PALESTINIANS in Israel on Monday launched a convoy of vehicles to protest against violence and crime in their towns and Israeli police inaction.
The vehicles gathered at the entrance to Kafr Qara town in the north of Israel, and then headed from there at slow speed towards the city of Jerusalem, raising black flags and banners denouncing the policies of the Israeli government and police and their collusion with violence and crime in the Arab communities in Israel.
The protest was organised by the Follow-up Committee for the Affairs of the Arab People in Israel, aiming to end at the square opposite to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in West Jerusalem.
The head of the Follow-up Committee, Mohammad Baraka, said that the protest convoy is to raise the voice of Arab people in Israel in the face of the escalation in crime and the complicity of the Israeli authorities.
‘Crime keeps rising and no one is spared its danger, especially since the shootings are expanding, and not a day passes without such incidents in our towns and cities, while the number of the victims has exceeded 100 this year,’ he added.
Baraka pointed out that activism in social media, expressing anger and views on this matter, is very important at this stage, but this cannot be enough, stressing the importance of struggle in the streets in various forms, and the greater the public pressure, the closer they will be to their goal to end the rabid cycle of crime.
Palestinian towns inside Israel are witnessing a dangerous escalation in violence and murders at a time when the Israeli police are failing to do their part to curb it.
The number of murder victims since the beginning of this year has reached 98, including 16 women.
Also on Monday, Israeli settlers stoned Palestinian vehicles travelling on a road south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Local activist Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said a number of settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles travelling along the Nablus-Qalqilya road, smashing their windshields.
No injuries were reported though.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank but is rarely prosecuted by the Israeli authorities.
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces have detained at least nine Palestinians from various parts of the occupied territories, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
It said in a press statement that Israeli forces rounded up two Palestinians on Monday, including a 19-year-old former prisoner, after ransacking their houses in the Jenin refugee camp.
Soldiers also detained another Palestinian after breaking into his house in Jenin city.
Elsewhere in the northern West Bank, PPS said an Israeli military raid in Nablus city resulted in the detention of another Palestinian man.
In Ramallah and al-Bireh district, the Israeli military stormed al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah city, and seized a local resident.
While in the village, the soldiers ransacked the house of another resident who has been in Israeli custody for over two weeks and seized his vehicle.
In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces detained two Palestinian youths from the Isawiyya neighbourhood, and on Sunday night they detained a Birzeit University student from Silwan neighbourhood.
In Hebron district in the south of the West Bank, the PPS said soldiers detained a Palestinian resident of al-Dhahiriya town which is southwest of Hebron city.
And on Monday Israeli military bulldozers demolished two Palestinian-owned houses near al-Samou town, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, displacing 20 people.
Coordinator of the Popular anti-wall and anti-settlements committees, Ratib al-Jabour, told Palestine news agency WAFA that an Israeli military force stormed al-Simiya hamlet, northwest of al-Samou, where they tore down a 200-square-metre house and a 90-square-metre house displacing their families comprising of 20 members.
They also demolished a water well and a 500-square-metre livestock shed belonging to the same family.
In Al-Jabour, the demolitions are aimed at emptying the area of all its Palestinian residents in order to make way for the construction of illegal Israeli colonial settlements and bypass roads for the settlers.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel has demolished over 7,200 Palestinian-owned structures in the last 10 years, displacing over 10,000 people.
Demolitions are typically carried out under the pretext they have no Israeli-issued building permits, – which are nearly impossible to obtain – but in some cases the demolitions are punitive and carried out as part of military activities.
In their bid to prevent the movement of Palestinians, Israeli occupation forces on Monday set up two metal gates on a road near Ein al-Sakout village in the northern Jordan Valley near the Palestinian/Jordanian border.
Witness Aref Daraghme, a human rights activist, told WAFA he is worried that this is aimed at completely cutting off the area and preventing Palestinians from accessing it.
Israel is targeting the Jordan Valley, which it has said it plans to annex despite an international outcry against the annexation because it violates international law regarding occupied territories.
- The Adalah (The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) organisation has gone to the Israeli Supreme Court to battle Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law.
An expanded panel of 11 Israeli Supreme Court justices was slated to convene in Jerusalem yesterday morning (22 December 2020) for hearings on a series of 15 petitions filed against the new Israeli law.
On 19 July 2018, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, voted 62 to 55 to approve the Jewish Nation-State Law which constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy and the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Adalah filed a Supreme Court petition against the Jewish Nation-State Law less than a month later, on 7th August 2018.
The petition was submitted against the Knesset on behalf of the entire Arab political leadership in Israel: the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the National Committee of Arab Mayors, the Joint List parliamentary faction, and in the name of Adalah.
Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law – which has distinct apartheid characteristics – guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimising exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality.
Adalah’s petition stresses that ‘a law that denies the civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland is racist, colonialist, and illegitimate.’
- Israeli forces raided three commercial shops in the town of Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, and confiscated dozens of boxes of tobacco and cigarettes labelled as products of the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli forces further prohibited the shop owners from buying and selling Palestinian goods.