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      Photo Essay: Arabs Riot, Unafraid of IDF

      Arabs throw rocks, injure 16 year old Israeli in Binyamin. Documentation shows IDF lacking in power of deterrence.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 1/3/2010, 4:15 PM / Last Update: 1/3/2010, 4:20 PM

      Arab youths from the village of Beit Rima rioted Friday outside the Jewish community of N'veh Tzuf in the Binyamin region of Samaria, north of Jerusalem, throwing rocks that injured a 16-year-old Israeli.

      Photographs of the confrontation between the Arab rioters and IDF soldiers show the Arabs brazenly confronting IDF soldiers. The Arabs appear unafraid, one even casually smoking a cigarette. They did not bother to mask their faces with keffiyeh headdresses, seemingly not worrying that any punitive steps will be taken against them.

      One of the photographs shows an Arab videotaping the entire confrontation.



      Arabs from Deir Nizam confront IDF soldiers

      Reservists attempt to push back rioters who outnumber them
      (video man in background).


      Soldiers refrain from using weapons...

      This goes on for about 90 minutes...

      ...until a small group of Border Police shows up and uses stun
      grenades and tear gas...


      ...ending the confrontation in a matter of minutes.
      Photos: Shachar Cohen, Binyamin Residents' Council

      Leftist groups have distributed cameras among Arabs and they regularly stage confrontations in the hope of catching IDF violence on camera. The presence of the cameras is also meant to cause IDF soldiers to refrain from using force, for fear of prosecution by the media and legal system.

      The Shomron Liaison Office recently received video cameras as a donation from abroad but as of now it seems the Arab side in the conflict is the one making better use of its cameras. 

      The soldiers are obviously reservists and not the professional “riot-busters” that the IDF, Border Police and civilian police use for controlling violent crowds. According to Lt-Col (res) Itzik Shadmi of the grassroots Samaria Residents' Council, these only arrived after 90 minutes of a tug-of-war between the soldiers and the rioters, and ended the disturbance swiftly. 

      Shadmi noted that while the Arabs outnumbered the soldiers -- with about 100 rioters facing about 30 soldiers -- the IDF force was company-sized and is considered to be enough for conquering an entire village, but only if it uses its fire power. The reservists have non-lethal riot dispersal gear, but did not use it. 

      Peter Lerner of the IDF Spokesman's Unit said in response, “There was a disturbance of the peace at N'veh Tzuf, which included confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. The forces that arrived on the scene used riot dispersal gear – mostly tear gas. Before forces go into action in Central Command, they are trained in facing the different threats that the Command deals with, including riots. If there was a problem of lack of motivation in this incident, it will be dealt with.”