Monday, 25 June 2018
IOP 12 June 2017 Print
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel,

there should be no business with Israel

In Occupied Palestine

Zionism in practice

Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand [If you have difficulty with the display of this newsletter, it may be better viewed on our website]

12 June 2017 {Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): NB:The period covered by this newsletter is taken from the PMG's 24-hour sitrep ending 8am the day after the above date.}

We shall always do our best to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible [e.g. we often suspect that names of people and places that we see in the PMG sitreps could be typos but as we do not speak Arabic, we have no alternative but to copy and paste these names from the PMG sitreps] – but please forgive us for any errors or omissions (not of our own making) that may occur! L & M.

Israeli Navy opens fire on

Palestinian fishing boats

Israeli Army storms

Gaza farmland and

bulldozes crops

Israeli forces storm

UN refugee camp

and invade homes

Night peace disruption

and/or home invasions

in 3 UN refugee camps

and 4 towns and villages

3 attacks (2 Israeli ceasefire


10 raids including home


3 acts of agricultural/economic


12 taken prisoner – 4 detained

Home invasions: dawn, Silwan - 04:40, the al-Jalazoun UN refugee camp - 02:40-04:50, Tulkarem UN refugee camp - 02:40-04:50, the Nur al-Shams UN refugee camp - 00:30-05:40, al-Samou - 00:30-05:40, Yatta - 01:35-04:15, Tarqumiya.

Peace disruption raids: Al-Nue'meh - Hamsah al-Tahta - 05:15, Tulkarem.

Palestinian missile attacks: none.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 09:15, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army incursionagricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – 07:30-12:25, for almost four hours, the Israeli Army stormed farmland east of al-Qarara and bulldozed crops.

Israeli Army attack – UN refugee camp: Tulkarem – 02:40-04:50, Israeli forces, firing live ammunition, stun grenades and tear gas, stormed the Tulkarem UN refugee camp and searched homes.

Home invasions – stun grenades and tear gas in UN refugee camp: Ramallah – 04:40, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas, raided the al-Jalazoun UN refugee camp, searched several homes and detained a resident.

Home invasions – UN refugee camp: Tulkarem – 02:40-04:50, Israeli forces raided Tulkarem and the Nur al-Shams UN refugee camp, searched several homes and took prisoner two people.

Home invasions – stun grenades and tear gas: Hebron – 01:35-04:15, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas, raided Tarqumiya, searched several homes and took prisoner one person.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 11:00, settler militants, escorted by Israeli troops, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and molested worshippers.

Israeli Army agricultural sabotage: Jenin – 21:30-00:40, Israeli forces harassed and detained, for over three hours, three farmers, Mohammad Ibrahim Qassim Obadi, Samer Mohammad Abu Baker and Mahmoud Bassam Abu Baker, at work on land south of Ya'bad.

Raid: Jericho – Israeli forces raided al-Nue'meh village and issued a destruction order on a home under construction.

Raid: Tubas – Israeli forces raided the Hamsah al-Tahta area in the North Jordan Valley and ordered the removal of a mobile home.

[NB: Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children]

SEE ALSO: Life under Israeli Military Occupation

(after Behind the Wall, below)

News updates:

Letter to the New Zealand Herald from Margalit Toledano: 12 June 2017 | “Saturday marked 50 years of the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands and people. The current government of Israel and many of its Israeli and nationalist supporters celebrate the June 1967 “liberation” of Jerusalem and the West Bank at the close of the defensive six-day war. However, hundreds of thousands of Israelis and world Jews, including New Zealanders, mark this shameful anniversary with a protest against the prolonged oppression of Palestinians and a call to end the occupation.

More specifically, the call is to stop immediately the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories that came under Israel's control in 1967. The settlement project denies Palestinians hope of an independent state and undermines any effort to reach a mutual agreement.

As an Israeli-born New Zealand citizen I am puzzled by New Zealand policy on this conflict: is it possible the decent and fair New Zealanders I have come to know actually support the occupation? Just a month ago, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gerry Brownlee, used his first days in office to seemingly reverse New Zealand's position. He criticised his predecessor Murray McCully's co-sponsorship of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 condemning the occupation and calling on Israel to stop expanding Jewish settlements.

