Updates

On 24 April 2013, as has been a frequent occurrence of late, settlers from Giv’at Gal came onto the privately owned land of the Zaro family, of Hebron. The landowners called the police to report the trespassing. Israeli soldiers came to the scene and, rather than sending the settlers away, arrested the Palestinians. Part of the incident was filmed by a volunteer in B’Tselem’s camera project. The detainees were released the following day by a military judge after this footage was presented in court and it was proven that the there was no justification for the arrest, which involved violence towards one of the Zaros.

May 1

B’Tselem strongly condemns the stabbing attack at Tapuah Junction on Tuesday, 30 April, in which a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli civilian to death. The casualty is Evyatar Borovsky, approximately 30 years old, father of five children and resident of the settlement of Yizhar near Nablus.There is absolutely no moral or legal justification for attacks that deliberately target civilians. Civilians must be kept separate from the fighting. This applies to countries, organizations and individuals.

April 30

In March the Jerusalem Magistrate Court handed down a sentence for a Border policeman convicted of attacking a Palestinian child, Yunes Abu Ermeileh, in Hebron in 2009. The Department for the Investigation of Police (PID) opened its inquiry into the incident following a complaint filed by B’Tselem. Indictments of police on charges of violence against Palestinians are extremely rare. Of the more than 280 complaints lodged by B’Tselem of alleged police violence since the start of the second Intifada, we are aware of only 12 indictments.

April 10

The media have reported that on 18 March 2013 an Israeli soldier was convicted of negligent homicide in the death of ‘Udai Darawish. On 12 Jan. 2013 the soldier shot Darawish after the latter crossed into Israel from the West Bank through a gap in the Separation Barrier. Darawish was on his way to work in Israel but had no entry permit. The prosecution reportedly intended to charge the soldier with homicide, but the charge was reduced through a plea bargain. The soldier’s sentence is yet to be given. Indictments of soldiers involved in killing Palestinians are extremely rare. B’Tselem knows of only 15 indictments in such cases since the outbreak of the second Intifada.

April 9

Over the past three years, B’Tselem has documented 18 incidents in which demonstrators and photographers reported the use of pepper-spray in contravention of official police orders, with police pepper-spraying unarmed, non-violent civilians. Five of these incidents were captured on video. In the latest incident, a B’Tselem’s camera project volunteer was filming a demonstration in the village of a-Nabi Saleh when he was pepper-sprayed in the face by a Border policeman.

April 4

On 21 March 2013 the IDF spokesperson announced that the Israeli military will once again reduce the permitted fishing range in the Gaza Strip from six nautical miles to three (approximately 5.5km), in response to missile fire by armed Palestinian groups towards the south of Israel on Thursday morning. The reduction constitutes collective punishment and severely damages the livelihood of Gaza fishermen .B'Tselem calls on the military to rescind its latest decision and the restrictions imposed on fishermen in the Gaza Strip in the past years, and to permit fishing in the 20 miles range, as was set under the Oslo Agreements.

March 24

On the morning of 20 March 2013, the Israeli military detained nearly 30 Palestinian minors on their way to school in Hebron, many of whom were under the age of criminal responsibility (12). Later that day, B’Tselem wrote to the Legal Advisor in Judea and Samaria, the Legal Advisor of the Israel Police and to the spokesperson for the Judea and Samaria Division regarding this issue. The officials confirmed that, further to a stone-throwing incident earlier that morning, the military apprehended 27 minors, including at least 14 under the age of 12. Later, the military released 20 of the minors to the custody of the Palestinian Authority. The other seven minors were questioned by the police. B’Tselem stressed the following: minors should not be questioned without their parents’ knowledge and the presence of an adult representative on their behalf; the police is duty-bound to inform parents immediately upon the detention of their children; it is unlawful to detain or transport minors under the age of 12.

