Israeli forces 'steal coronavirus food aid for needy Palestinians, beat aid workers'

Israeli forces 'steal coronavirus food aid for needy Palestinians, beat aid workers'
Israeli forces have confiscated food from a Palestinian aid convoy that was meant for needy families in occupied East Jerusalem.
3 min read
01 April, 2020
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

Occupying Israeli forces have confiscated food and medical aid trucks being sent to Palestinians under COVID-19 lockdown in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces on Tuesday evening withheld a convoy of food aid for Palestinian families in need who have been left without income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The food truck was delivering aid to families in the southern Jerusalem town of Sur Baher, before it was raided by Israeli forces.

After stealing the aid, the army distributed the food between themselves and other policemen, a volunteer told The New Arab’s Arabic language service.

Four of the volunteers were arrested and were beaten by the occupying forces.

East Jerusalem is in Area C, which means it is under full Israeli administrative and military control.

Palestinian Jerusalemites have repeatedly complained of Israeli neglect during the coronavirus crisis.

Because the Palestinian Authority is unable to coordinate, Jerusalemites have launched civilian relief initiatives for those under lockdown. 

Israeli forces regularly confiscate aid meant for Palestinians.

Last week, Israeli authorities entered a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank to confiscate materials designated to build a clinic to deal coronavirus.

Officials from the Israeli Civil Administration came to the village of Khirbet Ibziq with a military escort, bulldozer and two trucks equipped with cranes on Thursday morning to demolish community clinic and emergency housing, according to Israeli human rights monitor Btselem.

Read More: Trapped between Israel's occupation and coronavirus: How are Palestinians coping with the pandemic?

According to the group, the officials seized poles and sheeting designated to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, two for a mosque, and four for emergency housing for people evacuated from their homes. A power generator, as well as supplies of sand, cement and cinder blocks to be used for the floor of the tents were also confiscated.

Ongoing illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories through harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property and other forms of violence. 

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