Video: Israeli police officer slaps Palestinian woman lawyer on Nakba day

A video posted on Youtube shows an Israeli police officer slapping a woman. The Arabic title of the video says: “Aggression of an Israeli officer against the lawyer Maysa Irshaid, 15 May.” Separately, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) issued a press statement received by The Electronic Intifada by email that appears to describe the incident depicted in the video. The slap is clearly visible toward the end of the brief, 43 second video.

The PCATI release says:

Advocate Meissa Irshaid, from the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, accompanied demonstrators, who were marking Nakba, day in order to monitor the behavior of the police forces.  In the course of her duties she approached a police officer in order to inquire into the circumstances of the arrest of five of the demonstrators.  She was then slapped by the police who arrested her as he simultaneously launched tear gas over other demonstrators.   Ms. Irshaid, at the time of this statement, is still being held in a northern precinct police station. 

May 15 was marked as Nakba day – a commemoration of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-48. Israel recently passed a “Nakba law” criminalizing commemoration of the event.

Here is the PCATI release in full:

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel Press Statement   15 May 2011

Police Officer Slaps Human Rights Organization Attorney While Attending to the Needs of  Demonstrators Under Arrest

An attorney from the Israeli human rights NGO, “The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel” was physically assaulted by a police officer and then arrested today in the course of a demonstration marking Nakba Day in Northern Israel

Advocate Meissa Irshaid, from the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, accompanied demonstrators, who were marking Nakba, day in order to monitor the behavior of the police forces.  In the course of her duties she approached a police officer in order to inquire into the circumstances of the arrest of five of the demonstrators.  She was then slapped by the police who arrested her as he simultaneously launched tear gas over other demonstrators.   Ms. Irshaid, at the time of this statement, is still being held in a northern precinct police station. 

Dr. Ishai Menuchin, executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, the NGO that dispatched Adv. Irshaid to scrutinize the manner in which the police forces treated demonstrators, stated “Israel’s police force continues to prove that the rule of law remains foreign from its perspective. The physical assault and arrest of an attorney who approached an officer in order to inquire into the reason for the arrests of demonstrators is unacceptable, immoral and patently illegal. The time has come for the police to act in accordance with the law and not according to their power to use unlawful force against human rights defenders and demonstrators.”

Tags

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.