January 2023: Summary of Israeli Violations against Occupied Palestine
January 2023: Summary of Israeli Violations against Occupied Palestine
During January 2023, Israel's military campaigns against various Palestinian governorates continued while its occupation forces (IOF) and armed settlers intensified their attacks against the Palestinian people. The IOF committed a major crime in the Jenin Refugee Camp on 26 January, killing ten Palestinians, including an old woman, and injuring over 20 Palestinians, including four severely. During the said operation, the IOF went up to the rooftops of several homes in the camp and fired live ammunition and gas canisters at the youth. Additionally, electricity was cut off, and ambulances and journalists were prevented from entering the camp. The IOF also fired direct gunshots at an ambulance and teargas canisters toward the Jenin Government Hospital, which caused tens of patients to suffocate, including children.
Key Facts & Figures
- A total of 391 shooting incidents occurred in different Palestinian governorates, including 316 in the occupied West Bank and 75 in the Gaza Strip (including airstrikes), resulting in the killing of 36 Palestinians, of whom 8 were children.
- At least 164 civilians were injured in the IOF shooting attacks, including 20 children.
- The IOF conducted a total of 735 military raids, and 442 sudden military checkpoints were established at the entrances to Palestinian villages, towns, and refugee camps to search vehicles and inspect ID cards.
- An estimated 47 attacks were made against the civilian property during these military operations, resulting in 30 property confiscation cases.
- Israeli settlers also carried out 171 attacks, including running over civilians, burning their agricultural lands, hurling stones, shooting at residents, storming villages and cities, attacking citizens and property, obstructing residents' access to their crops, and stealing and destroying crops.
- According to a report by the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC) on Israeli violations, settlers cut down and uprooted 758 trees, including 643 olive trees, 15 almond trees, and 100 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees. Most of the attacks occurred in three governorates: Ramallah (285 trees were uprooted), Nablus (200 trees), and Hebron (100 trees).
- The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) recorded 11 violations against medical staff and vehicles. Most of these violations aimed to obstruct the work of medical personnel and prevent/hinder the arrival of ambulances to rescue wounded persons during attacks.
- The Freedoms Committee of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate documented 45 violations against media freedoms, as more than 20 journalists were injured due to physical assaults by the IOF and settlers. Furthermore, several press crews were detained and prevented from working, along with cases of firing bullets, stun grenades, and teargas at the press, leading to the severe suffocation of five journalists. Israeli occupation forces also arrested three journalists, namely: Abdul-Muhsen Shalaldeh, Ahmad Halayqa, and Mashhour Al-Wahwah, who were later released.
Withholding the Bodies of Palestinian Martyrs
There are currently 122 Palestinian martyrs whose bodies are being withheld by Israel, including 13 children, ten prisoners, and one woman. In addition, 256 martyrs are being held at the "Cemeteries of Numbers." In January 2023, the occupation authorities detained the bodies of eight new martyrs. Recently, they handed over the bodies of martyrs Ashraf Halaseh (held since 17 August 2020) and Mohammad Omar (held since 31 January 2021).
Demolition of Palestinian Homes
The occupation authorities demolished 125 structures, including 32 homes, throughout the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem. Among the destroyed buildings were 14 donor-funded structures. As a result, 31 families with 161 individuals, of whom 72 were children, were displaced (2,052 other families with 12,552 individuals, of whom 5,571 were children, were otherwise affected).
Moreover, the report issued by CWRC indicated that the occupation authorities issued 55 demolition and halt-of-construction notices in the occupied West Bank, including 15 demolition notices, 37 halt-of-construction notices, and three notices to remove trees. These notices were mainly concentrated in the governorates of Hebron (21 notices), Salfit (21 notices), and Bethlehem (5 notices).
Israeli Settlers' Terrorism
There has been a dangerous escalation in Israeli settlers' attacks against Palestinian civilians, property, and holy sites this month, especially in occupied Jerusalem, where the following incidents occurred:
- On 1 January: settlers desecrated dozens of graves in the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion, destroying crosses and tombstones and defacing graves.
- On 12 January: settlers wrote hate slogans in Hebrew on the walls of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate, such as: "Revenge," "Death to Christians," "Death to Armenians," and "Death to Arabs and Gentiles."
- On 26 January: settlers attacked tourists and shop owners at the New Gate, destroying chairs and tables.
