Two UK school textbooks on the Middle East have been “significantly altered” following intervention from leading advocates of the Zionist state in favour of the Israeli narrative. The alterations, slammed as “propaganda under the guise of education” and “not fit for purpose” have raised serious concerns over the textbook, prompting a pause in further distribution.
Details of the extensive “biased” and “misleading” alterations were exposed by a report, by Professors John Chalcraft and James Dickins, Middle East specialists in History and in Arabic, respectively, and members of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP).
Their eight-page report uncovered” dangerously misleading” changes to the books published by Pearson, titled Conflict in the Middle East and The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change, both by author Hilary Brash and are read by hundreds of thousands of GCSE students annually. GCSEs are the academic qualifications studied for by UK high school students to the age of 16.
The alterations were made last year following intervention by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) working together with UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI). Both are amongst the most vocal pro-Israeli groups in the UK.
Describing the scale of the alterations the report noted that there are changes on almost every page, often multiple changes. “In CME (with 84 pages of history) we have counted 294 changes, in MECCC (with 104 pages of history) over 360,” said the report. “There are thus on average more than three changes per page, and the re-writing on some pages is particularly extensive. Alterations have been made to text, timelines, maps and photographs, as well as to sample student essays, and to the questions that students are asked to answer”.
Multiple examples of the changes are highlighted in the report. In one example the original version says that “international law states that a country cannot annex or indefinitely occupy territory gained by force”. This is the overwhelming international legal consensus. The revised version replaces this with: “Some argue that international law states that a country cannot annex or indefinitely occupy territory gained by force”. This change, according to the report’s authors “clearly replaces an accurate and unambiguous description of the internationally accepted legal position by a ‘fudge’ that implicitly throws doubt on that position”.
In the original version of the domestic GCSE textbook there are 10 references to Jewish terrorism and 32 to Palestinian terrorism (in each case including use of ‘terror’, ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’). After revision there are 4 references to terrorism by Jewish groups, and 61 references to terrorism by Palestinian ones.
Concluding the report, the authors said that they had “found the process to have been biased and the outcome misleading. The outcome is two textbooks that distort the historical record, failing to offer students a balanced view of the conflict. These books, we conclude, are not fit for purpose. School children should not be supplied with propaganda under the guise of education”.
Leading experts on the Middle East have raised serious concerns over the alterations. Eugene Rogan FBA, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Oxford said: “Given Britain’s historical responsibility, it is particularly important that the subject be taught in a way that is impartial and objective. It is a betrayal of such objectivity to allow Israel advocates the opportunity to edit teaching materials without giving Palestine advocates an equal opportunity to provide input. The result can only undermine confidence in the impartiality of the teaching of an intensely complex and sensitive issue.”
Neve Gordon, Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Queen Mary University of London, said: “Through their rigorous analysis of two GCSE text books, Professors John Chalcraft and James Dickins uncover how hundreds of revisions have been inserted in order to modify and distort historical and political facts relating to Israel/Palestine. Their report suggests that when accredited publishing houses allow lobbying groups to help develop high-school curriculum, knowledge is replaced by indoctrination and our children are encouraged to adopt biased thinking.”
Khaled Fahmy FBA, Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Cambridge, said: “While it is laudable that Middle Eastern history books are regularly revised and updated, the manner in which these two school textbooks have been revised is shocking and unacceptable. School textbooks should be revised based on the advice and expertise of academics and scholars, not by reviewers selected by an organisation of lawyers whose rationale is advocating for a foreign country.”
In a statement to Middle East Eye, Pearson said “We stand by our texts but had already taken the decision to pause further distribution while we discuss further with stakeholders.”
The US State Department has reaffirmed its position which considers the West Bank as territory occupied by Israel.
“It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
The clarification came after the Department published its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2020.
The report affirmed steps taken by the previous administration of Donald Trump, which had both recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
It also kept in place a description change made to the report by former President Trump, in which he replaced the phrase “Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories” with “Israel, West Bank and Gaza.”
Asked if the US considers the West Bank an occupied territory by Israel, Price affirmed that it did.
“In fact, the 2020 Human Rights Report does use the term ‘occupation’ in the context of the current status of the West Bank,” Price said, adding that “this has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a reporter asked Assistant Secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labour, Lisa Peterson if the department considers the West Bank “occupied by Israel”.
Peterson said the section on Israel and the Palestinian territories had been presented similar to previous years.
“This Human Rights Report refers to the commonly used geographic names of the area the report covers. So, Israel, West Bank, and Gaza. This is intended to delineate geographic areas and puts them in alignment with the rest of the report,” Peterson said.
