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IDF impunity

  • An attempt to erase the shame of occupation

    A Knesset bill that would prohibit filming soldiers on duty is meant not only to make the work of human rights organizations impossible, but also to prevent Israelis from having to confront what soldiers are sent to do in their name.  By A. Daniel Roth The Israeli government voted this week to support a bill that would criminalize documenting Israeli soldiers tasked with carrying out the violence of the occupation in the West Bank. Supporters of the bill — which could make “videotaping, recording, or photographing Israeli soldiers carrying out their duty with the intention of eroding morale” a crime punishable by…

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  • Israel's different responses to Jewish and Palestinian stone throwers

    Jewish settlers who throw stones at Israeli forces hardly face serious consequences. For Palestinian stone throwers, the consequences can mean death.  In the West Bank, the consequences for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers differ dramatically, depending on who’s doing the throwing. The same act, when carried out by Jews in the West Bank, is met — often literally — with a soft-gloved hand. When carried out by Palestinians, the punishment can be as severe as death. [tmwinpost] Israeli forces routinely raid Palestinian homes in the middle of the night to arrest children suspected of stone throwing. In many instances, Israeli soldiers have responded to stone…

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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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  • In memory of Razan al-Najjar

    The 21-year-old paramedic was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers while trying to aid wounded protesters near the Gaza-Israel separation fence. Many Israelis either refuse to believe she was actually killed or claim that her killing was somehow justified. Around two weeks ago, a Facebook friend of mine proposed an experiment to a small group of us. Social media has become a boxing ring, she said. The two sides, left and right, dig into their positions and slug it out in the comments — and that's if they don't just "block" each other. My friend suggested that for a month,…

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  • Live Blog: Israeli troops open fire on Gaza Return March

    Ahead of Nakba Day, marking 70 years since the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, tens of thousands in Gaza were expected to march on the border, culminating 45 days of protests demanding the right of refugees to return, an end to Israel's siege. Protests were also taking place in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where the United States is opening its new embassy. [This post will be updated as events unfold. All times are local.] 9:30 p.m. The Ministry of Health in Gaza says that that the number of Palestinians killed by Israel on the Gaza border has risen…

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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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  • Blaming a child for the sniper's bullet that killed him

    Education Minister Naftali Bennett claims 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub wouldn't have been shot dead by an Israeli sniper if he had been at school. Bennett's comments reflect a reality in which Israeli soldiers kill with impunity.  The Israeli army kills children. That isn’t new. Occasionally, the name of one of those children appears in the headlines, and the Israeli authorities are forced to respond. Their responses almost always expose a truth more terrible than the killings themselves. That is what happened on Sunday morning, when Army Radio morning show host Razi Barkai asked Education Minister Naftali Bennett if “we had gone…

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  • Shooting and lying: A textbook example of IDF impunity

    Changing stories, contradictory testimonies and video evidence were not enough to convince Israel's military prosecutor that an IDF officer should be prosecuted for shooting and killing an unarmed Palestinian teen. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem In July 2015 an Israeli army officer, Col. Yisrael Shomer, shot dead Mohammad al-Kasbeh, a 17-year-old Palestinian, near Qalandiya crossing in the West Bank. Shomer lied repeatedly as he was investigated over the incident, but the chief military prosecutor nonetheless decided not to press charges, and closed the file. Shomer, who was a brigade commander at the time of the incident, shot Kasbeh after the…

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