Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On the afternoon of March 12th, Yassin Knaebi was playing on the roof of his house in the old city of Hebron when suddenly stones started falling from the sky. Three young settlers who had been watching him play, began to throw stones from across the street. Yassin, was struck on the head, he lost his balance and fell from the roof of his family home, breaking his left arm in the process. Doctors are fearful of the possibility of long term damage to the young boys eye, though this is still too early to know for sure.
The Knaebi family are terrorised frequently by their neigbours in the Avraham Avinu Settlement. According to Mrs. Knaebi the family is harassed at least three times a week and the Israeli army does nothing to prevent it, despite having an outpost in sight of the house. The message is simple, the settlers in the settlement wish to push the family out and occupy their home, so that the future expansion plans for the neighborhood can go forward without any problems.
- Racist attacks are daily reality in Hebron , even for children (palsolidarity.org)
- Continued harrassment of the Nasser family in Madama (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Stranded in Shuhada: Hebron’s Qurtuba school (alethonews.wordpress.com)
British activists being detained in UK airports under anti-terrorism legislation on return home from Palestine
Two British peace activists have been detained in recent weeks after arriving home from the West Bank, occupied Palestine. They have been detained and taken in for questioning, over suspected links with the International Solidarity Movement.
“We are concerned about the British police using anti-terrorist legislation to target non-violent pro-Palestinian activists. We are a transparent group, trying to uphold the principles of international law; even inside Israel the International Solidarity Movement is not considered illegal. We would encourage the British Police to ask any questions they wish to do so, directly, and not by detaining affiliated activists at the airport”
The Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which the two activists have been held on, allows the police, under certain specified circumstances, to arrest individuals without a warrant who are reasonably suspected of being terrorists. These laws are draconian measures which give the British police powers to detain suspects for up to 28 days without charge.
Schedule 7 is clearly being used as a tool to find out more about activists involved in a wide variety of types of political dissent and to provide profiles of activists for the police to use in trying to undermine political movements. None of the questions about movements in the UK were designed to root out terrorism or uncover the preparation for terrorism. In fact, the movements concerned have never even been accused of terrorism (with the exception of completely false accusations made against the ISM, see here).
Britain abstained at the last vote at the United Nations deciding whether Palestine should be accepted as a non-member observer state. But in the last two weeks the double standards of the British government in relation to Palestine and Israel have again been laid bare; Saeed Amireh, has been refused a visa to visit the UK. Amireh is a peaceful campaigner against Israel’s occupation and the theft of Nilin’s land. He was told he hadn’t provided “enough supporting documents”, even though he had supplied everything that was asked for, including a letter of invitation and guarantee from the UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign of his costs being paid.
The use of these powers as a way to clamp down on non violent activists from Palestine and Britain is not acceptable, what is the British government afraid of? Maybe the fact the activists, returning home from Palestine, work with Corporate Watch and have helped reveal the continued supply of weaponry from Britain to the Israeli army has made them a target. This is despite the current British arms export policy stating it won’t deliver weapons to any countries breaking UN treaties. British companies are still complicit in Israeli war crimes in Gaza, as was proved in the EDO Decommisioners case of 2011.
Read more about the misuse of these powers and much more at corporateoccupation.org
- Farming Injustice (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Stop EU funding of Israeli military companies and illegal settlements (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- I find it sinister that the british firm securicor (“G4S”) is “providing services to israeli prisons and west bank checkpoints” (niqnaq.wordpress.com)
- Spies “monitoring” Palestine solidarity groups around world, says Israeli military correspondent (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
Mahmoud Nasser Asaus (17) and Magdi Loai Najjar (24) were arrested last night by Israeli forces in the village of Burin and are now being held in Kishon Interrogation Centre in Haifa. Residents of Burin suspect this is the start of a wave of arrests following the Al-Manatir protest that took place In Burin at the beginning of February.
Several jeeps entered Burin at around 2.30am to raid Mahmoud and Magdi’s houses, taking them, handcuffed and blindfolded, to Huwwara military base. At 7am this morning they were transferred to Kishon Interrogation Centre where they are still being held.
These arrests come after the neighbourhood of Al-Manatir was established on a village’s hilltop threatened with confiscation by Israeli settlers. The protest camp was aimed at denouncing Israel’s grab of Burin’s land and to recover the hilltop which has been inaccessible for residents of Burin since 2007.
