Israeli Soldiers Filmed Slashing Tires, Throwing Tear Gas at Palestinian Home

Central organizer of protests in village of Kafr Qaddum, whose house was targeted, tells Haaretz that the canisters were thrown while his wife and five children were at home ■ Israeli army says soldiers reacted to 'violent riots'

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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Shtewi's son holding teargas canisters that were launched at his house.
Shtewi's son holding teargas canisters that were launched at his house.
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Two new videos released by the non-profit organization B'tselem on Sunday allegedly show Israeli soldiers slashing tires and throwing tear gas canisters toward a house in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum in the West Bank on Saturday.

Weekly protests against the occupation take place in Kafr Qaddum and the videos were filmed when soldiers entered the village during one such protest.

In one video, an Israeli soldier can be seen approaching a white vehicle, kneeling by it and slashing of its tires as three other soldiers follow him.

The tire slashed by Israeli soldiers in the village of Kafr Qaddum.

The second video, taken from several angles, shows soldiers hurling tear gas canisters at the roof of a house before leaving the scene. No protest seems to be taking place in the background of either video.

Murad Shetewi, the central organizer of the protests and the man whose home was targeted by the tear gas, told Haaretz that the canisters were thrown while his wife and five children were at home. Shetewi said that the family required first aid afterwards, as the gas penetrated the house. The canisters landed on the porch of his home, Shetewi said, although the protest was not taking place nearby

"It's not the first time this has happened. Tear gas has been thrown toward my house many times over the past years," Shetewi said. "Over the last two months, many of the village's water containers, which are kept on people's roofs, have been damaged by army fire – They were damaged by shooting so that during the coronavirus period we lost precious water, which is also key to hygiene in this time."

Ayman Shetewi, the owner of the vehicle that was damaged, confirmed to Haaretz that the slashing of his tire took place Saturday. "I'm not even close to where the protest took place, I don't understand why they did it," he said. "He slashed four of my tires. Each one costs about 200 shekels (~$57), where am I supposed to get that money?"

Shetewi added that the tires of his vehicle were slashed twice in the past month, however he has no proof documenting the incident. He does not partake in the protests, he said, given that he suffers from diabetes and he is not in good health.

"What I know is that everyone in the village has felt over the past month, since the new soldiers arrived at the protests, the situation has gotten worse," he said.

B'tselem added that according to the investigation it conducted, from the beginning of April, soldiers had damaged 24 water containers on the roofs of homes in Kafr Qaddum. Several of them were hit more than once, the organization said.

In response, the IDF spokesperson said, "Last Saturday, May 30, 2020, a weekly, violent disruption of order took place throughout the Kafr Qaddum, carried out by dozens of rioters. The rioters lit tires on fire and threw stones toward IDF forces, many of them from roofs and yards in the village. From an initial investigation it appears that IDF soldiers responded with riot dispersal methods."

Regarding the second video of the soldier slashing tires, the Israeli army said, "Currently, it is not known if the video was filmed in Kafr Qaddum and when it was filmed." The army added that both incidents are still under investigation.

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