Thursday, July 4 2019 This week in Jerusalem, South Mt. Hebron, and the Jordan Valley

Police raging in Issawiya and Silwan neighborhoods continues: one youth killed, dozens of wounded, beatings, mass arrests at night, traffic tickets and removal of vehicles from the road. Ta’ayush activist arrested violently at Peace Now demonstration in Silwan. False detention of three Palestinians from Tuwani who were sitting in a grove close to their land near Havat Ma’on’s outpost. Activists will hold shifts in Issawiya to document police abuse.

For more than two weeks, a violent campaign by the Israeli police against the residents has been taking place in Issawiya. During the raids, police are breaking into the village, beating, arresting, distributing tickets and removing vehicles from the road. On Thursday, June 28, Issawiya’s residents, joined by Israeli activists, held a solidarity demonstration demanding to stop the abuse. The police did not intervene during the protest, but a police officer threatened residents that after “the Americans” leave, the police will enter and teach them a lesson. An hour after the demonstration dispersed, large police and Border Police forces entered Issawiya, and, in the ensuing mayhem, a police officer fired live ammunition and killed a 20-year-old Palestinian, injuring and arresting others. Police violence continued in the Emergency Room of Hadassa Hospital, where the wounded were treated. The escalation continues, and so far, the police did not hand over the body of the deceased to the family so that they can bury him. In addition, police are trying to extort cooperation from villagers, and in some cases have even suggested that they cancel tickets in return. As of today, activists will be keeping watches in the village and at the entrance, to document the police’s abuse of the residents.

In a legal demonstration organized by Peace Now on June 30 against the eviction of residents of Silwan and against tunnel-digging under their homes by Elad (and the US ambassador to Israel), the police began to push demonstrators violently. A police officer threw one Ta’ayush activist to the ground, handcuffed him, and arrested him. After a few hours, the activist was released with a summons for questioning, and needed medical treatment in his hand because of the violent handling and handcuffing.

On Tuesday, June 25, soldiers arrested three Palestinians from Tuwani who were in a grove near their land, close to the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on. They were detained for many hours until they were finally brought to Kiryat Arba police station, where they were accused of “trespassing,” and one of them was also accused of attacking a soldier. Two were released without any conditions or bond after it was made clear that there was no legal basis for the charge of trespassing. The one charged with assaulting a soldier, a minor, was taken to Ofer Camp. The following day, attorney Leah Tsemel was waiting for him to be brought before a judge, and when she noticed that there was no mention of his case on the docket, she filed for an emergency hearing. At this point, the police informed her that he was released unconditionally. The detained Palestinians told Ta’ayush activists that for many hours the soldiers prevented them from eating or drinking in the oppressive heat. The minor testified that he was beaten by soldiers while being taken from Kiryat Arba police station to detention in Etzion while he was handcuffed and blindfolded.

The settlers in the new outpost in Wadi Sweid terrorize the Palestinian shepherds in the area. On Saturday, June 30, three settlers, one of them armed, stood next to the herd and the activists who accompanied the shepherd, and stayed there throughout the grazing. The shepherds testified that it was the same on Friday, and in their estimation, only the presence of international escorts prevented the settlers from harassing them. The shepherds also ask for help in the evening hours. In Umm al-Arais, soldiers again tried to forbid the Palestinian landowner and his family from staying there. The landowner demanded that the DCL arrive and, upon arrival of the DCL, it was agreed (again) that there was no legal impediment to the family staying there. In Umm al-Amed, activists accompanied the grazing without disturbance.

In the Jordan Valley, activist accompanied Palestinian shepherds during the week, mainly in the Auja and Rashash area, and the grazing was usually uninterrupted.