Briefing Paper June 2005

Palestine’s War of Independence

622 km is the full length of the planned Wall. this will be twice the length of Israel’s boundary, the Green Line. 85% 0f this Wall will encroach into occupied West Bank territory

93 200 Palestinians live in areas between the Wall and the Green Line.

32.7% of the West Bank villages will suffer from lack of access to the health system in each region once the Wall is complete. This number will rise to 80.7% in the enclaves.

10 000 chronic patients suffer from lack of access to essential health services. 117 600 pregnant women, out of which 17 640 are high risk pregnancies, may suffer from access.

133 000 children under the age of 5 may not be able to get all vaccination necessary on time, or at all.

26 local clinics have already been cut off from the general Palestinian health system. This will rise to 71 – on completion of the Wall – out of over 500 local clinics throughout the West Bank.

52% of the doctors working in these clinics are either delayed on their way to work or are prevented from reaching their clinic.

Palestine Monitor

At the checkpoint there were several soldiers; they ignored us . . . I crawled behind a concrete block by the checkpoint to have some privacy and gave birth there, in the dust, like an animal. I held the baby in my arms and she moved a little but after a few minutes she died in my arms.

Rula Ashita at Beit Furik checkpoint, refused passage to Nablus hospital.

Conflict, Occupation and Patriarchy: Women Carry the Burden

(Amnesty International)

The daily humiliations faced by the people in the Gaza Strip are relentless. Movement continues to be restricted both at the border crossings and internally with flying checkpoints set up at a moment’s notice at the whim of the Israeli army. Everyone’s life hangs in the balance as over one million people struggle to live with desperate water shortages, electricity cuts, sporadic food supplies, continual and random obstacles on the way to work, to school, to doctors, shopping, visiting, and going home again, and never knowing if a word, a glance or a smile will single them out for punishment. It is these hardships and humiliations that are used to subjugate the Palestinians, more than the killings, the arrests, the demolitions, and the constant military presence.

Nothing has changed from the previous reports, despite continuous talk about the “disengagement”. Ask anyone from Gaza if they feel their lot has been alleviated somewhat and you would see them point to the checkpoints, the soldiers, the full catastrophe of the occupation strangling their lives. What is more, no one is reporting anything much about what is happening on the ground except for the snippets that come via personal emails. It would seem that all is quiet and that life in Gaza is now liveable: in reality, Gazans are being “contained” – choked actually – and “living” is as impossible for them as is freedom for animals being led to slaughter.

Democracy in Israel

On 8 May Sharon announced that Israel would not be releasing 400 Palestinian political prisoners, as he had agreed to do with Abbas at the Sharma al-Shaykh summit in February. Nor would his army be redeploying even partially from Bethlehem, Qalqiliya or Ramallah, as was also agreed at Sharm. . . .

Sharon is a natural destroyer. His propensity to vandalism is structural rather than incidental, hence the orgy of destruction at Yamit in 1981, under his personal supervision. He was supposed to hand over the Israeli settlements in the Sinai colony to Egypt but his vindictive racism prevented him from such generosity. . . . . And now he wants to destroy any sign of goodwill in the Gaza Strip, the arena for so many of his crimes against the Palestinian people.

Then we have the recent government amendment of the Citizenship Law, practically preventing Israel’s Arab citizens from marrying spouses from the Occupied Territories in order to live with them in Israel proper.

A Tale of Two Demonstrations

Uri Avnery April 30, 2005 Middle East International 13/05/05

The day before yesterday, two demonstrations were held, just a few dozen kilometres apart. One took place at the Homesh settlement, not far from Jenin. Tens of thousands of settlers and their sympathizers came to demonstrate against the planned evacuation of this settlement. The demonstrators swore to sabotage the decisions of the government and the Knesset. One of them declared that they could be removed only in coffins draped with the national flag. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen were stationed along the route to protect the demonstrators against all eventualities. The official Voice of Israel radio told its listeners that the traffic police were acting on instructions from the leaders of the Settlements Council.

At the same time, another demonstration took place at Bil’in, west of Ramallah. The inhabitants of that and the neighbouring villages, together with Israeli peace activists, demonstrated against the “Separation Fence” that is being put up on their land. This demonstration was savagely attacked by soldiers and policemen, who assaulted them, beat, injured and arrested them, using old and new weapons. The security people, as the Hebrew expression goes, “had murder in their eyes”. In this area, there is not even the pretence that the Separation Fence serves security purposes. The real aim is evident to anyone visiting the place: to rob Bil’in and the other villages of their land, in order to enlarge the settlement of Kiryat Sefer.

