Palestinian Authority calls on UN to protect ‘Palestinian religious sites’

New buildings in the Israeli settlement of Efrat south of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on 14 October 2020 [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
New buildings in the Israeli settlement in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on 14 October 2020

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry yesterday called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) “to protect all Palestinian archaeological and religious sites from Israeli violations, attacks and falsifications.”

In an official statement, the ministry condemned what it described as the “occupation’s seizure of hundreds of Palestinian archaeological sites in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to serve the expansion of the illegal settlements.”

“The Israeli control over Palestinian archaeological sites is usually carried out under racist laws and flimsy arguments,” the ministry pointed out, adding that Israel was intending to “steal Palestinian antiquities, forge them and display them in their museums as evidence of its misleading colonial claims.”

International law classifies the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied, meaning construction by Israel is illegal on their soil.

In May 2017, UNESCO voted in favour of a resolution which describes Israel as an “occupying power” and denies its sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.

READ: Israel must accept ICC notification letters regarding war crimes investigation, says legal expert

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Booby-trapped Israel drones responsible for death of 3 Gaza fishermen, probe finds

Booby-trapped Israeli drones exploded and led to death of three Palestinian fishermen in Gaza

Booby-trapped Israeli drones exploded and led to Palestinian fishermen in Gaza, 11 March 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Booby-trapped Israeli drones exploded and led to Palestinian fishermen in Gaza, 11 March 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Booby-trapped Israeli drones exploded and led to the death of three Palestinian fishermen in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, findings of an investigation by the enclave’s Ministry of Interior revealed today.

In a press conference to outline the outcomes of the report into the deaths, ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bazm said the men were killed by occupation forces off the coast of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Al-Bazm explained that occupation forces had used “drones carrying high-explosive devices” in an operation against resistance naval forces on 22 February, adding: “On the morning of March 7, two drones were suspended in the nets of two fishing boats in the sea off Khan Yunis.”

The fishermen handed the first drone – Matrix 600 quadcopter – to Maritime Police, they later found a second had stuck to their nets. The investigation found that this had exploded and led to their deaths.

READ: Israel tanks invade Gaza, open fire at farmers

Al-Bazm added that when inspecting the intact helicopter that was recovered by the fishermen, it was found that it had an explosive device attached to it. The pieces of the wreckage and the metal pieces that were found at the site of the explosion were then compared to the intact drone and it was found that they were identical.

On behalf of the Ministry of Interior and National Security, Al-Bazm paid his respects to the families of the three martyrs; Muhammad Hijazi Al-Laham, Zakaria Hijazi Al-Laham and Yahya Mustafa Al-Laham, two brothers and a cousin.

He called on all international institutions and bodies to work to provide protection for Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza Strip, highlighting that they are constantly exposed to attack at the hands of occupation forces.

The three were killed on Sunday after a blast ripped through their boat off the Gaza shore. The Israeli military has previously said it was not involved in this incident.

(Source / 11.03.2021)

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

Summary for March 04 – 10, 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. Additionally, IOF raided and ransacked the headquarters of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) in al-Bireh and confiscated several hard desk drives. This incident was conducted simultaneously with the arrest of an UHWC employee from his house in Ramallah.

PCHR emphasizes that these practices are part of campaigns led by Israeli officials against Palestinian civil society organizations and activists to undermine their work, either by misrepresenting their credibility, arresting them, or closing the organizations that provide services to promote Palestinians’ identity and resilience.

Another notable incident that occurred this week was the IOF detention of five children, aged between 8-11, in Hebron and the violent manner with which they were led crying, by soldiers, to a military vehicle. The children were released after 3 hours.

Futhermore, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Settlers also carried out multiple attacks on civilians and their properties and attempted to kidnap a Palestinian man. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 214 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF shot and injured 3 civilians (including 2 children) in its attacks in the West Bank: one was wounded in IOF raid into Tubas, and both children sustained their injuries in another IOF raid into al-Khader-Bethlehem. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Also, one child was wounded after an explosive device left by IOF detonated in Tubas.

In the Gaza Strip, two fishermen sustained wounds in one of the three shootings that were reported at sea. Also, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 162 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, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir al-Balah and Bureij in Central Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 7 incidents:

Settler-attacks:

PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 6 attacks:

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The besieged 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.

I. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into ‘Obaid neighborhood in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses after destroying its doors and frightening its inhabitants. IOF also arrested 6 civilians, including 3 children, and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees were identified as: Mo’tasem Hamza ‘Obaid (18), Mohammed Marwan ‘Obaid (20), Yazan Bassam ‘Onaid (21), Ameer Khader ‘Obaid (17), Rohi Yaser al-Jayyar (17), and Mohammed Hamza ‘Obaid (14). During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, a military vehicle was set ablaze. IOF immediately attacked the protestors, chased them on the neighborhood streets and fired rubber-coated steel bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them. The clashes continued until next day dawn. IOF brought a wastewater vehicle to spray the protestors and residential houses with wastewater. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas and wastewater inhalation.At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.At approximately 09:30 on Friday, 05 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia waters, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened fire at a fishing boat belonging to Ashraf Ramadan Hamed al-‘Awour (45), from Jabalia refugee camp. The boat was manned by Ashraf’s son Mohammed (23) and another fisherman namely Adham Naser ‘Abed al-Hameed Abu Qasem (27). As a result, Mohammed was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his mouth while Adham was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm. Both of them were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, where Mohammed’s injury was classified moderate and Adham’s injury was minor. Also, the boat was shot with several live bullets and its engine was damaged due to the heavy shooting. Additionally, Israeli naval forces beat the two fishermen. Fisherman Mohammed Ashraf al-‘Awour, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli naval forces directly targeted the fishing boat manned by him and opened fire at its engine. As a result, the boat’s engine sustained damage and the boat stopped working. Also, Israeli naval forces continued to fire rubber bullets, wounding his friend Adham Abu Qasem. After that, another Israeli gunboat approached their boat at zero distance and Israeli naval soldiers beat them up with stun batons, despite that the blood was pouring from his mouth. The fishermen were later released and taken to the hospital for treatment.At approximately 10:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Valley village (Juhor al-Deek), southeast of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no casualties were reported.At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 06 March 2021, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, established a military checkpoint at the village’s entrance and checked civilians’ IDs, obstructing vehicles’ movement. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF, who responded with rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested two siblings namely Mahmoud (14) and Mohammed (15) Naser Mohammed Rabah under the pretext of throwing stones. IOF withdrew later.At approximately 07:35 on Sunday, 07 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia shore, west of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF moved into Tubas city, north of the West Bank, and stationed near the Old Market in the center of the village. They then surrounded Mos’ab Faze’ al-Kilani’s (19) house and topped the roofs of nearby houses. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF. Clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men for over 3 hours. During which, IOF fired live bullets and teargas canisters. As a result, a 25-year-old male was shot in the left thigh, puncturing the femoral artery. He was rushed by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS)’s ambulance to the Tubas Turkish Hospital. He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in critical condition. Furthermore, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Additionally, IOF arrested Mos’ab Kilani and withdrew at 06:00.At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no casualties were reported.At approximately 18:00, an Israeli military force accompanied with dozens of Israeli soldiers and Special Forces moved into Abu Soud area, west of Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, and stationed near the annexation wall. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at IOF and their vehicles. As a result, IOF clashed with Palestinian young men, and fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. At approximately 19:00, IOF opened fire at Mohammed Rami Salah (17) and Khaled Khalil Ghunaim (17), under the pretext that they attempted to threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles. As a result, Salah was shot with 2 live bullets in his foot and pelvis; his health condition was deemed serious, and Ghunaim was shot with a live bullet in his foot. They were taken to the Arab Society Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment. The Israeli authorities claimed that Israeli soldiers opened fire at two civilians, who threw Molotov Cocktails at Israeli vehicles in Gush Etzion area, south of Bethlehem. The wounded children’s family emphasized that the children were returning from their work while there were clashes erupted in the village, and they were present in front of their houses in order to go to a shop in the village. The two families refuted the Israeli claims that they their sons had tried to throw Molotov cocktails at the Israeli military vehicles, and pointed out that Salah’s health condition is stable while remaining in the ICU, and Ghunaim will undergo a surgery in his left leg in the Arab Society Hospital.At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.At approximately 19:00, Taj al-Deen ‘Izz al-Deen Mohammed Sawaftah (14), from Tubas city, sustained serious wounds due to the explosion of an object of Israeli military remnants. According to PCHR’s investigations, Sawaftah was wounded while playing an explosive object, 100 meters away from his father’s shop in the center of the city. Sawaftah sustained first, second and third degree burns in his hands and face and received treatment at Tubas Turkish Hospital. It should be noted that the area, where Sawaftah was wounded, witnessed an Israeli incursion the day before, during which they surrounded a residential house and fired live bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs.At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 10 March 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 until 10:15, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

