Sunday, May 17 2020 This week – May 9-16, 2020 – in the Occupied Territories

This week marks a year since the ongoing harassment began by Jerusalem District police of the Issawiya East Jerusalem neighborhood, and it is far from over: 41 police incursions were reported within the past two weeks; the occupation forces have demolished structures of communities living on the West Bank hill range, in the central and northern Palestinian Jordan Valley in spite of Ramadan fasting month and the Corona-virus pandemic- and yes, the demolition was reported of a structure or two in newly erected settler-colonist outposts, but these were rebuilt within hours; in the Auja area, the Palestinians are still being chased off by the Israeli army, and around the Tayibe junction, too, activists must be present constantly to thwart harassment by the settler-colonists and the army;

pic: Grazing near Tayibe junction

The Palestinian Jordan Valley and the West Bank hill range
Activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds nearly every day this week on the West Bank hill range and at the Auja area.
Around the Tayibe junction accompaniers join the shepherds in two shifts, morning and afternoon. In all cases, the settler-colonists stayed close with their flocks to the Palestinian shepherds who remained in the area, but refrained from threats, violence and entry into sown fields. On Thursday, May 14, the Israeli occupation forces demolished 4 structures in the encampment of a shepherd community near the junction. The forces also demolished a structure or two in the settler-colonist outposts nearby, but the report we received specified that these were rebuilt within hours.
At Auja, according to the report, on Monday May 11, the Israeli army chased out of all grazing grounds Palestinian shepherds who took their flocks out without Israeli accompaniers. On the other hand, on Wednesday, accompaniment was unhampered. An army vehicle was soon leaving the Omer ranch, but ignored the Palestinian shepherds and activists accompanying them.
Accompaniment of Palestinian shepherds to grazing grounds in both areas, West Bank Hill range and the Auja area, involves a great number of activists, and many more are needed during the next few weeks.
To join, please contact Arik: 050-5607034
On Wednesday the occupation forces demolished two structures in the village of Fasa’il, in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley. The next day, May 14, three additional structures were demolished at Ras Al Ahmar, in the northern part of the valley. Unlike the past, the occupation authorities no longer refrain from demolitions during the Ramadan fasting month. According to the UN’s OCHA data, since Ramadan began this year on April 24, until May 11, 19 structures under Israeli occupation were either demolished or taken over, versus 13 structures during all of the Ramadan month in 2019, a single one in 2018, and none in 2017.

During the two weeks between April 28 and May 11 OCHA investigators documented 41 incursions of massive police forces into the Issawiya neighborhood for searches and arrests. According to the inhabitants, such incursions continue this week, on a daily basis. This week marks a year since the Jerusalem police began its severe offensive against this neighborhood. After a year of hundreds of arrests, one person dead, dozens wounded some of whom will remain disabled for life, much damage and arbitrary damage to property, and the general life disruption of the neighborhood’s population at all hours of the day and night, it does not seem to have generated any change – neither in the violent over-policing there, nor in the inhabitants’ persistent stance facing the occupation forces’ conduct.

In the South Hebron Hills the week passed without any special incident.