The boy was chased, detained and beaten harshly to death
Palestinian teen was killed on Sunday morning after he was harshly beaten by Israeli occupation soldiers near the village of Turmus-Ayya, northeast of occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, medical sources said.
The boy was identified by Palestinian medical sources as Amer Abdul-Rahim Snobar, 17 years old.
Israeli occupation forces chased the teenager while he was driving near Turmus-Ayya, detained him and beat him up until he died.
The teenager comes from the village of Yatma, near the city of Nablus in the West Bank.
Yesh Din, Israeli rights group, said that over 90 per cent of investigations between 2005 and 2019 looking into ideologically motivated crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank by Israeli forces and settlers were eventually dropped without indictments
Defense for Children International – Palestine – Palestinian school children in occupied Palestinian territories report nightmarish experiences during their way to school due to repeated Israeli soldiers and settlers aggression.
“I was scared at school,” 15-year-old Amir H told Defense for Children International – Palestine. “Whenever I saw soldiers, while on the way to school, I would be scared and try to get away from them as much as possible because I had been stopped before, more than once.”
A return to school in September meant that for Palestinian students living near illegal Israeli settlements, journeys to school and schooldays would once again be marred by violence at the hands of Israeli soldiers and settlers.
Amir, currently a ninth-grader at Tuqu Secondary School for Boys, located east of the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, has been subjected to numerous attempted arrests on his way to and from school by the Israeli military.
“I was extremely terrified and started screaming and felt the Israeli soldiers wanted to take me and hit me,” reflected Amir on a prior incident. “They scared me a lot.” His teachers, the school principal, and others intervened to protect him.
Amir’s story is not unique. Stationed throughout the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers, police, and private security staff protect settler populations. Unlike other Israeli civilians, many Israeli settlers are armed. This creates a hyper-militarized environment that results in the infliction of disproportionate physical and psychological violence against Palestinian children.
Students living under Israeli military occupation in the occupied West Bank commonly face arrest, detention, violence, and harassment at the hands of Israeli soldiers and settlers.
Additional barriers such as checkpoints, roads used by Israeli forces and settlers, and other military infrastructure in or near Palestinian communities present additional barriers to the enjoyment of their right to a safe learning environment in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was ratified by Israel in 1991.
During the 2019–2020 school year, which was cut short due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, DCIP documented 134 violent incidents by Israeli forces between August 20, 2019, and March 6, 2020, impacting at least 9,042 students and teachers.
Targeting school children
Amir’s school is in close proximity to the nearby illegal Jewish-only settlements of Teqoa, Noqedim, and Ma’ale Amos, which surround Tuqu to the north, south, and east in the southern occupied West Bank. A main regional road used by Israeli forces and settlers cuts through Tuqu and nearby Khirbet Ad-Deir.
At the Tuqu Secondary School for Boys, DCIP documented 15 incidents involving Israeli forces, including five incidents between February 4 and March 4, 2020.
In those incidents, Israeli soldiers fired multiple tear gas canisters at students outside the school in the morning. Many children reported breathing difficulties as a result of the tear gas and, on one occasion, at least three students lost consciousness, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Previously, on January 31, 2019, three Israeli soldiers in a military vehicle near the bypass road fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters at Tuqu students leaving their classes and chased them, according to documentation collected by DCIP. One Israeli soldier fired four live bullets, shooting two children. Mohammad A., 17, sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and 16-year-old Mazen S, sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh. Their classmates were left in a state of panic and fear.
Despite the perilous journey to school, Amir told DCIP he feels safe once he’s inside. “I am excited, and I am challenging myself for the new school year,” said Amir.
Another student, 16-year-old Baha A., an 11th grader at Tuqu Secondary School for Boys, expressed similar feelings of safety once he reached school, though his commute frequently includes confrontations with soldiers.
“Whenever I see Israeli soldiers, the first thing that occurs to me is that something bad is about to happen. They either search or arrest us,” Baha told DCIP. “I do not feel safe on my way to school. But, I feel safe when I reach school. I feel safe inside the classroom because I am surrounded by many students and teachers.”
