UNCTAD: Israel’s economic restrictions in West Bank costs Palestinians $50 billion toll between 2000 and 2020

A Palestinian watches the demolition of his house from a roof at a farm north of the Jordan Valley in Tubas, in the occupied West Bank

Geneva (QNN)- The Palestinian people paid a heavy cumulative cost estimated at $50 billion between 2000 and 2020 due to the additional restrictions imposed by Israeli occupation in Area C of the West Bank available for Palestinian development, says the latest UNCTAD report to the UN General Assembly.

The report, entitled “Economic costs of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people: The toll of the additional restrictions in Area C, 2000–2020”, estimates the cost of the additional restrictions at $2.5 billion per year. It indicates that the cumulative cost between 2000 and 2020 is equivalent to three times the West Bank GDP in 2020 and over 2.5 times the Palestinian GDP in the same year.

Area C of the occupied West Bank accounts for about 60% of the West Bank and incorporates all illegal Israeli settlements. It is under Israeli civil and security control.

Despite several UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that emphasize the illegality, under international law, of settlements and the acquisition of territory by force, they continue to grow and expand.

The Israeli occupation, says the report, provides “generous incentives to settlers and entrepreneurs to facilitate industrial and agricultural ventures, which have encouraged hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens to move to the subsidized settlements, where living standards are, on average, higher than in Israel, according to different sources.”

The report adds that the occupying power includes 70% of Area C within the boundaries of the regional councils of settlements, rendering that part of Area C off limits for Palestinian development, even though Area C is the largest and only contiguous part of the West Bank and has the most fertile land and valuable natural resources.

Meanwhile, Palestinian access to the remainder of Area C (30%) remains heavily restricted. The report assesses the economic impact of the additional restrictions on economic activities in this part of Area C.

An array of restrictions imposed by the occupying power have constrained economic activities and the movement of people and goods in Areas A, B and C. They include a ban on the importation of certain technology and inputs, a stringent permit regime, bureaucratic controls, checkpoints, gates, earth mounds, roadblocks and trenches in addition to the Wall.

To facilitate the expansion of settlements, ‘Israel’ imposes additional restrictions on Palestinian economic activities in Area C, over and above those imposed in Areas A and B. As a result, observed economic activities in the 30% of Area C outside the boundaries of the regional councils of settlements are considerably lower than in Areas A and B.

The report estimates the cost of these additional restrictions at 25% of the West Bank’s GDP. In other words, if the level of restrictions on Palestinian development in the 30% of Area C available for Palestinian development was the same as those applied in Areas A and B, the size of the West Bank economy would have been substantially larger than it is now.

The benefits accruing to the occupying power from settlements in occupied Area C and East Jerusalem “are the flip side of the cost to the Palestinian people.”

The report estimates the annual contribution of these settlements to the economy of the occupying power at $41 billion or 227% of the total Palestinian GDP in 2021. This GDP, produced using Palestinian land and natural resources, is another indicator of the significant cost borne by the Palestinian people because of the emergence and continuous growth of settlements.

The cost estimated in the report accounts for just a fraction of the cost of the Israeli occupation of Area C and East Jerusalem, which is itself a small fraction of the total economic cost imposed by occupation on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian access to all of Area C is necessary for the sustainable development of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and for the emergence of a viable, contiguous Palestinian State based on the two-State solution, in line with relevant UN resolutions.

The report concludes by stressing the necessity to lift all restrictions on Palestinian economic activity in Area C. Ending such restrictions would provide the Palestinian economy with a badly needed economic and natural resource base for developing their economy and reversing the current trend of deepening fiscal crisis and increasing socioeconomic deprivation.

The report maintains that until the occupation is ended, foreign aid and donor support to the Palestinian people must be strengthened to avert future socioeconomic and humanitarian crises.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Palestinian journalist to remain under house arrest, Israeli court decides

Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- An Israeli occupation court has postponed the trial session of Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh until December, keeping her under house arrest and banning her from using the internet and social media.

The Israeli District Court delayed the trial session of Abu Ghosheh as it was scheduled for today and renewed the restrictions imposed against the journalist.

In September, the Israeli Court released Ghosheh on conditions not to use smartphones, computers, and the internet, to remain under house arrest, and to pay a $15,000 bail, according to her lawyer, Nasser Odeh.

Odeh added, “These are the conditions at the moment, but we hope that some of these conditions will be eased or canceled in the coming days.”

In a September hearing session, Ghosheh was brought handcuffed and complained about the harsh conditions of her detention in solitary confinement at the Israeli Hasharon Prison, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said.

Photos of the trial session of Palestinian journalist Lama Ghousha at an Israeli court where he detention was extended until next Sunday. #FreeThemAll #SaveSheikhJarrah

The journalist reportedly cried and demanded her release to reunite with her two children.

“I want my children,” Abu Ghosheh said while crying during her trial session.

It was the fourth time Ghosheh’s detention was extended since her arrest on September 4, 2022.

Ghosheh is a mother of two children, Karmel, 5, and Qais, 3. She is a journalist and currently working as a researcher at the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, north of Ramallah, and doing a master’s degree in Israeli studies.