I remember that place from some ten years ago. Then, well-kept olive groves were being expropriated and destroyed by bulldozers. At that time, too, the villagers asked us to protest and try to stop this. Now, a large town of ultra-orthodox Jews has been built there and is growing rapidly. The Separation Fence will pass close to the last houses of Bil’in and cut the village off from the remainder of its lands. On this land, new neighbourhoods of Kiryat Sefer will be built. Together with the nearby settlements of Modi’in Ilit and Matitiyahu, this is one of the “settlement blocs” that Israeli governments (whether Likud or Labour) want to annex to Israel, with the blessing of President Bush.

In the village, we joined some thousand inhabitants of this and the neighbouring villages, men, women and children, and set off together towards the path of the Fence. At the head walked the former Palestinian minister Kadura Fares, the Palestinian presidential candidate Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouty, the Arab members of the Knesset Barakeh, Zakhalkeh and Dahamsheh, the village chiefs and I. We were holding olive branches in our hands, to plant along the path of the Fence. The village youngsters also carried a 50-metre long Palestinian flag. Ahead of us a decorated van was driving slowly, and a Palestinian activist on it announced in Hebrew through a powerful loudspeaker: “This is a peaceful and non-violent demonstration!”

About a kilometre before the path of the Fence, a line of security people stopped us. They wore no insignia, and so we did not know whether they were soldiers or border policemen. Within seconds, we were enveloped by a cloud of white gas, with the thump of bursting grenades coming at us from all directions. The demonstrators, coughing and choking, dispersed to the two sides. Many of them outflanked the soldiers and continued to move forward over the rocky terrain. They were stopped by a second line and also showered with tear gas.

We, at the head of the demonstration, went on and reached a point about 50 metres from the path of the Fence, when a third line of soldiers attacked us. MK Barakeh had a heated exchange with an officer, and while they were arguing passionately a soldier fired a gas grenade at point blank range between Barakeh’s legs. He was slightly wounded in the leg. Another, particularly ferocious soldier took hold of the poster I was holding in my hands – the Gush Shalom sign of the flags of Israel and Palestine – and pushed me savagely, knocking me over.

At other places, the rampage was even worse. Muhammad Hatib, one of the village chiefs, noticed a man who, with his face covered, started to throw stones at the soldiers. He ran towards him, shouting: “We decided not to throw stones! If you want to throw stones, do it in your own village, not ours! What village do you come from, anyway?” The man turned towards him and attacked him, at the same time calling out to his associates, tearing the handkerchief from his face and donning a police cap.

Thus, the secret came out and was also documented by the cameras: “Arabized” undercover soldiers had been sent into action. These started throwing stones at the security people in order to provide them with a pretext to attack us. The moment they were uncovered, they turned on the demonstrators nearest to them, drew revolvers and started to arrest them. Later on, when it became clear that the events had been recorded by foreign television crews, the police officially confirmed that throwing stones is the method used by “Arabized” undercover soldiers so as to merge with the crowd.

In the course of the day, more details about the events emerged: this was a unit that had never before been used for such an action: the Prison Service unit “Massada”, whose normal job is to suppress mutinies in the prisons. This is an especially savage unit, perhaps the most violent in the country, which was supplied with new means of “riot control”. Among others: salt bullets that are designed to cause particularly painful wounds. Muhammad Hatib, the man mentioned above, 30 years old and father of two children, got four bullets in his back: large, swollen, black-blue rings the full width of his back.

These salt bullets were brought to Israel from America at the beginning of the 90s, but until now the army has shrunk from using them, fearing a public outcry. They were tried on us for the first time.

It appears that the army prepared the whole action in advance as a trap. The “Massada” unit tried out its tactics and weapons on this peaceful march of civilians.

The shocking difference between the ways the two demonstrations were treated provides food for thought.

The settlers are openly preparing and trying to paralyze the state, prevent the implementation of the government and

Knesset decisions, and, in effect, to overthrow Israeli democracy. But Ariel Sharon and his people call publicly to “embrace them”, to “love them” and “view their pain with understanding”. This is the directive given to the security forces. For peace activists, quite different treatment is indicated.