“Those geographic indicators are not meant to convey any position on any final status issues that need to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian state,” she added.
The Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas is claimed to have slammed the Israeli intelligence service’s interference in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections scheduled for May, Israel’s public broadcaster KAN reported.
Kan said the rebuke came during a meeting between Abbas and the head of the Shin Bet Security, Nadav Argaman, held in Ramallah two weeks ago. Argaman, it was reported, asked Abbas to cancel the upcoming Palestinian parliament elections if Hamas participates.
According to KAN, Abbas has slammed Argaman’s request, claiming Israel is responsible for the group’s strength.
“I do not work for you. I will decide if there will be an election and with whom. You built Hamas, not me,” Abbas reportedly told Argaman.
According to KAN, Abbas and Argaman also discussed the International Criminal Court’s investigation into Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians.
“Please, as far as I am concerned, you and I are sitting together in the same prison cell,” Abbas reportedly said.
As many as nine members of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah – withdrew on Thursday from the movement’s electoral list for parliamentary elections just as the Central Elections Commission closed registration for the polls.
Fatah candidate in Gaza, Riad Al-Astal, announced on Facebook that he had withdrawn from the movement’s electoral list to protest “the irresponsible decision to ignore the number of votes in Khan Yunis,” as well as the disregard of popular opinion and conduct that was not representative of Fatah’s spirit.
“Returning to that which is right is better than persisting in dishonesty;” he said in reference to the withdrawal of his nomination.
Al-Astal explained that more than five reputable electoral lists had offered him to join them, however he refused their offers.
“I apologise to all these lists, and I wish them further progress and success,” he added.
Another Fatah candidate in Gaza, Prof Muhammad Abu Hamida who had also withdrawn from the movement’s electoral list said he had taken his decision for reasons that he will keep to himself.
Elsewhere, in the West Bank, unknown gunmen opened fire on the home of a Fatah candidate in the southern governorate of Hebron shortly after he officially announced joining the movement’s list.
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. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented 207 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.
IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:
Four Palestinians, including two children, sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: a child was wounded at the weekly Kufur Qaddoum protests in Qalqilia; another in a protest in Beit Dajan in Nablus; another child sustained wounds in an IOF raid on a former Palestinian prisoner’s house in occupied east Jerusalem, noting that the prisoner was released that same day after 20 years in Israeli prisons. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assault during raids on Palestinian houses across the West Bank.
In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 3 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.
IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:
IOF carried out 121 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, 62 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and 2 women, including a journalist who was detained while conducting an interview. She was detained for several others before her release.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir Balah.
PCHR documented the following incidents:
* Hebron: cease-construction notice served against a house in eastern Yatta.
Bethlehem: cease-construction notice served against a retaining wall in Tuqu.
PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 3 attacks:
Bethlehem: Palestinian civilian assaulted in southern Bethlehem
Salfit: vehicle vandalized; agricultural room destroyed; stone chains destroyed, and 15 olive trees cut.
Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:
The 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. The United Nations (UN) confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.
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 21:30 on Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Younis. At approximately 12:00, IOF re-opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinians gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child was hit with a teargas canister in his foot.At approximately 13:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a two men were shot with rubber bullets in their lower limbs and taken to Rafidia Hospital. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 27 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 and opened sporadic fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fire sound bombs at them until 09:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 10:00, Israeli authorities suppressed activities organized by the Women Centre that belongs to al-Zaytoun Mount Club in al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to celebrate Mother’s Day. Israeli authorities claimed that the celebration is funded by the Palestinian authority (PA). Mohammed al-Sayyad, Secretary of al-Zaytoun Mount Club, said that Israeli Intelligence Service along with IOF raided al-Zaytoun Mount stadium during the preparation for the launch of the event, which is annually held to celebrate the Mother’s Day. Al-Sayyad clarified that IOF stopped the event, got the attendees out of the stadium, and arrested Head of the Women’s Centre, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, along with the young man, Malek Ghazi al-Moghrabi, after severely beating him up. Al-Sayyad pointed out that IOF hanged a ban order signed by the Minister of Internal Security in the Israeli government on the stadium gate and warned of holding the event in another place in the city. Lawyer Heba al-Qadoumi said that the Israeli Intelligence Service banned for the 2nd time an event organized by al-Zaytoun Mount Club during this month; the first event was on the Women’s Day and the second was on the Mother’s Day, noting that these events were organized at call of the villagers and without any coordination with Palestinian official bodies. Al-Qadoumi pointed out that IOF released Ikhlas al-Sayyad few hours after interrogating her. Also, Malek