Settler Harassment: VIDEO ROUND-UP


Palestine Monitor


April 15, 2010

According to OCHA’s weekly "Protection of civilians" report,
"since the beginning of 2010, 22 Palestinians have been injured as a
result of settler violence in the West Bank"(1). But settler violence
consists of much more than injuries. Here are few recent events that
exemplify what the daily life of Palestinians living close to
settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be like.
Written by J.S.

East Jerusalem : Sheikh Jarrah


Palestinian house ocuupied by Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah
Photo: Brady Ng

Clashes between
settlers and Palestinians occur frequently despite the frequent police
presence in the area. The following video was filmed by an ISM peace
activist at the end of January:

In the same place, visits to an expropriated house are organised in front of the protest tent that the stolen family erected.

Following the
closures imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem, several confrontations
erupted in the month of March: flyers in Arabic were distributed in and
around the Old City calling for the non-Jews to leave Jerusalem,
quoting Torah and Qur’an : "Thus, we ask you to leave
the land of Israel in order to guarantee peace in this land. There are
verses in the Old Testament and in the Quran that prove this."

More on Maan : http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDet…

On Monday 5 April,
a new incident occurred in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where
there is a permanent international presence supporting the Palestinian
families evicted from their homes. According to reports by ISM, around
twenty settlers stormed the neighbourhood attacking three women from
the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
with stones.

Later, the report continues, "Five
Palestinian residents moved up the street towards the settlers in an
attempt to stop the stone throwing, at which point the settlers began
attacking them with sticks. According to eyewitnesses, one settler then
drew a knife and appeared to be about to stab Nasser Al-Ghawi, a local
resident, when another Palestinian grabbed the blade of the knife to
prevent the attack. The resident who intervened was then pushed to the
ground and repeatedly beaten. He has been hospitalized, as his hand was
lacerated by the knife blade, and he has suspected fractured ribs.
Settlers then left the area as soon as the police arrived. Nasser
Al-Ghawi was arrested. None of the settlers were detained or arrested
. "(2)


Photo: Bruno Stein and Avi Cohen

Inauguration of new
"events hall" in a settler’s house next to the tomb of Shim’on Hatsadik
in Sheikh Jarrah, with the presence of Commander Bruno Stein, chief of
Jerusalem’s Zion precinct And Superintendent Avi Cohen, Commander of
the Shalem Police Station

South Hebron Hills: At- Tuwani


Photo: Breaking the Silence

In this case
settlers did not attack directly Palestinians but following their phone
call to the Israeli Army, here is what happened on January 7:

This particular incident was also described by Israeli journalist Amira Hass on daily newspaper Ha’aretz :

-> http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1156487.html%5D

Videos
and photos documenting attacks are few; most of the time only
eyewitness evidence is available. Here are two examples from a list of
eight, documented by the Alternative Information Center(3), both
concerning the Hebron district, for the period January-February 2010. 4
:

"-
On 9 January, approximately 30 settlers—some of them armed— coming from
the Bat Ayin settlement, north-west of Bait Ommar, attacked a group of
farmers from the village working the land in the area of Wadi El Resh.
The settlers threw stones and opened fire in the air to force the
farmers to leave the land. The farmers are Jaber Mohammed Jaber El
Sulaibi, 42 years old, Husain Mohamed El Sulaibi, 37 years old, and
Fathi Ahmed Jabber El Sulaibi, 43 years old. The soldiers came to the
site when they heard the shooting: instead of stopping the settlers’
attacks, they declared the area a closed military zone and ordered the
farmers to leave. It is well-known that the settlers from the
aforementioned settlement often engage in attacks against the local
farmers. This area became a hot spot in the last two years: the
settlers want to expand the settlement and do their aggressions in
order to prevent the farmers from coming to work the land.

 On
26 February, a car driven by a settler attempted to drive into a
Palestinian public vehicle, carrying eight people, off the road near
Wad Amiq, west of Hebron. A car accident occurred: Mariam Abdel Fattah,
48 years old, from Durra, and Maher Nidal, 2 years old, were injured in
the collision and taken to Muhammad Ali Al-Muhtasib Hospital. Medics
described their conditions as stable."


Salfit:

On
March 8, under the protection of five Israeli soldiers, settlers
destroyed a spring next to the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan by
pouring sand and cement in it.

Last
week Summar Saif Radwan, a twenty-one-year-old woman, was killed in the
Ramallah district, struck by a settler’s car (4). In Sheikh Jarrah
(East Jerusalem) Rifqa Al-Kurd, eighty-nine-years-old, was attacked
with her daughter, Nadiya 50 years old, by settlers from the
neighborhood, without receiving any protection from the police.(5).
Last weekend, near Birzeit (Ramallah), a group of hard-line settlers
took over an abandoned village with the aim of creating a new
settlement (6).

This
violence is inscribed in the rise of extremists among the settlers;
Ha’aretz detailed this in an article published in October 2009: "’the extremist
fringe of West Bank settlers is growing’, a senior officer on the
Israel Defense Forces General Staff warned this week. ‘[…] recent years
have seen an upswing in violent attacks by extremist settlers against
both IDF troops and neighboring Palestinians. […]. The West Bank today
is a hothouse for weeds’".
(7)

The
Israeli newspaper showed an example from June 2009 of this upsurge in
extremism through the death threats received by the army’s top general
in charge of forces in the West Bank by alleged far-right wing
activists :
"You are tainted with anti-Semitism and hatred of real
Jews," read the missive which was addressed to Israel Defense Forces
GCO Central Command Gadi Shamni. "The Arabs are your cherished ones,
these sons of Satan and whoever supports them is himself a Satan and a
son of Satan, and this is you
." (8)

What will happen in the near future?

In
this period of apparent tension between Washington and Tel-Aviv, Moshe
Yaalon, former Chief of Staff and current Vice-Prime Minister and
Minister of Strategic Affairs, set the tone in an interview published
last week: "Nobody in the cabinet imagines that we can
reach an agreement with the Palestinians. I know it from firsthand. We
must make that clear to the American administration and I hope they
will understand!. […] Israel moves forward, the economy is
flourishing. There is absolutely no reason to abandon the territory.
This defeatist attitude must stop!
"(9)

Good news from the settlers’ perspective…

(1) OCHA OPT Protection of civilians report – 24-30 March 2010 : http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/oc…

(2)http://palsolidarity.org/2010/04/11975

(3) http://www.alternativenews.org/inde…

(4)http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDet…

(5)http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDet…

(6)http://www.jnews.org.uk/news/new-is…

(7)http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages…

(8)http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages…

(9)http://blog.france2.fr/charles-ende…


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