its inhabitants. IOF also arrested Mohammed Yousef al-Zaghari (27), Mo’tasem Mazen Raqban (27) and Mo’taz Mohammed Shari’ah (28). During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered near Jerusalem- Hebron Street and threw empty bottles and Molotov cocktails at IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them on the camp’s streets and fired live bullets and heavy sound bombs at them. As a result, a 19-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his foot and was taken to Beit Jala Hospital for treatment.At approximately 05:35, IOF moved into Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF responded with live bullets and teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, a 24-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his right leg and was taken to Dr. Khaili Suliman Hospital for treatment. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. During the IOF incursion into Qabatiya village, they raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Yousef Jaser Yousef Nazzal (21) and Mohammed Ragheb Naji Kmail (20).At approximately 07:15, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3-6 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 18:40, IOF stationed at a military checkpoint established at the northern entrance to Jericho, in the center of the West Bank, fired live bullets at ‘Obaida Sameer al-Taweel (24), a mute person from occupied East Jerusalem, while passing through the checkpoint. As a result, al-Taweel was shot with a live bullet in his right thigh and was taken to Jericho Governmental Hospital for treatment. Eyewitnesses said that I opened fire at al-Taweel without justification after he crossed 10 meters toward the checkpoint, as he was returning to his home in Jerusalem.At approximately 22:50, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir_al-Balah, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 23:00, a large number of IOF accompanied with Israeli Intelligence officers moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, after a number of Palestinian young men burned a vehicle belonging to an Israeli settler, near “Beit Hoshin” settlement, which is established on the neighborhood lands. IOF fired heavy teargas canisters in the area, chased Palestinian young men and beat them. Also, IOF arrested the two siblings Dawoud (19) and Mohammed (18) Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa.At approximately 05:15 on Friday, 08 January 2021, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF responded with rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. During the IOF incursion, they raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Mohammed Nash’at ‘Issa Samara (32), Mohammed Hussain Ahmed Zaidan (33) and Ahmed Hussni Ahmed Zaidan (35).At approximately 11:00, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.At approximately 11:00, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village council, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in al-Shurfa area, where Israeli settlers set up a tent and a water tank and conducted excavation works on the village’s agricultural lands. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers and settlers awaiting them. The protestors performed the Friday prayer on the lands under the threat of confiscation and then chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. Following the Friday prayer, the protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.Around the same time, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the eastern outskirts of Kafr Malik village, near ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, northeast of Ramallah. The Palestinian young men threw stones and empty bottles at IOF stationed at the entrance to ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, which is closed with sand berms. IOF fired heavy sound bombs and teargas canister at the stone-throwers, chased them between residential houses and clashed with them. As a result, a 21-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was taken to Silwad Medical Center for treatment. Also, dozens of villagers and stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 42-year-old male was directly hit with a teargas canister in his leg, and a 19-year-old male was hit with a teargas canister in his back.At approximately 14:00, dozens of Masafer Yatta residents along with international and Israeli peace activists organized a peaceful protest near Kherbet al-Rakiz im protest at houses demolition and lands confiscation. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans. In the meantime, a large number of IOF arrived at the area and deployed on the road that protestors attempted to close it in order to obstruct the movement of settlers living in outposts built on the confiscated lands. An hour later, Israeli soldiers pushed the protestors and fired teargas canisters at them. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, two Israeli soldiers assaulted Suilman ‘Eid Yamen al-Hathaleen (68) and pushed him to the ground. As a result, he sustained bruises and received treatment in Yatta Governmental Hospital.At approximately 14:30, Mousa Mohammed Abu ‘Arram (16), from Kherbet Janba, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron, sustained wounds in his feet, and his right hand was amputated after the explosion of a suspicious object left by IOF near al-Qaryateen area, near the green line. Abu ‘Arram was breeding livestock in the area. When the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) crews arrived at the area, they provided first aid to Abu ‘Arram. When the PRCS attempted to transfer Abu ‘Arram to the Palestinian ambulance, an Israeli force arrived at the area and transported Abu ‘Arram to the David Red Star ambulance, and then took him to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where he underwent a surgery for long hours. Doctors were able to restore his amputated hand. Abu ‘Arram remains in the intensive care unit (ICU), while Israeli authorities have not yet informed his family, who stays in the hospital only knows that his son is under arrest.At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor ad-Dik), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 15:00, a group of Palestinian young men gathered near a military watchtower established at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed there. IOF chased stone-throwers in ‘Asida area and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also closed the village entrance with a metal detector gate and prevented the villagers from entering and exiting the village via their vehicles. The clashes continued until 18:00.At approximately 16:00, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Taweel Mount area, east of Al-Bireh city, and threw stones at a military checkpoint established near “Psagot” settlement, east of the city. IOF chased stone-throwers and fired teargas canisters, sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until 18:00; no arrests were reported.At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed in the memorial site, southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at border area and fired flare bombs in the sky. Later in the evening, Israeli Spokesperson declared the arrest of a Palestinian male namely Farhan Hammad Abu Midden (26), from Nuseirat refugee camp, who sneaked through the border fence. Israeli authorities released him later.At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into al-Sa’diyia neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF beat a number of children, under the pretext of throwing stones at them. When the children’s families attempted to help their children, IOF fired sound bombs to disperse them, beat them and arrested Khaled al-Dejani (53) and his son Jehad (24), and Ya’qoub al-Dabbagh (48), taking them to al-Qashla Police Station in the Old City.At approximately 22:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 08:40 on Saturday, 09 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 09 January 2021, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyia area in the center of Hebron, where a military checkpoint so-called Checkpoint (56) established at the northern entrance to Hebron. The Palestinian young men threw stoned at the checkpoint. IOF stationed behind the checkpoint fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers and chased them on Wad al-Tuffah Street. As a result, many young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation. The clashes continued until 19:00, during which, IOF closed Beersheba Street and prevented vehicles’ movement.At approximately 18:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 1-4 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 21:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 06:30 on Sunday, 10 January 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Abasan al-Kabira village; no casualties were reported.At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened sporadic fire around them until 21:15, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 21:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.Around the same time, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, north of Beit Lahia, and north of al-Sifa area, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at border areas and fired flare bombs in the sky; no casualties or material damage were reported.At approximately 21:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.At approximately 22:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 06:45 on Monday, 11 January 2021, IOF stationed near the annexation wall on Far’un village’s lands, south of Tulkarem, fired live bullets at Palestinian worker, who attempted to enter Israel for working. As a result, 6 workers were shot with live bullets in their lower extremities.At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 11 January 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 19:40, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor ad-Dik), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 12 January 2021, IOF stationed near the annexation wall on Far’un village’s lands, south of Tulkarem, fired live bullets at Palestinian worker, who attempted to enter Israel for working. As a result, a worker, from Beit Furik village, east of Nablus, was shot with live bullet in his foot.At approximately 22:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Gaza Seaport, west of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 7 nautical miles, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties or material damage were reported.At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, IOF accompanied with Israeli intelligence officers moved into Al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, after a number of Palestinian young men threw stones at “Beit Hoshin” settlement. IOF fired heavy teargas canisters in the area, chased Palestinian young men and arrested 4 of them, taking them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were: Yousef Khaled Abu al-Hawa (19), Mohammed Khaled Khowais (19), Ameer Sami Abu al-Hawa (19) and Omar Zaki Khwais (21).At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested ‘Abed al-Rahman ‘Abed al-Muhdi Mahmoud Burqan (22), from Hebron’s southern area, after opening fire at him and wounding him in his foot at a military checkpoint (160), which is established at the entrance to al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City. IOF claimed that Burqan has had a knife, and he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. Burqan was taken via an Israeli ambulance to a hospital in Israel.At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Ramallah in the center of the West Bank and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood. IOF raided and searched Mohammed Yousef ‘Awadallah Washah’s (18) house and arrested him. IOF withdrew from Washah’s house, during which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. IOF immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many young men suffocated to due teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Tamer Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa, Adam Sami Abu al-Hawa, Fadi Hijazi Abu al-Hawa, Dawoud Wael Abu Hatab, Ibrahim Khaled Abu al-Hawa, Ashraf Hani Ghaith, Khalil ‘Ataa Abu al-Hawa, and Mohammed Akram Abu al-Hawa. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered, threw empty bottles and Molotov cocktails and fired fireworks at Israeli soldiers. IOF chased the protestors, fired a barrage of rubber bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, dozens of villages suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

Thursday, 07 January 2021:At approximately 00:35, IOF moved into Awarta village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Omar Wasfi ‘Abdat’s (26) house and arrested him.At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into Surda, north of Ramallah. They stormed al-Zinat Petrol Station in the middle of the city and arrested Abdul Razzak Muhanna Abu Shukhaidem (28), while on duty, and confiscated the surveillances cameras and records, and broke out the main door of the station’s office.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qaqilia from its eastern side, and stationed in the center of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Ahmed al-Ra’i (49).At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Khalil Jehad al-‘Amour’s (29) house and arrested him.At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Zahran Abu ‘Asba’s (17) house and arrested him. At approximately 12:00, Abu ‘Asba was released after investigation, in front of Huwara military camp, southeast of Yatta.At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hameed Abdul Raheem Hanaysha (38) and Tayseer Ameen Kan’an (45).At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Tayseer Zeidan (24), from Om Dar village, southwest of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Sammit, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Ibrahim Abdullah Masalma’s (27) house and arrested him.At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of Jerusalem. They raided and searched Samer Monther Atiya’s (23) house and arrested him.At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Abdullah Najeeb’s (21) house and arrested him.IOF carried out (9) incursions in ‘Atuf village, southeast of Tubas; al-Zawiya, Anzah, Sanur and Jaba’ villages in Jenin governorate; Madama, southeast of Nablus; Azzun, east of Qalqilia, al-Dhahiriya and Beit Ummar in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 
Friday, 08 January 2021:At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched al-Sheikh Sa’eed Abdul Aziz ‘Arama’s (51) house and arrested him.At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Tamer Ahmed Thaher (24) and Omar Zaki Khuwais (21), and arrested them.At approximately 21:45, IOF arrested Naser Farhan Abu Middain (24), from al-Nuseirat neighborhood, while attempting to infiltrate through the border fence, northeast of Bureij. IOF took him to an unknown destination and released him after two hours.IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tayasir, east of Tubas; Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin; Deir Istiya and Yasuf, east of Salfit; Shuqba and Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

 
Saturday, 09 January 2021:At approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians;Islam Mohammed Issa (23), Zuhair Zahi Issa (22), Jaser Mohammed Rizk (24), and Reda Khaled Issa (23). After several hours of investigation, IOF released them in front of Huwara military camp, southeast of Nablus, at approximately 11:00.At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Hussain Hafez al-Harini’s (28) house and arrested him. It should be noted that al-Harini is one of the Anti-Settlement activists in Masafer Yatta, and he was accused in stirring up riots, claiming that he participated in a protest the day before.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Khaled Sameeh al-A’raj’s (21) house and arrested him.At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood in Ramallah. They raided and searched Khaled Hasan Amra’s (35) house and arrested him.At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Issa Nazmi Hashash (23) and Mahmoud Mohammed Sebti (22).At approximately 10:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on Nablus-Ramallah road, southeast of Nablus, and arrested Qusai Ibrahim Hamada (22), from Jenin, before removing the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 11:15, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established at al-Hadidiya area in the northern valleys, east of Tubas, arrested Bassam Ahmed Owda (25), from Tammun, southeast of Tubas.At approximately 23:50, IOF moved into Deir Ghazaleh village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and no arrests were reported.IOF carried out (8) incursions in Arraba, Ya’bad, Jaba and Faqqua villages in Jenin governorate; Madama village in Nablus; al-Tayibe, Beitunia, and Deir Jarir in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

 
Sunday, 10 January 2021:At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Hammoud Abu Sbeitan’s (21) house and arrested him.At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed in Jabal Johar area. They raided and searched Suhail Ashour al-Hussaini’s (58) house and arrested him along with his son, Fahed (25).At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr ‘Aqab, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Samaha Haitham al-Rajabi’s (16) house and arrested him.At approximately 09:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint on the eastern entrance of Bethlehem, arrested Rabea’ Awad Kmail (18), from Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Tareq Sa’ada al-‘Abbasi (28), while present in Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein Street in the middle of the city.At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Kafr Aqab village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Amjad Mahmoud Mahmoud’s (28) house and arrested him.At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Adham al-Rashq (16) and Zain al-Karaki (16) and arrested them.At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Wael Abu Hatab (22), while present at Bab al-Sahera “Herod’s Gate”, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Gates. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at Herod’s Gate, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Jehad Naser Qaws (26), and took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street. IOF released him after 3 hours of investigation.At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a store in the camp and arrested Tamer Rami Owais (17). IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into Qaryut, southeast of Nablus. They arrested Rateb Ahmed Hussain (26) and Hamza Abdullah Kassab (21) and took them to an unknown destination.Around the same time, IOF stationed at Huwara military checkpoint, in the southeastern entrance of Nablus, arrested Ali Arafat Mansour (20), from Kafr Qallil, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 23:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, stationed in al-Khilwa area and started checking the civilians’ ID cards. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered, they threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who attacked the protestors and chased them, and arrested Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (17), and Mohammed Adnan Abu al-Hawa (18).IOF carried out (7) incursions in Jaba, Ya’bad, Arraba, and Zububa, in Jenin governorate; al-Shuyukh, Dura, and Hadab al-Fawwar, in Hebron governorate. No arrested were reported.

Monday, 11 January 2020:At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed in al-Ein area. They raided and searched Khalil Abdul Fattah Sabarna’s house and garden after detaining all his family in one room, and handed his son, Ayham (25), a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Nayef Abdul Naser Kayed (22), Mohammed Hatem Ghazal (22), and Ayham Nahed Aqel (25), in the Old Neighborhood, near Sebastia Mosque, and arrested them. IOF took them to unknown destinations.At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ahmed Talal Kmeil (20), Majdi Hamza Saba’na (19), Ahmed Hasan Nazzal (52), and Montaser Faisal Khzimiya (24).At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Eyad Safi (23) and Alaa Ameer Qasem (28).At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Akram Ghadi Obaid’s (17) house and arrested him.At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; including a child. The arrestees are: Osama Smi al-Fakhouri (21), Abdul Rahman Derbas (19), Saif Ramadan Obaid (21), and Naser Othman Darwish (17).At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Khaldoun Mahmoud Fannoun’s (28) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Haitham Mahmoud’s (20) house and arrested him.IOF carried out (6) incursions in Beit Ummar, Aroub refugee camp, and al-Dhahiriya in Hebron governorate; Farkha, al-Zawiya, and Iskaka villages in Salfit governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 12 January 2020:At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into ‘Anata, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Nour Mahmoud Salama’s (22) house and arrested him. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Ameer (18) and his brother Mohammed Amer Zakarna (24), Mohammed Abdul Rahman Abu al-Rab (20), and Ayyash Ra’ed Zakarna (18).Around the same time, IOF moved into Nour Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem, and stationed in the middle of the camp. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hothaifa Saleh Abu Saris (22).Around the same time, IOF moved into Tulkarem, and stationed in the middle of the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Wasfi al-Jallad (22), and Abdul Fattah Azem al-Qaddoumi (52), from the city.At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tammun village, southeast of Tubas. They raided and searched Othman Ahmed Bani Owda’s (24) house and arrested him. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Wad neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Nabeel Nidal Sidr’s (18) house and arrested him.At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Munir Kayed Mahmoud (28), from al-‘Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while on duty near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station in West Jerusalem. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.At approximately 22:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Ya’bad village, southeast of Jenin. They arrested Baha’ Maher Kmeil (22), and Hamza Mahmoud Abu al-Hasan “al-Zar’ini” (22), before removing the checkpoint. IOF took them to an unknown destination.IOF carried out an incursion in Iskaka, east of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021:At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ali Suliman al-Sa’id (33), and his brother Lo’ay (28).At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ramez Mohammed al-Harimi’s (23) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed in Asida area. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Kotaiba Nader al-‘Allami (19), and Abdullah Ali Za’aqiq (20).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hashem Omar Zakarna (18) and Ameer Bassam Abu al-Rab (20).At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tayasir village, east of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Yazan Zahi Abu Ali (24), Salama Abdul Razik Dabak (32), and his brother Mojahed (30).At approximately 03:30, IOF stormed a print house in al-Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, belonging to Amer Abu al-Rish. They damaged many of its contents and confiscated some of the contents, under the pretext of incitement.

