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b'tselem

  • Israeli demolition of entire Palestinian village days away, villagers fear

    Israeli security forces show up and survey homes in Khan al-Ahmar, which activists and residents fear is a sign of forced displacement of the entire village. Israel's top court gave its approval to the demolition, an act rights groups say would constitute a war crime. By +972 Magazine Staff After getting the green light from Israel's High Court, Israeli security forces on Sunday reportedly began preparing for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a small Palestinian village in the West Bank, according to the village's residents, human rights activists, and Palestinian officials. [tmwinpost] Video footage provided by Israeli human rights group…

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  • Hiding the occupation doesn't make it go away

    A proposed law, said to be supported by Netanyahu's government, would criminalize videotaping Israeli soldiers doing the dirty work of the occupation. But hiding something from sight doesn't make it go away. Or does it? If an Israeli soldier beats a Palestinian and no one is there to catch it on video, did it really happen? That is the question a group of Israeli lawmakers seems determined to find out. A new bill, proposed by four members of Avigdor Liberman’s far-right Israel Beiteinu party, would make “videotaping, recording, or photographing Israeli soldiers carrying out their duty with the intention of…

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  • What would you do if soldiers dragged your son out of bed in the middle of the night?

    After more than half a century of occupation, most Israelis can no longer imagine themselves in the place of the Palestinians. But if we cannot imagine what it is like to live under occupation, we must at least confront its brutal reality.  Twenty years ago, in March 1998, the head of the Labor Party Ehud Barak was asked by Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy what he would do were he a young Palestinian living under occupation. “If I were a Palestinian of the right age, I would, at some point, join one of the terrorist groups,” Barak answered. [tmwinpost] Today, not…

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  • Charged with killing Palestinian teen, two soldiers to walk free

    Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Samir Awad eight times in the back, killing him. After a two-year delay, they were finally indicted. Now, five years after the killing, the prosecution is dropping the charges against them. Indictments against two former Israeli soldiers charged with killing an unarmed Palestinian teenager will be dropped, the state prosecutor announced Monday. [tmwinpost] The two former soldiers, whose names are under gag order, had been charged for the “reckless and negligent use of a firearm” that killed 16-year-old Samir Awad near the village of Budrus in 2013. Awad was shot in the back eight times by soldiers who had been…

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  • A victim is the suspect at the trial of the soldiers who killed him

    Samir Awad was unarmed when he was shot in the back eight times by soldiers. During his killers' trial, the judge and defense treated the dead boy as if he was the one being charged with a crime. In Israeli courts, the rare trial of a soldier who killed a Palestinian invariably becomes a trial of the Palestinian they killed. Tuesday morning in the Ramle Magistrate’s Court, where two former Israeli soldiers are on trial for killing 16-year-old Samir Awad, was no exception. [tmwinpost] Samir was not mentioned once by name during the nearly four-hour cross-examination of one of the…

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  • The real danger of Natalie Portman

    Israeli leaders are relentlessly hammering home the idea that the kind of political dissent displayed by Natalie Portman is foreign. And dissenters, by definition, are not real Israelis. When Natalie Portman announced that she would not attend the lucrative Genesis Prize ceremony because she opposes Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was to present the prize to her, reactions in Israel were smoke-out-the-ears hysterical. [tmwinpost] Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan wrote her an impassioned open letter with gimmicky Star Wars references, to help Portman, who starred in the film, understand her mistakes. Jews in Israel and abroad bemoaned her fall into the…

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  • Israeli snipers open fire on Gaza protests second week in a row

    Israeli snipers kill at least seven Palestinians, wound over 300 others during the eighth day of the 'Gaza Return March.'  Protesters attempt to block soldiers' line of sight by burning tires. By +972 Magazine Staff Israeli snipers shot dead at least six Palestinian protesters, including a 14-year-old boy, and wounded at least 300 others near the Gaza border fence with Israel on Friday during the eight day of the “Great Return March." [tmwinpost] The killings came as thousands of Palestinian protesters amassed at the border with Gaza at noon, burning large amounts of tires in order to provide protection from Israeli snipers and tanks.…

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  • B'Tselem to Israeli soldiers: Refuse orders to shoot Gaza protesters

    Israeli soldiers have a legal obligation to refuse manifestly illegal orders. In a new campaign, the Israeli human rights group says shooting unarmed civilian protesters is just that — unmistakably and patently illegal. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem will launch a campaign on Thursday urging Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to open fire on unarmed demonstrators. The campaign, titled "Sorry Commander, I cannot shoot," comes on the heels of last Friday's events on the Gaza border, in which Israeli snipers shot dead at least 17 Palestinians and wounded hundreds during The Great Return March. [tmwinpost] The campaign, which will appear…

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  • In Israeli military courts, Palestinian minors always lose

    In Israeli civilian courts, detention is always a last resort for a minor. But when it comes to Palestinian minors in Israeli military courts, prison is almost guaranteed. By Yael Marom Israeli authorities have dedicated significant effort in recent years to highlighting the improvements allegedly made in the treatment of Palestinian minors within Israeli military courts in the West Bank. Among the ostensible achievements are the establishment a juvenile court in the military court system, allowing for the increased involvement of parents in the military justice system, decreasing the length of time a child can be detained before being brought…

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  • Palestinian man dies following beating by IDF soldiers

    A video published Thursday shows soldiers beating 33-year-old Yasin al-Saradih during a raid in the West Bank city of Jericho. Military sources say the beating was likely the cause of death. Video published on social media Thursday appears to show IDF soldiers beating to death a Palestinian man during an arrest raid in the Palestinian city of Jericho, which according to the Oslo Accords is supposed to be under full Palestinian security control. The video shows the man, 33-year-old Yasin al-Saradih, running in the direction of soldiers while holding an object resembling a lamp or a stool, before one soldier appears…

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  • 'IDF killed five unarmed Palestinians in a single month'

    The Israeli army shot and killed five unarmed Palestinians in January, all of whom were shot in the upper body, none of whom posed a danger to the soldiers. The Israeli army shot and killed five unarmed Palestinians last month, all of whom were shot in the upper body during clashes and demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza, according to Israeli anti-occupation organization B’Tselem. None of them posed a danger to the soldiers when they were killed, says the organization. The first killing took place on January 3rd, when Israeli soldiers reportedly shot Mus’ab a-Sufi, 16, in the neck from…

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  • Hagai El-Ad talks war crimes, forced displacement, and int'l pressure

    B'Tselem's executive director speaks to +972 Magazine about his organization's decision to describe the demolition and displacement of Palestinian villages as 'war crimes,' and the role of international pressure in changing Israeli policy in the West Bank. By Joshua Leifer and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The international diplomatic and human rights community often couches its criticism of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians in softened, diplomatic terms. For years the U.S. State Department called Israeli settlements “unhelpful.” EU diplomats described the planned forced displacement of entire Palestinian communities as “contrary to Israel’s obligations” under international law. [tmwinpost] There are other words to…

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  • 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. [tmwinpost] 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.…

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