During the recent trial of MK Mohammad Barakeh accused of assaulting a border guard, disruptive methods used by the Israeli Military to discredit peaceful demonstrations came to light. Key witnesses in the trial identified only as “Fighter 102” and “Fighter 101” so as to conceal their actual identity laid bare some of the tactics used when preparing for and dealing with protests and demonstrations.

“Fighter 102”, a member of the Israeli Prison service’s “Massada Unit”, revealed how as part of his task to disrupt protests he went undercover with colleagues to the separation barrier at Bil’in. When quizzed by defence attorney Orna Kohn as to their activities there, “fighter 102” confirmed that not only were they throwing stones but they threw them in the general direction of their own colleagues, the Israeli Military.

Ironically the role of the undercover Israeli Military ‘protestors’ was to identify “quality targets”, that is, any person or persons leading the demonstrations or throwing stones endangering Israeli Troops.

The Israeli Military had obviously been surprised by the numbers of demonstrators that day and “had lost control” according to the deputy battalion commander.

It is not clear if “fighter 102” and his colleagues were also arrested that day to maintain their cover for future operations as names are released sporadically by the Israeli military.

Mohammed Barakeh faces two charges of assault with the case ongoing.