Use of firearms

The Military Police are investigating some 21 incidents from Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. However, these investigations address specific incidents and will not address larger policy questions. They will also not examine the responsibility of civilian leaders, nor of senior military officers for potential war crimes. B'Tselem repeats its demand for Israel to conduct an effective, independent investigation into its conduct in Cast Lead.

November 4

On 22 Sept. '09, Rabi’ a-Tawil, from East Jerusalem, entered Israel through the Mevo Beitar checkpoint. At a nearby gas station, soldiers took his identifying documents and went to the checkpoint. A-Tawil continued to a second gas station, some two kilometers from the checkpoint, where soldiers shot and killed him, although he did not endanger them.

October 29

On 9 Oct. '09, Firas al-Atrash stood near his parents' home in East Jerusalem while riots took place. According to his testimony, when he asked Israeli policemen pretending to be stone throwers to leave the area, they beat him severely, breaking his arm and nose.

October 28

B'Tselem is persistently advocating for Israel to implement the principal recommendation of the Goldstone report and mount an independent investigation into suspicions that Israeli forces breached international humanitarian law in Operation Cast Lead.

October 19

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

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 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

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