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Friday, March 31, 2017

Gilad Atzmon: And Now Peter Beinart Plagiarises Me

It doesn’t matter how much you steal, so long as you steal from the best...
By Gilad Atzmon
In 2007, in an article in Counterpunch entitled From Esther to AIPAC, I exposed the disturbing ideological continuum between the Jewish Queen Esther and the Jewish lobby AIPAC. Today I was amused to discover that, in an article in the Forward, Peter Beinart had, almost word for word, recycled my ideas.
My article delved into the Jewish cultural and religious foundations of Zionist lobby thinking and it argued that infiltration into foreign elites and political administrations are deeply embedded in Jewish teachings and traditions.  I wrote:
“The Book of Esther  … tells the story of an attempted Judeocide but it also tells a story in which Jews manage to change their fate. In the book the Jews do manage to rescue themselves and even to mete revenge… It is a story of a palace, conspiracy, an attempted Judeocide and a brave and beautiful Jewish queen (Esther) who manages to save the Jewish people at the very last minute…The moral of the story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they better find infiltrates into the corridors of power. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, AIPAC and the notion of ‘Jewish power’ looks like an embodiment of a deep Biblical and cultural ideology.”
Fast forward ten years, In his article from today AIPAC Reflects Heroism Of Jewish Power — And Its Perils, Beinart wrote:
“On Purim, Jews read the Book of Esther, which tells the story of a Jew who unexpectedly gains influence with a mighty king. She learns that a wicked man named Haman threatens her people with destruction. Since her status may afford her some protection, she has the option to remain silent. But she does not. She uses her power to foil the wicked man’s plot and save her people….That’s also the story of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. American Jews are Esther. They have won influence with the most powerful government on earth. They could keep their heads down, focusing only on preserving their own safety and privilege…”
It goes without saying that I’m delighted to see my ideas disseminated so accurately and so widely – and especially so within Zionist-lite circles – though it would be nice if Beinart had the bravery to admit where he got his ideas. But never mind. What really matters here, is not from whence the ideas come, but how truthful they are. And they are pretty truthful. Jewish lobbying is indeed at the core of Jewish culture.
But the above articles, both from myself and now from Peter Beinart, explain not only how Jewish lobbies such as AIPAC have managed to dominate American and British foreign affairs, but also how the same kind of people have also managed to dominate any resistance to AIPAC. Because by now, it is anti-AIPAC Jews, rather than the American people who lead any opposition to the foreign lobby that pushes America into global  disastrous conflicts.  The meaning of this is as simple as it is devastating:  AIPAC and the opposition to AIPAC are now both an internal Jewish affair. Goyim are simply excluded.
Exactly the same happened to the Palestinian Solidarity movement which is now dominated by Jewish lobbies and activists (JVP, IJAN, Mondoweiss etc’) . Once again, Zionism and Israeli criminality and the opposition to Zionism and Israeli criminality, have both been reduced into Jewish internal affairs – with the result that the discourse of the oppressed (the Palestinians) is now shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressors.
But this should not take us by surprise. Two thousand years of imaginary ‘diaspora’, pathological victimhood and fake news have led to the emergence of a radical exilic culture, highly skilled and sophisticated in hegemony tactics and power strategies. What’s not to like?

