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Settlers start over 50 fires in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Settlers started over 50 fires across the West Bank on Tuesday following the fatal stabbing of a settler in Nablus, official news agency Wafa reported.
A report by the civil defense said firefighters had to deal with 57 fires caused by settlers. Hundreds of olive and almond trees were damaged and large areas of cultivated crops were destroyed, the report said.
Settlers attacked Palestinians and their property in the Nablus and Tulkarem areas on Tuesday, following the fatal stabbing of a settler earlier in the day.
Settlers attacked a mosque and burned tires at junctions in Nablus. They also hurled stones at Palestinian cars, including two buses holding schoolgirls, injuring over 20 people.
Four Palestinians were injured and taken to the Rafedia Hospital in Nablus for treatment following clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Urif, where settlers had damaged a mosque.
Israeli forces rarely prosecute settlers for violence against Palestinians and their property, which is routine in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli army protects settlers who attack Palestinians
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse about 500 Palestinian villagers marching, who are fed up after settlers torched around ten of their cars, planting an Israeli flag on a derelict church and pelting village youth with stones…
“ Jewish settlers torched hundreds of Palestinian olive trees south of Nablus on Sunday night, local sources said. They said that tens of settlers from Itamar settlement attacked the olive fields of Aqraba village and set them on fire, destroying 450 trees including 150 that are hundreds of years old. Jewish settlers’ attacks have recently escalated against citizens’ cultivated land lots especially south of Nablus.”—PIC..
Racist murder of Palestinian by Israeli youths shrugged off by media
Amid the revolutionary cheer that was emanating from Egypt last week, a group of Israeli Jews attacked and killed a Palestinian in the heart of West Jerusalem. 24-year-old Palestinian Hussam Rwidy was killed by a group of nationalist Jewish youth screaming “Death to Arabs” as he was walking home from work. The Israeli government quickly put a media blackout on the case fearing a violent reactions from Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank. Once the media blackout was lifted, select Israeli media outlets covered the story as a “drunken brawl turned bad” and the story was largely ignored. According to one Jerusalem resident who helped the victims after the attack, neither of them were drunk.
The Alternative Information Center has posted a video report about the killing and racism in the holy city. Anyone who has visited Jerusalem will recognize the street where the attack took place as ground zero of birthright trips and tourists to the city. Has Israel gotten to the point where cold blooded racially driven murder of Palestinians in the heart of tourist areas is simply ignored and brushed off?
Israeli settlers cut down 150 olive and grape trees in Wad Abu Reesh
On Monday, March 12, 2012, at about 6am, Israeli settlers cut down 150 olive and grape trees on Palestinian land, while soldiers provided security to the settlers. The owner of the land, Hamad Alsalaby, is from Wad Abu Reesh, near the Bat Ayin settlement. The Bat Ayin settlement was established in 1983, and is well-known for its violent attacks against Palestinians. Palestinians don’t like to walk alone through the land because there’s a chance the settlers will shoot at them.
The settlers don’t want any sort of fence separating the Palestinian land from the settlement because they consider all of the land as belonging to them, despite the settlement being illegal. The settlers tend to be very religious, and from all over the world: U.S., Europe, Russia, etc. Wad Abu Reesh is covered in plum, olive and grape trees, which the settlers periodically cut down to hurt the Palestinian farmers economically and to frighten them into leaving the land. When we went to observe the situation today, we found a large rock with graffiti in Hebrew that read “Greetings from Bat Ayin,” plus a reference to the “price tag” movement. The “price tag” campaign is led by violent right-wing settlers who are known for burning mosques, attacking Palestinian people and property, and setting fire to Palestinian fields, as the “price” for any actions against the settlements. For more information on “price tagging” and settler violence: http://www.btselem.org/settler_violence
Photo Essay: Israeli Colonization of Hebron’s Old City
Hebron’s Old City. (Photo credit: Anna Baltzer/http://www.annainthemiddleeast.com)
Hebron is regarded by many as a microcosm of the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine. Israel’s regime of forced evictions and separation has profoundly impacted the lives of the 30,000 Palestinians living in Hebron’s H2 area under Israeli military law.
To see and hear first-hand how these policies affect day to day life in Hebron and the West Bank, I participated in a guided tour with Youth Against Settlements (YAS), a “national Palestinian non-partisan activist group” seeking to expose the effects of the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
Settlers armed with M16 assault rifles near the Ibrahimi Mosque
Since 1967 Jewish fundamentalists have been colonizing Hebron along with other tracts of the West Bank. Their ideology holds that Israel is the embodiment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and that it is their divine right to inhabit Yeretz Yisrael (‘Greater Israel’). Belief in this tenet of Zionism is shared by the incumbent right-wing Israel Likud party, which actively advocates settlement expansion in the West Bank.
As we emerged from the taxi just before Givat Ha’avot settlement, the soldier manning its entrance was quick to yell at us not to take photos. But we carried on, slightly intimidated, to meet Palestinians whose land has been stolen by settler-colonists.
Only military jeeps and settler runabouts passed us by as we turned onto one of Hebron’s main North-South thoroughfares. Vehicular travel along this road is denied for the 500 or more Palestinian families living on or adjacent to it. Israel’s segregation of roads in the West Bank is by no means limited to Hebron alone. Of the 450 miles of Israeli-only roads covering the West Bank, the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, has identified “clear similarities to South Africa’s former apartheid regime”.
This article originally appeared in Muftah.org and has been republished with permission. Read more here