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Israeli outpost is evacuated without a shot, even as settlers throw stones

Israel/Palestine
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There is a big difference between how Jewish-Israeli settler outposts are evacuated, and how Israelis imagine a Palestinian outpost being evacuated, if it ever came to be.

Let’s start with the Jewish-Israeli settler outpost. On Tuesday, 15 homes in the West Bank settler outpost called Netiv Ha’avot were evacuated, following a 21-month old ruling from the Israeli High Court of Justice, affirming that they were built on privately-owned Palestinian land. Under international law, all Israeli West Bank settlements are illegal and considered a “flagrant violation under international law” – but Israel has a “selective” view of what is legal in this respect, and considers some settlements to be legal if they are built on land that the state has confiscated.

Times of Israel reports how “some 2,500 Border Police officers were deployed to ensure the demolition of the homes was carried out peacefully”. And it is important to note, these officers are almost all unarmed. It’s worth looking at those pictures. Officers in t-shirts, backpacks, caps really look more as if they’re geared up for a hike in the hills south of Jerusalem, rather than prepared for any sort of violent confrontation. It’s very clear, that they are dressed up in order to give a signal: “we are not here to fight with you”.

But look what happened. After fourteen of the 15 buildings were cleared for demolition relatively peacefully, when the officers came to the last house, they were met by some 200 teenagers who had barricaded themselves inside, on the roof, in the basement and in the entryway. To prevent police entry, they used wire fencing, wooden planks and boulders. At this point in the early afternoon, Jacob Magid tweeted:

“Things beginning to get violent as officers begin trying to clear the final house. One soldier hit in the head with a paint ball and another hit in the head with a rock”.

He finally states:

“Eight officers have been injured, at least two of whom were taken to a hospital. Police said they were violently attacked by the protesters, who hurled rocks, bottles, paint balls and other objects at the security forces. Dozens of demonstrators on the roof of the building also harassed police and threw paint and water on them, as hundreds of others watched the clashes from outside the structure. The police statement said two officers were treated for head injuries, and another was lightly injured in the leg. According to police, a number of the protesters on the roof were also seen carrying cement blocks and glass bottles.”

Quite an event, right? But not a shot fired. All reported injuries are solely on the side of the police. They are clearly willing to take considerable violence from the settlers, even stones causing head injuries, and hey, the settler could have been throwing cement blocks.

Izz al-Din Tamimi (Photo: Ma’an News)

Of course, in other cases, Israeli security forces take stone throwing very seriously. In last week’s killing of Izz al-Din Tamimi in Nabi Saleh by Israeli soldiers (several live rounds fired at close range), the Israeli army said that the 21-year-old Tamimi “flanked the troops and hurled the rock, striking a soldier’s head”, and that “In response, the soldier who was hit by the rock fired towards the Palestinian”. The army was nonetheless careful to note that no soldiers were injured.

So when stones come from a Palestinian hand, they are lethal and justify lethal reaction, but when they come from Jews – well then, the unarmed policemen take it in stride.

But what if the whole story about the evacuation of this Netiv Ha’avot outpost was not happening in a Jewish-Israeli outpost, but rather in a Palestinian outpost?

Haaretz journalist Dan Margalit has provided such a hypothetical horror scenario in a recent piece (Hebrew), relating to the recent Great March of Return protests, where he said that “the massive shooting at the beginning of the battles [sic] has saved many Palestinian lives”, thus opining that it was actually good for them. Margalit actually imagined the erection of a “temporary Palestinian outpost”:

“[T]he Palestinians hope to breach the fence, bypass the sniper positions, and to insert in to Israeli territory terrorists and children and handicapped. Breach of the fence and the setting up of a temporary Palestinian outpost upon Israeli soil within Green Line (pre-1967) territory would have caused an increased shooting in order to expel them and increased the number of killed”. (My emphasis).

Notice the mirror-similarity of the two scenarios: the actual Israeli-Jewish settler outpost outside the pre-1967 territory, and the imaginary Palestinian outpost within the 1967 territory. For Margalit, the ‘centrist’ journalist, there is absolutely no doubt in mind, that any Palestinian attempt at a “temporary outpost” would and should result in carnage that is even greater than what we have seen with the repeated Gaza massacres in the past several weeks. But when it’s a Jewish-Israeli settlement? Not only is the “temporary outpost” often allowed to stay put (seldom does the High Court rule for these outposts to be taken down) and is often subsequently legalized – but when it comes to the act of evacuation, this happens without a shot, despite substantial and violent resistance.

In the case of the Netiv Ha’avot settlement, lawmakers from the religious pro-settler Jewish Home party were at the outpost during the evacuation to express their support for the protesters, including Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The Israeli cabinet has been working since February to secure that a portion of the settlement would be legalized, since the outpost includes 20 homes that were also built illegally (by Israeli standards), but were constructed on parcels declared by Israel to be “state land”. The residents plan to use the government’s authorization of an official building plan to advance the construction of 350 more homes in the neighborhood. The Israeli government has allotted 60 million shekels (approximately $16.5 million) which will be used to compensate the evacuated families and reconstruct the structures on a nearby hill. Bennett explained:

“[W]hoever wants to raze 15 homes will receive 350 on this hill. This is a difficult night. It is incomprehensible to the residents of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood and for everyone who has settled the precious Land of Israel. The only word that comes to mind is absurdity. I cannot recall a legal action as senseless as this…

“[T]his battle will not be won until the prime minister abides by his promise and finalizes the construction of a huge neighborhood on this very hill.”

But if Palestinians were merely to dream of doing the same thing: erect a “temporary settlement” across the Green Line, in a return to their land, well then, they need to be shot in advance, armed or not. The mere thought of it is an existential threat, and we’re doing them a great favor by massacring them before they get any more such ideas in their heads.

H/t Ian Berman

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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17 Responses

  1. inbound39
    inbound39
    June 15, 2018, 11:10 am

    Were they intercontinental ballistic stones or the harmless rubber coated stones?

  2. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    June 15, 2018, 12:21 pm

    RE:“Israeli outpost is evacuated without a shot, even as settlers throw stones”

    MY COMMENT: This sounds like a “double standard” to me.
    A “double standard!”
    A “double standard!”
    A “double standard!”
    When is the ADL going to say something about this “double standard”?

    • m1945
      m1945
      June 16, 2018, 12:20 am

      The settlers aren’t trying to exterminate another people.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 16, 2018, 8:57 am

        don’t sell ’em short Jack; it’s not like they aren’t doing their part.

        https://www.reuters.com/…israel-palestinians…/israeli-settler-kills-palestinian-in-west-ban…

        Palestinian farmer shot dead by Israeli settler | Palestine News | Al …
        https://www.aljazeera.com/…/palestinian-farmer-shot-dead-israeli-settlers-1711301928

        Israeli settler violence – Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settler_violence

        Settler Violence: Absence of Law Enforcement | B’Tselem
        https://www.btselem.org/topic/settler_violence

        Increase in settler violence during the first half of 2017 | United Nations …
        https://www.ochaopt.org/content/increase-settler-violence-during-first-half-2017

        Palestinian girl dies after being struck by settler car | Palestine News …
        https://www.aljazeera.com/…/palestinian-girl-dies-struck-settler-car-17082711045528

        Israeli settler runs over Palestinian girl near Arroub camp – Middle …
        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170709-israeli-settler-runs-over-palestinian-gir

        PressTV-Israeli settler runs over pregnant Palestinian woman
        http://www.presstv.com › Middle East › Palestine

        Prominent Israeli settler runs over 16-year-old girl, then shoots her …
        mondoweiss.net/2015/11/prominent-israeli-settler

        IDF: Settlers attacked during West Bank hike, shoot Palestinian dead …
        https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-settlers-attacked-in-northern-west-bank-shoot-dead-

        Settler shoots and kills Palestinian during West Bank demo | +972 …
        https://972mag.com/settler-shoots-and-kills-palestinian-during-west-bank…/127379/

        Palestinian Shot in Head by Israeli Settler on Sunday Dies of His …
        imemc.org/…/palestinian-shot-in-head-by-israeli-settler-on-sunday-dies-of-his-wound/

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 16, 2018, 11:29 am

        “The settlers aren’t trying to exterminate another people.”

        Absolutely not. Not any more than the tethered goat wants to exterminate tigers.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        June 16, 2018, 11:33 am

        @Jack Green

        “The settlers aren’t trying to exterminate another people.”

