This week in Palestine: Palestinian hunger striker dies, IDF attacks journalists and protesters

This week in Palestine: Palestinian hunger striker dies, IDF attacks journalists and protesters

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights documents crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories in weekly reports. We will summarize their reports and stories from other news agencies with the goal of informing Americans of the ongoing violence that Palestinian families face each day under Israel’s occupation of their ancestral lands. The Israeli government receives $3 billion per year in direct military aid from U.S. taxpayers.

April 27, 2017 – May 3, 2017

West Bank

Mazin Mohammad al-Maghraby, 45, died during a solidarity hunger strike
  • The Israeli military continued its 50-year long military occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, under which the 2.8 million Palestinians living there are subjected to a different set of laws and treatment than Jewish settlers (numbering 588,000) are.
  • Recently released Palestinian political prisoner Mazin al-Maghraby, 45, died in a tent in Ramallah while participating in a solidarity hunger strike in support of 6,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. A mass hunger strike for humane living conditions was declared on April 17 by over 1,500 Palestinians currently imprisoned by Israel.
  • Israeli forces attacked hundreds of Palestinians who demonstrated in support of the hunger strike, shooting them with live bullets and gas canisters, wounding 37 people (14 of them children).
  • Israeli forces attacked the weekly demonstrations against Israeli’s Separation Wall in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, dispersing the protesters with tear gas and live bullets.
  • Israeli forces beat 14 journalists covering a protest in occupied East Jerusalem, 3 of them women. (Videos)
  • Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound bombs at a demonstration near a market, setting fire to 10 Palestinian stores and two restaurants.
  • Israeli forces carried out 62 invasions of Palestinian communities, raiding and searching homes, and arrested 85 civilians, 27 of them children. Twelve of these people were arrested while demonstrating in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers.
  • Under the protection of Israeli occupation soldiers, Jewish settlers attacked two Palestinian villages, setting fire to dozens of Palestinian olive trees, and smashing the windows of a Palestinian home.
  • A Jewish settler hit a Palestinian child with his vehicle as the child was leaving school, causing the boy to lose consciousness and require immediate medical attention. In a different incident, a 4-year-old Palestinian child was hit by a settler, who fled the scene in his vehicle.
  • Israeli forces erected dozens of temporary checkpoints, restricting movement for even more Palestinians. (There are 27 permanent checkpoints and hundreds of physical roadblocks placed by Israeli forces. Palestinians are prohibited from using 41 roads totaling 700 kilometers in the West Bank; only Israelis can travel on them.)

Gaza Strip

  • Israel continued its 10-year illegal land, sea, and air blockade of the Gaza Strip, strictly controlling the movement of all 2 million Palestinians living there.
  • Israeli forces continued to prevent most Gazans from entering or exiting the Strip (via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing), allowing less than 800 people to travel.
  • Israeli forces continued to prevent most exports from Gaza, allowing only some fruits, vegetables, and spices. There is just one Israeli-controlled crossing (Kerem Shalom) for the movement of goods. Israel’s strict limits continue to severely cripple Gaza’s economy. Israeli officials told the U.S. that their goal is to keep Gaza “on the brink of collapse” and “‘functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”
  • Israeli forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip each day, forcing fisherman to flee.  Israelis arrested two Gaza fisherman and confiscated their boat.

Read the full PCHR report, which also contains daily summaries. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) also publishes a “Protection of Civilians” report on the occupied Palestinian territories every two weeks. Their latest report covers April 18 to May 1.

What did U.S. media say about Israel-Palestine this week?

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