Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Olive Harvest in the Occupied Territories starts with a number of serious incidents

No Comments 07 October 2014

PRESS RELEASE | Oct 6th 2014

As the olive harvest begins, a number of serious incidents have been reported in the Occupied Territories. 

 Every fall, Rabbis for Human Rights brings hundreds of volunteers to work side-by-side with Palestinian farmers during our Olive Harvest campaign. Our presence provides protection against possible settler intimidation, enables farmers to pick within the limited number of days that they can safely do so, and has also become an act of solidarity between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.

Unfortunately, the start of the harvest season was marred by a number of incidents of vandalism and destruction, some on land that farmers do not visit regularly during the year, so it is difficult to know when the destruction occurred. A few dozen mature olive trees were discovered cut down in Yasuf; most where cut at the bark of the tree, causing severe harm to the tree that we have not seen for some time.

Additionally, 15 trees were cut in Burin, along with a similar number in Aqrabah, along the Detroit Road where it was reported that settlers attempted to disrupt the harvest by expelling Palestinian farmers and giving orders to soldiers.

The legal proceeding from these acts are being handled by Yesh Din, who add that:

“It is important to note that even though the Israeli army has publicly committed to having its forces ready and reinforced in the run-up to the harvest, with special focus on well known friction zones, the severe damage that was reported today occurred exactly in the most predictable spots.”

Rabbis for Human Rights also adds that there is a Biblical prohibition against the destruction of fruit trees. We continue to work against this wasteful, hateful violence.

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RHR Field Worker Zakaria Sadah with DCO as they investigate trees cut down in Aqrabah

RHR Field Worker Zakaria Sadah with DCO as they investigate trees cut down in Aqrabah

More photos

For information on how to volunteer with RHR and assist Palestinian farmers safely harvest olives in the Occupied Territories click here.

Related media:

Dozens of olive trees destroyed in the West Bank in run-up to harvest, Ynet

Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Authorities demolish 9 structures in Khirbet Ar-Rahwa in the South Hebron Hills

No Comments 07 September 2014

The following update on demolitions in Khirbet ar-Rahma comes Operation Dove, an Italian NGO that focuses on the South Hebron Hills. Khirbet ar-Rahma is a small and poor Palestinian village in Area C of the occupied territories. Since its location in Area C means it is under full Israeli control, the villagers are subjected to the Israeli military planning system that blocks almost every Palestinian attempt at building and developing within their village. Whatever is built,  is demolished every now and again, as demonstrated by this most recent demolition.  In the background of the photos, please note the  new Jewish settlement, some of  which is illegal by the Israeli law,  but nevertheless is permitted to stay intact. This is an example of institutionalized discrimination, and demonstrates why RHR submitted an appeal to the High Court of Justice to return planning authority to the Palestinians in Area C. 

September 1 2014 demolition at Khirbet ar-Rahwa with Israeli settlement in background. PHOTO: Operation Dove

September 1 2014 demolition at Khirbet ar-Rahwa in the South Hebron Hills with new Israeli settlement in background. PHOTO: Operation Dove

From Operation Dove:

UPDATE 2014-09-01: IDF DEMOLISHED 9 STRUCTURE IN THE VILLAGE OF KHIRBET AR-RAHWA
38 persons lost their home, 21 of them children

Khirbet ar Rahwa – On 1st of September 2014, during the afternoon, the Israeli army and the D.C.O. (District Coordination Office) entered into the palestinian village of Khirbet ar-Rahwa, in the South Hebron Hills, and demolished 3 houses (tents), 3 animal shelters and 3 toilettes. No demolition order was delivered for these structures.

September 1 2014 demolition at Khirbet ar-Rahwa in the South Hebron Hills. PHOTO: Operation Dove

September 1 2014 demolition at Khirbet ar-Rahwa in the South Hebron Hills. PHOTO: Operation Dove

All the demolished structures were built with simple materials. Ar-Rawha that is located in area C, has no access to electricity, to the water pipeline and to any kind of facilities and services.
The houses belonged to the Altal family and to the Jabaarin family. Because of the demolitions, 38 persons, 21 of them children, lost their houses. All the families are waiting for humanitarian aid.

The village of ar-Rahwa is surrounded by the settlement of Tene and the outpost of Havat Moor. This outpost received demolition order in 2000, but the D.C.O decided to not demolish any house until now. Also the outpost is connected with the electricity net and water pipelines, services that are denied for the Palestinians of ar-Rawha, who are the legal owners of the land where the settlement of Tene is located.

Additional photos from Operation Dove

Related:

RHR Area C Planning Appeal

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General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Urgent letter: Cellular warning service not available in Bedouin communities

No Comments 30 July 2014

Yesterday (July 29th 2014), Rabbis for Human Rights and other organizations promoting rights for Bedouins in the Negev sent an urgent letter to the Home Front Command, protesting that the cellular rocket fire warning service is not available in unrecognized Bedouin communities.

The disturbing situation in which communities lack both protected areas and sirens  is difficult to remedy in the immediate future, but it seems that the absence of a cellular warning is an easier matter to fix. Therefore,  it’s all the more puzzling to us that the system is not programmed to provide warnings to citizens of these communities. “Disputes over planning issues are no reason to disregard human life,” argue the signatories to the letter: Rabbis for Human Rights, the Forum for Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, and AJEEC-NISPED. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Rabbis for Human Rights statement on Operation Protective Edge

No Comments 15 July 2014

“That be far from You to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked”

On the Right to Self Defense and its Limitations

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Rabbis for Human Rights is guided by the paramount Jewish value of preserving every human life. We totally reject deliberate destruction and bloodshed. Judaism appreciates efforts to preserve life even in the heat of battle, both by developing defense methods and by efforts not to target helpless non-combatants. “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous along with the wicked” (Genesis 18:25) Continue Reading

General, Press Releases, Refugees rights - UNHCR

PRESS RELEASE: Authorities Violently Break-up African Asylum Seeker Protest Camp

No Comments 05 July 2014

PRESS RELEASE | JUNE 30 2014


Reports of violence against asylum seekers and Israeli human rights activists during the “Freedom March” protest in a forest near Nitzana.

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On Sunday (June 29 2014) evening, hundreds of African asylum seekers were evacuated from a forest next to the village of Nitzana near Israel’s border with Egypt. The asylum seekers were violently evacuated by riot police forces and Immigration Department agents, as well as people in civilian dress, apparently civilian security officers from surrounding villages. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Human Rights Organizations: “Refrain from Collectively Punishing Palestinians.”

No Comments 22 June 2014

22.06.2014
PRESS RELEASE – for Immediate Publication

Human Rights Organizations: “Refrain from Collectively Punishing Palestinians.”

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IMAGE:  An Israeli soldier searches a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near the West Bank City of Hebron. Baz Ratner, Reuters via B’tselem

Concern that many of the military’s actions in the Occupied Territories do not directly serve the aim of locating and returning the three abducted Israelis and are severely and unnecessarily violating basic human rights. Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Supreme Court orders participation of Palestinians in planning and zoning processes in Area C

1 Comment 28 April 2014

PRESS RELEASE | April 28th 2014 
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Israeli Supreme Court orders participation of Palestinians in planning and zoning processes in Area C of the West Bank.

Jerusalem, April 28th: The Supreme Court gave an interim decision today in response to an appeal brought by Rabbis For Human Rights, ICAHD, JLAC, St. Yves and the Palestinian village of Ad-Dirat- Al-Rfai’ya requesting that planning authority be returned to Palestinians living in Area C.  The decision ordered the State to propose, within ninety days,  institutionalized ways to facilitate participation of local Palestinians in Area C in the planning processes that affect their lives.  Justices Rubinstein, Handel, and Solberg also expressed dissatisfaction with the current planning situation and rejected the state’s argument that participation of Palestinians exists in the current system and therefore the status quo ought to remain. Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

RHR: The Palestinian’s right to build should not be conditional on political negotiations.

2 Comments 28 April 2014

 Basic humanitarian needs and the right to develop should never be conditional upon political agreements or negotiations, and cannot be denied because of the suspension of the diplomatic talks with the Palestinian Authority. Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Former Head of Military Planning in West Bank: Palestinian Representation needed

1 Comment 26 April 2014

In an affidavit supporting RHR’s High Court petition to be heard April 28 2014, Shlomo Hayat, the Head of the Planning Bureau in the West Bank from 1971-1980, offers criticism of the military planning system and offers his support of RHR’s High Court planning appeal.

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Occupied Territories, Press Releases

4 Palestinian Children attacked, one badly injured, by Israeli Extremists

4 Comments 24 April 2014

Israeli settlers attacked with stones four Palestinian children who were returning home from school with their mother

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