II. Incursions and arrests

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Yehya Salama (43).Around the same time, IOF moved into Jenin and Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Majdi Raja Abu al-Wafa (41), from Jenin refugee camp, Ashraf Fathi Haweil (19) and Saif Ali Abu Obaid (20), from Jenin.At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ayed Thabet Abu Sharekh’s house and arrested his son, Mohammed (18).Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Sami Emad al-Ja’bari’s (34) house and arrested him.Around the same time, IOF moved into Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mofeed Mohammed Shihab (30), Shahed Arafat Kayed (21), and Khaled Nadi ‘Aazem (22).At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Yousef Alian’s (21) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Beita village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Lo’ay Tawfiq Hamayil (20) and Laith Saleh Hamayil (22).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qaffin, east of Tulkarem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Ahmed Emad Harsha (26) and Sohaib Fo’ad Harsha (28) and arrested them.Around the same time, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilia. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Omar Khaled Saleem (22) and Abdullah Ahmed Howari (25) and arrested them.At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Tha’er Abdullah Arabia’s (32) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 06:30, IOF moved into Wadi Yasul neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Majdi Qa’rour’s (20) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 09:10, IOF stationed on a military checkpoint established on the entrance of Auja village, northeast of Jericho, arrested Omar Izz al-Dein Abu Dayya (34), from Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed at al-Za’eem military checkpoint, arrested (3) civilians from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took Dawoud Mahmoud Abual-Hawa (19), Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (18), and Mohammed Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (18), to unknown destinations.IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir and Tarqumiyah in Hebron governorate; Yamun village, west of Jenin; Safa and Shaq villages in Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 00:30, a huge IOF moved into Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Faraj Shuqair and his brother, Jamal, and arrested Tareq Faraj Shuqair (28), and Yehya Jamal Shuqair (26). IOF took them to unknown destinations. should be noted that Yehya Jamal Shuqair is a former prisoner, whose brother, Nour Shuqair (37), was killed by the Israeli soldiers at al-Za’eem military checkpoint in 25 November 2020.At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Abu Zahra’s house and arrested Jamal Abdul Karim Abu Zahra (35) and his brother, Mohammed (28).At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Khaled al-Jinny (22) and Basel Ya’qoub Badawi (19).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Abdullah Ayed Abu Skarekh’s (44) house and no arrests were reported.Around the same time, IOF moved into Halhul, north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Nadi al-Baba (32), and Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Yousef (30).At approximately 08:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint established on the northern entrance of Bethlehem, arrested Mohab Wael Ajarma (23), from al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Nehad Bader Zughayyar (43), while present near Bab al-Amud gate “Damascus Gate”, in occupied Jerusalem, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem and released him later. It should be noted that Zughayyar is a former prisoner who was released 6 months ago, as he spent 35-months in the Israeli prisons in charge of joining the “Aqsa Youth Movement”, a charge used by IOF to criminalize Palestinian resilience at al-Aqsa Mosque.At approximately 11:00, IOF summonsed Yazan Zuhair al-Rajabi (21) and Jadallah al-Rajabi (40), for interrogation the police center of Salah al-Dein street, in East Jerusalem. IOF released them after several hours of investigation.IOF carried out (5) incursions in Beit Ula, Idhna, and Hadab al-Fawwar, in Hebron; Salim village, northeast of Nablus; and Rummanah village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s house and arrested him.At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, arrested Mo’taz Kamel Jawabra (20), while passing by the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 17:10, IOF arrested Ahmed Abdul Latif Zayyoud (26), from Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin, while present near of Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 17:20, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall, north of al-Bireh, arrested Ali Musleh al-Nibali (16) and Mohammed Hmeidan al-Malhi (16), while present in a street adjacent to the annexation wall. IOF took them to “Ofer” detention in Beitunia, west of Ramallah.At approximately 18:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Bara’ Murad Kassab (21), from Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed adjacent to the annexation wall of al-Shwiaka, north of Tulkarem, arrested Rayyan Azzam Abu Sheikha (27) and Wisam Nehad Abu Sheikha (25), while attempting to pass through a hole in the annexation wall to work inside Israel.IOF carried out (4) incursions in al-Shuyukh and Karazah villages in Hebron; Tayibe and Sinjil villages, northeast of Ramallah governorate. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Hammad Owda’s (17) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Dhahiriya village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Ibrahim Eid al-Battat’s (38) house and arrested him.At approximately 13:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Riyad Mohammed Karawi’s (19) house and handed him a summons to refer to am-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem.At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Majed Ragheb al-Jo’ba’s (40) house and took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 17:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Yaser Hamdan (24) and Rashad Mohammed Abu Riyala (22), while present near the western entrance of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.IOF carried out (6) incursions in Ti’nik and Zububa, west of Jenin; Kifl Haris, north of Salfit; Samu, Bani Na’im, and Beit al-Rush al-Fauqa villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp. They raided and searched Mohammed Mahmoud al-Khateeb’s (22) house and arrested him.At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into several neighborhoods in Ramallah. They raided and searched Sa’eed Mahmoud Abbas’s (27) house, in al-Tira neighborhood, and arrested him. Meanwhile, a group of young men gathered, set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces, who responded with firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation; they received treatment on the spot.At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed into the center of the village, randomly fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among the civilians. Meanwhile, an Israeli force stormed an under construction house, belonging to Ibrahim al-Tamimi, and transfer it to a military point. Furthermore, IOF stormed and searched the house of the prisoner Ahmed Mezhir al-Tamimi, and confiscated the cell phone of his son, Ahmed. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no arrests were reported.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ward Abed al-Kilani (22) and Mohammed Naser Sibti (20).Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Bireh and stationed in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood. IOF raided UHWC’s headquarter (2 floors in al-Sartawi building). Israeli soldiers ransacked the offices, removed the main doors with a special device used by IOF to open doors, and raided and searched the 6 offices in both floors. The search included opening the office lockers and drawers, where UHWC’s private files are saved, and threw them all over the ground. IOF also dismantled the PBX (Private Branch Exchange which is a private telephone and internet network used within a company or organization); as a result, it broke down. Before they withdrew at 05:00, IOF confiscated all the hard disks from the computers found in the offices.Simultaneously, IOF moved into Um al-Sharayet neighborhood, south of al-Bireh. They raided and searched Taysir Hasan Abu Sharbak (46)’s house, UHWC’s accountant. IOF arrested Abu Sharbak before their withdrawal from the area. It should be noted that UHWC is a highly respected Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO), which was founded in 1985. UHWC is active in the field of health and community development in the Palestinian territory from a human rights perspective; it has branches in most Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Around the same time, IOF moved into Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Yousef Muzein (23), and Basem Haitham Badawi (20).At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested the former prisoner, Mohammed Yousef Washha (19), a student at Birzeit University. IOF handed Fadi Sidqi Washha and Mousa Washha summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Ofer” detention, west of Ramallah.At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Farsh al-Hawa area, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Tareq Nidal Naji’s (24) house and arrested him.At approximately 11:00, IOF and Israeli Intelligence Services stormed the Women’s Centre headquarter in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF confiscated the ID cards of most of the people, some contents of the exhibition and banned them from carrying out any events, in coincidence with Women’s International Day, then they arrested the event organizers; Ikhlas al-Sayyad and Manal Abu Sbeitan. IOF claimed that they were charged of receiving fund and support from the PNA and that the event contained Palestinian national and political terms. Yasmine al-Sayyad, one of the event’s organizers, stated that IOF dispersed a cultural exhibition for Jerusalemite women, confiscated traditional Palestinian dresses and exhibition pieces. IOF alleged that the event was funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA). She added that they arrested the director of the center, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, and the fashion designer of the exhibition, Manal Abu Sbeitan, and took both women to an investigation center in Jerusalem, releasing them later.At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Anhar Sami Hijja (21), from Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, while present near “Sede Efraim” settlement, west of the city. IOF claimed that she was in possession of a knife. It must be noted that Hijja is a married mother of an infant.IOF carried out an incursion in Baqa al-Sharqiyya, north of Tulkarem. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 00:50, IOF moved into Zawata village, west of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Hasan Jouda (31).At approximately 01:10: IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Monir Tahaina (25).At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Saleh Sabri al-Shamali (23).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed in Harat al-Sheikh area. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hani Shaker al-Fakhouri (23) and Oday Hmeidan al-Sharbati (20).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Eizariya, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched two houses belonging to Hussam Husain Far’oun (25) and Nizar Eyad Bassa (22) and arrested them.At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Khamees Waleed Bahar’s (23) house and arrested him.IOF carried out (12) incursions in Ya’bad, Kafr Ra’i, Jab’, Jalbun, Faqqoa, Zabuba, and Rummanah villages in Jenin governorate; Deir Sharaf, Qusin, and Sarra villages in Nablus governorate; al-Fawwar refugee camp and Kharsa in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ameer Adnan al-Karam (25).At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mo’tasem Ahmed Jaradat (44).At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Izz al-Dein Yousef Freihat (27).At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah, and stationed in the center of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Nazeeh Abu ‘Aadi (15), and Mahmoud Ghaleb Abu ‘Aadi (15).At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Malek Allan’s (28) house and arrested him.At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mohammed Mamdouh Salah’s (20) house and arrested him.At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Issam Hussain Deiriyya (22) and Eyad Ahmed Taqatiqa (20) and arrested them.At approximately 08:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to from the east of Wadi Gaza area to al-Bureij village in the south, adjacent to the border fence. They razed lands and redeployed inside the border fence at approximately 18:00.At approximately 09:30, IOF reinforced with 6 military bulldozers, invaded 50-100 meters west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They razed lands and redeployed at approximately 14:00.At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into al- Saouane neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem. Sheikh Sabri’s lawyer, Hamza Qutaina, said that a large number of Israeli soldiers and Intelligence Services members arrested Sabri and took him to Moscovia Detention Centre to interrogate him on his alleged intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, which is considered illegal by the occupation authorities. Qutaina added that Israeli intelligence released Sheikh Sabri at approximately 14:30.At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Khirbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. IOF chased a group of children while present near “Hafat Ma’un” settlement, 300-meters away from the village. IOF arrested 5 children and took them to a police center of “Kiryat Arba’” settlement, east of Hebron, and released them after 3 hours. A video showed the Israeli soldiers while they were pushing the children inside the military jeep, and their parents attempted to prevent the Israeli soldiers from arresting their children, but to no avail. The children are: Jaber Mohammed Abu Hmeid (9), and his brothers, Zeyad (10) and Saqer (11); Zeyad Jaber Hmeidat (8), and Yaseen Jabrin Hmeidat (10).IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tura and Silat al-Dhahr villages in Jenin; Halhul and Surif villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the occupied West Banka. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Ma’in village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed between houses while the officer distributed notices to stop construction works and others to demolish houses under the pretext of building in Area C.

