Israeli bulldozers demolish commercial structures in Jerusalem-district town

Days of Palestine – Jerusalem – Israeli occupation authorities today Wednesday demolished commercial structures in Hizma town, northeast of Jerusalem, according to local sources.

They said that Israeli forces cordoned off an area close to the military checkpoint at the entrance of the town, where they tore down eight structures belonging to the al-Khatib family.

Read More: UN: Israel demolished 474 Palestinian structures in 2021

The Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem had rejected a petition submitted by Regavim settler group to demolish the structures two months ago, but later on, the occupation authorities issued decisions in favor of the demolition, as pointed by Medhat Dheibeh, an attorney.

Regavim, which promotes Israeli Jewish settlers’ “right” to colonize Palestine, mirroring the techniques and strategies of liberal human rights NGOs, had submitted the petition seeking to carry out the demolition of the structures purportedly for being located within the boundaries of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem.

Read More: Israeli forces shoot injured several Palestinians near Beita town

Israel demolishes Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.

Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.

In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Red Cross: “Gaza survey shows heavy toll of chronic power shortages on exhausted families”

A new study by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza shows that 80% of Gaza’s population live much of their lives in the dark, with only 10-12 hours of electricity per day. This issue becomes extra problematic during the peak of summer and poses a threat to the health and daily life for Gazans, with the majority of the population being unable to refrigerate food and wastewater treatment plants unable to operate.

According to the study, the chronic, prolonged electricity shortages and power cuts are taking a psychological toll on people, with 94% of Gazans surveyed reporting that their mental health is affected by the situation. Furthermore, the recent intense escalation of hostilities in May damaged infrastructure and caused massive shortages of supply through the major power lines, leaving people with only 4-5 hours of electricity per day.

While some can afford additional electricity supply through generators at least 500,000 people cannot afford additional power, so they are forced to spend most of their day without electricity.

“We have a small battery to feed the LED lights and we recharge it only when we have electricity. It survives for an hour or two only, then we stay in pitch black. These LEDs go out most of the time,” says Ahmed Darwish, a 64-year-old father from Bureij refugee camp.

Key findings:

94% of those surveyed said the prolonged situation had affected their mental health.82% of respondents told the ICRC that they were unable to refrigerate food because of the situation.27% of those surveyed told the ICRC they could not access any alternative form of power when the municipal power went off. Of these, 91% simply could not afford to pay for more power.57% said that they could access alternative forms of power, but it was not enough to meet their needs in life or work.

In the ICRC survey, Gazans describe a situation where the unavailability of electricity has made daily life extremely difficult for years. It is almost impossible to do housework, devices frequently malfunction when power is out, there is no running water, schoolwork cannot be finished, people have to shoulder a massive financial burden to buy extra power (in the form of generators) and the power cuts even contributed to environmental pollution that impacts people’s health.

It feels just like a cemetery when the power is out. Pitch black. I light up the oil lamp. Even the LED lights, they are insufficient because the batteries are not fully charged. I also don’t always have oil for the lamp, and it is also insufficient for my kids to study.”

– Mariam Hunaideq, a mother of six who lives in Nahr Al-Barid in the southern Gaza Strip.

The findings of the survey confirm long-standing testimony by people in Gaza and ICRC’s own observations. With electricity supply reduced to three to four hours a day during peak crisis times, people in Gaza experience heavy limitations to going about their daily business. Even when Gaza enjoys a period of calm and electricity supply reaches 10-12 hours a day, extreme heat and import restrictions of fuel to run the Gaza power plant pose a threat to health and daily life for Gazans.

The lack of electricity also means that wastewater treatment plants can no longer be operated, and wastewater is pumped into the sea untreated polluting large parts of Gaza’s shoreline. Not only does this pollute the sea, it contributes to the faster spreading of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which endanger the health of people in Gaza and beyond.

Electricity has become an issue in Gaza that profoundly impacts basic services like water supply, wastewater treatment, health facilities, as well as also businesses and irrigation of crops and fruit. Particularly in urban contexts like Gaza, people’s well-being and public health conditions strongly depend on electricity, even after the fighting has ended. In 2021, Gazans should not be living like this. We are calling on the authorities concerned and the international community to recognize the situation and work towards improving it.”

– Mirjam Müller, the head of ICRC’s Sub delegation in Gaza.

The Gaza Resilience Programme

Electricity is not the only unreliable service in Gaza. There are also issues with the water supply and water treatment, health services and irrigation for local food production. All these systems are interconnected. When one fails, the others can too.

The ICRC launched its Gaza Resilience Programme in 2020, which aims to understand these systems and how they are interconnected and find ways to increase their resilience to system shocks, including improving water and wastewater systems and power supplies in a resilient way.

