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PHOTO: Soldier punches Palestinian activist in the face

Israeli soldiers have been harassing Palestinian activist Issa Amro since he released a video of a soldier cocking his weapon at two youths. ‘They know I am a moving camera,’ he says.

Palestinian non-violent activist Issa Amro is seen in the following photo, taken on May 28, being punched by an IDF soldier (the soldier’s identity is unknown and this specific moment does not capture the punch that achieved contact). Amro, who lives in Hebron, is the founder and director of Youth Against Settlements and one of the most prolific and effective documentarians of Israeli occupation in the city.

IDF soldier punching Issa Amro in Hebron (photo: Awni Abu Shamsieh)

IDF soldier punching Issa Amro in Hebron (photo: Awni Abu Shamsieh)

Amro, who has been detained and arrested more times than he can count despite not a single indictment ever being filed against him, told +972 he has been harassed by this specific soldier over the last few weeks. He suspects the reason is that last month he released a video (which went viral) of an Israeli soldier cocking his rifle at a Palestinian teenager in Hebron, and later threatening to “put a bullet in the head” of another Palestinian filming the incident.

David Adamov (a.k.a. David Nahlawi), a soldier in the Nahal Brigade who has since been dismissed (for assaulting his commander, not for this incident), became a  Facebook sensation among Israeli soldiers who lined up to defend him and proclaim, “we are all David Nahlawi.

Amro said the soldier in the photo has been following him around and detaining him while he films clashes between soldiers and Palestinians in Hebron recently. “They know I am a moving camera,” Amro told +972. He said he was detained several times last week, sometimes several times in one day.

“Last Monday, he detained me twice, once at 6 a.m. and once in the afternoon. He forced me to go in and out of the checkpoint more than 10 times,” Amro said. He said he was detained again on Tuesday, while being cursed at and verbally abused.

“I filled up with anger inside. The soldiers are using the power of occupation to humiliate me and to take revenge on me for doing something legal. I have no protection at all, no one to complain to, no one to give [me] the feeling of protection,” Amro said.

Amira Hass reported in Haaretz on another incident last month in which Amro insisted it is the army’s job to protect him from settlers. The soldier replied that he only protects Jews, adding: “Who protects you? You fucker – the next chance I get I’ll shoot you.”

Related:
Palestinian non-violent protest leader arrested en route abroad
A city of devastation: Hebron 20 years after the massacre
WATCH: IDF detains 5-year-old Palestnian in Hebron

 

 

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    COMMENTS

    1. nahnahnah

      I would like to see the whole video to put it all in context. Even better would be video taken by a 3rd party.

      Far too often these ‘assaults’ are setups by the activists. You know, get in the soldier’s face over a period of minutes and if he responds you get that single picture but not the background leading up to it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        Sure, in a proper context, punching a fellow in the face is exactly the most efficient and humane way of attaining a legitimate military objective.

        That said, “getting into soldiers face for a number of minutes” does not describe such a situation. So I would give D for this effort to explain the video.

        Reply to Comment
    2. ish yehudi

      disgusting

      Reply to Comment
    3. Rab

      So “Youth Against Settlements” is an adult-founded and operated organization? How surprising. And they send kids up to soldiers to attempt to incite them? And have cameras rolling while they do it?

      Pretty cynical propaganda, isn’t it? I know, why doesn’t 972mag publish another article on the same day complaining about the supposed maltreatment of Palestinian youths by the military? Sources by yet another NGO that has a history of publishing propaganda.

      Oh wait, you did!

      By the way, where is the photo of the actual punch landing? The soldier’s hand is pretty far away from Amro in this photo and it actually looks as if Amro is being warned away because he’s crowding the soldier’s space (likely in the middle of some operation).

      Meanwhile, while you report on this fluff, real people are dying in many other countries.

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        So the soldier simply couldn’t help himself but lash out physically at an unarmed civilian who was not doing anything illegal, and so should not be held at fault. This is akin to saying that a woman who goes out in booty shorts deserves to get sexually assaulted.

