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

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

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

In a raid on al-Fawwar Refugee Camp on 16 Aug. 2016, Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers. One of them, Abu Hashhash went home and then came out again, at which point a military sniper positioned in a nearby home shot him. B’Tselem found that Abu Hashhash was killed by 0.22-inch bullets, which are officially permitted for use only in case of mortal danger but have been used as a crowd control measure by the military in recent years even without such danger, resulting in five Palestinians killed and hundreds injured since March 2015.

The hole made by soldiers in the wall of Bajes al-Hamuz’ home, through which the sniper shot and killed Muhammad Abu Hashhash. Photo by Musa Abu Hashhash, B’Tselem, 16 Aug. 2016
September 9

On 10 Aug. 2016 there was a fight between Palestinian and settler children in Hebron. After Israeli Border Police forces broke it up, they brought in five Palestinian boys - at least two below the age of criminal responsibility - for an improvised lineup by a settler boy. This was partially captured on video by an ISM volunteer. The Border Police also took an 8-year-old from his home in the middle of the night and the police sought to interrogate him alone. The immense efforts to locate Palestinians suspected of harming settlers contrast sharply with the near absence of action to protect Palestinians from violence by settlers, or to uphold the rights of Palestinian children.

Border Police officers bringing two Palestinian children for an identity parade before an armed settler and his son. From the video documentation. Video: ISM volunteer. Still from video.
September 5

B’Tselem complains to Israel Police about its conduct in three attempts made by B’Tselem volunteer, ‘Imad Abu Shamsieyh, who filmed an Israeli soldier killing a Palestinian, to file a complaint regarding threats he has received on Facebook. Abu Shamsiyeh got sent back and forth and on the last time, threatened with arrest if he did not leave the station. Adv. Gaby Lasky wrote to the police on behalf of B’Tselem and Abu Shamsiyeh, saying the officers had committed disciplinary offenses and abused their power.

‘Imad Abu Shamsiyeh. Photo: Sarit Michaeli, B'Tselem, 19 April 2016
September 1

Yesterday (Wednesday, 31 August 2016), military and Civil Administration forces arrived in the afternoon in the community of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat to the northwest of Jericho. The forces dismantled and confiscated three residential caravans, a shack used for raising livestock, and mobile toilet facilities. All the structures were donated to the families by a humanitarian aid organization after the Israeli authorities demolished their homes on 4 August 2016. The destruction left 14 people homeless, including three minors.

A resident of Badiw a-Mu’arrajat whose home was demolished. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 1 Sept. 2016
September 1

On 29 August 2016, Israeli forces came to M’azi Jaba’, a community to the northeast of Jerusalem. The forces demolished four homes belonging to three families, as well as three animal pens, leaving 28 people homeless, including 19 minors. Since the start of 2016, the Israeli authorities have demolished 203 homes around the West Bank, leaving 823 people homeless, including 432 minors. This demolition campaign highlights Israel’s increased efforts since the beginning of 2016 to displace Palestinians from Area C.

Residents of the community of M’azi Jaba’ outside their demolished homes. Photo: Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem, 30 August 2016.
August 31

In late July Israeli security forces killed Muhammad al-Faqih who was suspected of perpetrating a shooting attack. His pregnant widow, Hadil al-Faqih, was staying with her parents. A week after he was killed troops came to her parents’ home. She told B’Tselem that the female soldier who frisked her was so violent she became worried about the baby she is carrying. The reason for the nighttime search is unclear, but the incident raises grave suspicion that it was meant to harass and intimidate the widow and her family. Such conduct is utterly inexcusable.

Hadil al-Faqih. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 8 August 2016
August 28

Approximately 1.8 million people live in the Gaza Stripת, where the economic situation is on the verge of collapse. International aid organizations have addressed this reality for years, displaying tireless commitment in extremely difficult conditions. Any use of funds intended for humanitarian aid to support violence is illegal and is an extremely grave matter. Even if the defendants are found guilty – at present they should benefit from the presumption of innocence – this will not detract from the importance, integrity, and dedication of international humanitarian organizations assisting residents of the Gaza Strip.

Food distribution in Gaza, 5 July 2006. Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, Gaza.
August 23

Since 2010, Israel has severely restricted access to the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa, which lies northwest of Jerusalem, in order to prevent Palestinians from entering Jerusalem. Instead of building the Security Barrier along the Green Line in the area, Israel has chosen to deny villagers a normal routine, resulting in severe effects on employment, education, basic services and communal ties. The choice to impose these draconian measures reflects absolute prioritization of Israeli interests over the protection of local residents’ rights.

The village of Beit Iksa. Photo: Arij GIS unit, 21 Feb. 2011
August 17

This month, Israel demolished 20 homes and 13 other structures in Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, leaving 53 people – including 25 minors – homeless. In 2016, thus far, Israel has demolished 188 Palestinian homes on grounds of “lack of permit”, the highest number since 2006. This is part of an Israeli policy to step up demolitions, implemented although Israel is formally engaged in “structured dialogue” on the matter with the European Union and despite recent international condemnation in the Quartet Report.

Still from video.
August 11

After attacks perpetrated in early July by Palestinians, the Israeli military imposed severe travel restrictions on Palestinians in the Hebron district. The harm in al-Fawwar R.C., crowded with 10,000 residents on 1sq km, was particularly severe, mainly due to their dire financial situation. The restrictions were lifted on 26 July 2016. Local residents told B’Tselem about their difficulties in accessing medical care and the harm to livelihoods. These restrictions illustrate how easily Israel can disrupt the lives of Palestinians everywhere in the West Bank, regardless of the division into Areas A, B and C.

Still from video
August 10

On 13 June 2016 Bilal Kayed finished serving a 14½-year prison sentence. His waiting family was then told that he was not being released, and was being placed in administrative detention for six months. Administrative detention is based on classified “evidence” that is not revealed to the detainee, so he cannot refute it, and has no maximum time limit. While Israel has long and widely used this draconian measure, imposing administrative detention immediately after a long prison sentence is exceptionally harsh. Yet the military judges - who are an integral part of the mechanisms of occupation - approved it even in this case.

Rahiba Kayed holding a poster calling for her son’s release. Photo by Salma a-Deb’i, B’Tselem, 21 July 2016
August 7