Tuesday, 19 March 2019
 
 
IOP 20 February 2019 Print
Monday, 25 February 2019

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)

20 February 2019 {Main source of statistics: PIOP – 20 February 2019alestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): http://www.nad.ps/ 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 soldiers

beat up a blind man

and leave him

hospitalised


2 Israeli air strikes

target Gaza

UN refugee camp


Israeli Navy

opens fire on and

hijacks Palestinian

fishing boat


2 more Israeli Navy

attacks on

Palestinian

fishing boats


Israeli Army

opens fire on

protesters in Gaza


Israeli Army position

opens fire on

Gaza farmland


Racist settler vandalism

in 2 West Bank areas


Night peace disruption

and/or

home invasions in

3 UN refugee camps and

9 towns and villages


2 air strikes


6 attacks

(8 Israeli ceasefire

violations)


26 raids including

home invasions


1 beaten – 9 injured


3 abducted

(aged 15 to 16)


5 acts of

agricultural/economic

sabotage


33 taken prisoner

Home invasions: 12:00, al-Eizariya - afternoon, Jerusalem - 18:00, al-Eisawiya - 00:20, the Shuafat UN refugee camp - 02:00, al-Eisawiya - dawn, the Qalandiya UN refugee camp - Beit Hanina - 17:15-19:15, Quffin - 17:40, Um Rakaba - 22:00, Nahalin - 01:45, Hebron - 04:00, al-Doha.

Peace disruption raids: dawn, al-Janiya - dawn, Ras Kar Kar - 20:00, Dome of the Rock Mosque - 15:00, Deir Intham - dawn, Beit Ur al-Tahta - 04:10, Bruqin - 04:30, Jenin - 04:30, the Jenin UN refugee camp - 02:55-07:00, al-Libban al-Sharqiya - 11:00, al-Oja - 03:00, the Aqbat al-Jabir UN refugee camp - 01:00-03:40, Beit Fajjar - 03:45, Bethlehem - 03:30, Bani Na'im.

Palestinian missile attacks: none.

Ceasefire violations – air strike: Central Gaza – 18:20, Israeli warplanes-launched missiles hit the east of the al-Bureij UN refugee camp.

Ceasefire violations – air strike: Central Gaza – 18:30, Israeli air strikes again hit the al-Bureij UN refugee camp.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – economic sabotage: Gaza – 08:30, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza City.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters: Central Gaza – 17:10, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters, against protesters in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters6 wounded: Khan Yunis – 18:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters against protesters in Khuza'a, wounding six people and causing several tear gas casualties.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy hijacking2 injured – economic sabotage: Khan Yunis – 23:40, the Israeli Navy hijacked a fishing boat, injuring two crew members, Haytham Abdel-Raziq Bakr and Awad Abdel-Raziq Bakr, and taking prisoner four others: Khader Marwan Awad Al Saidi, Mohammed Saeed Fathi Al Saidi, Haytham Abdel-Raziq Bakr and Awad Abdel-Raziq Bakr.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – 06:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on agricultural land in east Khuza'a.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – economic sabotage: Rafah – 21:00, Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off Rafah City.

Home invasions – UN refugee camp: Jerusalem – 00:20, Israeli forces raided the Shuafat UN refugee camp and invaded several homes.

Home invasion – UN refugee camp – abduction: Jerusalem – dawn, Israeli forces raided the Qalandiya UN refugee camp and abducted a 15-year-old boy: Ahmad Nasser Awadi.

Homes destroyed: Jerusalem – Israeli forces destroyed two homes in Beit Hanina.

Homes invasions – stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Tulkarem – 17:15-19:15, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided Quffin and searched several homes.

Homes invasions – abduction: Bethlehem – 17:40, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided Um Rakaba, searching homes and abducting a 16-year-old youth: Ahmad Yusef Yacoub Da'dou'.

Homes invasion – abduction: Bethlehem – 22:00, Israeli forces raided Nahalin and abducted a 16-year-old youth, Faris Hassan Fanoun.

