Israeli police officers trained for throwing stun grenades in the Occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya, a video recorded by a Palestinian citizen last month shows.
According to the police, the incident caught on camera was not a training exercise but a response to a stone and firebomb-throwing incident, though no confrontation can be seen in the video.
The incident took place on the evening of September 28. Muhammad Abu Hummus, a town resident, followed a police force that entered the town, when he noticed that one of the policemen was training the others on how to operate a grenade. Abu Hummus recorded him throwing a grenade near one of the houses while there were no confrontations in the town.
“There was nothing, nothing, in my opinion they bring rookie officers that arrive in Jerusalem to al-Issawiya so they can train, they are looking for trouble,” Abu Hummus said.
The film shows the officer instructing a policeman on the operation of the grenade for about a minute, among other things telling him “turn it clockwise.” There are no sounds in the background indicating that anything out of the ordinary is taking place and the police officers seen in the video seem calm, though at one stage one of them says there are rocks and point to the right.
At the end of the training the police officer being trained pulls the pin out of the grenade and throws it at a direction other than that indicated by the officer. The grenade falls in an ally which otherwise seems quiet, at which point the officers walked away leisurely. At a certain point in the video one of the officers tells Abu Hummus to leave and threatens to arrest him if he bothers them.
Attorney Itai Mek sent a letter to Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy on behalf of al-Issawiya residents, the attorney general and the commander of the Border Police.
Beyond the fact that this contradicts rules and guidelines on the use of non-lethal weapons, it shows the contempt in which the police and the Border Police treat the residents of al-Issawiya, to their safety and their property,” the letter read, “as well as the creeping process by which al-Issawiya is being turned into a war zone in which human life is unbearable.”
The attorney called for an investigation into the incident to be initiated and for an order to cease training in the neighborhood to be issued.
(Source / 18.10.2016)