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