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Most reports and documentation of human rights institutions, national bodies
and civil society indicate that the Israeli violations against the Palestinians in
occupied Jerusalem have escalated and increased significantly. Violations on more
than one level: arrests, especially those of children and women, demolishing
homes and facilities, leveling lands, decisions to increase the construction of
settlement units in various areas in Jerusalem, and direct assaults on citizens,
which resulted in the injury of many of them with live and rubber bullets and tear
The storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock by extremist settlers
also escalated, incursions that were under the protection of the Israeli police and
security men, which confirms the official coordination with the Israeli
government, and its support for these incursions and violations that occur
continuously. During these incursions, Muslim worshipers are expelled from the
mosque and beaten by the police. Extremist settlers raise racist slogans against
the Palestinians during these incursions.
With regard to the repeated incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the
Rock, the incursions by settlers continued on an almost weekly basis, especially in
the mornings. The participation of 6,542 settlers who participated in these
incursions during the months of July and August were documented by the
Jerusalem Governorate and the Islamic Commission. This is considered by a large
number of settlers, which indicates that there is a decision and policy to intensify
the incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque, which leads to more tension in the Al-Aqsa
Mosque and in Palestine in general, especially since these incursions come within
the framework of a general policy taken by the Israeli authorities to support and
support these incursions, and the statements of many Extremist ministers' control
of the mosque has been repeatedly denied, especially by Israeli National Security
Minister Ben Gavier and Finance Minister Smotrich. On the other hand, the
Palestinians in Jerusalem reject this policy and this behavior of the settlers and
confront it permanently by being present in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa, which
always leads to clashes with the settlers and the police, who arrest many people,
especially young men and women, beat them up and spray tear gas.
In addition, the policy of direct house demolition or self-demolition by the owners
to avoid paying large financial fines in return for their demolition by the
occupation municipality in Jerusalem has increased during the last two months
and in various neighborhoods and areas of Jerusalem: Documentation from the
Palestinian governorate of Jerusalem indicates the demolition of 36 homes and 14
facilities. It is self-destructive. Also, 5 families were handed notices to demolish
their homes in Jerusalem. In the same context, the Sub Laban family was
evacuated from its house in Aqabat Al-Khalidiyah area in the Old City of
Jerusalem, and the occupation police handed over the house to the settlers. As
for the arrests, 151 were arrested, including 14 children under the age of 18. and
With regard to settlement expansion in Jerusalem, the occupation authorities
decided to build 450 new settlement units in the towns of Umm Lisoun and Jabal
Mukaber, south of the city. For this purpose, 12 dunums of Palestinian lands were
confiscated from the two towns. Planning is also underway to build 670 new
settlement units in the town of Beit Safafa, southeast of the city.
Mr. Zakaria Odeh, coordinator of the Civil Coalition for Human Rights in
Jerusalem, stated to the Alternative Information Center - Palestine that "the
Coalition has monitored a serious escalation in recent weeks of human rights
violations in Jerusalem, and that these violations affected most aspects of citizens'
lives, such as house demolitions, arrests, beatings and the use of force , land
confiscation and a significant increase in the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the
Dome of the Rock. This reality that the extremist Israeli government is trying to
impose in Jerusalem is a continuation of gross human rights violations, which are
a violation of the Geneva Conventions, international laws and United Nations
charters. This policy is an escalating continuation of the displacement of the
Palestinians by putting pressure on it and imposing a difficult fait accompli on
Ahmad jaradat- Alternative Information Center – Palestine
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Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. This dangerous event,
according to what the Palestinians describe, came after Netanyahu approved this
step, and under an extreme right-wing Israeli government that marks a dangerous
escalation of the situation in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and the rest of the
Palestine. They also see it as a continuation of the Israeli policies in Jerusalem,
especially against the Islamic and Christian holy places, which means of special
importance to the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Palestine and even to the region
Since the announcement of Ghafir’s intention and decision to storm the
courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, social media networks and media stations in
Palestine and other countries have circulated what happened in September 2000
when Ariel Sharon stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa, which led to of the second
intifada or was known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada at the time.
The Palestinian political forces issued many statements denouncing and
condemning this escalating and dangerous step, and saw in it a prelude to the
new extremist Israeli government policies, which were clearly announced,
especially by the extremist Gavier, that they would significantly increase
settlement construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank, in addition to
unprecedented punitive measures against the Palestinians. Such as the death
penalty legislation, and the unprecedented siege of Palestinian cities and towns.
The Palestinian Authority also denounced this step and call on the international
community and the United Nations to take serious measures to stop Israeli
violations in Palestine, especially Jerusalem. And it called for the activation of
United Nations resolutions related to Jerusalem and settlements, especially the
annexation of Jerusalem, as it is a violation of the resolutions of international
legitimacy and the United Nations, and a violation of international humanitarian
law and international law, given that Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Islamic
and Christian religious places are occupied areas according to these laws, and the
occupying power is prohibited from making any changes in These areas affect this
The Palestinian Authority, political forces and civil society organizations saw that
this step opens the door to an escalation in Palestine, especially since Gavier
stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in his capacity as Minister of Internal Security and was
approved by Prime Minister Netanyahu. And it was allowed, according to the
official Israeli radio (Kan). It is true that Gavier had stormed the Al-Aqsa courtyard
several times in the past, but this was not in his unofficial capacity, and within the
framework of announcing this intrusion in this capacity, which coincided with
many statements by him and members of the new government to intensify and
expand settlement in and around Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West
It is necessary to recall and stress that the storming of Al-Aqsa courtyards by the
Israeli Minister of Internal Security comes within the framework of the continuous
violations that Jerusalem is exposed to, such as the demolition of homes and the
confiscation of lands, as happened in the town of Silwan three weeks ago when
lands close to the mosque and located south of it were fenced off and
confiscated. The confiscation came in order to build and establish what is called
(the biblical garden). And the repeated incursions by the Israeli police forces into
many areas of Jerusalem, as is happening constantly in the Shuafat refugee camp
and the town of Issawiya.
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NIGER: A COUP AGAINST FRENCH CONTROL AND DOMINANCE
Malaysia - 9 August 2023
The situation in Niger is still in flux. On 26 July 2023 a military coup took place in that West African state that led to the ouster of its elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, by Brigadier General Abdourahmane Tchiani. The Brigadier General has proclaimed that he is the new president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).
The coup has been condemned by the 15 member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of which Niger is a member, the African Union, the European Union and the United States of America. On the 30 th of July, ECOWAS whose current head is Nigeria (not to be confused with Niger) issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders to restore Bazoum to power within one week, or face the consequences including possible military action. The deadline has expired. ECOWAS has not acted. It is alleged that the regional grouping would now prefer diplomacy.
One of the reasons why ECOWAS has changed its stance is because of strong opposition to any military intervention from some of its member states. Mali and Burkina Faso have made it explicitly clear that they would view military intervention as a “declaration of war” against the people of Niger and would defend the newly installed military junta. Besides, Niger is geographically one of the biggest countries in West Africa and possesses a well-trained army.
But an even more compelling reason why military intervention may not be an option for ECOWAS or anyone else for that matter is because the 26 th July coup, it is obvious to most observers, has widespread support among the people. The people see the coup as an attempt to end continuous Western --- mainly French and now also American--- exploitation and dominance of Niger. Niger, once a French colony, is rich in natural resources, uranium, oil and gold.
Its uranium industry for instance is owned and operated by a so-called joint venture, between Niger and France, the Societe des mines de l’Air ( Somair). 85% of Somair is owned by France’s Atomic Energy Commission and two French companies, while 15% is owned by Niger’s government. Niger is the world’s seventh largest producer of uranium, vital for nuclear energy while France relies heavily upon nuclear energy for 70% of its domestic power supply. As Vijay Prasad and Kambala Musavuli put it in a recent article, “One in three lightbulbs in France are powered by uranium from Niger, at the same time as 42% of the African country’s population live below the poverty line.”
France’s grip over Niger’s uranium is just one example of the former colonial power’s hold on Niger’s economy. This neo-colonial dominance expresses itself in many other ways. Niger, like other ex- French colonies in Africa, is tied to the French currency and the French financial system. It uses the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) for its domestic and foreign financial transactions.
50% of the reserves of these African states are held in the French Treasury as part of an arrangement forged between the ex-colonies and France. Consequently, when France devalued the CFA, the impact upon the African economies including Niger was disastrous. If we look at these economies as a whole, it is only in the fields of external trade and investments that some positive changes have occurred in recent years largely because of the emergence of China as an important partner.
Outside the Nigerien economy, the neo-colonial presence is most visible in the form of French and American soldiers and bases. French and American militaries were brought in by the government to fight Muslim insurgents. The rise of these insurgents is linked --- to some extent at least --- to the US-NATO overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 which paved the way for the growth of so-called jihadist groups in parts of North and West Africa. Of course, the Jihadist phenomenon cannot be divorced from US and British intelligence operations in the post 911 period.
Resentment against French and American troops has reinforced the perception that leaders like Bazoum, though elected, were mere puppets of Western interests. This explains why in the huge demonstrations that have taken place in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, and elsewhere Bazoum was denounced for betraying the people. It is not just in Niger that anti-French and anti-Western sentiments have peaked. In three other states, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea such sentiments have also found expression. The presence of French and American troops in those states has also played a role in the mounting anger towards Western power.
Economic difficulties faced by the people which are often attributed to Western dominance have exacerbated popular feelings. It is significant that in all 3 states military coups had taken place between August 2020 and September 2021. As feelings against France in particular and the West in general have become more pronounced in West Africa, the mood towards Russia seems to have become more positive. An article in the Guardian ( 5 August 2023) notes that “ Russian flags were brandished by those demonstrating outside the French embassy in Niamey, with many calling for Vladimir Putin to replace Macron as their biggest global backer.” Putin himself has been critical of the coup and has expressed the hope that civilian rule would be restored.
And indeed, civilian rule should prevail in Niger and other states in the region. But civilian rule should reflect the people’s legitimate desire for liberation from neo-colonial dominance. Civilian rule should uphold the dignity of the human being and the sovereignty of the people. It should protect the independence of the people which must include their right to own and control their economy and define and defend their own security.
Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International
Movement for a Just World (JUST)
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Israeli occupation. Confiscating lands and homes in favor of settlement projects,
displacing Palestinians from their land, and creating a reality in Jerusalem in order
to put more pressure on Palestinian citizens to leave their lands. This occupation
policy comes within the framework of the well-known plan to create a reality in
the city (a Palestinian minority and a Jewish majority). This continuing policy
against areas in Jerusalem inhabited by Palestinians.
This multi-faceted policy includes demolishing homes, harassing Palestinians,
checkpoints, isolation, and daily assaults, as happens in holy places such as Al-
Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but the most obvious and dangerous of
this policy is the confiscation and control of lands.
The Elad settlement association, which is known for organizing and sponsoring
operations to control Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, has been active for decades,
and it is an association that sponsorship and support from Israeli governments.
Yesterday, Tuesday, December 22, 2022, dozens of settlers affiliated with this
association, under the auspices, protection, and support of dozens of Israeli police
and security personnel, stormed the Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan,
Jerusalem, and close to Al-Aqsa Mosque. These settlers stormed by force the
land known (the Land ofAl hamra) of five dunums, which belong to the Greek
Orthodox Monastery in Silwan, and are owned by Palestinian citizens. The settlers
fenced off the plot of land as a prelude to confiscating it for the benefit of the so-
called (Biblical Garden) project, which is cursed by the aforementioned
During the raid, the Palestinian citizens prevented the settlers from fencing the
plot of land, which led to clashes and fist fights between the two parties, and the
occupation forces intervened and their members beat the Palestinians, and three
Palestinian youths were arrested.
