Newsletter Spring 2021 | Machsomwatch
אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

Newsletter Spring 2021

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Wednesday, 17 March, 2021



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 Newsletter March 2021

Holiday Greetings to Our Friends and Supporters


In the spirit of the forthcoming Passover holidays, we feel this is a time for questions:

Guiding Hand? Helplessness? 

Or just lack of interest?

MachsomWatch reports continue to document the deterioration of the living conditions of the Palestinians throughout the West Bank, in particular in the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills.

We wonder, is there a guiding hand in all of this? Who is behind the worsening of the Palestinians’ circumstances caused by increased harassment by violent settler-colonists, by the demolition of houses, the confiscation of their property, and the uprooting of their olive trees by the Civil Administrationinfo-icon and the Army?

Harassment by settler-colonists of shepherds and farmers 

with the army’s support


Israeli settlers hurl stones at Palestinians during the annual harvest season near the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, West Bank on October 7, 2020. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90


"Day and night, Israeli soldiers (as the State’s emissaries) enable extreme settler-colonists to take the law into their hands, unhampered. They do not stop even at this time of a raging pandemic. They do not hesitate to injure the Palestinians physically, or to harm their property and sources of livelihood."

We have often reported about the violence of the new outposts in the Jordan Valley, and about the harassment during the olive harvest, but there are similar events in the central West Bank. "Armed settlers, accompanied by IDF soldiers, arrived at lands belonging to the villages of Shufa and Kafa. With the help of 10 tractors they uprooted olive trees and all the agricultural crops of the residents in the area. The estimated damage – 15 dunam of olive trees uprooted and the land levelled."

Other organizations also report on nearly daily attacks by settlers from outposts and violent settlements of people and property in the nearby villages. When the army (in charge in the area) arrives at such encounters, it usually orders the Palestinians to leave their lands, threatens them, and at times detains them, while the settlers are unharmed and can continue their destructive activities. It is rare that the army confronts the settlers, but it certainly tries to converse with them.

Have decisions been taken at a high level in the army to increase its support of the settlers? Is this related to the “annexation plan”, or maybe it is due to Israel’s repeated elections, which lead the settlers and their organizations to believe that their power has increased and that they can now take control of Palestinian lands without interference?



Join us in our wide range of activities


Demolition of homes, agricultural structures, and uprooting of olive trees by the Civil Administration and the Army

Remains of a demolished home at Rakiz 15.12.2020             Photo: Michal Tsadik

In our December 2020 Newsletter, we reported on a frightening increase of the amount of destruction of Palestinian homes and the confiscation of property. In February 2021 we held an emergency Zoom Event on this subject. The objective, it seems, is to push the Palestinian shepherds from their lands in Area C  (60% of the West Bank) to Areas A and B which are at times tens of kilometers away, and not suitable for their herds.

In 2019 we wrote about the Jordan Valley “Recently we have witnessed a rise in the number of demolitions of houses, tents and sheep pens, acts that leave entire families and their flocks without shelter in the especially harsh weather conditions that exist in the Palestinian Jordan Valley.” The demolitions in the Jordan Valley in November 2020 and in January 2021  reached new heights.

We arrived at Rakiz… The photos show the great destruction caused to Rasmi Abu Rami’s home… now living in a tent provided by a welfare agency. Nearby the ruins of the Murad Hamami family home,… they returned to live in a cave there… In Dura a month ago there was also a demolition… the situation is terrible… without minimal conditions, because even the toilet structure was destroyed and it is impossible to use the kitchen.”

OCHA reports in February 2021 “Since the beginning of 2021, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized, 197 Palestinian-owned structures, an increase of more than 200% compared with the same period in 2020.”
In January 2021, 3000 olive trees were uprooted in the Salfit area (near the Ariel settlement) by the army and the Civil Administration.

Is the increase in the number of demolitions of Palestinian structures and the prevention of their re-building the result of decisions taken by the Israeli government and the heads of the army, or are they local-level actions? Have specific decisions been made by the government to speed up “de facto annexation?”


We shall be pleased to get your comments.

Write to us at [email protected]


Support Our Activities in 2021


You can watch us here on our updated Site

As the world turns and pivots with ever-growing challenges the Israeli Occupation remains as an almost unstoppable force. While we continued to document and disseminate our observations, we knew that we wanted to find a way to reflect the challenges of the Occupation on our website more effectively, after all we are now twenty years old!

So we rolled up our sleeves and have renewed and refreshed, redesigned and rewritten.  We now offer a website with clear windows and interesting rooms taking you on a journey to the expanded and ongoing human rights violations of Palestinians as we have witnessed them for over 20 years.

On this journey you will discover the  complex, ongoing system constructed of internal checkpoints in the West Bank, bans on much needed construction, demolitions, restrictions on access to water, land expropriation, and a web of countless bureaucratic and legal barriers.

All of the above alongside increased settler violence leads to the suffocation of every human activity, in every area of Palestinian territory, every agricultural activity affecting every family, every community group, every economic action and every civil protest.

This is the reality of 2021.  We have created short and accessible information sheets and embedded short stories from our range of reports.  We wrapped all this in elegant and inviting visuals and shared the dilemmas and challenges, which accompany our actions.
Come and visit us and see who we are and what we are...



JStreet features MachsomWatchIsraeli Women Bearing Witness to the Occupation


We are pleased to share our
recent Zoom recordings and videos

Our Zoom events "Within Reach"

All the recordings available on our website   


Palestinian Jordan Valley The Quiet Transfer 

Qaddum: A Story of a Stubborn Village


Check out these videos on Palestinian Cultural and Heritage Sites:


Nebi Daniel and Other Maqam Sites 

 Denied Access to Holy Places



Despite all, we managed to do a lot this year :

Our 2020 Annual Report is available now!



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