‘Israel’ built 22,030 illegal settlement units in 2021, EU says

Israeli settlers walk with flags in the illegal settlement of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion on the West Bank in 2022

Brussels (QNN)- Israeli occupation authorities built a total of 22,030 illegal settlement units in 2021, the European Union (EU) announced in a report released on Wednesday.

In the report entitled “2021 Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the EU confirmed that Israeli occupation built 14,894 settlement units in eastern part of occupied Jerusalem, and 7,136 others in other parts of the occupied West Bank, including locations deep in the West Bank.

The EU added, “In comparison to the previous year, 2021 experienced an even higher rate of settlement units advancements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (22,030), enforcing the trend of a continuously increasing settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian territories.”

“Adding to the exponentially high figures in 2021 were particularly the advancement of settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, which more than doubled compared to the previous year, from 6,288 housing units to 14,894.”

The EU pointed out that this “trend of deepening settlement projects through plans and tenders occurred despite the announcement by the new Israeli government, which started its tenure on 13 June 2021, that it would be committed to a status quo when it comes to occupation-related matters.”

The advancement, the EU explained in the report, had occurred in three settlements, including “E1, Atarot and Lower Aqueduct.”

The E1 settlement plan is located in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, which is under both Israel’s military and administrative control, and the so-called Lower Aqueduct Plan.

“If constructed, these plans would provide more than 14,000 additional housing units in and around occupied East Jerusalem,” the EU said.

The report noted that the Atarot project comprised a total of “9,000 illegal settlement units,” adding that the Lower Aqueduct Plan had comprised “1,465 units.”

The EU also warned that the expansion of illegal settlements would “disconnect East Jerusalemites from major West Bank urban areas, such as Hebron and Ramallah,” adding that it would also have “serious implications on Palestinian urban continuity and pose a serious threat to a viable two-state solution.”

The EU also called on the Israeli occupation authorities “to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.”

“It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law,” it stressed.

(Source / 23.07.2022)

UK-based rights group calls on police to probe citizens joining Israeli force

Israeli reserve forces enter the Gaza Strip in January 2009 

London (QNN)- The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate British citizens who have joined the Israeli Occupation Forces, raising concerns that they have committed war crimes against Palestinians.

In a statement issued on July 18, the ICJP said it had sent the request to a special war crimes unit on June 1 following reports that British citizens were being recruited by Israeli occupation to take part in military operations through the Mahal volunteer programme, a recruitment programme in which scores of foreign Jews including Britons are trained and serve as part of the Israeli occupation forces.

“Given the range of grave criminal acts and international crimes that are committed in Israel/Palestine by the IDF, it is highly likely that these Britons could be actively involved in war crimes as part of their recruitment duties,” the ICJP wrote.

The recruits have been accused of war crimes for their role “in the collective punishment and killings of Palestinians in the [occupied] West Bank,” the Islamic Human Rights Commission has said.

The ICJP added that its request was “as far as we are aware, [the] first legal submission” sent to the special police unit, despite previous instances of Metropolitan Police investigations into people who travelled to Syria and Ukraine to fight.

As part of their request, they submitted a dossier to the S015 War Crimes Unit with details of war crimes and crimes against humanity including breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention committed at times when Britons were serving in the Israeli military.

“These include torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, the use of ‘human shields’ and unlawful killings, collective punishment, blocking of humanitarian relief and medical assistance, and the destruction of property without military necessity.”

“Scotland Yard’s S015 War Crimes Unit has acknowledged receipt of the request, the statement said, and it is currently under review.

“The ICJP contends that it is an indisputable fact that members of the IDF have committed or been involved in war crimes or acts that fall foul of national counter terrorism legislation.”

“The evidence points to it being highly likely that British citizens joining those forces for extended periods may have themselves committed crimes which are contrary to UK law and the British Government’s internationalRuss obligations.”

It added, “UK authorities have so far not investigated if British nationals taking part in Israeli military action have commited crimes or terrorism, or investigated citizens who have returned to the UK after having joined in the IDF.”

“This is contrary to the actions the Met Police has taken with respect to British citizens who have travelled to Syria and to some degree to Ukraine,” it added.

Rhys Davies, a British international criminal law barrister said: “Scotland Yard is currently concerned by British citizens travelling to fight in Ukraine. Prior to this, focus has been on individuals travelling abroad to fight in Syria. It is important that these issues also demand attention. British citizens training and fighting in Israel and Palestine should also be the subject of investigation, in order to ensure this country’s obligations under international law are met.”

Yuval Joyce Shalev, the ICJP caseworker and analyst who worked on the dossier stated, “As a matter of principle, Scotland Yard should see to it more forcefully that British nationals who chose to join the IDF and fight in full combat roles are investigated just as those who join other foreign military forces are.”

“The lack of application of this policy to those who join the IDF betrays a truth about British policy on Israel: it is, on the whole, woefully lenient. Those who go abroad of their own volition and perpetrate international crimes and terrorism must be prosecuted, irrespective of their religious or ethnic background.”

(Source / 23.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians, Abduct Mayor, Near Hebron

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers injured dozens of Palestinians abducted the mayor of the ath-Thaheriyya town and shot the deputy mayor south of Hebron in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, during a nonviolent protest against the colonialist activities.

The residents nonviolently marched on their lands in the Shweika area in the town; dozens of residents held the procession on lands Israel intends to illegally annex to expand the Shim’a colony, built on stolen Palestinian lands.

The soldiers attacked the nonviolent protesters with gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, in addition to shooting the town’s deputy mayor, Nayef Makhazra, with a concussion grenade in the leg.

They also attacked and abducted the mayor of ath-Thaheriyya, Bahjat Jabarin, and took him to a nearby military base.

