uruknet.info - 8 July 2010
During the weekly protest yesterday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, two Israeli demonstrators were violently arrested by IDF soliders. These activists, Matan Cohen and Yonathan Shapria, were standing among a group of children and other Palestinian and Israeli demonstrators when the army made a brash decision to arrest them. After the arrest, the IDF Spokesman’s unit tweeted, “2 arrested rioters in Nabi Saleh who attacked an IDF soldier now in Israeli Police custody, the soldier is uninjured”
Max Blumenthal and I were in Nabi Saleh documenting the demonstration. Max’s footage from the arrest shows that neither Matan or Yoanathan were behaving in a dangerous or violent way. The IDF commander in Nabi Saleh made the arbitrary decision to arrest these two activists because they were asking why the IDF was firing tear gas at children and then mocked his “brave soldiers”. Max’s account of the day can be found here.
Yesterday’s incident shows that the IDF is threatened by the presence Israeli activists at the weekly Palestinian demonstrations against the occupation. When Israelis are present in these demonstrations, it is more difficult for the IDF to use the most violent forms of repression such as rubber bullets. Yesterday’s blatant lie about the “violent” Israeli activists is part of a general campaign by the IDF to portray activists as terrorists. We saw it with the flotilla and we are now seeing it internally in the West Bank.