Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes with petrol bombs

Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/ApaImages}
Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2010

Israeli settlers threw petrol bombs at two Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank village of Burin, near Nablus, on Thursday evening, Wafa has reported. When local residents rushed to try to extinguish the resultant fire, Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at them.

The soldiers then entered the village and opened fire on the villagers. Many suffered from tear gas inhalation, and one resident in his 30s was arrested.

The attack came shortly after groups of extremist settlers sealed off several roads and junctions and attacked Palestinian vehicles with stones and empty bottles. Eyewitnesses said that the Jewish settlers who hurled the petrol bombs were identifiable but were not detained by the security forces.

Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian property are commonplace, particularly by extreme right-wing settlers. They are rarely held to account by the Israeli occupation authorities. Indeed, in most cases the settlers who harass and attack Palestinians are accompanied and protected by Israeli soldiers.

More than 600,000 Jewish settlers currently live in more than 250 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. According to international law, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are “occupied Palestinian territories” and all Jewish settlements built there and the settlers who live in them are illegal.

READ: Pregnant Palestinian suffers miscarriage after Israeli tear gas attack

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Israeli settlers threaten to kill Palestinian bus drivers in occupied West Bank

A Palestinian bus driver wears a protective mask amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank on 7 March 2020 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]
A Palestinian bus driver wears a protective mask amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank on 7 March 2020

Israeli settlers have called for the murder of Palestinian bus drivers in the occupied West Bank, the Times of Israel has reported. Racist graffiti reading “Kill Arab drivers” was sprayed in Modi’in Illit, the largest illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Other graffiti warned that “The damage won’t stop” until Israeli-run Kavim Bus Company stops employing Arabs. The word “revenge” was also sprayed on the back of a bus. The Israeli army claims to have launched an investigation into the graffiti.

“The writing on the wall is clearer than ever,” said Kavim. “The day isn’t far away when drivers will be harmed, and it doesn’t matter what sector they’re from.”

The company pointed out that the responsibility for the safety of the drivers and passengers lies with all “relevant” parties. “It is time to see a change in the whole issue of information, enforcement and punishment so that the drivers do not stand at the forefront without proper protection.”

READ: Pregnant Palestinian suffers miscarriage after Israeli tear gas attack

Settler attacks on Palestinians have become commonplace in the West Bank, with settlers often throwing stones, vandalising property and destroying olive trees belonging to the indigenous population.

Israeli settlements are home to around 600,000 Jewish settlers across the West Bank. The settlements (and the settlers) are illegal under international law and have been described as “major obstacles to peace”, given that they are built on stolen Palestinian land.

Despite this, the Israeli authorities have advanced plans for thousands of new settlement homes in recent weeks and months.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Hamas to hold internal elections in parallel with national elections preparations

Palestinians come together to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Hamas in Gaza on 16 December 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians come together to celebrate the anniversary of Hamas in Gaza on 16 December 2019

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas is planning to hold its internal elections at the same time as preparing for national elections, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

Reporting informed sources, Anadolu Agency said that the Hamas Shura Council turned down a proposal for delaying the internal elections for several months in order to prepare for the national elections.

Last Friday, Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree ordering the Elections Committee to hold the parliamentarian elections on 22 May, presidential elections on 31 July and the Palestinian National Council on 31 August.

An informed source told MEMO that Hamas had already started its preparations for the internal elections, noting that they are expected to be completed by 25 February.

Other sources informed MEMO that Hamas prisoners inside Israeli jails have already completed their elections. The source did not reveal names because this remains confidential until the end of the elections in Gaza, West Bank and abroad.

The Palestinian factions are holding a joint meeting in Cairo on 5 February to discuss a mechanism that will guarantee the success of the elections.

READ: As Abbas seeks a safe exit, who’s waiting in the wings?

(Source / 23.01.2021)

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) Protection of Civilians Report for January 5-18, 2021

