Journalist Injured as Soldiers Attack Bethlehem

21 JUL2:45 AM

A journalist was injured and many others suffocated from teargas when Israeli forces attacked Palestinians taking part in a rally protesting the planned demolition of hundreds of apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Hummus.

WAFA correspondence said that Ayat Arqawi, who works as a photojournalist with APA agency, was hit and injured by a gas canister in her pelvis.

Meanwhile, several protesters sustained suffocation from gas inhalation, including Minister Walid Assaf, the chairman of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission.

(Source / 21.07.2019) 

MORE ISRAELI RAIDS AND MORE ARRESTS IN OCCUPIED WEST BANK

Ramallah (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces on the early hours of Sunday arrested four Palestinians from different regions throughout the occupied West Bank.

Local sources said that Israeli forces carried out arrest and raid campaign , in which search and vandalism were included.

In the same vein, spokesperson of the Israeli army said that the army arrested four “wanted” Palestinians during raid in the occupied West Bank.

Local sources said that the arrested Palestinian were taken to an unknown destination after searching their houses.

The Israeli army carries out daily night-raids into Palestinians houses throughout the occupied West Bank, during which many Palestinians are arbitrarily abducted.

(Source / 21.07.2019) 

Israel committed 628 violations in Gaza during first half of 2019

Israeli forces shower Palestinians with tear gas during a demonstration within the "Great March of Return" at Israel-Gaza barrier fence near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on July 12, 2019 [Hassan Jedi / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces shower Palestinians with tear gas during a demonstration within the “Great March of Return” at Israel-Gaza barrier fence near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on July 12, 2019 

Israel committed 628 violations against Palestinians in the buffer zone east of the Gaza Strip during the first half of 2019, Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights announced on Thursday.

In a report – a copy of which sent to MEMO – Al-Mezan said that these Israeli violations included 261 attacks against workers and 183 against protesters.

The report also stated that the violations included the detention of 56 Palestinians, including 15 children, and 27 incursions into the besieged coastal enclave.

According to the report, the buffer zone includes 35 per cent of the Strip’s farmland.

Read: Gazans flock to fence for 67th week of protests

The violations also included the killing of 32 Palestinians, among them ten children and one woman.

Meanwhile, the rights group stated that the violations included wounding 3,610 Palestinian citizens, including 1,205 children and 168 women – most of them injured during the Great March of Return protests, which have been ongoing since March 2018.

The rights group said that Israel regularly opens tank and artillery fire at Palestinian farmers and people working in the construction and industrial sectors, as well as shepherds along the eastern edge of Gaza.

Those detained, the report said, are being attacked, as well as physically and verbally tortured, before being taken to detention centres for investigation. Some are released and some are kept in prison.

Read: Data refutes claims Israel easing Gaza blockade

(Source / 20.07.2019) 

Israel arrested 900 Palestinians in Jerusalem during first half of 2019

Israeli forces stand off against Palestinians as they enter the Al Aqsa Mosque following the removal of Israeli security measures near the entrances to Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem, on July 27, 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces stand off against Palestinians as they enter the Al Aqsa Mosque following the removal of Israeli security measures near the entrances to Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem, on July 27, 2017

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies (PCHR) confirmed that there has been a remarkable increase in the number of arrests Israel has carried out against Palestinians in Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, monitoring more than 900 cases of arrests around the Holy City.

Media spokesman for the centre, researcher Riyad Al-Ashqar, said that the arrests taking place only in Jerusalem constitute one-third of the total arrests throughout the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) during the first half of the year. The total amounted to 2,600 detention cases, indicating a clear targeting of Jerusalemites in order to deter them from protecting the holy sites and defending Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Ashqar declared that the largest arrest campaign targeting Jerusalemites occurred in February, when the Golden Gate (Bab Al-Rahma) was opened to worshippers. Dozens of people were arrested including national leaders and clerics, namely Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, Head of the Jerusalem Awqaf Council and his deputy, Najeh Bkerat. Sheikh Raed Dana was removed from Al-Aqsa for six months and Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) director in Jerusalem, Nasser Qaws, was arrested.

Al-Ashqar also highlighted that the arrests targeted different groups of Jerusalemites in all the villages, towns and neighbourhoods of the city. Al-Issawiya was the most affected by these arrests – amounting to 295 – followed by 130 in Shu’afat, 120 in Silwan, 105 in the Old City and 65 in the Al-Aqsa compound.

