Brand Israel: silence the truth by blinding the messengers of truth

If the messengers of truth threaten to expose you, shoot them. That is the modus operandi of the Israeli army.

According to the Foreign Press Association (FPA), during an incident at the Qalandiya crossing, in the occupied West Bank, on 29 November Israeli troops fired rubber bullets at journalists at eye-level – rather than at the lower body – which could have resulted in a fatality.

It also said that stun grenades were thrown by the Israelis without reason at the back of a group of photographers who had made clear to the soldiers that they were walking away from the scene.

The statement, published on the FPA’s website, said:

On Friday afternoon [29 November], Israeli forces threw stun grenades at FPA photojournalists (among them representatives of AFP and other freelancers) as they were leaving Qalandia. The FPA members had put their hands in the air, indicating to the forces that they were leaving, at which point the grenades were thrown from close quarters directly at their backs.

Earlier, at the same demonstration, an Italian freelance photographer was almost shot in the face by troops firing at eye level. Fortunately the photographer was taking pictures at the time and the rubber bullet shattered the camera instead of his head. All the photographers in question wore clearly-marked jackets and helmets. There is no question that the forces were directly targeting the journalists.

The FPA notes that this is not the first time in which journalists had been deliberately targeted by the Israeli occupation forces.

Over the past two years, the FPA has demanded investigations into some 10 incidents in which journalists appear to have been abused by Israeli security forces. As far as we know, just two investigations have been launched, WITH NO RESULTS. The others have been ignored.

As the FPA says, by turning a blind eye to clear breaches of protocol, and repeatedly failing to properly investigate similar incidents in the past, the Israeli occupation army is “creating a culture of impunity within its ranks that only serves to perpetuate an already dangerous situation”.

Not that the Israelis care.

But at least their crude attempts to blind the messengers of truth will serve to show the world exactly what “brand Israel” is really like.

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