Another Israeli “atrocity” has hit the headlines again in recent days with a manufactured outcry which claims that the IDF killed 2 Palestinian “children” during a “Nakba Day” demonstration in Beitounya for no good reason at all besides murderous maliciousness.
An NGO called Defence for Children International (DCI) claims to have clear video footage of the shooting. I will not post the video here because I do not want to give such a biased distortion any more traffic or PR than necessary, but you can see it at the following article: “Clip purports to show unarmed Palestinians shot by IDF“:
An international non-governmental organization released video footage Monday that purportedly shows two Palestinians being shot during Nakba Day clashes with the IDF in the West Bank last Thursday.
The surveillance video, posted by Defense for Children International’s Palestine division, starts with footage, time-stamped at 1:38 p.m., of the clashes near a gas station outside of Ofer Prison, in which a group of Palestinians are running for cover and one is in the act of slinging a rock.
The next piece of footage, time-stamped 1:45 p.m., appears to show a Palestinian getting shot as he walks by the gas station after the clashes have subsided. A second Palestinian appears to be shot at 2:58 p.m., after which people rushed from the gas station to his aid, followed by cameramen.
The video named the two fatalities as Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16. Neither appeared to be armed.
A Palestinian man interviewed in the video said that at the time of the shootings, there was nobody throwing stones and that the youth had moved back behind the gas station. He added that he heard four shots of live ammunition that he was sure had come from the direction of the lot outside the eastern side of the prison.
The IDF did not deny the authenticity of the clip but did say that it had been edited in a manner that did not reflect Thursday’s events, and that it was still looking into the circumstances of the youths’ deaths.
“Last Thursday, there were a number of violent protests in Judea and Samaria. In the Betunia area, a violent demonstration took place, involving around 150 Palestinians which included incidents of tire-burning and rock-throwing,” the army said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“Security forces in the area used riot dispersal means to restore calm. Later in the day, it was reported that two Palestinians died as a result of these security operations. A preliminary investigation determined that live fire was not used by security forces. The incident remains under investigation. The video clip which was released today has been edited, and doesn’t document the full extent of the event, nor does it reflect the violent nature of the riot.”
Despite these preliminary IDF statements, Washington has not been backwards in coming forwards and demanding an investigation into the shooting – as if the IDF wasn’t investigating it already.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her office was seeking additional information from the Israeli government in order to determine whether the soldiers’ use of force was justified.
“We look to the government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators,” Psaki said, adding, “we are encouraging the government of Israel to conduct their own investigation.”
I think their demands are a chutzpah, sticking their nose in where it is not required, asking for an investigation when they know that the IDF always investigates its errors. Furthermore have all seen how the Administration are unwilling to tackle much more severe international crimes, for example the murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. We also haven’t seen Washington demanding an inquiry into the murder of Shelley Dadon HYD two weeks ago, whose murder is suspected of being carried out by Palestinian terrorists. Neither did Washington express any dismay at the murderous attack on Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff at that same demonstration, nor did we hear any objections from international journalists associations. Washington obviously has a very selective sense of outrage, pointed in one direction only.
The IDF investigation meanwhile is beginning to find that the truth is somewhat different to what DCI is claiming, and, as quoted above, the film clip has been obviously edited. The question remains to what extent.
The IDF has responded that the footage is misleading (an understatement if ever I heard one):
The youths hurled rocks at IDF soldiers at the Bitunia checkpoint, not far from Beit El. The footage appears to show them dropping to the ground as they walked away from the IDF position.
The IDF said that the video is heavily edited in order to give a false picture of what really took place. “On Thursday, a violent and illegal disturbance took place at Bitunia,” it insisted. “The video is edited in a tendentious manner and does not reflect the violence of the riot.”
“An initial conversation with the forces that operated on the scene of the disturbance indicates no firing of live bullets. However, the Military Prosecution has given instructions for launching an investigation by Investigative Military Police.”
Major Aryeh Shalicar, and IDF spokesperson, reiterated the same message to AFP, saying “that film was edited and does not reflect the reality of the day in question; the violence. As part of our inquiry we have investigated whether there was live fire and we have not found that there was live fire. We are continuing with our investigation.”