One example is to automize operations of critical infrastructure components such as electricity transformers and pumping stations so that no one must risk their life to operate them manually in times of conflict. The Resilience Programme also provides a more efficient and resilient management of Gaza’s interlinked water and electricity systems.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

WAFA: “Members of US Congress demand Treasury examine charities supporting illegal Israeli settlements”

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, August 03, 2021 (WAFA) – Seven members of the US Congress wrote the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding an investigation into US charities supporting illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“We write to express our extreme concern that US charities are funding and providing direct support to Israeli organizations that are working to expand and perpetuate Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in violation of international law, including supporting the dispossession and forced displacement of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods. We are concerned that these policies violate US obligations under international law, as well as federal tax law,” wrote Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Andre Carson, Betty McCollum, Mark Pocan, Ayyana Pressley and Cori Bush.

“Since Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967, Israeli authorities have pursued an unlawful settlement enterprise in occupied territory—an aggressive policy of seizing lands either privately owned by, or collectively used by Palestinians, and allocating them for the use and enjoyment of Jewish Israelis. Israeli authorities utilize discriminatory housing, land, and property legal regimes and impermissible military justifications to dispossess Palestinians of their lands, or destroy Palestinian homes, property, and essential civilian infrastructure. Israeli authorities and private Israeli settler organizations in collaboration with Israeli authorities have established some 200 Jewish -only settlements that house over 600,000 Israeli citizens.”

The US lawmakers added: “The broader settlement enterprise to create and sustain illegal settlements, pursuant to Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, is in direct contravention of international humanitarian law. This was reaffirmed by an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice in 2004 as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on December 23, 2016, which reiterates previous Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“The United States government, as a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention and under customary international law, has a duty to not encourage or recognize violations of international humanitarian law or peremptory norms and must also act to end violations of international humanitarian law. The United States government’s obligation prohibits not only explicit recognition of an illegal situation but also extends to actions that would simply imply recognition.”

The lawmakers named the Central Fund of Israel (CFI) as one of the charities that has tax-exempt non-profit status, “among several US-based groups fueling the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians to make way for Jewish Israeli settlers.”

“CFI and other private actors that fund the Israeli settlement enterprise are receiving concrete benefits and recognition from the Department of the Treasury and its largest bureau, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while acting in direct contradiction to the United States government’s long-standing public policy position opposing the development and expansion of Israeli settlements within occupied territory,” wrote the members of Congress, demanding the Treasury Secretary to examine the status of CFI and other charities that support illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

A Month After Killing Him, Israeli Army Hands Corpse Of Slain Palestinian To His family

The Israeli army handed, on Tuesday evening, the body of a slain young Palestinian man to his family, a month after killing him and holding his corpse.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Emergency Department at the Nablus branch of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), in northern West Bank, said PRCS medics were handed the corpse of Mohammad Farid Ali Hasan, 20, at the Huwwara Israeli military base, south of Nablus, and moved it to Rafidia Hospital in the city.

It is worth mentioning that Mohammad was killed by the Israeli army on July 3rd, 2021, and more than 25 Palestinians were injured in the southern area of Qusra village, south of Nablus.

Mohammad was shot with a live round in the chest while standing on the rooftop of his home and died from his serious wounds before the soldiers took his corpse.

The incident took place after the Palestinians intercepted and stopped and infiltration by a group of illegal Israeli colonizers who attacked the residents and their homes, before the soldiers invaded the town and started firing live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades at the Palestinians and surrounding homes.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Shoot Six Palestinians in Jenin, Assault Four in Beita

Israeli forces, on Tuesday, shot six Palestinians in Jenin, assaulted four in Beita, south of Nablus, in northern occupied West Bank, medical and security sources reported.

In Jenin, Israeli soldiers and undercover agents invaded the industrial zone of the city, firing live rounds at the Palestinians who resisted the incursion, security sources told the Palestinian WAFA News Agency.

The army shot and injured six Palestinians, one of whom was seriously injured after being shot in the abdomen. He was evacuated to a nearby Nablus hospital for urgent treatment.

On Sbeih Mountain, south of Nablus, in Beita village, the army assaulted several Palestinians, injuring four.

Ahmad Jibril, director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PCCS) emergency center stated that they treated four Palestinians for physical assault, two of whom were briefly detained by the army, the other two were transferred to hospital for treatment.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Ten Palestinians In West Bank

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, at least ten Palestinians, including one woman and a child, in addition to summoning many others for interrogation, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources in Hebron, in southern West Bank, said the soldiers invaded Sa’ir town, northeast of the city, invaded and ransacked homes before abducting three Palestinians, identified as Ezzeddin Ahmad Shalalda, 26, Humam Shalalda, 30, and Mohammad Diab Tarda, 30.

The sources added that the soldiers installed a roadblock at the entrance of Kharsa village, south of Hebron, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The soldiers also invaded Balata refugee camp, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched homes, and abducted two siblings, identified as Eyad Wael Meshe and his brother, Jamil.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Kobar village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and abducted Mina Barghouthi, from his home. The soldiers also invaded Abu Qash nearby village and searched a few homes.

