Israeli court orders displacement of Jerusalemite families

Jerusalemite house

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) – The Israeli district court in the holy city has issued a verdict to evict six Jerusalemite families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied east Jerusalem, where they have lived for almost 70 years, to make way for Jewish settlers.

Israeli NGO Peace Now said in a statement on Tuesday that the Jerusalemite families, comprised of 27 people living in four houses, were notified of the decision on Monday, and were given until May 2 to vacate their homes.

The organization described the court decision as part of an organized move designed to dispossess a Palestinian community of its homes and establish a Jewish neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah.

Hundreds of Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah are facing similar court proceedings, along with hundreds more in the neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa in the east Jerusalem district of Silwan.

The Jerusalem magistrate court last week issued a ruling ordering the expulsion of four Jerusalemite families from their home in Batan al-Hawa.

From the beginning of 2020 until today, Israeli courts have ordered the eviction of 36 Palestinian families, composed of 165 people, including dozens of children. In 14 eviction claims, the courts have targeted 107 people from 20 families in Batan al-Hawa and 58 people from 13 families in Sheikh Jarrah, according to Peace Now.

All the families have filed appeals and are in various stages of hearings in both the district court and the high court.

Meanwhile, dozens of other families are in proceedings and may receive eviction verdicts soon, with Peace Now warning of mass expulsions in the coming months.

“The story here is not legal but political,” Peace Now underlined. “The court is only the tool by which settlers use with the close assistance of state authorities to commit the crime of displacing an entire community and replacing it with a settlement.”

In another incident, the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Tuesday removed a barbed wire fence from around a Palestinian-owned piece of land in Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem and demolished a house, fence and building foundations in Ras Kabsa area of Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

A family of four individuals including children was living in that house in Ras Kabsa area of Silwan.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Sheikh Barghouthi: Israel’s arrests will not intimidate us

Sheikh Barghouthi

RAMALLAH, (PIC) – Senior Hamas official Sheikh Omar al-Barghouthi has affirmed that the recent Israeli arrest campaign against Palestinian national figures in the West Bank will not deter anyone from participating in the coming elections.

In press remarks, Sheikh Barghouthi called for necessarily agreeing on a unified national plan to confront Israel’s targeting of Palestinian leaders in the West Bank in order to protect the citizens’ will and their voices.

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnaped senior Hamas officials Yasser Mansour (lawmaker) and Sheikh Adnan Asfour from their homes in Nablus city.

The IOF also kidnaped recently Hamas officials Sheikh Khaled al-Hajj and Sheikh Abdul-Baset al-Hajj from their homes in Jenin.

Last January, the Shin Bet intelligence service summoned Sheikh Barghouthi for interrogation and threatened him with imprisonment if he tried to stand for any upcoming elections to be held in the Palestinian arena.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Army Invades Lands, Removes Fences, Near Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday, a privately-owned Palestinian land in Jabal al-Mokabber town, in occupied East Jerusalem in the West Bank, and removed the barbed-wire fences surrounding it.

Local sources said Israeli bulldozers, and army jeeps, invaded Deir as-Sunna area in the town, before removing fences surrounding a land, privately owned by Talab family.

The family was surprised by the invasion and the violation, especially since they did not receive a prior warning or a “justification” by the occupation authorities.

Jabal al-Mokabber is one of the Palestinian areas in Jerusalem subject to frequent Israeli violations, especially amidst Israel ongoing attempts to illegally annex the lands, in addition to construction and expansion of the illegal colonies.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Israeli Colonists Attack A Farmer Near Salfit

Several fanatic illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, on Tuesday evening, a Palestinian farmer while plowing his land in Khallet Hassan area, west of Bidya town, west of the central West Bank city of Salfit.

The colonists invaded farmlands, owned by Ayman Abu Safiyya, while he was plowing them, and assaulted him.

He said that the colonists threatened to kill him if he does not leave, but he remained on his land and continued to plow it until they left.

“This is not the first, and won’t be the last time they attack us; other farmers and I have been frequently attacked by the colonists,” he said, “They continuously try to force us out of our lands; they fire live rounds at us, chase it, steal out equipment and destroy our crops because they want our lands to establish an outpost.”

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Israeli Bulldozers Raze Land, Open Fire at Farmers on the Gaza Border

The Israeli army, on Tuesday morning, invaded and razed Palestinian lands located east of Gaza City in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem (Quds) Press reported.

Six military bulldozers invaded the occupied territory and razed Palestinian-owned lands located near the security fence, according to Quds Press correspondent.