        Also, saying that helping kids organize to deal with a matter that directly affects them and their families is no different from the IDF or JSPD physically abusing underage detainees is a false equivalence. Your kneejerk reaction of ascribing only cynical motives to Amro is, itself, cynical. We’re talking about civilians; this isn’t a general and his private army. I don’t remember you refuting the DCI-Palestine report in the comment section of the article you mentioned, BTW. You just cited another report (from a favored source), about child suicide bombers, and expected it to rebut the charge that child detainees are denied their rights and abused habitually.

        As to the photo, it certainly looks to me like the soldier’s fist is close to Amro’s face. Maybe the camera caught it in the split second before he made contact (a la the Saigon Execution Photo). Either way, what else would the soldier have been doing with his fist in Amro’s face?

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          Blah, blah, blah.

          An adult activist sets up kids to challenge soldiers. It’s a win-win for him. He raises money to make a living. He sends kids out. If they get hurt, it’s a news story. If they don’t, he still makes a living and maybe gets a good story out of it.

          This photo of a non-event is a perfect example.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Like I said. Takes a cynic to see cynics everywhere. Except, of course, for the blameless Israeli soldier who assaulted an unarmed civilian.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            Where’s the picture of the assault?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            At the top of the article.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            The fist is nowhere near the man’s face. You can say, at best, that the soldier is threatening him, but there is no assault. Clearly there were cameras there, so where is the photo of the assault?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Extending your fist as far away from your body as possible, stiff-arm Planeteer-style, and jiggling it in the vicinity of somebody’s face may be how drunken Martians like to threaten people, but I’ve never seen anyone on earth do it before. I maintain that the soldier’s fist is close enough to Amro’s jaw to indicate that he was in the process of hitting him. Unless you can give me a good reason why an Israeli soldier would pose pretending to hit somebody at a protest, thus accruing more bad PR for his country?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            It could well be that the soldier was being crowded in the middle of an actual task. There is the photographer we see in the pic and then on his other side, obviously very close, is another photographer who took this photo. The soldier may be sending a message, a threatening message, but a threat isn’t an assault.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            I haven’t been in many fistfights in my life, but I’m pretty sure nobody would ever threaten somebody else with such a ridiculous, goofy-looking pose. The soldier wasn’t threatening Amro, he took a swing at him; maybe it glanced off or even missed (i.e. Rab seeing the fist as looking far from the face), but he still intended to hit him.

            The soldier doesn’t look crowded to me; he had plenty of open space between that white apartment building in the background, and himself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Have you ever been in a fistfight where the guy throwing the punch wasn’t even looking your way?

            And the soldier is clearly surrounded by these two photographers. He’s also looking ahead as if in the middle of doing something.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            It looks to me like the soldier IS looking at Amro, with his right eye, at an angle.

            “Surrounded” is when there’s someone blocking you from EVERY side. Not when it’s just one guy in front of you and another to your left.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Haha. He’s looking straight ahead. At most, he’s using his peripheral vision.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            So let me get this straight: the soldier is “threatening” Amro by extending his fist as far away from his body as possible, in such a way that it resembles an actual stiff-arm punch, and wiggling it in his face. All the while, he is not even looking at the person he is supposedly “threatening.”

            Have I got it about right?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            That’s what the photo shows. Whether that’s what happened or not is conjecture since there is no photo of a punch actually hitting anybody. This isn’t a matter of interpretation, the photo does not show an assault or a pending assault.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            If you REALLY think a guy in a photo extending his fist in somebody’s face, so that it looks remarkably like he is punching them, while not even looking at them, is NOT punching that person, I’m done. There is no way to convince you.

            I quit.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Why quit so soon? Surely there is more ground to hash here?

            Reply to Comment
      • Goyim

        Rab. Answer this. Do you believe Jews to be a superior race than others?

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          I believe I am superior to you. Moron.

          Reply to Comment
          • JG

            I believe you are superior to a piece of skunk, BarRab, not more.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Don’t call “Goyim” a piece of skunk, JG, you’re being too kind.

            Reply to Comment
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