Israeli police initiate ‘friction activity’ on quiet streets in East Jerusalem

Israel/Palestine
on 27 Comments

An internal Jerusalem police department report reveals Israeli border police “initiated friction activity” to deliberately provoke violence in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, according to Haaretz.

The report comes to light after attorney Eitay Mack, representing the family of 12 year old Palestinian child Ahmed Abu Humus, filed a complaint after the boy was shot in the head by Israeli forces last January.

Graphic: Haaretz

Graphic: Haaretz

Ahmed Abu Humus suffers from severe neurological brain damage sustained from a fractured skull as a result of Israel’s 2014 policy of using model 4557 black foam-tipped bullets for “riot control“.  Over 57,000 “foamed tipped” bullets have been fired in the last 2 years, mostly in East Jerusalem.

However, the implication of the recently revealed report indicates whatever “riot” Israeli forces were controlling on January 6, 2016 occurred after Israeli Border Police forces entered Issawiya that day. According to Haaretz, “the reports indicate that on January 6 there were no incidents in Isawiyah”.

At the time Ahmed Abu Humus was shot, Haaretz correspondent Nir Hasson reported “dozens” of Israeli Border Police forces entered Issawiya, children and teenagers threw rocks at them, and the forces responded by firing tear gas and rounds of riot control bullets. Deputy Police Commissioner Commander Haim Blumenfeld, who claims the protocols for using Model 4557 ammunition have been revised, “with an emphasis on supervision” (presumably after the exposure police had been using the ammunition for about 6 months before regulations governing their useage were even written) further claims the potentially deadly bullets were used “to prevent police officers from life-threatening situations….a police officer, like any citizen, may use any means available to avert that threat.”

But how does initiating “friction activity” qualify as averting a threat?

Astoundingly, Hasson’s current article, Border Police Deliberately Provoke Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Internal Reports Say, claims nearly all of the reports made by (10) police who were present during the “clashes” that day repeat the same term –“friction activity”:

Mack only got the full file last week. It included 10 reports made by police who were involved in the clashes. Nearly all of them reported that the events began with a “friction activity” or an “initiated friction activity.” One policeman named Timor said, “During the afternoon shift we launched an activity in Isawiyah to create friction with the residents.” Two other policemen reported that they “were asked to come to the Menta gas station in Isawiyah for a friction activity in the village,” and that they were briefed before getting started.

They launched an activity for the purpose of creating “friction with the residents”, initiated violence with children and teens to deescalate a threatening situation? The Jerusalem police claim “a variety of means and overt and undercover forces to preserve the security and welfare of the public.”

The public in Issawiya doesn’t agree. On April 4th when another 12 year old Palestinian child, Yazan Khalid Naaji, was shot in the head by Israeli forces in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, local popular committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus stated Israeli forces raided Issawiya “every day in a provocative manner” by deploying in the streets and rooftops firing tear gas canisters and these potentially lethal bullets “haphazardly at resident’s homes and vehicles.”

Allegedly, according to Israeli police, the Model 4557 bullets are only used “in the course of the most severe disturbances, and must only be fired at the lower body and may not be used against minors, the elderly or pregnant women”.  But Palestinians have been shot in the head, face and eyes repeatedly and the ammunition can be lethal.

It’s a myth Israeli forces are responding to disturbances in documented situations where they initiate violence with specific intent to provoke and incite violence.

Investigations open and close, but thus far no one has ever been charged for using this lethal ammunition against police protocol, allegedly because the police claim they are unable to identity who the shooters are.

Haaretz:

“This is irresponsible behavior and the residents pay the price,” said Mack. “These are not necessary activities. Then the police claim their lives were endangered and use their weapons. It’s extremely grave that that’s how it ends.”

Attorney Anne Suciu of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel added, “This is fundamentally invalid behavior that totally contradicts the role and authority of the police. Initiated actions, which aim to create situations that lead police forces to use deadly measures like the Ruger [pistol] and sponge-tipped bullets, reflect a serious disregard for human life and the creation of the calculated risk of harming innocent people, as was indeed proven in the case of 12-year-old Abu Humus.”

