Field Reports, General, Occupied Territories

Full story behind the attack against Palestinian human rights workers

2 Comments 19 November 2017

The full story behind the Friday November 17 attack on Palestinian human rights activists and the response of the soldiers on the ground

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The video (below) depicts part of an attack on Zakaria Sadah, head of the West Bank field department for Rabbis for Human Rights and Munir Kadus, Palestinian field researcher for Yesh Din. Zakaria’s leg was slightly injured by a rock. The attackers were masked Israelis who came from the direction of the Givat Ronen outpost. In the video, soldiers are seen standing next to the attackers. They do not make any reasonable efforts to prevent the assault. However, the incident was in fact part of a broader attack against Palestinian farmers and firefighters. Outrageously, these firefighters, who often help extinguish fires in Israeli communities out of a commitment to protect human life, were violently attacked in an attempt to prevent them from putting out a fire in a Palestinian grove.

The video shows soldiers standing by and not acting as Palestinian human rights activists are attacked by extremist Israelis. Soldiers also found themselves unable control the settlers — though they did not use all available means. (In the end, a stun grenade was used against the settlers.) It should be noted that in contrast to the soldiers in the footage who choose to ignore the attack, other soldiers, headed by the brigade commander (“mahat”), did arrive at the scene and made a sincere effort to stop the assault. While there are those in the government who would like to permit soldiers to “shoot to kill” stone throwers (Palestinian only, of course), we do not demand such drastic measures, but rather professional actions and arrests to prevent further harm. In this case, even the intervention by the additional forces represents another failure of the security forces, as the attackers were only dispersed and not arrested.

In regards to the fire, visible in an olive grove in the footage: According to reports, a Palestinian farmer burning garbage may have failed to take sufficient precautions, resulting in a fire which subsequently spread to a Palestinian agricultural area near the village of Burin. Extremist Israelis then came from the direction of the Givat Ronen illegal outpost and attempted to prevent the Palestinian firefights and farmers from stopping the fire. According to other reports by Palestinians in the area, the extremists also set fires themselves, adding additional blazes to the original fire in order to exacerbate the situation. Settlers will argue that the fire was an arson attempt by Palestinians against the outpost, but such a narrative does not make sense considering the fire was harming a grove belonging to Palestinians, and it was Palestinians attempting to put it out.

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Jo Siedlecka says:

    I really admire the work you do! Some Christians also think human rights are incompatible with Christianity. They are wrong too! God bless you all and keep safe!


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