2020 is likely to be a turning point for Palestinians. WBT has been receiving a number of reports from NGOs in Palestine. Some News agencies seem to have closed down; one in particular, namely Maan News reported daily from the occupation under difficult circumstances. Maan has been shut down. Here one of NGOs (Hebron Freedom Fund) reports from al-Khalil (Hebron).
We’re sorry it has been so long since our last newsletter— it was due to things being so intense on the ground in Hebron and across Palestine.
You may not have time to read this entire newsletter— it is long— so here is a recap of some of the most severe that happened in Hebron from September through November, 2019:
- Israel’s last election included promises from Netanyahu that if he is able to remain in power, he will annex the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron.
- Raids and arrests of of Palestinians, including children, persisted in Hebron by the Israeli military.
- On September 24, Israeli soldiers stormed the headquarters of Union of Women’s Committee in Hebron— a project of Hebron Freedom Fund— stealing equipment and damaging the office.
- On October 3, of group of settlers beat three young children (between the ages of 11 and 13) in front of their home in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. The settlers severely assaulted and injured the children.
- Israeli soldiers closed checkpoints in Hebron and across the West Bank for Jewish High Holy Days. They closed off the historic and holy Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to Palestinians for two days for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
- On November 3, Israeli soldiers began building a new segregated road exclusively for illegal settlers. The new road is near the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. A new Jewish-only road is also being planned between Hebron and Jerusalem road and Israeli soldiers have declared the area a closed military zone to facilitate the construction. To build these apartheid roads, Israel has stolen 22.23 Acres of land from Palestinian farmers and landowners.
- On October 28, Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades at children in Hebron as they walked into their school.
- On November 15, Palestinian photographer and journalist, Mo’ath Amarnah, lost his eye after being shot by an Israeli soldier in Hebron. Earlier in the week, Mo’ath had used his camera to document the murder of Omar al-Badawi by the Israeli military in al-Aroub refugee camp. People around the world showed solidarity with Mo’ath by taking pictures of themselves with a patch or hand over one eye.
Hebron Freedom Fund Newsletter September 2019 — November 2019
September 16— Netanyahu vowed to annex Kiryat Arba settlement and other Israeli-occupied parts of Hebron and the West Bank if re-elected. Kiryat Arba is the settlement on the outskirts of Hebron. Netanyahu has since been unable to form a government and indicted on bribary and other charges, but his “promise” will likely be carried out by any future leader of Israel.
September 18— Illegal settlers were photographed raising victory signs after raiding parts of Hebron under the protection of the Israeli military.
September 21— Israeli forces detained six Palestinians from the towns of Beit Kahil and Beit Ula near Hebron. Nightly raids and arrests of Palestinians are a daily occurrence under Israeli military rule in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces closed the gate to Salaymeh neighbourhood, locking many of the residents inside, and preventing school children from being able to get home.
September 23— Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians from Hebron and then raided the neighboring towns Yatta and Beit Awwa. Flying checkpoints were set up at the entrances to the northern and southern parts of Hebron; vehicles were stopped and searched, and all passengers’ identity cards were checked.
A total of forty-five Palestinians were arrested across the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem on this day. Israeli soldiers at the Salaymeh checkpoint in the Old City of Hebron repeatedly fired tear gas and stun grenades at school children.
September 24— Israeli soldiers storm headquarters of Union of Women’s Committees in Hebron— a project of Hebron Freedom Fund. The office was raided in the early morning. Soldiers seized a camera and computers and damaged files and furniture.
September 25— Israeli military forces demolished a Palestinian house near Hebron, claiming that it was built without Israeli authorization to build in Area C (under Israeli military control). Area C makes up around 60% of the West Bank. Only 1% of Palestinian building permits are approved in Area C, forcing Palestinians to build without the permits Israel requires.
September 26— Israeli soldiers invaded and violently searched homes in Hebron and Halhoul, a city north of Hebron. Two Palestinians were arrested and one more was summoned for interrogation.
The Israeli army confiscated 1500 dunams (370 acres) of Palestinian land, south of Hebron. This land is owned and inhabited by Palestinians, and has many homes, agricultural structures and food-producing trees.
September 28— Israeli soldiers injured several Palestinians in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. Several army jeeps invaded the area and attacked unarmed Palestinian protesters, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
September 30— A Palestinian teenager was arrested at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron after Israeli forces claimed to find a knife in his school bag.
October 3— Israeli military demolished a house in the village of Beit Umar, near Hebron.