One of the owners of the land, Mr. Shadi Samrin, stated, "We were surprised
when the settlers stormed our land and put a fence around it with the support of
the occupation forces, and we will continue to confront them with legal
measures, as this case is being followed up in the Israeli courts." He added that
we have owned this land for seventy years, and with this policy they are working
on displacing us and controlling our land by force.
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On the morning of Tuesday, July 18, dozens of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque
and its courtyards. The settlers, as usual, stormed the mosque on the western
side of the Magharba Gate. The raid was carried out under the protection of the
occupation police, who also accompanied them on their provocative tours against
the Palestinians in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa. The policemen, under threat, forced
the Palestinians out of the mosque's courtyards, with the aim of providing
protection for the settlers. This means that the violations committed by extremist
groups of settlers are approved and supported by the Israeli official level,
especially under a right-wing government. This time of the raid, the number of
settlements was large, as the Islamic Endowments Department stated in a
statement that 252 settlers participated in the raid, and dozens of Israeli
policemen accompanied them.
Facts and events indicate that Al-Aqsa Mosque is subjected to storming almost
daily by settlers, and the intrusions are in large numbers during the Jewish
holidays, as happened, for example, on May 25, when hundreds of settlers
stormed Al-Aqsa courtyards during the Jewish holiday, which is called the Jewish
Harvest holidays (Shavuot). During this incursion, which took place in the
morning, the Palestinians were expelled and forced to leave the mosque, and
they were forbidden to pray. The Palestinians were forced to pray outside the
mosque at the gates and in the alleys and streets surrounding the mosque, and
this often happens when the Israeli police close the mosque's gates or put military
checkpoints on them.
The violations committed by the settlers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the
continuous incursions, attacks on Palestinian worshipers, tours in the mosque, its
courtyards and the courtyards of the Dome of the Rock, and the revival of Jewish
religious holidays in it. And all of this is under the protection and care of the
occupation police, who in turn attack Palestinian worshipers, including them from
expressing their religious rites or even protesting against settler violations, and
they also issued dozens of orders against many Palestinians, preventing them
from entering the mosque for long periods of time. And the continuous arrests
against them, especially young men and women. Closing the mosque gates and
setting up military barriers at the mosque's doors and in the places that lead to it.
And the practice of violence against worshipers by firing tear gas and live and
rubber bullets, which led to the injury of dozens, and the attempt to build iron
gates at the entrances to the mosque, less than three years ago, which the
Palestinians confronted and thwarted this project. All these measures and
violations by settlers and Israeli governments, especially this right-wing
government, whose ministers are involved in violations against the Palestinians in
Al-Aqsa, such as the Minister of Internal Security, Ben Gavier.
But the Palestinians reject this policy and these measures and always confront
them, despite the suffering they suffer from arrest, beatings, and expulsion from
the mosque. This means that what is happening in Al-Aqsa Mosque constitutes a
dangerous escalation of the security situation, not only in Al-Aqsa Mosque and
Jerusalem, but also in all of Palestine. Because what is happening in Al-Aqsa
Mosque is a violation of the freedom of worship in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the
practice of the occupation to proceed with the Judaization of Jerusalem after
annexing it and declaring it the capital of the Israeli State , even though Jerusalem
is occupied lands in the year 67, and the occupation authorities are prohibited
from taking any measures that affect this legal status of the occupied territories
according to legitimacy decisions international law, the Fourth Geneva
Conventions and international humanitarian law. Despite international criticism of
Israel, it continues its Judaization policy in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa.
Written by Ahmad Jaradat ( AIC-P)
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concern the arrests taking place throughout the Palestinian territories, and
looks with concern at what human rights organizations and institutions
interested in the issue of detainees document during this year, especially in
recent months, in which arrests against Palestinians intensified, especially
the arrests and abuse of detained children grave violation for children's
In 2022, it was observed that the frequency of arrests increased in the West
Bank and Jerusalem, and it was noted that it included a large percentage of
children, as well as both male and female sexes. Hardly a night passes
without arrests in various areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem, and these
arrests are accompanied by physical assault on detainees, especially
children. Also, the contents of the homes of the detainees' families are
tampered with and destroyed. The detainees are also transferred in most
cases, especially in the West Bank, to military centers, where they are
subjected to physical beatings, psychological humiliation, intimidation,
deprivation of sleep for long periods, lack of food, and poor and poor
quality, especially during periods of interrogation with the detainees by
investigators from the Israeli security and intelligence services to obtain on
confessions by detainees.
Occupation forces deliberately storm homes after midnight and early dawn
hours. - Not allowing parents to attend the investigation of children's arrest
cases. Not allowing the detainee to consult a lawyer.- Forcing detainees,
especially children, to sign written statements in the Hebrew language that
Palestinian children do not master, without certain knowledge of the content
of the statement.- Blackmail and bargaining with children: the intelligence
and police deceive children by saying that they will release them if they
accept the charges, addressed to them. And in the event that they refuse to
convict themselves, it will arrest their families.- Beating children during
arrest and during interrogation.- Restraining children with plastic shackles.-
Insults, insults, and contempt.- Threats of death and sexual violence.
A few days ago, the Palestinian Prisoners Society indicated that 750 children
have been arrested since the beginning of this year, and some of them were
arrested while they were injured as a result of shooting by the Israeli forces,
and some of them sustained bruises and wounds due to being beaten after
and during arrest. The Society indicated that among the detainees are three
minor girls who are languishing in "Damon" prison, and they are Nodhout
Hammad (16 years old) from Jerusalem, Zamzam Al-Qawasmeh (17 years
old), and Jannat Zaidat (16 years old) from Hebron.
The Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs documented
testimonies of two young men who were beaten and abused during their
arrest by the Israeli occupation forces. The lawyer for the commission, Heba
Masalha, stated that a large force of the occupation intelligence and police
arrested the boy, Muhammad Samer Abu Al-Hawa (16 years), from the town
of Al-Tur, east of occupied Jerusalem, after raiding his house at five in the
morning, searching his house and turning its contents upside down, and then
taking him to detention rooms. "Al-Maskoubiya", which remained inside it
for 19 days. This is just an example of hundreds cases
In the same context, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Education
issued a statement on the 20th of November on the occasion of International
Children's Day. The report included the arrest of 770 child students since the
beginning of the year, 160 of which are still in detention. According to the
report based on documentation and follow-up by the teaching staff, the
detained children were subjected to physical pressure. Physical and
psychological insults and insults by the soldiers the moment after their
arrest. Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association-Addameer reported
last May “The Israeli occupation authorities place children in inhuman
conditions of detention and lack the minimum international guarantee of
children’s rights. The nature of the rooms in which they are held are rooms
that lack proper lighting and ventilation, and this is of course in addition to
the medical negligence practiced by the occupation authorities against the
cubs and the lack of clothes and food. The children were subjected to
beatings, isolation, abuse, and heavy financial fines were imposed on them,
especially the children in O’fer prison, where the fines imposed on them
during the months of March and April amounted to 78,000 Israeli shekels,
and during the month of May, they reached more than 60,000 Israeli
The occupation authorities, by defining the legal age of the child as sixteen
years, which violates the international standard for the age of the child,
which is eighteen years, and by this they are violating the international rules
and conventions on the age of childhood to evade the legal violation in
violating the rights of children "Military Order No. 132, issued in September
24, 1967, which defines a Palestinian “child” as a person under the age of
sixteen, in contradiction with the text of Article No. 1 of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as every human being under
the age of eighteen, and with the Israeli penal code which defines an Israeli
"child" as a person under the age of eighteen.
At a time when cases of arrests of children are escalating in the West Bank
and Jerusalem, the Alternative Information Center - Palestine appeals to the
international community, international bodies and governments in the world
stand up to their duties in protecting children in Palestine, and to put
pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to respect and implement
international conventions on the protection of children. In this context, the
Alternative Information Center - Palestine appeals to these international
-Condemning and denouncing the Israeli detention policy against
children in Palestine
-Call on international organizations, especially those concerned with
children's rights, to put pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to
stop the arrest of children and the violations against them.
-Call on the United Nations to oblige the Israeli occupation authorities
to respect international laws and conventions for the protection of
children and to stop arrests for them.
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It was noted that the policy of demolishing houses and uprooting trees witnessed a serious escalation
during the month of June in terms of the number of houses demolished and the uprooting of trees. It
was also noted that most of Jerusalem's neighborhoods have been subjected to these violations.
Because of the large financial fines financial fines imposed by the occupation municipality on the
citizens whose homes were targeted for demolition, many citizens demolished their homes to avoid
paying these fines to the municipality in return for demolishing it, a phenomenon known as (self-
During this month, twenty houses were demolished in various suburbs of Jerusalem, eight of which
were self-demolished by their owners in order to avoid paying large sums of money to the Jerusalem
Municipality if it carried out the demolition.
In the town of Silwan in Jerusalem, the occupation municipality demolished the house of the Shweiki
family at the beginning of the month. The municipality also demolished a house belonging to the
families of Burqan and Nassar in the town, and a two-storey house belonging to the Bahjat al-Taweel
family in the Abbasiya neighborhood in the same town. In Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, the municipality
demolished a house and a barracks belonging to the Totah family.
In the northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the occupation authorities, using bulldozers, uprooted 100
olive trees and demolished retaining walls while constructing settlement roads in the town of Hizma. In
Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, the municipality forced Nasri al-Rajabi, a Jerusalemite, to demolish his
house. Also in Shuafat, north of Jerusalem, the municipality demolished a wall belonging to the Alqam
In the town of Umm Tuba, south of Jerusalem, on the twenty-second of June, 50 olive trees were
uprooted and 15 beehives belonging to Jamal Abu Tair were destroyed.
From the aforementioned, we notice an escalation of demolitions in Jerusalem during the month of
June, in a large and dangerous way. The journalist and writer concerned with Jerusalem affairs, Rasem
Obeidat, stated that "the escalation of home demolitions in Jerusalem comes within the framework of
the systematic Israeli policy and under the extremist government of Israel, where many of its ministers
call for intensifying repression against the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem." He added, "This old-new
policy comes in The framework of the policy of displacing Palestinians from the city in order to expand
settlement outposts in the city.
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people has expanded and increased in recent years. This movement, over time,
turned into an effective force through the organization of delegations and direct
attendance to be present with the Palestinians in their villages and areas,
especially those threatened with confiscation from the occupation or settlers. Or
by organizing events and activities in their countries to pressure their
governments to take more serious stances and intervene with Israel to stop these
violations against the Palestinian people or in helping farmers work on their land
that was threatened by confiscation and the assaults committed by settlers,
especially during the olive harvest season, or by carrying out campaigns and
solidarity activities in their countries, especially in Europe and elsewhere, to
pressure their governments to take positions in support of the Palestinians due to
the continuous violations by the Israeli occupation or/and settlers. The means and
techniques of social communication and the development of communication
technology are also being help to mobilize the solidarity movement at the
The Palestinians are dealing with interest to these solidarity movements in order
to help them in their steadfastness and face the daily violations of their rights and
are seeing that these movements are an important force in circulating what is
happening in Palestine at the global level in favor of the justice that the Israeli
occupation violates in Palestine.
The methodological starting point of the Solidarity Movement is based on the
justice and humanity of the Palestinian case, and confronting and exposing the
violations committed by the occupation authorities, and their violation of the
international charters, the rules of human rights and international law.
