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Posts tagged ‘B’Tselem’

Israel’s alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

Since the exposure of Israeli undercover forces by Hamas fighters in the occupied Gaza Strip on November 11, an incident that triggered the most intense round of escalation since 2014, a number of reports have emerged about the circumstances surrounding Israel’s thwarted raid.

On November 22, Hamas published photos of individuals it said were involved, images that Israel’s military censor immediately subjected to a publication ban. Read more

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UK silence on Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

In 2012, a report by a UK government-sponsored delegation of lawyers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories found Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in military detention to be in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Six years on, however, and Israel has made only modest changes; according to government minister Alistair Burt, speaking in the Houses of Parliament earlier this year, Israel has implemented just one of 43 specific recommendations made by the lawyers. Read more

Israel’s ‘creeping annexation’ of West Bank continues

There is much talk these days about Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the occupied West Bank, from both critics and proponents alike.

Critics say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s government, dominated by right-wing nationalists in both the Likud and Jewish Home parties, has been advancing various laws designed to prepare the ground for Israel to annex portions of the occupied territory. Read more

Elor Azaria and the Israeli army: One conviction doesn’t change systematic impunity

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was convicted yesterday of the manslaughter of Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sharif, a 21-year-old Palestinian killed by a shot to the head as he lay wounded and motionless after an alleged attack on uniformed occupation forces in Hebron in March 2016.

Azaria’s sentence has yet to be handed down – and his defence team could well appeal. Furthermore, a number of Israeli ministers have already demanded that Azaria be pardoned, a call supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, and 70 per cent of the Israeli public. Read more

Are Israeli soldiers shooting to maim?

Israeli leaders like to boast they have “the most moral army in the world”, a claim made by everyone from Ehud Barak to Binyamin Netanyahu. Over the last decade, however, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have been the subject of stinging criticism and well-documented allega­tions of war crimes, particularly with respect to offensives in the Gaza Strip. Read more

Israel is attacking, and killing, Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip

Six-year-old Israa Abu Khussa and her 10-year-old brother Yassin were still sleeping when the Israel Air Force launched four airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Saturday. Missile fragments tore through their home, only partly rebuilt following the 2014 offensive. Yassin and Israa were rushed to hospital, but both died of their wounds. Two other children were injured. Read more

Israel’s culture of impunity, the West’s culture of complicity

In March, I debated the motion ‘This House Believes Israel is a Rogue State’ at the Cambridge Union. Opening proceedings, I suggested that the opposition might well “concede” that “Israel is not perfect”, intentionally missing the point about Israel’s rights violations being systematic.

Revealingly, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Vivian Wineman almost immediately did just that, telling the debating chamber: “We’re not arguing that Israel is perfect.”

Central to how Israel presents itself is the idea that while Israeli political leaders and military officials can and do make mistakes, there is a robust system of legal accountability that means such offenders are brought to book.

Last week has demonstrated how the reality is very different; that Israelis who commit atrocities against Palestinians benefit from a culture of impunity for civilian and soldier alike. Read more