UN: Over 700 Israel obstacles to Palestinian movement in West Bank

Palestinians try to pass through the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem to spend the Laylat Al-Qadr at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramallah, West Bank on 21 June, 2017

There are more than 700 obstacles to Palestinian movement across the West Bank imposed by Israeli occupation authorities, according to the findings of new research by the United Nations.

According to the comprehensive survey, conducted by UN OCHA in July, there are 705 permanent obstacles across the West Bank “restricting or controlling Palestinian vehicular, and in some cases pedestrian, movement”.

UN OCHA noted that “this figure is three per cent higher than in December 2016, the date of the previous survey”. The largest net increase was recorded in the Ramallah governorate, with a total of 15 additional obstacles.

The obstacles include “140 fully or occasionally-staffed checkpoints, 165 unstaffed road gates (of which nearly half are normally closed), 149 earth mounds and 251 other unstaffed obstacles (roadblocks, trenches, earth walls, etc).”

While all the 140 checkpoints include permanent infrastructure, only 64 of them are permanently staffed by Israeli occupation forces: 32 located along the Separation Wall or on roads leading to Israel, 20 in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2), and the other 12 elsewhere in the West Bank.

UN OCHA noted that “the other 76 (partial) checkpoints are either occasionally staffed or have security personnel located in a tower rather than on the ground.”

 UNRWA concerned about Israel plan to stop its work in Jerusalem

In addition to the obstacles recorded by UN OCHA, the agency noted that between January 2017 and the end of July 2018, Israeli occupation forces employed an additional 4,924 ad-hoc “flying” checkpoints, or nearly 60 a week.

“These involve the deployment of Israeli forces for several hours on a given road for the purpose of stopping and checking Palestinian drivers and vehicles, but without any permanent physical infrastructure on the ground,” the report explained.

UN OCHA also detailed how the Israeli military “has blocked vehicle access to the main entrances of Palestinian localities from which stones have been thrown at Israeli vehicles or where the homes are located of the perpetrators or suspected perpetrators of attacks against Israelis.”

Since January 2017, UN OCHA has documented 93 such incidents of collective punishment, affecting a total of 30 Palestinian communities. The closures may last “for a few days to a number of weeks”, with a “disproportionate impact on children, the elderly and disabled people”.

The UN agency added that “road obstacles are an integral component of a broader system of access restrictions, citing security reasons, that impedes the movement of Palestinians within the West Bank and contributes to geographical fragmentation.”

This sytem includes: the Wall (85 per cent of which lies inside the West Bank); permit requirements for West Bank ID holders seeking to enter occupied East Jerusalem; “prohibitions or restrictions on the use of 400 kilometres of roads serving Israeli settlers almost exclusively”; access closed to some 20 per cent of West Bank land designated “firing zones” or “border buffer ones”; access closed to “over 10 per cent of West Bank land located within the municipal boundaries of Israeli settlements”.

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Israel think tank proposes Palestinian ‘entity’ in 65% of West Bank

A view for a part of Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis on June 4,2011

A prominent Israeli think tank has proposed that the government should allow a Palestinian “entity” to exist in 65 per cent of the occupied West Bank, as part of a comprehensive plan to “separate” from the Palestinians and maintain Israel’s Jewish majority, reported the Times of Israel.

Presenting the plan at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) yesterday, main author Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin declared that “there’s a window of opportunity that never existed before” for Israel to take unilateral steps in its own interests, regarding the Palestinians.

According to the paper, the INSS plan ignores the occupied Gaza Strip entirely and does not even address the issue of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel, the plan states, “will work to complete” the Separation Wall in the West Bank, and “freeze construction in isolated settlements located deep inside Palestinian territory east of the [Wall]”.

The Israeli military “would retain unfettered access to Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank”, and “Israel would also maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley”.

READ: UEFA bans Israel from broadcasting games to illegal settlements

Yadlin acknowledged that it would “by definition mean a less-than state” but said the alternative was simply “unacceptable” to Israel.

“As opposed to the disengagement [from the Gaza Strip in 2005],” the plan states, “security would remain in Israel’s hands, we would not leave the entire area, settlements would not be broken up and we would not retreat to the ‘Green Line’.”