Although Prime Minister Bill English said the UN resolution had been in line with New Zealand policy and that he did not regret New Zealand's co-sponsorship, Brownlee argued the resolution was “premature”. He said New Zealand should refrain from intervening and instead build positive relationships with Israel. After 50 years of illegal occupation how could the UN resolution against Israel's occupation be considered “premature”? How many more years of suffocation within separation walls, denial of movement, impoverishment, persecution and confiscation of lands should 4.7 million Palestinians experience before the minister finds the time has come to do something to end it?

UN resolution 2334 sent a strong message to the Government of Israel and was a step in the right direction. By stating that the occupation is Israel's internal problem and that a UN resolution on this matter should depend on Israel's acceptance of it, Brownlee actually supports continuation of the occupation. Neutrality is an illusion and non-intervention is, in effect, taking the side of oppressive occupation.

Writing this puts me at risk. Recent Israel legislation forbids entry to Israel by non-Israelis who publicly criticise the settlements project. With my Israeli passport I hope I would still be allowed to visit my beloved country and family. I choose to take the risk because on this 50th anniversary, I could not stay silent and want to put the question on New Zealand's agenda. I care about the Israeli-Palestinian future as much as I care about my adopted home country. I wish both to be guided by respect for human rights, justice, equality and democracy. I believe an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is possible if Israel removes the settlements and enables a Palestinian state. This would be in Israel's best interest and would save its democracy. New Zealand's international standing can make a difference. It can either perpetuate the devastating impact of the occupation on both Palestinians and Israelis or it can help stop the occupation and promote co-existence and peace.”


Dr Margalit Toledano, a university lecturer in communications, is affiliated with the organisation SISO – Save Israel, Stop the Occupation –

Jerusalem Post celebrates New Zealand's craven surrender to Israel's demands. Israel, New Zealand patch up ties By Herb Keinon | 13 June 13, 2017 | New Zealand PM said he 'regrets' damage done to relations as a result of Wellington sponsoring UNSC 2334. Israel announced on Tuesday that it was sending its ambassador back to New Zealand, ending a six-month diplomatic crisis between the two countries sparked by New Zealand's co-sponsorship of anti-settlement UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December. New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution along with Senegal, another country with whom Israel has diplomatic relations, and two countries with which there are no diplomatic ties: Malaysia and Venezuela. Then president Barack Obama enabled the resolution to pass by abstaining on the measure, rather than using the US Security Council veto. Israel decided to send back its envoy to Senegal last week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Senegal's President Macky Sall in Liberia. It was widely expected that mending the relations with New Zealand would quickly follow The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement on Tuesday saying that following discreet diplomatic contacts, Netanyahu and New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English spoke by phone a few days ago.

As a result of that conversation, according to the PMO, English wrote a letter saying that he regretted “the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2334 at the Security Council.” Following the letter and the phone conversation, Netanyahu directed the Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem, who was actively involved in efforts to restore the ties along with Mark Sofer, the Foreign Minister's Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific, to inform Wellington that Israel has decided to “end the crisis” and send Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg back to the country. Efforts to restore ties between the two countries started in earnest last month, when New Zealand's new Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee wrote a letter to Netanyahu on the occasion of Independence Day trying to smooth over the difficulties.

Our goal is to get the relationship between New Zealand and Israel back on track,” he said in a statement about that letter. “I'm hopeful this will provide a positive platform to re-establish communication between officials from our respective foreign affairs ministries.” A senior diplomat told The Jerusalem Post earlier this year that Jerusalem was stunned by New Zealand’s sponsorship of the resolution because the country’s foreign minister at the time, Murray McCully, was in Israel just weeks before the vote, met with Netanyahu for 90 minutes, and did not mention the likelihood of any such an initiative. Jerusalem believed that McCully was the driving force behind the move, and it was widely expected that relations with Wellington would improve once he left office. Brownlee took over from him on 2 May.


The Palestine Yearbook 2015

The genocide the world ignores

by Diana Lodge

Everyone should have a copy

of this invaluable resource!

To order the book:


Julie Webb Pullman – Today in Gaza


Listen to Earthwise, Christchurch, New Zealand,

on plainsfm96.9

Live stream on the first and third Monday of each month at 9pm, repeated Wednesdays at 9:30am. Earthwise is also broadcast in Hamilton on Free FM and in Waikanae on Coastal Access. Many of the programmes cover Palestine and other peace with justice issues. Also there are discussions on environmental issues. Last two months podcasts can be found at: plainsfm Organisers Martin and Lois Griffiths.


