Sunday, July 14 2019 This week in East Jerusalem, South Mt. Hebron, and the Jordan Valley

–Police brutally raided Issawiya: large forces violently broke into the village on the only day when there were no activists present, destroyed a memorial to a boy who had been shot the previous week, and ripped his picture from the wall inside his grieving parents’ home, all on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s explicit request.
–The Siam family was evicted from their home in Silwan and settlers invaded the house
–Demolition orders for an entire neighborhood that was built with a permit from the PA in Areas A and B in Sur Baher;
–A new outpost was set up inside a firing zone in the northern Jordan Valley after another new outpost, north of Kochav Hashahar, was evacuated following complaints by activists;
–In South Mt. Hebron, settlers cut down 160 olive trees; in the area of Eshtamo’a outpost they chased Palestinian shepherds and fired into the air

In Issawiya, the police continue to harass the population day and night, including setting up checkpoints at the entrances to and inside the village, distributing fines and demolition orders. The presence of activists’ watches helped moderate the excessive policing and arbitrary enforcement of discriminatory regulations, sometimes even causing the police to leave. On Wednesday, July 10, the only day of the week in which no activists were present, dozens of law enforcement officers and Border Patrol broke into the village, violently smashing the memorial erected by the residents in memory of the boy who was shot by the police a week ago. Some policemen entered the home of the grieving parents, and ordered them to remove the boy’s picture from the wall within 3 minutes; before the parents managed to comply, they tore the picture to shreds. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly boasted that the destruction was done at his request. Also, an elderly diabetic patient who needed hospitalization was beaten, rubber bullets were shot, and a stun grenade was thrown at the entrance to the medical center. The residents of Issawiya reported that this was one of the most difficult days they had known in the village. The previous day, the presence of activists, probably, prevented police attempts to arrest mothers in order to put pressure on their sons.

In Silwan, the Siam family was evicted from their homes on Wednesday, and under the auspices of the police, settlers invaded the house. Activists stayed inside and around the house, documenting and supporting the family. On Friday, July 12, a demonstration took place against the eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes and their transfer to settlers.

On Friday, there was also a demonstration against the demolitions that threaten an entire developed neighborhood in Wadi Hummus on the outskirts of Sur Baher. The development is located in Area A and B, in which Israel has no authority, and its homes were built with a permit legally granted by the Palestinian Authority. But the State of Israel decided to demolish the neighborhood because of its proximity to the Separation Wall, in stark violation of the law and agreements concerning zoning.

In South Mt. Hebron, settlers cut down 160 olive trees in a plot north of Qawawis. As usual, it was reported that the police were investigating. On Saturday, July 13, activists accompanied shepherds in Umm al-Amad, Wadi Sweid, and Attariya, as well as the family of the Palestinian landowner in Umm al-‘Araeis. A Civil Administration officer tried to expel the shepherds in Wadi Sweid from their land, and only the insistence of the shepherds and Palestinian and Israeli activists who accompanied them led him to admit to a mis-reading of the map. From there, the energetic officer went on to Umm al-‘Araeis, and, at the request of the soldiers, he tried to expel the landowner and his family with the same excuse. Again, the officer was forced to admit to an error.

On Tuesday, July 9, settlers chased Palestinian shepherds from Shweikeh and fired into the air. Military forces arrived at the site, and at least one settler was arrested, and his weapon was taken. Palestinian residents told activists that the situation in the area had significantly deteriorated in recent months since the settlers established a new shepherd-farm outpost in Eshtamoa.

In the northern Jordan Valley activists continue to accompany shepherds. Because of the heat, grazing now takes place near the communities of the shepherds, and, therefore, usually without disturbance. However, the settlers in the area expand their hold on the ground by placing water points for their flocks (in private lands, in firing zones, and even within an army firing-range), repeated incursions into Palestinian fields, and even breaking a new road and establishing a new outpost west of Alon road. The outpost is located within the firing zone that has been for generations the home of the community of Ein el Hilweh – which received an evacuation order for the entire village several months ago because of its location in military firing zone.
Activists also accompanied herders in Rashash and Auja, almost unhindered.
A rare incident in Ein Samiya, where a new outpost north of Kochav Hashahar was reported: activists arrived on the scene on July 8, documented the new outpost, informed the army and the police, and that same day the outpost was evacuated. However, two days later, on July 10, work began on a new outpost near Samara, with a coordinated presence of the Civil Administration.