Read: Israel injures, arrests Palestinians after demolishing martyr memorial

Child Arrests

Al-Ashqar also pointed out that arrests targeting children in Jerusalem amounted to 300 cases – one third of the arrests since early 2019 – among whom there were more than 17 children under the age of 12.

Among those arrested was Ali Taha, a 16-year-old who was shot by Israeli forces at a roadblock outside Shu’afat refugee camp. He was arrested, dragged to the ground and denied medical treatment. Fifteen-year-old Mohammed Issam Al-Qawasmi was shot in the back by Mista’arvim(undercover Israeli forces) in the same camp. He was seriously injured and is currently undergoing treatment while being handcuffed to the hospital bed.

Israel did not only order Jerusalemite children to be arrested but also subjected them to house arrest, which stipulates the child must stay inside the house for certain periods of time. Thus, the child is prohibited from leaving the house even for treatment or study. Other children had to be expelled from their homes and pay heavy fines after being brought before Israeli courts. They were sentenced to actual prison terms accompanied by a fine, or a fine in exchange for their release.

Read: Israel held Palestinian for 11 days while failing to determine if gun was real

Arresting Female Jerusalemites

Al-Ashqar added that Israel’s campaigns also targeted women, especially those staying at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The number of arrests among women and girls in Jerusalem amounted to 43, including minors. Most were released on condition of house arrest or expulsion from Al-Aqsa.

Among the women arrested was Ghadeer Al-Amouri, an employee of the Commission of Detainees Affairs. She was released in exchange for five days of house arrest and a heavy fine. Nineteen-year-old Fatma Suleiman was also arrested after Israeli forces stormed her family home; she was released hours later on condition of house arrest. Meanwhile 17-year-old Magda Ahmed Askar was arrested after Israeli forces also broke into her family’s home.

Females staying at Al-Aqsa Mosque were also subject to arrest and summoning, most notably Aya Abu Nab, Hanadi Halawani, Khadija Khois and Nazmiya Bkerat, an employee at the Manuscripts Section at Al-Aqsa. Hala Al-Sherif, from Damascus Gate, was arrested for raising the Palestinian flag during a march by Israeli settlers carrying Israeli flags.

Three of the prisoners’ mothers were arrested “immediately after they left Al-Aqsa Mosque and were subjected to investigation at Qishla police station in the Old City of Jerusalem”. These were Khouloud Al-A’war, mother of detainee Suhaib Al-A’war, Iman Al-A’war, mother of detainee Mohammed Al-A’war, and Najah Awda.

Read: Palestinian dies in solitary confinement in Israel prison

(Source / 20.07.2019) 

Israeli court rejects request to let detained Palestinian kids to call parents

The Israeli Supreme Court refuses to hear arguments in a case about whether Palestinian minors imprisoned by Israel should be allowed to speak to their families on the phone

Israeli High Court of Justice refused to hear a petition by an Israeli human rights organisation demanding that Palestinian minors held in Israeli prisons be allowed to call their parents.

Palestinian minors classified by Israel as “security prisoners” are subject to restrictions identical to those imposed on adult prisoners, including the denial of telephone contact with their parents.

The prison service allegedly refuses to treat minors classified as “security prisoners” according to Israeli laws and rules regulating the treatment of children.

According to HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, which petitioned the court, the Israel Prison Service imposes these restrictions on all minors, without considering the severity of the allegations or the length of the prison term.

According to the justices, the case should have first been brought to lower court on behalf of one or more specific prisoners. In its petition, HaMoked decided to redact the names of the Palestinian minors whose testimonies it included, choosing not to bring the case in the name of a specific Palestinian minor.

Further, in justifying its dismissal of the petition, the justices pointed to a thus-far unimplemented pilot program by the Israel Prison Service to allow Palestinian minors in one out of four facilities in which they are held, to call their parents on the phone.

The petition argues that it is crucial for Palestinian minors to be allowed to have regular phone contact with their parents, detailing the psychological damage that they may face in absence of those phone calls.

Two months in prison without calling parents

One 15-year-old Palestinian boy, whose full name did not appear on the petition, told HaMoked about how he had yet to contact his parents two months after he was arrested in the middle of the night.

Monday’s hearing lasted all but five minutes, during which HaMoked attorney Nadia Dakah barely got through her opening remarks before Justice Noam Solberg cut her off, demanding to know why the High Court should rule on a petition that does not include the names of any of the Palestinian minors in question.

