Israel has escalated its abusive practices against Palestinian prisoners, including the use of medical negligence, amid fears of the spread of coronavirus, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club warned yesterday.
“A state of extreme tension prevails in Section 3 of Ashkelon Prison, which is designated for security prisoners, due to the escalation of [Israeli] abuse and the tragic conditions the prisoners face around the clock,” the body said in a statement, pointing out that the rising number of sick prisoners, and the prison administration’s continued policy of medical negligence “exacerbates the state of tension”.
According to the statement, the prisoners’ suffering in Ashkelon prison has recently worsened, after the prison administration brought in more detainees and the cells became overcrowded.
Prisoners, the rights group said, fear the coronavirus might spread among them, following reports that a number of prisoners and wardens have been infected with the virus.
According to rights groups, as of 30 June, Israel was holding about 4,850 prisoners, including 41 female prisoners, 225 children, and 540 administrative detainees.
As Palestinian high school students celebrate their success in the Tawjihi exams and plan for the future, those in Gaza are still trying to rebuild their lives after Israel’s brutal bombing campaign in May.
The Tawjihi exams were held just one month after the ceasefire was announced, which brought 11 days of Israeli bombing to an end. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee from their homes during the assault, leaving all their belongings behind. Some have been able to return, while others found their belongings buried under the rubble.
However, emerging from the depths of this tragedy, we find impressive and inspiring stories of success.
Wafaa Amjad Musa Abu Al-Naga from Khan Younis was a student at Umm Salamah Secondary School for Girls in the southern Gaza Strip. This week she discovered that she attained 99.1 per cent in her Tawjihi exams.
Her description of the days before the exam make her feat ever more striking.
“Our house was threatened by Israeli bombing. When we left, I could not take my school books. Two days before it was bombed, I risked my life and went to the house despite the threat of the occupation and took all my books,” she explains.
The atmosphere of displacement from one house to another made me unable to study for nearly a month.
“After the trouble of the end of the war on Gaza, we were able to settle in a house a week before my exams. The time I had to study was very limited, so I relied on the summaries and questions from here and there,” she adds.
With God’s help, her family were able to create the appropriate conditions for her to study while they were in their new accomodation, she explains.
Some 82,924 students sat the Tawjihi exams this year, the Palestinian Ministry of Education has said, of whom 59,182 passed, a passing rate of 71.37 per cent.
Amongst them was Abd Al-Rahman Ayman Muhareb Habib who found himself in the middle of the bombardment, breathing in smoke and dust. Despite this and the constant shelling and aggression by the occupation’s warplanes on Gaza City, he achieved a 99 per cent average in the exams.
Though he excelled at his studies, Abd Al-Rahman ‘s medical condition worsened with the rubble surrounding his building affecting his lung disease.
Palestinian student Yehya Al-Saqqa from Khan Yunis stands in his destroyed bedroom after he attained 94% in the Tawjihi exams. Al-Saqqa’s home was partially destroyed by the Israeli bombing campaign on Gaz in May 2021, just one month before he sat the exams.
For these students, they were the lucky ones, they survived the bombing, sat their exams and excelled. Tawfeeq Abu Alouf wasn’t so lucky, he and his entire family were murdered in an Israeli strike leaving only his brother Amjad behind. The family perished in what Palestinians refer to as the Al-Wehda Street Massacre, when more than 45 Palestinians were killed.
Amjad tells MEMO: “Tawfeeq was in his room studying science minutes before the house was hit.”
Students now face the challenge of enrolling in universities, this will not just be determined by their grades, but by their ability to afford the fees that come with this new phase.
Israel didn’t only target homes during its latest bombing campaign, it hit health centres and factories, leaving hundreds without jobs or an income.
Amna Khaled’s dreams of going to university were levelled as soon as the Israeli missile hit the factory where her father worked.
that “My father worked in a factory in the industrial estate east of Gaza for many year, but the occupation warplanes bombed it … this means that I will not be able to get in in the university,” she tells MEMO.
Some 3,000 factory workers were laid off as a result of the strikes. The affects of the brutal air raids campaign have still not fully come to light.
Israeli soldiers injured, Thursday, one Palestinian and caused dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, in Sa’ir town, east of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, during protests that erupted after the army demolished two under-construction homes.
Medical sources said the soldiers shot one Palestinian with a rubber-coated steel bullet before the medics provided him with the needed medical treatment.
They added that the soldiers also fired a barrage of gas bombs and concussion grenades at the Palestinians, causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, in addition to cuts and bruises.
The protests took place after dozens of soldiers invaded the town and demolished two under-construction homes.
In related news, the soldiers invaded Jeet village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and handed a Palestinian, identified as Samed Khader, an order to halt the construction of his 120 square/meter home.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, thirteen Palestinians, including a father and his two sons, and injured at least two, when the army invaded several communities in the occupied West Bank, including the occupied capital, Jerusalem, and stormed many homes before ransacking them.
