Soldier to settler: 'This bullet is for your forehead'

Video posted on YouTube shows border police officer threatening Yitzhar resident holding a baby.

February 16, 2011 20:49
2 minute read.
Border Police in a training excercise

Border police training 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

“This bullet is for your forehead,” a Border Police officer told Avraham Binyamin, spokesman of the Yitzhar settlement, as Binyamin stood next to him, unarmed and holding his one-year-old son in his arms.

The officer’s statement was caught on camera and posted on YouTube Thursday.

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The incident took place on January 28, in Yitzhar. But it is being publicized only now, after the Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria filed a formal complaint with the police’s investigatory division.

It was the latest in a number of incidents that week.

Soldiers had arrested a number of Yitzhar residents; in response, a number of teens from the settlement punctured the tire of an IDF jeep.

According to Binyamin, soldiers and border policemen burst into the settlement on that Friday, around noon, looking for the teens who had slashed the tire.

But by accident, they entered caravans housing families, at a time when many women were home cooking for Shabbat.

Photos of the aftermath of the incident provided to The Jerusalem Post showed how, in one caravan, the sofa had been overturned during the search.

According to Binyamin, security forces did not show search warrants, and were verbally and physically abusive.

When the security forces arrived in Yitzhar, he was home caring for his small son while his wife was at work. He grabbed his son and a camera, and headed out to see what was happening.

In his haste, his forgot to take along any identity cards.

On the scene, when he saw how security forces were behaving, he identified himself to the head of the operation, Meir Eliyahu, and asked to see a search warrant.

Instead of responding, Eliyahu got upset over Binyamin’s lack of identification and asked him to stand to one side.

After a short time, the security forces realized they had entered the wrong caravans and headed to a set of caravans housing single adults. They also entered caravans belonging to the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, but they were empty because the students had already left for Shabbat.

Binyamin said he remained on the scene to insure that the officers acted properly.

As he stood there, he noted that one officer had a loaded M-16 with an open gun slide, as if prepared to shoot.

But when Binyamin asked him why his weapon was cocked and his gun slide open, the officer ordered: “You don’t have an ID card – I’m asking you to get out of here.”

“Just tell me if there is a bullet in the barrel. The gun slide is open,” Binyamin responded.

“This bullet will be for your forehead. Get out of here – now,” the officer said.

A border police source said that the officer’s comments were unacceptable, and that no member of the security forces or law enforcement should use that kind of language.

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