An American Century of Carnage

Global Research, March 31, 2017
TomDispatch.com 28 March 2017

[This essay is adapted from “Measuring Violence,” the first chapter of John Dower’s new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two.]
On February 17, 1941, almost 10 months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Life magazine carried a lengthy essay by its publisher, Henry Luce, entitled “The American Century.” The son of Presbyterian missionaries, born in China in 1898 and raised there until the age of 15, Luce essentially transposed the certainty of religious dogma into the certainty of a nationalistic mission couched in the name of internationalism.
Luce acknowledged that the United States could not police the whole world or attempt to impose democratic institutions on all of mankind. Nonetheless, “the world of the 20th Century,” he wrote,
“if it is to come to life in any nobility of health and vigor, must be to a significant degree an American Century.” The essay called on all Americans “to accept wholeheartedly our duty and our opportunity as the most powerful and vital nation in the world and in consequence to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such measures as we see fit.”
Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States wholeheartedly onto the international stage Luce believed it was destined to dominate, and the ringing title of his cri de coeur became a staple of patriotic Cold War and post-Cold War rhetoric. Central to this appeal was the affirmation of a virtuous calling. Luce’s essay singled out almost every professed ideal that would become a staple of wartime and Cold War propaganda: freedom, democracy, equality of opportunity, self-reliance and independence, cooperation, justice, charity — all coupled with a vision of economic abundance inspired by “our magnificent industrial products, our technical skills.” In present-day patriotic incantations, this is referred to as “American exceptionalism.”
The other, harder side of America’s manifest destiny was, of course, muscularity. Power. Possessing absolute and never-ending superiority in developing and deploying the world’s most advanced and destructive arsenal of war. Luce did not dwell on this dimension of “internationalism” in his famous essay, but once the world war had been entered and won, he became its fervent apostle — an outspoken advocate of “liberating” China from its new communist rulers, taking over from the beleaguered French colonial military in Vietnam, turning both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts from “limited wars” into opportunities for a wider virtuous war against and in China, and pursuing the rollback of the Iron Curtain with “tactical atomic weapons.” As Luce’s incisive biographer Alan Brinkley documents, at one point Luce even mulled the possibility of “plastering Russia with 500 (or 1,000) A bombs” — a terrifying scenario, but one that the keepers of the U.S. nuclear arsenal actually mapped out in expansive and appalling detail in the 1950s and 1960s, before Luce’s death in 1967.
The “American Century” catchphrase is hyperbole, the slogan never more than a myth, a fantasy, a delusion. Military victory in any traditional sense was largely a chimera after World War II. The so-called Pax Americana itself was riddled with conflict and oppression and egregious betrayals of the professed catechism of American values. At the same time, postwar U.S. hegemony obviously never extended to more than a portion of the globe. Much that took place in the world, including disorder and mayhem, was beyond America’s control.
Yet, not unreasonably, Luce’s catchphrase persists. The twenty-first-century world may be chaotic, with violence erupting from innumerable sources and causes, but the United States does remain the planet’s “sole superpower.” The myth of exceptionalism still holds most Americans in its thrall. U.S. hegemony, however frayed at the edges, continues to be taken for granted in ruling circles, and not only in Washington. And Pentagon planners still emphatically define their mission as “full-spectrum dominance” globally.
Washington’s commitment to modernizing its nuclear arsenal rather than focusing on achieving the thoroughgoing abolition of nuclear weapons has proven unshakable. So has the country’s almost religious devotion to leading the way in developing and deploying ever more “smart” and sophisticated conventional weapons of mass destruction.
Welcome to Henry Luce’s — and America’s — violent century, even if thus far it’s lasted only 75 years. The question is just what to make of it these days.
Counting the Dead
We live in times of bewildering violence. In 2013, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate committee that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” Statisticians, however, tell a different story: that war and lethal conflict have declined steadily, significantly, even precipitously since World War II.
Much mainstream scholarship now endorses the declinists. In his influential 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker adopted the labels “the Long Peace” for the four-plus decades of the Cold War (1945-1991), and “the New Peace” for the post-Cold War years to the present. In that book, as well as in post-publication articles, postings, and interviews, he has taken the doomsayers to task. The statistics suggest, he declares, that “today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’s existence.”
Clearly, the number and deadliness of global conflicts have indeed declined since World War II. This so-called postwar peace was, and still is, however, saturated in blood and wracked with suffering.
It is reasonable to argue that total war-related fatalities during the Cold War decades were lower than in the six years of World War II (1939–1945) and certainly far less than the toll for the twentieth century’s two world wars combined. It is also undeniable that overall death tolls have declined further since then. The five most devastating intrastate or interstate conflicts of the postwar decades — in China, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and between Iran and Iraq — took place during the Cold War. So did a majority of the most deadly politicides, or political mass killings, and genocides: in the Soviet Union, China (again), Yugoslavia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, and Cambodia, among other countries. The end of the Cold War certainly did not signal the end of such atrocities (as witness Rwanda, the Congo, and the implosion of Syria). As with major wars, however, the trajectory has been downward.
Unsurprisingly, the declinist argument celebrates the Cold War as less violent than the global conflicts that preceded it, and the decades that followed as statistically less violent than the Cold War. But what motivates the sanitizing of these years, now amounting to three-quarters of a century, with the label “peace”? The answer lies largely in a fixation on major powers. The great Cold War antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union, bristling with their nuclear arsenals, never came to blows. Indeed, wars between major powers or developed states have become (in Pinker’s words) “all but obsolete.” There has been no World War III, nor is there likely to be.
Such upbeat quantification invites complacent forms of self-congratulation. (How comparatively virtuous we mortals have become!) In the United States, where we-won-the-Cold-War sentiment still runs strong, the relative decline in global violence after 1945 is commonly attributed to the wisdom, virtue, and firepower of U.S. “peacekeeping.” In hawkish circles, nuclear deterrence — the Cold War’s MAD (mutually assured destruction) doctrine that was described early on as a “delicate balance of terror” — is still canonized as an enlightened policy that prevented catastrophic global conflict.
What Doesn’t Get Counted
Branding the long postwar era as an epoch of relative peace is disingenuous, and not just because it deflects attention from the significant death and agony that actually did occur and still does. It also obscures the degree to which the United States bears responsibility for contributing to, rather than impeding, militarization and mayhem after 1945. Ceaseless U.S.-led transformations of the instruments of mass destruction — and the provocative global impact of this technological obsession — are by and large ignored.
Continuities in American-style “warfighting” (a popular Pentagon word) such as heavy reliance on airpower and other forms of brute force are downplayed. So is U.S. support for repressive foreign regimes, as well as the destabilizing impact of many of the nation’s overt and covert overseas interventions. The more subtle and insidious dimension of postwar U.S. militarization — namely, the violence done to civil society by funneling resources into a gargantuan, intrusive, and ever-expanding national security state — goes largely unaddressed in arguments fixated on numerical declines in violence since World War II.
Beyond this, trying to quantify war, conflict, and devastation poses daunting methodological challenges. Data advanced in support of the decline-of-violence argument is dense and often compelling, and derives from a range of respectable sources. Still, it must be kept in mind that the precise quantification of death and violence is almost always impossible. When a source offers fairly exact estimates of something like “war-related excess deaths,” you usually are dealing with investigators deficient in humility and imagination.
Take, for example, World War II, about which countless tens of thousands of studies have been written. Estimates of total “war-related” deaths from that global conflict range from roughly 50 million to more than 80 million. One explanation for such variation is the sheer chaos of armed violence. Another is what the counters choose to count and how they count it. Battle deaths of uniformed combatants are easiest to determine, especially on the winning side. Military bureaucrats can be relied upon to keep careful records of their own killed-in-action — but not, of course, of the enemy they kill. War-related civilian fatalities are even more difficult to assess, although — as in World War II — they commonly are far greater than deaths in combat.
Does the data source go beyond so-called battle-related collateral damage to include deaths caused by war-related famine and disease? Does it take into account deaths that may have occurred long after the conflict itself was over (as from radiation poisoning after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or from the U.S. use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War)? The difficulty of assessing the toll of civil, tribal, ethnic, and religious conflicts with any exactitude is obvious.
Concentrating on fatalities and their averred downward trajectory also draws attention away from broader humanitarian catastrophes. In mid-2015, for instance, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of individuals “forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations” had surpassed 60 million and was the highest level recorded since World War II and its immediate aftermath. Roughly two-thirds of these men, women, and children were displaced inside their own countries. The remainder were refugees, and over half of these refugees were children.
Here, then, is a trend line intimately connected to global violence that is not heading downward. In 1996, the U.N.’s estimate was that there were 37.3 million forcibly displaced individuals on the planet. Twenty years later, as 2015 ended, this had risen to 65.3 million — a 75% increase over the last two post-Cold War decades that the declinist literature refers to as the “new peace.”
Other disasters inflicted on civilians are less visible than uprooted populations. Harsh conflict-related economic sanctions, which often cripple hygiene and health-care systems and may precipitate a sharp spike in infant mortality, usually do not find a place in itemizations of military violence. U.S.-led U.N. sanctions imposed against Iraq for 13 years beginning in 1990 in conjunction with the first Gulf War are a stark example of this. An account published in the New York Times Magazine in July 2003 accepted the fact that “at least several hundred thousand children who could reasonably have been expected to live died before their fifth birthday.” And after all-out wars, who counts the maimed, or the orphans and widows, or those the Japanese in the wake of World War II referred to as the “elderly orphaned” — parents bereft of their children?
