Saturday, 25 February 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in downtown Moscow as part of the celebrations of Defender of the Fatherland Day on Thursday, February 23rd.
Congratulations to all who served in the Soviet Army and in the Russian Army.
We are the Army of our Country! We are the Army of our people!
The sacred words Moscow is behind us, we remember since the time of Borodino.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Friday, 24 February 2017
The apartheid “Israeli” regime denied the new director of a prominent NGO – Human Rights Watch [HRW] – from a work permit, accusing the group of an “extreme, hostile and anti-‘Israel’ agenda.”
The “Israeli” accusations against the organization, which documents human rights abuses around the globe, follows a growth in official hostility to local human rights activists under the right wing government of “Israeli” PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
For its part, HRW condemned the move as “ominous turn” adding it “should worry anyone concerned about ‘Israel’s’ commitment to basic democratic values.”
The new policy emerged after the “Israeli” regime’s authorities turned down a visa for its new “Israel” and Palestine director, Omar Shakir who is a US citizen. The rejection had been advised by the entity’s so-called Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a letter rejecting Shakir’s visa application, the “Israeli” entity accused the New York based group of “public activities and reports [and being] engaged in politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda, while falsely raising the banner of ‘human rights.”
The group denied the claim pointing out it had written critical reports on human rights violations on both sides.
The denial of the visa was confirmed in a letter on February 20 when “Israeli” authorities informed it the request had been rejected because HRW is “not a real human rights group”, the group said in a statement. The entity’s so-called foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon confirmed the decision.
HRW, he said, had “demonstrated time and again it is a fundamentally biased and anti-‘Israeli’ organization with a clear hostile agenda.”
But Nahshon added that the group was not banned and its Israeli and Palestinian employees would still be permitted to work in Israel and issue reports.
Suggesting a wider policy, Nahshon said other organisations such as Amnesty International would be assessed on a case by case basis.
The right-wing “Israeli” regime has been accused of putting pressure on both international and local rights organizations.
For his part, Iain Levine, deputy executive director of program at HRW condemned the move, saying: “This decision and the spurious rationale should worry anyone concerned about ‘Israel’s’ commitment to basic democratic values.”
He went on to say: “It is disappointing that the ‘Israeli’ government seems unable or unwilling to distinguish between justified criticisms of its actions and hostile political propaganda.”
The latest moves come in the midst of a wider chilling of the atmosphere in the “Israeli” entity against human rights activists.
Commenting on the decision to deny his visa Omar Shakir compared the entity to a list of authoritarian regimes.
“We have little relations with governments in North Korea, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Cuba and Venezuela where there is zero appetite for human rights engagement,” Shakir said. “With this decision, ‘Israel’ is joining the list.”
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
24-02-2017 | 12:17
Iraqi military for the first time officially admitted their losses from bombing, carried out by small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), used by ISIS. The casualties were suffered during incidents in eastern and southern Mosul on February 21. As the Daily Sabah newspaper reported, citing Brigadier General Abdul-Mahdi al-Ameri, an ISIS UAV “fired a missile” and killed two secondary school students in the district of Karaj Al-Shamal. Separately, three Iraqi servicemen were killed by a grenade, dropped from a quadrocopter in Furqan district, while two other soldiers lost their lives in the historical part of the city (the eastern part of Nineveh), and two others – in Al-Nour district.
In total, according only to the Iraqi government’s reports, 9 people were killed in attacks by UAVs. At the same time, ISIS claims that at least 30 Iraqi servicemen were killed as the result of dropping of various bombs from UAVs.
ISIS has been massively using various UAVs for the reconnaissance and correcting of artillery fire since 2014. However, since the end of 2015, the group has started to use its UAVs for aerial attacks. The compact Mosul battlespace allows to ingore problems with a lack of range of the used commercial UAVs. The fact that the city is separated by the Tigris also increases the role of UAVs in reconnaissance and ammunition supplies. ISIS members launch UAVs from roofs of civilian buildings which allow, in general, avoiding artillery and aerial strikes from US-led coalition and Iraqi forces. Warplanes are ineffective against small UAVs and Iraqi forces deployed to Mosul don’t have means of electronic warfare to ping and mute ISIS UAVs. While this problem is not solved, ISIS UAVs will pose a threat to Iraqi and US-led coalition military personnel on the ground and to play an important role on the Mosul battlespace.
ISIS is actively promoting its UAV attacks in own media outlets, de-facto encouraging the terrorist group’s supporters to use UAVs for terrorist attacks in Europe and across the world.
By Rudy Panko
History is not on Washington’s side
Russian efforts to broker peace in Syria and Ukraine are now in tatters, as Washington revs up its war rhetoric and throws caution to the wind. They want war, and they just might get it.
“RI” – It is now crystal clear that Washington and its client states have done everything in their power to sabotage the tentative peace settlement in Syria and provoke a fresh outbreak of fighting in East Ukraine.