Media sources in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers invaded the al-Yamoun town, west of the city, searched several homes, and abducted two young men, identified as Mansour Abahra and Sharir al-Bashir.
The soldiers also invaded Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, stormed and ransacked homes, before abducting two teenage boys, identified as Mahmoud Mohammad Sabarna, 17, and Yassin Adel Za’aqeeq, 16.
In addition, the soldiers installed roadblocks in several areas of the Hebron governorate, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated the Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Deir Abu Mashal village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched homes, and abducted Hasan Bakr, 19.
In Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes before abducting six Palestinians.
Four of the abducted young men have been identified as Mohammad Sarhan, his brother Sultan Sarhan, and a child, Nassim Zoheir Dmeiri, in addition to Ahmad Salah Kash’am.
The invasion and abductions came after the Palestinians in Silwan called for holding noon prayers, Friday, in the protest tent in Silwan, which was installed in condemnation of the ongoing illegal Israeli home demolition policy and the displacement of the residents to replace them with illegal Israeli colonizers.
In Tubas, in northeastern West Bank, the soldiers invaded the Wadi al-Far’a and the al-Far’a refugee camps, south of the city, shot two young men with live fire, and abducted three others.
Kamal Bani Odah, the head of the Tubas office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said the soldiers stormed and ransacked many homes, causing damage.
He added that the soldiers abducted Najeh Abdullah Kilani along with his sons Mahdi and Mojahed.
In addition, protests took place after the soldiers invaded the al-Far’a refugee camp, and the soldiers fired many live rounds, gas bombs, and concussion grenades.
Medical sources said two young men were shot with live Israeli army fire and were rushed to a hospital in Tubas.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, a young Palestinian man, who is also a former political prisoner, during his engagement party in the al-Isawiya town, in occupied Jerusalem.
Local sources have reported that the soldiers abducted Anwar Sami Obeid during his engagement party in the house of his fiancé.
They added that the soldiers transferred Obeid to an interrogation facility.
Obeid is a former political prisoner who was frequently abducted, interrogated, and imprisoned, including when he was a child and was also previously exiled out of Jerusalem for several months.
It is worth mentioning that the soldiers also abducted Ahmad Saleh Kash’am, 20, in addition to Yousef Resheq from Silwan town, in Jerusalem. Yousef was taken prisoner after the soldiers summoned him for interrogation.
The soldiers invaded and searched many homes, including the home of a former political prisoner, identified as Shoeib Abu Sneina, who was forcibly exiled from Jerusalem to Gaza.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR): Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Summary for July 29 – August 4, 2021
Israeli forces 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, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian properties and land continued. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.
Army shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others in the West Bank. On 29 July 2021, Shawkat K. A. Za’aqeeq (21) died few hours after the army shooting wounded him, along with 5 other civilians, during the funeral of a child killed by Israeli forces in a previous day in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, south of the West Bank. This crime is another stark example of army murders against Palestinians due to its excessive use of force. Two other Palestinians sustained wounds, one deemed in critical condition, during an army raid into Jenin. Dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, fired by the army in its attacks in the West Bank.
Army incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:
Israeli forces carried out 129 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, 48 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and a woman. This week witnessed an escalation in army attacks against Palestinian civil society organizations in the oPt, as the army raided 3 CSOs and confiscated items: Bisan Centre for Research and Development and Defense for Children International (DCI) in Ramallah, where Israeli forces broke doors, searched and damaged contents; and al-Bustan Association in Jerusalem where Israeli forces confiscated items and arrested its Director, Qutaiba Owda (30). Owda remains in Israeli custody as of issuing this report.
In the Gaza Strip, the army arrested 2 fishermen and confiscated their fishing boat while at sea off Gaza’s northern shore. This incident is yet another example of recurrent army attacks on Palestinian fishermen, denying them the right to work freely and access to populated fishing area. Israeli forces also conducted a limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis.
PCHR fieldworkers documented 6 violations:
• Northern Jordan valleys: 4 Palestinians delivered demolition notices for their homes; tractor confiscated; 3 houses destroyed along with sheep barns and water tanks. The army confiscated solar panels (belonging to 3 families), a power generator, and private vehicles (belonging to 2 families). Israeli forces demolished 3 dwellings in central Jordan valleys.
Occupied East Jerusalem: 3 brothers forced to self-demolish their apartments (3) in al-Tor neighborhood; 16 shops destroyed and a fence near Hizma military checkpoint.
Nablus: agricultural room destroyed in Sebastia.
PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented one settler attack from “Har Brakha” settlement, southeastern Nablus, on Burin village, during the attack settlers cut with chainsaws 6 telecom pillars connected to civilian houses.
Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:
This week, Israeli occupation authorities announced a series of relief measures for Gaza, including expanding the fishing area from 6 to 12 nautical miles, allowing the entry of equipment and goods for projects sponsored by the international community in the Gaza Strip in the food, medicine, and fishing sectors.
