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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.