Israel to legalise farm outposts across occupied West Bank

Greenhouses at a farm in the West Bank, 3 November 2020

Israel’s Civil Administration is working towards legalising farm outposts based across the occupied West Bank using new regulations, reported Haaretz.

Around 30 to 35 illegal outposts meet the basic criteria which includes being located on “state-owned land”.

The implementation of the new system will require the approval of Defence Minister Benny Gantz and the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

A source in the Yesha Council, the settlers’ main umbrella organisation, told Haaretz that the head of the influential settlement movement Amana, Ze’ev Hever, is spearheading the legalisation efforts on behalf of the council. He also lobbied to increase the number of farm outposts that would qualify under the new regulation.

Currently, the Israeli Civil Administration is pushing to legalise between 30 to 40 farm outposts, including some that exist and ones that will be established later in the West Bank.

READ: US-based Evangelical Christian group seizes Palestinian land

The new system is expected to make it difficult for Palestinian shepherds, who will have to obtain permits that were not required of them in the past.

There are dozens of outposts for grazing animals in the West Bank. In recent years, a minimum of 50 outposts, taking over 240,000 dunams (240 square kilometres), about seven per cent of Area C of the West Bank, were constructed by the settlement movement Amana.

These outposts comprise large swathes of land with very few residents because extensive land is allocated for grazing purposes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the outposts that were permitted to hold the land do not have construction permits.

Data from the Israeli human rights movement, Peace Now, indicates that there are around 666,000 settlers who live in 145 large settlements and 140 random outposts in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. All Israeli settlements and outposts are illegal under international law.

(Source / 06.09.2022)

IDF chief of staff says 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested

Chief of Staff of Israeli Army, Aviv Kohavi in Washington, DC on 21 June 2021 

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi alleged that around 1,500 wanted Palestinians have been arrested in the occupied West Bank and hundreds of attacks have been thwarted so far as part of ‘Operation Break the Wave’, which was launched at the end of March, local media reported.

Kohavi added during a military conference that the increase in operations stems from the ineffectiveness of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s security mechanisms, which leads to their lack of governance in certain areas of the West Bank.

“As always, even in the face of this development, our test is protecting the citizens of Israel, and our mission is to thwart terrorism. We will reach every city, neighbourhood, alley, house or basement for that purpose. Our activity will continue and we are prepared to intensify it as needed,” he was quoted in the Times of Israel as saying.

“Our activity will continue and we are prepared to increase it according to the need,” he added.

READ: Israel and the US are accomplices in ambiguity and impunity

(Source / 06.09.2022)

How Israel’s delayed exit permits kill Palestinian patients in besieged Gaza

By Maha Hussaini 

Families of ailing Palestinian children and vulnerable people recount their unsuccessful attempts to gain access to life-saving medical care outside the besieged Strip

Farouq Abu al-Naja was supposed to attend school for the first time this year, but he died five days before the beginning of the school year, following months of Israeli delays in granting him an exit permit to access urgent medical treatment.

Six-year-old Abu al-Naja, a resident of the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza, died on Wednesday, 24 August, two weeks after his last delayed appointment.

“We submitted two applications [to the Israeli authorities] to transfer Farouq to a hospital in Jerusalem. For eight months, we kept receiving ‘request under review’ replies,” his mother, Kholoud Abu al-Naja, told Middle East Eye.

Abu al-Naja suffered from brain atrophy and was referred by the Palestinian Ministry of Health to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for urgent medical treatment.

After he received financial coverage from the Palestinian Authority (PA), he had only needed a permit from Israel’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) to allow him to exit Gaza through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the east of the Strip.

“His health was deteriorating rapidly before my eyes while I was waiting desperately for their approval,” his mother said.

“Seeing him like this, I was totally helpless. He first lost the ability to walk, then to move, then to talk and eat, then he was merely a dead body on a hospital bed. But whenever he opened his eyes, he could recognise me.”

Transfer, then permit delay

After his health deteriorated, Abu al-Naja was transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, while his family was completing the “repeated and prolonged procedures” to get the permit.

“The first time, we listed my mother to accompany him, because she is an elderly woman and is therefore more likely to get approval. But we were surprised to receive a text message one day before the appointment saying that her and his applications were pending approval.”

In their second and last attempt, Abu al-Naja’s family listed the names of his mother and grandmother as companions to increase the chances of getting at least one permit approved, but the applications went unanswered.

“We followed up with the Ministry of Health as well as human rights organisations that communicate with the competent authorities there [in Israel], but in vain,” his mother said.

