Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Human Rights Watch sues Israel in first challenge to anti-boycott travel ban

This is the first application of the 2017 amendment to Israel’s entry law in which a foreign national already living and working in Israel has had their work permit revoked for alleged support for BDS.

Human Rights Watch and its Israel and Palestine director, U.S. citizen Omar Shakir, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Israeli government following the Interior Ministry’s decision to revoke Shakir’s work permit and expel him from the country for his alleged support for a boycott of Israel.

The lawsuit against the deportation order is the first legal challenge of the use of Israel’s “boycott travel ban,” which is a 2017 amendment to the Prevention of Entry into Israel Law, authorizing the interior minister to withhold temporary visas or residency to any non-Israeli citizen who has publicly called for or pledged to participate in a boycott of Israel. HRW is being represented by Israeli human rights attorneys Michael Sfard, Sophia Brodsky and Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man. Shakir is supposed to leave the country by Monday May 21, pending the suit’s outcome.

UPDATE: On Thursday a Jerusalem District Court judge rejected Shakir’s request to remain in Israel until the end of the proceedings, instead ordering him to leave the country by May 24.

This is first case of its kind in which a foreign national already living and working in Israel with an existing visa has had their work permit – and thus visa – revoked for alleged support of boycott. There have been cases in the past, including recently, of foreign nationals being denied entry to Israel upon their arrival to Ben-Gurion Airport. Last year, Israel denied entry to Amnesty International staffer Raed Jarrar. And there was an incident a few years ago when Dutch journalist Derk Walters was forced to leave the country because his GPO credentials were not renewed for tweeting articles critical of Israeli policies. But kicking someone out who already lives and works in Israel is unprecedented.

Asked about the petition, Israel’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) spokesperson Sabine Haddad replied, “We will respond in court.”

The lawsuit’s main argument is that this is Israel’s way of muzzling dissent. “The motivation for the decision to remove the Petitioner is not his alleged past support of boycotts, but the drive to prevent an institution that is critical of the policies of the Government of Israel from carrying out research activities here and in the Occupied Territories.”

The lawsuit also claims that the deportation order goes beyond the authority of the law, since the law does not allow for revoking visas...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

We are all accomplices to Israel's massacre in Gaza

There has been no outrage. We all let this happen. But it is not too late to speak out.

As of writing this, 52 Palestinian unarmed protesters in Gaza have been shot dead by Israeli snipers on Monday, and 2,238 have been wounded, over 1,000 by live ammunition, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Among those killed are eight children under 16 years old. The hospitals in Gaza are at breaking point, and cannot treat gunshot wounds as they pour in. The number of dead and wounded is likely to continue to rise.

Since March 30, when the Gaza protests began, 101 Palestinians have been killed and well over 10,000 wounded, many maimed for life. Not a single Israeli injury and not a single rocket fired at Israel, even as Israel has bombed Gaza several times in recent weeks.

It doesn’t matter which numbers you want to believe or how many stones have been thrown (not a single injury caused by them), or even how many Hamas officials have called on Palestinians to protest. This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it.

On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way.

The overwhelming majority of the Jewish Israeli population has not spoken out. According to an Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index poll from April, 83 percent of Jewish Israelis find the IDF’s open fire policy in Gaza “appropriate.” Just hours after the massacre, thousands went out into the streets to celebrate the Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in Tel Aviv.

SUBSCRIBE TO +972 MAGAZINE'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Only a few dozen Israelis have gone down to southern Israel where the fence separates it from Gaza to hold up signs opposing Israeli actions and calling for a lift of the siege. These are the Israelis who will go down in history as the last vestige of humanity and forward thinking in Jewish Israeli society.

Everyone who participated in the formal U.S. Embassy inauguration in Jerusalem at the exact same time that just a few miles away, people were being shot down, also have blood on their hands. The participation of Christian bigots and anti-Semites Robert Jeffress and John Hagee adds insult to injury, and could not better demonstrate the current seamless...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel denies entry to four American civil rights leaders

The delegation is in Israel and the West Bank to learn about the human rights situation on the ground. Three of the four deported already received their visas, but were taken back in.  