Homes invasion – blind man beaten and hospitalised: Hebron – 04:00, Israeli forces beat up and hospitalised a blind man, Munthir Mizhir, during a night raid in al-Doha.

Israeli Army population control: Jerusalem – evening, the Israeli Occupation issued a banning order against 14 residents: Hamed al-Husseini, Mus'ab Obaidiyah, Mohammad Ma'touq, Yacoub al-Dabbagh, Mohammed al-Zughair, Fathi Najadi, Omar Odeh, Mohammed Abu Shousha, Mohammed Abu Qweider, Omar al-Zughair, Ahmad Rukn, Anas Abu al-Homs, Islam al-Zaghir and Hisham al-Bashiti from the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque for a period of 60 days, and extorted 1500 NIS (US$386) from each of them, for their release from captivity.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 08:30, settler militants, escorted by Israeli troops, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and molested worshippers.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 09:30, the Israeli Occupation removed soil from the Umayyad palaces area at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli Army vandalism: Jerusalem – 09:30, Israeli forces destroyed a wall surrounding Mukhmas village farmland.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jerusalem – 21:00, Silwan: stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

Israeli Army armed robbery and economic sabotage: Hebron – 18:15, Israeli soldiers robbed a man, Mahfouth Rashid, of his bulldozer and steamroller, as he was working in the al-Rahaliyat area of Yatta.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Hebron – 21:40, al-Fawar UN refugee camp: stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

Settler raids – racist vandalism: Ramallah – dawn, Israeli settler militants raided al-Janiya and Ras Kar Kar villages, slashing the tyres of ten motor vehicles near Ras Kar Kar School, and spray-painting racist hate messages on several motor vehicles.

Raid – mosque violation: Jerusalem – 20:00, Israeli forces raided The Dome of the Rock mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Raid – stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Ramallah – 15:00, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided Deir Intham village.

Raid – rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jenin04:30, Israeli forces, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided the Jenin UN refugee camp, taking prisoner three persons: Islam Jamal al-Qubba, Ahmed Atta Sabbagh al-Jabali and Osama Ahmed Hassan Ighbarieh.

Restrictions of movement (13): 15:00, Israeli forces closed the entrance to Deir Intham village - al-Mahkama military checkpoint, al-Bireh - 18:40-22:10, entrance to Izbit al-Tabib village - 19:15-21:30, northern entrance to Azun close - 15:25, entrance to Sabastya village - 18:50-21:25, Shavie Shamron settlement road junction - 19:00-21:30, Quassiin road junction - 13:20, northern entrance to Salfit - 13:20, Ariel settlement roundabout - 11:45-14:00, Dar Salah village bridge - 15:50-17:20, entrance to Jinata - 20:35-22:50, western entrance to Teqoa - 18:40-21:30, Halhul Bridge.

[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:


Image

Child victims of Zionist population control

Leslie Bravery | 24 February 2019

https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/02/24/child-victims-of-zionist-population-control/

A former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, told the world: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Golda Meir's twisted excuse for Zionist war crimes speaks volumes – as does the photo [see above] of four, heavily armed and protected Israeli soldiers, terrorising a defenceless young Palestinian boy in the Occupied West Bank. The soldiers' fearlessness in seizing the boy is reinforced by their ability to outnumber him; all four can be seen manhandling him. The Israeli Army is aided in its provision of more than ample manpower through the generosity of US taxpayers. In 2016, the US Government guaranteed US$68 billion in economic and military aid to Israel over a ten-year period.

On 9 February this year, the Israeli musician, Jonathan Ofir, wrote: “We torture and terrorise the hell out of Palestinians in order to deter them and make their lives so miserable so they will want to leave – or to revenge, which will justify our next blow.” Referring to the Zionist pretence of making “the desert bloom”, Ofir comments: “And as this desert 'blooms' with yet another settlement, another fictitious 'military zone', another 'expansion' – the people who are there, the “others”, are gradually removed, encircled, or killed.”

US generosity towards Israel is countered by its meanness towards Palestinians. Since taking office, President Trump has reduced US aid to Palestinians by about US$500 million. Trump also withdrew all funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which needs to care for around five million Palestinian refugees. UNRWA schools and health clinics are now under threat of closure. In January, the US funding cuts forced the the World Food Programme (WFP), providing assistance to Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank, to announce severe aid reductions and even suspensions.

