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31 March 2018

B’Tselem: Shooting unarmed demonstrators is illegal and the command that allows it is manifestly illegal

Since today’s morning hours, Israeli soldiers have been shooting at Palestinian demonstrators standing on the other side of the fence surrounding Gaza. At least ten Palestinians have been killed so far, including one minor, and at least a thousand have been wounded. Shooting at unarmed demonstrators is illegal and any command allowing such an action is manifestly illegal. Yesterday, B’Tselem warned against relating to demonstration areas as combat zones and against shooting live fire at demonstrators. Armed soldiers and unarmed demonstrators are not “at war.” The illegal open fire regulations and the compliance with them are the reason for the number of dead and injured today in the Gaza Strip.

29 March 2018

B’Tselem: Gaza not “combat zone”, shooting at demonstrators a crime

Ahead of the Palestinian demonstrations planned to start tomorrow (Friday) in Gaza, Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to respond with lethal force. Completely ignoring the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and Israel’s responsibility for it, they are couching the planned protest in terms of a security risk, framing the demonstrators as terrorists and referring to Gaza as a “combat zone”. Fragments of information reported by the media indicate that: soldiers will be ordered to shoot anyone coming within 300 meters of the fence; snipers will fire at anyone touching it; live fire will be used also in circumstances which are non-life-threatening. In other words: shoot-to-kill unarmed Palestinians taking part in these demonstrations.

29 March 2018

Two weeks in Gaza: Four Palestinians, two of them teens, shot and killed by soldiers

From 17 February to 3 March 2018, Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians near the boundaries of Gaza: two teens who tried to cross the perimeter fence into Israel, a fisherman whose boat was swept outside the permitted fishing zone, and a farmer working close to the perimeter fence. None of the four were endangering the soldiers’ lives, and in all cases the soldiers opened lethal fire without warning. Despite these tragic and predictable outcomes, the military has not changed its open-fire policy in the Gaza Strip.
28 March 2018

Life in the shadow of the settlement of Beit El: Heightened presence of the Israeli military in al-Jalazun R.C. leads to clashes and to firing at Palestinian youths

Al-Jalazun R.C., north of Ramallah, has a population of 14,000, including 5,000 minors. In 1977 the settlement of Beit El was established nearby, leading to permanent military presence in the area. Israeli soldiers and youths from the camp often clash. Over the past five years, Israel security forces have shot and injured some 160 Palestinians, killing six, incl. four minors. The injured do not receive compensation from Israel or recognition for the harm suffered, and those responsible are not prosecuted, allowing continued use of gunfire, sometimes lethal gunfire, a key component in Israel’s ability to maintain its violent control over millions of Palestinians.

28 March 2018
27 March 2018

Feb. 2018: Ten settler attacks in Nablus District after fatal stabbing by Palestinian near settlement of Ariel

In two of the incidents B’Tselem documented, settlers injured Palestinians and in one they killed and injured sheep. This is part of the violent routine of occupation in the West Bank. Israeli security forces are often on site during such incidents yet do nothing to stop them, and sometimes even take part in the attack. The authorities rarely take action against the perpetrators. This policy leaves Palestinians defenseless and effectively barred from many parts of the West Bank, for fear of assault, enabling the state to take over land and resources.

21 March 2018

‘Ahed Tamimi’s forced plea bargain clearly illustrates role of military juvenile court: Protecting the occupation, not Palestinian minors

The conviction rate in Israel’s military courts in the West Bank is almost 100% - not because the military prosecution is so efficient, but because Palestinian defendants reluctantly sign plea bargains in which they plead guilty. A new report published yesterday by B’Tselem shows how the measures that Israel has showcased over the last decade as examples of its improved treatment of Palestinian minors in military courts have little to do with the protection of minors and everything to do with public relations. In fact, the function of the military juvenile court boils down to signing off on plea bargains such as the one signed today.
20 March 2018

#Occupation365 4 November 2017 through 23 February 2018

From 4 November 2017 through 23 February 2018 Israeli security forces arrested at least 1,210 Palestinians, including 168 minors; made at least 1,107 raids on towns and villages; raided at least 451 homes; and set up at least 1,217 flying checkpoints.
20 March 2018

New report: Minors in Jeopardy - Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel’s Military Courts

Every year, Israel arrests and detains hundreds of Palestinian minors, routinely and systematically violating their rights throughout: during arrest and interrogation, and at the military juvenile court. The minors undergo this process completely alone, cut off from their family and without legal counsel. Israel boasts of changes instituted in the military juvenile justice system in recent years, claiming significant improvement to the protections afforded minors. In practice, these changes have not helped safeguard minors’ rights and are no more than superficial matters of form designed to legitimize the military justice system and the occupation regime.

19 March 2018

Palestinian stabs and kills Israeli civilian in the Old City, East Jerusalem

B’Tselem expresses its deep sorrow over the killing of Adiel Kolman, a 32-year-old father of four who lived in the settlement of Kochav Hashachar. He was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian in the Old City, East Jerusalem. B’Tselem conveys its sincerest condolences to the Kolman family. The deliberate targeting of civilians undermines every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks against civilians and calls once again on politicians and leaders to act responsibly and avoid fanning the flames of violence.