Four members of an American human rights delegation to Israel and the West Bank, were detained at Ben Gurion Airport, denied entry, and deported by Israeli authorities on Sunday. The rest of the delegation was allowed through.

Two of the four deported are Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR’s board and Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University. The two others who were deported did not want to be named or interviewed. Franke was accused of being affiliated with the BDS movement; Warren appears to have been deported simply by association.

The “Justice Delegation” of 19 prominent civil rights and social justice leaders from the U.S., most of whom have not been to the region before, include Howard University Law Professor Justin Hanford, who heads the Thurgood Marshall Center for Civil Rights, and Women’s March co-chair Tammika Mallory. The trip was organized by CCR with the stated goal to “witness the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine, including the history of systematic displacement and institutional racism, as well as the work of human rights defenders there.”

A source within the delegation says none of them is on any designated Israeli blacklist related to BDS activism and that the purpose of the tour has nothing to do with BDS. There are two Jewish members of the delegation — one of whom was deported.

Israel’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) spokesperson Sabine Haddad told +972 only three were deported while the fourth volunteered to leave. Haddad says one person was barred entry for “BDS activism, as per the recommendation of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, and the other two — for lying about the reason for their trip.” The deportation order issued to Franke specifies the reason for deportation as “prevention of illegal immigration consideration.”

According to Franke and Warren, the notion that someone left voluntarily is categorically false. All four were informed they were being deported. Warren, however, did not actually receive a physical deportation order, which could explain why Haddad claims one person left of their own volition.

According to Warren and Franke, who spoke by phone on Wednesday, they had already gone through passport control, had their...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The strange catharsis of hopelessness in Israel

There are no negotiations on the horizon, no deals on the table and no calls to end the violence. This moment in Israeli politics is dismal, yet sobering. 

It was hard not to feel just a bit giddy in recent weeks about the possibility that corruption investigations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may eventually bear fruit. It was also hard not to feel some excitement about the prospect of early elections due to a coalition breakdown, which would mean the possibility, however minute, of ending Netanyahu’s nearly decade-long reign. Even though Netanyahu’s conviction is still out of reach, and general elections, whenever they happen, are no reason to rejoice —Netanyahu’s Likud Party continues to dominate the polls, and the alternatives are all variations on the same theme — it was tempting to feel there might be a minuscule ray of light in the endlessly dark tunnel. A sudden bit of oxygen in the room.

For those of us who have been living, following and writing about Israeli politics for many years, the current moment is significant. Not because there is anything new, but precisely because nothing is new. For those of us who internalized some time ago that Israel’s occupation is not an unavoidable situation or a temporary condition, but, in fact, the country’s largest national project; for those of us who have for years scoffed at the notion of an American-mediated “peace process” — this moment is significant.

For the first time since I can remember in my brief lifetime, we are squarely in a period where there is not only no peace process, but no facade of one, no developments to look forward to except for further violence. There are no negotiations on the horizon, no deal on the table, no set of parameters, no scheduled summits, no backdoor meetings, no time-frames, no guiding principles, and no calls to end the violence. The Trump Administration’s entrance a year ago, and its subsequent policy decisions, has made this all the more evident. While it is refreshing that there are no longer any smokescreens, it is also utterly depressing.

Growing up in the 1990’s, I remember there was always some benchmark in Israeli politics and its conflict with Palestinians to look forward to, always some ball in motion, some hurdle to cross, something to somehow feel hopeful about. When I was 12, Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House Lawn,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel to bar U.S. Jewish group from country over BDS support

As part of Israel’s anti-BDS campaign, officials say members of Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the U.S., will not be able to enter Israel.

