The Occupation is now in its 49th year. Recent weeks have seen dozens of horrific attacks on Israelis by Palestinians. Israeli government officials have been calling explicitly to “shoot to kill”; hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and several killed in demonstrations. B’Tselem reiterates its condemnation of attacks against civilians. The government sees the current violence as an eruption of hatred that occurred in a vacuum, while rejecting any responsibility of its own for the situation. Yet recent events cannot be viewed in isolation from the ongoing oppression of 4 million people.
Subsequent to the attack in which Palestinians killed Eitam and Naama Henkin, settlers attacked Palestinians and their property in many parts of the West Bank. Footage shows that soldiers were present at the scene throughout the incidents, but did not prevent attacks or arrest perpetrators. On the contrary, the soldiers accompanied settlers on their rampage, and used crowd-control weapons against Palestinian youth from the villages who threw stones at the settlers to push them back.
Authorities Oct. 6 demolition of two flats and sealing of another in East Jerusalem as collective punishment for attacks by occupant’s relatives left 13, including 7 children, homeless. Most did not live in the units slated for demolition. A policy of demolition attackers’ family homes is collective punishment - prohibited under IHL. Despite widely held legal experts’ opinion that this radical measure is unlawful, the HCJ repeatedly approves it. Demolishing or sealing a home is a draconian measure targeting entire families who have done nothing and are suspected of nothing.
Following the Israeli military’s probe into the killing of ‘Abd a-Rahman ‘Obeid Allah, 13, in ‘Aydah R.C. by a 0.22 bullet, B’Tselem calls on Israel’s security forces to immediately cease use of this ammunition as a means of crowd control and to refrain from using live ammunition in non-life-threatening circumstances. Since January, 4 Palestinians have been killed and dozens injured by 0.22 bullets. B’Tselem has found ever increasing use of this weapon and that contrary to official statements it is neither regulated nor restricted. It is lethal and the plan to use it in East Jerusalem will have lethal consequences.
According to media reports, yesterday, 3 Oct. 2015, a Palestinian youth stabbed and killed Israeli civilian Nehemia Lavi and soldier Aharon Bennett in the Old City in East Jerusalem. He also severely wounded Bennett's wife, Adele, and lightly injured their infant son, Natan. B’Tselem expresses shock at the killing, conveys its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes the wounded mother and son a speedy recovery. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all intentional assaults against Israeli or Palestinian civilians. Israeli security forces must take measures [enabling them] to prevent acts of retaliation.
According to media reports, on Thursday, 1 Oct. 2015, Palestinians fired at an Israeli car in the Northern West Bank, killing Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were in the car with their four children. The children, who witnessed their parents' killing, were unhurt. B’Tselem expresses shock at the killing and conveys its sincerest condolences to the Henkin family. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all intentional assaults against Israeli or Palestinian civilians. Following the attack, settlers assaulted with stones Palestinian cars, an ambulance and Palestinian homes in the village of Burin. Israeli security forces are obligated to deploy to prevent additional revenge attacks by settlers against the Palestinian population.
On Tues. Sep. 22, soldiers shot and fatally wounded Hadil al-Hashlamun, 18, at a Hebron checkpoint. B’Tselem’s investigation indicates she had concealed a knife in her cloths and did not obey the soldiers’ orders, but that she did not try to stab them. After she was shot in both legs, there was no justification to aim at her torso. The military’s knee-jerk defense of the soldiers sends a message that there are few limits on the use of force against Palestinians, including lethal force.
Israeli PM is reportedly seeking clearance to use live fire against stone-throwers in East Jerusalem after an incident in which a Jerusalem resident was killed following suspected stone-throwing. The move would allow police to use potentially lethal Two-Two bullets. A police plan to use assault dogs and collective punishment against East Jerusalem residents was reportedly approved. The authorities must keep the peace and protect residents, but their approach unlawfully and immorally ignores deep-seated discrimination and human rights abuses in East Jerusalem, while using increasingly violent measures against residents there.
Today (16 Sept.) media reports stated that upon being discharged from hospital, Muhammad ‘Alan – whose administrative detention order was suspended after he staged a two-month hunger strike demanding he be released – was re-detained under a new order. The authorities continue to harass ‘Alan, who had reached a life-threatening condition because of the hunger strike he held to protest the arbitrary denial of his liberty without the benefit of due process. B’Tselem once more urges Israeli authorities to release ‘Alan immediately from administrative detention.
