Thursday, July 5, 2012

Five Broken Cameras

This video shot by a B'Tselem volunteer depicts a group of four masked settlers from Yitzhar as they attempt to set fire to a Palestinian wheat field.

Why are they masked? They have nothing to fear from Israeli occupation troops or Israeli courts.

Border Police officer filmed kicking Palestinian child

Wednesday, 4 July 2012, 9:32 am
Article: B'Tselem
Hebron: Border Police officer filmed kicking Palestinian child
B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

A B'Tselem video volunteer documented an Israeli Border Police officer kicking a Palestinian child while another officer held the boy. The incident took place on the 29th of June 2012 near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron's H2 area. The child, Abd a-Rahman Burqan, who is nine years old, lives with his family near the parking lot used by Israeli vehicles outside of the Tomb. The video shows a Border Police officer ambushing a child from around the corner.

As the child walks past, the officer grabs him by the arm and says: "why are you making trouble?" The officer then drags the child, who is screaming, on the ground for a few seconds. A second Border Police officer then appears and kicks the boy. The officer then lets the child go. He runs away, and the two Border Police officers leave the scene as well.

The incident was filmed by a volunteer in B'Tselem's camera distribution project, from inside his home. The volunteer told B'Tselem that he began to film when he noticed the officer hiding behind the wall.

B'Tselem will refer the case to the Justice Ministry's Department for the Investigation of Police.

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A video released by an Israeli human rights organization shows what the group describes as a 9-year-old Palestinian boy being assaulted by two border police officers in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The footage, released by B'tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, shows the boy walking on pavement outside a building when a uniformed police officer runs up to him and grabs him by an arm, causing him to lose his balance and pulling him along the ground for a few feet.
The police officer, who is holding a rifle in one hand, asks the boy, "Why are you making trouble?" according to B'tselem. Seconds later, a second police officer, also carrying a rifle, walks up to the boy, kicks him, turns around and walks off without speaking. At that, the first policeman releases the boy, who runs out of the frame.

An investigation should be opened into the incident, said Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for B'tselem.

"From the video evidence and from evidence collected from the child, it's obvious the border police officer was basically waiting for him and grabbed him and another border police officer came and kicked the child," she said. "The child denies attacking or harassing the border police officer. Regardless, this is irrelevant as far as B'tsalem is concerned, because this kind of behavior is absolutely prohibited regardless of the circumstance."
She continued, "This kind of violence by border police officers, by official members of the Israeli security forces is outrageous and not allowed. B'tsalem is going to complain with the department of police investigations in the Ministry of Justice, which is a relevant government investigative body of allegations against the border police."

Michaeli said the boy had been treated similarly before. "A month ago he was attacked by border police officers on his way back from school," she said.
The incident occurred a few days after a team of human rights lawyers published a report funded by the British government that accuses Israel of violating international law in its treatment of Palestinian child detainees.
It was written after a week-long visit last September by the delegation to Israel and the West Bank.

The report accuses Israel of treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently -- Israelis must be at least 14 before they can be sent to jail; Palestinians must be 12. Israeli children generally have a legal right to have their parents present during questioning; Palestinians do not, it says. An Israeli child can be held no more than two days without being granted access to a lawyer; a Palestinian child can be held 90 days, it says.

"It may be that much of the reluctance to treat Palestinian children in conformity with international norms stems from a belief, which was advanced to us by a military prosecutor, that every Palestinian child is a 'potential terrorist,' the report says. "Such a stance seems to us to be the starting point of a spiral of injustice, and one which only Israel, as the Occupying Power in the West Bank, can reverse."
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told "The Age" newspaper of Melbourne, Australia, that Israel was studying the report's proposals. "The report acknowledges that Israel has made improvements and they have praised us for that," Regev said.

"You have countless acts of violence, including deadly violence, perpetrated by minors -- Israel is acting because of a vacuum created by a lack of action from the Palestinian leadership and by the exploitation of minors by the extremist groups."

The award-winning new documentary, "Five Broken Cameras," tells the story of a Palestinian farmer who got a video camera to record his son’s childhood, but ended up documenting the growth of the resistance movement to the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The film shows the nonviolent tactics used by residents of Bil’in as they join with international and Israeli activists to protest the wall’s construction and confront Israeli soldiers. We speak with the film’s directors, Emad Burnat, a Palestinian, and Guy Davidi, an Israeli. [includes rush transcript]

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