The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) publishes every year an annual report entitled “Situation Report: The State of Human Rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” We publish the report to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10 – the date on which, in 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report reviews the current situation and key developments in selected human rights issues in Israel and in the OPT over the preceding year. ACRI’s goal in publishing the report is to warn about particularly severe human rights violations; to recognize positive trends, when these can be identified; to highlight human rights issues that do not usually receive public attention; and to note key processes in the field of human rights that impact the lives of all those who live in Israel and the OPT.
Unfortunately, 2016 brought very little good news when it comes to human rights. The wave of violence that has been dubbed the “intifada of individuals,” which began in the fall of 2015, continued throughout 2016, at varying levels of intensity. Acts of violence violated the basic right to life and personal security, spread terror among the public, destabilized everyday life, and left mourning families and broken communities. During this difficult period, the authorities often tended to select extreme means in their response to the situation, including the unnecessary violation of rights and liberties and the disproportionate use of force.
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