International law

Khader ‘Adnan is on the 49th day of a hunger strike to protest his lengthy administrative detention and there is now fear for his life. Israel is advancing a bill to allow force-feeding in such cases, although the international medical community agrees that this is a prohibited violation of the right to personal autonomy, dignity, and protest. B’Tselem again calls on the government to change its administrative detention policy, which defies international law, instead of drastically punishing people protesting their unlawful detention.

Khader ‘Adnan at his bakery. Photo by Oren Ziv, activestills.org, 21 June 2013
June 23

The UN commission of inquiry into last summer’s fighting in Gaza recommended an international criminal investigation against Israel and Hamas. This is aimed primarily at the leaders on both sides, rather than at the ground forces. Despite the horrifying and predictable results, top military and government officials in Israel ordered that the lethal policy of massive bombings in Gaza be continued. Denial and passing the buck cannot be the only response to such serious findings. A healthy society should face the criticism and thoroughly investigate the allegations of serious human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law.

Ruins in Beit Hanoun. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B’Tselem, 5 August 2014
June 22

On 9 July 2012, the media published the recommendations of a government-appointed committee on "steps to be taken to regularize construction" in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Given that the Levy Committee was founded explicitly to find ways of legalizing illegal acts, it is not surprising that its conclusions appear tailored to the settlement agenda. The report's conclusions have no basis in international law and almost completely ignore the people most hurt by the establishment of settlements, the two and a half million Palestinians of the West Bank.

Palestinian-Bedouin children near the Adummim settlement bloc. Photo: activestills.org
July 11

The natural resources of an occupied territory must be used to benefit local residents, unless they are needed for urgent military purposes. Yet on 26 Dec. '11, an Israeli High Court of Justice ruling given by President Justice Dorit Beinisch allowed the state and Israeli entrepreneurs to loot West Bank quarries. The judgment blatantly contradicts the principles laid out by the Court over 30 years, as well as international law. It may enable Israel to treat the West Bank and its resources as annexed territory, while ignoring Palestinians' rights.

The Natof-Shapir quarry near the settlement of Nili. Photo: Dror Etkes, 3 Nov. '08
January 16

"Partial Acquital"
By Uri Zaki, B'Tselem USA Director, Foreign Policy, 6 April 2011.

April 6

"Beyond Goldstone: A Truer Discussion of Israel, Hamas and the Gaza Conflict"
By Jessica Montell, B'Tselem Executive Director, The Washington Post, 5 April 2011.

April 5

"Op-Ed Doesn't Close the Book on Cast Lead"
by Jessica Montell, B'Tselem Executive Director, The Jewish Daily Forward, 5 April 2011. 

April 5