Late at night on 11 Dec. 2017, troops entered the village of Beit ‘Einun, northeast of Hebron. They threw stun grenades and raided dozens of homes, pounding on doors and breaking some down, and terrifying the residents and their children. They forced residents to read out a statement accusing the village of terrorist activity and threatening nightly harassment. The military’s abuse of power to intimidate entire families suspected of no wrongdoing exemplifies the arbitrary violence to which Palestinians are subject to under the occupation.
B’Tselem expresses deep sorrow at the death of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 35, a father of six from Gilad Farm who was killed by Palestinians in a shooting attack yesterday. B’Tselem conveys its sincerest condolences to the Shevach family. The deliberate targeting of civilians undermines every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks against civilians.
Ten Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured when Israeli troops used live gunfire during protests sparked by President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem. Live gunfire is permitted only in case of immediate mortal danger that cannot be otherwise averted. The great number of Palestinian casualties will probably be addressed no differently from thousands of past cases of excessive and unlawful use of live gunfire. With the MAG Corps at the helm, those responsible for these deaths will be afforded protection instead of being held to account.
On 28 Dec. 2017, at around 8:30 A.M., Israeli C.A. officials came with Border Police officers to the Khan al-Ahmar School community in the area of Ma’ale Adumim, handed the residents a military warrant and took away 60 wooden panels and two doors. The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in an area that Israel has earmarked for future expansion of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
Over the past two years, M.M., 16, from al-‘Esawiyah, has undergone interrogations, nighttime arrests, imprisonment and injury by Israeli security forces. He is shortly to begin serving another sentence. His story is not unique: every year hundreds of East Jerusalem teens are pulled out of bed at night, detained and imprisoned. The Israeli authorities violating these boys’ rights see M.M. as no more than an object to be repressed in order to maintain control in East Jerusalem, though the impact of their actions will surely be with him for life.
In the small hours of the night on 5 Dec. 17, Israeli soldiers raided five buildings in the Palestinian village of Budrus, northeast of Ramallah. They entered the apartments of 9 families, in some cases gathering all members of the family in a room, with no consideration for their age or health. The soldiers conducted searches, damaged property and left a mess behind, all based on a military order that gives them sweeping powers, with no need to meet any sort of legal standard such as a search warrant signed by a judge.
In the first half of December, Israeli security forces arrested at least 237 Palestinians, including 61 minors; raided at least 123 towns and villages and at least 104 homes; and set up at least 155 flying checkpoints. Click here for more detailed information.
For over a month the military has been curtailing the movement of the Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta) in the South Hebron Hills by putting in place physical obstacles. Local residents occasionally managed to forge side paths to get through, and each time the soldiers restored the obstacle either the same day or the next. This morning, 26 December 2017 2017, at around 10:00 A.M., soldiers arrived in the area with bulldozers. They re-blocked paths the Palestinian residents forged between Masafer Yatta and the community of Sh’ab al-Botum. This time the soldiers also piled up mounds of boulders and dug a ditch – two meters deep, by three meters wide – to keep vehicles from getting though. In addition, the troops also dug another ditch along a road which had not previously been blocked, and which runs between the communities of Khallet a-a-Dabe’ and Khribet al-Fakhit.
In 2012 the Israeli military built a fence along a-Salaimeh St. in Hebron’s Old City, designating the broad, paved section for Jews; the narrow, unpaved one for Palestinians. In 2017 the fence was extended, incl. a gate that is unlocked at the discretion of the troops at the nearby Bakery Checkpoint; on 12 Dec. 2017 settlers and soldiers celebrated Hanukkah near it. Some 40,000 Palestinians and 800 settlers live in Area H2 of Hebron where the military imposes a regime of separation, limiting Palestinian movement and upholding settler rights.
June 2017 marked a decade since Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, ruining the Gazan economy and drastically lowering the quality of life there. The unemployment rate there is currently one of the highest in the world, at 46.6%. Women and young adults are even worse off. Four residents related to B’Tselem field researchers how they pursued higher education in the hopes of improving their financial position, but since graduating have remained unemployed, with little hope for change.
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.