However, the neighbourhood of Al-Manatir, made up of metal huts and tents, was violently evicted by Israeli soldiers and border police on the same day it was established. Israeli forces protected and accompanied settlers from the nearby settlements of Bracha and Yitzhar; while they were stealing metal huts and throwing stones at Palestinian activists. Simultaneously, around twenty settlers attacked several Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Burin and chopped down one hundred olive trees. When Palestinians ran to the area to defend their homes, stone throwing between settlers and Palestinians ensued. Zakaria Najjar (17), was shot in the right leg with live ammunition by a settler.
During the eviction, eight people were arrested and three of them remained in Israeli prison for twelve days, finally being released without charges. Further reprisals took place in Burin the days following Al-Manatir. Ghassan (23) and Mohammed (19) Najjar were arrested for several hours and interrogated about the protest camp. In addition, the village was sealed off by military checkpoints. The hilltop continues to be inaccessible for residents of Burin.
Following last night’s arrests there have been further incursions into the centre of Burin today. The Israeli army again tried to raid the village resulting in confrontations that began at around midday. Tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets were fired directly into the gathering crowd; as yet no serious injuries have been reported. A further arrest was made by the Israeli authorities, Bahar Adnan Imran who is just 14 years old.
- Israeli troops force out 200 from camp (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Shepherds In Nablus, Hebron (imemc.org)
Nablus, Occupied Palestine – The small Bedouin communities of ‘Arab Ramadin al-Janubi and ‘Arab Ab Farda lie south of Qalqilya between the apartheid wall and the green line,close to the illegal settlement Alfe Menashe. They are separated from the rest of West Bank from all sides by the Israeli apartheid wall. The communities, founded by people deported from areas in Negev and Netanya during and after the Nakba are today home to around 500 people. They suffer from multiple restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities,including no permissions for new buildings or expansion of existing buildings, and limits to the amount of food and gas allowed for sale in the communities.
Bedouin girls at school
Access to the communities is limited by Israel with a permission system. The system of access permissions has effectively resulted in the social isolation of the communities, as people from the city of Qalqilya and neighboring villages face difficulties in obtaining permits for visiting the area.
The community of Abu Farda has no access to running water or electricity, and thus water has to be bought in tanks from the village of ‘Azzun. There is a well on the grounds of the village, but the illegal settlement Alfe Menashe has confiscated the well and closed access to it for the inhabitants of Abu Farda. People from the family Fayez living in Abu Farda told us:
“The lack of electricity is a big problem, as we are not able to refrigerate food bought from merchants or the yogurt and milk we produce ourselves for sale, and our children are not able to do their homework after dark due to lack of lighting.”
Furthermore, the Israeli authorities do not allow veterinaries access to the villages, while the village is largely dependent on the raising of livestock.
In October 2012 the community of Ramadin al-Janubi founded a school for 6 to 8 year old children. The new school gives it’s 25 students the opportunity to go to school without having to pass daily through the Israeli checkpoints between the community and a school in the nearby village of Habla. Children older than 8 years still have to go to school outside the community, and in order to reach their schools and go back home they need to cross the Israeli checkpoints twice every single day.
The school in Ramadin, consisting of 4 tents, received a demolition order from the Israeli authorities after two weeks of operation. The faculty of the school live in Qalqilya and have to spend from 30 minutes to over an hour every day passing through the checkpoint and having their papers and belongings examined by the IOF forces at the checkpoint in order to access the school. For now, the village has taken the demolition order to court, and is waiting to for the court hearings to take place.
Bedouin school tents with demolition order
- Palestinians’ Life in the Shadow of the Barrier Wall (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- West Bank: Aid agencies tread gingerly in Area C (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Qalqiliya flooding exacerbated by separation wall (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Israel to demolish Palestinian neighborhood (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Sabastiya, Occupied Palestine – Sabastiya is an ancient city located just 10 km north of Nablus, West Bank. It contains Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine ruins as well as the tomb of John the Baptiste. The winding city streets along with its history make Sabastiya an ideal place to visit. Yet, as charming and beautiful as the old city is, the nearby Israeli settlement of Shafi Shamrom is making lives of Sabastiya’s residents very difficult: settlers uprooted olive trees, introduced wild boars into the environment to damage the land, and most recently, sewage has started leaking from the settlement flooding Palestinian fields.