“What we’re trying to explain to the Palestinians is that they listened too closely to [former US Secretary of State] John Kerry,” Yadlin said, “who told them that Israel would be lost if it didn’t reach an agreement, and so they raised their price to a point that even someone like me, who’s associated with the Zionist Union, is not prepared to accept.”

“For the nuclear Iranian threat, Israel has a strategy. But for the threat of a single state, Israel does not have a strategy,” Yadlin told the Times of Israel.

The study’s two main authors were Yadlin, who previously served as the head of Military Intelligence and was tapped to be the Zionist Camp’s defence minister in 2015 had the faction won the election; and Udi Dekel, a former brigadier general and chief negotiator in the 2007 Annapolis Conference peace talks under then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.

There has been a 17% increase in illegal settlement construction in the occupied #WestBank in the first year of #US President Donald J. Trump‘s term

Read more: ow.ly/6zhH30k1wGS

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 09.10.2018)

8 homeless, as Israel forces Jerusalemite to demolish his home

A Palestinian was forced to demolish his own home, in the Beit Hanina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, on Monday 8 October, 2018

Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality yesterday forced Palestinian resident Ahmed Kawazbeh to demolish his home in the suburb of Al-Ashqariyeh in Beit Hanina, Safa news agency reported.

Occupation authorities said Kawazbeh had built the property without the nearly impossible to obtain building permits.

The Palestinian said he had reached a “dead end” with the occupation’s municipality and was forced to demolish his home. He had been handed a demolition order two months ago after living in the property for ten years on land that he owns.

Kawazbeh said he applied for a license, but it was refused and the municipality asked him to pay a fine of 36,000 shekel ($10,000). “But this did not protect my house from being demolished,” he said.

READ: Israel’s demolition of Khan al-Ahmar violation of international law

The father of six said that the municipality asked him to evacuate his house and pay 40,000 shekels ($11,150) to the municipality to send forces to demolish the property.

“As I am unemployed and do not have enough money, I was forced to demolish it myself in order to save the high costs,” he said.

However, he stressed that he would never leave the land which he owns. “However I am surrounded with skyscrapers built for Jewish settlers, I will erect a tent and live with my family in it,” he said, “I have no other place to live in and I will never give up a grain of sand from the land of Jerusalem.”

ZERO building permits were issued by Israel in 2015 !

Israel tightens #Palestinian construction in Area C – #OccupiedPalestine

MEMO infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 09.10.2018)

First shipment of Qatar fuel enters Gaza

A fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant in the central Gaza Strip, July 29, 2015 [Ashraf Amra / ApaImages]

A fuel tanker arrives at Gaza’s power plant in the central Gaza Strip, July 29, 2015

The first truckload of Qatari-funded fuel, of three shipments, entered the besieged Gaza Strip this afternoon via the Kerem Shalom (Karm Abu Salem) border crossing.

Three shipments of Qatari-funded fuel were allowed entry to the Gaza Strip by the Israeli authorities for Gaza’s only power plant.

Sources told Ma’an that a total six truckloads carrying 450 litres of fuel are expected to enter the Gaza Strip today.

READ: Gaza hospitals to stop services over fuel crisis

The Palestinian Authority (PA) objected to the Qatari move as the entry of fuel shipments was not done in coordination with it.

Gaza’s daily demand of power is between 450 to 500 Megawatts. However, the enclave has struggled for years with power shortages due to limited fuel access and degraded infrastructure.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current trends were not altered. However, in another report released in July 2017, the UN said that “life for the average Palestinian in Gaza is getting more and more wretched,” and that for the majority of Gaza’s residents, the territory may already be unliveable.

2 million people are deprived of electricity, vital medical care, and clean water in #Gaza

READ: ow.ly/QyoE30eOfV9

MEMO Infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Israel has killed 13 Palestinian students in the Great Return March

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Thirteen students at United Nations schools have been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip since March, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

The UNRWA statement, released yesterday, reveals that the fatal shooting by Israeli snipers of a Palestinian child on 28 September brought to 13 the total number of UNRWA students who have been killed since 30 March 2018 in the context of the “Great March of Return” protests.

“Many other children enrolled in UNRWA schools have been wounded in the demonstrations,” the statement added.

The statement further noted that between 31 March and 30 September, UNRWA’s 22 health centres across the occupied Gaza Strip “have provided 4,104 consultations for injuries sustained in the protests, more than 770 of which related to children”.

