Since October 1, when an Israeli couple was murdered in front of their children, terror attacks have intensified. Shootings, stabbings, Molotov cocktail and rock throwing, and other forms of violence are unquestionably illegal and deliberately violate the most fundamental human right to life.
Yet, with few exceptions (see below), most non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim a human rights mandate and frequently condemn alleged Israeli violations of Palestinian rights failed to immediately condemn these attacks.
Rather, they released statements days later and primarily condemned Israeli security forces’ responses to the attacks and to rioting in the West Bank and Gaza. Some of the NGOs also noted that Israeli rights had been violated. However, this was almost exclusively in the context of creating (im)moral equivalence between terror attacks and defensive responses, discussing at great length Israeli settlements and settlers, and placing blame on Israel for Palestinian violence.
Analysis of NGO statements shows:
- Only B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, New Israel Fund (NIF), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) immediately condemned the attacks against Israeli civilians. And some of these statements, include language that reflects a political agenda that privileges Palestinian rights and the Palestinian cause.
- HRW called the murder of the Henkins a “despicable act” (Oct. 3), but also speculated regarding an alleged revenge attack, the arson murder of the Dawabshe family, and “unlawful settlements.” A later statement by HRW revolved solely around Israeli policies, ambiguously referring to “attacks on Israeli civilians by armed Palestinians” as part of “an escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank.” HRW has also undertaken a media campaign claiming that one of its research assistants had been shot by Israeli forces while observing a demonstration outside of Ramallah. HRW has not identified this woman, which would be a necessary step to verify the event, but the allegations been repeated by foreign media outlets.
- B’Tselem immediately “expresse[d] shock at the killing” of the Henkins (Oct. 2) and the victims of the Old City stabbing (Oct. 4). Both statements noted that “Israeli security forces are obligated to deploy to prevent acts” of “revenge” and “retaliation” (respectively), but did not call on Israeli or Palestinian forces to protect Israeli civilians.
- After a strong initial statement on Facebook (Oct 2), NIF later issued a press release (Oct. 11) claiming that “When Palestinians have no hope for an end to forty-eight years of occupation, the waves of individual and collective violence will most likely continue.”
- Amnesty International published a 7-page report (“No justification for deliberate attacks on civilians, unlawful killings by Israeli forces, or collective punishment of Palestinians,” Oct. 8), which focused almost entirely on accusing Israel of “excessive killings,…house demolitions and other collective punishment of Palestinians.” The section ostensibly on “Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians” did not limit itself to this topic, but also insinuated that the captured Palestinian perpetrators had been “tortured and otherwise ill-treated” and that “Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned the establishment of Israeli settlements.”
- Other groups mentioned the attacks on Israeli civilians only in the context of condemning Israeli actions. These groups, including Addameer, Al-Haq, Alternative Information Center, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and Yesh Din, did not immediately comment on the attacks. In instances where the NGOs erased the illegality of the attacks, this belies their claims to champion human rights.
- Addameer, Al-Haq, and PCHR all describe the attacks as having “allegedly” taken place, and refusing to blame Palestinians and identify the terrorism as illegal.
- Jewish Voice for Peace perfunctorily mourned attacks on both groups, and went on to express alarm over “the escalated level of collective punishment being imposed on Palestinians by both settlers and the Israeli Army.”
- Ir Amim did not immediately condemn the attacks, but instead re-circulated a September 26 publication, which claimed that the source of Palestinian violence stems from the actions of the Israeli government and police, including limiting access to the Temple Mount, imposing collective punishment after an attack, and managing violent riots and protests..
- Adalah, Al-Mezan, Coalition of Women for Peace, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA), and War on Want all released statements criticizing Israeli policy and actions, without even noting the attacks against Israeli civilians.
The following are excerpts from statements made by NGOs.
Table of Contents
PHROC:Addameer, Aldameer, Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Badil, Defence for Children International-Palestine Section, Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Hurryat, Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling
Re: Urgent actions required in light of recent escalation of violence in the OPT (Letter: October 24, 2015)
As the situation continues to deteriorate in the OPT, Israel has not demonstrated any intention to shoulder its responsibilities under international law towards the occupied Palestinian population. To the contrary, Israel is using security as a pretext to further infringement of the rights of the occupied population, making the need for an intervention by the UN Security Council all the more acute. The past couple of weeks have seen an alarming escalation of violence, in both frequency and severity, against Palestinians in the OPT. Since 1 October 2015, the Israeli occupying forces have killed 46 Palestinians. There has also been an increase in settler violence with more than 48 cases since the beginning of October. Many of the killings may amount to the grave breach and war crime of wilful killing with Israeli forces unnecessarily resorting to lethal force. Simultaneously, Israel has stepped up its practices of collective punishment, including punitive house demolitions, restrictions on movement, and revocation of residency permits for East Jerusalem residents.
Address the Root Cause of Violence: End the prolonged occupation and oppression of Palestinians (Press Release: October 22, 2015)
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) and the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ) deplore and condemn all forms of attacks on civilians, and emphasize that the current escalation in violence cannot be explained, addressed or remedied in a vacuum. There is a root cause for this violence – Israel’s continued violations of international law, including its brutal and illegal military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) that has lasted 48 years and its racist policies against Palestinian citizens of Israel – and this root cause cannot be ignored.
During the last three weeks, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed 46 Palestinians, including 10 children, and injured over 5,000 Palestinians. Eight Jewish Israelis have been killed. The upsurge in violence is the result of the growing frustration of generations of Palestinians who have lived under military occupation with no promise of change in the future. Instead of hope, Palestinians have grown accustomed to Israel’s continued confiscation of their land and the displacement of its inhabitants; the demolition of their homes; the aggressive expansion of Israeli settler colonies (settlements); settler violence against Palestinians and their property facilitated by the state; torture and ill-treatment; and increasing numbers of arbitrary arrests and administrative detentions, amongst other manifestations of Israel’s violent occupation. Therefore, the only way to address this rise in violence is to end to the occupation.
On 20 October 2015, PHROC held an urgent meeting with representatives from the European Union (EU) and foreign missions to the Palestinian Authority.
During the meeting, PHROC called on international intervention given Israel’s recent grave escalations in violence including settler attacks, extrajudicial killings, excessive and lethal use of force which may amount to war crimes, as well as punitive house demolitions as a form of collective punishment and means to forcibly evict residents – all practiced in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
PHROC Open letter to Foreign Ministers on Need for International Intervention in Palestine (Letter: October 20, 2015)
The past couple of weeks have seen a significant escalation of violence, in both frequency and severity, against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Since October 2015, the Israeli occupying forces have killed Palestinians 41.There has also been an increase in settler violence with approximately 48 cases since the beginning of October. Many of the killings may amount to the grave breach and war crime of wilful killing with Israeli forces unnecessarily resorting to lethal force. Simultaneously, Israel has stepped up its practices of collective punishment, including punitive house demolitions and revocation of residency permits for East Jerusalem residents.
Increased violence should not overshadow the legitimate mobilisation of Palestinians for their fundamental rights (Press Release: October 14, 2015)
In less than 2 weeks, 30 Palestinians, including 8 children, and 7 Israelis have been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Over 1300 Palestinians have been wounded.
To respond to this increase in deathly confrontations and the threat of an upsurge of overall violence, it is urgent for the Israeli government to recognise its responsibility in the uprisings that regularly engulf the Palestinian people and take note of the harmful effects of its policies.
The rioting by the Palestinian youth in bloody clashes with the Israeli army and police in the OPT including Jerusalem are signs of deep frustrations and further illustrate the crisis that the Palestinian civil society is living through.
The killings that cost the lives of seven Israelis in the old city of Jerusalem are the tragic and inevitable outcome of the continued occupation of the OPT.
Since 24 September 2015, the Israeli government has authorized soldiers to shoot when they feel a threat: this decision will unquestionably increase the already-alarming number of incidents of cold-blooded murder of civilians committed by Israeli soldiers and the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army.
In view of the continued violation of international law, FIDH and its member organisations Al Haq, PCHR and PCATI feel that it is necessary for the international community to explicitly and tangibly state its commitment to respecting the rights of the Palestinian population. If it doesn’t and recent events have proven so, the Israeli government will continue to violate Palestinians’ right to life and freedom of speech and assembly.
Statement submitted by: Association of Civil Rights in Israel, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Gisha, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Hamoked- Center for the Deference of the Individual, Yesh Din- Volunteers for Human Rights, Adalah- The Legal Center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel, Physician for Human Rights- Israel (Press Release: October 14, 2015)
Since the beginning of the current wave of violence, there has been a worrying trend to use firearms to kill Palestinians who have attacked Israelis or are suspected of such attacks. Several incidents have been documented and reported, raising concern that the chosen response to such persons is the harshest possible, with lethal or – at the very least – unnecessary consequences. In instances when Jews have been suspected of attacks, none of the suspects has been shot.
Politicians and senior police officers have not only failed to act to calm the public climate of incitement, but on the contrary have openly called for the extrajudicial killing of suspects. They have also urged civilians to carry weapons. For example, Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri was quoted as saying: “Anyone who stabs Jews or hurts innocent people is due to be killed.” Interior Security Minister Gilad Arden declared that “every terrorist should know that he will not survive the attack he is about to commit.” MK Yair Lapid stated that “you have to shoot to kill anyone who pulls out a knife or screwdriver.” Much of the media joined in and encouraged a similar approach. The bodies responsible for supervising police operations – the State Attorney’s Office and the Department for the Investigation of Police – remained silent in the face of these comments.
No-one disputes the serious nature of the events of recent days, nor the need to protect the public against stabbing and other attacks. However, it seems that too often, instead of acting in a manner consistent with the nature of each incident, police officers and soldiers are quick to shoot to kill. The political and public support for such actions endorses the killing Palestinians in the Territories and in Israel.
[Donors include: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), European Union, UNDP, and others.]
On 4 November 2015, Adalah and Palestinian prisoner group Addameer sent an urgent request to the Israeli Police Investigations Unit (Mahash) for a criminal investigation into a police officer implicated in the killing of Mu’taz Ewisat, a Palestinian minor (16 years old) from the Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The two organizations further demanded that an autopsy of his body be conducted before it is returned to his parents, with the presence of a medical examiner commissioned by his family.
Adalah and Addameer argued in the request that the police had no justification for opening live fire on Mu’taz Ewisat, and that they had other courses of action available to them that could have secured his arrest. Had the police any intention of arresting and searching him, they could have done so, for example by warning him or firing into the air. His death leaves no room for doubt that the firing of live bullets to kill Palestinians has become standard operating procedure for the Israeli police.
When the police aren’t your protectors, there is no safety (+972 Magazine, October 19, 2015)
Palestinian citizens of Israel share the same fear of violence as Jews in recent weeks. But many of them don’t find security or comfort in Israel’s police forces, who seem to think that Palestinian citizens should accept that their rights and dignity must be compromised in order to make Jewish citizens feel safer.
But unlike for most Jewish citizens, Palestinian citizens do not find security or comfort in Israel’s law enforcement authorities. In the weeks since the violence began, police forces have increased their presence at the entrances and exits of Arab communities throughout Israel, creating makeshift checkpoints and pulling over Palestinian citizens for inspection, both young and old, men and women.
The police’s routine breach of their own laws and protocols are most starkly reflected in the increasing trigger-proneness of police officers, after government officials ordered a loosening of the rules of engagement for using live fire. Palestinian citizens’ fears particularly heightened after the killing of 19-year-old Fadi Alloun in East Jerusalem, which took place after a right-wing Jewish mob urged police officers to shoot him, despite not posing an immediate threat after an alleged stabbing.
Adalah to AG: Closure of East Jerusalem is collective punishment (Press Release: October 18, 2015)
Adalah: Collective punishment undermines fundamental rights of residents to human dignity and freedom of movement, and violates international law
On 15 October 2015, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that he order the authorities to refrain from imposing closures, curfews, security rings or any similar restrictions on the Palestinian Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Adalah’s request followed the political-security Cabinet’s decision, “to authorize the Israeli police to impose closures on points of friction and incitement in Jerusalem based on security considerations.”
Adalah to AG: Investigate police violations of rules of engagement leading to killing and injury of Palestinians (Press Release: October 15, 2015)
On 13 October 2015, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, demanding that he immediately order an investigation into the killing and injury of Palestinians in violation of the rules of engagement by the Israeli police. Adalah further demanded that the AG order the police forces to immediately cease the use of firearms in violation of the law. Adalah’s requests come in response to a highly publicized series of cases in which videos show how the police opened fire on Palestinians, pursuing “shoot-to-kill” actions in circumstances that appear not to have posed an imminent danger to them or to others.
Adalah further stressed regarding the recent statements of Israeli politicians and police officers concerning these events: “The above [request for an investigation] becomes even more important in light of the statements by politicians and police officials praising the actions by the police and calling on them to shoot and kill, in complete contravention of the rules of engagement set forth in detail above [in the letter].”
Family demands that Israeli Police Investigation Unit “Mahash” investigate police killing of Palestinian youth Fadi Alloun (Press Release: October 11, 2015)
Adalah and Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association sent a complaint on behalf of the family of Fadi Alloun to the Israeli Police Investigation Unit (“Mahash”) demanding an investigation into the police shooting and killing of 19-year old Alloun on 4 October 2015 in East Jerusalem.
The shooting occurred following calls by a mob of right-wing Israeli Jewish citizens urging the police to shoot him on sight, after an alleged stabbing. The events were recorded on video and clearly showed that Alloun did not pose an immediate threat to any civilian or policeman, and therefore there was no justification for the shooting and killing.
Israeli police acting above the law, taking brutal measures to suppress legitimate protest of Palestinian citizens of Israel (Press Release: October 11, 2015)
Over the last week, during the extremely violent events taking place throughout Israel, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli police, backed by the courts, have been trying to prevent the legitimate protest of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel against the government’s policies by means of brutal and illegal acts. The police action is reminiscent of dark regimes in history, such as the military government imposed on Arab citizens of the state from 1948 to 1966. The primary purpose of these acts is to scare and oppress citizens and threaten them into silencing their dissent. Adalah, together with Mezan (Nazareth), the Human Rights Defenders Fund and numerous volunteer lawyers, have been representing close to 100 detainees in Israeli courts around the country, and gathering testimonies from those individuals whose rights have been violated by the police.
Brutal and repressive acts undertaken by the Israeli police against Palestinian citizens and residents of Israel include the arbitrary arrests of minors; “preventive arrests” of activists/protest organizers to thwart demonstrations; arrests of activists’ family members to pressure them; and severe physical violence against protestors, and in particular, Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
[2010 annual report (latest available) “acknowledge[s] the support and advocacy” of Christian Aid (UK), ICCO (Netherlands), Ireland, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from the governments ofSweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands), Paz con Dignidad (Spain), Solidaridad Internacional (Spain), Solidarity for Development and Peace (Sodepaz), The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and others.]
Today 20 November, is Universal Children’s Day. Today Israeli occupation holds close to 400 children some as young as 11 in detention. Since the beginning of October, Israeli occupation forces have arrested over 290 children 3 of whom were placed under administrative detention without trial or charge claiming they pose a grave security threat.
Special Edition Monthly Newsletter: Events of October 2015 (Newsletter: November 9, 2015)
During October 2015, a popular uprising started in the occupied Palestinian territory in response to the Israeli occupation’s widespread human rights violations and escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the ever-growing settlement activity and complete impunity to crimes by settlers, the latest of which was the arson and murder of the Dawabsheh family in Duma, Nablus. In response to the recent events, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) intensified human rights violations against Palestinians including mass arrests, increased use of administrative detention, excessive use of force and extrajudicial executions and collective punishment. Over the month, Israeli officials raised mass hysteria and incited violence against Palestinians and called on Israelis to bear arms. Every Palestinians became a suspect susceptible to being killed by the IOF and settlers resulting in the death of dozens of Palestinians. Families of murdered Palestinians are facing collective punishment including punitive house demolitions and holding the bodies of the dead thus denying the families to mourn the death of their loved ones.
Addameer Holds Israeli Occupation Responsible for the Recent Escalation in Occupied Palestine (News: October 25. 2015)
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association holds Israeli occupation authorities responsible for the recent escalation in the West Bank and 1948 territory. The practices and violations by Israeli occupation and Israeli settler in addition to the provocation at Al-Aqsa mosque are the main reasons for the recent deterioration and escalation. Israeli practices of collective punishment and daily violations including house demolitions, arrests, extrajudicial executions and assaults on Palestinians in addition to confiscating Palestinian land for settlement and overlooking settler violence –the most recent of which was the arson of the Dawabsheh family in Duma south of Nablus have all factored to fuel the current escalation.
Since the beginning of the current events, IOF has resorted to excessive use of lethal force against Palestinian civilians and those allegedly accused of attempting stabbing attacks. Footage and several eyewitnesses have confirmed that the Israeli occupation’s forces have use lethal force against unarmed Palestinians upon suspicion without them posing any direct threat or harm which would justify opening fire. Furthermore, IOF have also used live ammunition and rubber bullets aimed at the upper body of protesters during demonstrations and clashes. This dangerous escalation has resulted in the death and injury of many Palestinian youth.
In less than 24 hours, Israeli occupation forces have arrested 80 Palestinians including 6 children.
Today’s arrests took place as follows:
– Jerusalem 26 arrests, including 2 children
– Hebron 16 arrests, including 3 children
– Ramallah 12 arrests
– Nablus 10 arrests
– Jenin 7 arrests
– Bethlehem 4 arrests
– Salfit 2 arrests
– Qalqilya 2 arrest
– Jericho 1 child was arrested
Addameer Demands the Immediate Release of the Body of Fadi Alloun (News Update: October 8, 2015)
Adv. Mohammad Mahmoud added that the occupation’s military prosecution is keeping the body of Fadi Alloun as punishment to the family and comes as a part of a systematic policy of withholding the bodies of Palestinians shot by Israeli occupation forces and allegedly accused of being involved in attacks. Fadi’s body is being held despite lack of evidence to incorporate him with the alleged stabbing attack that took place Sunday morning. Adv. Mahmoud points that the investigation material were withheld from him and footage of surveillance cameras where the alleged stabbing took place were not released. Furthermore, footage has emerged that clearly show the deceased to be unarmed when he was shot. The footage in fact show Alloun was trying to avoid a group of settlers that attempted to attack him and who told the police to shoot him accusing him of being a terrorist.
[According to its website, “2014’s Partners” include: Bread for the World (Germany), Irish Aid (Ireland), Christian Aid (UK), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Diakonia (Sweden), Federal Government of Belgium, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Germany), ICCO (Netherlands), AECID (Spain), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint government funding of Sweden Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), UNDP, and Open Society Institute (US).]
Special Focus: Attacks against Health Facilities and Medical Staff by the IOF (News: November 9, 2015)
In October 2015, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) documented 228 Israeli violations against medical staff, including 56 incidents where ambulances were delayed, 116 cases of assaults against medical staff, as well as 56 incidents where ambulances were attacked by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF). These incidents are documented as Israel continues to escalate its violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including against Palestinian medical staff and health facilities. These attacks include: raiding hospitals and arresting patients; holding up and detaining ambulances transferring patients; directly shooting rubber and live bullets at ambulances; physically beating ambulance medical staff; setting up checkpoints near hospitals and restricting access; and prohibiting ambulances from reaching patients. As a result, dozens of medical volunteers have been injured. Once again, such attacks illustrate Israel’s policy of disproportionate indiscriminate and excessive use of force against Palestinians, including paramedics and health facilities.
Special Focus: Holding the Bodies of Deceased Palestinians by Israel (November 9, 2015)
On Wednesday, 14 October 2015, Israel approved a proposal to hold the bodies of alleged Palestinians attackers killed during attacks, thereby denying families from burying their loved ones. Israel is currently holding the bodies of 24 Palestinians, including 6 children, who were killed by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) for allegedly carrying out attacks against Israelis.
Since 1 October 2015, Israel killed 70 Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, of which 44 were killed in alleged attacks against Israelis. This is a direct result of Israel’s use of excessive and lethal force against Palestinians. This has revealed an Israeli trend of using lethal force to kill Palestinians from close proximity even in situations where other means are possible to control and subdue the alleged attacker.
Special Focus: Israeli Occupying Forces Assault Journalists in the OPT (Monitor: November 3, 2015)
As Israeli violations escalate against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), journalists and media professionals have also been the subjects of Israeli attacks. Since the beginning of October 2015, Israel’s excessive use of force led to the killing of at least 64 Palestinians and the injury of over seven thousand across the OPT and the within the Green Line.
The Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have deliberately targeted journalists and press personnel, in clear violation of their rights.
Unlawful Killing of Palestinians by Israeli Occupying Forces (October 31, 2015)
At the heart of the deadly escalation of violence is Israel’s recent relaxation of policing regulations whereby police may liberally open fire on stone throwers when they believe there is danger to any life as opposed to the narrower grounds of self-defense. Within these parameters, the IOF has used lethal force against Palestinians in violation of Palestinians’ right to life. This legal brief provides a legal analysis of the unlawful killing of Palestinians during a situation of occupation that does not rise to the level of armed hostilities.
Al-Haq Special Focus: In Pictures, Jerusalem Dissected (October 20, 2015)
Over the past few weeks, Israel’s policy of collective punishment has spiralled, affecting Palestinians all over the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), particularly in Jerusalem.
Palestinians killed in the OPT and Israel since 1 October 2015 (October 19, 2015)
Al-Haq Special Focus: Unlawful Killings of Palestinians by Israeli Occupying Forces since September 2015 (Field Update: October 19, 2015)
Since the beginning of October alone, Israel has killed 42 Palestinians, including 9 children. Israel has also injured thousands of Palestinians, including at least 1,850 by live ammunition across the OPT. This focus provides Al-Haq documentation on certain incidents that resulted in the unlawful deprivation of Palestinian life.