al-Moghrabi was released, on condition of house arrest for five days.At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 29 March 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fire sound bombs at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF raided a house belonging to a former prisoner, Majd Abed al-Raheem Barbar, 45, in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and re-arrested him a day after his release from the Israeli jails, noting that he served 20 years in prison. IOF also indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. Barbar family said that IOF raided a tent established by the family near their residential building entrance to receive visitors welcoming him. The family clarified that IOF arrested their son Majd under the pretext of organizing a celebration in his house yard and raising Palestinian flags. The family added that IOF pepper-sprayed some visitors, pushed and beat them up and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. As a result, many civilians, including Majd’s mother and wife, suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Furthermore, it was reported that a child named Mohammed Hitham al-Daddou, 11, was shot with a rubber bullet in his right hand. The family pointed out that the Israeli authorities extended Majd’s detention for next day evening in order to appear before the Israeli court, which decided to release him, provided that the family will not fire fireworks, they will preserve social distance among the visitors and wearing masks, and they will not organize any celebrations in the house yard. The Palestinian Red Crescent Crews stated that they treated 14 people when IOF raided Majd’s house; 12 of those suffocated due to teargas inhalation; one was beaten up by IOF, and another one was shot with a rubber bullet. Some of those wounded were taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tur neighborhood for treatment. *** It should be noted that in afternoon, IOF moved into Al-Eizariya village, where they raided the Red Palace Hall near the village entrance, prevented holding a celebration for Majd Barbar and warned the hall owner of hosting Barbar family.
II. Incursions and arrests
Thursday, 25 March 2021:
At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hamza Naser Abu ‘Ajamiya, 21, and Abdullah Khaled Abu Hadeed, 18. Meanwhile, IOF handed Oday Adnan Shehada, 25, a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Kahil, north of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the city. IOF deployed between civilians’ houses and arrested twenty civilians and took them to a detention center at “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city, and released them later. (PCHR keeps records of the names of the arrestees).At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jawhar Naser Jawhar, 25, and Mohammed Abdullah Jaffal, 17, and arrested them. IOF took them to an unknown destination.At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hammam Ahmed al-Banna, 25.At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Murad Mohammed Idris’s, 24, house and arrested him.At approximately 06:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. They stopped and arrested Amjad Khaled Fayed, 19, and Tamer Ahmed al-Saffouri, 19, from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin.At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Ras Atiya village, south of Qalqilia. They raided and searched Ibarhim Hazem ‘Arrar’s, 23, house and arrested him.At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into 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 handed him a expandable decision signed by the Israeli minister of interior affairs , Aryeh Deri, that bans him from travelling for a month.It should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Sheikh Sabri and banned him from entering the Aqsa Mosque several times, latest of which was on 10 March 2021, after announcing his intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque.IOF carried out five incursions in Dura, Beit Ummar, Bani Na’im villages in Heborn; al-Mughayyir, northwest of Ramallah; and Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. No arrests were reported.
Friday, 26 March 2021:
At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Illar village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Samer Mwafaq Abu Hafiza’s, 24, house and arrested him.At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at several neighborhoods in the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested three civilians, including former minister and deputy. The arrestees are: Issa Khairy al-Ja’bari, 55, the Palestinian minister of local government, was arrested nine times and spent 10-years in the Israeli prisons, and he was arrested without searching his house; Hatem Rabah Qfaisha, 68, former Hamas Movement Deputy; and Mazen Jamal al-Natsha, 46, a leader at Hamas Movement in Hebron.IOF carried out three incursions in Nuba and Halhul in Hebron; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.
Saturday, 27 March 2021:
At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Illar, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched Sameer Abdul Khaliq Abu Sa’da’s, 27, house, and arrested him.At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Bab al-Hadid “Iron Gate”, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, severely beaten and arrested Murad Mohammed al-Tarhouni, 21, and took him to one of the police center in the city.At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Hassan Ghayatha, 28, while present near “Kfar Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. IOF took him to one of the detention centers and released him after several hours. It should be noted that Ghayatha is a person with disability.IOF carried out five incursions in Sa’ir, Beit Ummar, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate; Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah; and Aboud, northwest of the city. No arrests were reported.
Sunday, 28 March 2021:
At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Ghazzawi’s, 28, house, claiming that he attempted to run over an Israeli soldier near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested a child Mohammed Murad Abu Hammad, 13, and Mohammed Fayez al-Debs, 20, from Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present near Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque, north of the city.IOF carried out three incursions in Hebron, Bani Na’im, and Tarrama villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.