On Thursday, 04 March 2021, IOF demolished a tent sheltering ‘Alian Family that was established by them on the rubble of their residential building, noting that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished the building at the end of the last month in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, for the second time.Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Isawiya village follow-up Committee, said that IOF raided ‘Alian Family’s tent, surrounded it and then started the demolition. He added that IOF demolished the tent that was established on the rubble of the houses demolished by IOF on 22 February amid firing randomly sound bombs. They also removed slogans in solidarity with the family and threatened all those inside the tent of coming in here. It should be noted that ‘Alian family previously stated that the decision to demolish the family building, which included 2 floors and sheltered 20 family members, including 12 children, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, was a political decision par excellence, especially since their son, Fadi, previously received several calls from the Israeli Intelligence threatening him to demolish his family building if he continued to work as the Head of the Guard Unit in the mosque. The family added that Fadi was arrested several times and teased him lately until they demolished the family building which was established more than 10 years ago under the pretext of unlicensed construction.On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Mohammed ‘Issa Nader Abu Riyalah continued the demolition of his house in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Abu Riyalah said that his house was established in 2005 on an area of 120 sqms and included 4 rooms where he lived with his wife and 5 children; the eldest is 20 years old while the youngest is 16 years old. He said that he received a notice from the Israeli Municipality to demolish his house a year ago, so he self-demolished the walls. He added that the Israeli Municipality officers did not suffice with the demolition of the walls and ordered him to continue the complete demolition of the house as he was handed a new demolition decision a month ago and received a call from the Israeli Municipality and police a week ago informing him that if he did not demolish his house, the bulldozers will come on Sunday to carry it out and he will be fined with 150,000 shekels for the municipality crew’s demolition expenses.At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 08 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle, an excavator and a bulldozer moved into Khelet al-Ward area, east of Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area while the vehicles started demolishing an under-construction house comprised of a 130-sqm ground floor and an unroofed first floor in addition to a water well belonging to Joudah Mohammed ‘Abdel Hamid al-Rajabi, who was supposed to move in with his family of 9; the eldest of his children is 13 years old. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified al-Rajabi to stop construction works on 11 August 2020 and notified him again on 11 November 2020.At approximately 12:30, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein Zawata area, northwest of Zawata village, west of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer fixed 3 notices to stop construction works in 2 houses and a barrack under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

