Updates

Over the past year, settlers from Yitzhar and the surrounding area have sharply stepped up violent acts in nearby Palestinian villages. On 13 Sept., after a Palestinian stabbed a Jewish boy and burnt down a caravan in a settlement near Yitzhar, dozens of settlers raided the village of 'Asira al-Qibliya, rioted and widely damaged property. Soldiers were present at the time, yet did nothing to prevent the settlers' actions, and fired at the Palestinians.

September 17

On 4 Sept. '08, Naheel Abu Ridah, seven months pregnant, was rushed to hospital in severe pain. When she reached Huwara checkpoint with three relatives, soldiers refused to let them cross by car despite the family's pleas. She delivered in the car, and the baby was born dead. The checkpoint commander was sentenced in a disciplinary hearing to 14 days in an army prison.

September 16

Today (11 September) B'Tselem is publishing a report on Israel's blocking of Palestinian access to land around settlements lying east of the Separation Barrier. The report reveals that state authorities and settlers have de-facto annexed rings of land amounting to tens of thousands of dunams to these settlements.

September 11

Over the past year, Israel has escalated its policy of separating the populations of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The separation regime splits families, puts thousands at risk of expulsion to the Gaza Strip and turns Palestinians into "illegal aliens" in their own homes, as revealed in a position paper published today (10 September) by HaMoked and B'Tselem.

September 10

According to B'Tselem's data, 13 Palestinian minors are being held in prolonged administrative detention in Israel, in breach of law. As of June '08, 730 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention in Israel.

September 7

In a case first reported by B'Tselem, the District Court in Jerusalem today convicted Shahar Butbika and Dennis Alhazov for the killing of 'Imran Abu Hamdiya. Two other border policemen, Yaniv Lazleh and Assam Wahabi, were previously convicted in the case. In December 2002, the four policemen grabbed Hamdiya, a seventeen-year-old youth, beat him severely, and threw him from a moving jeep.

September 2

B'Tselem's data indicate that security forces have adopted a practice of reckless firing of rubber-coated steel bullets in the West Bank, killing two Palestinians and injuring many more since the beginning of the year. Since the intifada began, 21 Palestinians have been killed by rubber-coated steel bullet fire, a measure that is meant to be non-lethal.

September 1

Two Palestinians were recently sentenced to death in the PA after being convicted of treason and conspiracy for "collaboration" with Israel. Although there is a clear international trend toward eliminating the death penalty, the PA has yet to do so.

August 21

On 1 August, after children threw stones at soldiers in the Jalazun refugee camp, a soldier fired a tear gas canister at a young bystander. Following B'Tselem's complaint, an investigation into the incident was opened. Soldiers often fire tear gas canisters directly at Palestinians, despite legal and military prohibitions.

August 21

Following a petition against the indictment for "unbecoming conduct", the Israeli High Court has obliged the JAG to justify his decision. The court also suspended military court proceedings until the petition is decided upon.

August 19

This morning, Ashraf Abu Rahma, who was shot by IDF soldiers in Ni'lin while handcuffed and blindfolded, together with four Israeli human rights organizations filed an urgent petition to the High Court of Justice against the Judge Advocate General's decision to prosecute the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Omri Borberg, and the soldier who fired the shot, Staff Sgt. L, for "unbecoming conduct," a light offense that does not result in a criminal record.

August 19

The facts of the case raise the serious suspicion that the soldiers in the tank, and those who gave them the order to open fire, failed to adhere to the duty to take all possible precautions to avoid the harming of civilians and civilian objectives.

August 14

The approvals are an exception to Israel's freeze on handling family unification requests. Although B'Tselem welcomes the action, it emphasizes that Israel is required at all times to respect the fundamental right to a family life and must immediately lift the freeze.

August 11

Last weekend, B'Tselem filmed several settler assaults in Hebron, including minors throwing stones at Palestinian homes. The footage also shows soldiers standing by while a settler attacks a B'Tselem worker, breaking his camera.

August 7

The demand follows the decision to charge the lieutenant colonel and the soldier with the relatively light offense of "inappropriate conduct". The High Court stated in 1988: "Harming a bound and helpless person is a shameful and cruel act, and calls for an appropriately severe response".

August 7

B'Tselem is investigating twelve cases of settler attacks on Palestinian between 29 July and 4 August. These cases reflect a sharp increase in reports of such violence, and represent a peak to an escalation that has been underway over the past few weeks.

August 7

The demolition of houses as punishment is a grave breach of international humanitarian law. It is a clear case of collective punishment, which violates the principle that a person is not to be punished for the acts of another.

August 6

The Civil Administration has issued orders to demolish most of the houses in the village of al-'Aqabah, which lies in the northern Jordan Valley, and many houses in other villages in the area. Israel's planning policy in the West Bank centers on preventing Palestinian construction and promoting expansion of settlements.

August 5

Violent confrontations between Hamas and Fatah have broken out again in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, involving reported violations of international law pertaining to human rights.

August 4

Last month, policemen arrested Tareq Abu Laban while he was out with friends in Tel Aviv. They assaulted him, put him in their car and drove around the city while beating him, and then released him. Abu Laban required medical attention.

July 24