On 6 March 2018, some 30 settlers coming from the direction of Yitzhar attacked two Palestinian men working on ‘Einabus village land. After the two escaped, the settlers retreated and returned with soldiers, entering into mutual stone-throwing with residents rallied on the village loudspeaker. The soldiers joined the assault with live fire, “rubber” bullets and teargas. Six residents were injured. Such attacks, which keep Palestinians away from their land, are part of the occupation routine, which Israel exploits to grab more land.
Al-Jalazun R.C., north of Ramallah, has some 14,000 residents, 5,000 of them minors. The settlement of Beit El, built nearby in 1977, has expanded toward the camp and the schools at its entrance, resulting in a constant military presence on the roads leading to the school, which, in turn, leads to recurrent clashes with the local Palestinian residents. The Israeli military’s conduct during these clashes disrupts classes and puts students in danger as they walk to and from school and even inside the school, as the teargas the soldiers so often fire penetrates the classrooms.
On 4 Feb. 2018, 20 members of the Qabaha family from the village of Tura al-Gharbiya who work in a settlement industrial zone discovered that their work permits had suddenly been revoked. For nearly three months, Israel has been denying them and their families their livelihood without offering any explanation. This is but another example that illustrates the injurious impact of Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories, the military’s arbitrary and indiscriminate use of power, and the blanket denial of Palestinians’ rights in the West Bank.
The order to shoot at civilians who pose no danger to is manifestly illegal. Usage of lethal force is permitted only when there is a clear and present danger to life, as a last resort. The responsibility for issuing manifestly illegal orders lies primarily with the policy makers, including the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff. It is forbidden to give and to obey to such orders. Click to read names of protestors shot and killed in Gaza demonstrations under manifestly illegal orders issued under the direction of the government and the senior military command. Over 1,500 others were injured by live fire.
Ahead of today’s UN Security Council's open debate at 5:00 P.M. (Israel time), and as the demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel fence are expected to continue, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad sent UN Secretary-General António Guterres a letter listing the names of the 35 Palestinians protestors shot to death by Israeli forces in Gaza in recent weeks, four of whom were minors. El-Ad called upon the UN to do “all that is in its power – and its responsibility – in order to protect Palestinian lives and uphold international norms”, with the goal of immediately ending the illegal shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.
In 2000 the Israeli military blocked the road linking the southern Hebron neighborhood of Khirbet Qalqas (pop. 3,000) with the rest of the city. Ever since, residents have had to cross Route 60 on foot or travel by a roundabout route to reach the rest of the city. Six Palestinians have been killed crossing Route 60 in recent years. The military ignores residents’ demands to reopen the access road, and has met their protests with stun grenades and teargas. This is but another case of Israel’s repeated abuse of power, making decisions that radically disrupt Palestinians’ lives without consulting them. This situation will end only when the occupation does.
B’Tselem’s investigation has found that soldiers fired teargas at men, women and children engaged in peaceful activities in tents pitched hundreds of meters from the fence during the recent Gaza protests. This is neither lawful nor justified: Israel has no right to disperse demonstrations inside Gaza or tell Gazans where they can be. It certainly may not fire teargas at demonstrators hundreds of meters from the fence who pose no threat to a soul.
In Feb. 2018 B’Tselem documented two cases in the Ramallah area in which soldiers, in contravention of the military’s own open-fire regulations, fired crowd control weapons at the heads of children. In both cases, neither the soldiers nor anyone else was in mortal danger. Muhammad Nubani, 14, was injured in the eye by a rubber-coated metal bullet; Saleh Yihya, 10, was hit in the head by a teargas canister fired directly at him. These children, like hundreds of others in the West Bank, will bear the lifelong consequences of a reality in which soldiers can fire unlawfully without anyone being held to account.
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.