Behind the Wall

Rich Wiles is a photographic artist who has been living and working in Palestine for some years. His photographic work has been shown around Europe, the US, Australia and in Palestine itself. Since 2006 he has been writing from Occupied Palestine under the title Behind the Wall. Much of this work is based in and around the refugee camps in Palestine, highlighting daily life and memories of refugees who still live in forced exile for over 60 years since Al Nakba (The Catastrophe).Visit Rich's website to view photos, many of which can be 'clicked on' to reveal information about them along with other tabs to Rich's biography, Contact etc.


Life under Israeli Military Occupation

Every area of Israeli-Occupied Palestinian territory experiences arbitrary restrictions of movement imposed by the Israeli Army. The lack of freedom of movement is the frustrating and humiliating background to daily life for the Palestinian people, whose suffering includes a variety of human rights abuses, from night home invasions to wanton acts of agricultural and economic sabotage. The Israeli Occupation Army enforces a permit system for the benefit of settlers that determines where Palestinians may live in their own land.


A major aquifer under the West Bank is controlled by Israel and from it the occupying power illegally plunders two-thirds of the precious water. Across the Occupied West Bank, Israel's illegal settlements have completely free access to water. Settler homes enjoy full swimming pools and well-watered gardens, while Palestinian access to their own water is severely restricted. Israel compounds this crime in two ways: The Zionist state forces Palestinians to pay the Israeli government public water supply company Mekorot for what little water they are allowed and, at the same time, Israel forbids Palestinians to sink wells or even build water storage facilities. Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are restricted to about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survive on far less than even the average 70 litres, in some cases barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency situations response.

In addition, reports by both the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme show that the water crisis in Gaza is likely to be critical and irreversible by 2020. The reports show that Gaza is almost completely dependent on a coastal aquifer that has now become filled with undrinkable sea water. Both international bodies express concern that Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip means severe limitations on people's access to essential water supplies.

One example of the water discrimination faced by Palestinians is the plight of Furush Beit Dajan villagers in the Jordan Valley. A visit by a delegation that included two British MPs in January 2015, co-ordinated by EWASH member Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), heard how the Israeli occupation was choking the community’s access to water. Israeli settlements surrounding the village faced no restrictions on access to water resources while Palestinians are only allowed to extract water from wells down to a depth of 80m. Palestinian farmers are unable to obtain the quantity or quality of water necessary to effectively irrigate their crops. Following the Occupation of the West Bank in 1967 the Israeli Army seized all the agricultural land in the area and Palestinian farmers are forced into renting their own land back from the Israelis.

Restrictions of movement

Israel places checkpoints at the entrances to towns and villages to prevent people from entering or leaving. Interference with people attempting to move around towns and villages consists of blocking roads with concrete blocks, barbed-wire and/or earth mounds. People attempting to transport farm produce and other goods find obstacles placed on the roads by the Israeli Army. Trucks have to be unloaded by hand and similarly re-loaded onto vehicles brought from beyond the obstructions. Road closures are used to isolate areas wherever the Israeli Army considers the presence of Palestinians to be ‘illegal’. When the Israeli Army declares a curfew, anyone appearing in the street or at a window is liable to be shot dead. There are instances of Palestinian mothers giving birth at checkpoints, having been denied ready access to hospital. In some cases mothers have died as a result of Israeli Army indifference. *Restrictions of movement comprise: Closures of checkpoints - Flying checkpoints - Closures (per district) - Closures of main roads - Closures of crossings.

Agricultural and economic sabotage

Both the Israeli Army and illegal (according to international law) settlers terrorise Palestinian farmers, often preventing them from working their land, as well as frequently uprooting or setting fire to Palestinian olive trees and bulldozing their crops. The United Nations (UN Security Council Resolution 465) has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Court of Justice (see also summary) says these settlements are illegal and no foreign governments support Israel's settlements. The aim of the settlements is both to take land and resources from the local people and to bring pressure to bear on them to leave. On 21 January 2015, the newspaper Falesteen reported that the Israeli Occupation settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron had demanded the equivalent of US$22,359 in property 'taxes' from a Palestinian farmer, Al-Ja'bari, for his nearby house and farmland.