On Tuesday, 09 March 2021, the Israeli authorities notified with demolition 10 facilities in al-Jib village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Ghassan ‘Allan, al-Jib Mayor, said that IOF moved into the area adjacent to the annexation wall in the village center and took photos of the residential buildings and facilities in the area. They fixed 10 demolition notices on the walls and doors of buildings belonging to the families of Abu Hamoud, Abu Dayyah, and Za’al. Among those, a house, storehouse and wedding hall belong to the prisoner in the Israeli jails, Shokri Abu Dayyah. It should be noted that al-Jib village is located northwest of Jerusalem and takes its name from the ancient Canaanite village, “Gibeon,” which means the hill. Al-Jib was known in the past for its agricultural lands, but nowadays it is isolated and surrounded by the annexation wall, settlement expansion and settlements. Al-Jib along with the villages of Beit Hanina, al-Judeira, and Bir Nabala form an “al-Jib” that is isolated by the wall. The village is surrounded by the Givat Ze’ev and Givon settlements from the west and Har Shmuel settlement from the south to the northwest. In 2006, the Israeli authorities established a military checkpoint to isolate it from Jerusalem.At approximately 09:23 on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, IOF accompanied with 3 Israeli Civil Administration SUVs, a bus carrying Israeli soldiers, 15 Israeli military SUVs, and 6 excavators on 3 cranes moved into ‘Ein Shebli area in the Central Jordan Valleys, northeast of Nablus. The bulldozers immediately demolished 2 houses for 2 brothers under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

b. Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 05 March 2021, settlers from the “Price Tag” group coming from “Yitzahar” settlement established on the southeastern lands of Nablus attacked Madma village’s eastern outskirts and threw stones at the civilian houses before the villagers could confront them, forcing them to leave.On Saturday morning, 06 March 2021, Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees from a plot of land belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il in ‘Atsion area, south of Bethlehem. Director of the annexation and settlement resistance committee in Bethlehem, Hasan Breijiyeh, said that Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees in Etzion area belonging to Jamal ‘Abdullah Isma’il from Urtas village, noting that “Gush Etzion” settlement is one of the oldest Israeli settlements which the Israeli authorities established on the Palestinian lands of Bethlehem following the 1967 war.At approximately 17:00, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement, west of Salfit, attacked a vehicle belonging to Hatem ‘Othman ‘Omar al-Haji (66), from Burqin village, west of Salfit, when he was in his land with his family in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village. As a result, the tires were punctured, and the car windows were broken.

