Israeli occupation forces and settlers escalated their violations against Palestinians on the fourth Friday of the Muslim’s holy month Ramadan.
Here are the most prominent headlines during the day:
IOF detain four Palestinians from West Bank
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) Friday overnight detained at least four Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank, according to local sources.
They said that IOF rounded up a journalist while he was crossing the Qalandia military checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. The journalist was identified as a resident of Awarta, southeast of Nablus.
IOF also detained a 14-year-old teen from Salah Eddin Street in Jerusalem. The detainee was identified as a resident of Anata town, northeast of the city.
In Ramallah district, the sources confirmed that IOF raid in Bil‘in village, west of the city, resulting in the detention of another.
The raid triggered confrontations with the soldiers opening fire towards villagers’ houses. No injuries were reported though.
In the northern West Bank, the IOF re-arrested a former prisoner and ransacked his house in ‘Allar town, north of Tulkarm.
In Jericho district, several IOF vehicles stormed az-Zubaidat village, north of the city, where the soldiers showed up at two houses, including a Fatah activist’s, muscled inside, and conducted a thorough search, turning them upside down.
IOF frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.
These raids, which take place also in areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, are conducted with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses in keeping with its sweeping arbitrary powers.
Israeli settlers continue to raze Palestinian land in northern Jordan Valley
Israeli settlers today continued to raze Palestinian farmlands in Khirbet al-Farisiya in the northern Jordan Valley, according to local sources
They said that the settlers escorted over 10 bulldozers into al-Farisiya, where the heavy machineries have been for over a week leveling large tract of farmlands belonging to the villagers as a prelude to seize them and set up colonial agricultural enterprises.
This came several days after the settlers set up mobile homes and escorted a bulldozer to level a plot of land close to a formerly-installed water tank.
The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank.
Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.
The Israel military has also designated about 46 percent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since the beginning of the occupation in June 1967 and has been utilizing the pretext of military drills to forcefully displace Palestinian families living there as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing and stifling Palestinian development in the area.
Approximately 6,200 Palestinians live in 38 communities in places earmarked for military use and have had to obtain permission from the Israeli authorities to enter and live in their communities.
In violation of international law, the Israeli military not only temporarily displaces the communities on a regular basis but also confiscates their farmlands, and demolishes their homes and infrastructure from time to time.
Besides undergoing temporary displacement, the Palestinian families living there face myriad restrictions on access to resources and services. Meanwhile, Israel exploits the resources of the area and generates profit by allocating generous tracts of land and water resources for the benefit of settlers.
Israeli occupation politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.
Israeli settlers vandalize landmark Jaffa mosque
Israeli settlers Friday overnight vandalized a landmark mosque in the ancient city of Jaffa, according to local sources.
They said that the settlers spray-painted anti-Palestinian hate slogans on the external northern wall of the mosque and scrawled the so-called “Star of David” in blue.
The mosque imam, Ahmed Abu Ajweh, shared two photos on his Facebook account showing the “Star of David” scrawled on the external wall of the mosque discovered on Friday morning ahead of the pre-dawn prayer.
He slammed the act of vandalism as a “fascist assault” that was only the latest episode in a long series of attacks against the mosque and worshippers since the Nakba in 1948.
He held Israeli police fully responsible for the attack, especially that a police patrol is deployed nearby, but stood idly by.
Hassan Bek Mosque, located in the Manshiyya neighbourhood of the historically Palestinian Jaffa, has been the subject of attacks in the past. It was desecrated in 2005 when a pig’s head bearing the name of the Prophet was thrown into its yard.
Jaffa was once an epicentre of the Palestinian economy, with some 120,000 people living in and around the flourishing city on the Mediterranean Sea in 1948.
Almost 95 percent of the Palestinian population of Jaffa and its surrounding villages were expelled by Zionist militias during the Nakba – or “catastrophe” – that year, leading to the establishment of the state of Israel.
Over the decades, Jaffa’s historic neighbourhoods have been progressively demolished, leading the city to shrink into a small town that was then absorbed by the municipality of Tel Aviv.