A four-minute video, released Thursday evening by B’Tselem, shows a soldier
head-butting and kicking a Palestinian teen the day before.
The IDF said
it was investigating. But it noted that the video, which has time lapses,
does not show the whole incident. “During routine activity in Hebron, a
group of Palestinians refused to identify themselves,” the army said.
of the Palestinians then attacked a commander who arrived on the scene, an IDF
spokesman said. “This was not shown in the video.”
“On the face of it, it
appears as if the video was edited in a way that was biased and does not
represent the [entire] event,” he said.
The video was shot from an
apartment above the scene, by Zidan Sharabati, a volunteer in the camera
distribution project of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human
Rights in the Occupied Territories.
Initially six Palestinians, four of
whom appeared to be younger than 15 years old, are seen standing next to a
soldier at a military checkpoint near an apartment housing Jewish families,
known as Beit Hadassah, in an area of Hebron under Israeli control.
soldier holds out his arm and seems to point at one of the young Palestinians,
as if to indicate that they should move back.
Thair Ghanam, 17, puts his
hand on the soldier’s arm.
The soldier briefly places Ghanam’s arms
behind his back, and then lets him go.
He then motions the group to head
to the stone wall of a nearby building.
In the next shot, two soldiers
can be seen pushing a Palestinian, apparently Ghanam, against the wall, who
appears to be flailing his arms. The two soldiers pull him into the road, and
one soldier pushes him down the road.
Ghanam has his hands up, and the
soldier holds him by the collar and shakes him.
“Am I creating a
disturbance?” Ghanam asks in Hebrew.
“You are creating a disturbance,”
the soldier says, suddenly head-butting Ghanam.
“OK,” Ghanam says, in a
calm voice. “I am creating a disturbance.”
Still holding him by the
collar, the soldier stands him against the wall. Ghanam keeps repeating, “It’s
Then the soldier kicks him and tries to push Ghanam’s legs out from
under him. The soldier then pushes Ghanam back onto the road, and appears to
hold him by the ear.
Blood can be seen around Ghanam’s mouth. He manages
to free himself from the soldier and walk away, with the soldier
In the next shot, Ghanam’s hands are tied behind his back and
the soldier is walking him down the road.
In the last shot, the two are
walking, and Ghanam is blindfolded. He is then put into an IDF
B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli denied IDF assertions that the
video was edited.
But, she said, it is true that it was not shot in
Sharabati, the volunteer who shot the film, did so
in small digital files, Michaeli said. B’Tselem placed those files in sequence
as they occurred into one video, she said. “We did not drop or cut any
According to Michaeli, both Ghanam and Sharabati claimed that
none of the Palestinians assaulted the soldiers.
She noted that the IDF
released Ghanam later that night. “If he was suspected of assaulting an officer,
why was he released?” she asked.
Michaeli added that Ghanam was treated
at Aaliya Hospital in Hebron for a broken nose.
The incident comes in the
midst of a number of violent interactions between Palestinians and soldiers in
On Thursday evening, the Border Police arrested a Palestinian
woman in her 20s near the Cave of the Patriarchs. She tried to pepper-spray
soldiers standing guard there. Border police arrested her and found that she was
also carrying a knife. They said they feared she had planned to attack Jewish
worshipers at the cave.