On Tuesday, several armored Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded Palestinian farmlands northwest of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, and fired sporadic rounds of live ammunition, in addition to bulldozing lands near the fence.
Media sources said the Israeli military vehicles came from a base across the fence and advanced dozens of meters into the Palestinian farmlands.
They added that the soldiers bulldozed lands near the fence, and installed sand hills, while firing live rounds and smoke bombs.
The attack is part of ongoing Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the besieged and impoverished Gaza city, especially on lands close to the fence.
They include firing live rounds at the farmers, in addition to bulldozing their lands, opening dams to flood them, and even spraying them with toxins, leading to serious losses.
On Monday, Israeli soldiers attacked with live ammunition Palestinian farmers and shepherds, east of Gaza city, and Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships attacked fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that a detainee from occupied Jerusalem is facing serious health complications from the coronavirus and is currently at Assaf Harofeh Israeli Medical Center.
The PPS stated that the detainee, Ayman Seder, 54, who was taken prisoner 26 years ago, was only recently moved to the medical center despite the serious deterioration in his health and various complications.
It added that Seder was initially placed in the infamous Ramla prison clinic, which lacks specialists and basic equipment, until his health sharply deteriorated, due to complications resulting from the coronavirus infection.
The PPS stated that it is difficult to obtain exact information about his conditions, as well as other detainees, due to Israeli restrictions and the refusal to allow physicians from human rights groups to visit with the detainees and examine them.
It said that Israel dominates the entire narrative regarding the conditions of the detainees, especially those in serious health conditions, and can do so due to the idleness of the International Community.
The family of the detainee is constantly worried about his health, especially since they cannot visit with him, and cannot obtain detailed information about his health.
The PPS held Israel fully responsible for the life of the detainee, and all political prisoners, especially the elderly and those who have serious conditions, such as cancer, heart, and liver diseases, and called on legal and human rights groups, including the International Red Cross to perform their duties.
It is worth mentioning that the Seder, a married father of one son, is serving a life term in prison, and is one of the dozens of detainees who recently became infected with the coronavirus since January 11, 2021.
At least 335 detainees have been officially diagnosed with the coronavirus, in addition to dozens who might be infected but have not yet been tested or been officially diagnosed.
London (QNN)- The Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) said that the treatment of Egypt’s regime with Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing is “contrary to humanitarian norms of clemency and co-operation and, moreover, a blatant violation of international law” and described it of “amount[ing] to a war crime and crimes against humanity as defined by Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute”.
The organization stated in a press statement that those stranded at the Rafah border crossing “continue to suffer due to the Egyptian authorities’ management of the crossing”.
It added that the Egyptian regime allows only a limited number of people to cross, while does not provide adequate places where people are able to safely wait as they attempt to return to their homes in Gaza.
The organization also said that after a one-year closure of the border crossing due to COVID-19 restrictions, Egypt opened it exceptionally and urgently for few days only. At the start of this month, Egypt opened the border crossing for four days only and treated Palestinian citizens in an inhumane way.
THe AOHR added that there are now approximately 20,000 people wishing to travel to and from Gaza. The Egyptian authorities returned approximately 85 vehicles (each with between 7-12 passengers) to Cairo, after having waited at Suez Canal ferry terminal for up to five days, in the hope of returning to Gaza.
It also stressed that life in the Gaza Strip cannot continue under such restrictions, which further increase the suffering of a people living under Israel’s near fifteen-year occupation, which has caused the collapse of the health, educational, industrial, and economic systems in Gaza, and both mass unemployment and profound poverty.
Oslo (QNN)- The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Tuesday condemned Israel’s demolition of Palestinian tents in Hamsa Al-Bqai’a village in the northern Jordan Valley, leaving more than 80 people, including nearly 48 children, homeless.
“Israel appears determined to force Palestinians out of their village of Humsa Al-Bqai’a, depriving them of basic shelter and making their lives miserable, while destroying international aid donated to the most vulnerable,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
“The international community has once again witnessed attacks on some of the poorest families on occupied Palestinian land. Empty words of ‘concern’ are not enough for these families who find themselves homeless and deprived of the most basic needs,” Egeland stated.
“The international community, including European governments, must do more to stop forced displacement and demand that Israel provide reparations to Palestinian victims.”