An eyewitness said Israeli colonizers also attacked the procession in front of Israeli soldiers, adding that one colonizer fired live rounds.

It is worth mentioning that the Protections and Steadfastness Committees, in cooperation with various institutions and nonviolent activists against colonization, hold weekly processions in areas Israel intends to annex from the Palestinians, especially near existing illegal colonies and colonialist outposts.

Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.”

(Source / 23.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Three Palestinians In Ramallah And Hebron

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinians from their homes in Ramallah and Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Several army jeeps invaded Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah before the soldiers violently searched homes and abducted Hasan Yasser Hammad, 23.

The soldiers also abducted Mousa Abdul-Aziz Hamed, 48, from Silwad, after they invaded a car dealership near the al-Jalazoun refugee camp north of Ramallah.

In the southern part of the West Bank in Hebron, the soldiers invaded Yatta town, south of the city, stormed and searched homes, and abducted Mahmoud Abu Tabeekh.

The soldiers installed many roadblocks in several areas in the Hebron governorate, stopped and searched many cars, and interrogated the Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 23.07.2022)

In Solidarity With Rayyan And Awawda, 75 Detainees To Launch Hunger Strike

At least seventy-five Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel have decided to launch an open-ended hunger strike in solitary with two hunger-striking Administrative Detainees imprisoned by Israel without charges or trial.

Hasan Abed-Rabbo, the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee spokesperson, said the detainees will start the hunger strike this Sunday and will likely be gradually joined later by many other detainees.

Abed-Rabbo said the hunger strike would be in solitary with Raed Rayyan, 28, from Beit Duqqu, west of occupied Jerusalem, who started the strike 108 days earlier, and Khalil Awawda, 40, from Ethna town, west of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

It is worth mentioning that Rayyan was abducted on November 3rd, 2021, and was slapped with a four-month Administrative Detention order before he was slapped with a six-month Administrative Detention order.

He is also a former political prisoner who spent 21 months under the same Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial.

Awawda held a hunger strike that lasted for 111 days and only ended it after reaching a verbal agreement for his release before Israel reneged on the agreement and slapped him with a new four-month Administrative Detention order prompting him to relaunch the strike.

Awawda, currently at the Assaf Harofeh Israeli Medical Center, was abducted on December 27th, 2021, and has since been held under the repeatedly renewed Administrative Detention orders.

Israel is holding captive 640 Palestinians under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial; they are among at least 4600 detainees imprisoned by Israel.

It is worth mentioning that Administrative Detainees in Israeli prisons continue to boycott the Israeli military courts for the 189th day, demanding to be released or at least face charges.

Israel issued more than 54.000 Administrative Detention orders since it occupied the rest of Palestine in 1967.

When Israel slaps a detainee with an Administrative Detention order and continuously renews the orders for many months, it claims to have “secret files” that neither the detainees nor their lawyers can access.

Administrative Detention orders are usually renewed for three, four, six, or eight months at a time, and sometimes one year.

(Source / 23.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians, Including Children, Abduct One, In Silwan

On Friday night, many Israeli soldiers invaded Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, injured many, including children, and abducted one Palestinian.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center In Silwan (Silwanic) said several army jeeps and police vehicles invaded the town before the soldiers stormed and searched homes, causing damage.

Silwanic added that many Palestinians protested the invasions, hurled stones, and used fireworks targeting the army jeeps while the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs at the protesters and surrounding homes.

Many Palestinians, including children and an infant, suffered the severe effects of tear gas inhalation before Palestinian Red Crescent Medics (PRCS) provided them with the needed treatment.

The soldiers also abducted Zoheir Rajabi, the head of the Follow-Up Committee that monitors the Israeli violations, including attacks by the illegal colonialist settlers in Silwan, and his son Hamza, from their home.

The soldiers smashed the main door of Rajabi’s home before storming and ransacking it.

In related news, illegal Israeli colonizers attacked many Palestinian cars in the al-Misrara area in Jerusalem, causing damage.

(Source / 23.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Palestinians In Hebron

On Friday evening, Israeli soldiers injured many Palestinians in the Bab az-Zawiya area in the center of Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed at the Shuhada Street military roadblock, attacked dozens of Palestinians who marched in the area, protesting the ongoing Israeli escalation and the street’s closure.

The soldiers fired many gas bombs at the Palestinians, causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation and detaining and interrogating several residents.

Shuhada Street, and all of its shops and stores, have been shut down by the Israeli military since the year 1994, after Israeli-American Baruch Goldstein stormed the Ibrahimi Mosque and opened automatic fire on worshipers on February 25, 1994, killing 29 and wounding more than 200, before some managed to subdue and kill him.

The soldiers also attacked protesters at the main entrance of the Tiwana village in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron.

In Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, the soldiers confiscated a Palestinian bulldozer owned by Morad Nayef Wakhman while working in the Ein Shibly area in the Central Plains.

(Source / 23.07.2022)

Soldiers Injure Six Palestinians In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, six Palestinians during the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

Media sources said the soldiers shot six young men with rubber-coated steel bullets and caused many Palestinians to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Palestinians marched from the center of the town, carrying Palestinian flags and against the Israeli occupation and its colonialist activities, before the soldiers attacked them with gas bombs, concussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live rounds.

Several youngsters hurled stones at the invading soldiers and burnt car tires; the army also tried to abduct some protesters after ambushing them.

The Palestinians have been holding weekly processions in Kufur Qaddoum for the last eighteen years, demanding the army to reopen the village’s main road the soldiers blockaded to allow easy access to the illegal colonizers driving to and from Kedumim illegal colony built on stolen Palestinian lands.

(Source / 23.07.2022)