Ghosheh’s husband, Yassin Sobeih, told local media that Lama is facing significant incitement charges through Facebook posts, which she denies.

Sobeih, a former detainee in Israeli prisons, said that Israeli occupation had scared his children during the arrest raid on the family home in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem and vandalized most of its contents. Ghosheh’s laptop and smartphone were also confiscated during the arrest.

Odeh said the Israeli prosecution had informed him of its intention to present charges of “incitement” against Ghosheh for publishing the pictures of Palestinian resistance fighters on her social media accounts.

“It seems that Lama will be facing a trial over a concrete accusation rather than an administrative detention without charges,” Sobeih told The New Arab.

“Despite this, the “incitement” charge is being used by the occupation authorities, just like the administrative detention, as an excuse to arrest anybody for their speech, especially journalists,” he said.

“Lama had already been called for interrogation over her journalistic work once,” he added. “There has always been a tension at home for the risks she takes doing her job.”

According to the Palestinian Journalists Union, Israeli forces and settlers committed 479 violations against Palestinian journalists in the first half of 2022.

These include the killing in early June of 31-year-old Ghufran Warasneh in Al-Aroub refugee camp near Hebron, on her first day of work at a local radio, and the killing in May of Al Jazeera veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh while covering an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp.

According to the union, Israeli violations include 35 Palestinian journalists with bullet-related injuries, 18 cases of arrest, 24 confiscations of material, 80 cases of beating, and 175 cases of journalists not being allowed to perform their work.

Currently, 16 Palestinian journalists are held in Israeli prisons for practicing the right of freedom of expression and documenting the Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinians.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in Nablus raid

 16-year-old slain Palestinian Ahmad Amjad Shehadeh

Nablus (QNN)- A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces during a furious raid into the eastern neighborhood of Nablus, north of the occupied West Bank, last night.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed that Israeli occupation forces shot Ahmad Amjad Shehadeh, 16, with a live bullet in the chest, killing him.

Large numbers of Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by a military bulldozer, stormed overnight Wednesday the eastern area of Nablus to secure the settlers’ raid into Joseph’s Tomb.

Confrontations erupted between Palestinians and Israeli occupation soldiers as the latter fired live bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters toward the residents and their houses, killing Shehadeh and injuring four others, including one listed in critical condition as he was shot with a live bullet in the abdomen.

The Israeli forces also targeted a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance with live bullets, local sources said.

After and during the raid, dozens of Israeli settlers raided the area of Joseph’s Tomb while being backed by well-armed Israeli forces.

Shehadeh is the 200th Palestinian and 51st child to be killed by Israeli occupation forces and settlers since the start of the year, according to the Health Ministry.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Israeli Army Demolishes A Home Near Bethlehem

On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers demolished a Palestinian home in the Al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

Al-Khader Mayor, Ibrahim Mousa, said the soldiers demolished a 100-square-meter home owned by Ahmad Mohammad Salah.

Mousa added that the army claimed the property in the Baten Al-Ma’si area was built without a permit from the “Civil Administration Office,” the administrative branch of the illegal Israeli occupation.

The Israeli army recently escalated its violations in Ban Al-Ma’si and Um Rokba areas in Al-Khader by demolishing several homes and structures and issuing more demolition and halt construction orders.

In June, Israeli soldiers invaded the Jabal Abu Sood area in the Al-Khader town and handed the Palestinians orders to halt the construction of twelve homes.

Al-Khader is subject to constant Israeli violations, including invasions, demolishing homes and property, and uprooting the town’s lands.

Numerous Palestinian homeowners have faced the demolition of their homes, barns, and other buildings by the Israeli military and the forced takeover of their land as part of the effort to displace the indigenous Palestinian population to allow for Israeli colonization.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Kill A Child, Injure 32 Palestinians, In Nablus

On Wednesday dawn, Israeli soldiers killed a child and injured 32 Palestinians, one seriously, in addition to causing dozens to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, during protests that took place after the army accompanied dozens of colonizers into Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the soldiers killed a child, Ahmad Amjad Shehada, 16, after shooting him with a live round in the heart.

Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Emergency Department at the Nablus office of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said the soldiers also shot ten Palestinians with live fire, including one who suffered a serious gunshot injury to the abdomen.

Jibril added that the soldiers shot twenty-two Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, three with shrapnel from live rounds, and seventy-five who suffered the severe effects of tear gas inhalation. In addition, one Palestinian was struck with a concussion grenade in the head.

The soldiers also fired several live rounds at a PRCS ambulance while trying to reach wounded Palestinians.

The invasion was carried out by dozens of military vehicles, including at least one armored bulldozer, and targeted the eastern area of Nablus to allow illegal colonizers to tour Joseph Tomb, leading to massive protests, before the soldiers fired dozens of live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the soldiers killed 200 Palestinians, including 57 children, since the beginning of this year and added that 52 of the slain Palestinians are from the Gaza Strip.