Even the abstract concept of “talking” to the Russians is now considered an act of treason. Just ask Michael Flynn. When Tillerson had his first meeting with Lavrov in Bonn, he very anxiously shut out the press, in direct affront to normal protocol. No American official wants to be caught on camera talking with a Russian.
As a general observation, it’s a very bad time to be alive if you’re a Russian diplomat.
Here’s the latest on the fragile Syria ceasefire and peace settlement: Western NGOs are working around the clock to discredit and demonize the Syrian government. Every few days we are now seeing new reports about Russian and Syrian atrocities, giving ammunition to “moderate rebels” and their delegations that will be used to self-righteously reject any peace settlement. The media is already waiting on the sidelines, ready to declare peace talks as an outrageous whitewash of Assad’s “crimes”.
We’re not being dramatic. Here’s a press release from Human Rights Watch about the upcoming talks in Geneva:
In light of the Syrian government’s repeated war crimes and widespread and systematic human rights violations, including the unlawful use of weapons, all states, including those involved in the negotiations, should make a commitment to stop transferring all arms, related equipment, and logistical support to the Syrian government until the abuses stop and responsible parties are held to account. States should also stop providing such support to armed opposition groups that have been found responsible for widespread or systematic human rights abuses or war crimes.
The US-led coalition should take fully into account that the Russia-Syria coalition has repeatedly committed war crimes under the guise of fighting terrorism, and that any cooperation with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in Syria should ensure that it is not complicit in such crimes.
Not even trying to hide their disdain for the truth.
Meanwhile, Russian military advisors are being killed in well-timed, well-executed bomb attacks — with no terrorist organization or militia taking credit.
On top of all this: the “rebel” delegation refuses to recognize Tehran as a third guarantor of the ceasefire. And fighting around the suburbs of Damascus now challenges the idea that there even is a ceasefire.
In Ukraine, things have gone from bad to worse: Fighting in Avdiyevka, close to the biggest rebel-held city of Donetsk, has flared up. At least a dozen civilians have been killed and scores wounded. Kiev is using the uptick in violence as proof of renewed “Russian aggression”.
One fact Kiev has been less eager to advertise is that it is precisely the government side which is behind the recent escalation. Radio Free Europe (of all outlets) reports that recently the Ukrainians have gone on the offensive by infiltrating the “no man’s land”, usually under cover of the night, and setting up new positions almost hugging the rebel front line. This clear violation of the Minsk protocols is now being blamed on Russia by every western news outlet and government.
In a recent visit to Ukraine, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham told Ukrainian troops:
All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of a Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price. Your fight is our fight, 2017 will be the year of offense.
Graham reaffirmed his commitment to war just yesterday, when he declared 2017 to be the year of “kicking Russia in the ass”.
It’s time to face the music: Donald Trump was not able to rein in the permanent war state. He is probably playing golf, right now, as the real powerbrokers in Washington prepare their next provocation.
As Pat Buchanan wrote yesterday:
The epidemic of Russophobia makes it almost impossible to pursue normal relations. Indeed, in reaction to the constant attacks on them as poodles of Putin, the White House seems to be toughening up toward Russia.
Thus we see U.S. troops headed for Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, NATO troops being sent into the Baltic States, and new tough rhetoric from the White House about Russia having to restore Crimea to Ukraine. We read of Russian spy ships off the coast, Russian planes buzzing U.S. warships in the Black Sea, Russians deploying missiles outlawed by the arms control agreement of 1987.
An Ohio-class U.S. sub just test-fired four Trident missiles, which carry thermonuclear warheads, off the Pacific coast.
Any hope of cutting a deal for a truce in east Ukraine, a lifting of sanctions, and bringing Russia back into Europe seems to be fading.
Where Russians saw hope with Trump’s election, they are now apparently yielding to disillusionment and despair.
The question arises: If not toward better relations with Russia, where are we going with this bellicosity?
Russia has tried every diplomatic means possible to find peaceful settlements to the conflicts that Washington has started. These efforts have been sabotaged.
And now Washington aims to make war with Russia inevitable. If it’s not careful, it might just get what it wants
The alliance’s members no longer share common goals or interests
The recent visit by Secretary of Defense James Mattis to NATO allies does not erase the fact that, as a presidential candidate and president-elect, Donald Trump stated on many occasions that NATO is obsolete. It is a bigger problem than just burden sharing. Trump’s key message is that the world has changed to the detriment of the United States, and that NATO no longer fits comfortably into this new world order. Of course, the United States will not withdraw from the organization, but NATO will get less attention from the Oval Office in the coming years. That is for sure.
For those in Europe who care about the alliance, this is a nightmare. But instead of clinging to the past, they should wake up. The world today is indeed fundamentally different from the one we happen to know, and certainly from the times into which NATO was born. It is indeed bizarre that NATO is still alive. Defense alliances are, by definition, temporary. Realists do not believe in long-term structural cooperation between states, and certainly not in the field of security. At most, states can try to cooperate in an alliance on a short-term basis to defeat a common enemy, like during the two world wars and during the Cold War. Once the enemy is gone, alliances have no meaning anymore. It was on this basis that John Mearsheimer and many others predicted the end of the alliance after the end of the Cold War. The implosion of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR itself should, indeed, have led to the demise of NATO.