Amer Abu al-Rish said that IOF stormed and damaged his print house and confiscated some items as; two printers, and a laptop. Furthermore, they hanged banners on the doors that warns people from dealing with us, claiming that the print house is illegal and works in favor of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and warned anyone who deal with our print house or the PFLP will be held accountable.At approximately 04:20, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Amro Hamza Ba’irat’s (33) house and arrested him.At approximately 06:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers moved 120-meters to the east of al-Fukhkhari, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence to the north, and then to 150-meters to the east of Khuza’a then to ‘Abasan al-Kabira and al-Jadida.

Pamphlets left by IOF eastern Khan Younis telling them to harvest their crops

They also threw papers written in two languages (Arabic and Hebrew) saying that:

“Your crops have expanded to less than 100 meters of the security fence. If all crops are not removed within the set time limit, they will be removed by IOF.”

It should be noted that IOF did not provide a timeframe for their decision. IOF had conducted an incursion into eastern al-Fukhari and Khuza’a on 16 December 2020, where they conducted similar operations.At approximately 12:30, after shootings by the Palestinian resistance members at the Israeli vehicles, east of Abasan al-Jadida, IOF randomly threw smoke bombs and bomb shells at the monitoring points in the border areas. After 30-minutes, IOF fired live bullets around journalists while documenting the situation, which led them to flee and hide in a gap for 5 minutes before leaving the area.

They continued leveling and combing lands adjacent to the border fence from the north to the east of al-Bureij refugee camp, where IOF deployed again inside the border fence at approximately 17:00.At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at military checkpoint(160), established at the entrance of al-Ibrahimi Mosque “Cave of the Patriarchs” in the middle of Hebron’s Old City, arrested Mohye al-Dein Mohammed al-Sharif (18), claiming that he was in possession of a knife. IOF took him to the investigation center of “Kiryat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron.At approximately 13:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Nidal ‘Allam Zakarna (23), from Deir Ghazaleh village, northeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians, Abdullah Amjad Obaid (16), Yazan Emran Obaid (20), his brother Mohammed (21), and Mohammed Hussain Abu Rajab (19).At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Ghassan Bassam Itmizi (31) and Mo’taz Mahmoud al-‘Assoud (20), from Idhna village, west of Hebron, after stopping them while working in Water Extensions in the western entrance of the city.At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at al-Zaeem military checkpoint, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ameer al-Dein Abu al-Hawa (18), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied city, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Ameen Dwaik’s (27) house and arrested him.IOF carried out (11) incursions in Jenin and Tayasir, east of Tubas; Awarta, Kafr Qallil, Beit Dajan and Burqa, in Nablus governorate; al-Beira and Beitunia, in Ramallah governorate; al-Dhahiriya and al-Samu, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, 07 January 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Farasin village, southwest of Jenin. IOF surrounded a house belonging to Yousif Tayseer Mohammed ‘Amarnah and forced his 7-member family, including 5 children, living in the house to vacate, noting the house was built 200 years ago and renovated by ‘Amarnah to live there. Following the evacuation, IOF burst the 2 house doors open in addition to four windows and confiscated them. They also damaged and destroyed the kitchen and bathroom as well as confiscating four 1.5 cbm water tanks. They also confiscated a generator and 25 olive seedlings prepared for planting in the land. All of this occurred allegedly for illegal house renovation in Area C.At approximately 10:00 on Friday, 08 January 2021, IOF backed by military and Israeli Civil Administration vehicles moved into Sinjil village in Ramallah. The soldiers deployed in the area and the Civil Administration officers confiscated a tractor belonging to ‘Ayed ‘Abdel Salam Ghefari (54) while plowing his land. It should be noted that there is a settlement “Ma’ale Levona” established on the lands of Sinjil village, and settlers established on 25 August 2020 a new settlement outpost comprised of 4 tents and a sheep barn. However, the villagers confronted the settlers and forced them to remove it a week after.At approximately 17:30, IOF moved into Furush Beit Dajan village in the central Jordan Valley, northeast of Nablus. They seized a bulldozer and a tractor belonging to Maher Turkman while he was rehabilitating the road in front of his house with the bulldozer to facilitate the movement of his old parents living in the house as his mother is transferred via an ambulance twice a week for treatment at the hospital due to suffering kidney failure.

PCHR’s fieldworker said that IOF forced Turkman to drive his bulldozer amid 2 military patrols to “Jadi” military camp in al-Jiftlik village in central Jordan Valley. IOF kept the bulldozer under custody and took Turkman back to his house, ordering him to drove the tractor, which was in front of the house, as well to the same camp for confiscation. Turkman was released in front of the camp while the bulldozer and tractor were confiscated allegedly for illegal work in Area C.On Friday evening, Hatem Shahin al-Salaymah self-demolished part of his house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision that claimed unlicensed construction.

