Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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Israeli Occupation Orders Palestinians To Halt Work On EU Funded Water Tanks (Water Apartheid)

HEBRON, August 9, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces ordered the village council of Khellet al-Mayyeh, a locale to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron, to stop the construction work on two water tanks funded by the European Union, Sunday reported to a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlements, Rateb Jabour, told WAFA that soldiers handed head the of Yatta village council, Khaled Abu Humaid, a notice ordering them to stop the construction works on two 1700 cubic meters water tanks. The order cited ‘unpermitted construction’ as a pretext.

Meanwhile, soldiers photographed a number of water wells belonging to several locals in the southern part of the locale. The same soldiers photographed sheds, tents, and other water wells in the village of Umm al-Khair to the east of Yatta.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli jurisdiction, is strictly limited, forcing Palestinians residing in such areas to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

Humanitarian and legal bodies and institutions including the United Nations, OCHA and B’Tselem confirm that the planning policies applied by Israel in Area C and East Jerusalem discriminate against Palestinians, making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits.

“As a result, many Palestinians build without permits to meet their housing needs and risk having their structures demolished. Palestinians must have the opportunity to participate in a fair and equitable planning system that ensures their needs are met,” OCHA reports.


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Israeli Occupation Troops Demolish Palestinian House In Salfit, Deliver Notices In Nablus= War Crimes

SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Monday demolished a home under construction in the village of Deir Ballut in western Salfit and delivered demolition orders in western Nablus, locals said.

Dawood Abdullah, a local activist, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops escorted two bulldozers into Deir Ballut in the early hours of Monday and immediately started to tear down an incomplete house belonging to Adnan Abdullah.The activist said that the home, which was in an area known locally as Khallat Qaswal, was one of 60 houses in the village located in land classified as Area C.Adnan Abdullah, the owner of the house, told Ma’an that the Israeli authorities issued a demolition order three years ago.He said: “Since then, I have been trying to do anything to cancel this decision, but nothing worked out.”He said that the last demolition notice came was delivered two months ago.Separately, locals in western Nablus said that Israeli forces on Monday issued a number of demolition notices to Palestinian families living near an Israeli military checkpoint known as al-Hamra.The notices told the families to evacuate their homes in 10 days, after which point the buildings would be demolished.The owners of the houses were identified as Hayel Bsharat and Muhammad Hayel Bsharat. Under the Oslo Accords, building permits must be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration for construction to take place in Area C.As a result of rarely-approved permits, however, Palestinian residents are often forced to build structures without permits, which are liable to be torn down later by Israeli forces.Last year Israel demolished 601 Palestinian-owned structures, displacing 1,215 people.The UN said it was the highest annual number of people affected by the policy since it began keeping records in 2008.

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Israeli Extremists Set Fire To Palestinian Owned Olive Trees In Qalqilya

PNN/ Qalqilya/
Israeli settlers on Monday everning have torched tens of olive trees in private Palestinian land in Azzoon town east of Qalilya, northern West Bank.

Security sources said that civil defense forces headed to the land, and put off the fire which had already damaged a number of trees.

Settlers by then have fled the scene.

Israeli settler attacks on trees have been on the increase now, especially with the support of Israeli soldiers and police which destroy trees under security pretexts.

On Sunday morning, a horde of Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of Palestinian olive orchards and cultivated lands in al-Mugheir village, east of Ramallah city, moments after they failed to torch a Palestinian family home.

According to the Palestinian Information Center, eyewitnesses said a gang of Israeli vandals residing in an illegal nearby settlement tried to burn down a Palestinian family home before they were stopped by the local residents.

The Israeli occupation forces showed up at the scene and attacked the Palestinian locals with random spates of tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

On 22 July, IOF have uprooted a number of trees, destroying an agricultural land in Beit Oula village near Hebron, under security pretext.

The land and trees are property of citizen Faried Atrash. Israeli forces have previously told him to uproot the trees for alleged security reasons, but he refused. IOF then have savagely destroyed the land, ensuring that he can not fix again.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Homes In Dahmash

PNN/ Ramla/
Israeli occupation bulldozers on Tuesday morning tore down three homes in Dahmash town near occupied Ramla, under the pretext of no building permit.

The homes are property of The Assaf family, and were demolished on April 15 earlier this year , but were rebuilt by the villagers and the popular committees.

The Dahmash neighborhood shelters about 700 Palestinians, and its case  dates back to the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe ) in 1948, when the Zionist forces forcefully displaced over 800 thousand Palestinians from their homes.

The people currently living in Dahmash were originally displaced from their homes in 1948 and took the neighborhood to be their home, refusing to leave Palestine.

Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset), MK Taleb Abu Arar said that Israel’s second demolition of these homes shows insolence and insistence on apartheid.

