Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

WATCH: Palestinian violently dragged by ununiformed soldiers

A video uploaded Tuesday by the International Solidarity movement shows a young Palestinian man being violently dragged from checkpoint 56 in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. The young men dragging him appear to be soldiers out of uniform during some sort of sport activity. I have requested comment from the IDF spokesperson and will update if I hear back.

UPDATE: The IDF Spokesperson replied with this response:

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, an incident which doesn’t appear in the video; other soldiers not on duty, who happened to be in the area, witnessed the confrontation and came to the aid of the soldiers on scene.

This is the text description that ISM uploaded.

A Palestinian man was detained by soldiers at checkpoint 56 and dragged into a house were they closed the door. Another Palestinian, a teenager, protested against this just as a group of soldiers out of uniform came jogging by. They immediately went for the young Palestinian protesting the detainment and started wrestling him to the ground in an efford to detain him as well.

As they were wrestling him one soldier kicked him while another hit him with his hand. The soldiers proceded to carry him down the hill towards the same building where they still kept the first detained Palestinian behind closed doors. As they went they dropped the young Palestinian man to the ground but just kept on dragging him across the concrete. More soldiers came to the area and started shoving people away declaring it a Closed Military Zone (CMZ), but refusing to show the papers they are required to have in order to create a CMZ.

One soldier out of uniform tried to steal several witnesses camera and passport and succeded in one case, after which he ran down the hill hiding amongst the other soldiers. The soldiers kept the passport for 35 minutes at which point they handed it over to the police, saying “Make sure to write down his name for the airport, so he can’t come back here”, referring to the many solidarity activists who has been registered and banned from entering Israel. The two Palestinian men were put into military jeeps and taken to the military base even though the police were present

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Palestinian

      7aywanat

      Reply to Comment
    2. It is very difficult for an occupation to not generate abuse. It can be done under some circumstances; the NATO policing of Bosnia went fairly well, I think, save for the mucker he committed mass murder. But the IDF is not at all an impartial arbitrator, which means that the internal policing of military force will be weak, degenerate over time. American inner city police forces have a difficult time as well, without the enemy population mentality which is part of the IDF. These police are not conscripted, and are not as young as the IDF conscripts.
      .
      What can be abused will ultimately be abused. And, over time, the definition of abuse will shrink. Young Palestinian males will especially become inflamed. What Israel security does not understand is that solidarity activists probably dampen violent responses by their very presence. Eventually, violence will erupt, and unending, racial blame will be made again.
      .
      It must be numbing to see a friend or relative disappear in a building like that.

      Reply to Comment
    3. viiit

      The context for this video is entirely missing.
      There are cases when dragging someone away would be an abuse, there are other cases when doing so is an absolute necessity for public safety.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      Greg, it is almost an absolute certainty that young Palestinian males will at some point become inflamed regardless of whether the initial cause is real (detention, house demolition, etc) or fictional (opening up of tunnels, insults to Islam, fictional attacks on Al Aqsa, etc..). This is just a byproduct of the situation that exists whereby local actors have an interest in inflaming the situation for personal or group gains. This is accepted as inevitable, thereby allowing Israeli security forces to ignore the fear of ‘inflammation’. When things do blow up it will be as a result of a political decision. There is nothing organic about it.
      .

      As for the video itself, the guy was arrested and in perfectly decent form. I’ve seen worse in arrest videos from occupy wall street protests.

      Reply to Comment
    5. K9,
      .
      Group formation is organic; you know this from millenia of Jewish history. All sorts of more or less latent groups exist in the Bank. Abbas, it is said, is generally against demonstrations–I think because he knows that the hierarchy he has formed, not without much good done, is precarious at the margins, and the margins are more likely to demonstrate. Yes, violence will not be uncoordinated when it comes (I now see “when,” not “if”). But decisions will be made more locally than you may realize. The IDF sees violence as inevitable because they cannot see an alternative among the enemy. I think the Wall protests could be the nucleus of an alternative. As I have tried to say or hint when commenting on the Popular Resistence Committee posts, when violence comes, it must be resisted by other oppressed Palestinians. That resistence is often hidden, in how social networks work, how backs are turned, others sent aid. It is simply not in the long term interests of Israel to crush all dissent. You will need that dissent, and for that need to work it must be autonomous–it must be AGAINST you.
      .
      There is a crucial difference between this video and Occupy Wall Street arrests in the US: in the US there is judical review and unfettered press coverage. When that young man in the above video disappears into the building, all knowledge potentially ceases. He is estranged from his fellows and family, they from him. The IDF can, at pleasure, deny all legal process. I actually do not think officers of the law in the US would get away with what we saw; but, beyond that, there is no doubt of the judicial protections in the US. Their absence in the Bank amplifies every seen event beyond its actual material outcome of the moment. If nurtures fear, resentment, hate. And the IDF uses this for control. But, as said above, it also nutures group formation, organically, creating trigger points of retaliation.
      .
      Martin Luther King, Jr. was accused by whites and some blacks of acting for personal and group gain. And he was. The point is, however, what the bystanders decide to do. In King’s case, many went with him. By saying situations are “inflamed for personal or group gains” you mask the years of hurt, told and retold and lived presently, as if speaking of those years is itself a crime, pure selfishness. It is more. It is the accumulated endured harm of decades.
      .
      I understand the suicide bombing horror; I really do. I don’t want to see it come back either. But in winning that fight, you are seeding a new explosion. Look carefully at your enemy and understand ultimately you must live with, side by side, in one structure or another.
      .
      Your view is well thought out and presented. Anyone who ignores it will find it even more difficult to make a way out. As I’ve said before, I’m just an aging man with too much time on his hands. The reality is where you live (maybe)–and across that Wall, both ways.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Laurent Szystter

