B’Tselem: Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinian right to protest

on 5 Comments

B’Tselem’s new report. Show of Force: Israeli Military Conduct in Weekly Demonstrations in a-Nabi Saleh, comes at a critical time leading into the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN when mass demonstrations are expected throughout the occupied territories.

Stating that Israel has “infringed the rights of the Palestinian demonstrators” and doesn’t recognize their right to demonstrate, B’Tselem documented four consecutive demonstrations in a-Nabi Saleh between June and July this summer. The study was based in part on video footage taken by volunteers, many from their camera distribution project seen below.

B’Tselem’s documentation indicates that Israel does not recognize the right of a-Nabi Saleh’s residents to demonstrate. Israeli security forces prohibit the demonstrators from reaching the site that is the subject of the demonstration – al-Qawas Spring and the land around it – and prevent the procession from exiting the village towards the spring. Also, the army declares the demonstration illegal at the outset, sometimes even before the procession begins. The army also issues an order declaring the entire village a closed military area every Friday, and blocks the roads leading to it. As a result, persons from outside the village are unable to exercise their right to join in the demonstration.

In advance of the expected declaration of a Palestinian state on 20 September 2011, Israel’s defense establishment is preparing to cope with wide-scale demonstrations in the West Bank. As part of the preparations, the security forces must recognize Palestinians’ right to demonstrate, and must allow them to protest against infringement of their rights. The decision to disperse a demonstration must be made only after the relevant authorities have properly balanced the right to demonstrate against other relevant interests, as is done in the case of demonstrations held inside Israel. In any event, means for dispersing demonstrations must not be used in a way that injures persons or punishes all residents of the village.

We already know this, is Israel going to listen? It occurs to me it might require the global community to protect Palestinians. Is the world going to stand by and do nothing?

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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5 Responses

  1. Mndwss
    September 13, 2011, 1:52 pm

    “B’Tselem: Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinian right to protest”

    Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinians right to exist!

    How can they legally protest if they do not legally exist?

    Stupid Arabs!

    The israeli solution: Shoot to kill….

    • annie
      September 13, 2011, 3:42 pm

      yeah, i know. i still think the report is important. i think B’Tselem’s conclusion infringed the rights of the Palestinian demonstrators, while redundantly obvious still establishes and sets a precedence because of who B’Tselem is and the weight of their reputation, especially going into these protests and considering the dire possible looming threats ahead.

      iow, it’s an official record born out over a long term process bearing fruit, including the camera distribution project. so, if any massacre is to take place in the coming weeks it’s important this previous documentation and conclusion is on the record.

      • annie
        September 13, 2011, 3:44 pm

        plus, when we become so accustomed to this information we dismiss a report like this or ignore it what does that say about us? the citizens in these villages are out week after week one step at a time persisting in their right to demonstrate. i don’t watch all the weekly videos but i don’t dismiss this persistence.

      • john h
        September 13, 2011, 11:38 pm

        Agree, annie.

        Some Nabi Saleh details were covered by me earlier, including the wonderful statement of Bassem Tamimi to the Ofer military court a few months ago (see my three posts, on threads “Israel’s apartheid policing”, and “Independent: How Israel takes revenge on boys who throw stones”, August 29-30).

        Thanks, B’Tselem.

    • Real Jew
      September 14, 2011, 4:22 pm

      “Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinians right to exist!”

      Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Right on the money

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