Showing who's boss

In 2018, Israeli forces killed 56 Palestinian children (more than one a week) mostly by gunfire but also with missiles launched by tanks and drones. Israel's military Occupation of the West Bank and obsession with population control has an especially severe impact on Palestinian children. They can never feel safe, not even at night in their homes.

If anyone doubts that the Israeli Army is not filled with hatred and contempt for Palestinian children, they should watch this video of Israeli soldiers firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters as they attack three schools in a heavily built-up area. The absolute quiet is interrupted by the blast of Israeli Army stun grenades and growing numbers of tear gas canisters. With the children in their classrooms, attempting to study, three stun grenades are lobbed into the grounds of the schools and the noise from mounting tear gas grenade explosions increases. Even as they walk away from the scene, the soldiers stop from time to time, turning and subjecting the area behind them to further tear gas grenade launches. The street, local schools and homes are now filled with tear gas and the street is empty. The soldiers who lobbed the stun grenades over walls into school grounds could not possibly have known who may have been standing where they landed.

The video reveals that there was absolutely no action by any Palestinian child or adult that could have justified the Israeli violence. In addition to the residential buildings there are, in the immediate area, another three schools. Imagine trying to study under such conditions, not knowing if further violence was coming your way as tear gas gradually seeps into the classroom. At the end of January the UN issued a warning call for schoolchildren to be “better-protected from the effects of Israeli occupation”. In 2018, the UN documented 111 different cases of Israeli interference in West Bank education, affecting more than 19,000 children. “Children should never be the target of violence and must not be exposed to any form of violence”, said two senior UN officials, Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the region and Special Representative, Genevieve Boutin, in a joint statement by UNICEF and UNESCO. Israel's targeting of young Palestinians is designed to make population control that much easier. Any sign of resistance to military Occupation brings the dire threat of increased violence towards children. At the end of January, for example, the Israeli Army, opening fire with live ammunition, shot four Palestinian schoolchildren.

In February the terror continues

As the month of February passes, it looks as though Palestinian children are going to have to face growing Israeli Army violence. Here follows the toll for the month up until the nineteenth:

Deaths:

A 17-year-old youth, Hassan Nabil Ahmad Nofal, died from wounds sustained during an Israeli Army attack on the al-Bureij UN refugee camp; another teenager, Hamza Mohammad Rushdi Ishtawi (18), was killed in an Israeli Army attack on east Gaza City; and another child, Hassan Eyad Abdel-Fattah Shalbi, was killed in an Israeli Army attack on east Khuza'a.

Wounding/injury:

A 17-year-old youth, Abdallah Ali Nubani, was wounded when Israeli forces opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters against schoolchildren and other people during a raid on al-Sawiya village. In Jenin, the Israeli Army opened fire on two people riding a motorcycle on their way home from work, killing one and wounding another, Omar Ahmad Hanayna (16). Israeli forces, firing tear gas canisters, raided al-Labban al-Sharqiya village and searched a home, causing a five-year-old child to lose consciousness from tear gas poisoning. In Hebron, an Israeli settler vehicle ran over and hospitalised a 15-year-old boy, Ahmad Wajih.

Abductions:

From 1-19 February, the Israeli Army has abducted 28 minors, aged from 13 to 17. Here are their names and ages: Abdel Al Samir Shawki (14), [night home invasion], Musa Hatem Ibrahim Dariya (15) and Yusef Hatem Ibrahim Dariya (17) [night home invasion], Karim Musalam Abu Sal (15) and Obeid Imad Al-Ra'i (15) [in UN refugee camp], Ibrahim Mohammed Mersal Shalhoub (14), Qusay Fayez Mousa al-Sufi, (15), Ziad Yusri Eid al-Bahabsa (15), Fawzi Mousa Abu Sneima (17) [Gaza blockade enforcement]. Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided Abu Dis, harassed several schoolchildren and abducted two of them, both aged 15: Iz Al-Din Khalil Muh'sein and Sami Mohammad Abdel-Al Jafal. The following minors were also abducted: Foad Mohammad Mustafa Al-A'raj (16), Nader Saher Hijazi (13), Osama Mahmoud Ali Sabri (17), Ayman Jamil Fahed Soliman (15), Ahmad Saher (15), Khattab Wahid Abu Mariya (16), Mujahid Wajdi Fihmi Al-Barghouthi, (17) [night home invasion] and a 17-year-old special-needs patient, Ehab Ayman Khowirat.

