Monthly Report February 2020

CURRENT SITUATION

In all of the West Bank, Palestinians have continued protesting against the "Deal of the Century". They are clarifying to the world that the proposal advanced by the Trump administration is not at all a deal, but more of a plan to allow Israel to illegally annex huge parts of the Palestinian territory, including the Jordan Valley. Israeli armed forces responded to the protests with arms, sonic bombs and tear gas: numerous wounded and some victims amongst the Palestinians.
Even outside Palestine, in Europe and in the US, numerous activists demonstrated against the American proposal. After many delays, the United Nations Office for Human Rights published a list, long awaited by the BDS movement, of 112 companies that work in the West Bank with Israeli settlements, which - along with the outposts - are illegal according to International Law.

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January 2020

CURRENT SITUATION

On January 4th American President Donald Trump ordered an attack in Iraq which caused the death of one of the most powerful men in the Gulf, Qassem Soleimani, military commander of the Al-Quds special unit (Iranian military force). Soleimani’s death might mark the beginning of harsh tensions in the Middle East, it is feared that Iran might attack Israel as an act of retaliation.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Israeli army has continued arrest campaigns against Palestinian people. 200 people have been arrested, among which 21 children and 7 women, 1 pregnant. In addition to that, some Palestinian guys were killed after crossing the boundary in the central part of the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, there are 150 displaced people in Area C and East Jerusalem, and it is reported that Israeli army have forced some families to demolish their own house.

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April 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

In the south Hebron Hills April was marked by the expansion of Avigayil illegal outpost, with a new building near a Palestinian valley, and the bleeding head of a boy from At-Tuwani who was hit by stones thrown by some settlers. At-Tuwani didn’t miss Israeli military presence as well. Following the presumed theft of beehives from Ma’on settlement, the army entered the village with a large number of soldiers with covered face, escorting an armed settler.
Furthermore Israeli forces denied access to Internationals in a Palestinian valley for 24 hours. The cause? A Scottish delegation who planted olive trees singing in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
During the days spent harvesting and transporting wheat and lucerne, which saw many Palestinian families busy in their work on the land adjacent to Ma’on settlement and outpost, groups of settlers wandered near such areas. They monitored, prayed, chased the shepherds, and stayed close to Palestinians and volunteers, pointing out their convinced supremacy on the surrounding land.

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February 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

The month of February has opened with the sad piece of news of the approval by the Knesset of a bill legalizing 16 Israeli outposts built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. The aim of the measure, as made clear by some Israeli politicians’ statements is to “regularize the status of settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and allow them to develop”.
Furthermore the construction of another 10 km section of the separation wall in the area south-west of Hebron has been completed. It lies between the two checkpoints of Tarqumiya and Meitar.
In the area of the South Hebron Hills soldiers and settlers continue to set the rhythm of Palestinian residents life, limiting and hindering their freedom of movement by means of checkpoints, unjustified detentions, assaults and intimidation. In particular during the second half of the month, Operazione Colomba volunteers witnessed the demolition of a water well in the Bedouin Saraya valley, the sole drinking point for the flocks of the local shepherds. Since the beginning of 2017, as stated by a European Union report, 135 demolition orders, confiscations and evictions have been notified by the Israeli Administration. Such orders are clearly aimed at undermining the livelihoods and the economy of Palestinian residents of the area.

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January 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

In the South Hebron Hills 2017 did not start in the best way. It looked like the causes were distant, but developments were local. In December, UN’s decision to condemn Israeli settlements lit a little hope among the Palestinians, but in January the atmosphere changed dramatically with the arrival of the new US President, Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by Netanyahu to implement settlements in West Bank. Another fact that affected the area south of Hebron was the attack in Jerusalem on January 8. In the days following such attack the military escort for the school patrol was often hours late, or did not come at all, because was busy in controls and checkpoints.
At the same time road demolitions, attacks against International and Israeli activists by settlers, deliveries of stop working orders in the villages near Firing Zone and damage of Palestinian land by settlers kept going on.

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