Amira Hass: Creating a flashpoint

Testimony from a soldier in the reserves sent to disperse a demonstration in the West Bank before it even started.

By Amira Hass, Haaretz, Sept. 21, 2011

Like every Friday in the past 20 months, this week too there will be a demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh against the takeover of the spring of the neighboring villages by settlers and the Civil Administration’s archaeology department.

“A large part of our training for the reserve duty was devoted to these demonstrations and the need to repress them,” says R., a soldier who served in the area over the summer in a reserve unit of the Alexandroni Brigade. “We were led to understand that the aim was to stop the popular uprising so that it would not become something big and problematic. The commanders spoke a lot about the fact that this was a new wave of demonstrations, a new type, and that we were now learning how to deal with them, what to do.”

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