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The lynching that was not

12:00 Sep 14 2022 Al-Tuwani (Tiwana Tuwanah, Tavani, ﺍﻟتﻮﺍﻧﻲ ) and Israel's Havat Ma'on (מָעוֹן) settlement

Description
Photo:
"According to the Israeli media, this is what a settler looks like when he went out to graze his flock. Itamar Cohen, armed with an iron rod and masked, from a video that recorded the event in the agricultural land near Tavani " Published by Mekomit.co.il/972Mag

Settlers and Palestinians in the agricultural land near Tawani, from a video that recorded the event. Published by Mekomit.co.il/972Mag

Map. Source: Kerem Navot
Published by Mekomit.co.il/972Mag

The village of Tavani (Photo: Rachel Shor)
Published by Mekomit.co.il/972Mag
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In recent days, it has been widely reported that dozens of Palestinians attacked a Jewish shepherd in the south of Mount Hebron. A video that recorded the entire event shows that the story is completely different: settlers attacked Palestinians on their private land, and there were only a few Palestinians and one volunteer. The Palestinian who was attacked was arrested

by Yuval Avraham and Bassel El Adra for Mekomit / 972Mag
14.9.2022

An unfounded news was published in the last few days in major media outlets in Israel, according to which Palestinians lynched a Jewish shepherd named Itamar Cohen, yesterday in Mount Hebron.

A 23-minute video, which sequentially records the entire event, from beginning to end, and was handed over to the police last night, shows that Cohen arrived from the settlement area to private Palestinian land, armed with an iron rod and masked, in the company of a settler armed with an M16, another masked armed with these, and two settlers more The group approached the Palestinian farmers.

In the video, Cohen is seen waving these in front of a Palestinian farmer, and the farmer in response waves the shovel he brought with him in front of him. In the video, you hear the sounds of blows, but you don't see the moment of impact. Both hands of the farmer holding the shovel, Hafez al-Huraini, were broken in the incident.

At the same time as the confrontation between Cohen and the Palestinian farmer, the video shows another settler from the Havat Ma'on outpost, a soldier wearing military pants, holding an M16 and firing several times into the air. The IDF spokeswoman said that "the conduct of the soldier is in the clear."

During the incident of the attack, Cohen is seen to fall to the ground, but in the video he is seen to get up immediately afterwards. The Palestinians called the police, after which Cohen left the scene, still masked and the iron rod in his hand. Ten minutes later, according to MDA, a call came to the hotline and they asked for medical assistance. During this period of time, the video is filmed continuously.

Cohen was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital with cracks in his skull. First his condition was defined as severe, now it is defined as moderate to severe. The media described him as a shepherd who was attacked . Settlers claimed that " thirty Palestinians " ambushed him, and attacked him near the Ma'on settlement, and a security official also gave a briefing to journalists with similar details. The video shows that these descriptions are baseless.

The investigation by "Sashah Mekomit" suggests that it was Cohen who first waved the goddess; because the whole incident happened near a Palestinian village, not near a settlement; And that five individual Palestinian settlers and farmers participated in it, not thirty. The farmer who grabbed the shovel and repelled the armed masked men, Hafez al-Huraini, has been arrested since the incident on suspicion of attempted murder.

Later in the evening, soldiers raided the village of Tawani, went house to house, and gathered the men for interrogations in the village. A Shin Bet official informed the interrogators that he would "hit the village with an iron fist" due to the incident, and threatened residents who would not invite Israeli left-wing activists to the village and the field investigation of "Betzlem", who "are the source of the problems".

The video documentation of the entire event is in the hands of "local conversation", but permission has not yet been given to publish it. The photographs that accompany the article are taken from the video. You can see in them the masked priest arriving at the farmers' lands, and the other four settlers.

The whole event took place on land belonging to a Palestinian family - according to the army and civil administration records. This land is about 380 meters from the outpost houses of Havat Ma'on, and about 180 meters from the houses of the Ma'on settlement, and is located near the village of Tavani.

This is not the first time that farmers have been attacked there, and the location is not accidental: the access road that the residents of the Havat Ma'on outpost broke through passes close to private Palestinian land, as can be seen on the map prepared with the assistance of the Kerem Navot organization. In recent years, masked men who came from the direction of the outpost evicted the landowners from it several times.

"My father and I went out, like every day, to work in the land," repeated the son of Hafez al-Huraini, who was present at the event. "I saw two masked men in the wadi, who chased away sheep that were being herded by children from the village next to us. The settlers did that, but they were far away from us."

The video recording of the event verifies his words: the settlers can be seen even when they are far away, approaching the village. The videographer explained that he started filming as soon as he "spotted masked men in the wadi". In about two minutes they approach.

