Posts Tagged ‘B’Tselem’

Palästina: Ein Land verschwindet

Samstag, Juni 11th, 2011

Map of areas in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea closed to Palestinians, May 2011


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77.5 percent of the land in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea has been taken over by Israel, which has prevented Palestinians from building on or using the land or remaining there. Twelve percent of the area has been allocated for settlements, including the entire northern shore of the Dead Sea. Israel’s policy has cut up the Palestinian spatial sphere and isolated Palestinian communities in the area. More on the topic

Map of areas in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea closed to Palestinians, May 2011, PDF


(Quelle: B’Tselem.)

Israel: Über 1200 palästinensische Kinder letztes Jahr verhaftet

Dienstag, Dezember 14th, 2010

“Israel attacked for arrests of hundreds of children

By Jonathan Cook

JERUSALEM // Israeli police have been criticised over their treatment of hundreds of Palestinian children, some as young as seven, arrested and interrogated on suspicion of stone-throwing in East Jerusalem.

In the past year, criminal investigations have been opened against more than 1,200 Palestinian minors in Jerusalem suspected of hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers or Jewish settlers, according to police statistics gathered by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). That was nearly twice the number of children arrested last year in the much larger Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Most of the arrests have occurred in the Silwan district, close to Jerusalem’s Old City, where 350 extremist Jewish settlers have set up heavily guarded illegal enclaves among 50,000 Palestinian residents.

Late last month, in a sign of growing anger at the arrests, a large crowd in Silwan was reported to have prevented police from arresting Adam Rishek, a seven-year-old boy accused of stone-throwing. His parents later filed a complaint claiming he had been beaten by the officers.

Tensions between residents and settlers have been rising steadily since the Jerusalem municipality unveiled a plan in February to demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in the Bustan neighbourhood to expand a Bible-themed archeological park run by Elad, a settler organisation.

The plan was on hold after US pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a local community leader, warned that the regular clashes between Silwan’s youths and the settlers, termed a “stone intifada” by some, could trigger a full-blown Palestinian uprising.

“Our children are being sacrificed for the sake of the settlers’ goal to take over our community,” he said.

In the purge on stone-throwing, the police were riding roughshod over children’s legal rights and leaving many minors with profound emotional traumas, concluded ACRI in a recent report, titled Unsafe Space.

Testimonies collected by the rights groups revealed a pattern of children being arrested in late-night raids, handcuffed and interrogated for hours without either a parent or lawyer being present, which was a violation of their rights under Israeli criminal law. In many cases, the children have reported physical violence or threats.

Last month, 60 Israeli childcare and legal experts, including Yehudit Karp, a former deputy attorney general, wrote to Mr Netanyahu condemning the police behaviour.

“Particularly troubling,” they wrote, “are testimonies of children under the age of 12, the minimal age set by the law for criminal liability, who were taken in for questioning, and who were not spared rough and abusive interrogation.” Unlike in the West Bank, which is governed by military law, children in East Jerusalem suspected of stone-throwing are supposed to be dealt with according to Israeli criminal law.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967, in violation of international law, and its 250,000 Palestinian inhabitants are treated as permanent Israeli residents. Minors, defined as anyone under 18, should be questioned by specially trained officers and only during daylight hours. The children must be able to consult with a lawyer and a parent should be present.

Ronit Sela, a spokeswoman for ACRI, said her organisation had been “shocked” at the large number of children arrested in East Jerusalem in recent months, often by units of undercover policemen.

“We have heard many testimonies from children who describe terrifying experiences of violence during both their arrest and their later interrogation,” she said.

Muslim, 10, lives in the Bustan neighbourhood and in a house that Israeli authorities have ordered demolished. His case was included in the ACRI report, and in an interview with The National he said he had been arrested four times this year, even though he was under the age of criminal responsibility. On the last occasion, in October, he was grabbed from the street by three plain-clothes policemen who jumped out a van.

