Posts Tagged ‘Jewish settlers’

Jewish extremists defy Tel Aviv on settlements

December 1, 2009

Middle East Online, First Published 2009-12-01


The settlers adhere to radical ideologies and are extremely violent


Radical Israeli settler leaders vow to resist the government’s West Bank settlement freeze.

TEL AVIV – Radical Israeli settler leaders vowed on Monday to resist the government decision to impose a temporary ease on illegal West Bank settlement building after months of pressure from the United States.

Prominent extremist settler leaders held an emergency meeting at which it was decided to bar government construction inspectors from the settlements, they said in a statement.

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Israel defiant as world slams illegal settlements

November 18, 2009

Middle East Online, Nov. 18, 2009


Illegal Jewish settlers; armed, dangerous and radical

UN, US, UK, France slam Israel’s expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.

TEL AVIV – Israel on Wednesday sought to fend off criticism of its approval of hundreds of new illegal units in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

“Freezing construction in Gilo is just like freezing construction… in any other neighbourhood in Jerusalem and Israel,” extremist Interior Minister Eli Yishai, whose ministry issued the approval on Tuesday, said.

He was referring to the illegal settlement in which the previous day Israel approved the addition of 900 new housing units, a move that drove another stake into already hobbled US-led efforts to restart negotiations that were suspended during the Israeli war on Gaza at the turn of the year.

“Construction in Jerusalem cannot be halted and Gilo is in Jerusalem,” Yishai said.

Gilo is one of a dozen Jewish settlements in the eastern part of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Holy City.

France added its voice to the chorus of Western condemnation of the move.

“It is a decision that we regret,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in Jerusalem hours before he was to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials in Jerusalem.

“We have to restart with the political discussions,” he said.

The move to approve the new units flew in the face of Palestinian calls for a complete freeze on new building ahead of fresh peace talks.

Washington was quick to say that it was “dismayed” at the decision.

“At a time when we are working to relaunch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Israeli news reports said that Netanyahu had rejected a request from his US ally to halt construction in Gilo, but it was not clear whether the request concerned the project approved on Tuesday.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also slammed the move, saying it “undermined efforts for peace and cast doubt on the viability of the two-state solution.”

“The secretary-general deplores the government of Israel’s decision today to expand Gilo settlement, built on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war,” Ban’s spokesman said.

Noting that the settlements illegal, Ban appealed to Israel to respect its commitments to cease all settlement activity under the Road Map, a blue print for peace between Israel and the Palestinians under a so-called two-state solution.

The approval is likely to further hamper Washington’s so-far futile efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, amid deep disagreements over the thorny issue of settlements.

Britain condemned Tuesday Israel’s green light for hundreds of new housing units, saying it made a peace deal more difficult.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband “has been very clear that a credible deal involves Jerusalem as a shared capital,” said a spokeswoman.

“Expanding settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem makes that deal much harder. So this decision is wrong and we oppose it,” added the Foreign Office spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres called on Tuesday for Palestinians to “show that they control their own people” before seeking UN recognition of an independent state.

Abbas meanwhile said in Cairo on Tuesday that the plans to seek recognition of a Palestinian state have the backing of Arab countries and is not a “unilateral decision.”

The rival democratically elected Hamas movement said on Tuesday it was opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state before the end of the Israeli occupation.

Israel illegally occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

Under international law, neither East nor West Jerusalem is considered Israel’s capital. Tel Aviv is recognised as Israel’s capital, pending a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem is considered by the international community to be illegally occupied by Israel, in contravention of several binding UN Security Council Resolutions.

In these resolutions, the United Nations Security Council has also called for no measures to be taken to change the status of Jerusalem until a final settlement is reached between the sides.

Declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is an attempt to change this status, and is thus a violation of these Security Council resolutions.

All Jewish settlements are illegal under international law because they are built on Arab land (mainly Palestinian), illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.

The settlers adhere to radical ideologies and are extremely violent to almost-defenceless Palestinians.

Obama team loses face on Israeli settlements

November 3, 2009

Middle East Online, Nov. 3, 2009



Severely humiliated by hardline Netanyahu

Analysts: Obama needs fresh plan to restart Arab-Israeli peace talks after humiliating failure.

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration must devise a fresh plan to restart Arab-Israeli peace talks after losing face with a backtracking on its demands for a full Jewish settlement freeze, analysts said Monday.

President Barack Obama’s team has disappointed many Palestinians and other Arabs who long for it to fulfill both its initial tough stance on settlements and a broader pledge to improve ties with the Muslim world, they said.

