White phosphorous attack on a school in Gaza. Photo: Muhammad al-Baba, 17 Jan. '09
Independent apparatus needed for investigation of Operation Cast Lead
On 22 April, the results of the Israeli military's internal investigations of Operation Cast Lead were published, indicating that dozens of innocent civilians were killed due to what the army referred to as "rare mishaps." In response, B'Tselem pointed out crucial flaws in the investigations.
Israel and the Palestinians must assist the UN mission
B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation's mandate, which covers violations of international humanitarian law by both sides, in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.
B'Tselem to JAG: Order end to firing tear-gas grenades at people
B'Tselem has again demanded the Judge Advocate General to order security forces to cease firing tear-gas grenades directly at individuals. The demand follows the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, a Palestinian demonstrator, who was killed on 17 April '09 when struck by a tear-gas grenade while demonstrating in Bil'in.
House demolition in Jerusalem: collective punishment
On 7 April, security forces demolished the apartment, in Zur Baher, East Jerusalem, of the family of Husam Dwayat, who carried out a bulldozer attack in the center of Jerusalem in July of last year. The demolition took place after the High Court of Justice denied the family's petition opposing the action.
Testimony: Settlers assault young pregnant Palestinian
On 10 April, Roqaya al-Hazalin, together with a group of women and children, were grazing sheep near their village, in the Hebron District. According to her testimony, four armed settlers with sticks approached them. The other shepherds she was with ran away. Two of the settlers caught al-Hazalin, who was eight months' pregnant, beat her, and knocked her to the ground.