Motti Almoz

IDF Spokesman Almoz fiercely criticized B’Tselem organization for a video  it made in which IDF soldiers are provoked and harassed by a B’Tselem operative.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz fiercely criticized the extreme left-wing B’Tselem organization for a video made in February in which IDF soldiers are provoked and harassed by a B’Tselem operative.

“To all those who slander us, greetings,” Almoz wrote in a Facebook post. “We do not always respond because sometimes all you want is a free advertising campaign, even if by provocation and through a decision that a clip [defaming IDF soldiers] or a remark [which makes the IDF look bad] is more important than anything, including the truth.”

“There is an essential difference between filming an incident as it unfolds, and generating an incident after arriving on scene with a camera,” Almoz explained. “You usually choose the second option and cause friction which would not have occurred beforehand.”

“The officer appearing in the film acted as expected of him and has the full support of his commanders,” Almoz stressed.

“You will continue to make films seemingly in the name of freedom of expression, even though the expression is divorced from reality, and we will continue to protect the residents of the state of Israel and ensure the safety of its citizens without involving the IDF in political debates,” the General concluded.

Earlier this week, B’Tselem released a video showing three IDF soldier near the community of Yitzhar in Samaria arresting a B’Tselem cameraman after he repeatedly refused to step back and leave the area.

It’s the ‘Occupation’s’ Fault?

“To the parents of the soldier with the beauty mark on his upper lip, who served near the Yitzhar settlement in February of this year: if you want to enjoy seeing your heroic child during operational activity, go to the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv,” read Be’Tselsm’s Facebook post attached to the video. “Your son will star there, decisively cocking his rifle at civilians, in coordination with his two soldiers, shouting orders in broken Arabic, and reporting his every action on the radio: ‘I am with three youngsters, one of them with a camera, not that it bothers me very much.’”

According to an article published by B’Tselem in March, the IDF soldiers posted near the community of Yitzhar south of Shechem (Nablus) threw tear gas grenades at residents of the neighboring village of Madama, who were walking nearby. The events purportedly depicted in the the video took place after three of the soldiers approached some of the residents.

The IDF investigation fully supported the soldiers at the scene and concluded that the three Palestinians present refused to leave, despite the officer’s repeated demands. The soldiers also said that one of the Palestinians kicked the officer’s leg before he was arrested and brought in for questioning.

B’Tselem responded strongly to Almoz’s statement. “We will make it clear to the IDF spokesman that the Palestinians did not ‘arrive at the site with a camera,’ but are living there, on their own land.”

“Unfortunately, the IDF spokesman’s post makes it clear yet again that the state’s goal is to continue the theft of land and the illegal settlement enterprise, while using the army to trample the Palestinians’ human rights. The use of the army to promote a political agenda of expulsion and settlement is what drags the IDF into political debates. The end of the occupation would put an end to that as well.”

B’Tselem is supposedly a human rights organization and is known to publish propaganda against the Jewish state and the IDF. It is primarily funded by foreign governments and entities.

By: Ilana Messika/TPS and United with Israel Staff