Some 86 per cent of these have been gunshot injuries, “often resulting in serious bodily harm”.

“Wounds can be dressed.  But for casualties of such violence and all involved in their care, the effects are lasting; rehabilitation is often long, costly and uncertain,” UNRWA added.

“UNRWA deplores the loss of life and the devastating impact that the deaths and injuries have on individuals and families.  Every effort must be made to protect more effectively those who are exposed to this tragic situation,” the statement continued.

The UN agency further stressed that “in recent months, the deepening humanitarian crisis has further ravaged the Gaza Strip and stretched an already fragile health system to breaking point.”

(Source / 09.10.2018)

500 Palestinians arrested by Israel over Facebook posts

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Israel arrested 500 Palestinians, including women, children and MPs, over their social media posts, the Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies reported.

The center’s spokesman Riyadh Al-Ashqar said that the Israeli authorities began arresting Palestinians for their social media posts since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada claiming such uploads incite terror against Israel.

Israel is using its recently formed “Cyber Unit” to monitor Palestinian social media posts, he said.

This unit, Al-Ashqar said, classifies any Facebook post that glorifies Palestinian martyrs, discloses Israeli crimes, and supports resistance as “incitement of terror”.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been sentenced over the past three years to different jail terms on the ground of incitement on social media, he charged.

Some others were placed under house arrest and denied from using social media platforms, he continued.

Al-Ashqar strongly condemned such arrests that “clearly violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights.”

He concluded by calling on the international community to protect the Palestinian people’s right of freedom of expression.

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Speaking about Gaza protesters, Bennet said: ‘I’d give the order to kill them’

‘I have been asked what I would do differently,’ Bennet said, ‘I would give the order to kill them’

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet said on Monday that he would like to kill all the Palestinian protesters of the Great March of Return in Gaza.

Bennet, who is also a member of the Israeli Security Cabinet, was addressing the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv when he delivered his remarks.

He criticised what he claimed the soft Israeli deterrence policy adopted regarding the protesters of the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.

“I think we need to make a very significant and quick change to Israel’s security policy and restore the deterrence,” Bennett said

The extremist settler added: “I have been asked what I would do differently. I would give the order to kill them. We need to kill terrorists who infiltrate Israel.”

It is worth noting that Israeli occupiers, their mass media and their allies describe all forms of legal Palestinian resistance, including peaceful protests against the Israeli occupation as ‘terror acts.’

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Thirteen Palestinians In West Bank

09 OCT
12:33 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight until morning hours, Tuesday, thirteen Palestinians, including five women, and one child, during extensive and violent searches of homes, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

The PPS office in Tulkarem, in northern West Bank, said the soldiers abducted Abdul-Rahman Mazen Abdo, 20, and Yousef Maher Jaber, 21.

It added that the soldiers also abducted Wafa’ Mahmoud Na’alwa, 54, and her daughters Hanadi, 26, and Sondos, 20. Wafa’ is the mother of Ashraf Na’alwa, the Palestinian who fatally shot two Israeli settlers, and wounded a third, in the Industrial Zone of Barkan colony, which was illegally built on Palestinian lands in Salfit governorate, in the West Bank.

In Nablus, also in northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Mohammad Rassem Ahmad, from ‘Asira al-Qibliya, southeast of Nablus.

The soldiers also abducted Osama Ahmad Salatna and Samir Ibrahim Fashafsha, from Jaba’ town, southwest of Jenin, in northern West Bank.

In Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner who was just recently released from prison, identified as Fadwa Abu Srour, 55, and her daughter Yasmeen, and summoned Fadwa’s husband, Abdul-Rahman Abu Srour, for interrogation.

The Israeli army has been repeatedly invading and searching the Abu Srour family home, and recently abducted Fadwa’s and Abdul-Rahman’s son, Khalil Abu Srour.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Mamdouh Ibrahim Abu Rabea’, and Tamer Sami al-Badawi, only 14 years old.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Mahmoud Abdul-Latif, from the Old City.

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Army Demolishes Two Rooms, Confiscates Solar Panels Donated By EU

09 OCT
2:04 PM

Israeli soldiers demolished, Tuesday, two residential rooms, and confiscated solar panels, in Masafer Yatta area, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in southern Hebron, said the soldiers invaded the al-Halawa small village, in Masafer Yatta area, and demolished two residential rooms.