A group of settlers beat three children in front of their house in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. The settlers severely assaulted and injured the children, who were between the ages of 11 and 13.
October 8— Israeli soldiers invaded the home of 72-year-old Badran Bader Jaber in Hebron. The elderly man was taken into custody.
Large numbers of soldiers were deployed around the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, as well as several neighborhoods in the city centre that surrounds the Mosque.
The Ibrahimi Mosque closed to Palestinians for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs stated that there had been 52 incidents where the call to prayer was prevented at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the previous month.
October 10— An illegal settler deliberately drove his car into a young Palestinian woman, near the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Eyewitnesses said the young woman was rushed to a hospital in Hebron city.
Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinian men in Hebron, as well as ransacking several homes in Hebron and the nearby village of Dura.
October 13— Israeli soldiers closed checkpoints across Hebron and settler violence increased during the Jewish High Holy Days.
October 15— The Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron was closed off for Palestinians for two days for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
October 16— Israeli soldiers arrested six Palestinians in Hebron, two of whom were former political prisoners.
October 17— Early in the morning, Israeli soldiers moved into Beit ‘Owa, a village southwest of Hebron and stationed themselves in the middle of the village. They raided, searched and arrested one Palestinian man, taking him to an unknown destination. Israeli forces also moved into the Bab al-Zawiya neighbourhood in Hebron where they closed stores and maintained a heavy military presence.
October 18— Israeli forces arrested an 18-year-old Palestinian from al-Ghaith neighbourhood, in the Old City of Hebron while he was passing through checkpoint 160.
Israeli settlers attacked olive harvesters in Hebron. The army declared that the area was a closed military zone so as to prevent Palestinians from harvesting their olives.
October 19— Israeli soldiers arrested a nine-year-old Palestinian child in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. The child was arrested by the soldiers while he was playing in front of his parent’s home.
Soldiers invaded the village of Beit Awwa, southwest of Hebron.
Israeli soldiers moved into several neighborhoods in Hebron and carried out night raids, a regular occurrence for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
October 24— the village of Beit Umma, north of Hebron, suffered a night raid by Israeli soldiers. Several Palestinians who protested the invasion were injured.
October 26— Israeli soldiers arrested two children, Saif al-Sharabati and Mohammed Abu Qwaider, in Southern Hebron.
Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian man in the Bab al-Zawiya neighbourhood of Hebron, despite it being in H1 (under Palestinian Authority control). Soldiers are legally not allowed to enter H1 areas, however they regularly do so.
October 28— A Palestinian woman was shot and critically wounded by Israeli soldiers after attempting to carry out a stabbing near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. Israeli soldiers frequently use disproportionate force on the Palestinian population.
Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades at children in Hebron as they walked into their school. A-16 year-old student was wounded. Palestinian children in Hebron live under constant threat of violence. Only one month earlier, the exact same situation had occurred.
November 3— Israeli soldiers began building a new segregated road exclusively for illegal settlers. The new road is near the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. A new Jewish-only road is also being planned between Hebron and Jerusalem road and Israeli soldiers have declared the area a closed military zone to facilitate the construction. To build these apartheid roads, Israel has stolen 22.23 Acres of land from Palestinian farmers and landowners.
November 5— Israeli soldiers attacked a Palestinian father with his young son in the old city of Hebron.
November 6— Illegal Israeli settlers attacked Fatah’s deputy leader, Mahmoud Al-Aloul as he toured the occupied old city of Hebron. The Hebron Municipality issued a statement that the settlers had prevented Al-Aloul from completing the tour.
November 7— Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians in Hebron during night raids, as well as nine other Palestinians from across the West Bank. Night raids are part of the regular violence, harassment, and intimidation that Palestinians are subjected to under occupation.
November 11— The Israeli military unlawfully killed a Palestinian in the al-Aroub refugee camp north of Hebron.
November 15 — Palestinian photographer and journalist, Mo’ath Amarnah, lost an eye after being shot by an Israeli soldier in Hebron. Earlier in the week, Mo’ath had used his camera to document the murder of Omar al-Badawi by the Israeli military in al-Aroub refugee camp. People around the world showed solidarity with Mo’ath by taking pictures of themselves with a patch or hand over one eye and posting the pictures to social media. It is not too late for you to take this action in solidarity with Mo’ath and all the other brave journalists who work in Palestine.
Thank you for your support. We don’t know what 2020 will brings, but we know that whatever happens, the Palestinian community will continue to hold steadfast to their aims of freedom, dignity, and equality.
Everyone at Hebron Freedom Fund
Hebron Freedom Fund