B’Tselem has been nominated for this year’s Human Rights Tulip! This good news was announced earlier today. The Tulip, awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is more than a just a great honor. It comes with a €100,000 prize, which will help us continue exposing the injustices of the occupation and battling its associated human rights violations. The winning nomination is selected from a shortlist of six finalists: three wildcards and three public favorites. And this is where you come in: we need your help. Vote for B’Tselem and make us a public favorite to ensure we get shortlisted. Voting starts today and is only open until September 16th. Vote NOW at http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting
On 3 Sept. 2015 the Civil Administration demolished structures belonging to 3 families of the Ka’abneh tribe in a Bedouin community east of the village a-Taybah, Ramallah District. Two families (10 people, incl. 6 minors) lost two residential structures and one livestock pen. CA and military personnel also demolished 4 livestock structures belonging to a third family. This action comes on the heels of an unusually large-scale demolition campaign in August, in which Israeli authorities demolished the homes of 228 individuals, including 124 minors. Demolitions are part of efforts by the CA and the military to force Palestinian communities out of Area C. This government policy constitutes the forcible transfer of protected Palestinians in an occupied territory.
In August 228 people - including 124 minors – lost their homes in a demolition spree in the West Bank by Israeli authorities. Most demolitions were carried out in small shepherding communities which face the constant threat of expulsion from Area C. Under the guise of enforcing construction laws, Israel pursues a policy to minimize Palestinian presence in Area C by making life there unbearable. This policy, systematically implemented for years, constitutes the forcible transfer of protected persons inside an occupied territory, be it directly – through the demolition of homes – or indirectly, by creating an intolerable reality.
The data we released regarding the demolition that took place on 31.8.2015 at the Al-Khdeirat Bedouin community contained numerous essential errors. Following is the correct data : The Civil Administration and the military demolished 15 structures, ten of them were residential, and five were used for livestock, not twenty five, as we originally said. Click to view full data.
On seven different occasions in June, during the fast of Ramadan, the military displaced dozens of Palestinian families in the Jordan Valley for hours on end, for military exercises, sometimes leaving pastures and crops trampled and scorched. Temporary displacements have become routine for many Jordan Valley communities, and they are not random. Knesset Subcommittee on the Judea and Samaria Area transcripts published in Israeli daily Haaretz reveal that one object of the training in the Jordan Valley is forcing out local Palestinians. ‘Aref Daraghmeh, a Jordan Valley resident and B’Tselem field researcher, documented how this reality impacts the displaced families.
Today, 20 Aug. 2015, the Israeli authorities left 19 persons, including 10 minors, in conditions of extreme heat without any solution. This is the third time this week the authorities have demolished homes and income generating structures in area C. The wave of demolitions left dozens of people homeless in the extreme August heat. Since 5 Aug. 2015, the Civil Administration has demolished 34 residential buildings and 31 other structures in Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, in the vicinity of Ma’ale Adumim, and in the southern Hebron hills. A total of 167 people have lost their homes in these actions, including 101 minors.
Yesterday, 19 Aug. 2015, the Supreme Court suspended ‘Alan’s administrative detention order due to his medical condition. If it is found that the neurological damage is irreversible, the order will be voided. ‘Alan, 30, has been in administrative detention for over nine months and on hunger strike for two to protest the detention which denies his freedom without due process. Administrative detention is detention without trial: ‘Alan has not been indicted; has received no explanation for his imprisonment; and cannot even attempt to prove his innocence. On Friday he lost consciousness. On Tue. he regained it but his life still hangs in the balance. B’Tselem urges Israeli authorities to release ‘Alan immediately.
This morning the Civil Administration demolished 17 home and 7 structures for livestock in the village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley, leaving 48 people, 31 of them minors homeless. Israel prevents Palestinians in the community from establishing permanent homes and connecting them to water and electricity infrastructures, thereby leaving them exposed to harsh weather conditions. Since 5 Aug. 2015, the Civil Administration has demolished 31 residential buildings and 26 other structures in Palestinian communities in area C. A total of 167 people have lost their homes in these actions, including 101 minors.
This morning, around 6 A.M., the Civil Administration and military demolished the homes of four families numbering 32 people, of them 21 minors at the a-Sa'idi community, near a-Za'ayem. The forces then moved to the Abu-Falah community, in the Khan al-Ahmar area, and demolished a residential shack housing two people and a structure used to house guests. Later the authorities demolished 12 structures in the adjacent Bir al-Maksub and Wadi Shneisel communities, nine of them residential homes. Authorities leave the residents and herds with no shelter in harsh weather conditions.
This morning, 11 Aug. 2015, Civil Administration and military forces demolished a family home under construction and two livestock pens in the Palestinian community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley. They continued to the community of al-‘Ajaj, where they demolished the homes of two families numbering 12 people, including 6 minors, and two livestock pens. They then demolished a fodder storage structure in the village of a-Zubeidat.
More than two and a half years ago, soldiers killed sixteen-year-old Samir ‘Awad. A year and two months later, his father petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) together with B'Tselem, demanding the Military Advocate General (MAG) reach a decision whether to take action against the soldiers involved or close the case. The State Attorney’s Office continues the foot-dragging in this case, repeatedly ignoring interim court decisions.