He died at the hospital before my eyes. I do not know what in the case of a dying six-year-old child needed all this time for review.”

Since January, Gaza patients in need of exit permits have been facing even longer delays in receiving responses to their permit applications, as the CLA has refused to respond to legal representatives of Palestinians in Gaza, including human rights organisations and lawyers, according to the Israeli human rights organisation Gisha.

Automated responses

The legal representatives instead receive automated responses from the CLA asking them to refer their requests to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee (PCAC), a PA-run body in Gaza that serves as a channel for applications without the capacity to represent the applicants.

“The Israeli authorities’ conduct has grave ramifications for Gaza’s patients, as they effectively block them from accessing urgent and life-saving medical treatment, putting lives at risk,” Gisha’s spokesperson, Shai Grunberg, told MEE.

“The irregular, selective nature of the CLA’s responses, as well as their prolonged delays in responding to permit applications in general, continue to delay and sometimes effectively deny people’s access to medical treatment that isn’t available in the Strip,” she said.

“Israel’s conduct reflects a fundamental failure to acknowledge its legal obligations towards Gaza residents, putting lives and well-being at risk.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 1,898 patients from Gaza were referred to health care services in the occupied Palestinian territory in July, of whom 36 percent were delayed access to care, 11 patients were called by Israeli intelligence officers for security interrogation, and 371 were forced to travel without companions.

Death sentence for Gaza patients

Kamal al-Shanti, 54, is afraid he will face the same fate as Abu al-Naja, after his third appointment has been delayed.

He suffers from aortic valve stenosis, a progressive disease that restricts the blood flow in the heart and causes severe pain and breathing difficulties.

To avoid him suffering an acute aneurysm rupture, which may lead to death, the Palestinian Ministry of Health urgently referred him to Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem to undergo open-heart surgery.

“I got the first appointment on the 23 June. I requested that my wife, more than 45 years old, and my 26-year-old son to be my companions, but [shortly before the appointment], they said the [request] was still under review,” he told MEE.

By July, a feared rupture had developed and worsened. “My doctors told me that my heart was a time bomb that would explode at any moment.”

When doctors at Makassed Hospital were told of the deterioration, a second appointment scheduled for mid-August was brought forward to 21 July. But one day before the July hospital visit, Shanti was told that his exit application for that was still under review. The August appointment suffered a similar fate.

“You would laugh if I told you that sometimes when I feel my heart burning late at night and cannot afford to buy painkillers, I buy an ice-pop and place it on my chest to cool down the heat,” he said.

“All these delayed appointments put extra transportation, hospital, and drug expenses on me. I have heavy and increasing debts that I am unsure I would ever be able to repay,” the retired resident of northern Gaza said.

Shanti is now waiting to hear what will happen to an appointment scheduled for 4 September. Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence have called him for an interview to be held on 5 September.

Exhausted by the delays, Shanti asked his doctors to perform his surgery in Gaza as an alternative, but they said hospitals there do not have the capacity and equipment needed to perform such work.

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been facing severe constraints caused by the 15-year blockade, chronic power shortages, and a worsening economic situation.

During Israel’s three-day military attack in August, hospitals had less than one month’s supply available of 40 percent of essential drugs and 20 percent of medical disposables, according to Medical Aid for Palestine.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health, told MEE that the health crisis, combined with Israel’s policy of delayed permits means a “death sentence” for Gaza’s patients.

“Since the beginning of 2022, four patients, including three children, have died due to Israel’s denial of permit requests,” he said.

“Dozens of [people with] critical conditions in need of urgent medical treatment outside of Gaza are still waiting for approvals to leave the Strip. Many of them have applied more than two or three times already.”

Rescheduled appointments

Five months after her death, Fatma al-Masri’s parents still refuse to remove the decoration of her baby shower party that was hung on the ceiling of their living room.

Fatma, who suffered an atrial septal defect (hole in the heart), was born after eight years of marriage, and died aged only 19 months due to persistent Israeli delays in granting her exit permits to get medical treatment.

Her father, Jalal, still appalled by her death, submitted five applications to get his daughter an exit permit. All requests went unanswered.

“I submitted the first permit application at the end of last year and got an appointment on 26 December, but shortly before that date, I received a text message saying that her application was pending under review,” he told MEE.

“I went through the same prolonged procedures again to submit another application and got another appointment on 13 February. Three days before the appointment, I received the same message again.