Zain, 12, a seventh-grade student at the Hebron Basic School for Boys, which is located in the Israeli-controlled H2 section of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, feels the continuous presence of Israeli soldiers on his route to and from school has impacted his ability to concentrate in class.
“I think of how to run away, and I feel scared of being shot with a rubber bullet from the back,” Zain told DCIP. “I think that I am about to lose my life. I feel off and sleepy and unable to focus on the teacher and lesson.”
Asked how he feels after he encounters soldiers, Zain said, “I feel as if I was choking, and my heart starts beating faster. I feel dizzy and cannot move when I see soldiers near me.”
Abdullah R, 9, from the Ziad Jaber School in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, said, “I love school, and I am happy that we have returned.” But he, too, noted he is not able to focus after incidents of violence.
On his way to school in November 2019, Israeli forces used two military dogs to chase and intimidate Abdullah, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The Israeli soldiers searched his schoolbag and held Abdullah for about an hour. Abdullah lives in close proximity to the Jewish-only settlement of Kiryat Arba so Israeli soldiers are regularly present and deployed nearby his home.
“I no longer take the road where I was assaulted by the Israeli army,” said Abdullah. “Whenever I find myself there, I remember what happened to me.”
Between 1967–2017, more than 200 illegal Israeli settlements were built in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to B’Tselem. These settlements are illegal under international law and are protected by Israeli soldiers, police, and private security, exposing Palestinian children to frequent violence.
In such a hyper-militarized environment, frequent and disproportionate physical and psychological violence is inflicted on Palestinian children who report, among other abuses, regular harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers on their way to school and attacks against schools.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) recorded 547 incidents of attacks and trespass by Israeli settlers against Palestinians between January 1 and October 13, 2020. During this period, Israeli settlers injured 100 Palestinians and vandalized 5,650 olive trees and 166 Palestinian vehicles.
The Al-Khansa Elementary Mixed School and Al-Jarmaq Elementary School for Girls in Tuqu were attacked in March 2019 by a group of 25 armed Israeli settlers. School administration and staff told DCIP that the Israeli settlers attempted to sneak into the schools but were stopped by teachers and parents, who rushed to the school to help stop the attack.
Israeli forces arrived to support and protect the Israeli settlers, firing stun grenades, which scared the children. A full day of instruction was lost for a total of 569 students and teachers.
“The first time the settlers attacked us, I was very distracted the following day and could not focus inside the classroom,” Baha told DCIP. “All I could think of was which way to go home.”
Attacked by dogs
According to Baha, he and his classmates were harassed after school every Wednesday in September 2019 by an Israeli settler in a white vehicle with three dogs along Khirbet Ad-Deir Street in Tuqu.
“We expected that this settler would shoot us because he showed us his handgun,” explained Baha. “Even though we changed our route to school every Wednesday, we still encountered the settler no matter where we went. He was there all the time, and we felt terrified.”
Following incidents of settler violence, DCIP has found that lack of justice and impunity is the norm and not the exception. At the center of the issue is the disparate treatment by the Israeli government of Palestinians and Israelis living in the occupied West Bank.
Though they live in the same territory, all Palestinians are subject to military law, while Israeli settlers fall under the Israeli civilian and criminal legal system.
Israeli settlers, including children, often attack Palestinians with stones and other objects, but they are rarely held accountable as the Israeli army lacks the authority to arrest Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
Despite persistent settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities have consistently failed to adequately investigate complaints filed against settlers.
Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, published a data-sheet in January 2020 showing that over 90 per cent of investigations between 2005 and 2019 looking into ideologically motivated crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank by Israeli forces and settlers were eventually dropped without indictments.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex the entire Jordan Valley to Israel’s sovereignty if he was re-elected as prime minister
Israeli occupation announced on Sunday taking over about 11,000 dunums of (1,000 hectares) of Palestinian farmland in northern Jordan Valley region in occupied West Bank.
Qasem Awwad, a spokesman of the Palestinian Authority’s Apartheid Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, said the Israeli confiscation order comes under the pretext of transferring the property of the land to three natural reserves in the area.
