An Israeli human rights group has released a video that appears to show Israeli soldiers standing by while Jewish settlers open fire on stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in the West Bank, wounding one of them. The incident comes only days after another equally shocking and inexcusable one (yet with far more dramatic casualties) in neighbouring Lebanon …
The IRI state media obviously reports both incidents but with a slightly different outlook …
As much as the incidents in the West bank are limited to the footage widely circulating on youtube, and other media outlets the IRI Press TV however doesn’t even bother to investigate or interview Israeli or Palestinian authorities on the exact circumstances behind this shocking footage. However when it comes to the recent unrest in neighbouring Lebanon Press TV merely relies on official reports by Syria’s UN ambassador …
As such while the IRI media accurately reports the recent death of a sunni cleric who opposed the Syrian Regime ( SeeFuneral ) and who was shot by soldiers in Lebanon (See Related News), the IRI Anchors however carefully blame the Lebanon unrest on « terrorists » while dismissing reports of arms being smuggled into Syria by the IRI as it was recently reported by the Turkish authorities andechoed by Reuters ( See Related News) …
That the situation in the so called « occupied » territories is far from ideal is a given fact and that such violent incidents and provocations from both sides highlight the counterproductive policies of both the Israeli government (which has blindly encouraged settlements) as well as the difficulties of the Palestinian authority FATAH to truly impose itself over far more radical elements like the Fundamentalist HAMAS …
But it is also clear that the unpredictable and rising tensions in the Middle East have far reaching geo political implications which are being exploited to the benefit of the Islamic Republic and other rogue states like Syria whose crimes are either being ignored in the name of Real Politics by an international community hostage to the stubborn stance of Giants like Russia, China but also India and South Africa (two great nations whose leaders often take pride in being the sons and daughters of the likes of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela two quintessential icons of civil dissobedience).
In addition the failure of the United Nations as well as regional powers like the Arab League and Turkey to interfere militarily in Syria as was the case in the Libyan Conflict is playing into the hands of far more radical groups close to Salafist movements and Al Quaeda both of which offer Iran and Syria the convenient excuse to blame the horrors of the Syrian conflict on Fundamentalist groups. (Read: Is the Salafist Threat In Syria Just a Convenient Illusion? )
As ‘peaceniks’, ‘Liberal Democrats’ and other deemed ‘Citizens of the World’ in Europe and the United States will predictably jump on the bandwagon to express outrage at Israel’s stubborn stance and equate « Zionism » and « racism » …the question which remains unanswered is if anybody seriously has a concrete solution as to how correctly address these complex regional issues without depicting them in « Black and White » but rather by offering a Global Solution to putting an end to the mad and never ending violence which is slowly but surely grinding the middle east at large …
Christopher Hitchens – Iran vs Israel:
Christopher Hitchens Confronts an iranian women defending the IRI:
If Not then don’t expect me to “fashionably” dance to your tune at any price …
Shah of Iran In France Meets President Pompidou at the Same Periode Speaks about Iran’s Stance on the “tragic” situation of the Palestinian Refugees in relation to the Lebanese Confict which he say’s has its roots in 1947 that is at the time of the creation of the State of Israel .
An Israeli human rights group has released a video that appears to show Israeli soldiers standing by while Jewish settlers open fire on stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in the West Bank, wounding one of them, reports the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield Hayes.
It is the sort of incident that we often hear about, but almost never get to see. This time, thanks to B’Tselem, we have graphic video evidence of what happened.
The picture the videos paint is disturbing. It appears to show Jewish settler youths attacking a Palestinian village; later heavily armed Jewish settlers shooting at, and wounding, a Palestinian man, and most disturbing of all, Israeli soldiers standing by and doing nothing to prevent the shooting.
The incident happened on Saturday afternoon just outside the Palestinian village of Asira al-Qubliya.
In the first video a large number of young men from the nearby Jewish settlement of Yitzhar can be seen descending a mountainside towards the Palestinian village. The young settlers can be distinguished by the white cloths wound tightly around their heads.
As the settlers approach the village, young Palestinian men from Asira al-Qubliya can be seen coming out to confront them.
One Palestinian man runs towards them up the hill. He throws a rock at the approaching men, who reply in kind.
One important detail is that, at this stage, there is no sign of any burning fields.
In the second video the scene has changed.
A group of men in white T-shirts, carrying assault rifles, is standing just outside the village. These are older settlers from Yitzhar.
The fields behind them are now burning. A group of Israeli soldiers enters the scene from the right.
The Palestinian youths start throwing stones at the soldiers and the armed settlers.
Two of the armed settlers aim at one Palestinian youth just metres away and open fire. He falls down behind a rock wall.
As the settlers retreat other Palestinian villagers rush in to drag the injured man away. He has been shot in the side of the head. Fortunately, the wound is not serious.
The third video shows the same scene from a different angle.
This time a third armed settler, armed with a handgun rather than a rifle, can be seen taking aim and shooting at the Palestinian youths.
Standing right beside him as he does so are two Israeli army soldiers, who make no attempt to stop him.
In this video the injured man can be seen more clearly, blood pouring from the side of his head.
As he is carried back to the village the other young Palestinian men shout in defiance.
In a telephone interview with the BBC a spokesman for the Yitzhar settlement, Avraham Binyamin, claimed the incident had been started by the Palestinian villagers who, he said, had deliberately set fire to their own land in order to try and burn down the Jewish settlement.
“We know for years a phenomenon that we call ‘arson terror’,” he said. “This year it is the third consecutive Saturday that Arabs set fire with the aim that the fire would reach homes in Yitzhar as it did in the past.”
He said the settlers had gone down the hill to try and extinguish the fire, and that was when the confrontation with the Palestinians began.
“Once they arrived on the scene they were attacked by hundreds of Arab rioters hurling rocks at them,” he said. “The fire was already on when the young men came down from Yitzhar.”
But the video shows that there was no fire burning when the young settlers came down the hill.
It’s impossible to tell from the videos who started the fire. But the villagers of Asira al-Qubliya point out that it was their own fields that were burned, and that the fire was much closer to their own village than to the Jewish settlement.
“Sometimes twice a week the settlers come down and start attacking us and damaging our farms,” says Fathi Nijem Asayrah, the father of the young man shot in the side of the head in Saturday’s incident.
Sitting beside his son’s hospital bed, he is angry at the settlers, but even more angry at the soldiers.
“The settler who shot my son did it right next to a soldier, but he did nothing to intervene.”
It is this fact, clearly visible in the videos, that has most disturbed B’Tselem.
“It is the Israeli military’s responsibility to protect all civilians from violence, not to favour one population at the expense of another,” says its spokesperson Jessica Montel.
“What we saw again on Saturday is that the Israeli military did not intervene even when the settlers began shooting.”
The Israeli military meanwhile has released a statement.
“During the confrontation, live fire was used,” it said. “The incident is currently being investigated by the division commander. It appears that the video in question does not reflect the incident in its entirety.”