International Solidarity Movement http://palsolidarity.org Nonviolence. Justice. Freedom. Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:21:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Zionist settlers burn Palestinian olive grovehttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/zionist-settlers-burn-palestinian-olive-grove/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/zionist-settlers-burn-palestinian-olive-grove/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:26:34 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40926 22nd October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Huwwara, Occupied Palestine

This morning at approximately 09:30, settlers from the illegal settlement of  Yizhar set fire to a Palestinian olive field above Huwwara village, just outside of Nablus.

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The settlers set the land on fire from the top of the hill. People from the village started fighting the fire, but suddenly the wind turned and the flames started moving towards the illegal settlement on the top of the hill. At this point the settlers started fighting their own fire, to prevent damage to their illegal buildings.

The owner of the land, Nasser Jihad Mufdi Houwwari, spoke to ISM about his previous experiences with settlers, in 2002 settlers from Yizhar shot Nasser in the shoulder with two bullets. Nasser continued to state that they [the settlers] threaten him and damage his properties every year, however this is the first time they burnt such a large area of his land.

Nasser Jihad Mufdi Houwwari

Nasser Jihad Mufdi Houwwari

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PCHR report: Israeli attacks on fishermen in the Gaza Sea http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/pchr-report-israeli-attacks-on-fishermen-in-the-gaza-sea/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/pchr-report-israeli-attacks-on-fishermen-in-the-gaza-sea/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:26:20 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40918 22nd October 2014 | Palestinian Centre for Human Rights | Gaza, Occupied Palestine

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period (1 – 30 September 2014), including 18 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of a fishermen while fishing; 4 chasing incidents that led to the arrest of 11 fishermen; and confiscation of 4 fishing boats and 22 pieces of fishing nets belonging to Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

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The Israeli naval forces did not comply with the ceasefire agreement concluded between Israel and Palestinian armed groups under Egyptian auspices on 26 August 2014.  This agreement includes allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR’s investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of 6 nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.

Palestinian fishermen work on Jan. 24, 2009 near the border with Egypt (AFP/File, Said Khatib)

Palestinian fishermen work on Jan. 24, 2009 near the border with
Egypt (AFP/File, Said Khatib)

Violations of the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Israel’s attacks against Palestinian fishermen, who do not pose any threat to Israeli soldiers, in the Gaza Strip constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, relevant to the protection of the civilian population and respect for its rights, including every person’s right to work, and the right to life, liberty and security of person, as codified in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite the fact that Israel is a State Party to the Covenant.  Furthermore, these attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living.  Israeli violations in the reporting period were as follows:  

First: Shooting Incidents 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 18 cases in which Israeli forces fired at Palestinian fishermen in the sea off the Gaza Strip shore.  As a result, a fisherman was injured.

  • On 17 September 2014, Israeli forces stationed on watchtowers along the coastal borderline, northwest of al-Sayafa area, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at a group of fishermen who were near the Access Restricted Area (ARA).  As a result, Jom’aah Ahmed Mohammed Zayed (69), from Beit Lahia, was wounded by a bullet to the right leg cutting one of the veins.  It should be mentioned that Zayed was standing 200 meters away from the coastal border fence and directing his sons, who were fishing inside the waters.  He was taken to Kamal ‘Ewan Hospital in Beit Lahia to receive medical treatment and was then transferred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City where medical sources described his injury as moderate.

Second: Arrest of Fishermen:

PCHR documented incidents in which Israeli naval forces arrested and chased 11 fishermen while they were sailing within about 1.5 nautical mile off northern Gaza and Gaza City shore.

  • At approximately 06:30 on 03 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within one nautical mile off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by Mohammed Ishaq Mohammed Zayed (18) and Mousa Talal ‘Ata al-Sultan  (24), both from al-Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing around 800 meters inside the waters.  The Israeli naval soldiers forced the two fishermen to stop fishing, jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat.  The Israeli soldiers then arrested them and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.
  • At approximately 05:00 on 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  An Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by Tariq and ‘Issam ‘Abdel Bari Mohammed al-Sultan (18) and (21) respectively, both from al-Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing 1.5 nautical mile off the Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli naval soldiers surrounded the boat and arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.
  • At approximately 06:30 on 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  An Israeli gunboat surrounded a boat boarded by Bahaa’ Yousif Mohammed al-Sultan (25) and Ahmed As’ad Mohammed al-Sultan (22), both from -Salateen  neighborhood in Beit Lahia, while sailing 1.5 nautical mile off the Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli naval soldiers arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.
  • At approximately 15:00 on 22 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing off al-Zahra shore, southwest of Gaza City.  The gunboats then surrounded a fishing boat boarded by 5 fishermen from al-Shati refugee camp.  The Israeli naval troops forced the five fishermen to stop fishing, jump into the water and swim to the Israeli gunboat.  The Israeli naval soldiers then tied the fishermen’s hands and arrested them taking them to Ashdod Seaport.  At approximately 08:00 on the next day, the Israeli forces released the fishermen, but kept their boat and fishing equipment in custody. The fishermen were identified as: Sofian Mohyi al-Deen Kollab (47); Mohammed Yousif Abu ‘Odah (24); Mustafa Haidar Abu ‘Odah (25); Ahmed Ziyad al-Sharif (32). and ‘Abdel Rahim Abu Selmiyah (30). 

Third: Confiscation of Fishing Boats

During the reporting period, PCHR documented chasing incidents and confiscation of 4 fishing boats and other fishing equipment (pieces of fishing nets).

  • On  03 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by two fishermen sailing off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  The Israeli gunboats then surrounded the boat and arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat and fishing net.
  • On 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Beit Lahia shore.  The Israeli gunboat surrounded a Palestinian fishing boat boarded by two fishermen.  They arrested the fishermen and confiscated their boat and pieces of their fishing net.
  • On 09 September 2014, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and then surrounded a fishing boat.  The Israeli naval soldiers arrested two fishermen from al-Salateen neighborhood in Beit Lahia and confiscated their boat and pieces of fishing net.
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Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma receives guilty verdict from military courthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/human-rights-defender-abdallah-abu-rahma-receives-guilty-verdict-from-military-court/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/human-rights-defender-abdallah-abu-rahma-receives-guilty-verdict-from-military-court/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:20:19 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40911 21st October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Bil’in, Occupied Palestine

On October 21st, Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”.

“Demonstrating against the occupation cannot be a criminal offence. Finding Abdallah guilty only shows that the [Israeli] military force is a tool to perpetuate the occupation.” Stated Gabi Lasky, lawyer of Abdallah Abu Rahma, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Abdallah at a demonstration in Bil'in on November 9th, 2012.

Abdallah at a demonstration in Bil’in on November 9th, 2012.

Abdallah spoke to the ISM about his recent conviction. “Yesterday the military court ruled that I was guilty, showing once again that they stand on the side of the occupation, and not that of truth and justice.

I was arrested on the 13th of May 2012 in front of Ofer Military prison at a demonstration commemorating the Nakba and in solidarity with the prisoners, many of who were on hunger strike. I was imprisoned in Ofer for 16 months a year earlier, for my role in the non-violent demonstrations in my village, Bil’in, against the Apartheid wall and settlements built on our land.

This time when I was arrested I was held for a few hours and released on bail, I was not summoned to court until the beginning of 2013, following the success of the popular committees in the construction of the Palestinians villages Bab Al Shams and Bab Al Manatir.”

Abdallah Abu Rahmah is the coordinator of the Bil’in popular committee, which began popular demonstrations against the Apartheid wall and settlements in January 2005. The route of the Apartheid wall originally planned to separate the village form 50% of its agricultural land. As a result of the village’s continued popular struggle, the route was changed and 25% of the village land was effectively annexed by the wall to the illegal settlement of Modiin Elite.

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested and injured by Israeli forces in Bil’in since the popular struggle in the village began. In 2009 during a demonstration, Bassam Abu Rahmah was shot directly in the chest with a high velocity tear-gas projectile, dying of his wounds minutes later. On Januray 1st 2011, Jawaher Abu Rahmah died of poisoning after inhaling excessive amounts of tear gas during the weekly demonstration the previous day.

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Family home and five other structures demolished by Israeli militaryhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/family-home-and-five-other-structures-demolished-by-israeli-military/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/family-home-and-five-other-structures-demolished-by-israeli-military/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:46:13 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40903 21st October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Jordan Valley, Occupied Palestine

On October 20th, the Israeli military destroyed six structures belonging to a family in the village of al Jiftlik, in the Jordan Valley.

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At approximately 6:00 am, Israeli soldiers destroyed the family home of Mohammed Mousa Mohammed Abohernam, as well as five other buildings, including his family’s storage unit and two buildings used to house goats.

Mohammed and his father.

Mohammed and his father.

The village of al Jiftlik belongs in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military civil and security control.

Al Jiftlik village is also used as a testing area for Israeli weapons.

As ISM activists interviewed the family, four Israeli jets flew in formation over the village in two, separate passes.

Abohernam said he intends to rebuild his home.

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His father, and grandfather, lived on the same land. “This is my land and I am not leaving,” he stated.

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Palestinian man successfully harvests olives for the first time in 14 yearshttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-man-successfully-harvests-olives-for-the-first-time-in-14-years/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinian-man-successfully-harvests-olives-for-the-first-time-in-14-years/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:06:47 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40896 20th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Tel Rumeida, Occupied Palestine

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron) Hashem Azzeh, a Palestinian man living in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood was able to successfully harvest his olives, on a certain part of his land, for the first time in 14 years.

Hashem, and volunteers from ISM and CPT pick from his olive tree. Part of the illegal settlement can be seen in the background.

Hashem, and volunteers from ISM and CPT pick from his olive tree. Part of the illegal settlement can be seen in the background.

Hashem and his family live in H2 (the area of Hebron under full Israeli military civil and security control), right next to the illegal settlement in the heart of Tel Rumeida.

Hashem Azzeh

Hashem Azzeh

Since the year 2000, Hashem has applied for a permit from the Israeli authorities to harvest his own olive trees but has been either denied, or received “permission”, and had his olives stolen by Zionist settlers.

This year, Hashem received a permit to harvest six trees today, and along with his brother and activists from ISM and Christian Peacemakers Team – Palestine (CPT), he began to work on his land. Two colonial settlers soon arrived an attempted to convince the Israeli police and army present that Hashem´s land belonged to them and that he should not be picking olives on “their land”.

Despite the attempts to prevent Hashem from picking on his land, the group succeeded in harvesting all of Hashem´s olives in that area.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Transcript from the interview

For how long have you and your family lived here?

Actually my family is refugees and we came here near 1950 and my grandparents and parents, so three generations lived in this area here.

How many trees do you have?

In this field I have six olive trees one of it destroyed from there and removed totally. But from up there I have another 50 olive trees.

When did you last get a permit to pick your olives from your own land?

The settlers and the Israeli army have prevented us from taking our olives since 2000. I filed applications to take my olives; they gave us permit in the year 2007. In 2007 I said to my self even though I have this permit why wouldn’t the settlers come and attack us? So I invited international activists, ISM, CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams] too. They came here and we started to pick the olives but the settlers came and started to attack us. The Israeli solders did not do anything for that and they took all of our olives. Last year in 2013 they gave us our permit at 8th of October to harvest our olives, but the settlers came on the 3th of October and stole them. So we have not got any olives since 2000.

So this year I am so happy, this year we have the permit today 20th of October and with the coordination with ISM we have managed to harvest the olives. I am so happy that I have managed for the first time to get the olives. I am so grateful for ISM and for CPT that came to help me get the olives.

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Palestinians dismantle illegal settler outposthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinians-dismantle-illegal-settler-outpost/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/palestinians-dismantle-illegal-settler-outpost/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:12:25 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40885 12th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Susiya, Occupied Palestine

Today Palestinians and international activists participated in a Palestinian village community action which involved reaching an area of their land which has been declared a closed military zone. The action also consisted of dismantling a new illegal settlement outpost built by settlers. Over the past month the settler outpost has been dismantled by the Palestinians and rebuilt by settlers three times.

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According to Palestinians living in the area, Israeli forces have permanently stationed a military jeep in this area to survey and protect the illegal settler outpost. The illegal outpost is right next to a water well which the Palestinians rely on for daily use and livestock. Each time the Palestinians go near this piece of land the area is declared a closed military zone by Israeli forces and the Palestinians have been prevented from reaching it many times in the past.

Palestinians from the local community and international activists successfully and peacefully dismantled the outpost. A Palestinian child also removed an Israeli flag from a military outpost nearby. Settlers were present in small numbers watching and shouting at the Palestinians and activists. After a short time, the Israeli armed forces forced the Palestinians and international activists to leave the area, declaring it a closed military zone.

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Mosque burnt in apparent price tag attackhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/mosque-burnt-in-apparent-price-tag-attack/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/mosque-burnt-in-apparent-price-tag-attack/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:58:53 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40873 15th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Aqraba, Occupied Palestine

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a group of Zionist settlers from the illegal settlements close to Aqraba near Nablus, set fire to a mosque in the outskirts of the village.

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The investigation so far shows that the building was set on fire at approximately 02:00 when a molotov cocktail was thrown through a window on the ground floor, into the women’s prayer room. Hours later, neighbouring villagers observed the flames and managed to put the fire out. The fire caused severe damage inside the mosque.

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The police arrived at approximately 06.30 AM and the collection of evidence began. However the policeman ISM spoke explained that the main responsibility for the investigation lies on the Israeli authority.

Gloria Nafiz Abu Saqer, Public Relation Officer of Aqraba Municipality explains the difficult situation, “The village of Aqraba is surrounded by no less than seven illegal settlements and the Palestinians living in Aqraba are under constant threat and facing settler harassment and violence daily.”

According to Ayman Banifadl, mayor of Aqraba, the perpetrators might be the same group of settlers who have committed several hate crimes previously in the area. The conclusion is based on the graffiti, written in Hebrew on the wall of the torched mosque, with the same signature as last time settlers burnt down a building near the village. The message  refers to the so called ”price tag campaign” and is based on the notion that the Palestinians should pay for any actions that can be considered taken against the illegal settlements.

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Banifadl stated, “The graffiti says pay the price but we don’t know what price that is. We are under occupation and we are already paying a price every day for something we don’t know what it is.”Word by word the graffiti says: Price tag / Tappuah / Kahane.

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It might refer to the zionist extremist Meir Kahane (1932–1990) who lived in the illegal settlement Kfar Tappuah. Kahane and his son Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane (1966–2000) are known for their militant right-wing extremism and their political party, Kahane Chai (meaning Kahane Lives). Kahane Chai was banned in 1994 and is considered to be a terrorist organisation by the EU and US, Canadian and Israeli governments.

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Stories from Burin during the olive harvesthttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/stories-from-burin-during-the-olive-harvest/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/stories-from-burin-during-the-olive-harvest/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:49:22 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40862 15th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Burin, Occupied Palestine

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On Monday, three Palestinians were picking olives in Burin. Their field was in a very exposed area, right between an illegal settlement, a military checkpoint, and a security detention centre. A group of ISM volunteers accompanied them as protective presence.

These are some of their stories:

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Ali, 10-years-old: ”The army keeps coming to our school and throws tear gas at us. One time a boy choked and was taken to hospital. Some children cry and scream.”

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Abu Ali

Abu Ali, 40 years old: “Settlers from the settlements around us (Arusat, Brahay and Itshar) attack us while we are picking olives. We need international volunteers to help us reach our land and see the troubles the Palestinian farmers face. We don’t want our children to go through what we went through.”

Tarek

Tarek, 24 years old: “The army stops us young men at the checkpoint by the entrance of the village of Burin. They take us out of the cars. If one of us doesn’t follow their orders they beat us. Sometimes they make us take our clothes off. Even when other people are present.”

Tarek also told the story of losing both his brothers. One of them was killed by a shot in the head from an Israeli soldier, at the age of 16.

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The close by security detention centre is notorious for their use of violence, and both Tarek and Abu Ali have been detained here. Addameer (Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) wrote that since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel.

Tarek spoke of a story during his own detention, he an another prisoner were woken up in the middle of the night, by two aggressive dogs being locked into their room. Tarek was badly bitten by the dogs and had to go through surgery afterwards.

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Tear gas and stun grenades used against schoolchildrenhttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/tear-gas-and-stun-grenades-used-against-schoolchildren/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/tear-gas-and-stun-grenades-used-against-schoolchildren/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:51:41 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40855 13th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Today at the Salaymeh checkpoint in al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli soldiers fired four long-range tear gas canisters, and threw three stun grenades, all towards children leaving school to walk home. One tear gas grenade was also thrown directly at ISM activists documenting the military violence.

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Israeli soldiers were positioned very close to the school, due to the new position of the concrete blocks that designate the end of H2 (the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control). Yesterday they were moved further away from Salaymeh checkpoint to further encroach upon Palestinian territory.

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Two Israeli soldiers also occupied the top floor of a Palestinian apartment block and positioned themselves above the schoolchildren.

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Jewish holiday leads to large influx of settlers, zionist tourists, and Israeli soldiershttp://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/jewish-holiday-leads-to-large-influx-of-settlers-zionist-tourists-and-israeli-soldiers/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/10/jewish-holiday-leads-to-large-influx-of-settlers-zionist-tourists-and-israeli-soldiers/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 17:21:15 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=40840 12th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Today in al-Khalil (Hebron), as part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, thousands of settlers and Zionist tourists descended upon the city. The Israeli military presence in Hebron, which is already a large an oppressive part of everyday life, greatly increased.

Many tour buses lined up filled with Zionist tourists

Many tour buses lined up filled with Zionist tourists

Hebron is the only city in the West Bank where there is an illegal settlement in the heart of the city. It is split into H1 and H2, H1 under Palestinian Authority Control, and H2 under Israeli military control.

This morning, in both the Salaymeh and Qeitun neighbourhoods, the checkpoints designating the end of H1 were extended further into Palestinian territory.

A closed road in Qeitun.

A closed road in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Qeitun.

The roadblocks moved further down in Salaymeh.

The roadblocks moved further down in Salaymeh.

Israeli soldiers drove between Salaymeh and Qeitun, entering houses, hiding in alleyways, and aiming their guns at passing schoolchildren and other people in the area.

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In the afternoon, the army presence was just as heavy, with children walking home past heavily armed soldiers.

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In H1, Bab al-Zawiye (the centre of Hebron), Israeli forces partially closed the road to allow settlers and Zionist tourists through the checkpoint to visit a religious holy site.

Settlers entering their religious site in H1.

Settlers entering their religious site in H1.

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They were escorted by approximately 45 Israeli border police and soldiers. Several Palestinian shops were forced to close for several hours, to allow the setters and tourists to pass.

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The Ibrahimi mosque and nearby checkpoint was also closed today, with all Palestinian shops in the area forced to close with it.

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