A Palestinian resident of Hebron in the occupied West Bank was forced by armed Israeli soldiers to pull down a Palestinian flag from his roof on Saturday after an Israeli settler tried to climb onto his roof and remove it himself. Video footage released by B'Tselem (here below) was filmed by Shadi Sidr, who lives in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron, caught a settler on tape trespassing onto his property to try and remove his Palestinian flag from the roof, but getting caught in the barbwire fence and eventually forced to retreat. Several minutes later, five armed Israeli soldiers come…Read More... | 13 Comments
For the past several years, Palestinian women from all walks of life have been taking part in a video project to document human rights violations under occupation. In honor of International Women's Day, one of them tells her story. By Manal Ja'bri My name is Manal Ja'bri, I am 38-years-old and I have seven children, between the ages of 9 and 18, and I am the sole breadwinner in my family. I grew up in a house near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. Settlers burned my family’s home and used to beat us on our way to school. One…Read More... | 16 Comments
Just when you thought it couldn't get any more embarrassing or distorted, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has managed to top itself. On Sunday, the unit published a new video on its YouTube channel, showing scenes of Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers firing rounds of tear gas "in self-defense" in the West Bank village of Qaddum. Every Friday for the past two years, the villagers of Qaddum (along with Israeli and international activists) have marched toward the nearby settlement of Kedumim to protest the continuing expropriation of their land. As in every un-armed protest across the West Bank, the IDF…Read More... | 28 Comments
Two years later, Israel's Military Advocate General rules no regulations were breached when a soldier fatally shot Mustafa Tamimi with tear gas from close range. This decision sends Israeli soldiers and officers the unequivocal message that, should they kill unarmed civilians, they will not be held accountable. The Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) announced Thursday that it has closed the investigation into the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Tamimi died almost exactly two years ago, on December 10, 2011, after being hit by a tear gas canister shot by IDF soldiers…Read More... | 8 Comments
A video shot in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar last Wednesday shows an IDF officer shooting a tear gas canister directly at a volunteer videographer from human rights organization B'Tselem. The images were captured during a protest in the small town, north of Hebron. Stones were thrown at an army vehicle; soldiers shot tear gas in the general direction of the stone throwers. B'Tselem photographer Muhmmad Awad was standing near the soldiers and documenting the event when an officer aimed and shot shot a tear gas canister directly at him. Awad suffered light injuries. Here is a video…Read More... | 3 Comments
The IDF insists on not indicting the security officer who killed Bassem Abu Rahme during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, despite being provided with enough details to find him. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz In April 2009, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a uniformed Israeli officer fired a gas canister into the chest of demonstrator Bassem Abu Rahme, killing him. The killing was carried out in the presence of senior officers. Firing a canister at a direct trajectory is contrary to the orders of the IDF itself, not to…Read More... | 6 Comments
Four years after Bassem Abu Rahme was killed by a tear gas canister in Bil'in, the Israeli army says there is no evidence to indict. Video footage, however, shows that the tear gas canister was fired directly at him, contravening IDF regulations. Last year a former soldier who served in the same unit said the shooter aimed directly at Abu Rahme and even put an 'X' on his rifle afterward. Nearly five years after Bassem Abu Rahmeh was killed by an Israeli tear gas canister fired directly at his chest during a protest against the wall in Bil'in, Israel's Military…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem is laying the blame on Israel's police for ignoring the systematic abuse and violations of Palestinian minors’ rights during interrogations. The organization has received dozens of complaints by Palestinian residents under the age of 18 who have been beaten and threatened during interrogations in Etzion police station, which is in charge of the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. Many of those minors and their families were afraid or reluctant to press formal charges. According to B’Tselem, some of the events described included torture. Once defendants admit to breaking the law (usually stone throwing), the beating and…Read More... | 9 Comments
+972 speaks with Jessica Montell, of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, about the settlements and occupation staring the Israeli public in the face, and communicating the human rights message effectively, at home and abroad. From her fourth floor office window in Jerusalem, Jessica Montell can see the red-tiled roofs of Israeli homes inside the settlement of Gilo, east of the Green Line, in annexed East Jerusalem. She can also see Givat HaMatos, another West Bank community, where Israel is planning a new settlement. “It’s not an ivory tower,” she says of her office…Read More... | 2 Comments
B'Tselem spokesperson and colleague Sarit Michaeli was shot in the leg from close range on Friday by Israeli forces while documenting the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh, as she has been doing for years. She issued a statement Saturday on her understanding of what happened, which I translated below. Although this is not the first time an Israeli has been wounded by IDF fire at West Bank protests (there are a handful of other cases), it is quite uncommon. It is certainly not the first time a Palestinian or foreigner has been wounded (there are dozens of such cases). It is…Read More... | 63 Comments
While the Israeli public and media failed to take any significant notice of a recent UN report criticizing Israel’s policy on children’s arrests and detention, some European officials and NGOs are speaking out about the abuses. By Galit Saporta (Edited by Ami Asher) It seems that yet another report, this time from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), regarding abuses that occur during arrest, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army, has failed to generate any public attention in Israel. Only one article in Haaretz (“It’s only Palestinian children,” June 27, 2013) has…Read More... | 18 Comments
When even reporting an immoral act by a senior officer carries with it a serious price, it becomes clear that one cannot win against the army. Been there, done that. In July 1989, as a young, bored soldier in the IDF's main draft base in Tel Ha'Shomer, I asked my colonel to be transferred to the Civil Administration in the Gaza Strip. We were on friendly terms and he quickly made the arrangements, walking through my first sham court martial. I was in charge of running a small garden toolshed, which was broken into while I was on vacation -…Read More... | 23 Comments
A new report published by B'Tselem to mark 46 years since Israel occupied the West Bank reveals how the Civil Administration has violated its obligation to administer the area for the benefit of the Palestinian population. Contrary to its legal obligations, the Civil Administration, the body responsible for implementing Israeli government policy in Area C (60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control), implements exactly the opposite policy. The Civil Administration consistently prefers Israeli and settlements' interests while displacing Palestinians, exploiting the area’s resources to benefit Israelis, and bringing about a permanent situation in which Israeli settlements thrive and Palestinian presence…Read More... | 1 Comment
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