The Gaza fishing industry

The Gaza fishing industry is being crippled by the enforcement of a draconian fishing limit. The Israel Navy forces Palestinian fishing boats to remain within a three-nautical-mile, over-fished zone, sometimes at the cost to crews of life, limb and property. Gaza City's ruined international airport is permanently closed. Palestinians needing to enter or leave Palestine can do so only with Israeli permission. In addition to Israel's occasional massive bombing raids, Gaza residents are forced to live with the constant fear of overflying drones and the traumatising effects of sonic booms created by Israeli war planes. The effects on the children of Gaza are particularly distressing.

House demolitions and evictions

The Israeli Army routinely destroys Palestinian houses built without Israel's permission. Since the beginning of 2015, the Israeli Occupation has demolished 77 homes, livestock shelters, farm buildings and other structures in Area C of the West Bank, resulting in 110 people, around half of them children, losing their homes at the height of the winter, according to a report compiled by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA also reported that between 19 and 26 January, Israel had already demolished 41 structures, far higher than the weekly average in 2014 of nine demolitions per week. In that seven-day period, the Israeli occupation delivered 45 'halt to construction' orders and two demolition orders. In 2014, Israel demolished the homes of 969 Palestinians – a total of 493 homes and ancillary structures in Area C of the West Bank which, under the Oslo Accords, is under exclusive Israeli control. In East Jerusalem seven Palestinian buildings were demolished, including two on 29 January in the Jabal Mukkaber neighbourhood. Buildings were also torn down in Issawiya, Shuafat and Ras al-Amud. In East Jerusalem, 208 Palestinians were displaced in 2014 after Israel demolished 97 buildings. In 2014, according to OCHA figures, the Israeli occupation destroyed 590 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 1177 people. The 41 structures destroyed by Israel between 19 and 26 January, according to OCHA, were in Bedouin and other pastoral communities in Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah and Beit Iksa, north-west of Jerusalem. The destruction included buildings that had been donated by European humanitarian organisations. Construction stop orders were issued for a park funded by donor nations in the Yatta area and buildings in the Ramallah area and near Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley.

On 23 January 2015, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator, James W. Rawley, expressed his concern over the recent spate of Israeli Army demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. "In the past three days, 77 Palestinians, over half of them children, have been made homeless," said Mr. Rawley.

"Some of the demolished structures were provided by the international community to support vulnerable families. Demolitions that result in forced evictions and displacement run counter to Israel's obligations under international law and create unnecessary suffering and tension. They must stop immediately," he said.


Israel's planning policies very much limit the ability of Palestinians to build in East Jerusalem, discriminating against them compared to Jews. In Area C – the majority of the West Bank – except in certain exceptional cases, Israel does not allow Palestinians construction levels to match natural population growth, and prevents hundreds of communities with some 300,000 Palestinian residents to connect to essential infrastructure and services (according to OCHA figures). Under this Israeli-imposed regime, Palestinians living in overcrowded housing and appalling conditions, are faced with the choice, either to move out to the Palestinian enclaves in Areas A and B or build homes without Israeli permits and face the consequences.

Home invasions and abductions of children and other youngsters

Israeli troops frequently invade Palestinian homes (often at dead of night) and abductions of Palestinian minors are commonplace. Israeli soldiers often vandalise the interiors of Palestinian homes being raided and frequently terrorise children and other minors with threats. Youngsters abducted by Israeli soldiers are often blindfolded and their wrists tied behind their backs. Many children are illegally taken to prison in Israel, where more terror is practised against them, such as solitary confinement and shackling in painful positions for long periods. The majority of these children are detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

This inhumane treatment of children prompted an Investigation and Report by UNICEF in February 2013. The report found that each year approximately 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, mainly boys, are arrested, interrogated and held captive by Israeli army, police and security agents. The majority are charged with throwing stones, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of ten years' imprisonment, or 20 years if thrown at a moving vehicle (six months maximum for a juvenile, 12-13 years). The usual process, as described in the UNICEF Report, is for the child to be aggressively awakened in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, and forcibly brought to an interrogation centre, tied and blindfolded, sleep-deprived and brought to a state of extreme fear. The transfer can take up to an entire day. Interrogation takes place in a police station (without a lawyer or family member present) using a mix of intimidation and threats. Child prisoners have been threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member. Most children confess at the end of such interrogation. Some children have been held in solitary confinement, for a period ranging from two days up to one month before the court hearing. Children are generally brought before a military court in leg chains and shackles, wearing prison uniform. Most see their lawyers for the first time when they are brought to the court. UNICEF found that the practices described are in violation of international law.