State Attorney Udi Eitan claimed that even if the state wanted to deal with the specific cases of those whose testimonies are presented in the petition, it would not be able to do so since the testimonies are all anonymous and do not include the names of the minors.

Dakah explained that HaMoked’s petition was submitted to the right court, describing the near-impossibility of convincing a terrified minor to sign on to such a petition.

“They have a difficult time knowing their rights during their detention, which generally lasts until the end of legal proceedings. All they are interested in is the proceedings against them, they find themselves in a very weak position. Prison conditions are not exactly their top priority,” she explained.

Solberg further argued that “work is being done” on the issue, most likely in response to the state’s claim that it would begin instituting a pilot program to allow phone access to prisoners, subject to certain, unspecified security restrictions.

Phone calls ‘is not right to prisoners’

While the state mentioned the program in its response to HaMoked’s petition, it did not go into detail about when the program would go into effect or which Palestinian minors it would include.

Furthermore, the state did not expand on the nature of the security restrictions that would prevent certain minors from participating.

Dakah reminded the judges that the state announced the pilot’s existence only after HaMoked’s petition had been filed, and after three-and-a-half years during which the State Attorney ignored HaMoked’s attempts to bring the issue to its attention.

In its petition, HaMoked said it had repeatedly demanded that the Israel Prison Service allow Palestinian minors to make phone calls to their families, but turned to the High Court after the IPS sent a letter in June 2016 in which it claimed there is “no distinction between the nature and type of offense of which an adult inmate is suspected, accused or convicted and the nature and type of offense of which a minor is suspected, accused or convicted.”

When it came to using the telephone, the IPS stated that the “use of telephone contact is not deemed a right of the prisoner population.”

(Source / 20.07.2019) 

ISRAEL ARRESTS ONE PALESTINIAN IN HEBRON AND INJURES 22 OTHERS IN KAFR QADDUM

Hebron (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces have broke into Palestinians houses in Hebron before arresting a Palestinian young man in Dora on early hours of Saturday.

Local sources said that Israeli soldiers arrested Taha Jaafar Abu Arqoub (20 years old) after breaking into his family’s house and vandalizing it.

Israeli soldiers also raided other houses in Abu Hilal neighborhood.

In the West Bank also, Israeli solders on Friday opened fire at protesters during Kafr Qaddum weekly anti occupation protests, injuring 22 by rubber-coated metal bullets including journalists.

The protesters slammed the Israeli targeting of children, the last victim of whom is Abdurrahman Ishtewi, who was shot with internationally-banned explosive bullets in his head last Friday while he was in front of his house.

(Source / 20.07.2019) 

Israel to energy company: Palestinian homes to be demolished

The occupying forces are launching demolitions for 16 commercial shops in the Shuafat camp in occupied Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday and were stationed at the entrance to Bab Al-Rahma while settlers renewed their incursions into the Muslim holy site.

Eyewitnesses told the Jordan-based newspaper Addustour that members of Israeli occupation’s intelligence were present at the stairs leading to Bab Al-Rahma.

Seven Jewish students and 36 settlers stormed the mosque’s courtyards through the Mughrabi Gate, they added.

Occupation forces also demolished two commercial facilities in occupied Beit Hanina and Sur Baher in Jerusalem, Addustour reported.

READ: Netanyahu vows never to dismantle illegal Israel settlements

Hamada Hamada, the head of Wadi Al-Homs district committee, said that the occupation army’s deadline for the residents of the Wadi Al-Homs neighbourhood to demolish their residential facilities ended yesterday, pointing out that the Israeli occupation authorities informed the electricity company of its intention to demolish the houses. No details were given as to when this would  take place.

There was a state of anxiety, tension and instability in the Wadi Al-Homs neighbourhood as the Israeli army’s deadline loomed. The neighbourhood’s residents expressed their refusal to demolish their homes under any circumstances despite the Israeli threat of imposing costly demolition fees on them.

The residents added that they built their houses after obtaining building permits from the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government, as their homes are located in “Area A” of the occupied West Bank, which is exclusively administered by the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords.

(Source / 19.07.2019) 

Israeli army wounds 40 Palestinian protestors

An injured Palestinian demonstrator is received medical treatment at the site after the intervention of Israeli forces during a demonstration within the “Great March of Return” at Israel-Gaza border near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on July 12, 2019

Israeli army forces on Friday used rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, injuring at least 40 protesters, a Palestinian official said, Anadolu Agency has reported.