What the Palestinian community is facing in the Jabal al-Baba area, east of the
town of Al-aizaria in the Jerusalem governorate, is one of the issues that
constituted a title for the international solidarity movement, because of the
demolition of homes, the confiscation of lands, and the threat of expulsion and
displacement of 70 families, numbering 450 people, who live in the community.
The Chairperson of the community, Atallah al-Mazara’a, says that “the
international solidarity movement with the community formed a state of hope
among the residents of the community to stop the Israeli violations and stop the
demolition and displacement decisions, and also helped and strength them to
resist and confront.” He adds that “this solidarity movement was through the
presence of foreign delegations to show solidarity with the people at the site And
disseminating what is happening through the media, social media, videos, etc., as
well as organizing activities and events in their countries, explaining what is
happening to decision makers, including members of governments,
parliamentarians, and institutions, and mobilizing public opinion against Israeli
policies of displace the community”.
The field visits of the activists of the solidarity movements and the international
civil society of what is happening in Jabal al-Baba is important, and there is also
importance for the international official level to be informed of this issue by
visiting the site and looking at its circumstances, and listening to what the victims
say and their stories of suffering. In this frame, the Alternative Information Center
- Palestine , NovAct and the Municipality of Al-aizaria organized a field tour two
weeks ago for a number of diplomats in Palestine. The delegation met with the
Chairperson of the community and listened with interest to what happened and is
still happening in Jabal al-Baba.
Solidarity of the International Community with the case of Jabal al-Baba is
important and necessary for what the Israeli decision to demolish the community
and displace its residents means a gross violation of the right of housing, and the
right to enjoy the owners on their land. It is a decision that leads to the
displacement of 450 people in the open without housing, and it is a racist policy
where the decision means displacing the original people in order of building and
expanding settlements and bringing settlers to live in these settlements, which is
a violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the occupying
power from bringing its citizens to settle in occupied areas.
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Violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories by the Israeli occupation authoritieshave become an almost daily prominent feature. These violations affect all aspects of life of the Palestinian people and extends to all Palestinian cities, villages, camps, and communities. Thus, not a day goes by without witnessing various forms of serious violations that affect all individuals and groups in the form of collective punishment.
There are multiple violations that are almost similar in all areas conducted by the Israeli occupation authorities and settlers. These violations affect the daily life of people, such as deliberate and direct killing, violation of freedom of mobility, freedom of worship, arrests, home demolitions, violations against children, etc.
In East Jerusalem, which is an occupied territory in 1967, and according to the international law and the fourth Geneva convention, international conventions, and dozens of Unite Nation organizations resolutions such as the Security Council and the UN General Assembly and others, that it is an occupied territory.
Human rights violations in Jerusalem are taking a dangerous turn, closely related to the annexation carried out by the Israeli occupying authorities and their declaration of the city as the capital of the state of Israel, treating it as Israeli territory rather than occupied land. In addition, Israeli has created realities and space for the city and its suburbs,where five hundred thousand Palestinians live, and daily human rights violations intensify, closely related to this unique and tough reality, which we can see its manifestations through the systemized migration of Palestinians from Jerusalem.
The system of legislation and laws adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities since day oneregarding Jerusalem has provided a wide and unrestricted scope for human rights violations in the city, thus, this set of violations by the authorities is a systematic expression of this system of legislations and laws of the occupation regarding Jerusalem, which contradicts with the rules of the International Law and International Humanitarian Law and all international treaties and conventions related to human rights.
This paper will discuss some of the models of Palestinian human rights violations in Jerusalem and its suburbs. These are the clearest ongoing, almost daily, models that reflect the discrimination of the occupation authorities against Palestinians. It also reflects the policy, of imposing realities in the city which makes life for Palestinian citizens harsh. These policies, which started as early as the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, are home demolitions, arrests, deportation from the city, restrictions on worship, especially that Jerusalem has Islamic and Christian holy sites that are very significant to the followers of these two religions in Palestine and the rest of the world, such as the Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Jerusalem has a historical specificity in this regard. The isolation policy of the city, with the Apartheid wall and the network of crossings points and military checkpoints that surrounds the city to implement this isolation. These violations affect the children’s rights in particular in the form of battery and arrest, etc.
Home Demolition in Jerusalem
The main form of Palestinian human rights violations by Israel in Jerusalem, especially the collective violations, were home demolitions, which started only a few days after the occupation of the city in 1967. The Moghrabi neighborhood adjacent to the Aqsa Mosque wall was demolished and erased; 136 houses and 4 mosques and a school were demolished. At least 650 people became homeless as a result. This neighborhood was not a living place, but it was a historical cultural heritage that was at least 700 years of age. In addition to violations of human rights of the residents of that neighborhood, this is also a blatant violation of international laws and treaties related to the protection of historical and cultural sites for peoples, as stipulated in the 1954 Hague Convention and the 1945 UNESCO Charter, as well as the 2003 UNESCO World Heritage Protection Declaration against destruction. This is just an example of the systematic home demolition policy adopted by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially in Jerusalem which started at day one of the occupation.
In Jerusalem, it is part of the forced migration of Palestinians policy. The fact that demolishing the Moghrabi neighborhood, was accompanied by expelling 3700 Palestinians from the adjacent Al-Sharaf neighborhood, is evidence to this claim. This confirms that the forced migration policy is a fact to the Israeli decision makers since the start of the Israeli occupation in Jerusalem, and especially in the old city for its cultural, religious, and economic importance to the Palestinians, which can be noticed until this moment.
What happened at the Moghrabi neighborhood was one of the violations of international treaties, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits that occupying force to make changes and destruction of real of personal property, as stipulated in Article 53 of the fourth convention of 1949. (1)
As years of occupation pass up to this moment, the Israeli policy in Jerusalem targeted real estate, either by full or partial destruction using several pretexts, the most of which is building without necessary permit. It is worth noting that a Palestinian obtaining this permit in the occupied territories in general and especially in Jerusalem is not an easy task and near to impossible, where, at the same time, settlement construction in Jerusalem is facilitated which is a sign of the racist discrimination of this policy.
Since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, until 2021 around 2000 houses have been demolished, either partially or completely, and in 2022 1058 structures have been demolished in Jerusalem, 553 of which were homes and 705 other facilities. This has resulted in the disposition of hundreds of Palestinians, which is a violation of children and women rights, who suddenly became without habitat, and are forced to find an alternative and rent a house, which burdens them with more expenditures, that are mostly beyond the capacity of the families which forces them to borrow money. This, in turn, leads to more poverty with what comes with it of suffering that affects the entire family, and especially children. Thus, the most prominent manifestation of home demolitions is displacement and family dispersion.
“They have demolished my life dream, everything, they demolished dreams, memories, and ambitions, they basically destroyed our lives, they kept demolishing for the last brick, and the more the bulldozer was demolishing the walls, I felt it is demolishing my heart. They were laughing while committing an unusual crime. After the house was demolished, they shook hands and congratulated each other for a task accomplished, they are inhumane, I do not understand how people can laugh and happy as they seechildren being thrown to the street.” These were the words Hanadi Abu Rmouz used to describe her and her family’s suffering when the Israeli Municipality of the Occupation demolished their house in Beit Hanina (2).
The home demolition process in Jerusalem starts after the house owner receives a demolishing warrant, usually under the pretext of not obtaining a building permit. The house owners go to Israeli courts, hoping to stop the demolition, but it takes a long time for the court to take a decision, which in most cases is complicit with the decision of the municipality. Jerusalem is city “annexed” to Israel, and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem hold Israeli identification cards, therefore, the municipality follow up the construction, demolition, and permit affairs. During the legal case, the municipality usually adds extra fees on the house owners who received demolition warrants, as legal fees and plans etc., and after all, the decision is demolition.
Another policy adopted by the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli courts in charge of the building and warrants issues, is imposing fines against the house owner as fees of demolition if the municipality will do the demolition. These fines can be tens of thousands of dollars, which forces house owners who receive demolition orders to demolish their own homes themselves to avoid paying the fees, which is known as “self-demolition”.
In spite of the painful psychological impact of demolishing your own house, many actually do it themselves, to avoid such fines or fees.
This policy has been intensified in the past few years. In 2022 alone, 93 houses were demolished by their owners, and as of February of 2023, another 46 houses were demolished by their owners. Hussam Abbasi from Silwan, who demolished his house said, “It was a tough day to demolish my home with my own hands, this was my little home in which I lived with my wife and children” (3).
Issam Sharaf, who was forced to demolish his own home in Wad Qaddoum neighborhood said, “I have tried all possible way to build my house, now I have a pile of wreckage only, my dreams to get married and live with my family in my home have gone with the winds, my heart is broken and I am in pain because I had to demolish my own home to avoid paying the fine to the municipality had it carried out the demolition.” (4)
The home demolition policy in Jerusalem, as well as in the rest of the occupied territories, is a clear violation of human rights to a proper habitat. This is a right stated in the international law; “the right to own property without fear of being evicted or deprived from habitat or land.” (5)
Israeli violations against children
In general, based on documentation by Human Rights organizations in Palestine, and media agencies, children, in general, are the most group subjected to human rights violations by the Israaeli authorities, such as arrest, and different other forms of physical and psychological violence. In Jerusalem, we can notice that children are subject to these multiple violations, especially during protests and demonstrations, or during raids on Palestinian houses or other occasions. They are also one of these groups whose rights are directly violatedin home demolitions.
It is important to point out that the violations against children start by the Israeli authorities, as they set the age of children to be those under the age of 16, which is a clear violation of article one of the Convention on the Rights of Children which defines children as those human beings below the age of 18 years. (6)
It is apparent that the Israeli definition of childhood age is to legalize the practices that violates the rights of children, whether by battery, violence, or most commonly used arrest.Defining the children age to be below 16 years was These arrests are often accompanied by physical assault, destruction of property, and transfer to military centers where detainees are subjected to beatings, psychological humiliation, sleep deprivation, and inadequate amount of food. Israeli forces conduct arrests during late night and early morning hours, prevent parents from attending their children's investigations and coerce children to sign statements in a language they do not understand. The situation is further exacerbated by inhuman detention conditions, medical negligence, isolation, abuse, and heavy fines imposed on children. Besides, Israeli authorities have set the transition of childhood to adulthood at sixteen years old, which violates international standards whereby such transition happens at eighteen.
We can also say that Israel is the only country in the world that tries children in military courts and in hard conditions during arrest and interrogation. Despite the fact that Jerusalem has been annexed and Israeli ID cards have been issued to Palestinian
Statistics of organizations catering to the Children Rights and arrests show that the year 2022 indicate that Jerusalem had the highest rate of child arrests in comparison with the rest of Palestinian governorate. The Palestinian Prisoners Club pointed out that during 2022, at least 883 Palestinian children have been arrested, including 654 from Jerusalem, which 74.1%.
Most of the children in Israeli jails, who are below the age of 14 are detained in special social centers, or subject to house-arrest, which turned these homes into some form of detention centers, which has impacts on the families and the children who are deprived of communicating with their social environment or school, etc. The Israeli occupation measures against children in Jerusalem, within this policy is a violation of international law, especially article (16) on children which states "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honor and reputation."
