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Noam Rotem

  • 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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  • 60% of people arrested by Israeli police are 'non-Jews'

    The data, obtained for the years 2011-2015, paints an even more grim picture of discrimination, especially in the arrests of minors, for crimes like 'incitement,' and predictably, for 'security offenses.' Ayman Odeh: Data reveals deeply ingrained racism in the police. By Noam Rotem Non-Jews comprise a mere 25 percent of Israel's population, yet 60 percent of all people arrested by Israeli police between the years of 2011 and 2015 were non-Jewish, according to data obtained by +972 and its Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. When it comes to the arrest of minors, the picture is even worse. [tmwinpost] Police provided…

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  • How I explained the Nakba to my kids

    By Noam Rotem Say Dad, what is independence? An independent person is a person who can do whatever they want. They are free and nobody makes decisions for them. When a state is independent, it means that no one tells it what to do and it can decide for itself what it deems to be good and bad. And what is Independence Day? [tmwinpost] Independence Day is the day the State of Israel became independent. The rest of the countries in the world agreed it could assume control over the land of Israel without anyone else telling it what to…

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  • Regrets but never an apology: When the IDF makes 'mistakes'

    For Jews, Yom Kippur is a time to ask forgiveness from those one has harmed during the course of the year. The Israeli army has a hard time with the concept of saying it is sorry or asking forgiveness. Regretful? Sure. Sorry? Not when the victim is Palestinian. By Noam Rotem Ma’amoun al-Dam was 12 years old when he left his house to play in a nearby field and an inexplicable chain of events led to an Israeli Air Force jet shooting a missile at him, killing him on the spot. “We found no fault in this attack, despite the…

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  • Not so fast: On dismantling Israel’s human rights NGOs

    Small battles can be waged against the injustices of occupation while simultaneously fighting the bigger war against the occupation itself. A response to 'The case for dismantling Israel’s human rights organizations.' By Noam Rabinovich If I had a Euro for every time I was privy to a conversation about whether Israeli human rights organizations do more harm than good, I would have been able to single-handedly fund the entire Israeli human rights community, much to the chagrin of Israel’s current government. Snark aside, this question is one of the most poignant and loaded questions faced by human rights organizations in Israel.…

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  • License to Kill: Why did Colonel A. order the sniping of Ihab Islim?

    Members of a family are standing on a balcony and chatting. The commander of IDF forces in the region orders snipers to open fire on them. One brother is killed, the other one loses an eye. The commander fails to account for the order in the investigation that ensues. The case is closed, and the commander is promoted. In the following months, other civilians in the region are killed in the exact same manner. No one is found guilty. The third installment of the License to Kill series. [Read part one and two.] By John Brown and Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew…

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  • License to Kill: No consequences for shooting an unarmed man in the back

    An unarmed civilian is killed and no one is held accountable. Part two in a series examining Israeli military investigations into Palestinians killed by soldiers. A Palestinian taxi driver is shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Investigators say they cannot locate the shooters, even though their identity is known. Six years later, when a civil suit is filed, the State suddenly produces them as witnesses. The judge rules their versions of events are unreliable and orders damages paid to the family. The criminal case, however, is closed. [Read part one here.] By John Brown and Noam Rotem (translated…

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  • License to Kill: Shot to death while in custody

    The first part in a series of articles examining case files of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers — the ensuing investigations, by other Israeli soldiers, indicate a lack of interest in discovering the truth or achieving justice. In part one, a Palestinian man is arrested for not carrying an ID card. A few hours later, while handcuffed inside a military base, he is shot to death. The investigation files reveal serious and troubling contradictions. The shooter’s commander admits numerous failures, and yet, nobody will stand trial. By Noam Rotem and John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) [Editor's note: In the…

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  • An Israeli citizen is being held in administrative detention

    An IDF legal advisor lies to a Knesset oversight committee, says no administrative detention orders were issued against anyone in Israel. It turns out not only did Defense Minister Ya'alon sign one such order, he forbade the detained Israeli citizen from seeing a lawyer. By Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Yossi Gurvitz) Two days ago, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held an urgent hearing about the administrative restraining orders issued by the head of the Central Command (the IDF command responsible for the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv coastal plain). During the lively debate, committee chairman MK…

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