Israel steps up detentions of Palestinians and bulldozing of land

Israeli occupation forces demolished three houses in Sateeh area in Al-Dyouk village, in the occupied West Bank

THE Israeli army detained 340 Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during the month of May, including 25 minors and 10 women, said several prisoners’ advocacy and human rights groups. This was significantly higher than the month of April.

The Commission of Detainees Affairs, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association said in a joint statement that Israel detained 162 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including six women, 12 minors and leading figures, 64 from the Jenin district in the north of the West Bank, including 55 from Yabad town.
This follows the killing of an Israeli soldier in the town on May 12, 41 from the Hebron district in the south of the West Bank, 23 from the Bethlehem district, 17 from the Ramallah area, 15 from Tulkarm, 10 from Qalqilya, and five from Nablus, in addition to three from the Gaza Strip.
It said that with the May figures, the number of Palestinian detainees in Israel has reached around 4,600, including 41 women and 170 children. A total of 380 Palestinians are also held in administrative detention for long periods of time without charge or trial, among them 110 placed in administrative detention in May, including 44 new ones and 66 extended.

  • Israeli bulldozers are actively working on opening settlement roads in the north and east of the occupied West Bank apparently in preparation for the annexation of a large area of the Palestinian territory.

Bulldozers have been working for the last two weeks on opening a road for the settlers that would bypass Palestinian towns south of Nablus in the north of the West Bank, according to Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the north of the West Bank.
He told WAFA that Israeli bulldozers have been razing Palestinian-owned land and uprooting olive trees near Huwwara military camp to build the 7-kilometre-long bypass road approved by the Israeli government in 2014.
Israel expropriated more than 400 dunums of Palestinian land from seven villages to the south of Nablus in 2019 in order to build this road, said Daghlas.
In the Jordan Valley, Israeli army bulldozers have worked on opening a road for settlers to be built on land that belongs to Palestinians in Froush Beit Dajan village in the central Jordan Valley, according to Daghlas.
He said the road, built west of the illegal Alhamra settlement, is intended to serve a number of settlements in that area.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the annexation process is going to start on July 1 amidst strong Palestinian and international objections.

  • A 49-year-old Palestinian man held by Israel and claimed to have killed an Israeli soldier in the northern West Bank town of Yabad last month has denied these Israeli allegation, according to Khaled Mahajneh, an attorney with the Commission of Detainees Affairs.

He said that Nathmi Abu Bakr has told him after meeting him in his cell that he did not confess to killing of the Israeli soldier, calling allegations made by the Israeli media as false and fabricated.
Mahajneh said Abu Bakr was still undergoing investigation at the Israeli military Jalameh interrogation centre in the north of the West Bank and that he did not admit responsibility for the killing of the soldier as claimed by the Israeli media despite very difficult and severe interrogation since his arrest one month ago.
He stressed that Abu Bakr is kept in very poor conditions inside a cell that lacks the minimum essentials for humans, adding that he is not allowed to go out of the cell and was prevented from meeting with his lawyer for more than two weeks.
The entire Abu Bakr family was detained after the killing of the soldier, who died after a stone was dropped on him during a raid of the town from the roof of the Abu Bakr home.
Abu Bakr told his lawyer that his Israeli interrogators are trying to get him to confess to something he did not do.

  • Hamas has issued a statement on the anniversary of 8 June 1967, when the Israeli occupation occupied all of Jerusalem in a second Nakba for Palestine that led to the occupation of what is left of it after the 1948 Nakba.

The Palestinian cause is still facing schemes to liquidate it, the last of which was the notorious ‘Deal of the Century’, orchestrated the Israeli-biased US administration which has started taking steps to implement its plan on the ground by moving its embassy to occupied Jerusalem, recognising the holy city as the capital of the Israeli occupation, and approving the Israeli occupation’s plan to extend its sovereignty over the occupied West Bank, as well as attempts to end UNRWA’s role to abolish the Palestinian refugee issue.
Then the Israeli occupation government began setting plans to enforce the ‘Deal of the Century’ on the ground in partnership with the US administration to declare Israeli sovereignty over the vast majority of the occupied West Bank and take over Jerusalem in order to establish the so-called ‘Greater Jerusalem’ as part of dubious scheme to end the Palestinians’ rights to Palestine, Jerusalem, and the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is facing attempts to Judaise it and wipe out its Arab, Islamic identity and being stormed by Israeli occupation forces and settlers.
This comes as some Arab regimes are entering a phase of publicly normalising ties with the Israeli occupation through political, economic, cultural, sport, and artistic approaches in defiance of the will of Arab and Muslim nations that have long supported the Palestinian people in long milestones in their struggle against the Israeli occupation and called on their governments to back the Palestinian resistance and open borders for them to participate in the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.
The anniversary of Jerusalem’s occupation comes as the Israeli occupation is escalating its terrorism by raiding the al-Aqsa Mosque, banning Palestinian worshippers from accessing the Muslim sacred compound in different ways, demolishing homes of Palestinian Jerusalemites, stealing their lands, and expanding settlements, and imposing hefty taxes on them.
As it salutes the Palestinian people, especially Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and all segments of Arab and Muslim nations embracing the resistance option, Hamas states the following:
First: We salute the Palestinian people, above all the Palestinians defending Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque in the face of the Israeli military machine and Judaisation plans.
Second: We salute all scholar, sheikhs, Christian clerics, and defendants of the al-Aqsa Mosque who are standing steadfast in the face of Israeli brutality while defending Jerusalem despite arrests, banishment, and killings.
Third: Jerusalem was and will always be a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic city that no superpower can change its identity, character and history and will be the eternal capital of Palestine; the Israeli occupation and its schemes on Jerusalem and Palestine are doomed to fail and its colonial projects will not secure it a future in Palestine.
Fourth: Annexing the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley and targeting the al-Aqsa Mosque will lead to the outbreak of an all-out Intifada (uprising) in the face of the occupation.
Fifth: We call on the Palestinian Authority to completely absolve from the catastrophic Oslo deal and its political, economic, and security commitments, end any relations with the Israeli occupation, immediately work on restructuring the Palestinian House and agree on a national, inclusive strategy based on the option of resistance in all forms to face off Israeli annexation plans and the ‘Deal of the Century’, as well as calling for a meeting for secretary generals of Palestinian factions, in which all Palestinian segments can participate.
Sixth: Hamas urges the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and Arab parliaments to lead a campaign to raise awareness of Arab and Muslim peoples about Palestinian rights and constants and fight off the threats facing Jerusalem and its residents and support them with all means possible.
Seventh: We call on Arab and Muslim nations to point their compass towards Jerusalem and Palestine and raise awareness about normalisation with the Israeli occupation through different fields and approaches aimed to distort the truth and play the feelings of future generations.
Eight: We appeal to the International Criminal Court to end its preliminary review that it is conducting to launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation government against defenceless Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem where Eyad al-Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian, was executed in cold blood.