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Biliin: Masked Troops Threw Stones At IDF

Biliin: Masked Troops Threw Stones At IDF

Middle East News Service - Sol Salbe

[It’s getting monotonous but no less disturbing every Saturday morning to get the reports from Bili’in regarding army provocations and attacks on peaceful demonstrators. These days the reports from Israel’s mainstream media get here even before the accounts from Gush Shalom.

Note that the IDF confirms that the masked troops known Mista’aravim [pretending to be Arabs] were there. Also note the last sentence: “ The IDF refused to comment on the report that troops threw stones at their fellow soldiers.” There would be little put denying it as the demonstrators generally every ample video evidence. Israeli courts relying on such video evidence have already criticised the army for their action (and their lying.)

The second report from Haaretz is similar to the Hebrew version except that one is credited to their own reporter, Meron Rapaport. Their some differences: The Hebrew version is less coy. The soldiers didn’t disperse the fake demonstrators but pretend to arrest them and removed them from the scene (rather than “disperse them”.) The Hebrew also refers to the tear gas and the salt bullets used by the IDF.

The Hebrew also says: “A few months ago the same unit operated in a demonstration in Bili’in. On that occasion a military judge determined that the Prison Service [to which the Masada unit belongs – translator] has no authority to operate in the [Occupied] Territories. It is unclear whether a special permit for their operation was obtained on this occasion.”

It is a pity that this example of peaceful Palestinian protest and violent response has received so little coverage in the international media- Sol Salbe.]

Biliin: Masked Troops Threw Stones At IDF


Left-wing activists claim Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs provoked anti-security demonstration in Biliin village by throwing stones at IDF troops
Efrat Weiss

Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs threw stones at IDF troops during a security fence demonstration in the village of Biliin, left-wing activists said Friday.

IDF officials confirmed the report that soldiers were present during the protest.

"Several unidentified people with their heads covered provoked the protest and began throwing stones at the army," left-wing activist Lizar Falas said.

"Some local villagers approached them and asked who they were. They said they were Palestinians from Lod, who had arrived with the anarchists,"
he said. "We immediately understood they were soldiers disguised as Arabs, as they did not arrive with us. Within moments three army jeeps arrived to rescue them."

"The army uses this tactic every time to turn the protest violent," he said, adding that "today's protest was relatively small in regards to the Israelis participating, as the IDF stopped a bus with 50 activists on their way to the protest and arrested four."

The IDF issued a statement saying that "soldiers from the Masada Unit disguised as left-wingers were present in the confrontation."

Army officials said, "it was the first time the army had used soldiers in a protest of this nature, in a bid to locate those who provoke the crowds and arrest them."

The IDF refused to comment on the report that troops threw stones at their fellow soldiers.

Last update - 22:57 14/10/2005

Bil'in residents: Undercover troops provoked stone-throwing

By Haaretz Service and Itim

Prison Service troops disguised as Arabs incited Palestinian youths to throwing stones at Israel Defense Forces troops during a weekly demonstration against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Bil'in, village residents said on Friday.

The residents said that the disguised troops told the youths to throw the stones and then joined them in doing so. When they were asked their identity, they presented themselves as Arabs from Lod, a city in central Israel, who arrived with the Israeli and foreign demonstrators.

When the troops, members of the Prison Service special unit Masada, did not heed a request to show identification and were found to be in the possession of firearms, their identities were reportedly exposed. IDF soldiers came to the scene and dispersed them.
A few months ago, the same unit was accused of similar activities in a Bil'in demonstration, after which a military court judge ruled that the unit lacks the authority to operate in the Palestinian territories. It is unclear whether the unit received special permission to operate in this case.

An IDF spokesman rejected the claim that the undercover troops incited the youths, saying they joined them after stones were already being thrown. However, the spokesman also acknowledged that no Palestinian demonstrators were arrested.

Anti-fence protesters, troops face off in West Bank village
Around 50 Israeli, Palestinian and foreign protesters faced off against IDF troops in Bil'in on Friday, in what has become a long-running demonstration against the construction of the separation fence.

According to the IDF spokesman, troops tried to act with restraint toward the protesters, but decided to employ crowd-dispersal measures after demonstrators began to throw stones at soldiers.

Four left-wing Israeli activists were detained for questioning, Israeli media reports said.

The IDF has long since declared the village as a closed military zone, in light of the repeated demonstrations held there on Fridays.

In Jerusalem, the second Friday prayers of the Muslim holy fast month of Ramadan passed without incident, Israel Radio reported.


[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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