Updates

For over twenty years, Israel has been enacting a policy of separation based on discriminatory practices, implemented primarily through many permanent checkpoints in the city. Since Oct. 2015 the military has enhanced infrastructure and beefed up security checks at existing checkpoints, and placed age restrictions on entry to certain neighborhoods. This added a dimension of severe collective punishment to Israel’s separation by discrimination policy in central Hebron. This conduct makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to lead normal lives in the area, forcing them to leave and advancing the ongoing silent transfer of Palestinians from Hebron’s city center.

Pharmacy Checkpoint, al-Sahleh Street. Photo by Eliana Mahamid, B’Tselem, 5 October 2016.
December 1

Today, 20 Nov. 2016, Civil Administration officials handed evacuation orders to 14 families in Ibziq, north of Tubas. The families, 78 people, including 42 minors are to evacuate from Monday early afternoon to Tuesday morning, and for the same time Tuesday to Wednesday. They will have to spend two nights outside, away from home. The military has been training extensively throughout the Jordan Valley in recent weeks, turning out scores of residents in Palestinian communities in these areas, which Israel defines as firing zones.

Civil Administration officials arrived at the community of Ibziq to deliver temporary evacuation order. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 15 Nov. 2016
November 20

On 25 Oct. 2016, a military inquiry stated security forces “could have acted differently in recent incidents involving the shooting of Palestinians – and in some cases could [have] even avoided opening fire”. B'Tselem’s investigation shows that security forces killed two Palestinians, one aged 15, and injured another Palestinian aged 15 without justification. The security establishment’s response to the incidents does not lead to real change on the ground or steps against those responsible, nor will it prevent similar incidents in the future.

Left to right: Rahiq Yusef, 19, shot to death; Fares Bayed, 15; seriously injured, Khaled Bahar, 15, shot to death. Photos courtesy of the families
November 16

In July 2016 Israel demolished 13 homes in Qalandia al-Balad, close to the Separation Barrier. Since Qalandia and other neighborhoods were cut off by the Barrier, the Jerusalem Municipality has virtually halted the supply of municipal services and rarely enforces building laws. As a result, Palestinians from East Jerusalem have been attracted to the area. In a rare exception to its usual policy, the Jerusalem Municipality has decided to provide a service in the area: house demolitions.

The ruins of the family home of Sharif ‘Awadallah. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem 27 July 2016.
November 14

In recent weeks, the military has held several maneuvers in residential areas or grazing land belonging to Palestinian communities. Israel claims that the areas are “firing zones,” despite the fact that these communities have lived and worked on the land for many years. The repeated displacement threatens the ability of residents to continue living in the communities. As an occupying power, Israel may not use land for general military purposes, and certainly must not displace the residents or damage their livelihood on these grounds.

Target-practice image placed by soldiers in residential area of an al-Fajam area community, near ‘Aqraba. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 17 Oct. 2016
November 13

On Thurs. Nov. 11, Civil Administration forces arrived at the community of Khirbet Tall al-Himma, located in the northern Jordan Valley, south of ‘Ein al-Beida. The forces dismantled six tents and confiscated them together with two tents that had not been pitched yet. Three of the tents had been used as dwellings by members of the community, and the rest were used as livestock pens. These structures were donated to the community this week by a humanitarian aid agency, after the Civil Administration demolished these families’ homes on 27 September 2016, leaving 25 people, 10 of them minors, homeless.

The confiscation in Khirbet Tall al-Himma this week. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 7 Nov. 2016
November 9

On 2 November 2016, soldiers entered the village of Zabubah, in the northern West Bank, in pursuit of children who had thrown rocks at the separation fence. The soldiers entered the center of the village and ran toward a group of children who had gathered there. The children dispersed, but one of them, an 11-year-old, froze. Video footage from a security camera shows an officer pushing the child forcefully and knocking him to the ground.

Still from video.
November 8

Three communities targeted today as part of Israel’s confiscation and demolition campaign. Jordan Valley: In Kh. a-Deir, forces demolished the homes of 14 people, 4 are minors. In a-Ras al-Ahmar, forces confiscated tractors used for hauling water and feed for livestock. In Wadi al-Qatif, in the Ma'ale Adumim area, forces confiscated water tanks and portable toilets. In the campaign, launched in 2016 in a bid to expel Palestinian communities, Israel has so far demolished 255 homes, and left 1,076 people homeless, including 557 minors.

Demolition of dwellings, Khirbet a-Deir, the Jordan Valley, 30 October 2016. Still from video filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem.
October 31

In September, the military blocked the entrances to dozens of Palestinian communities in the southern Nablus District for 15 days, disrupting the lives of 54,000 residents. The Israeli authorities claimed that the closures followed the throwing of stones and a Molotov cocktail at Israeli vehicles. Such collective punishment disproves Israel’s claim that large areas of the West Bank are under the Palestinian Authority’s control. Israel disrupts the routine of tens of thousands of Palestinians at will, and the PA is helpless to do anything about it.

Roadblock placed by the military at the entrance to Beita. Photo: Salma a-Deb’i, B'Tselem, 4 September 2016
October 30

"For the past 49 years – and counting – the injustice known as the occupation of Palestine, and Israeli control of Palestinian lives in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, has become part of the international order. The first half-century of this reality will soon be over. On behalf of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, I implore you today to take action. Anything short of decisive international action will achieve nothing but ushering in the second half of the first century of the occupation..."