March 21

Israeli Hebrew daily Haaretz reports that today Israel's High Court of Justice will hear the petition filed by Palestinians from Bethlehem and the village of Nahleh. The petition is against Israel's decision to declare as "state land" about 1,000 dunams (100 hectares) southwest of Bethlehem in order to build a new neighborhood in the settlement of Efrat. The takeover of this land would block any possibility of development in Bethlehem or the villages south of the city, which are home to tens of thousands and are already surrounded by settlements. To learn more about what declaration of state land means and how Israel uses it to take over Palestinian land, click here.

March 13

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

Following the death of Muhammad ‘Asfur this morning from injuries sustained two weeks ago, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem wrote to Military Advocate General Major-General Danny Efroni, repeating its demand that cases of severe injury to Palestinians by soldiers’ fire be immediately investigated. Two days ago, B’Tselem sent the MAG a list of five incidents in which Palestinians were injured recently by soldiers, including the case of ‘Asfur, who was shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

March 7

On 3 March 2013, B’Tselem filed an appeal against the decision of the MAG Corps’ not to indict in the case of Eran Cohen, an Israel civilian injured by a rubber-coated metal bullet during a demonstration in Bil’in on 14 March 2008. Cohen was shot by an Israeli officer despite having done nothing to endanger the soldiers, as can be seen in two separate videos of the incident that were conveyed to the police. The MAG Corps refused to disclose to B’Tselem its reasoning for closing the case.

March 7

Since 1994, when settler Baruch Goldstein massacred Moslem worshipers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Israeli military has employed a "policy of separation" in Hebron. This is implemented primarily through severe restrictions on Palestinian movement in downtown Hebron, where most Israeli settlement outposts are located. Lately the military has further entrenched this policy by building a fence dividing a central street in half and only allowing Jews to use the paved side of the street while Palestinians must use a rough, unpaved passage.

March 5

The mother of a resident of the village of Bil’in who was killed by a tear-gas grenade fired at him by a soldier has petitioned the High Court of Justice. The petition demands that the Military Advocate General, Major-General Danny Efroni, be ordered to reach a decision in the case and prosecute the soldier who fired the grenade and all those bearing command responsibility for the killing of her son. In the petition, which was filed jointly with Bil’in Village Council, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, Subhiya Abu Rahmeh demands an urgent hearing in view of the fact that almost four years have passed since her son was killed. The incident was documented in the film Five Broken Cameras, which was a candidate for the 2013 Academy Awards.

March 4

What if someone were to barge into your home, declare it a military training zone and evict you? That's the case for some 1000 Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills. The Israeli military called their home "Firing Zone 918" and has been trying to expel them for years. Their appeal is currently in court.

February 27

Following the announcement that an investigation was opened into the circumstances surrounding the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian resident of Sa'ir, who was detained at Megido Prison, B'Tselem stated that the investigation must relate to the full circumstances of the event, and not only to the conduct of those directly responsible for his wellbeing at the time.

February 24

On 15 January 2013, Samir ‘Awad, 16, was killed by live ammunition fired by Israeli soldiers near the Separation Barrier at Budrus. A B’Tselem inquiry reveals that the soldiers were not in danger at any time. Nevertheless, and in total contravention of open-fire regulations, they shot ‘Awad three times. The Military Advocate General (MAG) Corps announced that same day that it ordered an investigation to be opened. B’Tselem conveyed to the Military Police Investigations Unit all the information it collected on the incident, and is awaiting the conclusion of the investigation.

February 21

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

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

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem welcomes the recommendations of the Turkel Commission concerning investigations of violations of the laws of armed conflict and calls for full and prompt implementation. Implementation of the commission’s recommendations will lead to a substantive change in the Israeli military’s investigatory apparatus. In its recommendations, the commission adopted several fundamental principles presented to it by representatives of B’Tselem, other human rights organizations and senior jurists.

February 6

Today (31.1) at 11:30am, the High Court will hear two petitions regarding the future of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, West Bank: A petition by the Regavim organization to demolish most of the village's homes and a petition by Susiya farmers to enable access to their little remaining farmland. Background on Susiya here. For Information on the petitions today from Rabbis for Human Rights click here.

January 31