On 1 February, Israeli occupation forces confiscated 25 structures in Hamsa Al-Bqai’a Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley on the alleged basis that they lacked an Israeli building permit for construction in Area C.
On 3 February, Israeli occupation forces returned to seize a further 21 structures. Sixty Palestinians have been uprooted from their homes, including 35 children. Structures demolished included 21 homes, 17 livestock shelters, and 8 water and hygiene facilities.
“The European Union, 10 of its member states, and the United Kingdom had funded 29 of the structures in November 2020, after Israel destroyed or seized 83 structures in the community in the largest single demolition incident recorded in recent years.”
Since the start of 2021, Israeli authorities have demolished at least 153 structures, three times the same period last year. In 2020, Israeli authorities demolished 848 Palestinians structures in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a 36 per cent increase compared with 2019.
“Under international law, an occupying power is strictly prohibited from transferring members of the occupied population from their existing communities against their will.”
“Hamsa Al-Bqai’a community has received material assistance from the West Bank Protection Consortium, a strategic partnership of five international NGOs, 11 European donors, and EU Humanitarian Aid, formed to prevent the forcible transfer of Palestinians in the West Bank.”
Last November, Israeli occupation demolished eighteen tents that housed 11 families in the village, displacing a total of 74 people, more than half of which were minors, according to B’Tselem.
Almost 800 Palestinians, including 404 minors, lost their homes in 2020.
Throughout 2019, 677 lost their homes, up from 387 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.
Gaza (QNN)- The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Gaza Yousuf Abur Rish on Tuesday said that nearly 40% of the people in Gaza were infected with COVID-19.
Abur Rish told the Palestine newspaper that the ministry is working, in cooperation with other institutions, on studies to know the real number of citizens infected with the virus in order to make more accurate decisions to confront the virus.
He added that the case-fatality ratio in Gaza is very low in comparison with other areas around the world, reflecting the adequacy of the measures taken by the government.
He also said that the first batch of the vaccine will arrive in Gaza after the middle of Feruary.
‘As you are well aware, the forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,’ letter of UK MPs reads
A cross-party coalition of over 80 British MPs has urged the UK’s foreign secretary to impose consequences on Israel if hundreds of planned evictions of Palestinian families go ahead.
About 200 families in East Jerusalem are in immediate danger of being dispossessed of their homes following a legal battle waged against them by settler associations.
“This would amount to the forcible/mass eviction and dispossession of hundreds of Palestinian families,” read the letter sent to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“As you are well aware, the forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.
“Israeli settlers as well as government and municipality officials speak openly about wishing to control the demographics of the city. Any actions by the occupying power to alter Jerusalem’s character, status or demographic composition are illegal under international law.”
The MPs urged the British government to “put a stop to the forcible transfer of families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem.”
They also suggested potential consequences that the government should impose if the evictions go ahead, including “reducing diplomatic engagement and banning trade in settlement products in full conformity with international law.” The letter added: “Settlements are illegal so such a step is not a sanction.”
Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told Arab News that he welcomed the letter.
It “highlights a significant degree of parliamentary concern over Israeli practices in the occupied territories,” he said.
“It’s clearly an outrage that Israel continues to engage in forcible dispossession whilst at the same time building and expanding on illegal settlements and the dispossession of Palestinian land. It’s all part of a larger process that goes unaddressed.”
On Friday, the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that it has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.
This ruling, Doyle said, “highlights the grave consequences that could, down the line, hit those senior Israeli officials and ministers who authorize such crimes.”
He added: “Israel has for a long time been able to act with the knowledge that it had the full backing of the US, and that therefore there wouldn’t be any accountability — but who knows, further down the line this may change.”
While the ICC ruling may influence future Israeli policy, Doyle said Raab could do a lot more right now to uphold international law.
“The Palestinians are tired of just hearing the same old copy-paste press releases. There really should be some stronger action, which could include a ban on trade with illegal settlements,” he added.
“This would ram home to Israeli leaders that there are consequences for illegal actions — that’s the whole fundamental basis for international law.”
Israeli occupation forces carry out such attacks against Palestinians almost every day
Israeli occupation navy opened fire on Monday at Palestinian fishermen sailing off Gaza shore as its armoured vehicles infiltrated the northern Gaza border, security sources reported.
The sources said that the fishermen were sailing within six nautical miles when Israeli naval boats opened gunfire and water hoses toward them, causing significant damage to at least three fishing boats.