However, occupation authorities continue to ban the entry of dozens of goods, including construction materials, and to impose collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip, by tightening its closure, which entered its 15th year without an end in sight, denying Palestinians from enjoying their full economic, social, and cultural rights.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.
I. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
• At approximately 19:00 on Thursday, 29 July 2021, in excessive use of force, a Palestinian civilian died few hours after his injury by Israeli forces along with 5 other civilians during the funeral of a child killed by the army in a previous day in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, south of the West Bank.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 13:00 on Thursday, the funeral of Mohammed Moayad Bahjat Shehda Abu Sarah (12), who was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday when the latter opened fire at his father’s car at the village entrance, started from the central of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. When the mourners arrived at the intersection leading to the cemetery, a large number of soldiers were deployed in the area and closed the street with military vehicles. Also, Israeli forces fired teargas canisters at the mourners, so they were forced to flee towards the cemetery through a sub-road. A large number of villages remained on the street and threw stones at the army. At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces fired 2 live bullets from a distance of 70 meters at Shawkat Khaled ‘Abdullah Za’aqeeq (21); the first bullet penetrated his upper right abdomen, so he fell to the ground, while the second bullet penetrated his head during his attempt to get up off the ground. A number of Palestinian young men managed to reach Za’aqeeq and took him to a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance that transferred him to al-Mizan Specialized Hospital, where he underwent a surgery to stop the bleeding. At approximately 19:00, doctors announced Za’aqeeq dead succumbing to his wounds. During the clashes, which continued until 16:00, 5 civilians were shot with live and rubber bullets and taken to hospitals for treatment. It should be noted that during the clashes, Israeli forces used a skunk carrying vehicle and flooded shops with wastewater. Israeli forces continued to station at the village’s entrance, which was closed until night hours.
• At approximately 18:00 on Saturday, Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful sit-in called by families who are under the threat of evacuating their houses in favor of settlement associations in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR’s fieldworker said that in the morning, a large number of soldiers were deployed at the neighborhood’s entrances. At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces surrounded the neighborhood, patrolled its intersections, and closed them with iron barriers. They also banned all Palestinians, including journalists and paramedics, from entering the neighborhood and checked their IDs.
Moreover, Israeli forces assaulted Palestinians who organized a sit-in in a tent in the neighborhood, beat them with batons, forcibly vacated the tent, chased the protestors on the neighborhood’s streets, and pumped wastewater at them to disperse them. IOF also intentionally pumped wastewater at press crews and their equipment. Furthermore, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed ‘Odah (16) after beating and pushing him.
It should be noted that a few days ago, Sheikh Jarrah families invited activists and media to gather and participate in the sit-in that was organized in front of the houses threatened with eviction, to support them emphasizing the importance of popular support for their cause, as the Supreme Court session on the displacement of 4 families from the neighborhood approaches. The families threatened of displacement from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are: al-Kurd, Iskafi, al-Qasem and al-Ja’ouni. It should be mentioned that the Israeli Central Court had previously ratified the displacement decision.
• At approximately 22:30 on Monday, 02 August 2021, Israeli forces moved into Jenin-Hifa Street, west of Jenin, and fired teargas canisters at a wedding of Jamal Mohammed Tahayina, which was organized in al-Omara Hall, at the entrance to Silat al-Harithiya village. As a result, many persons suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. Also, the wedding was canceled due to the army assault.
• At approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 03 August 2021, Israeli forces moved into Jenin to conduct an arrest campaign. During which, a number of Palestinians gathered and threw stones at military vehicles. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at the protestors. As a result, two protestors were injured with live bullets; one of them deemed serious and received treatment at Dr. Khalil Suliman Hospital. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
II. Incursions and arrests
Thursday, 29 July 2021:
• At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched 2 houses and arrested 2 civilians: Nour Khaled Horoub (23), and Mo’taz Mohammed Horoub (21).
• At approximately 02:35, Israeli forces moved into Tell villages, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ibrahim Mostafa ‘Abed’s (25) house and arrested him.
• At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces stormed the head office of Bisan Centre for Research and Development in al-Nahdah Building in al-Masyoun neighborhood in Ramallah. They searched the Center’s offices, ransacked its contents, and seized 2 computers.
The Centre’s Director, Obay al-Aboudi, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the army banged down the Centre’s main door with a tool specifically for demolition and broke the glass of 3 interior doors. They thoroughly searched all the Centre’s lockers and seized 2 computers: a laptop and a computer set.
It should be noted that Bisan Center for Research and Development is a civil institution progressive democratic and non-profit working to enhance the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.
• At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces raided the headquarter of Defense for Children International (DCI), located on the first floor of al-Sirtawi building in Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, east of al-Bireh. Israeli forces damaged the main door and searched the contents of the office and confiscated 6 computers and some folders.
