Updates

Beating & abuse

In January 2013, B'Tselem documented two extremely worrying cases of Israeli military dogs assaulting Palestinian civilians, one in the city of Jenin and the other in the village of Tamun. In both cases, dogs attacked civilians in or near their homes. The dogs were in the company of military forces that entered residential areas. In one case, an 88-year-old woman from Jenin was assaulted inside her home and had to undergo several operations for her injuries. B'Tselem reported these cases to OC Judea and Samaria Division and demanded that the use of dogs in residential areas of the West Bank be prohibited.

March 13

On 13 February 2013, an Israeli mounted policeman was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to Fadi Darab’i, resident of Dura, Hebron District. The policeman was indicted in 2008 following a complaint filed by B’Tselem on Darab’i’s behalf. The complaint stated that policemen had assaulted Darab’i in April 2008, seriously injuring one of his testicles.

February 18

In Nov. 2012, students from Tuqu’ demonstrated against Operation Pillar of Defense and threw stones at vehicles on the nearby road. An Israeli military force then arrived on the scene, and without any justification, one of the soldiers fired live ammunition at the students, hitting one in the abdomen. B’Tselem has learned from testimonies it gathered that, three weeks later, soldiers came to the school. They assaulted the principal and two teachers, warning them that if the boys threw stones again, they would be held accountable. B’Tselem wrote to OC Judea and Samaria Division demanding that he investigate the allegations and ensure that such incidents do not recur.

February 18

B’Tselem wrote to OC Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon requesting that he issue an immediate notice to Israeli security forces in Hebron, reminding them that B’Tselem employers and volunteers as well as any other photographers must be permitted to document events in the city. B’Tselem’s letter was written in light of an incident in which Israeli soldiers attacked Reuters’ photographers in Hebron, and "accused” them of working for B’Tselem.

December 18

According to testimonies collected by B’Tselem, plainclothes police detained Amir Darwish, at midday on Friday, 12 October 2012, two days before his tenth birthday. The policemen took Amir to a police station, using force against the boy and his mother, who tried to prevent the arrest. Amir was questioned in his mother’s presence for allegedly throwing stones, and was released following the investigation. The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Israel is 12. The arrest or even temporary detention of a minor under the age of 12 is absolutely prohibited.

December 4

The short film tells the story of the town through two wedding halls that operated there until the construction of the barrier. The film includes rare archival footage of the wedding halls' glory days, before their owners were forced to abandon them when business plummeted.

November 8

On Friday, 17 August 2012, a B’Tselem volunteer filmed the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qadum protesting the closure of the Qadum-Nablus road. Soldiers are seen assaulting journalists with clubs. When media published the clip, the army announced a Military Police Investigation Unit inquiry to clarify the circumstances of the incident.

September 13

Yesterday, Israeli military court judge, Maj. Daniel Kfir unconditionally released ‘Abd al-’Aziz Fakhouri, a young Palestinian man who was arrested almost a month ago in Hebron by soldiers out of uniform. The judge made the ruling after watching two videos. The first video was broadcast in the Israeli media, and the second was recently uncovered by B'Tselem. The judged ruled that the videos prove that the arrest was groundless, in contrast to an official IDF spokesperson announcement.

September 12

Testimony collected by B’Tselem shows on 28 August 2012, Sa’id Qiblawi, age 14, chanced on an area near his home in Abu Dis where children were throwing stones at border police officers. On trying to leave, Qiblawi was stopped by a policeman who, he testified, dragged him on the ground and put him inside a jeep, where, lying on the floor, he was beaten by other police officers. More beating followed at the nearby border police base. B’Tselem contacted the DIP demanding an inquiry into his case.

September 11

On 21 August 2012, Talal a-Sayed, a resident of a-Tur in East Jerusalem, was assaulted by police during a family visit to the Meymadion water park in Tel Aviv. The assault, reported in Haaretz, was partly documented on video by a bystander. The clip shows the policeman tasering a-Sayed while he is sitting, handcuffed, on the lawn. B’Tselem collected testimonies from a-Sayed, who lodged a complaint with the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP); another young man assaulted earlier by the police and eyewitnesses. The DIP told B’Tselem it was investigating.

