Monday, April 16, 2012

NGO Monitor Statement on Confrontation Between IDF Officer and ISM Activists

April 16, 2012
Jason Edelstein
NGO Monitor

JERUSALEM - A YouTube video released by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) provides evidence of unnecessary use of force on April 14 by an IDF officer in a confrontation initiated by ISM members.

In immediate response, the IDF spokesperson released a statement calling the event a "serious incident" and announced an investigation. The head of the Central Command suspended the officer, and the actions were condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Ganz.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, stated: "The evidence, as depicted on the video, shows the use of gratuitous physical violence by a commander of the IDF patrol in response to the ISM-led provocation. The quick and clear responses of the Israeli government and military officials to the incident demonstrate that credible evidence of violations is dealt with in a professional and responsible manner. The investigation conducted by the IDF should examine all available evidence, including any video material edited out of the posted YouTube version, as well as the behavior of the ISM group."

NGO Monitor notes that ISM has a long record of encouraging activists to take "direct action" that often places them in danger and in direct confrontations with the IDF.

ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf in 2002 stated, "The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent...Yes, people will get killed and injured," but these deaths are "no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah."

Click here for detailed background on ISM.
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