Sunday, December 27 2020 This week – December 20-26, 2020 – in the Occupied Territories

Serious escalation in crimes committed by settler-colonists against Palestinians and their property throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem this week; a new outpost was set up under protection of the Israeli army on privately-owned Palestinian land of Deir Jarayer, close to the site where Ahuviya Sandak was killed – Palestinian locals and activists who came to protest were violently chased away by the Israeli army; protest demonstrators from Salfit against the new outpost close to their town were dispersed by teargas and stun grenades; house demolitions in the South Hebron Hills and in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem;

photo: Demonstrators against a new settler-colonist outpost near Salfit under a teargas assault by the Israeli army, Friday December 25, 2020

Following the murder of Esther Horgan, inhabitant of the settler-colony ‘Tal Menashe’, and the death of Ahuviya Sandak who was suspected of throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles, and died during a police chase, hate crimes of settler-colonists escalated this week even further from the ‘standard’ level that has turned routine lately.
Except for stone-throwing near Tayibe Junction where the youth was killed during a police chase, on Monday a Palestinian shepherd from Ganoub, close to the settler-colonies ‘Pnei Kedem’ and ‘Asfar’ was attacked by a group of settler-colonists. He was wounded and taken for medical care. At the same time, dozens of settler-colonists marched on the main road of Palestinian town Huwara (Nablus district) accompanied by soldiers, and cried hate calls. During the day, settler-colonists blocked Zaatara-Tapuach junction and other roads close to settler-colony ‘Qedumim’, and punctured Palestinian vehicle tires near Hebron.
A bus driver was attacked with teargas and stones by about 30 boys in ‘Bat Ayin’ and was taken to hospital. Another complaint was received from a 14-year old boy who was wounded in the head by stones thrown at a truck in which he sat next to the driver, close to the Beit Anoun junction, in the Hebron area. That day, 13 complaints were lodged with the Israeli police on Jewish violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

On Wednesday, December 23, settler-colonists – accompanied by soldiers doing their bidding – erected an outpost near the spot where the youngster was killed on privately-owned Palestinian land belonging to inhabitants of Deir Jarayer near Tayibe. Palestinian shepherds live there during grazing seasons, and the spot is close to the road connecting Deir Jarayer and Kafr Malek. On days prior to the outpost founding, two cases were registered of stone-throwing at Palestinian vehicles on this road. Local Palestinians and activists who arrived there to protest the robbery on Saturday were chased away violently by large army forces ‘protecting’ the settler-colonists and their outpost.
Further on Wednesday this week, inhabitants of Jaloud village (Nablus district) reported another night of terrorism wreaked by settler-colonists coming from ‘Ahiya’ outpost in the Shilo valley. Dozens of them entered the village and threw stones at vehicles and home windows.
In the Salfit area, on Tuesday December 22, inhabitants of Al Ras and activists carried out an olive tree planting action as part of the struggle against the new outpost settling there – west of the town of Salfit, several kilometers west of settler-colonist town Ariel and south of the Barkan Industrial Zone. Weekly protest demonstrations have been taking place there for over a month now. Settler-colonists and soldiers chased the planters away from the spot with threats and violent action. On Friday, December 25, inhabitants of Salfit and the surrounding area held their weekly demonstration. They marched towards the outpost, and reached below it as several dozen soldiers blocked them with teargas and stun grenades. Border Policemen photographed the demonstrators and threatened some of them to come to their homes one of these coming nights. After half an hour the protestors dispersed.
Farmers from Hares village (Salfit district) whose vineyards are adjacent to settler-colony ‘Revava’ in the north continue to suffer harassments by settler-colonists and soldiers, and this week too several trees were vandalized and soldiers came to threaten the farmers who were working their land.

South Hebron Hills
On Monday, December 21, the occupation forces demolished a home in Simiya, and from there proceeded to a nearby farming project where they demolished another home, a large shed and a water reservoir.
The next day, Tawane villagers discovered that about 30 olive tree saplings they had planted in Hali valley close to their village had been uprooted and stolen. Later that day, settler-colonists from ‘Havat Maon’ outpost attempted to carry out earth works outside the outpost on lands belonging to Tawane villagers. A lawyer’s intervention caused the works to cease.
On Thursday, December 24, a tour of settler-colonists and an archeology inspector took place in the villages of Massafer Yatta inside firing zone 918.
On Saturday, activists accompanied plowing work in lands belonging to Mughayer Al Abid, and planting at Rakiz. At Birin on Saturday night settler-colonists tried to erect a new outpost, but it was dismantled when the army arrived there in the morning.

Jerusalem
Early this week the occupation forces demolished two homes in Silwan, one in Abu Dis, and one in Jabal Mukabar, as well as an additional structure at Ras Al Amud.
Since Monday evening, settler-colonists have been holding demonstrations opposite the State Headquarters of the Israeli Police in Jerusalem, protesting the killing of their friend during a police chase. During these demonstrations on several occasions demonstrators threw stones and smashed windows of vehicles after verifying that their passengers were Palestinians. On Saturday night’s demonstration protestors attacked a car bearing four Arab passengers – two women, a man and a baby – and tried to open it. The demonstrators shouted “Death to Arabs!” and hit the car.
On Friday, inhabitants of Batan Al Hawa in the Silwan neighborhood held a mass-prayer protesting the State’s intention to expel them from their homes and let the settler-colonists have the houses.
In Sheikh Jarrah, too, on Friday the regular protest vigil took place of neighborhood inhabitants and Israeli activists who have been struggling for over a decade against evicting Palestinian families from their homes and having Jewish settler-colonists populate the neighborhood aided by right-wing organizations, the State of Israel’s General Custodian for Absentee Property, and the Jerusalem courts’ sanctioning of apartheid.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah takes place every Friday. The residents of Sheikh Jarrah 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.