"My father asked me to bring our sheep home, so that they would not be harmed, so I went. When I returned, I saw that they had reached us, gathered around my father with poles in their hands, and began to beat him. A red-haired settler also fired a weapon. At my father He had a stick and he was defending himself, it's human. Someone comes with a weapon and shoots in the air, and someone tries to give you an iron rod to the head. It's a defense of my life and his."

Following the incident, the military and police forces arrived at the scene. Hafez al-Huraini, whose hands were broken in the attack, called an ambulance of the Red Crescent. The armed settler blocked the ambulance with his body, after which settlers punctured the wheels of the ambulance, and also uprooted trees on the residents' land in the presence of the soldiers - according to the residents' testimonies and photographs.

The army and security forces raided the village
At night the nightmare began. Three army and MGB jeeps raided Tawani. They stopped in front of the first house, and some soldiers threw stun grenades and gas at him, for no reason. They continued driving, and did the same to the second house, and the third, and also arrived at the house of the grandmother of the writer of these lines (Bassel al Adra).

Gas and stun grenades. A family with children, traveling in a car, suffocated from the gas, and the Red Crescent provided them with medical treatment. Stifling everywhere. People shouted, and children's cries rose from every house. The echoes of the explosions of the stun grenades continued for about an hour, and soldiers positioned themselves on the roof of a nearby house.

At that time, a "local conversation" appealed to the army with the question of why the massive spraying of stun grenades and gas in the village continued. The answer stated that the soldiers "entered the village in order to search for suspects in the attack on the settlers in Ma'on Farm", and that the forces responded with measures to disperse the demonstrations in response to stone throwing. It is almost unnecessary to mention that the attack did not happen on a Ma'on farm, but on Palestinian land.

Later that night, the army raided the village once more, an infantry force of about 25 soldiers, accompanied by jeeps. They entered the houses, one after the other, to collect men again for field investigations.

"I was sitting in the room, and a soldier kicked in the front door," said Rinad Harini, whose house was the first the soldiers entered. "They went through room after room, and kicked in all the doors. They asked me where my father was. Then they entered the neighbor's house and did the same thing."

"The officer told me, gather the men for me, we want all the men," said Hani al-Rabai, a resident of the village. They demanded that he accompany them for a tour of the houses. "They told me, we want the head of the village, bring him to us," he said. According to him, this is how they gathered a group of about twenty men, who were taken to the Shin Bet officer one after the other. The army confirmed to "Local Conversation" that "interrogations in the field" took place.

"It was to scare everyone, after all the shock and the gas," said al-Rabai. "He (the Shin Bet man; 11) said to me, you are in the mosque all the time, inciting violence. And he asked me where I was at the time of the incident, and I told him, at home, with my family. Then he released me."

Another interrogated, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being hurt, said that "He (the Shin Bet man; 11) told me, I will hit your village with an iron hand, and more than that, after what you have done. You will see things you have not seen before. I will not leave a single man in my wake."

According to him, the Shin Bet man informed him that he sees him as a responsible figure in the village, and if residents invite left-wing activists to him, he will come to arrest him personally.

"He told me like this in an explicit way, be careful of hosting anarchist Israelis in the village, and Nasr Nawajea (investigator of 'Betzlem') and Ratev Jabor (coordinator of the Committee of Resistance to the Fence). They come here to make a mess, and they are the cause of the problems. You are the ones who will lose from this that they be here. I told him that the cause of the problems are settlers who attack us with masks, and you don't stop them."

We contacted the Shin Bet with a request for a response to the investigations and allegations of threats. Their response will be published if and when it is received.

Some media outlets and politicians in the settlements have also adopted a completely false narrative, according to which the lynching (which was not) is connected to "anarchists" and "peace activists", Israeli and international, who took part in a "planned ambush", who come to Mount Hebron to accompany shepherds and document cases of Settler violence, just like this case.

The head of the Mount Hebron Regional Council, Yohai Demari, wrote on his Facebook last night that "during the entire attack, 'peace activists' sat and documented what was happening without lifting a finger to help their Jewish brothers... Until these very moments, I am in contact with all the security forces, with the police, Demanding to remove provocateurs and agitators from the area."

There is no connection between these things and reality. The video footage clearly shows that while the masked men from the settlement are confronting the Palestinian farmers, there are neither left-wing activists nor dozens of Palestinians. During the attack, five settlers, lone Palestinian farmers, and an international volunteer, who took pictures on his phone, were present. One Israeli activist arrived at the scene after Cohen had already left.

This narrative is not accidental. In the territories, everything is the opposite. Jews who act violently and agitate are protected from the law, and Palestinians and activists who document the violence and experience it are seen as criminals. War is peace, and slavery is freedom. Masked with iron bars are victims of lynching; Whoever was attacked, arrested by the police; And whoever attacked, walks free.

The need to create a virtual reality is probably the only way to justify the harsh violence that is used every day under the military regime. The Shin Bet, the police, and the army, as agents of this violence, take a full part in it. Unfortunately, so does the media.


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