+972 Magazine » Video http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:03:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 WATCH: Olive harvest marred by arson, vandalism and violence http://972mag.com/watch-olive-harvest-marred-by-arson-vandalism-and-violence/100182/ http://972mag.com/watch-olive-harvest-marred-by-arson-vandalism-and-violence/100182/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:39:18 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100182 Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of Yasuf are forbidden from accessing their olive groves for much of the year. When they are given access during the olive harvest, they often find their trees cut down or burned by settlers. But even when they turn to police, the vast majority of their complaints lead nowhere. Social TV looks at the most recent olive harvest.

PHOTOS: In West Bank village, Palestinian farmers go against the grain
WATCH: Israeli police let stone-throwing settlers walk away

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[WATCH] The Druze in Israel: Resisting conscription (part 4) http://972mag.com/watch-the-druze-in-israel-resisting-conscription-part-4/100008/ http://972mag.com/watch-the-druze-in-israel-resisting-conscription-part-4/100008/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:07:56 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=100008 According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The fourth part of this series looks at a new movement of young Druze women and men who challenging both the state and their predecessors by refusing to join the army.

Watch parts one (‘A history lesson‘), two (‘Land expropriation‘) and three (‘Appropriating identity‘) of this series.

Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa’ad released from military service
Activists show solidarity with latest Druze conscientious objector

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WATCH: Israeli police let stone-throwing settlers walk away http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-police-let-stone-throwing-settlers-walk-away/99740/ http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-police-let-stone-throwing-settlers-walk-away/99740/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:06:50 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99740 Israeli soldiers don’t arrest settlers. We know that. But what about Israeli police?

A couple of Jewish Israeli settlers were driving in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron last week — where Palestinians live but only Israelis can drive — when some Palestinian youths threw stones at them, according to human rights organization B’Tselem.

The two settlers got out of their car, presumably to try and catch the stone throwers. But when they couldn’t catch them, they went after the easiest target they could find: the pair smashed a local market’s egg delivery and threw stones at parked Palestinian-owned cars, smashing their windshields, as can be seen in video provided by B’Tselem.

They were still throwing stones when Israeli police arrived. The police, army and settlement security officer, however, just let the two settlers walk to their car and drive off. The following is video shot by B’Tselem volunteers.

(The rest of the incident can be seen here.)

The Palestinians involved filed a report with Israeli police and B’Tselem said it would provide the video footage if requested. However, the police’s failure to even detain the suspected perpetrators is indicative of a wider problem.

According to human rights organizations that collect data on such incidents, Israeli police have an abysmal record in holding settlers accountable for violence against Palestinians. Yesh Din released information about such investigations last month.

According to this data, in 2005-2014, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property, reflecting a decline of approximately one percent in the rate of such indictments.

Over the past nine years, according to their data, only 7.4 percent of investigations “led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.”

In the past two years, following a spate of higher-than-usual settler attacks against Palestinians, the government ordered the creation of a special police investigatory unit dealing exclusively with what Israel describes as “nationalistic crimes.”

Since the creation of the Nationalistic Crimes Unit in the West Bank, “the failure rate of the Israel Police in properly investigating ideological offenses against Palestinians has in fact worsened,” according to Yesh Din.

In 2013-2014, a statement by Yesh Din said, that nearly 90 percent of police investigations in the past two years were closed without indictment due to what the organization terms “investigative failures.”

In Hebron, terror begets a reign of terror
A city of devastation: Hebron 20 years after the massacre
Settler violence: It comes with the territory

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[WATCH] The Druze in Israel: Appropriating identity (part 3) http://972mag.com/watch-the-druze-in-israel-appropriating-identity-part-3/99607/ http://972mag.com/watch-the-druze-in-israel-appropriating-identity-part-3/99607/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:35:06 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99607 According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The third part of this series looks at Druze identity and its variations: from Palestinian to Israeli.

Watch parts one (‘A history lesson‘) and two (‘Land expropriation‘) of this series.

Druze conscientious objector Omar Sa’ad released from military service
Activists show solidarity with latest Druze conscientious objector

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[WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army: Land expropriation (part two) http://972mag.com/watch-druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-land-expropriation-part-two/99315/ http://972mag.com/watch-druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-land-expropriation-part-two/99315/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 18:23:34 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99315 According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The second episode in this four-part series looks at how despite drafting Druze men into the army, the State of Israel took over 85 percent of their land and settled Jews on it instead. Watch part one of the series: ‘A history lesson’.

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Open Mic: Israel has failed to outlaw torture http://972mag.com/open-mic-israel-has-failed-to-outlaw-torture/99175/ http://972mag.com/open-mic-israel-has-failed-to-outlaw-torture/99175/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:15:49 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99175 Israel Social TV gave a microphone and a camera to Dr. Ishai Menuchin, executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCABI), and asked him to speak about Israel’s obligations under international treaties, its failure to outlaw torture, and its abysmal record of investigating allegations of torture by state agents.