Israel’s unlawful killing of Palestinians is a continuing feature of Israel’s occupation. Al-Haq reminds Israel and the international community that “intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life”.
In light of this, Israel must ensure prompt, impartial, independent, effective, transparent investigations into the killing of Palestinians and hold all perpetrators accountable. Additionally, the international community must take effective measures to ensure the protection of the occupied Palestinian population.
Al-Haq Field Information October 2015 (October 18, 2015)
As Palestinian frustration over Israel’s occupation has reached a boiling point, Israel has continued to dismiss its obligations as the Occupying Power and instead escalated state and state-supported violence against Palestinians. These acts include: excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial killings, punitive home demolitions, restrictions on movement, the further fragmentation of the West Bank, including severe restrictions on Palestinians in Jerusalem, and an escalation of settler violence, often facilitated by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF).
If you are Palestinian, expect to be killed by Israeli forces at any time, even if you are an Israeli citizen. Reasons for the killing are not important. It is enough to be Palestinian in order for soldiers or police to feel that your death is trivial, especially considering that individuals are rarely, if ever, held accountable. To justify the killing, members of the Israeli forces may simply claim that the attacker tried to stab someone. Claims are not disputed by their superiors or anyone in government, irrespective of evidence to the contrary provided by human rights organizations, including international ones.
Attacking someone with a knife can be dangerous. However, in most of the recent cases in which Palestinians were killed, lives were not under immediate threat, justifying the use of lethal force.
It has become clear that Israel is operating under a practice of shoot to kill Palestinians and ask no questions later. The murder of Palestinians is justified with the simple unfounded claim that he or she attacked using a knife. More broadly, when Palestinians are killed at protests, in their homes in Gaza, or on the street by Israeli forces (all of which we have seen in the past two weeks), there is rarely a transparent and impartial investigation as to whether the killing was legitimate.
Al-Haq Action Alert: Palestine on the brink (October 10, 2015)
Al-Haq is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and its severe impact on Palestinian lives. Since 1 October 2015, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have killed 20 and injured at least 1000 Palestinians. Four Palestinian homes have been punitively demolished. Additionally, Israeli settlers, often with the presence of IOF, have increased their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. Al-Haq further condemns Israel’s targeting of Occupied East Jerusalem.
Al-Haq calls on the international community to:
- Publicly condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s policy towards Palestinians in the OPT and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
- Call on Israel to carry prompt; thorough and transparent investigations into all incidents involving the killings of Palestinians, and bring perpetrators to justice while providing reparations for the families of victims.
- Take measures at the United Nations towards the adoption of resolutions that call for an embargo on all military aid, as well as measures to ensure a ban on the trade of settlement goods.
[According to its 2014 annual report, “Core Programme Donors” include: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norway, Medico International (Germany), Save the Children International, and the Open Society Foundations. “Project Donors” include: EU, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, Diakonia (Sweden), Heinrich Boll Foundation(Germany), Norwegian Refugee Council, Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Oxfam- GB, Save the Children, Open Society Foundation, UNDP, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.]
Al Mezan Condemns Continued Escalation in Attacks and Calls on the International Community to Intervene (Press Release: November 1, 2015)
Israeli occupation forces continue to attack the civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The uses of force, including lethal force, against Palestinian protestors is excessive.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the escalation of attacks against civilians and the targeting of journalists and medical crews by Israeli occupation forces. Al Mezan warns of further deterioration of the situation and the perpetuation of Israeli violations in the oPt if the silence and failure of the international community to provide the due protection for civilians continues.
Al Mezan Reiterates Condemnation of Israeli Violations; Calls Internatinal Community to Intervene (Press Release: October 18, 2015)
The escalation of attacks by Israeli forces against the civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continues, with attacks being justified by alleged stabbing attacks. In several incidents, these false claims appear to be taken as a cover-up attacks and killings of Palestinian civilians. These claims make up a shield of immunity for Israeli forces and settlers who are engaging in violence towards the Palestinian communities in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the violations perpetrated by Israeli forces against civilians in the oPt. Al Mezan asserts that many of the practices carried out by Israel’s occupation forces represent serious and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
In an attack by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) last night, an Israeli airstrike hit a house in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood, southeast Gaza City. The airstrike killed a pregnant woman and her little daughter as they slept in their house. Earlier on Saturday, the IOF opened fire at demonstrators and killed two in the south of the Gaza Strip, one of whom was a child. This raises the toll of fatalities in Gaza to eleven civilians since the start of the protests in the Gaza Strip on Friday, 9 October 2015. Nine of the victims were killed when the IOF opened fire at demonstrations near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel; the IOF fired live bullets, plastic coated bullets, and tear gas at demonstrators and arrested and abused a number of young men and minors. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the IOF escalation and calls on the international community to promptly intervene and bring to an end such serious violations of international law, and to provide protection for civilians. In the wake of the developments in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in the past two weeks, the international community is also called upon to condemn and act against the continuous violations of human rights, including the Palestinian peoples’ right to self-determination.
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have used excessive and lethal force against Palestinian protestors, including children, who were near the border fence in the east of the Gaza Strip. The protestors had marched to the border area to express solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, who are subject to daily attacks by the Israeli forces and settlers. Seven civilians were killed and 147 people were injured in the incidents in Gaza. One of the injured was Anadolu Agency photographer Metin Kaya, who sustained shrapnel wounds in his left hand when IOF opened fire at his camera. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the excessive and lethal use of force against civilian protestors and calls for immediate international protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
According to Al Mezan’s monitoring, it was at approximately 2:00 pm on Friday, 9 October 2015, when the IOF opened fire at the hundreds of Palestinian protestors who had marched to several areas near the border of Gaza and Israel in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank. As a result, seven people were killed, including one child, and 147 people were injured, most of whom from live bullets.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the Israeli escalation against Palestinians in the oPt and the extremely violent suppression of Palestinian protestors acting against Israel’s occupation and oppression. Al Mezan asserts that the direct IOF shooting at unarmed protestors reflects instructions given by the Israeli government which has relaxed the regulations regarding the use of live fire at demonstrators and stone throwers. The practice is also part of the continuous and systematic violations committed by the IOF against civilians in the Gaza Strip, especially in the access restricted areas.
174 Palestinians shot on Saturday (News Article: October 11, 2015)
Israeli troops shot at least 174 Palestinians with live and rubber-coated steel bullets in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Saturday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
This brings the total number of Palestinians injured by Israel since the beginning of October to over 1,000, reports the Palestinian news portal Ma’an.
Some 20 Palestinians were also killed by Israel during this time.
Such attacks are expected to continue as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has approved the stationing of an additional 1,000 border police officers in Jerusalem. These officers will be called up in the framework of emergency reserve duty service.
270 Jerusalemites Arrested in 21 Days (News Article: October 7, 2015)
The settler-affiliated media site Arutz 7 reported that just last night Israeli police arrested seven Palestinians throughout East Jerusalem, of whom four are children.
Israeli authorities are employing heavy-handed tactics in an attempt to quell clashes with Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, clashes trigged last month by Israeli attempts to change the status quo in Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque.
The Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer reports that as of August 2015 there were some 460 Palestinian Jerusalemites detained in Israeli prisons, such that the number has leaped by almost 60 percent in the past three weeks.
Operation Defensive Shield in Jerusalem (News Article: October 4, 2015)
Violence in the area has spiked in the past two weeks, following an increase in Israeli settler incursions in Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque compound and Israel’s de facto temporal and spatial division of the area between Muslims and Jews.
In the latest round of violence Israeli police officers shot dead a Palestinian teen near Jerusalem’s Damascus gate early Sunday morning after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli boy.
The Palestinian was identified as 19-year-old Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya.
Alloun is the second Palestinian to be shot dead after allegedly stabbing Israelis in the Jerusalem’s Old City in the past 24 hours.
Two Israelis were killed and two others injured, including a two-year-old infant, in an attack in Jerusalem’s Old City carried out Saturday by a Palestinian who was subsequently shot dead, Israeli police and medics said.
Israeli police named the attacker as Mohannad Shafiq Halabi, aged 19, from a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israel/OPT: All deliberate attacks on civilians reprehensible and unjustified (News: November 20, 2015)
There can be no justification for a spate of deliberate deadly attacks by Palestinians on civilians over the past week in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories which displayed a clear contempt for human life, said Amnesty International.
In the latest attacks on Thursday, Palestinians from the occupied West Bank killed five civilians: three Israelis, a US national and a Palestinian, in two separate incidents.
“As tensions continue to skyrocket we have seen a string of reprehensible attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians over the past week in which the assailants appear to have sought to kill individuals they presumed to be Israeli Jews,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
Over the past week five Palestinians have also been killed by Israeli forces. Two were reported to have been shot during protests, and three others were shot during armed clashes with the Israeli army. Two other Palestinians died of wounds they sustained after being shot by Israeli forces during protests on 11 and 12 November. Israeli forces have a history of using unjustified or excessive force against Palestinian protesters. Palestinians have frequently been unlawfully killed when they posed no direct threat to life.
Israel/OPT: Investigate apparent extrajudicial execution at Hebron hospital (News: November 12, 2015)
Unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of government or military officials, or with their complicity or acquiescence, amount to extrajudicial executions, which are prohibited at all times and are crimes under international law.
The Israeli military released a statement saying that Abdullah Shalaldah had attacked Israeli forces, but did not specify whether he was armed. Witnesses report that he was not armed, was some metres away from the soldiers and police and had not attempted to attack them. There was no attempt to arrest Abdullah Shalaldah, according to the witnesses, or to use non-lethal alternatives before shooting him dead.
Urgent Action: Children Administratively Detained (Report: November 3, 2015)
Mohammed Ghaith and Fadi Abbasi, from Silwan, and Kathem Sbeih, from Jabal Mukkaber, all aged 17, are now in administrative detention. According to Palestinian human rights NGO Addameer, the Israeli military authorities accused them of “posing a serious and severe threat to the national security of Israel” and being “violent activists”, apparently for throwing stones at police vehicles and inciting violence via Facebook.
Since their arrests, the Israeli authorities have neither notified the families of the two boys of their whereabouts nor given them the opportunity to visit them in detention. All three boys hold Jerusalem identity cards, meaning they can reside in East or West Jerusalem, as well as other parts of Israel.
Since 1 October, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of attempted, alleged and actual stabbing attacks by individual Palestinians on Israeli civilians, soldiers, and police. Eight Israeli civilians have been killed in stabbing or shooting attacks by Palestinians. In the same period, Israeli forces have shot and killed more than 35 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Israel, including at least 14 in Hebron, either after stabbings were carried out or when the Israeli authorities alleged stabbing attacks were intended.
Amnesty International found evidence that at least some of the killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces in Hebron were extrajudicial executions, and four more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Hebron since Tuesday morning. But Palestinian residents of Hebron have told Amnesty International that they feel just as threatened by the Israeli civilians, many of them armed, living in illegal settlements in and around the city.