Figures and tables, moreover, can only hint at the psychological and social violence suffered by combatants and noncombatants alike. It has been suggested, for instance, that one in six people in areas afflicted by war may suffer from mental disorder (as opposed to one in ten in normal times). Even where American military personnel are concerned, trauma did not become a serious focus of concern until 1980, seven years after the U.S. retreat from Vietnam, when post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was officially recognized as a mental-health issue.
In 2008, a massive sampling study of 1.64 million U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between October 2001 and October 2007 estimated “that approximately 300,000 individuals currently suffer from PTSD or major depression and that 320,000 individuals experienced a probable TBI [traumatic brain injury] during deployment.” As these wars dragged on, the numbers naturally increased. To extend the ramifications of such data to wider circles of family and community — or, indeed, to populations traumatized by violence worldwide — defies statistical enumeration.
Terror Counts and Terror Fears
Largely unmeasurable, too, is violence in a different register: the damage that war, conflict, militarization, and plain existential fear inflict upon civil society and democratic practice. This is true everywhere but has been especially conspicuous in the United States since Washington launched its “global war on terror” in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Here, numbers are perversely provocative, for the lives claimed in twenty-first-century terrorist incidents can be interpreted as confirming the decline-in-violence argument. From 2000 through 2014, according to the widely cited Global Terrorism Index, “more than 61,000 incidents of terrorism claiming over 140,000 lives have been recorded.” Including September 11th, countries in the West experienced less than 5% of these incidents and 3% of the deaths. The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, another minutely documented tabulation based on combing global media reports in many languages, puts the number of suicide bombings from 2000 through 2015 at 4,787 attacks in more than 40 countries, resulting in 47,274 deaths.
These atrocities are incontestably horrendous and alarming. Grim as they are, however, the numbers themselves are comparatively low when set against earlier conflicts. For specialists in World War II, the “140,000 lives” estimate carries an almost eerie resonance, since this is the rough figure usually accepted for the death toll from a single act of terror bombing, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The tally is also low compared to contemporary deaths from other causes. Globally, for example, more than 400,000 people are murdered annually. In the United States, the danger of being killed by falling objects or lightning is at least as great as the threat from Islamist militants.
This leaves us with a perplexing question: If the overall incidence of violence, including twenty-first-century terrorism, is relatively low compared to earlier global threats and conflicts, why has the United States responded by becoming an increasingly militarized, secretive, unaccountable, and intrusive “national security state”? Is it really possible that a patchwork of non-state adversaries that do not possess massive firepower or follow traditional rules of engagement has, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared in 2013, made the world more threatening than ever?
For those who do not believe this to be the case, possible explanations for the accelerating militarization of the United States come from many directions. Paranoia may be part of the American DNA — or, indeed, hardwired into the human species. Or perhaps the anticommunist hysteria of the Cold War simply metastasized into a post-9/11 pathological fear of terrorism. Machiavellian fear-mongering certainly enters the picture, led by conservative and neoconservative civilian and military officials of the national security state, along with opportunistic politicians and war profiteers of the usual sort. Cultural critics predictably point an accusing finger as well at the mass media’s addiction to sensationalism and catastrophe, now intensified by the proliferation of digital social media.
To all this must be added the peculiar psychological burden of being a “superpower” and, from the 1990s on, the planet’s “sole superpower” — a situation in which “credibility” is measured mainly in terms of massive cutting-edge military might. It might be argued that this mindset helped “contain Communism” during the Cold War and provides a sense of security to U.S. allies. What it has not done is ensure victory in actual war, although not for want of trying. With some exceptions (Grenada, Panama, the brief 1991 Gulf War, and the Balkans), the U.S. military has not tasted victory since World War II — Korea, Vietnam, and recent and current conflicts in the Greater Middle East being boldface examples of this failure. This, however, has had no impact on the hubris attached to superpower status. Brute force remains the ultimate measure of credibility.
The traditional American way of war has tended to emphasize the “three Ds” (defeat, destroy, devastate). Since 1996, the Pentagon’s proclaimed mission is to maintain “full-spectrum dominance” in every domain (land, sea, air, space, and information) and, in practice, in every accessible part of the world. The Air Force Global Strike Command, activated in 2009 and responsible for managing two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, typically publicizes its readiness for “Global Strike… Any Target, Any Time.”
In 2015, the Department of Defense acknowledged maintaining 4,855 physical “sites” — meaning bases ranging in size from huge contained communities to tiny installations — of which 587 were located overseas in 42 foreign countries. An unofficial investigation that includes small and sometimes impermanent facilities puts the number at around 800 in 80 countries. Over the course of 2015, to cite yet another example of the overwhelming nature of America’s global presence, elite U.S. special operations forces were deployed to around 150 countries, and Washington provided assistance in arming and training security forces in an even larger number of nations.
America’s overseas bases reflect, in part, an enduring inheritance from World War II and the Korean War. The majority of these sites are located in Germany (181), Japan (122), and South Korea (83) and were retained after their original mission of containing communism disappeared with the end of the Cold War. Deployment of elite special operations forces is also a Cold War legacy (exemplified most famously by the Army’s “Green Berets” in Vietnam) that expanded after the demise of the Soviet Union. Dispatching covert missions to three-quarters of the world’s nations, however, is largely a product of the war on terror.
Many of these present-day undertakings require maintaining overseas “lily pad” facilities that are small, temporary, and unpublicized. And many, moreover, are integrated with covert CIA “black operations.” Combating terror involves practicing terror — including, since 2002, an expanding campaign of targeted assassinations by unmanned drones. For the moment, this latest mode of killing remains dominated by the CIA and the U.S. military (with the United Kingdom and Israel following some distance behind).
Counting Nukes
The “delicate balance of terror” that characterized nuclear strategy during the Cold War has not disappeared. Rather, it has been reconfigured. The U.S. and Soviet arsenals that reached a peak of insanity in the 1980s have been reduced by about two-thirds — a praiseworthy accomplishment but one that still leaves the world with around 15,400 nuclear weapons as of January 2016, 93% of them in U.S. and Russian hands. Close to two thousand of the latter on each side are still actively deployed on missiles or at bases with operational forces.
This downsizing, in other words, has not removed the wherewithal to destroy the Earth as we know it many times over. Such destruction could come about indirectly as well as directly, with even a relatively “modest” nuclear exchange between, say, India and Pakistan triggering a cataclysmic climate shift — a “nuclear winter” — that could result in massive global starvation and death. Nor does the fact that seven additional nations now possess nuclear weapons (and more than 40 others are deemed “nuclear weapons capable”) mean that “deterrence” has been enhanced. The future use of nuclear weapons, whether by deliberate decision or by accident, remains an ominous possibility. That threat is intensified by the possibility that nonstate terrorists may somehow obtain and use nuclear devices.
What is striking at this moment in history is that paranoia couched as strategic realism continues to guide U.S. nuclear policy and, following America’s lead, that of the other nuclear powers. As announced by the Obama administration in 2014, the potential for nuclear violence is to be “modernized.” In concrete terms, this translates as a 30-year project that will cost the United States an estimated $1 trillion (not including the usual future cost overruns for producing such weapons), perfect a new arsenal of “smart” and smaller nuclear weapons, and extensively refurbish the existing delivery “triad” of long-range manned bombers, nuclear-armed submarines, and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
Nuclear modernization, of course, is but a small portion of the full spectrum of American might — a military machine so massive that it inspired President Obama to speak with unusual emphasis in his State of the Union address in January 2016.
“The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth,” he declared. “Period. Period. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.”
Official budgetary expenditures and projections provide a snapshot of this enormous military machine, but here again numbers can be misleading. Thus, the “base budget” for defense announced in early 2016 for fiscal year 2017 amounts to roughly $600 billion, but this falls far short of what the actual outlay will be. When all other discretionary military- and defense-related costs are taken into account — nuclear maintenance and modernization, the “war budget” that pays for so-called overseas contingency operations like military engagements in the Greater Middle East, “black budgets” that fund intelligence operations by agencies including the CIA and the National Security Agency, appropriations for secret high-tech military activities, “veterans affairs” costs (including disability payments), military aid to other countries, huge interest costs on the military-related part of the national debt, and so on — the actual total annual expenditure is close to $1 trillion.
Such stratospheric numbers defy easy comprehension, but one does not need training in statistics to bring them closer to home. Simple arithmetic suffices. The projected bill for just the 30-year nuclear modernization agenda comes to over $90 million a day, or almost $4 million an hour. The $1 trillion price tag for maintaining the nation’s status as “the most powerful nation on Earth” for a single year amounts to roughly $2.74 billion a day, over $114 million an hour.
Creating a capacity for violence greater than the world has ever seen is costly — and remunerative.
So an era of a “new peace”? Think again. We’re only three quarters of the way through America’s violent century and there’s more to come.
John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning War Without Mercy and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat. His new book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two (Dispatch Books), has just been published. This essay is adapted from chapter one of that densely annotated book. (Sources for the information above appear in the footnotes in that book.)