In 2001 settlers uprooted and destroyed around 1000 olive trees, substantially damaging the land of several families. In 2006 the army put up a fence in an attempt to confiscate the land where the trees had originally been. Sabastiya’s farmers acted: they pulled the fence down in a defiant act of resistance and since that time there have been no further attempts to install it again.
The most recent and disturbing action on the part of illegal settlers of Shafi Shamron is pumping their raw, untreated sewage directly onto Palestinian fields. As the sewage is absorbed into the land, olive and apricot trees are rendered diseased and, according to the residents, “poisoned”. The flow of human waste begins from a pipe on the perimeter of the settlement, creating a sort of reservoir which then runs through the adjacent Palestinian fields, compelling each subsequent land owner to create a canal in order to drain the sewage water on to his neighbors land and further away.
Residents of Sabastiya are currently bringing legal action against Shafi Shamron in order to stop the settlement from dumping its sewage on Palestinian lands. The malodorous sewage running through the fields must remind a regular visitor of non-violent protests of a very effective strategy used by the army; the “skunk” water, which is chemical liquid smelling of excrement commonly sprayed on protesters. Settlers are evidently using a similar technique to make local residents’ lives even more difficult.
- Farming Injustice (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Resist the land grab: donate a tree (palsolidarity.org)
- Israel’s Colonial Terrorism: Settlers drench Palestinian land with wastewater (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Israel must remove all Jewish settlers from occupied West Bank – UN inquiry (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Join and spread widely the latest EU-wide call to stop funding of Israeli military companies and illegal settlements:
As more and more of us become aware of the injustices against Palestinians denied their basic rights, the situation is becoming even more desperate on the ground. It has never been more important for us to make our elected representatives aware of the growing and unstoppable pressure for peace and justice.
The EU should be playing a leading role in implementing policies to ensure that Israel ends its illegal occupation and respect Palestinian human rights and international law. Instead, they are supporting Israel’s occupation by:
- allowing illegal settlement products to be traded in the UK and across Europe
- by using EU tax-payer money to fund Israeli military companies who are responsible for killing civilians and supporting Israel’s military occupation
It is time for actions, not words. Tell the EU to act today.
Read the full letter and sign the call here today: http://psc.iparl.com/lobby/96. Please spread widely.
Join and spread widely the call from Palestine to EU citizens to urge representatives to suspend trade agreements with Israel until it complies with international law, initiated by Palestinian grass-roots organizations recently:
- Palestinians call for a boycott of Israeli diamonds (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- South African agricultural company cuts ties to Hadiklaim (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Asira al Qibliya, Occupied Palestine – According to OCHA statistics Yizhar is the most violent settlement in the whole of the West Bank with 70 recorded incidents in 2011 alone. Every week there is at least one attack by Yizhar settlers in the six affected villages.
Four months ago, settlers from Yizhar built a temporary outpost on top of a hill belonging to villagers from Urif. This continued until earlier in the week when Israeli authorities delivered maps to the village which showed that Yizhar had laid claim to 2 dunums of land. This was a massive understatement; they had in-fact seized the entire hill.
The land grab of this hillside seems to be all but complete; a shepherd who was working the land around the Yizhar outpost was recently beaten whilst tending to his sheep: the injuries he sustained were serious but not critical. In another incident, as the Palestinian owners of the land were walking along the road towards the hill this week, they were fired on by Israeli soldiers. Villagers want to challenge this latest land grab, however the law in this country is anything but just. The villagers are all too aware that if they resist they have only stones in the face of tear gas, stun grenades and the very real threat of being fired upon with live ammunition.
Harassment of the residents has also been on the rise. Currently at least once a week soldiers have been invading Asira in the middle of the night. They have been banging on villagers doors with the butts of their assault rifles, making sure people are disturbed in much the same way as has been reported in Urif as well as in Burin.
Yizhar a relatively small but very aggressive settlement in the north of the occupied West Bank. It is situated on a hill surrounded by six Palestinian villages which are all made to live in a state of constant fear.
