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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
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Did you know?



Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
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Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
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Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
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30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
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* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
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* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013
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Posts

56 Palestinians killed since 2005 with ‘crowd control’ weapons

Israeli soldiers wearing gas masks point towards Palestinians during a protest against the annexation of Palestinian land in the village of Kafr Qadum, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank. Photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP

Israel is using deadly force on unarmed protesters, watchdog says

By Reuters/The National
January 28, 2013

RAMALLAH–Israel is breaking its own rules of engagement by using deadly force to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli rights group reported today.

Israeli forces have killed 56 people since 2005 in clashes with rock-throwing Palestinians, said B’Tselem, which accused the military of having “extensively and systematically” breached rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault.
“The Israeli military’s standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers,” it said.
In the past two weeks, Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinians in unrest that Israeli officials said may foreshadow a third Palestinian uprising. Peace talks have been frozen since 2010 and Palestinian anger is running high against expanding Jewish settlement in the West Bank, captured along with east Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights in the 1967 war.

The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said the B’Tselem report “presents a biased narrative, relying primarily on incidents that are either old or still under investigation by the military police”.

“The IDF does everything in its power to ensure that the use of riot dispersal means is done in accordance with the rules of engagement,” the IDF said.

Of the Palestinian fatalities since 2005, six were killed by rubber-coated metal bullets and two by tear-gas canisters, both supposedly non-lethal weapons that were fired directly at protesters, B’Tselem said.

“In practice, members of the security forces make almost routine use of these weapons in unlawful, dangerous ways, and the relevant Israeli authorities do too little to prevent the recurrence of this conduct,” the report said.
The other 48 protesters killed where hit by live ammunition, according to the group.

The protests come as sanctions imposed by Israel after Palestinians won de facto statehood recognition at the United Nations have crippled the Palestinian government in the West Bank and deepened economic malaise.

Faced with the threat of a general strike by the government workers’ union, top Palestinian officials have encouraged protesters to direct their anger against Israel instead.


The full list of Israel’s crowd control weapons revealed in a new report

By B’Tselem, media release
January 28, 2013

The full list of Israel’s crowd control weapons [is] revealed in a new report, Crowd Control: Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank. [Such] weapons are supposed to be non-lethal, enabling authorities to enforce the law without endangering human life. However, they are still weapons that can cause death, severe injury and damage to property if used improperly. Since 2005, six Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by rubber-coated metal bullets, another two when hit by tear-gas canisters fired directly at them, and at least two other Palestinians have been killed with 0.22-caliber bullets, which are used to disperse demonstrations despite official orders ostensibly to the contrary. Dozens of Palestinians have been seriously injured by use of these weapons. Additionally, security forces have killed at least 46 (please note change in number) Palestinians in the West Bank when firing live ammunition at stone-throwers.

In [the report] Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reveals the full list of crowd control weapons used by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, among them:

Tear gas – a chemical irritant that severely affects the eyes and the respiratory system. It is the predominant crowd control weapon in use by Israeli security forces and is dispersed through several types of grenades manufactured in the United States. The grenades can be hand thrown, fired from launchers or from jeep-top launching systems.

Stun grenades are the second most predominant crowd control weapon in addition to tear gas. They are a diversionary measure, whose explosion emits a bright light and a thunderous noise. The grenades are designed to cause fear and panic, thereby enabling security forces to overpower people. Like the tear-gas grenades in use by Israeli security forces, also the stun grenades are manufactured in the United States.

Rubber-coated metal bullets are utilized primarily against stone-throwers. Security forces use two types of bullets made of a metal core coated with either rubber or plastic, and fired from launchers mounted on rifle-barrels. These so-called “rubber” bullets are manufactured by Israel Military Industries Ltd. The Orr Commission prohibited the use of rubber-coated metal bullets within Israel’s borders. In East Jerusalem, since the prohibition, Israel Police has been using 40mm-caliber sponge rounds imported from the Unites States.

The Skunk is a foul-smelling liquid developed by the Israel Police for the purpose of dispersing demonstrations. It is sprayed from truck-mounted water cannons. The odor is so offensive that it forces any person in its vicinity to back off. The report also details the relevant orders of the military and the Israel Police which regulate the use of these weapons, and which the security forces refuse to divulge. In addition it surveys the implementation of the regulations in the field and the detrimental results of violating them.

B’Tselem’s research has found two main problems with the use of crowd control weapons in the West Bank. First, the wording of the open-fire and safety regulations is ambiguous, and in some cases the regulations cannot be properly followed.

Second, when security forces in the field violate the regulations, even systematically, practically no action is taken to put an end to this wrongful conduct. The most common and dangerous practices are firing tear gas canisters directly at people, and firing “rubber” bullets at short ranges or in violation of the regulations.

Members of the security forces who are faced with stone throwers, sometimes in large-scale events, have the authority to use the various weapons detailed in the report. However, the authorities must ensure that the troops on the ground obey the open-fire regulations and use crowd control weapons within the parameters that keep them non-lethal. It follows that every soldier, officer, or police officer violating these rules must be prosecuted. In addition, B’Tselem demands that Israeli security forces:

● prohibit the use of live ammunition, including 0.22inch-caliber bullets, for the purpose of dispersing demonstrations, except in instances of mortal danger;
● restrict the use of rubber-coated metal bullets to instances of mortal danger, to be used as a preliminary measure, before firing live ammunition;
● completely prohibit the firing of 40mm tear-gas canisters either directly at individuals or horizontally, in a way that could cause result in injuries.

Full report: Crowd Control: Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank

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