|Yizhar - A Judeo-Nazi settlement overlooking Nablus and home to the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva|
The shocking video footage below, taken by Btselem, shows Israeli settlers attacking a Palestinian village and being protected by Israeli soldiers. One person is shown to have been wounded in the head, but of course there are no arrests of the settlers.
|The Star of David daubed, like the Swastika of old, on a Mosque|
|The training of armed, illegal settlers (Photo courtesy of IMEMC)|
When Jews were attacked by non-Jews in Europe in a similar fashion they called it a pogrom. That is the best description of what occurred and it takes place with the active support of the Israeli Occupation Forces and the government controlling them.
Video: As soldiers guard them, Israeli settlers attack Palestinian village, shooting one
Crosspost from Electronic Intifada
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 02:43
One Palestinian, Fathi al-Asayreh, 24, was shot in the head in the settler attack. The settler assault occured on 19 May in the village of Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus in the occupied West Bank and the settlers came from Yitzhar, an Israeli colony built to the east of the village on land stolen from the villagers in 1983.
Masked, hooded settlers attack villageA Hebrew-language text from B’Tselem accompanying the three video clips says that the Yitzhar settlers, some masked and hooded, approached the village from the settlement and began hurling rocks and setting fires. One of the settlers, video shows, appears to be carrying an army-issue “Tavor” assault rifle, suggesting, according to B’Tselem, that he was a soldier on leave from the Israeli occupation forces.
Soldiers protect settlers as settlers attackYoung men from the village began throwing stones back at the settlers. Within a short time, Israeli occupation soldiers showed up at the scene, but instead of doing anything to halt the settler assault, the soldiers formed a line to protect the settlers who continued firing at Palestinians.
Settlers can be seen aiming and firing weapons at Palestinians, including a handgun and M16 rifles.
Gunfire from the settlers injured villager Fathi al-Asayreh in the head. He is in stable condition at Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus, according to B’Tselem. About five other Palestinains were injured by rocks, B’Tselem said.
The attack on Asira al-Qibliya comes amid a sharp increase in settler attacks on Palestinians which are almost never investigated or punished.
A recent EU report, citing UN figures, found that in 2011 there were 411 settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage compared to 266 attacks in 2010, an increase of more than 50%. Compared to 132 attacks in 2009, the number has more than tripled.
In 2011, UN OCHA recorded 70 attacks by Yizhar settlers, “the largest figure recorded from a single settlement” that year.
B’Tselem said it asked the occupation authorities to investigate the incident, however such a request appears to stand little chance of being taken seriously.
The EU report noted that, “92% of the 600 cases related to settler violence monitored by Israeli NGO Yesh Din between 2005 and April 2010 were closed by Israeli authorities without resolution.”
Video: Yitzhar settlers fire at villagers in Asira al-Qibliya
by Chris Beckett
29 April 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
Urif is a Palestinian town in the Nablus Governorate of the northern occupied West Bank, located thirteen kilometres South of Nablus. The town has a population of just under 3000 inhabitants and is overlooked by the illegal Israeli colony of Yitzhar. Last week on Sunday, April 22, Urif’s boys school was attacked by mask-wearing settlers supported by four Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) soldiers who used tear-gas, sound bombs, and live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian children.
The training of armed, illegal settlers - Click here for more images (Photo courtesy of IMEMC)
The settlers were led by the head of security for the Yitzhar colony, a man suspected in the murder of a resident of Urif in 2004, a murder that nobody has yet been charged with. He continues to lead brutal assaults against the civilian population of six Palestinian towns in the lands surrounding Yitzhar: Burin, Huwara, Madma, Assria Al-Kalibya, Ein Nabous, and Urif.
The attack began when the Yitzhar head of security and a number of masked settlers approached the school from an overlooking hill. “The children were sitting their mock exams,” said Arif, a member of the local popular committee, “the settlers used foul language and began throwing stones at the windows of the school.”
The settlers were soon joined by four uniformed IOF soldiers who did nothing to stop the abuse and stones hurled towards the school.
“When the army came they were supposed to stop the settlers coming to the school, in fact the opposite happened, there was chaos,” said Arif. A number of Palestinian youth approached the armed Israeli settlers and soldiers on the hill, using stones to resist the attack. The IOF soldiers then threw tear gas canisters down towards them and the school. One canister landed on the roof where a member of the Israeli human rights group B’tselem, Adil Safadi, was filming the attack.
Following the attack teachers from the school collected sixty tear gas canisters, a number of sound grenades, and at least thirty rounds of live ammunition fired directly over their heads.
In the video of the incident wherein International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers are shown, the screams of the children and the loud report of an assault rifle being fired in fully automatic mode can clearly be heard. At one point an IOF soldier took aim with his M16 directly at a Palestinian youth out of camera shot. The sustained assault lasted for around an hour before the settlers decided to leave with their IOF minders in tow.
Whilst some children hid in their classrooms during the attack under the watchful eye of their teachers, many rushed to their homes and were exposed to large amounts of tear-gas and required medical attention. The children of Urif’s boys school, aged between 13 and 18, have been subjected to this kind of brutality on a regular basis since the founding of the school which sits on the outskirts of the village and is thus vulnerable to these kind of attacks. Many of the older kids that attend the school were in the process of studying for their year final examinations which take place in early May.
“You can’t imagine the loss we have suffered as a result of this settlement,” says Arif, “we would like to live in peace and prosperity, but that is something we cannot gain. The settlers are very aggressive, there is no word in the dictionary to describe them.”
This is not the first time the settlers, supported by the military, have attacked the school. Roughly one year ago they attempted and failed to burn it down. ISM was shown pictures depicting the charred remains of one classroom that was severely damaged during the attack.
Incursions from Yitzhar into Urif and Surrounding Villages
Arif and members of Urif municipality informed ISM of the following.
The illegal colony of Yitzhar was founded in 1984. It was not until the beginning of 2000 that it began to aggressively expand into the surrounding Palestinian lands. Yitzhar illegally annexed vast swaths of land and barred access to the Palestinian farmers, shepherds, and villagers that have lived and worked the land for countless generations.
The village of Urif is a mere 1500 meters away from the Israeli colony, and since 2000, over 2200 dunams have been stolen by the nearby settlement. In addition, four thousand olive trees cultivated by the village have been uprooted or burnt by settlers in the past four years.
The villagers of Urif have no access to running water, instead they rely on a small number of ancient wells. Two years ago, members of the village were dismayed to find tear gas canisters had been dropped into one of the wells by unknown settlers, poisoning the water supply.
Any attempt to expand infrastructure in the village is also met with settler attacks. ISM volunteers were shown the remains of a house that had been under construction before it was attacked and completely dismantled.
“Late at night they launch attacks on the residents in this area,” said Arif, pointing to the rubble strewn skeleton of the destroyed house. A tractor and a number of cars belonging to residents of the village had also been destroyed in a series of recent arson attacks.
Settlers have shot through the windows of a number of the homes. Graffiti reading ‘revenge’ in Hebrew was scrawled across one residents house. The widespread attacks of agricultural land has lead to a vast “wasteland” between the outskirts of Urif and Yitzhar. Hundreds of goats, sheep, and a few horses have been stolen.
This is not to mention the violence towards the villagers themselves. Arif reports that hundreds of villagers have been injured since 2000, with as many as 40 serious injuries (many of which were gunshot wounds) and one murder.
The combined effects of this systematic assault on Urif residents’ way of life, economy, and civil society is akin to a form of ethnic cleansing. One of the most stark indicators of the impact of the measures taken against the village of Urif by Yitzhar settlement is that unemployment is as high as 40%. Many people simply cannot survive under these conditions and are thus forced to abandon the village of their birth, leaving behind their friends, family, and identity.
Chris Beckett is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).