B’Tselem Newsletter-Feb. 1, 2016
Three weeks ago, a fire sparked by a short circuit burned down our office in Jerusalem. The fire was soon quelled, and ever since, we have been working to restore the office while continuing our regular work. With or without an office, our activity remains focused on a single goal: exposing the reality in the Occupied Territories and the mechanisms driving it – in order to end the occupation.
In recent weeks, we have reported on continuing house demolitions, whether as punishment for families of attackers or as part of the organized effort to drive Palestinians out of Area C; on the situation in Hebron and in the Gaza Strip; on steps taken toward de facto annexation in the area of Har Gilo and the Cremisan Valley south of Jerusalem; and on other topics. The occupation is an ongoing, relentless injustice: even when Israeli media focus on violence against Israelis – violence that B’Tselem has repeatedly condemned – the whole picture includes the far-reaching implications of Israel’s control over millions of Palestinians. This control constitutes systematic, unceasing state violence against millions of people living under occupation.
Israel’s military court system is one of the major sources of injustice within the occupation. Beyond the fundamental duality of applying this system only to Palestinians, while Israeli settlers are tried under Israeli penal law, the degrading bureaucracy it entails cannot but wear down any individual entering the military courts. This so-called justice system chews up and spits out thousands of Palestinian families a year. We at B’Tselem experienced that personally last week when our friend Nasser Nawaj’ah, B’Tselem’s field researcher in the South Hebron Hills, was held in custody for almost a week – although three different courts ordered his release.
I will end by conveying heartfelt gratitude on behalf of all our team for the outpouring of support for B’Tselem in recent weeks. Your support is strongly felt and helps us persevere in exposing reality undaunted, despite growing incitement. We will continue to focus on what matters: ending the massive injustice that is Israel’s ongoing control of millions of Palestinian subjects.
With deep thanks,