Weekly report on israel's terrorism against the State of Palestine (23-29 March 2017)


Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)


  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child in al-Jalazone refugee camp and a woman in occupied Jerusalem.
  • 9 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were wounded.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported
  • Israeli forces conducted 51 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • 57 civilians, including 14 children and 3 young women, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 25 of them, including 8 children and two young women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
  • Among those arrested were 10 of al-Aqsa guards.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces forced a civilian to self-demolish his house roof in Beit Hanina, north of the city.
  • Two under-construction houses in al-Issawiyah were demolished in addition to two inhabited ones in al-Mukaber Mount, rendering 14 persons homeless, including 10 children.
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A mobile house (caravan) was confiscated from the Northern Jordan Valley, and a metal workshop was demolished in al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 7 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.


Summary
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (23-29 March 2017).

Shooting:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and woman.  Meanwhile, they wounded 9 other civilians, including 2 children, in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the sea and open fire at the farmers in the border areas.

In the West Bank, in a new crime of using excessive force, on 23 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 4 others, including 2 children.  All of them were from al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.  Israeli forces claimed that Palestinians in a car traveling near Beit Eil Settlement threw Molotov Cocktails at the settlement fence.  The Israeli soldiers fortified in a watchtower opened fire at a car.  As a result, a child was killed and 4 other civilians were wounded.  According to information available at PCHR, if the Israeli forces’ claims were true, they could have used less lethal forces against the abovementioned civilians and arrested them.

In a new crime of wilful killings, on 29 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian identified as Siham Rateb Nemer (49) after opening fire at her when she was entering the Damascus Gate (Bab al-‘Amoud) in occupied Jerusalem.  Israeli forces claimed as usual that the abovementioned woman attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.  However, PCHR’s investigations refuted those claims.  It should be mentioned that Siham is the mother of Mustafa Nemer, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on 05 September 2016 when he was driving a car along with his relative on ‘Anata Street in Sho’afat refugee camp, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.  As a result, he was killed and his relative was wounded.

On 24 March 2017, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded while participating in a demonstration in al-Qaboun area near al-Mugheir village, northeast of Ramallah.  This demonstration was in protest against the establishment of a sheep barn by a settler in an attempt to establish a settlement outpost on the Palestinian lands.

In the Gaza Strip, as part of targeting the border areas, on 25 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  No casualties were reported.

On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed inside watchtowers along the eastern borders of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the border area opposite to al-Ahmar area.  No casualties were reported.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen, on 25 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boat sailing there.  However, no casualties were reported.  The shooting recurred in the same area on 29 March 2017.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 51 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 57 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children and 3 young women. Twenty-five of them, including 8 children and 2 young sisters, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. Among those arrested were 10 of al-Aqsa guards.

Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem:

In the context of house demolitions, on 25 March 2017, Yousif Bakhtan self-demolished a house roof in al-Ashqariyah neighborhood in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, to avoid the Israeli Municipality’s high demolition costs .

On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction house belonging to Ahmed Abu al-Homos and an under-construction building belonging to Mheisen family in al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

On 29 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished two houses belonging to Islam and Imam Mousa al-‘Abasi in al-Mukaber Mount villagem, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.  The two houses were built in 2014 on an area of 160 square meters.  the first house sheltered Islam al-‘Abasi and his 8-member family, including 6 children, while the second houses sheltered his brother Imam and his family comprised of 6 members, including 4 children.

Settlement Activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

On 27 March 2017, Israeli forces demolished a barrack used as a metal workshop in al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho.  The 144-square-meter barrack roofed and built of tin plates belongs to Anwar Abu Joudah, whose family is comprised of 10 members, including 8 children, and he is the sole breadwinner of his family.