Israeli forces in Occupied Palestinian Territories must end patterns of unlawful killings (News: October 27, 2015)
Israeli forces have carried out a series of unlawful killings of Palestinians using intentional lethal force without justification, said Amnesty International today, based on the findings of an ongoing research trip to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
“A clear pattern has emerged of lethal force being used unlawfully by Israeli forces following a wave of recent stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and military or police forces in Israel and the occupied West Bank,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
“There is mounting evidence that, as tensions have risen dramatically, in some cases Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures. They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real.
Amnesty demands that the Israeli police arrest those involved in the murder of Zarhum, and to bring them to justice.
This murder is not an isolated case, it is a result of the government’s and Israeli authorities encouragement to execute people without trial. It is the responsibility of the Israeli government and security forces to stop and to prevent civilians from taking the law into their own hands, and to eradicate the security forces killing of suspects without a fair trial.
Imagine a situation where a police officer stops all vehicles on the road and takes all the drivers licenses because of the act of an individual. In the same way, the Israeli government tries to block the freedom of movement of Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
We condemn any use of collective punishment against civilians and we call on the Israeli government and Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately stop any plan or action that was used indiscriminately against civilians. Actions like those are unacceptable and are a violation of international law that forbids any use of indiscriminate collective punishment.
Say NO to collective punishment!
Violence spirals in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories (October 13, 2015)
Palestinians have carried out a number of attacks on Israelis in Israel and the OPT, killing six civilians and one off-duty soldier and injuring others. Israeli forces have used excessive, sometimes lethal, force against Palestinian demonstrators, injuring hundreds with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets, and have failed to protect Palestinian civilians from a wave of settler attacks.
“We are seeing a dangerous pattern of deliberate attacks on civilians and unlawful killings. All unlawful killings and arbitrary and abusive force must stop immediately. All such violations must be effectively investigated and perpetrators must be held accountable. Without justice and accountability, this downward spiral of bloodshed will continue,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.
“Israeli forces have used excessive force on a large scale and intensified restriction on movement and have vowed to increase illegal punishments such as home demolitions. Security measures must respect international law. Collective punishment of the Palestinian population can never be justified.”
As a significant escalation in violence since 1 October 2015 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and in Israel continues, Amnesty International condemns all deliberate attacks on civilians, including Israeli civilians in the OPT, and calls on all sides to end such attacks. Amnesty International also condemns the widespread use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian demonstrators across the occupied West Bank, and their failure to protect Palestinians from a wave of settler attacks.
Amnesty urges Israel to halt collective punishment of Palestinians (Letter: October 7, 2015)
In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the human rights organisation said house demolitions is being used as a deterrent against innocent people in a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights.
“The violation of this right affects vulnerable groups especially children and women while these families remain without compensation and without alternative accommodation,” the letter added.
“Israel, as an occupying power, must abide by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.”
No Justification for Deliberate Attacks on Civilians, Unlawful Killings by Israeli Forces, or Collective Punishment of Palestinians (Public Statement: October 9, 2015)
As a significant escalation in violence since 1 October 2015 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and in Israel continues, Amnesty International condemns all deliberate attacks on civilians, including Israeli civilians in the OPT, and calls on all sides to end such attacks. Amnesty International also condemns the widespread use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian demonstrators across the occupied West Bank, and their failure to protect Palestinians from a wave of settler attacks. The organization urges the Israeli authorities to halt the use of excessive force and unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, end punitive home demolitions and other collective punishment of Palestinians, and ensure that Israeli troops, police and civilians responsible for unlawful attacks on Palestinian civilians in the OPT are held accountable.
Since 1 October, four Israeli citizens have been killed in two separate attacks by Palestinians, while others have been wounded in those and other attacks; both the attacks in which Israelis were killed were endorsed by Palestinian armed groups. Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at least two in circumstances raising serious concerns about the use of lethal force, and used live fire, rubber-coated metal bullets and less-lethal weapons against Palestinians across the West Bank, injuring hundreds. This escalation in the use of excessive force by the Israeli army and Border Police, combined with widespread arrests, the closure of Jerusalem’s Old City and other Palestinian neighborhoods and villages, punitive home demolitions, and the Israeli authorities’ failure to prevent a wave of Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians, indicate an intensification of collective punishment and other Israeli violations, rather than proportionate measures to protect Israeli civilians.
[Donors include: EU, Norway, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands), Diakonia, Sweden, Christian Aid (UK), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (US), Germany, Oxfam, Rosa Luxemberg(Germany), Holland, and others.]
If this bill passes the Knesset, police will be able to stop and search anyone who is in a place prone to violence. Police will have authority to stop and frisk innocent people, who are not suspected of an offense. They simply need to think that the person may have a weapon.
This law would severely undermine individual liberties and the right of people to be in public spaces without fear of arbitrary abuse. International experience demonstrates that in countries with similar legislation, minority groups and women are most vulnerable to being stopped and searched. Without proper cause, police rely on stereotypes and prejudice – ultimately leading to discrimination and abuse.
Letter from Sharon Abraham-Weiss, Executive Director (October 19, 2015)
An atmosphere of incitement, racism and violence has taken over the public sphere, and I regret the fact that public representatives are not doing enough to fight it. It is clear that undermining the most fundamental right to life pains us all. Our hearts are with the families of the victims of the attacks and those injured on both sides. The government must ensure the safety of its citizens and the lives of the Palestinians in the territories and in East Jerusalem. Public representatives must combat incitement and protect human rights and the rule of law – by which the resilience of democratic countries is measured. However the opposite appears to be happening.
“You must shoot to kill those who take out a knife or screwdriver…” said MK Yair Lapid. Jerusalem Chief of Police Moshe Edri elaborated: “The police do their jobs and arrive quickly. In under a minute and half, the terrorist is already killed. Anyone who stabs Jews or harms the innocent – shall be killed.” This statement cannot be taken lightly. The most senior official of the Jerusalem police has explicitly called for taking revenge against those who have stabbed Jews by killing them. When public figures encourage citizens to walk around armed in public, the danger only increases. The State of Israel is a state of law, and consequently the army and police must stop those violating the law and bring them to justice.
[2013-15 donors include: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Christian Aid (UK), Switzerland, France, CCFD (France), Medico International (Germany),Misereor (Germany), AECID (Spain), EU, ICCO (Netherlands), Norway, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Open Society Institute, New Israel Fund, and others.]
Over the past few weeks, as part of the Israeli government’s means of coping with the current wave of terror, we found out that dozens of new roadblocks were set up in the South Hebron Hills. In the photos below you can see different types of roadblocks, such as boulders that have been placed in the middle of dirt roads; in this case on the only dirt road that connects the village of Susiya and the city of Yatta.
Having served in the region and having conducted tours to the South Hebron Hills for over a decade, we are very familiar with this area. We know that blocking the roads and trails that connect Palestinian villages harms the entire Palestinian population, and does not actually prevent anyone from attacking Israelis.
The various restrictions of movement that have sprung up across the territories, are simply another form of collective punishment against all Palestinians. Unfortunately, it’s clear that none of these restrictions improve Israeli security.
[2012-15 donors include: European Union, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), DanChurch Aid (Denmark), Catholic Relief Services (US), Norway, Christian Aid Ireland, Diakonia (Sweden), Bread for the World- EED (Germany), ZIVIK (Germany), France, UK, UNICEF, UNDP, the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund, and others.]
Attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians (November 19, 2015)
Palestinians today (Thursday, November 19, 2015) killed five people in shooting and stabbing attacks in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion, and injured 11 others. B’Tselem expresses its shock and pain at the loss of civilian lives, sends its deepest sympathies to the families of those killed, and wishes the injured a speedy and full recovery. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians and reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and refrain from stirring up violence.
Father and son killed in gunfire attack by Palestinians in South Hebron Hills (News: November 15, 2015)
B’Tselem expresses its shock over Friday (13 November 2015) morning’s attack in which Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son Netanel were killed and the mother and another son lightly injured, when Palestinians fired at the car carrying seven members of the Litman family through the South Hebron Hills. Three daughters suffered anxiety attacks.
B’Tselem conveys its condolences to the family and strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. B’Tselem reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and refrain from stirring up violence.
High proportion of injuries from live fire at protests in Ramallah area in Oct. raises concern of disproportionate and unlawful gunfire (Investigation: November 2, 2015)
Since the current round of violence began in early October, B’Tselem has been following with concern the sharp rise in the number of Palestinian casualties hit by Israeli gunfire during demonstrations. B’Tselem’s investigation shows that, to date, five Palestinians have been killed by shots fired by Israeli security forces in the course of demonstrations and clashes in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem). Hundreds more have been injured. The proportion of individuals hit by live ammunition is particularly high. In addition, an unusually high proportion of those injured by rubber-coated metal bullets were hit in the upper body, placing their lives in jeopardy, despite open-fire orders restricting shooting to the lower extremities.
Video: Palestinian youth violently and wrongfully arrested for five days because the Israeli Police didn’t bother to check his alibi (Press Release: October 23, 2015)
On 6 October 2015, while Ansar ‘Asi, 25, was at work at a cleaning products company in al-Bireh, clashes between soldiers and Palestinian youth took place in the area. At a certain point, as ‘Asi was standing at the entrance to the storage room, soldiers spotted him and began to violently arrest him, kicking and assaulting him with their rifles. The incident was captured on the company’s security cameras. ‘Asi required medical treatment and was taken to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital on 7 October 2015.
Footage from Hebron: Israeli military enables 5-day settler attack (October 19, 2015)
B’Tselem video footage indicates that for five days, from 6 through 10 October 2015, groups of young Israelis from the settlement of Kiryat Arba came every afternoon and evening to the fence separating the settlement from the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi a-Nasarah in Hebron and threw stones and glass bottles at the houses by the fence. Settler attacks intensified after two stabbing attacks by Palestinians in Hebron: On the afternoon of 8 October 2015 a Palestinian stabbed a settler at the western entrance to Kiryat Arba, severely wounding him before fleeing the scene. Another attack took place in the same spot around noon on 9 October. A Border Police officer sustained slight injuries, the Palestinian perpetrator was shot to death.
In 13 incidents over the past two weeks, Palestinians were shot to death for stabbing or attempting to stab Israelis , or when suspected of doing so. In two of these cases, video footage published by the media raises grave concern that the security forces shot to kill even when it was clear that the Palestinians no longer posed a threat and could be apprehended in other ways.
The wave of stabbing attacks against Israelis is shocking, and security forces must protect the public by apprehending Palestinians suspected of such actions. Security forces have the authority to use the minimal amount of force necessary to achieve that end, according to the circumstances, but law enforcement officers cannot act as both judges and executioners. In the two cases described above, there is cause for grave concern that the security forces shot the suspects not to stop them in their tracks, but to kill them. Given politicians’ support of such conduct and the public mood of condoning the killing of Palestinian suspects, such incidents are bound to recur.
