On 1 Aug. 2018, the court ordered the state to detail its proposed alternative for the community. On 7 Aug., the state responded in bad faith, suggesting a site to be prepared sometime in the future that does not meet the residents’ needs, lies close to a sewage treatment plant and requires expropriation of Palestinian land. It also demanded that the residents first move to the site near the Abu Dis garbage dump, cynically tying the alternative to their persuading 3 other communities to move, too. The immediate threat to Khan al-Ahmar must be stopped now. Its fulfillment will heighten the danger facing ~200 other Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
On 30 June 2018, Israel was holding ~5,300 Palestinians from the West Bank on security grounds, in facilities all – barring Ofer Prison – within Israel. Imprisoning residents of the Occupied Territories in Israel contravenes international humanitarian law and violates the rights of families to visit loved ones. Palestinians undergo a bureaucratic ordeal to secure permits to visit, and lengthy journeys to and from prisons. These difficulties are another example of the exhausting routine of occupation that Palestinians face daily.
From 1 May to 7 July 2018, B'Tselem documented 10 cases in which settlers destroyed 2,000+ trees and vines and burned a barley field and hay bales in the West Bank. Some of the farmers have suffered repeat attacks. Despite this upsurge, settler violence is routine and fully backed by Israeli authorities: soldiers take part in some assaults and stand by in others; the police do not seriously investigate or act to prevent or stop attacks. Israel benefits from this gradual dispossession of Palestinians, which paves the way for a state takeover.
Hundreds of Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, in Israel and in the West Bank, without charges, without being seeing the alleged evidence against them and without knowing when they will be released. Israel calls this routine practice “administrative detention” and has held hundreds of Palestinians this way at any given moment over decades. Administrative detention powers are extreme and sweeping, and while the detentions are ostensibly subject to judicial review, they are routinely upheld by the military courts and the Supreme Court.
B’Tselem expresses deep sorrow at the death of Yotam Ovadia, 31, a married father of two from the settlement of Adam who was stabbed to death yesterday by a Palestinian from Kobar, and the injury of two others, one moderately and one severely. B’Tselem conveys its sincerest condolences to Ovadia’s family and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. The deliberate targeting of civilians undermines every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks against civilians and reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and avoid fanning the flames of violence.
For years Israel has been endeavoring to displace this community for a variety of reasons, including the expansion of nearby settlements, de facto annexation of the area – without its Palestinian residents – and bisecting the West Bank, cutting it in two. To that end, Israeli authorities have made the lives of the residents intolerable, hoping to make them leave their homes, ostensibly of their own volition.
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.
On 1 June 2018, during a protest held north of Khuza’ah in the Gaza Strip, Israeli security forces deliberately fired at Palestinian paramedics who were clearly identified as medical crew and were 25 meters from the fence: Rozan a-Najar, a 20-year-old paramedic from Khza’ah was killed; two others were wounded. Since the Gaza protests began in late March, security forces have killed 127 protesters, including at least 18 minors, and wounded some 4,100 people with live fire. The military persists in this lethal policy despite its predictable outcome from the very outset.
On 6 June 2018 Israeli soldiers entered the Palestinian village of a-Nabi Saleh. Two young men threw stones at a soldier, and one stone apparently struck his helmet. The young men fled, but one of them, ‘Iz a-Din Tamimi, was hit in the back and died soon after. This lethal shooting was unlawful and unjustified, but no one will be held to account. The media reported that the Military Police has opened an investigation, but experience shows that this is intended solely to deflect criticism of the military and will almost certainly end without any results.
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.