According to information obtained by PCHR from ‘Amer Qteish, Director of the Accountability Program at DCI- Palestine, Israeli forces banged down the office door and stayed there for an hour and a half and then withdrew, firing teargas canister all their way out of the building.
• In the early morning hours, Israeli forces arrested 2 fishermen and confiscated a fishing boat sailing off Gaza northern shore, as part of the Israeli harassment against Palestinian fishermen to prevent them from sailing and fishing freely in areas where fish breed.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 06:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha area, northwest of Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing at 3 nautical miles, and heavily opened fire around them. They surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Mohammed Abdul Razik Baker (50), from western Gaza Strip, arrested him along with his son, Mohammed (18), confiscated their fishing boat and took them to unknown destinations. At approximately 12:00, Baker and his son were released and their fishing boat was returned.
• At approximately 19:30, Israeli forces raided and searched Ma’rouf Ahmed al-Atrash’s (19) house in Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem governorate, and arrested him.
• Israeli forces carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir, Aroub refugee camp and al-Tabqa villages in Hebron; Sebastia and al-Nassariya villages in Nablus governorate. No arrests were reported.
Friday, 30 July 2021
• At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces raided and searched Mahmoud Mohammed Salah’s (27) house in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem governorate, and arrested him.
• At approximately 14:00, Israeli forces arrested Eissa Mohammed al-Herimi (22), from Hindaza area in Bethlehem governorate, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
• At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces raided and searched Hasan Tareq Ghannam’s (22) house in ‘Aqqaba village, west of Tubas, and arrested him.
• Israeli forces carried out (5) incursions in al-Shuyukh village and al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron; Ya’bad, Arraba and Jaba’ in Jenin governorate. No arrests were reported.
Saturday, 31 July 2021:
• At approximately 00:10, Israeli forces arrested Belal Khaled Kmeil (28), while passing through a military checkpoint established at the entrance of Misilyah village, southeast of Jenin.
• At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces raided and searched Ahmed Sharif Zeidat’s (35) house in Bani Naim village, east of Hebron, and arrested him.
• At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces raided and searched 2 houses in Hebron’s Old City and arrested Hamad Jameel al-Ja’bari (21), and Abdul Baset Hazem al-Ja’bari (33).
• Israeli forces carried out (2) incursions in Idhna and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.
Sunday, 01 August 2021
• At approximately 10:00, Ayham Adnan al-Sha’er (15), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, surrendered himself to the Israeli prisons to serve his sentence of 6 months. It should be noted that Israeli forces arrested Ayham last year and then he was released on conditions of the house arrest.
• At approximately 23:00, Israeli Intelligence Services summonsed Dawoud Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa (19) and Sufian Firas Abu al-Hawa (18), for investigation in Kishle center in West Jerusalem, after storming their houses in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Monday, 02 August 2021:
• At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces raided and searched 2 houses in Jaba’ village, south of Jenin, and arrested Malik Yaser Fashafisha (23), and Emad Ahmed Shaqiqat (22).
• Around the same time, Israeli forces raided and searched Mohammed Ali Mohsen’s (23) house in Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested him.
• At approximately 02:50, Israeli forces raided and searched Jad Essam Nafea’s (20) house in Ni’lin, west of Ramallah, and arrested him.
• At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces raided and searched 3 houses in Beita, southeast of Nablus, and arrested 3 civilians. The arrestees are: Jehad Ahmed Dweikat (30), Karam Mohammed Dawoud (21), and Sa’eed Zuhair Dawoud (20).
• At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces raided and searched Adnan Mohammed al-Yasini’s (21) house in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and arrested him.
• At approximately 08:30, Israeli forces reinforced with several military vehicles moved 100-meters to the east of al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Younis. They leveled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence with Israel for hours before they deployed again.
• Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Yousef al-Joulani (19) and Isma’el al-Joulani (22) and arrested them.
• At approximately 18:45, Israeli forces moved into Qaffin village, north of Tulkarem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Fayez Waleed Sabbah (24) and Ahmed Fathi To’ma (26) and arrested them.
• At approximately 19:00, Israeli forces moved into Sheikh Jarrah village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians: Ghaith Ghosha (21), Islam Ghteit (21), and Suhaib Syam (23).
• Around the same time, Israeli forces stationed at Mevo Dotan military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Shaher Obaid (30), from Anze village. Israeli forces took him to an unknown destination.
• At approximately 21:30, Israeli forces moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Jamil Ali Khamaysa (55), and his son, Mo’taz (20), and arrested them.
• Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Salem, Rujeib and Udala villages in Nablus governorate. No arrests were reported.
Tuesday, 03 August 2021
• At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Tala Younis al-Ghoul’s (19) house and arrested her.
• At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Fadi Mohammed al-Karaki (22) and Mo’taz Ali Obaido (24) and arrested them.
• Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Monthir Mahmoud Jamjoum’s (21) house and arrested him.