Hatem ‘Othman al-Haji said that:

“As I was about to leave my land in al-Qa’aat area, north of the village, along with my brothers, my wife and my sons’ the eldest is 10 years old, I heard sounds that seem like successive explosions. I looked at the vehicle parked in front of the land and found a group of settlers aging between 16 and 19 years old running away. They then turned to look at me and threw stones. They quickly left. Afterwards, I found out that the tires were punctured as they tore them with knives, and also broke the windows. Few minutes later, a female settler and security guards arrived and opened an investigation into the incident as I gave my testimony. I told him that there are still stones left in the vehicle with the fingerprints on them, but they ignored this. I also told them there are surveillance cameras in the area, and they can easily find out who attacked the vehicle. I called someone, and around 50 young people arrived and brought a crane to take the vehicle to my house.”

On Saturday evening as well, armed Israeli settlers under the heavy guard of IOF moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem. They attacked the farmers in the land and tried to kidnap the owner’s son. Saddam ‘Abyat, Mayor of Kisan village, said that a group of settlers from “Ma’ale Amos” settlement established on the village land moved into Ayoub Yousif ‘Abyat’s land near “Eibi Hanahel” settlement while he was planting the land with his family. He added that the settlers threatened the farmers in the land at gunpoint. During which, dozens of the village residents gathered in the area and tried to confront the settlers and IOF, who heavily fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at them, forcing them to leave the land. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. ‘Abayat said that the settlers have recently escalated their attacks and storms of civilian lands in the village as part of their attempts to seize large areas of lands and annex them to the settlements under IOF’s protection.At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 09 March 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, moved into the agricultural area near the settlement. They tried to attack farmer Monjed Ahmed al-Tamimi, from Deir Nizam village, and expel him from his land which he was plowing. IOF intervened after he refused to leave his land and seized his agricultural tractor. They forced him to leave the land under the pretext that the area is located within the lands the Israeli authorities declared as a state property, noting that al-Tamimi owns papers proving his ownership of the land which is around 35 dunams.

PCHR Weekly Report – Arabic/عربي

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Five Palestinian Children Detained by Israeli Forces near Hebron

The Israeli occupation forces, on Wednesday, detained five Palestinian children under the age of twelve, in the South Hebron Hills, in the southern occupied West Bank.

Local sources reported that five children, between the ages 8-12 were detained by the army in the village of Ar Rakeez, apparently for picking flowers in the field.

B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories stated that settlers from the illegal Havat Ma’on settlement, called the military, who promptly came to detain the minors, taking them to the police station in the Kiryat Arba colony.

According to Shehab News Agency, the names of the detained children are; Jabr Muhammad Abu Ahmad, Sakr Muhammad Abu Ahmad, Zaid Jabr Hamidat, Omar Jabr Ahmadat, and Yasin Gabriel Ahmadat.

A recent report by the Defence for Children International (DCIP) describes the experiences of Palestinian children detained by the Israeli army.

“Young Palestinian children are routinely detained by Israeli forces in an arbitrary manner in violation of both Israeli law and international law,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCIP. “Palestinian children below the age of criminal responsibility are detained for shorter periods but the experience can be traumatic. These tactics are meant to intimidate and control Palestinian populations living under an Israeli military occupation with no end in sight.”

 
Photos by Youth of Sumud

As you watched in the video, you have seen activist from YOS who tried physically to reduce the fear of the children and release them, but the occupation soldiers continued to chase the children until they arrested them.
YOS Volunteers has contacted parents of the children, and followed the children .
Now the five children are determined at Kiryat Arbaa police station in Hebron, Detained on charges of entering land settlers claimed belongs to them .
What happened to these children is a crime committed by the occupation soldiers against children, and this is a flagrant violation of the principles of international humanitarian law and a flagrant violation of children’s rights.
Names and ages
1-Saqer Abu Humade 8 years old
2-Omar Jaber Humadat 9 years old
3-Yasen jebrael Humadat 7 years
4- Zaid Jaber Humadat 10 years old
5- Jaber Mohammad Abu Humade 11 years old

May be an image of 1 person, child, sitting and outdoors
May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors
May be an image of one or more people and outdoors
May be an image of ‎one or more people, outdoors and ‎text that says '‎איך 211‎'‎‎
Youth of Sumud
Palestinian Child Arrested by Israeli Forces

~ B’Tselem, Youth of Sumud, Shehab, IMEMC

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Palestinian Dies in Fire After Israeli Forces Detain Firetruck at Checkpoint

Israeli forces detained a firetruck in East Jerusalem Monday, preventing it from reaching the burning home of 34-year old Ahmad Dola. As a result, Dola died in the blaze, and his two-month old infant and his wife suffered moderate-to-severe burns and other injuries.