In view of mounting violence, B’Tselem expressses its deep shock at contempt for human life and strongly condemns it; while individuals are responsible for their own particular actions, the government bears responsibility for the reality of the Occupation (Press Release: October 13, 2015)
The Occupation is now in its 49th year. Recent weeks have seen dozens of horrific attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, carried out in Israel and the West Bank. The death toll and the number of injured are both on the rise: this morning’s shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the city of Ra’anana in central Israel left more Israelis dead and injured. Yesterday, Israeli casualties included a 13-year-old boy who sustained life-threatening injuries. And the awful news just goes on and on. Anyone would find such violence shocking and reprehensible.
Meanwhile, Israeli government officials and others in position of authority have been calling explicitly to “shoot to kill”, so the lives of Palestinians suspected of perpetrating attack are forfeit, even when they no longer pose a threat. To date, more than ten people have been shot to death when suspected of perpetrating attacks. Also, Palestinian passersby have been attacked in several Israeli cities: yet no one fired at their attackers, with police showing unaccountable restraint, or perhaps indifference, in view of these acts of violence. Anyone would find such violence shocking and reprehensible.
Absolute renunciation of violence is essential, but it cannot stand alone. Time and again the government represents the current wave of violence as an eruption of hatred that occurred apart from any background context, one that must be quelled with whatever force necessary. At the same time, the government rejects out of hand any responsibility for the situation. Yet the events of recent weeks cannot be viewed in a vacuum, isolated from the reality of the ongoing, daily oppression of 4 million people, with no hope of change in sight. At present, Israelis are exposed to untenable violence, but the status quo almost all Israelis have come to see as acceptable in fact exposes millions of Palestinians to violence that is a consequence of the very regime of occupation, with its inherent features of oppression, dispossession and the trampling of rights. The proposed plans to “impose a closure” on the Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem or a military rule within the Green Line (i.e., on sovereign Israeli territory) are the very inverse of what ought to be done. It would mean expanding the practices of Occupation rather of taking actions to end them. People who strive for a future in which the recent events will no longer form a part of a horrific routine, must take a look at the horrific routine that is the Occupation.
Video documentation: Soldiers escorting Yitzhar settlers on violent rampage (Press Release: October 8, 2015)
Subsequent to the attack in which Palestinians killed Eitam and Naama Henkin, settlers attacked Palestinians and their property in many parts of the West Bank. Large groups of settlers approached villages in the Nablus area and threatened their residents, threw stones at them, set fire to fields and olive groves and vandalized property. The attacks began with news of the killing, and went on for several days in a row. Dozens of settlers descended from Yitzhar to the villages Burin and ‘Urif, and B’Tselem volunteers in the villages documented the events with video cameras. Footage shows that soldiers were present at the scene throughout the incidents, but did not prevent attacks or arrest perpetrators. On the contrary, the soldiers accompanied settlers on their rampage, and used crowd-control weapons against Palestinian youth from the villages, who threw stones at the settlers in order to push them back.
Demolition of attackers’ family homes- government policy of vengeance against innocents continues with High Court approval (Press Release: October 7, 2015)
Since the beginning of the occupation, the Israeli military has demolished hundreds of homes as a means of punishing family members of Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israelis or were suspected of doing so. This policy has left thousands of people, including young children, homeless, despite the fact that they themselves were neither guilty nor suspected of committing an offense. In 2005, the military decided to halt this policy after a committee appointed within Israel’s security establishment found that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages. House demolitions resumed in July of 2014, after three yeshiva students were kidnapped and killed in the Bethlehem area earlier that year. The justification given for resuming the policy was that there had been a radical change in the situation. Since then, Israel has demolished four homes and sealed two as a punitive measure.
The policy of demolishing the family homes of attackers constitutes collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law. Despite the fact that this measure is extreme and despite the clear view held by legal scholars in Israel and abroad that the it is illegal, it has been repeatedly sanctioned by Israel’s High Court. Demolishing or sealing a home is a draconian, vindictive measure directed at entire families who have done nothing and are suspected of nothing.
According to media reports, yesterday, 3 Oct. 2015, a Palestinian youth stabbed and killed Israeli civilian Nehemia Lavi and soldier Aharon Bennett in the Old City in East Jerusalem. He also severely wounded Bennett’s wife, Adele, and lightly injured their infant son, Natan.
B’Tselem expresses shock at the killing, conveys its sincerest condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes the wounded mother and son a speedy recovery.
B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all intentional assaults against Israeli or Palestinian civilians. Israeli security forces are obligated to deploy to prevent acts of retaliation.
Attacks on Israeli Civilians by Palestinians (Article: October 2, 2015)
According to media reports, in the evening hours of Thursday, 1 October 2015, Palestinians fired at an Israeli car that was driving along the Madison Route, the road linking the settlements of Alon Moreh and Itamar, in the Northern West Bank, near the Palestinian village of Beit Furiq. Eitam and Naama Henkin, a couple in their thirties, who were in the car with their four children, aged four months to nine years, were injured by the gunfire and rescue workers who arrived at the scene pronounced them dead. The children, who witnessed their parents’ killing, were unhurt. B’Tselem expresses shock at the killing and conveys its sincerest condolences to the Henkin family.
B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all intentional assaults against Israeli or Palestinian civilians.
Following the attack, area settlers assaulted with stones Palestinian cars and an ambulance and threw stones at Palestinian homes in the southern part of the village of Burin, which is close to the Yitzhar settlement. Israeli security forces are obligated to deploy to prevent additional revenge attacks by settlers against the Palestinian population.
Caritas Jerusalem calls for calm (News: October 21, 2015)
The latest upswing began with a string of stabbing attacks on Israelis as Palestinian anger rose over perceived Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque.
The bloodshed is taking place against a background of tensions caused by the continued building of new settlements, the confiscation of land and the construction of the separation wall and “almost the end of the peace process and the death of the two state solution”.
“The only way out of this terrible situation is to have a clear vision and courageous decision to come back to the negotiating table with a clear time table and objective”.
And that means: “End the occupation as soon as possible, once and for all. Give hope to both sides instead of a situation of despair in which we are currently living.”
Stop Escalation of West Bank Violence (October 9, 2015)
Caritas Jerusalem is increasingly concerned about the escalating violence in the West Bank between Israeli settlers and Palestinians. Incidents have been reported in over 50 locations in recent weeks, from stone throwing, arson, use of fire arms and clashes in contact points in Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jaffa and Nazareth.
Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has condemned the recent wave of violence which he says can only lead to more bloodshed.
Fr. Raed Abusahlia, General Director of Caritas Jerusalem, said that neither Israelis and Palestinians want to escalate the situation but are hostage to the tensions caused by the daily clashes, the expansion of the settlements, confiscation of land and an end to the peace process and failure if the two state solution to be implemented.
[Website lists donors including: Diakonia (Sweden), Medico International (Germany), Bread for the World (Germany), The United Church of Canada, Kvinna Till Kvinna (Sweden), Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), SIVMO (Netherlands), European Commission, ICCO (Netherlands), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Switzerland, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Foundation (EMHRF), Norwegian Church Aid, Rosa Luxemberg Foundation (Germany), and others.]
Facebook Post: October 17, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
Arabs and Jews want to live in security. True security, without occupation and without killing. We knw that only with a just resolution of the conflict can we stop the killing and the hatred, to build a different reality and ensure security.
The terrible violence in the streets and the fear are not created in a vacuum. This si the time to fight the source that drives the cycle of bloodshed: a regime of domination and segregation that deprives millions of Palestinians of their rights to independence and equality.
Facebook Post: October 7, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
You can call it collective punishment, or revenge. In the end, 13 people lost their homes, over half of them children (sharing a photo of a home demolition).
Recent weeks have seen a wave of uncoordinated deliberate attacks, predominantly by young Palestinians against Israeli nationals. To date 8 Israelis have been killed.
Since 1 October, Israeli forces have killed 30 Palestinians, including 7 children while thousands of Palestinians have been injured as a result of the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces in Gaza, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Beyond the excessive use of force, the Israeli authorities have also adopted successive measures aimed at suppressing the legitimate right of Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, to protest against the government’s policies and exercise their right to freedom of expression. This has included arbitrary arrests, preventive arrests of protest organisers, the arrest of parents of protestors, and intimidation.
EuroMed Rights condemns these and all unlawful attacks against civilians, which are unjustifiable under international law. Regrettably, what is missing in the EU’s response to the current escalations has been the application of such international standards to Palestinians civilians and a consideration fot he escalations’ root causes.
[Donors include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Commission, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), UK, and British Council, as well as private foundations such as Soros’ Open Society Justice Initiative, Robert Bosch Stiftung,Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.]
Understanding Israeli-Palestinian violence (Commentary: October 19, 2015)
One, of course, is the age of those involved in violence. In the first half of October, none of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli forces was older than 23. These are the ‘Oslo generation’ born and raised after the 1993-1995 agreements that have given rise to the current status quo: the division of the West Bank into several areas separated from one another and from Jerusalem; the birth of the Palestinian Authority and of its security forces; the gradual impoverishment of the Palestinian economy and the increasing absence of freedom of movement.
While keeping its commitment to a two-state solution, Europe should start discussing how it can work to better guarantee the human rights of all the individuals living in what is currently a single political space where human beings have now different rights and legal status based on the ethnic group in which they were born. As in other parts of the world, European cities included, alienation and disenfranchisement breed violence and instability. Precisely for this reason, Europe should conduct its bilateral dialogue with Israel on this issue without appearing to hold the moral high-ground.
Israel/Palestine: Woman Dies after Checkpoint Delay (News: October 21, 2015)
Israeli police began erecting checkpoints and closing roads in East Jerusalem on October 14, following a series of stabbing and shooting attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces, many of them by residents of East Jerusalem. The attacks come in the context of an escalation of violence, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians, clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces, rocket fire from Gaza, and Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Israeli forces and civilians have killed more than 40 Palestinians since October 1. Palestinian attackers have killed eight Israeli Jews, and one Eritrean asylum seeker was killed by an Israeli security guard and an angry crowd of Israelis who mistook him for an attacker.
Human Rights Watch Investigator Shot (News Release: October 11, 2015)
“Indiscriminate or deliberate firing on observers and demonstrators who pose no imminent threat violates the international standards that bind Israeli security forces,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “It is particularly troubling when those seeking to monitor the security forces’ conduct are among the casualties.”
It comes during an escalation of violence that began with the shooting death of two Israeli settlers in the West Bank on October 1. Since then, there have been attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, and demonstrations that started in the West Bank but spread to Gaza, where Palestinians protested near the border with Israel.
Israel/Palestine: Gunfire Kills Child at Protest (News Release: October 8, 2015)
Israeli security forces apparently shot to death a Palestinian boy during a demonstration near the West Bank town of Bethlehem on October 5, 2015. The shooting raises concerns about the excessive use of lethal force by security forces.
“The death of a child after security forces used live ammunition against demonstrators should be a wake-up call for Israeli officials,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Israel needs to ensure that its police and army comply with international standards for the use of force.”
When policing demonstrations, Israel security forces should abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. The Basic Principles provide that all security forces shall, as far as possible, apply nonviolent means before resorting to force. Whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, the authorities must use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense.
