Briefing Paper May 2019
Wounded Palestinian prisoners left in rain with no food or toilets in ‘night of the atrocity’
Gideon Levy & Alex Levac Ha’aretz 12/04/19
Here’s what happened on the night of March 24 in Ketziot Prison in the Negev, far from the eyes of the public: 100 Palestinian prisoners, bound hand and foot with plastic handcuffs, were thrown to the ground, beaten with clubs and shot with Tasers. When morning broke, the plastic cuffs were replaced with steel ones, and they were shackled to one another in pairs. They were left like that for a day and a half, under the open sky in the desert cold, without water, without food, without toilets. Most were wounded, some were bleeding. The rain that fell on them mingled with the blood flowing from their injuries. They were wounded when special forces of the Israel Prison Service, Border Police and regular police force – a total of about 300 warders and officers – invaded their wing after a prisoner stabbed and wounded two guards with an improvised spike. That happened as the prisoners were being moved from one wing to another, in response to the tension that’s recently gripped the prison, which this week led to a hunger strike by the inmates associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The situation had become particularly fraught between the Ketziot warders and the prisoners after the latter’s cellphones were jammed – by means of measures that terrified the prisoners because of their perceived radiation hazard, and infuriated them as well because now they were even more cut off than ever from their families.
‘Endless trip to hell’: Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year
Netta Ahituv Ha’aretz 16/03/19
They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13. It was a gloomy, typically chilly late-February afternoon in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The weather didn’t deter the children of the Abu-Ayyash family from playing and frolicking outside. One of them, in a Spiderman costume, acted the part by jumping lithely from place to place. Suddenly they noticed a group of Israeli soldiers trudging along the dirt trail across the way. Instantly their expressions turned from joy to dread, and they rushed into the house. It’s not the first time they reacted like that, says their father. In fact, it’s become a pattern ever since 10-year-old Omar was arrested by troops this past December. The 10-year-old is one of many hundreds of Palestinian children whom Israel arrests every year: The estimates range between 800 and 1,000. Some are under the age of 15; some are even pre-teens. A mapping of the locales where these detentions take place reveals a certain pattern: The closer a Palestinian village is to a settlement, the more likely it is that the minors residing there will find themselves in Israeli custody. For example, in the town of ‘Azzun, west of the Karnei Shomron settlement, there’s hardly a household that hasn’t experienced an arrest. Residents say that in the past five years, more than 150 pupils from the town’s only high school have been arrested. About half of the arrests of Palestinian adolescents are made in their homes. According to the testimonies, Israel Defense Forces soldiers typically burst into the house in the middle of the night, seize the wanted youth and whisk him away (very few girls are detained), leaving the family with a document stating where he’s being taken and on what charge. The printed document is in Arabic and Hebrew, but the commander of the force typically fills out the details in Hebrew only, then hands it to parents who may not be able to read it and don’t know why their son was taken.
Israel judge suggests ‘plea deal’ for soldiers charged with brutal assault
An Israeli military court has recommended that the prosecution and defence reach a plea deal in the case of five soldiers charged with the brutal assault of two Palestinian detainees. The five soldiers, part of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion, are suspected of having beaten a Palestinian father and son on 8 January with ‘fists and hard objects’ while the pair were ‘handcuffed and blindfolded’. The soldiers were arrested two days later. ‘According to the indictment, the defendants filmed themselves while they beat the Palestinians all over, including intimate parts of the body,’ the Jerusalem Post reported. ‘The accused are said to have removed the son’s blindfold and forced him to watch as his father was beaten,’ the article added. ‘During the footage, one can hear cries of joy from the soldiers as the Palestinians are beaten and calling for help.’
Israel labels BDS activists ‘terrorists in suits’ in new smear campaign
Israel has launched a smear campaign against activists affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, labeling them ‘terrorists in suits’. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry launched the campaign this weekend with a series of posters depicting prominent BDS activists as ‘terrorists’, using the hashtag #TerroristsInSuits to smear the individuals’ professional credibility and the BDS movement as a whole. Among the activists targeted were French-Palestinian activist and research at Adameer Salah Hamouri, general-director of Al-Haq Shawan Jabarin, and Palestinian icon Leila Khaled. In one image, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Rani Sourani is shown smiling in a suit, juxtaposed with an image of a man armed with a machine gun and clad in a kuffiyeh (traditional Palestinian headdress) in an image meant to portray his ‘terrorist’ alter ego.
