This Week In Occupied Palestine (03/02/2023)
At least 36 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire so far this year, with this week representing a massive escalation in demonstrations and the demolition of Palestinians homes.
This week began with an explosive round of confrontations, following one of the bloodiest weeks in the West Bank since the early 2000’s. Israeli occupation forces arrested hundreds of Palestinians, bombarded the Gaza Strip, were confronted by Palestinian armed resistance, and escalated the home demolition campaign, causing images that mirrored those taken during the Nakba.
Palestinian families forced to flee their homes, that the Israeli military later bulldozed. (CREDIT: Wahaj Bani Moufleh)
This week in occupied Palestine…
On Saturday, clashes continued between protesters and raiding Israeli occupation forces in occupied East Jerusalem, as tensions continued to boil after the attack against Israeli settlers in the illegal settlement of Neve Yaakov, which resulted in 8 dead (including the shooter) and 10 injuries. This came after the murder of a 16-year-old boy from the Shuafat refugee camp, which the family of the Palestinian gunman, Khairy Alqam, had said was the motivation behind his revenge attack, it also came against the backdrop of 10 Palestinians being shot dead in Jenin refugee camp the day prior. Over 50 Palestinians were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which amounted to an act of collective punishment, the attackers family home was also welded shut and marked for demolition, which family members forced to remain inside for at least three days whilst the area was placed under a siege. Resistance fighters opened fire against the Qalandia checkpoint, north of occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli military later stormed the Qalandia refugee camp.
An attack was then carried out by a 13-year-old Palestinian boy from Silwan (in East Jerusalem), severely injuring two settlers, one of which remains in critical condition. The young Palestinian boy, Muhammad Aliwat, approached a group of illegal settlers, who were armed with automatic weapons, and opened fire upon them. One of those injured who remains in intensive care is an officer in an Israeli military paratroopers brigade, the young boy was shot and then arrested. It was also announced that a 16-year-old Palestinian, Wade’ Abu Ramouz, had died of his wounds, suffered last Wednesday, that came at the hands of Israeli occupation police forces.
China's delegate to the United Nations stated that "We have repeatedly asked Israel not to provoke the Palestinians." The village of Beita, near Nablus, was also closed off by the Israeli military, following an armed attack that indiscriminately targeted Palestinian villagers, the attack was carried out by an Israeli settler that has not been properly pursued or held to account.
Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, who routinely condemns Palestinian attacks against Israelis refused to condemn the Jerusalem settlement shooting, even after US pressure to do so, stating the following: "We hold the occupation government fully responsible for the dangerous escalation in the field situation, and we continue to implement the decisions taken in our last meeting, and we call for compelling the occupation government to stop its unilateral actions."
The Palestinian Prisoner's Club released the following statement on the repression of Palestinian political detainees held in Israeli military prisons: “The [Israeli] forces of repression storm Section 5 of (Megiddo) prison, and transfer a group of Islamic Jihad prisoners to the cells, after assaulting them, and close Sections 5 and 9 and impose penalties on the prisoners who are in them.” In a number of Israeli military prisons, Palestinian detainees were either beaten or deprived of certain rights that caused tension.
Israeli settler extremists began burning down Palestinian homes and vehicles in the West Bank, in racist “price tag” attacks, they also threw stones at Palestinian ambulances and opened fire against Palestinian civilians, for which the Israeli authorities have done nothing to prevent. After protests erupted all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in addition to a number of shootings and the burning of Israeli military towers, the Israeli military announced that 3 additional battalions were being deployed into the territory.
In response to an earlier settler shooting attack, Palestinians threw stones at settlers near Aqraba, southeast of Nablus, injuring two settlers in the head. An 18-year-old Palestinian, Karam Ali Salman, was shot dead near the illegal settlement of ‘Kedumim’, by Israeli occupation forces. A shooting attack against an Israeli settler restaurant near Jericho took place, no Israeli illegal settlers were injured.
The Iranian ministry of Defence then announced that it had thwarted a drone strike operation in the city of Isfahan, this was later revealed by the Wall Street Journal to have been committed by the Israeli Mossad and raised fears of an Iranian retaliation.
On Sunday, Israeli settlers destroyed tents belonging to Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, Palestinians also woke up to sites of their cars and properties burnt by settlers. A settler allegedly suffered a serious injury in a stabbing attack in the illegal settlement of Atarot, north of occupied Jerusalem. Settlers uprooted and stole more than 100 olive saplings in Aqraba, Nablus.