It did not. The least bad explanation is organizational inertia. NATO tried to adapt to the changed circumstances by finding new enemies: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, “rogue states,” failed states, ethnic conflicts (as in the Balkans) and, later on, terrorism. It is not difficult to come up with real or imagined dangers. But states do not need to be part of a militarily integrated organization to protect oneself against these kind of minor threats. Collective defense organizations, based on the premise of “an attack on one is an attack on all,” are established to defend oneself against an attack by a major power: Germany in 1914, Germany and Japan in the first half of the 1940s, the USSR during the Cold War, and maybe China in the future. Not for peacekeeping.
Collective defense organizations are not the best match for threats like terrorism and ethnic conflicts. For countering terrorism, coalitions of the willing will do. For managing ethnic conflicts, collective security organizations (like the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) should take the lead, both for peacemaking and peacekeeping. Collective security organizations regulate the use of force amongst its member states, and they are—in contrast to collective defense organizations—not meant to serve against an external enemy. Because NATO stepped in for these collective security tasks, organizations like the UN and the OSCE got sidetracked.
NATO’s post–Cold War track record is dismal, which is not surprising, given the nature of the beast. Apart from the Balkans, which are more or less stable (although tensions are flaring up again these days), the NATO military interventions in Afghanistan and Libya are a complete failure. Thirteen and six years after NATO’s intervention, respectively, these states have hardly stabilized. On the contrary, Afghanistan and Libya are breeding places for terrorists. Again, this should not come as a surprise, because collective defense organizations are not meant for carrying out peace-building operations.
The biggest mistake, however, was NATO expansion. It is hard to refute the thesis that the Ukraine crisis is the result of interference by NATO and the EU in Russia’s spheres of influence. A red line was crossed, in the eyes of Moscow, and Russia had repeatedly made that position clear in advance. NATO expansion also contradicted Western promises. On the basis of these oral guarantees, in February 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev gave the green light for German reunification talks. And what did the West do? Expand NATO. Not just once, but twice. At the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008, President Bush even pushed through (against the wishes of the Europeans) a third extension, namely the promise to include Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. What did he expect Russia would do? Just take notice and agree?
More fundamentally, the West made the mistake after the end of the Cold War not to include Russia into the Euro-Atlantic security architecture on an equal basis. Contrary to positive examples in 1815 and 1945, the loser of the Cold War was left alone. Instead of replacing NATO with a regional collective security organization, the West kept NATO artificially in existence—and Russia in the dark. Ironically, the Baltic states, which wanted to feel more secure by becoming NATO members, are now feeling less secure. All this was predicted in the 1990s by foreign-policy giants like George Kennan and Paul Nitze.
Currently, there is a major split among the twenty-eight NATO member states: those in the south worry about migration and ISIS, but are relaxed with respect to Russia; those in the east are relaxed about ISIS, but worry about Russia. There is no common threat assessment. In addition, tensions between member states (Turkey and Greece) and within member states (Poland and Hungary) are rising.
It would be shortsighted to keep relying on NATO now because of the worsening relationship with Russia. A fundamental break with the past is needed, and the Trump administration provides an ideal opportunity. Until recently, the Europeans liked to hide behind American leadership, and not only with respect to burden sharing. Although European states spend on average much less on defense than the United States, the combined European defense budget is $250 billion, which is three and a half times more than Russia’s. The difference in defense spending between the United States and Europe says more about the United States than about Europe. More problematic is the lack of shared responsibility. It is indeed strange that the United States had to intervene in the Balkans in the 1990s. The flipside was that the United States was the one that pulled the ropes inside NATO. The Europeans had to live with NATO expansion and U.S. missile defense in Europe, for instance. The Europeans were always skeptical, but when push came to shove, they gave in to the Americans.
Now, for the first time ever, we have an American president who calls NATO obsolete. European leaders should now get their act together and agree with this assessment, for the many reasons mentioned above. There has never been a better external opportunity to strengthen European foreign, security and defense policy. In a world without NATO, the Europeans have no escape from taking up more responsibilities. In addition, NATO should be transformed, or even be replaced by a new Eurasian-Atlantic collective security organization that includes Russia. That will also be in the interest of Ukraine and the Baltic states. The newly built headquarters for NATO in Brussels, which will be inaugurated in the presence of President Trump at the end of May, is large enough to fit them all.
