Sunday, August 30 2020 This week – August 23-29, 2020 – in the Occupied Territories

Two attempts to raise new settler-colonist outposts – one in the Hebron area and the other in Area B in the Ramallah District – were thwarted this week; the occupation forces demolished homes and farming structures in Auja, at Wadi A-Siq and at Fasail in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, as well as in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem; activists continue to accompany Palestinian shepherds in the Palestinian Jordan Valley and in the South Hebron Hills – crucial especially at this time, at the height of the arid-hot season, when Jewish settler-colonists and the Israeli army that does their bidding chase away and injure the shepherds and their flocks, aiming to take over their grazing grounds

photo: Hares children facing an Israeli army barrier at a protest demonstration taking place in the village every Friday

Northern West Bank
The weekly protest demonstrations at Hares village are entering their fourth month. As in previous weeks, last Friday too the Israeli army blocked the village exit, and demonstrators had to make do with short speeches and a prayer opposite the barrier. As the prayer was over, the demonstrators began to disperse. A group trying to exit the village was blocked by Israeli soldiers who jumped an Israeli activist, tried to arrest him, but were forced to make do with spraying pepper gas at the faces of demonstrators who freed him from them. About five small children from the village had fun jumping and cartwheeling in front of the soldiers who continued to block the village exit. When the soldiers finally opened the road to enable vehicles to leave, their commander decided to hold an educational session and directed them to block the cars again “until the children go home”. In the meantime one of the soldiers asked a Palestinian driving a car nearby whether he works inside Israel, and hinted a threat to take away his work permit. Some minutes later the soldiers tired of their mission, opened the barrier and left the village.
For joining, please contact Aviv – avivsky@gmail.com

Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
In Auja, southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds on Monday through Friday. Nearly every time settler-colonists – or soldiers doing their bidding – approached the shepherds, meaning to chase them away. On Tuesday, August 25, the Israeli army was exposed yet again as working for the settler-colonist of an illegal outpost who takes over Waqf-owned land and does as he pleases there. This time, after the settler-colonist chased away the shepherds from lands that do not belong to him legally, and where they do have the right to graze, army arrived and the soldiers asked him whether they should chase the activists as well. The “lord of the land” answered that this was not necessary, and his lackeys simply left.
On Tuesday this week, the occupation forces demolished two structures, one in Eastern Auja, and the second at Ras En Auja, in the west.
On Friday, August 28, shepherds from Nu’eima tried to graze south of the settler-colony Mevo’ot Jericho, but were chased away by a settler-colonist within ten minutes.
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

Activists who came to accompany shepherds to their grazing grounds near Hamra in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley discovered a new front of harassment – settler-colonists chasing away shepherds, aided by the Israeli army that does their bidding. The shepherds reported that the settler-colonist who owns a sheep flock joined Hamra settler-colony about two months ago. Ever since, he has been chasing them from their grazing grounds, sending his dogs at them, and in one case, a boy who works for him threw stones at the flock and the Palestinian shepherd. As activists accompanied shepherds on Thursday, August 27, the settler-colonist came to the spot with the boy who works for him and accompanied by two women-soldiers. The soldiers notified the Palestinian shepherd that he is in a firing zone and must leave. The accompanying activists insisted that according to the maps they are not inside a firing zone and demanded to see a document forbidding grazing. One of the soldiers looked into it by phone, and then apologized – not to the shepherds, of course, but to the settler-colonist – explaining that she must follow instructions. The next day (Friday), as soon as the shepherd and activists arrived at the site, so did the settler-colonist on horseback, riding straight into the flock. After arguing with the activists he left towards the settler-colony, and returned after 15 minutes with his own flock and another settler-colonist. The two flocks grazed about 20 meters from each other for about an hour, as the activists stood between them, and the settler-colonist roamed around the Palestinians’ flock, but in relative quiet because of the present cameras. A military force arrived and approached him, but remained somewhat distant and did not prevent the continued grazing. At the moment apparently the presence of activists accompanying shepherds manages to enable grazing in spite of the settler-colonist’s efforts.
The Occupation forces demolished 9 structures this week at Wadi A-Siq, a shepherd community situated on the West Bank Hill Range between settler-colonies Rimonim and Ma’ale Michmash. Another 5 structures were demolished in Fasail, in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley.

South Hebron Hills
Activists accompanied shepherds on Saturday at Umm Al Imad and at Umm Zaitouna. At the latter grazing ground, two settler-colonists from the new outpost there approached the activists and threatened them that if the shepherds don’t leave, the Israeli army will come, arrest and fine them. The army did arrive eventually, but stayed away and did not prevent continued grazing.
After the grazing, activists helped restoration works at Wadi Jheish following the demolition of a dwelling there about three weeks ago.
To join Ta’ayush in The South Hebron Hills this Saturday call 055-2770168

West Bank and Jerusalem
This week, two attempts were reported of settler-colonists to erect new outposts. On Monday, August 24, a settler-colonist began erecting an outpost on a hill south-east of Hebron. Local inhabitants and landowners summoned the army, and the outpost was removed. On Thursday, August 27, settler-colonists erected an outpost close to Abwin (Ramallah District), inside Area B. In this case, too, the outpost was removed by the occupation forces.
On Wednesday, August 26, a military force was reported to have laid three explosive charges alongside a road in Qaddoum village (Qalqiliya District), in an are where weekly protest demonstrations have been held for years, demanding to open the road connecting the village to the nearby city of Nablus – a road closed because of the expansion of the settler-colony of Qdumim. The charges, containing stun grenades, were laid so as to blow up at the very lightest touch. One of the charges did blow up and wounded a villager who touched it. Another was blown up from afar by the villagers, and the third was taken away by the army. The Israeli army spokesperson explained that the charges were laid in place “for deterrence”.
The next day, it was reported that the occupation authorities demanded of the Sebastia municipality (Nablus District) = located inside Area B – to remove a flagpole with the flag of Palestine that was placed at the town square. The demand was explained by “security needs”.
On Friday, August 28, a nationalist hate crime was reported from Asira Al Qabiliya (south of Nablus) where vandals set fire to a vehicle and left Hebrew hate graffiti on the walls.
In Jerusalem this week the occupation authorities demolished one house in Silwan neighborhood, 6 farm structures in Issawiya, and two more buildings in Sur Bahr.
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