Hatem al-Salaymah said that he lives with his wife and 3 children in his house, built in 1998. He added that the Israeli Municipality crews has been haunting him since 2001 when they imposed 5 fines of around ILS 70,000 and he hired a lawyer to obtain a house license. His case remained the same until the Israeli court issued, last January, a house demolition decision, which his lawyer appealed. Before the court’s decision on the appeal request, IOF ordered him to demolish the house 3-meter setback so he could obtain the license. Al-Salaymah obeyed and deliberately demolished a small room on the house roof (20 sqm) and retaining walls so his house would be licensed and protected from demolition. He did the self-demolition because the court informed him if he did not, the Israeli Municipality would completely destroy the house.At approximately 08:30 on Sunday, 10 January 2021, IOF vacated a vacant plot of land in Wadi al-Rababah in Silwan, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and expelled the owners by force to allow the Israeli Nature Authority’s bulldozers to level and dig in the area.

Khaled abu Tayeh, Member of the Silwan Defense Committee, said that IOF in large numbers stormed plot of land no. 19/20 from Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood and beat up the owners, who gathered since the early morning. IOF also fired sound bombs and rubber bullets at them to force them to leave the area. Abu Tayeh added that the land owners attempted to confront the Nature Authority’s bulldozers with their bodies and insisted on staying in their land to prevent any land-razing that would paves the way for the confiscation of their land.

Abu Tayeh also said that IOF arrested and beat up 6 civilians, including a child and they were as follows; Ahmed Sumrein, Ahmed ‘Awad, Faris ‘Awad, Youssef ‘Awad, Mahmoud ‘Awad, and ‘Abdullah ‘Away, the child.

Ahmed Sumrein, Member of the Silwan Defense Committee and one of the arrestees, said after his release that he was arrested along with 5 others for their presence in their land to protect it from confiscation. He added that they were detained for 12 hours in Salah Al-Deen Street Police Station and then released on one condition that they stay under house arrest for 5 days and are deported from the neighborhood for 10 days.

The Silwan Defense Committee said that the land owners in Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood, have documents and maps proving their ownership and that their lands are planted with trees which they daily take care of. The committee added that the Nature Authority and Municipality seeks, through the so-called “gardening project”, to confiscate lands and deny civilians access to it in order to turn them into gardens and bible paths.At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 10 January 2021, IOF moved into ‘Atouf village, east of Tammun town, southeast of Tubas in northern West Bank. They confiscated a cargo truck loaded with base course belonging to ‘Emad Ahmed Joudah, from ‘Iraq al-Tayeh, east of Nablus, as he works for a contracting company owned by Samer Ahmed Mahmoud Rabay’ah from Meithalun village, southeast of Jenin. The contracting company works in a project to rehabilitate the roads of ‘Atouf village that is funded by the Local Governance Ministry in favor of the village council. The truck was confiscated while working in Area B and was taken by the soldiers along with the driver to al-Mozeiqeh camp near the village. The driver was then released after handing him a confiscation warrant, allegedly for illegal work in Area C although it was Area B according to the Palestinian Local Governance’s maps.At approximately 11:20, IOF accompanied with the Civil Administration SUV moved into Kherbet al-Ras al-Ahmar in Northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas, northern West Bank. The Civil Administration officer handed Sa’id Zidan Thaher a notice to demolish his under-construction house allegedly for illegal construction in Area C.On Monday, 11 January 2021, IOF demolished a fence in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

‘Anata village Mayor, Taha al-Refa’ie, said that the IOF bulldozers demolished a fence surrounding a plot of land belonging to Nazzal Mohammmed ‘Ali, from Shu’fat Refugee Camp, near the main entrance to the village.At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 12 January 2021, IOF dismantled a greenhouse belonging to Salim Hamdan Soliman in Teqoa village in Bethlehem under the pretext of being in Area C although the owner had a license according to the legal proceedings.

Taysir Abu Mefleh, Mayor of Teqao village, said that Salim Soliman had recently inaugurated his plant nursery in his agricultural land in the village due to his poor living conditions in order to support his family. Although the nursery did not pose any threat to the main street or others, IOF took away his source of income when they dismantled this morning the green house established on 150 sqm and confiscated it.

At approximately 01:00 on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and an excavator moved into al-Qarn area, east of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They deployed near a plot of land belonging to ‘Issam Hasan Abu ‘Ayyash (59), and the excavator started leveling large parts of the 8-dunum land that was planted with 100 olive and almond trees 5 years ago. IOF claimed that Abu ‘Ayyash rehabilitated a confiscated land while the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision to allow Abu ‘Ayyash to work in his land for having ownership documents.