A statement by the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee said that in 2022, a total of 600 children from Jerusalem below the age of 14 were subject to house-arrest. Their detention was decided by the court until legal proceedings are concluded. (8)
House arrest usually ends after the period said by the court passes, and the family of the child is subject to pay a very high fine. As an example, 14-year-old Ali Qneibi from Shaiek Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, is one of the victims of house-arrest. He spent 5 months in house-arrest before another ruling was issued against him and a fine of 30 thousand Shekels. Rateb Qneibi the father of Ali described the house arrest of his son and how he and the family suffered from that the family become like jailers for the child, and do not allow him to go out, because he is generally a child and the life of children is a game, and when he sees his friends children playing while he is deprived of that and he can not go to his school and can not even stand at the door, he becomes depressed.
One form of the violations of children Rights in Jerusalem is being committed by the police during their raids of Palestinian neighborhoods, especially the crowded ones, such as in Shu’fat refugee camp, Silwan, and other neighborhoods, where children are subject to battery and physical and verbal violence.
Children in Jerusalem, likeother children in the occupied territories, are subject to violence from settlers as well. Less thana month ago, 15-year-old Khader Ghorab,from the old city of Jerusalem, was shot in his by a settler.
Children are also victims of the Israeli policies in Jerusalem, such as home demolition, which leaves the family homeless to live in a tent for example, which in turn has tough psychological impact on children.
The impacts of the violations of children’s rights can be seen on the parents, as they feel afraid when their children go to or come back from school, especially in friction areas. Parent Sami Ismael from Shu’fat refugee camp said, “we are always worried when our children go to school, and we do not rest until they are back home. These worries are renewed when the children go to play or walk around the camp with their friends. We are always worried that they get beaten, arrested, or kidnapped.” (9)
Violations of Right of Worship and Practice of Religious rituals
Closing the entrances to religious sites by Israeli police and security forces, and preventing the worshippers to enter became a repeated phenomenon, not only during religious occasions, but also along the year.
Three years ago, Israel erected metal gates, at the entrance of Al-Aqsa Mosque, however, under pressure and Palestinian demonstrations and international pressure, against the Occupation state, Israel removed them. This, however, did not stop the policy of preventing worshipers to enter where massive numbers of police are stationed at the gates of the Mosque, to screen those who enter. (10)
In addition, closing schools and isolating them from the surroundings in Palestine, and preventing Palestinians to enter Jerusalem and religious sites except with a permit that is given by the occupation authorities, and of course, setting limitations on the age of those who will be allowed to enter, are violations of freedom of access to religious sites and worshipto both Christians and Muslims.
In April of this year, Israelcancelled the permits of 700 Palestinian Christians from the Gaza Strip who were preparing to celebrate ceremony of the Holy Fire on Saturday 15 April 2023 in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Therefore, they have been deprived of their rights to practice their worship on this occasion. This cancellation was condemned by Rights organizations in Palestine. Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza said in a statement that this decision is a violation of the rights of worship. The statement addedthat this is a continuation of the racial discrimination policy. At the same time, spokesperson of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Stéphane Dujarric expressed disappointment of this decision to prevent Christians from visiting religious sites and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during Easter.
Issa Hanna from Bethlehem describes being prevented from entering Jerusalem to take part in the Holy Fire Service in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, “This is our country, we should be free to move in it. They want to send us a message that this is not our country, but this makes me more convinced that there can be no peace with them, and that the occupation must come to an end, they are being racist against us.” (11)
Within the same policy, Israel issued an order to prevent Muslims below the age of 50 years to enter Jerusalem to pray at the Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan. This violation prevented thousands of worshippers from Jerusalem and the West Bank to reach the Aqsa Mosque to pray and practice their Ramadan rituals. Thousands of people piled at the crossing points, and all those below 50 years were prevented to enter during Ramadan, especially on Friday. In a meeting with 45-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim from Dura, near Hebron, he said, “I feel very sad, I came to the checkpoint in the early hours of the morning to pray in the Aqsa Mosque, but they denied me entry at checkpoint 300 north of Bethlehem, they deprive me to pray at the Aqsa Mosque, the sacred place for Muslims.” (12)
In the meantime, 48-year-old Khalil Odeh, from Bethlehem said, “When I came to the crossing terminal, I learned from people there that they have been prevented to enter, I know that I will not be allowed in because of my age, I stayed until 11 AM waiting at the crossing terminal, hoping that they may allow us to enter, however, the waiting went in vein, so hundreds of us prayed outside the crossing.” (13) The same on all the other military crossings into Jerusalem. Hundreds of young people from Jerusalemhad to pray in the streets and near the entrances of the Mosque area because they were prevented to enter the Mosque, the same happened at the Asbat gate on the eastern side of the Mosque.
This year policeassaults against the worshippers were not only during the month of Ramadan, but the police also invaded the Aqsa Mosque yards after damaging Al-Rahmeh gate, and assaulted the worshippers there, which left dozens bruised, and lots of closets damaged, and cause power outage as the grid incurred damage, and the separator between men and women was removed.
As of writing this report, Israeli police assaulted and beat Christians during the Holy Fire celebrations in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Dozens of monks, clergy, and worshippers were violently beaten, and were dragged on the floor, kicked andbeaten with clubs and rifle buttons.
Simon Awad said, it is very painful to see an occupying soldier preventing us, the owners of this land, from entering Jerusalem. This impacts the number of Palestinians who enter Jerusalem to visit relatives of to do shopping or to worship. This year, the occupation measures to prevent people to enter Jerusalem and pray is actually depriving tens of thousands of people to practice their rights. (14)
Closure and Siege of Jerusalem: Individual and Collective Punishment
Historically, Jerusalem is regarded as the heart of Palestine, for its historic, religious, cultural, economic, and social importance. Since day one of the occupation, Jerusalem has been a target for the occupation authorities to isolate it from its Palestinian geographic and national relevance. Israel adopted a number of policies used to isolate Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. For example, it issued Israeli Identification Cards to the residents of Jerusalem, it also intensified settlement construction especially in the heart of the city, and later it annexed it and declared it its capital of the occupation state in a move that violates international laws and conventions since Jerusalem is regarded as an occupied city, and the occupying force is not allowed to change this status.
The closures policy has taken a serious curve in the past twenty years, when Israeli started with the construction of the isolation wall which surrounds the governorate, and started to build terminals and military checkpoints at the entrances, and prevented West Bank and Gaza Strip residents to enter Jerusalem except with a permit from the occupation authorities.
This reality and facts that were established on the grounds to isolate Jerusalem have resulted violations of the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories. These violations have affected the Palestinians on economic, social, and cultural levels and the freedom of movement of individual and collective levels as well.
On the economic level, many of the merchants and shop owners who work in West Bank areas, were forced to shut down their businesses and go back to Jerusalem fearing of losing the Jerusalem resident rights. This has also negatively affected the merchants in Jerusalem, as the city has not been a commercial hub in the West Bank anymore because West Bankers have been prohibited from entering Jerusalem for shopping or trading. Ahmad Obeidat, a shop owner in Silwan, Jerusalem said, “I have lost more than 60% of my customers from the West Bank, especially from the nearby Al-Ezariyah and Abu Dis towns, this has negatively affected my income.” (15)
The closure of Jerusalem has left tough economic impacts on Palestinians in Jerusalem which has two indicators; the jump in prices especially fruits and vegetables that comes from the West Bank, and second, the movement of many merchants from Jerusalem to locations on the other side of the wall, like Abu Dis, Qalandia, al-Ram and Al-Ezeriya. Khalil Abu Tair, from Jerusalem said, “The prices of fruits and vegetables in Jerusalem are sold double its price in the West Bank because of the wall, and because it is not allowed freely as it used to be.” (16)
Violation of freedom of movement of Palestinians has been manifested in closing and sieging Jerusalem in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupying force to make changes to the occupied territories that affect the rights of the residents under occupation.
Jerusalem around 20 years ago, it was very easy for us to go to Ezeriya, and then to Jericho, for example. In fact, going to Ezeriya would not need a car, because it is so close, it was like a neighborhood of Jerusalem where we have family and friends, however, with the closure and the wall, we have to go through the village of Al-Z’ayyem and then to Ezeriya, which is around 15 Kilometers. Before the closure, I used to go twice a week there, but now, I only go if needed, and this is the case with most people in my neighborhood.” (17)
Ali Abu Tair, from Um Tuba, south of Jerusalem, said “We used to move to any location in the West Bank easily, nowadays, we have to go through military checkpoints, and go through inspection, especially on the way back to Jerusalem. This usually takes time, especially when the checkpoint of the crossing terminal is crowded. Aside from this, is the racial discrimination that we face, because Israelis are allowed in very easily, while we, as Palestinians, we are subject to thorough inspection and obstruction, despite the fact that we both are holders of and Israeli ID. As a result of these measures, mobility between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank is as not as strong as it used to be before the closure.” (18) These quotations are evidence of the suffering of the people of Jerusalem due to the restrictions of their mobility.
On the social level, the closure and siege of Jerusalem resulted in the fragmentation of the social fabric of many families and clans who live inside and outside Jerusalem due to the construction of the Apartheid wall, as clearly seen in towns that are at a close proximity and adjacent to the wall like Al-Ezeriya, Abu Dis, Sawahreh Sharqiyeh, Beit Haneena, and Anata, where hundreds of families became separate from each other on both sides of the wall.
Many families and clans have been dispersed because of the wall. An example to this, is that since the occupation of Jerusalem and setting the municipal borders, many families were counted inside the municipal border of Jerusalem and were issued Israeli (Blue) ID, and other were issued West Bank (Green) IDs, however these families were in constant contact until the construction of the wall and the erection of military checkpoints on the municipality borders which disconnected the families from each other. The biggest and most dramatic examples are families of Sawahreh Sharqiyeh and Gharbiyeh where the families that live in Jerusalem areas, such as Jabal Al-Mukabber and Al-Suwwana and some family members live in Sawahreh Sharqiyeh such as Obeidat, Za’atra, Shqeirat, Halaseh, etc. Khaled Shqeirat said that the closure and the separation wall had an extremely negative impact on family relations, communications, marriages, and social activities which have shrunk dramatically and marriage across the divide became almost zero. (19)
Education in Jerusalem
In Jerusalem, unlike the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories governorate, and due to the reality imposed by the occupation authorities through annexation and treating Jerusalem as part of the state of Israel’s lands, and since the educational system is historically under the Jordanian administration, as is the case in the rest of the governorates, Israel established schools under its administration after the occupation of 1967, and made amendments to the curriculum, and introduced it to these schools, yeta number of the schools in Jerusalem remained under the Palestinian Authority administration after Oslo agreement and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993.
This introduction of the division of schools, and the nature of the curricula adopted in Jerusalem schools, which created a strange reality that is inconsistent and inharmonic within the same city and for the same people; the Palestinian, due to their collective national and social identity. It created an impact on the city that feeds into the Israeli policies in Jerusalem, that is administrated by the Israeli occupation municipality, despite being an occupied city, according to International Law and a set of resolutions by the United Nations, however, Israel does not adhere to these resolutionsand still regard Jerusalem as a city part of Israel and is subject to its laws and legislations. This reality of two schooling systems in one city has also impacted the educational life in the city, and created obvious discrepancy, contradiction, and duplication in the education system, which has negative impacts that violated the education rights of the students, in addition to being a grave violation of the legal status of Jerusalem as a city under occupation, in accordance with the international legitimacy and International Law.
