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WATCH: Israeli soldiers stand by, escort settlers as they attack Palestinian villages

Following the murder of a settler from Yitzhar on Tuesday, dozens of Israeli settlers from the region attacked several Palestinian villages. They threw stones at Palestinians, at cars and buses, smashed windows and burned houses. These videos, taken by B’Tselem photographers from the villages Asira al-Qibliya and Urif, show how IDF forces allow the riots against the Palestinian farmers to take place. In several cases the soldiers talk to the rioters or try to shove them away. In others, they simply provide escorts for them as they throw stones or storm the villages.

Video from Asira al-Qibliya:

Video from Urif:

Video from Asira al-Qibliya (An officer is speaking to a rioter – the smoke from the burning field can be seen in the background):

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    1. 1) As far as I know, 972 has not carried a report on the settlers’ murder; that is a mistake.

      2) On the evidence of the videos, soldiers made no attempt to quell the riot as they would have if Jewish property were at stake.

      3) But on the same evidence, the soldiers kept the riot from getting worse, particuarlly stopping settler advance endangering life directly. That was as much for the lives of the settlers as attacked residents.

      The rules of engagement over settler violence are different relative to Palestinian residents, but there. Tear gas, skunk water, etc. are not used–rather a “listen to your friend” approach. The IDF cannot be said to have sat back; nor did they protect resident property. By preventing bodily harm on both sides, they lessened possibilities of escalation. But they begin by preventing harm to the settlers, which is their mission. Preventing harm to Palestinian residents is secondary, as evidenced by the tolerated property attack. I doubt anyone will be arrested for the field burning. Such arrest would act as a future deterrent, but would also harm settler/soldier relations–a primary value.

      Reply to Comment
      • ish yehudi

        i think you’re right greg— the headlines that972 chose to put on these clips- vs whats actually in the clips- show the clear agendas of this site.. You said it well- the soldiers are keeping things from escalating.
        I also get tired of the phrase and implications that “settler violence” carries- when it’s clear from all the videos put up by b’tzelem and others that we are talking about settler boys between the ages of 14-20 on all these clips. Is it largely the same on the Palestinian side- whose throwing rocks and painting their entire people as militant fighters?
        how do we channel the passionate energies of our youth for whats right and so clearly black and white for them- into positive movement for change? / ?

        Reply to Comment
        • mahmoud

          Yes, except that you forgot that Palestinian teens (7-18) get arrested and tried for throwing rocks at soldiers whereas settlers get no punishment for throwing rocks at civilians and destroying property. What a twisted logic!

          Reply to Comment
        • I am no friend to this revenge violence–which is what it was. But, if one demonizes the IDF in all instances irrespective of the facts, how can one hope to effectively advocate IDF change in protocals? Respect must always be given its due. The IDF was not neutral in this case, but the soldiers did keep things from flaming higher.

          As to what you say about these being settler youth: are not these settlements places of avowd religion? Should there not then be discipline over these youth?

          There will be others who finally break into violence, Jewish and Palestinian. Every response should be prepreation for response to the next round. That is what this structure has created. How do change the structure? Only those who live it–on both sides–can see a way; not I.

          Reply to Comment
        • “How do we channel the passionate energies of our youth for whats right and so clearly black and white for them- into positive movement for change?”

          This is an important question. The first thing is to recognise that most adolescents think in quite a didactic black-and-white way (see Oscar Wilde – “I am no longer young enough to know everything”) and that young people in Palestine/Israel are nothing out of the ordinary. It’s a typical part of adolescent development and it should pass naturally as they get older – or it would, if they weren’t facing challenges that kids elsewhere don’t have. The situation in which they live is highly polarised, which doesn’t exactly encourage the development of nuanced sensitive thinking. Secondly, research has shown that abused or traumatised children have greater difficulty in developing this flexibility of thought, which explains some of the emotional problems I see in the Palestinian teens I work with. Thirdly, people in general (and young people especially) are more likely to fall into rigid thinking when they’re quite stressed. This statement is probably not going to make me wildly popular round here, but teenagers from certain settlement communities have more stresses in their life than is usual. It shows.

          I don’t know how we address it, but a good start would be for adults to stop demonising kids. Whenever there is a fresh article on the detention and abuse of Palestinian children, the apologists show up to tell us that the kids deserve it somehow. They’re raised to hate, they’re violent, they’re guilty, they’re symptoms of a sick society. Now we seem to have people expressing disapproval that the army didn’t react to these settler boys with the same harshness that they would have shown to young Palestinians. I’ve seen people compete over the contents of textbooks, photos of little Israeli girls crayoning messages onto missiles, Palestinian ‘baby bomber’ photos – who is worse, who is more hateful? It’s often accompanied by crocodile tears (“Too bad their parents are teaching them to hate, I feel so sorry for them”). If we hope to influence kids for the better we need to stop treating them like this and start having some genuine care for them, irrespective of who they are. It’s no use to expect them to think any differently otherwise.

          Reply to Comment
    2. annie

      ” settler boys between the ages of 14-20 on all these clips”

      spare us your pathetic analysis. we’ve seen the israeli troops amassed for palestinian demonstrations. there’s nothing like that here. nothing. where are the masses of troops. it’s not as if you can not predict there will be a backlash. they are allowing the collective punishment of palestinian people. these settlers are running wild. there should be a minimum of 100 troops, or more. where’s the law enforcement? give me a break. there are a few random boys in uniform ..that’s it.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yeah, your bunch would love to see IDF shooting settlers with live ammo.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Kolumn9

      Look, I am watching these videos and I see the IDF pushing the settlers away from the village. The soldiers are not themselves at risk from the settlers so they don’t need to resort to force. In confrontations with Palestinians the soldiers themselves are usually the targets so they use force.

      I see complaints here that the soldiers are not using force and do not appear to be in the least bit afraid of the settlers. That is because they are not and don’t need to react in the way they would were a crowd of 100 Palestinian youth approaching them with the intent to inflict damage on the soldiers. There is nothing shocking here.

      Reply to Comment
      • carl

        so you are watching the wrong video

        Reply to Comment
    4. silvie

      are you blind, or a settler?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Mikey

      Have the videos been removed? None are showing on this page.

      Reply to Comment
      • I couldn’t see them earlier but now I see them. Perhaps there is a bug on the page. I added links to the lines before them, so you can watch them on YouTube

        Reply to Comment