During a 3am raid on the al-Jalazoun UN refugee camp, Israeli soldiers abducted two 17-year-old youths: Yusef Ehab Musa Al-Zabadi and Qusay Hamza Hamidat. At 3:50am during home invasions in Kafr Ni'ma village, the Israeli Army searched several homes and abducted a 17-year-old youth: Abdel-Rahim Nafith Abdel-Al. In another home invasion, Israeli troops abducted a 13-year-old boy: Ammer Mohammad Sadeq Iqteni. A night raid in Bethlehem saw the abduction of 17-year-old Shalabi Attia al-Sha'er. The Shuafat UN refugee camp, the third so-called refuge to be raided in those 19 days, saw the abductions of two 13-year-old boys, Yasser Qarash and Yazan Samer Al-Dabas. Finally, in Kharbatha al-Misbah village Israeli soldiers abducted two 14-year-old boys: Ahmad Maysour Mahmoud Muslih and Tal'at Sa'id Samour Harfoush.

The youngsters' names are recorded here because they are not merely statistics. These are children, loved by their families, who have been subjected to brutal and fearful captivity in the name of a racist ideology. The effects of the abuse they suffer are both physical and mental. The world community owes them recognition and protection.

Youngsters terrorised:

In addition to abductions, during home invasions and other such raids, the Israeli military and police also subject Palestinian youngsters to sudden periods of terror and brief captivity, either in the streets or at school. Over the same period, Israeli soldiers in east al-Bireh seized a 17-year-old youth, Hisham Shadi Hisham Shanana, and held him captive for a time. In Jerusalem, the Israeli Occupation issued a house arrest order against a 14-year-old boy, Yusef Sami Dari, a resident of al-Eisawiya, and extorted 5000 NIS (US$1287 as a condition for his release from captivity. In Hebron, Israeli soldiers seized, and held captive for a time, a 16-year-old youth, Baha Ayed Ayed Al-Najjar, near the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque. In al-Bireh, Israeli soldiers seized, and terrorised, two schoolchildren making their way to the Al-Hashimiya School and forced them into the nearby Pesagout Israeli Occupation settlement, where they were held captive for some time.

Children are also terrorised when the Israeli Army forces them and their families out of their homes – on 13 February, the Israeli military forced 50 families from their homes, to make way for Israeli Army exercises in the Khirbeit Ras al-Ahmar al-Malah, al-Maytat and al-Bureij areas in the North Jordan Valley. One morning, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters in the street near Tariq Bin Zeid School, caused several tear gas casualties among the children. With Israeli Army complicity, Israel settlers also target Palestinian children.

On 14 February, a gang of Israeli Occupation settlers invaded Orif village farmland and raided a village school, smashing classroom windows. The Israeli Army came to the assistance of the settlers and opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters at people who came to defend the school. Two people, Usayed Daoud Al-Safadi and Ammar Fawzi Shihada, were wounded and another person was taken prisoner. On 19 February, Israeli forces in Bethlehem set up a checkpoint near a boys' school in Nahalin, seizing and holding captive, for a time, a number of children.

The fusion of ideology and religion

The evolution of the Zionist enterprise has entered another phase. On 13 February Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, published an article on the ascendancy of religious fanaticism within the movement and particularly with regard to the Occupation. Cook remarks: “There are many grounds for criticising Israel, including its brutal oppression of Palestinians under occupation and its system of institutionalised segregation and discrimination against the fifth of its population who are not Jewish – its Palestinian minority. But largely ignored by critics have been Israel’s increasing theocratic tendencies.” And yet, as Cook observes: “There is barely a politician in Washington seeking election who has not at some point declared an 'unbreakable bond' between the United States and Israel, or claimed the two uphold 'shared values'.”