Meanwhile, Hasson reports the Israeli police have no intention of addressing these latest revealing “friction activity” reports. Is there an Israeli police code book defining and outlining what friction activities are and the extent to which they are applied. Because if it’s available I’d be interested in reading it.

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

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27 Responses

  1. DaBakr
    July 12, 2016, 6:23 pm

    even if the reporters account is truthful (i mention because haartz has been caught at least 2 and possibly 3x over past year for publishing bogus anti-israeli reporting.) but-if report is truthful, the term “friction activity” makes little sense in military terms and is likely to be an english translation for an activity that takes into account ‘friction’ where it has yet to be proven wether this command was to make friction where none existed or to tamp down friction where it was heating up remains to be seen-or proven.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 12, 2016, 7:04 pm

      it has yet to be proven wether this command was to make friction where none existed or to tamp down friction where it was heating up remains to be seen-or proven

      so when “One policeman named Timor said, “During the afternoon shift we launched an activity in Isawiyah to create friction with the residents.” ” what he really meant to say was ‘friction was already heating up so we launched an activity in Isawiyah to sustain that friction with the residents.’ ?

      why not try tamping down on fiction when it’s heating up bakr?

      • Marnie
        July 13, 2016, 12:59 am

        “why not try tamping down on fiction when it’s heating up bakr?” +++++++

        Leave it to the IBP/IOF to come up with an incoherent, seemingly benign name that history has always referred to as PROVOCATION – actions designed to provoke a response from ‘enemy’ to justify a counter-response, and as usual, in the manner of the IBP/IOF, the response is 10x more brutal and deadly than the response to being provoked. I don’t know much about the law, but would think that PROVOCATION of an OCCUPIED population would be deemed illegal and immoral for starters.

        “Allegedly, according to Israeli police, the Model 4557 bullets are only used “in the course of the most severe disturbances, and must only be fired at the lower body and may not be used against minors, the elderly or pregnant women”.”

        This fascinates me. One of the more immoral forces on the planet gives special instructions for the use of Model 4557 bullets – as if any of those scared shitless half-wits are going to pay attention to anything like orders or operating instructions:

        DESCRIPTION
        Developed specifically for rifled grenade launchers such as the U.S. M203 and our TGL-1, this cartridge’s projectile engages the rifling. As a result, the projectile is spin stabilized and therefore highly accurate. The propelling system is similar to the one used in the U.S. M781 40mm practice round which uses an M212 high and low pressure chamber cartridge case. This proven design keeps reliability high and costs low.

        While the Model 4557 sponge round is very price competitive, the high cost of practice and qualification ammunition is addressed with the 45 series reload kits. Available in 48, 72, 96, and 120 round configurations, these easily assembled components reduce training costs without sacrificing the performance levels of operational rounds.

        OPERATION
        The round can be launched from a U.S. M203 or similar launcher such as our TGL-1, TGL-6, or M79. The rubber foam ogive deforms during impact, imparting the kinetic energy over a wide surface.

        DANGER
        • Impacts to the head, neck, spine, thorax or heart can result in fatal or serious injury.
        • For use only by qualified personnel trained in the use of these products.
        CTS 40mm Munitions – PoliceOrdnance.com Home
        192.139.188.71/index.asp?id1=123

        “Friction activity”sounds more like the chafing that may occur with an ill-fitting uniform or drawers, exacerbated by hot and humid weather. George Orwell would love this.

      • DaBakr
        July 13, 2016, 2:40 am

        Was he really speaking in English ms Annie,?

      • Annie Robbins
        July 13, 2016, 3:09 am

        Was he really speaking in English ms Annie,?

        massa, relying on haaretz translation. can you provide another?

      • REALITY CHECK 101
        July 13, 2016, 5:22 pm

        Yeah but….. they then skunk spray their homes to extinguish the fires from the heat caused by the friction activity. So they do deal with the “terrorists” logically and with the best interests of the “Jewish state” and the Palestinian squatters in mind.

    • oldgeezer
      July 12, 2016, 8:51 pm

      Whatever duhbaker. Then you will come back with some other excuse for these absolute cowards who delight in attacking children.