      Yawn.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Kolumn9

      Greg, sorry, but that first paragraph is nonsense. I am sure you mean well, but this is just not how humans work in the real world. There was no organic Palestinian ‘resistance’ to attacks on Israelis in any previous incarnation of Arab violence and there will not be one in the future. In a situation where all groups are fighting Israel there is no legitimacy in taking concrete action in restraining the tactics used by other groups. Even when the PA went on a spree of arresting IJ/Hamas operatives in the West Bank they had to do it under the guise of restoring order and there are as of yet no significant Palestinian groups/movements/organizations that are willing to publicly condemn suicide bombers and other murderers of Israeli civilians. They may call the act regrettable, they might deem it unproductive for Palestinian interests, but they are not going to condemn the act or its perpetrator. Even the supposedly moderate Abbas shows up every few months to another ceremony celebrating yet another mass murderer of Israeli civilians. This is where the dominant perception of legitimacy lies and it doesn’t appear to be changing.
      .

      Look, the cup of hatred for Israelis is full. It has a basis in history, ideology and religion and it really doesn’t matter what the IDF or the police do at this point. I remember having this same argument in 2003 with an American professor in Jerusalem who while buses were exploding kept insisting that harsh Israeli counter measures would lead to increased suicide bombings by increasing the hatred for Israel and motivation for attacks on Israel. He was wrong and you are wrong now. Whether 5% of Palestinians are personally interested in attacking Israel or 40% are interested makes absolutely zero difference. What determines whether attacks take place is an organizational decision on the part of those that run the various Palestinian organizations. The pretext is almost entirely irrelevant and could be pretty much anything. The political legitimacy for attacks on Israelis is there, the organizations exist on the ground (though the IJ/Hamas are weak in the WB), the volunteers for the attacks are relatively easily found thanks to the education system and so the only restraining factors are the lack of interest in escalating at the moment on the part of the PA forces because it would achieve nothing, the relatively limited organization of Hamas/IJ in the West Bank, and the fear among all Palestinians of plunging the territories back into violence and anarchy. The second intifada did significantly more damage to the Palestinians than to the Israelis while accomplishing negative results (see: the wall) and the third one will probably lead to the collapse of the PA and a humanitarian disaster.
      .

      I am under no illusion that the current relatively peaceful status quo is sustainable. There will be another
      blow up in the near future. It is entirely unavoidable because the underlying conflict is not amenable to a comprehensive solution. The confusion that you seem to have is the belief that this is some kind of civil rights issue. It isn’t. The Palestinians are fighting a prolonged war for national liberation / self-determination under an ideological narrative which leaves no room for a large-scale compromise with Israel on the most important issues. The Palestinians have a fundamentally separate national identity from Israel, including the full complement of national symbols, history and ideology. They are not walking around with Israeli flags demanding in Hebrew that they be sent to the army and given the right to vote in Israel. Neither are they walking around with maps of WB&G as the future map of Palestine. You persistently choose to frame it as a civil rights issue with references to MLK and others, but it isn’t and isn’t going to become one. No one with any power or popularity on the ground sees it as one and if you hear MLK references it is just noise meant to play for a gullible Western audience.
      .

      As to the video above.. Very well, there is a huge difference in the legal system that would apply to those arrested in OWS and those arrested in Hebron. Nonetheless, the actual act of the arrest itself is almost entirely indistinguishable from how similar arrests would be carried out in many other places. Officers of the law in the US would and do get away with precisely the same manner of behavior. Enjoy the following best-of compilation of OWS arrests and let me know whether the actions in the video above are more or less brutal, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCT5CVdd0z0
      .

