OCHA: 553 Israeli checkpoints, 465 km of apartheid wall in West Bank lands

Ramallah (QNN)- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that there are 553 Israeli military checkpoints throughout the West Bank, while 465 km of the apartheid wall is built on West Bank lands, swallowing thousands of dunums.

A report by OCHA said that the occupation state set 154 checkpoints on roads, 108 temporary checkpoints, and 71 permanent checkpoints. It added that the occupation state placed 86 earthen berms, 68 barricades, 49 roadblocks, and 20 earth mounds.

Israeli soldiers carry out daily wide-range search campaigns throughout the West Bank’s roads, especially those leading to occupied Jerusalem or 1948-occupied cities.

Al those military checkpoints prevent most native Palestinians from reaching the lands behind the apartheid wall.

The report added that 465 km of the apartheid wall has been built on West Bank lands, while its height reaches eight meters.

‘Israel’ started building the apartheid wall back in 2002. It is at occupying more land and ethnically cleanse as many lands as possible. It directly affects 180 communities, which are home to 300,000 native Palestinians.

So far, the wall has swallowed 46% of the West Bank and isolated occupied Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank cities. It also denies millions of Palestinians of their right of movement and prevents thousands of workers from freely go to their workplaces every day.

(Source / 19.04.2021)

‘Israel’ demolishes Araqeeb village for 186th time

Occupied Naqab (QNN)- Israeli authorities demolished Al Araqeeb village today for the 186th time.

Local sources said the Israeli police raided the village and expelled locals although of the heatwave that has been spreading across Palestine during the last couple of days this Ramadan.

Israeli authorities have demolished the village five times this year, however, the locals continue to re-set their tents on their land.

Al Araqeeb has been targeted by the occupation state since 2000. ‘Israel’ has been trying to empty the village to build a settlement.

(Source / 19.04.2021)

Video| Night confrontations in occupied Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Last night, confrontations erupted between locals and Israeli occupation forces in occupied Jerusalem.

Confrontations erupted after Israeli forces re-set checkpoints, that were removed earlier yesterday near Al Amoud gate, which leads to Al Aqsa mosque.

Video footage of the Israeli raid showed Israeli forces throwing sound bombs at the locals, who were chanting slogans passing Al Aqsa mosque.

Local sources said Israeli forces arrested two young men after beating them.

The occupied holy city has been seeing daily night confrontations with the occupation forces since the first day of Ramadan.

(Source / 18.04.2021)

4500 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, including 41 women and 140 minors

Palestinian prisoners’ advocacy groups said that 4500 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, including 41 women and 140 minors less than 18 years of age.

Marking the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, April 17, several prisoners’ advocacy groups said in a joint statement that Israeli occupation has detained 1400 Palestinians since the start of this year, among them 230 minors and 39 women, while it issued 280 administrative detention orders bringing the total number of Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial to 440.

Since January 2021, Occupied East Jerusalem had the highest number of arbitrary detentions, as the number of the detainees reached 500 people, among them 144 minors and 28 women.

The groups also said 25 Palestinians arrested and sentenced to more than 30 years since before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and they remain behind bars despite the fact they should have been released as far back as 2014 in a US-brokered deal aimed at restarting the stalled peace negotiations, which ‘Israel’ has reneged on.

The groups said that 543 Palestinians have been sentenced to one or more life terms.

(Source / 17.04.2021)

OCHA: Israel demolished, forced to demolish, or seized 58 Palestinian-owned structures in March

Jerusalem (QNN)- In March 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 58 Palestinian-owned structures across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 81 people, including 42 children.

In the March report on West Bank demolitions and displacement, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory said the Israeli occupation authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 58 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 81 people, including 42 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of nearly 200 others.

It said that all the structures were located in Area C or East Jerusalem and were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain.

Sixteen of the structures, all located in Area C communities, had been provided as humanitarian aid for a total value of more than 20,000 euros.

Another 29 donor-funded structures, at a value of nearly 86,000 euros, were served demolition orders in Hammamat al Maleh – Al Meiteh, a Bedouin and herding community in the northern Jordan Valley, which is now facing the risk of mass-demolition, OCHA said.

In the first quarter of 2021, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized at least 292 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 450 people, including 246 children.

This constitutes a 121 per cent increase in the targeting of structures and a 126 per cent increase in people displaced, compared with the same period in 2020. Also, the monthly average of structures targeted in 2021 so far constitutes a 37 per cent increase compared with the monthly average in all of 2020.

OCHA said that forty-two of the structures targeted in March were located in Area C, 24 (or 57 per cent) in areas designated by the Israeli authorities as closed military zones for training or ‘firing zones’.

More than half of the targeted structures were located in Bedouin and herding communities, including ten structures provided as humanitarian aid.