Israeli forces wound 67 civilians
On Friday evening, 15 February 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 47th Friday of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 67 civilians, including 14 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics, and a journalist in the eastern Gaza Strip. The injury of 5 of the wounded civilians was reported serious. According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who were stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of the demonstrators were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.
Funeral processions of 2 killed minors set off in Gaza
Funeral processions of two Palestinians who were shot and killed in protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip set off on Saturday. Mourners marched in the funeral of Iyad Shalabi, 13, as the funeral march set off from his school in the Hamad City in northern Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, where final goodbyes were said. The thirteen-year-old was shot by Israeli forces with a live bullet in the heart. Meanwhile in Gaza City, the funeral procession of Hamza Muhammad Ishteiwi, 17, set off from the Salah al-Din mosque in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood towards the al-Shuhada cemetery for burial. Ishtayeh was shot and injured with a live bullet in the neck.
Israel claims immunity from all damages inflicted on Gaza protesters
Israeli military forces shot Palestinian high school student Attiya Nabaheen on his 15th birthday in the front yard of his family home in the Gaza Strip on 16 November 2014. Nabaheen was returning from school. He was not armed and was not involved in any violence. As a result of the shooting, Nabaheen was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In November 2018, Israel’s Be’er Sheva District Court rejected a case filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights on behalf of the Nabaheen family against the Israeli military for the shooting and wounding of their son. The court ruled that the state is not liable for damages because Palestinians in Gaza are not entitled to seek compensation from Israel as they live in an ‘enemy entity’.
A violent gang of young settlers haunts a Palestinian village
Gideon Levy & Alex Levac Ha’aretz 21/02/19
Nothing prevents Palestinians from returning to their lands in this area of the West Bank – except for the so-called hilltop youth that was supposedly expelled from the area 14 years ago. From the front door of his home, shepherd Mufid Shakehr Abu Hussein  gazes fearfully at the hill looming above, forbidding and foreboding. The intruders could be spotted lurking behind a row of trees. Since the violent assault he suffered in December he hasn’t dared graze his flock on the hillside pasture land. Dozens of sheep and goats are locked in the pen in the yard of an adjacent structure, a centuries-old stone ruin. Burqa should be a heritage site instead of a poverty-stricken, partially neglected village that lives in fear of settler terror. Mufid and his wife Yusra, 64, have eight children. He speaks Hebrew from the days when he built homes in Ramat Aviv, an upscale Tel Aviv neighborhood. December 26, a Wednesday, is etched deeply in Abu Hussein’s memory. A volley of stones rained down from high up on the hill, one of them striking the shepherd in the head. He fell to the ground and blacked out for a few minutes. The settlers fled; Abu Hussein says he’s certain they ran off because they thought they had killed him. Yusra, seeing the flock return without the shepherd, was seized by panic and rushed out, finding her husband slowly descending, bleeding from his head. The medical report by the Palestinian Health Ministry states that Abu Hussein suffered serious skull fractures. He was hospitalized in intensive care for two days and spent another two days in a regular ward before being discharged. About a week later, he began to suffer from convulsions and a tingling sensation in his left leg; he was hospitalized again for four days. Since then, he has been taking medication to control the convulsions but is experiencing dizzy spells.
Attacks on infrastructure in Gaza and West Bank exact human cost
Duke Today 18/02/19
Israel’s targeting of agricultural, water and energy infrastructures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has had dire impacts on human welfare and livelihoods in both locations, a new report by researchers at Duke University and the University of New Hampshire shows. The report is based on an original database that identifies 982 incidents between 2006 and 2017 in which Israeli forces, agencies or settlers damaged, destroyed, disabled or restricted access to sites and structures that provided food,clean water and other essential services to Palestinians. The systemic use of legal restrictions, permit denials and other indirect forms of oppression is an example of ‘slow violence’ Sowers explained, referring to a term Princeton University scholar Rob Nixon coined in 2011 to describe environmental damage that unfolds gradually and largely out of sight of the public. ‘Slow violence has been especially widely used in the West Bank’ Sowers said. ‘It includes a range of practices, from the theft of electrical generators to the denial of construction permits to build water systems for Palestinian villages, as well as refusals to connect them to existing systems. Collectively, such actions have contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian population into a series of isolated, donor-dependent enclaves.’.