Joseph, the patriarch, is revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans alike; however, the Israeli military allows Jews to visit as part of organized pilgrimages, despite the site being in Area A, where the PA has full control and prohibits Muslims from worshiping at the site.

Ultra-orthodox and nationalist Jews regularly try to visit the shrine without approval, as many Jews believe the tomb to be the final resting place of the biblical figure in the Old Testament.

Palestinians believe that Joseph’s Tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousif Dweikat, a local religious figure.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Israeli Army Issues Demolition And Halt Construction Orders Of Eight Homes Near Salfit

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers invaded Qarawat Bani Hassan town, west of the central West Bank city of Salfit, and handed orders for the demolition and halting construction of eight homes.

Ibrahim ‘Aasi, the mayor of Qarawat Bani Hassan, said several army vehicles invaded the town and handed eight orders for the demolition and halting construction of eight homes, including some inhabited ones.

He said the homes are in the Ar-Ra’s, Wad Al-Masalha, and Khallet Al-Qarn areas in the northeastern part of the town.

The mayor stated that the homes are owned by Awni Aziz Mer’ey, Amir Mer’ey, Mahmoud Mer’ey, Ibrahim Ali, Nabil Amin, Ayyoub Fathi, Qutaiba Samara, and Tamer Salloum.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Twenty-One Palestinians In West Bank

On Tuesday dawn, Israeli soldiers abducted at least twenty-one Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has confirmed.

The PPS said the soldiers invaded and ransacked dozens of homes across the West Bank, including the occupied capital, Jerusalem, and abducted twenty-one Palestinians, including siblings and former political prisoners.

In Silwan town in Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted Husein Dar Issa, Yazan Roweidi, Ayyoub Roweidi, Hakam Roweidi, Adam Monther Rajabi, and his brother Malek.

In Ramallah, in the central West Bank, the soldiers abducted Antar Hamed and Mahmoud Hamed from Silwad town, east of the city, Qussai and his brother Odai Issa Rabea from Deir Abu Mashal, west of Ramallah, and former political prisoner Khaled Nawabeet from Burqa village, east of the city.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers invaded the Deheishe refugee camp south of the city, searched homes, and abducted Shahrayar Anwar Bal’awi, 26, and Yousef Ezzat Abu Dayya, 25.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted Yousef Adnan Eida, Mohammad Malek Salayma, 36, and Saed Abed Yassin Seder, 19.

In Tulkarem, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers invaded the Al-Ra’s village and Bal’a town, searched homes, and abducted Ghazi Younis Odah, 27, and Khaled Morad Mer’ey, 21.

In Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted three former political prisoners, Emad Ziad Abu Al-Haija from Al-Yamoun town, Ahmad Mohammad Zayyoud from Silat Al-Harithiya town, and Ahmad Barahma from Anza village.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

WAFA: “Palestinian journalist to remain under house arrest and not use social media until an Israel court decides otherwise”

JERUSALEM, Tuesday, November 22, 2022 (WAFA) – Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh, 30, from Jerusalem, was hoping an Israeli court hearing in her case scheduled for today would end her house arrest and ban on the use of social media. Instead, she has to wait longer after the Israeli District Court postponed her hearing until December 20 while keeping the same restrictions in place.

Ghosheh, a mother of two young girls, five and two years old, who works for the Al-Qastal news network, was arrested at her family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on September 4 for her writing on social media, mainly her interviews with former Palestinian prisoners and publishing the interviews on social media and also for her writing against attempts by extremist Israeli settlers to take over Palestinian homes in her neighborhood. Her phone and computer were also seized.

Her detention was extended several times until she was released on September 13 on the condition that she will not use social media and be kept under house arrest, along with a bail of $15,000, until her next court hearing, which is now scheduled for a month from now.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Invade And Ransack Home Of Jerusalem Governor In Silwan

On Tuesday dawn, Israeli soldiers invaded and ransacked the home of Jerusalem governor, member of the Revolutionary Council of the Fateh Movement, Adnan Gheith, in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded the Al-Wista neighborhood in Silwan before breaking into Gheith’s home and ransacking it.

The sources added that the soldiers surrounded the entire neighborhood before storming the home and interrogating Gheith.

On August 4th, an Israeli issued a house arrest order against Gheith without specifying a timeframe for its ruling.

Gheith, who was abducted 35 times since he became the governor in August of 2018, is barred from leaving Jerusalem or having any contact with Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas.

(Source / 23.11.2022)

Soccer Players, Spectators, Injured By Israeli Gas Bombs In Bethlehem

On Monday evening, Israeli soldiers fired many gas bombs at a soccer field in Al-Khader town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, causing many players, around the age of 15, and spectators to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Executive Director of the Al-Khader Soccer Stadium, Yousef Sayel, said the soldiers invaded the outer yard of the stadium, in the vicinity of the schools’ area and fired many gas bombs into the soccer field and the stands, causing many players and spectators to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Palestinians watched a soccer match between Al-Khader Youth Soccer Team and Bethlehem Islamic Club when the army attacked them.

The attack is not the first, as the soldiers attacked various teams during training or soccer matches.

(Source / 23.11.2022)