Itamar video says settlement had night-and-day perimeter surveillance

Israel/Palestine
on 31 Comments

Check out this video from the Friends of Itamar posted December 23, 2010, promoting emigration to the settlement. We are introduced to the “Control center” in the West Bank settlement. At 7:55 the narrator describes the video surveillance system (camera zooms in on a tower) attached to the alarm system:

“Camera surveillance system instantly monitored even at night”….

“the surveillance sensors signal a alert of a potential terrorist trying to break thru and the exact location of the infiltration is fed to the computers and the remote control camera is zoomed in to the exact location to track the terrorist”

Was this system operational on March 11, the night of the murders?

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .


Posted In:

31 Responses

  1. RoHa
    April 5, 2011, 9:11 pm

    So either the system (Israeli Technology?) is crap, or no evil, swarthy, unshaven, fanatical, wild-eyed, Jew-hating Arab sneaked in that night.

    • annie
      April 5, 2011, 9:18 pm

      one logical conclusion might be whoever killed them was already in the settlement (say a worker who was there during the day) and/or it was a person who came in the front gate.

      they already said the surveillance system was working, and one article mentioned no video captured anyone. i read that right before the gag order.

      one possibility is they already know who did it but they’re milking the pr, the way they did by holding the flotilla people while soaking up the international attention for 3 days.

      • RoHa
        April 5, 2011, 11:35 pm

        “or it was a person who came in the front gate.”

        If they have such a fancy system for guarding the fence, the front gate will be guarded, too.

        And who would be allowed through the front gate? Certainly not Mr. Evil Swarthy etc.

      • annie
        April 6, 2011, 12:15 am

        Certainly not Mr. Evil Swarthy etc.

        exactly. i realize this may be a radical idea but statistics confirm sometimes murders are not strangers.

      • RoHa
        April 6, 2011, 12:29 am

        “sometimes murders are not strangers”

        Typically, the police first suspect husbands, wives, family members, friends, and business partners.

  2. pabelmont
    April 5, 2011, 9:34 pm

    Perhaps an angry servant (recall the third-world girls working in horrible conditions in Saudi and other places in the world). An angry neighbor? Or see who had opportunity to turn the surveillance off.

  3. DBG
    April 5, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Annie, your dishonesty is appalling, I forwarded you this link, an interview with the mayor of Itamar explaining everything and denying that there were any foreign workers in Itamar.

    link to elderofziyon.blogspot.com

    • annie
      April 5, 2011, 10:11 pm

      forwarded? what does that mean? you posted in on another thread? i don’t always check the old threads dbg, this is the first time i’ve seen this. why is the major giving interviews while there is a gag order in place? is he authorized as the mayor? is he part of the police force too? is he unbiased? interesting at 3:44 in the video he talks about the ‘blind spot in the fence’. how would someone know where the blind spot was if the surveillance was on a tower? how could someone “gather intelligence over the months” if they had no reason to be in or around the settlement? how would they know “exactly how to enter and when to enter” wrt guard duty without having reason to be near the settlement?

      did you notice how he answer the question about foreign workers ‘it goes way back’ he said ‘many months ago we had some’, so no, he didn’t say there weren’t ever foreign workers, he said it goes back months and he also said the surveillance went back months.

      this is a fundraising video. she even said “and that’s why we’re here”. these people hopped on a plane and came to make money off this tragedy. everything they say should be heard thru that filter.

      bye.

    • RoHa
      April 5, 2011, 10:17 pm

      “denying that there were any foreign workers in Itamar.”

      No aggrieved Thais, then.

      No evil, swarthy, unshaven, fanatical, wild-eyed, Jew-hating Arab sneaked in that night.

      Therefore

      either

      the evil, swarthy, unshaven, fanatical, wild-eyed, Jew-hating Arab was already in the settlement, hiding in the woodpile

      or

      another settler did it.

    • Potsherd2
      April 5, 2011, 10:25 pm

      DBG – that link also says “the actual terrorist was traced back to awarta”

      Now where did they get that information, since no “actual terrorist” has been charged? I think your link is dubious.

      Also – if the Thai worker story is correct, then the unpaid debt would be an old one, which fits into the information that foreign workers were there “months ago.”

      • tree
        April 6, 2011, 2:32 am

        The first report on the murders said that there was no trace of entry at the fence after the alarm went off, so they considered it a false alarm, which apparently happened often.

        However, according to DBG’s link the mayor and his wife claim that it was easy to trace the killers back to Awarta, because it was a rainy, muddy night with the implication that muddy footprints were easy to follow. But if it was rainy and muddy, why didn’t they detect any footprints when the alarm went off at 9p and again at 11pm? The stories don’t add up. And why is there a gag order if the evidence is so overwhelming that the killer was from Awarta? None of what the mayor and his wife are saying adds up.