Abandoning their children at the border? They’re earning a living.
Abandoning children is a real phenomenon, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, warned about a week ago in a post on his Arabic Facebook page. It’s good to know that a high-ranking senior representative of the military understands that leaving a sick child with a stranger is shocking, because every month the system which he is responsible for prevents parents from accompanying their sick children. As a result, they get medical treatment in the company of strangers or relatives whom they don’t really know. We should hope that as a result of these expressions of concern, the phenomenon of sending Palestinian children for medical treatments all alone, or accompanied by a stranger with whom they are unfamiliar, will end. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories intended to denounce and finds himself denounced. Who is responsible for the fact that there’s no work in the Gaza Strip, if not the policy designed to sever the residents of the Strip from the rest of the Palestinian population — and officers like Abu Rokon who faithfully implement it? Who caused the situation of the residents of the Strip to deteriorate to the point at which they become desperate, unemployed beggars, to the point at which there are also some people who disappear and whose families don’t know where they are?
Stroke-victim father in West Bank denied visit. The reason? He isn’t sick enough
Amira Hass Ha’aretz 16/2/19
According to Israeli criteria, travel permits are only granted if first-degree relatives are either dead or dying. Mohammed, 57, speaks with difficulty because he suffered a stroke in June. Since then, requests by his eldest son Shadi for an Israeli permit to leave Gaza and visit him have been rejected. Mohammed’s condition isn’t dire enough for him to be visited, according to the reply from the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Office, headed by Col. Iyad Sarhan. What is true is true: Mohammed isn’t dead, nor is he dying. He’s fully conscious. When the sun is out he’s brought out into the yard, which is full of plants. He needs to be lifted and taken to the bathroom and shower. His wife suffers from a slipped disc, so for lifting him she needs the help of two cousins who live in a nearby building. “We have no family but them, nor do we have any friends. It’s not like in Gaza where everyone helps you.
No match for Israel’s cruel bureaucracy
Sarah Algherbawi The Electronic Intifada 26/02/19
Having a parent at a child’s side is hugely important during convalescence. Ola al-Waheidi acted quickly when she heard that her 9-year-old daughter Mais had leukemia.Within a few days of learning about the diagnosis in early December, Ola had undertaken the paperwork required for Mais to receive medical treatment outside Gaza. Yet Ola’s efficiency proved no match for Israel’s cruel bureaucracy. Ola was soon informed that she may not accompany her daughter through Erez, the military checkpoint separating Gaza and Israel. Mais would have to travel without her parents for treatment.The family then had to give the Israeli military various names, requesting that someone on the list should accompany Mais. Israel rejected most of the suggestions, before deciding that Balqis al-Waheidi, a 72-year-old distant relative with diabetes and rheumatism, may travel with the child. Mais was granted permission to travel on 10 December. When they reached Erez that day, Ola had still not told her daughter about the arrangements.“I didn’t know how to tell her that I wouldn’t be with her,” said Ola. “She was holding my hand the whole way, telling me to not leave her.” Once she had gone through the required procedures, Ola spoke to Mais, who was in an ambulance. Ola said that she was would be back shortly with a bottle of water. Ola then called their relative Balqis over, asked the woman to take care of Mais and walked away. Mais had not known Balqis before this trip. “I watched her [Mais] from a short distance and she had already started to cry,” said Ola. “My heart was torn apart at that moment.”
What’s behind the unrest at Al-Aqsa’s Bab al-Rahma?