“So I submitted a third application to get another appointment on 6 March, which was delayed until 27 March and then 5 April. Fatma died 11 days before that date.”

On the day of her death, Fatma asked her father for chicken wings, but she died while he was on his way to the butcher.

“She was very attached to me, she loved me more than her mother. On that day, she asked me where I was going. I said I was not going to be late and asked her what she wanted for lunch, she said ‘I want a wing’.

“Once I left home, my wife called me. She said Fatma wanted to talk to me. For a few minutes while I was on my way, she kept saying Bobba hebbak [broken Arabic for “daddy, I love you”], and singing it repeatedly. I hung up the phone with her, and only few minutes later, my brother called asking me to rush back home.”

When they arrived at the hospital, Fatma had already passed away.

“I knew her condition was critical, but I had not expected she would die a few days before her appointment, I had hope that she would get better,” the 38-year-old father continued tearfully.

“During the last few weeks before her death, I almost did not sleep at night. She was suffering breathing difficulties and her doctor warned us that she would suffocate at any moment. I used to stay up most of the night watching over her and making sure she was still breathing.

A child is born, then sister dies

“She would sometimes wake up in pain. All I could do was hold her in front of the window to help her get some fresh air and distract her pain.”

Fatma’s mother had given birth to another child only 40 days before her death. But the family said their new child, Muhammed, could not replace her.

“My mobile is full of photos and videos of Fatma that we took from day one until her death. Whenever she said anything, we would record her, we were crazy about her. But now, if you search my phone, I bet you would find more than two or three photos of Muhammed,” Fatma’s mother, Om Muhammed, told MEE.

“She was the first baby we had after eight years of desperate attempts to get pregnant. You could not imagine our joy when she came into our life, we were over the moon. We tried so hard to keep her alive, but thank God for everything, she died anyway.”

Ten days after her death, Masri’s family received a text message that her application was still “under review.”

(Source / 06.09.2022)

B’Tselem on Israeli report on Shireen Abu Akleh’s assassination: It’s not an investigation, it’s whitewash

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN) – Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, has dismissed the Israeli occupation military’s new report on the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh saying what the military has produced was not an investigation, but rather a whitewash.

Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian-American journalist, was killed by an Israeli army sniper while covering a military raid into the northern West Bank city of Jenin on May 11. While an autopsy and several international media outlets and groups confirmed in their own independent investigations that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli army bullet, Israel still insists that its forces were not directly responsible for the killing.

“It’s not an investigation, it’s whitewash; it was no mistake, it’s policy,” said B’Tselem in a tweet.

“Enormous public and international pressure was needed to make Israel spurt a faint confession that one of its soldiers had killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, while at the same time shaking off any responsibility for her death,” it added, blaming Israel’s open fire policy as contributing to the easy killing of a Palestinian in the occupied territories without fear of retribution.

“The killing of Abu Akleh is the predictable result of Israel’s outrageous open fire policy in the Occupied Territories. This policy claims more and more victims while the whitewash continues undisturbed,” said B’Tselem as the number of Palestinians killed on a daily basis by the Israeli army continues to rise.

Only this morning, the Israeli army killed one Palestinian and injured 16 others in a large-scale raid into Jenin.

(Source / 06.09.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Sixteen Palestinians In West Bank

On Tuesday dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted at least sixteen Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Mousa Ismael Oweis, 22, and Mojahed Yousef Daraghma, 21.

The soldiers smashed the doors of the two abducted Palestinians’ homes, violently searched the properties, causing excessive damage, and confiscated their homes.

During the invasion, the soldiers fired many live rounds randomly, in addition to gas bombs and concussion grenades.

In Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Mohammad Suleiman Abu Farwa and Ibrahim Nawawra from their homes in the Wad Shahin area in the center of the city.

The soldiers also abducted two siblings, Nabil and Khalil Obeyyat, from their homes in Kisan village, east of Bethlehem.

In the al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank, the soldiers abducted Mohannad Ramadan and Qassam Walid Abed-Rabbo from their homes in Um ash-Sharayet neighborhood.

The soldiers also abducted Majd Nakhla from his home in the al-Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah.

The soldiers were looking for Majd’s brother, Ayham, but could not find him, so they decided to abduct Majd, who was preparing to get married this weekend. They also abducted a former political prisoner, Waed Ramahi, from his home.

In the southern part of the West Bank in Hebron, the soldiers abducted seven Palestinians after invading and violently searching their homes in the city.

