Video: Israel plants armed “stone throwers” among Palestinian protesters

This post has been updated with new material since initial publication. It contains graphic images of violence.

A Reuters correspondent observed Israeli undercover agents disguised as Palestinian youths inciting violence. He’s backed up by video evidence. One video shows an Israeli undercover agent apparently firing a pistol into the leg of a Palestinian at point blank range.

Luke Baker tweeted: “Footage in Ramallah shows undercover #Israeli police throwing stones at Israeli forces and inciting #Palestinian youth to do the same.”

Baker affirms he witnessed the incident himself:

Shot at point blank

Video of the incident was caught by AFP and other videographers. Due to rights restrictions the AFP video is only viewable at YouTube, but stills taken from it show the “Palestinian stonethrowers” suddenly pull out guns and turn on the other Palestinians, revealing themselves as Israeli agents.

Still from AFP video shows Israeli agents who moments before were posing as demonstrators pull guns on Palestinians.

This video shows one of the undercover men firing a pistol at point blank range into the leg of a Palestinian who is on the ground and being assaulted by several men. The recoil from the weapon is visible and the sound of the gunshot can be heard in the video. The uniformed Israeli soldiers and their plain clothes accomplices continue brutally kicking and beating the victim and then drag him away. The victim makes several attempts to stand up, but his leg appears to buckle. What look like bloodstains can also be seen on his jeans.

The still image captures the moment.

A still image shows the moment an Israeli undercover agent fires a pistol into the leg of a Palestinian at point blank range.

Ma’an News Agency reported that two youths were shot, beaten and detained by Israelis in the incident and another was beaten and detained. Palestinian medical personnel have not been granted access to them.

This 11-minute video posted by Wattan TV shows the Israeli undercover agents working side by side with uniformed Israeli occupation forces.

It is titled “Mustarabin kidnap three injured persons during confrontations with the occupation near Beit El.”

Dressing up agents as what Israel believes Arab or Palestinian civilians to look like – so-called mistaravim in Hebrew or mustarabin in Arabic – is an old tactic used in everything from acting as provocateurs and spying to dozens of extrajudicial murders. Early on Sunday morning, several disguised Israeli agents entered a hospital in Nablus and kidnapped an injured Palestinian.

At about 4:50, a group of Israeli soldiers can be seen suddenly running towards an area off to the left of the camera’s view.

As the camera follows them, they can be seen teaming up with men in plain clothes wearing face masks.

Man in Striped Shirt

At about 3:04 in another video of Wednesday’s demonstration near Beit El, a youth in a black-and-white striped shirt, dark pants and face mask can be seen among Palestinians who are demonstrating against Israeli occupation forces. The still below captures his image.

A video still shows the man in the black and white shirt (toward the left of the frame) taking part in a Palestinian demonstration.

At 5:24 in the Wattan TV video, an identically dressed man can be seen. He is clearly cooperating with the soldiers. At one point he can be seen throwing an object and then retreating back behind the uniformed soldiers.

A still from another video shows the same man in a striped shirt cooperating with Israeli soldiers.

Another video still shows the man in the striped shirt working closely with Israeli soldiers.

The same man appears even more clearly in the video at the top of this post. It shows the soldiers and their undercover agents, including the man in the striped shirt tackling, kicking and dragging away Palestinians. Several of the agents also appear to be armed with small pistols.

Video still shows an undercover Israeli agent with a striped shirt who appears armed.

At least one other Israeli agent appears in the Wattan TV video with a striped shirt, though with light pants. Could it be that striped shirts are used as a way for Israeli soldiers to easily tell who is on their side?

The Reuters correspondent’s testimony and these videos provide a glimpse of some of the tactics Israel uses.

According to Ma’an News Agency, 18 Palestinians were injured in the confrontations near Beit El, bringing the total to more than 600 since Saturday.

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Comments

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And the cries of "Pallywood" from the Protect-Israel's-reputation-at-all-costs crowd start in 3. . . 2. . .1.

So how many years will the stone-throwing Israeli undercover agents get under Israel's harsh new stone throwing law?

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The use of agents provocateurs is especially despicable. Police forces around the world employ this tactic, to instigate disorder. In the case of Palestine, the Israelis don't even constitute a once legitimate force now deviating from the law. They never had legal authority to begin with. As for disorder, the occupiers are the source of any and all unrest, including intra-Palestinian rivalry.

What a gang of outlaws. Will any of these images appear in the nightly news programs in the US? Very unlikely. They don't fit the narrative of Israeli victimhood.

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This tactic and trick is used by police and soldiers all over the world, and was used during the anti Vietnam protest period in the USA in the 1960s and 1970s. Very often, the most violent and provocative "protesters" are police agents who try to instigate legit protesters to join in the violence which then provides the authorities with an excuse to strike back. BEWARE those who are quick to over-react and provoke peaceful protesters to be violent. Long Live Nonviolent Revolution! Power to the People! BDS!!!

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There is a problem with that. If one's opponents do not believe that one is at distinct disadvantage.

Not being suicidal, I say, get organized, get mobilized and get them before they get you. Does that make me a police agent? No, it makes me someone who knows that causes and wars are not won by merely threatening to lick some one to death or sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya. It is going to take much more than that.

As to playing into agent provocateurs, only a fool tries to take on a large group of heavily armed thugs that out match one.

I recognize that some here may not agree with I say. Please do not hold that against me. I do not hold what you believe against you.

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i hear ya, but let's not go too far down the "they change peaceful into violent-line". where we then label stonethrowing as violent, it is a means of resistance, it is legit, palstinians have the right to resistance as a nation. whether the occupier criminalizes resistance is irrelevant. as are personal opinions to stone-throwing. but yes, these thugs do tip situations, they incite, and they target certain people who they then kidnap. i suppose my point is, to not turn palestinians into lambs who are mislead to stonethrowing and otherwise only victims. i think stonethowing can be very empowering, because anyone can pick them up.

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Israel is a terrorist state. We have a congress full of people who put Israel above our own laws and treaties we signed. Like our laws against selling weapons to nations with a history of human rights violations and we signed the Geneva convention, Israeli violations start with illegal squatterments and keep going. We gotta get America back from AIPAC the Israeli lobby. I'm an American not a zionist terrorist. I want America to be about liberty and justice for all not about supporting Israeli terrorism.

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If this video does not make the man in the White House, who has pledged, repeatedly, unwavering support for Israel, and has supported all actions of the IDF soldiers until now and called them “self defense”, to seriously reconsider his support for the brutal Netanyahu government, then nothing will make him change his policy regarding the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom. Watching this video not only stunned me, it also made me feel quite sick in my stomach. Today, the British MP George Galloway covered this incident in great detail in his talk show, and allocated an hour to discuss this shocking incident. He has predicted that this incident, because it has been captured in video cameras, will have dire consequences to Netanyahu’s government. I fail to understand why Obama, Cameron, Hollande, and Angela Merkel stand by Israel and refuse of condemn Israel. How long will these leaders allow Israel to continue its occupation of Palestine, and how many thousands more of Palestinian lives they are willing to sacrifice?
Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania

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dunno about the striped shirt policy but i've seen those thugs in action and one significant thing I noticed, was that as soon as they reveal themselves, they move different, they do all these bouncy jumpy tekken 3 moves, sometimes very exaggerated. so a question i have asked myself is, firstly have they been moving different all the time just I haven't noticed? secondly i wonder whether they also do certain moves to be identifyable by the army, this would work particularly well for them when the army works with snipers.

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Why would you shoot someone in the leg - someone who is already held down and powerless? That's just vindictive and cruel.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.