- Continued harrassment of the Nasser family in Madama (palsolidarity.org)
- Israeli Soldiers Attack, Evict, Bab Al-Shams, Arrest Dozens (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- PHOTOS | Settlers attack Urif and Qusra with guns, knives and stones (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
Madama, Occupied Palestine – A month after unprovoked settler and army attacks, the victim of severe violence Mamun Nasser remains in Israeli prison. The arrest of yet another member of the Nasser family shows Israeli army’s continued harassment in Madama.
On December 18th the notorious security guard charged with the protection of the illegal settlement of Yizhar, Jacob, attacked Mamun Nasser while he was tending to his flock of sheep in a hill outside the settlement. Mamun was handcuffed and beaten in front of his entire family, who desperately tried to intervene.
The Israeli army arrived on the scene, who responded by firing live ammunition on the Nasser family and others who tried to help, quickly ending their attempt to stop the vicious assault. One round passed through Mamun’s sisters clothing narrowly missing her while another one hit his brother, Amir, in the leg. His mother told us “They wanted to kill him [Amir]. I heard the officer giving that order. He was lucky that he was only shot in his leg.” Severely beaten, Mamun was then arrested and taken away by the Israeli military into custody. One month later he remains detained in Majdou Prison.
On January 23rd at 4 pm, the Israeli army followed up the harassment by raiding the Nasser family home in Madama, arresting Mamun’s brother Amir who was still recovering from the gunshot wound he received only a month prior. This is another episode in the continued harassment of villagers surrounding Yizhar which is described as the West Bank’s most violent settlement by the United Nations.
Video taken by settlers during the incident on December 18th
- Palestinian facing charges after settler violence in Madama (palsolidarity.org)
- Madama attack – Harrowing account from the Nassar family (palsolidarity.org)
- Qusra settler attack, two hospitalised (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jewish settlers commit vehicular assaults with impunity at peaceful roadblock protests in the West Bank (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- This Week in Palestine, January 25th, 2013 (indybay.org)
Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine –
On Friday January 18th at approximately 3.20 pm, fifteen year old Saleh Elamareen was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Today Wednesday 23 January he was pronounced dead.
Salah Elamareen was outside the Lajee Refugee Centre when he was shot through the left forehead. The Centre lies some distance from the wall itself. At the time of the shooting eyewitnesses have said that protests were not happening, and that the people of Aida were simply watching the soldiers from afar. This is supported by video documentation of the incident, which shows a group of youth carrying Elamareen after he was shot.
Two of the doctors who treated Elamareen did not rule out previous rumours that he was shot with a dumdum bullet, due to the fragmentation of the bullet within his head. Another doctor has claimed it was definitely a dumdum bullet in his opinion.
Dumdum bullets expand after impact and are designed to cause maximum damage and pain. Due to the brutality of these bullets they are illegal under international law. Article 8 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala made the use of expanding bullets in non-international armed conflict a war crime. The Hague Convention also prohibits there use in international warfare. If the doctors are correct and a dumdum bullet was in-fact used, this would be another serious violation of international laws and standards by Israel.
The head of the department under which he was treated at the government hospital said he was hit with the bullet in the left frontal section of the head, around the eye, causing large intracranial hemorrhaging. A number of doctors who looked at the patient concluded that the bullet exploded in the brain. The CT scan shows the shrapnel inside his skull. The entry wound shows significant impact to the skull, and there is no exit wound.
Occupied Palestine – Last night more than forty Israeli soldiers invaded the city of Nablus and raided two homes looking for two young men. One of them was arrested Emad’s Motherduring the raid and the other one avoided arrest as he was working at the time of the raid.
At 2.30 am, dozens of Israeli soldiers with several dogs broke into Mead Nijad’s house breaking the door with a hammer and violently interrupting the family’s sleep. As the soldiers entered the house, they ordered everyone to have their hands up; they asked for Emad, blindfolded, handcuffed and arrested him. Immediately after, they took the ID’s of all family members and locked them outside the house on a cold winters night. In the meantime, the soldiers ransacked the whole house causing widespread destruction. They also took with them the young boy’s working tools. As Emad’s mother explains, “if they come with dogs, why do they have to destroy everything? If there is something in the house, the dogs would find it”. Furthermore, no reasons for why they arrested Emad were given; the commander just said “your son has caused problems to the Israelis, if you want to know where your son is, come to Huwwara”. The family still does not know the fate of their son.
