Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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The Netherlands To Cut Aid For People Living In Illegal West Bank Settlements

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Dutch decision to cut down stipends by 35% to Holocaust survivors that now live in colonial Israeli settlements, caused an Israeli wrath.

The move is seen as a European escalation in Brussels’ continuing campaign to punish Israel for its continued settlement activity beyond the 1967 Green Line.

The head of the Center of Organizations for Holocaust Survivors and ex Israeli MK, an Israeli umbrella agency representing 52 different groups that seek to promote the welfare of those who survived the Nazi holocaust, told Israel Radio on Monday that the new policy was misplaced.

“European government can certainly take a position as it relates to Israel’s policies in the territories, but the conclusions in this regard need to be taken up with those who make the decisions in Israel,” Colette Avital said.

“It is surprising and outrageous that the Dutch government, of all countries, chooses to impose sanctions against civilians who endured the Holocaust on its territory and who subsequently chose to move in with their children at an old age,” she said. “It is hard to accept such harassment of survivors, whose welfare needs to be sacrosanct in the eyes of the Dutch authoritiesm,” Israeli Jpost said.

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Israeli High Court Releases Two Terrorists Charged With Attacking Palestinian, Destroying Property

Two Released in Bat Ayin ‘Price Tag’ Case
One adult and two minors arrested Friday for alleged ‘price tag’ and related attacks released; Honenu seeking to ease conditions.
By Tova Dvorin

One adult and one minor from the illegal settlement  Bat Ayin were cleared for release on Friday, after Supreme Court Justice Daphne Barak-Erez accepted an appeal over their arrests.

The three defendants include two 16-17 year-old boys from the community and a 19 year-old named as David Or Shahar.

One of the youths is charged with a count of obstruction of justice, and is accused of having been in contact with Elad Sela, the IDF soldier accused of revealing state and military secrets three weeks ago. Sela allegedly passed to the youth information about upcoming arrests of community members, and the youth warned others.

According to the indictment, the three are accused in several cases of racially-motivated attacks, including charges of attacking a Palestinian Arab worker as well as IDF officers who attempted to break up the altercation.

The three are also accused of throwing rocks at Palestinian vehicles outside Bat Ayin, as well as cutting down olive trees and tagging the orchard with the phrase “Arab thieves and Price Tag.” The damage is estimated to amount to about 30,000 shekels ($7,698).

Justice Barak-Erez ruled that Or-Shahar will remain in custody until being processed in the probation system; the minor, however, will be released to house arrest outside West Bank and will be closely monitored.


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Headlines From Palestine: April 21, 2015

Three Palestinians Wounded in Israeli Occupation Raid on Nablus

At least three Palestinian residents of Nablus were injured predawn Tuesday during an Israeli army raid on the city, security sources reported.

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Israeli Extremists Uproot 450 Palestinian Olive Trees in Salfit, West Bank

Israeli settlers have entered Salfit from Immanuel settlement annexing Deir Istiya village, Tuesday morning have uprooted 450 olive trees planted by Palestinian farmers.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Detain Four Palestinians, Summon Three Others from Bethlehem, Hebron

Israeli forces detained early Tuesday four Palestinians and summoned four others from Hebron and Bethlehem, said security sources and a local activist.

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Israeli Occupation to Demolish Residential Tents, Animal Barn near Hebron

The Israeli authorities Tuesday notified a local resident of Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, of their intent to demolish his private-owned residential tents and an animal barn, according to local sources.

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Palestinian Police Thwart Attempt To Steal Bethlehem Banksy Mural

Bethlehem’s local municipality is seeking protection for 12 known artworks by British graffiti artist Banksy across the city, after police thwarted an attempt to steal one of them.

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PLO Welcomes EU Labeling of Settlement Goods And Products

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Israeli Occupation President And PM Refuse To Meet Jimmy Carter

President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have rejected a request from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to meet during the latter’s visit to Israel in the coming weeks, a senior official in Jerusalem told Haaretz

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Israeli Extremists Uproot 450 Palestinian Olive Trees in Salfit, West Bank

PNN/ Salfit/

Israeli settlers, probabled to have entered Salfit from Immanuel settlement annexing Deir Istiya village, Tuesday morning have uprooted 450 olive trees planted by Palestinian farmers.

Amal Qoqash, Mayor of Deir Istiya said that the farmers were shocked to find their trees uprooted and sabotaged on their way to their lands.

To his part, researcher Khaled Ma’ali said that the settlement of Immanuel was constructed on the occupied land of Deir Istiya, Salfit, in addition to Jinsafut and Fundoqumiya villages of Qalqilya district, adding that the settlement also confiscated a land and constructed an industrial zone on it.

According to Ma’ali, the settlement looks onto Qana green valley. And so, the settlers look forward to seize the valley, and displace the farmers from their lands.

The settlers have paved way for it through getting an order from Israeli occupation authorities to consider the valley a natural preserve, which prevents the Palestinian farmers (landlords) from planting or building agricultural barracks in it.

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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.

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Headlines From Palestine: March 18, 2015

West Bank And Occupied Lands

Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Palestinian Structures In Jordan Valley

For the fourth time in a row, Israeli forces tore down on Wednesday morning more than 20 tents and steel constructions used as dwellings and agricultural storehouses in the northern Jordan Valley, a Palestinian official said.

