Palestinians in the West Bank have started arming themselves with a new weapon in their ongoing conflict with Israeli settlers: video cameras…
Cease-fire: Israel and Hamas have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire for the Gaza area starting Thursday morning, Egyptian and Hamas officials announced Tuesday. Israeli officials reiterated their position that the government was ready for an Egyptian-brokered deal, which would include easing some of the economic sanctions on Gaza, but said some of the details were still being finalized.Trading fire: On Tuesday, meanwhile, Israel carried out three airstrikes in Gaza against what the military described as “terrorist operatives.” Six Palestinian militants were killed, according to medical officials in Gaza. Later Tuesday night, militants launched up to 10 rockets at Israel. Several fell in open areas around the Israeli border town of Sderot, a military spokeswoman said.
Seattle Times news services
JERUSALEM — Palestinians in the West Bank have started arming themselves with a new weapon in their ongoing conflict with Israeli settlers: video cameras.
Under an innovative program called “Shooting Back,” the Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem has handed out scores of video cameras to Palestinians across the West Bank so they can document attacks and harassment by Israeli settlers.
Last week, Palestinian farmers with a video camera captured one of the most serious incidents so far.
The 69-second video shows four masked men with sticks walking up to a Palestinian farmer and beating him in a field. The Palestinians near Hebron told B’Tselem that an Israeli settler from the area told them to get off the land where they graze their sheep.
After the Palestinians refused and said they had an Israeli court order allowing them to use the land, four masked men returned and beat the farmers.
Hebron remains one of the most volatile Israeli-Palestinian flash points because it is home to some of the most ideological Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
Last year, a 16-year-old Palestinian with a B’Tselem camera captured a video of a Jewish settler in Hebron calling a Palestinian neighbor a whore. The Palestinians who took the video had already encased their home in a self-imposed cage to fend off attacks from Israeli settlers.
At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the settler’s actions “evil” and said he was “ashamed.”
Israel vowed to investigate and the settlers said they were going to start carrying around video cameras so they could turn the tables.
As the BBC reports, for now, the “Shooting Back” project is becoming a potent tool for Palestinians by allowing them to document the clashes with settlers that might otherwise have been in dispute.