        Itamar has a great security system, complete with touch sensors and remote camera surveillance, except that the cameras couldn’t record what was going on at this one location where the killers entered, and despite the rainy night, no footprints were found when the location was observed after the alarm went off. We are to believe that Palestinian villagers with surveillance equipment were able to figure out the exact location of the one blind spot in Itamar’s remote camera surveillance, even though there is no way to know that from OUTSIDE Itamar’s fences. Highly implausible.

        They are in the US fundraising. That’s hard to do if it looks like someone in Itamar is a mass murderer, so I can understand how important it is to them to have the murderer be a Palestinian.

      • Avi
        April 6, 2011, 5:29 am

        However, according to DBG’s link the mayor and his wife claim that it was easy to trace the killers back to Awarta, because it was a rainy, muddy night with the implication that muddy footprints were easy to follow. But if it was rainy and muddy, why didn’t they detect any footprints when the alarm went off at 9p and again at 11pm? The stories don’t add up. And why is there a gag order if the evidence is so overwhelming that the killer was from Awarta? None of what the mayor and his wife are saying adds up.

        According to archival weather data for March 11, it was raining throughout most of the state with the exception of some areas in the Negev.

        So, it seems that the mayor borrowed partial information about the incident and attempted to make it fit into his political narrative by claiming that muddy footprints led to the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta.

        Since there were no muddy footprints along the fence — as the colony’s security found none — this leads me to believe that the attacker/s was already inside the colony.

      • mig
        April 6, 2011, 11:15 am

        Look video at 2.08 and what he says.

    • Chaos4700
      April 6, 2011, 5:47 am

      You’ve been spamming that B.S. entry all over Mondoweiss. As I rather graciously pointed out, the article leads off with:

      On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to interview the mayor of Itamar, Moshe Goldsmith, and his wife Leah, as they were fundraising for additional security and infrastructure for their community.

      As if you can’t smell the fnord, DBG. Who do you really think is going to be duped? Or are you really that gullible?

    • MarkF
      April 6, 2011, 1:14 pm

      Almost as appalling as building a fortress/settlement on disputed land, and becoming a prostitute to sell it and defend it.

      With our money. Money we are asked to fork up at our Synagogues and from our taxes.

      Nice….

  4. Sarah
    April 6, 2011, 2:16 am

    Here’s a few more things to consider about Itamar’s fence -

    link to facebook.com

    For those who can’t open a facebook link, here’s the text:

    “Right after the killings in Itamar, we were told that the killer had entered the colony by cutting a hole in the fence. This story must have caused the government of Israel some embarrassment for some reason, because they changed the story to say that he “hopped” the fence. Some accounts say he “jumped over” the fence.

    Here’s a picture of the fence.

    link to ynetnews.com

    It astonishes me that allegedly intelligent people can look at this fence, or at a picture of the fence, and actually even begin to entertain the idea that anyone could “hop” or “jump” over it. The fence is at least eight feet tall. It has razor wire coiled up along the bottom of it. It has at least six, possibly more, strands of razor wire in a Y shaped array along the top. The strands of razor wire at the top extend beyond the fence itself both inside and outside the fence, creating an overhang of razor wire on both sides.

    The idea that someone could “hop” or “jump” an eight foot high fence with multiple strands of razor wire along the top is patently ridiculous. Even the idea that someone could climb (a claim that I have not so far seen being made) without getting all tangled in the razor wire at the top, and being seriously injured is patently ridiculous. And that’s even not considering that the fence is electrified, and under 24 hour a day surveillance by security cameras.

    And even if someone had tried to climb the electrified fence with the razor wire along the bottom and the top, his efforts would certainly have aroused the security people more than they say they were, because he would have been screaming in pain, and he would have been all tangled up in the wire. And even if he wasn’t, at the very least, he would have left very obvious signs of his having been there, like blood and tangled up razor wire at the top of the fence, which would have prompted the security people to investigate a lot more carefully than they say they did.

    So it’s entirely safe to say that the story being promoted by the Israeli propaganda machine does not have a shred of truth in it, and we can be quite confident that whoever did the killings did not come from outside the fence. Unless they were let in by someone on the inside.”

