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B'Tselem in brief - July 2017

Teargas fired at worshippers immediately following prayers at Wadi al-Joz, East Jerusalem. Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Activestills, 21 July 2017



Dear Friends,

My eldest son is away in Germany, studying at a university there. During the past few weeks, for the first time ever, I was actually glad that he’s away, far from Jerusalem. Ever since the shooting attack on Friday, 14 July 2017, in which three Israeli citizens killed two police officers at the Temple Mount compound (al-Haram a-Sharif), Israel has imposed severe travel restrictions in East Jerusalem. In addition, for about two weeks, restrictions were imposed on worshippers entering the al-Aqsa Mosque. These are very tense times in the city, and I’m sure all parents in East Jerusalem are worried about their children.

For days on end, the Old City was basically shut down, both because of the restrictions and because people were scared to leave their homes. The increased presence of Israeli security forces is distressing. It feels like any argument or confrontation, even a fender-bender, with a Jewish Israeli could end up with security forces taking action as though you were a terrorist. These days it’s very frightening to be the parent of a young man in East Jerusalem.

Anyone who wants to enter the Old City is delayed and detained at checkpoints and is sometimes also subjected to humiliation. A couple of days ago, at Herod’s Gate (one of the entrances to the Old City), I saw three Border Police officers shove an eighteen-year-old guy, pin him up against the wall, and do a body-search on him in full view of everyone there. Such scenes play out all the time, in a routine which sees security forces detain and search dozens, if not hundreds, of people every day.

The residents of East Jerusalem live and breathe the occupation every minute and every hour of every day. It’s 300,000 people living in a pressure cooker. To get from one neighborhood to another, you need to go through checkpoints, undergo delays, and humiliation. You even hesitate about making the short trip to Bethlehem, just a few kilometers drive from my neighborhood, because of the thought of being held up at the checkpoint.

I’ve been working at B’Tselem for thirteen years, the first six as a field researcher in East Jerusalem. I don’t remember a time this tough. For the past two years things have been tense in the city because of the increased numbers of security personnel around the Old City, but recent weeks have seen the tension skyrocket. There are noticeably fewer people out and about. In addition, in the neighborhoods that were left on the other side of the Separation Barrier, law enforcement is entirely absent and the neighborhoods have become no-man’s land, which intensifies residents’ fears.

Israeli authorities consider it valid to use unreasonable pressure against all East Jerusalem residents. Apart from the fact that that is not the way to calm the situation, these are immoral and unlawful measures of collective punishment, in which Israeli authorities consider all of us who live in East Jerusalem people whose rights, dignity and life can be harmed.


Sincerely yours,
Kareem Jubran
Field Research Director

Kareem Jubran, a married father of four, has lived most of his life in Jerusalem.



We thank the 416 people who donated $11,511 to B’Tselem in July.





B’Tselem invites you to join us at a special screening of Michal Aviad’s movie “The Women Next Door” followed by a screening of a collection of short videos shot by B’Tselem women volunteers over the past decade. These women offer a unique perspective on life under occupation, aiming their camera lens at the world around them, looking out through the window of their home, and also looking inside. The view of the personal dimension along with the violent reality that creeps in through the windows of their homes offers a singular glimpse of the reality of their lives. Click here for further information and to buy tickets.


מתחילת 2017 ישראל הרסה 89 בתים בגדה המערבית ובמזרח ירושלים והותירה 319 אנשים ללא קורת גג, 184 מתוכם קטינים.



Daily life under occupation in Hebron: Soldiers point gun at woman carrying baby, verbally assault B’Tselem volunteer.

On 25 May 2017, Israeli soldiers who claimed stones were thrown from the homes of the Da’na family in Hebron went into the area outside the homes. They detained members of the family who had just driven up, compelled them to get out of the car, pointed a gun at a woman carrying a baby, and verbally abused a B’Tselem camera volunteer. Other residents of the compound came out to see what was happening. The soldiers argued with them and then left.



  • Palestinian stabs to death 3 members of Israeli family and wounds a fourth in settlement of Halamish.

B’Tselem expresses its shock over the attack of 21 July 2017, in which Yosef Salomon, 71, his daughter, Chaya Salomon, 46, and his son, Elad Salomon, 35, were stabbed to death in their home in the settlement of Halamish by a Palestinian from the village of Kobar. Tova Salomon, 68, wife of Yosef and mother of Chaya and Elad, sustained moderate to severe injuries and was taken to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. B’Tselem conveys its condolences to the family and wishes Tova Solomon a speedy recovery. Deliberate attacks against civilians undermine every moral, legal and human standard. B’Tselem strongly condemns any and all deliberate attacks on civilians and reiterates its call to politicians and leaders to act responsibly and refrain from fanning the flames of violence.




  • Women describe what it’s like living in Gaza on just 4 hours of electricity a day.