- On 28 January: settlers attacked the Armenian Patriarchate headquarters to remove the flags of the Armenian Patriarchate and Armenia. The settlers blocked traffic outside the Patriarchate building by stopping a car with Armenian youths returning home. The settlers screamed: "This is not your neighborhood! This is our country, get out of our country!" Then they attacked the local youth with pepper sprays, and one person was consequently taken to the hospital. Afterward, the occupation police arrested a young Armenian man for allegedly attacking settlers and the police, but video evidence disproved the claims, and he was released under house arrest.
Other examples include the attack on 13 January near Al-Auja town in the Jericho governorate. During a touristic hike, a group of Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian university students and foreign tourists using sticks and pepper spray. The attack resulted in the fracturing and bruising of an Italian national's arm, bruises, and burns sustained by several young men sprayed with pepper gas. Another incident occurred on 21 January when a settler shot and killed Tariq Ma'ali, a 42-year-old Palestinian resident of Kafr Ni'ma village, at Jabal Al-Raisan near Ras Karkar in the Ramallah governorate.
Israeli Colonial Settlement Activities
The Israeli occupation authorities put forward a series of unprecedented colonial schemes to consolidate Israel's settlement enterprise in the occupied West Bank, per the following:
- An effort is underway to approve 18,000 new settlement units.
- A monthly meeting of the Higher Council for Planning and Building has been introduced instead of a three-monthly one.
- Establish a sub-committee of the Higher Council for Planning and Building to speed up the process of approving settlement buildings that do not include housing units, such as kindergartens and industrial establishments.
- Accelerate the construction process by requiring three signatures rather than five to approve Israeli settlement plans.
- Ensure the Israeli Civil Administration has a civil character by linking it directly to relevant governmental ministries and reducing the army's authority. As a result, the Ministry of National Security and the military establishment would not need to interfere with providing various services to settlements' regional councils and settlers.
- Treat settlers in the occupied West Bank the same as residents of Israeli cities, effectively annexing the occupied Palestinian territory under full Israeli sovereignty and perpetuating apartheid. Consequently, settlers can enjoy a governance system with privileges. At the same time, they are allowing the occupation's government to continue practicing all forms of oppression against the Palestinian people. The goal is to increase the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank by hundreds of thousands within a few years.
- Assert the de facto annexation of the West Bank by integrating the Palestinians in the Oslo-defined Area C into official Israeli data.
Settlement Activities in Occupied Jerusalem and its Surrounding Areas:
- Damascus Gate and Sultan Suleiman Street: Through excavation and Judaization activities, the occupation's municipality plans to bring about tangible and significant changes in this area since it is the main entrance to the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. These activities include changing the infrastructure and placing surveillance cameras. The occupation authorities are preparing to connect this area to West Jerusalem to facilitate Israelis' access to the city. They also aim to link this area with the "Silicon Valley" colonial project in the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood.
- The Red Land in Silwan: the occupation authorities and settler organizations are currently bulldozing and excavating this land, which they seized at the end of last month. The settlers' bulldozers started uprooting trees in the land located north of Ein Silwan Mosque in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood (south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound). Previously, the "Elad" settler organization announced that excavations had begun in the land of Birket Al-Hamra (Red Pool), which it seized by force. With an area of five dunums, this land has significant strategic importance. Settlers claim that they have discovered the pool of "Hezekiah" from the eighth century BC in that location.
- The Land of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate: the Israeli occupation authorities are executing a colonial project that includes about 3,500 housing units, hotels, and a commercial center on Greek Orthodox land near Hebron Road (south of occupied Jerusalem). The area of that land is between 90-140 dunums. This new version of the "Givat Hamatos" settlement project aims to separate Jerusalem from Bethlehem and Hebron. Construction in this area will seriously harm the geographical contiguity of Palestinian territory in and around occupied Jerusalem and isolate Beit Safafa from other Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
- Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin Village: plans against this village are within the agenda of the new Israeli government, which seeks to threaten, demolish, and erase the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar to complete the settlement plans linking "Ma'ale Adumim" settlements to Jerusalem.
- The Lands of Beit Hanina and Beit Iksa: The occupation's municipality recently submitted the detailed master plan for the "Ramot" settlement project. A 45-dunum area will be developed with 263 settlement housing units, an urban residential complex, public buildings, institutions, and sports and entertainment venues.
