By Chris Carlson
International Middle East Media Center: Israeli forces, stationed on the borders with the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, opened fire on a residential area adjacent to the borders near Khan Yunes, according to media sources.
A WAFA correspondent said that soldiers opened live fire towards homes in an area to the east of Khan Yunes. No injuries were reported among local residents.
Meanwhile, Israeli army vehicles, tanks and bulldozers continued their daily raids and razing of private-owned agricultural areas near the borders, amid sporadic gunfire and flying reconnaissance aircrafts over the southern parts of the Gaza Strip.
In a related matter, Israeli naval forces in the early morning hours opened a hail of gunfire towards Palestinian fishermen’s boats off Khan Yunes and Rafah, forcing them to head to shore. No injuries were reported.
Also on Wednesday, in the morning, Israeli forces razed Palestinian-owned land in Abu al-Zuluf area to the west of Hebron, according to an activist.
Forces, backed with bulldozers and heavy machinery, razed land belonging to residents of Tarqumiyah, a town located to the northwest of Hebron, said Head of Taffuh Local Council Mahmoud Zreiqat.
The land is located in Abu al-Zuluf area between Adora, an illegal Israeli settlement built on Palestinian-owned land belonging to residents of Tarqumiyah, and ‘Ayn Farʻa, an area that has many springs and belong to residents of Dura, noted Zreiqat.
He said that settlers from Adora and Telem, another illegal Israeli settlement, installed steel poles and wires in the land, in order to seize it as a prelude for expanding the two settlements and connect them together.
Residents were able to remove some of the poles and wires, said Mayor of Tarqumiyah, Sami Fatafta.
Israeli bulldozers, on Wednesday, demolished several Palestinian Bedouin houses in the Negev desert, locals said, according to Ma’an News Agency.
Police vehicles escorted bulldozers across the Negev as they demolished a number of structures in villages not recognized by Israeli authorities.
In the village of al-Zaarura, bulldozers demolished two houses belonging to the Abu Judah family, witnesses said.
Locals in the village of Kseifa said that bulldozers demolished houses and tore down trees.
Demolitions across the Negev are still ongoing, residents told Ma’an Wednesday afternoon.
Yesterday, hundreds of Palestinians and activists planted olive trees in land threatened with seizure by Israel, in the village of Kherbat Samra near Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley.
The event, which was attended by Tubas governor Rabih al-Khundagji, is part of the popular resistance campaign against the Israeli procedures of confiscating Palestinian private-owned land for the benefit of settlement construction.
Forces attempted to prevent Palestinians from planting the trees but residents refused to leave and proceeded to plant hundreds of dunums of land with olive trees.
Al-Khundagji said that the continued Israeli attempts to seize the Palestinian land and imposition of facts on ground are rejected, stressing in the meantime the Palestinian people’s right to safeguard their land against Israeli takeover by similar means.
In al-Tawani area, to the east of Yatta, in the Hebron district, school children were attacked by Israeli settlers, injuring two, according to a local activist and police sources.
Coordinator of the Anti-wall and Settlement Popular Committee Rateb jabour said that settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces, physically attacked students of al-Tawani school and hurled stones at them, causing two female children, aged 13, to sustain bruises and wounds.
A press release issued by the Police Public Relations Department stated that the two children were severely beaten by Israeli settlers while they were outside their house and, as a result, they sustained moderate wounds and were taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment.
Meanwhile, soldiers sealed off the Jerusalem-Hebron road after fires broke out in a military watchtower set up at the entrance of Beit Ummar.
Also in Hebron, on Wednesday, WAFA reports that a Palestinian elderly was severely attacked and injured by both Israeli settlers and soldiers in al-Tawani and Um al-Kahir to the east of Yatta in Hebron district, according to an activist.
Forces severely beat 55-year-old Khadra al-Hathalin, causing her to lose consciousness and sustain bruises. She was transferred to a hospital for treatment, said Coordinator of the Anti-wall and Settlement Popular Committee Rateb Jubur.
In Jerusalem, Israeli settlers entered al-Aqsa Mosque, in a provocative visit, assaulting and harassing outdoor female students under police protection, according to witnesses.
They said that police allowed the entrance of settlers in small groups during the early morning hours, provoking worshipers and students who chanted religious slogans in protest of the entrance of the extremists to the holy site.
Settlers, under police protection, attacked the students and worshipers, spit at them while using foul language against them.
Meanwhile, Israeli police, stationed at the gates leading to the mosque, continued to impose intensive restrictions on Palestinian worshipers’ entry to the mosque, especially on youth who are ordered to hand over their ID cards to soldiers before they are alowed to enter the mosque.
Furthermore, Israeli forces and police abducted seven people in Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem as well as serving notices for the demolition of two Palestinian-owned shops, according to reports by local and security sources.
Israeli police kidnapped four youth, in Jerusalem, after raiding their houses in the Old City, raising the number of overall abductions, in Jerusalem, to 14 in less than a month.
Meanwhile in Hebron, the army kidnapped a 16-year-old in the village of Tabaqa near Dora, to the west of Hebron. They also took a youth, aged 28, in Hebron and led him to an unknown destination.
Forces further stormed the nearby village of Deir Samet and served local residents with notices to demolish two stores in the area. Meanwhile, army forces set military checkpoints at the entrance to several towns in Hebron district, checking drivers’ and passengers’ identity cards and causing a traffic jam in the process.
In Bethlehem, occupation forces stormed a home in As-Saf Street, in the city, and ordered its owner to take them to the workplace of his 20-year-old son, where they took him away.