“The Israeli army attacked the weekly march [in the Kafr Qaddum town], using rubber bullets and teargas shells,” Murad Shtewi, a protest organiser, told Anadolu Agency.

Shtewi said the injured persons are being treated in the field.

The Friday weekly protest has witnessed the participation of Palestinian leaders from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), he added.

US’ Greenblatt: ‘Israel is victim in conflict with Palestinians’

Every Friday, Palestinians across the Israeli-occupied West Bank stage demonstrations to protest Israel’s decades-long policy of building Jewish-only settlements on the confiscated Palestinian land.

According to estimates, 640,000 Jewish settlers currently live on 196 different settlements built with the Israeli government’s approval and more than 200 settler “outposts”, built without Israeli approval, throughout the West Bank.

International law regards the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, an “occupied territory” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there to be illegal.

(Source / 19.07.2019) 

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (11 – 17 July 2019)

19 JUL4:32 AM

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 11- 17 July, 2019.

74 Palestinian civilians injured; 24 of them were children, a woman, 2 journalists including a female, and a paramedic at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.

5 civilians, including a child, injured in the West Bank.

  1. Shootings, i.e. killings and injuries
  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim”undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sami Ismail al-Ja’fari (33) and then arrested him. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with live bullets to the lower extremities. They were taken to Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.
  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, northern Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and arrested at Majed Mohammed Husein al-Shafei (44) after crossing the village. As a result, he sustained a live bullet to his lower extremities. According to field investigations, al-Shafei left his house in Jabalia approximately 21:30 on the same day and then disappeared. At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 July 2019, his brother Mazen received a phone call informing him that his brother is injured and detained by Israeli forces.
  • At approximately 10:30 on Friday 12 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip in the vicinity of a Palestinian border control point. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 13 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah Shore opened fire at Palestinian Fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded one of the boats manned by Mohammed Isma’el Isma’el al-Bardawil (40) and his nephew, Ahmed Wael Isma’el al-Bardawil (16); both from al-Mawasi neighborhood, west of Rafah. The Israeli naval soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were arrested and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 18:00, Ahmed was released through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing while Mohammed al-Bardawil is still under arrest and their fishing boat is still confiscated.
  • At approximately 13:35 on Sunday, 14 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Youni in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan village, west of the border fence. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 15 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis, in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at eastern Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
  • Also on Monday evening, Israeli forces opened fire at Fares Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Azem (34), when he was between Ramina and Bazaria villages, east of Tulkarm. As a result, he sustained a live bullet wound to the back, causing him internal bleeding in the lungs. ‘Azem was taken to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. Due to the serious injury, ‘Azem was transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel. An eyewitness stated that:

“At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 15 July 2019, I received a call telling me that a person from my village was wounded and screaming of pain and that the caller is trying to rescure him. I immediately headed to the site and knew that the victim is from Thanabeh village, carries an Israeli ID card and drives a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate. He was taken via an ambulance to Dr. Thabet Thabet hospital in Tulkarm and then transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel due to his serious injury.”

‘Azem’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I received the news of my son’s injury and then headed to Israel to follow-up on his health condition. Doctors only informed me that his injury was serious and he suffers from bleeding in the lungs as the bullet penetrated his back to the lungs. We do not know how this happened to our son; he was probably visiting his in-laws in Ramin village. We are waiting until he wakes up to find out what happened with him.”

