The IDF spokesperson’s unit yesterday sent out a Tweet announcing there was proof that Friday’s demonstration in Bil’in was “violent”, and gave a link to a page here containing a group of photographs — including this one, the last in the series posted on the page here.
This morning, the IDF added that there had been not only stones had been thrown, but also Molotov Cocktails.
A closer inspection of the group of photographs shows this one:
There is a small flame visible at the end of the teenager’s hand.
But, questions must be asked:
(1) Is it clearly a Molotov Cocktail?
(2) Is it an un-retouched photo?
(3) Where and when was it taken? ((As Didi Remez noted, there are no signs of the many other demonstrators who were seen at demonstration this past Friday in Bil’in, where the IDF fired unusually large quantities of tear gas which caused the death of one Palestinian woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmeh — the circumstances of which the IDF is currently investigating, but not without expressing all kinds of doubts and objections, and itself posing all kinds of questions …))
(4) Who is the demonstrator? (( This is an important issue. Israeli activist Joseph Dana reported via Twitter here from Bil’in during the demonstration on Friday 31 December that “There are special forces inside the protest in bil’in. They are preparing an attack on the nonviolent demo from inside” 1:44 PM Dec 31st via Twitter for BlackBerry® Retweeted by you and 19 others” ))
Another additional question must then also be asked:
(5) Even if this is all completely “kosher” – it is a totally unstaged, unretouched photo of a Palestinian or Israeli activist (not a provocateur planted to instigate trouble) preparing to thrown a small lit object with a flame at the end at Israeli Army personnel many meters away – is this sufficient violence to justify a massive response with potentially-lethal quantities of tear gas?
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad briefly showed up in Bil’in for the demonstration, but left quickly. Fayyad did not proceed out of the village and into the fields where the real action usually takes place, and he was not exposed to any tear gas (Fayyad is routinely accompanied by Israeli security on his travels around the Israeli-occupied West Bank).