The officer then cuffs the man’s hands behind his back and then he and some other soldiers pick him up, shackled, and try to take him away. They jostle the elderly man this way and that, as other protesters try to free him and explain to them that he’s old, until the soldiers relent and let go.
The demonstrators free him and hustle him into a Palestinian Authority vehicle, to extricate him from the scene. But then an enraged IDF officer attacks the vehicle, smashes the front window with his rifle butt and pulls out the driver and the elderly man, all the while shouting at them.
The victim of the violence was Khairi Hanoun, a colorful, unconventional figure in the Palestinian movement of resistance to the occupation. He greets us in the yard of his home in the West Bank town of Anabta, amid pomegranate and olive trees – not far from the village of Shufa, where the demonstration in which he was assaulted occurred. He is attired in in the traditional dress he always wears at demonstrations. Something he inherited from his father, it’s called a dimaya, or qumbaz; it has a wide leather belt or sash and it evokes the Palestinian fighters of 1948. A Palestinian flag stands in the corner of the large yard, which also contains a dovecote and a tabun, a clay oven.