An Israeli government ministry confirmed on Saturday that the American Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace*, is among 20 organizations from around the world that have been placed on a BDS blacklist, which means its members will be barred from entering Israel. JVP is the only major Jewish organization in the U.S. that openly advocates for and identifies with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As part of its war on BDS, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, headed by Minister Gilad Erdan, has been compiling a list of pro-BDS organizations whose members will be barred from entering the country. Last March, Israel passed a law preventing those who promote or support BDS from entering Israel, and in July, it prevented five activists from an interfaith delegation from boarding  plane to Israel — including a rabbi, Alissa Wise, the deputy director of JVP.

JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, whose husband and children are Israeli citizens, told +972 Magazine:

Israel’s decision to specifically ban JVP leaders from entry is disconcerting but not surprising, given the consistent erosion of democratic norms as well as increasing fear of the BDS movement in Israel.  JVP members are now joining Palestinians, Muslims from around the world, people of color and other activists who are often barred from entry.

Our JVP members have no doubt about the justice of fighting for equality and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and the legitimacy of BDS to bring that closer.  We will not be bullied by these attempts to punish us for a principled political stance that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support.

As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship. But I also believe it is an indicator of the BDS movement’s growing strength and hope that it will bring the day closer when all people in Israel/Palestine will live together in equality and freedom.

According to the report in Haaretz, the ministry has refused to name the other 19 organizations that are on the list, which will be completed in March of this year. Reports in Israeli media noted that groups on the list are from all over the world, including South America, South Africa and Europe.

Erdan’s decision...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

IDF: 'No moral or professional failure' in killing of legless Gaza protester

The Israeli military says its investigation found that no live fire was ‘aimed’ at the wheelchair-bound amputee, who along with another protester, was shot by IDF troops from across the border fence separating Gaza from Israel last week.

Embed from Getty Images

An internal Israeli military investigation has concluded that there were no “moral or professional failures” in the killing of a Palestinian man with no legs, who was protesting inside the Gaza Strip, by soldiers on the Israeli side of the border fence last Friday.

In a statement sent to +972 Magazine on Monday, an Israeli military spokesperson denied that soldiers deliberately targeted Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, 29, who lost his legs in an Israeli air strike nine years ago.

“Few controlled shootings were carried out towards main instigators,” the spokesperson said, describing the findings of an investigation that was conducted over the past few days. “Troops received approval prior to shooting each round by a senior commander in the field. No live fire was aimed at Abu Thuraya.”

IDF soldiers stationed on the Israeli side of the border killed a second Palestinian man inside Gaza that day during the protests, and another seven in the past week or so. The spokesperson’s statement did not indicate that the military investigated any of those killings, which did not receive as much attention in the media.

Crowdfunding campaign banner

The spokesperson’s statement described the protest that day as extremely violent, in which “[r]ioters hurled rocks, burned tires and hurled explosive devices toward IDF troops with the aim of harming soldiers and destroying security infrastructure.”

The Israeli army investigation identified “no moral or professional failures,” and described the operational aims of suppressing the protest, which took place inside the Gaza Strip, as to prevent anyone crossing the border, to stop anyone harming the fence itself, and “to protect the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”

The army further stated that it has not been able to determine what killed Abu Thuraya.

For the past decade, the IDF has unilaterally maintained...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

In Gaza, Israel is shooting fish in a barrel

A man with no legs, shot in the head, is the perfectly harrowing metaphor for life in Gaza, and for Palestinians on a whole. Helpless, Static. Stunted.

Embed from Getty Images

Israeli soldiers shot in the head and killed Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, 29, a man with no legs, who was holding a Palestinian flag near the Gaza border fence on Friday.

Abu Thurayeh, who according to several sources lost his legs and vision in one eye during an Israeli air strike in 2008 during Operation Cast Lead, was killed by Israeli soldiers while protesting along the Gaza border fence along with some 3,500 other Palestinians.

Following the incident, the IDF Spokesperson’s official statement to press read as follows: “During the violent riots, IDF soldiers fired selectively towards the main instigators.” (emphasis mine)

The IDF “selectively” chose to shoot a man behind a fence — a man who cannot run, who appeared only to be armed with a flag and his voice. Abu Thurayeh is the perfectly harrowing metaphor for the state of life for Palestinians in Gaza, and for Palestinians on a whole. Helpless, Static. Stunted.

