In the picture: nets run over the pavements of the Old Quarter of Hebron, to spare the pedestrians getting hit by the trash dropped out the windows by the settlers. Nazi-like Jewish settlers have of late stepped up their indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property throughout the West Bank.
In some areas, like in the Hebron region, settler attacks have assumed pogrom-like proportions. What is particularly outrageous is that most of these attacks take place in full view of Israeli soldiers who watch passively as heavily armed settlers gang up on helpless Palestinian civilians.
The latest acts of savagery included an assault on a Palestinian wedding party and the attempted lynching of an Arab boy near Hebron, an attack on a civilian car near Nablus that caused a massive brain hemorrhage to a 6-year-old girl who is now fighting for her life, beating up and stoning Arab children near Tuwwani in the southern West Bank and setting fire to Palestinian groves and fields in several parts of the occupied territories.
A Christian Peace-making Team (CPT) member was also assaulted and badly injured by Jewish settlers in southern Hebron hills last week.
“We were driving from our home in Ramallah to a cousin’s wedding in Jenin, with our three daughters sitting in the back. We had to turn around because of engine trouble, and as we passed the Yitzhar settlement junction, we saw four people on the road. My wife said, ‘watch out!’ But it was too late, a large slab had been thrown through our windshield,” said Hazem Ma’ali, father of the injured child.
“He (the settler) dropped it right on us. My wife made a sound and began bleeding. I stopped and then decided to continue to Hiwwara checkpoint outside of Nablus. As I opened the car doors, my daughter fell out, injured. The slab had made it all the way to the back windscreens.” He added.
A few weeks ago, settler thugs attacked and badly injured several Palestinian peasants and shepherds in the Yatta region. In one instance, settlers beat up a Palestinian man and tied him up to a power pole outside their settlement outpost.
These are not isolated incidents, nor do they represent ‘a few rotten tomatoes’ as Israeli government spokespersons would claim.
These are deliberate and well-planned acts of terror carried out by settlers who are following general instructions from their rabbis and community leaders. The settlers, who claim to be religious Jews, think they are doing a ‘mitzvah’ or a good religious deed, when they murder or lynch an Arab child or shepherd or when they burn down or destroy Arab property.
And there is no doubt that the vast bulk of these criminal activities are approved and encouraged by so-called ‘Talmudic sages’ who inculcate these criminals with the hateful ideology of religious Zionism according to which all means, including genocide, ought to be adopted in order to ethnically cleanse the ‘Land of Israel’ of all goyim.
This is not a matter of speculation or prognostication. Prominent rabbis from Merkaz Harav (the Central Nervous System of religious Zionism in Israel) have repeatedly issued edicts, or religious rulings, permitting settlers to murder innocent Palestinians and steal or destroy their property. The Israeli press has published numerous reports on prominent religious leaders who call on Jews to adopt a ‘no-holds-barred approach’ toward the Palestinians. (This is the same approach that the Nazis adopted toward Jews prior and during WWII).
Nonetheless, the Zionist-religious camp is by no means the sole villain in this episode of terror and murder.
The Israeli state and army often connive and conspire with the settlers against the virtually completely unprotected Palestinian civilians, especially in the so-called area C where the army is supposed to provide protection for all inhabitants, including Palestinian inhabitants.
Unfortunately, the Israeli occupation army itself has become very much an army of the settlers, for the settlers, and by the settlers. There are two main expressions of this criminal collusion: first, the army itself deploys settler-soldiers to patrol the vicinity of Arab hamlets and villages. These ‘soldiers’, who serve as informers and spies for the settlers, regularly brief settler thugs on army patrol movement so that when the army leaves a given area, the settlers attack the nearby Arab community and then flee back to their respective settlements without being noticed by the soldiers.
And when Palestinian victims submit a complaint to the Israeli authorities, they are asked to produce impossible evidence concerning the perpetrators such as their names, descriptions and even their photographs.
Second, settler-soldiers serving in the occupation army themselves indulge in acts of murder against innocent Palestinians such as shooting and killing innocent Palestinian demonstrators, often against specific army instructions.
A few days ago, an Israeli settler soldier shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy who was among a group of boys watching Israeli bulldozers crush Palestinian orchards near Ni’ilin in the West Bank.
Mousa Ahmed Mousa was murdered in cold blood by when the soldier shot him in the forehead at close range.
Unfortunately, the murderer was questioned for five minutes before he was released to house arrest.
In light of past experience, however, it is unlikely that he will be punished for his crime.
Today, the settlers, who really have the mindset of the Gestapo, feel they have a free rein to terrorize, torment and murder Palestinians and vandalize their property with virtual impunity.
The settlers also know that there are powerful politicians, ministers and even army commanders that would get them released in case they were arrested or imprisoned for their crimes.
This explains why the Israeli army and police refrain from carrying out court orders with regard to the settlers, such as forcing them to leave an Arab property they had seized by force.
The settler reign of terror, along with the Israeli government’s apparent connivance with these criminals, poses a challenge to those concerned about the increasingly diabolical treatment meted out to the Palestinians by the Israeli state.
I believe that in order to prevent settler terror from reaching unthinkable levels, thousands of international observers, including conscientious Jews, would have to be permanently stationed all over the West Bank in order to demonstrate to these thugs and those who stand behind them that the Palestinians are not alone.
The presence of international observers may not succeed in stopping all settler crimes; but it can succeed in deterring and discouraging the perpetration of some of the uglier crimes against innocent Palestinians.
The forces of peace from around the world should also provide Palestinians, especially in remote areas, with high-resolution cameras to film and document settler attacks and savagery.
This particular method has been proven effective in exposing the criminal behavior of Israeli settlers and soldiers against innocent Palestinians in recent weeks.
We all know that had it not been for that young girl who filmed an Israeli soldier shooting a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian near Ni’ilin, we probably wouldn’t have heard about that incident.
In the end, we must leave no stone unturned until we isolate these thugs who think they are carrying God’s instructions by murdering and terrorizing innocent people.
They must not be allowed to win. Because if they do, it is entire humanity that will lose.