Photo: Ahiya Raved
Superintendent Perry Margalit
Photo: Ahiya Raved

Policeman recalls Amona trauma

Mounted police Chief Perry Margalit, who had his knee smashed during Amona evacuation, says he will never forget rioters' hate, violence. They treated us like enemies, could have easily killed us, he says

Superintendent Perry Margalit, who headed the mounted police force during the evacuation of the Amona outpost last week, was released from hospital Sunday with a cast covering his entire leg. Margalit's kneecap was smashed by a cinder block thrown by rioters in Amona.


Margalit, a trained martial arts athlete, said he has never experienced such pain in his life. "This was one of the most difficult things I've been through," he said.


Margalit at home. 'Most difficult injury' (Photo: Ahiya Raved)


The policeman has still not gotten over the trauma of the violent evacuation.


"I served in many police departments… I've been in contact with criminals, but such glares I have never seen before. Even delinquents acknowledge the supremacy of the law, but in Amona it was different. It was as if they were the landlords, and we were invading on their turf," he described.


"Even at war between enemies, there are codes of behavior. A soldier who falls captive gets medical treatment. If this isn't hate, what is?" Margalit said.


"I don't expect them to love or respect those who act against them, but I was surprised by the measure of hate. When you hate someone this much, you are capable of killing him," he added.


'Police used reasonable force'


Referring to charges the mounted police used unnecessary and exaggerated force against the settlers in the evacuation, Margalit claimed this was not the case.


"Television broadcasts showed only parts of what went down there, which is why everyone though we used exaggerated force. We used clubs only on our third attempt to break through the protesters, after in the first two times we tried doing it without clubs and were bombarded with stones and metal crows," he said.


The settlers treated the police like they were their enemies, Margalit said.


"They prepared metal crows and threw them like spears at us. This could seriously injure and even kill, there's no other way around it. They definitely wanted to hurt us badly," he added. 


When asked whether he believes the security forces employed reasonable use of force in the evacuation, Margalit replied there was no other choice.


"We did not act out of blind rage… it's obvious that the more violent the opposition, the more force you need to use," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 02.06.06, 11:42
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