These communities are some of the most vulnerable in the West Bank, with limited access to education and health services, and to water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructure.

The practice of seizing unlicensed structures in Area C has steadily increased in recent years, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of structures targeted overall, OCHA stated.

In March, 28 structures (67 per cent of all structures targeted) in Area C were seized without prior warning.

So far in 2021, 64 percent of targeted structures have been seized, more than double compared with 2020 (30 percent).

Seizure procedures do not oblige the authorities to provide prior notice, thus preventing affected people from formally objecting in advance.

Seizure procedures have been characterized by the ICA Head of the Supervision Unit as “a strategic tool”.

Sixteen structures were demolished in East Jerusalem: nine were demolished by the Jerusalem Municipality and seven by the owners themselves, following the issuance of a demolition order.

In one of the incidents, on 24 March, the Jerusalem Municipality, along with Israeli forces, demolished a home in Jabal Al Mukabbir, displacing two households comprising seven people, including three children, one of whom was a five-day-old infant.

The households had been paying fines as a penalty for lacking an Israeli-issued building permit since June 2019, approximately NIS900 a month (approximately 230 euros).

Since the beginning of 2021, nearly 50 per cent of all demolitions in East Jerusalem have been carried out by the owners themselves, following the issuance of a demolition order by the Jerusalem Municipality.

In late February, the Jerusalem Municipality requested the Local Affairs Court to reactivate demolition orders against some 70 Palestinian homes in the Al Bustan area, in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, which would lead to the displacement of up to 1,500 Palestinians.

The Municipality has long standing plans to build a touristic and archeological park on the site, but following public pressure, the demolition orders had been frozen since 2010 to allow for a solution negotiated between the Municipality and the residents. The latter submitted alternative plans to allow them to stay in the area, all of which were rejected by the District Planning Committee, the last one in December 2020.

In mid-March, the residents submitted a response to the Municipality’s request to the court, asking to freeze the demolition orders for 12 more months, to proceed with further negotiations.

(Source / 17.04.2021)

Israeli settlers torch nearly 50 olive trees in south of occupied West Bank

Bethlehem (QNN)- A group of Israeli settlers torched today dozens of olive trees in Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem city, south of the occupied West Bank.

Hasan Breijieh, director of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Authority’s office in Bethlehem, said a group of settlers sneaked into a privately-owned Palestinian land planted with olive trees in an area north of Beit Fajjar and set the trees on fire.

At least 50 trees were burnt, causing serious damage to an important income-generating business for the landowner, as Breijieh said.

Palestinians plant around 10,000 new olive trees in the West Bank each year, most of which are of oil-pro­duc­ing varieties.

However, Palestinians see the destruc­tion of their trees as a way for the occupation to erase Palestinian iden­tity and force them to cede more land to the Israeli occupation.

The committee against the wall and settlement said Israeli forces uprooted, broke, and damaged 6507 trees in 869 operations in 2020.

Israeli settlers violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the occupied West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli occupation authorities.

There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

(Source / 17.04.2021)

For second night in row… ‘Israel’ strikes locations in Gaza

Gaza (QNN)- Israeli airforces struck several locations throughout the besieged Gaza Strip for the second night in a row.

Local sources said Israeli jets targeted a location in Rafah, in the south of the besieged strip, with three bombs, as well as an agricultural land in Al Bureij with one missile.

Israeli warplanes also bombed a location near Al Zahra in southern Gaza. No injuries have been reported so far.

The Israeli army had claimed that the Palestinian resistance fired a missile at an Israeli settlement last night.

The occupation state had also struck several locations in Gaza on the nights of the first Friday in Ramadan.

(Source / 17.04.2021)

Even as COVID-19 spread, Israel hasn’t ceased persecution and detention of Palestinians

The Israeli occupation and apartheid regime have not ceased their persecution and detention of Palestinians, even as COVID-19 spread across the occupied Palestinian territory, said the Palestinian prisoners rights organization Addameer.

In the occassion of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, April 17, the group said that in 2020, the Israeli occupation forces arrested 4,634 Palestinians, among them 543 children and 128 women, in addition to issuing 1,114 administrative detention orders.

Addameer said that the occupation authorities introduced a set of measures that exacerbate Palestinian prisoners’ conditions under the pretext of preventing the spread of COVID-19: most notably, the isolation of Palestinian prisoners from the outside world by banning visits by their lawyers and families.

Conversely, and paradoxically, it said that prison special forces continue to forcibly break into prisoners’ sections, posing a danger to prisoners by increasing their likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 during these incursions.

By the end of March 2021, the number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees reached 4,450, including 37 women, 140 children, and 440 administrative detainees, according to Addameer.

Among the prisoners are 15 journalists, hundreds of university students, and ten Palestinian Legislative Council members.

