Israeli troops were captured on film throwing a tear gas grenade at Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
In the clip, shot last Friday by freelance photographer Mati Milstein in Nabi Saleh, a tear gas grenade is tossed out the window of a passing Border Police jeep, causing a group of Palestinians who were standing by the side of the road
Regular demonstrations are held in the village every week against Israel's confiscation of villagers' land, in which Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers regularly clash.
Milstein, however, said the Palestinians were not involved in the demonstration, and were sitting some 300 meters away from it when the grenade was fired.
"We were with a group of people, mainly women and elderly people, supposedly on the sidelines of the demonstration. Some of the people were sitting there resting, smoking and gossiping," he said.
"There was no violence in this area, no stone throwing or any kind of organizing by demonstrators. Border Policemen were driving around the area and suddenly on one of their patrols the commander decided to toss a tear gas grenade at the people, for no apparent reason, at least as far as I could see," said Milstein.
Milstein said that things had become more violent lately. "Once we could talk with the officers and the soldiers, now they shoot indiscriminately, even at photographers. It's scary because there are no rules anymore."
The Border Police denied the claims. According to sources in the unit, the site where the grenade was thrown is only ten meters from the site of the confrontations. The Border Police also claimed that the clip was either staged or edited in such a way that stone throwers are not seen.
"The 20-second film presents a partial picture of an event that included dozens of young men, some of them with their faces covered, engaged in heavy stone throwing at [Israeli] forces. As a result of the stone-throwing, two soldiers were lightly injured. It is no accident that the film's editors chose to upload only 20 seconds of the event, while engaging in selective editing."
In December of 2011, Nabi Saleh resident Mustafa Tamimi was killed when a tear gas canister, fired at him from an army jeep at close range, hit him in the face.
In early February, a French woman was injured during the weekly demonstration. After initially claiming that her injury was caused by rocks thrown by other protesters, the IDF later admitted that they may have been caused by a tear gas canister shot by the army after a video of the event was published.
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