This throws light on a much more important phenomenon that may determine the future of Israel. Here, people have got so used to it that they accept it as natural. Abroad, people don’t know about it.

Between the settlers and the media, a kind of symbiosis has come into being – they work “with one head”. Every day several events are prepared for the media, which scoop them up greedily, to serve as unpaid propaganda organs of the settlers and the extreme right. Once upon a time, it was usual to give the other side the right of response, for the sake of “balance”. Not anymore. There is no other side. In the news programs, not a word – literally not a word – of criticism of the settlers is ever heard. The establishment “leftists” also speak of the need to “embrace them” and “understand them”, and so, of course, do all the spokespersons of the government and the big parties. To people who have an opposite opinion, no opportunity is given to speak about the settlers on the main media of the country.

In this way, Israeli democracy puts all its media exclusively at the disposal of the enemies of democracy. Even in the Weimar Republic, stupidity did not go this far. Absurd? It only seems so. In reality, it reflects the real situation: in spite of all the loud talk about “disengagement”, Sharon’s heart is with the settlers. He intends to annex to Israel most of the West Bank settlements – if not all of them.

The present controversy about a handful of small settlements in the Gaza Strip is, in his eyes, a kind of family spat, and will pass quickly. Actually, Sharon might be interested in feeding the commotion, so as to convince the Americans that it is unrealistic to expect him to dismantle the West Bank settlements and outposts. Fact: the army and police have never once used tear gas against right-wing demonstrators, even when physically attacked and injured by them (as happens regularly in Hebron, for example) or when the settlers block vital roads and cause huge traffic jams.

On the other hand, the controversy with us, the peace activists, the real opposition to the government, is a genuine struggle for the future of Israel: whether it will be a state within the Green Line borders, a liberal, democratic state that lives in peace with a viable Palestinian state at its side; or an aggressive, nationalist state, that will hold on to practically the whole of the West Bank and keep the Palestinians in some isolated enclaves.

Democracy in occupied Palestine

Middle East International 13/05/05

On May 5 some 320 000 Palestinians (around 80% of the electorate) went to the polls in 82 constituencies across the West Bank and Gaza. . . In preliminary results . . . Fatah lists appeared to win control of around 50 municipalities, as against Hamas’ 30. One reason was better candidates . . . new people un-associated with the previous appointed council and known locally for professional competence rather than factional loyalty.

But these victories serve to highlight the problem. Fatah’s base now in the West Bank is small, clan ruled localities . . . it has become a movement of social conservatism. The flipside is that the larger the constituency, the more urban, educated and younger its electorate, and the more it and they have suffered from the occupation and PA misrule, the better Hamas performs. . . . . Nor, after this round, is there any doubt that Hamas is the dominant political force in Gaza. Across eight constituencies in the Strip Hamas won an estimated 70% of the vote, winning outright majorities in the tree largest councils – Burayj, Beit Lahya and Rafah. . .

. . .Hamas has made it clear that if Abbas wants calm to prevail during Israel’s disengagement then the price is going to be free and fair parliamentary elections on July 17th. But the deeper reason is Palestinian opinion: a recent poll by Birzeit University showed a colossal 84% of Palestinians wanting parliamentary elections in July and the final round of local elections “in the next few months.”

[Ed note: A number of Hamas’ successes have been successfully challenged in the Palestinian courts, leading to re-runs. To date, this has been accepted by a Hamas confident that their vote will increase.]

Gaza and the fragmentation of Palestinian Nationhood (extracts)

Counterpunch (1/05/05)

[W]e operate according to an extremely high moral code. And since that is what guides us, I don’t think that there is any court to which we have to give an accounting. Personally, I have a deep feeling of justice and morality. And as for how I feel I feel just fine, thank you. I really meant it when I told the pilots that I sleep very well.”

Pressed to comment on the fact that so many innocent civilians died in the bombing, Halutz remarked that he was “sorry” that “uninvolved civilians were hurt” but added “I deliberately say ‘uninvolved civilians’ because we know for a fact that even the greatest terrorists are sometimes cloaked in a civilian guise.” With such equivocation, he rationalized the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians.

Major General Dan Halutz

Shortly before midnight on July 22nd, 2002 I heard an unusually loud roar from an aircraft flying low above the skies of Gaza City. Because the sound of Israeli warplanes is commonplace in the area, I didn’t feel particularly alarmed and went to sleep as usual. I was awakened less than a half hour later by a call on my cell phone: An F-16 fighter jet had just dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment building in one of Gaza City’s poorest and most crowded neighbourhoods, about 15 minutes from where I lived.

