French diplomat Marion Castaing, visiting the West Bank this week with other EU and UN officials, lies on the ground with a gun in her face after her delegation had tried to deliver aid to a village being pulled apart by the Israeli army.
As The National's Hugh Naylor reports:
"The convoy was carrying tents and water to residents of the Palestinian-Bedouin community of Makhul that Israel demolished on Monday. Makhul is located in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley area. Taking part were diplomats from several European Union countries, Brazil and Australia, along with officials from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Israeli soldiers forcibly removed Marion Castaing, a French diplomat, from a truck and pushed her to the ground. After the military seized the aid, police officers arrived on scene and dispersed the crowd with stun grenades, witnesses said."Of course, Palestinians are treated much worse every day, their experiences often resulting in death, serious injury, homelessness and detention, with barely a media mention.
International coverage of this disgraceful incident doesn't amount to much in itself - just imagine the blanket, headline reports if it had been such treatment of diplomats by, say, Syrian or Iranian forces.
Still, as the posturing 'peace talks' go on, this powerful image helps illustrate the ways in which even peaceful international visitors are routinely dealt with by Israel, ever determined to enforce its brutal occupation and arrogantly oblivious, it would seem, to world reaction.