• At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Khaled Abu al-So’oud’s (24) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
• At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched al-Bustan Association headquarter, arrested its director, Qutaiba Owda (30), and took him to a police center on Salah al-Dein street in Jerusalem.
Amany Owda, vice-president of the association, said that Israeli forces stormed al-Bustan Association office in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, forced them to vacate the office, and started searching and damaging the office contents. She added that IOF confiscated files, documents and computers, and arrested Qutaiba Owda, whose arrest was extended to be presented before the Magistrate Court on the next day, where the court refused to release him and extended his arrest to several more days.
• Israeli forces carried out (2) incursions in Dura and Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.
Wednesday, 04 August 2021:
• At approximately 01:00,Israeli forces moved into the eastern side of Hebron’s Old City. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mustafa Hamed al-‘Ajlouni and Hamed Awni Idris (23).
• At approximately 01:40, Israeli forces moved into Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Izz al-Dein Ahmed al-Shalalida (25), Hammam Yousef Shalalida (30), and Mohammed Diab al-Tarda (32), and arrested them.
• At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Maher Ahmed Zaytoun’s (16) house and arrested him.
• At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched Wa’el Shaker Mashah’s house and arrested his sons; Jameel (22), and Eyad (24).
• At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Wad Abu al-Samn area, south of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Hussain Hasan Abu Hussain (33), and his brother, Mohammed (33), and arrested them.
• At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Mas’oud Zaytoun (13), and Sinan Ibrahim Awwad (19).
• Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in al-Dhahiriya, al-Karmel village in Yatta, and Bayt Ula in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank a. Demolitions, Confiscations, and Notices
• At approximately 06:50 on Thursday, 29 July 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein al-Helweh area in Northern Jordan Valleys. The Civil Administration officer handed notices to 4 farmers in order to demolish their dwellings under the pretext of its illegal construction in Area C. Those farmers were identified as ‘Adel Mohammed ‘Awad ‘Alian, Soliman Mohammed Ka’abnah; Hamad ‘Alian ‘Awwad and Fatmah Nassar Soiman Ka’abnah. Israeli forces also confiscated a tractor belonging to Jamil Soliman Mefdi Bani ‘Odah in the nearby Kherbet Ras al-Ahmar.
• In the morning, Suhaib and Firas Ahmed al-Dejani self-demolished their houses in Khelet al-‘Ein area in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Finance and Interior Ministries’ decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
The 2 brothers said to PCHR’s fieldworker they started building a second floor of 200 square meters divided into 3 small apartments, which were finished and fully furnished 4 months ago. The brothers added that they and their families of 14 members, including 6 children, lived in the 3 apartments, which cost around ILS 700,000, (around $200,000). They added that the Israeli Municipality has haunted them and issued a demolition decision for the apartments although Khelet al-‘Ein area has an organized lands project. Thus, they hired a lawyer to freeze the demolition decision and start the license procedures, but the Ministry of Finance and Interior insisted on the demolition decision. As a result, the Israeli police daily raided the houses lately, threatening them to evacuate and demolish their houses as well as giving them until Sunday to carry out the demolition or the municipality will send their crews to do so and impose on them heavy fines. The brothers said that they did not have money to pay the fines, especially that they borrowed thousands of shekels to finish their apartments.
• At approximately 02:30 on Wednesday, 04 August 2021, the Israeli municipalities accompanied with 500 Israeli officers, 4 excavators and 2 bulldozers moved into the main road near Hizma military checkpoint, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem and demolished 16 shops in the area in addition to a house fence.
Member of Hizma Municipal administrative committee, ‘Abdulah Salah al-Deen, said that demolition continued for 8 hours; during which 13 shops belonging to ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Shehadah al-Khatib and that support 150 individuals. The shops were auto repair and car accessories, a carwash, grocery shop, a tile shop and a lathe workshop in addition to garages. Salah al-Deen said that IOF razed a 1-dunam land belonging to Ahmed Shehadah al-Khatib, which included a shop for construction tools that cost around 300,000 ILS, demolished the shop. Israeli forces also demolished 2 shops belonging to Salem Abu Markhiyeh for tires. They also demolished a house fence belonging to Noha al-Khatib after raiding the house and terrified the children.
The shops’ owners said that that their shops were built of cement and bricks 14 years ago and since then the Israeli municipality crews had raided and threatened of demolishing their shops as well as imposing fines under the pretext of unlicensed construction, claiming that the land on which the shops were built is within the Jerusalem Municipal boundaries. The owners added that over the past few years, they have paid exorbitant sums to lawyers in order to abolish the demolition decision, but IOF raided their shops at 15:00 the day before and gave them 5 hours to self-demolish their shops. However, they could not vacate their shops that require days to be emptied. They were surprised in the dawn with the army invasion into the area and starting the demolition while the contents were inside, inflicting huge financial losses.