Awwad said that this is the pretext that the Israeli occupation has used sometimes to serve the illegal settlement construction and expansion project.
He also said that most of the land confiscated is located in areas adjacent to the illegal settlements of Rotem, Maskiyot, and Mesovah, which proves that the reason for confiscation is expanding the areas of the Israeli settlements rather than allocating more land for the natural reserves.
The official added that since the announcement of the US deal of the century in January, Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of over 12,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank settlements.
Earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex the entire Jordan Valley to Israel’s sovereignty if he was re-elected as prime minister.
Ramallah (QNN) – The Israeli occupation authorities have withdrawn the travel permit that the Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf carries, which allows him to enter the occupied Palestinian territories, under a pretext of incitement.
The Israeli Knesset member, Avi Dichter said today that “Israel” will no longer allow Assaf to enter the occupied territories, and will ask the UAE authorities, where Assaf and his wife live, to stop his activities and concerts.
Dichter added that the occupation state will propose a request to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) to stop Assaf’s activities as its Youth Ambassador.
The Israeli newspaper of “Makor Rishon” said in a report that the extremist Israeli centre of “Badin” alleged that the Palestinian singer incites against the occupation through his songs that encourage resistance, glorify the martyrs and call for an armed uprising against the occupation.
Assaf (31) is well known for being the winner of the second season of Arab Idol, broadcast by the MBC network. He has produced several singles and albums since then.
This little child, whose identity was kept anonymous, explains how Israeli occupation judicial system has nothing related to legal and just procedures
On 20 August 2020, a 15-year-old minor from Doha was arrested by Israeli occupation soldiers from his bedroom at 3:30 am. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to harsh investigation.
At around 3:30 am, I was woken up by torch light shining in my face. I opened my eyes and saw about 10 Israeli soldiers in my bedroom. The commander asked me for my name then told me to get up and put some clothes on because I was to be arrested. He did not give a reason for the arrest and did not give my parents any documents. When my father asked him for the reason he told my father he was going to bring me back by the end of the day.
Then the soldiers searched my room and damaged the wardrobe. They did not tell me what they were looking for. The soldiers seemed to be in a hurry. They remained in our house for about 15 minutes.
As soon as I was dressed the soldiers took me outside. I did not even have time to tie my shoe laces. A soldier gave me a mask and gloves to put on due to the Corona virus and then I was handcuffed to the front with metal cuffs. The handcuffs were very tight and left marks on my wrists.
At the entrance to the building I was blindfolded and the soldiers took me away on foot. The soldiers made me walk quickly and I could not keep up with the blindfold on and I fell to the ground. When I fell the soldiers started to kick and slap me all over my body. They pulled me up in a hurry and continued to run with me towards the military jeeps.
When we arrived at the jeeps I was thrown on the metal floor of one of the jeeps but later a soldier allowed me to sit on a seat. Young men from the village started to throw stones at the jeep and the soldiers responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades. I was terrified. Then the jeep drove towards the District Co-ordination Office (DCO) military base where a soldier forcefully bent my knees and made me kneel on the ground. Then he slapped me on the head and told me to keep my head down.
About 15 minutes later I was taken to the back of another jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The jeep then drove to Atarot police station. On the way the soldiers swore at me and called my sister and mother “whores”. One soldier struck me with the back of his gun on my elbow and caused me a lot of pain. I arrived at the police station at around 5:30 a.m. I asked a soldier to loosen the handcuffs but he just left. I managed to pull down the blindfold by myself.
A short time later an interrogator passed by and loosened my handcuffs. He introduced himself as “interrogator Ala.” I was left in a room until around 7:00 am. Then the interrogator came back.
The interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent but warned me that remaining silent would upset the judge and would make him sentence me for a long time in prison. He also told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer.
Then he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to deny everything and advised me to remain silent. I spoke to the lawyer for about two minutes on a land line in another room and the interrogator was not listening.
Then the interrogator told me he was going to give me some advice. He told me he was going to tell me what to say so that the judge would go easy on me. He told me he was going to give me the advice before the official interrogation started and before he turned on the camera and the voice recorder.