On 28 March 2017, Israeli forces confiscated a mobile house (caravan) in al-Hammah area in the Northern Jordan Valley, east of tubas.  The caravan belongs to Mahmoud ‘Awwad Ayoub and donated from ACTED Foundation.

In the same context, on 27 March 2017, a group of settlers from Gel’ad settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilya, attacked farmers from the abovementioned village while ploughing their land there.

Restrictions on movement:

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.


Details

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Thursday, 23 March 2017

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah, and patrolled in the village streets. They arrested Ragheb Mohammed Abdul Rahman (14) and released him few hours later.

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus, and stationed in al-Ma’ajin area, west of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Baraa’ Mohammed Abu al-Nawas (24) and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Atil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses, after which they arrested Mothanna Abdullah Mohammed Sadlah (26).

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufur al-Deek village, west of Salfit, and patrolled in the streets. They then arrested 3 children namely Mahmoud Ghassan Fasoul (17), Anas Abdul Jabbar Hadrous (17) and Mo’taz Ahmed Isam’il al-Deek (14). At approximately 18:00, the Israeli forces released them.

  • In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 4 others, including 2 children. All of them are from al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 20:00 on the same day, the Israeli soldiers stationed in the military watchtowers established at the western outskirts of “Beit Eil” settlement, north of Ramallah, adjacent to al-Jalazoun refugee camp from the eastern side, opened fire at a civilian car traveled by 5 civilians, including 3 children from the abovementioned camp. As a result, Mohammed Mahmoud Ibrahim Hattab (17) was hit with 2 live bullets to the chest and shoulder and died after short time. Four other civilians, including 2 children, were hit with live bullets, seriously wounding 3 of them. The first of those wounded was an 18-year-old civilian who sustained 2 live bullet wounds to the chest and abdomen, while the second is an 18-year-old civilian who was hit with 2 live bullets to the head and right thigh. The third was a 15-year-old civilian who sustained a live bullet wound to the chest.  Their wounds were classified as serious. Moreover, a 17-year civilian sustained shrapnel wounds to the head. The Israeli forces claimed that while those Palestinian civilians were driving a private car near “Beit Eil” settlement, they threw Molotov Cocktails at the settlement fence. The soldiers, who were in the watchtower, opened fire at the car. As a result, Hattab was killed and four others were wounded. PCHR’s fieldworker could not find a local eyewitness to approve or deny the Israeli claims due to the closure of the shops near the area. According to information available at PCHR and even if the Israeli claims were true, the Israeli forces could have used less lethal force against those civilians and arrested them.
(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Wazan village, west of Nablus; Sa’ir, Taffouh and Karmah villages in Hebron.

Friday, 24 March 2017

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into the southern area in Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Osama Nayef ‘Abbas Abu Suneinah (20) and Hazem Eshaq Abdul Fattah Wahdan (21) and then arrested them.

  • At approximately 17:30, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Fathi Qadri (33) and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 20:20, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ourta village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Thaer ‘Arabi ‘Awad (28) and then arrested him.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Furiq village, east of Nablus; Surif and Beit Awa villages in Hebron.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting sporadically recurred until at approximately 10:00. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, Halhoul, Beit Awla villages and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Taffouh village, west of Hebron. The soldiers surrounded al-Reda Building while a number of them raided and searched a house belonging to Ref’at Sarhan Tarwah and then arrested him. They confiscated a drone with camera.

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalamah village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Rami Hesham Nader Abu Farhah (21), Manaf Ahmed Abdullah Abu Farhah (21) and Tareq Khalil Sha’ban (32).

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Zeta village, south of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Ayham Roumal ‘Ali Abu Hamdi (17).

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces stationed in military watchtowers along the eastern side of the al-Shuhada Cemetery, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border area. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave the area for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yasouf village, east of Salfit; Emrish and Surif villages in Hebron.

Monday, 27 March 2017

  •  At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, and patrolled in the streets. A number of young men threw stones at the Israeli jeeps. An Israeli soldier then stepped out of a jeep and randomly opened fire at the young men, but no casualties were reported. Following that, about 30 military jeeps arrived at the centre of the village as the soldiers deployed in the area. Later, the Israeli forces withdrew, but neither arrests nor raids were reported.

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Rantees village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched houses belonging to Jehad Sari Wahdan (30), Mo’taz Samih Wahdan (30) and Zaid Samhan Wahdan (24) and then arrested them.

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested ‘Alaa’ Khaled Mahmoud Ismail (23) and Emad Ahmed Yusuf Abu Harb (34).

  •  Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses then arrested Ra’fat Jamil Mohammed Basif (50) and Hamzah Yahiya (24). It should be noted that Nasif is a Hamas leader in Tulkarm.

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Abu Romman neighbourhood in the south-eastern area in Hebron and stationed near al-Tamimi family Divan. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Adnan Fanoun al-Tamimi and then handed his son Ahmed (22) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence “Shin Bet” in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Qalqiliyah, Yatta, Bani Na’im, al-Shoyoukh villages and Farsh al-Hawa area in Hebron.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. They patrolled in Wadi al-Jawz, Muthalath Abu Hleil and al-Babour neighborhoods. They raided and searched several houses, but no arrests were reported. In al-Babour neighborhood, the Israeli soldiers raided and searched a house belonging to Qamar al-Anbiyaa’ Ismail Mousa ID’eis (37), broke a wooden door and ruined the contents of a goods store near his house. The soldiers verbally informed ID’eis to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem. In the central village, the soldiers raided and searched 2 houses belonging to 2 brothers; Hesham (50) and Hashem (52) Mohammed Ibrahim Ermilat. The soldiers held their families’ members outside for an hour before moving them to the ground floor and detaining them for 4 hours. During which, the soldiers searched the 2 houses, destroyed the contents and tore wooden seats in Hashems’ apartment. As for Wadi al-Jawz area, the Israeli forces raided and searched houses belonging to Mohammed ‘Obaid Harashah, Ziyad ‘Obaid Harashah and Khalil Yusuf Malas, whose house was photographed. Hashem Ermilat said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“My brother and I along with our families in addition to my son Husain’s family (25) and his baby (6 months) were held outside the house for half an hour despite the cold weather. The soldiers then moved us to an under-construction room in the ground floor for 4 hours while 3 soldiers were pointing their weapons at us. My daughter Ahlam panicked and then fainted.”