    • Sarah
      April 6, 2011, 3:46 am

      It’s also EXTREMELY important to note that the mayor of Itamar in DBG’s video link is LYING. He says there is a blind spot in the coverage of the fence where the video cameras can’t see the fence. But earlier on, he describes the sensor wire that runs all along the fence. It would not have been possible for the murderer to have gotten past the fence without having been detected by the sensor wire. The video in the opening post says that if the sensor detects any interference with the fence, the cameras instantly focus in on the area of the disturbance, and the security people are immediately dispatched to investigate. If the sensor wire had detected a disturbance at the one area in the fence that did not have video surveillance (and if there *was* such an area, they shouldn’t have been promoting the security system as being an adequate safeguard), they would certainly have carefully investigated the disturbance. We know this because we know the people of the community were sufficiently concerned about safety to have taken the trouble and expense of putting the security system up in the first place. There’s no way they would be so stupid that they would have a sophisticated security system like that one and knowingly leave such a fatal weakness in it.

      They would have investigated, and if someone *had* tried to enter the colony either through the fence, or over it, they would have either found that person, or they would have found enough traces of that person to warrant a thorough search of the entire colony, and also a warning to everyone in the colony to be prepared for danger. But we have been told that the security people didn’ t find any traces of anything that would arouse their concern.

      So we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are all lying about this from start to finish.

    • annie
      April 6, 2011, 8:51 am

      thanks for copying the text of the facebook page sarah because i don’t have an account there.

      what i find to be the most glaring omission from most analysis of this heinous crime is nobody seems to be even questioning the possibility of the motive being associated with greed. i’ve watched enough crime shows to know if there’s an insurance payoff of a million dollars they at least look at the possibility the pay off was connected to the motive. does anyone besides me wonder how a permit for 500 new homes might be a motive? if each of those homes represented 5 new residents that’s a big expansion. and in the midst of the social shock the same day as this discovery they approve a plan to expand the settlement 2 times over the size of the current population?

      it’s too weird. like naomi klein’s the shock doctrine.

    • tree
      April 6, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Even the idea that someone could climb (a claim that I have not so far seen being made) without getting all tangled in the razor wire at the top, and being seriously injured is patently ridiculous.

      The Itamar mayor and his wife make exactly that claim in DBG’s video. The only way that would be possible is if they leaned a ladder across the fence,but that would have led to a much bigger disturbance to be detected by the sensor. and when someone physically inspected that area, triggered by the sensor, they would have seen the marks from the ladder as well as footprints. It certainly doesn’t add up. And, again, the fact of a gag-order strongly suggests that it was NOT a Palestinian who committed the murder.

  5. bijou
    April 6, 2011, 8:32 am

    Thank you Sarah, and thank you Annie for finding this video and raising the issue. It is important to keep shining a light on the inconsistencies in this story as the “investigation” (whatever that means) proceeds.

  6. marc b.
    April 6, 2011, 8:40 am

    great deconstruction of DB’s nonsense by everyone. DB and its ilk are incapable of any analysis that does not lead to the conclusion that some ‘ayrab’ is the murderer, despite the fact that such outsider would have had to break into and then break out of the equivalent of a medium security prison after having messily butchered a family, all without being detected. the objective available facts should lead investigators to focus on persons within the fence.

  7. tellmeall
    April 6, 2011, 9:51 am

    one point I haven’t seen addressed is that Palestinians in Awarta would find it difficult to dispose of evidence, considering all that I hear of limited water and electricity on zionist whim.
    Five bloody stabbings would probably cover the murderer with blood, even burning blood soaked clothing would probably draw attention.

    Did Awarta have 24/7 electricity and running water?

    I believe it was someone who lived in the compound, anyone strange would immediately come under investigation.

    I believe whoever runs our world are laying plans for more violence. The continued ethnic cleansing/genocide of indigenous Palestinians (Muslim, Christian & Jew) never take a day off.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    April 6, 2011, 3:00 pm

    RE: “Itamar video says settlement had night-and-day perimeter surveillance” – Annie

    AlSO SEE: PA-linked sites: ‘Foreign worker behind Itamar killings’, By Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, 03/15/11

    (excerpt) A number of news websites affiliated with the Palestinian Authority claimed on Monday that the Itamar murders were committed by a foreign worker who was employed in the settlement.
    PA-controlled media outlets also highlighted the story and continued to cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinians were behind the killings.
    The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an, which is close to the PA leadership, ran a lead news story that claimed that a Thai worker had been arrested by the IDF on suspicion of killing the five members of the Fogel family on Friday night.
    The agency did not say how it obtained the information. However, it said that shortly after the killings, Israeli security forces arrested all the Thai workers who were inside the settlement.
    Ma’an pointed out that no Palestinian group had claimed responsibility for the attack and that Palestinians were banned from entering settlements.
    Another Palestinian news agency, Qudsnet, claimed that an Asian man who used to work for the Fogel family was behind the killings.
    Quoting a Palestinian family living in the nearby village of Awarta, the agency said that the family members were slaughtered because the father refused to pay the Asian worker his salary, which is estimated at NIS 10,000.
    The IDF would not comment, due to a gag order imposed on the investigation

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to jpost.com

  9. piotr
    April 7, 2011, 11:31 am

    I think crossing the fence is probably possible, but not obvious. Security systems have weak spots, and climbing over barbed wire is quite possible.

