B’Tselem received video footage that shows a large group of Israeli soldiers violently dragging a Palestinian young man, and physically abusing him. A Palestinian resident of Hebron began filming the incident after he heard the young man crying out in pain.
The violent incident took place on Friday, 8 December 2017, on Wadi a-Tufah Street, Hebron. At the time, many demonstrations were underway across the Occupied Territories to protest the statement by U.S. President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Very recently, as part of closing the investigation against the spokesperson of the NGO Breaking the Silence, senior officials in Israel’s State Attorney’s Office tried to create the misleading impression that it is rare for soldiers to use violence against Palestinian, and that such incidents are always followed up by an investigation. However, a comprehensive B’Tselem report revealed that of 300 instances (from 2000 through 2015) of physical abuse by soldiers against Palestinians, 199 were closed without any further measures taken; in 30 – no investigation was even launched; and charges were brought against the implicated soldiers in a mere 11 cases. This is the violent routine of life under occupation: violent dispersal of protests, regardless of whether or not the demonstrators were violent, and indicting the organizers of protests are procedures regularly used by the Israeli security forces. These measures are in line with and serve the guiding principle of Israeli authorities, whereby Palestinians have no right to oppose the occupation, nor even the right to freedom of expression and protest.