NIFC project partner FakeReporter, in cooperation with our project partner Breaking the Silence, aided a recent investigation by CNN. The investigation found that far-right groups on WhatsApp had announced their plans to attack the Palestinian village of Huwara, yet no effort was made by the IDF to prevent it. Moreover, the investigation reveals that two MKs who were not only present in the WhatsApp groups but were present at the violent events themselves. Even as the IDF defined the settler attack on Huwara as a pogrom, the soldiers who were present did not prevent the violence and even stopped Palestinian residents from protecting each other. The Investigation quotes a soldier’s testimony who told reporters: “We allowed the settlers to advance. The village was burning.”
From the CNN story:
When hundreds of Israeli settlers rampaged through Huwara and surrounding Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank on February 26, leaving at least one Palestinian man dead and hundreds of others injured, it was billed as “revenge” after a Palestinian gunman killed two brothers who lived nearby.
What unfolded was violence so brutal that the Israeli military commander for the West Bank called it a “pogrom,” and said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had not been sufficiently prepared for revenge attacks. An inquiry by the IDF found that the military failed to deploy enough soldiers to prevent the riots. “This is a severe incident that took place under our responsibility and should not have happened,” Israel’s top military officer, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, said in a statement in March.
A monthslong CNN investigation, based on analysis of videos from the scene, exclusive testimony from an Israeli soldier, as well as interviews with seven eyewitnesses and two Palestinian journalists, sheds new light on the actions of Israeli forces.
Read the rest of the CNN Investigation here.