In the case of Moaz Darduk (19), dozens of only Hebrew speaking soldiers arrived in his house at 3 am while he was at work and woke his parents up. As they asked for him and his father told the soldiers he was not at home but working, they locked his mother in a room and took his father to his other son’s house just in the next building. The commander, who was the only one speaking Arabic, kept saying to his father “do you know who I am? I am Haroun and I came here to kill your son”. When the commander went back to Moaz’s house he told to his parents “I want you to remember who I am, I am Haroun and I am here to kill your son. If you do not bring your son to Huwwara tomorrow morning at 9.30, we will kill him and return him to you in a coffin”.
Night raids and home searching are common tools used by the Israeli Occupation Forces to arrest Palestinian youth for no reason and as a collective punishment to scare Palestinian families.
- Israeli forces arrest cancer patient in Nablus, locals say (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Soldiers Kidnap Nine Palestinians In The West Bank (imemc.org)
Al Ayn Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine – Hundreds of Israeli soldiers in 27 military jeeps violently broke in and ransacked five homes in the Al Ayn refugee camp, Nablus. They caused widespread destruction in the houses involved in the raid. No arrests were made.
Weam Reda Khaled, a woman whose house was ransacked, recounted how forty soldiers with dogs broke open the door of her home at three this morning. They came into the living-room and bedroom, shouting and intimidating her and her children. The family was forced to stay in the doorway while soldiers searched the house and broke everything that came to their hands. One of her sons was blindfolded, handcuffed and interrogated for two hours under the staircase. In the meantime, the army smashed furniture and electronic appliances in the kitchen, living-room and bedroom. They threw the television and some furniture on the roof, under the rain. Weam described how her four year old son was terrorised by the scene of the military violently breaking in and searching their house. Initially, soldiers even refused to let him go to the bathroom. This is the second time in the last eight months that Weam received such a visit. In May, soldiers broke into her home and arrested her husband, who is still being held in administrative detention without any charge brought against him.
Four other families in the Al Ayn camp suffered the same fate of Weam. In one case, a family of eight was forced to stay outside in shivering cold and heavy rain for four hours. Here, soldiers raided the store of the family and ruined the food kept there by throwing bread and flour on the ground and spilling oil all over the floor. Most of the furniture and appliances of the home were damaged or completely broken. In another case a man and his son were tied and locked in one room while soldiers ransacked the house, damaged the sofa, broke the TV and washing machine. A 70-year old man with a heart condition had to be hospitalised because of the shock suffered from the army’s invasion of his house.
The Al Ayn Camp, home to 5,000 refugees from the 1948 Zionist massacres, is known for its fierce resistance to Israeli occupation and for its resilience during the second intifada. During this raid the Israeli army told the families that they were searching for weapons. However, none were found in Al Ayn Camp during yesterday night’s ransacking.
- 500 Israeli soldiers ransack homes in Burqa (palsolidarity.org)
- Israeli soldiers vandalise Hebron home and arrest a student (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Soldiers Kidnap Four Palestinians (imemc.org)
- Ransacking and arrests in Sarra and Tell (palsolidarity.org)
West Bank – Israeli occupation forces in Hebron raided a home, arrested a Palestinian and smashed his family’s belongings in the early hours of the morning.
Thirteen soldiers who came with two dogs broke down the door, arrested Ahmed Sharabati, 22, and vandalised the property without giving an explanation. As of this moment, Sharabati’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
The soldiers were present in the home for an hour and a half, during which time the terrified family was harassed, furniture was turned upside down and a window was smashed. The family spent six hours cleaning up after the raid.
The family’s home is located in H2, the Israeli controlled part of Hebron. The close proximity of soldiers and illegal settlers means that Palestinians are always under threat from violence and harassment. Palestinians returning home from the city centre are subjected to humiliating checkpoints and the area is infamous for its “Gas the Arabs” graffiti.
The Israeli occupation forces soldiers in H2 are soon due to be replaced by other soldiers and the locals believe they are intentionally being more aggressive to leave a lasting impression.
- Local activist detained in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Security video of killing of Hebron circus student shows claim of ‘toy gun’ fraudulent (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli forces kill teenager on his 17th birthday in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Second group of journalists beaten in Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)