Over 3,700 people have signed on to a call supporting the human rights organization, after the Knesset coalition chair calls to revoke its executive director's citizenship. By John Brown* B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad addressed the UN Security Council last week, calling on its members to take real steps toward ending the military dictatorship over the occupied territories, which is nearing its 50th year. [tmwinpost] Following El-Ad's speech, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement condemning B'Tselem for joining the "chorus of slander" against Israel. It was only a matter of time before thousands of right-wingers took to social media…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation — between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do. Since B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israel’s half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ad's very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of…Read More... | 12 Comments
Senior Likud official, angry that Hagai El-Ad demanded the UN act to end the occupation, admits there's no legal avenue to strip his citizenship — at the moment. The Israeli human rights organization says threats won't deter it. How does the only democracy in the Middle East deal with outspoken human rights activists? By threatening to revoke their citizenship, of course. “I examined whether, legally speaking, if I can ask the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of B’Tselem’s executive director,” declared the Israeli parliament’s coalition chair, David Bitan, who serves as the whip for Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. [tmwinpost] “I checked, and…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israeli soldiers fire illumination flares, at a direct trajectory, at stone-throwers along the Gaza border. A 15-year-old boy is killed. The IDF says it’s conducting an ‘inquiry.’ Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager by shooting a military-grade illumination flare directly at him, shattering and setting his face on fire last month, according to investigations by B’Tselem, Defence of Children International — Palestine (DCI), and video footage seen by +972 Magazine. [tmwinpost] The killing took place on September 9, when a group of roughly 100 Palestinian youths staged a demonstration near the border fence with Israel, east of al-Bureij Refugee Camp in the Gaza…Read More... | 2 Comments
The following is a transcript of the prepared remarks B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council members during a special 'Arria-formula' session on 'Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution' in New York on October 14, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I begin, I would like to express my deep thanks for this unique opportunity of speaking at this distinguished forum and engaging with the members of the UN Security Council. What I’m about to say is not meant to shock you. It is, however, meant to move you. For…Read More... | 5 Comments
A new report by B'Tselem concludes that the Israeli military's investigations into its own alleged crimes are little more than a whitewash. So what comes next? Sometimes a seemingly dry bit of research can seem to rise to the level of literature, challenging the status quo in ways that, in the long run, only literature can. Take, for example, the first Arab Human Development Report. Penned by researchers from the region, the 2002 report concludes, rather boldly, that “the predominant characteristic of the current Arab reality seems to be the existence of deeply rooted shortcomings in the Arab institutional structure.”…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Israeli bodies responsible for investigating the events of Operation Protective Edge are engaged primarily in creating the false impression of a functioning system that ostensibly seeks to discover the truth. In the meantime, those actually responsible for violations are not even questioned, and the investigations have been confined to superficial inspections of a number of isolated incidents, divorced from any context. This is the conclusion reached by the human rights organization B'Tselem in a new report. Entitled The Whitewashing Procedure: The Ostensible Investigation of the Events of Operation Protective Edge, the report summarizes a period of over two years…Read More...
A Jerusalem court rejects police attempt to place the blame for their own bullets elsewhere, but it's not the first time they've tried — or succeeded at doing so. By John Brown* On the night between Sunday and Monday of last week, Israeli Border Police officers shot and killed Mustafa Nimer, a resident of Ramat Gan, in Jerusalem's Shuafat refugee camp. While the police officers initially claimed that the driver, Ali Nimr — Mustafa's cousin — had tried to attack them, a video of the shooting that surfaced on Tuesday revealed that the officers continued to fire even after the vehicle came to a complete stop and…Read More...
Ever since he filmed an Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian man in Hebron, Emad Abu Shamsiya has been subject to violent threats. Things became so bad his family had to leave their home. So why do the police refuse to help? By John Brown* Ever since a video showing Israeli soldier Elor Azaria executing an immobilized Palestinian attacker in Hebron was published, Emad Abu Shamsiya, the man who captured the incident on video, has been subject to threats against his life by right-wing activists and settlers. The latter even threw stones at his home, according to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, where Abu Shamsiya…Read More... | 1 Comment
Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan was trying to support a soldier charged with killing an unarmed Palestinian. Instead, he ended up confessing to a crime that could have severe repercussions at The Hague. By Yael Marom and John Brown* Late last week, Channel 2 news reported that three senior reserve officers — Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, Brig. Gen. Shmuel Zakai, and Gen. Dan Biton — will testify for the defense of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who is on trial for shooting and killing a Palestinian who stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron, though he was already immobilized. Zakai had previously posted on…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank thus far in 2016 than in any other calendar year in the last decade. Israeli authorities destroyed 33 structures, 20 of them homes, across the West Bank since the beginning of August. The demolitions have left 53 people, including 25 minors, homeless, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The demolitions began on August 4th in the Al-Mu’arrajat community in the Jordan Valley, where four homes were destroyed and 14 people were left homeless. On August 8 authorities bulldozed two homes in the village Fasayil in the Jordan Valley,…Read More... | 1 Comment
Video shows Border Police officer taking away eight-year-old Anwar Burqan's bicycle and throwing it into the nearby bushes. An Israeli Border Police officer was caught confiscating a bicycle from an eight-year-old Palestinian girl in the West Bank city of Hebron last week. In a video shot by B'Tselem volunteer Raed Abu Ramileh and published Tuesday afternoon, the officer appears to seize Anwar Burqan's bike as she rides along a chain-link fence on al-Ibrahimi Street, before throwing it into the bushes. [tmwinpost] In September 2012, Israeli security forces put up a the fence along al-Ibrahimi Street, adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs, leaving the…Read More... | 4 Comments
Over the last decade, Israel has demolished over 1,100 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving homeless more than 5,199 people, including at least 2,602 minors. The extensive demolitions are part of a broader Israeli policy of forced transfer. The following speech was delivered at a conference on home demolitions held at the Knesset on July 27, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Esteemed Members of the Knesset, colleagues from the human rights and diplomatic communities and B’Tselem staff. Thank you for taking the initiative to convene this session and for taking ongoing and important actions in this area. More than 5,000…Read More... | 2 Comments
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