A new report published today by human rights NGOs HaMoked and B’Tselem reveals broad, systemic abuse by Israeli authorities of the human rights of hundreds of Palestinian teenagers arrested every year in East Jerusalem. Affidavits were collected from 60 such boys: they described being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, interrogated in violation of their rights, then kept in custody under harsh conditions, sometimes for extended periods of time. These practices are part of Israeli policy, which considers the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem unwanted residents.

Raed Salhi. Photo courtesy of the family

On 9 Aug. 2017 soldiers shot Raed Salhi, 21, as he attempted to flee during a detention operation in Duheisheh Refugee Camp. The soldiers later shot at his brother when he came to help Raed, who was only evacuated to hospital in Israel after 40 minutes. The medical team prevented Raed’s parents from visiting him and failed to update them on his condition and treatment. His brother was detained without trial and his mother was prohibited from entering Israel. Once again, no-one will be held responsible for the lethal and illegal shooting.

Still from video filmed by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah.

This morning, 19 October 2017, at 10:30 AM, Civil Administration officials together with a military detail, arrived at the community of Khirbet al-Halawah, in the Masafer Yatta region in the south Hebron Hills. The forces demolished the homes of two families, leaving 18 people, including eight minors, homeless. The demolition was captured on video by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah. Residents in the area have been victims of repeated harassment by the Israeli authorities, who declared a large part of the area as a firing zone in the late 70s, and have been working to expel residents ever since.

'Udai Nawaj'ah, 16. Photo courtesy of the family.

On 22 July 2017, three residents of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley were grazing their flocks on nearby pastureland when a dud - unexploded munitions - went off, killing ‘Udai Nawaj’ah, 16. At least two other Palestinians have been killed in the Jordan Valley in similar circumstances since 2014. The military trains close to Palestinian communities as part of a policy aimed at taking over the area, and does not make sure to remove unexploded ammunition. This illegal practice violates the residents’ rights and endangers their lives.

Resident of Dul-Baba near the ruins of his home today. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 16 October 2017

This morning, at around 7:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, together with security forces and four bulldozers arrived at the Badu al-Baba community near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces destroyed three pre-fab homes that housed four families, leaving 27 people, including 18 children and youths, homeless. The forces also demolished two bathroom stalls donated by a humanitarian aid organization. The most recent abuse the community was subjected to by the authorities was on 11 September 2017 when forces confiscated equipment used to repair the community’s access road.

The gate at the main entrance to Kafr a-Dik, which the military closed. Photo: Abdulkarim Sadi, B'Tselem, 28 Sept. 2017

For 40 days, as of 11 August 2017, the military closed off the main entrance by car to Kafr a-Dik, a village west of Salfit, on the grounds that local youths had thrown suspect objects and Molotov cocktails at Route 446, which is used by settlers. For over a month, the military casually disrupted the lives of some 6,500 Palestinians who were not suspected of any wrongdoing. There can be no moral or legal justification for this cynical abuse of military power.

Palestinians watch the Israeli military arrive at the family home of the person who carried out the attack in the settlement of Har Adar. Photo by Ammar Awad, Reuters,

On Tuesday, 26 September, Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, 37, from Beit Surik carried out an attack in the settlement of Har Adar, killing a Border Police officer and two settlement security guards: Sgt. Solomon Gavryia, 20, Yusef Othman, 25 and Or Arish, 25. Border Police officers and the settlement security coordinator – who himself had been moderately hurt during the incident according to the police – shot and killed Jamal. Immediately following the attack, the military implemented punitive measures against the residents of nine villages in the area of Beit Surik, northwest of Jerusalem, totaling about 40,000 people. The military’s actions included raids on villages and homes, damaging property in some cases, scores of arrests, as well as movement restrictions.

Najah al-Qatnani in her home in Gaza City. Photo: Olfat al-Kurd, B'Tselem, 2 Aug. 2017

Najah al-Katnani was born in al-Jalazun refugee camp in the West Bank. In 1975 she married and moved to Gaza City with her husband. At the time, she and her family could travel freely between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. After the first intifada, Israel imposed restrictions on such passage. The restrictions were tightened after the second intifada, and Israel now permits passage only in “humanitarian cases.” Gaza residents are prevented from visiting their relatives in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel.

B'Tselem Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad said, following the State's response submitted earlier today to the High Court of Justice, that the state was asking the court to authorize a war crime: "No sanctimonious language about a ‘planning, proprietary and realistic’ alternate, or ‘time to prepare’ can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons, and forcible transfer is a war crime. Those responsible for it will bear personal criminal liability – exactly as B’Tselem stated two weeks ago, in a letter addressed to the prime minister, defense minister, justice minister, chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration."

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N.R. being guarded by a soldier at hospital. Photo taken by his mother, as she sat outside and was not allowed into the room.

On 23 July 2017, soldiers shot N.R., 13, after he went through an opening in the Separation Barrier near Jayus. He was hospitalized in Israel for a month and underwent three operations. For the first eight days, soldiers guarding his room prevented his parents from staying with their son and briefly tied him to the bed. His parents were not present when he was interrogated and when his detention was extended. This grave conduct of the security forces is far from unusual, reflecting both declared policy and norms that have developed.

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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