Early on the morning of 7 May 2018, soldiers came with attack dogs to Jenin R.C. and entered two homes. The soldiers used the dogs to assault four of the occupants, including a teenaged boy and a man over 70. Military night raids on homes have long since become part of the violent routine of occupation. In this case, the soldiers even used attack dogs, and then exhibited marked indifference to those injured. This conduct is not a local initiative. It is part of the Israeli military’s policy in the West Bank. Therefore, as in other cases, no one will be called to account.
On 17 June, a new military order removing any option for Palestinians to challenge demolition orders against their homes will go into effect. This is a new phase in Israel’s planning and building policy in the West Bank, which is aimed at denying Palestinian development and taking over land for Israeli needs. Removing the façade of judicial review over demolitions indicates Israel’s plan to accelerate dispossession and a conviction that it will not be called to task over this either internationally or locally.
Yesterday, 4 June 2018, around midday, Israeli Civil Administration officials arrived at the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley and handed temporary evacuation orders to five Palestinians families who were already displaced from their homes three times in the last two months. The families were ordered to vacate their homes today, 5 June, from 6 o’clock in the morning until noon, allegedly for the purpose of military training nearby. This morning, Civil Administration officials and a military detail came to the community and accompanied the families, who evacuated on their own – some by car and others on foot. All 29 family members – 19 of whom are minors, including an infant and a child with Down syndrome – had to again go with some of their livestock to a secluded area about ten kilometers from home and wait there, maintaining the Ramadan fast with no shelter, until receiving permission to return home.
Since 7 Dec. 2017, soldiers have patrolled daily near the main gate to the al-‘Arrub campus of the Palestinian Technical University and detained students. Therefore, students – including those from the nearby al-‘Arrub R.C. – now take detours to enter the campus via other gates and so avoid the soldiers. This harassment infringes upon students’ rights to move freely, study and maintain ordinary social ties. For the hundreds of students on campus, basic rights are subject to the whims of the military, which views them as privileges that can be revoked at random, with no accountability.
Since 30 March 2018, at protests near the Gaza fence, over 3,600 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli live gunfire, and dozens – incl. at least 12 minors – have been killed. Gaza’s healthcare system, already failing after a decade under Israeli blockade, cannot provide them the care they need. Rehabilitation options are also few and too expensive for most. Israel is responsible for this situation: it ordered the unlawful shooting, brought the Gazan healthcare system to the verge of collapse and is denying rehabilitation, in or out of Gaza. These are the stories of three boys who were injured. Two have lost a leg. Their lives will never be the same.
Over the last year, the Civil Administration revoked permits to work in Israel or settlements from hundreds of Palestinians who share the family name of an attack perpetrator. The workers and their families depend upon these permits, which were revoked months ago and have not been returned. This is yet another example of Israel’s arbitrary actions in the West Bank, which governs the Palestinians’ lives and form part of organized state violence aimed at perpetuating Israeli control over a civil population that is denied political rights.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.