Ambulances, fire fighters and the press were already on the scene. Salah Shehadeh, leader of the Izz ad-Din alQassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, was dead. So were 14 others, we learned later on, most of them women and children. Later that morning, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would proclaim this event “one of [Israel’s] greatest successes.” I wandered through the wreckage of the bombing the following afternoon, practically numb to what I was seeing, what struck me most was that I could have been almost anywhere in the Occupied Territories: Jenin, Ramallah, Khan Yunis, Rafah The familiarity of the destruction was, for me, the most disturbing thing because it had begun to symbolize the success of a much greater goal: the fragmentation of Palestinian nationhood into ruined, localized identities. As the popularity of Hamas continues to rise and the media blindly herald the coming

“disengagement” from Gaza, I remember the freshly painted graffiti on a wall near the site of the blasted-away building that hot July day. “This is the Israeli Peace,” it declared.

The head of the Israeli Air Force, the man who ordered the bombing, was Major General Dan Halutz. In an interview nearly a month later, when asked about charges that he was a war criminal who should be tried at The Hague, Halutz commented, “[W] e operate according to an extremely high moral code. And since that is what guides us, I don’t think that there is any court to which we have to give an accounting. Personally, I have a deep feeling of justice and morality. And as for how I feel I feel just fine, thank you. I really meant it when I told the pilots that I sleep very well.”

Pressed to comment on the fact that so many innocent civilians died in the bombing, Halutz remarked that he was “sorry” that “uninvolved civilians were hurt” but added “I deliberately say ‘uninvolved civilians’ because we know for a fact that even the greatest terrorists are sometimes cloaked in a civilian guise.” With such equivocation, he rationalized the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians.

Halutz was later promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and this February, with Sharon’s crucial support, was appointed Chief of the IDF General Staff. He will replace outgoing Chief Moshe Ya’alon this summer just in time to oversee the implementation of the Gaza “Disengagement Plan.” His appointment will ensure that no dissent arises from among the tightly knit circle of leaders closest to Ariel Sharon at a crucial moment in the history of Israel’s occupation.

Halutz’s appointment dispels the image of benevolence and restraint so often accorded the IDF. As Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy has written, “The time has come to shake off the weeping shooters, who enact a cruel policy and enjoy a humanitarian image. Halutz will shoot and he won’t weep.” His appointment should also help dispel the notion, advanced so confidently throughout the US media, that the “Disengagement Plan” is a “giant step” toward peace in the Middle East, and that it is “Israel’s bold initiative to bring security and peace to its people” especially as Israel grabs more land in the West Bank as part of the quid pro quo for abandoning Gaza

According to International Law, specifically the 1907 Hague Regulations, Gaza will still be occupied territory despite claims to the contrary in the Disengagement document. As long as Israel retains control of the Philadelphi corridor (the Gaza/Egypt border) and all air space and territorial waters, as is stipulated in the revised Plan, it will have full control over the movement of all people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip. Israel will also retain the right to intervene militarily in Gaza any time it wishes. Under these conditions, Gaza will continue to exist as the world’s largest open-range prison, with its economy almost entirely dependent on Israel’s whims.

Additionally, as stated in the “Disengagement Plan” and consistent with the Oslo Accords before it- Israel expects itself to be absolved of all responsibility toward the nearly 1.4 million Palestinians once the Jewish settlers have been evacuated and the IDF re-deployed. This includes absolution from extending humanitarian aid should there continue to be chaotic or inadequate internal political rule; should there be a complete breakdown of internal security; should Gaza’s already sub-standard medical system collapse; should its education system falter under its increasingly overcrowded and under-funded schools; should poverty and unemployment continue to rise; and should third party aid organizations be refused entry into Gaza via Israel (as will be Israel’s right to determine).

In other words, having instigated a process of social and economic misery, and having deliberately encouraged the rise of political chaos, especially during the last four and a half years, Israel will nonetheless argue that it has no obligations to help repair the damage-and will get away with this argument. As conditions worsen, Israel and other enlightened first-world nations will be able instead to point to the implosion of social ills in Gaza as further evidence of Arab backwardness and barbarism. Meanwhile, owing primarily to the wretched conditions in Gaza, Islamist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad will continue to gain in popularity, giving Israel more excuses to act unilaterally whenever it wishes.

