Thursday, April 28, 2011

too bizarre to believe - but true

This video is of an attack on helpless Palestinian prisoners in Ktziot military prison of Israel. Intended to boost morale, (not of the prisoners!) combat troops armed with what are supposed to be non-lethal weapons burst in on the sleeping prisoners in the middle of the night, shouting and threatening them. Is it a surprise someone got killed? This happened in 2007. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn't.

The video was kept secret until word of its existence was given to an Israeli lawyer who broke the news. The video ended up in an Israeli TV expose.

To get English subtitles, click on the CC (closed captioning) button just beneath the timing bar on the right.

Here's what I found on this incident...
Ketziot is the largest security prison in Israel, with some 2,200 prisoners. The Prisons Service took over responsibility for it in 2006.

According to the operation’s orders, which Haaretz has obtained, and a Prisons Service investigation into the events, the operation had four goals. One, the surprise search, with the assistance of the Masada unit, was to “impart the element of deterrance.” The second was to “increase morale and motivation” among prison guards. The third was to raise the level of the guards’ skill, and the fourth was to uncover contraband that could be used to compromise security in the prison.

In his pre-operation briefing to the participants, Cohen said: “I am glad this operation fell to me in Ketziot.” Citing the morale-boosting element, Cohen also said: “If we manage to surprise the prisoners, all the better. If it is uncovered [beforehand], there will be shouting.” Cohen also told participants “the population is expected to respond in any case.”

The operation began as planned at 2 A.M. But four minutes later riots broke out that gradually spread from section 12b to the whole compound. Prisoners became violent, set the section on fire and threw objects.

According to the Prisons Service investigation, at 2:12 A.M., Cohen ordered the Masada unit team into the section, where the prisoners live in tents. The team commander said he encountered “a large number of prisoners” who threw objects at him. In describing Ashkar’s death, the Prisons Service investigation states: “The team commander opened fire according to the rules of engagement, toward the legs. A prisoner who entered the line of fire was shot in the head.”

1 comment:

  1. I see two strangely remarkable things in this video:

    1) On the ground, Israeli command is not in command of its troops; orders are ignored, or unheard. Adrenalin and brute feeling replace controled violence. The same happened among American police in the 40's to 70's; and in Vietnam.

    2) Legal alarm begins with a religious woman (and Jew), a woman raised in a settlement. This should cause us to keep our brushes fine, not wide.

    Clearly there is a constitutional crisis in Israel; the judiciary is often simply ignored. High Court orders have no consequence. The fight, or at least one of the fights, must be there. And that means members of the High Court must fight one another. If you want a two state solution this must happen; if you want a one state solution this must happen. Videos such as this, strangely archived rather than destroyed, may start the fight. And, in this case, it starts with a woman of faith.

    Choose your enemies wisely--for you may be killing an ally unawares.

    greg pollock