• The lawyer of the shops’ owners, Medhat Deebah, said that the Israeli District Court abolished 2 months ago a petition filed by the Ragabim Settlement Organization to demolish 16 facilities in Hizma. However, the Israeli Government issued on Thursday afternoon a demolition decision to be implemented within 8 hours despite the closure of the Israeli courts due to the judicial leave, making it not possible to take any procedure that would stop the governmental decision. Deebah said that the governmental decision at this time proves the Israeli Government’s compliance with the settlement organizations’ plans, seeking to deprive the Palestinians of their property and lands.
• At approximately 06:00, Israeli forces accompanied with 3 bulldozers and an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Kherbet Bzeiq in the Northern Jordan Valleys. Immediately, the bulldozers demolished dwellings belonging to 3 families, sheep barns and water tanks and confiscated the solar cells belonging to 5 families and a generator in addition to private cars to other families.
Nael ‘Ali Khalil al-Hroub – 2 residential tents demolished and confiscated; 3 sheep barn tents demolished and confiscated (each tent is 60 sqms); A 200-sqm sheep barn; A Solar Cell’s 4 batteries and an invertor; A water tank
Hayel Hussein Mahmoud Turkman – 2 residential tents demolished and confiscated; 4 sheep barn tents demolished and confiscated (each tent is 60 sqms); A 350-sqm sheep barn; Generator; Solar panels confiscated; A water tank; A Mitsubishi Magnum vehicle
Mohammed Methqal Daraghmah – 2 residential tents demolished and confiscated; 2 sheep barn tents demolished and confiscated (each tent is 60 sqms); A tent used as a kitchen demolished and confiscated; Fodders storage tent confiscated and demolished; 1 solar cell confiscated; A 200sqm open barn; A water tank
‘Adel Nasarllah al-Hroub – 1 solar cell confiscated
Mustafa ‘Ali Nasrallah al-Hroub – 1 solar cell confiscated
Nemer Mousa Nasrallah al-Hroub – 1 solar cell confiscated
‘Aziz Khalil Nawaj’ah – 1 private car confiscated
• At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer and an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into the archeological area in western Sebasitia village, northwest of Nablus. Immediately, the bulldozer demolished an agricultural room built of bricks and asbestos on an area of 30sqms in addition to a gate and am iron fence surrounding the land belonging to ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Ra’eq al-Nabulso from Nablus. This is the third time that this room has been demolished in two years under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
• At approximately 11:30, Israeli forces accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Kherbet Thera’a ‘Awwad near Furush Beit Dajan village, north of al-Hamra checkpoint in the central valleys in the northern West Bank. The bulldozers immediately demolished 3 rooms (between 30 and 40 sqms) belonging to ‘Adnan ‘Abdel Mahdi Ghayyad al-Salamin and his sons, ‘Abdel Karim and ‘Abdel Mahdi. The demolition was under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
b. Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property
• On Friday morning, 30 July 2021, a group of illegal Israeli settlers from “Har Brakha” settlement, east of Burin village, southeast of Nablus, assaulted the southeastern outskirts of Burin village and cut with automatic saws 6 communication poles connected to the houses. They then fled away to their settlement.
Built in the 16th century, at the western entrance to Jerusalem lies Lifta, the well-preserved remains of a Palestinian village. Archeological and architectural remains attest to a continuity of thousands of years of settlement in Lifta.
During the Ottoman period, the village of Lifta was a major agricultural hinterland of Jerusalem and had an array of olive presses and flour mills.
Many Jerusalem neighborhoods, both Jewish and Arab, were built on lands purchased from the village at the end of the 19th century. In 1948, following the formation of the state of Israel, the village inhabitants fled to East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank.
In the 1950’s, Jewish families, new immigrants from Yemen and Kurdistan, were resettled in the village. These families were evacuated by the State of Israel in 2017, the last inhabitants of Lifta.
Present | from a unique cultural landscape to an elite-class villa neighbourhood ?
The village of Lifta is the only remnant to survive in such remarkable condition, of an architectural and agricultural society, prevalent in the Middle East for thousands of years.
Lifta was recently added to the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites by the Israeli Committee for UNESCO in the Ministry of Education.
Today, Lifta has a rich habitat for many plants and animals, and a natural water spring. The beauty of Lifta is a hallmark and an inseparable part of the entrance to Jerusalem, the city’s scenery and its charm.
Construction plan ‘6036’ is currently being vigorously promoted by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Land Authority. The plan is intended to destroy the cultural landscape of Lifta and build an elite-class villa neighborhood, with roads, parking structures, and retaining walls.
Future | building an alternative vision for Lifta
The Save Lifta Coalition has been operating since 2010 to stop plan 6036 and promote an alternative plan that will focus on preserving Lifta’s cultural landscape as a local and universal heritage site for future generations. In our vision, Lifta is a tourist and research site, an open-air museum of Arab cultural heritage, where one can learn about the ancient ways of life that developed here in the Middle East. In our vision Lifta is a model for the search for paths to a shared life of peace, reconciliation and justice.
