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Israeli army forces – violently, and with stun grenades – blocked hundreds of activists and Masafer Yatta inhabitants who were on their way to protest the Supreme Court’s ruling to evict Palestinian villagers from ‘firing zone 918’. Under the aegis of soldiers, terrorists from the colonist outpost ‘Mitzpe Yair’ stoned the demonstrators and with brass knuckles fractured the nose of a Palestinian villager; Another demonstrator was smashed to the ground by a policeman and fractured her arm; Soldiers beat up a Palestinian activist who photographed them destroying a shed inside a Tawane olive grove; 24 trees were cut down by colonists at Humra and Rakiz; The occupation forces demolished dozens of structures this week in Masafer Yatta, Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank; Colonists took over a house in Hebron and invaded it under the protection of occupation soldiers; Women soldiers and their commanding officer helped a violent colonist from the outpost near Hamra (northern Palestinian Jordan Valley) chase away Palestinian shepherds from their own grazing grounds; A colonist on horseback blocked the vehicle of activists on their way to lodge a complaint about the invasion of the hill thugs from ‘Ma’ale Ahuviya’ and their flocks into Palestinian fields at Deir Jarayer and the Tayibe Junction; The occupation authorities limited this year’s plowing coordination in places doomed to colonist violence throughout the West Bank, and thus plowing could not be completed on time;
photo: Palestinian and Israeli activists demonstrating against transfer in Masafer Yatta, Friday, 13/5/2022
South Hebron Hills
This week, with the Israeli Supreme Court having unanimously rejected the Masafer Yatta Palestinian villagers’ petition against their eviction, and recognizing the army’s authority to hold maneuvers throughout ‘firing zone 918’ – the occupation forces and the colonist-outpost terrorists who act under their aegis proved the significance of this ruling on the ground.
On Sunday, May 8, Palestinian villagers discovered 24 olive trees cut down in their own groves at Humra (near Saroura) and Rakiz. The next day, Monday, soldiers came to destroy a shed inside a Tawane olive grove, and tried to chase away activists and villagers who rushed to the site, and arrested two Palestinian activists who documented the event with their cameras. The soldiers beat up one of the activists who was taken away for medical treatment, and confiscated work tools without any warrant. For the item on the ‘Local Call’ website, see:
On Tuesday, the army bulldozers came to Markaz (in Masafer Yatta) and put up barriers inside privately-owned Palestinian areas. The same day, at the nearby Fakhit village, a meeting of residents and activists was held to discuss the implications of the ruling on communities at Masafer Yatta, with numerous diplomats, journalists and lawyers present.
On Wednesday, May 11, the army began a series of demolitions in the area: large forces demolished 12 structures at Fakhit (2 sheep pens and 10 dwellings), and 7 structures at Markaz (1 sheep pen and 6 dwellings). The forces also destroyed 2 structures inside the village of Tawane. On Thursday the army placed a checkpoint at the entrance to this village and villagers were detained there.
Hundreds of activists, Palestinian and Israeli, made their way to Masafer Yatta on Friday to demonstrate in protest of the Supreme Court’s criminal ruling. However, the army and police blocked the buses and vehicles of demonstrators on the way and prevented most of them from reaching the site; Soldiers used stun grenades against the protestors who assembled at the entrance to Tawane. Masafer Yatta inhabitants along with Palestinian and Israeli activists held a ceremony naming the road leading from Bir Al Eid to Jinba after the journalist murdered by gunfire in Jenin, Shireen Abu ‘Akle.
Later, a group of about 80 villagers and activists managed to reach the track to Bir Al Eid in order to remove the rock barrier put up by colonists, but soldiers forcefully prevented this – although the army was committed to the court to keep the road open… In the meantime, terrorists from the colonist outpost ‘Mitzpe Yair’ – some masked and armed with clubs and brass knuckles – stoned the activists and grabbed their Palestine flags and cell phones. Soldiers refused to distance them and even joined the terrorists. A terrorist fractured the nose of a Palestinian activist with his brass knuckles, and a policeman smashed a woman-activist to the ground and fractured her arm. Member of Knesset Mossi Raz was beaten, too. The terrorists smashed the vehicle windows of two journalists. The army declared the area a ‘closed military zone’ and chased away the demonstrators. None of the thugs were arrested or even detained. On the eve of that day soldiers tried to confiscate a Palestine flag from the car of a Palestinian activists at a barrier near Susya.
