May 2023: Summary of Israeli Violations against Occupied Palestine

Media Briefs
June 17, 2023

Key Facts and Figures[1]

  • The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out 696 shooting incidents in various Palestinian governorates, with 253 occurring in the occupied West Bank and 443 in the Gaza Strip. These incidents resulted in the killing of 54 Palestinians, including seven children[2]. At least 355 civilians were injured. Israel's five-day Israeli military operation that began on 9 May killed 34 Palestinians in Gaza.
  • The IOF conducted 749 military raids and established 332 sudden military checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian villages, towns, and refugee camps. The civilian property was attacked 77 times during these operations, resulting in 19 confiscation cases.
  • Israeli settlers were involved in 97 attack incidents[3], including driving into citizens, throwing stones at citizens' homes and vehicles, assaulting and directly shooting at citizens, storming the outskirts of villages and towns, and damaging their properties, in addition to leveling lands and uprooting olive saplings.
  • According to a report by the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC) on Israeli violations, the Israeli settlers uprooted (2961) trees, including (1929) olive trees and (1032) saplings of grapes, citrus fruits, almonds, and palm trees, most of which were uprooted in the Hebron governorate (1530 trees), followed by Nablus governorate (855 trees).


Withholding the Bodies of Palestinian Martyrs[4]

Israel, the occupying Power, continues withholding the remains of (129) Palestinian martyrs, including (11) children, (12) prisoners, and one woman. Furthermore, the Cemeteries of Numbers still hold the remains of (256) other Palestinian martyrs. In May 2023, the Israeli occupation authorities released the bodies of eight Palestinian martyrs while withholding the bodies of two other new martyrs.


Demolition of Palestinian Homes[5]

The occupation authorities demolished 95 structures, including 27 homes, throughout the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem. The demolitions included ten donor-funded structures, displacing 31 families comprising 160 individuals, including 85 children[6]. Moreover, the report issued by CWRC indicated that the occupation authorities issued 72 demolition, halt-of-construction, and evacuation notices in the occupied West Bank, primarily targeting the governorates of Nablus and Salfit, and Tubas, with 30, 18, and 11 notices, respectively.


Israeli Settlers' Terrorism

Under the support of the extremist Israeli government, settler violence against Palestinian civilians, property, and religious sites continued unabated in May 2023. During the reporting period, Israeli settlers carried out two run-over attacks in Qalqilia and Hebron governorates. They set on fire a home belonging to the Abbad family in Jalud, Nablus governorate.

Here are a few examples of this alarming trend:

  • 2 May in Qalqilya Governorate: Elias Mohammad Nasser, ten years old, was struck and injured by a settler's vehicle in front of a school in Al-Jit.
  • 10 May in the town of Deir Dibwan in Ramallah Governorate: a group of settlers opened fire on and assaulted several farmers on the outskirts of the town, wounding two of them, including a child.
  • 11 May in Hebron Governorate: a settler ran over university student Aya Asaad Karja while driving his vehicle near the Khadouri University, Al-Aroub branch entrance, causing her bruises.
  • 17 May in Hebron Governorate: settlers seized a water well and prevented citizens in the Maghayer Al-Abeed area, southeast of Yatta town, from accessing it. A total of 120 olive seedlings and planted crops were also destroyed in ​​about 50 dunums owned by several citizens, including Salameh Makhamreh.
  • 18 May in occupied Jerusalem: with the participation of Israeli Ministers and Knesset Members, headed by the extremist settler Minister Ben Gvir, settlers led the "flag march" in the old city, chanting "Death to Arabs." Settlers also threw stones at journalists and severely assaulted four citizens: Abed Barbar, Firas Al-Atrash, Malek Matour, and Majd Matour.
  • 30 May in Nablus Governorate: settlers set fire to a house owned by a citizen of the Abbad family on the outskirts of Jalud village.


