Bearing Witness

Settlers attack Palestinian house in Hebron – Again !

Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday evening, the latest in a series of attacks in the city.

Nedal Fareed Al-Awawi, a resident of Hebron’s settler-occupied Old City issued an appeal to international human rights organizations to protect him and his family.

He told Ma’an, “My home that is adjacent to the illegal Israeli outpost of Avraham Avinu, and is repeatedly attacked by the Israeli settlers. I fear for my children’s lives because of these vindictive attacks against me after the evacuation from the Ar- Rajabi building.”

Settlers rampaged through Hebron on 4 December when Israeli police and soldiers evicted 250 hard-line settlers from a house belonging to the Ar-Rajabi family. Al-Awawi home was one of the buildings set on fire by the enraged settlers.

Al-Awawi says Israeli police were present at the time of Sunday’s attack, but made no arrests.

“’I saw that settler attack on you, you should file a complaint. Be careful of settlers tonight,’” Al-Awawi says the police told him.

Al-Awawi’s home still smells of smoke from the riots over two weeks ago. During the rampage, one room of the house was completely burned, and the house’s electricity and water connections destroyed. He says settlers assaulted him when he was installing a new water tank on the roof of his home, and destroyed the new tank as well.

Al-Awawi says he has received assistance from the Hebron Municipality and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, an organization dedicated to preserving the city’s cultural heritage.

The director of the Rehabilitation Committee, Imad Hamadan said “We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible for the life of the Palestinian families who are living near the Israeli outposts in the heart of Hebron.”

He called on Israel to comply with the Forth Geneva Convention, which requires the protection of civilians under occupation.

* This article was taken from Maan News Angency @ www.maannews.net

The Al-Awawi home is one of the homes I visited on my trip to Hebron, last  Friday, that had been fire bombed.  It’s the one next to Israel Occupation Force [IOF] watch tower that I posted photos of  – but seemingly again the IOF where unable to stop the attack. It’s quite obvious who they are there to protect, not the legal Palestinian residents of Hebron – but the illegal settlers.

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Media | , , | Leave a comment

UN: 290 settler-related attacks on Palestinians by November

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday that settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank increased this year.

Within the first ten months of 2008, OCHA recorded 290 settler-related incidents targeting Palestinians and their property. This figure, while not comprehensive, “reflects a worrying trend,” the UN office said, “since it surpasses the total recorded by OCHA in each of the previous two years.”

In 2006 OCHA recorded 182 attacks for all 12 months combined, while in 2007 the sum was 243.

Similarly, Palestinian deaths and injuries resulting from settler-related incidents in 2008 exceeded the number of Palestinian casualties in each of the previous two years (131 in 2008, compared to 74 in 2006 and 92 in 2007).

Approximately half of all Palestinian injuries from settler violence each year since 2006 have been made up of children, women and the elderly over 70 years of age, the UN office found.

Some areas of the West Bank suffer far higher levels of settler violence and related activity than others, as well. While incidents were recorded by OCHA in all governorates during the first 10 months of 2008, they were more frequent in Hebron and Nablus, with 42 percent and 21 percent of all incidents, respectively.

This trend was also witnessed in the preceding two years.

A root cause of the phenomenon is Israel’s decades-long policy of facilitating and encouraging the settling of its citizens inside occupied Palestinian territory, defined as transfer of population and prohibited by international humanitarian law.

* This article was taken from www.maannews.net
This report does not include the settler violence that was sparked across the West Bank in December by the eviction of settlers from Al-Rajabi family home, the house of contention, in Hebron.The other thing worth noting about the OCHA report is that the vast majority of settler attacks go unreported as Palestinians know they are rarely investigated, let alone prosecuted. Around 90% of these documented attacks go unprosecuted !

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Media, My Thoughts | , , , | Leave a comment