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses, after which they arrested Sojoud ‘As’ad Rihan (25), an engineering student in Najah National University.

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Khalil Sorour (18) and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Saif Mohammed Hamad Daraghmah (18), a student at Tubas Secondary School.

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces accompanied with a number of military jeeps moved into Beit Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mahmoud Raed Masalmah (16) and Ahmed Khaled Abu al-Jamal (17) and then arrested them.

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Salam and al-Jalaah neighbourhoods in Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Rahim ‘Omran al-Atrash (28) and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Sultan Bassam Hamdan (31).

  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces stationed in military watchtowers along the eastern borders of Beit Hanoun village in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the border area adjacent to al-Ahmer area. As a result, farmers and a number of bird hunters and shepherds were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir village and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron and Howarah village, south of Nablus.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

  • At approximately 01:35, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aqraba village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses then arrested Huthaifah Jamal Khater (26).

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces accompanied with several military jeeps and a truck with a crane moved into the southern area in Hebron. They raided and searched a workshop belonging to Tayseer Abu Sbaih (55) and then confiscated the workshop contents. The Israeli authorities claimed that the workshop is used for manufacturing ammunition explosives. The Israeli forces later withdrew, but no arrests were reported.

  • At approximately 23:45, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Jabaa’ village, south of Jenin, Bani Na’im village, and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron.


  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

West Bank:

  • At approximately 10:00, on Friday, 24 March 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians organized a demonstration in al-Qabboun area near al-Moghir village, northeast of Ramallah, in protest against a sheep barn built by a settler in an attempt to establish a settlement outpost on the Palestinian lands. The Israeli forces immediately fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, 5 civilians sustained wounds. The first civilian (29) sustained a live bullet wound to the lower limbs, the second (23) was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs, the third (19) was hit with a tear gas canister to the head, the fourth one (19) was hit with a bullet to the thigh and the fifth (31) was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.
(PCHR keeps the names of the wounded civilians).

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.
Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, is designated for the movement of goods
(20 – 27 March 2017)
DateImports 
CategoryAmount 
TonsNumberLiters 
20 MarchVarious goods4228   
Humanitarian aid21823   
Cooking gas252,080   
Benzene  187,004 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  743,93338,020 
Construction aggregates169,620   
Cement3560  
Construction steel600  
21 MarchVarious goods3,966   
Humanitarian aid19, 592   
Cooking gas248,520   
Benzene  224,020 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  375,94176,000 
Construction aggregates14,400   
 Cement4160   
 Construction steel930  
22 March

Various goods2,082  
Humanitarian aid17,756   
Cooking gas253,490   
Benzene  117,993 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  475,94838,000 
Industrial Diesel  511,436 
Construction aggregates3,920   
Cement324   
Construction steel13,040   
23 March Various goods4,566   
Humanitarian aid18,982   
Cooking gas254,800   
Benzene  228,043 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  554,95476,016 
Industrial Diesel  1,011,358 
Construction aggregates14,520   
Cement3760   
Construction steel550   
26 March

Various goods3,813   
Humanitarian aid18,484   
Cooking gas227,260   
Benzene  76,020 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  408,94038,000 
Industrial Diesel  488,956 
Construction aggregates3,560   
Cement299   
Construction steel14,240   
27 March Various goods4,369   
Humanitarian aid4,091   
Cooking gas249,580   
Benzene  192,028 
DieselDiesel for UNRWA  594,91138,000 
Industrial Diesel  489,958 
Construction aggregates3,477   
Construction steel614   

Note:

On Monday, 20 March 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of 9 truckloads of tomatoes; 4 truckloads of cucumbers; a truckload of eggplants; a truckload of hot pepper; 1.4 tons of bill pepper; 11.5 tons of squash and 2.5 tons of cauliflower.
On Tuesday, 21 March 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of 20 tons of lemon.
On Wednesday, 22 March 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of 10 truckloads of tomatoes; 7 truckloads of cucumbers; a truckload of eggplants; a truckload of pepper; 0.9 tons of bill pepper; 14.08 tons of squash; a truckload of cabbages; 2 tons of cauliflowers; 4 tons of clothes; 0.09 tons of mint and 0.45 tons of garlic.
On Thursday, 23 March 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of 8 truckloads of tomatoes; 6 truckloads of cucumbers; 3.2 tons of eggplants; a truckload of pepper; 2 tons of bill peppers; 7a truckload of squash; and 0.5 tons of cabbages.
On Sunday, 26 March 2017, Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of a truckload of lemon; truckload of fish and 15 truckloads of vegetables.
On Monday, 27 March 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed the exportation of 38 tons of aluminum scrap and 9 truckloads of vegetables.


Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing
(21-27 March 2017)

Category21 March22 March23 March24 March  25 March 26 March27 March
Patients715847136
Companions655042134
Personal needs34615326
Familiesof prisoners15
Arabs fromIsrael1067103
Diplomats81961
International journalists
International workers4928819
TravelersAbroad4212
Business people1281231181
Business meetings1
Security interviews441
VIPs111
Ambulances to Israel27122
Patients’ Companions26122

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (16) checkpoints all over the city.
On Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Dura village and at the entrances to Samou’a and Raboud villages.
On Friday, 24 March 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawar and al-‘Aroub refugee camps and at the entrance to al-Ramadeen village.
On Saturday, 25 March 2017, Israeli forces established 2checkpoints at the entrances to Kharras and Sa’ir villages.
On Sunday, 26 March 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Sa’ir and Beit Ummer villages.
On Monday, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Raboud village and at the northern entrance to Halhoul village.
On Tuesday, 28 March 2017, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna, al-Shayyoukh and Samou’a village and at the western entrance to Hebron.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:  Israeli forces established (16) checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah and in ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city.
On Saturday, 25 March 2017, Israeli forces established 6 checkpoints in ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city; at al-Taiba villge’s intersection (al-Mo’arajat raod between Ramallah and Jericho); at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh , Deir Abu Mish’al and ‘Aboud villages, northwest of the city; and between Selwad and ‘Ain Yabroud villages, northeast of the city.
On Sunday, 26 March 2017, Israeli forces established 6 checkpoints in ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of the city; at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh , Deir Abu Mish’al and ‘Aboud villages, northwest of the city; at the intersections of  Selwad, Deir Jareer and al-Tiba villges, northeast of Ramallah.
On Monday, 27 March 2017, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Aboud village, west of Ramllah.
On Tuesday, 28 March 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Aboud village, northwest of the city and in ‘Ain Yabroud village, northeast of the city.