- Qalandia Village (Al-Ras Area): According to news reports, an Israeli settler seized a plot of land in this village and brought contractors, heavy machinery, and bulldozers, and they began excavating. The settler stated in an interview that he rented that land from the Jewish National Fund. He added that this state property had been under the Ottoman rule since 1907 and that he would use it for agricultural purposes.
- The Kassarat Area in Al-Ram Town: the continuation of excavation works by the IOF.
According to "Ir Amim," an Israeli human rights organization, the following settlement plans are underway within the occupation's "municipal boundaries" of Jerusalem:
- 156 new settlement units in "French Hill" settlement: the Local Planning Committee discussed this plan on 18 January. It's an urban renewal plan designated for further construction in this settlement.
- 100 settlement units in "Nov Tzion" settlement built on Jabal Al-Mukabber lands: the plan will expand this settlement on a large scale and replace the current Israeli police station. The plan, including 275 hotel rooms, was scheduled for discussion by the Local Planning Committee on 18 January. However, it was removed from the agenda due to U.S. pressure following the visit of the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
- 284 new units in "Gilo" settlement: the plan to expand the settlement further was officially published to be submitted for public review on 2 January.
- 150 new units in "Har Homa" settlement: this plan was set to be discussed by the relevant committee on 8 January, but it was removed from the agenda.
Other Settlement Activities in the occupied West Bank:
- Lands of Deir Istiya village: the settlement sub-committee announced the submission of the detailed master plan for the settlement of "Emmanual" built on the village's lands in the geographic location known as Jabal Al-Thib in Salfit governorate. The project aims to construct 266 new housing units in addition to open public areas and public institutions.
- Lands of Walajeh village: The Israeli Civil Administration's Roads subcommittee announced the entry into force of the master plan for Road 385, connecting the settlement of "Har Gilo" (established on Walajeh lands in Bethlehem governorate) with West Jerusalem, on an area of 194 dunums. The project aims to increase the number of settlers in the "Har Gilo" settlement.
- Northern Jordan Valley, East of Ein Al-Hilweh: settlers began fencing off more pastoral spaces up to Highway 90, which connects the northern and southern parts of Jordan Valley and lies close to the Jordanian-Palestinian border. The settlers in the northern Jordan Valley have begun fencing off Khirbet Al-Farisiyyeh to complete the fencing of lands they seized about eight months ago.
Settlers' Attempts to Establish Colonial Installations (Outposts)
- Under the protection of the Israeli Civil Administration, settlers set up a caravan in the Khillet Farwaneh area (in Jaba'a village in Bethlehem governorate) in preparation for establishing a colonial installation.
- Settlers installed four caravans near the village of Umm Al-Khair in the Municipality of Yatta in Hebron governorate.
- Settlers stormed the area of Wa'ar Jammeh, which belongs to the village of Jurish in Nablus governorate, to establish a new colonial installation, setting up several caravans. Two other attempts have also been made to establish a colonial installation on lands inside the village.
- An attempt to establish a colonial installation in the villages of Qusra and Majdal Bani Fadil in Nablus governorate, where tents and caravans were erected.
Palestine's Political Prisoners
At the end of January 2023, more than 4,700 Palestinian prisoners were in Israeli jails. These prisoners were detained in 23 different prisons and detention and investigation centers. This includes 29 female prisoners, most of whom are held at "Damon" prison. Prisoners include 150 children and minors detained at "Ofer," "Megiddo," and "Damon" prisons. Moreover, about 866 administrative detainees are held at "Ofer" and "Negev" prisons, including seven children and two women, Shurooq Al-Badan and Raghad Al-Fanni. The number of arrests during January 2023 reached more than 500, including about 80 children from different West Bank and Gaza Strip governorates. Among them are more than 250 arrests in occupied Jerusalem alone.
The Latest Developments:
- Administrative Detentions: the Israeli occupation authorities issued at least 260 administrative detention orders during January 2023, including 103 new orders and 157 extension orders against Palestinians. More than 80 administrative detainees are currently boycotting the occupation's courts at all levels. This step represents an expansion of the prisoners' struggle against the crime of administrative detention. It is worth noting that most administrative detainees are currently being held at "Ofer" and "Negev" prisons.
- Hunger Strikes: 120 prisoners at the "Negev" prison began a hunger strike to protest collective isolation and physical abuse.