Israeli occupation forces ethnically cleansed Palestinians from their home, belonging to the Ratib Shuqairat family, in preparation for the house's demolition in Jabal Al Mukaber, in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces harassed Palestinian bedouins living in the Bir Al-Hamam area of al-Naqab, causing tensions. 24-year-old Omar Tareq Ali Sa’adi was also announced dead after suffering in hospital since Thursday, when he was shot by Israeli occupation forces that had stormed the Jenin refugee camp.
Settler extremists, under heavy protection of Israeli occupation forces, protested at the site of the Saturday shooting that was carried out by a 13-year-old Palestinian boy. The Israeli military decided to besiege an archaeological area in Sebastia, arresting a number of Palestinians in the historically highly-Christian populated village area.
The Israeli occupation regime decided to begin its plan to demolish 14 homes in occupied east Jerusalem, making entire Palestinian families homeless. Settlers burned more Palestinian vehicles and attacked homes in Jalud village, southeast of Nablus. Several shooting attacks were carried out against Israeli military forces throughout the West Bank.
On Monday, Israeli occupation forces began by shooting dead Nassim Abu Fouda, a 26-years-old Palestinian, in al-Khalil with a bullet to the head, then continued on to storm Shuafat refugee camp.
The occupation forces then bulldozed land and a commercial facility in the town of Jabal Al Mukaber in occupied Jerusalem. Demolitions were also carried out against homes in the Silwan area. Israeli settler extremists also decided to storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound provocatively and in violation of the status quo. The occupation forces additionally fired stun grenades at school students in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood, in the town of Silwan.
Settlers, under the protection of the occupation forces, attempted to seize lands in the agricultural area of Tuqu' village and started shooting towards the residents who tried to resist.
120 Palestinian political prisoners in Al-Naqab prison embarked on a hunger strike, in response to the ongoing state of repression. The Israeli military then notified the families about the demolition of 8 houses in the village of Al-Zuwaidin, south of al-Khalil.
A siege, imposed on Ariha (Jericho), was upheld by the Israeli regime's forces for the third day, proving to make life for Palestinians living there a difficulty. An illegal Israeli settler ran over a young Palestinian man in the village of Nabi Elias, east of Qalqilya, and the occupation forces were deployed to the area, the terrorist settler was not held accountable.
A strike was called in Jabal al-Mukaber, in response to Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, which ended up inspiring other areas in East Jerusalem to do the same. The Jenin Brigades and Lions Den armed groups both carried out shooting attacks against Israeli soldiers and checkpoints.
On Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces stormed Tubas and the al-Issawiya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, carrying out arrests. Due to Israeli prison authorities carrying out attacks against female Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian prisoners movement declared that a red line had been crossed and that political detainees would disobey the routine “security checks”, close down all departments of the prison and take further steps if need be. In the female prison, Palestinian political prisoners fought back against the Israeli jailers that assaulted them, in addition to firing tear gas and pepper spraying them. Additionally, the people of Jabal Al Mukaber rose up and confronted Israeli occupation police forces, whilst staying on strike, in response to Tel Aviv’s decision to bulldoze homes there.
The Jenin Brigades opened fire against the illegal settlement of “Shaked”. Palestinians also marched in Ramallah and Gaza City to denounce the US policy of anti-Palestinian bias, ahead of the American secretary of state, Antony Blinken’s, visit to occupied Palestine.
Two Israeli soldiers were injured in a car ramming attack at the Za’tara checkpoint, located south of Nablus. Israeli forces then fired flares over the Aqabat Jabr camp and carried out searches to try and find Palestinians they suspected of carrying out a shooting towards settlers.
On Wednesday, Israeli occupation forces stormed both Shuafat refugee camp and Burqin, West of Jenin, in the early hours of the morning for an arrest campaign. The occupation forces then demolished Palestinians homes in the Ain al-Juwaiza area of the village of al-Walaja, followed by another home in Sur Baher (East Jerusalem).
It was reported that in the month of January alone, Israel prevented the call to prayer at the al-Ibrahimi mosque in al-Khalil, a total of 44 times. In January, Israeli forces also arrested 3 journalists and attacked 12.
Israel’s national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, continued to advocate for the racist implementation of the death penalty for Palestinians exclusively, a penalty that will not be applied to Jews if it is passed by the Knesset when put to a vote. The occupation then demolished a structure in Deir Ballut, west of Salfit, and then a house in Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem.