At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 07 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Kokhav HaShahar” settlement, east of Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah, attacked al-Lahaf and al-Tbeil areas, east of the village in central West Bank. The settlers attacked with sticks and stones the farmers who were plowing the agricultural lands. As a result, 3 civilians sustained wounds and bruises and were identified as Maher Rezeq Abu ‘Alia, from al-Mughayyir village, who sustained bruises and cuts in his right hand and back; Khaled Namourah who sustained cuts in his head and ‘Abdel Jalil ‘Obaidah Safa (55) who sustained cuts and bruises in his foot. Citizens then gathered and threw stones at the settlers to force them to leave, but IOF intervened to protect settlers and fired live bullets and teargas canisters at the civilians and chased them. As a result, a tractor belonging to Diaa’ Waleed Rostom (28) sustained severe damage and IOF arrested him as well as confiscating his tractor and taking it to an unknown destination. Moreover, IOF shooting broke the front and side windows of Khaled Namourah’s vehicle.At approximately 20:45 on Saturday, 09 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Shiloh” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of northeastern Ramallah threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Ramallah-Nablus Main Street near the intersection of Turmus Ayya village, northeast of the City. As a result, front right window and windshield of a car belonging to Jamal Riyadh Jamal Dar Shalabi (40), from the same village, were broken and the backside of it sustained damage.At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 09 January 2021, settlers from the “Hilltop Youth” group rioted and threw stones near the intersections of 6 roads: the entrance to the evacuated “Homish” settlement, northwest of Nablus; Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village; Za’atara checkpoint intersection; at the entrance to “Shiloh” settlement, ‘Ali Valley near Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of Nablus; and Sora-Jeet Road, west of Nablus. As a result, a taxi minibus belonging to Jamil Rateb ‘Abdel Rahim Kafeina, from As-Sawiya village, southeast of Nablus, sustained damage and its windows were broken. Moreover, another taxi minibus sustained damage and the rear window was broken.At the same time, dozens of settlers protested on Jerusalem-Hebron Street near “Gush Etzion” intersection for the fourth consecutive week.

The settlers, who were protected by the IOF, raised slogans calling for Arabs to leave and closed the main street before Palestinian vehicles. They threw stones at the vehicles, breaking the windows of a vehicle belonging to Ahmed al-Za’arir, from al-Dawhah village, west of Bethlehem.On Sunday morning, 10 January 2021, settlers from the “Price Tag” group made their way from ” Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost, southeast of Nablus, to attack She’ab al-Kharab area in southeastern Qusra village adjacent to the outpost. The settlers uprooted 190 olive seedlings and confiscated them from a plot of land owned by ‘Issam ‘Abel Hamid Yousif ‘Odah, Mahmoud Ibrahim ‘Abdullah ‘Odah and Nayef ‘Ali Ka’abnah.At approximately 21:30, settlers from the ” Hilltop Youth” group made their way from “Shiloh” settlement established on Nablus-Ramallah Road, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on the road; a truck belonging to Mohammed Salim Khader ‘Odah, from Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, sustained damage and the windshield, right side window and the front mirror were broken.On Monday morning, 11 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Ahyah” settlement established on eastern Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, attacked a plot of land belonging to Ghassan Khalil Haj Mohammed located 150 meters away from the settlement, which is within the Area B in Land No. (6) in Jalud plain. The settlers uprooted 150 olive seedlings and confiscated them as well as the siege surrounding the land.At approximately 15:30, a group of settlers moved into al-Tawil area, east of ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus. The settlers started plowing a plot of land owned by Ayman Fawzi Bani Fadel and his brothers, who accompanied with a number of citizens headed to protect the land and expel the settlers from it. IOF intervened to protect the settlers and brought the Israeli police, so Ra’ed Fawzi Bani Fadel (30) told them that he was the owner of the land and had documents proving so. He clashed with the settlers; during which a settler pushed him. As a result, the Israeli police arrested him and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 19:50, settlers from “Hilltop Youth” Group made their way from the “Havat Gilad” settlement outpost established on the Nablus-Qalqilia road, southwest of Nablus in the northern West Bank, threw stones at a Palestinian car belonging to Osama Rafe’a ‘Awayes; traveling 7 citizens from Ramallah and crossing the “Yitzhar” Bypass Road near the Sora intersection on Nablus-Qalqilia road. The window of the left door and the glass scattered on the citizens inside and one of them, Mahmoud Yazid Walid Daghlas (24) was hit with a stone in the right eyebrow.At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 2 settlers from “Jetit” Settlement established on the lands of southeastern Nablus attacked Mohammed ‘Abdel Rahman Zain al-Deen (70) and his son, ‘Ezz al-Deen (34), from Majdal Bani Fadil village, wounding them in the head. They were then taken by a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance for treatment at Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus. The attack occurred when both civilians were on their way to the lands threatened of confiscation in Khirbat al-Minya, where settlers guarded by the Israeli Police and IOF plow the lands.At approximately 18:30, settlers from the “Hilltop Youth” Group made their way from “Taffuh” settlement established near Za’atara checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Salfit, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank, and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles crossing Za’atara Intersection that connects Nablus, Ramallah, Salfit and Jericho. As a result, the windshield of a car belonging to Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Othman, from Majdal Bani Fadil, southeast of Nablus in addition to another car.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

The bizarre case of Mohammad El-Halabi displays Israeli “justice”

Mohammad El-Halabi’s experience as a Palestinian prisoner in Israel is unique only in its magnitude of injustice – its essence is common to thousands of Palestinians, including numerous practices that contravene international law.

By Kathryn Shihadah

Palestinian human rights worker Mohammad El-Halabi is in court today in Israel, his 154th appearance since his arrest in 2016. His story is both horrific and commonplace, as Palestinian prisoner stories go.

El-Halabi is a refugee, born in Gaza, 42, the father of five, with a Master’s degree in engineering and – until his arrest in 2016 – an employee of the Christian charity World Vision (WV). He devoted 10 years to the organization; for 2 of those years (2014-2016), he led the Gaza branch. In 2014, the United Nations presented him with a Humanitarian Hero award.

