In a case of poetic social justice, a busload of students on a tour led by the extreme left-wing NGO, Breaking the Silence (BTS), was pelted with stones near Bet Ummar on its way to Hebron. Israel media reported that three passengers were injured lightly, though Magen David Adom emergency medical services in Kiryat Arba reported treating only one woman for a scratch.
The BTS spokesperson said of the incident, “To everyone’s benefit, no one involved was seriously wounded. This is the reality in the territories and we are working to change it,” he added.
The controversial NGO established in 2004 is dedicated to presenting testimony from former Israeli soldiers of alleged abuses by the IDF against Palestinians and Arabs. Much of the testimony is anonymous and their methodology has been criticized. Their funding comes from foreign, often anti-Israel, sources, including the New Israel Fund. NGO Monitor revealed that some of its funding is dependent on BTS providing anti-IDF testimony. They admit to having no vetting or verification process for the testimonies they present and have been caught presenting false testimony.
Israeli Police officials claim the organization organizes trips to the settlements in order to “antagonize…settlers in the hope that the settlers will attack them,” and YNet quoted a high ranking policeman saying, “the activity of some leftist organizations in Hebron is more dangerous that which is being conducted by their right-wing counterparts”.
Last May, BTS made a scathing report of Israel’s war in Gaza, but the IDF criticized its methodology. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has banned the group from entering IDF camps or engaging soldiers. Education Minister Naftali Bennett has banned the organization from operating within the school system.