JAI: An Eye on Palestine – January 3, 2017

JAI: An Eye on Palestine – January 3, 2017

The YMCA-YWCA Joint Advocacy Initiative issues this newsletter to keep you updated on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories related to the Israeli occupation.

Israeli home demolitions break records, shatter lives in 2016

A Palestinian boy sits on a sofa following the 26 October 2016 demolition of his family’s home, which Israel said was built without a permit, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Silwan neigborhood. The destruction of the multi-unit building left 30 people, mostly children, homeless, in a year which saw Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian buildings break all records.

Israel has demolished or seized a record number of Palestinian buildings throughout the West Bank in 2016, according to the United Nations, displacing over 1,500 people.

In its year-end report, the UN humanitarian coordination agency OCHA states that Israel demolished 1,089 structures, double the number in 2015.

The demolitions and seizures displaced 1,593 persons and affected the livelihoods of another 7,000.  Read more…

What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?

2016 began with a bang: French telecommunications giant Orange announced in early January it was dumping its Israel affiliate.

This came just months after boycott activists renewed their campaign against the company over its support for Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza and its complicity in Israel’s colonization of the occupied West Bank.

The same week, a major Irish corporation yanked its cement contracts with Israel following boycott pressure.

Meanwhile, churches, student unions and local activists continued to organize strong boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns that caused panic among Israeli leaders.

Embarrassed by these significant victories, Israel spent 2016 waging “an all-out war” on the global BDS campaign, “in a desperate attempt to crush it,” according to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC).  Read more…

Year-in-review: Worst abuses against Palestinian children in 2016

Ramallah, January 1, 2017 – West Bank children suffered the highest losses of the past decade with 32 child fatalities at the hands of Israeli forces and security guards in 2016. In Gaza, children slipped deeper into poverty, as the blockade began its ninth year, with some still living in protracted displacement.

Significant numbers of West Bank children were also displaced as Israel carried out a record-breaking pace of home demolitions, even as the number of Jewish-only settlements increased. Equally alarming, Israel’s systematic military detention of Palestinian children showed no signs of abatement.

Israeli military and police brutality
The violent period which began in October 2015 after tensions broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, continued throughout 2016. Frequent clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with Israeli soldiers routinely employing an excessive use of force.  Read more…