  • At approximately 17:35 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:10 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
  • Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
  1. Demolitions and attacks on civilian property for settlement expansion
  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Beit Ummer village in northern Hebron. They then stationed in Wadi al-Shaiekh neighborhood, where the Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Mohamed ‘Ali al-‘Alami a 96-hour demolition notice, under the pretext of non-licensing.  Mohamed’s house was under-construction and built on an area of 150 square meters. On 17 April 2018, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the occupied Territory (COGAT), under the direct control of the Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, issued a military order that makes it possible for Israeli forces to demolish Palestinian homes in Area C within 96 hours after delivering demolition orders. Under the order, COGAT excuses itself from informing Palestinian homeowners directly that their homes are slated for demolition and only requires demolition orders be placed “next to” targeted structures 96 hours before Israeli forces arrive to execute demolitions.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit Shabouqa in western Hebron, where they handed Amjad Nofal Sulimah a notice to demolish his 150-sqaure-meter barn under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C, and gave him until 24 July 2019 to challenge.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles moved into ‘Izbit Salman in southern Qalqiliyia, and demolished an agricultural barrack belonging to Dawoud Mahmoud Yousef Ahmed under the pretext of non-licensing. Dawoud said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I returned from France 3 months ago and my family told me that they found a notice in my land written on it “this is the second notice to demolish the agricultural barrack”. My family, who live in Qalqiliyia, told me that they did not see the first notice as they usually go there for picnic. On Thursday evening, 11 July 2019, our neighbors phoned and informed us that Israeli forces are demolishing the barrack in our land, so they went there and found the barrack was already demolished. We told both the Israeli and Palestinian Liaisons and they informed us that we could challenge the demolition.”
  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces dismantled a sit-in tent established by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Wadi al-Humis neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, protesting at the Israeli decision to demolish 12 residential buildings under the pretext of being near the annexation wall. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces attacked civilians staying in the tent and fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and agricultural crops were burned. It should be noted that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision to demolish 16 residential buildings, comprising of 100 apartments, few weeks ago under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and pose a security threat. This gives the green light to the Israeli forces to demolish all buildings near the annexation wall in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem. In 2003, the residents of Surbaher village submitted a petition against the annexation wall route, which passes in the center of their village, so the route was changed and the neighborhood was annexed within the wall.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wadi al-Ghrouz area in eastern Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area and the construction vehicles demolished a concrete pool used for irrigating plants under the pretext of non-licensing. The pool belongs to Zayid Nimer Mohamed al-Ja’bari (65), whose family attempted to stop the demolition, but Israeli border guard officers attacked and beat them. The Israeli border guard officers also attacked two photographers identified as ‘Abed al-Hafeez Daib ‘Abed al-Hafeez al-Hashlamoun (55), who sustained minor wounds in his hands and legs; and Mashhour Hasan Mahmoud al-Wahwah (34), who sustained minor bruises in his hand. Zayid al-Ja’bari said the Israeli authorities handed him a notice to stop construction works 3 months ago and handed him a demolition notice on 14 July 2019. Zayid was intending to file documents to the Israeli court for challenging the demolition.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-Foron area in eastern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a water well used for irrigating plants. The well belongs to Nayif No’man Shokri Da’nah, who was handed a demolition notice on 10 July 2019. It should be noted that the well was partially funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Ghoween al-Foqah area in southern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a 100-sqaure-meter barrack built of concrete and tin plates and used for breeding livestock, under the pretext of non-licensing. The barrack belongs to Ahmed Mohamed Mousa Hawamdah (44), who was handed a 96-hour demolition notice on 03 July 2019, so there was no enough time to challenge the demolition.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Khalilah neighborhood in al-Jeep village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles demolished a 80-sqaure-meter garage and store belonging to Waddah Wasfi Abu Dayyiah, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the garage and store were demolished for the 3rd time.
  • In the same context, Israeli construction vehicles demolished a 900-sqaure-meter commercial barrack and a concrete floor belonging to al-Natshah family in Beit Haninah village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles also demolished a 400-sqaure-meter car wash belonging to ‘Atiyah and Bakirat families in Surbaher vilolage, south of occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli construction vehicles demolished 5 shops built 4 years ago on an area of 250 square meters in Abu Tayieh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that a large force of Israeli police officers and Special Forces accompanied with bulldozers moved into Abu Tayieh neighborhood, where they surrounded 5 shops belonging to Mohamed Hamdan al-‘Abasi. The shops were demolished after the Israeli Supreme Court refused a petition submitted by Mohamed’s lawyer. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces forcibly disperse the neighborhood’s residents from the area and beat them up. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces arrested Mahdi Hamdan al-‘Abasi after beating him. It should be noted that al-‘Abasi family headed to the Israeli Supreme Court in order to freeze the demolition order and license the shops, but it refused.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The most significant implications of the continued Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip are:

