Updates

Minors

A new report published today by human rights NGOs HaMoked and B’Tselem reveals broad, systemic abuse by Israeli authorities of the human rights of hundreds of Palestinian teenagers arrested every year in East Jerusalem. Affidavits were collected from 60 such boys: they described being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, interrogated in violation of their rights, then kept in custody under harsh conditions, sometimes for extended periods of time. These practices are part of Israeli policy, which considers the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem unwanted residents.

October 24

This morning, 19 October 2017, at 10:30 AM, Civil Administration officials together with a military detail, arrived at the community of Khirbet al-Halawah, in the Masafer Yatta region in the south Hebron Hills. The forces demolished the homes of two families, leaving 18 people, including eight minors, homeless. The demolition was captured on video by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah. Residents in the area have been victims of repeated harassment by the Israeli authorities, who declared a large part of the area as a firing zone in the late 70s, and have been working to expel residents ever since.

Still from video filmed by B’Tselem field-researcher Nasser Nawaj'ah.
October 19

On 22 July 2017, three residents of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley were grazing their flocks on nearby pastureland when a dud - unexploded munitions - went off, killing ‘Udai Nawaj’ah, 16. At least two other Palestinians have been killed in the Jordan Valley in similar circumstances since 2014. The military trains close to Palestinian communities as part of a policy aimed at taking over the area, and does not make sure to remove unexploded ammunition. This illegal practice violates the residents’ rights and endangers their lives.

'Udai Nawaj'ah, 16. Photo courtesy of the family.
October 17

This morning, at around 7:00 AM, Civil Administration officials, together with security forces and four bulldozers arrived at the Badu al-Baba community near ‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. The forces destroyed three pre-fab homes that housed four families, leaving 27 people, including 18 children and youths, homeless. The forces also demolished two bathroom stalls donated by a humanitarian aid organization. The most recent abuse the community was subjected to by the authorities was on 11 September 2017 when forces confiscated equipment used to repair the community’s access road.

Resident of Dul-Baba near the ruins of his home today. Photo: 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 16 October 2017
October 16

On 23 July 2017, soldiers shot N.R., 13, after he went through an opening in the Separation Barrier near Jayus. He was hospitalized in Israel for a month and underwent three operations. For the first eight days, soldiers guarding his room prevented his parents from staying with their son and briefly tied him to the bed. His parents were not present when he was interrogated and when his detention was extended. This grave conduct of the security forces is far from unusual, reflecting both declared policy and norms that have developed.

N.R. being guarded by a soldier at hospital. Photo taken by his mother, as she sat outside and was not allowed into the room.
September 18

On 10 March 2017 Palestinians and Israeli security forces clashed in Silwad. A Border Police officer fired a sponge round, injuring D.T., 17. The officer then hit him in the head with a gun. D.T., who lost consciousness, was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, where he underwent surgery for a cranial fracture and subdural hematoma. During his 12 days in Hadassah Hospital, his parents were not allowed to approach him, and he was kept in restraints. While shocking, this case is not at all unusual, nor is the fact that no one will be held accountable, guaranteeing these injustices will continue as long as the occupation does.

D.T. after being discharged from hospital. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 29 March 2017
July 30

In two incidents in May 2017, Israeli security forces fired tear gas at civilians and homes in the West Bank, injuring a toddler and a child. This is the direct result of sending security forces into Palestinian villages with no justification. “Non-lethal crowd control measures” put babies, children, the elderly and patients at risk. When used permissively and indiscriminately, with no need and disregarding the danger involved, they may cause severe and completely unjustifiable injuries.

Footage of the evacuation of ‘Abd a-Rahman al-Majid, filmed by Falastin TV.
July 16

Iman Hassan, a mother of six who lives in al-Bureij Refugee Camp, shares her story: “We’ve been suffering from the power cuts for over a decade, but things have become unbearable the past few months. We have power cuts for more than 12 hours a day. Our life, our sleep, everything is shaped by whether or not there’s power. Our roof is made of metal, so it’s hot as hell inside in the summer, but we can’t use the fan because there’s no electricity. The kids and I have to keep taking cold showers, otherwise it’s too hot to fall asleep. My baby boy, Ibrahim, sometimes gets a rash because it’s so hot. He cries at night and can’t fall asleep.”

Three of Iman Hassan Hamdan’s children. Photo by Khaled al-‘Azayzeh, B’Tselem 17 June 2017
July 4

A short documentary by Helen Yanovsky, “The Boy from H2”, created in collaboration with B’Tselem’s field researchers and Camera Project volunteers in Hebron, and produced by B’Tselem’s video department, will be screened at the Vienna Shorts Festival on Sunday, 4 June 2017. The film is also a candidate in an international film competition taking place at the festival. The documentary follows 12-year-old Muhammad Burqan, who lives in Area H2 of Hebron, a section of the city under full Israeli control.

Muhammad Burqan. From “The Boy from H2” by Helen Yanovsky
May 17

On 7 May 2017, Fatimah Hjeiji, 16, approached a metal barrier near Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem. Hjeiji stopped, stood, and brandished a knife at 5 police officers on the other side of the barrier, who then fatally shot her. The Police District Commander called the shooting legal and appropriate, ignoring the facts of the case which indicate Hajij posed no threat to the officers. The continued policy of fatally shooting Palestinians who do not pose a mortal danger illustrates the discrepancy between accepted norms prohibiting such use and frequent shoot-to-kill incidents which are encouraged by senior officials and public sentiment.

