Analysis News

Resource: How the Shin Bet holds Gazans' health ransom

A 2008 report by Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, detailing for the first time the methods Israel’s domestic security services use to exploit the medical needs of Gaza Strip residents in order to extort them into becoming collaborators for Israel.

In September 2014, dozens of Israeli army intelligence reservists publicly spoke out about the way that they were trained and ordered to conduct surveillance on innocent Palestinians to find ways of extorting them into becoming informants. Such information included innocent Palestinians’ sexual orientation, which the Shin Bet could threaten to expose, or health problems — their own or of a family member.

The practice of leveraging Gazans’ access to health care in order to get intelligence information out of them has been documented in the past. Six years earlier, in 2008, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) put out a detailed report on the practice, including testimonies from Palestinians whom the Shin Bet demanded information from in exchange for permission to enter Israel to receive needed medical care.

Following the Unit 8200 reservists’ letter, PHR-I responded that soldiers’ testimonies corroborate the testimonies it collected from Gazan patients six years earlier, calling it “direct extortion.” The organization added, “we are encouraged by the fact that these acts also bother those serving in the security forces and we hope that this will bring about a discussion of the matter and an end to this practice.”

+972 is republishing the report here in order to explain in greater detail exactly what the reserve intelligence officers are describing:

More on the 8200 revelations:
Against spy revelations, Israel doth protest too much
IDF’s ‘start-up nation’ reservists refuse to serve the occupation
Refusal by elite IDF reservists angrily dismissed as ‘political’

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that strives to promote a more fair and inclusive society in which the right to health is applied equally for all. It is PHR-Israel’s view that Israel’s prolonged occupation over Palestinian territory is the basis of human rights violations. For this reason it opposes the occupation and endeavor to put an end to it.




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Resource: Inventing retroactive 'solutions' for land theft

In February 2012, the Netanyahu government established a committee to provide retroactive approval for illegally-constructed outposts in the West Bank.

The Levy Committee, headed by Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, attempted to find a juridical solution to the growing number of petitions submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of Palestinian landowners demanding the state enforce its laws and demolish illegal construction on private land. According the Levy Report, the territories seized by Israel in 1967 are not considered “occupied,” and that legitimate legal tools exist for approving outposts constructed without permits, even if they were built on private Palestinian land.

A new report by Yesh Din reveals the ways in which the report was commissioned by the Israeli government in order to invent a retroactive “solution” for the problem of the illegal outposts. Adopting its recommendations, Yesh Din says, will serve to usurp privately owned Palestinian land, reward criminals who seized this land contrary to the law, and effectively eliminate Palestinians’ right to property.

Related:
Panel appointed by Netanyahu concludes: There is no occupation
Report that claims ‘there is no occupation’ presents an opportunity



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Resource: Undermining the status quo at the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is one of the most complicated and sensitive issues on Israel’s agenda, activating friction points between Israel and the Palestinian population, and the Arab world at large. Over the past several hundred years, a status quo has been maintained according to which the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif area is an area reserved for Muslim prayer and the Western Wall is a prayer area reserved for Jews.

Over the last decade, the status of these areas has gradually shifted, driven by a revival of activity by Jews determined to strengthen the status of the Temple Mount complex as a Jewish religious center and to marginalize the claims of Muslims to the Mount. The following report by Israeli NGOs Ir Amim and Keshev aims to present information about the growing activity of organizations working to change the status quo on the Temple Mount and, in some cases, to actually erect the Third Jewish Temple upon it.

Ir Amim is an Israeli NGO that focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ir Amim seeks to render Jerusalem a more equitable and sustainable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it. Keshev is a research and information center that focuses on exposing biased coverage patterns in the Israeli media, teaching critical media consumption and encouraging fair media. 

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Resource: Israel's persistent policy of land discrimination

To commemorate the 38th “Land Day”, marked on 30 March 2014, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, decided to research the policy of ‘state land’ allocation. This data revealed that the ILA and the Ministry of Construction and Housing persist in their discriminatory policies against Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel in various fields of development.

The ILA and the Ministry also continue to place Palestinian land on the market for mass housing construction in the illegal settlements in the 1967 occupied territories, and sell property belonging to Palestinian refugees, thereby further obstructing the likelihood for their right of return.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20 percent of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). (www.adalah.org/eng/)

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Resource: How agriculture is used to take over West Bank land

The Zionist ideal of Jewish agriculture in the Land of Israel reached the occupied West Bank within months of the end of the 1967 War.

The agricultural takeover of large swaths of land requires relatively few resources and time in comparison with actual construction or the establishment of outposts, and facilitates the quick establishment of facts on the ground.

This activity is part of a widespread and well-funded strategy, whose explicit goal is to expand the territory controlled by Israeli settlers throughout Area C in the West Bank.

A recent report by Dror Etkes of Kerem Navot shows that the wholesale takeover of agricultural land is not and isolated effort of individual settlers or settlements, but part of a long-term and well-funded strategy that has been encouraged and supported by governmental and public agencies for many years, despite the blatant illegality of much of the activity, even in terms of Israeli law.

Kerem Navot is a new Israeli civil society organization, established during 2012 and employing comprehensive land-use research to challenge the systems and policies that enable ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their land in the West Bank.