– من طهران أطلق رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه برّي معادلتين ذهبيتين، واحدة لبنانية والثانية إقليمية، فقد أعلن بري أن بإمكان العرب والمسلمين المُجمعين على اعتبار قيام واشنطن بنقل سفارتها من تل أبيب إلى القدس تحدياً فظاً لمشاعر العرب والمسلمين، واعتداء سافراً على هوية القدس، وفتحاً للباب «الإسرائيلي» على خطوات تصعيدية تتصل بتهويد القدس واستكمال تهجير مواطنيها العرب، وتشجيعاً لحكومة الاحتلال للسير بالمزيد من الخطوات الاستباقية لتدمير كل فرصة للتسوية والذهاب لإشعال المنطقة. وتساءل بري عمّا يمكن للعرب فعله، فقال: لماذا لا يستعمل العرب والمسلمون سلاح ردع بين أيديهم، وهو التهديد المسبق بأنهم سيُغلقون سفاراتهم في واشنطن في حالل إقدامها على خطوة نقل سفارتها إلى القدس؟
– سلاح الردع الذي وضعه بري في التداول كشف عن وجود بدائل للنحيب والتسوّل، يشبه الكشف عن سلاح النفط الذي استعمل كسلاح ردع في حرب تشرين عام 1973 وأثبت فعالية عالية، لكن الواقع يؤكد هذه المرّة أن قضية الحكومات العربية والإسلامية ليست بغياب البدائل بل بغياب الإرادات والعزائم، من دون أن تنتفي الوظيفة التحريضية لمعادلة برّي التي ستُحرج الحكومات العربية والإسلامية وتُحرج واشنطن بمجرد إطلاقها على لسان برّي وتحوّلها معادلة شائعة في الرأي العام، توجِّه للحكومات السؤال: لماذا لا تفعلون ذلك؟ وتضعها واشنطن أمام حساب قدرة الحكومات المحسوبة عليها على تحمّل ضغوط بهذا الحجم، وحساب المصلحة الأميركية في تعريض هذه الحكومات التابعة للاهتزاز والسقوط، عدا عما سيترتّب على معادلة بري من إطلاق لتحرّكات مدنية وشعبية تحمل المعادلة إلى الشارع كمطلب وتحوّله عنواناً لحراك استباقي ضاغط بوجه الحكومات وواشنطن وتل أبيب معاً.
– المعادلة الذهبية الثانية التي أطلقها برّي كانت ما يتصل برسم الحدّ الفاصل بين قانون الانتخاب العادل والمزيّف، بقوله، نحتاج لقانون يضمن بعض الغموض في النتائج، رداً على توصيفه للحال بقيام كل طرف بحساب موقفه من صيغ القوانين بمدى قدرته على احتساب حصته النيابية سلفاً قبل إجراء الانتخابات. ومعادلة بري هي في علم السياسة شرط القانون الصحيح والعادل، لأنه قانون انتخابات وليس مرسوم تعيينات، والذهاب إلى الانتخابات مع توقّع بعض المفاجآت هو الذي يمنحها حماسة الناخبين، ويجعل للتحالفات الانتخابية معنى، وللتنافس مبرراً، وبدون الغموض في النتائج التي ستترتّب على اعتماد أي قانون انتخابي يتحوّل القانون صفقة محاصصة حزبية وطائفية مقيتة لا تستحق النقاش ويتساوى فيها قانون الستين بالمختلط بالنسبي على دوائر مفصلة على المقاسات. وهذا الغموض هو الذي يمنح النسبية الشاملة وفقاً للدائرة الواحدة تفوّقها على سائر المشاريع، ويضعها في المقدمة كضامن للتعددية السياسية والحزبية والطائفية.
– معادلتا بري ذهبيتان، والواقع العربي واللبناني برونزيّ، إن لم يكن بعضُه «تنك».
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Yemen’s Saleh Threatens Saudi-led Coalition States with Unprecedented Missile Attacks
Ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh threatened states taking part in the Saudi-led coalition waging aggression on Yemen with unprecedented missile attacks.
During a meeting with his General People’s Congress party members, Saleh addressed Riyadh as saying: “You have seen just a little of or missiles, it’s just inconsiderable. We haven’t yet fired the long-range missiles.”
Meanwhile, the former president firmly denied any Iranian presence in Yemen, addressing Gulf Arab states as saying: “You have borders with Iran, go and settle your problems with Iran. Don’t settle them through killing Yemeni children and women.”
Yemen has been under an aggression by Saudi-led coalition since March 2015. The brutal aggression has killed and injured tens of thousands of Yemenis, the vast majority of them were civilians.
Yemen ports and airports have been also under a blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition, which also includes UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
- Former Yemeni President threatens Saudi Arabia with unprecedented missile attacks
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Marianne Azizi writes:
Jacob is Indian. He is also an Israeli citizen. His parents immigrated to Israel when he was a very young boy.
When Jacob reached the age of four he started kindergarten. But because his parents spoke their own language at home, his knowledge of Hebrew was weak. This was the cause of a lifetime of persecution by the Israeli education and welfare systems that continues to this day.
For 20 years Jacob has been fighting in the courts for justice and compensation for the abuse he endured in the Israeli education system.
Jacob suffers from muscular dystrophy but the Israeli authorities refuse to carry out a proper diagnosis and describe his physical illness as psychosomatic, or mental disorder.
