Operation Glass Houses: IDF agent provocateurs admit to throwing stones at the IDF in Bilin

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments

Video from a 2005 demonstration in Bil’in. Undercover IDF agents are revealed around the 7:00 mark. (h/t 972)

From Haaretz:

Undercover soldiers hurled stones in the “general direction” of IDF soldiers as part of their activity to counter weekly demonstrations in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, the commander of the Israeli Prison Service’s elite “Masada” unit revealed during his recent testimony in the trial of MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash). . .

Several “Masada” fighters testified two weeks ago in Barakeh’s trial in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court. The fighters testified from behind a curtain and their identity is to remain secret. The central witness was “Fighter 102,” an officer in “Masada,” who told the court that “we were sent to counter the disruptions at the separation barrier in Bil’in. It was the first time I was undercover. Two men were arrested, they were Palestinians.”

When quizzed by defense attorney Orna Kohn if the undercover soldiers hurled stones, “102” answered that they did. When asked if he hurled stones toward IDF soldiers, he answered “in the general direction.”

Haggai Matar remembers at 972:

At the time, almost nobody believed what the activists had said. The village of Bil’in was organizing one of its first mass demonstrations against the fence built on its lands, in the very early days of the local popular struggle. Organizers made a special point of making sure that no stones would be thrown at the soldiers at any point of this specific demonstration, in April 2005, even if the soldiers were to attack first – which was and to this day still is the trigger to attacks against them.

However, as the demonstration progressed towards the construction site of the fence, several young men of Arab appearance, unknown to organizers and thought to have come from neighboring villages, started throwing stones, giving the soldiers the queue cue they needed to disperse the demonstration with tear gas and make arrests. According to several witnesses, leaders in the popular struggle approached the young men and asked them to stop throwing stones – at which point the strangers pulled out concealed guns and handcuffs and arrested the people who asked them to stop. It would later be made known that these were combatants in the IPS elite anti-riot unit Metzada (“Masada”), lent to the army to infiltrate demonstrations and make them violent. And yet – most Israelis would not believe this story.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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15 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    May 7, 2012, 11:00 am

    thanks for covering this adam, i read Haggai Matar’s coverage earlier and wasn’t surprised “At the time, almost nobody believed what the activists had said.”

    when they wanna get their war on they always find a way.

    Maj.-Gen. Amos Gilad, director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Ministry of Defense: “We don’t do Gandhi very well.”

  2. Shmuel
    May 7, 2012, 11:10 am

    Two related stories involving “mista’arvim” units (Masada and Duvdevan):

    link to haaretz.com

    link to haaretz.com

  3. DICKERSON3870
    May 7, 2012, 11:27 am

    RE: “Undercover soldiers hurled stones in the ‘general direction’ of IDF soldiers as part of their activity to counter weekly demonstrations in the Palestinian village of Bil’in” ~ Haaretz

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Mista'arvim]:

    Mista’arvim (Hebrew: מסתערבים‎, lit. Arabized; Arabic: مستعربين‎, Musta’arabin) is the name given to those counter-terrorism units of the Israel Defense Forces in which soldiers are specifically trained to disguise themselves as Arabs in order to kill or capture a wanted terrorist. These are also commonly known as the ‘Arab Platoons’. In Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Acts of War, it is stated that Mista’arvim do not allow their real identities to become known to people outside their unit, and that even when they are undercover, they go to great lengths to avoid being recorded. They are also said to be trained in counter-detection of human or mechanical surveillance. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 7, 2012, 11:46 am

      P.S. ALSO SEE: Unnecessary killing in West Bank, Haaretz Editorial, 5/06/12

      (excerpt) Three brothers from the burglar-plagued West Bank village of Kafr Ramun wake up in the middle of the night and spot two suspicious figures near their home. They ask them to identify themselves, but the suspicious characters keep moving toward their house. The brothers try to chase off the intruders with sticks and kitchen knives, but the intruders open fire on the men with handguns they have kept hidden. Only the next day do the brothers discover that the two suspicious figures were undercover operatives of the Israel Defense Forces’ Duvdevan unit, disguised as Arabs, who were soon joined by a large IDF force.
      The soldiers fired no less than 11 bullets point-blank at the brothers; some continued to fire after the men lay wounded on the ground. The wounded men say they were left to bleed for almost an hour without medical attention. A soldier kicked one of the wounded brothers in the head. The outcome: the younger brother, Rashad Shawakhah, 28, died of his wounds and the two others, Anwar and Akram, were severely wounded.
      The details of this serious incident, which happened on March 23, were chronicled by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac (“The ‘burglars’ were soldiers,” Haaretz, May 4 ). The IDF claimed at first that three “terrorists” had tried to stab IDF soldiers and announced that it would not open a Military Police probe – contrary to the policy of investigating any killing in the territories. Only a month later, following the intervention of the human rights group B’Tselem, did the IDF reverse its surprising initial decision and the Military Advocate General ordered an investigation.
      However, no one has yet approached the surviving brothers to take their testimony. . .

