Newsletter 27 Dec. 2011

Mustafa Tamimi, immediately after he was shot. Photo: Haim Scwarczenberg, 9 Dec. '11.
Mustafa Tamimi, immediately after he was shot. Photo: Haim Scwarczenberg, 9 Dec. '11.
A New Year's Greeting from B'Tselem's Executive Director
Jessica Montell reviews B'Tselem's accomplishments and the broader human rights context over the past year, and invites you to join our efforts on behalf of human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Soldier kills Palestinian demonstrator by shooting tear-gas canister at him
On Friday, 9 Dec. '11, at the end of the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of a-Nabi Saleh, a soldier killed demonstrator Mustafa Tamimi by firing a tear-gas canister directly at his face. B'Tselem has been warning for years about the illegal and dangerous practice of firing tear-gas canisters directly at people. Despite the army's declarations that such firing is forbidden, the practice continues.

The Authority Already Exists - What's Needed Is a Willingness to Act
In response to violence by Jewish extremists in the West Bank, the Israeli media has reported that the security forces will soon be authorized to detain and arrest Israelis in the Occupied Territories. The reports are misleading. Israeli soldiers stationed in the West Bank are already authorized to detain Israeli citizens, if it is suspected that they have committed or are about to commit a criminal offense.

Video: B'Tselem researchers report from the field on Ynet
Following the public outrage regarding settler violence against soldiers, Israel's leading news website featured B'Tselem's field researchers who describe the daily settler violence Palestinians have suffered for years and the ineffective response of Israeli law-enforcement authorities.

Video: Border policeman in Hebron aims loaded weapon and threatens child
A volunteer in B'Tselem's camera project filmed a border policeman aim a loaded weapon at the volunteer's 13-year-old son. The family related that Border policemen also harassed the boys, who were playing across from their house and beat one of them. B'Tselem demanded that the authorities conduct an immediate investigation.

Military court partially acquits Palestinian due to forced confession
On 30 Nov. '11, the military court in Ofer ruled that a confession given by Ayman Hamidah during an ISA (Shabak) interrogation was inadmissible, since it had not been given willingly. In an unusual step, the court acquitted Hamidah of the charges that were based solely on the confession. In fact, the interrogation methods that Hamidah described have been used against hundreds of Palestinians, and are classified in international law as torture or maltreatment, which are absolutely prohibited.