West Bank-Gaza Post – Fateh’s Democratic Reform Faction – West Bank Leadership Council – denounced the Palestinian Authority’s detention of Fatah leadership, which violated Article 19 of the Palestinian Basic Law, which guarantees freedom of expression to all Palestinian citizens.
The Palestinian Authority is antagonizing Fatah activists at all levels, according to the statement, because of their adherence to Fateh’s Bylaws regarding “criticism of others and self-criticism,” as well as their belief that, no matter how long it takes, the time will come when Palestinian law protecting freedom of expression will be applied.
The statement reported that while Fateh’s Democratic Reformist movement in Gaza Strip is witnessing a free internal election to form new leadership through an organizational conference, as a model of what Fatah movement as a whole should be, the PA echelons in the West Bank still mistakenly believe that through arrests, repression and injustice, they will be able to to control our national liberation movement.
Fateh’s Reformist Faction called on releasing of all political detainees in PA prisons, particularly young leaders, as well as the rest of the detainees from all Palestinian factions and independents, emphasizing that such arrests have never succeeded in suppressing the free Palestinian voice, neither under Israeli occupation nor under the Authority.
Gaza Post – Part of Muhammed Dahlan speech during the opening session of Fatah’s Democratic Reformist Current (FDRC) organizational conference in Gaza.
As a realistic program, the FDRC accept the political program issued by the Palestinian National Council in its 19th session in 1988 (the National Independence session).
While this program is reviewable and must be subjected to a comprehensive and continuous review in light of the occupying power’s violation of all agreements and covenants, as well as the destruction of all the foundations and components of the two-state solution through settlement construction and the adoption of racist laws, this political program may soon become invalid, if it hasn’t already.
According to this perspective, in the light of the current situation and in view of the scramble of events and facts, the occupying power has three options as follows:
1- Recognize the legitimate Palestinian rights. This is an option that it does not want to go for.
2- Perpetuate a racist colonial occupation that no one can defend. This is what it is constantly doing.
3- Submit to the one-state solution, which it fears.
The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the occupation government displays its racist, colonial and violent face to the Palestinian people on a daily basis. Their rights, land, property and sanctities face an integrated set of repressive and punitive measures, insists the ministry.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the ministry accused the Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett of engaging in illegal settlement activity which is a major obstacle to peace. “It seems as if the Bennett government wants to prove itself by committing more violations and crimes against Palestinians, as if it is competing to impose more collective punishment, restrictions and torment.” The ministry suggested that the presence of far-right individuals within the coalition pushes the government to reinforce the occupation and repression, and Israel’s “racist, abhorrent, apartheid regime”.
PA officials pointed out that there has been a “significant increase” in the number of violent attacks by illegal settlers against Palestinians. “Such attacks have been documented by local, international and Israeli human rights bodies, including the UN, Human Rights Watch, Peace Now and B’Tselem.”
Indeed, “Israeli violations affect all aspects of Palestinian life across the length and breadth of the occupied territories, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.” These violations include illegal settlement construction and expansion announced by far-right extremist Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli Minister of the Interior. “The occupation municipality in Jerusalem has also approved a new plan to construct more than eighty settlement units and two tower blocks.” These activities are accompanied by the forced displacement of Palestinian residents and restrictions on their continued presence in their own land.
The ministry listed some of the latest violations by the Israeli occupation authorities: trees have been uprooted; a well has been destroyed; homes have been demolished; armed incursions by settlers and soldiers in Al-Aqsa Mosque and towns across the occupied territories have increased; and fishermen have been attacked in the Palestinian territorial waters off the coast of Gaza.
The statement concluded by condemning the “racist, separation wall” just built by Israel around the Gaza Strip, which has had “devastating environmental consequences” for Palestinian farmers, who continue to be shot at by Israeli soldiers.
Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash is now on the 122nd day of his hunger strike protest at being held in so-called administrative detention under which he is being held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.
Abu Hawash, 40, is from Dura, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. He is currently being held in solitary in a locked room inside the Ramla Prison clinic, according to the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs.
In addition to losing a considerable amount of weight, Abu Hawash has been having difficulty speaking and communicating. He is also suffering from severe pain throughout his body, especially his lower limbs, and is unable to stand on his feet without support.
The commission said that the occupation courts continue to refuse to respond to the hunger striker’s demands. It expressed concern for his health and said that it holds the occupation authorities fully responsible, especially as he could die at any moment.
