Publisher's Note: Posted here are two stories from independent media about the current crisis in Palestine. The first, about Youth against Settlements (Al Ma'an). The latter, about the impossibility of a Palestinian state under the current Israeli government (4ZZZ). The third story is from the ABC's Lateline and is heavily biased towards Israel. -- Ian Curr, October 2015
Israeli forces detain activist over video footage of Hebron shooting
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday [17 Oct 2015] detained and briefly held the media coordinator of a Palestinian activist group after it released video footage that they say contradicts the Israeli army’s version of events.
A spokesperson for Youth Against Settlements told Ma’an that Israeli forces held Ahmad Amr for nearly five hours, and confiscated his filming equipment and laptop.
Youth Against Settlements earlier released video footage taken after an Israeli settler shot dead 18-year-old Fadil Qawasmi, who he claimed attempted to stab him.
The activist group said the footage showed the soldiers planting a knife on Qawasmi, although due to its low resolution it is not conclusive.
The groups spokesperson said that Israeli forces had “humiliated” their media coordinator, Amr, during his detention, and threatened to arrest him again if he filmed or published any more video footage.
They erased large amounts footage of his equipment and damaged his laptop, the group’s spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces also threatened another resident of Hebron and a volunteer with Youth Against Settlements, Mufeed Sharbati, who earlier spoke with Ma’an after witnessing the shooting of Qawasami.
Israeli forces told Sharbati that they would come back later in the night and he would see “what they would do.”
“We’re used to that,” the group’s spokesperson said. “We’re not afraid.”
He said that Israeli forces had repeatedly targeted and “incited” against them. An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into the reports. Youth Against Settlements often documents incidents on Shuhada Street, where the attack took place.
The street lies at the heart of tensions in Hebron’s Old City where Israeli forces have severely restricted Palestinian access since 1994.
On Friday, Israeli forces also detained Palestinian photojournalist Bilal al-Taweel who captured a photo of a Palestinian man before he stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron.
Taweel’s brother told Ma’an that Israeli authorities had notified him that Taweel had been taken to the Etzion detention center. After the stabbing attack, Israeli forces reportedly detained a number of other Palestinian journalists for questioning who were later released, except for Jamil Salhab, who captured footage of the Palestinian stabbing the Israeli soldier.
In the last two months, a spate of new violence has broken out in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The number of lone-wolf attacks have increased, leaving 8 Israelis killed. Over 30 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli Defence Force and vigilante groups.
A number of academics, policy-makers and journalists are predicting this new violence will become a new Intifada, or uprising, against the Israeli occupation. If this is so, it could be a make-or-break situation in the area, and could lead to a radical shakeup in Palestine/Israel relations.
What is causing this new round of violence? Will there be a new uprising in Palestine, and if so how will it be different to previous Intifadas?
Featured in story: Professor Amin Saikal, director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University.
Story by: John Ballot, 4ZZZ Brisbane Line
ABC Lateline interview with Israeli journalist, Ehud Yaari, an international fellow at the Washington Institute