Sometimes it takes a village.
A video widely circulating on social media shows a group of Palestinian villagers entering a West Bank home occupied by Israeli soldiers and unceremoniously — but peacefully — kicking them out.
The footage, which was reportedly shot by Palestinian journalist Muath Mishal, shows a group of men and women from the village of Silwad, north-east of Ramallah, entering a home that was occupied by members of Israel’s Defense Forces last Thursday, according to the Electronic Intifada.
The footage shows the group of mostly women knocking on the door, reportedly after being alerted by relatives that the elderly residents had not been picking up their phone. A visibly upset woman they meet in the house tells them that soldiers have confiscated her keys and phone.
Once inside, the group finds several armed soldiers in the kitchen and yell at them to “get out." The officers do, though not before one of them points his gun at some of the villagers.
A spokesperson for the IDF defended the presence of troops in the home.
"The premises and its surrounding grounds house are frequently used by Palestinians to hurl rocks at a main road, route 60, that is located just a few meters away," she told VICE News. "In May alone there were over nine instances of rock hurling that took place in the immediate vicinity. In light of the danger to commuters the forces acted in order to safeguard all drivers on the road and prevent such acts of violence from being carried out."
It is not uncommon for Israeli soldiers to take over homes and other buildings in occupied Palestine.
"There's a pattern whereby Israeli forces use civilian structures or privately-owned land for training or operational purposes, often leaving the area in shambles and riddled with unused weaponry," Ivan Karakashian, an advocacy coordinator at Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine), told VICE News.
"DCI-Palestine has documented similar incidents, one in which Israeli soldiers were caught in an empty Palestinian classroom by the school janitor. They were using the school grounds for training purposes," he said, adding that he could not comment specifically on the Silwad incident.
All in all, there was a lot of yelling, but this was a pretty peaceful ending to a potentially sticky situation.
Follow Alice Speri on Twitter: @alicesperi