Just when you thought it couldn't get any more embarrassing or distorted, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has managed to top itself. On Sunday, the unit published a new video on its YouTube channel, showing scenes of Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers firing rounds of tear gas "in self-defense" in the West Bank village of Qaddum. Every Friday for the past two years, the villagers of Qaddum (along with Israeli and international activists) have marched toward the nearby settlement of Kedumim to protest the continuing expropriation of their land. As in every un-armed protest across the West Bank, the IDF…Read More... | 28 Comments
The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…Read More... | 2 Comments
+972 speaks with Jessica Montell, of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, about the settlements and occupation staring the Israeli public in the face, and communicating the human rights message effectively, at home and abroad. From her fourth floor office window in Jerusalem, Jessica Montell can see the red-tiled roofs of Israeli homes inside the settlement of Gilo, east of the Green Line, in annexed East Jerusalem. She can also see Givat HaMatos, another West Bank community, where Israel is planning a new settlement. “It’s not an ivory tower,” she says of her office…Read More... | 2 Comments
Earlier this week I reported here on the violent arrest of 19-year-old of Abed al-Rahem Awad from the Palestinian village of Budrus. Soldiers broke open the Awad family’s house doors before dawn on Sunday and dragged Abed al-Rahem down the stairs as his family members tried to release him from their hands. Several family members were beaten, including two females who ended up hospitalized; grenades were thrown into the house and considerable damage was done to their property. Several months ago, soldiers shot to death at close range Abed’s younger brother, Samir, as he was trying to cross the separation…Read More... | 22 Comments
The IDF will allow Gaza fishermen to go beyond three-mile zone previously imposed on them and up to six miles into the Mediterranean Sea, it announced on Tuesday. Under the Oslo Accords, Gaza's maritime boundaries stretch 20 nautical miles from shore. However, as a part of its blockade policy, Israel does not allow fishermen to travel beyond a narrow strip of three to six miles - an area which changes at the discretion of the government and defense minister. The Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world (see map below) and fishing constitutes an important source of food…Read More... | 21 Comments
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has clarified that the "forbidden" buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border), and not 100 meters as it previously announced. Civilians who enter the area risk being shot by the army. In the past, the killing of Palestinians who wandered into the forbidden zone has led to retaliatory rocket launching from the Strip into Israeli territory. The clarification was made following a request by the human rights organization Gisha. Gisha had noticed that the IDF Spokesperson’s messages stated a different distance than did the Coordinator of Government…Read More... | 31 Comments
Last Wedensday, 17-year-old Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah was killed at an IDF checkpoint in Hebron. The army claimed that the young Palestinian drew a fake gun on one of the soldiers, leaving a border policewoman who was near the scene no choice but to shoot him. The Salaymah family said that Muhammad was on his way to a candy store to by a cake for his birthday. Until now, the army refused to release the footage captured by a security camera which monitors the checkpoint. Today, this clip was posted on the IDF's Arabic channel. It is hard to tell what's going on…Read More... | 46 Comments
This has to be one of the strangest, dumbest stories I have unfortunately been following lately. Yana Gurlik, a 30-year-old expat came to Israel for a family wedding last month, and was told on arrival that there were some problems with her status, according to the army. At the airport she was asked to go to an army base to set things straight. Gurlik left the country with her parents at age 17, and has since been to Israel twice, with no problems whatsoever. She decided to play it safe and go to the army base. There, she was arrested for draft dodging.…Read More... | 9 Comments
Comments from IDF Spokesperson regarding the Hebron incident proven false. Last month, Mairav Zonszein posted a video showing a young Palestinian being assaulted and detained by a group of soldiers, most of them in civilian clothing. The incident happened at checkpoint 56 in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. After several Hebrew media outlets featured the clip, the IDF Spokesperson released the following comment: The video does not accurately depict the course of events that occurred yesterday. During routine activity in Hebron, a Palestinian individual refused to identify himself to soldiers following their request. The Palestinian individual confronted IDF forces on the scene,…Read More... | 5 Comments
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, died the morning after inhaling massive amounts of tear gas at a protest in Bil'in last year. The exact cause of her death, however, is still unclear. Why has the army refused to open an investigation into the matter and where does the case stand? A report from one of the family's legal representatives. By Emily Schaeffer We may never know what caused Jawaher Abu Rahmah's death on January 1, 2011. Following the incident the IDF Spokesperson’s Office launched a disinformation campaign asserting first that she was not at the Bil’in demonstration that preceded her death,…Read More... | 4 Comments
The IDF is recently putting a lot of effort into propaganda campaigns, and especially new media ones. The army has a blog, a Flickr account, a Facebook page and a Youtube channel; officers from IDF spokesperson unit are very active on social networks, where they argue with journalists and activists and at times even endorse certain (rightwing) political positions. A recent entry in the IDF Spokesperson blog encouraged readers to help the army "spread the truth" about the military escalation in the south. Another entry was dedicated to a tweet from a Palestinian blogger, which showed a photo of a…Read More... | 8 Comments
A photographer and two women, one reportedly a French national, were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at this Friday's anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. UPDATE: A video of the incident is now embedded, below Three civilians were injured in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today and required hospitalization, according to reports from several eyewitness. A French national, whose name is reportedly Amissy (unconfirmed), was hit in the neck with a projectile - either a tear gas canister or a rubber-coated steel bullet. The Israeli army reports that a border police…Read More... | 11 Comments
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