Report Palestine - April 2023

Current situation
On April 2nd, the creation of the National Guard led by Ben Gvir (leader of an Israeli far-right party) has been approved by around 250 million euros funding.
During the last days of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims, East Jerusalem was the scene of violent attacks that triggered an escalation. Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the night of April 4th and attacked dozens of believers in the Al-Qibli Mosque, claiming to be suppressing "riots" within it. But according to the witnesses, the Israeli police beat the worshipers with batons and threw tear gas and sound bombs only to force them out of the prayer halls. The Red Crescent reported 12 wounded. At least 400 Palestinians have been arrested. Moreover, 24 hours later the occupation forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the same way. In the following days, men under 40 were prevented from accessing the Al-Aqsa compound, forcing the believers to pray outside the gates.
On April 7th, thirty rockets were fired from Lebanon upon Israel, shortly after Hezbollah declared its support for "any measure" the Palestinians wanted to take after the attack on Al-Aqsa. During the night, Israel quickly react, firing rockets into southern Lebanon and bombing the Gaza Strip.
On April 8th, a vehicle driven by an Israeli Arab crashed into the crowd who was strolling along the Tel Aviv waterfront. The car overturned and, once the driver came out, he attempted to shoot into the crowd, according to the Israeli police. The man was killed.

During the attack, An Italian tourist, 35-year-old Alessandro Parini from Rome, died and several other people were injured, including two other Italians.
On April 10th, the Israeli army killed Mohammed Ewaidet, 16 years old, during a raid on Jenin refugee camp. Since the beginning of 2023, 18 Palestinian minors have been killed by the occupation forces.
During the month, hundreds of settlers from the West Bank demonstrated several times in favor of the creation of new outposts. On April 12th, many settlers marched in different areas of the West Bank to protest against the evacuation of the Evyatar outpost (Nablus). Among the demonstrators, also 7 Ministers from the current government were present. About 700,000 settlers live in more than 250 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in complete violation of international law.
On April 26th, Norway announced that it would ban the import of goods and services from companies that "directly or indirectly contribute to Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories, as they constitute a flagrant violation of international law."


Sharing, Work and news about Volunteers
During the month of April, the occupation has been particularly strong, according to the OC volunteers on the ground. In general, the attacks by Israeli settlers and the Israeli army have been very aggressive in the valleys near the Palestinian villages of A Saafer, At-Tuwani, Shi'b Al Butum and in the so-called Firing Zone.
On April 8th, settlers raided several Palestinian villages in the Firing Zone where they killed several animals, damaged feed and terrorized the inhabitants. On April 15th and 16th, some settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Taljah repeatedly attacked Palestinian shepherds from A Saafer. In particular, after the assault happened on the 15th, the Israeli army did not hesitate to shoot tear gas at Palestinians and their flocks, attacking and arresting two shepherds and an Israeli activist.
The Palestinian village of At-Tuwani has been especially targeted: on April 17th a checkpoint was specifically positioned at the village entrance around iftar time (from 6 to 9 pm) stopping for more than one hour entire Palestinian families who were going to conclude the daily fast.
In addition, almost everyday Israeli settlers herded on Palestinian lands: they strategically graze their flocks on Palestinian crops, trying to make the ground unusable so that it can be declared "state land" and then taken away from the Palestinians.
Ramadan ended on April 21st and the Eid holidays were relatively quiet in the area. At the end of the month, a large group of activists left the area during the herding season. This is why it is currently impossible to satisfy all the requests for the unarmed international civilian escorts expressed by the Palestinians.
Lastly, the access to school has been disastrous due to an ongoing strike of Palestinian teachers, the period of Ramadan and the constant delays of the Israeli army which should accompany the children from Tuba village on the way to school. All these factors have caused the loss of countless hours of lessons.