How Israeli authorities avoid their duty to indict settlers who build illegally on other people's land. By Yossi Gurvitz/Yesh Din In August 2009, the residents of Kfar Aqeb, a Palestinian village near Ramallah, noticed 12 illegal structures being built on their land near the settlement of Kochav Ya’akov. The residents urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice, assisted by Yesh Din, demanding the court order an immediate halt to the construction. What happened next is a microcosm of the behavior of the law enforcement apparatus in the occupied Palestinian territories. [tmwinpost] The IDF's Civil Administration issued work stoppage orders on…Read More...
Settler violence on the Sabbath is not uncommon in the West Bank: Israeli civilians feel emboldened to attack Palestinians, knowing that law enforcement will refrain from taking serious action until the following week. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din They came riding on a horse, two Israeli civilians armed with firearms. One of them jumped off, drew a box cutter, and informed the Palestinian shepherd, B., that “this is our land.” As if to prove the point, he added that he would kill the sheep as well. The two Israelis began throwing stones at the animals, killing one of them…Read More... | 10 Comments
Samah Abdullah, 18, was in a car with her family when she was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers, dying three weeks later. The army claims it was an accident. By Yossi Gurvitz / Yesh Din Samah Abd Al-Muman Ahmed Abdullah, from the West Bank village of Amoriya, woke up on Monday, November 23rd 2015, as she did on any day. She was an 18-year-old recent high school graduate who had just begun a cosmetics course in Nablus with her younger sister, H. Samah and H. took public transportation to the school. At about 11:00 a.m., Samah spoke with…Read More... | 1 Comment
Stolen fruit, destroyed trees and harassment by the army and settlers wreak havoc with the yearly olive harvest, an essential source of subsistence for West Bank Palestinians. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din "The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up" (Deuteronomy 28:33) "I’ve been taking care of my trees for 31 years. These are my trees, I planted them, they’re like my children," says Ali Taher Ali Salah. He is standing in his toy shop in the village of A-Sawiya, watching the children coming and going, buying toys that…Read More... | 89 Comments
An Israeli court rejects a freedom of information request for the names of archeologists digging, under IDF license, in the occupied territories, and where Israel is storing the antiquities they uncover. The reason: so they don't face academic boycott. The Jerusalem District Court on Monday refused to reveal the names of archeologists performing digs at antiquities sites in the occupied West Bank, as is the practice of the Israel Antiquities Authority inside the Green Line. The reason: the archeologists' (and the State’s) fear of academic boycotts, and the difficulties it would pose for ongoing (Israeli) archeological projects in the occupied…Read More... | 6 Comments
Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan was trying to support a soldier charged with killing an unarmed Palestinian. Instead, he ended up confessing to a crime that could have severe repercussions at The Hague. By Yael Marom and John Brown* Late last week, Channel 2 news reported that three senior reserve officers — Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, Brig. Gen. Shmuel Zakai, and Gen. Dan Biton — will testify for the defense of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who is on trial for shooting and killing a Palestinian who stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron, though he was already immobilized. Zakai had previously posted on…Read More... | 4 Comments
A Palestinian resident of Hebron is attacked for trying to protect a child from settler violence. It turns out his attackers were aided by an IDF soldier. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din Sometimes you run into stories that encapsulate the entirety of the injustice of the occupation. All too often those stories come from the Hebron region, where reality is even harsher than the rest of the West Bank. [tmwinpost] Ra’ed Jihad Yakoub Abu Armila owns a souvenir shop in Hebron and works as a photographer for Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem. Around the beginning of May 2016, he…Read More...
An Israeli civilian admits to destroying a Palestinian’s fence, erected in order to prevent settlers from stealing wood for burning on the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba’Omer. The police close the case anyway. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din On October 18, 2014, dozens of Israeli civilians coming from the direction of Hebron trespassed on land belonging to Muhammad Sadeq Muhammad Rashid Qanibi and began demolishing a fence he had built there. As in many other cases of assaults by Israeli civilians in the West Bank, the 18th was a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath and day of rest. This day, as…Read More... | 1 Comment
Police internal affairs diligently investigates a complaint about police brutality, omitting one minor detail: the incriminating photos provided by the complainant. By Yossi Gurvitz In December 2014 a demonstration was held on Route 60 in the West Bank, near the Tunnels Checkpoint separating Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Palestinians were protesting the death of Minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died three days earlier — on International Human Rights Day — a short while after he was photographed being choked by an Israeli Border Police officer during a demonstration against the illegal outpost of Adei Ad. [tmwinpost] During the protest, Youssef Abu Maria was…Read More...
When A saw Israeli civilians approach, he did the sensible thing and fled. This is what quiet terrorism looks like. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz A. is a resident of the village Faratha in the West Bank. He declined to have his name published, as he has become a regular target for attacks by Israeli civilians. He owns two plots of land; the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad is built next to one of them. The establishment of the outpost led to the familiar pattern of dispossession in the West Bank: in order to protect the safety of the…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Israeli military justice system acts only to 'cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,' B'Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move. Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday. A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is…Read More... | 3 Comments
Two Israeli settlers use a fake gun to threaten a bus full of Palestinian workers. The police make a quick arrest, yet the media totally ignores the story. Two acts of political violence committed by Jewish residents of the West Bank against Palestinians went almost completely unreported by the Israeli Hebrew media last week, even as the police responded with remarkable alacrity. [tmwinpost] According to Israeli police, last Wednesday two residents of Efrat, a settlement near Jerusalem, began circling a Palestinian vehicle on their motorcycles on a road near the settlement. One of the settlers then forced the vehicle to…Read More... | 2 Comments
IDF soldiers find Palestinians beaten by settlers yet do not ask the right questions. An incident that will, inevitably, go completely under the radar. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On November 21, 2015 B., a Palestinian youth, went with his friend H., from his village of A-Dik in the West Bank, to bring food to H.’s father, who was busy working the land. At about 14:00, they found H.’s father and gave him the food. Then they went to another part of the same plot of land to gather “white fragrant flowers named ‘Jargas,’” as B. would later…Read More... | 1 Comment
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