Daily Israel Report

Arab and Leftist Demonstrators Take Out Soldier?s Eye

An IDF soldier lost an eye in a violent demonstration staged by Arabs and leftists protesting the security barrier. A new non-lethal weapon failed to disperse the crowd before the violence began.
First Publish: 6/5/2005, 3:09 PM / Last Update: 6/5/2005, 4:07 PM

The demonstration took place against Israel’s anti-terrorism partition barrier on Friday near the PA-administered village of Bal’in, near Modi’in. Towards the end of the long protest, it turned violent, with demonstrators hurling stones at IDF troops and taking out an eye of one soldier.

The soldier was rushed to Tel HaShomer Hospital near Tel Aviv, but despite efforts to treat the wound, the soldier was left totally blind in his left eye.

Among the protestors were left-wing extremist activists from Israel and foreign countries. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi and a senior official of the Palestinian Authority also took part in the demonstration.

A commander of the brigade providing security for the demonstration, Maj. Ronen Tamim, told Army Radio, “As they [the demonstrators] were ending their prayers, and as if it were an integral part of [the prayers], they began shouting inciting remarks at the soldiers, and immediately began attacking them” with rocks.

The attack occurred despite the use of a new non-lethal weapon for dispersing demonstrators, a device that emits very high and loud bursts of sound at a special frequency.

The device, positioned about a quarter mile from the demonstration, emitted several bursts of sound, approximately one minute in length. The sounds reportedly caused some of the Arabs to cover their ears, but apparently proved ineffective in precluding violence against IDF troops.