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New police brutality record at Issawiya this week, dozens of people beaten, wounded and hurt by teargas, including babies; the Jerusalem precinct has once again produced a set of lies regarding violating its understandings with Issawiya residents not to enter schools during school hours; ‘welcoming’ winter, the occupation forces confiscated tents donated by an aid organization to communities in the South Hebron Hills following a wave of demolitions last month, and issued additional demolition orders; Jewish settler-colonists use loudspeakers to chase Palestinian shepherds from their lands near Rashash, a shepherd boy was beaten and an Israeli volunteer injured – and when all of the above wouldn’t keep the shepherds away, army was summoned to aid the settler-colonist assailants;
Lies, violating agreements and more escalation in police brutality: Following the incursion of police last Saturday (November 2) at a school during school hours, the residents decided to halt all studies in all of the Issawiya’s schools as long as pupil safety is not guaranteed. In response, on Sunday the Israeli police arrested two members of the village parents’ committee. On Tuesday, inhabitants along with Israeli and international activists held a protest vigil at the village entrance, during which a new agreement was reported between the residents, the Jerusalem municipality and the police, according to which police would not enter the school area at the start and end of the school day. The next day, police already violated this agreement, introducing numerous police units to the school area during all school hours. In its response to a press report about this violation, the police denied its very existence, even though it had been approved by representatives of the Jerusalem municipality. Later, electronic correspondence by the commander of the Shalem police station was publicized as well, proving this agreement did in fact exist and was violated by the police, which lied to the press.
At the same time, every day this week large special police forces and Border Police invaded the neighborhood, especially evenings and nights, doing everything in their power to create friction with the residents. They violently assaulted innocent passersby who happened to live close to friction spots. Children, some of them babies less than one year old, were hurt by inhaling teargas, civilians were beaten and needed medical care. A woman was badly hurt in her forehead, activists among the inhabitants were badly beaten, and an international woman-volunteer activist was lightly hurt.
Activists on presence shifts in the neighborhood all week documented police conduct, and as a result the police began to assault them violently as well. A local activist was threatened if he continue to document the events, and vigil participants were attacked with stun and gas grenades.
Jordan Valley and West Bank Hills
At Rashash Jewish settler-colonists are using the favorable help of the Israeli defense forces, and are raising their violence threshold in order to chase Palestinian shepherds from their grazing grounds. This week they began to use loudspeakers in order to scare flocks away. On Thursday (7.11.) a settler-colonist on horseback attacked an activist accompanying the shepherds, and on Friday settler-colonists beat up a shepherd boy. Army and police forces summoned to the site stay away, or get there too late, or openly help settler-colonists by declaring a closed military zone and chasing the Palestinian shepherds away.
Activists accompanied the shepherds Tuesday-Friday, and on Friday representatives of an international human rights organization visited there and witnessed a live example of the close collaboration of settler-colonists and the occupation forces on the ground.
At the Hemdat settler-colony area in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, too, the army closely obeys the settler-colonists’ wishes. On Wednesday, 6.11., when the presence of activists prevented settlers from chasing away Palestinian shepherds, the settlers summoned army forces who detained and questioned the activists.
On Monday, 4.11, settler-colonists of the new outpost near En Al Hilwa (opposite the settler-colony Maskiyot) were documented plowing a field privately owned by Palestinians inside an army-declared “firing zone”.
South Hebron Hills
On Wednesday, 6.11, the occupation forces confiscated 3 tents at Khalat A-Dhaba and 2 tents at Mughayer Al Abid. The tents had been donated to the villagers by an aid organization following the wave of demolitions carried out by the authorities about a month ago. During this confiscation the villagers were handed new demolition orders for added structures at the site, including an outhouse and a kitchen. On Saturday, 9.11, activists came there and helped clear the rubble from the previous demolition.
Jewish settler-colonists chased away Palestinian shepherds twice at the Wadi Swayd area, on Tuesday and on Thursday, from lands where they are allowed to graze. On Saturday, 9.11., grazing there, accompanied by activists, passed quietly.
Activists also accompanied shepherds on Saturday at Umm Al Amad, and around Atariya.