During a Middle East tour, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought Monday to reassure Arabs after angering them with her weekend praise of hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to restrict illegal settlements as “unprecedented.”

The chief US diplomat insisted her administration still opposed settlements as strongly as before.

Disputing her claim is Aaron David Miller, who served as adviser on Middle East peacemaking in previous US administrations.

“Netanyahu … outmaneuvered us,” Miller said.

The “paradox,” he argued, is that an administration which began with a tough policy toward the Israelis and a “sensitive” one toward the Palestinians has now shifted the onus to the Palestinians.

All Jewish settlements are illegal under international law because they are built on Arab land (mainly Palestinian), illegally occupied by Israel.

Around illegal 200,000 Jewish settlers are estimated to have moved into the dozen or so Israeli settlements in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

There are about 300,000 more illegal Jewish settlers currently living in settlements the Palestinian West Bank.

The settlers adhere to radical ideologies and are extremely violent to almost-defenceless Palestinians.

Unlike settlements, Miller said, borders, the status of the disputed holy city of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and security for Israel are the core issues.

“They (the Obama team) need to do some fundamental rethinking about what their overall objective is and how they are going to achieve it,” Miller said.

Amjad Atallah, a former legal adviser to the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority, said the US shift on settlements has only weakened Abbas further and made him more reluctant than ever to enter peace talks with Israel.

“They (Palestinians) argue that if the United States was not prepared to back up what it said on settlements, why would it be prepared to back up what it might say on borders?” Atallah said.

The members of the US administration, believing in their powers of “moral persuasion,” were caught off guard, said the analyst with the New America Foundation.

“They thought once it got into permanent status negotiations, things would go relatively quickly. What they didn’t count on was the Israeli government’s intransigence,” he added.

Now that that has happened, “how do we go about re-establishing our street cred and what’s our strategy going forward?” he asked.

The administration now needs, Atallah said, to devise a diplomatic strategy that matches the “high-minded principled recognition” that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a central threat to US national security interests.

Instead, the United States is pursuing “a business-as-usual negotiating strategy” that can only ultimately lead to a worsening situation and even violence, he warned.

Obama, in failing to deliver on settlements, seems to have reinforced the Arab narrative that the “Americans are all in the pockets of the Zionists,” according to Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we need to find some way to change topic,” Clawson said when asked about how the US can revive talks.

Settler Colonialism: Return to the Middle Ages

November 2, 2009

By Bouthaina Shaaban, Counterpunch, Nov 2, 2009

When you read a news story saying that “the United Nations called on Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes and put an end to the policy of forced evictions in East Jerusalem, warning that there are 60,000 Palestinians threatened of becoming homeless,”  you cannot but wonder about the role of the international organization today and about the goal for which it was created on the eve of the victory of the forces of freedom against Nazism and Fascism and whether it is the same organization authorized by history and the world’s peoples to guarantee the right to ‘self determination’?  Is it the same organization charged with “putting an end to colonialism”?  Is it the same organization which believes in the right of all peoples to freedom without discrimination in terms of race or religion?  If it is the same organization, why does it allow Palestinian civilians suffer from the brutality of armed settlers?

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Neve Gordon: Boycott Israel

August 21, 2009

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.

By Neve Gordon, LA Times, August 20, 2009

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

Continues >>

Israel PM vows never to evict settlers

August 10, 2009

Yahoo! News, Aug 9, 2009

AFP

AFP/File – An Israeli policeman stands guard as Jewish settlers enter a house following the eviction of a Palestinian …

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Sunday that he will never evict Jewish settlers from occupied Palestinian land as Israel did in 2005 in the Gaza Strip.

“The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip brought us neither peace nor security. The territory has become a base for the pro-Iranian Hamas movement and we will never make the same mistake again,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We will not evict any more people from their homes,” he added in comments carried by public radio.

In September 2005, the government of prime minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally removed all Jewish settlements from Gaza in a move aimed at ending Israel’s costly 38-year military presence in the Gaza Strip.

Sharon vowed to follow up that withdrawal with further pullbacks from the West Bank, but a massive stroke incapacitated him and his successor Ehud Olmert abandoned the policy in the wake of the June 2006 capture of an Israeli soldier by Gaza-based militants in a deadly cross-border raid.

An opinion poll published on Sunday showed Israeli Jews back Netanyahu’s stance against halting construction of settlements in occupied territory, with 66 percent endorsing his view that Israel has the right to build in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of their proposed state.

The survey of 512 people by Tel Aviv University‘s BI Cohen Institute found that only 27 percent of Israeli Jews, mostly supporters of the leftwing Meretz and Labour parties, oppose Netanyahu’s position.