Israeli naval boats also fired several bursts of machine gunfire on other fishing boats and attempted to sink them.
Meanwhile, a number of Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers infiltrated the Gaza border, north of Beit Lahya town in the north of the besieged enclave.
The Israeli bulldozers razed large swathes of farmland and placing earth mounds as they intermittently opened fire, the sources said, in order to prevent the Palestinian farmers from reaching their farms and lands near the border.
Days of Palestine – Gaza – In a press release, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) said on Monday that we followed the developments taking place on the Palestinian arena, especially setting the dates for holding the legislative and presidential elections and the National Council, and the subsequent Egyptian invitation to the Palestinian factions to meet in Cairo.
It added that we are in the PLC and based on our national responsibilities and parliamentary duties that the people have entrusted us towards the supreme interests of the Palestinian people, maintaining the system of constitutional values and principles embodied in the Palestinian Basic Law, protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms of Palestinians, and respecting their national will to choose their representatives with integrity and transparency through voting, and in order not to fall into junctures that may spoil the electoral process and the path of Palestinian national consensus.
1- The PLC supports the national consensus and the holding of general elections, and calls on the Palestinian factions that will meet in Cairo soon to give priority to the supreme interests of the Palestinian people over partisan interests and to ensure the success of the national dialogue in order to achieve reconciliation and end the division.
2- The PLC reiterates the assertion on the right of the Palestinian people at home and abroad to exercise their electoral right, especially in the city of Jerusalem as Palestinians will not accept elections without Jerusalem.
3- The electoral process must be based on a solid legal and constitutional basis, and be protected and controlled by the texts and articles of the Palestinian Basic Law to ensure the success of this process.
4- The PLC calls on the Palestinian factions negotiating in Cairo to open all pending files leading to a complete end to the division, and not to be limited to discussing electoral issues only, and that postponing the issues related to the division until after the elections.
5- The continued imposition of collective punishment on the residents of the Gaza Strip, cutting the salaries of the prisoners and the wounded, the families of the martyrs and employees, stifling freedoms in the West Bank, and the prosecution of the honorable, does not provide the appropriate environment for holding the hoped-for elections, rather, it constitutes a fundamental obstacle to the path of embodying the popular will in the ballot box.
The coming days will be a true test of the Palestinian authority’s credibility in Ramallah, and it reflects the extent of its sincerity in its direction for the success of the elections.
6- Providing the guarantees required to respect the election results and the ballot box secretions is a very important, accurate, and sensitive priority in order to secure and fortify the internal Palestinian reality and to ensure that matters do not return to their first square, which requires the conclusion of a binding factional code of honor that consecrates the moral, national and legal framework to protect the process.
7- The real approach to ending the division and arranging the internal home lies in the availability of the sincere will to build Palestinian strategic plans that lead to achieving full partnership in managing the affairs of the Palestinian society at home and abroad on the basis of a unified political and struggle program, and rebuilding the Palestinian political system and the Palestine Liberation Organization on foundations of the Palestinian constants that transcend the Oslo track, according to the determinants of the supreme national interest, away from external dependencies and private agendas, towards achieving our national liberation project, achieving the aspirations of Palestinian people and preserving their national rights.
The former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, denied the Israeli allegations that Palestine is not a state, and therefore its demand for an investigation of war crimes committed by” Israel “against the Palestinians is not entitled.
Ocampo, an Argentine lawyer, served as the first prosecutor of the ICC from 2003 to 2012, before Fatou Bensouda succeeded him, commenting on the Hague decision, saying that this is a conflict from 2009, and I have worked on it for three years, and in my time, Palestine was not granted the status of the state, but now the situation is different.
He added, according to the Hebrew newspaper, Israel Hayom, published today, Monday, that the decision was taken not to address the issue because at that time Palestine was not a state.
But in October 2012, the United Nations General Assembly decided that it is an observer state and a member of the United Nations, and in 2015, all states parties agreed that Palestine is a member state of the International Criminal Court.
He pointed out that Bensouda will now investigate the crimes, even those that occurred earlier,” and said that The investigation will continue for a year and a half.
On Friday, the Pre-Trial Chamber (based in The Hague) issued a decision establishing its jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem), which paves the way for an investigation into war crimes resulting from Israeli military actions.