Bearing Witness

Hebron

 Barak in talks with Hebron settlers, seeking to end crisis.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will hold last minute talks on Wednesday with right-wing settlers occupying a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron in hopes of ending two weeks of violence in the city.

Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said he hopes the settlers will leave voluntarily, but said Israel would use force if necessary to remove the settlers.

Also on Wednesday Israeli settlers reportedly set fire to a Palestinian house in Hebron, and Israeli forces broke up a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city.

On Monday night and Tuesday, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, throwing stones and beating residents with clubs while Israeli soldiers and police looked on.

Palestinians and their property were attacked in the Ar-Ras, Wadi Al-Hussain and Al-Ja’bari neighborhoods. Settlers also released dogs to attack the Palestinians. Israeli soldiers also fired tear gas and sonic bombs towards Palestinian houses.

Dozens of Palestinian citizens were injured. Witnesses reported that the settler mob numbered in the hundreds.

Settlers groups have descended upon Hebron over the last two weeks since Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered 13 settler families to leave the Palestinian-owned Ar-Rajabi house, which the Israelis have occupied since 2007. Rumors spread on Monday that the Israeli military was preparing to implement the order.

“It is not about Ar-Rajabi building. Settlers want to occupy Al-Ja’bari and As-Salayma neighborhoods as well as Wadi Al-Hussain, Ar-Ras and the Christian neighborhoods in order to connect Kiryat Arba’ and Kiryat Kharsina settlements with other outposts,” said Munawwar Ja’bary, an elderly woman from Ja’bari neighborhood.

She added, “Men, women and children have been attacked and injured. Our houses have been damaged. We have been prevented from leaving our homes. Our cemeteries and mosques have been desecrated in order to force us to leave, yet we will steadfast whatever they do.”

Several houses and shops were also attacked, especially water reservoirs on tops of the houses. Settlers also attempted to force shops’ doors open using crowbars and hammers. Two houses were partially torched. The windows of four cars were shattered and fire was set to two others.

The violence continued all of Monday night. On Tuesday morning settlers resumed their attacks, pelting Palestinians with stones from the roof of the Ar-Rajabi building.

Witnesses said Israeli police and soldiers stationed in the city did nothing to prevent the attacks, and in some cases facilitated them.

* Article taken from Maan News Agency @ www.maannews.net
 

Would the Israeli Government be holding talks with Palestinians, if they had occupied a settlers house and terrorised the rest of the settlement ?

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December 3, 2008 - Posted by | Media | , , , ,

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