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b'tselem

  • PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school

    With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…

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  • In Gaza, justice delayed is justice denied

    Israeli army investigators have not even contacted the teenage victim of one of the few alleged war crimes it says it is probing. More than two months after Israel's assault on Gaza began, victims of the air, land, and sea invasion continue to have no recourse against their occupiers. It's been nearly two months since 17-year-old Ahmad Abu Raida says he was used as a human shield by Israeli forces near the Gaza border town of Khan Younis. Since then, human rights organizations and various media outlets have reported on the case (+972 was among the first), but Abu Raida has yet to face his alleged…

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  • Leading Israeli human rights group stops cooperating with IDF

    In a move that could strengthen the case for international investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes, B'Tselem says it will no longer share its current Gaza case files with the country's Military Advocate General. Human rights watchdog declares that Israel is unable and unwilling to investigate alleged war crimes committed by its own soldiers. Citing "severe structural flaws" in the Israeli military's internal investigation mechanisms and a history of dismissing criminal allegations against military personnel, leading Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem announced on Sunday that it would not comply with a military request to share details of its independent investigations into alleged Israeli abuses…

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  • When the state dictates reactions to the killing of Palestinian children

    The Israeli Broadcast Authority and the Israeli Supreme Court knew in advance what the reaction would be to a radio advert reading out the names of children killed in Gaza, and that’s why they banned it. By doing so they’ve taken a bit of our freedom. By Hagai El-Ad (translated by Hadas Leonov) Muhammad Malakeh, two years old; Siraj 'Abd al-'Al, eight years old; Sarah al-'Eid, nine years old; Saher Abu Namus, four years old; Ahmad Mahdi, 15 years old. Some facts should not be permitted to be broadcast in public. Merely hearing them is dangerous: It could cause people…

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  • Israeli peace activism: Same slogans for a different reality

    As a fundamental human desire and right, peace traverses time and context. However, if it is to be realized it must be adjusted to political and social realities. By Nadia Naser-Najjab In a period degraded by extremes of violence and dehumanization, the sight of 10,000 Israeli protestors taking to the streets of Tel Aviv last Saturday to protest against their own government’s actions in Gaza appeared as a welcome chink of light illuminating unremittingly bleak skies. Despite being smaller in scale, the demonstration recalled the early 1990s, when large numbers of Israelis demonstrated in favor of peace, and the possibility…

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  • Not even a 'bump on the wing' these days when killing Palestinians

    No one in Israel really talks about the killing of innocent Palestinians anymore. There was a time when we murdered people and it actually bothered us. On Tuesday, the IDF attempted to kill Mohammed Deif, the military leader of Hamas in Gaza, by dropping five one-tonne bombs on a home. As these lines are written it is not yet clear whether Deif was killed. What can be said with certainty, however, is that his wife and eight-month-old son definitely were. Deif has been on Israel’s wanted list for years. On Tuesday night it saw a chance, and despite the fact…

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  • The abnormal normality of the occupation and its 'escalations'

    To pretend as though the events of recent days are extraordinary is to ignore the context that led to this ‘flare-up’ and is disrespectful to the millions of Palestinians who wrestle with the occupation every day, in both the West Bank and in Gaza. It’s Wednesday. The death toll in Gaza is in the dozens and rising as Layla*, a Christian Palestinian, gets into my car. We live in Bethelehem. She needs a ride to pick up her tasrich (permit) from the Civil Administration’s office in Gush Etzion, where Israel and the Western media claim that the current “flare-up” began.…

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  • There is no war of images, only occupation

    The right-wing Israel crowd is on a mission to delegitimize every Palestinian activity that goes beyond silent submission to permanent foreign military rule. Post-modern madness has Israelis very excited, for years now, about the notion that if Israel just “explains” its side of the matter, the world will come to its senses. There is a deep and pervasive myth that Israel is hopelessly incompetent at communications. Israelis speak of Palestinian propaganda as a well-oiled machine, with tentacles in every news media, lobby groups in the halls of power and pressure groups controlling the minds of students and faculty in universities…

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  • Our problem with selective sympathy for young victims

    When our sympathy only reaches out to the children of one nation alone, we have condemned all of them to this atrocious cycle of violence. By Amjad Iraqi The news spread in a flash. After 18 days of tense waiting, the three bodies of the abducted Israeli boys were finally discovered, with their families’ worst fears realized. Gilad Sha'ar, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were murdered in cold blood, not far from the site where they were snatched as they hiked home together. There aren’t enough words to express the loss of a child. It is a…

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  • Beitunia killings: Autopsy reveals Palestinian teen shot by live fire

    An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. According to B'Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable. Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered…

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  • Human rights NGO: Investigate senior IDF officers over Ofer killings

    Following the release of CCTV footage showing the killing of two Palestinian minors near Ofer prison on Thursday, the Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem called for an investigation of senior officers who were present at the scene. B'Tselem also asked the IDF to look into "misleading information" given to the local and international media after the incident. The organization released several more videos from the event, showing the moment of shootings and the minutes leading up to them from two different angles. Here are the clips: Nadem Syam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16, were shot to death near…

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  • What is NGO Monitor’s connection to the Israeli government?

    The spearhead of the battle against Israeli human rights organizations, NGO Monitor, is run by a man who, at least for a period of time since its founding, was closely affiliated with the Prime Minister’s Office. On another front, the government is now targeting human rights NGOs' tax status. By Yossi Gurvitz and Noam Rotem Hello, I have the honor of representing NGO Monitor, and I think that I will be the first speaker to talk from a point of view that is neither governmental nor quasi-governmental, but rather from, what is called: civil society. -- Gerald Steinberg speaking at…

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  • WATCH: Hebron man faces arrest for waving Palestinian flag on his roof

    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…

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