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In Birzeit, ‘Trigger Happy’ Israel Vindicates Amnesty’s Report

By       Message Nicola Nasser       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink

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By Nicola Nasser*

 

In the Palestinian West Bank town of Birzeit early last February 27, the Israeli (IDF) Occupation Forces (IOF) acted determinedly, under the media spotlights, to feed Amnesty International with a show case study to vindicate the report it released only hours earlier, entitled "Trigger-happy: Israel's use of excessive force in the West Bank," and to refute the Israeli official diplomatic denial of the contents thereof.

 


Ruins of the house of Palestinian Moataz Washaha whom Israeli troops killed in the Palestinian West Bank town of Birzeit on February 27, 2014 on “suspicion” of being armed and “intends” to carry out terror act “in future”
(Image by The Times of Israel)
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Under the command of Col. Yossi Pinto, a Nahal infantry force of the Binyamin Territorial Brigade, joined by the Border Police's elite Counterterrorism Unit, Yamam, according to Israeli The Jerusalem Post on the same day and "200 Israeli soldiers, dozens of jeeps, two (military) bulldozers and many Shin Bet [internal security] officers" according to Amira Hass of Haaretz on this March 3, including some 28 -- more than thirty army patrol armored vehicles according to the count of Arab natives of Birzeit who spoke to this writer, were amassed in this Birzeit University town, raising a hell of explosives and gunfire and disrupting its peaceful countryside early spring morning.

 

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Amira Hass was on the scene. Wondering what was all that military mobilization for, a former mayor of Birzeit told this writer that he heard her asking in repudiation, "Was it (the late al-Qaeda founder Osama) Bin Laden inside?!"

 

Their mission, according to Israeli military spokespeople, was to arrest a "wanted individual" who, according to the Shin Bet internal security agency, quoted by Hass, had "intended" to carry out an "aggressive operation" against Israeli targets. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the man was "suspected" of "terror activity." www.israelnationalnews.com on the same day quoted " the IDF Spokesman's Unit" as saying that he was "a wanted man suspected of terror activity." Gideon Levy in Haaretz on this March 2 quoted " the military correspondents" as repeating what the "IDF claimed" that the man "had the intention to carry out a terror attack in the near future."

 

Hass wrote: "In the unofficial Israeli law code, unproved "terrorist intentions" are enough to be punishable by death. In Hebrew, "terror attack" is a magic phrase that exempts the Israelis from wondering why an arrest needs so many troops and fanfare, and has such a murderous end."

 

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Gideon Levy sarcastically repeating the self-described as " the most moral army in the world" wrote that the Israeli army "is also an army that reads intentions," but Levy did not add that this army has had it as a rule to act accordingly as well.

 

An Israeli army spokeswoman said: "After the suspect was called to turn himself in, he barricaded himself inside his house, effectively resisting arrest. Under the premise that he had weapons in his possession, the forces used different means to complete the arrest, including live fire."

 

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

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