Use of firearms

With the publication of the Goldstone Committee report today, human rights organizations in Israel are studying the report and its conclusions, and they call upon the Israeli Government to take the report seriously and to refrain from automatically rejecting its findings or denying its legitimacy.

September 16

B'Tselem releases comprehensive casualty figures from the three-week operation. The enormous toll on civilians - including the death of 320 minors - requires serious introspection on the part of the military, the government, and Israeli society as a whole.

September 9

In the coming weeks, B'Tselem will publish a list of Palestinian fatalities in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, based on months of research.

July 22

While the military has attacked the credibility of soldiers' testimonies regarding Operation Cast Lead, it has failed to open a single serious investigation into events detailed by Palestinian witnesses to B'Tselem.

July 15

In recent months, security forces have used 0.22-caliber bullets to disperse demonstrators, killing two unarmed Palestinians. Yet in a reply to B'Tselem, the JAG stated that this ammunition is not intended for dispersing demonstrators.

July 9

In July '08, a soldier shot a handcuffed detainee in the presence of his commander, yet the two were charged only with "unbecoming conduct". Today, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in favor of changing the indictments to reflect the gravity of the offense.

July 1

B'Tselem reiterates its demand to prohibit use of 0.22 bullets to disperse demonstrators. Despite the prohibition on using this lethal weapon since 2001, two persons have been killed by it recently, one of them a 14-year-old boy.

June 18

B'Tselem demands that the army stop all use of white phosphorous in Gaza, and that its use in Operation Cast Lead be thoroughly investigated. The conclusions of a recent army inquiry into the matter are completely divorced from the effects suffered in the field.

May 20

The directive follows several warnings by B'Tselem about the threat to lives inherent in firing tear-gas canisters at people. A demonstrator in Bil'in was recently killed, and dozens of others have been injured, from this practice.

May 4

B'Tselem has again demanded the Judge Advocate General to order security forces to cease firing tear-gas grenades directly at individuals. The demand follows the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, a Palestinian demonstrator, who was killed on 17 April '09 when struck by a tear-gas grenade while demonstrating in Bil'in.

April 22

On 22 April, the results of the Israeli military's internal investigations of Operation Cast Lead were published, indicating that dozens of innocent civilians were killed due to what the army referred to as "rare mishaps." In response, B'Tselem pointed out crucial flaws in the investigations.

April 22

B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation's mandate, which covers violations of international humanitarian law by both sides, in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.

April 6

Ghada Abu Halima, 21, a Gazan mother of two, died on 29 March. Abu Halima was wounded and 5 of her relatives, among them 4 children, were killed, when the military shelled their house with white phosphorus during "Operation Cast Lead". In her testimony of 9 January, she described the attack.

March 31

Israeli human rights organizations: The speedy closing of the investigation into soldiers' testimonies of events during "Operation Cast Lead" raises suspicions that the sole purpose of opening the investigation was to clear the military of all blame for illegal activity during the operation.

March 30

Saturday, 21.3.09, marked 1,000 days since Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken hostage. Hamas must release him unconditionally.

March 19

Israeli human rights organizations repeated their demand that the Attorney General hold an independent investigation of the army's conduct during operation "Cast Lead". The call followed chilling testimonies of soldiers concerning the killing of Palestinian civilians, published in the media.

March 19

B'Tselem requested the judge advocate general to immediately clarify to security forces that it is absolutely forbidden to aim tear-gas canisters directly at demonstrators. Firing of this kind has already resulted in injury, some very serious, to dozens of Palestinians and Israeli and foreign citizens.

March 18

In recent weeks, the army has once again begun using Ruger rifles to disperse demonstrators, although such use of this lethal weapon has been prohibited. As a result, many Palestinians and at last one foreign national have been injured.

March 1

On 4 Jan. '09, the entire al-Kafarneh family was injured when their house was shelled, in Beit Hanun. 3-year-old Wiam died of shrapnel wounds the next day. After the family left the house, the army demolished it.

February 15

B'Tselem issued a position paper detailing the guidelines of the necessary Israeli investigation of its conduct during the operation in Gaza. B'Tselem's initial survey of the military operation calls into question Israeli statements that the military acted according to International Humanitarian Law and that responsibility for the harm to the civilian population rests exclusively with Hamas.

February 8