Netanyahu has risked a rift with Israel’s strongest ally, the United States, by refusing to heed Washington’s calls to freeze building of settlements, which the international community considers illegal.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dany Ayalon on Sunday rejected UN protests against last week’s expulsion of two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem.

In a meeting with UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry, Ayalon told him the expulsion followed a decision in an Israeli court and that Israeli jurisdiction applied to the entire city, a senior diplomat told AFP.

On August 2 club-wielding Israeli riot police evicted two Palestinian families from their houses in Jerusalem‘s Sheikh Jarrah district.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the European Union condemned the evictions, which followed an announcement by Israel that it planned to build Jewish homes in the Arab neighborhood.

Israel annexed the eastern part of the city in 1967 but Israeli sovereignty over the conquered territory has not been recognised internationally.

Around 200,000 Jewish people are estimated to have moved into the dozen or so Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem, home to 270,000 Palestinians.

His Name Is Ezra Nawi

June 12, 2009

by Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Neve Gordon | MRZine, June 10, 2009

Every so often someone comes along who is so brave and so inspiring that you just can’t sit by and remain silent when you learn they need your help.

We’re writing to you today about one of these rare people.

His name is Ezra Nawi.

You’ve probably never heard of him, but because you may know our names, now you will know his name.

Ezra Nawi is one of Israel’s most courageous human rights activists and without your help, he will likely go to jail in less than 30 days.

His crime?  He tried to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the South Hebron region.  These homes and the families who live in them have been under Israeli occupation for 42 years.  They still live without electricity, running water and other basic services.  They are continuously harassed by Jewish settlers and the military.

Nawi’s friends have launched a campaign to generate tens of thousands of letters to Israeli embassies all over the world before he is due to be sentenced in July.  They’ve asked for your help.

His name is Ezra Nawi.

We keep saying his name because we believe that the more people know him and know his name, the harder it will be for the Israeli military to send him quietly to jail.

And Ezra Nawi is anything but quiet.

He is a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent who speaks fluent Arabic.

He is a gay man in his fifties and a plumber by trade.

He has dedicated his life to helping those who are trampled on.  He has stood by Jewish single mothers who pitched tents in front of the Knesset while struggling for a living wage, and by Palestinians threatened with expulsion from their homes.

He is loved by those with little power, to whom he dedicates his life, and hated by the Jewish settlers, military and police.

Now that you know Ezra, you have a chance to stand up for him, and for everything that he represents. Especially now, as Israel escalates its crackdown on human rights and pro-democracy activists.

He needs you.  His friends need you.  Those he helps every day need you. So please send a letter to the Consulate, to the media, to your family and friends.

Take just a moment to write your letter.  Do it now.  And then share his name with a friend.  Do it for Ezra Nawi.

Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Neve Gordon

Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Neve Gordon


This campaign is organized by Jewish Voice for Peace.  JVP also says: “Please go to the website created by Ezra’s defense committee where you can donate directly to help defray Ezra’s legal costs <www.supportezra.net >

Gaza donor conference: conspiracy wrapped up as compassion

March 6, 2009
By Jean Shaoul | WSWS,  5 March 2009

The donor conference Monday at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt had nothing to do with alleviating the appalling humanitarian crisis in Gaza and rebuilding the homes, factories, infrastructure and schools destroyed by Israel—its ostensible purpose. This stated goal was a cover for furthering Washington’s geopolitical interests in the oil-rich Middle East, by overthrowing Hamas and restoring the discredited Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas to power in Gaza so as to help police the region in American and Israel’s interests.

The meeting followed Israel’s US-backed 22-day war against Gaza at the end of last year, an assault that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, wounded many thousands more and drove 400,000 people from their homes. Attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the donor conference is part of an attempt by the Obama administration to portray itself as more even-handed in its approach to the Middle East in general and the Israel-Palestine conflict in particular. This is vital in order to provide cover for the Arab regimes’ collusion with the US in the occupation of Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and any offensive against Iran.

The essential purpose of the gathering was to demand that the Palestinians “break the cycle of rejection and resistance” and submit to Israeli demands. This means accepting a bifurcated state made up of Gaza and several non-contiguous enclaves in the West Bank, ruled by the Fatah-dominated PA. This entity would be dominated by Israel with the help of Egypt and Jordan, while Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank. Just last week, the Israeli PeaceNow movement announced that Israel had drawn up plans to build 70,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

The conference was attended by diplomats from 45 countries, but not by Israel. Hamas, despite being the elected government, was not invited, as Israel, the US and European Union regard it as a terrorist organisation. Instead the Palestinians were represented by Washington’s puppet PA regime, headed by Abbas, even though his term of office expired last January.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced that international donors had pledged $5.2 billion from 68 countries for rebuilding Gaza. He said that the total was “beyond our expectations.” The Palestinian Authority had requested only $2.8 billion for reconstruction, to be channelled through its government in the West Bank. The Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, pledged $1.65 billion, the US $900 million, and the European powers $554 million.