On Saturday morning, activists were summoned to Atariya to handle the invasions of a colonist and his flock into tended fields. The activists caused the army to arrive and distance the invaders, but the crop had already been damaged. In the evening, terrorists from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ came back, stoned a shepherd and his flock and left when activists arrived. The same day, ‘Mitzpe Yair’ colonists invaded Palestinian-owned fields officially out of bounds for Israelis at Umm Al Arais as well as at Humra near Tawane. One of the colonists was armed. At Taban (in Masafer Yatta) the occupation forces confiscated a vehicle and groundlessly arrested two Palestinians, a father and son. Activists on Saturday accompanied shepherds at Simra-Fakhit and visited the Palestinian activist at Khalat A-Daba who had been wounded in Friday’s demonstration.
Colonists invaded and took over a Palestinian home in Hebron on Friday, May 13. The owner claims he did not sell the house, and the colonists have no sale permit as required by the occupation authorities, but this did not prevent the army from showing up to defend the invaders.
Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
Numerous Palestinian communities report that this year the occupation authorities have limited the coordination required for plowing in places that arouse potential colonist violence in the Jordan Valley, Hill Range and throughout the West Bank so that in fact the plowing cannot be completed on time.
At Hamra in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, the violent colonist from the nearby outpost chased away Palestinian shepherds by flying a drone, and by exerting physical violence on Sunday. The next day, a woman-officer and her two women-subordinates came to his aid and chased away Palestinian children grazing their flocks. The same day, Monday, a colonist’s vehicle drove into a flock belonging to shepherds at Samra and another colonist tried to ignite a Palestinian field there; The army chased the Palestinians from the field. The violent colonist returned to chase away Hamra shepherds from grazing grounds on Thursday, helped by some ‘hill thugs’, and on Friday he repeated this action by a drone, a PA system and helped by women-soldiers; Later a woman-officer came to the home of the Palestinian shepherd and threatened him with arrest in order to prevent him from continuing to graze in the land near the outpost.
In lands west of Hamra grazing accompanied by activists was held all week, unhampered, and thus too in Farisiya and in Khalat Makhoul. However, on Friday activists who distributed kerub saplings to communities in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley came to Khalat Makhoul and found soldiers there who had arrived to threaten a shepherd’s family when he was away.
At Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists managed to prevent colonists from chasing away shepherds on Sunday. During the rest of the week, shepherds and their flocks were accompanied unhampered.
In the West Bank Hill Range on Monday, colonists and their flocks from the ‘dismantled’ outpost ‘Ma’ale Ahuviya’ again invaded a field, a vineyard and an olive grove belonging to Palestinians in the Deir Jarayer area – activists came and summoned the police who distanced the invaders. A colonist on horseback blocked a vehicle of activists on the main road on their way to the Tayibe Junction. The next day, the activists found a cattle herd grazing untended in a field belonging to Palestinians from Tayibe and reported this to the police, and once again a colonist blocked their vehicle on the road. On Thursday, the colonists came back to invade the Palestinian vineyard at Deir Jarayer; Police summoned by activists identified the colonists. The landowners and activists lodged complaints with the police.
On Wednesday, the occupation authorities demolished a structure at Marj Naja in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley.
Demolitions throughout the West Bank
Tubas – one structure on Monday
Beit Dajan (Nablus district) – 3 structures on Monday
Furush Beit Dajan – one structure on Monday
Khalat Zakariya (Bethlehem district) – one structure on Tuesday
Al Khader (Bethlehem district) – 4 structures on Tuesday
Demolitions in Jerusalem
Jaba’a – one structure on Monday
Silwan – one structure on Tuesday, another on Wednesday
Beit Hanina – one structure on Wednesday
Issawiya – 2 structures on Wednesday
Walaja – one structure on Wednesday
Jabal Mukabar – one structure on Wednesday
Jerusalem – report by Ir Amim
Sunday, May 8
In view of the East Jerusalem Electricity Company’s huge debt to the Israel Electricity Company, the latter initiated power cuts in the city and its surroundings. On Sunday electric power to Umm Tuba and Sur Bahr was stopped for 6 hours. These power cuts will affect every neighborhood in East Jerusalem (and around Jerusalem) for 6 hours every other day.