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Resource: Children in military custody - a progress report

Last year, a group of UK lawyers published a report, Children in Military Custody, reviewing how children are treated in Israel’s military court system taking into account both the legal framework and practice. Eighteen months later, Military Court Watch (MCW) has reviewed the report’s 40 recommendations and assessed whether they have been substantially or partially implemented, or not implemented at all. The findings are presented below.

Read: Assessing developments in Israel’s juvenile military courts

Military Court Watch is a voluntary association founded by a small group of lawyers and other professionals with a belief in the rule of law. MCW is guided by two basic principles. First, all children detained by the Israeli military authorities are entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Secondly, that there can be no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems. In pursuit of these principles, MCW investigates, litigates, advocates and educates in the region and beyond.

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Resource: No enforcement of labor law in the West Bank

A small group of Palestinian workers this summer received confirmation from the Jerusalem Regional Court that their rights are protected under Israeli labor law. Meanwhile, Israel’s Ministry of Economy is failing to proactively prevent such abuses. Kav LaOved has published a new report describing this situation, including a selective list of Israeli companies in the Occupied Territories which have been sued by their Palestinian employees in recent years. The Even Bar case court victory described above was an important step in the right direction, but only compensates an extremely small fraction of the Palestinians caught in this unjust system.

Kav LaOved is a nonprofit non governmental organization committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers employed in Israel and by Israelis in the Occupied Territories, including Palestinians, migrant workers, subcontracted workers and new immigrants.

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Resource: War crimes in Israeli law

Israel has not yet enacted a law defining war crimes, and the military courts judge soldiers who violate the rules of law according to “regular” offenses. Yesh Din’s new report presents the need for Israeli legislation on this subject.

The approach currently applied in Israel argues that ordinary domestic legislation is adequate for the prosecution of defendants for actions constituting war crimes. The report reviews international models for legislation criminalizing war crimes and discusses the existing provisions in Israeli law, the policy of the military prosecution, and the rulings of military courts.

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

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Resource: Unlawful discrimination: Two boys, two laws

Since 1967, Israel has issued 1,700 military orders and between 750,000-800,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been prosecuted in Israeli military courts and imprisoned.

Technically speaking, Israeli military law applies to all persons in the West Bank, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, but in practice civilian law is applied to the settlers, whereas military law, with far fewer rights and protections, is reserved for Palestinians, giving rise to a situation of unlawful discrimination.

Read: The bottom line is equal rights for all

The following report, prepared by Military Court Watch, showcases the Israeli occupation’s legal discrimination, as it affects Palestinian and Israeli settler children.

Military Court Watch advocates is a voluntary association founded by a small group of lawyers and other professionals with a belief in the rule of law. MCW is guided by two basic principles. First, all children detained by the Israeli military authorities are entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Secondly, that there can be no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems. In pursuit of these principles, MCW investigates, litigates, advocates and educates in the region and beyond.

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Resource: The failing East Jerusalem education system

With the start of the new school year, today (2.9.2013) The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim published an annual update on the dire state of education in East Jerusalem, revealing deep gaps between the two parts of the city. The report concludes that the Jerusalem Municipality and state authorities are failing to meet a High Court ruling that ordered the completion of all missing classrooms in East Jerusalem by 2016. Faced with a shortage of 2,200 missing classrooms in the official Arab school system in Jerusalem, the authorities are doing too little to close this intolerable gap.

Related:
An education in inequality for East Jerusalem’s children

Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about ACRI here

Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) is an NGO which focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Ir Amim seeks to render Jerusalem a more viable and equitable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it.


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Fact sheet: Israeli police fail to prosecute violence against Palestinians

Yesh Din publishes research and tracking of police investigations into allegations of violence against Palestinians perpetrated by Israeli citizens.

The updated figures show that between 2005 and 2013 just 8.5 percent of investigation files ended in the indictment of Israelis suspected of harming Palestinians and their property. In the vast majority of cases, the investigators failed to locate the offenders or to collect sufficient evidence for prosecution.

The new figures are virtually identical to those reported in the past. Accordingly, the past year has not brought any improvement in the ability of the police to investigate offenses by Israeli civilians against Palestinians and their property.

 

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

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Resource: Full text of Prawer-Begin plan for Negev Bedouin

The Prawer-Begin Plan, as submitted to the Israeli government earlier this year, threatens to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel living in “unrecognized villages” in the Negev. The plan, which aims to resolve all disputed Bedouin land claims, was drafted without input from the Bedouin community, effectively deciding their fate for them.

The following document is an unofficial translation of the plan former minister Benny Begin submitted to the government in January, which was subsequently approved. The document was translated by Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

The full, translated text of Israel's Prawer Plan by 972 Magazine

Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about ACRI here

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20 percent of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

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Resource: Surveying Palestinian identity in the homeland and diaspora

A new survey by the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees, attempts to understand how youth of Palestinian heritage (third or fourth generation of displaced Palestinians) identify with their ancestry. BADIL conducted a survey focusing on identity and social ties among Palestinian youth residing in Mandate Palestine (West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel), Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

The results reveal that between 55 to 70 percent of the respondents in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon regard themselves as Palestinians; 45 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel regard themselves as Palestinians and only 12 percent as ‘Israeli-Arabs’; a majority of majority of Palestinian respondents from all seven geographical areas expressed the opinion that it is either “important” or “very important” to establish and foster social ties with other Palestinian communities.

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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