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October 2020

The Annexation That Was And Still Is

B'Tselem's Position paper: As part of normalizing ties with the United Arab Emirates, Israel has decided not to officially annex the West Bank as yet. De facto, it annexed the West Bank long ago, treating the area as sovereign Israeli territory while acting unilaterally to establish and perpetuate control. The uproar over official annexation has subsided, but the reality remains unchanged: the international community has welcomed Israel back with open arms – legitimizing its continued policy of dispossession with no price.

May 2020

This is Jerusalem
Violence and Dispossession in al-‘Esawiyah

The report describes life in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-‘Esawiyah 53 years after East Jerusalem was annexed to Israel. Over the past year, al-‘Esawiyah has become a flashpoint due to a police operation designed primarily to harass residents. In the report, B'Tselem analyzes Israel’s policy of dispossession, deliberate neglect, lack of planning and police violence in the neighborhood, which is an extreme example of its actions throughout East Jerusalem.

March 2020

The Israeli Attorney General’s memorandum
Everything the ICC is not meant to be

B’Tselem’s analysis finds AG’s claims, that the ICC has no jurisdiction in Palestine, rely on intentional misquotation, disregard for international law and an absurd misrepresentation of reality. Contrary to the AG’s position, the ICC has jurisdiction to carry out the necessary investigation of the situation in Palestine. This morning, B’Tselem published a position paper refuting the conclusion of Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit – the highest legal authority in Israel’s executive branch, whose legal opinion represents the government – that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate suspected war crimes by Israel.

December 2019

Just the tip of the iceberg:
One victim a year, times thirty years.

The pages below are an exhumation, digging up the past. For each year since 1989, we brought an account of a single instance in which soldiers killed, injured or beat a Palestinian. The account of each incident presents the testimony we collected at the time and then describes how one or another of the state’s legal branches whitewashed the actual event. Lastly, we bring a testimony we recorded this year from a relative or from the victims themselves. Their personal stories tell of lives unalterably changed in an instant. They were never the same again. The violence and its whitewashing are the double helix that make up the occupation’s DNA. The two are closely intertwined: without state violence, as carried out by its security forces, a people cannot be oppressed and its life regimented and controlled. But without whitewashing, the security forces would refuse to employ violence. This, then, is the awful pact between government control and “security,” a deal without which there could be no occupation or control.
December 2019

He looked for justice, but behold, oppression
The Supreme Court Sitting as the High Court of Occupation

This publication is comprised of four analyses of the Supreme Court rulings that B’Tselem published on its website throughout 2019, on a range of issues: house demolitions, the rights of persons in interrogation, prisoners and their families, and the use of corpses as bargaining chips. These rulings demonstrate how easily the court accepts the state’s position and engages in legal acrobatics in order to sanction a severe violation of human rights. In essence, these analyses demonstrate how Israel’s Supreme Court does not seek to serve justice, but rather to serve the occupation.

September 2019

Playing the security card
Israeli Policy in Hebron as Means to Effect Forcible Transfer of Local Palestinians

The report demonstrates how Israel has been using security excuses to implement a policy that has made life unbearable for the Palestinian residents of Hebron’s city center (the Old City), in an effort to drive them from their homes. This policy relies on the extreme regime of separation Israel has been implementing in the city for the past 25 years – ever since the massacre of Palestinians carried out by Baruch Goldstein – so as to enable a small number of settlers to live in the heart of a crowded Palestinian city. This policy violates the prohibition against forcible transfer, which constitutes a war crime.

March 2019

After a year of protests in Gaza: 11 Military Police investigations, 1 charade

Ahead of the UN Human Rights Council meeting on 18 March 2019, on the findings of the UN commission of inquiry into the 2018 Gaza protests, B’Tselem has issued a position paper explaining that Israel’s promise to “investigate” 11 incidents in which protesters were killed is mere propaganda. In a letter, B’Tselem’s director, Hagai El-Ad called upon the head of the commission, Santiago Canton, to reject the tapestry of lies Israel has woven while killing more unarmed protesters.