      ENTIRE EDITORIAL – link to haaretz.com

  4. PeaceThroughJustice
    May 7, 2012, 2:31 pm

    “At the time, almost nobody believed what the activists had said.”

    For the record, here is the original 2005 report from IMEMC–
    link to imemc.org

    “We noticed several unidentified persons, with their heads covered”, Falas stated, “they provoked the soldiers and hurled stones at them”.

    Falas added that when locals from the village asked the unidentified me who they are, they claimed that they are Palestinian from Lod, and that they arrived with the Anarchists.

    “We immediately knew they are lying, we knew they are soldiers disguised as Arabs as they did not arrive with us”, Falas added, “After they knew that we figured their true identity three army jeeps arrived fast to rescue them”.

  5. justicewillprevail
    May 7, 2012, 3:34 pm

    So however peaceful Palestinian protests are, the moronic IDF make sure that ‘violence’ occurs so that they can be violent in return and make arrests on trumped up charges. Surely the most immoral scumbag army in the world?

  6. Fredblogs
    May 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Anything in the testimony that said they were the only ones throwing stones? Or even that they were the first ones throwing stones rather than just going along with existing stone throwing in order to look the part?

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 7, 2012, 5:32 pm

      Got to hand it to ol’ Fredo. Israel gets caught with its hand in the cookie jar and Fredo’s first thought isn’t a reconsideration of his obsequiousness to Israel — as would be the case with any non-pathological person with a scintilla of character. No. Not our man Fred. He want an investigation to prove that someone else’s hand was next is Israel’s…

      Drink the Kool Aide, Fredo. Drain it down.

    • talknic
      May 8, 2012, 2:58 am

      Go Fred … which ever way you want to paint it, they were military and not showing an insignia. Illegal belligerents. Perfidy is illegal under the Laws Israel obliged itself to uphold by becoming a member of the International Community of Nations and a UN Member State.

  7. Charon
    May 7, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Ironically, this is the sort of thing that hasbarists deny and laugh off, as if the idea of Israel resorting to dangerous tricks like using agent provocateurs or committing false flag attacks is a fantasy. Israel has a history of doing this, they have a history of getting caught doing this. Because they do not officially admit to it (like their nuclear program) apparently for some people that means it didn’t happen.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 7, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Because they’re delusional. They like to pretend that they, themselves, are capital-G, Good people, and they buy into the horseshit that the state they lurve is the most bestest, most ethical thing ever. They simply refuse to acknowledge that it has a history of brutality and twisted evil.

  8. talknic
    May 8, 2012, 2:53 am

    One wonders just how many decades this practice goes back?

    I long ago reached the point where I do not believe ANYTHING said by Israel, it’s lobbyists, the settlers or their ghastly supporters without first giving it a thorough rinse.

    The propensity they have for disseminating blatant lies and deceit is simply amazing and so far away from the basic tenets of Judaism is there really any point in calling Israel the Jewish State.

    BTW This has just come to my notice link to something-stinks.com

  9. Eva Smagacz
    May 8, 2012, 3:15 am

    It does look like a blade is attached (alas, misalined) to a mobile phone, LOL.

  10. David Samel
    May 8, 2012, 9:14 am

    This story was publicized within days of the incident by Ran HaCohen, who provided excellent analysis of the IDF’s lies. link to antiwar.com.
    HaCohen linked to this Haaretz article that discussed the undercover operation. link to haaretz.com

    Note the photo in the recent Haaretz article linked by Adam. A soldier has his hand at the throat of MK Barakeh, and the caption reads: “MK Mohammed Barakeh confronting IDF soldiers in Bil’in in 2005.” He physically confronted the soldier by thrusting his neck at the soldier’s hand? In the original 2005 Haaretz article linked by HaCohen, this same photo appears with the following (much more accurate) caption: “MK Mohammed Barakeh being pushed by a soldier during a demonstration against the separation fence in the West Bank yesterday.”

    In addition, the 2005 article notes that Barakeh was injured by a stun grenade and that he demanded a criminal investigation into the incident. There is no mention that he was arrested or even that criminal charges against him were contemplated. Now however, he seems to be standing trial for physically assaulting IDF soldiers, and an IDF officer, testifying under anonymity from behind a curtain, testifies: “I caught the back of a man who attacked one of my soldiers, and identified him as MK Barakeh.” Right – so Barakeh was attacking an IDF soldier, but he was not arrested at the time. That only happened after Barakeh complained of being attacked and demanded an investigation. Kafka couldn’t have dreamed this up.

  11. yourstruly
    May 8, 2012, 9:52 am

    so the zionist entity’s public refuses to believe that its cherished idf wouldn’t stoop to such minor league false flag operations? perhaps they need to be reminded of the “lavon affair”, a 1954 israeli covert operation in which u.s. and british targets in egypt were bombed with evidence left implicating the egyptian muslim brotherhood.

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