Israel is turning 36 West Bank nature reserves into settlements

New buildings in the Israeli settlement of Efrat south of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on 14 October 2020 [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
New buildings in the Israeli settlement of Efrat south of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on 14 October 2020

The Israeli occupation authorities control 36 areas in Area C of the occupied West Bank and is planning to convert them into settlements and military camps, Jordanian Assabeel newspaper reported on Sunday.

General Director of natural resources at the Palestine Authority (PA)’s Environment Quality Authority Issa Musa indicated that there are 50 nature reserves in the West Bank, including 36 in Area C, which are under full control of the Israeli occupation.

Musa explained that there are 11,000 dunams of fertile farmlands located in Jericho extending to the eastern West Bank city of Tubas, on which the Israeli occupation intends to build Jewish settlements and military camps.

According to Musa, the Environment Quality Authority documents all Israeli occupation aggressions on these areas in order to raise them with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity who will take the necessary steps.

READ: Rights group reports escalation of Israel demolition of EU-funded Palestine projects 

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israeli settlers flood Palestinian farmland with sewage

Polluted areas due to the Israeli sewage are seen in Golan Heights on October 25, 2016. [Anadolu Agency/Faruk Al Ahmed]
Polluted areas due to the Israeli sewage are seen in Golan Heights on October 25, 2016

Israeli settlers today flooded Palestinian-owned land with sewage and wastewater in the village of Deir Al-Hatab in Nablus governorate. The flooding has disrupted the local olive harvest.

According to Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements’ portfolio in the northern West Bank, settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh were responsible for flooding the land and damaging the trees.

He explained that most of this land is planted with olive trees, which means that this year’s crop of olives is threatened.

READ: Israel is turning 36 West Bank nature reserves into settlements

The olive harvest is the main source of income for thousands of Palestinian families in the occupied territories, but they face many obstacles due to the Israeli occupation. These include Israeli-imposed restrictions on access to the farmers’ own land as well as attacks by the settlers.

Since the olive harvest began in late September, Israel soldiers and settlers have attacked farmers in various places across the occupied West Bank.

Hundreds of thousands of settlers live in 250 settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, and make life very difficult for the Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal military occupation. Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in June 1967.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israeli Forces Three Detain Palestinians in Jerusalem, Hebron

The Israeli forces stormed various Palestinian neighborhoods in the occupied West Bank, overnight Saturday to dawn Sunday, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

In the central West Bank city of East Jerusalem, under the full control of the Israeli occupation, police detained Ibrahim al-Nouri from his home in the al-‘Isawiya neighborhood.

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli soldiers detained Ashraf Jawabreh at the entrance to the al-Arroub refugee camp.

In Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, Israeli troops assaulted local Palestinian youths. No injuries were reported.

Another Palestinian civilian was detained by Israeli forces, on Sunday, the PIC further reported.

Former prisoner Muhammad Murshid Al-Zaqeq, 24, from Beit Ummar town, was detained in Al-Zaeem town, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

The Israeli military incursion into the Al-Arroub refugee camp, when Israeli troops fired tear-gas canisters into a residential building, causing a family with three children to suffocate on tear-gas.

Local Palestinians confronted the army invasion, which the soldiers responded to by firing live rounds, concussion grenades, and tear-gas canisters at the protesting civilians.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

PCHR Calls on Egyptian Authorities to Release Fisherman Yaser Al-Za’zou’

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The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Egyptian authorities to release Fisherman Yaser al- Za’zou’, the sole survivor among his siblings who were killed by Egyptian naval forces’ fire against a Palestinian fishing boat that crossed the Palestinian-Egyptian water boundaries and entered the Egyptian regional water on 25 September 2020 that resulted in the killing of fishermen Hasan al- Za’zou’ and his brother Mahmoud. Also, their brother Yaser was injured and arrested in the attack.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, to this date no official statement were issued by the Egyptian authorities on cause of arrest for Al- Za’zou (18), from Deir al-Balah – Central Gaza Strip, despite 24 days passing since his arrest. Additionally, no statements were issued regarding his whereabouts or that any legal measures were taken.

Nawal Mahmoud Rizq al-Za’zou’ (55), the victims’ mother, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the family received the bodies of the fallen victims on 27 September 2020. However, the Egyptian authorities continue to detain Yaser in an unknown destination without giving his family any information about his health condition or whereabouts. The family published several appeals on social media to the Egyptian president, Egyptian authorities and Palestinian leaders to intervene to release their son. Al-Za’zou’ added that she received phone calls from Palestinian officials informing her that her son, Yaser, was injured without information on the circumstances of his injury or the place of detention.

PCHR had paused at the regrettable incident that led to the killing of the two fishermen and the injury of the third, as those three fishermen posed no threat to the Egyptian naval forces. PCHR called for changing the rules of engagement pertaining to Gaza Strip residents, whether citizens or fishermen who cross the land or sea borders, and to refrain from using excessive force against them or shooting with the intent to kill, and to maintain the principle of proportionality of force against them.

PCHR renews its call for the release al- Za’zou’ and calls upon the Egyptian authorities to open a serious investigation in this incident and to release the results to the public.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

‘Israel’ to demolish 13 houses in Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Local sources stated that the Israeli authorities notified the demolition of 13 houses in the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied Jerusalem.

Fakhri Abu Dhiyab, member of the Committee for the Defence of Silwan’s land, told WAFA that the Israeli authorities notified the demolition of ten houses in Al Bustan area in addition to three others in Karm Ash Sheikh.

The 13 houses are homes of 76 native Palestinians, mostly women and children, who will be made homeless due to the Israeli violation.

