[Video below.] A video showing IDF soldiers fleeing a stone-throwing mob in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum has gotten much attention in the media in recent days, but the Palestinian residents don’t seek to fan the flames.
“We aren’t talking about some kind of big victory for us here. We are against this label,” said Murad Shtiwi, a resident of Kafr Qaddum who witnessed the incident. “This is nothing more than a moral victory.
“What were we victorious over, exactly?” he pondered. “We are up against an army that can kill us. We don’t have the ability or the strength to confront the Israeli army.”
The video shows Palestinians stoning Israeli security forces during a protest on Friday and eventually forcing them to run for cover.
Shtiwi explained that all the protesters tried to do was to foil an attempt by the soldiers to entrap them.
“The army tried to outflank the march by staging an ambush between the residents’ homes, meaning to arrest as many young protesters as possible,” he said. “The marchers were trying to protect those in danger of being arrested and that is exactly what is seen in the video.”
Shtiwi asserted that one side always has the upper hand during these processions.
“Today, the young Palestinians were successful in throwing stones at the soldiers and managed to drive them away,” he said. “Last April, the army threw a gas grenade in the Palestinian protesters’ direction and hit one of them in the head, causing severe injuries. These things must be looked upon in a balanced manner.”
This incident received much coverage in the Palestinian media and went viral in the social networks.
A Palestinian journalist who regularly covers the weekly demonstrations in the West Bank told Ynet that the Palestinian news outlets tried to emphasize the incident and pass it off as a national victory. “This incident is a shot in the arm for the Palestinians and that is how it was presented and projected in the Palestinian media.”
He added that the public responded accordingly. “It made people happy and they supported what happened in light of the army’s weekly activities against the protesters,” he said.
The reporter postulated that the incident is likely to encourage Palestinians to hold larger protests in places where they already occur regularly like Bil’in and Na’alin, and to prompt other villages to join in.
This is not the first time that Kafr Qaddum has made headlines in the framework of the weekly protests that take place there. In March 2012, a residents was bitten by an Israel Defense Forces’ Oketz canine unit dog.
The Palestinians claimed that the dog was released and randomly attacked a Palestinian while the IDF claimed that the protester tried to attack troops and was bitten while doing so.
In August of the same year, soldiers attacked journalists covering the protest with a truncheon for no apparent reason. The IDF said at the time that the incident was an unusual one and that it will be investigated.
Click below to watch the video: