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b'tselem

  • Bombing homes in Gaza: 'It was supposed to be their shelter'

    Human rights group B'Tselem exposes — and protests to the Israeli government — home demolitions, Gaza style. They fled when the flyers fell from the sky, Israeli military orders dropped like confetti on the masses. Evacuate, they said, or else. Seek shelter now. One week of sorties, and Ibrahim made the call: We leave now — my wife and I, our seven children, our children's children. But the Abu Shuqah family never found shelter. The closest they came was a cardboard factory -- somewhere between Bureij and Nusseirat, two refugee camps along Gaza's coastal flats. "We stayed in the storeroom…

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  • The importance of being earnest about human rights

    In an open letter, one of Israel's foremost refugee rights lawyers calls on the deputy attorney general to follow her conscience. By Asaf Weitzen Dear Deputy Attorney General Dina Silber: I am familiar with a bit of your academic work, including two books you authored and speeches that you give from time to time. You have demonstrated a deep commitment to basic rights and an understanding that the any government must be checked if and when it seeks to infringe upon basic rights. What I find incomprehensible is the disparity between those views and your intensive involvement in legislating the amendment…

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  • 'Israeli army increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests'

    Despite being illegal as a crowd control weapon, eyewitness accounts and a new report by B'Tselem document the Israeli military's increased use of 0.22 caliber live bullets against Palestinians at West Bank protests and clashes. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Two years ago this week, 15-year-old Palestinian Salih al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live ammunition. He died several days later. Al-Amarin, a resident of Azza Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, was taking part in clashes with Israeli forces stationed on the separation wall…

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  • Dozens of olive trees felled in suspected settler violence

     Two incidents in the West Bank leave upwards of 60 olive trees severely damaged, according to human rights organizations. Dozens of Palestinian-owned mature olive trees were felled in a suspected settler attack Saturday night in the West Bank, according to two Israeli human rights organizations. Villagers discovered the vandalized trees on lands belonging to the village of Yasuf, in the central West Bank in between the Israeli settlements of Rehelim and Kfar Tapuach. Rabbis for Human Rights called on Israeli authorities to make every effort to quickly find those responsible and bring them to justice. Over the weekend, Palestinians in…

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  • WATCH: Israeli police let stone-throwing settlers walk away

    Israeli soldiers don't arrest settlers. We know that. But what about Israeli police? A couple of Jewish Israeli settlers were driving in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron last week — where Palestinians live but only Israelis can drive — when some Palestinian youths threw stones at them, according to human rights organization B'Tselem. The two settlers got out of their car, presumably to try and catch the stone throwers. But when they couldn't catch them, they went after the easiest target they could find: the pair smashed a local market's egg delivery and threw stones at parked Palestinian-owned cars, smashing…

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  • Netanyahu's status quo strategy: Thwarting a Palestinian state

    The Americans got it wrong. By seemingly doing nothing but trying to preserve his seat in power, the Israeli prime minister is in fact advancing a process that makes a Palestinian state an impossibility. By David Zonsheine In his Atlantic article on the growing crisis between Jerusalem and Washington, Jeffrey Goldberg quoted American officials slamming Netanyahu, one now-famously called him “chickenshit.” The substance of the criticism was that he lacks the “guts” to strike Iran and is only interested in “protecting himself from political defeat.” Beyond the damage Netanyahu and his government are causing Israel in the international community –…

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  • Why the IDF cannot be trusted to investigate itself

    The occupation is violence: costly to the occupied, cheap for the occupiers. Only a credible, independent and effective inquiry into IDF actions can begin to make that violence costly to its perpetrators. By Hagai El-Ad (translated by Keren T Rubinstein) Recently it was announced that the IDF had already begun looking into 99 incidents that took place during Operation Defensive Shield. Of these, a criminal inquiry was initiated in five cases, while seven other cases have already been closed. Seemingly, this is commendable news. Alas, experience proves otherwise. Time after time, official and quite ceremonious promises to establish the truth after…

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  • 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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+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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