In 2008, as an officer in the “Duhifat” unit, I was assigned with my platoon to Hebron. In one of the routine patrols we were notified of Palestinian shepherd making its way toward one of the Israeli settlements in the region. We rushed there and found a dozen human rights activists with cameras walking with him. I immediately contacted the Palestinian and asked him to stop, but he in turn did not respond and just kept going. Around him were those activists, 18 year old children from different countries in Europe, yelling, cursing and just waiting for us to stumble and make a wrong move that could be taken out of context and published to the world as an act of IDF cruelty. In a moment of creativity I turned to my soldiers and told them to chase off the sheep herd. This prevented the event from escalating. The activists understood they are not going to get a video clip or a picture that can present the IDF in a bad light, so they just turned around and left.(h/t Nevet)
While they were leaving the Palestinian approached and offered me, in Hebrew of course, a cigarette. I told him “You know as well as I know that you have no reason to walk to the settlement. Why did you do it?”. His response was: "What do you expect me to do? B’Tselem gives me free internet connection, a camera and I get paid for each video. Why wouldn’t I do it?”
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