'B’Tselem is one of the most controversial and exposed NGOs in Israel. It was founded in 1989, in the middle of the first Palestinian Intifada, with the mission of documenting human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied territories and creating a human rights culture in the state. In telling the reality about the occupation, B’Tselem is regularly accused of treason and disloyalty by the Israeli authorities and public.
The detailed investigations published by the NGO focus on human rights violations by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Using statistics, eyewitness accounts and testimonies, video footage and reports, B’Tselem paints a striking picture of the occupation. It reveals how Israel employs an elaborate, flexible system to fragment the occupied territories and transform them into a confetti of atomised Palestinian communities, described by B’Tselem as “Bantustans” — Apartheid South Africa’s “tribal homelands” — while expanding Jewish-only settlements in their midst.
Two years after it was formed, B’Tselem published a detailed report alleging the torture of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli security forces. The affair shook Israel, leading to the creation of official commissions of inquiry. Decades later, it was one of B’Tselem’s volunteers who filmed Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting and killing an injured and unarmed Palestinian after a knife attack in Hebron, sparking a national debate and international outcry.
B’Tselem’s investigations spare no institution: the army, the government, even the Israeli legal system. The organisation has also outlined the military-judicial infrastructure put in place to manage the occupation of the Palestinian territories.'
Read more: ‘The universality of human rights is a Jewish principle, which Israel violates every day.’
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