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Newsletter 1 May 2012, USA edition

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NEWSLETTER 1 May. 2012
B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
B'Tselem Annual Report, 2011
B'Tselem interactive annual report
Dear friends,

We recently released B’Tselem’s annual report, which surveys a broad spectrum of human rights issues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The military occupation and the settlements in the West Bank, and the continued isolation of the Gaza Strip are responsible for a broad range of human rights violations. As long as this reality continues, Palestinians will never be able to fully enjoy their rights. Also this month we released "Under the Guise of Legality,” a comprehensive report on Israel’s manipulation of the West Bank land law in order to define vast tracts of land as “state land.” This report is particularly timely, given the Israeli government's efforts to relocate the Migron settlement outpost from private Palestinian land to state land. 
Jessica Montell

Director, B’Tselem

B'Tselem's annual report on human rights in the Occupied Territories

The annual report surveys the broad spectrum of issues regarding the Israeli authorities' human rights record in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past year, the 44th year of the Israeli occupation. An interactive version of the report is available online and distributed through social media. The report documents a sharp increase in the number of uninvolved Palestinians killed by the Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip in 2011. There was also an increase in the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians, compared to 2010.

Soldiers in civilian clothing shot Palestinians who mistook them for robbers, killing one

Rashad Shawakhah, killed by undercover soldiers in the village of Ramun, in a family photo with his wife Taghrid and their daughterOn the night of 27 March 2012, soldiers in civilian clothing entered Kafr Ramun near Ramallah. B'Tselem has learned that three brothers from the village, thinking they were being robbed, came outside armed with a club and two knives to defend their property and were shot by the soldiers. Uniformed soldiers who came to the scene during the incident, also shot two of the brothers, who were already wounded. One brother died of his wounds and the other two sustained injuries. B'Tselem demanded an investigation into this incident and was informed Today, 24 April 2012, that an investigation was ordered by the MAG corps

More tear gas canisters shot at human targets, army denials notwithstanding

On Friday, 9 March 2012, B'Tselem documented two serious incidents of tear gas canisters fired directly at demonstrators in two West Bank locations. Despite ample documentation that tear gas canisters are aimed and launched directly at people, the authorities continue to deny it.

New documentation of the assault on protesters refutes claims they acted violently

Video stillsA new film that was obtained by B'Tselem shows the minutes that preceded the violent incident in which the Former Jordan Valley Brigade deputy commander assaulted international and Palestinian protesters. In response, B'Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell, said: "The video disproves claims that the soldiers responded to violence by the activists. This severe case of violence illustrates the sense of impunity felt by the deputy brigade commander. In fact Israeli security forces are almost never held accountable for violence against Palestinians."

Hamas executes three people in Gaza

On 12 April 2012, the Hamas authorities in Gaza executed three Palestinians sentenced to death by Gaza courts. Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, 32 people have been sentenced to death, and ten people have been executed. B'Tselem condemns the use of capital punishment as immoral and a violation of the right to life. Regardless of the crime, such punishment has no place on the law books.

Investigate death, injuries from live firing during Land Day demonstrations in Gaza

B'Tselem wrote to the Military Police and the Military Advocate General Corps requesting they launch a Military Police Investigation into the death of a Palestinian demonstrator and the wounding of dozens of others when live ammunition was used against protesters during a Land Day demonstration in the Gaza Strip on Friday, 30 March 2012.

Testimony: ISA prevents young man with rare disease from traveling to East Jerusalem for treatment

Kamel a-TaramsiKamel a-Taramsi, age 24, has acromegaly, a rare endocrine disease. Following years of misdiagnoses, a-Taramsi was finally referred to al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem for treatment unavailable in Gaza. A-Taramsi got a permit to leave Gaza and travel to East Jerusalem but when he arrived at Erez crossing, the ISA subjected him to a lengthy interrogation without regard for his condition, and threatened him with arrest. A-Taramsi was ultimately released, but not allowed to travel to East Jerusalem. He has since been unable to obtain the required permit.

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