School in Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community slated for demolition near which the Ma’ale Adumim settlement was built. Photo: Anne Paq, Activestills.org, 4 September 2011

Representatives of the Civil Administration came this afternoon to the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, north of the Ma'ale Adummim settlement, and began dismantling 11 energy production solar panels. These panels provide electricity to the community and to its school, which serves children from all Bedouin communities in the area. They were assembled over the past three months, and two of them only today. B'Tselem's field researcher is currently on location documenting the dismantling and confiscation activities.

Bassem Abu Rahmeh at the demonstration at which he was killed. Still from video by David Reeb 17 April 2009

The mother of Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a resident of the West Bank village of Bil’in killed when a soldier fired a tear-gas canister at him, petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice yesterday demanding that the Court compel the Military Advocate General (MAG) and the Attorney General to reach a decision concerning the appeal over the closing of the investigation file, and to indict the soldier who fired the canister along with any others bearing military command responsibility for the killing of her son. In the petition, filed jointly with Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din, Subhiya Abu Rahmeh demanded that the Court put an end to the foot-dragging and the avoidance of conducting even the most basic investigative acts that could shed light on the identity of the persons responsible for killing her son.

Still from video.

Palestinian women from Beit Hanoun found shelter with their families at an UNRWA school. They tell of the rough living conditions after losing their homes and speak of their hopes for the future. According to UN figures for Beit Hanoun, 90 homes were destroyed and 24 others damaged during Operation Protective Edge.

On 25 March 2015 Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) reiterated its ruling that by mid-April 2015 the State Attorney’s Office must announce its decision in the case of the killing of Samir ‘Awad. The HCJ made this announcement in response to the State’s request for yet another extension. B’Tselem criticizes the State’s disregard of a previous HCJ ruling and foot-dragging in the case. Samir ‘Awad, 16, was killed on 15 January 2013 by gunshots fired by soldiers near the Separation Barrier in the West Bank village of Budrus, although he posed no danger. Despite the more than two years that have passed since the incident, no decision has been made in the case.

Still from video footage of demolition, filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem

On 18 March 2015 the Civil Administration demolished the tents of 4 of the 9 families in Khallet Makhul. It had previously demolished all structures there in 2013, which were then rebuilt by the residents who petitioned the HCJ, leading the CA agreed to allow the residents to apply for building permits. Approval for the applications is pending, so there is no authority for the current demolition, even by the CA’s regulations. Demolitions are part of a long-standing Israeli policy to displace thousands of Palestinians in Area C. Israel, as the occupying force, must allow the local population to carry on with their lives, allowing them to build legally and preserve their way of life.

Still from video.

Late at night on 23 Feb. 2015 Israeli troops entered 10 neighboring apartments in Hebron. They demanded that the children be awakened, asked their names and photographed them. B’Tselem volunteers who live there filmed the incident. The military cannot treat civilians–and certainly not children–as potential criminals. Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying. It illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated. B’Tselem calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.

A Palestinian farmer ploughs his land as West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat is seen in the background. Photo: Baz Ratner, Reuters, December 22, 2011

An open letter from Hagai El-Ad, B'Tselem's Executive Director: The election results show, loud and clear, that the voting public in Israel favors the ongoing occupation. Within the excepted term of the new Knesset we will mark the 50th year of occupation. The fight against the occupation did not begin yesterday and will not end now. We, at B’Tselem, will continue to bring to light the daily aspects of occupation and to fight them undeterred. At the same time, we know that only ending occupation will end these injustices once and for all, and to that goal we are unwaveringly committed. The occupation is here to stay. With your help, we are here to end it.

Demolition of structures in Khallet Makhul this morning. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem

This morning, Civil Administration bulldozers returned to the Jordan Valley, demolishing the homes of four families and farming structures in Khallet Makhul and a farming structure in the village of al-Hadidiyah. The Administration also confiscated two waters tanks in the 200-person village of al-Farisiyah, which is not connected to a water supply network. A more detailed report will follow B'Tselem's investigation of the incidents. Follow B'Tselem's Facing Expulsion Blog.

A-Tuffah neighborhood, Gaza city, 21 Sept. 2014. Photo: Anne Paq, Activestills.org

Op-ed by Hagai El-Ad, B'Tselem's executive director: The Gaza Strip is the most silenced issue in the current election campaign. Silenced? Apart from certain politicians vying for credit for discovering the tunnel threat, Gaza is completely absent from this election – erased, along with this summer’s unpleasant war. Gaza is gone. Its residents do not exist. Our future, our suffering, isn’t interlinked with theirs. The Gazan neighbors of Sderot, Ashkelon, Nahal Oz, and Tel Aviv are invisible.

Israeli election ballots. Photo: Amir Cohen, Reuters, 15 March 2015

Op-ed by Sarit Michaeli, B'Tselem spokesperson, originally published in Ynetnews: The 20th Knesset (if it lives out its days) will usher in the 50th anniversary of Israeli occupation. Millions of Palestinians have no political representation – a right most of them would rather exercise in their own independent country, Palestine. For now, the Israeli government is holding the stick at both ends: It controls the entire area, but pays no attention to the opinions of a large part of the population living there. Until this situation changes, we’ll be left with a sad irony: Palestinians are good enough to print voter ballots, but not to actually vote.

B'Tselem has championed human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for over two decades, promoting a future where all Israelis and Palestinians will live in freedom and dignity.

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