“Have I seen awful things? Completely.” Only a few weeks ago, Steve Hynd was observing a protest near Jayyus – a small village in the West Bank, Israel – when the army fired tear gas canisters directly at the crowd as they were running away. One of the three inch-long steel canisters struck a protestor – standing a few feet away from him – in the neck.
For Hynd, the words ‘police tactics’ are a complete misnomer. “Why would you have soldiers stewarding a protest?.” He says such tactics constitute not so much a policing strategy as “an aggressive attack on protest”. Since then, he’s stopped using the term Israeli Defence Force (IDF) – the military wing of the country’s security forces. The phrase, he says, suggests the force is there for defensive purposes, “but I’ve seen it overwhelmingly used for acts of aggression… when you say ‘army’ people understand that armies can be aggressive.”
You can read the full interview here.