“One of the soldiers assaulted my father and beat him in the face until he bled. I was shocked and furious. I couldn’t understand why he’d done it. Didn’t he know my father was ill and blind? What did my father do to deserve that? I have a lot of questions that I still need answered. It’s a nightmare I can’t ever forget, even though it’s very upsetting whenever I think about it.” Taken from the testimony of Mazen Muzher (15).
On 8 Sept. 2017, during a demonstration in the a-Sheikh Jarah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, police officers arrested ‘A.H., 15, assaulted his mother, and released him an hour later. They also arrested his brother M.H., 13, interrogated him, and obtained his signature on a statement written in Hebrew. He was released on bail at about 10:30 PM and spent five days under house arrest. This conduct is consistent with Israel’s policy on the detention of minors in East Jerusalem, which entails the systematic violation of their rights.
On 22 Aug. 2017 police officers came to a family home in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. They put a gun to the head of the father, locked the rest of the family in the kitchen, and searched the house. They then assaulted the mother and her daughter, aged 15, shackled the daughter, and took her away for interrogation. The daughter was released after interrogation. Such behavior forms part of official Israeli policy in East Jerusalem that entails the systemic violation of the rights of minors during detention.
A new report published today by human rights NGOs HaMoked and B’Tselem reveals broad, systemic abuse by Israeli authorities of the human rights of hundreds of Palestinian teenagers arrested every year in East Jerusalem. Affidavits were collected from 60 such boys: they described being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, interrogated in violation of their rights, then kept in custody under harsh conditions, sometimes for extended periods of time. These practices are part of Israeli policy, which considers the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem unwanted residents.
On 13 Aug. 2017, Israeli security forces welded shut a door in the al-Muhtaseb home in central Hebron, using severe violence against a family member who tried to stop them. Their claim that this was needed to prevent “suspects” from passing through is unfounded. Even if it were true, it could not justify such harm. This is another example of Israel’s policy of segregation and restrictions on Palestinian movement in central Hebron, coupled with abuse, violence and daily harassment by security forces and settlers.
On Saturday night, 5 Aug. 2017, a group of settler youths assaulted two Palestinian youths in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron, in plain view of soldiers. The soldiers violently detained one of the Palestinian youths and he was interrogated at a police station. A confrontation developed between settlers and Palestinian residents, in which several residents were injured by stones thrown by settlers, yet were offered no first aid by Israeli security forces and made to wait an hour before they were taken to hospital.
On 9 Aug. 2017, at 2:30 A.M., Wasim Bader was in his living room in the village of Um Safa, north of Ramallah, when he noticed a car stop close by and park facing the nearby settlement of Ateret. Within moments, he saw his own car go up in flames and three persons in civilian clothing get into the parked car and drive away. It transpired that another car in the village had been torched and hate graffiti sprayed. The Israel Police inspected the scene, but experience shows that the odds of the perpetrators being brought to justice are very slim.
On Thursday, 24 August 2017, settlers from Kiryat Arba used a loudspeaker system to verbally abuse Palestinian residents of al-Hariqah neighborhood in Hebron, using offensive language and insulting Islam. When the settlers noticed her, they turned their abuse towards her, threatening violence and using racist and obscene language, including descriptions of extreme sexual violence. Although the threats were explicit and the swearing constituted severe sexual harassment, Israeli security forces who were present allowed the settlers to continue undisturbed, as is usually the case.
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.