October 16

El-Ad will stress that after almost half a century of Israeli military control over millions of people, the occupation is only deepening, while the settlements – one of the main reasons for daily violations of Palestinians’ human rights – continue to expand. Under these circumstances, it would be unreasonable to consider the occupation temporary or to believe that Israel intends to change this reality in the foreseeable future. The responsibility for ending the occupation and the human rights violations that it entails lies first and foremost with Israel, yet this reality will not change as long as the international community stands idly by. View the recorded discussion. Read full address

Hagai El-Ad addressing the United Nations Security Council today. Photo by Chelsey Berlin, B'Tselem USA.
October 13

B’Tselem expresses deep sorrow at the deaths of Levana Malichi, 60, of Jerusalem, and Advanced Staff-Sergeant Major Yosef Kirma, a police officer in the Special Patrol Unit, who were killed by a Palestinian in a shooting attack near the Israel Police Central Headquarters. Six people were injured in the Jerusalem attack and taken to hospital: three with moderate injuries and three with mild injuries. B’Tselem conveys its sincerest condolences to the Malichi and Kirma families, and its best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded. 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.

October 9

On 9 Oct. 2016, Israeli authorities demolished a total of 18 homes in the communities of al-Kurshan, near the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, and a-Ras al-Ahmar, in the Jordan Valley, leaving 52 people – including 23 minors – homeless. In the latter, they also demolished 17 livestock pens. In the massive demolition campaign it has waged since the beginning of 2016, Israel has thus far demolished 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving 1,062 people, including 553 minors, homeless.

The demolitions in a-Ras al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 9 Oct. 2016.
October 9

Israel recently agreed to stop renewing the administrative detention of three Palestinians who went on hunger strike to protest being held without trial or time limit. Risking their lives is the only way for such detainees to go free, to challenge the injustice, and to prevent repeated renewal of their detention, given that judicial review is a mere formality. The fact that Israel insists in holding them even on the verge of death belies that argument that they are being held to prevent a threat to public security. This practice must stop.

Malek al-Qadi on the day of his release from administrative detention. Photo by Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, ActiveStills, 24 September 2016.
October 6

On Sept. 9 2016, a soldier shot a flare bomb directly at ‘Abd a-Rahman a-Dabagh, 15, who was protesting in Gaza near the fence with Israel, killing. Video footage captured his face burning afterwards, yet the military denied the shooting. B’Tselem’s investigation found that the teen had posed no danger at the time. Flare bombs are not meant to be fired directly at people. Since October 2015, Israeli forces have killed 20 Palestinians in demonstrations near the Gaza fence.

’Abd a-Rahman a-Dabagh using a slingshot several hours before he was killed.
October 5

On 27 Sept. 2016, Israel demolished 22 structures, half of them homes, in five West Bank communities: in the northern Jordan Valley, near Ma’ale Adumim, the South Hebron Hills, and East Jerusalem. This left 56 Palestinians, including 30 minors, homeless. The authorities also demolished water cisterns, livestock pens, and part of a school. This is part of a massive demolition campaign to pressure Palestinians to leave Area C that has, since the beginning of 2016, left 1,010 people homeless, including 530 minors.

Zahrah Mahmoud Ayub,68, from Khirbet al-Himma, next to fresh ruins in the community. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem, 27 Sept. 2016
September 29

Israel has exclusive control of the Palestinian water supply in the West Bank. It supplies less water to the Palestinians than the WHO recommends and less than it supplies to Israelis, doing so through inequitable distribution of joint resources, mounting obstacles to prevent the development of infrastructure, demolishing and confiscating infrastructure and barring access to local water resources. In Area C, Israel exploits its full control to prohibit water-grid hookups to dozens of communities. Since June, in order to meet settlers’ needs, the Israeli national water company has further cut back on water supply to Palestinians in the northern West Banks, as it does every summer.

Rand ‘Awwad from the village of Salem, washing the dishes without running water. Still from video
September 27

New B’Tselem report out today: Whitewash Protocol: The So-Called Investigation of Operation Protective Edge. The report describes Israel’s charade of investigating alleged breaches of law during the operation, in which 1,391 people, including 526 minors, who did not participate in the fighting were killed. While the decision makers who are truly responsible for the violations were never investigated, the military’s investigations focus on the responsibility of lower ranks for isolated “exceptional cases”, ignoring the fact that scores more nearly identical cases ended with horrifying outcomes. The MAG’s stand, which absolves himself of responsibility and allows decision makers to repeatedly ignore these outcomes is illegal and immoral.

September 20

On Aug. 16, a sniper shot four Two-Two bullets, seriously wounding Muhammad al-‘Amis, who was standing on his rooftop during the raid on al-Fawwar RC. Snipers killed another man in the camp and injured more than 30, all using Two-Two bullets. In recent years, the military has followed a policy that sanctions live fire at stone-throwers, even when there is no mortal danger. In this case, even this illegal policy was exceeded, with soldiers firing four bullets at a man who was not throwing stones or posing any other danger, almost killing him.

Still from video.
September 15

On 26 Aug. 2016, soldiers shot and killed Iyad Hamed, 36, near a military observation tower close to the village of Silwad. The military initially claimed Hamed had fired at the tower, but changed the story several times eventually claiming that the soldiers fired shots into the air. B'Tselem’s research revealed that Hamed, whose functioning was limited, had attempted to open a fence blocking a road. The soldiers shot him in the back as he was leaving the area. Past experience and the Defense Minister’s comments on the incident make it highly unlikely that anyone will be held accountable for his killing.

Iyad Hamed and his daughterץ courtesy of the family.
September 14