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Human Rights Watch

  • PODCAST: Israel wants to deport this human rights defender

    On the latest episode of The +972 Podcast, Human Right Watch's Omar Shakir talks about Israel's case against him, which he believes is a watershed moment for democracy and free speech in Israel. Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify   For more than a year now, Israel has been trying to deport the Israel and Palestine Director of Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir. The ongoing litigation began in May 2018, when Israel decided to revoke Shakir’s work authorization in Israel, largely based on an intelligence dossier that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs compiled of Shakir’s political activity and statements before joining Human Rights…

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  • Civilians deliberately targeted in Gaza attacks, reports find

    Two separate investigations by B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch determine that the Israeli army and Palestinian armed groups unlawfully targeted civilian populations during the most recent Gaza escalation. Israel killed 13 Palestinian civilians who weren’t involved in hostilities or affiliated with militant groups in its latest military campaign in Gaza, according to a new report by B’Tselem released Wednesday. Two of the casualties were children and three were women, one of whom was heavily pregnant. “These deaths are the foreseeable outcome of Israel’s unlawful, immoral policy of bombing homes in Gaza," determined B'Tselem. [tmwinpost] Based on B’Tselem’s investigation, from May 3 to May…

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  • What kind of democracy deports human rights workers?

    Israel is trying to deport Human Rights Watch's Omar Shakir, claiming democratic states have every right to defend themselves. The only problem? Israel is neither democratic nor acting in self-defense. By Hagai El-Ad At the heart of the Jerusalem District Court's recent ruling to authorize the deportation of Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, one can find the self-victimizing lie that views Israel as a “defensive democracy.” [tmwinpost] The ruling, handed down by Judge Tamar Bazak-Rappaport, did not reinvent the wheel; she is only following the path paved by the Knesset members who legislated, the attorneys who defended, and the Supreme Court justices who made this all possible.…

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  • Palestinian Authority, Hamas use torture to silence dissent, report finds

    A new report by Human Rights Watch documents dozens of cases whereby the Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza use arbitrary arrest and torture to repress critics. A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation published Tuesday draws on 86 cases of arbitrary arrest, abuse, and torture by Fatah and Hamas authorities in the West Bank and Gaza to call for an International Criminal Court probe, as well as a suspension of aid to Palestinian security forces. According to the report, acts of repression by the two Palestinian authorities against Palestinians engaged in peaceful speech and nonviolent protest “may amount to…

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  • 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. [tmwinpost] 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…

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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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  • Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

    The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…

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  • Human Rights Watch condemns targeting of Israeli civilians during Pillar of Defense

    Previous report from the human rights organization examined the Israeli airstrike that took the lives of 12 Palestinian civilians, ten of them from the same family. Human Rigths Watch has condemned the targeting of the Israeli civilian population by Palestinian militants during the week-long "Pillar of Defense" military operation, which took place last month. A piece posted on the HRW site states that: The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short of their intended…

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  • Detained refugees appeal to Israelis, rights groups for aid

    The letter below was written by Eritrean refugees, held in administrative detention in Saharonim prison. Under the Prevention of Infiltration Law, they can be imprisoned for three years or more. 31/10/2012 (To whom it may concern): Subject: The judgement against Eritrean refugees in Israel As we all know, it has been years since we were compelled to leave our country as a result of a deteriorating economic and political crisis. We came to Israel to escape intolerable levels of repression and human rights violations in our country. However, we are now concerned to learn that the government of Israel is…

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  • Political persecution, torture as common practice and executions in Hamas-run courts

    A new report by Human Rights Watch documents human rights violations by the Hamas authority in Gaza. Many of the violations of prisoners rights were committed against Fatah members, sometimes in 'retaliation' for the persecution of Hamas members in the West Bank.  Human Rights Watch issued last week an important report on Hamas-run courts in Gaza. +972 posted the report in its entirely yesterday. You can read it in PDF format here. HRW interviewed 15 people, including inmates and lawyers who have been tortured by Hamas security forces. Altogether, there have been 112 complaints of torture of Palestinians in Gaza during 2011. As…

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  • Human Rights Watch report on Hamas courts in Gaza

    A new Human Rights Watch report details severe human rights violations in the criminal justice system of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, including arbitrary detention and torture. Several cases detail executions based on confessions obtained through torture. Prisoners are often refused access to a lawyer, abusive security officials are said to enjoy impunity, and families of prisoners often don't know of their relatives' whereabouts. The 43-page report includes testimonies from victims, families, representative of the criminal justice system, and Palestinian human rights organizations.  Abusive System: Failures of Criminal Justice in Gaza (Human Rights Watch) Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting…

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  • HRW slams Israel's 'arbitrary' control over Palestinian residency

    Human Rights Watch on Sunday released a report slamming Israel's control over the Palestinian population registry, an ongoing list of residents living lawfully - according to Israel - in the West Bank and Gaza. The international organization, which is dedicated to protecting human rights around the world, released the report at a press conference at the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem. The report, entitled "Forget about him, he's not here, details how the Israeli army's control of the Palestinian population registry since 1967 arbitrarily and crudely determines residency in a manner that has severe consequences for Palestinian society. Results of this control include the…

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