Israeli Soldiers Attack Jewish Peace Protestors; Beat Haaretz Camerman

August 21st, 2006 - by admin

Global Research & Haaretz – 2006-08-21 10:05:18

Israeli Soldiers “Shoot to Kill” at Israeli Anti-war Demonstrators.
Is this is how Israel treates its anti-war activists?

VIDEOshows Border Police unit firing on demonstrators from close range.
The video clearly shows the commander of the unit saying, “This is Lebanon!” as he orders his force to fire on retreating demonstrators, and “I will not allow a demonstration during wartime!”

Bil’in Village (August 16, 2006) — Israeli activists have uploaded a video of the shooting of Lymor and the initial violence of the Israeli military in Bil’in on Friday, August 11th. A higher quality for broadcast is also available from the International Solidarity Movement media office

The video clearly shows the Border Police unit firing on the demonstrators from close range. There is no evidence that the soldiers were in danger. Typically, the military spokesperson has claimed that “activists threw stones” and Haaretz’s article yesterday reiterating the same false information.

The video also clearly shows the commander of the unit saying, “This is Lebanon!” as he orders his force to fire on retreating demonstrators, and “I will not allow a demonstration during wartime!”

The commander, Majdei, made this decision despite a military court decision in August 2005 that people in Bil’in have the right to protest on their land on the village-side of the apartheid wall.

Every week since the wall was finished in March 2006, the Israeli military has also denied them the right to protest on their farmland on the other side of the wall. The wall separates villagers from 60% of their farmland, half of which has already been annexed and developed by Jewish settlements.

In addition many villagers have been arrested in the night during army raids for participating in the demonstrations in Bil’in. Two villagers are still in prison: Esaam Matar, 29, has been imprisoned eight months and the military has ruled he is to be deported to Jordan; and Muhammad Burnat, 19, has been imprisoned for 3 months and has not yet had a trial for his alleged crimes.

According to official military regulations, which were reported in the Hebrew version of Haaretz today, soldiers are not allowed to fire from a distance closer than 40 meters. They are instructed not to fire at vital areas of the body and only to fire when they are in immediate danger. Each week during demonstrations in Bil’in, many non-violent demonstrators are injured in the head, neck and chest.

The Israeli who was shot in the head and a Danish woman beaten with a gun on Friday are the most serious injuries the army has caused since Ramzi Yassin, who was shot in the head with a plastic-coated steel bullet. Ramzi, from Bil’in, was handing out water during a demonstration in Bil’in on July 8th 2005, when he was shot in the side of the head.

The bullet caused severe bleeding of his brain and he was left unconscious for 7 days and with permanent brain damage. Haitham al Khateeb of Bil’in, Yonathan Pollack, an Israeli, BJ from Denmark, and Phil of Austrailia were hospitalized at different times all for rubber bullets injuries to their heads at close range at Bil’in demonstrations, except for Haitham who was hit by a tear gas canister fired at his head.

Lymor, who was shot on Friday, is currently in a stable condition at Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv. It took the ambulances about an hour to get from the site where he was shot to the hospital. He was taken in for immediate surgery which took 3 hours, and a rubber bullet as well as shards of bone and damaged brain tissue were removed from his head and an internal heomorage was stopped.

Before the surgery he was totally clear and aware even though he was in a lot of pain. After the surgery he was moving his arms and legs while he was under sedation. He was taken off sedation around 7pm yesterday evening. He can move his limbs and can talk but is having trouble with his vision.

Rina, from Denmark, is also currently in the hospital in Hebron, suffering from severe concussion caused by an Israeli soldier beating her with his gun. She is stable, but is still having trouble walking on her own.

Haaretz Photographer Beaten by IDF Troops on Lebanese Border
Assaf Carmel, Haaretz Correspondent

Haaretz photographer Yaron Kaminsky was beaten Tuesday by three Israel Defense Forces officers near the community of Zar’it on the northern border with Lebanon.
The photographer was taking pictures of soldiers who were on their way into the country after fighting ceased in Lebanon.

The officers also confiscated the photographer’s equipment. “I arrived at the site at 6:30 A.M. and reserve soldiers who belonged to the battalion I myself served in until a year ago were arriving.

“I hugged and kissed the soldiers, since I know most of them well, and began to photograph. Suddenly, a major leapt out at me and told me, ‘Stop shooting!’ and began to choke me.

“Shortly thereafter, two more officers joined him – one was a lieutenant colonel and the other a colonel – and they all pushed me, tried to shove me to the floor and take my equipment. Eventually they succeeded,” Kaminsky said.

After Kaminsky’s equipment was confiscated, the soldiers showed him orders they had received apparently prohibiting civilians from entering the area.
“They showed it to me briefly. I barely got a glance at what was actually written in the orders,” Kaminsky said.

He said there were three other photographers from foreign news agencies present at the time, and all of their cameras were taken as well. “Half an hour after they beat me, military police officers arrived and 40 minutes later we were all transported to the northern border road.

“There we met with a field security official. He took a look at the pictures left in the cameras and said to one of the battlion’s officers, ‘What do you want from them, anyway?'”

Kaminsky added that on his way to Zar’it he had crossed through a military checkpoint and no one had told him that he could not take pictures in the area.

“If the army did not want us to take pictures, all they had to do was ask us. Do you know how embarrassing it was to stand in front of members of my battalion and get beat up by the officers?”

An IDF spokesperson said in response that the IDF views seriously any use of force against journalists and members of the media.

“The event will be examined and dealt with. However, we call on the media and its representatives to respect the IDF’s guidelines regarding areas that are designated as closed military zones,” the spokesperson said.