March 2023: Summary of Israeli Violations against Occupied Palestine
March 2023: Summary of Israeli Violations against Occupied Palestine
Key Facts & Figures
- In various Palestinian governorates, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out 249 shooting incidents, with 219 occurring in the occupied West Bank and 30 in the Gaza Strip. These incidents resulted in the killing of 25 Palestinians, including five children. At least 180 civilians were injured, including 22 children.
- The IOF conducted 679 military raids and established 342 sudden military checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian villages, towns, and refugee camps. During these operations, an estimated 18 attacks were made against civilian property, leading to 28 confiscation cases.
- Israeli settlers carried out 130 attack incidents, including burning homes, vehicles, and agricultural lands, hurling stones, running over and 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 uprooted 635 trees, with most of the attacks taking place in the Jenin governorate, where settlers uprooted 220 trees.
- The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) documented over 34 violations against medical staff and vehicles, with most of the violations aimed at obstructing the work of medical personnel and preventing/ hindering the arrival of ambulances to rescue the wounded during attacks.
Withholding the Bodies of Palestinian Martyrs
Israel, the occupying Power, continues withholding the remains of 132 Palestinian martyrs, including 13 children, 11 prisoners, and one woman. Furthermore, the "Cemeteries of Numbers" continue to hold the remains of 256 other Palestinian martyrs. In March 2023, the Israeli occupation authorities released the bodies of six Palestinian martyrs while withholding the bodies of seven other recent martyrs.
Demolition of Palestinian Homes
The occupation authorities demolished 46 structures, including 11 homes, throughout the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem. The demolitions included eight donor-funded structures, resulting in the displacement of 15 families comprising 73 individuals, including 30 children (30 other families with 250 individuals, of whom 88 were children, were otherwise affected). Moreover, the report issued by CWRC indicated that the occupation authorities issued 51 demolition, halt-of-construction, and evacuation notices in the occupied West Bank, primarily targeting the governorates of Salfit and Jericho, with 19 and 11 notices, respectively.
Israeli Settlers' Terrorism
This month, fuelled by the new far-right Israeli government, witnessed an ongoing wave of unabated settler violence against Palestinian civilians, their property, and religious sites. Here are a few examples of this alarming trend:
- At dawn on 26 March: settlers entered the outskirts of Sinjil town, located in Ramallah governorate. They threw incendiary bottles into Ahmed Maher Awashreh's house, setting it on fire while he was with his family, including children. The family miraculously survived.
- On 19 March: two settlers stormed into the Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, Gethsemane, in occupied Jerusalem. They attempted to damage items inside and attacked clergy members and worshippers.
- On 15 March: settlers from the illegal settlement of "Kochav Hashahar," east of Ramallah, attacked the tent of Sadeq Farakhneh, located near the village of Deir Jarir. They assaulted him and his family and stole 30 heads of livestock and a donkey.
- On 14 March: settlers from the "Taffouh" and "Rahalim" settlements stormed into the citizens' agricultural lands belonging to the villages of Yasuf and Al-Zawiya in Salfit governorate, uprooting 170 fruitful olive trees belonging to citizens Reda Atiyani and his brothers.
- On 8 March: settlers attacked citizens in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the occupied Old City of Hebron. They verbally attacked and threw stones and empty bottles at citizens from the families of Abu Shamsiyyeh, Ghanem, Abu Haikal, and Abu Aisha.
Settlement Activities in Occupied Jerusalem and its Surrounding Areas:
- The so-called “Planning Committee” in the occupation’s municipality approved (3) new settlement plans in Jabal Abu Ghneim known as the "Har Homa" settlement, the industrial zone "Talpiot," and the Zoo area built on the lands of Al-Walaja, with a total of about (700) settlement units. This is the fifth project since the beginning of this year.
- A committee in the occupation’s municipality announced that it had decided to recommend a deposit for a plan to build (212) settlement units in the “French Hill” settlement.
- In the Old City, the occupation authorities plan to construct a settlement project of a cafe with a view of 300 square meters above the Tankaziyya School and the Al-Buraq Wall, overlooking Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. The occupation’s municipality and the so-called “Wailing Wall Legacy Fund” are supervising the establishment of this project for the benefit of the extremist settlers storming into the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
- A committee in the occupation’s municipality discussed a plan to build a new colonial project, the “Lower Aqueduct," on an area of 190 dunums on both sides of the Green Line, which includes building (1,230) settlement units. This would link the concerned area between the settlements of “Har Homa” and “Givat Hamatos” and cut off the geographical connection between occupied Jerusalem and Bethlehem in particular and the southern West Bank in general.
- A committee in the occupation’s municipality announced the approval of the detailed structural settlement project "Atarot Triangle," located on the lands of Beit Hanina on an area of 117 dunums, which aims to establish public buildings and institutions and an industrial area.
- The period for submitting objections to the Wadi El Joz Business Center plan, known as “Silicon Valley,” covering an area of 80 dunums, has expired. The planned area for "Silicon Valley" is already a busy commercial area where several Palestinian shops, garages, and other small businesses are threatened by demolition.
- The Moria Company, affiliated with the occupation’s municipality, is implementing one of the most significant transportation projects in and around occupied Jerusalem. By digging four underground tunnels, the project aims to facilitate the settlers’ movement in and out of the city. Two tunnels extend to the settlement of "Ma'aleh Adumim" ( 1 km length), while two others ( 750 meters length) extend to the settlement of "Pisgat Ze'ev." Another project is to widen and improve Route 437 Hizma Street for the “Sha'ar Binyamin” industrial area near Jaba village.
