Sunday, August 23 2020 This week – August 15-22, 2020 – in the Occupied Territories

Security guards at the Qalandiya Checkpoint fired at and wounded a deaf-dumb Palestinian adult who couldn’t hear their instructions; 303 olive trees, irrigation pipes and the agricultural equipment belonging to a Palestinian farmer in Wadi Tawamin near the outposts surrounding settler-colony Susya were totally destroyed; settler-colonists invaded a seasonal encampment near Tawane village, stole a tent, vandalized equipment and emptied a water tank; a protest prayer was held at Umm Zaitouna against denying Palestinians entry into their own lands because of a new settler-colonist outpost being established there – expulsion of shepherds at the site continues; at Omer Ranch in the Palestinian Jordan Valley Jewish settler-colonists are working unhampered to create a recreational ‘beauty spot’ on Palestinian land – on the other hand the Israeli army expelled Palestinian shepherds from the area on the only day when they were there unaccompanied by Israeli activists; Israeli soldiers arrested and beat up a Palestinian at the weekly protest prayer ceremony of Hares villagers (in the Salfit District); In the northern West Bank, settler-colonists of outpost 777 established in 2012 inside a ‘firing zone’ have placed a new caravan on the grounds of Yanoun Palestinian village whose inhabitants are denied access to their fields there; the Israeli army is paving a new road on the grounds of Palestinian villages Shoufa and Jbara (Tul Karm District) – a protest demonstration of Shoufa villagers was dispersed by the Israeli authorities using teargas; home demolitions in East Jerusalem continues, as well as the daily police harassment of the Issawiya neighborhood; a protest demonstration organized by “Tag Meir” organization marking 3 months since the murder of Iyad Al Halaq will take place next Wednesday opposite the Jerusalem offices of the Israel Police Internal Investigation Dept.

photo: The olive tree grove belonging to a Palestinian near Susya after 303 as well as irrigation pipes were vandalized

South Hebron Hills
This week, Jewish settler-colonists in the area went on their severest rampages of destruction and looting. On August 18, we were informed that during the former night settler-colonists came to a seasonal encampment near Tawane, close to the settler-colony of Maon to the west of road 317. The vandals stole a small tent and some of the construction of the central tent, damaged equipment, emptied a water tank (about 4 cubic meters) parked at the site and emptied its tires.
On Saturday, activists in the area were called upon to document massive destruction on the grounds of a Palestinian farmer at Wadi Tawamin, near Susya. 333 trees (304 olive trees 5-years old, another 19 fruit and other trees) were vandalized there. In addition, the vandals cut numerous irrigation pipes, shaders and sofas. Forces of the Israeli army, police and Civil Administration came, took testimonies and documented the damage. The place has seen vandalism in the past, it is filmed by the army’s security cameras and is close to the new outpost of settler-colony Susya, as well as to the outposts Mitzpe Yair and Nof Nesher (the ranch belonging to the sons of Yaacov Talya).
On Friday, Palestinian landowners held a protest prayer at Umm Zaitouna, against denying Palestinians access to their lands since the new settler-colonist outpost was established there. Large army forces faced them, declared the entire outpost areas a “closed military zone”, but enabled the Palestinians to maintain their protest prayer several hundred meters from the outpost. The next day, on Saturday, August 22, activists accompanied shepherds there. After the flocks reached the grazing ground, soldiers began to chase away the shepherd without presenting a written order. Half an hour later the order arrived preventing grazing in the area near the outpost. The shepherds were forced to stay away and continue grazing downhill.
To join Ta’ayush in The South Hebron Hills this Saturday call 055-2770168

Palestinian Jordan Valley
In Aujja, southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied the shepherds this week on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, without any special clashes. However, on Monday, when no Israeli activists were present, the shepherds were chased away by the Israeli army. This whole week settler-colonists of the outpost Omer’s Ranch continued unhampered in their work preparing their recreational beauty spot” inside the Palestinians’ grazing grounds, all owned by official Palestinian Waqf.
Apparently, only when Israeli activists accompany Palestinian shepherds can the latter graze with their flocks in this area.
In the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, on Thursday, August 20, the Occupation forces demolished an agricultural structure at the A-Touf community.
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

Northern West Bank
This week too, villagers of Hares and its vicinity (Salfit District) demonstrated in protest against the uprooting of an olive tree grove belonging to one of them, situated close to the settler-colony of Revava. As in previous weeks, a large force of Israeli army and Border Police blocked the exit from the village and prevented the demonstrators from going out to the area where the trees had been uprooted. The soldiers were more violent than usual – they seem unable to accept three months of determined, non-violent Palestinian demonstrations. Among other things, they arrested a Palestinian demonstrator and beat him up wildly.
For joining the Friday demo in Hares, please contact Aviv – avivsky@gmail.com

On Friday, August 21, it was reported that settler-colonists from outpost 777 near the settler-colony of Itamar placed a new caravan on land belonging to nearby Yanoun village (Nablus District) and began to plow the land. Violent outpost 777 is situated inside a ‘firing zone, but since 2012 the occupation army – preventing Palestinian landowners from accessing their lands inside the same firing zone – enables the outpost settler-colonists to live there and take over more and more land belonging to the Palestinians.
On Sunday, August 16, it was reported that the occupation forces have begun to pave a road on land confiscated from villagers of Shoufa and Jbara (Tul Karm District). On Wednesday this week, villagers of Shoufa tried to hold a protest there, but were dispersed with teargas by the army.

Jerusalem
On Saturday evening, August 22, activists came to document the continued harassment by Israeli police of the Issawiya neighborhood residents of East Jerusalem. A Border Police unit commanded by an officer infamous for his preferred use of teargas was strolling amidst the neighborhood houses. Policemen were placed here and there at street corners, checking IDs of passersby, and waiting for someone to do something. A local boy couldn’t help himself and kicked a tin fence so that it sounded as though a stone was thrown. The armed force immediately charged the nearest alley, fired teargas at some undefined target, and returned empty-handed.
Residents report that this is their recent routine procedure days and nights.
On Tuesday, August 18, the authorities demolished another house in the Jabal Mukabar neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and on Wednesday they demolished another two buildings in Hizma, north-east of the Jerusalem municipal area. According to B’Tselem data, the present year is characterized by a maximal number of home demolitions in the Jerusalem area, and especially now when the local population is coping with a steep rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and forced unemployment resulting from the pandemic. See Nir Hasson’s article on the issue in Haaretz:
https://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/1.9092948
On Monday, August 17, at Qalandiya Checkpoint north of Jerusalem, security guards fired live ammunition at a Palestinian pedestrian and wounded him. The deaf-dumb man, in his mid-60s, could not hear their orders, and like in the case of Iyad Al Halaq, his disability caused the armed Israeli occupation forces to squeeze the trigger, so easily.
Next Wednesday, to mark 3 months since the killing of Iyad Al Halaq by policemen, activists of “Tag Meir” will hold a protest demonstration opposite the offices of the Israeli Police Internal Investigation Dept., demanding it to publicize the photographic evidence and investigation material.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah continues to take place every Friday, adhering to emergency procedures. The residents of Sheikh are protesting their violent evictions from their homes, the taking over of the neighborhood by the settlers, and the Judaization of East Jerusalem. They call upon each and every person who supports their struggle to join them
We will meet at the Sheikh Jarrah Garden, Nablus Road and Dahlmann St. at at 4 p.m