February 2019

Fake Justice
The Responsibility Israel’s High Court Justices Bear for the Demolition of Palestinian Homes and the Dispossession of Palestinians

The report shows how the justices of Israel’s Supreme Court have validated the state’s planning apparatus in the West Bank, enabling it to continue implementing illegal policies. Time and time again, the justices have ignored the fact that the planning apparatus imposes an almost blanket prohibition on Palestinian construction with the object of enabling Israel to take over as much Palestinian land as possible. The report, Fake Justice: The Responsibility Israel’s High Court Justices Bear for the Demolition of Palestinian Homes and the Dispossession of Palestinians, is based on a careful examination of hundreds of High Court cases, judgments and decisions regarding the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. In none of these cases did the justices accept the arguments of the Palestinian petitioners.

April 2018

If the heart be not callous
On the unlawful shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza

Since the wave of protests near the Gaza-Israel fence began on 30 March 2018, the Israeli military has killed 32 Palestinians in Gaza, 26 of them demonstrators, and injured more than 1,000 with live fire. Despite the heavy toll on life and limb, all state and military officials refuse to cancel these manifestly unlawful open-fire orders and continue to issue – and justify – them. Ahead of this Friday’s demonstrations (13 April), B’Tselem has issued a position paper on its findings regarding the first day of protest, analyzing the illegality of orders to shoot at unarmed demonstrators who pose no danger to anyone.

March 2018

Minors in Jeopardy
Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel’s Military Courts

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.

December 2017

Made in Israel
Exploiting Palestinian Land for Treatment of Israeli Waste

The report reveals how Israel exploits the West Bank to treat waste –  including hazardous waste – generated in Israel. In so doing, Israel abuses its power as an occupying power. It exposes the Palestinian residents – who are excluded from the decision-making process –  to environmental and health hazards. This reality is simply one more facet of the exploitative policy Israel has practiced consistently for fifty years now, using Palestinian space and people to further its own interests, as if the West Bank were its sovereign territory.
 

October 2017

Unprotected
Detention of Palestinian Teenagers in East Jerusalem

Joint report with HaMoked, Center for the Defence of the Individual

The report reveals broad, systemic abuse by Israeli authorities of the human rights of hundreds of Palestinian teenagers arrested every year in East Jerusalem. Affidavits were collected from 60 such boys: they described being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, interrogated in violation of their rights, then kept in custody under harsh conditions, sometimes for extended periods of time. These practices are part of Israeli policy, which considers the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem unwanted residents.

August 2017

The Occupation in Its 51st Year

International law defines occupation as a temporary situation. After more than 50 years, the reality in the West Bank and Gaza can no longer be considered temporary. It is unreasonable to keep hoping that Israel end this situation of its own volition. In the 51st year of the occupation, B’Tselem wrote an updated version of the document describing the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. The facts are well-known. Equally well-known is that standing idly by means perpetuating the current situation. Determined action is needed now to clearly demonstrate that local and international cooperation with the occupation is over.

March 2017

Getting Off Scot-Free
Israel’s Refusal to Compensate Palestinians for Damages Caused by Its Security Forces

Over the past twenty years, Israel has taken measures to guarantee a nearly blanket exemption from its obligation under international law to pay compensation to Palestinians harmed by its security forces. In a new report released today (Wed., 8 March), B’Tselem traces the development of this practice and illustrates how it has led to a major drop in the number of claims for damages Palestinians filed in recent years. Israel’s policy reflects how little value it places on the lives, bodies and property of Palestinians living under its control.

December 2016

Expel and Exploit
The Israeli Practice of Taking over Rural Palestinian Land

The report B’Tselem published today shows how Israel has been taking over Palestinian rural space, fragmenting it, dispossessing its residents of land and water, and handing over these areas to settlers. The process is illustrated through a case study of three villages in the Nablus District - ‘Azmut, Deir al-Hatab and Salem - telling what these communities have undergone since Israel established the Elon Moreh settlement nearby. Through this case study, the report illustrates a broader policy Israel has been implementing throughout the West Bank for decades, and in which the settlers play a key role.