Updates

Use of firearms

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

B'Tselem's annual report, published today (5 Feb.), surveys a wide range of Israeli human rights violations in the OPT in 2008, until Operation Cast Lead. As house demolition and lack of law enforcement on violent settlers continued, Israel largely refrained from holding members of the security forces accountable for their actions.

February 5

25 members of the a-Shteiwi family, 12 of them children, were besieged in their home with shelling going on outside for over a week. When they were evacuated, the army demolished the house.

February 2

On 12 Jan. '09, soldiers called residents of the Khuza'a neighborhood, in the Gaza Strip, to leave their homes. When Rawhiya a-Najar stepped out of her house waving a white flag, soldiers shot her and then a young woman who tried to help her. A-Najar remained on the ground and bled to death.

February 1

According to testimonies given to B'Tselem, on 3 January, soldiers called to 'Atiya a-Samuni to come out of his house, in a-Zeitun, Gaza City. When he approached the door, soldiers opened fire, killing him. The soldiers continued firing, wounding a number of relatives, among them an infant who died from his wounds.

January 19

Gaza: Yesterday 95 bodies were dug up from the ruins. As of today, at least 1,300 killed, of them at least 410 children and 104 women. Over 5,320 injured, of them over 350 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 84 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 113 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition and 20 Moderately or severely injured.

January 19

A farmer from the Huza'ah village was killed this morning (18 Jan.) by Israeli gunfire while working his land, some 400 meters from the Israeli border. His brother. A witness told B'Tselem that in spite of the ceasefire, the soldiers opened fire without warning.

January 18

On 11 January, tanks shelled the Hamuda family home in Gaza City, killing a toddler and wounding his mother and brother. The father's testimony indicates that during the long wait for the shelling to stop and rescue teams to arrive, the brother died of his wounds.

January 18

Gaza: at least 1,205 killed, of them at least 410 children and 100 women. Over 5,320 injured, of them over 350 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 84 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 113 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition and 20 Moderately or severely injured.

January 18

Continuation of the fighting will bring more death and destruction. Innocent civilians, among them large numbers of children, will be killed and wounded. According to media reports, both sides have already agreed to the principle of a ceasefire. Under these circumstances, they must immediately stop the fighting.

January 15

Gaza: at least 1,033 killed, of them at least 335 children and 98 women. Over 4,850 injured, of them over 450 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 82 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 77 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.

January 15

On 7 Jan., Lu'ai Subuh, 10 years old, walked home with some family members and friends to bring essential items to the school in which his family was sheltering. As he waited in the street with his friends, the three were hit by a bombing. One of the children died and Lu'ai lost his eyesight.

January 14

Gaza: at least 970 killed, of them at least 300 children and 76 women. Over 4,400 injured, of them over 450 severely injured (Palestinian Ministry of Health figures). Israel: 3 civilians and 10 soldiers killed. Over 82 civilians injured, of them 4 severely injured, not including those treated for shock, and 71 soldiers injured, of them one in critical condition.

January 14

In a press conference held today in Jerusalem, 9 Israeli human rights organizations called on the government and army to respect the laws of war and stop disproportionate harm to civilians. According to media reports and testimonies of Gazans, military forces are wantonly using lethal force, thus far killing hundreds of civilians and wreaking damage to infrastructure.

January 14

On 4 Jan., the Israeli army shelled a home in Beit Lahiya. Ghadah Abu Halima told B'Tselem that the house went up in flames and five of its occupants burned to death, four of them children. As the wounded survivors made their way to hospital, soldiers fired at them.

January 13