Thursday, September 11, 2008

Every picture tells a story

In the occupied territories, there's a new weapon: the video camera, detailing the violence meted out to Palestinians

Seth Freedman, Wednesday September 10 2008

""It's very easy for the Israeli public to believe that Palestinians are lying when it's just their word against the word of a soldier or settler", explained B'Tselem's spokesperson, Sarit Michaeli. The Israeli human rights group has brought several high-profile cases to the public's attention this summer, providing vital video evidence of the scale of the violence meted out by settlers and soldiers alike. In the process the footage has seriously dented efforts to smear Palestinians complaining of assault. According to Michaeli, "[The video evidence] makes it much easier for us to demonstrate the reality on the ground, and to show Israelis what is being done in their names in the occupied territories."

B'Tselem's Shooting back campaign has also compelled the security forces in the West Bank to carry out more thorough investigations.....

However, despite the uphill struggle. B'Tselem have every reason to persist in their task. The reaction of the international media to both the Nil'in and Susya tapes was huge, and a massive shot in the arm to those behind its release.

The more pressure that can be put on the Israeli authorities to hold its own troops and settlers accountable for their crimes, from both inside and outside Israel, the better for all the victims of the violence. The world is watching, and thanks to B'Tselem's efforts to bring the truth to their television screens, thousands more pairs of eyes are scrutinising the situation with every new tape released."

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