Related articles:
Legal experts cannot erase Israel’s history of torture
What the bones remember: Israeli doctors talk torture
Knesset extends legislation that facilitates torture

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WATCH: Soldiers protect settlers attacking West Bank village http://972mag.com/watch-soldiers-protect-settlers-attacking-west-bank-village/99018/ http://972mag.com/watch-soldiers-protect-settlers-attacking-west-bank-village/99018/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:54:35 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99018 Following the horrific terror attack in Jerusalem, IDF soldiers escort masked settlers as they pelt the village of Urif with stones.

A group of about 50 — mostly masked — settlers from Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village Urif on Tuesday night under the protection and escort of IDF soldiers, Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din reported.

Video footage of the incident, which took place just hours after the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, clearly shows IDF soldiers not only doing nothing to stop the assault on Palestinians, but in fact guarding the settlers as they throw stones.

Some of the soldiers appear to fire crowd-dispersal weapons at young Palestinians who gathered on the edge of the village. A 13-year-old student from the village school was lightly wounded by a stone thrown at his head, according to Yesh Din.

In the video below, at minute 00:54, a masked Israeli settler can be seen hurling a stone in the direction of Palestinians, standing safely behind the soldiers, who look on.

Yesh Din, which has been monitoring the recently established Nationalistic Crimes Unit, an Israeli police unit meant to deal specifically with settler violence against Palestinians, found that in the two years since the unit’s establishment, the number of investigations that led to indictments has actually gone down. Since 2005, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.

According to the organization, Tuesday’s attack is just the latest example of the IDF’s failure to meet its obligation to protect Palestinian residents of the West Bank, which it is expected to do under international law as an occupying force.

“Once again we discover IDF soldiers failing to meet their obligation to protect Palestinians subjected to vicious attacks by settlers in their own backyards,” said attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, legal advisor to Yesh Din’s criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project.

“The disturbing video footage demands vigorous investigation and the immediate prosecution of the soldiers involved. An examination must also be carried out of whether the soldiers’ commanders bear liability for the conduct of their subordinates,” she added.

Read also:
WATCH: IDF soldiers escort settlers attacking Palestinian village
Settler violence: It comes with the territory
Just another day of settler violence, IDF acquiescence

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WATCH: Settlers assault, throw stones at Palestinian farmers http://972mag.com/watch-settlers-assault-hurl-stones-at-palestinian-farmers/98899/ http://972mag.com/watch-settlers-assault-hurl-stones-at-palestinian-farmers/98899/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:32:59 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98899 The villagers of Ash-Shuyukh have been trying to reach their lands for 10 years — each time they are attacked by settlers. When they arrived there on Saturday, Israeli activists had cameras ready.

Settlers attacked a small group of Palestinian farmers from the village of Ash-Shuyukh who came to work their land near the settlements of Pnei Kedem and Metzad on Saturday.

As can be seen in video filmed by an Israeli activist with Ta’ayush, a direct-action solidarity group, the settlers threw stones and physically assaulted the farmers while a group of soldiers stood between the two and attempted to stop the attackers. The soldiers, however, refrained from detaining the settlers.

“Farmers have been prevented from accessing the land for nearly 10 years,” says Danny Kornberg, an activist with Ta’ayush who witnessed the attack. “They say that every time the settlers come, they either attack the farmers or call the soldiers who detain the farmers for hours. The landowners were granted permission by the court regarding these specific lands, which proved that the land indeed belongs to them. This is the first time that we accompanied them to the area — I hope it isn’t the last.”

The video, which is edited, shows soldiers coming down to the valley and asking for identification documents from the farmers. Eventually the settlers arrive and waste no time before they begin throwing rocks at the farmers and physically assaulting the activists who are filming.

All the while, the settlers yell racist epithets at the Palestinians (“you nasty Arab, you have no right to be here) and demand that the soldiers remove them from the vicinity of the settlement. The soldiers attempt to separate the two groups, but refuse the activists’ demand to detain the attackers. When soldiers witness such acts of settler violence, they can summon the police and detain the settlers until police arrive. In practice, however, that rarely happens.

Eventually the soldiers get confirmation over their radios that the farmers are allowed to work their own land, and the settlers leave.

According to one of the activists in the video, and as confirmed by Peace Now reports, the Pnei Kedem outpost partially sits atop privately owned Palestinian land.

More coverage of settler violence:
Settler violence comes with the territory
Israeli inaction enables settler violence against Palestinians
Settler violence: Think of it like burning down a Jewish business

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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[WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army (part 1): A history lesson http://972mag.com/druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-part-1-a-history-lesson/98882/ http://972mag.com/druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-part-1-a-history-lesson/98882/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 15:11:50 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98882 According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The first episode in a four-part series looking at Druze in Israel, their relationship with the security forces, social equality and a not-so-new draft refusal movement.

