Soldiers push, throw stun grenades and point their guns at Palestinian journalists reporting on clashes in Jalazone refugee camp.
A video published last weekend showed a group of soldiers from the Kfir Brigade assaulting a Palestinian man in Jalazone refugee camp, throwing him on the ground while kicking and beating him with their guns. Four of the soldiers were sentenced — one of them was reprimanded, one was given 30-day confinement, and two others received 28-day suspended sentences each.
On Tuesday, activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) — which brings activists from around the world to participate in acts of nonviolent protests against the occupation — released a longer video that captures more of the incident in Jalazone. The new video shows soldiers repeatedly harassing a group of Palestinian journalists who are standing at a distance from clashes between residents of the camp and soldiers.
The soldiers are seen trying to push the journalists away from the scene of the clashes, swear at them, repeatedly point their guns at them, push them and throw stun grenades at them. At one point, the journalists respond to the soldiers by swearing at them. However, it is clear from the video that they pose no threat to the soldiers.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded to the second video, stating that the the commander of the Kfir Brigade, Col. Asher Ben-Lulu, has properly investigated the incident in Jalazone, and found that it was “a violent riot that lasted a number of hours, during which the rioters threw Molotov cocktails, rocks and stones at the soldiers. At one point, a company commander was wounded by a stone thrown at his face, he was evacuated from the scene with a possible cracked eye socket.”
While the IDF Spokesperson’s response detailed the sentences of the four soldiers involved in assaulting the man in the first video, there is no mention of the Palestinian journalists harassed by the soldiers, despite not posing a threat to them.
Over the past few months there has been several incidents of violence by Israeli soldiers toward journalists in the West Bank. Last month, a journalist was struck in the eye by a rubber bullet. The IDF Spokesperson has yet to respond to the incident. Two months ago, soldiers were videotaped throwing stones at and attacking Israeli and Palestinian photojournalists during a protest in the West Bank.
This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.