El-Halabi, who has helped provide critical medication to children in Gaza who were dying of cancer, now sits behind bars without access to his family and only limited access to his attorney. He holds the distinction of having the longest military trial in the history of the Israeli occupation.

mohammad halabi's daughter holds a poster of her father
Mohammad El-Halabi’s daughter Rital holds a poster of her father

Absurd accusations

The charges against El-Halabi are preposterous. Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, Shin Bet, alleges that he diverted more than $7 million a year, almost $50 million total, of donations away from charitable work and funneled it to Hamas.

WV’s President, Kevin Jenkins, stated in the days following El-Halabi’s arrest that the organization’s “cumulative operating budget in Gaza for the past ten years was approximately $22.5 million,” which throws the entire accusation into question. Jenkins added that even during El-Halabi’s short time as manager of Gaza operations, El-Halabi was never authorized to spend more than $15,000 without approval.

To its credit, World Vision has stood by El-Halabi, even as the organization conducted an internal audit. The Australian government also examined WV’s books in 2017. Neither probe found any irregularities.

Yet the Israeli government maintains its allegations – Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accused WV of “turn[ing] a blind eye” to the embezzlement of funds because the organization is “very anti-Israel.” (It is worth noting that NGOs like World Vision have been at work in the Palestinian territories for years because Israel as occupier has neglected to care its occupied population in accordance with international law.)

This is not the first time such accusations have been leveled against individuals and groups trying to bring relief or justice for Palestinians – even Oxfam has been attacked.

Israel also frequently levels trumped-up accusations against activists and journalists who organize protests or post on social media opposing Israeli policies – a recent example is Issa Amro, nicknamed “Palestinian Gandhi” for his peaceful protest methods.

“Secret evidence”

Secret evidence” is another standard tool of Israeli “justice.” Israeli prosecutors claim to have proof of guilt, but withhold the information from both the prisoner and his lawyer. The accused is not present for the proceedings against him or able to argue for his innocence. The judge’s decision is based only on the prosecution’s side of the story, denying the very essence of a fair trial.

Secret evidence is the basis of the case against Mohammad El-Halabi, as it has been for many other Palestinian captives.

Torture for confession

As part of his detention and interrogation, El-Halabi has been tortured. His parents and lawyer confirmed that he has been beaten, shocked, and mentally abused. He has lost hearing in one ear due to his mistreatment.

El-Halabi joins a huge group of Palestinian prisoners in this ordeal. Israeli interrogators regularly use beatings and other forms of torture, as well as threats against family members (especially females) to elicit false confessions.

Torture is so common in Israeli prisons, including among Palestinian children, that US Congresswoman Betty McCollum proposed legislation in 2017 and 2019 calling attention to the practice and blocking the use of American aid to subsidize the practice.

mohammad el-halabi
Mohammad El-Halabi, World Vision’s Area Development Program Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire

The use of torture is one of the reasons for the Israeli military court’s almost 100% conviction rate.

Another reason is its regular use of plea bargaining – which “allows” Palestinians to spend less time in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Not far into El-Halabi’s trial, an Israeli judge recommended that he accept a plea deal because he would almost certainly be found guilty. He chose instead to fight the charges, although he knew the likely outcome.

Astonishingly, as his attorney points out, “Israel knows that Halabi is innocent. Some Israeli officials told me that.”

Miscellaneous dirty tricks

El-Halabi has been the victim of many other strategies that keep Palestinian prisoners from getting justice.

His attorney tells of witnesses who have been blocked from leaving Gaza to testify for him; Israel’s refusal to give him needed medical treatment, and dragging the trial out for years with no end in sight.

Numerous other irregular practices in Israel’s military court system have been documented for years.

Collective punishment

As soon as the charges were released against Mohammad El-Halabi, World Vision shut down its operations in Gaza. As the trial drags on 4 years later, the work remains suspended.

In addition, the Australian and German governments – both generous donors to the organization’s work in Palestine – were among many benefactors to suspend their funding.

As WV reminded its patrons, the organization has helped tens of thousands of Gazan children, providing food and medical care, and “aid from the international community remains a lifeline for 1.1 million people in Gaza, and one in four children in Gaza are in need of psychosocial support” – these people join El-Halabi in suffering injustice at the hands of Israel.

Experts believe the whole point of these wrongful practices is Israel’s desire to intimidate human rights organizations in the Palestinian territories and their donors. The specter of “supporting terrorism” could effectively cut off Gaza from any outside help.

Israel has successfully kept the people of Gaza under a brutal blockade for 14 years, blocking medical supplies, building materials, and other staples from entering the enclave. The population is vulnerable and desperately in need of the kind of humanitarian aid that World Vision used to supply.

Mohammad El-Halabi is just one face of Israel’s campaign to bring Gaza to its knees – or to its demise.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, a young Palestinian man from his home in the at-Tour town, in the occupied capital, Jerusalem.

Local sources said the soldiers abducted Adnan Abu al-Hawa (Abu Leila), 18, after storming his home and violently searching it, causing damage.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem ordered the release of ten Palestinians, who were abducted following protests in the town, after dozens of soldiers invaded it and ransacked many homes.