Then he said once he was done with the advice he was going to leave the room, then come back in as if he had never spoken to me before. He would then turn the camera and voice recorder on and start the official interrogation. Then he pulled out his pistol and placed it on the table in front of him and kept fiddling with it.
Then he told me I was accused of a number of accusations and that there were lots of confessions against me from people who knew me. Then he brought a thick bunch of papers and started to mark the text with a yellow marker.
When I asked him what he was doing he told me he was marking the places where my name was mentioned as having taken part in stone throwing incidents. He was marking a lot of text and that scared me. Then he told me if I confessed the judge would give me a short time in prison; otherwise, I was going to spend a long time in prison.
About half an hour later he told me he was going to leave the room and start interrogating me properly. He left and came back. He turned the camera and voice recorder on and introduced himself again. Then he asked me to say my name.
Then he accused me of throwing stones and pipe bombs and told me lots of other boys had testified against me. I denied the accusations. Then he named the boys and told me he had voice recordings of their testimonies and asked me whether I wanted to listen to them. I denied the accusations and told the interrogator I was not interested in listening to the confessions.
Then he accused me of lying and wanted me to confess to all the accusations if I wanted the judge to be lenient. Then he threatened me and told me the intelligence officers were waiting outside. He told me if they got hold of me they would not release me without extracting a confession from me even if I was “99 percent innocent.” Still I denied the accusations.
He questioned me over a period of about 12 hours. He would question me for an hour or so and then leave and come back again. Sometimes he was calm, other times he was aggressive. He slammed the door a couple of times when I denied the accusations.
Then at the end he showed me documents in Hebrew and wanted me to sign them. I told him I was not going to sign anything without a lawyer present. Then he told me this was not going to please the judge and he signed the document himself.
Then I was taken outside where I was left for about an hour. Some soldiers approached me and told me it was in my interest to confess, otherwise they were going to send me to be interrogated by an intelligence officer who would be “harsh.” They made it sound like they were my friends and that that they cared for me. When I did not engage with them they started to swear at me.
I was left in that outdoor area for three nights. I was not given any food and I could not sleep. I was allowed to use the toilet once and I was given a glass of water once a day. I was shackled and handcuffed the whole time. The whole time I was thinking and wondering what was going to happen to me. By the end of the third day I was tired and hungry and scared.
On the third day I was taken in a military jeep to another place where I was taken to a cell. I slept on a metal bench for about 30 minutes. The air conditioner was turned on very cold and I was freezing. About three hours later two soldiers came in and strip searched me. Then I was taken to Megiddo prison where I was strip searched again. I was put into the quarantine area near the prison. I arrived there at around 9:00 p.m. I ate and fell asleep immediately; I was exhausted.
The following day I had a military court hearing via video camera. I could see my father, a lawyer and the military judge. When I tried to speak to my father a soldier turned the camera away and muted the sound. The hearing was adjourned.
The following day I was taken for another interrogation. The interrogator informed me of my rights before he started to question me. Then he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to deny everything. The interrogator had a voice recorder and accused me of the same accusations. I denied everything. I was questioned for about two hours. After the interrogation I was taken back to Megiddo.
I had four military court hearings. At the last hearing, which was on the same day that I was released, my lawyer told me I was going to be released provided I apologise to the judge and promise never to be involved in illegal activities. Luckily the line was cut off before I could apologise to the judge.
My lawyer told me I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 10 days in prison, fined NIS 3,500 and given a suspended sentence of two years in prison suspended for a period of five years. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home after court.
I was released on 31 August 2020 and I went home with my father and uncle who were waiting for me at Al Jalama checkpoint. I arrived home at around 1:00 .am. This was a tough experience but thankfully I was released quickly. I want to focus on my school work because I want to study to become a Chef.
Maher al-Akhras, 49, has been held in ‘administrative detention’ since his arrest more than 80 days ago
A Palestinian man on a hunger strike for nearly 80 days since his arrest by Israel in late July is “on the verge of death”, Israeli rights group B’Tselem said on Monday.
