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‘Havat Omer’ settler annexed vast Muslim Waqf lands to his expanding outpost, closing the area with an electric fence, but when Palestinian and Israeli activists held a protest picnic on the grounds, an army force drove them away at the settler’s orders; As Israel opened a new school year, an army commander, doing the bidding of Havat Maon settlers, prevented activists from escorting the children of Touba to their school, and his soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian activist from the meeting point, keeping him detained for five hours in order to ‘educate’ him; The Jerusalem police, too, opened the school year with a raid on a Palestinian girls’ school, arrested its principal, summoned teachers for questioning and confiscated computers and documents; Israeli soldiers shot to death Raid Yusef Jadallah on his way home from work inside Israel to the village of Beit Ghur Al Tahta; 400 olive trees were cut down in a Palestinian grove in Tarqumiya; Settlers and soldiers in their service continue harassing, invading and robbing land in the South Hebron Hills, the Palestinian Jordan Valley, Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank; The Jerusalem police, in blunt violation of the Minister of Homeland Security’s directives, confiscated Palestine flags held by Sheikh Jarrah demonstrators – one of the activists was arrested for waving the flag
South Hebron Hills
The Israeli army continued this week to sabotage and disrupt its escort of the Touba children – who need protection from the terrorist settlers of ‘Havat Maon’ on their way to school and back. On Tuesday, activists ecorting the children were joined by Members of Knesset (Israeli parliament) and journalists all the way through. On Wednesday, September 1, soldiers showed the activists a ‘closed military zone’ order, preventing them from waiting for the children in the dangerous stretch of the road, where the military escort leaves off and they must walk by themselves. The soldiers detained and shackled three activists. They then kidnapped a Palestinian activist to a nearby army base, gave him an ‘education’ under threats, and five hours later released him where he was first detained. The next day, the soldiers were again late for their duty; police joined the escort this time.
Last Friday, August 28, villagers around Tarqumiya discovered that about 400 olive trees – 3 years old – were uprooted in their lands, next to the settler-colony of ‘Adora’.
On Tuesday evening a Palestinian activist from Susya along with his family were detained at the checkpoint on false grounds. They were released on the spot. The same night, about 50 settlers held a ‘reconnaissance tour’ in the Palestinian communities of Simra, Mufaqara and Saroura.
On Friday, a settler from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost was seen plowing Palestinian plots. The settler threatened and drove away a Palestinian activist who documented him.
On Saturday, the area’s deputy regiment commander threatened the landowner at Umm Al Arais in order to limit the number of family members who join him there every week, drove some of them away and threatened to issue a ‘closed military zone’ order on the area. Activists accompanied shepherds at Atariya unhampered.
Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
Activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds and their flocks all days of the week, in both the northern and southern parts of the valley, and usually managed to prevent harassment by settlers and soldiers doing their bidding – in Hamra, Makhoul, En Sukut, and Auja.
In Makhoul, activists documented on Monday a new road built by settlers that connects to route 90. On Thursday, sewage was documented flowing into the hamlet, apparently from one of the nearby army bases. Also on Thursday, a woman activist accompanied small children from Makhoul to a public playground at the nearby settler-colony ‘Hemdat’. The settlers summoned the police, who arrested the activist and detained her at the Binyamin police station until late that night.
In Hamra on Tuesday, the violent settler from the nearby outpost returned to harass the Palestinian flocks with his drone, but activists managed to prevent him from riding his horse into the flock and scattering it. An army vehicle was seen in the outpost, and it accompanied the settler. On Friday, after two quiet days, the drone was there again, harassing the flocks, and on Saturday the outpost terrorist and his pals attacked the Palestinian shepherds, threw stones at them and summoned the army. The soldiers, coached by the settler, arrested a Palestinian shepherd, took him to their base for a ‘warning talk’ and released him two hours later.
In En Sukut this week, Palestinian shepherds reported a serious water shortage caused by the illegal closing of the spring by the settlers.
On Thursday, at Auja, another massive takeover of Waqf (Muslim religious authorities) land was documented, including fencing work, land improvement and preparations for irrigation. The stolen plots were surrounded by a fence with sensors and signs warning against electrocution. On Friday, September 3, Waqf members and activists held a protest picnic at the new ‘Omer Ranch’ recreation spot, but were dispersed after two hours with a closed military zone order and threats of arrest by soldiers doing the settler’s bidding. On Saturday activists returned there and documented the electric fence that surrounds an area of about 4 dunams, a drip irrigation system and irrigation pools that were built there.
On the West Bank Hill Range, on Friday, activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds and farmers around Deir Jarayer, and recorded the invasions by settlers and their flocks into privately owned Palestinian fields.
On Saturday, activists joined in a special operation of salvaging fodder from the rubble left by the arny in demolished Humsa, and delivered the hay to the expelled community.
Demolitions in the Palestinian Jordan Valley
On Tuesday, the occupation forces demolished 2 buildings at Ibzik.
On Wednesday, September 1, the day the Israeli school year opened, the Jerusalem police charged into a Palestinian girls’ school, arrested the principal, summoned teachers for police questioning and confiscated computers and documents. The grounds – the school ‘enables activity by the Palestinian Ministry of Education’…
This Friday, September 3, in clear violation of instructions by Israel’s Minister of Homeland Security Bar-Lev, Jerusalem policemen violently snatched Palestine flags from demonstrators during the weekly protest vigil in Sheikh Jarrah, and arrested a Palestinian activist for waving the flag. He was freed that evening, and distanced from the neighborhood for 15 days.
Throughout the West Bank
Another shooting spree by the Israeli soldiers: Raed Yusef Jadallah, a 38-years-old man residing in the West Bank with Israeli ID, was shot to death on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday at Makabim checkpoint, while on his way home from work inside Israel to Beit Ghur A-Tahta village.
On Friday, September 3, MKs of the Joint List party held a visit organized by ‘B’Tselem’ to Bourin and Úrif villages in view of the daily harassment by settlers taking over land in the area.
In the northern West Bank, occupation soldiers attacked participants in the weekly protest march in Qaddoum village on Friday, and wounded several.
Demolitions throughout the West Bank
On Tuesday, the occupation authorities demolished 5 structures in Duma (Nablus district), and on Wednesday a structure in Fureidis (Bethlehem district) and another in the same district, in Harmala.
An interim report by the UN’s OCHA agency states that, compared to the equivalent period of 2020, the first seven months of 2021 saw a 40 per cent increase in demolitions and a 87 per cent increase in displacement. Mass demolitions in two Palestinian/ Bedouin herding communities, accounted for the majority of demolitions and displacement in July. A mobile clinic, an under-construction school and a water reservoir were demolished, affecting an estimated 1,650 people.