Human Rights Report Reveals Israeli Atrocities

February 12, 2009

An annual report released on February 5 by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem revealed that at the end of December there were 7,904 Palestinians imprisoned by Israeli authorities. Of these, Israel detained 548 Palestinians without trial, including 42 who have been held for over two years. Six of those detained in December without trial are minors, including two girls.

Imprisoning thousands of Palestinians is part of Israel's systematic program of targeting the Palestinian political, economic, and social infrastructures in order to destroy the very fabric of Palestinian society. This program includes assassination of political and religious leaders, closing and bulldozing educational institutions, destroying homes, agricultural lands and so forth.

The B'Tselem report highlights other atrocities carried out by Israel during 2008. Before Israel launched the war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on December 27, Israeli security forces already killed 455 Palestinians, including 87 minors. During 2008 Israel increased restrictions on movement of Palestinians by limiting and forbidding their movement on roads in the occupied West Bank, by increasing the number of physical barriers, and by keeping dozens of checkpoints. Israel also carried out more house demolitions, the continued construction of the apartheid wall within the occupied West Bank and extensive settlement expansion.