B'Tselem in the Media

B'Tselem in the Media

6 Nov 2015

Despite the decision to indict the shooter and at least one other soldier, B’Tselem called the charges “a new low,” upset at the expected charges of negligence, as opposed to the more serious charges of murder or manslaughter. The NGO said Awad was unarmed when he was shot in the back while fleeing.

The state explained in its letter to the High Court that although there was a basis for manslaughter or murder charges, the likelihood of conviction on those charges was too low, as Awad’s family never turned over his body. Thus, the state was unable to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that his being shot was the cause of death.

B’Tselem criticized the state’s explanation, saying that even if it were true, the state has created structural problems and trust issues in its past handling of autopsies of Palestinians.

3 Nov 2015

Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups contend the images, many captured by amateur smartphone users, buttress long-standing allegations of excessive force — particularly amid a wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks in which top Israeli politicians and security commanders have encouraged forces to shoot to kill suspected assailants.

"There is a very clear message sent by those politicians and military commanders that this is how law enforcement should behave," said Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli group B'Tselem, which documents rights abuses.

29 Oct 2015

All the actors party to the current round of legal-administrative brutality can breathe easy: Both the particulars of the ritual and its results are a foregone conclusion. Demolitions were sanctioned, are sanctioned, will be sanctioned by the court. Then, a family – which no one claims is guilty of any wrongdoing – will find its home reduced to nothing more than a dusty pile of rubble, or perhaps poured full of concrete. Mission accomplished: People innocent of any crime will no longer be able to inhabit their home.
An op-ed by B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad.

23 Oct 2015

Soldiers beat an innocent Palestinian onlooker in a storage room during a protest just outside of Ramallah earlier this month, the Israeli non-governmental group B’Tselem charged on Friday. It distributed a video of the October 6 incident, which it posted on YouTube.

A Judea and Samaria police spokesman said that their officers were not present at the time of the incident, which was handled by the army. The soldiers charged that the Palestinian had thrown stones, but when police investigate the matter, they discovered that he was innocent of the charge and released him, the spokesman said.

23 Oct 2015

B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that monitors what it considers human rights violations by Israelis in the West Bank, released footage it said showed troops beating up a Palestinian bystander near Ramallah.
The video, captured by wall-mounted security camera, shows a young man bringing supplies into a storage room in the town of El-Bireh. Outside, several individuals can be seen moving quickly. Noticing approaching soldiers, he lifts his hands while crouching.
B’Tselem charged that the police refused to check evidence to counter the soldiers’ claim, including the video. “Only following a hearing on remand at the Ofer military court was police willing to view the footage, which was brought to them on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015,” B’Tselem said. The Palestinian filmed had spent five days in detention before being released on Oct. 11, according to the report.

9 Oct 2015

The official objective of house demolitions is to deter Palestinians from carrying out attacks by harming the relatives of those suspected of being involved in attacks against Israeli citizens or soldiers.

The people who often bear the brunt of these demolitions, however, are “relatives – including women, the elderly, and children – whom Israel does not suspect of involvement in any offense,” according to B’Tselem.

9 Oct 2015

Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli rights group B'Tselem said there is a risk that Palestinian suspects will simply be shot, even in cases where they could be arrested. A video that surfaced last week, for instance, showed Israeli police gunning down a Palestinian assailant from a distance. Perhaps he could have been stopped and arrested, she said.

26 Aug 2015

Israeli NGOs critical of the government – in particular the country’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories – are facing severe new restrictions amid a toxic political climate on the right that has sought to label them as disloyal.
Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem, speaking in a personal capacity, says: “B’Tselem has always been the target of political attacks by the right and settlers. While, in the past, the criticism was led by rightwing NGOs related to the government, now it is the government involved in these attacks.
“Regardless of what law emerges I think feature of this process – starting off with extremely draconian proposals for legislations – is that it tires out the resistance. You create a toxic and vitriolic climate where you have parts of the media depicting NGOs as traitors and leftists.
“It is damaging and creates a chilling effect in media and public. It is a scare tactic to frighten people into keeping their mouths shut. In that sense, it is very effective.”

9 Aug 2015

B’Tselem, a leftist Israeli human rights organization that generally deals with violations against Palestinians, said that the administrative detention orders were “unacceptable” and that they were “meant primarily to create a false show of firm action in order to decrease public criticism” after the Duma killings.

9 Aug 2015

B'Tselem objects to the use of administrative detention against both Israelis and Palestinians, the human rights organization's spokesperson Sarit Michaeli said Sunday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. Administrative detention is the practice by which terror suspects are jailed without trial for up to six months, during which security forces work to investigate the wider terrorist cell in which suspects operate.
Reacting to the government's recent move to approve administrative detention for suspected Jewish terrorists -- in the same way that it does for Palestinian terrorists -- Michaeli described the measure as "the worst tool in the toolbox" which she views as unacceptable, regardless of one's nationality.