A “Neanderthal” from a “culturally inferior wasteland”
Jacob has been described by the Israeli authorities as Neanderthal, coming from a cultural wasteland that is genetically inferior to Israeli society. He has also been accused of being a homosexual and told that he needs drugs to overcome his “anti-feminist” views.
Not only has this been told to Jacob and his family to their faces, but it was also documented in the defence papers of an ongoing claim for compensation that has so far lasted for two decades.
This week Jacob lost his appeal but he intends to take the individuals and ministries concerned to the Israeli Supreme Court and also sue them abroad. His lawyer, Hanna Boulas, an Arab Christian lawyer who is appalled by the racist abuse hurled at Jacob, has represented him for free for nearly 20 years.
Jacob wants his story to be told. He asked for an interview, and sent his story as a warning to others.
Jacob comes from a respectable family: his father having a patented invention of his own and his great grandparents worked as architects when India was under British rule.
In his interview, Jacob says:
In India my family was very respected and well educated: my grandfather and my father’s brother were both draftsmen in a British architect company. My great grandfather was an officer in the British army, my grandmother’s father was a senior director of the main post office in Aden, Yemen. My mother’s father was a senior clerk in the main post office of Bombay – examples from more than 100 years back and to this day. Still, they [the Israelis] keep referring openly to my family’s “genetic inferiority” as proof that I was born defective.
Quacks, ignoramuses and sadists
What Jacob didn’t know as a child was that he suffered from a form of muscular dystrophy known as spinal muscular atrophy. There is cognitive evidence to show that children afflicted with this disease are in fact more intellectually advanced than others, and this is true for Jacob.
In their ignorance, Jacob’s Israeli teachers decided that his struggle to climb stairs, which left him breathless and weak, was a mental disorder. He was stigmatised by “psychiatrists” as early as four as a reserved child and this was used to build on for more than 10 years of educational and other system abuse.
Jacob relates his experiences:
At school, not only the kids were very violent and abused me every day, the teacher, Miriam Tzabbar, was truly sadistic and physically abused me: because of the violence I was absent from school many times, and the authorities sent a special officer to warn me and my parents that if I would not go to school every day, my parents would go to prison and I would be sent to an institution for young criminals. She also came with uniformed officers who scared me about life in prison. “Do you really want to see your parents in prison because of you?”
Jacob was to endure his whole schooling being abused. It went as far as him being beaten and even having a flagpole inserted into his backside while the teacher looked on with apathy. The abuse Jacob endured through his education extended to psychiatric tests: enforced hospitalisation, enforced drugs and medication.
Jacob was forced to take the anti-psychotic drugs Ridazin, which the authorities claimed would help him with his “fear of dogs”, and Modal. He suffered every side effect of the drugs, which the authorities claimed were “all in his mind”. Imagine giving drugs of this kind to a child who was yet to be diagnosed with his terminal illness but was showing all the physical symptoms!
Jacob describes his fight against being forced to take medication:
The female family-doctor and every doctor who met me told me “you have nothing” without examining me because they saw the referral letter which said I am “under psychiatric treatment”. They were sure that my complaints were imaginary and shouldn’t be treated seriously.
In the summer of 1993 Jacob was sent to a secure mental hospital as a result of the side effects of the drug Modal. A “diagnosis” committee determined that his inability to climb stairs was “a bad mental condition”, and this was signed off by two “psychologists” and a “psychiatrist”.
Jacob spent 10 years being passed around institutions and was threatened that if he didn’t comply his parents would be punished by the state. He was determined to get his education despite all the beatings and emotional abuse. By the end of his schooling, with help from a few good people, he emerged with 85 per cent on his grades.
When in 1994 Jacob was eventually diagnosed properly, his teachers still refused to accept his medical condition. This is how he describes his school’s response to his diagnosis:
In the beginning of 1995 I got an appointment with the school counsellor. She was very hostile to me, refused to believe that I suffer from a physical disease. She smiled and kept irritatingly nodding her head and saying: “No, no, no, you don’t understand. Don’t speak about physical problems, I am asking about your mental condition.”
Punishing the victim
Jacob is an extraordinary man. He is a fighter, refusing to be beaten by his disease, and more so, refusing to lie down and die, which he believes the authorities would like.
He can walk only a short distance and needs constant care, yet he refuses to die without justice. He says:
My case discloses a long chain of severe negligence, failures and corruption in the education establishment of Israel, while the leading policy dealing with violence, even today in 2017, is still that when a group of kids abuse and beat up one specific child, the system will do everything possible to punish, slander and throw the victim out of the system, not the perpetrators, as a senior educational psychologist, Dr Menachem Ophir, clearly told to me. That is exactly what explains so well the false diagnoses, misleading presumptions and the harassment by the authorities against me and my parents.They were looking only for retrospective excuses for the question why I’ve been so many years in therapeutic institutions while they found nothing real against me. They even suggest something about suspicion of homosexuality, which was never even close to reality.