And his killing perfectly sums up Israel’s treatment of Palestinians: monstrous.

What threat could he have possibly posed that merits a bullet in the head? It is unfathomable. In Gaza, Israel is shooting fish in a barrel.

Crowdfund campaign banner

I cannot get this story out of my head. And there have many others like it in recent days.

In the last 10 days since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there has been a flood of violent, graphic, harrowing images of Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces in Gaza, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem. Many of the images are of teenage boys as well as minors. Children.

There was the photo of a Palestinian teenager, assaulted, blindfolded, handcuffed, and surrounded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers. The photo went viral.

There were videos of Palestinian children as young as seven and eight being dragged away by Israeli soldiers.

There was the video of Israeli soldiers stopping a Red Crescent ambulance at gunpoint and violently pulling out two...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

WATCH: Israeli troops taking away 7 and 8-year-old Palestinian boys

Video shows armed Israeli forces attempting to drag the children into their jeeps in a West Bank refugee camp.

Israeli Border Police officers were filmed dragging very young Palestinian children into their jeep in a West Bank refugee camp on Tuesday. The footage, provided by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and shot by one of its volunteers in Bethlehem, shows the officers detaining the three boys, aged seven and eight.

According to the Israeli human rights organization, the children were playing at the time near their home in Aida Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem. Protests were presumably taking place in the area.

The video, shot by B’Tselem volunteer Jamal Abu S’ifan, becomes clear from minute 0:44, at which point the Israeli troops are dragging the young boys by their clothes as they are screaming. Several local residents managed to intervene and free the children from the officers.

The incident came just days after a different video, also released by B’Tselem, which documented a large group of Israeli soldiers taking turns assaulting a handcuffed Palestinian minor in the West Bank city of Hebron. The video shows the soldiers repeatedly kicking, punching, slapping, and manhandling the boy before blindfolding him and leading him away.

Crowdfunding campaign banner

Arrests, detentions, and physical assaults of Palestinian minors by Israeli security forces are not unique. An average of 700 Palestinian children are arrested and prosecuted by Israeli forces each year, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine, and around 10,000 Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in the West Bank have been subject to arrest, detention, interrogation, and imprisonment under the in Israeli military courts since 2000.

In July 2013, for example, I reported on the detention of a five-year-old Palestinian boy who allegedly threw stones in Hebron. Five. Years. Old.

While there seems to have been an increase in such incidents over the past week during unarmed Palestinian protests against Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, such violence is part and parcel of the routine of the occupation and the system of state violence Israel imposes on the Palestinian population, from the river to the sea. Trump’s...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Trump confirms what Israelis and Palestinians already know

All those living in this country live under a single Israeli sovereign, and the U.S. is an avid supporter of that regime. Now that the veil has been officially lifted, maybe something can actually start to change.

By Mairav Zonszein and Aziz Abu Sarah

Headlines and experts have warned that President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually move the American embassy there is a catastrophe that upends decades of American policy. That it will kill the peace process. From the ground, though, it doesn’t look like Trump is breaking with U.S. policy, but rather authenticating it. And he can’t kill the peace process, since it’s been dead for a long time anyway. Trump’s move in fact confirms everything we Israelis and Palestinians already know and have known for a while.

We were both born into a reality in which Jerusalem was under full Israeli control. In 1980, Israel enacted the “Jerusalem Law,” retroactively legalizing what it had already done de facto two weeks after the Six Day Way in June 1967: It assumed sovereign control over about 44 square miles of land populated by Palestinians, much of it well beyond East Jerusalem deep into the West Bank. Since then, Israel has transferred over 200,000 settlers beyond the Green Line, creating the Greater Jerusalem area that Trump recognized as Israel’s capital on Wednesday.

So in this sense, we agree with Trump that his decision is “nothing more or less than recognition of reality.” Jerusalem — the one Israel has carved out — has indeed served as Israel’s de facto capital with full U.S. backing. Trump has taken that from tacit to explicit.

