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The victim becomes accused

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

The new government has not yet been sworn in, but the evil spirit it brings with it is already present. Here are several stories, each of which illustrates the attitude of law and military enforcement toward Human Rights activists and law-abiding Palestinians. How the victim becomes an accused, how those who suppose to uphold the law protect the attacker instead. How an entire country deteriorates down the slope.

1. Neta Ben-Porat wrote:

On November 7th we joined Palestinians for olive harvesting in Burin. The harvest was coordinated with the military and soldiers were supposed to protect us. After more than an hour of work, two soldiers arrived and stood watching us from the top of the hill.

We continued working, till we saw three settlers and realized they were going to attack. A few seconds later, about 15 settlers came running down the hill with bats, throwing rocks at us. The soldiers kept standing and watching, doing nothing to stop the attack. The Palestinians managed to stop the attack and the settlers started running away. At this point the soldiers interfered, stopping the Palestinians from chasing their attackers.

Minutes later the police, whom we called earlier, arrived. The police car did not come to Burin, where the attack took place, but rather to Givat Ronen, the neighboring violent settlement. The policeman spoke with the attackers for about 15 minutes, before coming to talk with us. All this time, the soldiers (among them one officer) prevented us from approaching the policeman and identifying our attackers. Only after finishing talking with the terrorists-settlers, and without stalling or arresting any of them, the policeman came over. He didn’t bother to talk to the Palestinian land owner and only yelled at him not to video or take picture. He also ignored our complaints and requests to stop the attackers who still stood there watching us. He showed us a closed military zone warrant and warned us he would return and arrest us and then left back to the settlement. No need to say the closed military zone warrant was not presented to the terrorists, who kept staying and watching the whole time.

2. On 1.11.22 Gilles Alexandre wrote:

I'm 69.5 years old. That morning in the Hamra area, we accompanied two shepherds in open Palestinian territory. Then Moshe Sharvit from the nearby illegal outpost arrived, riding an ATV, and with the help of Yaakov Entbi, a young man riding a horse in his twenties, they started driving away the sheep. This time they didn't even look for a reason because Moshe's herd was at least a kilometer away. When I tried to prevent them from crossing, Jacob knocked me down with the help of the galloping horse. We called an ambulance and the police. Moshe and Jacob continued the expulsion without coming to offer me help when I was lying on the stones. All for the sake of heaven and the love of the land.

I came to the Beit Shean police station to file a complaint on election day. The policewoman initially refused to accept the complaint on the false claim that I should complain at the Binyamin station. In the end, she heard me, wrote down only a part of what I said, while making comments like: "Did you vote for Ben Gvir?" Did you hear that Balad (an Arabic party) didn't cross the threshold?"

When I pointed out to her that she didn't write down everything that happened, she responded: "It's okay, add it in handwriting, but outside, because I don't have time for you."

3. Issa Amro:

Amro lives in Tel Rumeida. A neighborhood in Hebron where both Palestinians and Jews live.

Amro is a social activist who was arrested for his Human Rights activity in the past. He founded "Youth Against Settlements" and manages a youth activity center. This center also works to reopen the Shuheida Street in Hebron for Palestinian traffic, as today it is open for Jewish traffic only.

On Shabbat Chayei Sara (Shabbat of Sarah's Life), Amro's house was attacked as on many other occasions in the past. The following Friday, Jewish Human Rights activists came to show solidarity. One of the activists was brutally attacked by a soldier while another soldier verbally abused them.

Amro recorded both soldiers on camera. Two days later he was summoned for questioning. He brought the documenting videos but left his cell phone at home. He was arrested and transferred to Ofer Prison. After two days he stood trial, fined, and banished from Tel Rumeida - his home and neighborhood - for seven days. His only crime was documenting violent soldiers, but Israel doesn't want the world to know.

4. Said Musa:

One evening in May last, during "Breaking Dawn” operation, Said Musa drove to Bat Yam in his car. A group of passers-by brutally attacked him. Said was hospitalized for a long time, suffering from skull fractures, neurological injury, and severe trauma. He even tried to commit suicide.

In the past month, court hearings were held against seven of the assailants. Said was called to testify. He stood on the witness stand all by himself facing a battery of lawyers for the defense. These lawyers harassed Said repeatedly, claiming that there was a reason for Said’s visit to Bat Yam that day, implying he was on his way to carry out a terror attack, and presented photos from the incident that provoked traumatic reactions. The testimony lasted 14 hours, during which he was asked repeatedly: "why do you think you were attacked?".

A trial must be conducted and lawyers should be able to fulfill their duties. But during this trial the Justice System allowed much more than that, without any consideration for the victim's mental state. Said did not sue the assailants, the State did. He was just called to testify on behalf of the prosecution and therefore had to be there, but the Judge and the Justice System stood by and allowed the defense to blame the victim.

Several Human Rights activists came to support Said in court. Needless to say, it was his ethnicity that allowed the system to operate the way it did.

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