The fire apparently started from the electric cord of a heater in the Dola family home while the whole family was sleeping. Ahmad woke up, ran to the neighbors for help and as they called the fire department, Ahmad ran back inside to rescue his wife and baby.

He succeeded in rescuing his family, but collapsed while trying to escape the home, and died of smoke inhalation. The firetruck, which deployed just moments after receiving the call, was stuck at an Israeli checkpoint despite clearly being in emergency mode with sirens and lights.

The Israeli soldiers, stationed at Qalandia checkpoint in east Jerusalem, refused to allow the fire truck to pass to be able to extinguish the fire.

The fire truck was detained for over 30 minutes waiting for a military escort. By the time they managed to arrive, Ahmad was dead.

The neighborhood where the family lives, Kafr Aqab, is called a ‘slum’ by numerous Israeli media outlets, mainly because of its large population of Palestinians.

Israeli authorities had announced five years ago that they would construct a fire station on the Kafr Aqab side of the checkpoint, operated by local Palestinians, to provide service to the neighborhood. But the fire station was never built, and fire trucks and ambulances headed to Kafr Aqab end up detained for hours at Israeli military checkpoints, unable to reach those in need.

Numerous Palestinians have died as a result.

Kafr Aqab was described in 2019 by The Guardian newspaper as “a district where Palestinians can keep a foot in both Jerusalem and the West Bank – and be with their loved ones” due to a loophole in what the paper describes as Israel’s “chaotically complex occupation, [in which] Palestinians are divided into multiple categories, often dictated by where they reside. Near the top of the bureaucratic hierarchy are Palestinians in Jerusalem, [who] are eligible for Israeli services and can travel in the country.”

According to the Guardian, “Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank are lower down the permit ranking and unable to easily travel into Jerusalem. As a consequence, a Palestinian from Jerusalem who falls in love with a West Bank resident and moves in with them risks losing their precious residency status.

“Kafr Aqab is the answer to this conundrum. Israel considers it part of Jerusalem, but in response to the suicide bombings of the second Palestinian intifada in the early 2000s, it isolated the neighbourhood, separating it from the city proper with a concrete barrier. The area’s denizens now live in limbo – they are technically inside Jerusalem but physically in the Palestinian territories.

“This contradictory status creates a loophole, allowing Palestinians, to live in the West Bank without losing precious Jerusalem residency permits, while others blocked from entry to Jerusalem can also settle there.”

The reality that this ‘contradictory status’ has created in Kafr Aqab is a lack of basic services for the residents – including a fire station. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports being told by Samikh Abu Ramila, a well-known activist in the neighborhood, “Kafr Aqab doesn’t interest anyone: we don’t receive any services, we have no mailboxes, the roads aren’t paved, the municipality doesn’t do sewage and there are no well-baby clinics. We are living a half life because of the checkpoint.”

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Yahya al Sinwar wins 2nd term as Hamas chief

Gaza (QNN)- The political party Hamas re-elected Yahya Sinwar, 59, on Wednesday as its president in the Gaza Strip in its internal elections.

Hamas overall chief Ismail Haniyeh, currently based in Qatar, congratulated Sinwar and said the election marked “a victory” for the party which won Palestine’s latest elections in 2007.

Sinwar, a former commander of Hamas’s military branch, served more than two decades in an Israeli jail before he was released in 2011 as a part of a prisoner exchange.

An intense competition marked the election between Sinwar and Nizar Awadallah, another of the movement’s prominent leaders in the Gaza Strip.

Sinwar won with 167 votes against Awadallah, who got 147 votes, according to information otained by QNN.

Hamas began its internal election process on Feb. 18, 2021. It will conclude at the end of March.

Al-Sinwar was first elected as chief of Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2017.

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Israeli authorities incite against Palestinian school over glorifying martyrs

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli newspaper Israel HaYom reported that the Ministry of Education complained against a Palestinian school in Jerusalem, accusing it of “incitement” and glorifying martyrs.

The newspaper revealed that the Israeli minister of education summoned the principal of Al Fatat Al Laji’a school in occupied Jerusalem to interrogate him.

The ministry claimed that the school asked students to make extra-curricular activities remembering martyrs. Some students made shows and presentations that included Palestinian songs and video footage of martyrs’ funerals.