September 5

On the evening of 31 July 2012, soldiers stopped ‘Udai Abu Mariah, age 19, at the Beit Ummar checkpoint in the Hebron district, claiming he was wanted for questioning. Abu Mariah was taken by jeep to a nearby military base. The soldiers beat and abused Abu Mariah en route and after arrival, severely injuring him in the abdomen. Instead of being taken to receive medical treatment, however, Abu Mariah was abandoned for several hours, lying on the floor and moaning in pain, with soldiers periodically beating him again. During the night, soldiers finally took him back to the checkpoint and let him go.

September 4

The Department for the Investigation of Police, in the Ministry of Justice (DIP) has informed B'Tselem that it decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings for "unlawful use of force" against a border police officer who was filmed kicking a nine year old Palestinian boy. The DIP decided not to file a criminal indictment against the officer. B'Tselem has written to the DIP to obtain the full investigation file to determine whether further steps are warranted.

August 27

On the afternoon of 16 January 2012 B'Tselem video volunteer, Diaa al-Hadad, was detained for a few minutes and released in Hebron. That same night, a unit of soldiers commanded by a first lieutenant came to the family's house and conducted a search. During the search, they made Diaa stand against a wall for quite some time.Diaa and his father, 'Abd al-Karim Hadad, documented the incident with their cameras. B'Tselem does not know the reason for the search, but what is known is that the soldiers did not take anything from the house, and no one in the family was arrested.

August 8

On Wednesday, 25 July 2012, a B’Tselem video volunteer filmed an Israeli officer head-butting 17-year-old Thair Ghanam in the head after an argument between the Palestinian youth and a soldier at a checkpoint. B’Tselem reported the incident and provided video documentation to the IDF Spokesperson’s office, and released the clip to the media. The next day, the Military Advocate General (MAG) announced that it had ordered the Military Police Investigative Division (MPIU) to open an inquiry into the incident.

August 5

Yesterday evening, 25.7.2012, a volunteer in B'Tselem's camera distribution project documented from his window a soldier detaining a number of Palestinian youths at the military checkpoint near the Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron. One of the youths argued with the soldier. Later the video shows an officer holding the youth and taking him by force up the street, then head-butting him, breaking his nose. B'Tselem reported the incident to the IDF spokesperson's office and the Military Police Investigative Division (MPID).

July 26

On 17 July 2012, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed an appeal with the State Attorney against the decision by the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP) to close the investigation into a complaint by Silwan resident who was beaten by Border Police officers on 15 September 2011. In the appeal, ACRI argued that the DIP closed the case without pursuing all possible means to clarify the circumstances of the incident, and demanded that the State Attorney instruct the DIP to conduct a thorough investigation.

July 26

On 8 May 2012, a Red Crescent ambulance arrived at the Abu Haza’a home in the Old City of Hebron to evacuate Manal Abu Haza’a, mother of the family, who felt unwell and had fainted. The ambulance driver later testified that, as he prepared to evacuate the patient, a soldier approached and interfered, delaying the ambulance over an hour while the patient remained semi-conscious in the house. Eventually brought to the hospital, Abu Haza’a was diagnosed with a panic attack and released later that night.

July 8

On 29 June 2012, a B’Tselem volunteer documented an assault on a 9-year-old boy, ’Abd a-Rahman Burqan, by Border Police officers in Hebron. B’Tselem also took testimony about an attack on ‘Abd a-Rahman on 3 June 2012, which was not documented on video. In the first incident, a Border Police officer allegedly chased ‘Abd a-Rahman and, after catching him, stepped on his hand and kicked him, then released him. B’Tselem contacted the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP) on 1 July 2012 about that incident. A few hours later, B’Tselem received video documentation of the second incident. After the media publicized the video, the Department for the Investigation of Police notified B’Tselem that it would begin investigating both incidents.

July 4

A B'Tselem video volunteer documented an Israeli Border Police officer kicking a Palestinian child while another officer held the boy. The incident took place on the 29th of June 2012 near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron's H2 area. The video shows a Border Police officer ambushing a child from around the corner. As the child walks past, the officer grabs and drags him on the ground for a few seconds. A second Border Police officer then appears and kicks the boy.

July 2

Testimony taken by B’Tselem indicates that during April 2012, soldiers arrested Muhammad a-Zir, age 13. According to the testimonies, the soldiers beat the boy during his first detention, during which he was interrogated without his parents present in contravention of the law regarding detention of youths. Following both subsequent detentions, the soldiers left him at night with his hands cuffed, somewhere unknown to him, and far away from his home. B’Tselem contacted the Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU) demanding that it open an investigation into these incidents.

June 26