  • Movement of goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip is restricted on all three functioning crossings: Rafah border crossing, under Egyptian control; Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint and Karm Abu-Salem Commercial Crossing, under Israeli control.
  • The Rafah Border Crossing operates only 5 days a week with severe limitation on travel of persons (300 travelers/day).
  • Beit Hanoun checkpoint, designated for the movement of persons, is under severe restrictions for exit and entry of the Gaza Strip. Only limited categories are issued Israeli permits to cross the checkpoint after an exhausting and lengthy security process that may subject civilians to the threat of arrest and often blackmail by Israeli forces.[1]
  • Karm Abu-Salem crossing, designated for the movement of goods, bans the export of Gaza Strip products, except for agricultural goods. Also, Israeli forces continue the 12-year ban on the import of 118 goods considered as “dual-use items.” [2] While Israeli authorities announced on Friday, 05 July 2019, that 18 of the banned dual-use items would be allowed into the Gaza Strip; the operating officers at Karm Abu-Salem crossing denied receiving new instructions in this regard.
  • Electricity crisis: with power cuts of at least 12 hours a day, the electricity crisis continues to haunt the Gaza Strip and paralyze all sectors of life, including health, education, the economy and the environment.
  • Naval blockade: Israel continues to restrict movement within the Gaza Sea, primarily on fishing. Despite imposing a 15-nautical-mile restricted fishing area, Israeli forces launch daily attacks on fishermen while at sea even within 1 – 6 nautical miles, including shootings, arrests and confiscation of fishing boats and equipment. It also restricts the import of necessary fishing equipment.

West Bank

Israeli forces continue to strangle West Bankers with continued restrictions on their freedom of movement, especially with frequent checkpoints between governorates. Currently, 92 permanent military checkpoints exist along the connecting roads between West Bank governorates, some of which have permanent military presence and others are staffed irregularly. Some of these checkpoints act as a terminal into Israel, even though they are located within Palestinian territory.

It should be highlighted that Israel continues to corporatize and privatize its occupation of the Palestinian territory by contracting military security corporations who operate checkpoints with fully armed civilian guards; yet, they act under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense.

Israeli occupation’s presence in the West Bank is not limited to permanent checkpoints, as temporary checkpoints are haphazardly erected across the territory on a daily basis. These temporary checkpoints impede traffic between Palestinian cities, with illegal searches of civilian vehicles and long wait times. These temporary checkpoints are used to ambush civilians as hundreds of arrests are reported at these checkpoints annually.

This week, Israeli forces established 110 temporary checkpoint across the West Bank and arrested four Palestinian civilians. A civilian was arrested while returning via King Hussein Bridge.

Additionally, with the ongoing closure of 30 key roads in the West Bank, Palestinian’s’ freedom of movement is heavily restricted especially in areas adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel allows holders of West Bank IDs (men over 55 and women over 50) to access East Jerusalem without a pre-issued permit; nonetheless, they have to undergo security checks.

In terms of the movement of Palestinians to and from the occupied territory via King Hussein Bridge, Israeli forces continue to impose security measures that threaten the well being of civilians by forcing them to go through a body-search machine that subjects them to harmful radiations. It is also a common practice to arrest civilians at the crossing or deny them travel.

A 6-month research conducted by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), stated that Palestinians lose about 60 million hours of work per year, due to the checkpoints and restrictions imposed by the Israeli forces on Palestinian movement between the towns and villages of the West Bank. ARIJ estimated the loss at about $ 270 million per year, according to the wage of workers per hour, in addition to extra fuel consumption at about 80 million liters per year, estimated at $ 135 million. The consumption of this amount of fuel leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, by about 196 thousand tons per year.

Full document available at the official website for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 19.07.2019) 

HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE: 628 ISRAELI VIOLATIONS OF AGREEMENTS IN EASTERN GAZA

Gaza (QNN)- A report by Al Mizan human rights centre revealed that ‘Israel’ committed over 628 violations on the separation fence in eastern Gaza during the first six months of 2019.

The violation included 261 attacks on Palestinian workers and 183 against protesters. It also included arresting 56 Palestinians, 15 of whom are children, in addition to 27 raids.

The report focused on Israeli violations in the restricted area, which makes up 35% of the agricultural lands in Gaza strip.

The restricted area is located in eastern Gaza, stretching for 62 KM along the separation line between Gaza and the occupied Palestinian lands, while extending 300-1500 meters deep into Gaza.

Israeli violations in the restricted area killed 32 Palestinians, including 10 children and one woman, and injured 3610 Palestinians, including 1205 children and 168 women (who are mostly protesters).

The report also stated that Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian workers in industrial or agricultural enterprises at the area. They also targeted shepherds, birds hunters, and junk collectors with artillery and machine guns.

The report documented 159 shootings against farmers, one against birds hunter, 41 against shepherds, 11 against junk collectors, and 49 bombings and shootings at empty areas.

The report also said that Israeli soldiers raided into the restricted area and arrested any Palestinians they found after beating and humiliating them.

(Source / 19.07.2019)