Targeting civilians is forbiddenIn light of the recent escalation in violence around the Gaza Strip, and the firing of rockets towards Israeli communities, B'Tselem has repeated its demand that all parties to the hostilities prevent the harming of civilians. The rules of war obligate all parties to a conflict to do their utmost to defend the civilian population.
Ofra - Illegal outpostIn a new report B'Tselem reveals that, based on the Sasson report criteria that the government adopted, Ofra is an illegal outpost. 58% of the settlement's built-up area is registered to Palestinians in the Land Registrar. Also, no area of jurisdiction has ever been defined for the settlement, and no outline plan has ever been approved for it, making the hundreds of houses built there illegal.
Soldier charged with killing child flees IsraelIn April 2004, an indictment was filed against a soldier who shot and killed 'Omar Matar in the Qalandiya refugee camp in March 2003. In June 2008, following repeated letters from B'Tselem, the IDF Spokesperson responded that, "no verdict has been given in the case, given that the matter is still being heard and the defendant left the country and is staying abroad."
Settler to serve 16 months in jail for shooting PalestinianIn September 2007, settler Ehud Gadot fired at Palestinian shepherds in 'Ein al-Beida, in the northeast West Bank, hitting Muhammad Abu Mutawe'a and paralyzing him. In a plea bargain, Gadot pleaded guilty. On 14 December 2008, the District Court sentenced him to prison for 16 months.
Electricity blackouts in Gaza endanger child's lifeThe life of Yasser Sweisi, 11, depends on a respirator. The frequent blackouts resulting from the siege on Gaza forced his parents to buy a generator. When the fuel needed to operate the generator runs out, they use a manual respirator.
Gaza: Israel prevents toddler in need of surgery from returning home to West BankA year ago, Sonia Rasaras, a resident of the West Bank, took her children to visit her ailing father in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel has prevented her from returning home. As a result, her disabled 18-month-old daughter cannot receive medical treatment or the surgery she needs.
High Court voids amended route offered by State for Bil'in barrierOn 15 December 2008, in a rare decision, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that the second amended route of the barrier proposed by the State on the lands of Bil'in is also illegal. The court ruled that the proposed route violates the Court ruling from Sept. '07, and ordered the State to pay the residents of Bil'in legal expenses to the sum of 10,000 NIS.