Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Raids in Ramallah by Israeli army, a tumultuous week for the city


By Ary Gotlib - December 18, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [settlements] [outposts] [protests]

Ramallah has recently been the land of high tension between Palestinians and Israeli forces. Al Jazeera described this episode as "very bloody - one that the occupied West Bank hasn't seen for a good deal of time.”

 
On Sunday 9, a Palestinian in a car shot settlers at a bus stop near the settlement of Ofra, north-east of Ramallah.
 
The attack left seven wounded, including a pregnant woman.
 
The Palestinian fled the scene in his car, according to Haaretz.
 
This event has been the trigger of a whole series of reprisals.
 
On Monday 10, Israeli security forces raided the headquarters of the official Wafa news agency in Ramallah and seized video recordings, related The Time of Israel.
 
Overnight on Wednesday 12, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in separate operations over the span of six hours. The suspects allegedly attacked an Israeli, reported Middle East Eye.
 
In the pre-dawn hours on Thursday 13, Israeli forces also shot dead a Palestinian accused of killing two settlers in the West Bank last October, following a two-month manhunt.
 
On Thursday 13, two Israeli soldiers were killed after an attacker revenged by opening fire on them, still in Ofra settlement.
 
Four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in separate operations over the following 24 hours in the occupiedWest Bank, with the Israeli army announcing the city of Ramallah a closed military zone.
 
Hamas stated that "the flame of resistance in the West Bank will remain alive until the Israeli occupation is defeated from the entirety of our land, and we regain our full rights," reported Al-Jazeera.
 
In total, six people were killed “in the most violent 24 hours to hit the West Bank and Jerusalem in months,” according to Middle East Eye.
 
Early Saturday 15, the Israeli army raided Amari refugee camp in the south of Ramallah where the army blew up a house in the camp.
 
The building, owned by the Abu Hmeid family, was demolished on the basis of Israeli claims that Islam, one of the son of the family, killed an Israeli soldier during a raid in Amari camp in June.
 
“A collective punishment against the entire family for the act of Islam,” wrote Wafa agency.
 
Collective punishment is illegal by international law and particularly by article 33 of the Geneva Convention.
 
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, for the sole day of December 15, 73 Palestinians were injured in protests against the Israeli army raids into Ramallah and other towns in the West Bank.
 
The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday 16, took the opportunity of this tumultuous week in Ramallah to approve a bill that would legalize 70 outposts in West Bank.
 
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) said the bill is “the best response to terrorism… Strong settlements are the best response to terrorism and Palestinian murder,” reported The Jerusalem Post.
 
“Another populist and unconstitutional initiative,” reminded the Israeli NGO, Peace Now.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office remained vague in his remarks by claiming for international responses and threatening of "major and fatal decisions" if raids in Palestinian cities and "acts of aggression" against Palestinians continue".
 
For Dalal Erakat, Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution Diplomacy (at the Arab American University in Palestine) this response could be explained as the Palestinian Authority has its hands tied by various security coordination agreements.
 
Erakat concluded in +972mag: “It is time to recognize that those agreements are being violated on a daily basis  by the Israelis.”

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