Israel/Palestine: Killing of Israeli Couple (News Release: October 3, 2015)
The killing of an Israeli couple in the occupied West Bank on October 1, 2015, apparently by members of a Palestinian armed group, is a serious violation of the laws of war. The Israeli authorities should prosecute those responsible and ensure that Palestinian civilians are protected from retaliatory attacks.
In what appeared to be a response to the shooting, unidentified assailants set fire to a car in a Palestinian village outside Ramallah and defaced a nearby house with graffiti calling for revenge. There were additional reports of attacks by Israeli settlers in various parts of the West Bank. The Israeli army, which controls law enforcement in the West Bank, should fulfill its duty to protect Palestinian civilians and civilian property, Human Rights Watch said.
Over nearly five decades, Israel has settled hundreds of thousands of its citizens in the West Bank, in violation of the international law prohibiting an occupying power from transferring its civilian population to occupied territory. That illegal act, however, does not deprive Israeli settlers of their civilian status.
“Civilian residents of Israeli settlements in the West Bank are protected under international law and not subject to attack,” Whitson said. “But Israel still has an obligation to remove them from the unlawful settlements.”
Interview with Ir Amim Executive Director (October 15, 2015)
“Every Israeli with a friend or contact in East Jerusalem – this is the time to pick up the telephone, send an email, to ask what’s happening and to give a word of support. These small acts are important during these violent days – at Ir Amim we are continuing our work with Palestinians in Jerusalem. We understand how important dialogue is right now.”
“The Temple Mount is the main trigger – the moment something happens there it releases the frustration the Palestinians feel about their lives – the neglect of neighborhoods by the authorities, the difficulties of living with the status of residents [and not as citizens], the racism in the city, and of course the tough reaction from the security services towards them.”
Tweet: October 14, 2015
Translation: The Shuafat crossing has been closed. Residents of the refugee camp are cut off from Jerusalem.
How to Remove Jerusalem from the Current Cycle of Violence (Translated from Hebrew; Release: September 29, 2015)
For a year and a half Jerusalem has been in a crisis of violence. The lack of political prospects, the tension on the Temple Mount, and the distress in Palestinian neighborhoods are the background for the wave of violence, while the conduct during the crisis obviously has a large impact on its development. Most of the Israeli public believes that the violence comes only from the direction of the Palestinians and occurs in a vacuum, and that there is therefore no choice but to use force to ensure security in the city. Naturally, however, the picture is more complex… Now, at the new peak of the ongoing violence, it is essential that civilian bodies not stand idly by…It is particularly important now to act in ways of understanding and dialogue even during a complex reality such as this, in the spirit of the practical suggestions that are found in the paper below.
- There are steps that the authorities should take, but it is important that civilian bodies do not withdraw from the situation out of a sense that this is a security challenge that is not within their jurisdiction. Security forces have their role, and civil society has hers.
- Return to the steps that have proven successful over the past year- Taking care to strictly maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif in that the Israeli government is required to: remove all restrictions on the entry of Muslims, take decisive actions against provocations in the area, particularly by public officials.
- Directing resources to a significant improvement of infrastructure and services in the Palestinian neighborhoods in coordination with the residents and their elected committees.
- Avoid unnecessary steps that will provoke violence- Refrain from collective punishment; end support for authorities that take aggressive steps in Palestinian neighborhoods.
- Decisive public actions against Jewish incitement and violence.
- Foster and strengthen ties with Palestinian neighborhoods, right now! Call the local leaders, go visit. Visit the Israeli border neighborhoods suffering from violence, strengthen the residents, calm the uproar, encourage restraint and tolerance on both sides, and support non-violent civil conflicts.
[JVP’s funding sources are not transparent and its website carries no information on its donors. JVP has received funding from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (an Arab-American foundation that also supports Electronic Intifada), the Firedoll Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, which all contribute to numerous anti-Israel groups.]
Reuters Analysis: Seven Israelis and 27 Palestinians, including nine alleged attackers and eight children, have died in recent wave. What is behind the terrible attacks leaving devastated Palestinian and Jewish Israeli families in its wake? Maybe nearly 50 years of worsening occupation, a stunning Palestinian death toll at the hands of the occupying forces, and peace talks that have led nowhere? Reuters analysis says this is “mostly being carried out by teenagers, female as well as male, without political ties or apparent coordination from above.”
JVP Statement on State of Emergency in Jerusalem and the West Bank (Statement: October 4, 2015)
Jewish Voice for Peace mourns the lives lost in violent attacks, both Palestinian and Israeli, in the last days and weeks.
We are deeply alarmed by the escalated level of collective punishment being imposed on Palestinians by both settlers and the Israeli Army. In the last 24 hours, the IDF has used live fire in Jenin and elsewhere in the West Bank, wounding over 100 Palestinians. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has declared a state of emergency after their staff and ambulances were attacked 14 times in the last 72 hours.
[According to available information, donors include: European Commission, UK, Australia, Ireland, Trocaire (Ireland), Netherlands, UNICEF, UN Central Emergency Response Fund, The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and Big Lottery Fund (Britian).]
MAP condemns raid on Hebron hospital (News: November 13, 2015)
Amid continuing turmoil in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a Palestinian man has been shot dead by Israeli security forces inside a hospital in Hebron in the early hours of Thursday morning.
This is the latest in a series of raids on Palestinian hospitals by Israeli forces, coming after Al Mekassed hospital in Jerusalem was raided twice by soldiers demanding that staff hand over the medical notes of patients who had been treated there. In a later incident, teargas and other projectiles were fired by soldiers inside the hospital compound during a peaceful protest against the raids by hospital staff.
Reacting to yesterday’s incident, MAP CEO Tony Laurance said: “This dreadful attack is another disgraceful violation of individual rights and international law. Coming after a string of incursions into Palestinian hospitals, it shows wanton disregard for the protected status of hospitals and medical personnel. These incidents must be investigated and those responsible held to account.”
MAP to provide $100,000 emergency medical aid to West Bank hospitals (News: October 16, 2015)
The violence which has erupted this month across the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – and Gaza has now claimed the lives of 44 Palestinians and 9 Israelis, and caused hundreds of injuries. The majority of these have come at protests, where Palestinians have suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and have been hit by both rubber bullets and live ammunition. Reports also surfaced this week of an elderly Palestinian women dying after being delayed at an Israeli checkpoint in East Jerusalem, after suffering an asthma attack brought on by teargas use in her neighbourhood.
“Until the Palestinians are freed from the injustice and degradation of occupation, with a viable and truly sovereign state that guarantees the human rights of its population, this conflict will continue”
Palestinians injured and ambulances attacked as clashes hit West Bank (News update: October 6, 2015)
Almost 700 Palestinians have been injured in clashes which have erupted in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A number of Palestinians have been killed, including a thirteen year old boy from Aida camp in Bethlehem who was reportedly shot yesterday by Israeli forces. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reports that 47 Palestinians have been shot with live rounds and 189 with rubber-coated steel bullets.
The PRCS have also declared a ‘State of Emergency’ after a number of its ambulances and medical teams were attacked by Israeli security forces and settlers over the past week.
Medic in harm’s way amid West Bank clashes (News update: October 9, 2015)
As clashes continue to rock the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with four Palestinians dead and hundreds injured, even those seeking to help the wounded have found themselves in harm’s way. Since 2nd October, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have reported 30 attacks against their ambulances and medics in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These, according to their regular updates, include attacks by settlers; Israeli Security Forces firing live ammunition, teargas canisters and rubber bullets at ambulances; and delays at checkpoints while carrying severely injured patients.
As the violence and tensions get worse in Israel, we are working to amplify voices calling for calm.
Yesterday, we approved an emergency grant to the Coalition Against Racism to help them get their message of mutual respect heard, to push moderate voices in the mainstream Israeli media, and to organize joint Jewish-Arab events during this time of crisis.
No Comfort in Revenge (News Article: October 12, 2015)
On Saturday night hundreds of Israelis came out for a rally, “There is no comfort in revenge,” in the center of Jerusalem. The protest opposed the escalating violence in Israel.
NIF is proud to have supported this important demonstration.
Many of the attendees were Orthodox Jews who cited Judaic sources to support the message of human dignity, tolerance, and mutual respect for all the region’s peoples and warn of the dangers of racism, incitement, revenge, and violence.
Statement on Recent Events (October 11, 2015)
We are witnessing a grave escalation of violence in Israel and in the occupied territories, starting with individual attacks and now progressing to acts of revenge and confrontation. We condemn and deplore this escalation, which also threatens to further damage the prospects for a shared society of Jews and Arabs in Israel, so vital to Israel’s existence.
Let us not bury our heads in the sand. When Palestinians have no hope for an end to forty-eight years of occupation, the waves of individual and collective violence will most likely continue. Therefore, despite the pain of the past few weeks, the Israeli government’s most urgent task is to work towards promoting a diplomatic solution of the core issues of the conflict. Neither repression of protest nor boycotts of Israel’s Arab minority nor collective punishment will result in greater peace and safety. Expanding the building of settlements in the occupied territories cannot be the answer to violence, and indeed will only spur more terrorist activity.
The terrorist attack last night is sickening and horrifying. Two parents shot on a West Bank road while their four children witnessed the incident from the backseat. All of us mourn the deaths Eitam and Naama Henkin. All of us are consumed with concern for their children. We pray for an end to this senseless violence.
[Donors include: the European Union, UN OCHA, Ireland, Denmark, and Norway, NGO Development Center (joint funding from the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark), Open Society Foundations (US), Christian Aid (UK), Grassroots International (US), Kvina Till Kvina (Sweden), Al-Quds Association Malaga (Spain), Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), and DanChurchAid (Denmark).]
In view of the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), on Thursday dawn, 12 November 2015, Israeli forces committed a cold-blooded crime at al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, as a group of Israeli undercover agents “Mosta’rebeen”, who are well-known for carrying out dozens of extra-judicial executions following the al-Aqsa Intifada. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) stresses that the Israeli forces’ attack on the aforementioned hospital constitutes a flagrant violation of article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which provides, “Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict”. Moreover, PCHR highlights that not holding the perpetrators accountable by the international community has made Israel above the law.
Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (05-11 November 2015) (Report: November 12, 2015)
As part of the continuing Israeli threats made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against civilians in occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the decision to withdraw the Jerusalemite ID from thousands of Palestinian civilians, the Israeli forces have continued to implement more punitive measures and retaliatory acts against Palestinians in the city. Under the pretext of security deterioration since early October, the Israeli authorities started imposing additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs and villages. These measures included fixing iron detector gates and police checkpoints inside the Old City neighborhoods and at entrances leading to them. In a latest development, Israeli forces closed the entrances to a number of the city’s suburbs and villages.
Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (14-21 Oct. 2015) (Update: October 22, 2015)
Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
License to Kill: Israeli Forces Kill 5 Palestinians, Including 2 Children, in Less than 12 Hours (News: October 21, 2015)
With the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israeli forces have continued to flagrantly commit more crimes and violations against the Palestinian civilians. In less than 12 hours, Israeli forces killed four Palestinian civilians, including two children, from Hebron and a fifth in the Gaza Strip. This escalation coincides with the Israeli arbitrary and coercive measures in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs to isolate the Arab neighborhoods in application of a series of the Israeli Cabinet’s decisions. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns with the strongest terms the Israeli forces’ disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, shooting-to-kill policy in suspicion of attempts to stab Israeli soldiers and settlers, and the arbitrary policies applied in occupied Jerusalem.