Jacob is by no means the only child abused in the system. Stories are abound of children who are drugged in institutions to “correct their mental attitudes”, children who have no diseases but are separated from their parents, children who simply are pining and yearning to go home.
Jacob, his family and his lawyer are having to fight the institutional perjury in the courts. Here are some examples of the lies put out by Israeli institutions to smear him and his family
Lie: “As a child, Jacob was the victim of sexual abuse by his grandmother and grandfather.
Fact: Jacob never knew his grandfather, who died when his own father was seven years old.
Lie: “Yakov was behaviourally disturbed in school and was yelling in the class very hateful remarks against women, Jews and Israel.”
Fact: Every teacher described Jacob always as too quiet, too shy, introverted and a gentle kid. But one of his teachers, Soffy Katz, a divorced feminist, spread falsehoods about Jacob, for example by telling Jacob in front of everybody, including psychiatrists:”You are against feminism because you have a problem in your brain.” She even claimed that drugs would resolve his views about feminism!
What child would not suffer emotionally or mentally? Yet Jacob has a host of friends and a dedicated lawyer fighting for him. Once his case reaches the international arena, it remains to be seen how so many experts testifying for him can be ignored.
Here is an example from Jacob’s lawsuit (in Hebrew).
Many elements of Jacob’s story are similar to those of numerous other parents and children in Israel: children being medicated against their will with strong psychotropic drugs; ignoring physical conditions or illnesses, which in many instances are caused by the side effects of drugs; enforced incarceration in mental hospitals when the child is intellectually proven to be fit.
As with many victims, Jacob tried to get his story told on Israeli mainstream media. Most of these stories are stopped at the last minute by the authorities.
What is special about Jacob’s case is that he can prove the lies and misinformation about him. Yet, he cannot get justice.
Jacob needs help to file a lawsuit overseas for racism and abuse as his remedies in Israel are almost exhausted. Just as the Ethiopians are fighting to overcome racism, Jacob, with his Indian heritage, fights on.
For further information about Jacob’s case, contact Marianne Azizi.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 – 22 February 2017)
Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
(16 – 22 February 2016)
Three Palestinian civilians were wounded, including a child, in the West Bank.
- Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea.
- 5 fishermen were arrested, one of whom was wounded, and their boat was confiscated in the northern Gaza Strip.
- Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- 72 civilians, including 10 children and 4 women, were arrested in the West Bank.
- 18 of them, including 7 children and 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
- Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
- A residential house was demolished in a Bedouin Community in al-Khan al-Ahmar area and another house in Beit Hanina.
- Shweiki and Qara’in families self-demolished their houses in Silwan and al-Mukaber Mount villages to avoids demolition costs.
- Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank
- A waterline was uprooted in the Northern Jordan Valley.
- 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 were arrested at military checkpoints.
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (16 – 22 February 2017).
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, wounding a fisherman.
In the West Bank, On 19 February 2017, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child in Bazaria village, northwest of Nablus when they opened fire from an Israeli military jeep at a number of students, who were on their way out of schools, without any reason.
On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah, and wounded two civilians with bullets in the lower limbs.
In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 19 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them. The shooting recurred on 19 and 20 February 2017. During the reported attacks, the Israeli naval soldiers arrested 5 fishermen; one of whom was wounded, and confiscated their boat along with the fishing net and equipment.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 65 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 72 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children and 4 women. Eighteen of them, including 7 children and 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
Efforts to create Jewish majority
In the context of house demolitions, On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces demolished a residential house (caravan) in al-Tebnah Bedouin Community in al-Kan al-Ahmar area, east of occupied Jerusalem. The 50-square-meter caravan sheltered Fatmah al-Tebnah (37) from ‘Arab al-Jahalin.
In the context of self-demolitions, on 17 February 2017, the family of Saleh Shweiki self-demolished their house in Beer Ayoub neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, upon a decision issued by the Israeli Municipality. The 80-square-meter house sheltered a family of 13 members, including 8 children.
On 18 February 2017, Mo’atasem Fayez Qara’in was forced to self-demolish his house in al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of Jerusalem, upon the Israeli Municipality’s decision and to avoid paying the Municipality’s high demolition costs. The house was built 8 years ago on an area of 65 square meters.
In the context of demolition notices, on 19 February 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Khan al-Ahamr Bedouin Community, east of Jerusalem, and handed the residents notices to demolish and evacuate 40 facilities, including houses, livestock barns, a school and mosque, under the pretext of building without a license.
On 22 February 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a residential house in “Tal’et Hezmah” area in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem. The 120-square-meter house belongs to the family of Lo’ay Abu Romouz and sheltered his family of 7 members, including 5 children.
Settlement crimes and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:
On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces uprooted an 8.5-meter drinking waterline between ‘Atouf village and Kherbet al-Hadidiyah in the northern Jordan Valley. It should be mentioned that the abovementioned waterline was donated by UNICEF and ACF and made of plastic pipes.
On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated a fuel pump belonging to Sabri Abu Mariah in Beit Zere’atah area, east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. The owner was threatened in case he re-runs the fuel station.