The Israeli campaign against the schools and the educational system and the curriculum in Jerusalem started years ago. Israeli omitted anything that highlights the Palestinian Identity. This violation became a center of conflict in the educational field. Palestinians rejected the changes on the Palestinian curriculum, which leads to its Israelization, which fits perfectly into the Israeli policy of annexation and the declaration of Jerusalem as its capital. In addition, it is a violation of the Palestinian educational space. In this regard, Nasser Al-Hidmi, head of the Anti-Judaizationcommittee said in his remarks about a decision issued by the Israeli Ministry of Education to shut down five schools including the Abrahimi School and Al-Iman School, under the pretext of incitement against the Israeli occupation army(20)
There are 98,428 students in Jerusalem schools, 45,500 of them are in schools that are under the Palestinian Authority administration and the rest are under the administration of the Israeli Ministry of Education. This means that half of the students in Jerusalem are not allowed to learn the Palestinian curriculum which represents the national context and reflects the Palestinian national identity. So, they are forced to learn the Israeli curriculum. (21)
Similarly, Laila Abu El-Hawa said, “Preventing Palestinian students in Israeli Ministry of the Education schools to learn about the national identity and the history of Palestine and its struggle and the sequence of events and the conflict with the occupation, is a problem that teacher face, which students ask about these topics. The teachers are worried to answer fearing to be fired under the pretext of not respecting the curriculum, or incitement.” (22) This is actually a violation of the rights of the students to learn the history of their ancestors and their people and the national events they went through.
The Israelization of the curriculum in Jerusalem does not only violate the cultural aspect and the Palestinian national identity, and does not only lead to the distraction of the collective consciousness of the student by the division of the curricula, but it exceeds it way beyond; it affects the psychology of the students, which they are forced to learn the curriculum of the state that forcefully occupies their land, which is an attempt to occupy the consciousness of this generation.
Muna Qerrish, a Jerusalemite student in the eleventh grade said, “sometimes I feel that I do not want to go to school, because we are forced to learn the curriculum of our oppressor and occupier, I feel that I am learning against my will, this is why we always participate in protests that are organized against imposing the Israeli curriculum on us. (23)
Palestinian researcher Anwaar Qidih insists that there is a huge gap between the Palestinian vision and mission and what the Israeli Ministry of Education is trying to promote. The Israeli curriculum that is imposed on students prevents them from expressing their national identity, such as preventing the mention of the word occupation or talking about the Nakba, for which the occupation claims that Israel is not responsible for it, but the Arab countries, and the prohibition of raising the Palestinian flag on schools...etc.
It is apparent from the interviews, studies, and articles, and from systematic continuous violations committed by Israel, and its impact on lives of Palestinians in Jerusalem, which also is part of the Israeli legal and legislative policy with regards to Jerusalem and the Palestinians who live in Jerusalem, that it serves to translate the Israeli policies to pressure the Palestinians, but imposing realities that leads to the immigration of Palestinians from Jerusalem, which feeds into the declared Israeli policy to create settler majority in the city. It also serves the Israeli policy to maintain the reality of annexing Jerusalem and to make it capital of the state of Israel. It is clear that violations of human rights in Jerusalem on all levels, whether individual or collective, are designed to serve this purpose.On the other hand, the volume and seriousness of the Israeli violations of international laws and conventions and treaties and the international human rights legislations became very obvious.
1- Report of the Moghrabi neighborhood, a story of the demolition of an entire Jerusalemiteneighborhood.Date of visit 22 March 2023.
2- Study: The Impact of home demolition on women in Jerusalem. Date of visit 23 March 2023
3- Interview, self-home demolition, between rejecting and imposing. Date of visit 23 March 2023
4- Article: Forced Self-home destruction in Jerusalem, nullifies a marriage dream. Date of visit 23 March 2023.
5- The United Nations: Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner “The right of people to proper habitat”. Date of visit 25 March 2023.
6- Report: UNICEF for every action. Date of visit 23 March 2023
7- Remarks about the importance of protecting child prisoners in Israeli jails, based on the International. Date of visit 25 March 2023.
8- Report: More than 600 children were subject to house arrest during 2022. Date of visit 25 March 2023
9- Sami Ismael, personal interview in Jerusalem. Date of visit 11 April 2023.
10- Report: By video, the electronic gates, cameras, metal bridges on the entrance of the mosque were removed, and Jerusalem celebrates its victory.” Date of visit 26 March 2023
11- Hanna Issa, personal interview in Bethlehem. 24 – 4- 2023.
12- Mohammad Ibrahim, personal interview in Hebron, 23-4-2023.
13- Khalil Odeh, personal interview in Jerusalem, 25 April 2023.
14- Simon Awad, personal interview in Jerusalem, 25 April 2023.
15- Ahmad Obeidat, personal interview in Jerusalem, 18 March 2023.
16- Khalil Abu Tair, personal interview in Jerusalem, 17 March 2023.
17- Said Qunbar, personal interview in Jerusalem, 26 March 2023.
18- Ali Hamed, personal interview in Jerusalem, 28 March 2023.
19 Khaled Shqeirat, personal interview in Jerusalem, 12 April 2023.
20- War on educational institutions in Jerusalem. Date of visit 27 February 2023.
21- Report: on education in Jerusalem. Date of visit 27 February 2023.
22- Laila Abu-Elhawa, personal interview, 22 February 2023.
23- Muna Qerrish, personal interview in Jerusalem, 22 March 2023.
24- Article: The multiple educational reference in Jerusalem disorients the collective memory. Date of visit 24 March 2023.
- Written by Ahmad Jaradat
- Hits: 317
authorities and the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem in Jerusalem to harass and displace Palestinians is
the policy of demolishing homes and leaving Palestinian families in the open without shelter. Almost a
week does not pass without a house being demolished in this or that Palestinian neighborhood in
The demolitions are concentrated in the neighborhoods closest to the outposts and settlements in
Jerusalem, especially the town of Silwan, Jabal Mukaber, Shuafat and Al-Tur. In recent days, the
Jerusalem municipality demolished the Dabash family's home in the village of Sur Baher, south of
Jerusalem. The house has an area of 7 square meters, and four people live in it. The demolition was
done by bulldozers, after the police besieged the Qusyan neighborhood where the house is located.
It is true that the Jerusalem municipality gives the Palestinians the right to object to the demolition to
the Israeli courts, but in most cases the courts agree to the demolition decision.
The policy of self-demolition of houses. It seems that it is not enough for the Israeli court to decide to
demolish houses in Jerusalem, but it also requires the owner of the house to demolish it himself instead
of having the municipality demolish it in exchange for the owner paying the demolition fee. It is a harsh
punishment for a person to demolish the house he built. It is a policy described by the homeowners as
aiming to break their morale. Muhammad Jaabis, from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in Jerusalem,
was forced to demolish his house, in which 7 of the family lived. Jaabis said, "I demolished my house to
avoid a heavy fine of 100,000 shekels in case the municipality demolished it, and despite my sadness
and pain that he resisted the demolition of the house that I built, I cannot pay the fine."
At a time when the Palestinians in Jerusalem are being restricted in building houses and urban
expansion, there is an accelerated settlement expansion in the Palestinian neighborhoods and bringing
in more settlers, which Jerusalemite Researcher Rasim Obeidat confirms to Alternative Information
Center” it is an implementation of the Israeli approaches towards the Israeli aims and plan of an Israeli
majority and a Palestinian minority in Jerusalem”.
The demolition of homes in East Jerusalem, as it is an occupied area in accordance with international
legitimacy and United Nations resolutions, is a violation of these resolutions and the international law
applicable to East Jerusalem, which prohibits the occupation from destroying property
The right to adequate housing is considered one of the basic human rights that have been codified by
declarations, covenants, and various international agreements. It is forbidden to violate this right,
especially if the violation is part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination against a
particular group, or it comes as a collective punishment. House demolitions constitute a clear violation
of international human rights declarations and conventions that guarantee the right of the individual to
adequate housing, especially Article 25/1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11 (1) of
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, and Article 5/E/3 of the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965 guarantees the
right to housing.
- Written by Ahmad Jaradat
- Hits: 566
The Youth Forum
Written by Ahmad Jaradat – Alternative Information center – Palestine
In the context of the partnership between the Alternative Information Center - Palestine, the
Popular Resistance Committees Coordination, and Al-Eizariya Municipality, a youth forum
was implemented in two sessions:
The first session took place in Al-Eizariya Municipality Hall on Sunday, May 14 th , 2023.
The second session took place on Saturday, May 20 th , 2023, in the Bedouin gathering of Jabal
Al-Baba - Al-Eizariya, threatened with displacement.
The first session on May 14 th , 2023:Attended by 20 participants. The Mayor of Al-Eizariya,
Mr. Mohammed Abu Al-Rish, welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of the
Youth Forum in raising awareness among the youth about the closures and isolation imposed
on the town and Jerusalem through the apartheid wall, as well as the violations affecting the
lives of the residents in a town with a population of approximately 35,000 citizens. The
session featured a presentation by the journalist and activist in Jerusalem affairs, Mr.
RasemObeidat, and the activist Ratiba Al-Natsheh from the Jerusalem Civil Society. Mr.
Zakaria Odeh, the coordinator of the Civil Coalition for Human Rights in Jerusalem. The
session was facilitated by Nassar Ibrahim, the Director of the Alternative Information Center
During the session, the attendees made interventions, asked questions, and presented several
suggestions. The focus was on the importance of developing joint awareness initiatives
among the youth to understand the details of what is happening in Jerusalem, Al-Eizariya,
and their surroundings, as well as the need for local and international engagement to highlight
Second session, May 20 th , 2023: With the presence of 50 participants from the youth (Sa'ir
Youth Forum - Hebron and popular resistance activists from MasaferYatta - East Hebron,
Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jabal Al-Baba, and Al-Eizariya). The session was held in the solidarity
tent at the Bedouin gathering in Jabal Al-Baba - Al-Eizariya. Mr. AtallahMazra'a, the head of
the gathering in Jabal Al-Baba, delivered a welcoming speech to the attendees and presented
the challenges faced by the gathering, which consists of 400 individuals, due to the policy of
displacement threats and violations practiced by the occupation authorities, including house
demolitions, closures, and repeated raids on the community.
Nassar Ibrahim, the director of the Alternative Information Center - Palestine, was present
and focused on the violations and displacement policies carried out by Israel in Jerusalem and
its surroundings. He emphasized the importance of the role of youth, institutions, clubs, and
youth frameworks in confronting these policies by raising awareness about Jerusalem. Mr.
Zakaria Odeh also presented an overview of the situation in Jerusalem. Mr. Ahmad Jarradat
from the Alternative Information Center - Palestine facilitated the sessions and forum
Then the attendees listened to the interventions and questions of the participants, which
focused on the role of youth in raising public awareness about the situation in Palestine,
especially Jerusalem, due to its political, social, economic, religious, and touristic
significance to the Palestinian people. They discussed the joint youth struggle and activism to
confront Israeli policies and violations of Palestinian human rights in the city and its
surroundings. They highlighted the implications of the city's closure with the separation
barrier and military checkpoints, as well as the isolation of residential neighborhoods such as
Al-Eizariya, Abu Dis, Beit Hanina, and Shuafat refugee camp.
They discussed the policy of land confiscation, property seizure, house demolitions, and
organized displacement aimed at creating a reality where Palestinians, who number around
500,000 citizens, become a minority in favor of settlement expansion and the influx of more
settlers. They also addressed the constant violations against Islamic and Christian religious
sites, such as invasions and attacks on worshippers of both faiths, as well as restrictions on
access to these sites, whether by Jerusalem residents or people from other Palestinian areas.
They also discussed the policy of racial discrimination against Palestinians in education and
social rights, among other issues.