Moreover, according to the Israeli human rights organization “Ir Amim,” the occupation's government has announced plans for 4954 new settlement units within the so-called borders of Jerusalem municipality, as follows:
- Plans to build (100) new settlement units for the expansion of the “Nof Zion settlement.” The submission of this plan for objection is being discussed in the occupation's municipality.
- A published plan in local newspapers for the construction of more than (1,200) settlement units in the "Gilo" settlement (the urban renewal plan is for the built-up area).
- A plan to build (250) settlement units in the "Pisgat Ze'ev" settlement. The submission of this plan for objection is being discussed in the occupation’s municipality.
- Expansion plans to build more than (1,900) settlement units in the "Ramot North A" settlement and the "Ramot North B" settlement. There is also another expansion plan for the “Ramot North A” settlement with (1,318) settlement units.
- A plan is to build (1,465) settlement units in the "Lower Aqueduct" colonial project. The “Local Planning and Construction” committee will discuss the presented objections.
Other Settlement Activities in the Occupied West Bank:
- North of Al-Ouja town in Jericho: the occupation army issued a new military order to expropriate more than 193 dunums in an archaeological area.
- East of Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate: the Palestinian Bedouin community in "Wadi Al-Siq" is threatened with displacement after the settlers began to establish a new colonial installation (outpost) near them.
- Um Safa village, north of Ramallah: the occupation authorities decided to confiscate about 300 dunums. The occupation forces have previously seized agricultural lands belonging to the village under the pretext of expanding the "Ateret" settlement.
- The occupation authorities published tenders for the construction of (1,029) settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including (747) new settlement units in the "Beitar Illit" settlement, (193) units in the "Efrat" settlement, and (89) units in the "Gilo" settlement.
- The “Roads Subcommittee” in the “Civil Administration” announced the filing of the organizational structural plan called "Across Samaria" on lands belonging to Habla village in Qalqilya governorate to widen the road on an area of 194 dunums.
- The so-called “Settlement Subcommittee” in the “Civil Administration” announced the deposit of a detailed master plan to establish (42) settlement units on an area of 57 dunums in the "Carmel" settlement, which is built on lands belonging to Yatta village in Hebron governorate.
- The same “Settlement Subcommittee” in the “Civil Administration” announced the deposit of a detailed master plan on an area of 520 dunums to establish 158 settlement units, open areas, public institutions, and commercial areas for the "Neghot" settlement, built on lands belonging to Dura village in Hebron governorate.
Palestine's Political Prisoners
Over (4,800) Palestinian prisoners were incarcerated in (23) different prisons and detention and investigation centers at the end of March 2023. A total of (29) of these prisoners are women, most of whom are held in the "Damon" prison. Among the prisoners were (170) children and minors detained at "Ofer," "Megiddo," and "Damon" prisons, including Nufuz Hammad (16 years old) from Jerusalem, which is a governorate in which the number of children arrested is the highest. Since 2015, nearly (10,000) cases of arresting children have been recorded, according to the latest statistics.
A total of (1,016) administrative detainees are currently being held at "Ofer" and "Negev" prisons, six of whom are children and one woman (Raghad Al-Fanni). A total of (558) arrests were made in March 2023, with about (84) arrests involving children from different governorates. Over (230) arrests took place in occupied Jerusalem alone.
The Latest Developments:
- Administrative Detention: the Israeli occupation authorities issued over 300 administrative detention orders against Palestinians in March (182 new orders and 119 extension orders).
- Hunger Strike: On the first day of Ramadan, 2000 prisoners were scheduled to go on an open-ended hunger strike against Israel’s arbitrary and punitive measures recommended by the extremist minister (Ben Gvir), but after the Israeli prison authority stopped these measures, the prisoners decided to suspend the strike. Prisoner Khader Adnan, who was hunger strike since his arrest on 5 February, was later held in the detention center in the “Ramla” Clinic after a severe deterioration of his health condition.
- Solitary Confinement: More than 70 Palestinian prisoners have been held in solitary confinement since the beginning of 2023. In March, 40 prisoners were held in solitary confinement, including seven with severe health and psychological conditions. A prominent example of solitary confinement is Ahmad Manasra (21 years old), who has been in isolation since October 2021 despite his critical psychological and health condition.
- Medical Negligence: more than 700 Palestinian prisoners are suffering from various diseases, including around 200 enduring chronic illnesses and at least 24 suffering from cancer or tumors. Asef Al-Rifa'i, who has been imprisoned since 1985, Walid Daqqa, who has been imprisoned for the last 37 years, and Musa Sufan from Tulkarem and Ali Al-Hroub are among those facing particularly challenging medical conditions.
- Torture and Ill-treatment: among the most prominent cases is Mohammad Al-Atrash (17) years old, from Sur Baher town in occupied Jerusalem, who was brutally assaulted during his arrest and in the interrogation cells. After raiding Al-Atrash's home at 4:00 am, he was taken to the interrogation center "Al-Mascobiyeh." He was kept in the corridor until 7:00 am, kneeling on his knees and facing the wall. His hands and feet were tied, preventing him from moving. When he tried to move, he was attacked and beaten all over. After that, he was interrogated for six hours. An interrogator pulled him blindfolded into a side room without cameras and physically assaulted him with a stick while threatening and shouting at him to confess. They also beat him hysterically, which caused his nose and mouth to bleed. After 20 days in “Al-Mascobiyeh,” he was moved to the youth section of Al-Damon prison.
 Negotiations Affairs Department(NAD)
 Multiple attacks may occur in the same incident
 National Campaign for the Recovery of Martyrs' Bodies
 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
 School affiliated with Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound
 Located in Jabal Al-Mukabber, south of occupied Jerusalem
 The information in this report is based on updated reports issued by the Palestinian Prisoners Society and the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.