“My washing machine broke down about two months ago, because of the irregular power supply. Before that, when we got power at regular hours, I’d set an alarm clock to get up and run a load when the power came back on at night. I’d also knead dough and bake a few dozen pita breads in an electric pita-bread pot for us and for my husband’s family. My hands ache, but we can’t afford to buy ready-made bread. When the power shut down, I’d move on to housework that doesn’t require electricity.” Khulud Jaber, a mother of five. Read her full testimony.

Iman Hassan Hamdan, a married mother of six, lives in al-Bureij Refugee Camp. She shared her story with us: “We’ve been suffering from power cuts for over ten years. In the early years, the power would go off for eight hours a day, but in recent months, the situation has deteriorated and become unbearable. Our lives and our sleep are governed by when the power comes on or goes off. Our house is roofed with metal sheets, and in the summer it’s hot as hell inside, and there’s no way to run a fan, because there’s no electricity. My children and I have to keep taking cold showers because it’s impossible to sleep otherwise, because of the heat. My baby boy, Ibrahim, sometimes gets a rash from the heat. He cries at night and can’t fall asleep.” Read her full account.

Nibal Hashish, a mother of four, talks about running a household on 4 hours of power a day on average.






Summer 2017: New movement restrictions in Hebron heighten isolation of Palestinian neighborhoods.

Since the mid-1990s, the Israeli military has imposed a policy of segregation in the center of Hebron. As part of this policy the military restricted Palestinian use of main roads: some streets are completely off limits to Palestinians – both vehicles and pedestrians –  others allow pedestrians, but not cars. In May 2017, the military decided to step up the already harsh restrictions on Palestinian movement in the city. This severe injury to tens of thousands of Palestinians constitutes collective punishment. It keeps residents from leading normal lives and makes their lives intolerable. Israel thereby promotes the ongoing silent displacement of Palestinians from the heart of Hebron.




  • Soldiers assaulted Tamer Tamimi, 23, at checkpoints twice in one day; he was abused and beaten until he lost consciousness.

On 4 June 2017, Tamer Tamimi, a 23-year-old taxi driver, underwent serious and prolonged abuse for no reason. He was detained by soldiers twice in one day, beaten and wounded to the point of needing hospitalization, and his car was filled with tear gas. The arbitrary fashion in which soldiers can detain Palestinians at checkpoints for no apparent reason, demand they obey their orders, humiliate them and use violence against them is part of daily life for Palestinians living in the West Bank. Over the years, B’Tselem has documented many similar incidents of violence and abuse which could not have taken place without the soldiers’ knowing they would be backed up by senior government and military officials, including the Military Advocate General’s Corps, and that they would never be held accountable for their actions.




  • Civil Administration confiscates water tanks and destroys pipe in Jordan Valley communities.

On 19 July 2017, military and Civil Administration came to Kh. Tall al-Himma in the northern Jordan Valley: They confiscated two water tanks and a pump from a spring used as the community’s main source of water. They had already confiscated solar panels there on July 5. The forces then went on to the community of Kh. Um al-Jmal where they cut a pipe used to bring water from a natural spring to a reservoir in the community, used for livestock and irrigation. The cruel treatment of these communities, which Israel refuses to hook up to the water system, is particularly blatant in the scorching summer heat of the Jordan Valley. 




  • Israeli Border Police officer fires sponge round at Palestinian teen’s head, then hits him in the head with a gun.

On 10 March 2017, Palestinians and Israeli security forces clashed in Silwad. A Border Police officer fired a sponge round at them, injuring D.T., 17. The officer then hit him in the head with a gun. D.T., who lost consciousness, was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, where he underwent surgery for a cranial fracture and subdural hematoma. During his 12 days in Hadassah Hospital, his parents were not allowed to approach him, and he was kept in restraints. While shocking, this case is not at all unusual, nor is the fact that no one will be held accountable, guaranteeing these injustices will continue as long as the occupation does.



  • Toddler injured by teargas Israeli soldiers and Border Police fired without justification near children and Palestinian homes, May 2017.

In two incidents in May 2017, Israeli security forces fired tear gas at civilians and homes in the West Bank, injuring a toddler and a 6-year-old child. These injuries are the direct of result of sending security forces into Palestinian villages, with no justification or need. The use of “crowd control measures” – in this case, tear gas canisters – endangers civilians, including babies, children, the elderly and medical patients. Israel relies on the fact that these measures are considered “non-lethal”. However, using them easily and indiscriminately, in circumstances that do not require their use at all, while disregarding the danger involved, may cause severe and completely unjustifiable injuries.  



B'Tselem in the Media:
+972 magazine: When Gaza has no power, we all swim in sewage
The Washington Post: This-palestinian-village-had-solar-power--until-israeli-soldiers-took-it-away
Haaretz: New Restrictions in Hebron Aim to Cut More Palestinians Off From Each Other
+972 magazine: If it quacks like a duck: NGO Monitor's ties to the Israeli government




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