In its weekly report, the Palestinian National Bureau noted a number of colonial schemes carried out by the Israeli government in an attempt to seize more Palestinian lands, as well as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s approval of the completion of the Apartheid Wall around the Beit Eil settlement which was built on Palestinian lands, besides the establishment of a new settlement outpost on Al-Moghaier, Abu Falah and Kafr Malik villages’ lands, near Ramallah.
Moreover, according to the PNN, a series of Judaization measures to empower the settlement activity was noted over the last week, as the Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem posted the detailed features of its budget for the year 2017, which is the highest ever since the occupation of the city, as it reaches NIS 7.37 billion following the Israeli government’s agreement, this year, to increase the sum by NIS 700,000,000, so as celebrate 50 years of occupation in the city. Thus, 11,000 new housing settlement units will be built, 24 new structural schemes will be approved and 5,000,000 sq.m2 will be leveled for economic and commercial settlement projects.
Likewise, Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, and Minister of Environmental and Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin took on a role of encouragement, with regard towards Judaization activities, as they announced the establishment of the “Temple Mount Fund”, which will see a sum of NIS 2,000,000 allocated to it, yearly, so as to promote a media campaign promoting the Jewish connection with the sacred site of the Temple Mount (i.e. the Dome of the Rock). Moreover, the Interior Parliamentary Committee at the Israeli Knesset also continued its own sessions to enact the (Kminc) racial bill that is to amend the regulation and construction law of 1965 that aims to accelerate and facilitate the demolition of Arab houses in the occupied Green-line and Jerusalem, under the pretext of being illegally built
Over the last week, the following violations were documented by the National Bureau:
- Preliminary infrastructure works in the towns of Beit Hanina and Shu’fat, for the expansion of the settlement there, as Israel began bulldozing the lands near the Ramat Shlomo settlement so as to build 100 new settlement units on 150 dunams of the towns, whereas Israeli bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Qar’ain family in the town of Silwan.
- They also demolished a building under construction belonging to Majdi Mostafa, in al-Eeesawiyya village, under the pretext of being unlicensed.
- A Palestinian driver was attacked late last night by settlers from Sharafat, near occupied Jerusalem. The driver was severely beaten and was about to die, before being taken to a hospital. In another incident, 3 citizens, including a child, were also injured by settlers near the Makhmas settlement, after they smashed their vehicles and stole a sum of money.
- Israeli occupation forces organized the Jerusalem International Marathon throughout the Old City, with the participation of Israelis and foreigners from 60 countries. The marathon aims to pass off the Talmudic and Biblical version of Jerusalem, and to be organized under the pretext of 50 years of liberation of Jerusalem from the invaders – the 50th anniversary of Israeli occupation of the city in 1967.
- Israeli occupation forces deployed around and at the main entrance of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, in downtown Hebron, preventing scores of Palestinians from reaching their homes in the Old City of Hebron, under the pretext of settlers’security as they celebrate the Purim holiday.
- A group of settlers also stormed a kindergarten in the Old City of Hebron.
- Israeli occupation forces bulldozed an agricultural land in the town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, in order to expand the settlement of Gilo. Some 900 new housing units have been built in the lands of Beit Jala, Al-Walaja and Sharfat.
- A young man was restrained and severely beaten near the Neve Daniel settlement near Al-Khader village, Bethlehem.
- Settlers uprooted scores of grape seedlings and destroyed a grape orchard belonging to Nader Saleh Abd Al-Asalam, in the town of Al-Khader, which is surrounded by the Eliazar and Daniel settlements.
- Settlers erected a new settlement outpost east of Al-Moghier village, Ramallah, and fixed caravans on Al-Tayoon Mountain, near the villages of Al-Moghaier and Kufr Malik. They also erected barbed wire around the caravans and paved a road to ease access to them.
- Olive trees have been stolen by the Rahalim settlers, built on the lands of the Sawiya and Yitma villages, south of Nablus, where about 140 olive trees belonging to Haitham Kufina and Suhail Sulaiman were stolen.
- Israeli occupation forces confiscated a caravan belonging to Tawfiq Abd Al-Rahim Haj Moh’d, near the Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. Moreover, right-wing settlers attacked the Burin Secondary Mixed School, south of Nablus, and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas bombs around the school.
- Scores of settlers accompanied by Israeli occupation army officers, as well as the commander of the so-called Ephraim area, stormed the Kefil Haris village, southwest of Nablus, last week, in order to perform their prayers at the so-called Tomb of Yosha’a Ben Noon. Among the settlers was Yossi Dagan, head of the so-called Nablus Area Settlements, and head of the Ariel settlement, Eli Shapiro.
- Palestinian farmers from the town of Yasoof complained of the Israeli occupation policies preventing them from entering their land behind the wall and near the settlements. Farmers from the town said that the army has given them merely 2 days, hardly enough time to cultivate their lands.
- The north-eastern side of the Azzoun-Atma village, south of Qalqilya Governorate and located behind the Apartheid Wall, is exposed to a systematic Judaization campaign by Israeli authorities, as they do their utmost to annex its lands to the Orinit settlement. Therefore, Israeli bulldozers started leveling the land to build a new settlement on a 100 dunams of agricultural land belonging to farmers from Azzoun-Atma, Beit Amin and Sinariya villages, so preventing them from reaching their lands.
- Israeli occupation authorities issued military orders to confiscate more lands from towns and villages in the Sha’arawiya area, near Tulkarem city, besides the confiscation of lands from the Baqa Al-Gharbiya, Baqa Al-Sharqiya and Jeet villages. Moreover, the orders also stipulated to occupy about 142 dunams from Zaita, Qafeen and Illar villages.
It was noted that the orders gave the Palestinian owners of those lands 7 days to submit any objection to the District Coordination and Liaison Office or the Office of the Israeli Legal Advisor.
The Palestinian National Bureau has stated that it highly appreciates the report from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which was published on the UNs’ website, describing Israel as a state which establishes an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people to dominate their lives, to reflect part of their daily suffering, and to show the racial practices and apartheid policies which violate the International Human Rights Law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the UNs’ Charter of 1945, as well as the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.
“The National Bureau asserted that the resignation of the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Dr. Reema Khalaf, came as a result of the awful pressures exercised by the Israeli occupation government and the US administration on the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres to withdraw the report.“
(Edited for the IMEMC by chris @ imemc.org)