Mersiha Gadzo Al Jazeera 1/03/19
Palestinian activist Hanady Halawani has lost count of the number of times she has been banned from visiting the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. Over a span of 15 years, she says she’s been arrested at least 24 times, much of the time due to her social media posts, in which she would update her followers on the latest developments unravelling at the flashpoint. Her posts include videos of Israeli settlers performing prayers at the holy compound, in violation of the status quo. Other photos from the past summer show land and graves that have been dug up by Israeli authorities at the historic Bab al-Rahma cemetery, located just outside the compound’s eastern wall. Protests over the summer last year by a small group of Palestinians were of no avail as the centuries-old graves of Muslim leaders reportedly lie in the way of a planned Israeli park. Even when the site – known as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) for Muslims and Temple Mount for Jews – may at times appear to be relatively calm, Halawani and other Palestinians know that this is an illusion. For years, Ir Amim has been issuing reports warning of the danger and growing prominence of Temple Movement activists. Temple activists openly declare that ascension to the compound and praying at the site is central in their strategy of breaking the status quo, asserting Israeli control serves as the first step in eventually building the Third Temple over Al-Aqsa. The number of Jewish visitors to the compound has been breaking records over the past few years. In the last Jewish year, 22,552 Jewish visitors ascended to the compound, which more than doubled compared with the number two years ago. Ir Amim warned in 2017 that the Israeli police, who are supposed to prevent non-Muslim worship at the site, are now working in ‘close coordination’ with temple activists and disregard Jewish worship that takes place, marking a ‘radical shift’ in their relationship.
Palestinian children in occupied Jerusalem
Ahmad Jaradat AIC 22/02/19
In Jerusalem, Palestinians suffer from a web of institutional, personal, violent and quotidian forms of discrimination due to the Israeli colonial occupation. Yet, the Palestinian population in Jerusalem continues to grow. The Palestinian population in the holy city has increased five-fold since 1967 and now constitutes at least 38 percent of the city. In addition to posing a formidable challenge to the Israeli occupation, the Palestinian population’s increase means that more Palestinian children are growing up under a protracted military occupation. To understand the urgency with which the international community must act to end the Israeli occupation, one must grasp the discriminatory and violent policies that shape the lives and futures of Palestinian children in the holy city from the moment they are born. Born without papers – Palestinian children who live in Jerusalem are not born with a right to live in their hometowns. Since 1967, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have lived as ‘permanent residents’ – an Israeli legal status that makes their presence a revocable privilege, rather than an inherent right. Permanent residency status is not automatically transferred through marriage or onto the holder’s children. Around the time when Palestinian children enter high school, they are required to present themselves to Israeli authorities and supply proof that Jerusalem is at the center of their life according to the ‘center of life’ policy. The ‘center of life’ policy stipulates that if a Palestinian cannot prove that her everyday life revolves around Jerusalem then she will lose her residency rights to the city and be evicted to the West Bank. Even if a Palestinian can meet this strict standard, Israeli authorities retain the power to revoke her residency rights at any time. Between 1967 and 2016, Israel revoked the status of at least 14,595 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, according to the Interior Ministry.
Dangerous landslides in Wadi Hilweh playground in Silwan
A dangerous landslide took place Saturday morning in Wadi Hilweh playground in the village of Silwan, a few meters from the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, as a result of Israeli actions to dig a ‘tunnels network’ reaching the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Buraq square to the west. Jawad Siam, director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center, said that the residents of the neighborhood woke up this morning to a serious and new collapse in the neighborhood’s playground, wall and surrounding wires, in addition to a landslide in the same area and large cracks in the surrounding walls. This means that the occupation authorities are digging tunnels and emptying underneath the neighborhood in favor of settlement projects, totally neglecting the safety of the 5,000 inhabitants of the neighborhood, who live in real danger.
Israeli policies force family separations
Real News 13/03/19
Al Haq’s director Shawan Jabarin discusses a new report exposing the complex system of restrictions Israeli authorities impose to control access to Palestinian territory and to stop family reunification. The consequence is to slowly force Palestinians out to preserve a Jewish majority in areas controlled by Israel.
Soldiers raid school, abduct child in Hebron
Israel forces stormed Ziad Jabber school, in Hebron, abducted a 10 year-old Palestinian child from inside his class, and physically assaulted the vice principal, guidance counselor and school janitor. A widespread footage showed soldiers breaking into the school and taking the child from his class, to a military post by force. Later, he was released. Ziad Jabber school, located in Jabber neighborhood adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron, in the south of the occupied West Bank, is under full control of Israel occupation authorities, according to Al Ray.
