Category Archives:
Settlers/Colonists

Ringleader in Abu Khdeir kidnapping and murder given life sentence

Allison Deger on
16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, kidnapped and murdered by three Israelis on July 2, 2014. (Photo: AFP)

The lead suspect of a gruesome kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teen two summers ago was sentenced today by a Jerusalem district court to life in prison, plus 20 years for additional crimes, ending a lengthy criminal trial that shook Palestinian communities across Israel and the occupied territory. After the sentencing was announced the victim’s cousin Ansam Abu Khdeir told Mondoweiss the punishment was not enough, “he deserves more than he got, more than he will get,” she said.

Ringleader in Abu Khdeir murder case convicted in Jerusalem court

Allison Deger on
Protesters hold posters of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was killed last year, outside the district court in Jerusalem on November 30, 2015. The court on Monday convicted two Israeli youths in the grisly killing of Abu Khdeir, while delaying a verdict for 31-year-old Yosef Haim Ben-David in the case due to a last-minute insanity plea. The judge determined that Ben David, and two Israeli minors had snatched Abu Khdeir from an east Jerusalem sidewalk in July 2014 and burned him alive in a forest outside the city. (Photo: Mahfouz Abu Turk/APA Images)

Today, a Jerusalem district court convicted the ringleader of the 2014 murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was abducted near his home in East Jerusalem and burned alive. The defendant, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 30, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. He along with two minors kidnapped Abu Khdeir and beat and killed the youth. The slaying prompted weeks of unrest and gained international prominence as a high-profile case of settler violence against Palestinians.

Ha’aretz journalist lauds wine from Jewish terrorist/vintner Menachem Livni

Ira Glunts on
Menachem Livni poses with wine from his winery.

Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent and gourmand, Barak Ravid, recently tweeted a picture of “a likeable wine from the Livni vineyard in Kiryat Arba.” “Surprisingly good,” he concludes. The reason that the quality of the wine, produced in the darkest heart of the Israeli-occupied territory, is surprising, I would guess, is that Ravid believes that an admitted, convicted and unrepentant terrorist is unlikely to also become a successful vintner. But in Israel all is possible, at least for Jews.

Among the settlers

Philip Weiss on
Junk at a socialist kibbutz Naaran in the Jordan Valley. In the background, primitive radio receivers and the hills around Jerusalem. (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Israeli settlers on the West Bank tell Phil Weiss they are continuing the work of redeeming the land for Jews that early Zionists began when they expelled Palestinians in 1948, and that in the last year even the Tel Aviv establishment has come to recognize that there will never be a Palestinian state. Weiss reports from five days he spent undercover in Israeli settlements using the Airbnb service.

Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Human Rights Watch report cover shows Barkan, an Israeli residential settlement and industrial zone located in the occupied West Bank, that houses around 120 factories that export around 80 percent of their goods abroad. In the background is the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

In a groundbreaking new report, Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus of voices calling on countries to label goods made in the Israeli occupied territories as the products of settlements, and calls on countries to withhold aid to Israel that can be used to “offset the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements.” The report titled Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights puts pressure on a “multitude” of private companies to stop doing business in the occupied territories, because they are helping to sustain an illegal settlement project that deprives the Palestinian population of their human rights.

Extremists vandalize Jerusalem church with Hebrew threats: ‘Death to heathen Christians’

Allison Deger on
Anti-Christian graffiti sprayed on the Dormition Abbey church in Jerusalem. (Photo: Latin Patriarch)

For the second time in a year, Israeli vandals targeted a Christian church in Jerusalem Sunday with extremist anti-Christian graffiti. Assailants tagged the religious site with messages in Hebrew: “Death to the heathen Christians, “the enemies of Israel”, “Let his [Jesus’] name and memory be obliterated” and “Christians to Hell.”

Israel charges two Jewish extremist youths in Duma killings

Allison Deger on
Sa'ad Dawabshe (R), Ali Dawabshe (C), and Riham Dawabshe (L), were killed from injuries sustained in a settler arson attack on the West Bank village of Duma on July, 31, 2015. (Photo: Hassan Shaalan/YNet News)

Israel charged two suspects this morning in district court for an arson attack on the West Bank village of Duma where Jewish extremists killed three Palestinians five months ago in most high-profile case of settler violence. The lead suspect is Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, who is said to have confessed to the firebombing. His alleged accomplice, 17, is unnamed.

Brazil and Israel square off in diplomatic showdown over settler envoy

Annie Robbins on
Dani Dayan (Photo: Tomer Appelbaum)

Brazil is not interested in having a right wing settler envoy as Israel’s ambassador and Israel won’t take “No” for an answer. A diplomatic crisis has been unfolding between the two countries since last August when Netanyahu publicly announced the appointment of Dani Dayan, the former head the Yesha Council from 2007 to 2013, as Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil — without first consulting the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby

Allison Deger on
Israeli wedding-goers rejoice over the killing of a Palestinian baby. (Screenshot: Channel 10)

Israeli police have opened an investigation into a group of extremist Israelis who recorded themselves rejoicing over the killing of a Palestinian baby by stabbing a photograph of the toddler who was burned alive earlier this year. Footage of the incident aired on Israeli news stations last night, depicting a wedding party in a West Bank settlement waving knives and guns in the air while singing “we will take revenge on the Palestinians.”

‘There is no justice here in Israel’: Two found guilty of murdering Mohammed Abu Khdeir, but ringleader verdict delayed

Allison Deger on
Aisha Abu Khdeir, aunt of shows a family album of pictures of Mohammed Abu Khdeir after an Israeli court issues guilty verdicts for two of the accused killers, and delays ruling on a third. (Photo: Allison Deger)

An Israeli court today convicted two Jewish minors who abducted and burned Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive in July 2014. The court delayed ruling on the alleged ringleader, 29-year old settler Yosef Haim Ben-David pending an additional psychiatric evaluation. “Frankly I was shocked. I hoped they all would get a punishment,” said the mother of the victim, Suha Abu Khdeir, 45, from her living room hours after the trial ended. “It’s like they burned him again.”

Israeli army makes post in Hebron activist house

Allison Deger on
Israeli soldiers inside of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements office/living quarters, Saturday November 7, 2015. (Photo: Youth Against Settlements)

“I won’t take compensation from occupation,” Issa Amro says of destruction to his property in Hebron by Israeli soldiers. Early Saturday morning Amro, 35, awoke to dozens of Israeli soldiers entering the Youth Against Settlements house and presenting him with a military order to seize control of the house for 24-hours. Amro, along with an Italian journalist on assignment with an Israeli paper, and two international activists who were staying at the Youth Against Settlements advocacy center were then ushered into a single bedroom where, with the exception of escorted bathroom breaks, they were forced to stay until after daybreak Sunday.

Majority of Palestinian citizens of Israel blame gov’t for violence, fear revenge attacks, limit their movements

Allison Deger on
Palestinian citizens of Israel protest outside of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, 2013. (Photo:  Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

After violence took hold of Jerusalem at the beginning of October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged the fault fell on Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic movement of northern Israel for inciting attacks against Israelis, and spurring demonstrations across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza that have led to the killings of Palestinian protesters. Yet the 20-percent Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel believe that it is the Israeli government, and not the Palestinian leadership that is responsible for the outbreak of hostilities, according to a survey published by the Haifa-based think tank Mada al-Carmel.

As Israel clamps down on East Jerusalem, police evict Palestinian family for new settlement

Allison Deger on
Israeli workers add water pipes to a house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of  Silwan, where the Abu Nab family was evicted earlier this week after Israelis won a petition for their removal. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Israeli police and barking dogs woke Abdallah and Fatima Abu Nab from inside of the couple’s bedroom shortly after daybreak Monday morning, and told them to immediately and permanently leave their house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, bringing an end to an seven-year legal battle with Israeli settlers. This latest Israeli provocation took place in the heart of East Jerusalem where more than 40 Palestinians, and eight Israelis have been killed in shootings and attacks since the start of October.

‘There is no co-existence with cancer’: Right-wing Israelis demand gov’t give military ‘free hand’ to fight Palestinians

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Bentzi Gopstein, head of the far-right Lehava organization, arrested in Jerusalem protest after day of terror attacks throughout Israel. October 8, 2015. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

Brandishing their typical black and yellow flags and Hebrew signs boasting “Kahane was Right” and “There is no co-existence with cancer,” hundreds of right-wing activists took to the streets of Jerusalem Thursday night in a growing phenomenon of public demonstrations led by the country’s leading fascist groups such as Lahava and La Familia. The march and the Israeli extremists willingness to resort to violence against their state’s security forces testify to the impact that incitement is having on Jewish youth throughout the country, and portends an ever-growing threat of entrenching the current spiral of bloodshed.

More than 1,000 clash with Israeli forces in Shuafat refugee camp as Netanyahu promises to crack down

Allison Deger on
Israeli police cordon off the site where a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis Thursday afternoon, critically injuring one, in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

At dusk Thursday evening nearly 200 right-wing Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem, chanting racist anti-Arab epitaphs and nationalist songs. The march came at the end of day that saw Israeli forces kill two Palestinians and Palestinian attackers wound nine Israelis, including two soldiers, in four separate attacks, the highest number of serious injuries inflicted on Israelis in recent weeks. At the time of publication the right-wing group was marching from West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem.

Israeli government is too involved in settler movement to take on Jewish extremists, says leading Palestinian legislator

Allison Deger on
Aida Touma-Sliman (Center) during Knesset Committee on the Status of the Women, June 3, 2015. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of Knesset for the Joint Arab List, says that Israel could indict Jewish terrorists for the Duma murders but it lacks the political will to do so. “In the last few years there were 17 mosques and churches burned down or attacked by right-wing activists or racists,” she told Allison Deger. “These are the extreme cases, but everyday we hear about cases by the seashore, or at the nightclubs—or of hotels warning their visitors that they might have Muslims [guests].”

How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror

Dan Cohen on
PHOTO Dan Cohen

Immediately after the firebombing of the occupied West Bank village of Duma that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and later his parents, Israeli politicians competed to see who could be more extreme in their denunciations. But as the young parents of baby Ali succumbed to their wounds, the politicians who had been so vociferous were largely silent. What explains this gap between rhetoric and reality? Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar tells Dan Cohen the lack of Israeli accountability for Jewish vigilante violence is not new, “The message is that you can get away with murder, literally.”

Israeli defense minister says government knows who was behind Duma attack, but won’t prosecute

Allison Deger on
Israeli police investigate the damage of the Dawabshe family home in Duma, firebombed on July 31, 2015. The graffiti the assailants sprayed reads: "revenge." (Photo: Reuters)

Six weeks after settlers torched a Palestinian home in the West Bank hamlet of Duma killing three—Ali Dawabshe, 18-months, Sa’ad Dawabshe, 32, and Riham Dawabshe 27—no one has been charged for the crime. Now, Israel’s defense minister says he knows who is behind the arson attack but is refusing to indict, because doing so could expose government interlligence sources.

Settler group publishes anti-Palestinian children’s book titled ‘Occupation Shmuccupation’

Ben Norton on
An illustration from the book, which reads: (man on right) "Hey Jamil, need help with the olive harvest?" (man on left) "Don't bother, why get in trouble with the left-wing organizations?" 

CREDIT: Shlomi Charka / YNet

“Occupation Shmuccupation” is the name of a new children’s book published by the Yesha Council, a right-wing Israeli settler organization. The illustrated propaganda book teaches Israeli kids that “there is no such thing as the State of Palestine” and that “there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” It also blames “price tag” attacks—in which Israeli extremists attack Palestinians or Palestinian homes, property, and/or crops, such as olive trees—on “internal conflicts between the Arabs over land,” that is to say on Palestinians themselves.

Palestinians in Duma are angry that no one has been charged for murders, after 38 days

Allison Deger on
Palestinian mourners sit around the graves of Riham Dawabsheh, 27, front, her husband Saed Dawabsheh , center, and her 18-month-old son Ali, following her funeral procession in the West Bank village of Duma, near Nablus, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. The mother of a Palestinian toddler killed in a West Bank firebomb attack was buried in her village Monday hours after succumbing to wounds sustained in the attack, which also killed the child's father and is believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists. (Photo:Nasser Nasser/AP)

Thousands poured into the West Bank hamlet of Duma for a third funeral over the past five weeks, this time mourning Riham Dawabshe who died Sunday on her 27th birthday from injuries sustained during a settler arson attack on her home on July 31st. Riham’s youngest son, 18-month year old Ali Dawabshe was killed in the blasts that destroyed two apartments. Her husband Sa’ad Dawabshe, 32, died last month on the couple’s anniversary, also from wounds inflicted during the firebombing. Although the arsonists left a graffiti tag in Hebrew indicating the killings were a nationalist crime, to date Israel has not charged anyone with the murders.

Riham Dawabshe dies, leaving one survivor of arson attack, Ahmad, 4

Allison Deger on
Mourning the death of Riham Dawabshe

Riham Dawabshe, 26, the mother of 18-month old Ali who was killed in a settler arson attack on her home in a remote Palestinian village five weeks ago, died Sunday night from injuries sustained in the firebombing. Riham had third degree burns on 90-percent of her body, and has been in a coma and on a ventilator since the July 31st attack.

Israel’s ‘blame the hand’ excuse for settler violence

Aaron Turgeman on
Netanyahu vows to expand the settlements during a 2015 campaign stop at Har Homa.

It is all too easy to point the finger at wild-eyed fundamentalist settlers, who have created their own version of a Biblical Wild West (Bank), terrorizing Palestinians, uprooting olive trees, vandalizing property and more recently, burning families. But let’s not forget: the settlers are not there on their own design. Without the Israeli army’s protection, without their superior legal status granted by the Israeli judicial system, without the resources and Israeli government support, they would not be there. By cracking down on “extremist settlers”, the Israeli government hopes to legitimize the ten-fold larger expansion of settlements.