On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, Adv. Dr. Sami Arshid filed a petition in the Jerusalem Administrative Court against the Israel Land Authority, demanding the cancellation of the tender for the planning and construction of 259 villas, commercial buildings and a hotel in the abandoned village of Lifta, and the 6036 construction plan.
Adv. Dr. Arshid, representing associations and individuals working for the preservation of Lifta, including Jerusalem residents of Lifta, asked the court to order the cessation of all marketing or sale of the plots in Kfar Lifta and to oblige the Israel Land Authority to submit a new plan for the preservation of Lifta village. Will implement the findings of a survey by the Antiquities Authority in Lifta, and will address the declaration that Lifta is a candidate for recognition as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In 2017, the Israel Antiquities Authority published a detailed survey finding that the built array of the village of Lifta as well as the array of roads, terraces, historical division of plots, natural finds, agriculture and the environment within the village were not assimilated in Plan 6036.
The survey by the Israel Antiquities Authority clarifies that there are sites in Lifta that deserve to remain in the hands of the public and are fully accessible to the public as part of the hiking trails in the village: clothing houses, wineries, caves, and unique buildings. According to the current tender, these sites are marketed and transferred to the private entrepreneur without any guidance and construction of a mechanism for their actual preservation and making them available to the public. The petitioners claim that “marketing the Lifta site as a whole (447 dunams) to one developer and as a result the construction of new buildings on the village lands and in place of the existing village, therefore thwarts the ability to preserve the existing village and thwart any possibility of preserving the full historical structure of the village.”
The marketing of the lands of the village of Lifta, along with the dispossession of the historical rights of the original residents is also an unreasonable move in light of the fact that the marketing was done without regard to historical property rights that were never detached from the place and without regard to necessary planning and preservation considerations. It will cause weeping for generations, erasing a piece of history and a landscape that is invaluable.”
This petition is also against the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality, who are required to “stabilize the existing buildings in the area of the abandoned village of Lifta in order to prevent the collapse of the buildings or any part of them professionally with architects, engineers and conservation contractors.”
The petition is accompanied by three professional opinions that clarify why Plan 6036 approved in 2006 should be repealed.
Amos Sheeran, a civil engineer, compared in his opinion between the road plan in plan 6036 and the survey by the Israel Antiquities Authority and shows in the plans that some of the roads planned in plan 6036 are too close to existing buildings and in some cases even “through” existing houses. He also warns that the paving works as marked in the plan, may cause the collapse of existing structures as a result of quarrying or vibrating works required for the breakthrough.
Ecologist Dr. David Shahmi writes in his opinion that “The village of Lifta is a cultural landscape site that is unparalleled in the world of the spring, the agricultural terraces and the natural landscape are an integral part of the place’s authenticity that gives it its identity and global importance for conservation. Uniquely the integration of the village in nature and the traditional agricultural use of land and water resources. Years of settlement on the site, thus the main and universal importance of Lifta: the human cultural heritage derives from the cultural landscape in which it grew and developed, nourishes it and nourishes it.This complex, of natural, agricultural and built, make up a world-class cultural heritage site and cultural landscape. At the Lifta complex, there is a rare opportunity to preserve a cultural landscape with its human and natural components, which was typical of the country in the past but has disappeared almost completely under the wheels of development.
The Lifta site has been defined as a declared and well-known urban nature site in Jerusalem, part of the sequence of open areas that surround the city (the Cedar Valley and the Mitzpe Naftah). This sequence feeds Lifta and takes place in connection with it, allows connectivity and the passage of plants and animals and ensures, provided proper preservation , the continued existence of the natural systems at the site and its surroundings. “Plan 6036 for construction in Lifta will introduce construction and infrastructure that will change the flow of runoff water and water infiltration and will adversely affect the moist habitat, and natural habitats will be eradicated for fear of fires and the presence of unwanted animals.”
Plan 6036 does not provide any solution for the preservation of Lifta. A calculated, in-depth and challenging process of redesign aimed at preserving Lifta on all its components must begin.
The third opinion, signed by five well-known architects and conservation planners in Israel, clarifies that the Antiquities Authority’s directive to keep only the original construction volume in the center of the village contradicts the existing plan that allows new construction in the center of the village. Construction rights in the new center of the village set in the program 6036 is not derived from a survey and defined before the report was drawn Antiquities Authority. The existing scheme has not been updated in accordance with the IAA and it contradicts these guidelines. Moves conservation required in practice today are stabilizing and strengthening minimum of existing structures, beyond For this it was appropriate to leave the village in its present condition for future generations.
Israeli forces, on Thursday, demolished the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib for the 191st time, Quds News Network reported.
The army destroyed the tents and makeshift tin shelters built by residents, rendering those families without shelter, in an attempt to force them to abandon their land.
