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October 1, 2015 1:42 pm

Suspended Israeli Officer Defends Smashing of Journalists’ Cameras

avatar by David Daoud

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The deputy commander of a Givati unit who was filmed smashing journalists' cameras defended his actions. PHOTO: Screenshot.

The deputy commander of a Givati unit who was filmed smashing journalists’ cameras defended his actions. Photo: Screenshot.

“Aleph,” the deputy commander of a Givati Brigade unit that confronted journalists and broke their cameras, defended his actions to Israel’s Channel 2 on Thursday.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said that the commander was suspended from operational duty, adding, “The IDF considers the incident grave, and in contravention of its code of ethics and professional standards.”

“Aleph”‘s suspension came after an inquiry into the incident by Givati Brigade Commander Col. Yaron Finkelman, who found that “Aleph” had, “acted in a manner unbefitting of an IDF commander,” a finding that was upheld by Chief of Southern Command Staff Brigadier General Udi Ben Moha.

“Aleph” claimed that he did not attack the journalists, asserting that the video was edited. He also expressed his dismay at his suspension, saying, “They’re bleeding me dry. I’m very disappointed with my commanders, who gave me no support.”

He continued, “My commanders never taught me how to behave around journalists — especially not ones like these who were disrupting our operations.”

During his interrogation yesterday by the Military Police, “Aleph,” had said that “the photographers, actively and maliciously, were there for 15 minutes,” during which time they, “climbed into the [military] jeep and tried to photograph weapons and secret warfare systems that were there.”

“I broke the camera to protect the soldiers and rescue a soldier who was hit in the head with a stone. The photographers disrupted me and documented things that could have caused operational harm,” he said, adding, “If the price,” of protecting his soldiers was “damage to some plastic and metal, so be it.”

He also told his interrogators that he did not immediately use violent means with the photographers, and had tried to verbally deter them beforehand.

“What you don’t see [in the video] is that I spoke with them for 10 minutes, in order to convince them to leave before I did something. I did not attack them and you also don’t see that in this video,” he said.

The incident in question occurred in the West Bank village of Beit Furik last Friday afternoon, as the IDF was confronting a nearby group of Palestinian rioters. A video, issued by Palestinian video production company Palmedia, shows journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) working near the group of IDF soldiers under “Aleph’s” command, one of whom is seen smashing a camera, another of whom is seen throwing the destroyed camera into the grass on the side of the road.

Andrea Bernardi, an Italian journalist with AFP  — and one of the journalists in the video — said,”The soldier took the camera from my hand and smashed it on the ground.”


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  • Israeli response to Media bias
    Even those who aren’t particularly sympathetic to Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, could get a good measure of satisfaction from this interview with British Television during the retaliation against Hamas’ shelling of Israel.
    The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?” (A nasty question if there ever was one!)
    Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”
    Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?
    Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression.
    And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima.
    Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen,some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?”
    Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel’s occupation of Arab lands.
    His response was, “It’s our land”. The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned – read below “It’s our land…” It’s important information since we don’t get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the
    jumble of daily events.
    “Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict.”
    Here are overlooked facts in the current & past Middle East situation.
    These were compiled by a Christian university professor:
    BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY…(It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!)
    It makes sense and it’s not slanted. Jew and non-Jew — it doesn’t matter.
    1. Nationhood and Jerusalem.
    Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
    2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
    3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
    4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
    5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
    6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy scriptures.
    Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
    7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
    9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
    10 The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
    11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 400,000. The number of Jewish families refugees terrorized and expelled from Arab lands is estimated to be over a million and all assets confiscated, including 120,000 sq. km. of land valued in the trillions of dollars.
    12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people’s lands.
    Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey …
    13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation.

  • z

    Why are these foreign agents, and who knows what else, allowed anywhere near the IDF in operations? Why is that not an issue for the IDF? Why is the safety and security of IDF soldiers always last in the priorities?

  • The Oslo accord is null and void! – A scathing indictment of the world nations at large‏! r11
    The Arab-Palestinians Charter explicitly states that they want the State of Israel for themselves and the Jewish people destroyed.

    The Arab-Palestinians actions to date have proven that they do not want peace. Why the liberal left and many of the world nations is are fantasizing and deluding themselves that the Arabs want peace.
    People of the world wake up and realize what their ultimate mission is, eliminate the unbelievers. The Arabs promote and indoctrinate the children to commit terror and violence.
    The Arabs never intended to abide by the Accord, or any other agreements with Israel for that matter. It was only a means to take control of territory and eventually take over all of Israel and expel and kill the Jews again, and they do not hide their intentions.

    No Democratic country in the world would tolerate the terror violence and mayhem being committed in Israel by the Arabs. Any country that does not take extreme actions to stop this terror and violence is shirking its responsibility and obligation to its citizens and should be replaced.

    Just like Abbas statement this week. It is time for formally announcing that the Oslo Accord is null and void and institute a population exchange. Moving the Arabs to Jordan and or the 120,000 sq. km. the Arab countries confiscated from the terrorized and expelled million Jewish families. Thus, take back complete control of Judea and Samaria and everything west of the Jordan River as decreed by post WWI international law and treaties, including the January 1919 Faisal Weitzman Agreement.

    If the world at large does not wake up now they will be next. It already has started, take off the blinders, open you eyes and look around. The current refugee problem from Syria and others are flooding Europe and changing the nature and face of Europe and others.
    They are taking over Europe without a battle.
    No entity in the world will force a solution on Israel.
    They forced or were complicit to the Final solution in WWII with the Holocaust and the extermination of over 6 million Jewish people, men women and children.
    Where were the world’s nation’s outcry, threats and objection when millions of Jewish people were being exterminated, men women and children? They were silent.
    The Arab world received over 5 million square miles of territory after WWI and they begrudge the 75,000 sq. miles Israel was suppose to get and took 78% of it for Jordan and now they want more, until there is no Israel at all.
    Where was the world nations when the Arab countries persecuted, terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and their children from their countries many who lived there for over 2,500 years, (and that includes the original Jewish City of Medina and the Jewish community in Mecca, which predates Islam by a thousand years), the Arabs confiscated their assets, business, homes and land 6 times the size of Israel (120,440 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles), valued in the trillions of dollars? Most of the expelled Jewish families settled in Israel and now comprise over half the population.
    Where are the world nations today? Why do they ignore when thousands are slaughtered by Muslims throughout the world. (Where are the compassionate Arab countries taking in the current Arab refugees, they have a vast expanse of vacant lands). The Muslims have killed over a half a billion people since the Muslim religion was initiated.

    Israel, since its independence in 1948 and continuing thru today. Israel is being threatened with annihilation and when Israel defends itself from destruction, terror, suicide bombers, thousands of missiles, violence, etc, by the Arabs, every country has something to say, threaten Israel and meddle in its internal business.

    This is the time when nations of the world must mind their own business and stay out of Israel’s internal affairs. Only then there will be a possibility of peace.


    YJ Draiman

  • Hillel

    Clearly the four based their decision on “reliable” photoshopped AFP & other anti Israeli media footage. How could that be further from the truth?! It’s up there with the Egyptian Muslim brother Al Qudwa AKA Arafat being palestinian and born in Jerusalem.

  • Eric R.

    The soldiers who roughed up these filthy, degenerate Euro-Nazi Jew-haters are heroes.