The occupation state has been trying to impose the Israeli curriculum on Palestinian schools in the eastern part of Jerusalem. The occupation state has occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed it later, a move that violates the international law.

(Source / 11.03.2021)

‘Israel’ is engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, says UCLA student

The student government at the University of California, Los Angeles passed a resolution on March 3 that says ‘Israel’ is engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.

Titled “A Resolution Calling for the UC to Divest from War,” it urged the academic institution “to sever itself from companies that engage or aid in the oppression of any people” and called on the school to divest from Israel’s “war industry.”

“The UC serves as an extension of war and policing through its technologies, weapons, and tactics, which are spread and applied throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines, Mauna Kea, Somalia, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, native nations and reservations, Akwesasne of the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) Nation, San Diego, U.S. border lands, and Los Angeles,” the resolution reads.

The resolution also stated that divestment is a tactic in fighting against injustices, such as “South African apartheid” and the “ethnic cleansing in Palestine by the Israeli government.”

This resolution supports an older resolution passed by the UCLA student government in 2014 that promotes the BDS movement.

Rabbi Aaron Lerner, executive director of Hillel at UCLA, claimed in an email to community members that the resolution “follows the familiar pattern of seeking to delegitimize Israel within a broader language. The resolution was deliberately hidden from Jewish students, preventing them from engaging in the debate.”

He also claimed that the passage of the resolution “invalid and anti-democratic.”

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Palestine to receive 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by China

Ramallah (QNN)- Palestine will very soon receive 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Chinese government, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Speaking to Voice of Palestine, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaileh announced that the Health Ministry would very soon receive the batch of 100,000 Sinopharm doses, which will help to start the mass vaccination campaign in the Israeli-occupied territories.

Al-kaileh expressed her gratitude to the Palestinian ambassador to China Fariz Mehdawi and his Chinese counterpart to Palestine Guo Wei for their efforts in this regard.

She added that Palestine would also soon receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism following high-profile contacts with the World Health Organization, while noting that the ministry has entered into a contract with global manufactures to purchase more vaccines.

To date, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, there have been nearly 2427 deaths related to COVID-19 among Palestinians in the OPT since the beginning of the pandemic, 562 of them in the Gaza strip. 229,065 Palestinians have been infected with the virus.

Under the fourth Geneva Convention, ‘Israel’, as an occupying power, is obligated to provide Palestinians with the vaccines, as the occupying forces are responsible for providing healthcare to the population of the occupied area, however, it refused to give Palestinians access to the vaccine.

In January, ‘Israel’ agreed to transfer only 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Palestinians to immunize just the front-line medical workers, this was the first time that ‘Israel’ confirmed the transfer of vaccines to the Palestinians.

Later, ‘Israel’ allowed the Palestinians to send the first shipment of 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines donated by Russia to the besieged Gaza Strip, after it banned the entry of the shipment.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that 2,000 doses of the Russian ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine were supposed to enter Gaza Strip, however, ‘Israel’, allowed the entry of only 1000 doses, which has a population of about 2 million.

(Source / 11.03.2021)

Italy contributes US$9.5 Million to Palestinian Partnership for Infrastructure Development

Italy contributed an amount of US$9.5 million to the Palestinian Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund, (PID Fund), the World Bank announced in a press statement on Wednesday.

It said that Italy is contributing an amount of 8 million euros, equivalent to US$ 9.53 million to the PID Fund administered by the World Bank.

This is the first contribution to the fund by Italy, joining a partnership of ten development partners.

“Italy is a longstanding supporter of Palestinian people in Gaza, whose struggles are currently exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. With this project, Italy aims at supporting the modernization of the water sector, as a crucial step towards the provision of primary services and the facilitation of sustainable development within the Strip,” said Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem, Giuseppe Fedele.

The contribution of Italy will support Palestinian Authority priority activities in the water sector.

In particular, the contribution will support reforms and investments to achieve improved access to safe drinking water in Gaza through the Associated Works Project.

This is part of the Water Security Development Program, a long-term engagement of the international community. With the Gaza Central Desalination Plant at its core, this program aims to improve the quantity and quality of water available to households and firms in the Gaza Strip, boosting public health outcomes and economic development prospects of Gaza residents and ultimately their quality of life.

“With this grant, Italy is sending a strong signal of support to the Palestinian people for the development of its infrastructure at these difficult times of COVID crisis and fiscal stress. This funding will be critical to Gaza’s recovery and future development as it targets a vital sector of safe water and reliable water supplies”, said PID Program Manager at the World Bank, Ivo Imparato.

The PID Fund was established in 2012 with the objective of improving the coverage, quality, and sustainability of infrastructure in the Palestinian territories through financial and technical support in the energy, water and urban development sectors.

With the new contribution, the total amount allocated to the PID Fund has reached about US$ 278 million. In addition to Italy, donors contributing to the fund include the governments of Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

(Source / 11.03.2021)