  • Two Palestinians reportedly attacked Israelis in two separate incidents and were subsequently shot; one was killed and the other injured. On 5 January, at the Gush Etzion junction (Hebron), a 25-year-old Palestinian man approached the security coordinator of an Israeli settlement and threw a knife at him, following which the latter shot and killed him, according to Israeli sources. On 13 January, at a checkpoint in the old city of Hebron, a Palestinian man reportedly tried to stab a Border Police officer and was then shot and injured by Israeli forces. The day before, at Qalandiya checkpoint (Jerusalem), a Palestinian man reportedly attacked an Israeli security guard with a screwdriver and was subsequently arrested.
  • 79 Palestinians, including 14 children, were injured across the West Bank in clashes with Israeli forces. Most of those wounded (59) sustained their injuries in protests against the establishment of two settlement outposts near Al Mughayyir and Deir Jarir villages (Ramallah) or against settlement activities near Kufur Qaddoum (Qalqilia). An Israeli soldier was also injured in one of the clashes in Al Mughayyir; the village’s main entrance was blocked for vehicular movement for over a week. Eight Palestinians were shot and injured while trying to enter Israel through a breach in the Barrier near Tulkarem. Another two Palestinians were injured in two protests against the shooting of a man during a confiscation incident occurred on 1 January in Ar Rakeez, in southern Hebron, and against the uprooting of trees in Deir Ballut (Salfit). The remaining injuries were recorded during search-and-arrest operations in Qabatiya (Jenin), Tammun (Tubas) and the Aqbet Jaber (Jericho) and Ad Duheisheh (Bethlehem) refugee camps, or in clashes at various checkpoints. Fifty-five of the injured people were treated for inhaling tear gas, 14 were shot with live ammunition, eight were hit by rubber bullets, and the remaining ones were physically assaulted.
  • Israeli forces carried out 161 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 157 Palestinians across the West Bank. The Jerusalem governorate has continued to record the highest number of operations (33), mostly occurring in East Jerusalem.
  • Two Palestinians sustained critical injuries in the Hebron governorate when unexploded ordnance they were handling exploded, in separate incidents. One of them was working his land near the Barrier, next to As Samu’ village, and the other, a 17 year-old boy, was herding his livestock near Mirkez, in an area that the Israeli authorities designated for military training. The Israeli army supported the transfer of the boy to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment.
  • On 18 January, two rockets were shot from Gaza towards Israel, following which, Israeli forces carried out airstrikes in Gaza. The Palestinian rockets were reportedly activated automatically due to the weather conditions and fell into the sea next to Israel’s coast. The Israeli strikes reportedly struck military targets, damaging an agricultural field in Khan Younis.
  • On at least 47 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near the perimeter fence or off Gaza’s coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions. Also, on two occasions, Israeli forces conducted land levelling near the fence.
  • Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 24 Palestinian-owned structures across Area C, displacing 34 people and otherwise affecting almost 70. Ten of the targeted structures, including homes, animal shelters and mobile latrines, were located in the Beit Iksa Bedouin community (Jerusalem), where 27 people, half of them children, were displaced. Four of these structures had been provided as humanitarian aid. A family of seven living in an ancient building in Khirbet Fraseen (Jenin) was displaced following the removal or demolition of windows, doors, water pipes, electricity cables and a toilet they had added to their home, which the Israeli authorities say is located in an archaeological site. A recently constructed school in Umm Qussa (Hebron) received a ‘removal notice’ under Military Order 1797, which allows for its demolition within 96 hours. No demolitions were recorded in East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli authorities uprooted about 1,370 Palestinian-owned trees on grounds that the land had been declared ‘state land’, and confiscated 237 sheep claiming they were grazing in an area declared as a nature reserve. The uprooting incidents occurred in Deir Ballut (Salfit) and Beit Ummar (Hebron). In 2020, the Israeli authorities uprooted an estimated 4,164 Palestinian trees, nearly 60 per cent more than in 2019. The confiscation of the sheep took place near Near Wadi Fuqin (Bethlehem), where the herder was issued a fine of ILS 50,000 (US$15,200).

Eight Palestinians were injured and dozens of Palestinian-owned trees and vehicles were vandalized by perpetrators known or believed to be Israeli settlers. An 11-year-old girl was stoned and injured near her house in Madama (Nablus), six men were physically assaulted in separate incidents while working their land near Aqraba (Nablus) and Kafr Malik (Ramallah), and a man sustained injuries during stone-throwing at Palestinian vehicles in the Ramallah area. At least six Palestinian vehicles were damaged in stone-throwing incidents, while additional cars in East Jerusalem were vandalized during settler protests against the death of an Israeli boy in a car chase with the Israeli Police. Over 230 olive trees and saplings were damaged near the villages of Beit Ummar in Hebron and Jalud in Nablus.

One Israeli woman was injured and 27 Israeli-plated vehicles were damaged by perpetrators believed to be Palestinians in 26 incidents across the West Bank, according to Israeli sources. Twenty-three of these incidents included stone throwing and three involved Molotov cocktails.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Israeli Military Attacks Palestinian Protesters in Kufur Qaddoum

Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly Friday protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilia in the northern part of the West Bank. The soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to attack the demonstrators.

One teen was shot in the hand by a rubber-coated steel bullet and had to be taken to a nearby hospital. Other demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and were treated on site.

According to witnesses, the Israeli army fired teargas and rubber-coated steel rounds at demonstrators as they marched on the main street of the town toward the Israeli Annexation Wall that was constructed illegally on village land.

Morad Eshteiwi, media spokesperson for the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in the northern West Bank told reporters that the injured young man was shot in the hand, while several others who suffered from the effects of tear gas were treated at the scene.

Kufur Qaddoum has been the site of weekly protests again the Wall and Israeli settlements since 2011. The protests generally involve marches and chanting, as well as stone throwing when the Israeli military attacks the marches.

Kufur Qaddum is a village of around 3,500 people west of Nablus and east of Qalqilia. The weekly protests began in the village soon after the Israeli military erected a roadblock at the village entrance to prevent Palestinians from using their road — which was re-routed by the Israelis to run through the Kedumim settlement. Even in emergencies, Palestinians are not allowed to use their former road.

The Jewish-only settlement was constructed on land owned by the people of Kufur Qaddoum, which was stolen and taken over by Israeli settlers.