“One of the men grabbed me from behind and started choking me. The second grabbed my shirt and tore it from the back, and the third twisted my hands behind my back and tied them with plastic cords. ‘Who threw stones?’ one of them asked me. ‘I don’t know,’ I said. He started hitting me on the head and I shouted in pain.”

Muslim, who spoke on condition that only his first name be used, was taken into custody and released six hours later. A local doctor reported that the boy had bleeding wounds to his knees and swelling on several parts of his body.

Muslim’s father, who has two sons in prison, said the boy was waking with nightmares and could no longer concentrate on his school studies. “He has been devastated by this,” he said.

Last month, police announced that house arrests would be used against children more regularly and financial penalties of up to US$1,400 (Dh5,100) would be imposed on parents.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, reported the case of AS, a 12-year-old child taken for interrogation following an arrest at 3am.

“I sat on my knees facing the wall. Every time I moved, a man in civilian clothes hit me with his hand on my neck … The man asked me to prostrate myself on the floor and ask his forgiveness, but I refused and told him that I do not bow to anyone but Allah. All the while, I felt intense pain in my feet and legs. I felt intense fear and I started shaking.”

“It is hard to believe that the security forces would have acted similarly against Jewish minors,” B’Tselem said in a statement.

Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, denied that the police had violated the children’s rights, adding: “It is the responsibility of parents to stop this criminal behaviour by their children.”

The 60 experts who wrote to Mr Netanyahu warned the children’s abuse led to “post-traumatic stress disorders, such as nightmares, insomnia, bed-wetting, and constant fear of policemen and soldiers”. They also said that children under extended house arrest were being denied the right to schooling.


(Quelle: The National.)

Israel: Siedlungsbau geht munter weiter

Mittwoch, Juli 7th, 2010

“Israel: Siedlungsbau nicht zu stoppen

Auch US-Gruppierungen unterstützen Siedler in der West Bank mit 200 Millionen Dollar, die an der amerikanischen Steuer vorbei gehen

Neue Vorschläge für den Friedensprozess habe Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanjahu für seinen heutigen Besuch in Washington bei US-Präsident Obama im Gepäck, heißt es in einem Bericht der israelischen Zeitung Ha’aretz. Konkreteres wird nicht genannt, das Ziel des Besuches besteht augenscheinlich vor allem darin, das Verhältnis zwischen den Führungen der beiden Länder zu verbessern. Dafür muss, worauf auch dieser Bericht verweist, ein Problem angepackt werden: das der israelischen Siedlungen in der Westbank und in Ost-Jerusalem.

Bislang sah Obama in diesen Fragen schlechter aus als Netanjahu. Selbst wenn er dem israelischen Regierungschef, der während seiner ersten Regierungszeit von 1996 bis 1998 den Siedlungsbau in der Westbank maßgeblich und offensiv vorantrieb (siehe dazu Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall), das Zugeständnis eines mehrmonatigen Moratoriums abtrotzen konnte, so verwies Netanjahu auf Ausnahmen und Grenzen des Baustopps. Dass in Ost-Jerusalem weitergebaut werden dürfe, an diesem Grundsatz ließ der israelische Ministerpräsident nicht rütteln, auch nicht durch Eklats und Verstörungen, die dadurch in der US-Regierung ausgelöst wurden und zu Diskussionen über das ‘neue’ Verhältnis der beiden eng befreundeten Staaten führten.

Im September läuft das Siedlungsbau-Moratorium aus, das könnte die Spannungen wieder erhöhen, wird gemutmaßt. Entsprechende Erklärungen, wie etwa gestern von dem Minister für Kultur und Sport (!) und Parteifreund, Limor Livnat, rechtzeitig zum heutigen Treffen der Regierungschefs, nähren solche Spannungen:

‘Es gibt keinen Zweifel, dass die Bautätigkeit in Judea und Samaria wieder aufgenommen wird, sobald der ‘Freeze’ beendet ist.’

