The army that knows how to terrorize sheep, by Yossi Gurvitz — Nov 2, 2013

This vignette of daily life in Occupied Palestine, written by an Israeli writer, has been edited and embellished by Lasha Darkmoon with pictures, captions and a few extra phrases.

Israeli soldiers threatening Palestinian-owned sheep

As part of the campaign of quiet terrorism against Palestinians, IDF soldiers assault sheep with stun grenades.
One day in September, Walid Said Muhammad Id, a resident of Burin – a Palestinian village surrounded by Israeli settlements and outposts – went with his son to herd their flock of sheep. Their pasture is close to one of the nearby Israeli outposts, Har Bracha B.
About an hour after the two Palestinian shepherds reached their pasture, they observed three Israeli soldiers coming down towards them from the outpost.
Yes, the outpost – illegal though it is – is nevertheless protected by the Israeli State. This is just a regular part of life and we ignore it; but it should be mentioned from time to time. Imagine a band of outlaws taking over someone else’s land, and instead of removing the outlaws the authorities hasten to protect them — even though they openly state that the outlaws’ presence there is illegal!
The Israeli soldiers ordered Id to remove his sheep from the pasture. He informed them that he was renting this plot, and that it was located in Area B and not Area C; and so he refused to evacuate. The soldiers repeated their demand and Id repeated his refusal. The soldiers then spoke at length on their cellular phones. Finally, they turned back to the illegal outpost.

When stun grenades are not available, stones are used to wound the sheep — a common weapon deployed against these helpless creatures by Israeli settlers. Click to enlarge

And then another force of Israeli soldiers presently arrived on the scene. The two groups of soldiers passed each other, and the soldiers in the second group, without uttering a word, pulled out stun grenades. These are small explosive devices which create a flash and a loud noise, intended to cause panic and disperse demonstrations. The soldiers threw about ten stun grenades into the flock. The sheep, terrified, dispersed in all directions. Then the soldiers turned on their heels and left.
Id had committed no offense. Had he committed an offense, even the smidgen of an offense, the soldiers would have detained him. These soldiers are not, after all, accountable to anyone.
The soldiers had no argument to field against him. Not even some dubious security excuse. So they went straight to terrorism: they used violence against his flock and dispersed it. Oh, you think you may pasture your sheep here? You have the “chutzpah” to maintain your rights in the face of an armed Jewish male? We’ll show you!
If there is a hell, and in his low moments this writer thinks perhaps there should be, there ought to be a special circle of hell for those who abuse the helpless: for those who abuse a baby, a child, a tied-up human being, or a frightened animal — for those who pick on any creature vulnerable and confused and unable to understand why it is being attacked.
Here is the 2013 model IDF: the strongest army in the Middle East – when it comes to terrorizing sheep, at any rate. What next?
Firing tear gas at cows?
Dispersing goats with the “Skunk,” the IDF’s patented stink-bomb, squirting smelly liquids in all directions?
Shooting rubber bullets at Palestinian shepherd dogs?
A nightly raid on Palestinian chicken coops, stuffed full of terrified flightless birds?
Holding Palestinian pets in administrative detention?
The goal of the soldiers, of course, was to terorrize Id: to enable the quiet terrorism of the settlers, whose point is to filch another acre, steal another goat, by scaring the Palestinians away and driving them to despair.
Unlike the scenario to which they had long grown accustomed, the Israeli soldiers were now facing a man who stood up forcibly for his rights. So instead of dealing with him directly, which they didn’t have the guts to do — since he was totally innocent — they resorted to attacking his animals: those equally innocent of any crime, the most helpless of the helpless.
Of course, they could have done a lot more: they could have detained him and assaulted him though he was guiltless, knowing that the chances they would pay any sort of price for their brutal actions are absolutely nil.
I guess they couldn’t muster the courage.

Israeli soldier threatening activist for saying I exist

This isn’t just terrorism, it’s despicable cowardice. The cowardice of sadistic criminals. It’s also very bad soldiering.
An army whose troops get used to dealing with challenges in this way ought not to be surprised when, facing a real enemy, it finds itself marching towards it up one road and fleeing from it down seven others.
Commanders who turn a blind eye to such incidents, and a public which just doesn’t want to know, not only raise a new generation of coarse thugs who will return to civilian life as coarse thugs — they also bring shame on the entire Israeli army and turn it into an object of universal contempt.
Many Israelis pride themselves on not having any moral sense, in recognizing only what is utilitarian —they think morals “are for the weak.”
So this is how they show their “strength” when they are actually weak: they throw hand grenades at sheep and prove their “courage” by wounding and killing animals.


Here lies the corpse of a 21-year-old Palestinian girl, Lubna Hanash, shot dead near Hebron recently by an IDF soldier. Her crime? Owning the land on which the Israeli occupiers want to live.


Dr Lasha Darkmoon (b.1978) is an Anglo-American ex-academic with higher degrees in Classics whose political articles and poems have been translated into several languages. Most of her political essays can be found at The Occidental Observer and The TruthSeeker. Her own website,, is now within the top 1 percent of websites in the world according to the Alexa ranking system.

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