Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine


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The Only *Democracy* In The MIddle East Is Going to Demolish A Palestinian Mosque

Israel issues demolition order for mosque in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli municipality officials delivered a demolition order Friday to the al-Qaaqaa Mosque, a house, and a studio apartment in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, local sources told Ma’an. Majdi al-Abbasi, from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, said that Israeli municipality members delivered a demolition order to the al-Qaaqaa mosque in the Ein al-Luza area of Silwan.The mosque, built three years ago, is a 110 square meter space that serves 5,000 worshipers.Al-Abbasi added that the Israeli municipality also delivered a demolition order to a studio apartment and its facilities. The studio belongs to Iyad al-Abbasi and was built 12 years ago.A demolition order was also delivered to a home housing six people.Earlier this week an Israeli court ruled to demolish a football field and its facilities in Silwan, a local committee said.

The ruling includes the demolition of a 1.5 dunam (.4 acre) sports field as well as a neighboring warehouse and animal shed.Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that is seeing an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of the demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families.

Israeli authorities have carried out around 370 demolitions of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, displacing an estimated 432 residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Thousands of Palestinian residents are at risk of losing their homes, as members of the current right-wing Israeli government continue to champion longstanding policies to obtain a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community, and four decades of Israeli policy in the area have neglected the Palestinian community while fostering the growth of Jewish settlement.


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Israeli Occupation Court Orders Demolition Of Palestinian Football Field -Sports Under Occupation

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court has ruled to demolish a football field and its facilities in occupied East Jerusalem, a local committee said Thursday.The owners of the property, located in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, received a demolition order in the mail over 70 days after the court had passed the ruling at the beginning of June, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said.The “demolition and removal” order had allowed for an appeal to be lodged within 30 days of the ruling.The ruling includes the demolition of a 1.5 dunam sports field as well as a neighboring warehouse and animal shed.Silwan committee member Ahmad Qaraeen said the ruling required that anyone who chose to object to the order would be fined and forced to pay demolition and removal fees. He added that Israeli authorities are aware that the owners of the land — the heirs to Atallah Siyam — regularly allowed the area to be used by Mada Creative center for activities. Qareen said that the Israeli municipality attempted to confiscate the land in 2007 and turn it into a parking lot, but that the move was appealed in court and the land owners built a football field on the property in 2009 after receiving approval from the central court. In 2012, the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority demolished several of the family’s facilities under the pretense of “removing trash,” he added.Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that is seeing an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of the demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families.Israeli authorities have carried out around 370 demolitions of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, displacing an estimated 432 residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Thousands of Palestinian residents are at risk of losing their homes, as members of the current right-wing Israeli government continue to champion longstanding policies to obtain a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community, and four decades of Israeli policy in the area have neglected the Palestinian community while fostering the growth of Jewish settlement.


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Israeli Occupation To Demolish Seven Palestinian Structures Near Hebron

HEBRON, March 30, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Monday handed notifications to remove seven Palestinian-owned residential structures in the village of Umm el-Kheir, south of Hebron, according to local sources.

Coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Hebron, Rateb Jabour, said an army force broke into the village and handed local residents notifications to remove seven tinplate-made structures, which shelter their families.

The incident took place only a day after the Israeli government asked the High Court of Justice for permission to demolish the ancient Palestinian village of Susia, south of Hebron, and relocate its residents to nearby Yatta.

The Israeli daily Haaretz said the government’s intent was noted in a response to the High Court of Justice regarding a petition filed by Susia’s residents and human rights organizations about a year ago.

Both Umm el-Kheir and Susia are part of Masafer Yatta, a rural congregation which relies heavily on animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood. The congregation has been a frequent target for recurrent Israeli assaults.

Issuance of construction permits for Palestinians living in Area C, under full Israeli administrative and military control, is strictly limited, forcing Palestinians residing in such areas to embark on construction without obtaining a permit.

M.N/M.H


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Israeli Occupation Asks High Court Permission To Demolish Ancient Hebron Village, Cleanse Residents

TEL AVIV, March 29, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli government has asked the High Court of Justice for permission to demolish the ancient Palestinian village of Susia, south of Hebron, and relocate its residents to nearby Yatta, reported the Israeli daily Haaretz.

It said the government’s intent was noted in a response to the High Court of Justice regarding a petition filled by Susia’s residents and human rights organizations about a year ago.

Prior to this, another petition was filed by the Regavim organization, funded by settler-group Amana and regional authorities in the West Bank, calling for Palestinian “illegal outposts” in Susia to be demolished, Haaretz said.

The state opposed the court’s temporary injunction against demolition, despite the fact it often supports such temporary injunctions when they are made against illegal Jewish outposts.

The petition criticized decisions made by the Civil Administration’s planning committee to reject an alternate plan suggested by Susia residents, stating that the relocation to Yatta is in Palestinains’ best interest.