Abu Hawash was arrested on 27 October last year and has had three administrative detention orders issued against him, each for a period of six months. The latest order was reduced from six to four months, subject to extension.
Commission officials said that the refusal of the occupation authorities to release Abu Hawash is tantamount to a slow execution. Once again, they called on international human rights institutions to break their silence and put pressure on Israel to release him.
Hisham Abu Hawash is married and the father of five children. He has been arrested several times since 2003. In total, he has been held in prison for eight years, including 52 months held under administrative detention.
Israel currently holds 4,650 Palestinian prisoners, including 34 women, 160 children and 500 administrative detainees.
Two Palestinians have been indicted in Israel for serious security offences after being accused of spying for Hamas, the country’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, revealed today. The two men were arrested on 29 November, allegedly after carrying out intelligence gathering operations linked to Israel’s military infrastructure, including the Iron Dome missile defence system.
They have been identified as Hussein Biari, 30, a resident of Jaffa with relatives in the Gaza Strip, and Mahmoud Ahmad, 33, a resident of the Gaza Strip. The investigation is said to have found that the pair received their instructions from Hamas and worked secretly to photograph Israeli soldiers at the Ashkelon Central Station.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “Biari was asked by Hamas to incite the Arab population in Israel against the state, obtain weapons and carry out an attack on Israeli territory.”
“Hamas is taking advantage of border crossings to promote terrorist activity in Israel and cause citizens to endanger their families in Israel and the Gaza Strip,” claimed Shin Bet. “The agency takes very seriously any direction of terrorist and espionage activity from the Gaza Strip and will continue to work together with Israel Police and the [Israel Defence Forces] in order to detect and thwart any hostile activity by these organisations in advance.”
The ongoing situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 sees Israeli brutality continuing alongside a high level of security cooperation from the Palestinian Authority while the people of Palestine uphold their right to resist whenever possible. In the Israeli-occupied West Bank this is mainly on an individual level, while in Gaza it is organised by the legitimate resistance factions, especially Hamas.
Haaretz has revealed that Israel issued 797 orders to demolish Palestinian homes in Area C between 2016 and 2020, an unprecedented number. In the same period, the occupation authorities granted only 24 building permits to Palestinians out of more than 2,500 applications. This is a clear indication of Israel’s insatiable quest for more land to annex in all but name.
Moreover, Israel completed its separation wall along the nominal border with the Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The wall has taken four years to build at a cost of 3.5 billion shekels, and there is no guarantee that it will be able to stop the resistance of the Palestinians in the coastal territory. It is, however, consistent with the settler-occupier mentality of hiding behind concrete walls and exhibiting faux anxiety and fear about the victims of the occupation. What is strange about the latter is that, according to Haaretz analyst Amos Harel, it portrays Israel as not wanting to occupy Gaza, but rather to defend itself from the “Gaza Empire”.
Haaretz also revealed that Palestinian prisoners have confirmed that during their interrogation, police beat and insulted them without any justification other than revenge for the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa Prison in September. One of those who were beaten was Othman Saeed Bilal, who has been held by Israel since 1995 and who was targeted for no other reason than that he is an icon for the other prisoners.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Benny Gantz evaded justice thanks to a court in Europe which acquitted him in a case about the 2014 murder of six members of the Ziada family in Gaza, when Gantz was a senior Israeli army officer. Instead, the court fined the person who brought the case, Ismail Ziada, €7,763 to be paid to Gantz and another officer. It is worth noting that human rights group B’Tselem investigated 70 cases where buildings in Gaza were bombed by Israel while their residents were still inside, including 20 in 2014 alone.
Palestinians continue to resist the Israeli occupation war machine. A girl from Sheikh Jarrah, for example, stabbed an Israeli settler in Jerusalem recently. She was described in the racist Israeli media as a “saboteur”, but the journalist did not see fit to mention that settlers — whose presence is illegal under international law — continue to steal the land, lives, hopes and dreams of Palestinian children and adults alike.
Israeli officials, haunted by their crimes and obsessions about their Palestinian victims, viewed the incident as the beginning of a new wave of “terror”, as it was the sixth resistance act with the past four weeks. The previous incident was also carried out by a teenager, 16-year-old Muhammad Yunus.
The PA security services continue to cooperate with the Israeli occupation. A security analyst for YediothAhronoth noted on 9 December the need to strengthen this cooperation, which is extremely useful for the Israelis. It was PA security officers who rescued two illegal settlers in Ramallah last week.
