Israeli police dressed in Palestinian garb who have gone under cover to catch violent Jewish settlers got a taste of what Palestinians routinely confront as Jewish settlers attacked undercover officers thinking they were Arabs, Israeli press reported.
Six Jewish settlers who mistook under cover Israeli cops for Palestinians attacked them Thursday, throwing stones and damaging a police under cover vehicle, Haaretz reported Saturday after a court ruling on the incident came out Friday. The settlers also tried to run the disguised police over near an illegal Jewish outpost in the West Bank.
Five of the settlers were put under house arrest while one was released Friday. Police spokesman Dany Peleg said the officers who were donned Arab garb were attacked but did not specify the nature of their dress. Disguising as Arabs came as the latest crime tactic for rooting out settler violence.
Kfar Sava Magistrates Court, a local court, criticized the police for putting officers’ lives in danger. Judge David Gadol ruled that the policemen’s conduct was "unlawful" while Defense attorney told the court that masquerading was "provocative."
However Police sources said the technique was "established and effective" when it comes to arresting settlers involved in attacking Palestinians.
"The police officers took into account the danger they were putting themselves in," sources said.
Human rights groups in Israel have issued reports of Jewish settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank. B’tselem is one such group that documents cases of settler violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
The Israeli human rights group has been running a program called "Shooting Back" which distributed cameras to Palestinians in areas like Hebron and the outskirts of Nablus where violence is common to gather evidence to support complaints.