Main Settlement Activities in Occupied Jerusalem and its Surrounding Areas:

  • The settler organization "Ateret Cohanim" is promoting a plan to establish "Kedmat Zion," a new settlement between Abu Dis and Ras Al-Amud, to cut off the geographic connection between occupied Jerusalem and Abu Dis. This plan includes (384) housing units on ​​79 dunums.
  • A committee led by Israel's Transportation Minister discussed establishing more "light rail" lines. This would mean that more Palestinian lands would be taken over in favor of the settlements and occupied Jerusalem would be under tighter control. According to the committee, the suggested routes include a route to link the "Gilo" settlement with the "Ramat Shlomo" settlement (west of Shufat) and areas of the "Ramot" settlement. The "light rail" project is expected to be completed by 2025 and 2028.
  • Within a five-year plan between 2023 and 2027, the Israeli government has allocated vast budgets for the Judaization of occupied Jerusalem and the promotion of settlements. It will additionally allocate a budget of 95 million shekels to attract and persuade new Jewish immigrants to settle in occupied Jerusalem by granting them special privileges. Also, the budget for storming the Al-Buraq Wall between 2023 and 2024 was increased to 8 million shekels. They also formed a ministerial committee for "Greater Jerusalem Affairs," headed by Meir Baruch. The tasks of this committee will focus on the revival of what they call "Jerusalem as the capital of Israel" and will work on the development and well-being of its settlers' population.

Moreover, the Israeli human rights organization "Ir Amim" reported that the occupation government has recently announced plans to construct (4685) new settlement units within the defined borders of the occupation's municipality. The distribution of these units is per the following construction plans: (1465) settlement units in the "lower adequate" settlement plan, (120) settlement units in the "Ramot Alon" settlement, (1039) settlement units in the "Mount Scopus- French Hill" settlement, (284) settlement units in the "Gilo" settlement, (1035) settlement units in the "Ramot" settlement, and (692) settlement units in the "East Talpiot" settlement.


Other Main Settlement Activities in the Occupied West Bank:

  • The Israeli Ministry of Housing published tenders for the construction of (260) settlement units in the following settlements in the occupied West Bank: (156) settlement units in the "Kiryat Arba" settlement, (60) settlement units in the "Adam" settlement adjacent to the Palestinian village of Jaba' just north of the town of Hizma, (44) settlement units in the "Ma'aleh Ephraim" settlement close to Duma village in the Jordan Valley, and (48) settlement units in the "Karnei Shomron" settlement built on lands belonging to farmers from the Hajjah village east of Qalqilya.
  • A "settlement division" subcommittee announced the entry into force of detailed master plans for expanding several settlements in the occupied West Bank. It includes (45) settlement units in the "Vered Yerihu" settlement built on the lands of Nabi Musa village, (189) settlement units in the "Talmon" settlement on an area of ​​55.6 dunums of the lands of Deir Ammar village, (290) settlement units in the "Nikodim" settlement on a site of ​​225.5 dunums of the lands of Arab Al-Ta'amra.
  • Since the Al-Aqaba meeting, Israel's Lands Authority has published tenders for constructing about (1,248) new settlement units in the occupied West Bank on its website. These settlements are "Beitar Illit," "Efrat," "Kiryat Arba," "Ma'ale Ephraim," and "Karni Shomron," in addition to (89) units in the "Gilo" settlement.
  • The Settlements' Council in the occupied West Bank published data claiming that the number of settlers in the occupied West Bank had reached 506,000 in May. A proliferation rate of 2.2% was recorded in 2022 when the number of settlers increased by 10,755.
  • The Israeli government approved a proposal to invest 32 million shekels in developing a settlement site adjacent to the Palestinian town of Sebastia, which will target the archaeological site there and turn it into a tourist site to be administered by the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority on an area estimated at 714 dunums. Part of this site is located in the Olso-defined Area C, and another part in Area B. It is surrounded by the villages of Burqa, Bazaria, Naqoura, and Deir Sharaf to the north of Nablus. An area that constantly witnesses repeated settlers' attacks.
  • Two billion NIS have been allocated to develop Route 60, which connects north and south roads along the West Bank. This is in addition to 500 million shekels will be allocated to expand a road between the "Ariel" settlement and the Za'tara junction (Tapuah) in the northern West Bank, an investment of 366 million shekels in developing the access road to the so-called "Beit El" regional council area, 300 million shekels for building a new road between the settlement of "Migron" and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, 200 million shekels for constructing a bypass road around the Palestinian village of Al-Funduq on the road between the cities of Nablus and Qalqilya, and 150 million shekels for a road in the "Alfei Menashe" settlement.
  • Minister Yoav Gallant issued an order to start implementing a law, passed by the Knesset about two months ago, related to the abolition of the disengagement plan, as he ordered the military chief to secure settlers' entry to those areas and provide them with full protection, and to allow them to return to the (formerly evacuated) "Homesh" settlement installation (outpost), which was declared as an officially recognized settlement only recently. Also, moving the religious school in "Homesh" a few hundred meters will be investigated to make it "legitimate."
  • Following rejecting all legal objections from the "Peace Now Movement," Hebron Municipality, and Youth Against Settlement, settlers in Hebron City began building (31) new settlement units.


Palestine's Political Prisoners[7]

As of the end of May 2023, about (4,900) Palestinian prisoners were incarcerated in 23 different prisons, detention centers, and investigation facilities. A total of (30) of these prisoners are women, most of whom are held in the "Damon" prison, (16) journalists[8], and (160) children and minors detained at "Ofer," "Megiddo," and "Damon" prisons, including Nufuz Hammad (16 years old) from Jerusalem. According to recent statistics, until the end of May, nearly (10,000) children have been arrested since 2015. Furthermore, there are currently over (1,080) administrative detainees in "Ofer," "Majiddo" and "Negev" prisons, including at least 14 children and three women, namely Raghad Al-Fanni, Rawda Abu Agamiyeh, and Samah Souf. In May 2023 alone, more than (612 arrests) were made, with approximately (82) of those arrests involving children from various governorates. About (194) arrests took place in occupied Jerusalem alone.

The Latest Developments:

  • Administrative Detention: the Israeli occupation authorities issued (302) administrative detention orders against Palestinians in May (130 new orders and 172 extension orders).
  • Hunger Strike: Detainee Khader Adnan (45), from Arraba town in Jenin, died on 2 May in "Ramle Clinic" prison after 86 days of an open hunger strike against his administrative detention. Detainee Sheikh Majed Amarneh (51) years old, from Ya'bad town Jenin, known as Sheikh Izz al-Din Amarneh, who suffers from blindness and several health problems that require urgent, immediate, and permanent medical care, suspended his hunger strike after 14 days.
  • Solitary Confinement: Since the beginning of 2023, more than (70) Palestinian prisoners have been in solitary confinement. Currently, there are (35) prisoners held in solitary confinement: some suffer from severe health and psychological conditions. Two prominent examples of solitary confinement are Ahmad Manasra (21 years old), who has been in isolation since October 2021 despite his critical psychological and health condition, and Mohammad Khalil, who has been in isolation for over 15 years.
  • Medical Negligence: Over 700 Palestinian prisoners suffer from a variety of diseases, including around (200) chronic illnesses, and at least (24) suffer from cancers and tumors, including Asef Al-Rifa'i, Walid Daqqa, Ali Al-Hroub, and Mousa Safwan that face challenging medical conditions. The health conditions of other prisoners are deteriorating due to Israel's continued medical negligence, including detainee Mohammad Al-Khatib, who has chronic back problems (herniated disc). Al-Khatib's back pain prevents him from sleeping, which causes him to rely on anesthetic drugs today. The severity of the pain, however, makes such drugs useless.

[1] Negotiations Affairs Department(NAD)

[2] Palestinian Ministry of Health

[3] Multiple attacks may occur in the same incident

[4] National Campaign for the Recovery of Martyrs' Bodies

[5] United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

[6]  161 other families with 959 individuals, of whom 469 were children, were otherwise affected.

[7] 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

[8] Four journalists are under administrative detention

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