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Dozens of settlers rip up Atta Jaber’s plants– under nose of police and Kiryat Arba swimming pool


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This press release was sent out today by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Readers may be familiar with Atta Jaber, above, and his family from this post.

For three hours on Friday, July 12, from 11 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, dozens of settlers from Kiryat Arba invaded the land and gardens of the Jaber family – Atta, Rudina and their three children – in al-Baqaa, near Hebron. Accompanied by the Israeli police and led by Malachi Levinger, the son of the violent settlement pioneer Moshe Levinger who himself has been implicated in many attacks on families in the al-Baqaa area, they uprooted his plants and replaced them with their own.  

This is not the first time the Jaber family has been terrorized by settlers from Kiryat Arba, who claim his land and that of his neighbors. The family, which had lived on its land for the past 600-700 years, had 400 dunams of agricultural land (100 acres) before the Israeli Occupation of 1967. Since then they have lost almost all of it, being left with just 60 dunams, and most of that within the Kiryat Arba settlement and thus off-limits to them.  

Over the year they have had their vineyards ripped out and their irrigation systems destroyed; indeed, the entire al-Baqaa, a rich grape- and olive-growing valley, is being dried up by Israel’s refusal to supply it with water or even allow the Palestinian farmers to dig wells or reservoirs for the collection of rainwater. (Kiryat Arba’s Olympic-size swimming pool is visible from the Jaber home.)   

In August, 1998, the Jaber home was demolished by the Israeli authorities for the first time for lack of building permit, which Israel’s Civil Administration, its military government, refuses to issue to Palestinians. The house rebuilt with help from ICAHD and CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams), but was demolished a second time the next month. In that violent demolition Atta was severely injured and arrested. Nevertheless, the Jaber’s, having nowhere else to go, insisted on rebuilding, and their home still stands, a visible, ever-present act of defiance in the face of the settlers on the next hill. 
In January, 2000, hundreds of settlers invaded the Jaber home on a Friday night, staying there under police protection over the Sabbath. In the evening, after prayers and before leaving the home, they smashed and burned it. Although Israeli police and Civil Administration officials were present the whole time and prevented the family from approaching their home – as well as Israeli peace activists who came in solidarity – the settlers were allowed to return to their homes peacefully; none were ever arrested, despite video documentation of the attack. 
 In 2002 the home of Atta’s brother Jawdi was also demolished. Today 17 people are crammed in Atta and Jawdi’s parents’ home. (Their elderly father died after suffering multiple fractures in a fall as he rushed out to protect his grandchildren who were being stoned by the settlers.) In 2007 the family attempted to build a modest reservoir for catching rainwater; it too was demolished. Jeff Halper of ICAHD was arrested resisting the demolition, recorded on the BBC film “Reservoir Raiders.”  (you can watch the trailer here)

In 2010, Kiryat Arba and the Civil Administration put up signs declaring the Jaber property a new neighborhood of the settlement, called Nofei Hebron (“Vistas of Hebron”). Settler attacks intensified, including a night-time invasion in which settlers laid the concrete foundations of a new settlement “outpost.” (Jeff of ICAHD and Rabbi Arik Aschermann of Rabbis for Human Rights physically destroyed those foundations once the settlers left). In 2012 Jawdi’s car was burned. 

In short, settler violence is NEVER investigated and settlers are NEVER arrested, even if the police are on the scene of the crime. The goal: to terrorize the Palestinians to leave their land, which would then be grabbed up by settlers in the name of the state of Israel. If anyone tries to tell you that Israel does not engage in ethnic cleansing or that what it does is for reasons of “security,” take them to the Jaber family. Nice people (Jawdi and Atta both speak fluent English) whose wives, Aisha and Rudina, will make you delicious maklubeh and who kids are bright and photogenic – but be aware, you are in the presence of genuine heroes. These are people who are scared, wounded, traumatized, sad, impoverished and oppressed, but they are sumud, steadfast. The Jabers will prevail. They have the strength to resist whatever violence, injustice and pain the Israeli government, its settlers and its apathetic population can bring to bear. Indeed, theirs are the shoulders upon which our world rests. Last March Atta gave testimony to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, his visit sponsored by the Norwegian Refugee Council and Badil.  

Only one thing can break them: if they feel they are abandoned  

Circulate this as widely as possible, especially to your political representatives.

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8 Responses

  1. just
    July 14, 2013, 3:47 pm

    May God bless the noble Jabers and their brethren.

    I cannot say anything nice about the IOF or the settlers or the Likud/Zionist government.

  2. Blank State
    Blank State
    July 14, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Well….its sure a darn good thing that these Palestinians won’t feel ill will towards these Jewish settlers, isn’t it? And all the little Palestinian children, witnessing such actions, will remain unjaundiced by prejudice and hatred. Right, Annie?

  3. DICKERSON3870
    July 14, 2013, 6:13 pm

    RE: “Dozens of settlers rip up Atta Jaber’s plants– under nose of police”

    MY COMMENT: The more extremist of the Jewish settlers essentially serve as Israel’s quasi-official equivalent of Mussolini’s Blackshirts and operate under the protection of the Israeli army, police and much of Israel’s Likudnik government! And Israel’s “Blackshirts” don’t just attack Palestinians. Read below about a scatological attack (with the complicity of the IDF) on a Jew visiting the West Bank from her adopted country of England/U.K.! It is truly like something out of the Dark Ages.

    “Jews protect Palestinians in harvest of hate” ~ By Donald Macintyre in Awarta, West Bank, The Independent (U.K.), 10/10/08
    Israelis cross religious divide to shelter olive farmers from settlers’ attacks

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Born in Tel Aviv, Ms Siew served in the army, took a university degree, then a teacher’s diploma. Thirty-six years ago, she took the tough decision to emigrate to London, telling her parents: “I won’t come back until there’s peace.” Ms Siew, who is now 64, remains an Israeli citizen but now lives with her British husband in Hebden Bridge. She has kept to her word, except that each autumn she comes back to stay in her hometown with her relatives and spends each day of the two-month harvest season picking olives on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank.
    And Ms Siew does that for a purpose. Up on the ridge above us, you can see the red roofs of Itamar, a notably hard-line Jewish settlement, and she is here to help protect the Palestinian farmers from the threat of settler violence which has so often scarred the olive harvests.
    . . . Last year, she was in a group in the South Hebron Hills confronted by settlers who fired shots from a pistol and an M16 assault rifle, despite the presence of the army and police. “Then one of the soldiers said, ‘Look, one of them is coming down with a jug of water for you’. The settler emptied the jug over me. It was full of human shit.” . . .


  4. rensanceman
    July 14, 2013, 9:12 pm

    It is time for Israel to be unceremoniously dumped by the United Nations. I am surprised that no such motion, to my knowledge, has been proposed. It is clearly a rogue psychopathic state that ignores Resolutions with impunity, literally tears up in front of the Assembly, Resolutions that it doesn’t like (e.g. Israel is a racist state) and regularly attacks its neighbors with no repercussions. Of course, the criminal and illegal Occupation is now the world’s worst human rights violation.
    Is it concerned that its actions might trigger WW3. As Golda Meir once said:,”After the Holocaust, we can do anything we want”.

  5. amigo
    July 15, 2013, 7:00 am

    It is hard to put in words a way to describe Israel without crossing the moderators rules.

    The only comfort in all of this is knowing Israel is finished as a nation.

    How long can it last?.10, 20,30 years.I suppose it is in the hands of these illegal squatter criminals and those who support and give them cover.

  6. talknic
    July 15, 2013, 7:45 am

    @ rensanceman “It is time for Israel to be unceremoniously dumped by the United Nations. I am surprised that no such motion, to my knowledge, has been proposed”

    No point. The US UNSC veto vote would prevent it. It seems to be the only reason Israel is in the UN.

    “Is it concerned that its actions might trigger WW3 etc … “

    Pathological serial abusers do have an all or nothing attitude. Given Israel’s rampant disregard for the law and UNSC resolutions and its unbridled belligerent disregard for the sovereignty of its neighbours, the fear that the little Red heifer might kick the ^&%$ out of the china shop if it doesn’t get its way, is very likely lurking in the mind of the International community, especially as the Jewish states has nukies.

  7. eljay
    July 15, 2013, 10:42 am

    I wonder with whom “liberal” Zio-supremacists will suggest the Jaber family should engage in dialog [sic], so that both sides can “leave the room with more information, both intuitive and cognitive, than they had before they entered the room”.

    Accountability, morality and justice are so trite and unnecessary when “normalization” is available.

  8. LanceThruster
    July 15, 2013, 12:47 pm

    I am filled with so much shame knowing my own country is helping to bankroll these type of outrages.

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