According to this particular expert, security coordination is one of the necessary requirements to combat individual and spontaneous Palestinian resistance, alongside monitoring social media, avoiding operational errors by officers and soldiers, and deterring Palestinian families and others from responding positively to resistance operations so that others will not be inspired to carry out copycat acts. Typically, the expert did not think it appropriate to suggest that the real solution to the problem of Palestinian resistance operations and the suffering of the region is to end the brutal Israeli occupation, end the imposition of Israeli apartheid and leave the Palestinians to decide their own fate in their own country without the burden of Israeli oppression, tyranny and terrorism.
Instead, YediothAhronoth believes that it is necessary to weaken Hamas by all means. This is the mentality which saw Israel making many arrests in advance of the 34th anniversary of the movement on 14 December.
In the same context, Maariv newspaper confirmed that the internal security agency, Shin Bet, and the army demanded that the Israeli government should support the PA and prevent its collapse given its “significant” role in combating the “terrorism” of the Palestinian people and protecting the illegal settlers. According to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s political school of thought, the higher national interest requires this.
It is appropriate to note here that another opinion is developing in Israel. Journalist Ravit Hecht stated in Haaretz a few days ago that, “Fatah, the party on which the Palestinian Authority is based, is going to do a total about-face. In order to salvage what remains of its legitimacy on the Palestinian street, it’s going to go for broke, and that story is going to emerge from Jenin. It will storm the Muqata [PA headquarters in Ramallah]. Abu Mazen [Abbas] isn’t relevant. He’s a dead horse. He’s building a house in Jordan, and he’ll probably flee there.”
This what the Palestinian scene looks like: a brutal occupation; a collaborative authority that does not respond to the demands and aspirations of its people to resist the occupation; and Palestinian children stepping up to confront and defend their homes and dignity. It’s an old-new scenario which doesn’t look like it is going to change any time soon.
Israeli forces stormed, on Wednesday, the Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
Local official Abdel Hai Jawabra told the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) that Israeli soldiers invaded the camp and established military roadblocks, in an attempt to further control the movement of Palestinian residents.
Jawabra added that the local youths protested the military invasion and the army responded by opening fire at them with tear gas canisters, causing several young men to suffer the toxic effects of tear gas inhalation.
All those injured were treated at the scene by local medics.
Furthermore, the army installed a platform on the military watchtower at the entrance of the camp, used to maintain constant surveillance of the Palestinian residents of the refugee camp.
Illegal Israeli colonists stormed, on Wednesday, the Al-Aqsa compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, under the full protection of the Israeli police forces, the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported.
Eyewitnesses told WAFA that dozens of illegal colonists invaded the Islamic holy site through the Mughrabi Gate, performed Talmudic rituals and toured the courtyards, accompanied by Israeli forces.
On a regular basis, illegal Israeli settlers are permitted to invade the Islamic holy site with full security, meanwhile, at the same time, the authorities restrict the entrance of Palestinian muslims wishing to enter the third holiest site in Islam.
A disproportionate number of Palestinians living in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and abroad are not permitted to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, just one example of the occupation authorities’ use of collective punishment.
Israeli authorities allow the settlers to enter the compound twice a day, five days a week despite the site being a Muslim worship site under the guardianship of the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, at least nine Palestinians, including former political prisoners, and summoned three others for interrogation, after the soldiers invaded and searched many homes across the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said several army jeeps invaded Madama village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched homes, and abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Mohammad Zaher al-Qet.
The PPS added that the soldiers also invaded Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, and abducted Yazan Zeid Deeriyya, 20, from his home.
The soldiers also invaded and ransacked several homes in Teqoua’ town, east of Bethlehem, and summoned for interrogation three Palestinians, identified as Tareq Ali Sabah, his son Hamada, in addition to Yassin Ibrahim Sabah.
In Jenin, in northern West Bank, the soldiers invaded Sielet al-Harithiyya town, west of the city, searched homes, and abducted two former political prisoners, identified as Enad Mohammad Abu al-Kheir and Wasim Ahmad Zayyoud.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society identified the abducted Palestinians across the West Bank as:
Amer Roumi, Jericho.
Omar Roumi, Jericho.
Bassel Farrah, Hebron.
Azmi Azzam Dweik, Hebron.