- Solitary Confinement of Palestinian Prisoners: during 2022, more than 70 Palestinian prisoners were put in solitary confinement. The Israeli Prison Service is currently isolating 40 Palestinian prisoners under awful conditions, including seven prisoners who suffer from severe health and psychological conditions. The oldest serving inmate is Mohammad Khalil (39 years old) from Al-Mazra'a Al-Gharbiya, Ramallah. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006 and has been in isolation for more than 15 years in total. Another prominent example of the crime of solitary confinement is the case of Jerusalemite prisoner Ahmad Manasra (21 years old), who has been in isolation by the occupation's Prison Service since October 2021 despite his critical psychological and health condition.
- The Policy of Medical Negligence and Sick Prisoners: more than 600 Palestinian prisoners are currently suffering from diseases of different levels, including about 200 prisoners with chronic illnesses, of whom at least 24 have cancer or tumors of varying degrees. Perhaps the most challenging condition is that of Asef Al-Rifa'i (20 years old) from Kafr Ein. Throughout his childhood, Al-Rifa'i was arrested several times. Despite his battle with leukemia, he was arrested, for the fourth time, on 24 September 2022. Before his arrest, Al-Rifa'i could not complete his cancer treatment due to constant persecution and the occupation's refusal to grant him a permit to receive treatment in a Jerusalem hospital. A continuous pattern of medical negligence is being committed against Al-Rifa'i by the Israeli occupation authorities, including delaying his transfer to the hospital to undergo the necessary examinations. As a result, cancer spread throughout his body, and he now faces a critical health condition.
- Other Israeli Violations against Palestinian Prisoners: In January 2022, the occupation's Prison Service transferred about 220 Palestinian prisoners from “Hadarim,” “Megiddo,” and “Rimon” prisons to new sections of “Nafha,” “Ofer,” and “Gilboa” prisons. This came after the Prison Service recently announced large-scale transfer operations related to 2,000 Palestinian inmates. It is worth noting that the Israeli Prison Service rips off prisoners' clothes, destroys their belongings during prison transfers, and reduces the products prisoners can buy from prison canteens (commissaries). The occupation's Prison Service also closed the female prisoners' section of "Damon" Prison for a whole week, confiscated electrical appliances and other belongings, and imposed harsh penalties on female prisoners. Moreover, they sprayed tear gas and pepper gas on the female prisoners' section and viciously assaulted a number of these women. Furthermore, the repressive forces of the Israeli Prison Service stormed several sections of “Ofer,” “Megiddo,” and “Negev” prisons, assaulting the prisoners and isolating several of them. For example, Israeli forces stormed several rooms in a section of “Ofer” prison, took out prisoners by force, and beat them brutally, noting that there were 233 prisoners in that section. A section of "Megiddo" prison was also attacked brutally, putting at least ten prisoners in isolation. The detainees at “Negev” prison also experienced similar abuse. After being stripped of their possessions and deprived of their basic needs, some sections were turned into collective isolation locations.
 Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD)
 The Ministry of Health confirmed the death of 35 Palestinians in January 2023. However, they did not mention the death of 13-year-old Nayef Aweidat from Nuseirat Camp, who suffered injuries from Israeli aerial bombardment operations during their aggression on Gaza in August 2022.
 Currently, 14 Palestinian journalists are incarcerated in Israeli jails, including five journalists under administrative detention.
 National Campaign for the Recovery of Martyrs' Bodies
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
 The occupation authorities demolished 32 structures, including six homes in occupied Jerusalem. This led to the displacement of eight families comprising 37 individuals, including 16 children (42 other families were also affected, totaling 267 individuals, of whom 121 were children).
 Sources: Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) and news reports.
 This area extends from the Musrara neighborhood, Damascus Gate, Sultan Suleiman Street, and Bab Al-Sahira (Herod's Gate) to Yusufiyya Cemetery.
 Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC)
 The information in this report is based on updated reports issued by the Palestinian Prisoners Society.
 Among them are three minor girls being detained at “Damon” prison: Nufuz Hammad (16 years old) from Jerusalem, Zamzam Qawasmeh (17 years old) from Hebron, and Rama Abu-Eisheh (14 years old) from Hebron.
 Over the past nine years, Israeli occupation authorities issued more than 12,000 administrative detention orders. Administrative detention orders peaked in 2022, when they totaled 2,409. December 2022 recorded the highest number of administrative detention orders in a single month, with 315 orders.