Located in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, the village, unrecognized by the state, has been demolished eight times in 2021 alone, the residents continually rebuild their shelters on the same land.
The Bedouin residents, have lived on the land since the Ottoman period, decades prior to the creation of the state of Israel.
It is worth mentioning that the village was first demolished in July, 2010, and the last time the state demolished the village was on June 7th, 2021.
Approximately 240,000 Palestinian Arabs live in the Negev desert, however the Israeli occupation authorities do not recognize their ownership of the lands, and refuse to provide them with basic services such as water and electricity.
The state uses all means and methods to push the Palestinian Arabs to despair and frustration to uproot and displace them.
Israeli occupation authorities have been welcoming Zionist colonizers in the occupied Palestine while demolishing Palestinian-owned homes and structures and forcibly displacing them.
A total of 11,824 new colonizers arrived in occupied Palestine between January and June 2021 – up 30 percent from the same period last year, but 20 percent lower than the same period in 2019, according to figures published by Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.
Figures and Data
On July 21, a group of 160 new French colonizers arrived in occupied Palestine and landed at Ben-Gurion Airport.
On August 4, another 130 new French colonizers also arrived in occupied Palestine.
Over 2,000 colonizers — 1,000 in August alone — are expected to arrive in Israeli-occupied Palestine this summer on 40 group flights organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Approximately 5,000 colonizers are also expected to immigrate to the Israeli-occupied Palestine from North America in 2021, a 42% increase over the annual average, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Nefesh B’Nefesh coordinates North American immigration to ‘Israel’, known as aliyah, and facilitates and assists with immigration from North America in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic in March 2020, more than 18,000 aliyah applications have been opened, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh.
A 137 percent jump was reported in the number of the colonizers coming from France so far during 2021 compared to the same period last year.
About 1,370 French colonizers made aliyah in the first half of the year, compared to 578 during the same period last year, according to the Aliyah Ministry.
The pandemic year of 2020 saw an increase in the opening of new aliyah files from France: 6,053 compared to 2,475 in 2019.
Data shows that in the last decade, a record number of 39,592 colonizers made aliyah from France out of a total of 125,000 French colonizers to occupied Palestine since the establishment of occupation state in 1948.
Twenty percent of the French colonizers were under the age of 18; 31 percent were between the ages of 18 and 35; 12 percent were between 36 and 50; 15 percent were between 51 and 65; and the rest were older than 65.
On the other side, ‘Israel’ has been demolishing Palestinian-owned homes and structures throughout the occupied Palestinian territories while welcoming settlers and colonizers.
Moreover, hundreds of Palestinian families are being threatened with Israel’s forced displacement from their own homes.
According to The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, almost 800 Palestinians, including 404 minors, lost their homes in 2020 due to Israel’s demolishing of houses and structures and forces displacement while in 2019, 677 lost their homes, up from 387 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.
556 Palestinians have been displaced due to Israel’s demolitions, since the start of 2021, as 474 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished, OCHA said.
On August 2, the Israeli Supreme Court delayed its decision regarding the forced displacement of four Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem.
Those families, along with hundreds others, are threatened with Israel’s forced displacement from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in the occupied Jerusalem, in a move to force them out and replace it entirely with an Israeli settlement.
Paving the way
Israeli policies of homes demolitions and forced displacement of Palestinians are but means to pave the way to build more illegal settlements and find a place for settlers and colonizers who have been stealing Palestinians homes with the goal of ethnically cleansing of the Palestinians.
There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Sada Social Center, a Palestinian digital rights organisation specializes in protecting Palestinian narratives on social media platforms, documented 111 violations against Palestinian content during July 2021.
Sada Social said that these violations were distributed among the majority of global social media platforms.
The Sada Social Center team documented more than 111 violations during July: Twitter with 50 violations, Facebook with 50 violations, and Instagram with 11 violations.
These violations also varied between the complete ban and suspension of some features, the complete closure of accounts or pages, or the restriction of publications or lives and lowering reach levels.
Sada said that its team received several complaints from news networks and journalists regarding the suspension of features and blocking accounts and pages, including Quds News Network whose Facebook has blocked its Arabic-language main page, which has 7 million followers, and Shehab News Agency whose Facebook page was closed for the fifth time.
The applications deleted publications and stories, restricted accounts, and banned live broadcasts for a number of Palestinian journalists and activists, in conjunction with the intensity of publishing to follow up on-field events and the Israeli occupation’s assault on Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque and the aggression on Gaza.
Twitter violations came in deletion of hundreds of Palestinian and Arab accounts after tweeting and posting solidarity content with ongoing Palestinian matters, and the most prominent of which was the limitation of hashtags and posts published about the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and others about the crimes of the occupation and the Palestinian narrative in Gaza.
It is noteworthy that Sada Social Center is a voluntary youth initiative launched in 2017 to protect Palestinian digital content.