In related news, soldiers opened fire at Palestinian farmers from an Israeli watchtower, in the southern part of the coastal enclave, east of Khan Younis.

No injuries were reported.

Hebrew media reported that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians, on Monday, when they crossed the security fence between the southern part of the Gaza Strip and the Israeli state.

On Monday, armored military vehicles stormed Palestinian agricultural lands east of Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Strip, and bulldozed sections near the fence, in addition to installing sand hills.

The occupation army frequently opens fire at Palestinian farmers and their land, in addition to razing farmland. The navy attacks fishermen off the Gaza coast on a regular basis, forcing them to abandon their livelihoods.

Since 2007, the Israeli occupation authorities have imposed a suffocating blockade on the tiny coastal territory, with devastating economic and social effects.

The European Mediterranean report on the Gaza siege showed the following;

“For 15 years, the Gaza Strip has been witnessing a suffocating blockade imposed by the Israeli authorities that has affected all social, economic and humanitarian sectors. Despite the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip reaching unprecedented levels, the blockade remains imposed on the enclave in a way that clearly shows how two million people can lead a decent life.”

“Israel began the Gaza blockade after Hamas won the legislative elections. Greater restrictions and sanctions were imposed after the elections in January 2006. The blockade was further tightened in mid 2007.”

“The long years of blockade Gaza witnessed were accompanied at times with military attacks in 2008, 2012, and 2014, which led to the destruction of large parts of the infrastructure. In addition, thousands of unarmed civilians were killed or wounded or incurred huge material losses.”

“During the years of the blockade, indicators of the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip surged shockingly. For example, unemployment rate in 2005 (before the imposition of the blockade) was about 23.6%, while at the end of 2020 it reached 49%, making it among the highest unemployment rates in the world.”

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Soldiers Abduct A Child In Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday evening, a Palestinian child in the at-Tour town, in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, and summoned a young man for interrogation.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers invaded the town, and abducted Ali Orabi, 16, while walking in front of the court building.

They added that the soldiers also summoned Rami Salah, 21, for interrogation at a police station this coming Sunday.

On Tuesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted eighteen Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

OCHA: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement – January 2021

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

Demolition and Displacement: January 2021

In January, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 81 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. This resulted in the displacement of 69 people, including 32 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of over 700 others. All the structures were located in Area C or East Jerusalem and were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. January’s total represents a 14 % increase, compared with the monthly average in 2020.Fifteen (15) of the structures, all located in seven Area C communities, had been provided as humanitarian aid, for a total value of over 22,500 euros. Another 33 donor-funded structures, at a value of nearly 90,000 euros, were handed demolition or stop-work orders, the highest number of donor-funded structures placed at risk in a single month in recent years. Additionally, in Biddya (Salfit) and Ash Shuyukh (Hebron), Israeli settlers destroyed or damaged some 400 donor-funded trees and various infrastructure materials, for a value of over 11,000 euros.Of all the structures targeted by the Israeli authorities in Area C in January, over 30 % were located in Bedouin and herder communities. In Beit Iksa Bedouin community, the Israeli authorities seized nine Palestinian-owned structures, including six homes, and demolished one latrine, leaving 27 people, including 14 children, displaced. Four of these had been provided as humanitarian assistance, in response to a previous demolition in October 2020.On 27 January, ten structures (residential and agricultural) were seized by the Israeli authorities in Hammamat Al Maleh, a Bedouin and herder community which is spread over three separate locations (Al Maleh, Al Burj and Al Meiteh), displacing three adults and four children, and affecting the livelihoods of another 46 people. Two days prior, on 25 January, the Israeli authorities handed out demolition orders to the community, affecting around 18 structures.Also in Fasayil village (Jericho) the Israeli authorities seized ten structures, including six donor-funded homes and animal shelters, displacing two refugee households, comprising 13 people, including five children. According to the affected people in Beit Iksa Bedouin community, Hammamat Al Maleh and Fasayil village, the Israeli authorities had provided no prior notice, neither written nor verbal, about their intention to seize the structures.Nearly 60 % of all targeted structures in Area C in January were seized without prior warning, a trend that has been on the rise in recent years. In 2020, 30 % of all structures targeted in Area C were seized without prior warning, up from 11 % in 2017 and 8 % in 2016.Also in Area C, in Umm Qussa community (Hebron), the Israeli authorities demolished an under-construction mosque intended to serve community members who previously had to travel to the nearest village for prayers. During the demolition incident, the Israeli authorities damaged parts of a donor-funded water network, disrupting the water distribution to about half of the village residents. The demolition took place on the basis of Military Order 1797, which provides only a 96-hour notice and very limited grounds for legally challenging a demolition. Since coming into effect in July 2019, 110 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished based on this order, 11 % of all the structures targeted in Area C since July 2019.On 31 December, the Israeli authorities indicated that they will fund settlement regional councils’ efforts to monitor unlicensed Palestinian construction in Area C, possibly by using patrols, drones and other means, as an addition to existing mechanisms. The Israeli Settlement Affairs Ministry has reportedly allocated about ILS 20 million (USD $6 million) for such endeavours.Two structures were also demolished in occupied East Jerusalem: one uninhabited residential structure was demolished by the Jerusalem Municipality, and one inhabited home by the owner, following the issuance of a demolition order. The latter demolition took place in Beit Hanina, leaving two households displaced, including one female-headed household, comprised of four adults and three children.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Palestinian woman dies of heart attack after Israeli military raid

