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Occupation chronicle: stealing trees, smashing solar cells, forcing people to undress

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We are privileged to get regular reports on Israeli human rights violations in the Hebron district of the occupation from Abulhadi Hantash, a cartographer for the Palestinian Authority.  The Hebron district is the southernmost and largest region of the West Bank, with over a quarter of its size and population: approximately 375,000 acres (1.5 million dunams) and 706,000 Palestinian people.

As a record of the everyday cruelty and crimes of the occupation, Hantash’s list is unrivaled, for he is a field surveyor who has worked in the area for decades, documenting Israeli abuses as they are committed.  As Hantash told me, “I know the people of the territories and they know me. Therefore, when anything happens in any area, they immediately call me and I’ll go to them to watch the occupation crimes on the ground.”
Writing to me earlier this week, he said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given a “green light” to Israeli soldiers and settlers to attack Palestinian citizens; and he blamed American support for such conduct:

“The US position, which supports the occupation, has always encouraged the occupation to murder and settlement.  The US position is biased to protect the occupation and the occupation crimes in all international forums, ignoring international norms, as well as all human and moral laws.”

What follows is his report for 2015. –Susie Kneedler.

2015 Hebron District, West Bank, Special Report: Crimes committed against Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces and Israeli settlers.

The area covers 375,000 acres (1.5 million dunams)
The Palestinian population includes 706,000+.
Many types of military occupation attacks .

2014 was the year of settlement expansion. 2015 is the year of the settlement expansion and street executions. These were done by experienced, senior Israeli military officers. Young Palestinian men, women, and children bled to death as military officials prevented ambulances from reaching them. The reprehensible atrocities committed by the ‘finest’ military in the world is described below.

Palestinians killed: 54 Martyrs

Land Confiscation and Dredging Operations: 1181 acres (military and settlers)

Uprooting or burning of trees: 7335 trees, close to Yatta, Halhul, Dahria, Bet Ula, Shukh, and Dura

Preventing of field work (agriculture): 22 cases

Damage to agricultural crops: 6 cases,: 225 acres destroyed

Construction of units & caravans: Added 115 new housing units & multiple caravans

The construction of settler roads: 1 case

Military orders 39 in the old city of Hebron, 2 in Yatta, 3 in Dahria, 2 in Tarqumia, 2 near Kiryat Arba = 976 Acres

Stop building and demolition notices: 215 orders , in Idna, Bet Ula, Yatta, Halhul, Hebron, Ramadin, Dahria, Al Kom, Bet Umer, Karma, and Dura

The Demolition of Homes and Bombing Attacks

Demolition of houses / barracks rooms / agricultural structures / factories / caves / tents: 52 cases

Demolition water wells: 11 wells

Stop building orders: 235 orders

Evacuation orders: 34 cases covering 538 acres primarily in Dura, Dhariya and Beit Ummar

Destroying / dynamiting doors of homes or shops: 178 doors

Private homes seized for military barracks: 190 homes

Closure of shops under gun threats: 17 shops

Breaking into shops and smashing contents: 70 shops

Confiscation of farm machinery: 4 cases

Military Operations

Raids of private homes: 2598 raid attacks throughout Hebron district

Shooting at homes and civilians; Theft of property; Stealing of gold coins; Smashing contents of homes; Taking computers, mobile devices, cameras, and DVD players; Raiding institutional supplies; Stealing from gas stations, 1067 cases

Raids of schools: 15 cases

Raids of institutions and factories: 75 cases

Mixing food contents so they are inedible by the family: 12 cases

Storming villages / towns / refugee camps: 1890 storming operations

Shooting at citizens: 472 cases

Gas bombs thrown: 590 cases

Stun grenades used: 382 cases (170 decibels, hearing loss at 120 decibels)

Arrest of citizens: up to 1600, many released in hours, others still in custody

Beating of citizens: 367 citizens

Chasing pedestrians in army jeeps: 3 cases, running over 4 people

Chasing workers on the job: 54 workers

Forcing citizens to undress: 123 cases

Attacking worshipers: On a daily basis

Assault on school students, teachers, university students: 42 cases

Attacks on farmers – 54 cases, journalists – 28 cases, foreigners –4 cases,

Attacks on demonstrators – 23 cases

Using citizens as human shields: 15 cases

Kidnapping of citizens: 6 citizens

Sexual provocations: 22 cases

Joint army attacks with settlers: 20 cases

Blocking ambulance and fire crews: 45 cases

Closure of roads / entrances to villages and towns: 1000 cases, some are still closed

Detention of Palestinian vehicles: 590 vehicles

Preventing access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs: DAILY

Declaration of closed military zones: 39 cases

Storming of mosques: 2 cases

Destruction of water networks and electricity networks : 7 cases

Closure of institutions: 5 cases

Erecting new military towers: 3 cases

Prohibiting access to farmland: 5 cases

Landing military aircraft: 4 cases of operations

Settler Attacks and Outpost Gangs

Attacking homes: 220 cases

Smashing cars: 29 cars

Uprooting and stealing trees: 800 trees

Beating Palestinian citizens: 83 citizens

Attacking farmers, school students, children, shopkeepers, ambulance crews, shepherds: 177 cases

Sexual provocation: 80 cases

Assaults on graves: 1 case

Blocking roads.: 16 cases

Attacks on people : 38 cases

Death threats: 10 cases

Smashing solar cells: 6 cases

Storming villages and towns: 14 cases

Running over citizens: 18 cases of Hebron settlers ramming, hitting,and running over Palestinians with their vehicles.  Many of these were children.  These unspeakable crimes are on an upsurge from the 10 cases in 2014.  Six cases are included in the PLO report, “List Settler Violence/Terror Arracks January 1 – July 27, 2015“and the remaining 12 are pending in the July-December 2015 report.

Registering of Palestinians in Hebron’s Old City with numbers next to their identity (to intimidate, as was done in Nazi Germany). 

Prepared by Abdulhadi Hantash

Expert on Land and Settlement
Land Surveyor and Cartographer for the Palestinian Authority

All rights reserved.

Susie Kneedler

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3 Responses

  1. ritzl on April 22, 2016, 2:23 am

    Great report. Useful. Thanks. Tweeted.

    Yousef Munayyer did a similar analysis a few years ago and pointed out that the Hebron district has always been the wretched worst but that Hebron-style violence has been moving north. Is that still a trend, and if so is it important to point it out when discussing the Occupation? IOW, from a Palestinian point of view, is it a more impactful to point out “bad and worsening” or stick with a blanket “horrible(++) all over?” Both are accurate descriptions, imho.

    How do Palestinians in Palestine talk about this violence among themselves?

  2. JLewisDickerson on April 22, 2016, 4:34 pm

    RE – “Occupation chronicle: stealing trees, smashing solar cells, forcing people to undress”

    MY INTRO: “Let’s do the Time Warp again.”*

    * SEE – “The Enemy Within: Hitherto Unpublished Details of the Great Conspiracy To Corrupt And Destroy France” | by Severance Johnson , Special Investigator and Correspondent at the Paris Peace Conference | Published 1920
    LINK –
    AMAZON –


    . . . DuvaPs articles in the Bonnet Rouge were all signed “M Badin.” Here is one, for instance, from the issue of June 29,1915:

    “Upon learning that the British were shelling the German trenches vigorously and had penetrated the enemy lines at several points without conunitting the imprudence of going too far forward and install themselves in an advanced position, I conceived the idea of inviting my intimate friends in order to celebrate this great event.
    “But the first one to whom I disclosed my intention, dissuaded me. He said:
    ” *Your enthusiasm is premature. What you thought was an offensive was only a test of ammunition. The Allies have accumulated artillery and munitions for over a year. You ought to know that they are not going to squander everything in a few days time, to find themselves suddenly short. We have not only a stock of material but also an ample supply of patience. Let us increase the latter. ”
    ^Therefore, postpone your celebrating imtil our territory is liberated.
    ** *At any rate, you ought to know we are not in any haste* The poilus have become admirably accustomed to the existence of troglodytes (cave dwellers). The civilians have also organized their lives for an indefinite prologation of the war. There is no need of hastening the end. ”
    ^Furthermore, since the honor of beginning this ammunition test falls to our friends of Great Britain, be assured that they will act with coolness and calm, so characteristic of their temperment. *
    ^ *No foolish rashness. • • • Oh, no. ”
    *You may think that two years of war are too long, but what are two years of war? Without going so far as to look for a parallel in the One Hundred Years War, or the Thirty Years War, may I not say that Napoleon’s regime was one uninterrupted succession of combats? **
    ^Come on, dear Monsieur Badin, do not worry about celebrating forthwith the final victory.’ “As my friend’s talk seemed worthy of consideration, I think I am acting patriotically in giving him this small amount of publicity.”
    Duval tried to neutralize criticism of the Germans by making it appear ridiculous.
    Here is a typical example, printed for special circulation in the trenches: “The other evening, a friend of mine, a so-called repatriot, gave a dinner. As I was one of the party, I took advantage of the occasion to interview him. ”
    He related to me such things, as would make the hair stand on end. He said first: ^I shall not discuss in detail the attacks on women. All the newspapers have furnished you this information. It is unimaginable. Things were so bad in one region, that we asked ourselves how the Germans could find time to fight, when it seemed as if all their time was occupied by their orgies. . . . ”
    *About their thefts and pillages, however, I shall be more explicit. You cannot imagine what a genius the Germans have for plunder. They can find a way to steal money and securities from people who never had any. ”
    *For example, prior to the invasion of the Teutons, it was thought there were only two pianos in the town in which I lived. Well, sir, after these Grermans came they carried off fifty pianos. As for clocks, bronzes and other works of art, the crimes of the Giermans have been positively fantastici
    They stole about thirty wagonloads of these objects from the most miserable huts and sent them to the other side of the Rhine.’ . . . ~ Severance Johnson , Edgard Léon. The Enemy Within: Hitherto Unpublished Details of the Great Conspiracy to … (Kindle Locations 2537-2572). Allen & Unwin, ltd.

  3. Boomer on April 23, 2016, 8:38 am

    re: “Occupation chronicle: stealing trees, smashing solar cells, forcing people to undress”

    This reads like a list of the activities of some adolescent boys run wild. If they are 14, one can still hope that–with proper parenting and some intervention by the Juvenile Justice System–they won’t grow up to be sociopathic criminals. Considering how long Israel has been at this, such hope is clearly misplaced.

    The U.S. plays a role in this, unfortunately. Uncle Sam is like the parents of the “Affluenza Teen.” After he killed four innocent people by driving while drunk, his attorney successfully argued in his defense that he was “unable to link his actions with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege.”

    We too are complicit. We too are culpable.

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