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.
- Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Thursday, 16 February 2017
- At approximately 02:10, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians and took them to Al-Jalamah Detention Center. The arrested civilians were identified as Huyai Hamzah Husain (21), Wahbi Mousa al-Khouli (26) and Anas Badwan Badwan (23).
- At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Shuwaikah Suburb, south of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Murad Moneer Yusuf Mahdawi (26).
- At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ezbet Shufah, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Muhannad Salem Ismail Abdul Razeq (36).
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Eastern Barta’ah village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Yusuf ‘Esam Kabha (27).
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Howarah village, south of Nablus; Dura, Beit Kahel, Bani Na’im and Deir Samet villages in Hebron
Friday, 17 February 2017
- At approximately 02:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Eyad Abdul Rahman Selmi (25) and then arrested him.
- At approximately 19:20, Israeli forces moved into Qarawet Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to ‘Esam Abdul Razeq Mohammed Rayan (19) and Abdullah Basem Mohammed Rayan (22) and then arrested them.
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’i, Traqumiya villages and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
- At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Haryah Valley neighbourhood, in the eastern area of Hebron, stationed at the entrance to Palestine Polytechnic University and closed the street leading to it. They raided a scientific library belonging to Majdi Rashid Abdul Ghani al-Karki (39), from al-Qadi Valley neighbourhood in the city. After breaking the main door, the soldiers damaged some stationary and then confiscated 14 hard-desks, 50 flash drivers and the DVR of the surveillance cameras. The soldiers left a list of the confiscated items, embeding the 1945 Defence Emergency Regulations. The Israeli soldiers later withdrew, but neither arrests nor questioning the library’s owner were reported.
- At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched 3 houses after which they arrested 3 civilians namely Mohammed Mo’ath Haliqawi (22), Ahmed Hasan Haliqawi (21) and Amin Jaber ‘Osfour (22).
- At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Salam Street in Hebron, and stationed on the street adjacent to the Sharia School for Girls. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jehad Husain Ershiyed (50), father of Dania and Jehad Ershiyed, who were killed by the Israeli soldiers at the end of 2015. The soldiers handed a summons to Ershiyed to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported:’Ourta village, southeast of Nablus; Birzeit and Kuber villages, north of Ramallah.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
- At approximately 00:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They patrolled the streets amidst firing of tear gas canisters, claiming they were thrown with stones. As a result, 2-month-year-old Zain Salim Omer Abu al-So’uod suffered tear gas inhalation when he was near his house. Zain was transferred to the hospital to receive medical treatment. The soldiers also raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Samir al-Shubaki and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service.
- At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 4 civilians namely ‘Oudai Mohammed Yunis Thawabtah, Yusuf Mahmoud Abdul Salam Taqatqa, Eyad Mahmoud Mousa Taqatqa and Rashad Samih Diriyah.
- At approximately 06:30, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Faraj Mousa Shuqeirat (42), Baraa’ Ibrahim Hamed (21) and Amjad Taiseer Hamed (16).
- At approximately 07:30, 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 The shooting sporadically continued until approximately 09:00. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor damages were reported.
- At approximately 13:00, an Israeli military jeep moved into Bazaria village, northwest of Nablus while Palestinian students were on their way out of their schools. A soldier fired a rubber-coated metal bullet towards a number of students. As a result, Osama Yusuf Abdul Latif ‘Ouda (16) sustained a metal bullet wound to the abdomen. He was transferred to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm to receive medical treatment. Osama said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 19 February 2017, my colleagues and I went out of the Bazaria High School in the centre of the village, and then arrived near the Bazaria Elementary School, which 400 meters away from our high school. We were then surprised with an Israeli military jeep traveling on the street leading to Tulkarm. As soon as the car approached us, a soldier opened fire at us and left the area. As a result, I was directly wounded with a bullet to the abdomen. The students carried and put me into a car for Ayman Suleiman Salem, who took me to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. After receiving the medical treatment, it was found out that I was hit with a metal bullet to the abdomen.”
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (6) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Nablus and ‘Ourta village, southeast of the city; al-‘Aroub refugee camp, Beit Oula, al-Hadab and Qalqas villages in Hebron.
Monday, 20 February 2017
- At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaber Mohammed al-Rajoub (30).They later withdrew, but no arrests were reported.
- At approximately 01:20, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Maher Sameer Abu Haniyah (23) and then arrested him.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Nedal Mahmoud Jaber Balasmah (33) and Loai Jamil Qashmir (21) and then arrested them.
- At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mahmoud Saqer Ahmed ‘Asidah (29) and Mos’ab Tawfiq al-Hendi (27). At approximately 04:00, The Israeli forces withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.
- At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Farah (24) and then arrested him.
- At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit ‘Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mohammed Rezeq ‘Essa (28) and Ramzi Abdul Fattah Masalmah (49). At approximately 04:00, they withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.
- At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Romanah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mahdi Morshed Bushnaq (42).
