Christmas headlines from the Occupied Palestinian territories

Christmas headlines from the Occupied Palestinian territories

In Bethlehem, Palestinian protestors demonstrate against Israeli settlements, Dec. 23, 2014

The International Middle East Media Center reports on the ongoing acts of Israeli injustice and violence that most other media don’t bother with. Not a day goes by – including holidays – without abductions, settler brutality, shootings, and often even deaths. 

abridged from IMEMC

Christmas Eve incidents:

Illegal Colonialist Settlers Demolish A Palestinian Room In Hebron, Bulldoze Palestinian Land in Nablus Area; Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Lands In Qalqilia

A number of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers demolished, Sunday, a room which was built by a local Palestinian youth group in Tal Romedia neighborhood, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli settlers also bulldozed privately-owned Palestinian land in the town of Awarta, east of the city of Nablus, occupied West Bank, said a local activist.

Additionally, Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by dozens of soldiers, invaded Palestinian lands in Qalqilia and bulldozed nearly 30 dunams of privately-owned lands, to expand an illegal colony by annexing the Palestinian lands.

All of Israel’s colonies in the West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem – with a total population of 600,000 – are illegal under international law and various treaties, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory and a constant violator.

Crowds gather in Manger Square, next to the Church of the Nativity, as people ready to celebrate Christmas eve in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Gaza Christians Obstructed from Traveling to Bethlehem

Annually, Israeli authorities file travel permits for only a small percentage of Palestinian Christians in the besieged Gaza Strip, dividing families during the holiday season and preventing them from pilgrimage to Bethlehem. For example, Israeli authorities often purposely file permits for the parents and not the children, or, in other cases, for the mother and not the father. Most Christian families are divided on Christmas due to this type of restriction.

Israeli Forces Injure Dozens of Palestinians at Gaza Protest

Israeli forces attacked the 21st weekly Naval March protest taking place along the northern borders of Gaza. The peaceful protests call for an end to the 11-year Israeli/Egyptian blockade on Gaza.

Israeli forces injured at least 27 Palestinian protesters: 14 with live ammunition, others with tear-gas inhalation. In the Mediterranean Sea, Israeli ships shot live fire, tear-gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets at the Palestinian boats.

Alert Status Raised along Gaza Strip

The Israeli occupation army has raised alert status along Gaza’s border, and enacted additional security measures for fear of an attack from Gaza in revenge of killing four Palestinians last Friday along the Gaza border.

Family of Slain Palestinian Youth Demands Investigation

A Palestinian teenager was recently shot and killed at the Bet Il checkpoint. His family contests claims by Israel that the youth tried to ram the soldiers with his car, and demands a full investigation.

A relative who was in the car at the time of the shooting, said that they were following the Israeli officer’s instructions when they came under fire from all directions. The area was not well lit.

A spokesman for the Israeli army said that the soldiers fired only when occupants of the car shot at them first.

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Children Near Hebron, Young Man in Qalqilia, Young Man and Child In Jerusalem, Employee In Al-Aqsa

Israeli soldiers violently searched and ransacked many Hebron homes, interrogated the residents, and abducted two Palestinian children – ages 14 and 15 – from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp. They also invaded homes in Qalqilia and abducted a young man, as well as a young Palestinian man and a child in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli soldiers assaulted and abducted a Palestinian employee of the Waqf and Islamic Endowment Department in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and took him to an unknown destination. He was taken prisoner after groups of soldiers, police officers and colonialist settlers invaded the courtyards of the holy site, removed Palestinians from the area, and conducted provocative tours.

Israeli forces regularly raid Palestinian Universities. (Photo: via Facebook)

Israeli soldiers close Palestine Technical University branch, prevent students from taking final exams

Israeli Forces closed the main entrance of Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie, in the al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron (Al-Khalil), in the occupied West Bank, preventing students to enter to take final exams. [This has happened before – see this article and video.]

Christmas Day incidents:

Israeli Forces Assault Mourners At Funeral of Slain Teen, Suppress Sit-in for Human Rights Activist near Ofer Prison

The funeral procession for Qassem al-Abbassi, the teen killed by Israeli forces, was blocked by Israeli forces, who assaulted mourners, forbade them from raising flags, and demanded they stop chanting slogans. Israeli forces also threatened not to allow the teen to be buried at the cemetery near Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Several Palestinians suffocated from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed a demonstration in front of Ofer prison, in solidarity with prominent Palestinian human rights activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh. He was sentenced to four months in prison and a $545 fine, based on charges over his participation in a cycling marathon from Ramallah to the apartheid wall at his village of Bil’in in 2016.

A Palestinian farmer reacts as he inspects his field which he says was damaged by Jewish settlers who cut down olive trees in the village of Qasra, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, on February 20, 2011. PHOTO/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

Illegal Settlers Erect Caravan in Bethlehem, Cut 200 Olive Saplings Near Hebron

Extremist Israeli settlers, with protection of Israeli forces, have erected a “caravan” in the UNESCO Heritage Site village of Battir. It is the beginning of what is expected to be a new settlement outpost.

Illegal Israeli colonialist settlers from Beit Yair colony, which was built on Palestinian lands east of Yatta, cut and uprooted at least 200 Palestinian olive saplings.

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Ten Palestinians In Ramallah, Jenin, East Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men in Ramallah and Jenin, and eight in East Jerusalem, after invading and searching many homes.One of those abducted is the brother of a teenager who was killed by Israeli soldiers on April 24, 2015. The soldiers also fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at many youngsters who hurled stones at the invading army jeeps.

PCHR Condemns Progress of Israeli Knesset Bill to Expel Families of Palestinians Involved in Attacks

On Wednesday, 19 December 2018, the Israeli Knesset approved the first preliminary reading of a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in attacks to other areas in the West Bank, which violates the international law and human rights.

Arab Members of the Knesset were expelled for their objection to the bill. [Read more about the bill here.]


RELATED READING:

Christmas in Bethlehem: ’tis the season for hasbara

IDF shot a Palestinian Teen, Dragged Him Around, Chased Ambulance Away

Israeli settler violence: 6 incidents in 2 days

 

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