Killed while trying to save a family from Israeli soldiers
On March 20th, a Palestinian youth named Ahmad Jamal Manasra, age 26, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at Al-Nashash military checkpoint, to the south of Bethlehem, while trying to save a Palestinian family from the advances of Israeli soldiers. According to local sources, Alaa Ghayada, with his wife and two daughters, was driving back from a family visit, from Nahhalin to Irtas town, in Bethlehem, passing through Al-Nashash checkpoint. While at the traffic lights, their car was hit from the back by another car. As soon as Ghayada went down to check what happened, an Israeli soldier opened fire at him from her military watchtower. He sustained critical injuries from an exploding dumdum bullet. At the time, Ahmad Manasra was driving on the street and stopped to help the injured. He took Ghayada to the closest hospital, and promised him that he would go back for his family, as well. As soon as he went back to save the wife and two daughters, soldiers opened fire at him. He was shot with eight bullets, six of them in his upper body. Today, Alaa Ghayada remains in critical conditions, while his wife was also injured in the shooting and Manasra was killed immediately. Following the killing, hundreds of people went to the streets chanting for him, while Bethlehem city went on a general strike for his soul, preparing for his funeral today. Manasra is the fourth Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces within three days.
Army attacks school children
Israeli soldiers attacked today Palestinian school children while they were leaving their school in the Israeli army-controlled part of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Soldiers threw stun grenades at Hebron Elementary School for Boys and harassed the students in the street after leaving their school causing panic and fear among the children as well as suffocation from the gas. Previously, Palestinian children going to or leaving their schools in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron known as H2, were accompanied by members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), an international civilian monitoring force, until Israel cancelled in February their mandate and kicked them out of the West Bank after 22 years of service. As a result, Israeli settlers and army harassment of Palestinian school children has become rampant.
Settlers raid two elementary schools
A group of Israeli settlers attempted to raid two Palestinian elementary schools on Tuesday afternoon, in the Tuqu‘ village, southeast of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem. Locals told Ma’an News Agency that heavily armed Israeli forces escorted a group of Israeli settlers who were gathered, holding Israeli flags, near the two mixed elementary schools, and attempted to break in. Sources mentioned that teachers and school staff prevented Israeli settlers from entering the premises and closed the main gates. The attack caused panic among the students, forcing the two schools to dismiss them early, in fear that the settlers would become violent. No injuries were reported.
What would be unimaginable elsewhere has become normal here in Gaza
An international medical charity has described the violence meted out on Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers as “unimaginable”. In an article published yesterday, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) field communications manager in Jerusalem, Jacob Burns, described the work of the organisation’s medics in Gaza, as health professionals struggle to deal with casualties from the Great Return March protests. “What would be unimaginable elsewhere has become normal here in Gaza,” Burns wrote, reflecting on the events of 30 March, when one-year-anniversary protests were held. ‘A day on which four people are killed and 64 shot with live ammunition is one on which we feel almost happy because it was not the two or three hundred – or even more – we had feared it might be,’ he added. ‘We must fight against this sense of normality. It is not normal to see so many young people arrive at hospital all at once with bullets in their legs’. Burns wrote. ‘It is not normal for our surgeons to work on a 25-year-old man who needed all his blood replaced because a bullet tore through both the main artery and the main vein in his chest. It is not normal for them to remove the kidney of a boy because to try to save it would mean he bleeds to death.’.
Netanyahu: Killing 300 Gaza protesters was ‘wise’ decision
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel used force ‘wisely’ in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli soldiers have killed ‘more than 300’ Palestinians near the eastern fence of the besieged enclave. In an interview with Israel Hayom, Netanyahu said: ‘More than 300 Palestinians have been killed near the border when they tried to breach the fence and abduct our soldiers. We have used force wisely, and powerfully.’ Netanyahu also said that his government’s policy led Hamas, the ruler of the besieged Strip, to suffer the severest economic crisis. ‘They [Gazans] are in enormous economic distress, and Hamas is in check and wants some quiet so it can stand up to the huge pressures in Gaza,’ he said. Asked how to deal with Gaza, Netenyahu replied: ‘The real choice is to occupy and govern Gaza. You don’t have anyone to give it to. I won’t give it to Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas]. ‘The connection between Gaza and [the occupied West Bank] has been broken. They are two separate entities, and I think that in the long term, that’s not something that’s bad for Israel,’ he added.