- At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fathi Mohammed Hammad (19) and then arrested him. They also fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians. As a result, Jehad Mohammed Abu Hmaid (23) and Qusai ‘Ali Hendi (19) were hit with bullets to their legs.
- At approximately 06:45, 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: Traqumiya, al-Thaheriyah and al-Samou’i villages in Hebron.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
- At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Kayed Mohammed Isma’il al-Hendi (37), an officer at the Palestinian Security Service. They also raided and searched a120-square-meter workshop belonging to Tahseen Husain Mohammed Ramadan (65) in ‘Ein Qatiri area on the eastern side of the abovementioned village. They arrested Tahseen’s son, Naseem (38), a Palestinian Intelligence officer at the Palestinian Intelligence Service, while he was sleeping in the workshop. They then welded the doors with oxygen from the inside and outside and hanged posts at the walls in the Arabic and Jewish languages saying it is closed with red wax until a further notice.
- At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Baraqah village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Adham Anwar Ahmed Salah (29).
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Reihiyah village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Oudai Abdul Muhsen ‘Essa al-Tubani (37) and then arrested him.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zuhdi Theeb Zuhdi Salem (49) and then arrested him and his sons Mohammed (26), Fadi (24), Ehab (22) and Bahaa’ (16).
- At approximately 02:50, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Anas Wajih Hasan Abtali (22).
- At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore, west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. They then surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Sabri Mohammed Sa’id Baker (56) and manned by his 3 children, ‘Abdullah (19); Mahmoud (17) and Mohammed ‘Emran (23) in addition to Thabet Mohammed ‘Abdel Razeq Baker (20) and ‘Omer Mohammed Najib ‘Omer Baker (26). All the aforementioned fishermen live in al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City. Due to the shooting, Mohammed ‘Emran Baker was hit with a bullet to the left side of his waist and then transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashqelon for medical treatment. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were then arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport while their boat and fishing net were kept in custody.
Wounded fisherman, Mohammed Baker, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“Due to the heavy shooting at the boat we were on, I was hit with a bullet to the left side of the waist. When the Israeli naval soldiers ordered us to jump into the water, I told them I was wounded, so the soldiers took me to their gunboat’s board. They handcuffed and blindfolded me and then took me to Ashdod Seaport. They brought a doctor to medically examine my wound, and he asked to transfer me to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashqelon to receive medical treatment. At approximately 01:00 on the next day, I was released and taken by a Palestinian ambulance to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for medical treatment. Medical sources there described my wound as moderate.”
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit; Kafer al-Deek village, west of the city; Howarah village, south of Nablus; Yatta and Bani Na’im village in Hebron.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
- At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, south west of Hebron, and stationed in Karisah neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nayef Mahmoud al-Rajoub (55), a PLC Member representing the Hamas Movement’s Change and Reform Bloc. The soldiers confiscated Nayef’s car before they withdrew. In the meantime, other Israeli forces raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Yaser Mohammed al-Rajoub, Rezeq Abdullah Musallam al-Rajoub (60), whose car was as well confiscated, and Abdullah Mohammed al-Rajoub. At approximately 03:00, the Israeli forces withdrew and stationed in the center of the city. Moreover, they raided and searched Abu Sharekh Mall. The soldiers broke doors of a number of offices, including Java Cultural Center, lawyer Ahmed al-Haroub’s office and al-Khawarezmi Center for Mental Intelligence, and searched them.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taramah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Emad Mohammed Jadallah (33) and then confiscated his car, but no arrests were reported.
- At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces accompanied with 15 military jeeps moved into Beta village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested 5 civilians, including the mother of Naser Sadeq Mohammed Abu Mazen (49), who carried out a stab attack in Petah Tikva on 09 February 2017, due to which the father Naser Sadeq Mohammed Abu Mazen (49) was arrested after two hours of the attack. The arrested civilians were identified as Joudah Mohammed Abdul Majid Abu Mazen (46), Naseem Dawoud Ibrahim Bani Sahmsah (18), Duraid Abed Ibrahim Bani Shamsah (18), Namer Sameer Abdul Rahman Bani Shamsah (19) and Samer Zaki Sanouber (19).
- At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shehab Eden Ahmed al-Titi (24) and then arrested him.
- At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They then raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Emad al-‘Azraq (20) and then arrested him.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Basem al-‘Orabi (24) and Zakaria al-‘Ammar (42).
- At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Awa village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mohammed Rezeq ‘Essa (28) and Ramzi Abdul Fattah Masalmah (49).
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ya’qoub Mohammed al-Heeh (22) and then arrested him.
- At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Tabaqah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Abdul Muhsen Abu Ras (64) and then arrested him.
- Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Hadab al-‘Alqah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Basel ‘Ali Dawdeen (39) and then arrested him.
Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, Beit Ummer and Emrish villages in Hebron and Sa’ir village, southwest of Jenin.
- Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall
- Following the Friday prayer on 17 February 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city; at the entrance to al-Jaalzone refugee camp, north of the city; 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.
- 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.
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