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A settler-colonist from ‘Maskiyot’ rode his car into a flock from En Hilwa, running over 4 sheep and wounding another 15 – but was not arrested; violent attacks against Palestinians by Jewish Purim celebrants in Jerusalem; house demolitions and confiscations on a large scale continue throughout the Occupied Territories; gangs of settler-colonists with the active help of Israeli army and police were busy this week too with incursions into tended Palestinian fields, blocking roads, chasing away Palestinian shepherds from their own grazing grounds, cutting down olive trees and attacking Palestinians and their property; the Jerusalem District Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah to repeal their eviction from their homes by Jewish settler-colonists.
picture: Protesters opposite the Jerusalem District Court during session regarding the Sheikh Jarrah residents’ appeal, Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
While they accompanied Palestinian shepherds in Farisiya, in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley on Sunday, February 28, activists overheard a conversation: a senior settler-colonist asks a junior one whether he beat up a Palestinian shepherd. The latter apologizes: “No, because the lefties arrived”. That night army came to Farisiya and threatened the shepherds not to go grazing on their grounds any longer. Activists accompanied shepherds from Farisiya on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and Saturday night the army came again in the middle of the night and threatened the shepherds.
On Monday (March 1) a shepherd from En Hilwa reported a vehicle that came out of ‘Maskiyot’ and broke into his flock, fatally running down 4 of his sheep and wounding another 15. Israeli army and police were summoned, arrived, and saw the settler-colonist and his vehicle, but did not arrest him. At the same time, in the outpost of ‘Brosh Ha-Biq’a’ settler-colonists threw stones at Palestinian shepherds’ cattle.
On Wednesday, activists accompanied shepherds from Hamra, and there too the army came for a nocturnal threatening visit. At Makhoul activists accompanied shepherds on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and on Monday held a visit to Humsa and brought basic gear to the community whose entire property was demolished and confiscated time and again by the Israeli occupation forces.
Around Tayibe Junction and Deir Jarrar on the West Bank Hill Range, all week activists were busy chasing away settler-colonists’ flocks from tended Palestinian fields and desperately trying to make the police act against the invaders intentionally destroying the crops. In two cases this week settler-colonists attacked the activists, and on Friday a policeman came and threatened to arrest the activists – rather than the settler-colonists invading with their flocks. An official of the Civil Administration, too, arrived on the scene, and in the presence of the police confirmed that the fields were indeed privately owned Palestinian land, and that settler-colonists are forbidden to enter them and destroy the crop. The policemen left, and the activists were forced to spend the rest of the day chasing settler-colonists’ flocks from the tended fields.
In Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied shepherds on Sunday, and the settler-colonists once more used a drone to scare Palestinian flocks away from their grazing grounds.
Accompaniment of Palestinian shepherds to grazing grounds in the area involves a great number of activists, and many more are needed during the next few weeks.
South Hebron Hills
On Sunday, February 28, sttler-colonists from the outpost ‘Mitzpe Yair’ blocked the road to the Palestinians village of Bir Al Eid and the western villages inside firing zone 918. The road is blocked by heavy boulders, and appeals to the occupation authorities requesting removal have not been answered. On the other hand, the occupation forces were busy on Monday confiscating heavy equipment at the Palestinian village of Birin, where two villagers were also arrested and several phones were confiscated with the claim that they contain evidence.
On Tuesday, the forces demolished 3 homes in Khalat A Daba as well as an outhouse and a farming storehouse in A-Rakeez. On Saturday activists helped remove rubble from the demolitions at Khalat A Daba, as well as accompanying shepherds at Umm Al Imad, Zanouta, and near Susya. Israeli army forces immediately reached the shepherds and their accompanists in the Susya area, issued a closed military zone order, and prevented the grazing in spite of the fact that the Palestinian ownership of the land is recognized by the occupation authorities.
In Shweike shepherds grazing near the outpost ‘Mitzpe Eshtamo’a’ reported that settler-colonists and soldiers came, and one of the soldiers cocked his weapon, attacked a shepherd and chased him away. Here too, grazing was conducted on land that is officially Palestinian-owned, even out of bounds for Israelis by command of the Regional General.
On Monday, March 1, activists held a protest vigil outside the Ofer Detention Facility during the military court session there regarding a Tawane activists.
On Sunday, February 28, the Jewish holiday of Purim was celebrated by attacking Palestinian passersby. A young man of Issawiya was attacked with alcohol bottles and wounded at French Hill; a Palestinian’s car was stoned at Damascus Gate; and close to Meah She’arim (Jewish ultra-orthodox neighborhood) a transport driver was attacked by a celebrating mob, tried to escape and fatally ran over one of the people present.
On Tuesday, March 2, a protest vigil was held opposite the District Court during its session over the appeal by Sheikh Jarrah residents to overturn the ruling confirming their eviction and turning over their homes to Jewish settler-colonists. Later in the week the court naturally rejected the appeal, true to the Israeli apartheid laws.
During the week, the occupation authorities demolished 3 structures in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, 2 in the Shu’afat refugee camp, one in Ras Al Amoud neighborhood, and another in Issawiya. The demolished home in Issawiya was the dwelling of a disabled person and has already been demolished twice in the past.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah takes place every Friday. The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are protesting their violent evictions from their homes, the taking over of the neighborhood by the settlers, and the Judaization of East Jerusalem. They call upon each and every person who supports their struggle to join them.
Throughout the Occupied Territories
This week, the occupation forces demolished 3 structures in Fasail in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley, 3 structures in Al Khader, Batir, and Beit Jalla in the Bethlehem district, and another structure in the town of Qalqiliya.
During the night between Monday and Tuesday, settler-colonists threw stones at houses and vehicles in the Palestinian village of Jaloud (Nablus district) and damaged window panes and vehicles. On Wednesday night, a group of settler-colonists entered the Palestinian town of Huwwara, threw stones at homes and damaged vehicles. It was also reported that settler-colonists attacked a farmer on his own land in the Palestinian village of Burkin (Salfit district) and damaged his car. In Artas (Bethlehem district) it was reported that settler-colonists cut down 15 adult olive trees, and at nearby Kissan Palestinian farmers were attacked by a gang of settler-colonists. According to this report, the latter chased the farmers away from their fields by armed threats and soldiers present defended the assailant settler-colonists. During the weekend. It was reported that settler-colonists from ‘Yitzhar’ invaded the village of Bourin and threw stones at houses.