Samir ‘Awad being evacuated from the scene after being shot. Photo: 'Abd a-Nasser Murar

Today Israel’s State Attorney’s Office notified the High Court of Justice that in the case of Palestinian youth Samir ‘Awad it had decided to file an indictment for the minor offense of committing “a reckless and negligent act using a firearm”. This is a new low in Israeli authorities’ disregard for the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and a clear message to the security forces in the Occupied Territories: if you kill an unarmed Palestinian who poses no threat, we will do everything to cover it up and ensure impunity. Killing a wounded, fleeing youth who posed no threat by shooting him in the back is not a “reckless and negligent act”. The disparity between the grave action and the minor offense is incomprehensible and outrageous.

Photo: Raed Abu a-Rmeileh, B'Tselem video volunteer

The severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the vicinity of the settlements in Hebron encourage the arbitrary and regular harassment of the residents. B'Tselem volunteer Raed Abu a-Rmeileh filmed a video showing what happened to an ice cream delivery intended for a grocery store owned by Anwar Maswdeh.

Still from video.

On 10 March 2015, soldiers entered the home of ‘Imad and Fayzeh Abu Shamsiyeh, B'Tselem camera volunteers in Hebron. The soldiers woke the children, photographed them, viewed footage the Shamsiyehs filmed of life in Hebron and of Israeli security forces, and confiscated a hard disk and a memory card with images. Photographing and recording, even of soldiers, are permitted in the West Bank. B'Tselem urges the military to immediately return the confiscated property with its contents intact, and refrain from harassing B’Tselem volunteers or hampering the work of photographers.

Still from video filmed by 'Amer 'Aruri, B'Tselem field researcher

On 1 Apr. 2015, Civil Administration officials confiscated 12 solar panels, the sole source of electricity in the community of Khan al-Ahmar, near the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. In a bid to force out residents and seize the area, Israel denies the community access to the power grid and prevents any possibility for legal construction. B'Tselem urges the Civil Administration to return the panels and allow residents to build legally in their community. Israel must meet its obligations under IHL to act for the benefit and well-being of the residents of the occupied territory.

Still from video, Feb. 2015

The military resumed its segregation on the main street of a-Salaimeh neighborhood, in force from Sep. 2012 to Mar. 2013 when it was abandoned following to the airing of footage by B'Tselem. The military again bans Palestinians from the main part of the street, directing them to a narrow side road. This is part of the military’s overall policy of severe restrictions on Palestinian movement in downtown Hebron, implemented ever since the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs perpetrated by settler Baruch Goldstein.

Bassem Abu Rahmeh at the demonstration at which he was killed. Still from video by David Reeb 17 April 2009

The mother of Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a resident of the West Bank village of Bil’in killed when a soldier fired a tear-gas canister at him, petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice yesterday demanding that the Court compel the Military Advocate General (MAG) and the Attorney General to reach a decision concerning the appeal over the closing of the investigation file, and to indict the soldier who fired the canister along with any others bearing military command responsibility for the killing of her son. In the petition, filed jointly with Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din, Subhiya Abu Rahmeh demanded that the Court put an end to the foot-dragging and the avoidance of conducting even the most basic investigative acts that could shed light on the identity of the persons responsible for killing her son.

Still from video.

Palestinian women from Beit Hanoun found shelter with their families at an UNRWA school. They tell of the rough living conditions after losing their homes and speak of their hopes for the future. According to UN figures for Beit Hanoun, 90 homes were destroyed and 24 others damaged during Operation Protective Edge.

On 25 March 2015 Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) reiterated its ruling that by mid-April 2015 the State Attorney’s Office must announce its decision in the case of the killing of Samir ‘Awad. The HCJ made this announcement in response to the State’s request for yet another extension. B’Tselem criticizes the State’s disregard of a previous HCJ ruling and foot-dragging in the case. Samir ‘Awad, 16, was killed on 15 January 2013 by gunshots fired by soldiers near the Separation Barrier in the West Bank village of Budrus, although he posed no danger. Despite the more than two years that have passed since the incident, no decision has been made in the case.

Still from video footage of demolition, filmed by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem

On 18 March 2015 the Civil Administration demolished the tents of 4 of the 9 families in Khallet Makhul. It had previously demolished all structures there in 2013, which were then rebuilt by the residents who petitioned the HCJ, leading the CA agreed to allow the residents to apply for building permits. Approval for the applications is pending, so there is no authority for the current demolition, even by the CA’s regulations. Demolitions are part of a long-standing Israeli policy to displace thousands of Palestinians in Area C. Israel, as the occupying force, must allow the local population to carry on with their lives, allowing them to build legally and preserve their way of life.

Still from video.

Late at night on 23 Feb. 2015 Israeli troops entered 10 neighboring apartments in Hebron. They demanded that the children be awakened, asked their names and photographed them. B’Tselem volunteers who live there filmed the incident. The military cannot treat civilians–and certainly not children–as potential criminals. Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying. It illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated. B’Tselem calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.

Soldiers at entrance to Hizma. Photo: ‘Amer ‘Aruri, B’Tselem, 14 April 2015

The Palestinian village of Hizma in the West Bank is home to some 7,000 people. It lies northeast of Jerusalem, largely on land declared Area C. Israel appropriated much of Hizma’s land for building settlements and the Separation Barrier. In the last two days, in response to stone-throwing on nearby Route 437, the military has prevented vehicles from entering and exiting the village. Restricting the freedom of movement of all villagers, most of whom have nothing to do with the stone-throwing, constitutes prohibited collective punishment.

B'Tselem has championed human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for over two decades, promoting a future where all Israelis and Palestinians will live in freedom and dignity.

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