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.
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.
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.
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.