The occupation state had started a vicious campaign against Palestinians in the occupied capital city, aiming at emptying it from indigenous Palestinians and replace them with Jewish settlers.

Silwan, as well as other neighborhoods in Jerusalem, suffer from Israeli daily arrests and attacks that have turned the lives of over 900,000 Palestinians into hell.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israeli forces arrest two Palestinian women during settlers raid into Al Aqsa mosque

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Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- 74 Israeli settlers Monday raided the courtyards of Al Aqsa mosque, meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested two women from Salah Addin street in the occupied holy city.

The Directorate of Islamic Waqf in occupied Jerusalem said Israeli settlers toured in the courtyards of the holy mosque and performed rituals in the eastern side of the Al Aqsa mosque.

Local sources said the settlers raided Al Aqsa mosque from the Magharbeh gate and left from the Silsilah gate.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested to young women in Salah Addin street in the occupied capital city.

Both women were stopped by the Israeli police as they were walking in the street before they were attacked then arrested.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israel confiscates 11,000 dunums of Palestinian land in Jordan Valley

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.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israeli settlers flood Palestinian village with wastewater

Days of Palestine – Nablus – Israeli settlers on Monday flooded Palestinian-owned lands in the village of Deir al-Hatab, to the east of the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, with sewage and wastewater, causing a problem for the local farmers harvesting the olives, according to a local official.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told the official WAFA news agency that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh flooded lands belonging to residents of Deir al-Hatab with wastewater damaging the trees as people are engaged in the olive harvest.

Read More: Israeli settlers vandalize olive trees in West Bank village with harvest season at peak

He said that most of this land is planted with olive trees, which poses a threat of losing this year’s crops.

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Read More: Settlers sets fire to hundreds of olive trees in a West Bank village

The issue of waste management has been ongoing for decades in the occupied West Bank. on 2017, some 83 million cubic metres of wastewater flowed throughout the occupied West Bank, of which approximately 19 million cubic meters originated from Israeli settlements built on Palestinian territory in violation of international law, according to the Knesset Research Institute. 

Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, a researcher for the Israeli NGO Bimkom, tells Al Jazeera that many Israeli settlements do not have proper waste treatment facilities. About 12 percent of settlement sewage remains untreated and travels down into streams near Palestinian communities.

“This is caused by the fact that Israel declared uncultivated land in the West Bank, which is usually on the hilltops, as ‘state land,’” during the Israeli military takeover of the territory in 1967, Lifshitz explained. “Taking over the hilltops also made it so Israel could easily control the area.”

Palestinian communities are severely affected by settler-produced waste owing to many of their villages having been forced to move to lower agricultural lands after Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory. Therefore, “the sewage issue is a side effect of Israel’s matrix of control in the West Bank,” Lifshitz added.

In the case of Salfit, treatment plants in Ariel – one of Israel’s largest settlements in the West Bank with a population close to 19,000 – Ariel West, and the Barkan settlements routinely break down or overflow, causing raw sewage to flood into the al-Matwa valley and spring, exacerbating already existing waste issues in Palestinian communities.

The Salfit local council has been forced to build four-metre high walls along the al-Matwa spring to protect the city’s central water-pumping station from being flooded by the wastewater, according to a report by B’Tselem.

Up until a few years ago, local Palestinian waste from Salfit city had also contributed to the pollution in the spring. However, the Salfit municipality has since constructed an underground sewage system to transport local waste from the area, releasing it further down the valley. 

Palestinians in Salfit have been attempting to establish a waste treatment facility for years; but, like scores of other Palestinian communities, they have been prevented from doing so by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian development in the majority of the West Bank. 

B’Tselem’s report noted that the pollution had caused the local extinction of several species that had once inhabited the area, including deer, rabbits, and foxes. Boars are now the only animals left alive there, according to the group.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

Israeli prison service transfers 60 hunger-striking prisoners to isolation cells

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – The Israeli prison service has transferred 60 hunger-striking prisoners, who are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to isolation cells in different jails.

These PFLP prisoners started an open-ended hunger strike four days ago after their talks failed with Israeli jailers about ending the isolation of prisoner Wael al-Jaghoub and a group of prisoners.

Read More: ‘Arab deals frantic bids by Israel to break isolation’

The prisoners also announced that their hunger strike was staged in solidarity with prisoner Maher al-Akhras, who has been on hunger strike for over 80 days in protest at his administrative detention.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, prisoner Wael al-Jaghoub and other prisoners intend to join the mass hunger strike as of Monday.

Read More: Tunisians stand in support of hunger-striking detainee Maher Akhras

Other group of prisoners, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine secretary-general Ahmed Saadat, will join the hunger strike in the coming days.

(Source / 19.10.2020)

IOF kidnaps two Palestinians in al-Khalil and Jerusalem

IOF in the West Bank

WEST BANK, (PIC) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) last night and at dawn Sunday stormed different areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem and kidnaped two young men from al-Khalil and Issawiya district.

In Jerusalem, Israeli police forces kidnaped a young man called Ibrahim al-Nouri from his home in Issawiya district.

In al-Khalil, the IOF kidnaped another young man identified as Ashraf Jawabreh during his presence at the main entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp.

The IOF also stormed Tel Rumeida neighborhood in al-Khalil city and brutalized some local young men in its streets.

Later in the morning, the IOF set up several makeshift checkpoints in the southern area of al-Khalil city and embarked on intercepting and searching Palestinian vehicles.

In Jenin, a similar checkpoint was set up by the IOF on the road leading to Ya’bad town and Tulkarem city.

(Source / 18.10.2020)