Israeli forces assault and detain teen missing one-third of his skull
Israeli forces, at dawn on Friday, detained a Palestinian teen with a third of his skull removed as a result of Israeli gunfire, from Nabi Saleh village, in the northwest of Ramallah. Muhammad Tamimi, a member of Nabl Saleh’s Anti-Settlement and Wall Committee, told WAFA that Israeli forces assaulted and detained Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, after ransacking his family’s home. The 16-year-old teen had had a third of his skull removed in surgery, after being shot and seriously injured in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, at close range, by Israeli forces in December of 2017. Tamimi added that soldiers assaulted a man with pepper-spray, requiring him to be rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.
Settler kills Palestinian woman after car ramming; soldiers shoot and seriously injure teen Ali Salam
A Palestinian woman was killed, early Thursday morning, near her home in Teqoua [Tuqu‘] town, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after being rammed by the car of an illegal colonialist settler. The soldiers later shot and seriously injured a Palestinian teen while handcuffed, when he reportedly attempted to escape. The slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Fatima Suleiman, 42. According to eyewitnesses, the assailant was driving a large truck when he struck the woman’s car, throwing her out of the vehicle, and then rammed and killed her, before fleeing the scene. The slain Palestinian woman was a teacher at the Rashayda School. The Israeli Police did come to the scene, but only to remove all security camera footage from a house overlooking the area where the incident took place.
Illegal Israel colonist hits Palestinian child with car
Ali Salam IMEMC 17/04/19
An illegal colonist ran over a Palestinian child in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, Tuesday, and fled the scene, according to Quds News. The unidentified colonist struck Omar Ra‘fat Salaymah, 6 years old, with his car while the child was on his way home from school in the Salaymah neighborhood. Palestinian medics promptly transported the child to a medical center in Hebron; his wounds have been described as moderate. Such attacks are on the rise, and nowhere is this more evident than in Hebron, where Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the longstanding agreement with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), and forced them out.
Israeli soldiers detain groom, his uncle, during wedding dinner
Israeli soldiers and police officers invaded, Friday, a wedding dinner party in theal-‘Issawiya village, in occupied Jerusalem, and detained the groom and his uncle. A video published by Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) on its Facebook page showed many officers invading the area and detaining the groom and his uncle. Silwanic stated that the soldiers invaded the party because of Palestinian flags that were raised there, and demanded their immediate removal. The soldiers then detained the groom and his uncle, and took them to a police station to sign an affidavit that all Palestinian flags will be removed, and no flags will be raised, or face imprisonment and high fines.
Israel commences demolition of 500 Silwan homes, structures
Large numbers of heavily armed Israeli forces raided the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and surrounded several Palestinian-owned structures in preparation for demolition, on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an that heavily armed Israeli forces, a number of bulldozers, and the Israeli Civil Administration staff raided Silwan and commenced demolition of two Palestinian-owned structures. Sources confirmed that Israeli bulldozers demolished storage warehouses which belonged to Izz Barqan. Israeli bulldozers also demolished horse stables, which measured 200-square-meters and were built four years ago. The demolished horse stables belonged to Muhammad al-Qaq. Sources added that during the demolition campaign, Israeli forces physically assaulted Silwan residents, including women and children. Earlier this week, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian families from Silwan, allowing the demolition of 500 homes and commercial buildings, which were built without an Israeli-issued permit, to take place. The residents built these 500 homes and commercial buildings about 30 years ago without the nearly-impossible to obtain Israeli permit. The Supreme Court’s decision will most probably affect the fates of hundreds of Palestinian families, who will be left homeless following the demolitions.
Israel confiscates 51,000 dunams from Jordan Valley
The Israeli authorities confiscated 51,000 dunams [a dunam is about 1/4 acre or 1/10 hectare] and isolated five villages in the Jordan Valley area in the northern occupied West Bank, an official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA) reported. Mutaz Bisharat told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the Israeli authorities confiscated 51,000 dunams, isolated 5 villages and seized control over water springs, agricultural machinery and solar cells. Bisharat added that the Israeli policy is very clear in isolating villages of the Tubas district, pointing out that these areas were marked as closed military areas banning their owners from entering without an Israeli-issued permit. He stressed that Israel aims to expel Palestinians from the area under its plan to seize the Jordan Valley area. The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C – under full Israeli military control.
View all →