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…Read More... | 2 Comments
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…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More...
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,…Read More... | 17 Comments
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…Read More...
A group of 10 settlers assaults two Palestinian farmers, with IDF troops standing by. Just another day of occupation. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz The media is in the habit of reporting "price tag" attacks: they're rather easy to report. There's often arson, and the arsonist generally leaves a clear message. It's very photogenic and allows the common Israeli to dismiss those nutcases who use wild violence, not orderly violence like the army does, mutter something about the government being unable to deal with them, and move on. Those who are familiar with the subject of settler violence,…Read More...
Settlers attacked a Palestinian NGO worker in the West Bank village of Burin on Sunday. According to Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization that provides legal assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank, the settlers attacked Munir Kadus (a Yesh Din investigator) as he was accompanying a group of Palestinians who were paving a road in the village Burin, south of Nablus. The settlers allegedly came from the direction of Givat Ronen, an outpost neighborhood of Har Bracha. Kadus, who sustained injuries to his arm and both ribs, was released from Rafidia Hospital in Nablus on Sunday afternoon. According…Read More... | 2 Comments
Firing live ammunition at civilians is a crime, more so when minors are involved. Such an incident should not end with a disciplinary procedure but with a criminal investigation. That is not what happened. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz At the end of last July, J., a boy from the village of Silwad, set out with his brother and two other boys to visit family friends in the western side of Silwad, a distance of about one kilometer from his house. One of the boys was asked to deliver a bundle of clothes to the family. They reached…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli police in the West Bank manage to avoid carrying out the most basic of investigative actions – even while holding in custody two suspects caught red-handed. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On July 26, 2010, Israeli civilians – some of whom were seen coming from the direction of the settlements of Yizhar and Har Bracha – went on two rampages in the Palestinian village of Burin. In the first and more severe case, they attacked and destroyed property; when the owner, Ibrahim 'Id, could no longer stand watching his property go up in flames and approached the…Read More... | 8 Comments
When the State defends illegal outposts in the High Court, it tends to mislead – since it prefers the interests of the government over those of the public. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week, a new low was reached in the relationship between the State and the courts. In a judgment of a High Court of Justice petition filed by Peace Now and dealing with the non-evacuation of six outposts, Deputy Chief Justice Miriam Naor wrote the following: “I am sorry we have reached this point. I am sorry that promises made by the State to the Court…Read More... | 1 Comment
Yusuf Fahri Mussa Ahleil, aged 16, was shot and killed on January 28, 2011, probably by a settler. The state took 14 months to appoint a prosecutor to the case. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Many of Yesh Din’s posts in this blog deal with the incompetence of Israeli police investigations, and it's possible that the death of Yusuf Fahri Mussa Ahleil, a 16-year-old boy from Beit Ummar, will be added to that list; but for the time being, it is a story of criminal negligence on behalf of the prosecution. On January 28, 2011, something happened in…Read More... | 3 Comments
Without any compunction, the Beit El Yeshiva was even willing to defraud settlers. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz When the Ulpana Hill neighborhood in Beit El (whose proper name is Jabl Artis, privately owned by the residents of Dura Al Qara) was evacuated, the settlers began a loud campaign saying Yesh Din's petition led to their removal from legally purchased homes. The court nevertheless ordered the evacuations, unimpressed by the unsubtle intimation that the fact that the land actually belongs to Palestinians does not matter all that much. The government of Israel took the questionable (not to say…Read More... | 4 Comments
IDF soldiers confiscate cameras from a Palestinian photojournalist – and turn them over to a settler. They come back broken. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz One morning last September, Nadel Shafiq Taher Shatiya heard the loudspeakers of the mosque in his Nablus-area village announce that settlers were approaching the village's land. Shatiya, a photojournalist by trade, grabbed two cameras and raced to the scene. Based on his account, when he arrived, several tractors and settlers – who, according to the reports received by Shatiya, came from the nearby settlement of Elon Moreh – were trying to plough the…Read More... | 4 Comments
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