One of us is a Palestinian, born and raised in Jerusalem. Aziz grew up in a world where everything is under Israel’s control: The textbooks were censored by Israel, the teachers worked for the Israeli Ministry of Education, Israeli military police patrolled the neighborhood. He often had to cross checkpoints between Jerusalem’s “united” neighborhoods on his way to school. Even today, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas isn’t allowed to set foot in Jerusalem without Israeli permission.

Despite Trump’s boilerplate assurances to Palestinians in his talk, his announcement ignored the fact that while Palestinian residents of Jerusalem make up 37 percent of the city’s population, the vast majority of them, like Aziz, do not have Israeli citizenship. Even though Aziz was born in Jerusalem, he cannot vote in...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

'Daily Stormer' dedicates banner to Netanyahu's son

What the hell is going on?

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 9.27.07 AM

The Daily Stormer, an American white supremacist and neo-Nazi website dedicated its homepage banner on Tuesday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair.

The banner shows a photo of a joint-smoking Yair Netanyahu photoshopped on top of the West Bank separation wall, along with a sniper rifle pointed directly at a racist caricature of a Jewish man.

The banner was posted just days after the prime minister’s son published an anti-Semitic cartoon on his personal Facebook page Saturday, which he took down a day later following widespread criticism.

The cartoon showed Manny Naftali, the former superintendent of the Prime Minister’s Residence, who is at the forefront of the struggle to put pressure on the police to indict Netanyahu for corruption, being baited by Israeli politico Eldad Yaniv, who is seen baited by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak is seen tempted by the money of the Illuminati, who according to the cartoon are being tempted by a Reptilian — a common anti-Semitic codeword for Jews. The Reptilian, for his part, is portrayed as controlling the world in the service of the Grand Jew: George Soros.

In the America-Israel 2017 landscape, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, is tweeting his support for Netanyahu’s son and the most prominent neo-Nazi website is making him their poster boy.

Here is some context I wrote recently on why the Israeli Prime Minister is dabbling in anti-Semitism.

View article: AAA
Share article

WATCH: Israeli forces dismantle West Bank protest camp

Soldiers dismantle a protest camp built by Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews in the south Hebron Hills — less than 48 hours after it was built.


Video by Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org

Dozens of Israeli soldiers dismantled on Saturday night a protest camp in the West Bank village of Sarura, which was established by Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jewish activists a day earlier. At the time of the dismantling, around 80 people were there, roughly 60 American Jews and 20 Palestinians.

The camp, called “Sumud: Freedom Camp,” was built in the south Hebron Hills on the former site of Sarura, whose residents were expelled by Israeli forces between 1980 and 1998. The residents have been unable to return to their land due to a combination of military orders and ongoing violence and harassment from Israeli settlers. As a result, Sarura was completely depopulated from 1998 until Friday, when the village was re-established.

After nearly 48 hours of restoration work, soldiers came in without a military order and began taking the camp apart, disconnecting it from electricity and confiscating all the equipment. Meanwhile the activists chanted in English, “We will build this tent again!” “The whole world is watching” and “There is no other time, Jews must stand with Palestine!” Some also yelled out, “What will I tell me congregation about this back home?” and “What will I tell my Hebrew school students?”

No arrests were made, nor was anyone was forced to leave the camp. According to people on the ground, some were shoved to the ground, while and a few of the Jewish activists were punched. As of Saturday night, there was virtually no coverage of the event in Hebrew, except for on Local Call.

The action, linked directly to the 50-year anniversary of Israel’s occupation, took place in the shadow of a mass Palestinian hunger strike and protests taking place across other parts of the West Bank, in which dozens of Palestinians have been wounded, as well as President Trump’s visit to Israel on Monday. Israeli media essentially has ignored the story.

The encampment was organized by an anti-occupation coalition of groups, including the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, local Palestinian committees, Youth Against Settlements, the All That’s Left Collective, the Holy Land Trust and Combatants for Peace. Members of the Jewish American anti-occupation group, IfNotNow, also participated in the action.

