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Interesting days in Washington
By B`Tselem
April 4, 2010
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These are interesting days in Washington, as the US has taken a firmer stance against settlement expansion.
B`Tselem facilitated the visit to Israel of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a key member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. organizations as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Yesh Din, One Voice, Geneva Initiative and others who informed him of the growing difficulties faced by human rights defenders and gave him in-depth reports on the issues of East Jerusalem and Gaza. B`Tselem`s US Director, Uri Zaki also took the Congressman to the site of Yitzhak Rabin`s assassination and to Sderot to meet with the pro-peace group Other Voice and see the conditions there.

* Military Police to investigate killing of youths in `Iraq Burin

On 20 March `10, soldiers killed two youths in `Iraq Burin. Demonstrations had taken place in the village that day. B`Tselem`s findings contradict the army`s statement that the soldiers had shot only `rubber` bullets. In a rare step, the Military Police will investigate the incident.

* Soldiers shoot youth gathering wood near Gaza border

On 10 Feb. `10, soldiers shot and wounded Muhammad Subuh, 17, near the Gaza-Israel border. Testimonies indicate that he was gathering firewood and that the soldiers were not in danger. According to previous reports, the army has defined `death zones` adjacent to the border.

* B`Tselem condemns rocket fire at Israel

B`Tselem severely condemns the rocket fire from Gaza, which today killed a Thai citizen who was working in the community of Netiv Ha`asara in Israel. The Palestinian organizations responsible for firing the rockets openly declare that they intend to attack civilians, too. The intentional killing of civilians is immoral and is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

* Lenient sentence in Malul case appealed

On 18 March `10, the military prosecution appealed the light punishment imposed on First Lt. Adam Malul last week for assaulting Palestinians. B`Tselem welcomed the appeal against a sentence sanctioning the norm of violence against Palestinians in the OPT.

* Chronic water shortage in West Bank

Israel`s discriminatory allocation of shared water resources infringes the Palestinians` rights to water, sanitation, and health. It also prevents agricultural development, a major economic sector in the West Bank.

* Testimony: Schoolhouse still in ruins, a year after Cast Lead

Beit Lahiya lies near the northern border of the Gaza Strip, where Israel began its invasion in Operation Cast Lead. Pupils of a school in the town that suffered heavy fire are still studying among the ruins, as the Israeli siege is preventing reconstruction throughout Gaza.


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