The protestors are seen sitting peacefully on the floor of one of the nine Amona buildings slated for destruction, with their arms locked together. According to the eye-witness testimony of the photographer Avi Fishman from Kedumim, no one in the room did anything but, as depicted in the footage, sit in.
In an interview to Arutz-7 Hebrew TV, cameraman Avi Fishman said, "Inside the house, we waited for the police. We were told that the minute that they enter, we should all sit down, crowd together, and hold on to one another, so that the police will have to drag us out. When the police did enter, there was no confrontation with them. I hid between the heads and filmed..."
The police are seen storming the room, and the ensuing footage has been labelled by many oberservers as "shocking."
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Preceding the above scene, a mounted policeman is seen galloping into a crowd, smashing into a civilian. The same scene is repeated three times with larger zoom angles. The third zoom clearly depicts the horse hitting the civilian.
In an interview to Ynet Thursday evening Minister of Public Security Gideon Ezra, who is in charge of the Israeli Police, stated, "The police force carried out its task in Amona appropriately, and the policemen are worthy of praise for executing the operation as commanded by the government of Israel… It is eminently clear to me that if it were not for the violent resistance and the intention of the protestors to harm policemen, the operation would have ended differently."
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been blamed for the police brutality by politicians on all sides of the political spectrum. Many believe that Olmert wanted the violent scenes in order to prove that he will carry out a policy of Israeli disengagement at all costs.
In response to the mounting criticism, Olmert's aides told Ynet that Israel's nationalist camp is a "Jewish Hamas."
Regarding Israel's police brutality, retired Jerusalem attorney Irving Gendlemen, a legal activist on issues relating to basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, wrote Attorney General Menachem Mazuz the following:
- "The Attorney-General accepts the raw police brutality against the opponents of government policies."
- "It is regrettable that the Attorney-General gives no credence nor value to the
concept of civil disobedience of those who oppose government policies. Civil disobedience is an approach utilized in democratic countries. Civil disobedience utilizes non-violent means to achieve political objectives in opposing governmental policies. The use of civil disobedience by minority groups expresses deep disappointment and frustration in the system, in that they are not otherwise permitted to express an opinion which would otherwise be given a hearing and consideration."
- "The Attorney-General threatens administrative detention for those who oppose
government policies; administrative detention being wholly devoid of due process inherent in a democratic society."
Click here for pictures of the Amona protest