Salfit:
On Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Kafur al-Deek village, west of Salfit; between Kafur al-Deek and Burqeen villages, west of the city; and at the eastern entrance to Yasouf villge, east of the city.

Qalqiliyia:

At approximately 16:50 on Friday, 24 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyia. At approximately 23:00 on Saturday, 25 March 2017, a similar checkpoint was established near al-Fondouq village on the main street between Nablus and Qalqilyia.

Bethlehem:

On Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli forces closed the entrances to western countryside of Bethlehem, which include Hosan, Nahleen and Wad Fokeen villages. As a result, civilians were denied access to their houses and work. Eyewitness stated that the Israeli forces closed with sand and cement barriers in addition to rocks the entrances leading to the western countryside villages , so vehicles and buses were denied access to the villages while the villages’ residents were forced to access the villages on foot. It should be noted that the checkpoints are established until now.

Nablus:

At approximately 10:30 on Saturday, 25 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian vehicles and checked their IDs. No arrests were reported.

Arrests at military checkpoints:

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance to Beit ‘Aynoun village, east of Hebron, arrested Mohamed ‘Emad Jaradat (17), from Sa’ir village, while passing through the checkpoint. Mohamed was then taken to a police station in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. It should be noted that in the morning, the Israeli authorities closed the abovementioned entrance with an iron gate. They also forced civilians to pass through a bumpy road in order to reach their houses. The Israeli forces claimed that the closure came as a result of throwing stones at the Israeli vehicles.

  • At approximately 16:30 on Friday, 24 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on ‘Atara village’s bridge at the northern entrance to Birzeit, north of Ramallah. The Israeli forces searched Palestinian vehicles and checked their IDs. During this, they arrested Ahmed Hasan al-Barghothi (23), from ‘Aboud village, northwest of the city.

  • At approximately 16:30 on Saturday, 25 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of Eastern Mazra’ah village, northeast of Ramallah. The Israeli forces searched Palestinian vehicles and checked their IDs. During this, they arrested Ahmed Saleh Suliman Ghawanmah (26), from Kafur Malek village, northeast of the city.

  • At approximately 12:20 on Sunday, 26 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Emateen village, northeast of Qalqiliya. The Israeli forces searched Palestinian vehicles and checked their IDs. During this, they arrested Ayoub Ma’zouz Sowan (20).

  • At approximately 18:30 on Monday, 27 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed at Za’atara checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Ameer Khalid Sweilem (21), from Balata refugee camp, east of the city. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces stopped a vehicle carrying Sweilem, checked the passengers’ IDs and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village’s bridge, north of Ramallah. The Israeli forces searched Palestinian vehicles and checked their During this, they arrested Hamza Foad Jameel Abu al-Haj (23), from Deir al-Sodan village, northwest of Ramallah.


  • At approximately 18:30 on Wednesday, 29 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed at al-Hamrah checkpoint, southeast of Tubas village, arrested Mohamed Husain Yousef ‘Ayidah (25), from Tubas. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces stopped a vehicle carrying Mohamed, checked the passengers’ IDs and then arrested him.

  • Efforts to Create Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:


Shooting Incidents:

  • In a new crime of wilful killing, on Wednesday, 29 March 2016, Israeli forces shot dead Siham Ratib Nimer (49) at Damascus “al-‘Amoud” Gate in occupied Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, Siham was on her way along with her two daughters, Zahra (20) and Manar ( 22), to Jerusalem’s Old City through al-‘Amoud Gate. As they were walking, a verbal altercation happened between the Israeli soldiers and Siham’s daughters. When Siham attempted to intervene, an Israeli soldier opened fire at her. As a result, Siham was hit with live bullets to the chest and limbs and died. Eyewitnesses added that the Israeli forces moved into the area, completely surrounded it, and denied access to it. A paramedic, who was passing by the area and wearing his uniform, tried to offer first aid to her, but the Israeli forces prevented him. Furthermore, the Israeli Intelligence Service arrested Siham’s two daughters and summoned her husband Talal Nimer for interrogation. The Israeli forces claimed that Siham attempted to carry out a stabbing attack against the Israeli soldiers. It should be noted that, the victim was the mother of Mustafa Nimer, who was killed on 05/9/2016, when the Israeli forces opened fire at a vehicle traveling by Mustafa and his relative on ‘Anata Street in Shu’fat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem. As a result, Mustafa was killed while his relative was wounded.

Arrests and Incursions:

  • On Thursday, 23 March 2017, Israeli officers attacked Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem. Those civilians were identified as Mazen Ra’fat Showeiki (50) and Ahmed al-Taweel (26). Al-Showeiki said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he headed to his truck, which was in the Ministry of Interior parking, in Wad al-Jouz neighborhood, but was surprised with an Israeli officer coming, pulling him out of the truck and insulting him. The Israeli officer said to him, “Why did you hit my car parked there?” Mazen told him that he will repair the car and give him all the necessary papers. In spite of this, the Israeli officer hit Mazen at his chest and head. Mazen said that he hit the officer’s car on Tuesday, 31 March 2017, in the Ministry of Interior parking and on that day he could not know the car’s owner, so he left the area after waiting for over half an hour. Mazen added that a group of Palestinian young men attempted to prevent the attack, but they were exposed to beating as well. Furthermore, Ahmed al-Taweel said that a group of Palestinian young men attempted to prevent the attack, but were beaten and threatened with the officer’s firearm. The officer also said that three officer of the Israeli special forces along with guards, who work in the Ministry of Interior, severely beat the abovementioned Palestinian young men as shown in a video. As a result, al-Showeiki suffered from dyspnea and sustained bruises wounds, while al-Taweel suffered bruises in his eyes.

  • On Friday, 24 March 2016, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the activist, Mohamed Shalabi (35), in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, and then arrested him.

  • In dawn, Israeli forces raided and searched houses belonging to ‘Alaa al-Deen al- Natsha (22), Mohamed Abu Shosha (21) and Hamza Milhes (21). All of the abovementioned persons were arrested.

