Two Israeli border police officers were filmed attacking protesters without provocation near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem's Old City. The incident occurred on May 13 during Jerusalem Day celebrations.
Israeli police blocked off several streets ahead of the religious Zionist flag march. The video clip shows two Israeli border police officers standing near one of the barricades with a small group of protesters standing on the other side. Protesters can be heard shouting slogans at the marchers during the video, but no other signs of incitement or provocation can be seen for several minutes before the incident.
Midway through the video, the two policemen are seen whispering to each other before pushing the barricades and charging the protesters. Other policemen join, forcefully overtaking one of the protesters and arresting him. One of the officers seems to be striking the protester in the leg with his rifle as the protester is lying on the ground, surrounded by police officers.
"No one was spitting and no one threw anything," said Zak Witus, who was present at the protest. Mohammed Abu Hummus, a Palestinian activist, said Israeli police "pushed all of us back from Damascus Gate to the buses. They wanted to push us further behind the buses and we stood there and shouted."
A statement from the Israeli police regarding the incident said that dozens of protesters gathered by Damascus Gate on Jerusalem Day and called for an intifada. Protesters gathered and waved Palestinian flags while calling for incitement; one protestor even stepped on an Israeli flag, the police statement said.
When police forces came to contain the incitement, one of the protestors began assaulting an Israeli policeman in an attempt to stop the containment, the police reported. The suspect was then arrested.
Coordinated force is customarily used to stop these sort of incitements, the police report said, citing information from the Department for Police Investigations.
On Saturday, police officers conducting a routine traffic stop in the Bedouin city of Rahat in the Negev were attacked by local residents with rocks after they tried to write a ticket for a man driving without a license. In a video clip of the incident, a police officer who had been knocked to the ground got up and hit one of the suspects who was being held by other police officers.
In a separate incident last week, an Israeli police officer was accused of injuring Israeli Arab civil rights activist Jafar Farah at a demonstration last week in Haifa against Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip. the officer, a patrolman, denied using any force against Farah, head of the Mossawa Advocacy Center. Farah claims that after he was arrested at the protest, last Friday, the police officer attacked him in the presence of some 18 other demonstrators and broke a bone in his knee.
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