Indeed, Sharon would never have produced his “Disengagement Plan” had Israel not adequately wrecked the economic, social and political infrastructures of the Gaza Strip during (and before) the second Intifada. The devastation Israeli policies have wrought upon Gaza allow it to be abandoned as part of a deliberate policy of Palestinian national fragmentation. A look at the facts undermines the claim that “disengagement” from Gaza has exacted no price from the Palestinians. In the meantime, while the estimated costs of “reconstructing” Gaza are astronomical, Israel expects to owe nothing.

“Disengagement” is the culmination of policies designed to ruin an entire society and to fragment and emasculate Palestinian identity, though we have spoken here primarily of material and “geographic” damage. One has only to walk the streets of Rafah or Khan Yunis to imagine the invisible scars occupation policies have left on the people of Gaza, especially its children. The houses still standing near the IDF and settlement zones gape at you with blasted open walls, hundreds of bullet holes along their facades, card boarded-up windows, and flimsy makeshift repairs. Laundry hangs limply out to dry facing the IDF sniper towers in the distance as if its owners have resigned themselves to their desperate vulnerability. Dust and heat blow relentlessly off the desert; breezes off the sea cause a stifling, humid haze to settle around the deteriorating cities.

Fifty-five percent of children in Gaza’s war zones suffer from acute post-traumatic stress disorder whose symptoms include bed-wetting, nightmares, aggressiveness, emotional numbness, the inability to concentrate or learn, panic attacks, crying spells and deep depression. Some children speak about wanting death because life offers them nothing. Their behaviour indicates an abnormal fearlessness towards danger and a despair that is incongruent with their young age. The layers of present-day civil society cultivated by the NGOs, the elites, the commercial and business classes, those educated at home and abroad and receptive to innovation and change are being stripped away allowing an older but rawer traditional and tribal society to reassert itself in ways that detract severely from the processes of building a modern state and of forging a unified and progressive national identity. But these and other costs have somehow been left out of the equation when gauging what the Palestinians have given in return for the generosity Israel is showing by getting off their land.

Settlements were a cause of the First Intifada and the cause of the second. And, believe me, if Israel does not freeze their expansion, withdraw from our cities, end the construction of the Wall and free prisoners, they will be the cause of the third

Ziyad Abu al-Ayn, PA assistant minister for detainees

Israel – discrimination and denial of basic freedoms

Hasan Jabarin

The central and important issue here is that we are not talking about immigration, as the government claims, but about abolishing the personal freedom of Arab citizens, and their right to choose their partner and to conduct a normal family life. This restriction does not affect the Jews or the foreigners in Israel, and it has no parallels in democratic countries today.

The amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law – which was approved this week in the cabinet – creates three separate ethnic tracks for citizenship in Israel: a track for Jews, a track for Arabs and a track for “foreigners.”

The Arab track not only requires a prolonged and graduated process, like that for “the foreigners,” but it also forbids, with a very minor exception, the reunification of families when one of the partners is a Palestinian Arab who lives in the occupied territories. The Jewish track, on the other hand, allows every Jew to become an Israeli citizen automatically, according to the Law of Return.

Supporters of the amendment, including prominent members of the academic world, claim that every country is permitted to determine its immigration policy. That is true, but first of all, we are not talking about immigration, but about granting legal status to the partner of a citizen.

Second, there is no democratic country in the world that restricts immigration on the basis of ethnicity. Third, the ethnic component – the “Arab” component in our case – is the identity component of 20 percent of all the citizens of the State of Israel, and therefore, such a step has the power to grant open and official legitimization for discrimination against Arab citizens, in all areas.

Some of the supporters of the law are trying to justify it by comparing it to Danish policy. This is a misleading comparison, first because Danish law is an exception, and second, it is at present undergoing constitutional review, which will probably lead to its invalidation. In addition, the Danish law does not create ethnic citizenship tracks, nor is it as sweeping as the Israeli law, since it leaves room for considering individual cases.

However, the relevant question is whether supporters of the law are willing to adopt the entire citizenship and immigration policy of Denmark. Their reply will certainly be negative, since they oppose turning Israel into a civil state with these modern democratic policies. It seems that some of those same members of academe have adopted a new hobby: They have become hunters who search for mistakes and defects that characterize democracies the world over, in order to adopt them and to turn them into the supreme norm in Israel.

