B'Tselem in the Media

26 Aug 2015

Israeli NGOs critical of the government – in particular the country’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories – are facing severe new restrictions amid a toxic political climate on the right that has sought to label them as disloyal.
Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem, speaking in a personal capacity, says: “B’Tselem has always been the target of political attacks by the right and settlers. While, in the past, the criticism was led by rightwing NGOs related to the government, now it is the government involved in these attacks.
“Regardless of what law emerges I think feature of this process – starting off with extremely draconian proposals for legislations – is that it tires out the resistance. You create a toxic and vitriolic climate where you have parts of the media depicting NGOs as traitors and leftists.
“It is damaging and creates a chilling effect in media and public. It is a scare tactic to frighten people into keeping their mouths shut. In that sense, it is very effective.”

9 Aug 2015

B'Tselem objects to the use of administrative detention against both Israelis and Palestinians, the human rights organization's spokesperson Sarit Michaeli said Sunday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Administrative detention is the practice by which terror suspects are jailed without trial for up to six months, during which security forces work to investigate the wider terrorist cell in which suspects operate.
Reacting to the government's recent move to approve administrative detention for suspected Jewish terrorists -- in the same way that it does for Palestinian terrorists -- Michaeli described the measure as "the worst tool in the toolbox" which she views as unacceptable, regardless of one's nationality.

9 Aug 2015

B’Tselem, a leftist Israeli human rights organization that generally deals with violations against Palestinians, said that the administrative detention orders were “unacceptable” and that they were “meant primarily to create a false show of firm action in order to decrease public criticism” after the Duma killings.

26 Jul 2015

It wouldn't be the first time the villagers were forcefully removed. Sussiya sat one mile away until 1986, when residents were evacuated after Israeli authorities found the remains of a 4th-century synagogue on their land. Villagers then built makeshift houses on their own farmland, although the military never granted them building permits.

Since 2006, Israel has demolished at least 876 Palestinian residences in the occupied West Bank — according to Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem. This has caused more than 4,100 people — about half of them children — to lose their homes, the group says.

23 Jul 2015

The hamlet first made international news in 2008 when a resident used a donated video camera to record masked men beating her husband, Ismail Nawajaa. Sympathetic Israelis have made short films about Susiya. A blog and a Facebook page have been set up.

Residents have “managed to place Susiya on the international agenda, in ways that other villages have not managed to do,” said Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for B’Tselem, the Israeli rights group that donated the video camera.

13 Jul 2015

On Monday, B'Tselem released video footage recorded by a security camera at the petrol station showing the moments before the shooting. It shows a person believed to be Kasbeh running at the Israeli army vehicle as it passes by and throwing a stone. He then runs away as the car then brakes suddenly and at least two soldiers get out, brandishing weapons.

In a statement, B'Tselem said the footage showed Col Shomer's claim of self-defence was "unreasonable". "There is no doubt that the shattering of the jeep's front window with a stone endangered the passengers when it happened. However, Kasbeh was shot in the back after the fact, when he was already running away and posing no 'mortal threat' to the soldiers. Feeling a sense of danger is not enough to justify any action."

13 Jul 2015

A Palestinian youth who died after being shot in the back by a senior Israeli military commander was running away and posing no threat, a human rights group has found.

The findings of a probe by the Israeli group B'Tselem into the death of Mohammed Ali Kosba, 17, on July 3, is backed up by video evidence and contradicts assertions by senior politicians and the army high command that the officer acted in self-defence because his life was in danger.

This month's shooting was unusual because it involved a senior officer who was publicly identified: Colonel Yisrael Shomer, a commander of the Binyamin Brigade, which covers Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

6 Jul 2015

Op-ed by B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad
Anti-Semitism is a real danger, as constant recent reminders in Western Europe and other parts of the world show. The fact that 70 years after the Holocaust this specific form of racism is not only still prevalent but actually on the rise is shocking – and an issue that must be addressed proactively, by educators, politicians and public leaders.

A world that tolerates anti-Semitism is morally unacceptable; a world with growing anti-Semitism is dangerous – and not only for Jews.

Anti-occupation is not anti-Semitism. This may seem like an obvious, self-evident, statement. But as the efforts to obscure and identify the two grow, it is important to clearly make this distinction, and to explain the immorality and danger of such cynical endeavors.

24 Jun 2015

This was the first Friday of Ramadan, when the Palestinian mayor of Hebron announced that 70 of the 300-odd shops on al-Sahla Street could reopen. But the Israeli military insisted that it had agreed to only seven, citing security concerns in a place where clashes with settlers are common. So al-Sahla, once a thriving marketplace off the storied Shuhada Street, remained a ghost town, as the Israeli human rights group B’tselem termed it in 2007.
“The declared commitment to free movement and unity of the city was rendered meaningless,” the group’s 2007 report says, citing a new curfew and street closings that led Palestinians to abandon more than 1,000 apartments above the shuttered storefronts. “What was once the vibrant heart of Hebron has become a ghost town.”

22 Jun 2015

B’Tselem was set to publish early Monday a report that argues that pre-verdict detention of Palestinians in the IDF’s West Bank courts forces huge numbers of Palestinians into plea bargains and turns the whole system into a “hollow formality.”
The extremely thorough 41-page report, based on 260 case files, gathers an unprecedented amount of data from both independent and IDF sources on the topic and includes a myriad of quotations from hard-to-get IDF court opinions which explain a wide range of issues.