Sunday, April 26 2020 This week in the Occupied Territories – April 19-25, 2020

Israeli settler-colonists of the Adei Ad outpost took advantage of the closure in order to vandalize dozens of olive trees in their groves of Mughayer and Turmus Aya, and this week threw stones at Palestinians coming to their groves to plow after coordinating with the authorities; Near Tayibe junction settler-colonists continue to invade sown Palestinian fields with their livestock, and the shepherds’ yearly crop was destroyed; settler-colonists from the outpost Mitzpe Yair marked the Holocaust Memorial Day by beating up a Palestinian shepherd and robbing two of his sheep under threat of firearms; The Israeli police has come back to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya every day this week, to fine people and fire sponge ammunition and teargas canisters; the weekly protest vigil at Sheikh Jarrah (another East Jerusalem neighborhood) proceeded unhampered this time;

(photo: Turmus Aya council) Policemen examining olive trees vandalized by settler-colonists on Turmus Aya land

The Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank hill range
On Sunday through Tuesday, plowing coordinated with the occupation authorities was held in the farmlands of Mughayer and Turmus Aya, close to the outpost Adei Ad on the West Bank hill range. When the landowners arrived, they discovered heavy damages done to numerous olive trees, during the months when they were prevented from approaching their groves. While they were plowing, settler-colonists from the outpost threw stones at the tractors, and many phone calls to the army were needed in order for it to intervene. On Tuesday, when the Palestinian farmers returned, they saw that during the night the settler-colonists managed to vandalize dozens of additional full-grown olive trees. The police came, documented the damages, a complaint was lodged.
Entry of settler-colonists to the Palestinian-owned sown fields near Tayibe junction has been ongoing daily. This week one of the communities notified us that their entire year’s crop, which was planned to feed their livestock until October, had been eaten up by the flocks of the outpost colonists.
During the week, the Israeli army blocked the track prepared by settler-colonists near Rashash, and apparently for the time being the new outpost there has not been manned.
In the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, settler-colonists marked this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day (April 21) by provoking Palestinians who put up a road block at the entrance to En Al Beda as part of the Palestinian effort to stop the Corona virus from spreading. The settler-colonists stood in front of the roadblock, waved Israeli flags and called out nationalist slogans.
In the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, near Nu’eima, extended works have been conducted lately near the settler-colony Mevo’ot Jericho. Heavy construction equipment has been digging ditches on site, whose purpose is not yet clear. However, they are already blocking Palestinian shepherds from entering their own grazing grounds in the area.

South Hebron Hills
During the night between Sunday and Monday, armed settler-colonists put up road blocks near the Palestinian villages of Tawane and Raqiz, claiming a horse of theirs had been stolen. They stopped vehicles for inspection, perhaps assuming they would find the horse in the glove compartment… and soldiers present gave them a free hand to run wild. Two armed settler-colonists began to approach the outer house in Tawane. Activists summoned the police and forces came and prevented the settler-colonists from entering the populated part of the village. In the meantime, the horse was found grazing peacefully in the ravine near the outpost.
Settler-colonists in the South Hebron Hills marked the Holocaust Memorial Day with an armed robbery: On Tuesday, April 21, settler-colonists from the outpost of Mitzpe Yar stopped their car on the side of the uphill road of Atariya, beat up a Palestinian shepherd grazing by the road in an area permitted for Palestinian grazing, threatened him not to come back there, kidnapped two sheep from his flock, loaded them on their vehicle and drove off. Police was summoned, the shepherd was taken to the police station to lodge a complaint.
Close to settler-colony Sham’a, last Saturday settler-colonists began again to develop their motorcycle race track on privately-owned Palestinian land. A Palestinian activist recognizing the goings-on called the landowners’ attorney, and police was summoned.

East Jerusalem
In the Issawiya neighborhood, the police has been reported conducting daily incursions, fining people for not wearing masks and opening shops after 6 p.m. on Ramadan days, and made extensive use of sponge ammunition and teargas. On Friday, the entire Ubayed quarter was covered with teargas clouds.
In Sheikh Jarrah, the weekly protest vigil on Friday passed unhampered. A policeman announced at the very beginning that it was allowed as long as the distances are kept that are demanded by emergency edicts, and distributed masks to passersby participating in the vigil.