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Palestinians reel from violent harassment during Jewish celebration in Hebron

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More than a dozen Palestinians, including a baby, were injured over the weekend in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, when tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims descended on the city and many became violent.

According to local reports, extremist Israelis wreaked havoc on the city, verbally harassing and physically attacking Palestinian residents on their way to mark the occasion of “Chayei Sarah,” a portion of Torah reading that discusses the life of Abraham’s wife Sarah, who Jews believed is buried in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in Hebron’s Old City.

Groups of settlers reportedly hurled rocks at Palestinian homes and businesses, while others engaged in physical altercations with Palestinian bystanders.

Videos circulated on social media show settlers standing on the rooftops of Palestinian homes and harassing the residents below, while another video of an injured baby with blood dripping down his head went viral.

The one and a half year old child was reported to be the grandson of local activist Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, who told Mondoweiss that the boy was injured by a rock that a group of settlers threw into his home in the Old City.

“On Saturday afternoon a group of settlers surrounded my home and began calling me by name,” said Abu Shamsiyeh, who is well-known amongst the settlers for his role in filming and exposing Israeli soldier Elor Azaria for the killing of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif.

“They were threatening me, saying Azaria was going to come kill me,” he said, adding that some settlers climbed on his rooftop and continued to verbally harass him, while the others on the street began throwing stones at his home.

All the while, Abu Shamsiyeh recounted, Israeli soldiers looked on, and did nothing to stop the settlers.

Imad Abu Shamsiya, recounting an earlier incident of harassment.

“Even after my grandson was injured, the soldiers wouldn’t let us leave the house to take him to the hospital, and they wouldn’t let an ambulance or medics into the area to come help,” he said.

After almost half an hour, Abu Shamsiyeh’s children managed to get out of the house and get into a neighbor’s car to transport the baby to the hospital. But a group of settlers stopped them and pepper sprayed the adults, he said.

Haaretz cited an unnamed Israeli security source as confirming that “four Palestinians were sprayed with pepper spray and stones were thrown at a house” in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, where Abu Shamsiyeh lives.

Haaretz also reported that a group of settlers vandalized a number of Palestinian cars in the area, and quoted one Palestinian man as saying that four Israelis “sprayed tear gas into the eyes and mouth of his nine-year-old son.”

While Israeli media described the events of the weekend as “unusually violent,” and Israeli police characterized the attacks as “some incidents of friction and mutual attacks,” Palestinians in Hebron tell a much different story.

Throngs of settlers in Hebron harassed Palestinian residents of the Old City over the weekend (Photo: Quds News Network)

Abu Shamsiyeh stressed to Mondoweiss that the events of the weekend are not “unusual,” by any means.

“These kinds of large scale attacks happen every month,” he said, adding that smaller incidents of harassment and physical abuse on the part of the soldiers and settlers against Palestinians happens daily.

“This is the fourth attack of its kind just this month from the soldiers and settlers,” Abu Shamsiyeh said. “In Hebron, we are subject to the whim of the soldiers and settlers.”

Hebron has often been referred to by activists as a “microcosm” of the Israeli occupation.

Following the massacre in 1994, Hebron’s Old City was divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas, known as H1 and H2, the latter being home to some 800 Israeli settlers, a community known for its zealotry and defiance of Palestinian neighbors.

Some 40,000 Palestinians living in H2 are constantly surrounded by more than one thousand Israeli soldiers and 20 military checkpoints that restrict their every move.

The high concentration of armed Israeli soldiers and settlers has turned the city into a major flashpoint in the occupied West Bank, where human rights violations are a daily occurrence.

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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9 Responses

  1. eljay on November 27, 2019, 9:41 am

    … According to local reports, extremist Israelis wreaked havoc on the city, verbally harassing and physically attacking Palestinian residents on their way to mark the occasion of “Chayei Sarah,” a portion of Torah reading that discusses the life of Abraham’s wife Sarah, who Jews believed is buried in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in Hebron’s Old City.

    Groups of settlers reportedly hurled rocks at Palestinian homes and businesses, while others engaged in physical altercations with Palestinian bystanders.

    Videos circulated on social media show settlers standing on the rooftops of Palestinian homes and harassing the residents below …

    Unsatisfied with being and behaving like supremacists within the Partition borders of their religion-supremacist “Jewish State”, supremacist Jewish-Israeli foreigners in not-Israel feel the need to do “necessary evil” to not-Israelis. Truly shameful in every possible way.

  2. Kay24 on November 27, 2019, 10:52 am

    The taunting and throwing of stones, to provoke a response, is so dangerous. This is a disaster waiting to happen, and it could end up in more bloodshed and deaths. This is the perfect example of those yielding power, flaunting it, and treating the weaker, as if they are beneath them. Anyone watching this video can see it is THEY who act uncivilized, hateful, and vindictive.
    At this rate you have got to wonder if there are any decent human beings in this bunch.

    • Mooser on November 29, 2019, 12:39 pm

      “The taunting and throwing of stones, to provoke a response, is so dangerous…”

      Yes “Brent” is always telling us just how dangerous it is.

  3. aloeste on November 28, 2019, 3:34 am

    My wife and children attacked no one. They came to celebrate on one of the ten days a year Jews have access to Isaac’s hall. All large crowds have thugs. Even holy arabs

    • Misterioso on November 28, 2019, 8:59 am

      @aloeste

      Feeble response. BTW, let’s not forget that the fascistic, racist entity referred to as “Israel” was forcibly and violently created within the borders of historic Palestine by murderous Zionist thugs of foreign origin. Obviously, the hate filled settlers take great pleasure in emulating them.
      No wonder “Israel” is increasingly viewed around the world as an abomination.

      • Elizabeth Block on November 28, 2019, 3:05 pm

        I’m sure I’m not the only one who, hearing about Jews attacking Palestinians on Jewish holidays, thinks back to the days when European Jews barricaded their homes at Easter.
        My non-Jewish friends, when they realize I’m not a Zionist, will sometimes ask how Jews, of all people, can do to other people what was done to them.

    • Mooser on November 28, 2019, 1:02 pm

      “My wife and children attacked no one.”

      Yeah, they were just there to provide human shields for Israeli thugs.

    • echinococcus on November 28, 2019, 1:18 pm

      “My wife and children attacked no one”

      Come again? Certainly they did, if they were anywhere in Palestine without having been invited by Palestinians.

      If they were anywhere in Palestine and outside the UN-recognized demarcation line, then they were officially committing a war crime even according to the colonialist powers.

  4. Misterioso on November 28, 2019, 9:56 am

    While “off topic,” the following news item is important. It is another example of how far “Israel” has descended into the depths of hell.

    Israel and Myanmar, “birds of a feather flock together.”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-ambassador-wishes-myanmar-leaders-good-luck-on-muslim-genocide-trial-1.8192402

    “Israeli Envoy Wishes Myanmar Leaders ‘GOOD LUCK’ on Rohingya Genocide Trial” by Noa Landau, Haaretz, Nov. 27/19

    “After Haaretz query, tweets by Ronen Gilor expressing support for Myanmar’s leaders in the ICJ trial were deleted”

    “Israel’s ambassador to Myanmar, Ronen Gilor, has recently expressed public support for the heads of the state in a trial held against the country in the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands (ICJ) for the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

    “‘Encouragement for a good verdict and good luck!,’ Gilor tweeted with an article he shared a few days ago.

    “On Wednesday, he also tweeted photo of himself with state parliament officials, and noted that the issue came up in conversation and again emphasized wishing them ‘good luck.’

    “Following a Haaretz’s query on the matter to the Foreign Ministry, the tweets were deleted and no response was given.

    “This month, Myanmar State Councellor Aung San Suu Kyi announced that she will head a legal team to be sent to a court of law. The announcement was posted on Suu Kyi’s Facebook page, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who also holds the role of foreign minister.

    “Myanmar has been accused of carrying out mass rape, murder and the torching of homes in its operations to suppress the Muslim Rohingya minority in the west of the country in August 2017.

    “The operations followed attacks by Rohingya rebels against the army of Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, which is also known as Burma. In the course of the operations, the army forced 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

    “The appeal to the International Court of Justice was filed by Gambia on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. At the time of the filing, Gambia’s justice minister and attorney general, Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, said he wanted to ‘send a clear message to Myanmar and to the rest of the international community that the world must not stand by and do nothing in the face of terrible atrocities that are occurring around us. It is a shame for our generation that we do nothing while genocide is unfolding right before our own eyes.’

    “The head of the United Nations’ fact-finding mission to Myanmar said last month that there was a substantial danger that additional acts of genocide would be carried out. A report issued in September by the UN mission stated that Myanmar should be held to account for the genocide of the Rohingya. For its part, Myanmar has rejected the allegations that it is guilty of an organized violation of human rights.

    “Israel was selling arms to Myanmar even after allegations against the regime surfaced and after the country had been placed under an arms embargo by the European Union and after the United States issued sanctions on the sale of weapons.

    “In September 2017, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled on a petition filed by Israeli lawyer Etay Mack against the weapons sales, but the decision remained confidential because the justices in the case, Yoram Danziger, Anat Baron and David Mintz, took the unusual step of imposing a gag order on the ruling at the state’s request.

    “Since then, Israel has been insistent in claiming that it halted arms sales to Myamar. Nevertheless, representatives from Myanmar were seen later by Haaretz at a weapons fair in Israel. The Israeli Foreign Ministry subsequently announced that it has barred their visits to the country to attend exhibitions of that kind.

    “Beyond the matter of arms sales, however, the relations between Myanmar and Israel have continued on a number of civilian levels. Haaretz reported in May of 2018, for example, that Israel had concluded an educational cooperation agreement with the Myanmar that included curriculum materials on the lessons of the Holocaust and the fight against racism.

    “In response to a petition filed by Etay Mack, the Israeli government recently said that it was not carrying out the educational cooperation agreement.”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    A reminder:
    The horrors the Rohingya have and are still experiencing are virtually identical to those that befell Palestinians when 800,000 were dispossessed and expelled between late 1947 and the autumn of 1948 (according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) by Jewish militia and the IDF through force of arms, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation. Over 500 Palestinian towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries, were destroyed by Zionist forces. A further 500,000 Palestinians were expelled by the summer of 1967.

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