The boys at the swimming pool shortly before to the incident. First on the right: Mahmoud Badran.

On Tues. night, June 21, soldiers shot and killed Mahmoud Badran, 15, from Beit Ur a-Tahta and wounded four of his friends. B’Tselem research shows that, contrary to the military’s version, the soldiers used massive fire at the car without justification. The shooting is in line with military policy which enables, despite an official prohibition, to use deadly fire even without threat to life and even when soldiers have non-lethal means available. The policy is backed by the senior ranking military and government officials who do nothing to change it, despite the lethal results.

Shepherd ‘Abd a-Rahman Khalil with his flock last year. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 28 Oct. 2015

On 14 June 2016, despite the 104°F heat in the Jordan Valley, Israeli authorities seized a tractor on which Palestinians depend to carry water to their flocks and delivered demolition orders for spring water reservoirs that are vital to another Palestinian community. This conduct clearly illustrates Israel’s routine abuse of its power against Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, exacerbating the existing water shortage caused by the fact Israel does not allow them to connect to the water supply.

Residents of Wadi Ejheish watch their homes being demolished. Photo by Nasser Nawaj'ah, B'Tselem, 19 June 2016

Today, Sunday, 19 June 2016, Civil Administration and military forces came to the Palestinian community of Wadi Ejheish, which is known as “south Susiya” as it lies some five kilometers south of the village of Khirbet Susiya. The forces demolished the homes of two families that number 21 people in total, including four women and 14 minors. The forces also demolished two livestock pens. One of the demolished homes had been donated by a humanitarian aid agency.

Today, B’Tselem announced it would no longer refer complaints to the military’s law enforcement system. We explain this unusual decision in our new report, The Occupation's Fig Leaf: Israel's Military Law Enforcement System as a Whitewash Mechanism, which is based on hundreds of complaints B’Tselem has filed, dozens of military investigations and many meetings with officials. We will continue reporting violations but will no longer help a whitewash mechanism that also, in advance, absolves senior military and government officials of responsibility for the policy they set out.

Site of shooting attack at Sarona. Photo by Ammar Awad, Reuters.

Yesterday evening, two Palestinians went on a shooting spree at Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, killing four Israeli civilians: Ido Ben Ari, 42, Ilana Naveh, 39, Michael Feige, 58; and Mila Mishaev, 32, from Rishon LeZion; and injuring 8 other persons. B’Tselem expresses deep sorrow over the killing and conveys its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims. The deliberate targeting of civilians undermines every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks against civilians and calls once again on politicians and leaders to act responsibly and avoid fanning the flames of violence.

On 31 May 2016 Hamas authorities executed 3 Gazans it convicted of murder: Ahmad Shurab, 43; Yusef Abu Shamleh, 38; and Muhammad ‘Othman 28. Since Hamas seized control of Gaza, 67 people have been condemned by its courts, and 33 people executed (this figure does not include people executed during Operation Protective Edge), some of whom were sentenced before the Hamas takeover. B’Tselem condemns the use of capital punishment, which is both immoral and a grave violation of human rights. A state may not take a person’s life and violate the right to life as a punitive measure, even if ostensibly for the purpose of law enforcement.

Reality check: Almost fifty years of occupation

The occupation is 49 years old. That’s 17,898 days. International law defines occupation as a temporary situation, but after nearly 50 years the reality in the West Bank and Gaza can no longer be considered temporary. It is unreasonable to keep hoping that Israel end this situation of its own volition. As the occupation enters its 50th year, B’Tselem presents the current situation in the West Bank and Gaza. The facts are well-known. Equally well-known is that standing idly by means perpetuating the current situation. Determined action is needed now to clearly demonstrate the termination of local and international cooperation with the occupation.

Still from cell phone video by Amani Abu ‘Eishah

Testimonies to B’Tselem indicate that during the Mar. 24 incident in which a soldier executed ‘Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif, an action for which he is now standing trial, Ramzi al-Qasrawi was also executed. The two men had stabbed a soldier, who was lightly injured. Since the recent wave of violence began in Oct., a good number of cases were captured on video showing executions of Palestinians who stabbed or were suspected of stabbing Israeli security personnel or civilians. The trial currently underway is an exception to the rule, as law enforcement agencies usually willfully turn a blind eye to this reality.

Yesterday, 5 June 2016, Civil Administration and Border Police forces arrived at the Wadi al-Qatif (Satah al-Bahar) community, which is located along Route No. 1 between the settlement of Mitzpe Yeriho and a-Nabi Musa. They dismantled and confiscated seven pre-fabs donated several weeks ago by a humanitarian aid agency to replace old huts. Six of the pre-fabs were being used as living quarters by six families, totaling 26 individuals, including 13 minors. The seventh pre-fab was being used as a day care center for 12 of the community’s children. The residents of the community live in an area the Israeli military has defined a closed military zone since the early 1980s.

Soldier taking a photo of a child in Hebron. 24 May 2016, still from video taken by Suzan Zraqo.

On 24 May 2016, dozens of soldiers went through Jaber neighborhood, Hebron. They assembled about 20 children and teens against a wall, asked them about a stone-throwing incident earlier that day, photographed each and let them go. At least 14 were minors, incl. 7 under the age of criminal liability. This questionably legal conduct, in blatant disregard of the duty to safeguard the rights of minors, appears to have been meant to intimidate the children so as to deter them from throwing stones. The military cannot treat civilians, let alone minors, as potential lawbreakers.

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.

Join us on YouTube