IDF posts video of Bil'in riotIn what JPost claims is a first, the IDF has posted video of this past Friday's riot at Bil'in.
Let's go to the videotape. A description follows.
The video begins with an IDF warning to demonstrators over a megaphone.I don't understand something. I assume that the IDF had these videos all along and could have released them had it chosen to do so. So why didn't they? Is this just what Melanie Phillips calls our 'lousy hasbara'? Or is there something else at play?
“You may protest and express your opinions. You may not throw stones or cross the yellow gate. You may not damage the security fence,” she continued.
In the next camera shot, a male protester, wearing a white scarf around his head and another around his mouth, walks up to the wire fence that is part of the security barrier, and cuts it, even though soldiers are standing just a few meters away from him on the other side of the barrier.
In the video, the IDF issues another warning: “Any harm to the fence will force us to respond.”
Upon hearing this, the Palestinian protestors gives the IDF "the finger."
The video then depicts many more shots of activists throwing stones at the soldiers standing on the opposite side of the barrier. The rocks sail over the barrier and over the heads of the soldiers; in some cases, the soldiers had to jump out of the way.
The IDF then uses a large white police truck, which sprayed strong streams of foul-smelling water at the rioters.
In the video, Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon explained, “Our approach is to enable a protest as long as it is nonviolent. We differentiate very clearly between a non-violent demonstration, which is a legitimate form of protest, and a violent riot that involves the throwing of rocks and metal objects, physical harm and damage to the security barrier.”
But several videos posted by activists from Friday’s demonstration show a completely different face to the protest, which was dedicated to the memory of Abu Rahma.
Only in one clip is a protester seen trying to dismantle the barrier with his hands.
After that there are several video shots of the white police truck shooting out streams of the foul-smelling water that completely clear the protestors away from the wire fence. After that soldiers shoot rounds of tear gas.
One wounded protester is seen lying on the ground. Another is evacuated from the scene.
In a second video, shot after the activists reached the gate in the barrier, protestors could be seen running from thick clouds of tear gas and tear-gas canisters that snaked a path across the fields before exploding.
From its perch on a hilltop overlooking the site on Friday, The Jerusalem Post saw how both aspects of the protest, violent and nonviolent, took place at the same time.
Depending on where one stood and at what time, one would see a violent or a non-violent demonstration.