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‘There are no foreigners left’: Israeli settlers rampage in Hebron following expulsion of human rights observers

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Dozens of Israeli settlers launched an attack on Palestinians in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night, yelling “death to Arabs!” in the street and hurling rocks at Palestinian homes.

According to locals, more than 100 settlers accompanied by over 70 armed Israeli forces began marching down Shuhada street at 9pm in the Old City, heading towards the Palestinian neighborhood of Tel Rumeida.

“They were chanting anti-Arab slogans, calling for the expulsion of all Palestinians from the area, saying this is the land of Israel, and saying we should all die,” Badee Dweik, 46, Co-Founder of the Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron told Mondoweiss.

According to Dweik, who witnessed the events, settlers began harassing and throwing stones at any Palestinians who were walking outside. Shortly after, the settlers began hurling rocks at the windows of Palestinian homes.

“Here in the Old City we are used to such attacks, so the Palestinians all have bars on their windows so that the settlers can’t break through,” Dweik said.

He added that no one was badly injured, but several people sustained bruises on their faces and bodies from being physically assaulted by the settlers.

The attack lasted until just after midnight, Dweik said. “When the soldiers saw lots of Palestinians beginning to congregate in the area, they started to push the settlers back and control them.”

“They only interfered, not to protect the Palestinians, but to protect the settlers.”

Dweik said he believes that the attack was a direct result of the lack of presence of international volunteers and observers in the area.

“The settlers, who are already extremely violent, are becoming more and more aggressive since the Israeli government decided to expel the TIPH mission in Hebron,” he said.

“Getting rid of TIPH was a greenlight for settlers to be more violent, not just against Palestinians,but also against any internationals that they see here.”

According to Dweik, two volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were detained by Israeli forces for 10 hours after the notoriously violent settler Anat Cohen claimed the ISM volunteers tried to slap her.

“The soldiers only released them after forcing them to sign a paper that they’re not allowed to be in the H2 area for 15 days,” Dweik said, adding that the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) pulled their observers out of Hebron’s Old City after their staff were targeted by settlers.

“There are only two Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) staff left in the Old City now after Israel deported them,” Dweik said. “All the internationals are a target more than before.”

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About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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14 Responses

  1. RoHa
    RoHa on February 14, 2019, 11:22 pm
    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 10:17 am

      @RoHa

      Given the horrors Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis during WWII, I used to wonder why Jewish Zionists so readily adopt fascism and racism and eagerly direct them at Palestine’s indigenous Arab inhabitants. However, after doing some research, I realized that as were the Hitler Youth, they are indoctrinated in these twin evils from birth.

      To wit:
      Rabbi Perin, in an eulogy for mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994: ‘One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.’ (New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994)

      In April, 2001, during his Passover sermon, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party and former Israeli Chief Rabbi, described the Arabs as ‘serpents’ and in his Passover sermon, he stated that ‘the Lord shall waste their seed, devastate them and vanish them from this world. It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.’

      Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir declared during an interview with the foreign editor of the London Sunday Times that ‘it was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine…and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.’ (Sunday Times, London, June 15, 1969)

      In the view of another prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, the Palestinians are of no more significance than insects when compared to Jews: ‘From this mountain top and from the vantage point of history I say that these people [the Palestinians] are like grasshoppers compared to us.’ (The Independent, April 1988, from Reuter, Tel Aviv; quoted by Michael Rice, False Inheritance, Kegan Paul International, London and New York, 1994, p. 127).

      While delivering a televised address to his Likud party in 1989, Shamir further maligned Palestinians by describing them as ‘alien invaders of the Holy Land…. They are brutal, wild alien invaders in the land of Israel that belongs to the people of Israel, and only to them.’ (New York Post, February 6, 1989)

      During a speech to the Knesset, Menachem Begin, Israel’s sixth prime minister, referred to Palestinians as ‘beasts walking on two legs.’ (New Statesman, 25 June 1982)

      Regarding Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank, Raphael Eitan, then Israel’s Chief of Staff, declared: ‘When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle…. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.’ (New York Times, 14 April 1983)

      Prime Minister Ehud Barak: ‘The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more…’ (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2002)

      Rafael Eitan, Israeli Chief of Staff, stated: ‘When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.’ (N.Y. Times, 14 April 1988)

    • eljay
      eljay on February 15, 2019, 11:38 am

      || RoHa: And yet another fine day in Palestine.

      http://imemc.org/article/israeli-colonists-invade-home-threaten-to-kill-family-in-hebron/ ||

      … Israeli colonists attacked Palestinians in the Shuhada Street, in Hebron, before the soldiers rushed to the area, removed local nonviolent activists, who were documenting the invasion, and declared it a “closed zone” to all Palestinians. …

      Another day, another fine example of the injustice and immorality that is and flows from Zionism.

