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17 January 2019

#Occupation365 - Updates from the West Bank routine, 29 Dec. 2018 - 11 Jan. 2019

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.

17 January 2019

Daily life under occupation: Military blocks main road serving more than 20 villages north of Ramallah for over a month

As of 5 Dec. 2018, for more than a month, the military closed off a road that links Ramallah with villages northwest of the city and the entire area with the Ni’lin checkpoint, which thousands of laborers and businesspeople cross daily into Israel. This forced tens of thousands of Palestinians to use a treacherous alternate road. Israel’s arbitrary closure of roads has a particularly disruptive impact on daily life. The closure was unlawful and constituted deliberate collective punishment of residents whose only “crime” was living there.

14 January 2019

13 December 2018: Settlers supported by the military riot on West Bank roads and attack Palestinians

On 13 Dec. 2018, a Palestinian opened fire near the settlement of Givat Assaf, killing two soldiers and seriously injuring another soldier and a woman. Following the incident, large numbers of settlers set out to attack Palestinians. These attacks were predictable, yet the security forces did nothing to prevent them. This behavior by the security forces was also predictable. Settler attacks on Palestinians, in the presence and under the protection of the security forces, have long since become routine throughout the West Bank. It is clear to Palestinians today that no-one will protect them and their property and that no-one will be held to account when they are attacked.

6 January 2019

“Price Tag”, November-December 2018: Settlers continue to wreak havoc in Palestinian communities, shielded by military and police.

Yet again, settlers vandalized Palestinian property. Yet again, the military saw nothing. Yet again, the police is having difficulty carrying out an investigation and tracking down the offenders. Yet again - because the perpetrators are settlers and the victims are Palestinians. These are not isolated incidents. They are a reflection of Israel’s policy in the West Bank, which leaves Palestinian homes, fields, vehicles and belongings unprotected and constantly vulnerable to attacks by settlers. View photoblog

3 January 2019

Oct.-Nov. 2018: Settler attacks on village of ‘Urif continue

In early September we published a review of attacks carried out by settlers from Yitzhar and its outposts against Palestinians from 'Urif, with the escort or active involvement of soldiers. This intensified in October and November. These are not isolated incidents but part of a deliberate state policy to dispossess as many Palestinians as possible, damage their property and livelihood, and drive them to leave their land as though of their own accord - facilitating a takeover and de facto annexation of the land to settlements.

3 January 2019

December 2018: Israeli forces shoot and kill three Palestinians on the grounds that they intentionally ran over Israelis - in incidents that never occurred

Over the course of nine days in December, Israeli security forces shot and killed three Palestinians in the West Bank, alleging that they had attempted to attack Israelis by car - incidents that never occurred. All three victims were shot although they were not endangering the lives of the security forces or of anyone else. Their death is a direct outcome of the reckless and illegal open-fire policy that permits, and retroactively supports, lethal fire in situations that do not justify it.
28 December 2018

B’Tselem mourns the passing of distinguished author and intellectual Amos Oz

Along with his towering literary legacy, Oz was a beacon in the struggle against the occupation, courageously and resolutely fighting for a future of human rights, justice and equality for everyone living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. We are grateful for his longstanding support for B’Tselem and for being part of our public council. May he rest in peace.

26 December 2018

Palestinians describe life in center of Hebron under impossible terms imposed by military

40,000 Palestinians and 800 Israeli settlers live in the city center of Hebron, where Israeli authorities impose a regime of legal and physical segregation. While Palestinians are subjected to extreme restrictions on movement by car or on foot, including the closure of main streets, settlers are free to go where they wish. These restrictions impact every aspect of life, preventing Palestinian residents from maintaining a normal routine and making their lives intolerable. Below are testimonies collected by B'Tselem in recent months, in which Hebron residents describe how the checkpoints affect their daily lives:
19 December 2018

Lethal “warning”: 2 Palestinian teens killed on rooftop in Gaza by Israeli “warning missile”

On 14 July 2018, the Israeli military carried out an airstrike on a building in Gaza which it claimed the Hamas used for training purposes. A joint investigation by B’Tselem and Forensic Architecture found that the strike began with the launching of four missiles the military termed “warning missiles.” The first killed two 14-year-olds who were sitting on the rooftop at the time. The investigation also found that the video clip the military released of the attack omits footage of the strike in which the two boys were killed while the impact of the third missile is shown twice. The firing of lethal missiles as a means of warning is unlawful and, for all intents and purposes, constitutes an attack. As such, the action must abide by the applicable rules set out in international law, including adhering to the principle of proportionality and the duty to provide effective warning. None of this was done in the case at hand.

17 December 2018

Settlers, in view of Israeli soldiers, stone ambulance en route to Palestinian patient in Tel Rumeidah, Hebron, Nov. 2018

On 17 Nov. 2018, a 72-year-old resident of Tel Rumeidah, Hebron, called an ambulance when she did not feel well. After coordination with the military, the ambulance set out, but was attacked by 15 settlers. They threw stones at the ambulance, penetrating the back windows, and verbally abused the crew. Settler violence against Palestinians in Hebron is routine. It is part of Israel’s discriminatory regime of separation in the city and is rarely investigated. Without deterrence, these attacks are bound to recur.