        Come now, Jack. What you really meant to write was:
        “The settlers aren’t trying to exterminate another people [yet. They are currently concentrating on stealing/confiscating their land and dispossessing/expelling them by means of an illegal/brutal occupation, terror, collective punishments, imprisonment without charge, murder, torture, beatings, etc. Eventually, those that manage to remain on their native land will be exterminated.”] Such is the essence of Zionism.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 16, 2018, 12:17 pm

        Jack Green: “The settlers aren’t trying to exterminate another people.”

        A fine example of racist blackmail. Just imply that the ones you exterminate are trying to exterminate you. Hitler did the same.

        But what we see in real life is that Zionist scumbags are keeping Nonjews expelled, simply because they are Nonjews. And it is Zionist scumbags who still expell and dispossess Nonjews and steel their land, simply because they are Nonjews.

      • annie
        annie
        June 16, 2018, 1:41 pm

        shorter jack, ‘soldiers don’t exterminate, they execute!’

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        June 16, 2018, 7:09 pm

        yes they are, its the palestinians who aren’t trying to exterminate another people.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      June 16, 2018, 1:15 am

      The same double standard exists all over u.s. If the u.s. ever changes it’s existing double standard (shoot unarmed black men, women and children with no provocation; white citizens – wrestled to the ground and cuffed without a shot fired), maybe the ADL or anyone else for that matter will say something?

  3. guyn
    guyn
    June 15, 2018, 4:57 pm

    “[T]he Palestinians hope to breach the fence, bypass the sniper positions, and to insert in to Israeli territory terrorists and children and handicapped.”

    Children and handicapped TERRORISTS! of course.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 16, 2018, 7:36 am

    @inbound39
    “Were they intercontinental ballistic stones or the harmless rubber coated stones”
    A good point. I think it is fair to say that a high level operational command decision may have been made that since they wern`t life threatening Iranian supplied stones conventional civilised Western standard control tactics were appropriate.Hey and if one of the nearly as as moral as the most moral Border Police Officers had been killed then it would have been described as a “tragic accident”. No doubt Herr Bennett and Frau Skaked being in situ at the time would have given evidence along the lines that the cuddly stone throwing settlers in their opinion were in fact ” aiming to miss ” the Police Officers by hitting the ground in between.

  5. eljay
    eljay
    June 16, 2018, 7:49 am

    “Eight officers have been injured, at least two of whom were taken to a hospital. Police said they were violently attacked by the protesters, who hurled rocks, bottles, paint balls and other objects at the security forces. … The police statement said two officers were treated for head injuries, and another was lightly injured in the leg. According to police, a number of the protesters on the roof were also seen carrying cement blocks and glass bottles.”

    Quite an event, right? But not a shot fired. All reported injuries are solely on the side of the police. …

    “Innocent civilians” don’t assault and injure police. jon s will be mighty disappointed that his “Jewish State” failed to massacre what clearly was a large group of “armed terrorists and criminals”.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 16, 2018, 12:50 pm

      , “hurled rocks, bottles, paint balls and other objects…”

      Don’t “paint balls” get shot out of very realistic looking guns?

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 18, 2018, 8:36 am

        || Mooser: … Don’t “paint balls” get shot out of very realistic looking guns? ||

        Yes, and at a high velocity. It must make jon s furious that the Israeli government refrained from massacring the “armed terrorists or criminals” who wielded these weapons against its security forces.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 11:58 am

        You would think the Israelis could distinguish the danger of paint-ball guns.
        After all, “eljay” it’s a distinction any “moral, reasonable and decent” person could make.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 16, 2018, 2:24 pm

    @Annie Robbins
    “shorter jack, ‘soldiers don’t exterminate, they execute!’”
    Apparently on very rare occasions Ziotroopers do things which “are not quite right” – you know like shooting defenceless unarmed and wounded 15 yr olds in the back as they run away. Maybe wasn`t quite right but anyone who even dares to call their actions “hasty or negligent” is basically an Anti – Semite don`t you know.

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/06/14/the-indictment-was-withdrawn-a-g-and-a-d-acted-properly-when-they-shot-an-unarmed-teenager-from-a-range-of-10-meters-as-he-ran-from-them-they-violated-nothing-their-act-of-killing-wasnt/

    One can only hope that currently and increasingly in the future these Ziotroopers following their most moral service on their world back packing trips will be shunned as pariahs wherever they go.

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