Attorney Kamar Mishraki-Asad, representing the Susia residents, told Haaretz, “It’s incredible, but with the settlements, it was already ruled that Susia land is privately owned and thousands of dunams of land in the area are privately owned by Palestinians.”

“Despite this, for many years the [Israeli] army has prohibited residents from setting up their homes in the area, and rejected any request for construction or planning permits, in order to keep them away from the Sussia settlement and to allow the settlers to continue seizing the agricultural lands, and expel the residents to Areas A and B,” she continued.

“Now, after residents made great efforts and prepared plans for their village, the army continues its policy while cynically relying on planning concerns,” Mishraki-Asad added.

“For years, the army has forbidden water, electricity and drainage infrastructure to be built, and now claims that expelling the residents is for their own good.”

The village is a frequent target for recurrent settler violence and house demolitions by the Israeli authorities. It is located in Area C of the West Bank, where construction permits are often denied by the Israeli Civil Administration leaving residents with no choice but resort to illegal construction.

M.N/M.H


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Palestinian Forced To Demolish Part Of His Own Home To Avoid Israeli Occupation Demolition Fees

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) —

Kifah Da’na (Abu Maher) self-demolished on Sunday part of his house in the Old City of Jerusalem to avoid paying “high fines” to the occupation municipality.

Abu Maher explained that he built a kitchen and a bathroom 15 years ago that are only 10 square meters in his house near Al-Silsileh Gate. Six years ago, he received a demolition order from the municipality under the pretext of building without a permit.

Abu Maher added that he was able to postpone the demolition all those years and he paid more than 60 thousand NIS in fines; he was forced to execute the municipality’s order on Sunday to avoid paying the municipality’s demolition costs.

Da’na explained that he was able to obtain a permit to renovate his house due to the continuous problems in the infrastructure and the humidity in the walls. He explained that the municipality and the “Antiquities Authority” imposed many conditions and restrictions before giving him the permit to renovate his house.

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Palestinians Protest Continuous Demolitions In Negev Village

BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — A march set off Saturday from the Negev city of Rahat for al-Araqib village to protest the continuous demolition of homes in the village.The housing structures have reportedly been demolished more than 80 times.

The village sheikh, Sayyah Abu Mdeighim, as well as activists and lawyers from the Negev, took part in the march, carrying signs that read: “Stop Demolishing al-Araqib.”

Activist Aziz al-Turi told Ma’an that women, children and elderly people also participated in the protest.

He added that other Palestinians should organize similar marches to defend their land against Israeli incursions.

Activities marking the 39th Palestinian “Land Day” were also carried out in the al-Araqib, commemorating a general strike and marches that took place on Mar. 30, 1976 in protest over Israeli land seizures.

Six unarmed Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli forces that day.

Demolitions, in addition to denial of basic services and access to infrastructure, are part of an ongoing campaign by Israeli planning committees against the Bedouin villages in the Negev desert, where roughly 70-90,000 people live.

In May 2013, an Israeli government committee approved a draft bill setting a framework to implement the evacuation of “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev, most of which existed before the state of Israel.

Al-Araqib is among some of the 40 Negev villages Israeli authorities have deemed unrecognized, arguing that the 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in them cannot prove land ownership.

They are the remnants of the Bedouin population that lived across the Negev Desert until 1948, when 90 percent of the local population were expelled by Israel and the remainder confined to a closed reservation.


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1200 Palestinian Olive Trees Destroyed By Israeli Terrorists On Saturday

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Saturday destroyed more than 1,000 olive trees near the village of al-Shuyukh north of Hebron, in the third such attack on the villagers’ livelihood in recent memory.

Local activist Ahmad al-Halayqa told Ma’an that Israelis from the nearby settlement of Asfar, also known as Metzad, attacked the village and destroyed 1,200 trees.

He said that all of the destroyed trees had been recently planted following a similar attack by individuals from the same settlement which had destroyed trees in the area last month.

He said that the trees in the area belonged to local Palestinian farmer, Muhammad Abu Shanab al-Ayaydah as well as the children of Abd al-Qader Abu Shanab al-Ayaydah and Mousa Abu Shanab al-Ayayadah.

Al-Halayqa told Ma’an that the settlement of Asfar is located on land confiscated by Israeli authorities from Palestinian residents of al-Shuyukh, and now they hope to expand the land under their control by taking over the area where the olive trees were targeted.

Attacks on olive trees are a key way that Palestinians are forced out of their homes and their lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year’s crop can signal destitution for many.

If attacks are frequent enough that Palestinians can no longer access their trees regularly, meanwhile, settlers can argue that Palestinians have abandoned the properties and thus take possession of them as well.

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 the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank is systematic and ignored by Israeli authorities, who rarely intervene in the violent attacks or prosecute the perpetrators.

The were 324 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2014, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.