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Israeli human rights and civil society NGOs to the Minister of Justice: the investigation into the testimony of “Breaking the Silence” spokesman is meant to silence criticism; we shall keep speaking out for as long as the occupation and its injustices continue

To Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, and State Attorney Shai Nitzan. Your newfound determination to address instances of violence towards Palestinians is impressive, but Palestinians have been living for fifty years under systemic, institutionalized violence that is at the core of the occupation – a regime of military control over civilians.

The civil and military systems of law enforcement, along with the courts, lend a veneer of lawfulness to killing, injury, torture, collective punishment, land grabs, movement restrictions, administrative detentions and other like actions. Even investigations of suspected grave violations of international law are skillfully whitewashed or left to fizzle out.

It was not as part of a move to promote accountability that the spokesperson for Breaking the Silence was brought in for questioning. On the contrary – it was meant to intimidate and silence critics of the occupation. We stand with our friends at Breaking the Silence. We, too, will keep speaking out – until the occupation and its injustices are brought to an end.

Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research | Amnesty International – Israel | Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights | B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories | Coalition of Women for Peace | Combatants for Peace| Emek Shaveh | Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement | HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual | Human Rights Defenders Fund | Ir Amim | Israel-Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) | MachsomWatch | Peace Now | Physicians for Human Rights – Israel | The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel | Standing Together | Zazim – Community Action

(Ad published in Hebrew in Haaretz daily, June 25, 2017; translation from the B'Tselem website) (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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