Monday, 29 March 2021:
At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Riyad al-Qarrawi, 20, and Mahdi Abu al-Hawa, 20, and took them to unknown destinations.At approximately 07:30, IOF reinforced with four military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Salem court, west of Jenin, arrested a child, Mohammed Husain Bani Ghurra, 17, from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. IOF claimed that he attempted to smuggle a bombshell into the court.At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Muna Azmi al-Qawasmi, a journalist at Jerusalem Newspaper, and the former prisoner Sedqi Suliman al-Maqt, 54, after conducting an interview in the yards of the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to al-Kishle police center, where their mobile phones were confiscated, and they were interrogated for hours and accused of inciting riots. Later IOF released them on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for one week, subject to renewal. It should be noted that al-Maqt is from Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, and he was released in January 2020, during a prisoner exchange deal, after he spent thirty-two years in Israeli prisons.At approximately 15:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services handed the Jerusalem Affairs Minister, Adnan Adel Ghaith, 46, a new military decision that bans his entry to the West Bank for another six months for unjustified/false security reasons. Jerusalem governorate stated that this is the fifth decision in raw that bans the entry of Ghaith to the West Bank and to his workplace, north of Jerusalem. it should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Ghaith over than twenty-seven times since he was signed as a governor.At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Ramzi Naser Abu Ajamiyya, 20, from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of the city, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.IOF carried out two incursions in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho; and Ti’inik village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.
Tuesday, 30 March 2021:
At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Ahmed Huthaifa al-Jamal’s, 20, house and arrested him.Around the same time, IOF moved into Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Emran Mousa Zawahra’s, 23, house and arrested him.Around the same time, IOF moved into Yasuf, east of Salfit. They raided and searched Nour Jamal Azzam’s, 23, house and arrested him.At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron, and stationed in Kiton area. They raided and searched Mohammed Hamed Barqan’s, 36, house and arrested him.At approximately 03:30, IOD moved into Ein Musbah neighborhood in Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdul Majid Majed Hasan’s, 22, house and arrested him. It should be noted that Hasan is a university student.At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mus’ab Mohammed Srour’s, 32, house and arrested him.At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’nis Jamal Mer’i, 24, and Saher Ammar Mer’i, 26, and arrested them.At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Jom’a Khaled Abu Mfareh, 24, from Teqoa, east of Bethlehem, after summonsing him to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.IOF carried out six incursions in Tubas and Tammun, southeast of Tubas; Qalqilia, Jericho, Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, near Jericho; and Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.
Wednesday, 31 March 2021:
At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Abdul Wahab Shadi Daraghmah’s, 19, house and arrested him.At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ayman Rami Zeid’s, 19, house and arrested him.At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mu’in Abdul ‘Alim Olwi’s, 21, house and arrested him.At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with 4 military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Samu village, south of Hebron. They deployed in the Old City of Hebron, closed the main street of the city to provide protection to settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old Roman synagogue in the city center. The closure continued until at approximately 10:00.At approximately 10:00, Israeli infantry unit moved into Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron. Meanwhile, several military vehicles came and closed the road to Bir al-Hams, and forced the stores’ owners to close their stores, and prevented the Palestinian vehicles from moving to provide security for a group of settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old building called “Etni’il Tomb”, until at approximately 11:30. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian activists attempted to obstruct the settlers’ way and reopened their stores and rose banners that calls for the eviction of settlers out of Hebron. IOF responded by attacking the Palestinians and arrested the activist Wael Mohammed Amro, 25, and took him to police center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Emran al-Ashhab, 41, the employee at Islamic Waqf rehabilitation committee, while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to al-Kishle police center, in the Old City.IOF carried out two incursions in Beita village, southeast of Nablus; and Beit Ur al-Fauqa village, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Banka. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed around a house belonging to ‘Omer Mohammed Rab’ie while plowing the land around the house. The soldiers tried to confiscate an excavator that was working there while the villagers intervened and prevented them. Before leaving, the Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Rab’ie a notice to stop construction works in the area under the pretext of monument destruction.At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF handed a citizen from Teqoa village, a notice to stop the construction of a retaining wall around his land, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Director of Teqoa village, Taysir Abu Mefreh, said that IOF notified Sami ‘Ali Ibrahim al-Ta’amrah to stop the construction of a retaining wall around a plot of land he owns in Kherbet al-Deir, west of the village, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
b. Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property
At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 25 March 2021, settlers beat up Ahmed Sa’id Sbeih, 39, when he was in his land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, causing him bruises and wounds.As’ad Sbeih said that his brother Ahmed was surprised with four Israeli settlers storming his land in ‘Ein Qasis area, west of al-Khader village. When he tried to ask them about their presence in his land, they started beating, pushing and kicking him. As a result, he sustained bruises and injuries all over his body and was referred to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to receive treatment.At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, a group of settlers from Brukhin village, established on west Salfit lands, attacked Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad (41), and damaged his family agricultural room in Wadi Sousia area, north of Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit.
Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“I was working in the village lands when someone called me to say that there were settlers damaging the agricultural room in Wadi Sousia. I immediately stopped working and headed to the land. When I arrived, the settlers ran away to the top of the Mountain and started throwing stones at me and my car, breaking its windshield. I could not bear it and called the settlement’s guard. An Israeli officer arrived, and I told him that I will not leave until they fix what they ruined. The officer told me to calm down and I will get what I want. All they did is trying to calm me down, and nothing happened as the officer told me to go and file a complaint to Ariel police station. I refused and went back. It was all in vain although I took photos of the settlers and the settler who damaged my car.”
At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 29 March 2021, a group of settlers from Rafafa settlement established on west Salfit lands attacked an agricultural road and destroyed the stone chains established there in Kherbet al-Nafakh, turning it into a road for settlers’ motorbikes. The settlers also cut 15 olive trees in lands belonging to heirs of Yousif Hasan Souf; Hussein Hasan Jaber; ‘Aref Hussein Saleh Souf and ‘Aisha Mahmoud ‘Abdel Qader Qasem.
Israeli soldiers conducted, Thursday, various invasions into many parts of the occupied West Bank, before abducting several Palestinians in addition to injuring many others, while Israeli colonialist settlers continued their invasions into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Joseph’s Tomb Mosque.
More than 900 Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by the police and the army, invaded the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, after the army removed the Palestinian Muslim worshipers from the holy site.
During the invasion, the soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men and detained another, identified as Anwar Obeid, from the al-‘Isawiya town, in Jerusalem, before issuing an order banning him from entering the holy site for several months.
It is worth mentioning that Obeid is a former political prisoner, who was abducted and imprisoned several times, and was expelled from Jerusalem for four months.
The soldiers also closed the Bab al-Asbat (The Gate of the Tribes) area, and installed a roadblock, before preventing the Palestinians from crossing.
Also in Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded Sweih neighborhood in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and abducted Ismael Kanaan, while he and his family were welcoming his brother, Ghazi, a political prisoner who was released from Israeli prisons after serving an 11-year prison term.
In addition, dozens of colonialist settlers, accompanied by the army, invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before heading to Joseph’s Tomb site, in the eastern part of the city.
The invasion led to protests, especially after the army closed the area and prevented the Palestinians from entering it.
One Palestinian, identified as Abdul-Salam Salman, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, and was moved to a local hospital.
In addition, the Israeli police abducted Nizar Hanaisha, from Qabatia town south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, while he was working in occupied Jerusalem.
In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers invaded and searched many homes in Beit Ummar and Doura towns, north and south of the city, and abducted Mohammad Abu Mariya in addition to Nayef Shawamra.
In Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, the soldiers abducted one Palestinian, identified as Kamal Jamal Daraghma, from his home in the city.
In addition, the soldiers shot a Palestinian, who works at the General Intelligence Service in Tubas, with two live rounds in the chest and shoulder, while standing in front of the building when the army invaded Tubas.
Israeli colonialist settlers bulldozed, on Thursday night after midnight, Palestinian lands in Battir town, west of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.
Omar al-Qaisi, the owner of the bulldozed lands, said dozens of colonists, accompanied by soldiers invaded his property and started bulldozing it in preparation for a segregated agricultural road.
He added that the road would be six meters wide and 100 meters long, leading to Khirbat Mousa area, in the al-Khammar area where the colonists recently installed an outpost on private Palestinian lands before the locals managed to force them out.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Friday at dawn, three Palestinians, including two teenage boys, in Hebron, in southern West Bank, in addition to one Palestinian, who was abducted late on Thursday at night in the al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem.
Media sources in Hebron said many Israeli army jeeps invaded Beit Ummar town, north of the city, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes, and abducted Mohammad Awad Za’aqeeq, 17, in addition to Fahmi Abdul-Hamid Za’aqeeq, 16.
The abducted teens were taken to the nearby Etzion military base and security center for interrogation.
They added that the soldiers detained many families in their own homes while searching their properties, and interrogated them while inspecting their ID cards.
Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Hani Mojahed Abu Sabba’, after invading and violently searching his home in the southern area of Hebron city.
Late on Thursday at night, the soldiers invaded the al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, and abducted Mahmoud Ismael Abu at-Teen, after breaking into his home and ransacking it.