Published Wednesday 14/01/2015 (updated) 16/01/2015 13:35
BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Wednesday demolished a number of steel structures belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Negev-region village of al-Araqib for the 80th time in a row.
Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police forces, also demolished an illegal building in the industrial area of Rahat, also in southern Israel.
Both towns are populated primarily by Palestinian Bedouins with Israeli citizenship, and al-Araqib in particular has been targeted repeatedly since 2010 for demolition by authorities.
Israel considers al-Araqib and most other Arab villages in the Negev illegal, while Bedouins say it is their ancestral land and that they have a right to live in the area.
Residents of al-Araqib have repeatedly fled into their village cemetery and lived there after Israeli authorities bulldozed parts of the town, since they had been assured the cemetery would not be destroyed.
There are about 260,000 Bedouin in Israel, mostly living in and around the Negev in the arid south. More than half live in unrecognized villages without utilities and many also live in extreme poverty.
Al-Araqib is among some of the 40 Negev villages Israeli authorities have deemed unrecognized, arguing that the 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there cannot prove land ownership.
Israeli police stated, Monday, that they had closed down three NGOs affiliated with the Islamic Movement in northern Israel, which is known for defending Al Aqsa Mosque against extremist Jewish settlers.
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency said that it shut down the three organisations in the town of Nazareth that had been set up last year by the Movement, which has a following among Palestinians living in Israel.
Al Ray, via World Bulletin, cited Shin Bet’s allegation that the groups – Al Aqsa Champions, Muslim Women for Al Aqsa and Al Fajr Foundation for Culture and Literature – paid activists to use “verbal and even physical violence” against visitors to the Jerusalem shrine, with the goal of “agitating and stirring up emotions.”
Israeli police stated that the closure of the institutions was based on an order by Israeli public security, Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, according to Israeli radio.
The Internal Security Agency, meanwhile, claimed that a security assessment showd that the two institutions had been suspected of funding activities of both the Islamic Movement in northern Israel and Gaza-based political party Hamas.
The agency added, in a statement, that the two NGOs had allocated some money to fund the activities of the two movements which, according to it, violated Israeli law.
It said that the two institutions paid salaries of people who go to the flashpoint of Al Aqsa Mosque, in East Jerusalem, every day.
Furthermore, Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, outlawed all three groups last month. The ministry has the authority to outlaw organizations it deems a threat to national security.
The Islamic Movement denied the accusations in a statement relating to two of the groups: Al Aqsa Champions is “a media organization (that is) professional and balanced and focuses only on events inside the mosque,” and Muslim Women for Al Aqsa “organises study for women inside the mosque.”
Police said that offices of the two NGOs had been raided by security forces, where computers and documents related to their accounts had been seized. According to the statement, some officials of the two institutions had also been detained.
Muslim Women for Al-Aqsa, one of the NGOs raided, stated that a large number of Israeli policemen had raided its office in Nazareth and confiscated equipment. Additionally, female workers had been detained by Israeli forces during the raid.
See also: 12/20/14 Thousands March Through Jerusalem’s Old City Following Prayers at Al Aqsa for more details on this ongoing crisis.
On Monday, January 11th, a farmer in Yasuf went out to see how his land had weathered during the recent storm and saw that a large number of olive trees in neighbouring plots had been cut down to their trunks.
13th January 2015 | International Solidarity Movement | Nablus team
He immediately alerted the Yasuf Municipality. The Municipality came to the site, took photographs and shot a video.
They found that thirty-six trees had been chopped to the point where they could no longer live. Some of the severed branches were still very green, indicating a very recent attack, while others were more browned, suggesting a separate incident which they estimate occurred five to eight days ago.
The mayor of Yasuf, Abu Hamad, and several municipality employees spoke with ISM. They elaborated the issues surrounding the trees which were cut down. Four different farmers, three from the large Yassin family, were affected. The killed trees were in the agricultural area known as Al-Teen Al-Shami, a couple kilometers from the village by a road which the Israeli military has closed off with a gate since 2002. This is used in such a way as to severely restrict the time in which farmers can harvest their olives and graze their animals.
Yasuf is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements and outposts; there have been numerous attacks on the village by settlers in recent years. This is not the first time they have targeted trees – there was a similar incident three or four months ago and the affected family went to the Israeli police. No action has been taken. Settlers have also set fire to a mosque and attacked people’s cars. But it’s not time to give up yet – the Yasuf Municipality is considering having an event to plant more olive trees to replace those that were lost.
Also from ISM: Photo Story: A checkpoint in Hebron
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday at dawn, Sanour village south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, searched and ransacked several homes and stores, and kidnapped one Palestinian; many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation in a nearby village.
Local sources said the soldiers invaded the home of Mohammad Safi Walad ‘Ali, 24 years of age, and kidnapped him after violently searching and ransacking his home.
The family said the soldiers stole approximately 23.000 NIS, and several gold items, during the search, and deliberately destroyed furniture and walls, The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported.
The family told WAFA it filed an official complaint to the Palestinian side of the “District Coordination Office.”
The invasion led to clashes between the invading soldiers and dozens of local youths.
In related news, soldiers invaded Barta’a ash-Sharqiyya village, isolated by the Israeli Annexation Wall, and clashed with local youths.
The army fired gas bombs, concussion grenades, rubber-coated metal bullets and several rounds of live ammunition.
Medical sources said scores of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and received treatment by local medics.
In addition, the soldiers invaded several stores after smashing their doors, and destroyed their property while searching them.
On Monday morning in al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli forces destroyed the building the Jaabari family used to house their farm animals.
They appeared at 9:00 AM, armed with a bulldozer which tore up the ground and reduced the sturdy structure, used to house seventy sheep and thirty calves, to rubble. The Palestinian family, who rely on agriculture for their livelihood, had received no warning of the demolition, nor were they offered any explanation.
The Jaabari family had seen the bulldozer approaching, and had enough time to move the animals out of their shelter to a neighbour’s property. Their onion crop, however, planted in the earth between the road leading to the family’s house and the place where the animal pens once stood, was not so fortunate. Walking through the jagged ruts and mounds left behind by the bulldozer, a few glances revealed hundreds of crushed plants. The family, which includes four boys and three girls, derive their income from their small-scale farm; the Israeli military’s attack on their property is a significant economic blow.
One part of the building had already been demolished once, two years ago. In practice, once a demolition order has been issued for a site, Israeli forces do not require another order to destroy a rebuilt structure. However, an adjacent part of the animal shelter, which was not issued with any demolition order, was also destroyed. It had cost 190 thousand shekels to build, the farmer recalled. Now all that remains is broken concrete and twisted metal, a testament to the harsh, senseless reality of the Israeli occupation.
Living in Wadi al Ghrous, a neighbourhood to the east of al-Khalil sandwiched between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Harsina, the Jaabari family and their neighbours experience regular incursions and violence from the zionist settlers and the Israeli military system charged with upholding the settlers’ presence and power. Though an overwhelming international consensus holds that that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, it is the Palestinians living near settlements who are punished. From the ripped up ground in front of the Jaabari family’s house the settlement is clearly visible: large, sturdy grey houses with orange roofs. A colony insulated from the suffering it causes.
“The first demolition of 2015,” one Palestinian observer at the scene commented. The sad, though true, implication is that many more Palestinian families will wake up this year to see Israeli bulldozers come to destroy their livelihoods.
A number of Israeli extremists uprooted, Friday, dozens of olive trees in Palestinian orchards in Masafer Yatta area, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Yatta, Rateb Jabour, said the extremists came from the Yair illegal colony, and invaded orchards in Shu’ab al-Batm area before uprooting more than 45 olive trees.
The trees, planted more than 30 years ago, belong to two brothers identified as Jibreel and Khaled Mohammad Abu ‘Arram.
Jabour denounced the assault, and said Israeli extremists repeatedly target the villagers and their lands, in addition to continued attacks against students and educational facilities, Palestinian homes and property.
He said the attacks are part of Israel’s illegal policies that aim at forcing the Palestinians out of their homes and lands so that Israel can build and expand its illegal colonies in occupied Palestine.
Takfiri terrorist Abu Qudama ( in white ) , the leader of Jabhet Alnusra groups who launched the second attack on Nubul and Zahraa towns , is killed .
The public committees in the two towns backed by the air force in the Syrian Army were able to rebel the attack ; seizing 7 tanks , 2 BMP vehicles and killing at least 50 terrorists .