Security forces at the scene of the incident. Photo by Ronen Zvulun / Reuters, 29 Oct. 2014

B'Tselem is shocked and concerned over the attempt made yesterday to assassinate Israeli right-wing activist Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem, and hopes that he will regain full health. B'Tselem urges the police, the Jerusalem Municipality and Israeli and Palestinian public leaders to act responsibly and safeguard the well-being and human rights of all residents in East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem.

Village of Burqah

The report published today concerns the village of Burqah, Ramallah District. A rather unremarkable village, Burqah has never taken center stage in the fight against the occupation, and has not been subjected to extreme punitive measures. In fact, we chose to focus on Burqah precisely because it is unexceptional, as a case in point demonstrating what life under the occupation is like for residents of Palestinian villages. Burqah is a small, picturesque village, set amidst fields. Like many other villages, it endures severe travel restrictions which isolate it from its surroundings. It is also subject to massive land-grabs and stifled planning, all of which have turned it into a derelict, crowded and backward village with half its population living at or below the poverty line.

Woman disembarks a Palestinians-only bus before crossing through Israel's Eyal checkpoint. Photo: Baz Ratner, Reuters, 4 March, 2013

In response to reports that Israeli Minster of Defense Moshe Ya’alon intends to yield to the settler demand to prevent Palestinian day laborers from returning home to the West Bank on Israeli public buses, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says that Minister Ya'alon is not content with merely moving Palestinians to the back of the bus, but means to keep them off buses altogether. It is time to stop hiding behind technical arrangements such as the demand that Palestinians return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they entered Israel, and admit this military procedure is thinly veiled pandering to the demand for racial segregation on buses.

Israeli policemen inspect the car used in the attack. Photo: Ammar Awad, 22 Oct. 2014.

B'Tselem sends deep condolences to the family of 3-month-old Haya Zissel-Brown, who was killed yesterday in a run-over attack by a Palestinian driver in Jerusalem, and wishes a speedy recovery to the persons injured in the attack. We condemn any and all intentional harm to Israeli and Palestinian civilians and call upon politicians and leaders on both sides to act responsibly and avoid fanning the flames of violence.

Still from video.

Yesterday, soldiers briefly detained a developmentally disabled Palestinian boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion that he had thrown stones. The boy, A. a-Rajbi, (full name withheld in interest of privacy) who will be 12 in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. A-Rajbi was handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some 15 minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak.

In May 2014, B’Tselem cautioned that the number of Palestinians held by Israel in administrative detention was rising. At the end of August, after Operation Brother’s Keeper, there were some 473 administrative detainees – the highest number since April 2009. Administrative detention is detention without trial. The security establishment uses it extensively, in breach of the restrictions placed by international law. The government of Israel must release all administrative detainees or prosecute them, in accordance with due process.

Stills from footage of the incident was captured by activists with Christian Peace Makers Teams (CPT).

On 29 Sept. 2014 Civil Administration representatives sawed down dozens of electricity poles and cut the wires. The community is one of dozens of shepherding communities in the Jordan Valley currently under threat of expulsion. Its 113 permanent residents, including 62 children, and another 100 or so seasonal residents have lived at the site for decades. Most of their structures were built before 1967. Their power grid was demolished as part of ongoing efforts to expel dozens of Palestinian shepherding communities from Area C and take over their land.

On 30 Sept. 2914, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber overturned the decision of the director of the National Civic Service Authority to revoke B’Tselem’s status as an organization which may accept national civic volunteers. In her statement, Adv. Zilber wrote that the decision was procedurally flawed and was unreasonable, given the circumstances.

Khalil 'Anati's father next to a poster in memory of his son. Photo by Alex Levac, 18 Aug. 2014

On 10 Aug. 2014, two army vehicles accompanied a water authority vehicle into al-Fawwar R.C. Several children threw stones at them from an alley. Driving out of the camp, one army vehicle stopped at an alley and fired a single live shot, killing 10-year-old Khalil ‘Anati, although neither the soldiers nor the civilian workers faced mortal danger. A Military Police investigation was opened, for which B’Tselem sent the military all information at its disposal. The investigation must be speedily concluded and those responsible brought to justice.

Search for victims amongst the rubble of a house bombed in Khan Younis. Photo: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa, Reuters, 21 July 2014

During Operation Protective Edge, Israel violated international humanitarian law in some cases, and many other cases are highly suspect. However, B’Tselem does not intend to demand that these suspicions be investigated by Israel’s current investigation mechanisms. This is due to the experience that B’Tselem gained following past military offensives in the Gaza Strip, which shows that there is currently no official body in Israel capable of conducting independent investigations of suspected violations of international humanitarian law.

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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