On Thursday at dawn, on Thursday at dawn, the soldiers invaded Kafr Malik and al-Mughayer Palestinian villages, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched and ransacked dozens of homes, and abducted nineteen Palestinians.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Army Abducts A Palestinian Near Jericho

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, a young Palestinian man from Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, south of Jericho in northeastern West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers abducted Abdul-Rahman Saleh, 20, and moved him to an unknown destination.

They added that the soldiers first invaded the refugee camp and fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at Palestinians who protested the invasion, and several surrounding homes.

Also on Thursday evening, the soldiers abducted a young Palestinian man from his home in the at-Tour town, in the occupied capital, Jerusalem.

On Thursday at dawn, on Thursday at dawn, the soldiers invaded Kafr Malik and al-Mughayer Palestinian villages, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched and ransacked dozens of homes, and abducted nineteen Palestinians.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem ordered the release of ten Palestinians, who were abducted following protests in the town, after dozens of soldiers invaded it and ransacked many homes.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Shoot A Palestinian Near Ramallah

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, a young Palestinian man and caused several others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in the al-Mughayyir village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Local sources said the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs, at the Palestinians who were nonviolently marching towards their lands in the al-Qale’ area, east of the village.

They added that a young man was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet, and many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

The Palestinians were marching towards these lands that have been subject to seriously escalating attacks carried out by the soldiers and the illegal colonialist settlers, who are attempting to annex them for the construction of the colonies.

It is worth mentioning that, on Thursday at dawn, the soldiers abducted 16 young Palestinian men, during massive invasions and violent searches of homes in the village.

Resident Ayman Abu Alia, the father of Ali, 14, who was killed by Israeli army fire, on December 4, 2020, said the soldiers stormed his homes and searched it, in addition to threatening to kill his other children if the protests do not stop.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Soldiers Seal Entrances Of Tiwana Village, Near Hebron

Israeli soldiers sealed, Friday, all entrances of the Tiwana village, in Masafer Yatta area, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Fuad al-‘Amour, the coordinator of the Protection and Steadfastness Committees in Masafer Yatta, said the soldiers closed the village and prevented the Palestinians from entering or leaving it.

Al-‘Amour added that the soldiers closed the village to prevent the locals and the international peace activist from holding a nonviolent activity, protesting the escalating attacks and violations by the army and the illegal colonists.

The village has been subject to serious violations targeting the residents, their lands, and even their livestock, as the colonists continue their attempts to force the locals out of their lands to build and expand the illegal colonies.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Soldiers Injured Many Palestinians In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers shot, Friday, four Palestinians with sponge-tipped bullets and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, shortly before the weekly nonviolent procession in Kufur Qaddoum, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

Morad Eshteiwi, the media spokesperson of Fateh movement in Qalqilia, said the soldiers invaded the village before the scheduled weekly procession and started firing gas bombs, concussion grenades and sponge-tipped bullets at the residents.

He added four Palestinians were shot with sponge-tipped bullets, and dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

The soldiers also detained Ja’far Eshteyya, a cameraman for the French Press Agency, searched his cameras, and equipment, and released him after threatening to abduct him.

Several youngsters hurled stones at the invading soldiers who fired more gas bombs at random, many striking homes, causing many Palestinians, including children, to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

The attack took place when dozens of residents gathered in front of Omar Bin al-Khattab mosque in the town, and chanted against the ongoing Israeli violations, in addition to boosting popular resistance against the occupation, the illegal annexation wall, and the colonies.

Kufur Qaddoum holds weekly processions, every Friday and Saturday, protesting the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and colonies, in addition to the continued close to the town’s main road since the year 2003.

The road is no longer accessible to the Palestinians and is exclusively used by the colonists, driving to and from Kedumim illegal colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Army Injures Many Palestinians, Including A Woman, Abducts Elderly Man, Near Hebron

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, a nonviolent procession in Masafer Yatta, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in addition to shooting a woman with a teargas bomb, and abducting an elderly man.

Media sources said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the locals, and international peace activists, who were nonviolently marching in Masafer Yatta.

They added that the soldiers shot one woman with a teargas bomb in her leg and caused dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in addition to abducting an elderly man after assaulting him.

The procession was organized by local Palestinian Bedouin communities against a recent serious escalation of attacks and violations carried out by the soldiers and fanatic Israeli colonialist settlers, targeting their lands, communities, and even livestock, amidst constant attempts to illegally confiscating land to build and expand the colonies.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers sealed all entrances of the village, earlier Friday, to prevent the Palestinians and international peace activists from holding the nonviolent procession.

(Source / 15.01.2021)

Israeli occupation remanded Sheikh Saeed Armi for 30 days

Ramallah (QNN)- The Israeli military court of Ofer in the occupied West Bank remanded today the Palestinian Saeed Armi for an additional 30 days in prison, according to the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission.

The Commission stated that the court served an indictment against Sheikh Saeed, which included throwing stones at the Israeli occupation forces and settlers.

Last Friday, the Israeli occupation forces arrested Armi after storming his house in the village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah.

This comes after he was filmed last week confronting Israeli occupation forces during an Israeli raid into the village.

During several interviews with local and international media outlets, he said that he joined his village’s youths to defend his land and other lands of the village, where settlers have recently created a settlement outpost, confiscating nearly 18 dunums.

“I decided to join the youths.. They made a small sling for me and I was very emotional because of the deep wound inside of me after my people and I lost our land”, Sheikh Armi said. “I did not fear the occupiers nor to be shot, this was not even a concern because after losing our land we will be worthless.”

(Source / 15.01.2021)