  • Following the Friday’s prayer, dozens of Palestinian young men organized a protest in al-Aqsa Mosque yards demanding for the killed victims’ bodies under the Israeli custody. When the protesters got out of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Israeli forces arrested 3 children and then took them to detention centres for interrogation. The arrested children were identified as ‘Isaa Mohamed al-Ja’bari (17), Yazan Hisham al-Ja’bari (16) amd Siraj al-Deen Mireesh (14).

  • On Saturday, 25 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Sawanah neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ameer Waleed al-Bilbasi and arrested him.

  • On Saturday, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Amoud neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abed al-Raheem Barbar and arrested him.

  • On Monday, 27 March 2017, Israeli forces arrested 4 of al-Aqsa Mosque guards while confronting an Israeli archaeologist, who attempted to steal one of the mosque stones. The Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department stated that an Israeli archaeologist attempted to steal one of the mosque stones, but the guards confronted him. In addition, when the archaeologist got out of the mosque, he attempted to raid Al-Marwani Mosque, but the guards confronted him as well. In the meantime, the Israeli forces arrested Loai Abu al-Sa’ad and Salman Abu Mayalah. Moreover they arrested two guards, Hamza Nimer and ‘Arafat Najeeb. In the evening, ‘Ahed Jouda and Mohanad Idrees, al-Aqsa Mosque guards, turned themselves in to al-Silsilah Gate police station for interrogation. Furthermore, the Israeli forces arrested 4 other al-Aqsa Mosque guards after raiding their houses in the Old City’s neighbourhoods and al-Sawana neighbourhood. The arrested guards were identified as Samer al-Qabani, Qasem Kamal, Osama Siyam and Khalil al-Tarhouni.

  • Houses Demolition:

  • On Saturday, 25 March 2017, a Palestinian civilian, Yousef Bakhtan, self-demolished his house roof in al-Ashqariyah neighbourhood in Beit Haninah neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem to avoid the Israeli Municipality’s high demolition costs. Yousef said that he demolished his under-construction house roof to avoid the demolition costs. The Israeli Municipality gave Yoused until 29 March 2017, to self-demolish his house roof, which was built on an area of 60 square meters, under the pretext of non-licensing.

  • On Tuesday, 28 March 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality crews and a bulldozer moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The bulldozer demolished an under-construction house belonging to Ahmed Abu al-Humus under the pretext of non-licensing. The house was comprised of one floor and built on an area of 150 square meters. In the meanwhile, the Israeli forces headed to an under-construction residential building belonging to Muheisin family and then demolished the first floor built a year ago. The family stopped the house construction due to the Israeli Municipality decision. It should be noted that the family attempted to get a license, but the house was demolished without a prior warning.

  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

  • Israeli Settlers:

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 27 March 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with Civil Administration crews and military bulldozers moved into al-Jeftalik village, north of Jericho. They demolished a barrack built of tin plates on an area of 144 square meters under the pretext of non-licensing. The barrack belongs to Anwar Mohamed Mahmoud Abu Jouda, whose family is comprised of 10 members, including 8 children.

  • At approximately 12:30 on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Humma area in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They confiscated a mobile house (caravan) belonging to Mahmoud ‘Awwad Ayoub. After that, they dismantled and moved it by a truck with a crane to an unknown destination. It should be noted that the caravan was donated by the ACTED Foundation.

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 27 March 2017, a group of Israeli settlers from “Gilad settlement in Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliya, attacked the village farmers while ploughing their land. Tamer Tayseer Mahmoud Yameen (38), said to a PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“While the farmers were ploughing the land as we got a permit from the Israeli forces, an Israeli female settler came and started shouting at us. In the meantime, five other Israeli settlers approached and insulted us.  One of the settlers threatened us with a firearm, while another one threw stones at the tractor driver namely Qasem Rushdi Ahmed Sedah (48).  As a result, the stone fell in the exhaust, but fortunately the driver was not wounded.  There were 2 Israeli soldiers, female soldier and officer but they did not do anything.  Even when we tried to defend ourselves by throwing stones back at the settler, the female soldiers did not allow us and immediately expelled us from the land.”

Recommendations to the International Community

PCHR emphasizes the international community’s position that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation, in spite of Israeli military redeployment outside the Gaza Strip in 2005. PCHR further confirms that Israeli forces continued to impose collective punishment measures on the Gaza Strip, which have escalated since the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas won the majority of seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council. PCHR stresses that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and the international humanitarian law, especially the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Geneva Conventions. Israel is bound to apply the international human rights law and the law of war sometime reciprocally and other times in parallel in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for victims.

In light of continued arbitrary measures, land confiscation and settlement activities in the West Bank, and the latest 51-day offensive against civilians in the Gaza Strip, PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the United Nations, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention and the European Union – in the context of their natural obligation to respect and enforce the international law – to cooperate and act according to the following recommendations:

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community and the United Nations to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination, through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine;
  2. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the oPt, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the oPt, especially the Gaza Strip;
  3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to compel Israel, as a High Contracting Party to the Conventions, to apply the Conventions in the oPt;
  4. PCHR calls upon the Parties to international human rights instruments, especially the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to pressurize Israel to comply with their provisions in the oPt, and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the concerned committees;
  5. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligations to ensure the application of the Conventions, including extending the scope of their jurisdiction in order to prosecute suspected war criminals, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator and the place of a crime, to pave the way for prosecuting suspected Israeli war criminals and end the longstanding impunity they have enjoyed;
  6. PCHR calls upon States that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction not to surrender to Israeli pressure to limit universal jurisdiction to perpetuate the impunity enjoyed by suspected Israeli war criminals;
  7. PCHR calls upon the international community to act in order to stop all Israeli settlement expansion activities in the oPt through imposing sanctions on Israeli settlements and criminalizing trading with them;
  8. PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals accountable in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights;
  9. PCHR calls upon the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council to explicitly declare that the Israeli closure policy in Gaza and the annexation wall in the West Bank are illegal, and accordingly refer the two issues to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel to compel it to remove them;
  10. PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly the UN, in light of its failure to the stop the aggression on the Palestinian people, to at least fulfil its obligation to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the series of hostilities launched by Israel which directly targeted the civilian infrastructure;
  11. PCHR calls upon the United Nations and the European Union to express a clear position towards the annexation wall following the international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, as the annexation wall seizes large parts of the State of Palestine;
  12. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that both sides must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel, and the EU must not ignore Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians