There are more than 2,300 active cases of COVID-19 in East Jerusalem, and the daily rate of infection continues to climb. Despite this, Israeli authorities have continued their policy of home demolitions and arrests in the occupied territory.
Malek Issa, 8, was shot in the face with a rubber-coated bullet by an Israeli police officer as he was on his way home February 15 in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli police said an officer claimed to have fired his weapon at a wall for “calibration” purposes, and thought Issa was hit by an alleged Palestinian stone-thrower.
It’s been six months of unrest in Issawiya. Excessive police brutality and indiscriminate daily raids by Israeli forces with no justification have left residents of the East Jerusalem district exhausted – and there is no end in sight.
On Wednesday, Palestinian political leaders and civil servants joined UN officials to launch an appeal for $348 million in aid “to provide basic food, protection, health care, shelter, water and sanitation to 1.5 million Palestinians” in Gaza, as well as the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Christmas tree is up at the entrance to the Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem, but for its Palestinian hosts there is little festive cheer amid fears they could be evicted in favour of Israeli settlers, the AFP reports.
Israel has demolished a record number of homes in occupied East Jerusalem in 2019, the most in the past 15 years, Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported on Thursday. More than 140 Palestinian homes were demolished, resulting in the displacement of 238 Palestinians.
Filmmaker Yuval Abraham was an eyewitness to the Israeli home demolitions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher: “I can’t take it anymore. I’m suffocating from all this violence and the lives being destroyed. And everyone [in Israel] is oblivious, blathering about a Jewish state, don’t know Arabic and utterly blind to those other people. Everyone who keeps silent is complicit with this filth. They destroyed Ismail’s life tonight.”
Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.
Destruction and theft of Palestinian property by Israel is an indisputable violation of international law, and it’s why the BDS movement exists. Democrats and Republicans dispute many issues but are amazingly united against BDS. If only they could work in such a bipartisan fashion to solve many of the problems in our own country, rather than to protect a foreign state oppressing millions of indigenous people.
Videos surfaced on Monday evening showing Israeli forces celebrating the detonation of a building in Sur Bahir, occupied East Jerusalem. It was one of 10 buildings destroyed in 24 hours. While the soldiers laughed and celebrated, homeowners like 52-year-old Jehad Sous watched his lifelong dream of owning a home for his family crumble to the ground.