Updates

Restriction of movement

For 40 days, as of 11 August 2017, the military closed off the main entrance by car to Kafr a-Dik, a village west of Salfit, on the grounds that local youths had thrown suspect objects and Molotov cocktails at Route 446, which is used by settlers. For over a month, the military casually disrupted the lives of some 6,500 Palestinians who were not suspected of any wrongdoing. There can be no moral or legal justification for this cynical abuse of military power.

The gate at the main entrance to Kafr a-Dik, which the military closed. Photo: Abdulkarim Sadi, B'Tselem, 28 Sept. 2017
October 3

On Tuesday, 26 September, Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, 37, from Beit Surik carried out an attack in the settlement of Har Adar, killing a Border Police officer and two settlement security guards: Sgt. Solomon Gavryia, 20, Yusef Othman, 25 and Or Arish, 25. Border Police officers and the settlement security coordinator – who himself had been moderately hurt during the incident according to the police – shot and killed Jamal. Immediately following the attack, the military implemented punitive measures against the residents of nine villages in the area of Beit Surik, northwest of Jerusalem, totaling about 40,000 people. The military’s actions included raids on villages and homes, damaging property in some cases, scores of arrests, as well as movement restrictions.

Palestinians watch the Israeli military arrive at the family home of the person who carried out the attack in the settlement of Har Adar. Photo by Ammar Awad, Reuters,
September 28

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 8 Sept. 2017, at about 3:00 P.M., a military force came with a bulldozer to the dirt road that connects the town of Yatta with the villages of Masafer Yatta, dug it up and blocked it off with rocks. The destruction of the road, which had been renovated just a day earlier with aid funding, forces villagers to now take a long detour. Masafer Yatta, which extends southeast of Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, is home to more than 1,000 people which Israel has been trying to expel for many years, including by declaring the area Firing Zone 918.

Still from video
September 11

On 13 Aug. 2017, Israeli security forces welded shut a door in the al-Muhtaseb home in central Hebron, using severe violence against a family member who tried to stop them. Their claim that this was needed to prevent “suspects” from passing through is unfounded. Even if it were true, it could not justify such harm. This is another example of Israel’s policy of segregation and restrictions on Palestinian movement in central Hebron, coupled with abuse, violence and daily harassment by security forces and settlers.

Still taken from video footage of security forces violently removing Zleikhah al-Muhtaseb from the door. Filmed by Rania al-Muhtaseb, 13 Aug. 2017
September 10

Since the 1990s, Israel has implemented a segregation policy in central Hebron, prohibiting Palestinians from driving along – and in some cases even walking on – major streets in the area. In May 2017, these severe restrictions were stepped up. This collective punishment has taken a toll on tens of thousands of Palestinians, preventing them from leading normal lives and making daily routine unbearable. In applying these measures, Israel is effecting a gradual, silent transfer of Palestinians from the heart of Hebron.

Still from video.
July 20

On 16 June 2017, three Palestinians from Deir Abu Mash’al killed Israeli Border Police officer Hadas Malka and wounded four other people in East Jerusalem. They were immediately killed by Israeli security forces. Since then, the military has disrupted the daily lives of all 5,000 residents of the village, although they have been accused of no wrongdoing. This form of automatic retaliation has become a policy in which the military cynically abuses its power to mistreat civilians. This collective harm is morally and legally indefensible.

Soldiers stand beside the gate installed by the military at the main entrance to the village. Photo by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem, 19 June '17
June 29

On 6 Apr. 2017 a Silwad resident ran over and killed one soldier and injured another. He was arrested at the scene. For the next two months, Israeli security forces collectively punished the town: blocking roads, raiding homes at night, confiscating money and cars, and revoking Israeli work permits. The military disrupted the lives of more than 10,000 people who did nothing wrong and were suspected of no wrongdoing. This disruption of daily life is morally and legally indefensible, and is entirely based on a policy of violence that cynically exploits the military’s authority in order to abuse and intimidate a civilian population.

Gate installed by the military at the main entrance to Silwad. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 23 May 2017
June 25

On 15 May 2017, Israeli navy soldiers shot and killed Muhammad Baker, 25, from a-Shati Refugee Camp in Gaza. B'Tselem’s investigation found the soldiers opened fire when Muhammad’s boat was 3 nautical miles off the coast within the zone in which the military permits Gazans to fish. As long as this routine continues, innocent fishermen will continue to risk arrest, injury or death to make a living. No one in Israel will be held accountable for the attacks and the usual whitewashing formalities will be applied.

Muhammad Baker, 25. photo courtesy of the family
June 22

B’Tselem field researchers Manal al-Ja’bri and Musa Abu Hashhash were detained yesterday in Hebron while documenting the increase in movement restrictions imposed by the military at the Bakery Checkpoint. Al-Ja’bri was questioned and held in police custody in the settlement of Kiryat Arba until late last night. Abu Hashhash was held at the checkpoint for about 40 minutes and released.

The Bakery Checkpoint in Hebron, late May 2017. Photo by Siham al-Fakhuri, B’Tselem volunteer
June 18

Yesterday, 27 May 2017, “The Invisible Walls of Occupation” was announced as winner of the Best Interactive Experience Award at the T.O. WebFest 2017, a Toronto festival dedicated to web-based content. Viewers of the interactive documentary, which illustrates various aspects of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation, are invited on a virtual tour of the Palestinian village of Burqah. The project was co-produced by B’Tselem and Canadian digital studio Folklore, and is based on a B’Tselem report by the same name.

May 28

Israel controls all West Bank entrance and exit points, so any departure requires Israeli approval. Palestinian West Bank residents can only travel abroad via the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing. Israel uses its control over the crossing to deny travel to many residents, keeping them confined to the West Bank for years, without any judicial review or explanation. This policy harms thousands of Palestinians denied travel for no defensible reason and many others who do not even bother making the attempt, and illustrates Israel’s full control over the lives of all West Bank residents.

Soldiers near the entrance to Allenby Bridge Crossing. Photo by Ronen Zvulun, Reuters, 10 March 2014
May 15

The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa in the heart of Silwan, East Jerusalem, is the setting for the largest expulsion in recent years in the city, a process supported by the Israeli government and courts. Click on the figures to enter the neighborhood’s story.

May 8

A selection of films produced by B’Tselem’s video department will be screened during the 2017 Solidarity Human Rights Film Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. On 9 May, the festival will host an evening to mark a decade of work by B’Tselem’s camera distribution project: “The Best of the Worst” – a selection of videos that reflect various aspects of the occupation, which will be marking its 50th year this June. On 6 May, the festival will screen the video diaries of two Palestinian women from the Jordan Valley who documented their lives and the lives of their families.

Nivin Bsharat. Still from video
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

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

Ahmad Shbeir was born in Gaza in 1999 with congenital heart defects. Gaza hospitals cannot perform the procedures he needed, so he underwent many operations in Israeli hospitals. Prior to the open-heart surgery he had scheduled for Sept. 2016 in an Israeli hospital, he was called in to meet with the ISA at Erez Checkpoint. His mother says he was then asked to become a collaborator with Israel. When he refused, he was told he would not get a permit to enter Israel, and his applications were in fact denied. His condition went from bad to worse and he died on 14 Jan. 2017.

Ahmad Shbeir's photo in his room. Photo by Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem, 23 Jan. 2017
March 15

Many cancer patients cannot get the treatment they need in Gaza. WHO figures indicate that in 2016 Israel reduced the number of Gazan cancer patients allowed to receive treatment in the West Bank or Israel, denying over a third of applications. Iman Shanan, a recovering cancer patient who has to endure Israeli restrictions on access to treatment outside Gaza, founded the Aid and Hope Program for Cancer Patients Care. She discusses the particular hardships suffered by women cancer patients in Gaza and the program which offers them aid.

Iman Shanan, director of the program. Still from video.
March 13

Israel has restricted Palestinian movement between the West Bank and Gaza since the 1990s, more severely so since blockading Gaza in 2007. Visits are permitted only to immediate family under narrow criteria deemed “humanitarian”; even then, only some 25% of requests are approved. Israel has shirked responsibility for the extreme implications of its decade-long blockade on Gazans. It must respect the right of all West Bank and Gaza residents to family life and freedom of movement between the two areas, which are a single territorial unit.

Women wait on Palestinian side of Erez Checkpoint to be allowed into Israel. Photo by Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem, 28 Feb. 2017
February 28

For 2.5 weeks, beginning in late Jan. 2017, the military blocked all vehicular access to and from the Palestinian village of ‘Azzun, as collective punishment for incidents of stone throwing, Molotov-cocktail hurling, and live fire at a major road nearby. The justifications given by the military are unfounded: blocking all traffic is not a relevant security measure - it is designed to pressure residents into taking action within the community to stop these incidents - nor is it an exception to the military’s longstanding policy and actions in the West Bank.

Taxi waiting for passengers outside the closed gate at the main entrance to ‘Azzun. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 2 Feb. 2017
February 22