‎B'Tselem בצלם‎

Video: Israeli Border Police try to drag three Palestinian boys, aged 7 to 8, into jeep

On Tuesday, 12 December 2017, there were clashes by Rachel’s Tomb in the city of Bethlehem. Video footage conveyed to B’Tselem by Jamal Abu S’ifan, a B’Tselem Camera Project volunteer, shows several Border Police officers grabbing three Palestinian children and attempting to drag them into their jeep. The children, aged 7 to 8, were playing at the time near their home in ‘Aydah Refugee Camp, some 400 meters away from Rachel’s Tomb. Local residents came to the scene and managed to free the boys after several minutes.

Arrests and detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli security forces – actions often accompanied by physical violence and verbal abuse – are part and parcel of the routine of the occupation and the organized state violence Israel imposes on the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.



Israeli Arabs Chant 'Hands Off Al Quds' in Protest Against Trump's Jerusalem Move Outside U.S. Embassy

'We won't accept' Trump's decision, protesters retorted as they gathered outside the American embassy to demonstrate Trump's Jerusalem move

Around 100 Arab citizens of Israel demonstrated in front of U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv Tuesday night to protest Trump's landmark decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The nearly entirely male crowd chanted, among other things, "Trump, Israel, Jerusalem is Arab. Jerusalem is Muslim" and held signs saying "Trump's decision violates international law" and "Hands off Al Quds."

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Israeli Cops Caught on Video Beating a Handcuffed Ethiopian Teen

Six officers are suspected of distributing a clip showing them laughing while a colleague hits the teen, who was drunk
A group of six Israeli police officers are being investigated after a video surfaced in which one of them is seen beating a 16-year-old of Ethiopian origin who was handcuffed to a bench.

The officers, from the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, are also suspected of distributing the video clip among their police co-workers.

The incident occurred in April, when the teen was arrested on suspicion of assault. He was released from prison a few weeks ago after serving a sentence for the offense.
The Justice Ministry’s police conduct investigation unit is looking into the incident. The minor, who was drunk at the time, was handcuffed to a bench at the police station during questioning. The officers are suspected of ridiculing him as he shouted at them. At one point, one of the policemen can be seen slapping the suspect while the other officers can be seen laughing in the clip, which was filmed by one of the police officers.

The teen later acknowledged that he was so drunk at the time that he did not remember what happened, and lost consciousness that evening. The next day, while waiting to be questioned again, he heard his voice coming from the phone of one of the officers at the station – and he was shown the video.

He complained about the incident during his interrogation. Six officers were questioned after further information, including an official complaint with the identity of one of the officers, was provided to the Justice Ministry unit within the past two weeks.

The Israel Police said they view any incident in which a suspect’s rights are violated as serious. “Immediately after the incident occurred, the film was given to the regional headquarters, which of its own initiative gave it to the Justice Ministry investigative unit.

"The investigation is being conducted with the full cooperation [of the police], and the police officer who is suspected of the act was immediately removed from service and no longer serves in the Israel Police,” a police statement said.

This is a very serious incident, the teen's lawyer said, claiming that the police had acted in complete violation of their duty to see to the suspect's safety and well-being.

The clip has been circulating for months among members of the Israel Police force around the country on WhatsApp social media groups, beginning almost immediately after the incident occurred. Not all of the police officers who saw the clip thought it was funny. On one group, a policeman wrote: “An embarrassment to the police.” Another wrote: “Throw them out yesterday.”

Josh Breiner

Haaretz Correspondent
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828501

Video Shows Israeli Soldiers Beating Handcuffed Palestinian Man Amid Hebron Protests

U.S. Has Four Times the Amount of Troops in Syria as Previously Acknowledged

The latest Pentagon announcement came a month after Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, told reporters at a news conference there were about 4,000 U.S. troops in Syria - a number which was immediately revised

The Pentagon announced last week that some 2,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Syria, raising the official count almost four times the previous figure of 500.

The U.S. increase in troops comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria Monday, after a declaration of victory over the Islamic State in Syria.

The Pentagon's announcement came a month after Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, told reporters at a news conference there were about 4,000 U.S. troops in Syria. Jarrard's statement was immediately revised by the Pentagon to 500.

The latest announcement by Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, was said to be part of a new push by U.S. Defense Secretary and former general Jim Mattis to be transparent about how many troops are deployed in combat zones.

“That’s where we are now,” Manning said. “If a major shift occurs, then we’ll come back out with a new, official number.”

The latest Pentagon announcement echoes a November report from the Defense Department showing U.S. troops in the Middle East have increased 33% in the last four months and currently stand at 1,723 in Syria - up from 1,251 in June.

Mattis himself announced at the beginning of the month that as offensive operations against Islamic State in Syria entered their final stages, he expected the focus to move towards holding territory instead of arming Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG spearheads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting Islamic State with the help of a U.S.-led coalition.

The United States expects to recover heavy weapons and larger vehicles from the YPG, but lighter weapons are unlikely to be completely recovered, U.S. officials have said.

Earlier this week, the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State said more than 400 U.S. Marines and their artillery would be leaving Syria after helping to capture the city of Raqqa from Islamic State.

Mattis said that was part of the United States changing the composition of its forces to support diplomats to bring an end to the war.

"The troops are changing their stance...that includes with our allies who are now changing their stance as they come to the limits of where they are going," Mattis said.

read more: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.828521

U.S. Has Four Times the Amount of Troops in Syria as Previously Acknowledged

Abbas Calls on World to Reconsider Recognition of Israel After Trump's Jerusalem Move

Speaking at emergency Islamic summit, Palestinian leader says Saudi king promised him there will be no peace deal without Palestine and East Jerusalem as its capital

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world’s nations Wednesday to reconsider their recognition of Israel after the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We call on world nations to reconsider their recognition of Israel over its conduct toward Palestinians

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Israel Arrests Hamas Leader, Dozens of Palestinians in Overnight West Bank Raid

Raid comes amid a week of heightened tensions along Gaza border, as Israel and Palestinian factions exchange fire since Trump's declaration on Jerusalem

Israeli security forces arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank early Wednesday, including senior Hamas leader Hassan Yousef, over suspected involvement in terror activists and in violent disturbances.

Thirty-two Palestinians were arrested in the overnight raid, which was carried out by the military, Shin Bet, Border Police and Israel police.

Yousef was recently released from Israeli administrative detention and has since been "publically" involved "in promoting Hamas' goals, and is inciting to terrorism," the military said.

All those detained were taken to interrogation.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef is considered one of the most prominent Hamas figures in the West Bank, and was one of the organization's founders. Yousef was imprisoned in 2006 in Israel for his involvement in terror activities.

After his release in August 2011, he was sent back to jail later that year for membership in an illegal organization. He was released again in 2014.

Yousef's son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, was an informant for the Shin Bet security service from 1997 to 2007 before seeking asylum in the United States. 

Tuesday marked the sixth consecutive day of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 36 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank on Tuesday, some shot by live fire and rubber-tipped bullets. 

Meanwhile, tensions along Israel's border with Gaza Strip flared up again early Wednesday morning, capping a week of rocket fire at Israel by terror groups and responses from the army. 

The Israeli military said it struck a Hamas military compound in Gaza early on Wednesday morning in retaliation for a rocket fired from the Strip toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

The rocket was the thirteenth fired from Gaza at Israel since Trump's announcement last week. Eight of the rockets exploded in Israeli territory.

Yaniv Kubovich

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.828676

Israel Arrests Hamas Leader

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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