The group said that Israeli occupation authorities deliberately prolong providing healthcare to Palestinian prisoners, further exacerbating their health conditions, particularly sick prisoners transferred to Ramleh prison clinic, where about 14-16 prisoners stay permanently suffering from poor health and living conditions.

In 2020, four Palestinian prisoners were martyred in prison—Nour El-Deen Al-Barghouthi, Sa’ad Al-Gharabili, Daoud Al-Khatib, and Kamal Abu Wa’ar.

Since 1967 and to this day, the Israeli occupation authorities continue to withhold the bodies of seven martyred detainees.

Addameer said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Israeli occupation authorities have imposed complete isolation on Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

After declaring a state of emergency, detainees were banned from visits by their lawyers and families. The Israeli Prison Service implemented further arbitrary practices and decisions to impose greater repression and control over the prisoners, the most prominent of which has been halting the transfer of prisoners to Israeli military courts for trial. Instead, sessions are held via video conferences, where procedures are marred by clear violations of the right to a fair trial.

It also said that besides denying detainees’ confidential meetings with their lawyers, trials via videoconferencing often lead to issues where the detainee cannot hear or understand the ongoings of the trial session.

Moreover, the lack of precise translation of the proceedings means that detainees lose their right to understand the nature of the charges and evidence presented against them during the session.

Also, prison conditions continue to be inhumane and do not align with the bare minimum of adequate living standards.

Prisoners and detainees suffer from severe overcrowding, further compounding the vulnerability of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.Initial preventative measures taken by the Israeli Prison Service included the distribution of soap and small containers of chlorine to prisoners, in addition to the sterilization of cells and a reduction of interactions between prison guards and prisoners. Nonetheless, these minimal measures failed to prevent the spread of the virus between prisoners through prison guards and interrogators.

Addameer said that since the spread of COVID-19, nearly 368 prisoners have been infected across various detention and interrogation centers.

The highest numbers being reported in Gilboa, Negev (Ketziot), Ramon, and Ofer prison. In detention centers such as Etzion and Huwara, Palestinian detainees are subjected to harsh conditions.

The occupation authorities quarantined new detainees in filthy cells, with inadequate food (and the lack thereof), along with dirty blankets (and the additional lack thereof) in the face of extreme cold, before transferring them to prison. Furthermore, detainees were not provided with hygiene products such as soap, toothbrushes, and towels.

Addammer said that the crimes of the Israeli apartheid regime increase over time, legislating itself to claim a more “legal” form, as the world stays silent, neglecting to expose these practices or ensuring accountability or to work to eliminate this racist regime that stands in front of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and freedom from occupation.

Addammer called on the international community to take the necessary steps to declare this occupation, and all its policies and practices, an illegal reality that must end immediately, along with an end to prosecuting Palestinian civilians in military courts.

Addammer stated that the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination must be guaranteed, and the occupying power must be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people.

(Source / 17.04.2021)

On first Friday of Ramadan… ‘Israel’ strikes Gaza

Gaza (QNN)- Israeli warplanes targeted several locations throughout the Gaza strip on the night of the first Friday of Ramadan. No injuries have been reported.

The Israeli army has not issued any statement, however, it has claimed earlier on Thursday that a missile was fired from the besieged strip towards Israeli settlements, which caused sirens to sound.

Israeli airforces struck a site in Johr Addik in central Gaza with two bombs.

They also targeted agricultural lands in Al Zaitoun neighborhood twice and empty land in Gaza’s damaged airport near the borders with Egypt.

(Source / 16.04.2021)

Pictures| Israeli forces obstruct worshipers’ access to Al Aqsa mosque

 Israeli occupation forces impose strict restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers from the occupied West Bank into occupied Jerusalem, ahead of the fist Friday prayer of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli forces obstructed Muslim worshipers’ access to Al Aqsa mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.

Eyewitnesses stated that Israeli forces closed all checkpoints surrounding the occupied city in the early morning, allowing a limited number of Muslims to enter the city.

Large numbers of Israeli forces deployed in Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from reaching the old city, which forced worshipers to walk long distances to reach the holy mosque.

Inside the old city, Israeli forces set checkpoints and carried out an ID check campaign against native Palestinians near the Al Aqsa mosque. They also distributed no-mask fines randomly and arrested several worshipers.

Although of the Israeli restrictions, thousands of worshipers visited the holy mosque, keeping social distancing and wearing masks.

The Israeli civil administration had announced allowing only 10,000 vaccinated Palestinians from the West Bank to visit the Al Aqsa mosque.

The occupation state had on several occasions denied Palestinians access to the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it continues to impose its green passport policy on Palestinians under occupation.

Israeli occupation forces impose strict restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers from the occupied West Bank into occupied #Jerusalem, ahead of the fist Friday prayer of #Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, today.

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(Source / 16.04.2021)