Clinton made clear that Washington’s $900 million contribution is conditional on the Palestinians accepting its dictates. She said, “[The aid package] will only be spent if we determine that our goals can be furthered rather than undermined or subverted. We want to show we care about their plight [the Palestinians] and that we obviously don’t want civilians to suffer any more than they have. But we want to make clear that any contributions we make will not go to Hamas.”

Clinton added, “Our response to today’s crisis in Gaza cannot be separated from our broader efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace.” The aim of the aid was to “foster conditions in which a Palestinian state can be fully realised.”

Her spokesman, Robert A. Wood, said that $600 million was for the PA, based in the West Bank, with only $300 million for humanitarian aid for Gaza. This is a drop in the ocean compared with both Gaza’s needs and the support Washington has lavished on Israel for more than 40 years. Clinton insisted that iron-clad safeguards would be put in place to ensure none of the $300 million went to Hamas.

The European powers fully support this agenda, although they tried to appear more even handed. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that “visible signs of progress” in the West Bank and Gaza were vital. He added, however, that Palestinians needed “a single government across the occupied territories.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a somewhat different approach, urging Hamas “to engage resolutely in searching for a political solution and engage in a dialogue with Israel.”

Little of the monies promised are new. Most was pledged at the Paris conference in December 2007 and never delivered due to Israel’s refusal to lift the then 500-plus roadblocks in the West Bank and allow Gaza to open its borders, making any investment impossible and pointless. There are now more than 600 roadblocks.

Fully $1.5 billion was specifically earmarked for the Palestinian Authority’s budget deficit, economic “reforms” and private sector projects.

Only $1.33 billion was budgeted for reconstruction in Gaza. This is far less than the $2.4 billion the United Nations estimated is necessary to make good the destruction wrought by Israel. And even this pittance would not be disbursed until Hamas is no longer a force in Gaza.

The Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, said that the $1.6 billion they had pledged would bypass both Hamas and the PA. Not wanting to be seen to be favouring Abbas directly, they said they would set up an office in Gaza to carry out their own reconstruction. But since all reconstruction materials, such as cement, pumps and generators, must pass through Israel, and an Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman has stressed that Israel wanted “each and every pipe accounted for” by a project-by-project approvals process, it will be impossible to get even the most modest reconstruction programme off the ground.

The money for humanitarian purposes would bypass Hamas and be channelled through UN agencies and international aid groups. But since Israel controls Gaza’s borders, coastal waters and airspace, and allows only some food, medical supplies and fuel to enter Gaza, this has little substantive meaning. According to the UN, Gaza needs a minimum of 500 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods a day. While the Israeli authorities have told humanitarian agencies that they will allow up to 200 truckloads a day, the actual number has never exceeded 120 since the blockade began in June 2007. The average in February was between 88 and 104, including the grain shipped by conveyor belt at the Karni crossing. New security procedures since the January war make it almost impossible for aid agencies to plan deliveries more than 24 hours in advance. Israel’s latest condition for any easing of the restrictions is the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held in Gaza since June 2006.

According to Human Rights Watch, the New York based group, aid workers said that on several occasions the Israeli authorities refused to allow the shipment of pre-scheduled aid just hours before they were supposed to arrive. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that Israel has arbitrarily refused entry of even basic items like chickpeas, macaroni, and wheat-flour, notebooks for students, freezer appliances, generators, water pumps and cooking gas.

Israel insists that all trucks enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom near the south of Gaza, where every item on the trucks must be unloaded, inspected, repackaged and reloaded with a “handling fee” of $1,000, even though there are other crossings with more sophisticated security screening equipment. It is clear that Israel’s actions are aimed less at preventing arms from getting through into Gaza than intimidating and punishing the Gazan population, destroying whatever remains of the Gazan economy and forcing Gazans into exile.

Egypt, which controls Gaza’s southern border, says it can only fully open Rafah, its crossing with Gaza, under the previous arrangements requiring that the PA, not Hamas, controls the terminal. Egypt is continuing to broker talks between Hamas and Fatah, aimed at restoring Fatah to power.

