Video shows Israeli soldier beating Palestinian workers “without mercy”

Video broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10 shows an Israeli soldier launching a brutal, unprovoked attack on several Palestinian workers.

Michael Gershkowitz of the Israeli army’s Kfir brigade, “attacked a group of Palestinian workers, beating three of them over and over again without mercy using his M-16 rifle,” Channel 10 said in a Hebrew-language report on Tuesday.

The horrifying incident occurred in April 2009 outside the Israeli Jewish-only settlement of Petzael in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley, where the workers were waiting for their employers, but the shocking footage has only just been made public.

The surveillance camera video shows that Gershkowitz, who was off-duty at the time, pulled his army-issued rifle from the trunk of his car, called one of the workers over, and then attacked him repeatedly for no reason. At one point, Gershkowitz forced the worker into the car and beat him inside it.

“Unbridled violence”

“He kicked him all over the body with no mercy until he fell,” Channel 10 said. Other workers came over and tried to calm the attacker, the report said, but Gershkowitz attacked and tried to beat them too.

Gershkowitz only stopped his “unbridled violence” several minutes later when a friend showed up and they fled the scene.

The worker who was most severly beaten, and who was not named in the report, lost eight teeth, according to his lawyer Lea Tsemel. Tsemel said the attack was like something from the movie Clockwork Orange.

Gershkowitz’s lawyer Avi Baram claimed his client had “wept” when he saw the footage. At trial, Gershkowitz received a token sentence of two months imprisonment and four months of community service.

Impunity

While violence against Palestinians and their property by Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers is routine, accountability is almost nonexistent. In the rare situations when a case comes to trial, the punishments, as in this one, are risibly light.

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Comments

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We call this NFI
(normal for Israel)

Just like the old Apartheid South Africa.

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yes appartheid was a shitty one but the boers learned from the british who killed more Africans than anyone else in south African history and before there was apartheid in South Africa during the boer war woman and children were put in consentration camps where children were given porage with glass to eat and were treated like shit no wonder they grew up to start apartheid its all they knew thanks to yhe brittish Hitler learned from the brits and was declared a monster where the brits killed 26000 woman and children of a population of maybe 200 000 and was declared heroes strange world

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2 months imprisonment? What the heck? That loon deserves even a harsher punishment. I would say 20 years minimum.

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This film reminds me of the notorious footage from 1988, during the first Intifada, of Israeli soldiers literally obeying the orders of then-Defence Minister Rabin to "break the bones" of Palestinian demonstrators. Twenty five years on, little has changed.

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Hmmm..."community service"? Which community?

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This is how all the violence started - Palestinians living in peace, until the Zionists came, with guns, malice and a burning hatred for the people of Palestine.
This video will be sent to as many people I know, especially the African American organizations , many of whom have chosen to remain quiet in the face of AIPAC dollars.

I am sickened , angered and truly disturbed by this and realize that this has gone on since the 1880s.

An innocent man victimized in a unprovoked attack this is systematic.

Where are the voices from Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch, the UN Security Council and the procescutors from the International Criminal Court ?

Is this not a gross violation of this man's human rights ?

The massacre of the villagers of Der Yassin is re- lived everyday in Palestine.

I believe in non violence but Michael Gersovitz would not know peace ever again.

Palestinians have never, ever deserved this - never

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.