Zahrah Mahmoud Ayub,68, from Khirbet al-Himma, next to fresh ruins in the community. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 27 July 2016

On 27 Sept. 2016, Israel demolished 22 structures, half of them homes, in five West Bank communities: in the northern Jordan Valley, near Ma’ale Adumim, the South Hebron Hills, and East Jerusalem. This left 56 Palestinians, including 30 minors, homeless. The authorities also demolished water cisterns, livestock pens, and part of a school. This is part of a massive demolition campaign to pressure Palestinians to leave Area C that has, since the beginning of 2016, left 1,010 people homeless, including 530 minors.

New B’Tselem report out today: Whitewash Protocol: The So-Called Investigation of Operation Protective Edge. The report describes Israel’s charade of investigating alleged breaches of law during the operation, in which 1,391 people, including 526 minors, who did not participate in the fighting were killed. While the decision makers who are truly responsible for the violations were never investigated, the military’s investigations focus on the responsibility of lower ranks for isolated “exceptional cases”, ignoring the fact that scores more nearly identical cases ended with horrifying outcomes. The MAG’s stand, which absolves himself of responsibility and allows decision makers to repeatedly ignore these outcomes is illegal and immoral.

Rand ‘Awwad from the village of Salem, washing the dishes without running water. Still from video

Israel has exclusive control of the Palestinian water supply in the West Bank. It supplies less water to the Palestinians than the WHO recommends and less than it supplies to Israelis, doing so through inequitable distribution of joint resources, mounting obstacles to prevent the development of infrastructure, demolishing and confiscating infrastructure and barring access to local water resources. In Area C, Israel exploits its full control to prohibit water-grid hookups to dozens of communities. Since June, in order to meet settlers’ needs, the Israeli national water company has further cut back on water supply to Palestinians in the northern West Banks, as it does every summer.

Still from video.

On Aug. 16, a sniper shot four Two-Two bullets, seriously wounding Muhammad al-‘Amis, who was standing on his rooftop during the raid on al-Fawwar RC. Snipers killed another man in the camp and injured more than 30, all using Two-Two bullets. In recent years, the military has followed a policy that sanctions live fire at stone-throwers, even when there is no mortal danger. In this case, even this illegal policy was exceeded, with soldiers firing four bullets at a man who was not throwing stones or posing any other danger, almost killing him.

Iyad Hamed and his daughterץ courtesy of the family.

On 26 Aug. 2016, soldiers shot and killed Iyad Hamed, 36, near a military observation tower close to the village of Silwad. The military initially claimed Hamed had fired at the tower, but changed the story several times eventually claiming that the soldiers fired shots into the air. B'Tselem’s research revealed that Hamed, whose functioning was limited, had attempted to open a fence blocking a road. The soldiers shot him in the back as he was leaving the area. Past experience and the Defense Minister’s comments on the incident make it highly unlikely that anyone will be held accountable for his killing.

The hole made by soldiers in the wall of Bajes al-Hamuz’ home, through which the sniper shot and killed Muhammad Abu Hashhash. Photo by Musa Abu Hashhash, B’Tselem, 16 Aug. 2016

In a raid on al-Fawwar Refugee Camp on 16 Aug. 2016, Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers. One of them, Abu Hashhash went home and then came out again, at which point a military sniper positioned in a nearby home shot him. B’Tselem found that Abu Hashhash was killed by 0.22-inch bullets, which are officially permitted for use only in case of mortal danger but have been used as a crowd control measure by the military in recent years even without such danger, resulting in five Palestinians killed and hundreds injured since March 2015.

Border Police officers bringing two Palestinian children for an identity parade before an armed settler and his son. From the video documentation. Video: ISM volunteer. Still from video.

On 10 Aug. 2016 there was a fight between Palestinian and settler children in Hebron. After Israeli Border Police forces broke it up, they brought in five Palestinian boys - at least two below the age of criminal responsibility - for an improvised lineup by a settler boy. This was partially captured on video by an ISM volunteer. The Border Police also took an 8-year-old from his home in the middle of the night and the police sought to interrogate him alone. The immense efforts to locate Palestinians suspected of harming settlers contrast sharply with the near absence of action to protect Palestinians from violence by settlers, or to uphold the rights of Palestinian children.

‘Imad Abu Shamsiyeh. Photo: Sarit Michaeli, B'Tselem, 19 April 2016

B’Tselem complains to Israel Police about its conduct in three attempts made by B’Tselem volunteer, ‘Imad Abu Shamsieyh, who filmed an Israeli soldier killing a Palestinian, to file a complaint regarding threats he has received on Facebook. Abu Shamsiyeh got sent back and forth and on the last time, threatened with arrest if he did not leave the station. Adv. Gaby Lasky wrote to the police on behalf of B’Tselem and Abu Shamsiyeh, saying the officers had committed disciplinary offenses and abused their power.

A resident of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat whose home was demolished. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 1 Sept. 2016

Yesterday (Wednesday, 31 August 2016), military and Civil Administration forces arrived in the afternoon in the community of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat to the northwest of Jericho. The forces dismantled and confiscated three residential caravans, a shack used for raising livestock, and mobile toilet facilities. All the structures were donated to the families by a humanitarian aid organization after the Israeli authorities demolished their homes on 4 August 2016. The destruction left 14 people homeless, including three minors.

Residents of the community of M’azi Jaba’ outside their demolished homes. Photo: Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem, 30 August 2016.

On 29 August 2016, Israeli forces came to M’azi Jaba’, a community to the northeast of Jerusalem. The forces demolished four homes belonging to three families, as well as three animal pens, leaving 28 people homeless, including 19 minors. Since the start of 2016, the Israeli authorities have demolished 203 homes around the West Bank, leaving 823 people homeless, including 432 minors. This demolition campaign highlights Israel’s increased efforts since the beginning of 2016 to displace Palestinians from Area C.

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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