Every week, I watch videos of the weekly anti-occupation protests all over the West Bank, documented by excellent video journalists like TamimiPress, HaithamKatib, Davivreeb, YisraelPNM and many others.
Every week there is new material to comment on. In every video you would see a brutal act by an Israeli soldier that requires accountability, but typically the act passes away at the end of the day without any of the soldiers being held accountable for their crimes. Often, we find human rights organizations compiling video footage and working to hold the criminal soldiers accountable; B’tselem is one of the leading human rights centers in this field.
In the video above, by YisraelPNM, the video description notes that in minute 6:38 of the video, a masked soldier is seen holding a rifle capable of firing metal bullets coated with rubber or another kind of live ammunition. The point here is that the soldier, unlike any of his colleagues, is wearing a full face mask in order to hide his identity in case he were to be held accountable if he seriously injured or killed a Palestinian unarmed protestor (you can see him in the screengrab below).
This instantly takes me back to the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, on 9 December, who was hit directly in the face with a high velocity tear gas canister shot from the back of a heavily armored army vehicle. No soldier was held accountable for this outright act of murder. By shooting the tear gas canisterato Tamimi’s face, the soldier broke the army’s firing regulations as well as every law, domestic and international, which protects the people’s right to protest. More than 40 days have passed since Mustafa Tamimi was murdered, and no Israeli soldier has been held accountable for this crime. Israeli soldiers continue to fire tear gas canisters directly at unarmed protestors, even medics are frequently targeted by soldiers.
In the video above, you can see at minute 3:45 a medic who was directly shot at by soldiers with high velocity tear gas canisters on his thigh. The Israeli army continues to breach every human right and the right to protest not to mention their own firing regulations. This doesn’t seem to be decreasing; criminals are not being held accountable. It is just like the Wild West, but it is the Wild West-Bank.