Channel Two correspondent Roni Daniel noted several anomalies in the film:
Israeli Channel 2′s military correspondent Roni Daniel suggested that the film may have been staged and faked. Daniel noted that the first alleged victim put out his hands to break his fall, which did not appear consistent with being shot. Daniel further noted that the two alleged fatalities, ostensibly filmed an hour apart, appeared to have taken place in almost exactly the same place, with an immediate convergence on the scene of a similar group of people. His queries were not about whether two Palestinians had been shot that day, Daniel said, but rather about whether the NGO footage being disseminated indeed actually showed such shootings or was fabricated.
The official said that after seeing the video, he believed there was a “high probability that it was fabricated”.
He noted, however, that the incident was still under IDF investigation.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon dismissed the footage on Tuesday and said, “I’ve seen plenty of edited videos.”
He added that last week’s incident was “a violent incident of Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and firebombs at Border Police officers. As it was a life-threatening situation, the officers acted accordingly.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday brushed off the demands for an investigation into the deaths of the two Arab rioters.
“I reject any demand” for an international investigation, he told reporters on a tour of the city of Ariel in Samaria.
“Such an incident will be investigated regardless of any demand,” he remarked, denouncing world criticism of the incident as “hypocrisy”.
Putting the claims against the IDF in their proper light, it is extremely important to note that DCI is no innocent NGO acting for humanitarian rights, as BBC Watch points out in its own report on the Beitounya incident:
Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI- Pal) is a radical political NGO with an agenda which includes anti-Israel campaigning and support for the anti-peace BDS movement. Its website still promotes the myth of the ‘Jenin massacre’ and a member of its board of directors, Shawan Jabarin, allegedly has ties to the PFLP terror organization.
“The director and founder of DCI-Pal is Rifat Odeh Kassis – another seasoned anti-Israel campaigner who is active in a number of organisations (some of which he founded), including OPGAI, The World Council of Churches, EAPPI, the Alternative Tourism Group, and the Alternative Information Centre (also known for links to the PFLP). Kassis is the co-author of the notorious Kairos Document, which promotes BDS and suggests that Jewish sovereignty is an affront to God’s plan for humanity.”
Phyllis Chesler calls this whole incident “the Al Dura sequel“:
The world is still talking about it and their voices are growing louder by the minute. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, has condemned Israel’s “deliberate execution” of these boys and described it as a “crime against humanity.”
Ashrawi’s hysterical hyperbole never disappoints.
Today, both the United States and the United Nations have called for a “transparent probe” of the so-called Nakba Day shootings.
The IDF is conducting its own internal investigation. They have no indication that “live fire” was used by Israeli forces.
But, the same world which still cannot find the missing Malaysian plane or the captured Nigerian girls, can be diverted from their inevitable failure in the face of unsolved mysteries and evil.
Let’s get the world up-in-arms against Israel, let’s have a replay of the most successful Blood Libel in the 21st century, that of Mohammed Al-Dura, the boy supposedly killed by the IDF at the Netzavim junction. The fact that Al-Dura’s death did not happen and that Israel did not kill him does not matter.
The truth has no place in this propaganda war.
The 2014 script: Two teenaged boys, one seventeen years old, one sixteen years old, are, arguably, killed in the fight against alleged Zionist “colonialism.”
Are we really going to fall for another Mohammed Al-Dura trick? According to experts, the two boys seem to have staged their falls. Like Al-Dura, no blood is evident. Like Al-Dura, there are no corpses to autopsy.
But that is not what upsets me.
Palestinian Islamists have been indoctrinating their own children into becoming human bombs. […] Honor killing among Palestinians has actually increased–and the majority of such victims are teenage girls.
I do not hear the world condemning such a death-eating culture or calling for any single honor killer or for the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, or Hamas to be held accountable in an international criminal court.
Prof. Chesler gives us an illuminating insight into the machinations of the Palestinian mindset:
I once interviewed a former Palestinian Arab ‘soldier’ who told me an interesting anecdote. A man from his village suspected that another man had slept with his wife, but for many reasons (his wife’s family was very powerful, he had no proof), he did nothing. Shortly thereafter, the husband proposed a raid on a nearby kibbutz, Ramat Rahel, and the men ran there with guns and rocks and hammers. Their force was repelled–but unfortunately, the man suspected of adultery was shot dead. He was a martyr.
“Guess who really shot him?” my interviewee asked. “It was the husband. And he blamed the Israelis. And he had his revenge.”
It is gratifying to note the IDF’s rapid response to the claims of unlawful killing, unlike the Al Dura incident which took 13 long years to refute.
Sadly however (to paraphrase Mark Twain) the lies put out by the DCI and Palestinian officials are halfway round the world before the IDF’s truth has put its boots on.