A tank near a tent in the community. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 12 Nov. 2015

Civil Administration displaces 13 families in Khirbet Humsah 7 times in November for military training. Residents have been temporarily displaced 18 times this year, with another expected before month’s end. Entire families are forced to leave their homes on short notice, with their livestock, for extended durations, remaining without proper shelter in harsh weather. Frequent military training in the area is part of Israel’s badgering of local residents in an unlawful bid to reduce Palestinian presence in the Jordan Valley and Area C.

Ruins of a structure demolished by the civil authority in al-Hadidiya. Photo: Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 26 Nov. 2015

Over the last two days, Civil Administration and military personnel arrived at al-Hadidiya, razed the access road into the village and destroyed dwellings, livestock pens and storage facilities. Three families with a total of 19 members, including six minors, were left homeless. The Civil Administration destroyed these families’ homes before, in 2011, and they have been rebuilt since. Using the excuse of enforcing building laws, Israel is pursuing a policy designed to reduce the number of Palestinians living in Area C, by making their lives there intolerable. This government policy, which has been systematically implemented for years, constitutes the forcible transfer of protected persons inside the occupied territory – whether directly by demolishing their homes or indirectly by creating unlivable conditions.

Still from video documentation.

B’Tselem sent a letter to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding a cessation of the use of lethal force against people who either harmed, tried to harm, or were suspected of trying to harm others, once they no longer posed any danger. The letter demanded an end to the horrific string of summary street executions.

Lafy ‘Awad. Photo courtesy of the family

On 13 Nov. 2015, after a demonstration against the Separation Barrier in Budrus, several Palestinians approached the barrier. Soldiers emerged from an ambush and grabbed Lafy ‘Awad. They beat him as he tried to break free and his friends threw stones at the soldiers. He began to flee and a soldier shot him in the back, killing him. Three years ago soldiers killed Samir ‘Awad in almost identical circumstances; only recently was a decision made to try them on minor offenses. The policy of allowing armed ambushes against stone-throwers continues to take lives, permitting unjustified use of lethal force and needless death.

Police officer shoots girl lying motionless on the ground today (23 November 2015) in Jerusalem. Still from video.

In past two days, Palestinian girls attacked Israelis and were shot to death by security forces when lying motionless on the ground, posing no danger. Since early Oct., 48 knife attacks on Israelis have ended with Palestinian assailants/suspects shot to death. The recent surge of knife attacks is horrifying and security forces must protect the public and apprehend suspects, but they cannot act as judge or executioner. Top officials encourage the public to shoot anyone suspected of attacking Israelis, regardless of whether they pose danger, raising concern that these acts will go uninvestigated and the killers will continue to be role models.

The settlement of Itamar. Photo: Abed Omar Qusini, Reuters, 12 March 2011

On 21 Oct. 2015 PM Netanyahu retroactively approved an urban building plan for the settlement of Itamar. A week later he granted similar approval to 3 more settlements. Once again Israel retroactively approved settlement construction it had deemed illegal for years defined. Contrary to media reports that presented the PM as capitulating to pressure from settlers, his actions are consistent with a long-standing Israeli policy to facilitate de facto annexation of West Bank land.

Hadar Buchris’s funeral, Jerusalem. Photo by Ronen Zvulun, Reuters, 23 Nov. 2015

Hadar Buchris was waiting at a hitchhiking stop in Gush Etzion in the West Bank when a Palestinian assaulted and stabbed her with a knife. She died of her wounds in hospital in Jerusalem. B’Tselem expresses deep sorrow over the attack and conveys its sincerest condolences to the family. Intentional assaults against civilians undermine every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns such assaults against Israeli or Palestinian civilians and calls once again on politicians and leaders to avoid fanning the flames of violence.

Military training in Khirbet Humsah, 12 Nov. 2015. Photo: Photo: ‘Aref Daraghmeh,, B’Tselem

On Thursday, 19 Nov. 2015, 13 families from Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley were forced to temporarily evacuate for the purpose of allowing the military to hold exercises in the part of the village close to their homes. It was the sixth time this month that these families were forced to leave their homes. On three of these occasions, the Civil Administration (CA) did not allow them to return until midnight. The CA has relocated residents of this community 17 times since the beginning of 2015 – on the grounds that the area is needed for military training.

Palestinians today (Thursday, November 19, 2015) killed five people in shooting and stabbing attacks in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion, and injured 11 others. B'Tselem expresses its shock and pain at the loss of civilian lives, sends its deepest sympathies to the families of those killed, and wishes the injured a speedy and full recovery. B'Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians and reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and refrain from stirring up violence.

Soldiers watch protesters on other side of perimeter fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip. Photo taken by demonstrators.

Since 9 Oct. 2015 solidarity protests with West Bank Palestinians have been held in Gaza. B’Tselem found that 14 people have been killed and 379 wounded, mostly by live fire. Israeli soldiers stationed across the fence, dozens of meters away from protesters generally faced no mortal danger that would require use of live fire; they could have used crowd control measures instead. The large number of casualties indicates excessive use of live fire and raises concerns of unjustified, disproportionate and unlawful gunfire.

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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