Islam Masoud Zeitoun

In the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a child, identified as Islam Masoud Zeitoun, 13, from his home in Be’er Ayyoub neighborhood in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Also in Silwan, the soldiers abducted Sinan Ibrahim Awwad, 19, and a young woman, identified as Tala al-Ghoul, from their homes.

The soldiers also attacked many young Palestinian men at the main road leading to Silwan, before several army jeeps invaded the Abu Tayeh neighborhood, and the soldiers also invaded the homes of two former political prisoners, identified as Saif Natsha and Issa Natsha, in Rad al-Amoud neighborhood.

Maher Zeitoun

The two Palestinians were not in their homes during the invasions, and the soldiers handed their families military orders summoning the two for interrogation.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also detained a young man, identified as Yousef Resheq, and interrogated him for several hours at the al-Maskobiyya detention center, before releasing them.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded the home of Raed Hussein Dirbas in the al-Isawiya nearby town and attacked many Palestinians walking on the street near the property.

In addition, several army jeeps invaded the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in Jerusalem and fired several concussion grenades at random.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Army Demolishes Structures In Northern Plains

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Thra’ Awwad area, north of al-Hamra area, in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank, and demolished three structures.

Media sources said several army jeeps and bulldozers invaded the area, before demolishing three newly constructed cement rooms, owned by Adnan Salamin.

The structures were built by the Palestinian on his own land, and the army claimed they were not licensed by the “Civil Administration Office,” the administrative branch of the illegal Israeli occupation.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also demolished and confiscated 19 residential and agricultural structures in Khirbit Ibziq, and confiscated two Palestinian cars, in the Northern Plains.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

WAFA: “Israeli forces conduct large-scale demolitions in northern Jordan Valley”

TUBAS, Wednesday, August 04, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces today conducted large-scale demolitions of Palestinian property in Khirbet Ibzeiq village, northeast of Tubas, according to an official.

Mu‘taz Besharat, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli colonial settlement activities in Tubas governorate, said that Israeli forces escorted bulldozers into the village, where the heavy types of machinery have been tearing down residential structures and livestock sheds and sabotaging water tanks and solar panels since 6:00 AM this morning.

The soldiers also seized several agricultural tractors and private vehicles.

Under international law, driving residents of an occupied territory from their homes is considered a forcible transfer of protected persons, which constitutes a war crime. But residents of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are no strangers to such disruptive Israeli policies.

The valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.

Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.

The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967 and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.

Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in thirty-eight communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.

In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis but also confiscates their farmlands, demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.

Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.

Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Army Demolishes Agricultural Room, Uproots Lands, In Sebastia

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before demolishing an agricultural room and bulldozing farmlands surrounding it.

Mohammad Azem, the mayor of Sebastia, said the soldiers invaded the lands, close to the archeological area, before demolishing the room, owned by Abdul-Aziz Nabulsi.

He added that the soldiers also bulldozed and uprooted the surrounding lands, in addition to destroying an irrigation network and a fence.

Azem also stated that this is the second time the soldiers demolish the room in recent months.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers frequently invade Sebastia to accompany groups of colonialist settlers into the archeological area in Sebastia.

During these invasions, the soldiers block all Palestinian traffic, in addition to frequently storming homes, abducting Palestinians, and attacking protesters, in addition to removing the Palestinian flag from the site.

(Source / 04.08.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Demolish Eight Commercial Structures In Hizma

Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, eight commercial structures in the town of Hizma, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Local sources said the soldiers surrounded and invaded the area near the Hizma military roadblock, before demolishing the eight structures, owned by members of the local Khatib family.

Lawyer Midhat Theeba said the Central Court in Jerusalem denied an appeal filed by a colonialist organization, two months ago, demanding the demolition of the structures, however, it changed its verdict and issued a demolition order that was carried within eight hours, before the Palestinians could file any appeals.

Over the last few months, the Regavim colonialist organization filed lawsuits demanding the demolition of sixteen structures in Hizma, all owned by the Khatib family, and alleged that the structures are all within the boundaries of Jerusalem.

It is worth mentioning that Hizma, located in an essential area in the central West Bank, has a main road linking between the northern and southern parts of the occupied West Bank, and is subject to escalating Israeli violations, including attacks by the colonialist settlers, the demolition of homes and structures, in addition to the illegal annexation of private Palestinian lands for the benefit of the illegal colonialist activities.

Hizma is also surrounded by Geva Benjamin illegal colony in the northern part of the town, Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaacov in the western part, and Anatot in the eastern part, in addition to the illegal Annexation Wall, which was built between 2004 and 2006, leading to the illegal annexation of thousands of Dunams of Palestinian lands.

In related news, the Israeli soldiers invaded Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, before demolishing an agricultural room and bulldozing farmlands surrounding it.

The soldiers also conducted large-scale demolitions of Palestinian property in Khirbet Ibzeiq village, northeast of Tubas.

(Source / 04.08.2021)