These policies serve Israel's declared goal of making Palestinians a minority in the city and
isolating it from its surrounding Palestinian areas.
All of this comes as a result of Israel's implementation of decisions to annex Jerusalem and
declare it as the capital of Israel, in flagrant violation of international resolutions and the
principles of human rights regarding dealing with Jerusalem as occupied territory. These
decisions should be halted, and the occupying authorities should be prohibited from making
any changes that affect the legal status of the occupied land, especially in accordance with the
Fourth Geneva Convention agreements.
In the afternoon, the participating youth were divided into three workshops:
Workshop 1: The Role of Youth and the Challenges in Jerusalem.
The facilitator Nansi Shalaldah. The number of the group is 17 participants.
Educating young people to raise issues related to awareness and education to protect the
cultural heritage and promote Palestinian national concepts among young people about Jerusalem .
Organizing mutual visits for cultural exchange and dialogue between young
people in Jerusalem areas.
Workshop 2: Youth and Cultural Resistance.
Session facilitator Muhammad Zawahra: The number of the group is 16 participants
The group focused on the importance of strengthening the role of youth in participating in
public issues, intensifying their presence in areas exposed to Israeli violations, and showing
solidarity with the victims. As well as increasing educational meetings and workshops about
what is happening in Palestine. And work with solidarity activists and the international
community by activating social networks to serve this purpose. And using the media to
expand the circle of exposing the policies of the occupation. The participants also focused on
the need for continuity in youth meetings at the national level. Exchanging views on issues of
concern to young people and promoting democratic dialogue among young people.
Workshop 3: Networking between movements, forums, youth clubs, civil society
frameworks, and grassroot committees to raise youth awareness about the situation in
Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Session facilitators: Alaa Al-Qadi and Batool Dawood. The number of the group is 14
Participants focused on strengthening the role of civil society and the relationship between
youth institutions by organizing workshops between youth sectors and civil society
institutions, and organizing periodic seminars and meetings between them. And listening to
experts, activists, and analysts about issues that concern young people and the importance of
mobilizing judges that concern young people. Promoting media programs on the importance
of the role of youth in participating in political and social life. Focusing on the countries of
universities and institutes in building continuous relationships between grassroots youth
institutions and civil society institutions. Focusing on issues related to youth needs and the
role of civil society in working on them. Focusing on teamwork in educating young people by
organizing meetings in cities and villages, and focusing on marginalized areas and the youth
in them. The importance of women’s attendance and participation in the activities organized
by civil society, focusing on the rights of women and children in workshops and meetings.
Establishing communication networks through the use of the Internet in communication
between civil society organizations and youth committees.
The recommendations and suggestions put forward by the participants in the workshops:
The recommendations can be summarized as follows, with a consensus reached among the
participants in all three workshops:
Focus on the role of youth by organizing multiple forums and gatherings in various
areas of Jerusalem and its surroundings to raise awareness about the situation in the
Foster networking between movements, forums, and youth clubs, and engage in joint
activities regarding the events in Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Integrate youth in universities by involving them in educational and awareness
activities related to the situation in Jerusalem and its surroundings. Build relationships
with student movements and student councils in universities, colleges, and schools.
Provide research papers, studies, articles, photographs, and videos to make them
accessible to youth, allowing them to stay informed about the developments and
policies implemented by Israel against Palestinians in Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Integrate youth in cultural and social activism to protect Palestinian cultural,
historical, and civilizational heritage in the city. Conduct solidarity campaigns with
Jerusalem, whether through direct presence or utilizing virtual spaces and social
Ensure the continuity and sustainability of these activities and disseminate the ideas to
broader youth sectors to involve them in these initiatives.
Focus on the gender aspect in youth participation in forums and workshops.
Organize field visits to different areas in Jerusalem or its surroundings, enabling
youth to closely observe and understand the realities and their impact on people's lives
due to isolation, the separation wall, land confiscation, property seizures, house
Prepare booklets and newsletters that emphasize the ongoing events in Jerusalem,
documenting the latest updates regularly, and distribute them among youth as
educational and informative material.
Organize online meetings where youth from different areas in Palestine participate to
discuss various issues related to what is happening in Jerusalem. These meetings
should be held regularly.
- Written by Ahmad Jaradat
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Municipality of Al-Aizaria organized a field tour fora number of diplomatic representatives in Palestine
the town of Al-Aizaria, east of Jerusalem.
At the beginning, the delegation was received at the Headquarters of Al-Aizaria Municipality, where the
Mayor, Mr. Khalil Abu Al-Rish, gave a welcoming speech to the delegation and stressed the importance
of this activity in order to raise awareness on the condition of the town – namely,the besieged state of
Al-Aizaria, the Israeli practices of land confiscation, and the isolation of the town from the city of
Jerusalem – that the participants were able to witness first-hand.
gave a detailed explanation of the town's conditions through a presentation laying out the multiple
challenges and struggles the town is confronted with, and answered the delegation's questions.
A field tour was then carried out in the old town of Al-Aizaria, and the delegation went to see the
apartheid wall that separates the town from Jerusalem, which led to the isolation of many families from
each other. The town’s economic and collective reality was explained to the participants. Indeed, this
town – which is located only 3 km away from the center of Jerusalem – was historically part of the city of
Jerusalem and administratively connected to the old city.Nowadays, because oftheSeparation Wall, it
has become completely isolated and surrounded by a wall that runs through the residential
neighborhoods, andis responsible for serious curtailment of freedom of movement, in particular
towards Jerusalem, for Palestinian citizens of Al-Aizaria. As things stand today, students of the town are
prevented from studying in Jerusalem schools, as was the case in the past, and, even more concerning,
ambulance have to be granted permission to bring citizen in vital distress to Jerusalem – an
authorization that is way too often denied by Israelis. The delegation members actively took part to the
tour by made remarks and inquiries about the impact of this wall and the possible avenues for actions in
order to bring about improvement on the short term.
The delegation finally headed to the Jabal al-Baba area, east of Al-Aizaria, where they were received by
the Head of the Bedouin community, Mr. Atallah Mazaraa, who gave a detailed explanation of the
reality of this community, which is threatened with displacement and land confiscation for the benefit of
settlement projects in the area. It must be emphasized that this community – which includes 70 families,
about 450 people – has been subjected to house demolitions for years, and a decision was made to
deport the community, issuing eviction orders to its residents. But the community stood its ground and
has refused to comply with the implementation of this decision through legal objection, and popular
resistance to confront it.
Mazaraa pointed out that the issue of Jabal al-Baba enjoys strong international sympathy, demonstrated
through the visits of international delegations in solidarity with the population as well as the formation
of an international committee – comprised of human rights activists, institutions, social movements and
international human rights defenders – for the defense of the community and the rejection of the Israeli
Amani Abu Zayyed explained that should the displacement decision be implemented, it would mean the
confiscation of large areas of land belonging to the town of Al-Aizariaor its residents, and would further
smother the town from the eastern and northern sides –adversely affecting the possibility for urban
expansion of the town, compounding the already existing state of overcrowding in Al-Aizaria, and
depriving future generations of expansion option over a land that they own.
Finally, we would like to thank the Municipality of Barcelona for its financial support and for making this
Ahmad Jaradat: Alternative Information Center – Palestine
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In Jerusalem, where about half a million Palestinians live, school education at all stages is subject to two
types of curriculum: The first is the Palestinian curriculum, which is carried out under the auspices of the
Palestinian Ministry of Education, as is the case in other schools in the occupied territories. The second
is subject to the Israeli curriculum, and studies indicate that about 100,000 students, with a rate of 46%
of the Palestinian students, are subject to the Israeli curriculum. Despite the Palestinian rejection of it
and the continuous protests, the Israeli governments and the Jerusalem municipality impose this
curriculum, which the Palestinians consider an Israeli attempt to Israeli education. This reality, in
addition to the violating of national, social, cultural and Palestinian rights, also constitutes a
contradiction in the curricula for the same social group, which creates confusion among students due to
this division of the curriculum in the same city.
At the outset, it is important to point out that East Jerusalem is an area occupied in 1967 like the rest of
the occupied territories, and it is forbidden for the occupying power to make any change in its political,
social and educational reality, and it is forbidden for this occupying power to impose its culture, policies,
and educational curriculum on the population under occupation. However, an Israeli, in flagrant
violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, international legitimacy, and the principles of human rights,
deals with Jerusalem as an Israeli territory after its annexation in the first months of the occupation, and
this policy continued to apply the fait accompli in all aspects of life to serve this policy, in addition to
declaring it the capital of the State of Israel. The application of Israeli law and its annexation and
declaring it its capital have been rejected by the United Nations institutions, and the Palestinians in the
city and outside consider these measures to come in the context of the ongoing policy of the occupation
to create a reality for the displacement of Palestinians in favor of more settlement in the neighborhoods
of the city through the policy of racial discrimination, the demolition of homes and the closure of the
city And isolating it from its surroundings in the West Bank, and distinguishing it from it by issuing blue
Israeli identity cards for the city's residents, and imposing the occupation municipality on the city. The
imposition of the Israeli curriculum on schools in the city is one of the most dangerous policies, as seen
by the Palestinians, because it affects their national and social identity.
The imposition of the Israeli curriculum on 150 schools in Jerusalem in the primary and secondary
educational stages included the deletion of everything that refers to the Palestinian national identity,
such as the Nakba, which refers to the displacement of 60% of the Palestinians from their lands, homes,
and villages, and turning them into refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and neighboring countries
such as Jordan and Lebanon. Syria and many countries in the world. This term, which refers to the most
important tragic historical event that the Palestinian people were subjected to, has been removed from
the Israeli curriculum imposed on students in Jerusalem. Likewise, terms such as the Israeli occupation
of Palestine, the reference to the Temple Mount instead of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the removal of the
Palestinian flag and a Palestinian map from the curriculum, and the removal of many Among the
materials in the subject of history, which refer to the Palestinian history in Jerusalem and Palestine, And
canceling the morning Palestinian national anthem in schools, ...etc. All of them have been deleted
under the pretext that they are inflammatory materials and terms.
On the other hand, the Zionist culture and identity was imposed in the Israeli curriculum in Palestinian
schools that are subject to the Israeli and municipal encyclopedia, such as: confirming that Jerusalem is
the capital of the State of Israel, highlighting the Israeli flag in books, mentioning the State of Israel, and
many Jewish religious terms such as the Promised Land, and presenting a document The Israeli
independence, in which the Palestinians see the document of their displacement and their catastrophe,
came months after the displacement and the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, and perhaps the
inclusion of this document of independence is the most severe for students, their families, and the
Palestinian society in general. Celebrating in schools the Israeli Independence Day is a harsh policy for
students to learn The Palestinian is this document, which attempts to obliterate the Nakba and what
happened in it, because it is a policy to impose the Zionist narrative on them. It is a war on the
Palestinian national consciousness and constitutes a psychological violation in addition to being a
national and social occupation violation, as Zakaria Odeh, the coordinator of the Civil Coalition for Civil
Society and Human Rights in Jerusalem, pointed out.
The Palestinian struggle and resistance to the family policy of education in Jerusalem began weeks after
the approval of the education law by the Israeli authorities after the occupation in 1967. At that time,
many parents refused to send their children to schools that follow the Israeli curriculum in accordance
with this law, and preferred to send their children to schools run by Islamic endowments, those run by
churches and NGOs, and schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees (UNRWA) in camps located in Jerusalem such as Shuafat camp. Over time, this resistance
developed and continued against the policy of the Israeli policy of education in Jerusalem, where civil
society organizations, civil society organizations, and national and Islamic forces were formed, which
have led and still are resisting this policy. Perhaps the famous strike in September 2022, which included
150 schools, is the most famous strike against this policy. Head of the Union of Students' Parents in
Jerusalem Schools, Ziad Shamali, stated, "The official and popular position in Jerusalem is that it strongly
rejects teaching the Israeli curriculum and the Zionist narrative to our students, and we demand that the
Palestinian curriculum should be taught."