Tuesday May 10
Israeli forces arrived at Silwan’s En Al-Luza neighborhood in order to demolish the Rajabi family house – inhabited by 5 families, about 30 people including many children. The ground floor of the building, built in 2002, contained a Clalit Sick Fund clinic until recently. The building was demolished, claiming it was illegally built – the family has often attempted to regulate this construction but was refused by the authorities. It should be noted that unlike Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem, getting a construction permit in the Palestinian neighborhood is practically a mission impossible. Israel hardly ever approves masterplans for these neighborhoods and does not plan the construction of new buildings on its own initiative. After the building was demolished, some of the families have continued living on the ground beside the rubble.
While demolitions were still taking place, Border Policemen clubbed local residents who arrived at the scene. A local woman was thus wounded in the head.
The same day, members of the Health Gaps Forum including a representative of Ir Amim met in East Jerusalem with Ministry of Health staff, including the person in charge of supervising the sick funds, and the head of the department controlling the sick funds. The meeting topic was the right use of funds of the ‘five-year plan to reduce socio-economic gaps in East Jerusalem’ for the Palestinian residents of the city.
Wednesday, May 11
Israeli forces came to demolish houses in the neighborhoods of Jabal Mukabar, Issawiya and Walaja.. In Jabal Mukabar an office was demolished whose dimensions had not exceeded 20 sq. m. In Walaja, a masterplan has never been approved from the day it was annexed to Jerusalem in 1967 until the present. This means that although some of this village is located within Jerusalem’s city limits, every building constructed there is eligible for demolition – like today’s. It should be noted that the Jerusalem municipality tends not to demolish houses during the Ramadan month, and still demolitions this year have taken place in a little over 3 months, and are now numbering over 65 dwellings – a large number – since the beginning of the year.
More on Wednesday: a few hours after the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu ‘Akle, police came to her home demanding that her family members take down Palestine flags from the house. In the evening there were clashes between Beit Hanina Palestinian residents and the police, after a demonstration protesting this killing took place.
Still the same day, members of the colonist association Ateret Kohanim entered a house in the Palestinian neighborhood of A-Tour.
Friday, May 13
Shireen Abu ‘Akle’s funeral took place on this day. The funeral got on its way at the Saint Joseph Hospital, passed through the Old City and ended in the Greek-Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion. During the funeral procession clashes evolved between the police and the participants. Policemen were documented clubbing the pall bearers. On Sunday, May 15, it was made public that the Jerusalem police chief, Doron Turjeman, had instructed his men to confiscated Palestine flags at the funeral – one of the reasons for the clashes during the ceremony. Hundreds of Palestine flags were waved during the procession. It should be noted that the Attorney General’s instruction is that such flags should be confiscated only if it is “highly likely that such flag-waving would lead to serious disruption of public order”. Last year as well, Minister of Home Security Omer Bar-Lev called the police chief to limit such confiscation during demonstrations – and enable it only during outstanding instances.
Saturday, May 14
The 21-year-old youngster Walid A-Sharif, wounded by a sponge bullet fired by the police at Temple Mount/Haram A-Sharif 3 weeks ago died of his wounds at the Hadassa En Kerem hospital.
Also in Jerusalem:
On Monday, May 9, dozens of activists demonstrated outside the court in support of Eyad Al-Halaq’s family in their demand for justice, after their son Eyad was murdered in 2020 by a policeman on his way to his school in the Old City.
In the weekly protest demonstration at Sheikh Jarrah on Friday, right-wing activists attacked a Palestinian demonstrator who was immediately arrested as he tried to push them away. A right-wing activist attacked a Palestinian girl who passed in the street and waved to the demonstrators. Policemen caught him but their commander order them to let him go right away.