West Bank settler violence challenges Israel

October 1, 2008

Mohammed Assadi

Reuters North American News Service | Wiredispatch.com

Sep 30, 2008 04:15 EST

ASIRA AL-KIBLIYA, West Bank, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Armed with guns, slingshots, knives and stun grenades, Jewish settlers pelted the house of Palestinian Nahla Makhlouf with stones, uprooted young trees and painted the Star of David on her walls.

In Makhlouf’s West Bank village of Asira al-Kibilya, Palestinians brace for possible attack by their Jewish settler neighbours from nearby Titzhar almost every weekend. But the latest attack exceeded their expectations.

“They sprayed some sort of tear gas through the window. It smelled strong and made our eyes run and made it hard to breath, especially for my baby,” said the 33-year-old mother of four.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reacted strongly to the Sept. 13 attack, saying he would not tolerate “pogroms” by Jewish extremists who are determined on religious grounds to stop Israel swapping occupied land for peace.

Last week, an outspoken Israeli critic of the settlements was wounded by a pipe bomb outside his Jerusalem home, in what Olmert said was evidence of “an evil wind of extremism, of hatred, of violence” threatening Israeli democracy.

Settlers and the Israeli army said the Asira assault was triggered by the wounding of a nine-year-old settler boy by a Palestinian whom he had disturbed in the act of setting fire to a house in the Yitzhar settlement while the family was away.

But settler vigilante violence is growing, according to a recent U.N. report, which recorded 222 incidents in the first half of 2008, versus 291 in all of 2007.

HARDLINE

Some half a million Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem. Their presence, viewed by major powers as illegal under international law, is partly shielded by a 790 km (490 mile) barrier Israel has been building since 2002.

In a newspaper interview on Monday, Olmert broke new ground by urging Israel’s withdrawal “from almost all the territories” captured in the 1967 Middle East war in return for peace.

But Olmert says Israel plans to keep major settlements in the West Bank in any peace deal, and would have to compensate the Palestinians for land lost.

The Palestinians say they cannot have a viable country of their own if it is chopped into pieces by Israeli settlement islands and the snaking walls and fences of the new barrier.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called the settlements “an obstacle to peace” which must go.

Some settlers justified the attack on Asira, saying the army failed to protect them against a violent infiltration.

“If the Israeli army had done what it should, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. They should either have prevented that infiltration or carried out a raid after,” Renana Cohen said.

Dani Dayan of Israel’s mainstream settlers’ organisation says the Arabs do not want peace. A Palestinian state would be a “launching pad” from which they would conduct “ethnic cleansing” against the Israelis, he argues. Many Israelis feel the same.

Most settlers oppose vigilante violence. But most agree that withdrawal would be “a sure recipe for war”, as Dayan puts is, because there will no “peace-loving Palestinians taking over”.

A younger, more aggressive breed of religious ideologues vows a violent response to any eviction threat, warning a heavy price would be exacted for any bid to close settlements down.

NO PROTECTION

Residents of Asira say the settlers need no provocation or pretext. Attacks on Asira date back three years, Makhlouf said.

Palestinians complain of unremitting harassment, such as the burning of their olive trees and stoning attacks on farmers in the fields, as a prelude to land-creep and confiscation.

The garden and rooftop of Makhlouf’s neighbour, Ahmed Dawood, were littered by stones rained onto his house in the settler rampage. The water tank was holed by four bullet.

Dawood’s son and a labourer in his field were shot and wounded. The army, he said, made no effort to stop the attack.

“I complained to the soldiers and they shouted back ‘Get inside’ and started shooting,” he said.

“We have nothing to protect ourselves with. We just take precautions such as putting metal grids on the windows. But the solution is to have them uprooted from here.”

Asira’s predicament is well known to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, who gave Makhlouf a small video camera in 2007 to document violence. The lens was knocked off focus by a rock in the latest attack but still provided an audio record.

Yoav Gross of B’Tselem said the settlers can be heard giving the army a one-minute ultimatum to act against the Palestinians or they would do the job themselves.

“They started counting one, two, three…,” he said. “They were giving orders to the soldiers, not the other way around.”

One Israeli human rights lawyer, Michael Sfard, says most soldiers do not realise they have not only the right but also the duty, as the occupying power, to defend Palestinians.

Settler attacks may rise in the upcoming olive harvest, when Arab farmers work the groves close to settlement perimeters.

One Palestinian woman in Asira was stocking up on corrosive cleaning fluids to throw at the attackers next time they visit.

“They have the army to protect them even while they are attacking us,” said the woman, who was afraid to give her name.

“But we have no one to defend us.”

(Editing by Douglas Hamilton and Samia Nakhoul)

Source: Reuters North American News Service


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