Occupied West Bank (QNN)- A 67-year-old Palestinian woman died of a heart attack after Israeli military raided into her brother’s house in Abu Njeim village, east of Bethlehem city in the occupied West Bank, Wafa news agency reported.

Rahmeh Abu ‘Ahour was rushed to a hospital in Beit Jala city, west of Bethlehem, where she died of a heart attack.

Israeli forces broke into and ransacked the house, turning it upside down and seized Palestine flags and banners.

The force also spreaded panic and fear among the family members, causing Abu ‘Ahour to lose consciousness.

Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Despite freezing cold, ‘Israel’ demolishes Al Araqeeb village for the 183 time

Occupied Negev (QNN)- The Israeli authorities demolished Al Araqeeb village for the 183rd time today, despite the freezing cold.

The Israeli police, accompanied by bulldozers, stormed the village this morning and demolished the houses.

The police made the locals of the village homeless while Palestine has been seeing a freezing wave.

Locals of Al Araqeeb insist on staying in their village and rebuild their houses despite the Israeli demolitions. They reject being displaced like locals of other neighboring villages that were demolished to build Jewish-only settlements.

(Source / 17.02.2021)

Ashrawi will not run in Palestinian elections, to mentor new generation

Former Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, Hanan Ashrawi, said she will not be running in the first elections for 15 years, opting instead to mentor a new generation of political leaders.

“I want to set an example that people can leave office,” she told Reuters.

“I have been supporting and mentoring many young men and women in different capacities… it’s important that I do that in a variety of ways, and I am,” she said between back-to-back meetings with diplomats at MIFTAH, her civil society organization to promote global dialogue and democracy.

Ashrawi, who was elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006, declined to say who she was mentoring.

In December, Ashrawi resigned from her senior post in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), citing a need for reform and criticising what she called a lack of opportunities for women and young people.

In her public letter of resignation, Ashrawi said that the “issue is not personal or a career decision. Rather, it has to do with the current reality and future of Palestine, and with the imperative of the transfer of authority and responsibility.”

“I believe it is time to carry out the required reform and to activate the PLO in a manner which restores its standing and role, including respecting the mandate of the Executive Committee rather than its marginalization and exclusion from decision-making,” Ashrawi said.

She concluded, “I will continue to serve the Palestinian people and our just cause in every capacity outside public office.”

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said that a legislative, presidential and National Council elections would be held in the coming months, as part of a warming of ties between Fatah and Hamas.

The elections will be held in three stages: the legislative on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections for the National Council on August 31.

The last Palestinian elections for the Legislative Council were held in 2006, and Hamas won the majority, while presidential elections were held in 2005, and President Abbas won.

Born in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Ashrawi was an English professor when she became a familiar face on television during the first Palestinian uprising of the late 1980s, advocating her people’s quest for statehood.

She was catapulted onto the international arena when Yasser Arafat chose her as the spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation to the first public face-to-face talks between Palestinians, Israelis and Arab nations brokered by the United States and Russia at the Madrid Conference in 1991.

Ashrawi said she did not find “locking horns” with Israelis especially difficult, but that it took a while to “gain the respect, albeit the grudging respect, of the men with whom you work.”

She recalled her early days of activism, saying she was beaten by Israeli soldiers at protests where she feared for her life, years before coming face-to-face with Israeli officials at the negotiating table.

Ashrawi said her generation faced “real difficulty” opening up a male-dominated world.

“The battle is not to gain the individual respect, but to open up the vista for other women. That’s where the real test is,” she said.

“The worst thing for me is to be in a position where you feel you’re not making a difference, where you are not in a position where you can really affect change,” said Ashrawi.

“Whatever you do, you have to make a difference.”

(Source / 17.02.2021)