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WATCH: Police spray putrid water on Palestinian homes, schools http://972mag.com/watch-police-spray-putrid-water-on-palestinian-homes-schools/98840/ http://972mag.com/watch-police-spray-putrid-water-on-palestinian-homes-schools/98840/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:20:37 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98840 Two new videos catch a police ‘skunk’ truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school.

The “skunk” trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it’s all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets – entire neighborhoods – with its unbearable stink. Just like that.

Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and were given to +972 support claims by residents regarding the inappropriate use of the skunk by the police. In August, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a complaint to the police regarding multiple cases of the arbitrary use of the skunk, especially at times when there are no protests or clashes. It seems that the police has not changed its ways.

The common understanding among residents and human rights organizations is that the police are collectively punishing Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, in light of clashes between youth and police in these neighborhoods. But the punishment neither begins nor ends with skunk water; the police block entrances to these neighborhoods with concrete blocks, detains residents for long hours at checkpoints and hands out petty fines – all at the behest of the Jerusalem municipality.

Police use the 'skunk' water canon to disperse protesters in Kafr Kanna, a day after Israeli police fatally shot an Arab man in the village. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Police use the ‘skunk’ water canon to disperse protesters in Kafr Kanna, a day after Israeli police fatally shot an Arab man in the village. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

In the A-Tur neighborhood, the police shot skunk water at four large schools, forcing the parents of 4,500 students to leave their children at home due to the unbearable smell. “It was this past Friday, at around 5:30 p.m.,” says Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee in the neighborhood. “I was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

WATCH: The ‘skunk’ sprays foul-smelling liquid on a school in A-Tur

The skunk water targeted the A-Tur elementary school for boys, the elementary and high school for girls, a high school for boys and the “Basma” elementary school for disabled children. All four schools are located on the neighborhood’s main street.

“After we saw what they did, we told the parents not to send the children to school on Saturday, which is a school day for us. We thought that the municipality would be able to solve the problem by Sunday, since the children didn’t go to school on that day. It wasn’t a strike – we just could not enter the area because of the smell. We sent letters through the teachers on Saturday and Sunday, but no one came. So we brought back the children to school on Monday, and told them to go straight to class ad not linger outside. The smell even permeated the classrooms, but they closed the windows and made do somehow. They stayed inside during the lunch break and then went straight home. It has been a week, and it still smells. Less, but you can still smell it.”

For anyone who has not experienced it, words cannot express the smell of the skunk. The Israeli-developed truck is primarily used by the army in the occupied territories over the past several years, although now it is slowly making its way to Jerusalem and Israel. The strong stench smells like a mix of feces and animal carcass – gagging is almost inevitable.

WATCH: The ‘skunk’ showers putrid water on homes in Jabel Mukaber

The worst part is that there is almost no way to get rid of the smell. Showering doesn’t help, and protesters usually deal with it is by taking a dip in the sea. Objects that have been sprayed with skunk water often smell for much longer periods of time. After being hit with a few drops of skunk water, my camera smelled for nearly half a year.

It is difficult to fathom exactly why such large amounts of skunk water must be sprayed at classrooms and homes, as can be seen in the second video that was filmed in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem. Like in the video from A-Tur, there are no stone throwers or protesters. The police act casually, there are no rocks being thrown in the air, no sounds of explosions, no screaming or bullets that characterize confrontations in East Jerusalem. Just a skunk truck spraying homes.

“The perception of the residents and organizations is that the police uses the skunk routinely, regardless of whether they are dispersing protests, as one can plainly see in the video” Oshrat Maimon, an attorney with the Ir Amim NGO. “The problem is that we don’t even know what the police’s procedure is when it comes to using the skunk. Therefore, we don’t know if the problem is in the procedure itself, or in the lack of implementation. The truth is that we’re a bit helpless in this situation.”

Over the past several weeks, activists from East Jerusalem have met with members of human rights organizations in order to attempt to formulate a response to the actions of the police and municipality. They, however, found it difficult to arrive at a solution. “Our field coordinators say that people are afraid of the police and do not want to provide testimonies,” says Maimon. “Even people who were shot, such as someone was hit with a sponge-tipped bullet in the head or a woman who was shot and her uterus was torn – when our investigators speak with them, they are afraid that if they speak up the police will find its way to them and find a way to harm them.

In response to ACRI’s request, the police responded that the skunk is used according to regulations, but refused to say explain what the regulation says. ACRI has attempted to force the police to publish the regulations vis-a-vis the skunk. Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, the occupation becomes smellier than ever.

+972 asked for a response from Jerusalem Police. Their response will be published here.

Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis protest collective punishment in East Jerusalem
The hard fact is that Israeli repression works
What Palestinian media is saying about the Jerusalem violence

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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