Palestinian victims killed by Israeli forces since 02 October 2015 (Update: October 18, 2015)
Israeli Forces Continue to Shed Palestinian Blood in oPt (Update: October 17. 2015)
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms how the Israeli forces and police have continued to shed the Palestinian blood in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), especially in occupied East Jerusalem. In the past 3 days, eight Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed; five of whom were killed in cold blood after they attempted to carry out stabbings according to Israeli allegations. The three others were killed in other shooting incidents during peaceful confrontations; two of whom were killed in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, another Palestinian civilian succumbed to injuries he sustained last week in the Gaza Strip. In the past 3 days also, 220 Palestinian civilians were wounded, including 12 children, 2 journalists and 2 paramedics. PCHR thus condemns these crimes and calls upon the international community to take immediate action and fulfill its legal and moral obligations to protect the Palestinian civilians in the oPt. PCHR believes that the silence of the international community towards these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policy that violates the international humanitarian law.
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08-13 Oct. 2015) (Update: October 14, 2015)
Wilful killings have been rising in occupied East Jerusalem
8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed and 183 others were wounded in Jerusalem.
Israeli forces have escalated the use of excessive lethal force against peaceful protests in occupied Palestinian territory.
On the same day, Israeli police officers opened fire at Ishac Badran (16), from Kufor Aqeb village, north of East Jerusalem, after he had stabbed 2 settlers in al-Mesrara area, opposite to al-Amoud Gate in the Old City in East Jerusalem. As a result, he sustained several bullet wounds and was left bleeding to death without being offered medical treatment.
Also on the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at Mohammed Ali (19), from Shu’fat refugee camp, after he stabbed 2 Israeli special police officers from “Yasam” Unit in al-Amoud Gate area in the Old City in East Jerusalem. As a result, he was killed by several bullets.
On 12 October 2015, Israeli forces opened fire at Mostafa al-Khateeb (18), from Sour Baher village, south of East Jerusalem, once he stepped out of his car near al-Asbat Gate, which is one of the Old City gates in the city. As a result, he was killed by several bullets.
On the same day, Israeli forces opened fire at Hassan Mahayna (Manasra) (15) and deliberately ran down his cousin, Ahmed Mahayna (Manasra) (13), both are from Beit Hanina village, north of East Jerusalem. They were heading to a mall near their family houses in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement. As a result, the first child was killed by several bullets and the other one sustained serious wounds. Israeli forces claimed that the 2 boys stabbed 2 settlers.
On 13 October 2015, an Israeli security guard fired 3 bullets at Alaa Abu Jamal (33), from al-Mukaber Mountain, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, at a bus stop on “Malkhei Yisrael” Street in West Jerusalem. In the meanwhile, an Israeli Border Guard officer arrived and killed Abu Jamal by a number of live bullets. Abu Jamal’s car belonging to Israeli phone company “Bezeq” deviated towards 3 Israelis at the abovementioned bus stop. He then stepped out of the car holding a knife and stabbed a number of Israelis at the bus stop.
On the same day, Baha’ Elayan (22) was killed and Belal Ghanem (23) was wounded, both are from Jabal al-Mukaber village, southeast of Jerusalem, while carrying out a shooting and stabbing attack in an Israeli bus in al-Mukaber Mountain. Ghanem has been at an Israeli hospital after he sustained serious wounds while being under arrest.
Videos and Photos Showing Israeli Violations Against Palestinian Civilians (Update: October 14, 2015)
Social media publishes videos and photos about the atrocities and crimes committed by Israeli forces, police officers and settlers against the Palestinian civilians. These incidents have increased lately following the ongoing escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) along with shooting incidents and employment of excessive lethal force in confronting protests.
In some cases, Israeli forces claim that shootings or other practices were carried out in response to the Palestinians’ attempts to stab Israelis. However, the videos and photos showing the employment of excessive force reflect shooting-to-kill policy in violation of the international standards.
Child Killed and His Cousin Seriously Wounded Amidst Settlers’ Cry “Die” and “David Red Star” Ambulance Deliberate Delay (Press Release: October 13, 2015)
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the crime committed by Israeli forces on Monday, 12 October 2015, in occupied East Jerusalem, which resulted in killing Hassan Khaled Mahayna (Manasra) (15), from Beit Hanina village, north of the city. Moreover, PCHR condemns the deliberate delay made by the David Red Star ambulance crew to offer first aid to his cousin, who was deliberately run over by Israeli forces. PCHR warns against the increasing number of killings among Palestinian civilians, including children and girls, in the occupied city on the grounds of suspicion of carrying out stabbings against Israeli forces and settlers. This crime was committed few hours after the killing of Mostafa al-Khateeb (18), from Sour Baher village, south of occupied Jerusalem…
Israeli Forces Continue to Kill Palestinians on grounds of Alleged Stabbing Attempts (Press Release: October 12, 2015)
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the crime committed by Israeli forces on Monday morning, 12 October 2015, in occupied East Jerusalem, which resulted in killing Mostafa al-Khateeb on the grounds of suspicions, as this crime amounts to extra-judicial execution. Committing such crimes as a policy adopted by Israeli forces is a translation of the decisions taken by the Israeli government and statements made by its members inciting for killing Palestinian civilians, who carry out and/or attempt to carry out stabbings against Israeli forces, police and settlers. Furthermore, PCHR denounces this crime that is added to the series of Israeli crimes committed in East Jerusalem in particular, and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate action and fulfill its legal and moral obligations to protect the Palestinian civilians in the oPt. PCHR believes that the silence of the international community towards these crimes encourages the Israeli government to continue its policy that violates international humanitarian law.
In less Than 12 Hours, Israeli Forces Kill 4 Palestinian Civilians, Including Pregnant WOman, Her Child and another Child, and Wound 24 Others, Including 3 Children and Woman, in the Gaza Strip (Press Release: October 11, 2015)
Using excessive lethal force in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed in less than 12 hours 4 Palestinian civilians: a pregnant woman and her child in an airstrike on their house, and a young man and a child in a shooting incident. Moreover, they wounded 24 civilians, including three children and a woman. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip since Friday afternoon has increased to 11, including two children. In addition, the number of the wounded has reached 91, including 20 children and a woman.
In the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, for the second consecutive week, Israeli forces have continued to open fire at Palestinian protestors in different areas, and the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since 01 October 2015, has risen to 11 while the number of Palestinians wounded by live and metal bullets has reached 590, including 74 children, six journalists, three women and a physician. Furthermore, dozens of Palestinian civilians have suffered tear gas inhalation or sustained bruises as they were chased by Israeli soldiers.
10 Palestinian Civilians Killed and 187 Civilians Wounded, Including 27 Children, Physician and Turkish Journalist, by Israeli Forces in the oPt; Seven of the Victims Were Killed in the Gaza Strip in Few Hours (Press Release: October 10, 2015)
Using excessive force, on Friday, 9 October 2015, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinian civilians, and wounded 67 civilians, including 17 children and a Turkish photojournalist, in five locations near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces opened fire at hundreds and young men and children who demonstrated in protest against attacks by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In the past 48 hours, Israeli forces killed also three Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem and Hebron and wounded 120 others, including 10 children and a physician, throughout the West Bank.
Field investigations indicate that Israeli forces used excessive lethal force in the Gaza Strip in violation of the principles of proportionality and military necessity. Many of the Palestinian victims were shot in the upper parts of their bodies, reflecting an Israeli intention to cause maximum casualties among Palestinian civilians, who did not pose any serious threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers stationed in fortified military sites far away from the demonstrators.
Israeli Forces Apply Collective Punishment Policy against Families of Palestinians Attackers, Two Houses Destroyed in Jabal al-Mukaber Village and Room Closed with Concrete in al-Thawri Neighborhood in Occupied Jerusalem (Statement: October 6, 2015)
As part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli forces and/or settlers, on Tuesday morning, 06 October 2015, Israeli forces destroyed two houses in Jabal al-Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and rendered their inhabitants outdoor. They also closed a room in a house belonging to a third family in al-Thawri neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the Old City. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this crime that is added to the series of crimes committed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general…
In the same context, Israeli forces raided in the early morning a house belonging to Mo’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hejazi in al-Thawri neighborhood in the south of East Jerusalem. They surrounded the house, closed its windows with iron plates and then poured concrete in his room.
Israeli Forces Continue to Escalate Their Arbitrary Measures in the West Bank (Statement: October 5, 2015)
As part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, Nablus has witnessed since Thursday afternoon, 01 October 2015, a tightened cordon bringing to mind the cordon that was imposed on the city in the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada
…PCHR strongly condemns the willful killing of Abu Suleiman in Tulkarm, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Moreover, PCHR condemns collective punishment measures taken by the Israeli forces in the oPt and the attacks launched by Israeli settlers before the eyes of Israeli forces. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.
Since Thursday, 01 October 2015, the West Bank, especially occupied East Jerusalem, witnessed a serious escalation by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian civilians and their property. Following the killing of a settler and his wife southeast of Nablus on the abovementioned day, Israeli forces cordoned Nablus. Moreover, the settlers carried out a series of attacks on the Palestinian civilians and their cars on roads and in houses located in the outskirts of the villages adjacent to the settlements. In the context of the escalation policy and the racist incitement by settlers, on Sunday, 04 October 2015, the Israeli forces willfully killed a Palestinian civilian in Jerusalem in after he was chased and beaten by settlers. Israeli forces claimed that the victim attempted to stab a 15-year-old settler, due to which that settler sustained moderate wounds, and then he escaped to Street no. 1 before the Israeli police arrived and shot him dead. Even if the Israeli claim was true, Israeli forces could have used less force or arrested the Palestinian, especially as he walked enough distance before he was killed without posing any threat to the Israeli officers or settlers.
…Moreover, PCHR condemns collective punishment measures taken by the Israeli forces in the oPt and the attacks launched by Israeli settlers before the eyes of Israeli forces. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes
[2012 “supporters and sponsors” include: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), CAFOD (UK), CCFD (France), CRS (USA), ZIVIK (Germany), UNESCO, World Council of Churches, and “International Religious Congregations in Rome, Canada and Belgium.”]
Pax Christi International calls for end of escalating violence in Palestine and Israel (Statement: October 19, 2015)
In these days we have seen the Israeli Defence Forces and police officers using excessive force in a ‘shoot to kill’ policy against Palestinian civilians, resulting in injury and death and provoking counter-violence from the Palestinian community. If crimes are committed they must be dealt with as crimes and not as acts of war according to the rules of law enforcement. Perpetrators should be arrested.
More must be done to defuse a culture of fear and hatred. The Israeli Government and the Israeli Defence Forces are inciting and provoking extremists on both sides of the conflict in attempts to escalate violence and justify further military action. Such actions must be challenged.
