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yesh din

  • Four years, one dead Palestinian and a closed investigation

    What does an Israeli military investigation of the killing of a Palestinian look like? An utter waste of time. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On Friday, January 16, 2009, stormy demonstrations took place throughout the West Bank, as Operation Cast Lead was in full force in Gaza. The Israeli media did not report the many civilian casualties caused by IDF fire in the Gaza Strip. The Arab media, however, reported on it extensively. Yesh Din wrote about a failed investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) about a shooting that day in Bil'in here. That same day…

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  • How Bibi is turning the defense budget into a settler slush fund

    Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon will transfer NIS 70 million from the defense budget to compensate the Ulpana Hill lawbreakers. How will the common soldier interpret the command's will? By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Israel's Channel 10 exposed earlier this week another layer in the unending saga of Ulpana Hill: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon agreed to transfer NIS 70 million from the security budget as part of the Ulpana Hill compensation deal. Meaning: the tax money that was to be spent on defending the citizens of Israel will, in fact, be…

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  • Israel's military prosecution presents: How to whittle away an investigation

    A member of Israel's security forces shot a bullet at Ashraf Muhammad Jamal Tufiq’s foot in 2009. The IDF’s investigatory bodies did their best to make sure they will never find the shooter. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On Friday, January 16, 2009, someone – a member of the Israeli security forces – fired a bullet into the foot of Ashraf Muhammad Jamal Tufiq, from the West Bank village Bil’in. According to Tufiq, the shooting occurred without any provocation and came after the weekly demonstration ended. As a result of his injury, Tufiq had to undergo an operation…

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  • WATCH: Soldiers protect settlers attacking West Bank village

    Following the horrific terror attack in Jerusalem, IDF soldiers escort masked settlers as they pelt the village of Urif with stones. A group of about 50 — mostly masked — settlers from Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village Urif on Tuesday night under the protection and escort of IDF soldiers, Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din reported. Video footage of the incident, which took place just hours after the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, clearly shows IDF soldiers not only doing nothing to stop the assault on Palestinians, but in fact guarding the settlers as they throw stones. Some…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians watch harvest season disappear before their eyes

    In the village of Salem, as elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians are forced to harvest their olives according to the whims and restrictions of Israeli authorities. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As every year in October, Palestinian families in the West Bank head to their groves in order to begin the olive harvest season. The harvest for any given family might take a few days or several weeks depending on the number of olive trees they have. In the village of Salem, near Nablus, the daily olive harvest routine is for families to go out at 6:00 in…

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  • West Bank mosque set ablaze in suspected settler attack

    The olive harvest is historically a period when settler violence against Palestinians and their trees increase. The name of a local settlement from which two youths were arrested last week is spray painted onto the mosque's wall. A West Bank mosque was set on fire and vandalized early Tuesday morning in what on the surface appeared to be a hate crime attack by Jewish settlers. A local Palestinian official, Hamza Dereya, said that Israeli settlers entered the village of Aqraba before dawn, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA. The vandals set fire to the village’s mosque and spray painted…

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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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  • 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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  • 'Price tag' attacks: It's not about the graffiti

    In an attempt to downplay the severity of nationalist crimes by Israeli citizens, the media refers to the offenses as 'graffiti.' Here are the facts – and it’s not just graffiti. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din In recent weeks the “Hilltop Youth,” Israeli citizens in general, and their lobby in the Knesset and the media have been experiencing a sense of crisis. The events surrounding Yitzhar and the comments by a resident of the settlement justifying attacks on soldiers have put them on the defensive. In their responses in online comments and in sympathetic articles, they have presented the argument that “Price…

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  • A pre-publication breakdown of Im Tirzu's latest 'report'

    Im Tirtzu is about to publish a new 'report.' It’s already on the Internet, but they haven’t yet started publicizing it, so get ready to read about it here for the first time. Let’s start with the only new and refreshing aspect of this report. This is the first time that anyone has issued a report in the format of a children’s book. I want to congratulate Im Tirtzu for this stylistic breakthrough, and to congratulate them on their new graphic artist. However, other than this stylistic innovation, the report is regrettably a pack of lies and mostly a recycling…

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  • Making sure Israeli soldiers stay above the law

    Abusive soldiers evade justice under the aegis of the slow procedures, as well as some creative excuses. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Several weeks ago, Yesh Din attorney Emily Schaeffer received responses from the Military Advocate for Operational Affairs Unit (MAOA) regarding two appeals she submitted years ago on behalf of a Palestinian complainant, Ayman Abd al-Maqtsur Tabieh. In both cases, surprise surprise, the appeals were rejected. Both cases merit discussion, as they shed light on the way abusive soldiers evade punishment. The first incident took place on November 3, 2008, when Tabieh reached the Azoun Atma checkpoint, where…

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  • It’s the little things about occupation

    Sometimes the daily, petty nastiness of the occupation is encapsulated in the dismal theft of a few farming tools. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Ryad, who lives near Bethlehem area, has a small orchard with apricot, hazelnut, olive and fig trees. Near the orchard is an ancient agricultural structure, aged some 100 years, which serves Ryad and his family as a tool shed, as well as a resting place in the far too many hot days. One day, Ryad was asked by his nephew, Khader, to hold a family barbecue by the shed. Ryad agreed. When Khader got there,…

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  • 'Protecting Palestinians isn't part of Israel's ethos'

    Yossi Gurvitz talks to Atty. Emily Schaeffer, coordinator of Yesh Din's criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project, about work, how the IDF investigates its own, the negligible prosecution rate for killing Palestinians, as well as veganism, 'Tikkun Olam' and Passover. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Two weeks ago I met with Emily Schaeffer, coordinator of Yesh Din's criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project, for a conversation and interview that should have been limited to the field of her work but ultimately touched upon many other areas. Let’s begin with basics. Who are you? I was born in…

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