Fatimah Hjeiji, 16
May 10

On 21 March 2017, two Gazan men and a minor went from Rafah towards the perimeter fence, hoping to enter Israel for work. Around midnight, before they tried to cross the border and although they posed no danger, the military fired a shell at them. They fled, but another shell killed Yusef Abu ‘Athrah (15) and injured one man. The military's statement, that the suspicion the three had been trying to plant an explosive device on the fence was investigated after the fact, attests to a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ policy.

May 4

On 16 Mar. settlers harassed students in a Burin school, threw stones and fired in the air. Instead of arresting or removing the settlers, soldiers who came to the scene repeated their claims that students had thrown stones. The case illustrates how the military serves the settlers, acting as their mouthpiece, and does not protect Palestinians. It also demonstrates the double standard on stone throwing: Palestinians throwing stones are considered an immediate threat justifying lethal force; whereas settlers, even if they fire, are presumed to be justified and the military stands by as an onlooker.

Still from video filmed by Tharwah ‘Eid, B'Tselem Camera Project
April 25

On 5 April 2017 the CA evacuated nine families from Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar, the northern Jordan Valley, from 5:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M. the next morning. Forty people, incl. about 15 minors, were forced to leave behind their sheep and property, to vacate their homes and spend the night out in the open. In 2016, families from the community were evacuated ten times on the same pretext. The repeated evacuations cause an intolerable disruption to daily life, are unjustified and unlawful. Israel must immediately stop the evacuations and all other measures it is taking to drive out residents of the Jordan Valley.

Security forces accompany a Kh. Ras al-Ahmar family being evacuated. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 5 April 2017
April 23

In 2016, Israeli security forces killed 101 Palestinians, incl. 31 minors – 90 in the West Bank (incl. East Jerusalem), 8 in Gaza, and 3 in Israel. Ten women and one female minor were among the casualties. Seventy-five (74%) were killed in attempted, alleged or real assaults on Israelis; another 17 (17%) were killed in clashes, protests, and stone-throwing incidents. The responsibility for these deaths lies with the top levels of Israel’s military and government, which allow this open-fire policy and the subsequent lack of accountability.

April 20

On the morning of Mon. 3 April 2017, the Civil Administration (CA) arrived at Kh. a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley and served nine families with evacuation orders from Wed. 5 April 2017 at 5:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. next morning. As a result, 40 people, incl. some 15 minors, will have to spend an entire night away from home. Last week, the CA served ten families with evacuation orders for Wed. afternoon to Thurs. morning. Yet no military training was then carried out on land near their homes and, contrary to past practice, the CA did not arrive to evacuate them. Residents remained in a state of uncertainty all night long, concerned they might be evacuated.

Military training in Khirbat Ras al-Ahmar, December 2016. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem
April 4

In Jan.-Feb. 2017, large numbers of troops entered homes at night in two villages in the Nablus District, waking whole families. In Beit Furik, they made one home into a temporary interrogation facility; in Burin, they forced young men to serve as human shields. This is yet another example of how the military abuses its power to disrupt the lives of Palestinians accused of no wrongdoing, invading their privacy and intimidating them. Israel’s security forces broadly abuse their authority, citing flimsy security considerations, to justify frequent, random raids on homes.

Rawnad Hanani and her children in Beit Furik. Photo by Salma a-Deb’i, B’Tselem
April 4

In early 2017, B’Tselem documented two incidents in which security forces, some masked, raided homes in Dura and Hebron at night, ordering family members to strip and wreaking havoc in their homes. The military law applicable in the West Bank allows soldiers and officers to enter any Palestinian home at any time with no warrant or justification, a power widely used on feeble security pretexts. These nighttime raids - which frighten residents, humiliate them and destroy property - are nightly occurrences and have long since become part of life under occupation.

The al-Ja’bri home in Hebron after the search. Photo by Ayat al-Ja’bri, 20 January 2017
April 2

On 25 Dec. 2017, Baraa ‘Enayeh,13, and Ihab ‘Enayeh, 12, were heading home to ‘Azzun, having finished after-school work. They were stopped by soldiers, who checked their hands and clothes and let them go. Later, the soldiers came to Baraa's house and detained him and his father for two hours. Then they took Baraa away in a jeep and let him out about 1.5 km away, near a settlement. He had to walk home in the dark. This thuggish behavior, which is unjustifiable, reflects the unchecked power given to soldiers and the backing they receive.

Baraa 'Enayeh, 13. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B'Tselem, 26 Feb. 2017
March 28

This morning, Civil Administration forces arrived at the community of a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley and handed evacuation orders to ten families, starting Wednesday 29 March 2017 at 5:00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M. the next morning. The orders mean 50 people, including 20 minors would have to spend the night away from their homes. Israel must immediately cease the temporary displacement of communities as well as all other measures it takes in a bid to force Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley out of the area.

Military jeep escorting Palestinian family during the temporary displacement in Ibziq, Jordan Valley, 21 December 2016. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem.
March 27

On 19 March 2017 at midday, a force of more than 15 soldiers seized 8-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah, who was out on the street barefoot, looking for a toy he had lost. Two soldiers dragged him to the al-Harika neighborhood and took him into several homes to identify children who had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at the Kiryat Arba settlement. More than an hour later, several women managed to extricate the boy and return him to his mother. Two area residents, including B’Tselem volunteer May D’ana, captured the incident on video.

Still from video.
March 23