Jabour added that the soldiers also removed and confiscated solar panels, which were donated by the European Union, to provide the villagers with electricity.

The rooms, and the solar panels, were used by families of Ahmad Ismael Abu Arram and Khalil Younis Abu Arram.

Jabour denounced the ongoing and escalating Israeli violations against the Palestinians, and the destruction of their homes and property, and added that Israel’s violations aim at forcing the Palestinians out of their lands to replace them with illegal colonies.

(Source / 09.10.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Invade UNRWA Clinic In Jerusalem After Announcing Takeover

09 OCT
12:46 PM

Israeli soldiers and employees of the Israeli Health Ministry invaded, Monday, a clinic run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Sahera Gate area, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers and health department employees invaded the clinic, and attempted to break into its pharmacy, allegedly to document the available medicines, their descriptions and usage in addition to the place of manufacturing.

The invasion into the UNRWA clinic came just days after the Jerusalem City Council said it intends to shut down all UNRWA-run facilities in occupied Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that the Agency’s operations in Jerusalem would be shut down, although many Palestinians depend on UNRWA for medical, educational and food services.

In response, UNRWA representatives said that the Israeli shutdown of the Agency’s operations is likely a violation of the agreements made between the Israeli  government and the United Nations.

In addition, they questioned Barkat’s motives in making this move, which comes just two months before he is scheduled to leave office. Barkat has also repeatedly expressed anti-Palestinian sentiments, and has taken a number of measures to discriminate against the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and to force their removal.

A report in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz noted that when Barkat made his announcement that he will shut down UNRWA in Jerusalem, he “didn’t give an interview next to UNRWA’s main Jerusalem activity center, in the Shuafat refugee camp. The camp, located on the opposite side of a separation barrier, is barely recognized by the city as a neighborhood and the city hardly provides it with any services. It’s UNRWA that steps in to provide the camp with education, health and welfare services.”

The Jerusalem City Council said it plans to shut down the UNRWA clinic in Shu’fat refugee camp, and in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, under the allegation that the UN-run clinics were not licensed by the Health Ministry, and the patients “can receive services from Kupat Holim health maintenance organization.

The Mayor claims that the  1,800 Palestinian students which attend UNRWA schools in Jerusalem would be “absorbed into existing schools”. But Israeli government schools are highly segregated, and those that are designated for Palestinians in Jerusalem are extremely overcrowded and underfunded already.

The city government of Jerusalem made no indication as to how they would carry out this plan – and Palestinian residents fear that there is no plan, and they will be shut out of schools and medical care altogether.

In addition, UNRWA provides trash service and cleanup for the refugee camp. With the Israeli government takeover, residents fear a backlog of garbage along with excessive fees being imposed on Jerusalem’s poorest residents.

The mayor’s statement claims that UNRWA is “an illegal organization operating to advance terrorism and incitement”. But there is no evidence presented to back this bizarre claim.

There is already a major shortage of classrooms, early childcare centers, medical clinics, maternity clinics, welfare and sanitation services in the Palestinian areas of Jerusalem.

UNRWA has, until now, been able to provide some of the needed services for Palestinian refugees who live within the city of Jerusalem. With the shutdown of UNRWA, the refugees expect that they will simply end up being more neglected and unable to access medical care, education or sanitation.

Attorney Nazreen Elayan told the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, “Instead of establishing infrastructure where needed, Barkat wants to take over existing infrastructure. We are fighting for years with the city to open more mother-child centers in East Jerusalem and it hasn’t done so. So now they’re going to take over the good clinics run by UNRWA”.

In it’s statement in support of Mayor Barkat, the city council of Jerusalem stated, “Barkat’s decision aims to blow up the lie of the ‘Palestinian refugee problem,’ which is part of the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda under UN sponsorship and encouragement, which aims to destroy Israel by eternalizing refugee status and the perpetual call for the ‘right of return’ to Israel,.”

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, told the paper, “The statement (by Barkat) challenges the independent humanitarian, non-discriminatory actions by UNRWA and doesn’t reflect the traditionally positive dialogue between UNRWA and Israel.”

And attorney Danny Seidman told reporters, “How can the mayor of Jerusalem declare war on a recognized international establishment that does no damage and is helpful? It’s all about theater, pure McCarthyism for the sake of Likud primaries”.

(Source / 09.10.2018)