Through our years of partnership in the region we have witnessed time and again the deep frustration and oppression of Palestinians who have lived with forty-nine years of illegal occupation. This is an unresolved injustice for more than four million people and we plead with the international community, including the EU and the United Nations to renew its resolve to address the root causes of the conflict. The cost of failing to do so is too great to contemplate and undermines the security of both Israeli’s and Palestinians. International protection for Palestinian civilians has emerged as a key need in this present phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The occupation should be ended in order for peace to be achieved.
[Donors include the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Diakonia (Sweden), Medico International (Germany), Bread for the World (Germany), European Union,HEKS-EPER (Switzerland), Germany, Norway, Switzerland, UNHCR (UN), and others.]
Facebook Post: October 15, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
The publication of the picture of 13-year-old Achmed from Nasir, a minor under custody, while hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Karem hospital for the purposes of propoganda by the Minister of Health and the Office of the Prime Minister is a violation of both the Youth Law and the Protection of Privacy Act. Moreover, the the photograph was taken in a medical facility, apparently with the approval of its management, in violation of the medical ethics which require medical confidentiaity and respect for the patient, whoever he is.
More serious is the fact that the public was briefed on his medical condition- while his parents had been prevented from visiting him and had not been informed about the medical condition of their son.
…we emphasize the importance of protecting the principles of medical ethics, created specifically to avoid situations where the patient’s rights would be trampled by political motives and ends. According to these principles, from the moment a wounded is hospitalized, they are first and foremost a patient, and the duty of the medical staff is to provide professional and ethical care, and to protect the rights of the patient. Hospitals are not prisons or interrogation rooms, and neither the judgment nor punishment of a patient should be carried out within them.
Facebook Post: October 12, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
In recent weeks, as a result of demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, there are an increasing number of reports of attacks from Israeli security forces on Palestinian medical personnel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So far, according to our data, there have been over 42 cases of attacks on medical teams over the course of the past 10 days- including forced removal of the wounded from ambulances, physical assault of paramedics, direct shooting at ambulances, and delay and disruption to the work of medical teams.
The protection given to medical personnel under international law is based on the principle that from the moment that a person is wounded, he is entitled to protection and medical care. This protection is intended precisely for situations of armed conflict…
In recent weeks, with the strengthening of the wave of Palestinian protest, there have been increasing numbers of reports of injury to medical personnel by the Israeli security forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Until now the data collected shows 42 instances of injury to medical personnel between October 2-October 11.
Facebook Post: October 11, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
In recent weeks we have witnessed more incidents involving Palestinians that within a split second turn into a mega-event, which is immediately handled by shooting a suspect, either to wound or to kill [sic]. Instead of reacting according to the different nature of events, police officers and soldiers react both as judges and executioners. The default is killing, regardless of the actual danger posed by the attacker or suspect at the given moment…This practice is backed by government ministers and public officials who inflame the situation and authorize the spilling of the blood of Palestinians.
[Donors include the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Diakonia (Sweden), Medico International (Germany), Bread for the World (Germany), European Union,HEKS-EPER (Switzerland), Germany, Norway, Switzerland, UNHCR (UN), and others.]
RHR Mourns the Death of 5 Murdered Today by Palestinian Extremists (November 19, 2015)
Rabbis for Human Rights mourns the death five people murdered today in two separate attacks by Palestinian extremists – one in Tel Aviv and one near Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. The dead are Reuven Aviram from Ramle; Rabbi Aharon Yesiab from Tel Aviv; 18 year old American Ezra Schwartz, on a volunteer program in Israel; Shadi Arafa, a Palestinian man from Hebron, and an Israeli father named Yaakov Don, from Alon Shvut. We pray that God will comfort their loved ones during this awful time, and for a quick and speedy recovery for the wounded. RHR strongly condemns this senseless violence.
RHR Condemns Shooting at Beersheva Bus Station (Statement: October 19, 2015)
RHR strongly condemns the shooting yesterday in the Beersheva central bus station and mourns with the family of Sgt Omri Levy who was murdered in the attack. We send our prayers for a quick and full recovery to the injured.
We also wish to express our shock and sadness over the murder of Habtom Zarhum, an Eritrean asylum seeker mistakenly shot by a security guard who believed him to be an assailant. Mr Zarhum was then brutally beaten, spit upon, and hit with a bench by a mob of angry Israelis, who also attempted to block medical treatment for him, believing him to be a terrorist. He later died of his wounds. Mr Zarhum came to our country seeking refugee, and died a terrible death at the hands of our citizens. We call upon the police for a full investigation into this shameful event.
RHR Deeply Mournes the Loss of Two Israelis this Morning (October 13, 2015)
RHR deeply mourns the loss of life of two Israelis this morning (October 13th) in terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, and prayers for the quick and full recovery of those injured from attacks throughout the country this morning. We condemn these attacks in the strongest of terms – there is no worse human rights violation than the taking of lives. We mourn for our people, our nation and our region and pray that we will know hope soon.
RHR Condemns the Recent Escalating Violence in our Region (October 11, 2015)
Rabbis for Human Rights strongly condemns the escalating violence from both Palestinians and Israelis over the weekend throughout the country in general, and in the Jerusalem areas specifically. Such vile acts of terror have no place in a society, and we condemn them in the strongest terms. Our prayers are with the families of those mourning the loss of a loved one to these senseless acts, and for the quick and full recovery of the injured. May we soon see better, quieter times.
RHR Condemns Recent Murders of Israelis and Prays for the Recovery of the Injured (Statement: October 3, 2015)
Rabbis For Human Rights condemns the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin Thursday (October 1 2015) evening, and the additional murders of two Israelis in the Old City today, Saturday October 3rd. We pray for the quick recovery of those injured in the Old City stabbing today, and for the loved ones of the dead.
RHR’s Response to Recent Murders of Israelis and Subsequent Jewish Violence (Statement: October 3, 2015)
In addition to condemning the recent murders of Israelis, the greatest human rights violation of all, RHR also condemns the almost entirely unreported Jewish terror (attacks on people and cars) that came in response to Thursday’s murders throughout the West Bank that very evening.
Series of Violent Incidents Against Palestinians Follows Recent Bloody Events (Statement: October 4, 2015)
Series of violent incidents against Palestinians in the southern West Bank follows recent bloody events.
South Hebron Hills village of Bir El Id: Security forces apparently blocked the access road with rocks at the initiative of Israeli extremists.
Palestinian village of Carmel: Reports claim a group of Israelis, apparently settlers, entered the area of a local pool, escaping the guard.
Abu Kavita, near the Yatir checkpoint: Israelis threw rocks at the enclosure and broke two solar panels used to generate electricity to the village, as it is not connected to the electricity grid.
The gravest incidents have been a part of a series of bloody murders by Palestinians against Israeli Jews. All of these incidents are part of a dangerous cycle of violence in which innocent people pay the price for acts committed by extremists. Expanding the circle of hostility is not only a violation of human rights and morally bankrupt, but it also endangers us all.
Tweet: October 13, 2015
Palestinians Facing Intensified Violence (News: October 9, 2015)
Israeli military, police and settler violence against Palestinians is intensifying quickly. Over the past week, at least 900 Palestinians have been injured, at least 60 with live fire. Only today, six Palestinians in Gaza were shot dead by Israeli soldiers who opened fire on a demonstration. These peaks in lethal violence are a part of the systematic violence Palestinians are subjected to under Israel’s Apartheid regime.
Tweet: October 5, 2015
Letter to WCC member churches in Israel and Palestine (Letter: October 19, 2015)
As Christians, we must all seek an end to violence against any of God’s children, just as we seek an end to occupation and the injustices that present such formidable obstacles to peace in Israel/Palestine. Violent attacks are an unacceptable and counter-productive means of seeking justice. Proportional security measures and the rule of law are the appropriate instruments for responding to such attacks, not extra-judicial killings.
The WCC stands firmly with Christians in the Holy Land in our conviction that the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories must be brought to an end – not as a pre-condition for an end to violence, but as an essential foundation for any long-term, sustainable and just peace in the region. We lament the abject failure to provide any real political horizon for the realization of Palestinian national aspirations and for the implementation of the widely-affirmed two-state solution. The international community has stood by as successive restrictions, impositions, acquisitions, settlements and prevarications by the government of Israel have forced the prospect of a viable two-state solution to vanishing point. We lament the obvious lack of effective focus and commitment, either in Israeli domestic politics or in the international community, for addressing the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
[Donors include: EU, UK, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, Germany, Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), and others. ]
During the first days of the recent round of violence in Israel and the West Bank , Yesh Din investigators documented 29 incidents of assault on Palestinians and their property by Israeli civilians. Israeli media did not report on the incidents, since ideological violence by Israeli civilians doesn’t interest the Israeli public.
The Israeli government is definitely not concerned with this type of violence – Just two days before the recent wave of violence erupted, the prosecution informed the High Court of Justice, in response to our petition, that not only does it have no intention of removing the outpost of Adei Ad, it actually intends to legalize it.
Wave of Vigilante attacks against Palestinians; Israeli security forces obligated to prevent attacks (Statement: October 5, 2015)
Yesh Din has received dozens of complaints from Palestinian residents of the West Bank regarding attacks perpetrated by Israeli citizens following Thursday’s deadly terror attack, in which two Israeli citizens were murdered in the West Bank. Reports of attacks on Palestinian civilians have been received from all over the West Bank: attacks in the vicinity of Palestinian villages, on farmlands and even inside villages. These reports include incidents of Palestinian vehicles stoned at junctions resulting in civilians injured and cars damaged, including an ambulance in Burin; roads leading to Palestinian villages blocked off, homes inside Palestinian villages stoned; attempted arson of a home in al Khader, attempts to break into a home in Burin with metal bars; and torching of olive trees and crops.
Yesh Din condemns the attacks that took the lives of four Israeli citizens in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and hopes the murderers are apprehended and tried. Yet these attacks cannot justify vigilante acts committed against innocent citizens.
Though large numbers of Israeli security forces personnel have been stationed in the West Bank since the attack on Thursday, according to our reports, several attacks took place in their presence and without their intervention. The IDF is failing to protect Palestinian civilians and their property, as it is obligated to do. Yesh Din calls on Israeli security forces to intervene and prevent attacks against innocent civilians.
Four Palestinians, ages 13-19, have been executed in less than 32 hours. Over 500 have been injured just since Saturday, October 3rd. More than 40 have been shot with live ammunition while another 150 or more shot with rubber bullets. Fourteen ambulances have been attacked. It is for all these reasons that the Red Crescent has declared a “state of emergency.” We call it the Endless State of Emergency.
Facebook Post: October 18, 2015 (Translated from Hebrew)
In the harsh and violent reality in which we live, we want to emphasize that peace and security will not be realized in the region without the decolonization of the country and until all residents and refugees can live without the threat of deportation or prevention of return. Return of Palestinian refugees on the basis of recognition, responsibility and repair, by ways of a Jewish-Palestinian partnership, is essential for the creation of a multi-cultural democratic space and fabric of life shared by all residents of the country and the region.