The village of ‘Urif, southwest of Nablus, has suffered from attacks by settlers from Yitzhar and its outposts. Since March, B'Tselem has documented six such attacks, some cases with the active participation of soldiers, as well as the seizure of private land, These actions seek to de facto annex the land to the settlements. As a result, Palestinians lose not only their land but also their livelihood. The consistent behavior of the security forces shows total disregard for Palestinian lives, safety, and property.
In their ruling, Justices Amit, Meltzer, and Baron described an imaginary world with an egalitarian planning system that takes into account the needs of the Palestinians, as if there had never been an occupation. The reality is diametrically opposed to this fantasy: Palestinians cannot build legally and are excluded from the decision-making mechanisms that determine how their lives will look. The planning systems are intended solely for the benefit of the settlers.This ruling shows once again that those under occupation cannot seek justice in the occupier’s courts. If the demolition of the community of Khan al-Ahmar goes ahead, the Supreme Court Justices will be among those who will bear responsibility for this war crime.
For the last 5 years, the military has raided al-Jalazun R.C. once a week, on average. Two recent raids included arrests, live fire and incursions into nine homes, with damage to property. Night raids have become a staple of the occupation regime in the West Bank, where the military has adopted sweeping arbitrary powers. Abusing civilians as a form of intimidation and pressure is unjustified and constitutes collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law. This is yet another example of daily life under occupation.
On the night of 5 July 2018, soldiers raided 7 homes in the village, waking families, overturning their homes and questioning some about ties to a former prisoner expelled to Gaza in the Shalit deal. Soldiers mistreated an ill man and severely beat another. Nocturnal raids on Palestinian homes, by now a West Bank routine, are clearly designed to intimidate and have no justification. Abusing civilians to pressure them is collective punishment that is prohibited by international law. This is yet another example of daily life under the occupation.
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.
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.