Early on 12 July 2017, Israeli troops entered Jenin R.C. to arrest a resident. Violent clashes ensued. After two hours, soldiers who had laid an ambush, shot and killed two youths, although they did not pose a threat to the soldiers’ lives. This is not the first time the military has ambushed and shot stone-throwers. The fact that no one was held accountable in previous instances, including the commanders who ordered the stakeout, is what allows this unlawful policy to continue.
On Wed., 9 August 2017, dozens of Civil Administration officials and Border Police arrived at Abu a-Nuwar, a Palestinian community which Israel refuses to hook up to the power grid. They confiscated solar panels and related equipment, all of which were donated by a humanitarian aid organization about a month ago. Abu a-Nuwar lies between the settlements of Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim, in an area that Israeli authorities have defined E1. The equipment was seized despite an interim injunction issued that day prohibiting enforcement (in the form of demolition or confiscating solar panels) until 16 August 2017.
Ever since the attack nearly three weeks ago in the settlement of Halamish in which a Palestinian from Kobar stabbed four members of one family – killing three and wounding one, the military has been collectively punishing the village. For four days, strict travel restrictions were imposed, troops raided homes, arrested residents and seriously beat one man. This morning (9 Aug.) the military surrounded Kobar, closed off two entrances, made arrests and raided homes, leading to clashes with residents. Collective punishment following attacks has become standard policy, with the military cynically abusing its power to mistreat civilians. It is a measure that is morally and legally indefensible.
On Fri. July 21, scores of Israeli police raided al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem to arrest a critically wounded Palestinian. B’Tselem found that armed officers spread out through the wards seeking him, and tried to seize his bed when doctors attempted to get him to the OR. They also hit medical staff and others who tried to protect the man, who succumbed to his wounds during the raid. The police’s actions are unjustifiable, choosing a violent, life-threatening course instead of one that avoids harming medical staff, patients and the basic tenet that medical personnel and facilities are protected entities.
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On 13 June 2017, Border Police knocked on a door in Silwan, East Jerusalem. When no one answered, they demanded the brother, who lives next door, provide them with keys. An argument ensued; Border Police then assaulted the man and his son, broke the man’s arm, and arrested both father and son. This is another staggering example of how unbearably easy it is for police to abuse East Jerusalem residents: arresting a father and young son, keeping the man for several hours and the son overnight, finally releasing him to a five-day house arrest on a NIS 1,000 bail – all without cause in the first place.
On 10 March 2017 Palestinians and Israeli security forces clashed in Silwad. A Border Police officer fired a sponge round, injuring D.T., 17. The officer then hit him in the head with a gun. D.T., who lost consciousness, was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, where he underwent surgery for a cranial fracture and subdural hematoma. During his 12 days in Hadassah Hospital, his parents were not allowed to approach him, and he was kept in restraints. While shocking, this case is not at all unusual, nor is the fact that no one will be held accountable, guaranteeing these injustices will continue as long as the occupation does.
“I used to use candles for lighting … but I stopped because of something that happened about five years ago. My children, who got up at 5:00 A.M. to go to school, lit a candle and set it down on the TV... They forgot the candle and left… I woke up in a panic from the smell of smoke. The candle had fallen over and the TV caught fire. The whole house was full of black smoke. I started screaming and woke my husband. He put out the fire. ... Now we use battery-operated LED lights … but the power isn’t on long enough to charge the battery, and the lighting in the house is dim because the battery is nearly drained.”
During recent events, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated sweeping disregard for the lives and security of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and for their right to maintain a normal routine. The Israel Police treated Palestinian residents as if they were enemy soldiers, rather than as a civilian population for whose wellbeing and security it is responsible. This conduct is part of the way Israel controls East Jerusalem. Nothing but comprehensive and substantive change to this regime of control, and to the reality in Jerusalem, will ensure the human rights of all the people living in the city.
B’Tselem expresses its shock over Friday (21 July 2017) evening's attack in which Yosef Salomon, 71, his daughter, Chaya Salomon, 46, and his son, Elad Salomon, 35, were stabbed to death in their home in the settlement of Halamish by a Palestinian from the village of Kobar. Tova Salomon, 68, wife of Yosef and mother of Chaya and Elad, sustained moderate to severe injuries and was taken to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem. B’Tselem conveys its condolences to the family and wishes Tova Solomon a speedy recovery. Attacks against civilians undermine every moral, legal and human standard. B'Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks on civilians and reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and refrain from stirring up violence.
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.