They have been identified as Hisham Abu Turki, Yousef Abu Hussein, Abdul-Karim Abu Ramouz, Mohammad Barakat al-Atrash, Mohammad Hussein Abu Hadeed, Mohammad Naum Abu Sneina, and Mohammad Ayyoub Rajabi.

In the Samu’ town, south of Hebron, the soldiers abducted Yacoub Abdul-Mon’em Za’areer from his home.

The soldiers also installed roadblocks on Hebron’s northern roads and the streets leading to Sa’ir, Halhoul, and Samu’s, stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 06.09.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Kill One Palestinian, Injure Nine, In Jenin

On Tuesday dawn, dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the eastern neighborhood of Jenin city, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, killing one Palestinian and injuring at least nine, two seriously.

Medical sources said the soldiers killed Mohammad Mousa Mohammad Saba’na, 29, after shooting him with live rounds in the chest and other parts of his body.

The Palestinian was holding his smartphone and documenting the Israeli invasion before the soldiers targeted him with a barrage of live rounds.

They added that at least seven Palestinians were also shot with live fire, including two who suffered life-threatening wounds, and at least two additional Palestinians were rammed by military vehicles.

Medical sources have confirmed that five of the seven Palestinians were shot with live fire to the upper parts of their bodies.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said many more Palestinians were injured, all shot with live fire and likely received treatment by medics from local hospitals and medical centers, and those rushed to medical centers by civilian cars.

The invasion was carried out by more than 100 armored military vehicles, including bulldozers, from several directions after surrounding and isolating Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp.

The soldiers also stormed, ransacked many homes and buildings, and used their rooftops as firing posts for their snipers.

In addition, the soldiers invaded an apartment building in the Eastern Neighborhood and forced the families, including many children, out of their homes.

The Israeli army also caused power outages in several parts of Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp.

The armored military vehicles also deliberately damaged many Palestinian cars parked on the sides of many streets, especially in the al-Bayader area in the city.

It is worth mentioning that the army completely sealed Jenin’s only three main entrances and isolated the city.

Palestinian resistance fighters also exchanged fire with teh soldiers and teh armored military vehicles in several parts of Jenin, especially in the Eastern Neighborhood.

The invasion was still ongoing at the time of this report, and the Israeli military bulldozers were deliberately destroying walls, smashing cars, and causing damage to various buildings.

(Source / 06.09.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Child Near Jerusalem

On Monday evening, Israeli soldiers abducted a Palestinian child in a village near the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, in the West Bank.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded the ar-Ram town, north of occupied Jerusalem, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes, leading to protests.

They added that the soldiers abducted a child, Abdullah Raed al-Hittawi, 14, and took him to an unknown destination.

In related news, the soldiers invaded Beit Sira village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, leading to protests, and fired many gas bombs.

At least one Palestinian suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation while working in his bakery.

(Source / 06.09.2022)

PCHR: “Palestinian Civilian Shot Dead by Israeli Occupation Forces in Jenin”

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR)
Ref: 113/2022. 
Date: 05 September 2022, Time: 10:30 GMT

 This morning, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian civilian during the suppression of protests after IOF raided Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin in the West Bank.

This crime, which is the second of its kind this week, reflects IOF’s loose shooting standards and excessive use of armed force against Palestinians despite no imminent threat or danger to IOF’s lives.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 06:00 on Monday, 05 September 2022, IOF moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin, as citizens gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and clashes broke out.

Immediately, IOF fired live bullets, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters at the Palestinian protesters. As a result, Taher Mohammad Taher Zakarna (19) was hit with a live bullet in his head and then taken to Al-Razi Hospital in Jenin in critical condition.

At approximately 08:30, the doctors announced his death due to his serious injury.

According to field investigations, Zakarna was wounded when he was 80 to 90 meters away from the IOF, posing no imminent danger or threat to the soldiers’ lives.

Later on, IOF withdrew after arresting and taking 2 Palestinians with them.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 113 Palestinians, including 82 civilians: 24 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Moreover, hundreds of others sustained wounds, including women and children, across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to end Israeli occupation’s crimes and double standards when it comes to international law.

PCHR also urges the ICC Prosecutor in particular to act seriously with regard to the situation in Palestine similar to its prompt action in Ukraine.

PCHR also demands the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention fulfil their obligations as per Article 1 of the Convention, “undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.”

PCHR also calls upon the High Contracting Parties to fulfill their obligation under Article 146 of the same Conventions, i.e., to hold accountable persons accused of committing grave breaches of the Convention, and to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory.

(Source / 06.09.2022)