During this widespread strike, where 100,000 students abstained from studying until the Israeli
curriculum was canceled and replaced with the Palestinian curriculum, as is the case in the occupied
territories in general. Civil and national committees were formed in these neighborhoods to manage the
strike, and specific slogans were raised emphasizing the right of students to learn the Palestinian
curriculum because Jerusalem is an occupied city, and also the inclusion of everything related to the
Palestinian national identity to be within the curriculum. On the national identity of our children) and we
refuse to accept the Israeli curriculum in our schools) and (yes to the Palestinian curriculum, no to the
distorted Israeli curriculum that aims to distort the awareness of Palestinian students). All schools in the
West Bank, which declared a strike in solidarity with the schools in Jerusalem, also expressed solidarity.
The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced a solidarity program that includes all schools in the
West Bank by stopping education and giving educational morning lectures to students about what is
happening in Jerusalem schools. In this context, the media spokesman for the Union of Teachers in
Jerusalem, Mr. Ahmed Al-Safadi, affirmed, "The strike and solidarity of West Bank schools with
Jerusalem schools against Israeli policy of education in Jerusalem is a clear message to stop attack on
the Palestinian national and cultural identity in Jerusalem schools." The Palestinians described the strike
and the resistance to teaching the Israeli curriculum to Palestinian students as "the battle of education
and the dedication of national awareness and the Palestinian narrative about what happened and is still
happening in Jerusalem and Palestine in general." It is the battle over awareness as described by the
Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Israeli violations regarding the imposition of the Israeli curriculum in
Jerusalem schools is one of the issues that the Palestinians will continue to struggle to stop, as it
constitutes an assault on their rights guaranteed in accordance with international laws. It was also
confirmed by many statements issued by civil society institutions and national forces in Jerusalem
Author: Ahmad Jaradat - Alternative Information Center - Palestine
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The last days ,it was witnessed an Israeli escalation that was considered by many
media and analysts to be the most dangerous in the last months, and it threatens
to raise tensions in Palestine and the region. What happened and is happening
these days, in addition to the fact that it is a serious Israeli violation, especially
during the month of Ramadan, when the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem are the
place to which Muslims go to perform prayers, because the mosque and the city
hold great religious importance for Muslims as well as for other religions.
The successive incursions of settlers that took place under the protection of the
Israeli police and security men, and the accompanying repeated assaults on the
worshipers by beating and arrest. Dozens have been arrested and dozens have
been beaten, which did not differentiate between worshipers, whether elderly or
women. Eyewitness Ibrahim Ali, one of the worshipers, said to Alternative
Information Center –Palestine , "Dozens of armed policemen stormed the
mosque at noon and started beating people with batons, kicking, and firing tear
gas and sound bombs intensively. Then they detained hundreds and forced them
to sit on the ground and continued to beat them." He added that the Mosque
squares looked like a war.
The Israeli measures against worshipers and against the right to practice religious
rites for Palestinians in Jerusalem are not limited to what happened and is still
happening inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque or at the doors that lead to
the Mosque. Rather, it is a continuation of an intense and systematic policy
against people's right to practice their religious beliefs. And throughout the days
of the month of Ramadan, Palestinians were preventing from entering Al-Aqsa
Mosque to pray for those under fifty years of age. Restrictions on the military
crossings leading to Jerusalem were imposed by preventing Palestinians from
entering the city to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque., thousands of Palestinians were
prevented from reaching Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. This policy of closure
and isolation between Jerusalem and the West Bank comes within the framework
of the isolation of Jerusalem and Implementation of the policy of annexing the
city of Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of the State of Israel, in a step that is
a serious violation of the resolutions of the United Nations and its international
institutions, and a violation of international humanitarian law, as Jerusalem is an
occupied city according to the Fourth Geneva Conventions which emphasize that
occupying power is prohibited from making any action or changes that affect its
legal status as an occupied territory
What is happening these days in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to
what constitutes a violation of the Palestinian human right to access holy places
such as Al-Aqsa Mosque and to practice worship, as a right guaranteed under
international law, also constitutes a cause for tension and escalation of the
situation in Palestine in general. Commenting on the current events, the
Palestinian resistance forces issued a statement confirming what is happening in
Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa in terms of attacks and incursions into the courtyards of
the Mosque by settlers, which are constantly increasing and under the protection
of the Israeli police, which gives these incursions legitimacy from the Israeli
government, and what the Palestinian citizens are subjected to in terms of
beatings, abuse, arrests, and prevention of worshipers. From entering the
Mosque by the Israeli police, according to what was stated in the statement, it
requires a response and popular resistance against the Israeli occupation.
In a related context, thousands of Palestinians heading to Jerusalem and praying
at Al-Aqsa Mosque from the West Bank were not able to pass through the
checkpoints and military crossings that separate the West Bank from Jerusalem.
Especially the 300 crossing between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, which separates
the governorates of Bethlehem and Hebron in the south of the West Bank, and
the Qalandia crossing, which separates Jerusalem from the northern West Bank.
What is happening in the political and legal dimension is establishing facts on the
ground to isolate and separate Jerusalem from its environs in the West Bank. It is
also to confirm the Israeli policy of annexing the city and declaring it the capital of
the State of Israel.
Ahmad Jaradat – Alternative Information Center – Palestine
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Hebron is the only city in all of Palestine where there are illegal settlements in the center of the city. Due to the colonies, the city has been divided into two zones. Area H1 is under the control of the Palestinian National Authority, and area H2 has been under Israeli military control since 1997. In the latter, around 40,000 Palestinians live with 800 settlers in a difficult situation, making the relationship increasingly untenable.
The presence of Israeli settlers around Hebron began to grow after the Six-Day War in 1967. The center of the city, full of shops and businesses, used to be full of people. However, today most of them are closed: "This area used to be full of people when I was a child," explains Ahmed Jaradat, a Palestinian journalist living in Hebron. "Today the situation is completely different, but we continue to live here because it is our form of resistance", but nothing remains of what was once the great market of Hebron.
Palestinians not only have to deal with the presence of Jewish settlers in their streets, but also with checkpoints and watchtowers, the separation wall, military presence, illegal house demolitions and the prohibition to enter some of the the areas of the city: “A Palestinian who lives in area 2 and wants to go to the center, has to go around the area and walk more than 15 kilometers, on the contrary, it would only take us five minutes to reach the destination,” says Ahmed.
The entrance to the market is full of stalls of all kinds. All these streets take you to Palestine before the Nakba and each one of those tiny streets is the entrance to each house but once you go down, the situation changes and the streets begin to be emptier and with fewer merchant stalls . "We have to live with the settlers upstairs," says one of the vendors in the old town. All the streets of its old city are covered with metal awnings and fabrics that act as a cover both for the sun and for the Jews not to throw stones, bleach and even dirty water at the merchants. "My store is on the first floor and a family of settlers lives on the second floor, many times they throw bleach or stones at us, that's why we have had to put up this metal awning and cloth to protect ourselves," he adds, pointing to the metal structures.
Despite the international community saying the settlements are illegal, there are around 300 in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to UNESCO, Hebron has been declared a World Heritage Site in 2017 and is one of the largest cities in all of Palestine. For every corner you pass, you find a surveillance camera and a new checkpoint. At the entrance to the tomb of Abraham, we find one of the first checkpoints that Palestinians have to cross to access the holy place, to get there they have to cross 5 of them. Sometimes the wait can be 10-15 minutes or even hours. The same happens in the checkpoints that separate the city in H1 and H2, sometimes these points tend to be very tense and aggressive.
The use of video cameras: the only defense of the Palestinians
The headquarters of Human Rights Defenders is located on the same street as one of the checkpoints with the most problems to date. The cameras have a great importance in his life because it is the way they have to try to stop the violence of the military. "The goal is to show people why it is important that they film every act against Israeli soldiers," explains Emad Abushamiya, one of the organization's members. “This measure does not completely prevent violence, but it does reduce it,” he adds.
Human Rights Defenders is one of the organizations that works against the occupation and to improve the lives of Palestinians. The situation for them is becoming more and more tense and their own members have been attacked by the Israeli occupation forces. Through video cameras and photos, Human Rights Defenders can verify their evidence in court, in order to prove their innocence. "They have already broken more than five cameras and they have also entered houses to search the Palestinians who had recorded with their own mobile."
The home videos that have been recorded by the representatives of this NGO and the situation that the headquarters of Human Rights Defenders is currently suffering is seriously dangerous. More than once soldiers have broken in and stolen all their film equipment or even watched them from the top floor of the main headquarters.
The only truth with which the Palestinians in Hebron can deliver justice is through photography and video. For this reason, Human Rights Defenders has distributed a total of 6 camera sets among its colleagues, so that families who have suffered some type of violence by the Israeli occupation forces can film the situations in which they are in serious danger. . One of the biggest triggers for Human Rights Defenders was in 2019 when a Palestinian woman was killed at the checkpoint near the headquarters. Thanks to the help of the camera team, they were able to show in court that the woman was innocent and that the army he was guilty of that murder: “it is the only thing that can help us in court, our recordings and even so, many soldiers tell us that they are not valid”, Haim points out forcefully. The only resistance they have left is to continue filming and for their videos to echo in society.
Writer: Belén López Naranjo
Photos taken by: Judith E. Castañeda
- Written by Ahmad Jaradat
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The policy of isolating Jerusalem from its surroundings in the West Bank is a policy
of isolation at all levels of life, and it is a policy that is increasingly comprehensive
in the forced separation of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, despite
the fact that occupied Jerusalem has always been the center of commercial,
social, media and cultural movement in the occupied territories.
Within the framework of what the Palestinians affirm, the occupation policy is to
isolate Jerusalem from its surroundings in the West Bank political, economic and
social, and to close the city for nearly two decades with military checkpoints,
military crossings and the separation wall. And preventing the residents of the
West Bank from entering it except with a permit from the occupation authorities,
the Israeli police and security agencies men in the past days, and by a decision of
the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gavier, stormed Marcel
Company for TV Production in Beit-Hania in Jerusalem.
The occupation authorities arrested and interrogated a number of the company's
employees and correspondents, and the decision signed by Gavier stated that this
comes because this company sends reports to Palestinian Television agencies, It
includes incitement against Israel, according to what was stated in the raid
In addition, Ben Gavier, in a decision against the Palestinian media activities,
signed a decision banning the Voice of Palestine Radio in Jerusalem and Areas 48.
The decision also included the removal of the radio's broadcasting towers in
It is worth mentioning that the attack on media and cultural institutions in
Jerusalem is an ongoing policy and is not new. Four years ago, Israeli police and
intelligence forces stormed the offices of Al-Arz Company for Distribution and
Television Production in Al-Sawana neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It used to
broadcast Palestine TV programs, and at that time the company was closed on the
pretext that it did not obtain a permit to work in Jerusalem. The writer, political
analyst, and specialist in Jerusalem Rasem Obaidat issues stressed that this
argument is flimsy, and that the aim of storming and closing it is part of the
comprehensive attack on Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, especially the
cultural, media and youth institutions.
