Yesterday, Sunday 10 Sept. 2017, the military confiscated two commercial vehicles and a truck in the agricultural areas to the west of the Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley from families employed by the landowners in the area as agricultural workers. A few days ago, on 6 September 2017, Civil Administration forces came to the same community and confiscated a tractor and a welding machine and a bus used for transporting agricultural workers to farms in the area. All the confiscations were undertaken on the pretext if presence in a “firing zone,” without issuing confiscation orders.
Yesterday, 4 September, B’Tselem sent a grave letter to Israel’s prime minister and other top Israeli officials, cautioning that demolition of the Palestinian communities of Susiya and Khan al-Ahmar as planned would constitute a war crime for which they would bear personal liability. B’Tselem made the unusual move after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the press last week that “work was being done to implement plans to evacuate the Palestinian villages of Sussia in the South Hebron Hills and Khan al-Ahmar near Ma’aleh Adumim within a few months.”
On Thursday, 31 August 2017, at 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration officials came with 25 Border Police officers to the Palestinian community of Tublas, which lies in Area C, along the main road that connects Hizma to ‘Anata north of Jerusalem. The community numbers some 60 people, about half of them minors. The forces demolished and confiscated a 48-square-meter pre-fab donated by a humanitarian organization that home to a family of five, including three minors.
On Saturday night, 5 Aug. 2017, a group of settler youths assaulted two Palestinian youths in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron, in plain view of soldiers. The soldiers violently detained one of the Palestinian youths and he was interrogated at a police station. A confrontation developed between settlers and Palestinian residents, in which several residents were injured by stones thrown by settlers, yet were offered no first aid by Israeli security forces and made to wait an hour before they were taken to hospital.
On 9 Aug. 2017, at 2:30 A.M., Wasim Bader was in his living room in the village of Um Safa, north of Ramallah, when he noticed a car stop close by and park facing the nearby settlement of Ateret. Within moments, he saw his own car go up in flames and three persons in civilian clothing get into the parked car and drive away. It transpired that another car in the village had been torched and hate graffiti sprayed. The Israel Police inspected the scene, but experience shows that the odds of the perpetrators being brought to justice are very slim.
On 28 July 2017, Gazan youths held their weekly demonstration along the fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij RC. Soldiers fired teargas at them, and live fire at the legs of those who approached the fence. ‘Abd a-Rahman Abu Hamisah, 16, who was climbing a hill several dozen meters south of the demonstration, was shot and killed by soldiers from some 50 meters away, although he posed no danger. Two youths who followed him were shot and injured. Abu Hamisah is the 24th Palestinian – and third minor – to be killed since the protests began in 2015.
On Thursday, 24 August 2017, settlers from Kiryat Arba used a loudspeaker system to verbally abuse Palestinian residents of al-Hariqah neighborhood in Hebron, using offensive language and insulting Islam. When the settlers noticed her, they turned their abuse towards her, threatening violence and using racist and obscene language, including descriptions of extreme sexual violence. Although the threats were explicit and the swearing constituted severe sexual harassment, Israeli security forces who were present allowed the settlers to continue undisturbed, as is usually the case.
Israel’s policy of segregation in downtown Hebron leads to absurd situations in which Palestinians rely entirely on the goodwill of security forces. On 7 July 2017, the Hadad family moved house within the area. They were not allowed to drive their moving truck through the Pharmacy Checkpoint right by the new apartment, nor through Checkpoint 160 a kilometer away. After repeatedly loading and unloading in the heat they split up, with some members transporting the furniture by donkey cart and others carrying lighter possessions by hand.
Yesterday, 22 August 2017, Israeli authorities demolished the school at the community of Jub a-Dib, southeast of Bethlehem, leaving 80 pupils without an educational facility. In previous years, the children of Jub a-Dib had to walk to schools outside the village. The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomizes the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land. In recent weeks, another two educational facilities in Area C were also demolished.
On 29 May 2017, the military ordered Palestinians in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron to close shops to allow for a settler procession. Muhammad (14) and Baraa (17) Jaber were by a grocery store near their home when soldiers ordered the shopkeeper to close down. When the brothers refused an order to go home they were violently removed, as captured on video. Later, the soldiers again assaulted Muhammad on his way to a bicycle repair shop. This thuggish conduct is unjustified and illustrates the regular abuse of power permitted to soldiers.
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.