      Reply to Comment
    8. K9,
      .
      Thanks for your long and considered reply. Sorry for not replying yesterday, but I was not online much that day.
      .
      First, on the video: yes, the first two were rather brutal. At no point, however, were those arrested silenced from their networks of friends and family afterwards. This difference is crucial. The IDF is much of a black hole; American police departments are not. I would also point out one on the ground significant difference: the American police were surrounded by crowds; not so in the arrest video herein. If you are not subject to oversight after arrest, stops on action during arrest will degrade. I think you know this.
      .
      It is not the case that West Bank Palestinians act in lock step to their leaders, whoever these are. Nor is it the case that independent action derived from small networks is impossible. It seems that the Arab Spring was thought impossible for a similar reason: that locals, without hierarchial organization, can do little.
      .
      But consdier just Cairo during the uprising: the State withdrew the police, thinking crime would soar and people would demand a return to normalcy. Instead, neighborhoods linked in crime watches, communicating with one another; cars would pass one check point in a neighborhood, signaled a car was approaching the next, to be stopped there too. Clearly, the regime did not anticipate such a response. Nor the response of the Square crowd when attacked by people on camels and horses. Local, organic organization is indeed possible, and I think it clearly exhbited in the Wall protests; just read the occasional reports by Haggai Matar on organizational meetings herein. It is common to think the opposing side more organized that it may be. As you point out, in the case of suicide bombing a small number of people can be enough. But this does not imply that all Palestinians are taking orders to support such acts.
      .
      I am going to present something here I have never done before on this site, although I have been a “regular” for well over two years, I guess. I used to be in evolutionary biology and economics; in 1998-9, not post the 2000 bombing events, though the paper I will reference was published in 08 (I had given up and it took some effort to go back to the material), I and my friend and academic economist Antonio Cabrales asked if we could sustain something akin to suicide bombing in an evolutionary model.
      .
      You may find the published paper at
      http://www.eco.uc3m.es/acabrales/research/gregEER2288.pdf
      .
      which is Antonio’s university server in Madrid, where he now is chair of the Department of Economics (full location in the paper). (The server is down as I write; be a little patient if the link fails; if it continues to fail, signal me on this page, if you like; I will contact Antonio directly. If you google on my full name Gregory B. Pollock, the link will pop up too.)
      .
      We came up with a model which will sustain, abstractly, something akin to suicide bombing in a world of many groups exposed to a single, global predator. One of the conclusions we came to is that suicide bombing is not just an attack on the overt victim, but competiton among groups otherwise thought to be on the same side. The world is more fine grain than we would like to admit. Groups compete with one another for resources and support against the global predator.
      .
      The paper does not discuss a human example; in fact, such talk was taken out by the editor as too volatile. So, in speculation, and I hope you see I am doing this in the interest of thought, not ideology: a group sends out a suicide bomber. Israel, as the IDF, replies to what it can see: Fatah and the Authority. Police stations are destroyed (this happened under Barak). The relative standing of Fatah begins to decline. More bombings, similar predator response. Recall that Hamas won the Legislative Council elections. I think the relative standing of Fatah was indeed harmed, likewise through its corruption.
      .
      Now I want to be clear that I am not defending this behavior. In evolution, suicide bombing should apparently be impossible. You can say that this means evolution can’t deal with the phenomenon; but we asked–can evolution deal with it, in some way. We provided a “yes.” One needed assumption is that the enemy is not just one large entity but composed of several autonomous, rival, groups.
      .
      I have indeed noticed that few “on the Palestinian” side condemn suicide bombing. I think this a mistake. But in the apparently futile actions of the Wall protests I see the beginning of an alternative, through the lens of multiple group formation–”organic,” as you say. It is, in fact, the only hope I see to shut down the phenomenon overall. I have no doubt there will be another bombing at some point; the question will be how one responds. And consider Haggai Matar’s “Wall” series: it is not at all clear to me that the IDF, with the PA, are fully responsible for the lack of bombings. There may be more happening on the ground than we can envision, especially given our lack of exposure to real lives and life in the Bank.
      .
      Lastly, any government which expands settlements does not want a comprehensive solution; I think we both know that. If you act as if this is a zero sum national game, perhaps that is what you will get. Yes, I am betting on the group formation seen in Wall protests. I can’t say it will expand later, or be imitated, or, if so, will do well. But I do have faith than many people want out of this multi generation trap. Both South Africa and Northern Ireland were thought intractable; neither is fully resolved, but great strides have been made. My almost certain fear, however, is that in Israel, enduring some attacks will be almost a necessity–I think Rabin thought this too, but am not sure. This fear is predicated on the continued expansion of the vanguard settlements, with consequent costs to those already resident in the area.
      .
      I have not written this to anger you. I have never talked about it here. It is just a paper, an idea. But absent new ideas, is not what remains destruction and expulsion? I don’t want that for Israel. I’m a nobody, but still–I don’t want that.

      Reply to Comment
    9. joel

      I see orange shirt w/kippah very gently trying to get the Arab guy to do some and than the Arab guy shoves orange shirt and the Arab is trundled away.

      Or did I miss something?

      Reply to Comment

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel