Palestinians from the village of Qusra captured a band of invading setters yesterday who had come to raid their village and uproot their olive trees. Ma’an reports 18 settlers were captured, Haaretz reports ten. The invading masked and gloved settlers “marched into the village and attacked a young boy, who sustained head injuries as a result.” The villagers chased down the settlers, beat them up and called the Israel forces to have them come pick up the settler invaders. Israel rarely prosecutes these fanatics.
Reuters reported the the incident was triggered by an Israeli police evacuation of an “unauthorized building” at Esh Kodesh (Holy Fire), an illegal outpost (although Reuters described it as a “settlement”). That would make this a “price tag” attack, where settlers vow retribution on Palestinians for any perceived infringement by the state. These began in 2009 as payback for the “settlement freeze”.
Last year there was a pogrom in Qusra. Yossi Gurvitz reported at the time that “a group of settlers, coming from the direction of one of the most notorious outposts, Esh Kodesh, raided”. Yep– the same illegal outpost, and they are still there tormenting the locals.
According to a senior officer in Israel’s Central Command a price tag attack is a “religious terror attack,” and the perpetrators rarely get arrested. Ahmad Talat Hasan offers a look at some of these religious marauders.
What are the chances these men will suffer any consequences for their actions? Age is never a bar for arrest of Palestinians. And soldiers cooperate with invading settlers, as we’ve documented time and again. Settlers defaced and torched a mosque in Qusra in Sept. 2011 that resulted in international calls for investigation. The land is coveted by the settlers and the military facilitates them. Less then 2 weeks ago on Dec 26, the army confiscated over 500 dunams of Qusra farmland, declaring it a security zone and denying villagers access to it.
And last November, as the International Solidarity Movement documented, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets in Qusra, injuring eight Palestinians — after a band of settlers destroyed 30 of the village’s olive trees.
Didi Remez described the security force Shin Bet’s method of dealing with the price-taggers in 2009 as “warning talks.” How’s that working out?
Didi Remez, circa 2009:
Yediot’s Zvi Zinger reports directly from the horse’s mouth
“The idea of a ‘price tag’ is to operate like the terror organizations,” explained one of the activists from the settlement outposts. “The activists realized that the GSS [security service] doesn’t have the capacity to prevent lone activists from executing those operations, and that is why a decision was made to take sophisticated action, without orderly leaders and without any prior organization.”
I’ll leave you with an excerpt of “The Mutual Guarantee Strategy”, by Rabbi Yosef Elitzur (of “Handbook for the killing of Gentiles” fame, referenced by Max Blumenthal in his book Goliath). A price tag manifesto (bolded from embed):
“Mutual guarantee” [Arvut Hadadit] — acts of mutual guarantee coordinated between members of all the settlements take the air out of the government’s dreams. First of all we are all together and there is no “divide and conquer.” Second of all, we decide on the timing and don’t wait for a large police force and inspectors to bash us in the head and arrest and beat us. We have power too and we will use it at the time and place of our choice. Thirdly, we remember that the war is over Judaism, and the main enemies are the Gentiles in our country who are trying to conquer it and confusing the minds of crooked Jews who are far from the Torah. We do not discriminate: if the Jews don’t have quiet, the Arabs won’t have quiet. If the Arabs win because of violence against Jews, the Jews will win by violence against Arabs [emphasis mine]. Of course all of that leads to graceful activities with lots of joy: we can use the power of the women, children and older people to block a certain access road, and at the same time take firmer action against hostile elements further down the same road; we can carry out quiet and deep operations simultaneously with widespread acts of disorder in the sector, and so on.
International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reports photographer Ahmed Talat Hasan, who shot all the photos in the article above, was “kidnapped” by the Israeli military yesterday.
Journalists risk their lives, safety and security to document the atrocities of the occupation. We remain very appreciative of their service and sacrifice.