Israeli forces later raided the home of Karim Younis, a newly released Palestinian political prisoner, breaking and throwing his family’s belongings on the floor, during a raid on the village of Ara. Illegal Israeli settlers attacked a home belonging to a Palestinian family in the town of Silat al-Dhahr, south of Jenin, smashing in its windows and breaking parts of the exterior of the house.
Reports emerged which claim that the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, proposed plans to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), for the CIA to train a special PA task force that will track down and kill Palestinian resistance fighters, in order to establish control over Jenin and Nablus.
Israeli military prison guards decided to confiscate TV sets inside the cells of political prisoners and attack some detainees, this comes as prisoners continue to escalate their measures in order to respond to the ongoing attacks against them, especially what happened to the female prisoners.
A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip towards Sderot, causing sirens to blare and for settlers to scramble for cover in their bunkers, on the way a settler that was running in fear fell and injured themselves. Minor impact was caused on a road, resulting in a pothole and there were no Israeli casualties. The rocket fire came as a response to the attacks on Palestinian political prisoners. Israeli occupation forces then opened fire against Palestinians in the East of Gaza, in the vicinity of Hama al-Thughour. The Palestinian armed groups in the West Bank then carried out a number of shootings towards Israeli military positions.
On Thursday, in the early hours of the morning Israeli warplanes bombarded an open site in the center of the Gaza Strip, the attack was confronted by members of the al-Qassam brigades - the armed wing of Hamas - which fired surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli fighter jets.
The occupation forces also carried out raids in the outskirts of Nablus, then Tulkarem and al-Bireh, in order to arrest more young Palestinians, to which armed Palestinians responded by shooting at Israeli military jeeps upon their exit.
An Israeli military tower was damaged after it was shot at by the Jenin Brigades, near Jenin. The occupation military then removed a Palestinian family by force in order to demolish a home in the village of Douma, located in the Nablus district. A Palestinian journalist was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet whilst covering the demolition.
A Jewish extremist in occupied Jerusalem stormed the ‘Holy Monastery of the Praetorium’ church and desecrated the site, pulling down statues of Jesus and yelling about purging idol worshippers from the holy city. The religious fanatic was tackled by a Palestinian christian man, who held him on the ground and prevented him from setting fire to the site as was intended. The attack was condemned by all the Palestinian political parties including Hamas.
The European Union announced a financial package of 296 million euros in support of the Palestinian Authority. 114.2 million euros will be allocated to paying the salaries of civil servants, social allowances for vulnerable families, and medical referrals to Jerusalem hospitals.
Israeli forces ended the day with the storming of a number of Palestinian villages, in addition to continuing its besiegement of Ariha (Jericho) for the sixth day, causing long traffic jams and frustration amongst Palestinians.
On Friday, Israeli occupation forces claimed to have found explosives in the hills south of al-Khalil and then proceeded to raid Arroub refugee camp, in addition to the city of Tubas, Silwan and then Aqaba, carrying out a number of arrests and violently confronting Palestinian residents.
Two brothers Ali and Khaled Al-Saadi (31-years-old and 28-years-old) from the city of Nazareth were killed in a shooting crime at dawn, adding to a long list of Palestinian citizens of Israel who have been killed in the past few years due to violent crimes, which many of the families have accused the Israeli police of allowing to happen and even participating in.
60,000 Palestinians turned up to Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, amidst growing Israeli restrictions and violations of the status quo at the Holy Site. Israeli occupation forces later stormed the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp in Ariha, firing tear gas at demonstrators who confronted them.
A Palestinian man, named Abdullah Qalalwa, was shot by Israeli occupation forces near the Hawara checkpoint (in Nablus), who was accused of getting into a confrontation with an Israeli soldier and grabbing at a soldiers weapon, however there has been no proof presented for this yet. A shooting attack targeted an Israeli settler vehicle near the ‘Benjamin’ illegal settlement block West of Ramallah, that damaged a car. Israeli occupation forces then stormed a number of Palestinian villages around Ramallah.
As a note on this series of articles, each piece focuses on the key events of each day during the past week and is heavily focused, as a result, on the Gaza Strip and West Bank. There are various other developments that are taking place on a daily basis, throughout occupied Palestine, that are too numerous to include. However, these are the highlights from each day and hopefully work to give you a more in depth picture of what shapes the lives of Palestinians under occupation.
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