Updates

Beit Lahiya lies near the northern border of the Gaza Strip, where Israel began its invasion in Operation Cast Lead. Pupils of a school in the town that suffered heavy fire are still studying among the ruins, as the Israeli siege is preventing reconstruction throughout Gaza.

March 15

Although the army states that filming in the Occupied Territories is permitted, B'Tselem's staff and volunteers have been harassed, and even assaulted, by soldiers and officers while filming in the West Bank. Repeated complaints to military officials have been to no avail.

February 28

Continuing the trend of delegitimizing human rights organizations in Israel, MK's from the Right and Center are promoting a bill that will ostensibly ensure transparency, but will effectively impede the freedom of action of these organizations.

February 28

The report, submitted to the UN on 3 Feb. '10 following the Goldstone report, includes groundless claims that the armed Palestinian groups aimed the rocket fire at Israeli military objects and harmed civilians only due to technical failure, and that they cannot be required to comply with international law, as they do not have advanced weaponry.

February 24

On 12 Feb. '10, an altercation took place in Hebron between soldiers and Faiz Faraj, a local. When Faraj walked away, the soldiers shot and wounded him. B'Tselem's investigation raises the suspicion that they then shot him again, although he no longer posed a threat to their lives, and delayed his evacuation.

February 24

Israel is effectively pressuring Palestinians to leave al-Hadidiyeh, a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley, by denying building permits, repeatedly demolishing structures, and severely restricting movement. The community also reports harassment by settlers.

February 22

An investigation by B'Tselem has revealed a few cases in which minors aged 12-15, residents of Silwan, East Jerusalem, were unlawfully arrested in the middle of the night and taken, their hands cuffed, for interrogation on suspicion of stone throwing. Testimonies given to B'Tselem indicate that, during the interrogation, the interrogators beat and threatened the minors.

February 16

Following the intervention of Yesh Din and B'Tselem, the Chief Military Police Officer announced that the Military Police will improve the treatment of Palestinians arriving in military courts in Israel to testify in trials of security forces charged with committing offenses.

February 11

In October '09, the Israeli HCJ ruled that prohibiting 45,000 Palestinians from travelling on a road in order to protect 150 settlers living nearby was disproportionate, and gave the army three months to find an alternative. Palestinians are now allowed to travel on the road during the week, but not on the Sabbath, and are prohibited from walking on it.

February 7

B'Tselem joined with six Middle East peace and human rights organizations today to send a letter to President Obama, urging him to ask Israel to lift its Gaza closure in order to relieve the humanitarian suffering there. The full text of the letter can be viewed here

February 5

The report praises the military's investigative and judicial systems, ignoring essential flaws in their operation. To date, only one soldier who participated in Operation Cast Lead has been prosecuted - for stealing a credit card. B'Tselem again urges Israel to immediately establish an independent, non-military investigative apparatus.

February 4

Thirteen Israeli human rights organizations sent an urgent letter to the president, the Knesset speaker and the prime minister, protesting the increasing and systematic campaign against human rights organizations in Israel.

February 2

B'Tselem has written urgently to the judge advocate general demanding that he immediately order a Military Police investigation into the circumstances of the firing of phosphorus shells at the UNWRA compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. This is a particularly severe incident, and disciplinary hearings are clearly not an adequate punitive measure.

February 1

B'Tselem filmed an army officer denying his duty to protect Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, and calling Israelis operating in solidarity with them traitors. B'Tselem wrote to the JAG demanding that measures be taken against him, and that soldiers serving in the Occupied Territories be made fully aware of their duties.

January 27

According to testimonies given to B'Tselem, on 1 Jan. '10, a soldier fired a rubber-coated metal bullet at the head of 10-year-old Mu'ataz al-Hawaja from Ni'lin, while chasing him during a demonstration against the Separation Barrier. B'Tselem demanded a criminal investigation of the incident.

January 27

One year after dozens of settlers rioted in the village of 'Asira al-Qibliya, an indictment was filed against only one settler, although some of the events were filmed and a large contingent of soldiers was at the scene.

January 27

Human rights organizations in Israel reissued their call to the Government of Israel to establish, without delay, an independent and impartial investigation mechanism to thoroughly examine the allegations raised regarding violations of international law during Operation Cast Lead.

January 26

On 25 Nov. '09, soldiers detained Ahmad Abu 'Alia on his way to university, at the Za'tara checkpoint. According to his testimony, they severely abused him for hours and left him to find his way home on foot, bruised and dazed. B'Tselem has demanded that the JAG's Office order an investigation of the incident.

January 24

On 26 Dec. '09, soldiers killed three Palestinians who were suspected of killing Rabbi Meir Chai on 24 Dec. B'Tselem’s investigation raises grave suspicion that no attempt was made to arrest at least two of the suspects before they were shot.

January 24

Fidaa Heji was diagnosed in 2007 with lymphoma. On 23 Sept. '09, her physicians referred her to treatment in Israel, and her family submitted an urgent request to enter Israel. On 11 Nov. '09, she died, two weeks before her 18th birthday. Four days later, the permit arrived.

Fidaa Heji. Family photo
January 19