Report - March 2024


Sharing, Work and news about Volunteers
In March, after 4 months of administrative detention, one of the leaders of nonviolent popular resistance, Munther Amira, a resident of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, was released. Operation Dove had the opportunity to hear the words of the activist who reported
the serious physical and psychological torture inflicted upon him in Israeli prisons.
Raids and violence continued in all villages by armed settlers in civilian attire or military uniform, supported by the Israeli Army and the Israeli Police. The declaration of Closed Military Area in many places where shepherds usually graze, such as the valleys of Humra and Khelly, and the village of Ar Rakeez, is frequent. Israeli soldiers provide incomplete or erroneous documentation to justify the measure. Leveraging this and other means, settlers and the army oppress and expel shepherds from their lands and arrest those who resist in all villages of Masafer Yatta. Emblematic of the harsh repression at this historical moment is the arrest of two Palestinian women who were grazing their flocks near the entrance of At-Tuwani village.
The two women, mother and daughter, were handcuffed and blindfolded by Israeli soldiers, then taken to the Susya settlement where they were interrogated before being transferred to the Kiryat Arba police station, from where they were released the same evening.
The targeting of international and Israeli activists by the occupying forces is also increasing; in many cases members of various groups have been detained and arrested.

On March 13th, three volunteers from Operation Dove, while accompanying shepherds from the village of Al-Mufaqarah to graze, were detained for several hours by the army, police, and border police, and released after some time. Israeli activists have been particularly targeted, with one volunteer arrested and banned from Masafer Yatta for two weeks and another for two months. Two American activists were arrested and banned from Masafer Yatta for two weeks, their passports and phones were retained by the police.
On March 14th, the film "No Other Land" by Basil Adara, winner of the Berlin Film Festival (February 2024), was screened at At-Tuwani school. Many village members from different families, international journalists, and international and Israeli activists attended the screening.
In March Operation Dove’s volunteers visited some villages near Salfit in northern areas. During the trip they saw how the Palestinians have been subjected to freedom of movement limitation since October 7
th by closed roads, several checkpoints and the block of work visas. Furthermore, families from the zone have expressed their concern about the next olive harvest season - for many the only source of income – in addition to the loss of the previous season because of the war.

Current situation
The bombings in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Occupation Forces continued throughout the month of March. According to the UN, on March 5th Israeli Occupation Forces fired upon Palestinian civilians awaiting food distribution in Gaza City and other 14 similar incidents had occurred since mid-January. On March 15th, the Israeli army targeted displaced Palestinians waiting for food supplies in Gaza City and shot into the crowd, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 150.
According to the Palestinian Minister of Health, the number of children who died due to malnutrition and dehydration has risen to 28. From the beginning of the armed conflict, the blockade on humanitarian convoys by the Israeli army and the lack of clean water have killed a total of 14,350 children. In the impossibility of delivering aid by land, the United States and the United Kingdom provided food aid by air between March 11th and 26th. This operation led to the death of some Palestinians due to malfunctions in the airdrop security systems.
On March 22nd, Al Jazeera showed an Israeli drone targeting and killing Palestinian civilians in the Al-Sika area of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The video shows the drone chasing unarmed young Palestinian civilians and killing them with various missiles.
On March 17th, Israeli troops have repeatedly conducted raids in Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main healthcare facility. The bombings caused several deaths and injuries forcing displaced persons who had found shelters in it to escape again. Israeli forces, claiming the presence of Hamas militants in the hospital, occupied the surgical ward, arresting dozens of people. The following day, a fire inside the medical complex caused cases of suffocation among women and children, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Communications were interrupted, and the displaced persons remained trapped inside the building.
The siege and attacks on the medical complex continued for two weeks, resulting in 400 deaths among patients, displaced persons, and medical personnel.
On March 26th, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the month of Ramadan and the release of Israeli hostages. Although binding, the resolution was completely ignored by the parties.
In the West Bank, daily raids and violence continued, resulting in arrests and killings, including minors. The most affected areas are the districts of Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jericho.
Conditions inside Israeli prisons for victims of numerous arrests continue to be degrading. Palestinian prisoners are deprived of their rights through the indiscriminate employment of administrative detention and various forms of torture, as reported by the independent Israeli newspaper Haaretz.