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.
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.
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.
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.
On 14 March 2018, the military reopened the main entrance to Hizma, a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah, after blocking it for almost 2 months and intermittently closing the southern entrances, on the grounds that stones had been thrown at nearby roads. On 28 February, it also closed the dirt roads residents had been using as a fallback. Entirely disrupting the lives of the 7,000 or so residents of the village constitutes prohibited collective punishment – yet another example of life under occupation, at the whim of military power.
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.