Israel’s toxic hazard weapon

Israel has devised yet another technique designed to to drive Palestinians from their land and weaken their resolve to resist. It is a direct assault on their health that carries the menace of further agricultural and economic sabotage. For instance, activity at Israel's Barkan industrial complex generates growing quantities of polluting waste-water from the production of plastics, lead and other commodities that endanger human health. Pollution from Barkan flows into the streams that run through valleys where there are Palestinian farms as well as towns. Israeli Occupation settlements discharge their untreated waste to add to the pollution. This poisons Palestinian land, crops, farm animals and essential, if meagre, water supplies. Settlers – with Israeli Army assistance – release wild pigs, that reproduce rapidly, into Palestinian areas, spoiling agriculture and damaging olive trees, fencing and small buildings. The pigs cannot be controlled because Israel will not allow the people to own or use firearms, or even knives, to kill the pigs. Poison cannot be used because of the danger to Palestinian farm animals.

'Rubber bullets'

The unqualified term 'rubber bullets' is misleading because it implies that ammunition is made solely of rubber. In fact there are two types of such bullets, both of which are made of steel with a minimal coating (1mm to 2mm) of either rubber or plastic. The medical journal The Lancet has published the results of medical examinations of victims wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets, coming to the conclusion that when firing this type of ammunition it is “impossible to avoid severe injuries to vulnerable body regions such as the head, neck and upper torso, leading to substantial mortality, morbidity and disability.”

Tear gas – Israel's daily violations of the CWC

Israel has signed, but refuses to ratify, the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Tear gas riot control agents, including tear gas and pepper-spray, are banned in international warfare under both the 1925 Geneva Protocol and Article 1 of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. The CWC defines chemical weapons as “munitions and devices that are designed to cause death or other harm through toxic chemicals” that lead to “death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals.” According to the CWC, “riot control agents” are any chemicals, not specifically named in their list of prohibited chemicals, that can cause humans to suffer rapid “sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.” Belligerent military occupation by a foreign power is an act of war and when the Israeli Army fires tear gas grenades at Palestinian villagers in their homes or at protesters it is violating the CWC; the more so when standard weapons of war, such as live fire, accompany the use of tear gas. Persons blinded by tear gas cannot avoid live fire, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades or military vehicles and bulldozers. But that is the reality for Palestinians living under Israeli military Occupation.

Israeli Army military exercises force Palestinians out of their homes

An example of this practice is contained in an International Women's Peace Service (IWPS) report on the Israeli Army's terrorising of a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley. The report tells of a continual programme of Israeli military training in the village of ‘Atuf that traumatises the population. Every week 22 families, amounting to 172 individuals, are displaced from their homes from 4am to 5pm by Israeli military live-fire exercises. Since 1967 Israeli troops have been forcing the Bedouin people to leave their houses each week. Whole families and their livestock are displaced to outlying fields to the sound of gunfire and explosions. The entire area is designated “Area C” and there is a 'closed military zone' where nothing is allowed to be built or improved. A whole valley of fertile farmland lies uncultivated while the nearby Occupation settlement of Beqa constantly expands. In both ‘Atuf and Tamun countless houses have been demolished by the Israeli Army and many more are under demolition orders. Since 1970, 14 people have been killed and 30 have lost limbs due to exploding abandoned Israeli Army ordnance. The explosives can be as small as a pen, easily mistaken by children as harmless. The continual sound of explosions and gunfire results in many cases of psychological trauma, especially to children, and the only school in the district is within earshot of the weekly Israeli military exercises.

Ethnic discrimination

In addition to all of the above, Palestinians citizens of Israel as well as those living under occupation have to contend with more than 50 discriminatory Israeli laws. These affect all areas of life, including rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of refugees.

Israeli Army violence

The Israeli Occupation Army enforces many of the above restrictions with the threat, or actual use, of military action as well as personal physical assault. Thus, daily life for Palestinians is conducted in an all-pervasive atmosphere of violence and fear.

The Prawer Plan

The Israeli Knesset approved a plan which has since been suspended for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) Desert in the south of Israel. If fully implemented, the Prawer Plan would have resulted in the destruction of 35 'unrecognised' Arab Bedouin villages with the forced displacement and dispossession of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel.


Leslie Bravery

PHRC | Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand


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