In Aug. and Sept. B’Tselem investigated 3 cases in which Israeli security forces arrested 4 Palestinians, incl. a minor, in order to force their relatives to turn themselves in: police came to a home in the middle of the night, searched it and then randomly arrested other family members, making it clear they would be released only once the wanted individual turned himself in. It is unacceptable and unlawful to arrest individuals suspected of no wrongdoing in order to pressure others to turn themselves in. The number of cases and the number of officers involved indicate the incidents are not some individual officer’s whim. Instead, they demonstrate the intolerable ease with which Israeli security forces violate Palestinians’ rights, disrupt their lives and undermine their safety.
Every day, Israel determines what the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank will look like – while they, themselves, are barred from taking part in decisions that shape their present and their future. Israel uses its power in a violent, arbitrary fashion, with blatant disregard for the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of the Palestinians who live under its control.
Hanaa and Jamal Karamah live with their six children Area H1, Hebron. In Aug.-Sept. 2018, soldiers came to their home in the middle of the night four times. First, they demanded that the parents come in for an ISA investigation. After they did not, the soldiers returned and arrested them, employing unwarranted violence against several family members. These night raids, which take place also in areas ostensibly under full PA control, have become routine across the West Bank. They are carried out with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses. These actions, which are clearly designed to intimidate the residents, are completely unjustifiable.
In the first half of January 2018, Israeli security forces arrested at least 139 Palestinians, including 18 minors; raided towns and villages at least 137 times, and at least 68 homes; and set up at least 173 flying checkpoints.
On 14 Sept. 2018, at a Return Protest east of al-Bureij R.C., Muhammad Shaqurah (20) torched a tire near the fence, tied a bit of wire to the fence, tugged it and let go. After rejoining other protesters about 20 meters away, he was shot and killed by Israeli troops on the other side of the fence, although he was endangering no one at the time. The killing of Shaqurah and 170 other Palestinians, incl. 31 minors, is the direct and predictable outcome of the policy to open lethal fire at protesters near the fence, evincing the disregard of Israeli authorities for the lives of Palestinians.
On 10 Aug. 2018, thousands of Palestinians held a demonstration east of Rafah. Some burned tires and threw stones at Israeli forces on the other side of the fence. The forces fired tear gas and live bullets, killing three demonstrators. B'Tselem found that two of those killed were not endangering the forces in any way. These fatalities are the direct result of Israel’s open-fire policy, and another example of the lack of concern shown by Israeli authorities for Palestinian life and limb.
B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad addressed the United Nations Security Council tonight, at the quarterly session scheduled in accordance with Resolution 2334. Click here to view his address
In protests near the Gaza fence from 30 March to 8 Oct. 2018, Israeli forces shot and killed at least 166 Palestinians, 31 of them minors, and injured more than 5,300 with live gunfire. Most of those killed or injured did not endanger the forces, who were on the other side of the fence. The high casualty count is a direct result of Israel’s open-fire policy in the area. Its lethal outcomes, which are well-known, convey the Israeli authorities’ disregard for the life and death of Palestinians. Testimonies regarding the killing of four of the minors follow.
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.