      • Misterioso
        July 13, 2016, 12:27 pm

        Brings to mind a comment by Chris Hedges, former bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News in Jerusalem and Middle East Bureau chief for the New York Times, who witnessed children being shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Gaza Strip: “Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered…but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.” (“A Gaza Diary,” Harpers, October, 2001.)

      • Boomer
        July 14, 2016, 11:34 am

        @Misterioso, quoting Chris Hedges:

        “Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered…but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.”

        Evidently the soldiers in those other conflicts he saw were not following the proper scriptural instructions:

        “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones Against the rock.”

        http://biblehub.com/psalms/137-9.htm

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2016, 1:57 am

      “(i mention because haartz has been caught at least 2 and possibly 3x over past year for publishing bogus anti-israeli reporting.”

      Oh yes, Haaretz, the anti-Israel newspaper.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 13, 2016, 3:12 am

        caught at least 2 and possibly 3x over past year

        by ngo monitor no doubt, that pillar of israeli society. hahahaha

    • Don
      July 13, 2016, 11:29 am

      The concept of Israel deliberately provoking Palestinians really surprises you? Seriously?

      Specific language aside (“friction activity”) Israel has been provoking Palestinians as a matter of course for decades. And once in a while someone takes the time to document this activity.

      So, we will now link…for the approximately 347th time…to this article, which strikes me as highly relevant…

      Reigniting Violence:How Do Ceasefires End?
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-kanwisher/reigniting-violence-how-d_b_155611.html

      Provocation, however it is described, is provocation. A rose by another name…

    • REALITY CHECK 101
      July 13, 2016, 5:12 pm

      Just a sampling of titles from the “abuse section” of testimonies by the soldiers of “Breaking The Silence”

      -He mumbled a bit, I hit him in the face..
      -The mission: to disrupt and harass..
      Every house we went into with the butts of our weapons—as an operational pretext, we claimed that the light bothered us.
      -“No problem, beat them up – but do it behind some wall.”
      -They’d deliberately wreck the house..
      (defecate) on the couches before they left, just (defecated) on the couches. They stole suits, they lifted all of the suits in the closet.
      -To stop the village from sleeping..
      is to stop people from sleeping. It means going into a village in the middle of the night, going around throwing stun grenades and making noise.
      -Knock on every door..
      Anything that cannot be stolen gets broken. It was this kind of method of passing from house to house, no matter what time of day or night, shutting the whole family inside a single room and then searching the entire house.
      -We go into the homes of innocent people. Every day, all the time..
      Let’s say 95 percent of the cases, the whole point was to hurt the family and go back.
      -I don’t know, make up an incident..
      Get on the radio and report: Stones have been thrown at me on this street. And then you detain someone and start questioning him.
      -Disrupting the residents’ everyday life..
      If you go in the middle of the night and start doing mapping, then a guy who’s wanted, say, or he’s in charge of the Abu Sneina neighborhood, he’s not going to get any sleep, or he decides to leave Abu Sneina, he decides to live in a neighborhood that’s farther away. That’s disruption.

    • Mike Hite
      July 14, 2016, 4:55 pm

      Can you tell me when you actually served in the military/police and how a provocation worked to stop violence/hatred. The tactic is a form of oppression so as to create violence and then gain sympathy by saying look at what the Palestinians are doing in Jerusalem If the lawyer actually has the report and an israeli policeman actually admitted to the action of inciting violence how can you argue with that. What planet do you come from? On earth provoking violence is provoking violence. Israel continues to to do just the opposite of being a light unto the world.

  2. amigo
    July 12, 2016, 6:29 pm

    So we finally get the official term for what Israel has been doing for decades.Riling up the natives .

    Get them to respond to brute force and then shoot them in the name of self defence.

    Min of defense order to his general staff Officers.

    Gentlemen, I am concerned at the present lack of Palestinian “terrorism ” in the territories and East Jerusalem . This is not satisfactory and curbs out ability fill the headlines with reports of Israelis being attacked and makes the case of victimization that much harder to prove.