With half of Israel’s military academies now religious, the views of extremist Orthodox rabbis are increasingly indoctrinating Israeli soldiers. Cook tells us that, “In Israel’s 2008-09 ground invasion of Gaza, soldiers were issued with pamphlets by the army rabbinate using Biblical injunctions to persuade them to 'show no mercy' to Palestinians.”

In the oppressive Israeli settlement world, hatred of Palestinians is entrenched. The King's Torah (Torat Hamelech), a book by two residents, Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur, in the Israeli Occupation Yitzhar settlement, expresses the view that “The prohibition 'Thou Shalt Not Murder' applies only 'to a Jew who kills a Jew'.” Jonathan Cook reveals that the book tells us non-Jews have no compassion and that, as attacks on them help to “curb their evil inclination”, their babies and children may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.”

This fanaticism is well established in Israel's national police force. Cook informs us, “top posts are now in the hands of hardline religious settlers . . .” Another promoter of the book The King's Torah, is the police force's chief rabbi, Rahamim Brachyahu. As far back as 2004, a judicial-led commission of inquiry concluded that the Israeli police were “institutionally racist”.

In October last year, Israel’s Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, was reported by the Times of Israel as keen to impose a “shoot-to-kill” policy in Gaza, including against Palestinian children. Bennett made the comment on Israel’s Army Radio after he was asked what he would do differently if he were the defence minister. Bennett replied: “Everything”. Asked if he would instruct the Israeli Army to adopt a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinian children, he replied: “They are not children — they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves.”

Our duty

Amid an unprecedented humanitarian funding crisis, world leaders fail to bring Israel to account and instead pose as caring for the victims by subsidising reparations for the damage caused by Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention undeniably places responsibility for the consequences of Zionist population control and blockade of Palestine upon the Occupying power itself. The Palestinian people have the right to resist and are appealing to the International Criminal Court. While the Court is undertaking a preliminary examination of human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians are willing to face inevitable Israeli accusations at The Hague because it is the only way to fairly deal with the evidence and seek justice.

End the silence and help to defend the children by making it clear to Israel that the New Zealand people repudiate Zionism, do not share its values and utterly condemn Israel's racist war crimes and inhumanities. Our Government must act in recognition of the duty it shares with the international community to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Until Israel declares an end to its West Bank military Occupation, Gaza blockade and discrimination against its citizens, New Zealand should cease all co-operation with Israel.

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Balfour in the Dock

Joint winner of the Palestine Book Awards (PBA) 2018

Last year saw the centenary of the notorious Balfour Declaration and there has been, especially throughout 2017, much publicity and debate concerning this arrogant British Government pronouncement and its aftermath. Yet, amid all of last year's very deep concern and controversy, two immensely well researched and scholarly books on the subject appear to have escaped public awareness. One of these books, Balfour in the Dock, by Colin Andersen, published at a time when it should have attracted the greatest interest. The book reviews and pays tribute to a much earlier work, Palestine the Reality, written by the British journalist, J.M.N Jeffries (1880-1960).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Balfour in the Dock:

Publisher: Skyscraper Publications

Published Date: 20 October 2017

ISBN-13: 978-1-911072-22-5

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Julie Webb Pullman – Today in Gaza

http://gaza.scoop.ps/

http://todayingaza.wordpress.com/

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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. www.richwiles.com

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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.

Water

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.

Discrimination

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.

Please note Latest Update on Prawer Plan:

Israel's goal of destroying all the 'unrecognised' villages in the Negev, originally outlined in its failed (due to massive resistance on the part of targeted Bedouin and Palestinian communities) 2013 'Prawer Plan', has been revived with the announcement by Israel’s Agricultural Minister, Uri Ariel, of 'Prawer II', a draft of which has been leaked to local news media. Al Jazeera's Patrick Strickland reports that 'Prawer II' also aims to “deny Bedouin citizens land ownership rights and violate their constitutional protections.”

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Leslie Bravery

PHRC | Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand

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