Every Friday since 2011, about 400-500 villagers gather at their end of the road to protest and demand the reopening of their road and land.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Israeli Army Injures Fifteen Palestinians Near Nablus

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the nonviolent procession in Beit Dajan village, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and injured sixteen Palestinians, in addition to causing dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

The Palestinians marched from the village heading towards their lands, where illegal Israeli colonists installed an outpost, three months ago.

The soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the protesters, and shot fifteen with rubber-coated steel bullets, in addition to causing dozens to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

The soldiers also shot one Palestinian with a gas bomb in the face before he, and other injured Palestinians, were rushed to local hospitals.

Nasr Abu Jaish, the coordinator of the Popular Committee for Defending Palestinian Lands, who also suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation, said this procession is the sixteenth in three months and added that the Palestinians will continue their protests until the removal of the illegal outpost, built on stolen lands.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Dozens Of Palestinians Injured In Beit Hanoun Explosion

Updated: The Interior Ministry in Gaza has reported that dozens of Palestinians were injured, on Saturday morning, in an explosion, east of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.

The Ministry said the causes of the explosion are still under investigation and added that the medics moved at least 27 Palestinians to the Indonesian Hospital, in northern Gaza.

The explosion caused severe damage to many homes and buildings, in the eastern part of Beit Hanoun.

The Interior Minister added that the explosion apparently took place in one home but was powerful enough to cause damage to surrounding buildings.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Palestinian Villagers Foil Attack By Israeli Colonists South Of Nablus

Palestinian villagers of the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, managed to foil an attack by a group of illegal Israeli colonists, who attempted to invade their community.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said the residents noticed the colonists gathering near the entrance of the village, before they started marching towards the community, but the Palestinians gathered in large numbers and foiled their attempted invasion.

WAFA added that a scuffle took place between the villagers and the invading colonists, before Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene, and also attacked the Palestinians, and ensured the retreat of the colonists.

The al-Lubban village contains an archaeological site that was built during the Ottoman era, and includes a spring that provides the village with freshwater, while Israeli colonists have, for many years now, been trying to occupy it.

The Palestinians in the village installed gates and rehabilitated the site before Israeli bulldozers demolished the gates and walls around it.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Palestinian Journalist Released After Seven Months in Prison Without Charges

Israeli military authorities, which govern the Palestinians in the West Bank under martial law, released Palestinian journalist Mujahed al-Saadi Friday after he was imprisoned for seven months without charges.

Al-Saadi was held in so-called ‘administrative detention’, a euphemism used by Israeli authorities used when they hold Palestinians for extended periods with no charges against them. He had been abducted by Israeli occupation forces on June 24th, 2020 from his home in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Al-Saadi is a freelance journalist who contributes to a number of different local and international news outlets, including Palestine Today.

Israeli authorities never informed him of the reason for his abduction, nor did they afford him access to a lawyer. On June 28, 2020, the Palestinian Red Crescent society informed Al-Saadi’s family that he had been taken to an Israeli military base near Nablus, and was then moved to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem for questioning.

His case was reported by MADA, The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedom, which noted that the the Israeli occupation has a long history of targeting journalists, intentionally detaining Palestinian journalists, and delaying their court hearings in an attempt to stop their footage and reporting from being released.

Al-Saadi had previously been targeted for his journalistic work. In 2016, he was sentenced to seven months in jail and a fine of 5,000 NIS (US$1,400), according to Palestine Today TV.

In response to his release Friday, the Palestinian Committee for Supporting Journalist called for the release of 25 Palestinian journalists who are still in Israeli jails.

The committee said in its statement that it “views with extreme seriousness the attempts to restrict freedom of media work through repeated campaigns of arrests by the Israeli occupation against journalists, their prosecution and violation of the freedom of their professional work.”

The committee also affirmed the right of journalists to work freely and convey their reports about the situation in the Palestinian territories without intimidation, blackmail and confiscation of freedoms, and without being prevented by Israeli authorities from carrying out their journalistic duties.

The committee’s statement called on humanitarian and human rights institutions to intervene to pressure Israel to release all journalists, and called on the UN Security Council to implement Resolution 2222 on providing protection for journalists, and to hold Israel accountable for its violations against Palestinian media professionals.

The Israeli occupation authorities are currently holding in prison about 4,400 Palestinian prisoners. They include 40 women, 170 children, and about 380 administrative detainees (those held without charge), according to official Palestinian data.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinian Homes Near Hebron

Many fanatic Israeli colonists, illegally squatting on Palestinian lands, attacked Palestinian homes, on Friday afternoon, in the Tawamin community, east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Local sources said the colonists attacked the homes, and tried to invade them, before the locals intercepted them.

They added that the colonists fled the area after the Palestinians foiled their assault.

It is worth mentioning that, on Thursday at night, the colonists attacked a modified cave which is being used as a residence by a Palestinian Bedouin family in the community and displaced them.

Hours later, the Israeli police arrived at the scene and removed the colonists.

In related news, Israeli soldiers abducted a teenage boy, identified as Raja’e Shafiq Rajabi, 17, from his family’s home in Hebron city, after the army stormed the property and searched it.

(Source / 23.01.2021)