Wajeeh Ata Rajabi, Hebron.
Mohammad Zaher al-Qet, Madama – Nablus.
Yazan Zeid Deeriyya, Beit Fajjar – Bethlehem.
Enad Mohammad Abu al-Kheir, (former political prisoner) Jenin.
Wasim Ahmad Zayyoud, (former political prisoner) Jenin.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Protection of Civilians Report
On 8 December, an Israeli female settler was stabbed and injured in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The suspected perpetrator, a Palestinian girl, has been arrested.On 10 December, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in the context of weekly protests against settlement activity in Beita, Nablus.On 13 December, Israeli forces killed a 30-year-old man during clashes, following a search-and-arrest operation in Nablus.
Highlights from the reporting period
During the reporting period, one Israeli civilian was killed, two injured and five members of Israeli security forces were also injured in four attacks perpetrated by Palestinians. The four Palestinian perpetrators, of which two were minors, were killed by Israeli security forces. The incidents included one shooting and two stabbing attacks in the Old City of Jerusalem and one ramming incident in Tulkarm. On 17 November, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy from Al ‘Isawiya (East Jerusalem) stabbed and injured two Israeli Border Police officers and was shot and killed by Israeli police. On 21 November, a Palestinian man from Shu’fat refugee camp (East Jerusalem) shot and killed one Israeli civilian and reportedly injured one Israeli civilian and two Israeli Border Police officers. He was shot and killed by Israeli forces at the site. Also, outside the Old City of Jerusalem, near Damascus Gate, on 4 December, a 25-year-old Palestinian man from Salfit stabbed and injured an Israeli man and tried to stab an Israeli Border Policeman. Israeli forces shot and killed the Palestinian man at the scene. Regarding the shooting, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has raised concerns of possible extra-judicial execution. According to the Israeli authorities, the officers acted in line with established security protocol and took appropriate action to limit further loss of life. On 6 December, another 16-year-old Palestinian drove a vehicle into a security booth at Kafriat checkpoint (Tulkarm), injuring an Israeli security guard. Israeli security guards shot and killed the assailant. The bodies of the four Palestinians are being withheld by the Israeli authorities.Following the above attacks, on three separate occasions, Israeli forces closed gates leading to Al Aqsa Mosque and roads leading to the Old City of Jerusalem for several hours, preventing residents from reaching their homes. Israeli forces also carried out multiple search-and-arrest operations in Shu’fat refugee camp and Al ‘Isawiya, where two of the perpetrators lived, and arrested several relatives. Clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces followed in both locations, with at least four Palestinians injured. Settlers and other Israelis took to the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem and main junctions across the West Bank to protest the attacks, with some throwing stones at Palestinian cars and homes, resulting in property damage.Israeli forces shot with live ammunition and killed a 26-year-old Palestinian man, and injured another one, in clashes that erupted during a search-and-arrest operation in Tammun (Tubas). Clashes across the West Bank also resulted in the injury of 441 Palestinians, including 97 children by Israeli forces. Most injuries were reported during clashes in the weekly demonstrations held against settlement activities near Beita (319) and Beit Dajan (51), both in the Nablus governorate. Another 26 injuries were reported in clashes that erupted with Israeli forces following the entry of Israelis to a religious site in Nablus city; eleven during five search-and-arrest operations in Tubas, Jerusalem and Ramallah; 28 in seven incidents in the H2 area of Hebron city and Nablus (see below). The remaining injuries were recorded in the three separate incidents in Hebron Governorate and near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City where Palestinians threw stones and Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets Three of those injured were shot by live ammunition; 59 by rubber bullets; 364 were treated for teargas inhalation and the remaining 15 were physically assaulted or hit by teargas canisters.Of the above injuries, 28 Palestinian, including 18 pupils were teargassed or physically assaulted and injured by Israeli forces in seven incidents affecting schools in Al Lubban ash Sharqiya (Nablus) and in the H2 area of Hebron City. In H2, Palestinian students reportedly threw stones at Israeli forces and the latter shot tear gas canisters at a nearby school compound; 15 girls were treated for teargas inhalation and students from the nearby three schools were evacuated due to the intensity of the gas. On five incidents, in Al Lubban ash Sharqiya, 13 Palestinians were injured, including three school students, and about 70 others inhaled teargas but did not require medical treatment, after Israeli forces fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at students, disrupting classes