Updates

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.

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.
September 18

Civil Administration signals it is prepared to move forward with the forcible transfer of the entire community, an intention unequivocally stated by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to reporters two weeks ago. Doing so would constitute a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

September 14

Residents of Nablus lack sufficient water all year round and especially in summer. The shortage has grown worse in recent years due to low rainfall. Israel prevents the Palestinians from digging new wells and refuses to sell them more water to ease the suffering. As a result of this policy, in summer residents must purchase water privately, at high costs, and use it for essential needs only. Israel abuses its control of all water sources between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean by subjecting Palestinians to a permanent shortage of water.

Water stored in bottles in Nablus. Photo: Salma a-Deb'i, B'Tselem, 7 September 2017
September 13

On 8 Sept. 2017, at about 3:00 P.M., a military force came with a bulldozer to the dirt road that connects the town of Yatta with the villages of Masafer Yatta, dug it up and blocked it off with rocks. The destruction of the road, which had been renovated just a day earlier with aid funding, forces villagers to now take a long detour. Masafer Yatta, which extends southeast of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, is home to more than 1,000 people which Israel has been trying to expel for many years, including by declaring the area Firing Zone 918.

Still from video
September 11

Yesterday, 10 Sept. 2017, Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with security forces to the community of Badu al-Baba that lies near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem, and confiscated two trucks with building material donated by an aid organization for fixing the access path to the community. The forces slashed the community’s main water pipe, leaving residents without water, and damaged its power network. This follows the confiscation of the community’s preschool in late August.

The road leading to Badu al-Baba. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 21 August 2017
September 11

Yesterday, Sunday 10 Sept. 2017, the military confiscated two commercial vehicles and a truck in the agricultural areas to the west of the Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley from families employed by the landowners in the area as agricultural workers. A few days ago, on 6 September 2017, Civil Administration forces came to the same community and confiscated a tractor and a welding machine and a bus used for transporting agricultural workers to farms in the area. All the confiscations were undertaken on the pretext if presence in a “firing zone,” without issuing confiscation orders.

The confiscation of vehicles in the fields of Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar today. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 10 September 2017
September 10

On 13 Aug. 2017, Israeli security forces welded shut a door in the al-Muhtaseb home in central Hebron, using severe violence against a family member who tried to stop them. Their claim that this was needed to prevent “suspects” from passing through is unfounded. Even if it were true, it could not justify such harm. This is another example of Israel’s policy of segregation and restrictions on Palestinian movement in central Hebron, coupled with abuse, violence and daily harassment by security forces and settlers.

Still taken from video footage of security forces violently removing Zleikhah al-Muhtaseb from the door. Filmed by Rania al-Muhtaseb, 13 Aug. 2017
September 10

Yesterday, 4 September, B’Tselem sent a grave letter to Israel’s prime minister and other top Israeli officials, cautioning that demolition of the Palestinian communities of Susiya and Khan al-Ahmar as planned would constitute a war crime for which they would bear personal liability. B’Tselem made the unusual move after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the press last week that “work was being done to implement plans to evacuate the Palestinian villages of Sussia in the South Hebron Hills and Khan al-Ahmar near Ma’aleh Adumim within a few months.”

September 5

On Thursday, 31 August 2017, at 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with 25 Border Police officers to the Palestinian community of Tublas, which lies in Area C, along the main road that connects Hizma to ‘Anata north of Jerusalem. The community numbers some 60 people, about half of them minors. The forces demolished and confiscated a 48-square-meter pre-fab donated by a humanitarian organization that home to a family of five, including three minors.

The concrete platform on which the confiscated pre-fab stood. Photo by Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Azaydat, owner of the pre-fab, 31 August 1997
September 3

On 9 Aug. 2017, at 2:30 A.M., Wasim Bader was in his living room in the village of Um Safa, north of Ramallah, when he noticed a car stop close by and park facing the nearby settlement of Ateret. Within moments, he saw his own car go up in flames and three persons in civilian clothing get into the parked car and drive away. It transpired that another car in the village had been torched and hate graffiti sprayed. The Israel Police inspected the scene, but experience shows that the odds of the perpetrators being brought to justice are very slim.

‘Omar Tanatrah next to his car, which was torched by settlers at Um Safa. Photography: Iyad Hadad, B’tselem . 9.8.17
August 30

On Saturday night, 5 Aug. 2017, a group of settler youths assaulted two Palestinian youths in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron, in plain view of soldiers. The soldiers violently detained one of the Palestinian youths and he was interrogated at a police station. A confrontation developed between settlers and Palestinian residents, in which several residents were injured by stones thrown by settlers, yet were offered no first aid by Israeli security forces and made to wait an hour before they were taken to hospital.