    The true question arises how an intruder would know the weak spots of the security system, like what places would have no video cameras, and where one would leave least trace on the ground. The story was that security alarm was triggered, but the inspection of the fence lead to a conclusion that it was an animal or some other false alarm. That would mean a crossing leaving almost to trace, no wire cutting or trampling, traces of footsteps eliminated. Hard to see how one could possibly dare without inside knowledge.

    • annie
      April 7, 2011, 11:55 am

      The true question arises how an intruder would know the weak spots of the security system, like what places would have no video cameras

      yeah, in dbg’s video the mayor talked about the ‘blind spot’. i mentioned earlier

      interesting at 3:44 in the video he talks about the ‘blind spot in the fence’. how would someone know where the blind spot was if the surveillance was on a tower? how could someone “gather intelligence over the months” if they had no reason to be in or around the settlement? how would they know “exactly how to enter and when to enter” wrt guard duty without having reason to be near the settlement?

      there seemed to be a kind of familiarity w/the pattern of the family unless it was just a coincidence they waited until the daughter left with her friends and carried out the murders during that closed window of time.

    • Chaos4700
      April 7, 2011, 12:06 pm

      It’s possible but only if A) you know there are blind spots, B) you know where they are and C) you know the general schedule of the occupants of the settlement, if you want to get in and get out without being caught.

      Industrious Palestinians might guess (A) but would have to be told (B), at the very least by someone who lives in or has extensively visited the settlement — because if they had found the blind spots by trial and error, the suspect or suspects would have been caught several times over before the murders even happened — and realistically, that sort of information would really only be known by people either installed or routinely operate the security system. And (C) requires even more recent and specific knowledge — someone with unfettered access to the community.

      So we’re supposed to believe there are one or more Palestinians who knew exactly what it would take to sneak in and sneak out, all without getting caught or leaving positive ID, and who would sacrifice this vital and specific knowledge just to murder one random family in the settlement? And what would be the motive for this supposed Palestinian murderer to only attack one family and leave silently instead of, say, staging a suicide attack? Or setting a bomb and departing safely before it explodes?

      The Zionist narrative that “Arabs did it,” isn’t just overtly racist and prejudicial, it’s incredibly unlikely and constructs a profile of a killer who is capable of incredibly clever planning, yet his motives are nonsensical.

  10. annie
    April 7, 2011, 11:50 am

    Army arrests 100 women in Awarta

    NABLUS, Palestinian Territories — Israeli troops stormed Awarta village in the northern West Bank on Thursday, arresting more than 100 women as they hunted the killers of an Israeli family, officials said.

    The military also used bulldozers to destroy Palestinian houses in a northern farming village east of Tubas, in an area under Israeli control, according to Palestinian security officials.

    In Awarta, hundreds of troops entered the village shortly after midnight and imposed a curfew after which they began rounding up the women, local council head Tayis Awwad told AFP.

    They carried out house-to-house searches through the night, he said. Palestinian security sources confirmed the same information.

    The women, some elderly, were placed in a camp where the military took their fingerprints and DNA samples before most of them were released, said the Palestinian sources.

    • Chaos4700
      April 7, 2011, 11:57 am

      They’re using this as an excuse to terrorize more people and destroy more homes. That DNA has nothing to do with the killers — Israel is using this as a pretext to build a massive big brother database of the Palestinians.

      Future generations will remember this as ultimate concentration camp database.

      • annie
        April 7, 2011, 12:05 pm

        b’selem said it was 200 women. this is sadistic. what purpose to round up old ladies.

      • Chaos4700
        April 7, 2011, 12:08 pm

        Palestinians have large families, and childbearers are naturally the nexus of DNA propagation. Targeting older matriarchs for DNA harvesting gets you the widest sample for your “big brother” database.

        Remember how Israel has a habit of collectively punishing whole families for the actions of one person? Expect them to take that to a whole new level of cruelty once they finish this.

        Seriously. I want to throw up now in real life.

  11. Cliff
    April 7, 2011, 12:10 pm

    even if there were no murders, the IDF would be harassing elderly Palestinian women.

Leave a Reply