Despite the strong heat-wave in the country right now, Israel chose to demolish the home and leave the people in it to suffer in the open.

Abu Arar demanded international protection for the Palestinians living in Israel, who face continuous displacement and demolition threats, while the Israeli government approves the construction of thousands of illegal settlement units on stolen Palestinian land.

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Israeli Extremists Fill Ancient Palestinian Agricultural Water Well With Earth And Rocks Near Salfit

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers filled up an ancient agricultural well in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya west of Salfit on Saturday, local farmers told Ma’an.Witnesses said that the settlers filled the well with earth and rocks using “primitive” tools.Khalid Maali, a researcher on settlement affairs, said that filling up the well is part of a larger plan to forcibly move people from Wadi Qana to clear the way for the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.Several illegal Israeli settlements surround Deir Istiya, the closest of which are Revava and YaqirI.About 17 percent of Deir Istiya’s village territory is classified as Area B, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, with the remaining 83 percent Area C, giving Israel full civil and military authority.ARIJ said in a 2013 report that Deir Istiya “has been subjected to numerous Israeli confiscations for the benefit of various Israeli objectives,” including the construction of settlements, outposts, checkpoints, bypass roads and the Israeli separation wall.The report said that Israeli settlers living on the village’s land “have had a significant impact on Palestinian residents and their properties.”Settler attacks have contributed to the loss of Palestinian lands and landowners have been barred from their plots, which have been fenced in with barbed wire and planted with trees, the report said.It added: “Israeli settlers have also carried out a series of attacks against Palestinian landowners in an attempt to intimidate them and deter them from returning to their lands.”

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Documents Prove Bedouin Village Slated For Ethnic Cleansing By Israeli Occupation Has Been Owned By Palestinians Since 1800’s

Defense Ministry internal report: Land at village slated for demolition privately owned by Palestinians

Civil Administration report obtained by Haaretz cites Ottoman deed, may halt planned demolitions in West Bank village of Sussia.

Sussia, the Palestinian village in which structures are slated for demolition, sits on private Palestinian land owned by local people, according to a document of the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration obtained by Haaretz.

Despite the findings by Civil Administration officer Moshe Meiri, Sussia residents still need building permits in order to prevent the planned demolition. Meiri’s report, however, appears to counter the reasoning that building permits cannot be issued to the local people because of a lack of ownership papers.

It appears that the Sussia residents cannot be forced to leave Sussia because the village is built on private land. Even if structures there are demolished, village residents could use the land for agricultural purposes.

The Palestinians could build structures under the master expansion plan that allows for basic structures for agriculture. Structures currently on the ground could be altered to fit this plan.

The internal document was drawn up following an inquiry by the Jabor family, which bases a claim to land near Sussia on Ottoman documents from 1881. In recent years, the Civil Administration has demolished Jabor-family tents and trees a number of times.

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Israeli Occupation Demolishes Two Bedouin Homes In The Negev

BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Bulldozers under the armed guard of Israeli forces demolished two homes in the Bedouin villages of Hura and Khashem Zanna in the Negev on Wednesday, local sources said.The Israeli Land Authority did not immediately respond for comment.

The demolitions come amid ongoing efforts to push local Bedouin Palestinian communities from the area.Earlier this month, members of the Knesset — the Israeli parliament — began discussing a plan shelved in 2013 that would forcibly relocate tens-of-thousands of Bedouin Palestinians.The Prawer Plan was approved by the Israeli government in 2011 but frozen in 2013 amid widespread protest among Palestinians within Israel and international condemnation.Israeli minister of agriculture Uri Ariel of the Habayit Hayehudi party (Jewish Home) has since reintroduced the plan. His party conditioned joining Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government coalition in March on reinstating the Prawer Plan.Residents of Hura and Khashem Zanna are part of approximately 160,000 Bedouin Palestinians residing in the Negev, over half of whom live in unrecognized villages which the state refuses to provide with a planning structure and place under municipal jurisdiction, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.Entire communities have been issued demolition orders while others are denied basic services.The UN reports that 70 percent of Bedouin communities are refugees, driven from their land during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Destroy 450 Palestinian Olive trees And Roman-Era Well

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday destroyed 450 olive trees, leveled land, and demolished a Roman-era water well in the village of Beit Ula in northwestern Hebron, after claiming the Palestinian land belonged to Israel, locals said. Issa al-Imla, the coordinator of a local popular committee in Beit Ula, told Ma’an that the olive trees were more than 10 years old and belonged a local farmer, Farid Abd al-Latif al-Imla.Al-Imla said that Israeli forces also leveled lands belonging to Abd al-Qader al-Imla and demolished the village water well that dated from the Roman era.Al-Imla said that Israeli forces, officials from the Israeli Civil Administration and three bulldozers also raided the Attus and al-Mekheh areas in western Beit Ula and destroyed crops.On January 27, an Israeli court issued an order to confiscate hundreds of dunams of land in western Beit Ula. Al-Imla said that Palestinian landowners followed up the case in Israeli courts, but added that Israeli courts generally assist settlers in confiscating Palestinian land.He called on the Palestinian Minister of Agriculture and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to help farmers re-plant trees.Beit Ula’s village lands are predominantly classified as Area A and B under the Oslo Accords — partially under jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority —  while the western edges of the village are bordered by the Israeli separation wall and classified as Area C, under full Israeli civil and military control.