and forcing students to leave the school. These incidents occurred after Israeli settlers gathered near the school protesting that they had been hit by stones thrown from the school premises.On at least 35 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence and off the coast of Gaza, ostensibly to enforce access restrictions. No injuries were reported. Seven Palestinian fishermen were arrested, and two boats were confiscated by Israeli forces. Israeli military bulldozers conducted five land levelling operations inside Gaza, near the perimeter fence. The Israeli authorities arrested two men at the Erez Crossing, including one who was accompanying his wife for medical treatment in East Jerusalem. Another three people, including a child, were arrested while reportedly trying to cross into Israel through the perimeter fence.Israeli forces carried out 100 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 132 Palestinians across the West Bank. The largest number of operations were recorded in East Jerusalem (33), and the Hebron governorate (31), followed by (19) in Bethlehem and (14) in Ramallah. Between 18 November and 1 December, Israeli forces have closed the main entrances of Mantiqat Shi’b al Butum (Hebron) and Deir Nidham (Ramallah), respectively; forcing Palestinian residents to rely on long detours, disrupting their access to services and livelihoods.On 30 November, at least six Palestinian families were forced to evacuate their residence for eight days to make way for Israeli military trainings in the Ibziq area of the Jordan Valley. As a result, 38 people, including 17 children were temporarily displaced. No alternative shelter arrangements were provided for them.Israeli authorities demolished, seized, or forced owners to demolish, a total of 62 Palestinian-owned structures, including eleven provided as humanitarian assistance across the West Bank, due to lack of Israeli-issued building permits. In total, 55 people were displaced, including 18 children, and the livelihoods of about 3,000 other people were affected. Forty-four of the structures were located in Area C, including 11 previously provided as humanitarian assistance. In the Mirkez community of Massafer Yatta (Hebron), the Israeli authorities demolished eight homes, cisterns and livelihood-related structures. This area is designated as a “firing zone” for military training and its 1,300 residents face a coercive environment putting them at risk of forcible transfer. In Khirbet Atuf, located in Area C of Tubas governorate, the Israeli authorities dismantled and confiscated some 1,800 metres of a donor-funded water pipeline. Thirteen of the structures were in East Jerusalem, of which six were demolished by their Palestinian owners to avoid municipal fees and possible damage to other structures and personal belongings. Another five structures were demolished following an Israeli Supreme Court ruling on the basis of a 2011 military order that designates a security buffer zone on the ‘Jerusalem side’ of the Barrier in Area A of Sur Bahir, where construction is prohibited, and in Area B in Al Khas community (Bethlehem). Three households comprising nine people, including three children and one elderly woman, were displaced.On 28 November, the Jerusalem District Court rejected the residents’ appeal against 58 demolition orders issued by the Israeli authorities against dozens of Palestinian-owned structures in the Wadi Yasul area of Silwan, East Jerusalem, placing hundreds of people at imminent risk of displacement. Wadi Yasul is home to some 700 Palestinians, but has been zoned by the Israeli authorities as a ‘Green Area.’ Efforts by residents to rezone the neighbourhood as ’residential’ have been rejected over the past 15 years.25 settler attacks resulted in four Palestinian injuries and property damage across the West Bank. Eight of these incidents included stone throwing at Palestinian vehicles and houses in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron areas, resulting in two Palestinians, including one child, injured and at least 13 Palestinian vehicles damaged. The tires of 13 Palestinian-owned cars were punctured in Sheikh Jarrah. Three additional attacks in Shufa (Nablus), Khirbet Sarura and Ash Shyukh (both in Hebron) were recorded, including breaking into houses, stealing agricultural tools, damaging three water tanks and cutting part of a water pipeline. Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian herders and their cows in Ein al Hilwa community in the Northern Jordan Valley (Tubas), killing three cows. Over 130 trees and saplings were damaged near the villages of Yanun and Jalud (both in Nablus) and Khallet Athaba’ in Hebron.Palestinians threw stones at Israeli-plated vehicles in the Jerusalem, Nablus and Jericho governorates, injuring ten settlers. According to Israeli sources, stone-throwing damaged 35 Israeli-plated cars throughout the West Bank. In a separate incident, on 1 December, two Israelis, including one settler, were attacked and their car was set on fire by Palestinians after they entered downtown Ramallah, before they were rescued by Palestinian security forces.
This report reflects information available as of the time of publication. The most updated data and more breakdowns are available at ochaopt.org/data.