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25 January 2021

More wanton shooting: two Palestinian teens injured in head by crowd control weapons

In November 2020, B’Tselem documented two incidents in which Israeli security forces injured Palestinian minors by firing crowd control weapons: Bashar Hamad (15) lost an eye during a police raid on Qalandia R.C. and Yusef Taha (17) was hit in the head during a protest in Kafr Qadum. Such wanton use of crown control weapons, which causes grave injuries, is unjustified and unlawful. Yet it has long been routine, and its dire consequences are not exceptional but the direct result of a lenient open-fire policy.
4 January 2021

2020 in the Occupied Territories: Heinous killings, settler violence and a home demolitions spike

In 2020, Israeli security forces killed 27 Palestinians, seven of them minors. In at least 11 cases, the forces fired unlawfully at Palestinians who posed no risk. Despite the pandemic, Israel ramped up demolitions in the West Bank, leaving 1,006 Palestinians, including 519 minors, homeless. This year, we documented 248 cases of settlers harming Palestinians or their property –with full state backing. This year, too, Palestinians were subjected to a daily, violent occupation routine of incursions, night raids, movement restrictions, and arrests.

30 December 2020

Israel’s open-fire policy claims another victim: sniper kills 15-year-old Palestinian

On 4 Dec. 2020, during clashes in which Palestinians threw stones at soldiers on the outskirts of al-Mughayir, a sniper fired a two-two bullet – live fire, to all intents and purposes – that hit ‘Ali Abu ‘Alia (15), who was watching from afar and not endangering anyone. The teen was hit in the abdomen from 150 meters away and taken to hospital, where he died of his wounds several hours later. This killing reflects Israel’s open-fire policy in the West Bank, which permits opening live fire even in circumstances where it cannot be justified.

23 December 2020

Soldiers try to force injured Palestinian out of ambulance during Jordan Valley protest

On 24 Nov. 2020, several dozen Palestinians and Israelis held a demonstration in the northern Jordan Valley. One was hit in the abdomen by a “rubber” bullet and put in an ambulance. Soldiers immediately opened the doors and tried to drag him out. A few minutes later, an officer ordered them to let go and he was taken to hospital. The soldiers’ violent conduct and disruption of urgent medical care cannot be considered legal. Along with the suppression of the protest, it is part of the systemic oppression of Palestinians under occupation.

3 December 2020

Soldiers raid crowded entertainment area in Sabastiya and fire “rubber” bullets and tear gas indiscriminately, costing Burqah resident his eye

Throughout October 2020, the Israeli military harassed the residents of Sabastiya, a Palestinian town northwest of Nablus. Troops periodically blocked the town’s entrances and denied entry to outsiders. Soldiers raided a crowded recreation area, hurling dozens of stun grenades and tear gas canisters and firing “rubber” bullets. One bullet hit Adham a-Sha’er (29) in the head and he lost his eye, in a grave but predictable outcome of this prohibited collective punishment, which is part of an occupation routine of violence and uncertainty.

30 November 2020

Unjustified shooting in attack that never was: Israeli security forces fatally shoot Nur Shqeir (a-Za’ayem Checkpoint, video)

On 25 Nov. 2020, Nur Shqeir (36) from Silwan arrived at a-Za’ayem Checkpoint. According to the Israel Police, after security forces suspected the documents in his possession were not his, Shqeir sped up and lightly injured an officer. The forces responded with gunfire. Shqeir drove several hundred meters and stopped. The forces ran over and one fired four shots at him from several dozen meters away, despite calls to desist. As Shqeir clearly posed no danger, this is yet another example of Israeli forces’ trigger-happy approach to Palestinians.
16 November 2020

B’Tselem Director in European Parliament: Europe must move from words to action

At a hearing in the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights this afternoon, B’Tselem’s Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad, spoke about the urgent need for determined European action, which would clarify to Israel that violating the rights of Palestinians will carry consequences: Consequences for human rights violations can be introduced through European foreign policy, by effectively using Europe’s considerable leverage. Clearly, the decision to not do so is a political choice. It undermines Europe’s commitment to human rights and weakens the rules-based international order. It normalizes oppression and dehumanizes Palestinians, because – apparently – no one has to be held accountable for their permanent subjugation.

15 October 2020

Israeli policy of bombing crowded areas in Gaza takes fresh toll: head injuries in two children and damage to homes

In August 2020, Israel bombed targets in the Gaza Strip by air and from the ground, injuring five Palestinians – four minors and a woman – and lightly damaging a school and six homes. Palestinian rocket fire injured one Israeli and lightly damaged two homes. In an Israeli airstrike on 14 August near a residential compound in al-Bureij Refugee Camp, two children aged 3 and 11 were injured in the head and four homes damaged. This policy of bombing densely-populated areas, which has caused thousands of casualties, is immoral and illegal.

14 October 2020

Border Police officer shoots into car and injures three passengers, one loses eye

On 5 Aug. 2020, Israeli Border Police officers stopped a car with three Palestinian passengers in the village of al-‘Aqrabaniyah. An officer shot at the windshield, hitting ‘Abd a-Rahman Jbarah in the head. Jbarah lost one eye and may lose sight in the other. The other passengers were injured by glass shards, briefly interrogated and released. Opening fatal fire although the passengers posed no danger is unlawful and unjustifiable, and the investigation reportedly launched is part of the whitewashing mechanism that enables these acts to recur.

23 September 2020

Soldiers ambush Palestinians teens about to plant IED, kill one and injure two

On the night of 19 Aug. 2020, Israeli soldiers lying in ambush by a road near the Palestinian village of Deir Abu Mash'al opened live fire at three teens about to set a gas balloon and car tires on fire, killing Muhammad Matar, 16, and injuring the other two. Media reports indicate that the military has decided to prevent "attempts to plant IEDs" in the area with lethal fire. This unlawful, immoral conduct cannot be justified. After demanding the parents identify a picture of their dead son, Israel refused to release his body.