The central and important issue here is that we are not talking about immigration, as the government claims, but about abolishing the personal freedom of Arab citizens, and their right to choose their partner and to conduct a normal family life. This restriction does not affect the Jews or the foreigners in Israel, and it has no parallels in democratic countries today.

However, it does have parallels in the past: In the 1950s, the state of Virginia in the United States forbade miscegenation, mixed marriages of blacks and whites. For that reason, the Lovings were forced to leave Virginia, and they appealed regarding the constitutionality of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned this legislation because it was racist. In 1980, at the height of apartheid, the South African court overturned – out of its recognition of the right to conduct a family life – the order forbidding a black woman to live with a black man who, because of his work, had received a permit to live in a white area.

Supporters of the amendment to the Citizenship Law want to justify it for demographic reasons. They are not satisfied with giving preference to one group because of its ethnic affiliation (the Jewish track), they want to deny basic freedoms to the other group, because of its ethnic affiliation (the Arab track). Therefore, the amendment to the law reflects a transition from a situation of invalid discrimination to a situation of racist oppression.

Supporters of the amendment claim that it is necessary in order to maintain the Jewish majority in the country. However, if this goal allows the government to take such a drastic step, and to undermine basic constitutional rights such as the right to a family life, then why shouldn’t the Upper Nazareth municipality, for example, prevent Arab citizens in the future from purchasing apartments in its jurisdiction, claiming that this is essential in order to protest the Jewish character of Upper Nazareth, or alternatively, impose a higher arnona (property tax) on Arab residents, in order to deter them from building a house in its jurisdiction? That is the slippery slope of the demographic argument, behind which lies racism.

Supporters of the law claim that international law permits the undermining of basic rights in a war situation. That is true, to a certain extent, but apparently, an elementary fact has slipped their phenomenal memory: International law excludes from this rule the principle forbidding discrimination, whose violation is absolutely forbidden even in a war situation – article 4 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – in light of the lesson learned from the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II.

The conclusion is clear: The amendment to the Citizenship Law is not only blatantly and radically unconstitutional, it even contradicts basic human morality.

(The writer, a lawyer, is director of Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.)

Soldiers, stop school bus, attack children near Qalqilia

From IMEMC & Agencies (26 May 2005)

Thursday afternoon, Israeli soldiers attacked and punched several children, on their way back home from school, in Wad al-Rasha area, south of Qalqilia.

A local source in Qalqilia reported that soldiers installed a military check post near the school, stopped the school bus, and severely attacked several students after forcing them to step down.

A medial source in Tulkarem said that the following children sustained bad bruises to several parts of their bodies, Adli Ribhy Odeh, Mohammad Adel Odeh, Dhia’ Abdul-Hameed Odeh, Gheith Abdul-Fattah Odeh, and Fadi Abdul-Fattah Odeh, all are 10-11 years old.

Child critically injured in Rafah

A medical source at abu Yousef al-Najjar in Rafah, reported that a 12 years old child was critically injured of military fire in al-Shaboura refugee camp, north of Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

The source stated that soldiers based at monitoring towers near Salah Ed-Deen Gate, fired heavy ammunition at dozens of homes in the area, critically wounding Raneen al-Mogheer, 12, in her shoulder. Al-Mogheer was at home, 1km away from the military tower, when she was injured.

Military Court sentences two children from Tubas village

Thursday morning, an Israeli military court sentenced two Palestinian children from the West Bank city of Tubas to consecutive terms.

A local source in Tubas reported that Salem military court, north of Jenin, sentenced Borhan Dharaghma, 14, to one consecutive year, and three years on parole, and Mohammad Nasser Dhraghma was sentenced to one consecutive year, and one year on parole.

The two children were arrested last month north of Jenin; army claims that they were carrying explosives.

Army invades three villages near Hebron

Thursday at dawn, Israeli soldiers invaded three villages near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

A local source in Hebron reported that soldiers invaded the villages of al-Sammoa’, Yatta and Ithna, and conducted military searches of homes.

Residents Ajwa al-Rawasha, and Mohammad al-Badareen, said that soldiers used their homes as military posts and monitoring towers after forcing them and their families out. The source stated that soldiers also forced dozens of families out of their homes and interrogated the youth for several hours.

Also, soldiers installed a military check post west of Ithna, detained dozens of residents for several hours, and interrogated them.

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