Maher al-Akhras, 49, was arrested near Nablus and placed in “administrative detention”, a policy Israel uses to hold suspected fighters without charge.
The married father of six launched his hunger strike to protest the policy. He has been arrested several times previously by Israel, which accuses him of having ties to the Islamic Jihad armed group.
On Monday, about 40 people held a rally in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to support him.
“Our people will not let Maher al-Akhras down,” said Khader Adnan, who was one of those taking part in the rally and who has himself carried out several hunger strikes in Israeli captivity.
Adnan called on the international community and Palestinian leaders to pressure Israel over the case.
“Do more over the coming hours,” he said. “We are in the critical stage.”
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh demanded al-Akhras’s “immediate release,” according to a statement published by the official WAFA news agency.
The different Palestinian factions warned Israel over its indifference regarding the life of the hunger striker and warned they would not stay silent if he lost his life.
Al-Akhras was transferred in early September to Kaplan Medical Center, south of Tel Aviv. His lawyers have appealed on multiple occasions to Israel’s Supreme Court for his release, including at a hearing on Monday.
Israel’s top court deferred a ruling on Monday’s request, saying the case remained under review, according to a summary of the hearing seen by AFP news agency.
The Palestinians and human rights groups say administrative detention, which was inherited from the British mandate, violates the right to due process since evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried or convicted.
“Administrative detention is a crime and should end. We hold Israel fully responsible for his life and call for his immediate release,” said Qadura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club last week.
About 355 Palestinians were being held under administrative detention orders as of August, including two minors, according to B’Tselem.
‘The overall conduct of the Israeli authorities during the olive harvest season is indicative of the unlawful policy that Israel has implemented in the West Bank for decades,’ B’Tselem said
Israeli occupation settlers attacked on Tuesday Palestinian farmers harvesting olive crops in the village of Burqa, east of Ramallah, injuring two farmers.
After the farmers, supported by dozens of volunteers, were able to reach their farms in Burqa, which they have been denied access to for years by the Israeli occupation forces, and started harvesting their olive, settlers violently attacked them.
The settlers, from the illegal Megron settlement, were protected by the Israeli occupation soldiers when they attacked the farmers in an attempt to push them leave their land.
During the settlers’ attack, two Palestinian farmers were injured.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers stole the olive harvest of a Palestinian farmer, Yehya al-Kurdi, in the village of Burin to the south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
Palestinians look forward to the annual olive harvest season, which is a major income source for thousands of Palestinian families in the West Bank.
In addition to stealing olive harvest from farmers, many farms planted with olive trees are closed to farmers due to their proximity to Jewish settlements or fall behind the Israeli apartheid wall.
Rights organizations have documented a sharp rise in Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive trees or stealing their crops and of soldiers banning farmers from reaching their land in areas close to the illegal settlements.
According to the Israeli human rights information center, B’Tselem, the dispossession and violence that mark Israel’s policy in the West Bank peak during the olive harvest, when Palestinians need to access their land to pick the olives off their trees.
“The overall conduct of the Israeli authorities during the olive harvest season is indicative of the unlawful policy that Israel has implemented in the West Bank for decades,” B’Tselem said.
It stated that “this policy centers on dispossessing Palestinians, including farmers, and preventing any possibility of development – willfully ignoring the needs, rights and wishes of the Palestinian population while continuously expanding settlements, developing them and promoting other Israeli interests.”
Agreement to operate commercial flights signed by civil aviation authorities of both countries
Jordan and Israeli occupation has signed agreement to operate commercial flights through the airspace of the two countries, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said.
“This agreement will shorten the hours of flights between Israel and the Gulf states and the Far East on the one hand, and from Jordan and the Gulf states to Europe and the North and South American continents on the other hand,” the corporation added.
Signed by the civil aviation authorities of both the countries, “the agreement was the fruit of negotiations, which took several years,” it said.
“It is expected that the agreement will lead to a reduction in travel prices and fuel savings.”
The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation pointed out that the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabia’s decision allowing flights from Israel to use its airspace accelerated the pace of these negotiations.