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Israeli Policeman Headbutts Woman in Palestinian Demolition Clashes

Human rights group B'Tselem films violence at demonstrations as police move in to destroy 'illegal' homes

Owen Bowcott and agencies

WEST BANK - An Israeli policeman wearing a hard helmet is shown headbutting a
Palestinian woman in a video released by a human rights group today.

The short film was recorded by the Israeli group B'Tselem during a protest against the demolition of Palestinian homes.

The Jerusalem municipality destroyed two houses because it said they were built without permission.



pictures, taken on November 5 but not released until today, show the
actions of one policeman whose reinforced visor is pushed back above
his helmet.

At one point he grasps the hands of a Palestinian
woman and slams against the top of her head with his protective
headgear. She reels back, clutching her head. Other residents object,
and the policeman is seen grabbing the wrists of a Palestinian man and
headbutting him as well.

According to an Israeli police
spokesperson, the family living in the house that was destroyed refused
to leave the building, and local residents threw stones and firebombs
at officers.

"[On] the day, severe riots took place in Silwan," Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman told Reuters.

a result five policemen were wounded and evacuated to hospital, 11
locals were arrested for assaulting policemen and throwing firebombs
and six police vehicles were damaged. This event was exceptional and is
now being examined by an external police investigation unit."

were said by B'Tselem to have used stun grenades to break up the
crowds. Witnesses later claimed police fired live ammunition in the

Silwan is in Arab East Jerusalem, an area annexed by
Israel in 1967. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city to be
the capital of a future Palestinian state.

B'Tselem monitors human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.

July, B'Tselem activists filmed two Israeli soldiers shooting a bound
Palestinian with a rubber bullet. They were later charged by the army.

B'Tselem in Hebrew literally means "in the image of" but, the group explains, it is also used as a term meaning human dignity.

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