Jerusalem has historically been a center for Palestinian institutions, trade
Jerusalem, and the prevention of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip
from entering it except with a special permit from the occupation, the annexation
decisions, the construction of the separation wall around Jerusalem, the
establishment of military checkpoints on the entrances of the city , and many
separation policies Jerusalem is separated from the rest of the occupied
Institutions and trade unions in general have been subjected to many restrictions
and closures, isolating them from communicating with their extension in the West
Bank, as is the case with trade unions and media agencies...etc. In this regard, the
human rights activist and coordinator of the Civil Coalition for Human Rights in
Jerusalem, Mr. Zakaria Odeh, confirmed, "This is not the first time that
institutions in general and the media have been subjected to storming, closure,
and restrictions. The Israeli security services closed the Palestine TV offices in
Jerusalem some time ago and arrested some of its employees, journalists, and
correspondents." He added that “most of the development, health, agricultural,
educational and youth institutions in Jerusalem have been subjected to the same
policies over the past two decades, and since 2000 around 48 institutions and
associations have been closed in Jerusalem”.
Ahmad Jaradat : Alternative Information Center- Palestine
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Al-Walaja is a Palestinian village that is originally located west of Jerusalem, and
its residents were expelled and displaced in 1948, they were distributed among
many camps that were set up at the time to receive Palestinian refugees, and part
of its population moved to live in the southern part of their land, which was
outside the borders of 48, and became It belongs to the lands of the West Bank,
specifically to the Bethlehem district , where the village that was established is
located west of Bethlehem, about 8 km away.
However, at the beginning of the eighties of the last century, the occupation
authorities annexed part of the village lands to the municipal borders of
Jerusalem, as happened in many areas adjacent to the Israeli municipal borders of
This illegal measure of annexation led to the confiscation of a lot of lands,
especially in the village of Al-Walaja. The most dangerous and violating thing is
the subjection of part of its lands to the borders of the Jerusalem municipality and
the imposition of municipal laws and Israeli laws on it, even though its residents
hold a West Bank identity card.
This means that citizens who hold West Bank identity cards must obtain building
permits from the Jerusalem municipality, which is impossible here, given that the
land belongs to the Jerusalem municipality, and they are residents of the West
Bank. Thus, dozens of homes were demolished decades ago and are still being
demolished. The village was surrounded by the apartheid wall and barbed wire.
In this difficult situation experienced by the village’s 3,500 residents, they are
exposed to the demolition of their homes, as the Jerusalem Municipality takes
turns to demolish them in the areas and neighborhoods that have been annexed
to the Jerusalem Municipality, and from the Israeli Civil Administration in the
West Bank in the areas and neighborhoods that are within the borders of the
West Bank and outside the areas that have been annexed. This complex reality
put the population in a situation in which it is difficult to build despite the natural
increase of the community , which requires an increase in the number of
buildings. What made the situation more difficult was that the village was
surrounded by settlements, especially Gillo, Har Homa, and Givat Hamatos. This
requires the residents to pass through the road that leads to the settlements,
which was closed many years in the past, and military checkpoints were
established that prevent anyone other than the residents of the village from
entering it. That is, simply closing the village and isolating it from its Palestinian
surroundings, especially the Bethlehem district .
Days before this article was written, the villagers were surprised by the presence
of Israeli bulldozers and under heavy guard of soldiers and police. Three houses
were demolished under the pretext of not obtaining a permit. This is the pretext
under which houses are demolished in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It should be
noted that obtaining a building permit for a Palestinian is an issue. It is difficult
and reaches the point of impossible, and the Licensing applications takes many
years, whether it is rejected or accepted. Thus, the Palestinian is forced to build to
house his family, which grows by virtue of natural growth.
In Al-Walaja, the owner of one of the recently demolished houses, Mrs. Ghadir Al-
Atrash, whose house is located in Ain Al-Juwaiza neighborhood in the village, says,
"My house, consisting of two floors and an area of 110 square meters, was
demolished, and I was given an order from the Israeli army not to build again,
now my family and I homeless, and we will have to rent a house to live in.”
During the demolition process, which demanded the house of Raji Al-Aaraj family,
which is 120 square meters, and the house of Abdullah Rabah, which is also 120
square meters too. Confrontations took place as the Palestinians confronted the
occupation forces and their bulldozers peacefully by forming a human barrier to
prevent the bulldozers from reaching and demolishing homes. The Israeli army
and police assaulted them with batons and beat them, and fired dozens of tear
gas canisters. Eyewitnesses confirmed that many of them fainted as a result of the
tear gas and bruises as a result of being beaten with batons.
In a related context, during the month of January of this year, the Jerusalem
municipality demolished 31 houses in the areas and neighborhoods of the city of
Jerusalem. The municipality’s decision often included a decision that the owner of
the house pay an exorbitant sum as a fine instead of the municipality’s bulldozers
demolishing it, which prompts some to demolish his house himself in order to
avoid paying the fine, as happened weeks ago with the Jerusalemite citizen
Mustafa Al-Aramin, who preferred to demolish his house himself in Silwan town
after the municipality asked him for an amount in return for demolishing it. Thus,
he became homeless with his four children. The demolition of the house owner
himself, in addition to his loss of the house, also represents a psychological
punishment to carry out this demolition, as Al-Aramin said.
Ahmad Jaradat: Alternative Information Center- Palestine
- Written by Ahmad Jaradat
- Hits: 290
Currently, there are 27 women and 175 minors who are under arrest; 671 are in administrative detention, according to the NGO ADDAMEER, an organization that is responsible for supporting prisoners and defending their rights. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) since the beginning of 2022, have detained more than 2,140 Palestinian people. Among these numbers, is the name of a Spanish activist. Juana Ruíz, a worker in the Palestinian Work Committees for Health and who has been living in Beit Sahour, West Bank, for 35 years, was in the opposition prisons for 10 months: “Juana's work consisted of international cooperation, she presented projects on the needs of the Palestinian population, especially in the cities of Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, promoted projects such as the early detection of cancer in women, a job that is done in normal and current Spain "says Jaldía Abubakra, founder of the Alkarama association and friend and companion of Juana. According to the State of Israel, the work that Juana has been doing and the money from her associations was destined for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest movement within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Under international law, administrative detention is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. In the Palestinian territories, these circumstances ceased to be exceptional when Israeli soldiers began occupying illegal Palestinian settlements and detaining minors without reason. The Save the Children organization announces that eight out of ten suffered beatings, verbal assaults and strip searches, and almost nine out of ten did not receive adequate medical attention, even expressly requesting it. One of the laws that is still in force today is the law that the British government proclaimed after the end of WWII, which dictates that the Israeli army could detain suspects without charge or trial to go to prison, as long as it is complied with. with legal age. These arrests are carried out under Israel's civil legal legislation. In the last 20 years, 10,000 minors have been detained, subjected to long interrogations, some of them lasting more than 24 hours, under unimaginable conditions, according to Save The Children. Normally, soldiers break into houses at midnight, when everything is calm and there is no one in the street. On April 13, they entered Juana's house like animals looking for prey and forced Juana to leave her home. "In this case, she has been lucky, because she has Spanish nationality, but we have to say that the response from the EU has not been practical," admits Jaldía firmly. They are 10 months that Juana will never forget. When she entered the Israeli prison of Ofer, she was subjected to long interrogations, to live with constant uncertainty because the accusation made against her was unreal: “it is no longer just the physical abuse that is suffered, but also the psychological, being isolated from your family, without being able to see anyone, all these consequences affect a lot psychologically, Juana is going to need time to recover”. Juana was accused by the Israeli military court of financing terrorism and activism with illegal organizations and currency trafficking in the West Bank. She only dedicated herself to presenting cooperation projects to the Work Committees for Health. The work of cooperating people and human rights defenders is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, these being fundamental actors to promote real social and political changes. The continuous attacks that the Israeli military army carries out on the Palestinian people have become the daily life of many, since 6,500 of the 2 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank have been imprisoned. Many of them imprisoned without a clear-sighted reason that proves their innocence, without the right to have a lawyer or family visits, and even children of 8 and 10 years who are treated as terrorists and arrested on charges of throwing stones. They no longer only attack the armed resistance, but also the peaceful resistance. "Any people that lives under occupation has the right to resist and has the right to armed resistance," acknowledges Jaldía, alleging the 4th Geneva Convention. "The work carried out in NGOs and therefore, the work that Juana does is not terrorism, it is humanitarian aid work for a people that has been suffering from an occupation since 1948," says Jaldía. The NGO ADDAMEER highlights that among the most prominent crimes and practices used by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian prisoners is the Isolation regime, one of the most dangerous systematic practices for prisoners. The prisoner is locked up alone, in a cell under subhuman conditions, where he is prevented from receiving visits from his relatives, and can only go out to the prison yard handcuffed and without any company, only the police. Another of them is the Administrative Detention, 671 people are imprisoned today under this type of arrest, the highest figure in the last five years. The authorities carry out this type of detention since it allows detention indefinitely, without charge or trial and without discriminating against anyone from the Palestinian sphere. “Israel carries out this type of arrest under the pretext of secret files, there is no charge against the imprisoned person, therefore they do not have the right to a lawyer or to receive visits from family members. Many times, this type of detention lasts up to 10 years, where the Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to brutal beatings and many women to sexual abuse to extract information from them,” says Jaldía. For many of these prisoners, the only way they have to claim their rights is through hunger strikes. Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdah has become the longest-resisting prisoner in this struggle. After 182 days, on September 2, he ended his hunger strike, reaching an agreement with the court for his release. His health has been deteriorating little by little. In a report presented by Physicians for Human Rights they demand a solution for Awada since she has been in serious danger due to brain and nerve damage after the strike. The Palestinian population is subject to double legislation: the Israeli military legislation and the Palestinian authorities. Once they are detained, only the military laws of the Israeli army are carried out. A clear difference in the treatment received by Israeli citizens and Palestinian citizens in detentions is observed in the laws that apply to each one: to Israelis, the laws are applied under the civil legal code of the State of Israel, and in terms of the Palestinians, the military laws of the Israeli army are directly applied to them, (sometimes even resorting to a lawyer is almost impossible, since they are too specific cases and their request is usually denied, as happens with illegal demolitions) But Awad and Juana have not been the exception, many Palestinians have had to suffer the same. "Juana's case has not been a unique case, in Palestine all families live with this uncertainty day and night, but it is clear that she has been a scapegoat for the State of Israel, it is a way of being able to control and pressure the Government of Spain. The Zionist lobby is acting in all countries." affirms Jaldía Abubakra, who thanks to her organization Women for the Palestine Movement has managed to spread the voice of her companions to the rest of the world. And yet, despite all the feeling of returning to their towns and cities, the feeling of fighting to recover Palestine is still present in all of them. “This is my land” is one of the most repeated phrases in all of them and that no matter what happens they will defend it tooth and nail, although sometimes they have to pay a very expensive price, like their life. “When the protests in Gaza began in 2018 with the return marches, Palestinians came out to the borders to claim their land with Palestinian flags, marches that were recognized as non-violent. In these marches, the Israeli army used prohibited weapons such as butterfly bullets. Some bullets that once they enter the bone, cannot get out, causing great damage to the bone tissue and sometimes even amputating the limb,” says Jaldía. The problem of colonization will end when the State of Israel stops occupying Palestinian territories, stops demolishing houses and building illegal settlements, stops cultural appropriation, theft of agricultural land, the bombing of Gaza and the detention of innocent people. . As long as this continues to happen, the rest of the world will continue to be complicit in an Interminable War.