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Israeli Occupation Destroys 150 Palestinian Olive Trees, Burns Roots To Ensure Damage

The so-called Israeli Civil Administration Wednesday sprayed the roots of around 150 Olive trees in the area of Mala southeast of Dahriya south of Hebron with Chemicals to kill the trees, under allegations of being planted in a state property.

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Israeli Terrorists Attack, Injure Two Palestinian Youth

A group of Israeli settlers Tuesday attacked two Palestinian youth while they were tending to their farmland near the town of Silet al-Harthyeh, southwest of Jenin, according to Jaba municipality.

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Israeli Occupation Conducts Military Drills, Hampers Palestinian Residents’ Movements

Israeli army Tuesday conducted military drills in a former Israeli military camp, which was evacuated in 2006 and located between the villages of Jaba’ and Sanur in Jenin as well as set up its military checkpoints at the entrances of several neighborhoods in Hebron and Jenin.

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Statement by PLO On The Israeli Occupation Elections

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Israeli Occupation Destroys 150 Palestinian Olive Trees, Burns Roots To Ensure Damage

HEBRON, March 18, 2015 (WAFA) – The so-called Israeli Civil Administration Wednesday sprayed the roots of around 150 Olive trees in the area of Mala southeast of Dahriya south of Hebron with Chemicals to kill the trees, under allegations of being planted in a state property.

According to local sources, the Israeli army cut the trees and sprayed the roots with chemicals to ensure that they will not grow again, even though the land is owned by a Palestinian resident who was identified as Adam Nassar Atal.

The importance of Olive trees for Palestinians is not only symbolic, but also economic. In addition to their figurative meaning, olive trees are a main source of income for around 80,000 Palestinian families. The uprooting of one Olive tree means that a family’s economic status has been affected.

An Oxfam report in 2011 revealed that over 800,000 olive trees were uprooted by the Israeli authorities since 1967, which equals the size of 33 central parks in New York City.

Meanwhile, both UNDP and OCHA reports estimated the total loss at $12.3 million as around 80,000 Palestinian families rely economically on the income provided through planting Olive trees.

Olive trees account for 70% of fruit production in Palestine and contribute around 14% to the Palestinian economy. A total of 93% of the olive harvest is used for olive oil production while the rest is used for olive soap, table olives and pickles.

According to UN figures, around 48% of the agricultural land in the West Bank and Gaza is planted with olive trees.

Much of the olive production is for local consumption with a small amount of olives being exported primarily to Jordan. With the growing interest in organic food and fair trade, Palestinian olives are now also reaching European and North American markets.


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More Destruction: Israeli Terrorists Uproot Palestinian Olive Saplings South Of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, March 14, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday uprooted a number of olive saplings belonging to a local Palestinian resident in al-Khader village to the south of Bethlehem, said a local activist.

Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement Ahmad Salah told WAFA that, protected by Israeli forces, a group of settlers forced a Palestinian farmer to leave his farmland located the west of the town and adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement outpost of ‘Sidi Boaz’ before proceeding to uproot a number of olive saplings.

The land belongs to Ahmad Sbeih, 48.

The local activist stressed that Israeli settlers and forces’ have recently escalated their attacks against the village residents in an aim to force them to leave their land as a prelude to take over it for the benefit of settlement expansion.

Israeli forces often target Palestinians and their property or provide protection to settlers conducting attacks on Palestinian residents’ land; including the burning and uprooting of trees.

According to a United Nations’ OCHA report, ‘Israeli settlers damaged over 5,500 Palestinian-owned olive trees and saplings in the period between December 30 2014, and January 12, 2015.”


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Israeli Terrorists Uproot 70 Palestinian Olive Trees In Hebron

HEBRON, March 14, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday uprooted dozens of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Khlit al-Adra area in Hebron, according to a local activist.

Rateb Jabour, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Hebron, told WAFA that settlers from the Israeli settlement of Maon, built illegally on Palestinian land in Hebron’s Yatta town, uprooted around 70 olive trees belonging to the family of Shahin.

He said that settlers, with the protection of Israeli soldiers, tend to target Palestinians and their properties in the area for the benefit of expanding nearby illegal settlements.

Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.

Earlier Saturday, settlers, under Israeli soldiers protection, uprooted a number of olive saplings belonging to a Palestinian in al-Khader village to the south of Bethlehem


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Israeli Terrorists Uproot A Hundred Palestinian Olive Saplings in Hebron

HEBRON, February 25, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers uprooted Wednesday a hundred olive saplings recently-planted in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said a local activist organization.

According to the Palestinian Voluntary Action Commission, settlers from the illegal settlement outpost of Beit Hadassa stormed a Palestinian land that was planted with a hundred olive saplings near Qurtuba School.

Settlers destroyed the fence surrounding the land and proceeded to uproot a hundred olive saplings that were planted by Palestinian activists three weeks ago as part of a campaign to plant one million trees on land facing seizure in Hebron.

The campaign intended to help Palestinian farmers maintain ownership of their farmlands threatened by Israeli annexation and replant tree seedlings on damaged land.