While Palestinians in the West Bank have been engaged in nonviolent protests against Israeli occupation for many years,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

By nixing German FM meet, Netanyahu ups Israel's tyranny a notch

While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled his meeting on Tuesday with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel just one hour before it was slated to begin, after the latter refused to cancel scheduled meetings with anti-occupation organizations B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence. Both organizations refused to comment on the matter, but confirmed their meeting is taking place as planned Tuesday evening.

It is important to note that Netanyahu himself has not publicly stated his ultimatum or the cancellation at any point, with the messages instead conveyed through “senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office.” This leaves Netanyahu room to later shirk responsibility. Gabriel defended his meetings in a statement to the press before the meeting was cancelled: “You never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries.”

While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme and quite dumb, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations over the last two years. In recent months Netanyahu has called on European governments to stop funding and cooperating with Breaking the Silence, and Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett has already effectively banned Breaking the Silence from giving presentations in high schools.

Netanyahu’s move is situated well within the context of an increasingly tyrannical government that has now upped its authoritarianism a notch. Israel has been censoring and restricting the freedoms of Palestinians since 1948, it has been applying similar tactics to Israeli leftists for years and is now taking that strategy to its biggest European ally. And Netanyahu knows he will not have to pay any consequences for it. Gabriel has already said cancellation of the meeting would be “regrettable” but would not hurt or affect Israel’s ties with Germany in any way.

The ultimatum and refusal to meet with a German diplomat is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Israeli government against peace activists who began meeting with PLO representatives in the 1970s. In this sense, Israel is now treating Israeli organizations who document occupation as if they were Palestinians: Persona non grata.  Now, anyone who wants to merely meet with or listen to these persona non grata is also an enemy. And just like in 1975, when Israel decided to legislate a law banning Israelis from meeting with PLO members, don’t...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israeli troops shoot Palestinian activist in head with 'less lethal' bullet

The veteran activist, known for leading non-violent popular protests in the West Bank village of Ni’lin, was shot with a ‘sponge-tipped’ bullet, causing a head injury. Police later shackled him to his hospital bed.

Israel Border Police officers shot Muhammed Amira in the head with a sponge-tipped bullet at close range during a weekly protest against the separation wall on Friday, activists and the man’s attorney said. Amira, also known as Abu Nasser, is a well known figure who has been leading unarmed popular protests against Israel’s separation wall in his village of Ni’lin since 2007, when the protests began. Amira, 47, is a science teacher at the local school and is married with four children. In 2009, he helped organize an exhibition in the village about the Holocaust to increase Palestinian awareness of the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people.

Amira was armed only with his usual megaphone when Israeli Border Police officers shot him in the back of the head with a sponge-tipped bullet, according to activists who were at the protest that day. As seen in the photo above, Amira was shackled to his hospital bed while being treated for internal bleeding in his head, according to Sarit Michaeli of human rights organization B’Tselem, who visited him at Sheba Medical Center outside of Tel Aviv.

Read also: Israel ‘punishes’ Ni’lin activist, denies access to trees behind the wall

The policemen who arrested Amira claimed he was throwing stones, although he is known for trying to prevent youth in Ni’lin from throwing stones during protests and maintaining an entirely non-violent resistance despite the violence Israel uses to suppress them.

Israeli activist Yaron Ben-Haim, who goes to Ni’lin regularly and videotapes the protests, told +972 Magazine, “[Amira] has never thrown a stone in his life.” Ben-Haim did not see the shooting itself, but described a situation in which the police ambushed Amira, having been overheard on the other side of the barrier saying that they needed to get people away from him, to isolate him. He says heard a shot and then saw police running toward Amira to arrest him. Ben-Haim was with him at the hospital, where he overheard one of the police officers saying to Amira, “shut up, you’re lucky you are here.”

Amira’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, told +972 Magazine that it appears police are trying to frame him with the stone-throwing charge to cover up for the fact that...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter