We received the following two videos and report from Human Rights Defenders and Badia Dwaik yesterday –Editor.
On Saturday morning [February 10], a group of settlers led by the notorious Anat Cohen gathered by the door to the kindergarten of a Palestinian school in Hebron and attempted to break into the building. The school is closed on Saturdays.
Badee Dwaik, leader of the group Human Rights Defenders and the photographer that documented the disturbance, said that at least one of the settlers chanted in Arabic to the locals that had gathered “you are godless atheists and we are the true believers (the chosen people).” In Arabic the words are “Enta Kuulum Kaffari” (you are godless atheists) and “Nanhno Al-Mmominin” (we are believers).
They then cursed Hamas, Islamic jihad and Muslims in general. The settlers read some prayers and continued to the Sharbati residence, which is directly behind the school.
Dwaik reported that at the same time a large number of Israeli occupying forces soldiers entered Mofid Sharbati’s home. The Sharbatis were at work on the roof building another floor to their home. The Sharbatis had received all necessary work permits to build the addition from both the administration of the Occupation and Hebron Municipality.
The Israeli soldiers entered the roof and stated that the Civil Administration of the Occupation ordered all construction be stopped immediately and until further notice. They demanded that everyone sit down and move away from the construction. They screamed at them that the work was illegal, despite the legal permits to build. That army proceeded to confiscate equipment from them– an oxygen welding machine and two iron-cutting devices, amounting to the loss of approximately $10,000 NIS ($3000) worth of construction tools.
Dwaik reports that five years earlier, the family had attempted to build the additional floor on the home with all the appropriate licensing and permits from Hebron Municipality and the Israeli occupying forces. Once in progress, the Israeli Occupying Forces violently curtailed them from work by physically attacking the Sharbati family, beating Hajj Mufid al-Sharbati so badly that he had to be admitted to the hospital.
Abu Amien Jabari, of the Hebron municipality, stated that the Sharbati’s home is located the most closely to the settlers’ area and consequently the family is constantly harassed by Orthodox Jewish settlers. Jabari explained that new Israeli occupying force soldiers are routinely introduced to the Hebron area. As these new groups of occupying forces come in, the settlers use deliberate provocation of the indigenous population to incite the soldiers to punish the Palestinians for Settler incitement. Such was the case with very unfortunate Sharbatis, who will now have to start the process of applying for building permits all over again. The application process takes years to complete. No word on whether or not any of their construction equipment will ever be returned to them.
Once again the strategically planned effort of harassment by the Settlers and clear back up by the occupying forces of their deeds has been demonstrated with this latest case of injustice.