A pogrom in Qusra

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Settlers and soldiers working together against the residents of Qusra Feb.23, 2013                   (photo: Sa’ad Al-Wadi)

Last Saturday a mob of armed settlers attacked a Palestinian village, and the Israeli military brought up the rear, and now a child is fighting for his life. This complicity occurs time and time again: violent settlers and the Israeli military acting as a tag team against Palestinians. (Israel is busy spinning this as heroic soldiers rescues Arab, but we’ll get to that later.)

Take a look at that photo up there: those criminals are not being arrested. Even if they initiated the attack on their own, the settlers look to have army coordination in carrying it out. These violent settlers are not being thwarted by the Israeli military, who are supposed to be protecting civilians.

Let’s take a closer look at the pogrom being carried out by settlers and soldiers in Qusra.

International Solidarity Movement: Young man fighting for his life following settler attack on Qusra:

Around 15 settlers from Esh Kodesh (Holy Fire) and Shilo entered Qusra…At around 11am this morning settlers began attacking the village of Qusra. Armed with rifles, they attacked homes on the outskirts of Qusra, throwing stones they broke windows. The youths of the village attempted to defend their homes. In the clashes that ensued Helmi Abdul Azeez Hassan was shot by a settler, the bullet narrowly missed his heart.

Soldiers arrived on the scene and, as usual, protected the invading settlers.

Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh DinNot “conflicts,” a pogrom:

A group of settlers, coming from the direction of one of the most notorious outposts, Esh Kodesh, raided …Palestinian village of Kusra. Some six Palestinians were wounded. The Israeli media reported a “conflict” in the village. There wasn’t any.

A conflict is what happens when two sides of more or less equal strength clash. What took place in Kusra is much more similar to the Czarist period and to the American South before the passage of the civil rights laws: a group of bullies attacking a persecuted minority, and then receiving the protection of the law enforcement forces.

Look at these pictures, taken yesterday: Settlers and soldiers firing together at the residents of Kusra, while the latter are standing on their lands. The regular Israel, whose media makes an effort not to report what goes on in the West Bank – more on this below – will automatically excuse it by saying the army has to put down “disturbances of order.” Okay. So what are the settlers doing there?

The repeating pattern is of attacks, theft, damage to property – with the police doing nothing and the army becoming a part of the problem. In an incident from last September, Palestinians were attacked by settlers; one Palestinian was reportedly kidnapped by them for a short while. In response, the army forces arrived…. and used tear gas and stun grenades on the Palestinians. The police closed the case, claiming “perpetrator unknown.” …..

…..There were many other incidents. So what is going on here? For starters, there is a symbiosis between the settlers and the army. They are becoming two arms of the same militia. –

con’t…..

And whether or not you believe there is actual coordination, the joint attacks amount to the same thing; as Gurvitz says, “there is a symbiosis between the settlers and the army. They are becoming two arms of the same militia.”

According to this Qusra resident, this is the 4th attack this week:

How are people supposed to live like this? Gurvitz reports Yesh Din sent a letter to the army commander in the region  because these violent settlers will not stop attacking this village. Complaints just stack up, and they do nothing.

Yesh Din can document “ten separate and serious incidents in which Israeli civilians have attacked Palestinians”:

The human rights organization Yesh Din sent an urgent letter today (January 3) to Brig.-Gen. Hagai Mordechai, commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria Division, and to Commissioner Amos Yaacov, commander of the Judea and Samaria District Police, demanding that the security forces allocated additional personnel to protect the Palestinian civilian population in the Shilo Valley area, following serious attacks by settlers over the past week,

Over the past week, Yesh Din has documented ten separate and serious incidents in which Israeli civilians have attacked Palestinians. The incidents include the cutting down of trees, throwing of stones at residents’ homes and so-called “price tag” attacks, among others.
These attacks have caused damage to property as well as injuries:
• A 4-year-old boy from Jalud was injured in the head by stones thrown at night at the houses in the village
• A resident of Karyut suffered a broken skull after stones were thrown at his car
Full list detailed in the attached letter (Hebrew)

According to various reports, these incidents of violence and attacks against property have been committed by settlers from the adjacent outposts, with the goal of deterring Palestinian farmers from exercising their right to farm their land.

In the letter to the security forces, Attorney Adar Grayevsky of the Yesh Din legal team emphasized that: “These are grave incidents in which, prima facie, dozens of settlers have acted with impunity, imposing terror against Palestinian residents of the area through acts of unbridled violence and vandalism.” –

Full Letter (pdf)

And here’s the IsraelNationalNews.com covering the pogrom:

Arab rioters who are injured when they try to attack IDF soldiers or police are provided an important “health benefit” – they are often taken for treatment to hospitals in Israel. Many of the Arab rioters injured in unrest in Judea and Samaria are taken to Israeli hospitals in ambulances, but on Saturday, for the first time in a decade, Israel provided a helicopter to take an Arab rioter who was injured after he rushed IDF troops, throwing rocks and bricks at soldiers, with soldiers responding with anti-riot tactics and injuring the attacking Arab.

……

A senior IDF medical officer told Arutz Sheva that in the months since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, the number of riots by PA Arabs had climbed significantly, as had the number of injured Arab rioters. Consequently, the number of Arab rioters Israel is treating in its hospitals – at its own expense, of course – had also grown considerably.

Saturday’s incident occurred in the course of a riot by Arabs in the village of Kafr Kutzra, near Shechem. The Arab was badly injured in the incident, and was taken to a hospital in Shechem. Doctors there decided that they did not have the facilities to help the rioter – but called in the IDF, in the hope that the army would transport him to Israel, where there were facilities to deal with his injuries.

The attacking settlers have been erased from their coverage.

The International Solidarity Movement:

A local resident explained to ISM volunteers that he cannot remember a week in which Qusra had not been attacked over the last two years. He went on to say that recently things have been getting progressively worse. Today’s assault is the culmination of events which have been evolving all week. There have been incursions in three out of the last four days. The village expects more in the week to come.

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A settler (far on the right) pointing a gun to Palestinians at the plantations of Qusra village  Feb.23, 2013 (photo: Saad Al-Wadi)

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