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b'tselem

  • 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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  • Women behind the lens: Palestinians filming the occupation

    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…

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  • In IDF fantasy video, Palestinians are allowed to protest

    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…

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  • IDF closes probe into killing of Mustafa Tamimi in Nabi Saleh

    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…

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  • WATCH: IDF officer fires tear gas directly at photographer

    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…

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  • Escaping justice: Who killed Bassem Abu Rahme?

    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…

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  • IDF closes investigation into Bil'in killing without indictment

    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…

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