    Please inform your subordinates of the importance of aggressive application of the policy of ,”Friction activity”. Given the absence of suicide bombings , we need a substitute form of terror to feed the international Media.Please also inform them , that very few of the acts your subordinates carry out are reported in the international news and any soldier who is caught on camera will have our full support. Inform them , that HQ will not look favourably on any member of the force who misses an opportunity to reduce the demographic threat and may find themselves facing charges of disloyalty or cowardice .

    Propaganda is our life,s blood.

  3. Boo
    July 13, 2016, 9:32 am

    Well, let’s see. Any time a shot is fired, the impact of the firing pin against the primer creates friction among the primer grains, which then ignite and set off the rest of the powder in the cartridge.

    So perhaps “friction activity” simply refers to going out and shooting a few more Palestinians in furtherance of the Palestinian Slowlocaust. See, nothing deceptive about the term at all.

  4. Boomer
    July 13, 2016, 11:04 am

    Annie, thanks for reporting this. “Friction activity.” I would have guessed that was something Roger Ailes wanted. Were it not reported here, I wouldn’t have known about this creative term. After reading about it here, I did a search on Google News using the term. Apart from your report and the one in Haaretz that you cite, there were two specialized websites: AntiWar and Middle East Monitor. No MSM.

    I wonder when the MSM will report on this? I wonder when our politicians will say something other than, “Israel has a right to defend itself,” as they send more American money and weapons to Israel, and veto Security Council Resolutions that Israel does not like?

    • Annie Robbins
      July 14, 2016, 2:23 pm

      boomer, i have no idea when or if the msm will report it as they seem wedded to the crazy false hasbara concept israel is always acting in response.

      • Boomer
        July 14, 2016, 3:01 pm

        Annie, my question about when the MSM would report it was rhetorical, but thanks for responding. Since you took the trouble, I checked Google News again, and again found the exact same results as yesterday. It’s true that Google News also said “296 others” under “explore in depth,” but when I clicked on that, no additional stories were shown. I don’t know what to make of that, unless the 296 were duplicates.

  5. MaxNarr
    July 13, 2016, 9:08 pm

    So funny you count “rubber bullets” while Syria is on fire. Guess because there are no Jews in Syria

    • eljay
      July 14, 2016, 11:20 am

      || MaxNarr: So funny you count “rubber bullets” while Syria is on fire. Guess because there are no Jews in Syria ||

      So…if there were Jews in Syria, Israel would:
      – halt its decades-long occupation of Palestine;
      – withdraw to within its / Partition borders;
      – honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR of refugees);
      – accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes; and
      – enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace?

      Didn’t think so.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 14, 2016, 2:29 pm

      max, if they were repeatedly fired at innocent jewish children’s faces causing blindness and head fractures i’m sure you would not be dismissing the 57 thousand rounds of ammo shot over the last 2 years. and why are you using quote marks?

      • MaxNarr
        July 14, 2016, 8:50 pm

        @Annie Straw man argument. 57k rounds of ammo and how many injuries? Give me a break. Give up your dreams of “Palestine” not going to happen. Lay down your weapons. Burn your slingshots, There will be peace. I promise.

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2016, 11:41 pm

        . “Lay down your weapons. Burn your slingshots, There will be peace. I promise.”

        “MaxNarr” , you are a brilliant satirist. There is no-one like you in the parody-Zionist department.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 14, 2016, 11:49 pm

        max, you were not arguing a point, you were merely diverting, and therefore i made no attempt to refute it. you think this is funny, i don’t. rubber bullets are not funny, they maim and can kill.

      • RoHa
        July 15, 2016, 12:38 am

        Mooser, I believe Max. If the Palestinians lay down their weapons and burn their slings*, there will be peace.

        Eventually.

        Once all the Palestinians have been driven out and/or killed.

        (*They are slings, dammit, not slingshots.)

      • talknic
        July 15, 2016, 2:55 am

        @ MaxNarr “Burn your slingshots”

        Did David?

        “Burn your slingshots, There will be peace. I promise”

        We should believe a proven liar for the ongoing illegal colonization of Palestine? Why?

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