August 30

On 28 July 2017, Gazan youths held their weekly demonstration along the fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij RC. Soldiers fired teargas at them, and live fire at the legs of those who approached the fence. ‘Abd a-Rahman Abu Hamisah, 16, who was climbing a hill several dozen meters south of the demonstration, was shot and killed by soldiers from some 50 meters away, although he posed no danger. Two youths who followed him were shot and injured. Abu Hamisah is the 24th Palestinian – and third minor – to be killed since the protests began in 2015.

Palestinian protesters flee Israeli gunfire during protest near the Gaza Strip perimeter fence east of Gaza City. Photo by Mohammed Salem, Reuters, 20 Nov. 2015
August 29

On Thursday, 24 August 2017, settlers from Kiryat Arba used a loudspeaker system to verbally abuse Palestinian residents of al-Hariqah neighborhood in Hebron, using offensive language and insulting Islam. When the settlers noticed her, they turned their abuse towards her, threatening violence and using racist and obscene language, including descriptions of extreme sexual violence. Although the threats were explicit and the swearing constituted severe sexual harassment, Israeli security forces who were present allowed the settlers to continue undisturbed, as is usually the case.

August 29

Israel’s policy of segregation in downtown Hebron leads to absurd situations in which Palestinians rely entirely on the goodwill of security forces. On 7 July 2017, the Hadad family moved house within the area. They were not allowed to drive their moving truck through the Pharmacy Checkpoint right by the new apartment, nor through Checkpoint 160 a kilometer away. After repeatedly loading and unloading in the heat they split up, with some members transporting the furniture by donkey cart and others carrying lighter possessions by hand.

August 28

Yesterday, 22 August 2017, Israeli authorities demolished the school at the community of Jub a-Dib, southeast of Bethlehem, leaving 80 pupils without an educational facility. In previous years, the children of Jub a-Dib had to walk to schools outside the village. The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomizes the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land. In recent weeks, another two educational facilities in Area C were also demolished.

The platform the school structures stood on. Photo by Nasser Nawaj'a, B'Tselem.
August 23

On 29 May 2017, the military ordered Palestinians in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron to close shops to allow for a settler procession. Muhammad (14) and Baraa (17) Jaber were by a grocery store near their home when soldiers ordered the shopkeeper to close down. When the brothers refused an order to go home they were violently removed, as captured on video. Later, the soldiers again assaulted Muhammad on his way to a bicycle repair shop. This thuggish conduct is unjustified and illustrates the regular abuse of power permitted to soldiers.

August 17

On Tues., 15 August 2017, Jerusalem Municipality employees went with a Border Police escort to four East Jerusalem neighborhoods where they demolished dwellings and other structures, citing construction without a permit as pretext. All the while, the municipality does whatever is in its power to keep Palestinians from building lawfully. In Silwan, they demolished a residential building which was home to eight people, including six minors, in al-‘Esawiyah - a two-story building, in Beit Hanina a car-sale lot and in Jabal al-Mukabber a tire-repair shop.

August 16

On Thurs. 10 August 2017, the Israeli military demolished the homes of three Palestinian families and sealed the home of another. The homes in question were in the Ramallah District: in the town of Silwad and in the village of Deir Abu Mash’al. Members of the households had committed car-ramming and shooting attacks earlier this year. The military’s actions have rendered homeless 18 people (incl. seven minors) who were neither suspected nor accused of any wrongdoing. Home demolitions are morally repugnant and are prohibited under international law. All photos taken by B'Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad.

Ruins of Hamed family home, Silwad. photos taken by B'Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad.
August 15

Early on 12 July 2017, Israeli troops entered Jenin R.C. to arrest a resident. Violent clashes ensued. After two hours, soldiers who had laid an ambush, shot and killed two youths, although they did not pose a threat to the soldiers’ lives. This is not the first time the military has ambushed and shot stone-throwers. The fact that no one was held accountable in previous instances, including the commanders who ordered the stakeout, is what allows this unlawful policy to continue.

The site of the shooting in Jenin R.C. Photo by ‘Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 12 July 2017
August 15

On Wed., 9 August 2017, dozens of Civil Administration officials and Border Police arrived at Abu a-Nuwar, a Palestinian community which Israel refuses to hook up to the power grid. They confiscated solar panels and related equipment, all of which were donated by a humanitarian aid organization about a month ago. Abu a-Nuwar lies between the settlements of Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim, in an area that Israeli authorities have defined E1. The equipment was seized despite an interim injunction issued that day prohibiting enforcement (in the form of demolition or confiscating solar panels) until 16 August 2017.

The school at Abu a-Nuwar. Photo by ‘Amer Aruri, B’Tselem, 10 August 2017
August 14