Employee of International Watchdog Filmed Puncturing Settler's Tires in West Bank

Police say the video shows the employee puncturing the tires. Owner of vehicle: 'Foreign Ministry and Israel allow this farce'

TIPH observers walking past a Palestinian man in Hebron.
Tess Scheflan / JINI

An employee of an international monitoring group in Hebron was filmed puncturing the tires of a vehicle belonging to a settler living in the city, according to a police report.  The incident, which occurred last year, was caught on film by a nearby security camera and the district police are in possession of the video. According to police, an activist with TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron) got out of a car bearing the organization’s logo and wearing the TIPH uniform, and punctured one of the tires.

TIPH, whose members are European citizens, was established by Israel and the Palestinian Authority following the Wye Plantation agreements, signed in 1998.

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In June 2017, Nili Dvorah, who lives in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, reported that the tires of her family car had been punctured for the third time in one week. A police officer who came to the scene said that the tire had been intentionally punctured with a sharp object. The film, which came from a security camera of a nearby Palestinian home, was requested by the officer investigating the complaint.

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The report states: “The video clearly shows a TIPH vehicle arriving at the site and three men from TIPH getting out. One, wearing a red and blue vest with the words TIPH on it, went to the vehicle, looking around him as he did so, and the two other men are seen standing by the car and watching the street.” The report goes on to say that the suspect “can clearly be seen approaching the Citroen and standing next to the left back tire.” The report says that the video captured the suspect bending down and doing something to the tire and going back to the middle of the street until an Israeli car went by. He then “went back to the tire and after a few seconds, returned to the middle of the street and continued to walk with the other suspects toward Hadassah House.”

Elad Pas, the husband of the complainant, said: “The problem is not just with the foreign observers, who from the moment they arrived it was clear their role was to give false and biased reports, but with the Foreign Ministry and the State of Israel, which allows this farce. Today it’s clear that the observers have joined the terror organizations from Hebron and they should be removed immediately.”

Attorney Itamar Ben-Dvir, representing Pas, has requested the film from the police to file a claim for damages against TIPH.