      When it comes to I-P, it’s clear that Zionists have absolutely no idea what words and phrases like “most moral”, “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” mean.

  2. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr on February 15, 2019, 12:11 am

    Thanks for this report, Yumna Patel, even though it’s depressing. It had particular resonance for me for two reasons:

    1) When I spent two months in Hebron in 2006, as a volunteer with a short-lived offshoot of ISM called the Tel Rumeida Project, I often questioned whether our presence in the streets, with our cameras and notebooks, actually made any difference (beyond sometimes keeping the settler thugs so busy harassing us that they didn’t have time to attack the Palestinians). Our Palestinian neighbors and comrades kept assuring me that having us there really did reduce the frequency and severity of settler attacks and army haressment. I thought they were just being polite, but this report, sadly, suggests that they were right.

    2) Like the ISM people mentioned in your report, I too was arrested after Anat Cohen complained to the Border Police that I had assaulted her – a total fabrication, made up to cover for the fact that she herself had kicked one of our other volunteers. As I’m sure was the case with these new arrests, the cops obviously knew that her story was bogus – they were right there observing what was happening – but that didn’t stop them from hauling me off to jail. No doubt Anat and the cops have this little game all worked out.

  3. Elizabeth Block
    Elizabeth Block on February 15, 2019, 9:14 am

    “The Palestinians all have bars on their windows so that the settlers can’t break through.”
    If they could, we could call it Kristallnacht.
    And I don’t apologize for the odious (and obvious) comparison.

  4. Ronald Johnson
    Ronald Johnson on February 15, 2019, 9:51 am

    Why are you telling us this? Were you not around in 1948? But then, I was not paying attention in 1948. In 1967, I was working in Manhattan, still not paying attention, except to be told that a great victory had been accomplished. I did not hear about the Deir Yassin Massacre until about 1979.
    So, what’s happening in Hebron is a mild continuation. We support the enterprise @ $10 million a day, not counting the ancilliary wars to destabilize seven nations in Africa and the Middle East.

    But the agenda in the Middle East is only a blip compared to Central and South America, Ukraine, Africa, Europe, Asia and Eurasia, 177 countries, 800 military bases.

    The Electorate is in an Orwellian thrall, in the belief that our fate cannot be actively changed.

    “…The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.–”

    Let’s pay attention to the Yellow Vests in France, where the Regime has lately resorted to grapeshot, perhaps made in America.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 5:39 pm

      @Ronald Johnson

      “But the agenda in the Middle East is only a blip compared to Central and South America, Ukraine, Africa, Europe, Asia and Eurasia, 177 countries, 800 military bases. ”

      Curious comment. I remind you that Mondoweiss is devoted to ending the Zionist imposed ever increasing horrors that have engulfed the indigenous Palestinian Arabs for over 70 years. Fighting battles is best done one at a time.

    • Keith
      Keith on February 15, 2019, 7:50 pm

      RONALD JOHNSON- “Let’s pay attention to the Yellow Vests in France….”

      Too little, too late. 90% of the 99% are going to experience some of what the Third World has endured for centuries from the “Western Democracies.” These are grim times, the future bleak.

  5. eljay
    eljay on February 15, 2019, 12:30 pm

    ‘There are no foreigners left’ …

    …aside from the (war) criminal Israelis who are militarily occupying and colonizing not-Israel.

  6. baruch
    baruch on February 15, 2019, 1:37 pm

    Israel has fully embraced fascism, brutality, cruelty…a whole country with massive PTSD unwilling to deal with it’s issues. I wouldn’t go there for anything, and I’m a Jew.

  7. brent
    brent on February 16, 2019, 1:40 am

    American politicians choose “stuck on stupid” because their constituents understand the nuances so poorly and so many of them buy into the narrative of Israel being the victim, of lone wolf violence and leadership intransigence, and buy the subnarrative, “Palestinians bring many of their problems upon themselves.” Until Public Broadcasting, NPR, BBC, The Newshour stop the practice of editing out stories like Senate Bill 1 or like this one on Hebron, it will remain especially difficult to persuade Members to venture political support.

    Campaigning for civil and human rights is an efficient way for Palestinians to change the narratives and enable American supporters to make a difference.

  8. Kay24
    Kay24 on February 17, 2019, 1:52 am

    To think they attacked Congresswoman Omar for pointing out that Israeli money (or is it ours?) buys Congress, feigning outrage, and even Democratic leaders did not spare her, calling it anti-semitic.

    What the hell is this? Shouldn’t the same people, including zionist lobbies be condemning these vile acts, and call it what it really is? Jewish terrorists attacking Semites?

    Someone should arm these poor Palestinians, they have the right to “defend themselves” from terrorists too.

  9. Marnie
    Marnie on February 17, 2019, 11:40 pm

    Interesting reporting by BBC.

    Hebron: One Street, Two Sides
    https://hebron-our-street.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/?language=en

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