Doch täuschen solche Aufreger vor, dass der US-Präsident die Siedlungspolitik der Likud-Partei überhaupt wirkungsvoll beeinflussen könnte. Die Politik der Dominanz in den Palästinenser-Gebieten via Siedlungsbau ist auf eine Weise Fakt geworden, dass hier kaum mehr als nur bloße Kosmetik betrieben werden kann. Eine halbe Million Israelis leben derzeit auf der anderen Seite der grünen Linie, mehr als 300 000 in 121 Siedlungen und etwa Hundert in so genannten Out-Posts, stellt der aktuelle Bericht der israelischen Menschenrechtsorganisation B’Tselem fest.

Zwar würden die derzeitigen Bauten in den Siedlungen nur ungefähr ein Prozent der Gesamtfläche der West Bank ausmachen, aber laut B’Tselem erstrecke sich die juristische Kontrolle auf 42 Prozent des Landes. Der Siedlungsbau expandiert seit Jahren. Erwähnt werden darüber hinaus auch 12 Wohngebiete auf Land, das der Jerusalemer Stadtverwaltung zugesprochen wurde. B’Teselem gründet seinen Bericht nach eigenen Angaben auf offizielle Dokumente. Hervorgeboben wird, dass die Landnahme gegen Gesetze verstößt. Unterstützt wird sie durch Gewalt, juristische Manöver, gefördert wird sie durch die Regierung. Israelische Argumente, die den Bau der Siedlungen legitimieren, bezeichnet die Organisation als ‘irreführend und ohne Basis’.

‘The settlements, constructed in blatant breach of international humanitarian law, lead to the ongoing violation of many human rights of the Palestinian residents of the area, including the right to property, the right to equality, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to freedom of movement, and the right to selfdetermination.’

Dass sich Obama und Netanjahu heute über den B’Tselem-Bericht unterhalten, ist nicht sehr wahrscheinlich. Aber die Unterstützung der Siedlungsbauer mit 200 Millionen Dollar, die an der amerikanischen Steuer vorbei an die Siedler gehen, ist schon ein Thema. Der mehrere Seiten lange Bericht, der heute in der New York Times zu lesen war, ist auch in seinem Niederschlag in der Öffentlichkeit nicht zu übersehen und nicht zu überhören.

Auch Ha’aretz berichtet von der Hilfe amerikanischer Gruppierungen an die Siedler, die in ihrer Unterstützung weitergehen können, als es der israelischen Regierung erlaubt ist, weil sie auch unter israelischer Gesetzgebung an illegale Siedlungen gegeben wird. Das Geld soll laut New York Times Schulen, Synagogen und Freizeitzentren ebenso zugute gekommen sein, wie es auch für die Anschaffung von ‘Wachhunden, schusssicheren Westen, Zielfernrohren und Fahrzeugen zum Schutz von Outposts tief in den besetzten Arealen’ verwendet wurde.”

(Quelle: Telepolis.)



Den Dokumentarfilm “The Iron Wall” können Sie sich hier (YouTube) ansehen.

Israel: B’Tselem verlangt sofortige, unabhängige und zivile Untersuchung der Militäraktion

Montag, Mai 31st, 2010

“31 May ’10: Open an immediate investigation into the action to gain control of the flotilla to Gaza

B’Tselem demands that an immediate, independent and effective investigation be made into the circumstances of the military action taken to gain control of the ships, which led to the death and injury of dozens of activists. The investigation must be conducted by non-military officials.

Among the issues to be investigated are whether the army used proportionate force, whether the forces were trained to cope with this type of event, were they equipped with the correct means, what open-fire regulations were given to the soldiers, and whether alternative options were considered.

The IDF Spokesperson claims that extreme violence was used against the soldiers by activists on the boat. This information is based solely on statements of soldiers. However, before reaching conclusions, the investigation must consider the testimonies of all eyewitnesses to the events, including persons who participated in the flotilla who are currently in custody in Israel.”

(Quelle: B’Tselem.)