Even before January’s ruling, several thousand dunams of land were confiscated by the Israeli authorities in Beit Ula, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem.Israeli forces and settlers attack olive trees in a bid to oust Palestinian farmers from their land, and a loss of a year’s crops can cause destitution for farming families.Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and ARIJ.

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Israeli Occupation Delivers 5 Demolition Orders For Palestinian Homes In Qalqiliya

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — The Israeli Civil Administration on Wednesday delivered five home demolition orders to the town of Jit in eastern Qaliqliya claiming the buildings were built without the necessary permission.Locals said that Israeli forces accompanied the Civil Administration officers into the town to deliver the notices.Four of the five houses were identified as belonging to Majdi Lutfi Yamin, Iyad Hamdan Sakhen, Muhammad Ahmad Yamin and Malik Maher Yamin.According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, Jit has been subjected to “numerous Israeli confiscations” for the construction of Israeli settlements and the Israeli separation wall, both considered illegal under international law.Just 14 percent of the village of Jit is classified as Area B, while the remaining 86 percent is Area C, where building permits must be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration for construction to take place, under the 1993 Oslo Accords.As a result of rarely-approved permits, Palestinian residents are often forced to build structures without permits, which are liable to be torn down later by Israeli forces.Since the Oslo Accords were signed, Israel has issued more than 14,600 demolition orders, according to Israeli planning rights watchdog Bimkom.Bimkom architect Alon Cohen Lifschitz estimates there are an average of two structures per order, meaning that over the past two decades, Israel has issued demolition notices for nearly 30,000 Palestinian-owned structures.Since 1996, Israel has granted only a few hundred building permits for Palestinian structures. From 2000-2014, only 206 building permits were issued, Bimkom adds.

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Ethnic Cleansing: Israeli Occupation Orders Palestinian Village To Be Demolished After Ramadan

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of homes in a village south of Hebron to be carried out after Ramadan, Israeli watchdogs said on Wednesday.Rabbis for Human Rights and B’Tselem said in a statement that pressure from Israeli settlers had led to the decision to carry out demolition orders in the village of Khirbet Susiya after Ramadan, although a high court hearing regarding the case is currently scheduled for August 3.The Israeli Civil Administration, the Israeli army, and the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office announced the demolition order to the villagers in a meeting on Sunday.Khirbet Susiya has been under imminent threat of demolition since May, when the Israeli High Court approved the demolition of the villagers’ homes and tents and possible relocation of the villages around 300 Bedouin residents.The court case has been ongoing since 2012, when residents of Khirbet Susiya applied for the Israeli Civil Administration to approve an outline plan for northern part of the village.Susiya villagers reportedly built homes in 1986 on agricultural land they owned, after being evicted by Israel from their previous dwellings on land declared as an archaeological site.Situated in Area C, an area covering 60 percent of the West Bank which is under full Israeli control, villagers of Khirbet Susiya must apply for construction permits from the Israeli Civil Administration.In practice only a handful of Palestinian applications for construction or expansion on existing structures are approved, with only six percent of Palestinian building permit requests granted by Israel between 2000 and 2012.Unable to get “legal” permission, Palestinians are faced with either leaving or building illegally.Since 1988 Israeli forces have issued more than double the amount of demolition orders to Palestinians in Area C than they have to illegal Israeli settlements in the area.Israeli settlers living illegally in the area according to international law already control over 300 hectares of Khirbet Susiya’s land, B’Tselem reports. Rabbis for Human Rights alleges that the newest threat is a form of coercion that aims to expel residents of the area already before the court hearing.The head of the Susiya village council Jihad al-Nawajaa said the residents have been asked to be evacuated on the pretext that the village lacks sufficient infrastructure for living. Meanwhile, the Israeli government provides the necessary services to the nearby Israeli settlement of Susiya.Last year Israel demolished 590 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, displacing 1,177 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The upcoming demolition of Khirbet Susiya comes while member of Israel’s right wing government are pushing a plan to forcibly relocate tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins.Approved without any consultation with the Bedouin community, the plan would evict nearly 40,000 Bedouins from their villages and force them to live in concentrated areas that critics called “reservations.”Israel currently refuses to recognize 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev, which collectively house nearly 90,000 people.