Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Settlers rampage near Bethlehem, insult parlementarians in Hebron and threaten to evict Palestinians in Silwan

Confrontation at Safa (Photo Ma'an)
  Furious after the Israeli government demolished two houses in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian property in the latest incident of the "price tag" phenomenon. Dozens of residents of the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, in the Bethlehem Governorate, were seen throwing stones and empty bottles at Palestinian homes in Safa, an adjacent village next to the Beit Ummar town north of Hebron.
Israeli soldiers began firing tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at the crowd around dawn, lightly injuring a number of Palestinians, Muhammad Awad, spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Project, told Ma'an. Settlers were prevented from setting fire to fields, he added.

Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem on Wednesday threatened to forcibly evict four Palestinian families they claim are living on property belonging to Jews in the neighborhood of Silwan.
The settlers said they would hire private security firms to implement the evictions if the four families, which include 40 individuals, do not leave by July 4.
The Palestinian families are living in a structure that was once a Yemenite synagogue in Silwan, located near the neighborhood's controversial Beit Yonatan structure.Beit Yonatan, a seven-story residential structure, was built illegally in the heart of the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood by the nationalist association Ateret Cohanim. Despite police discussions in preparation for the evacuation of Beit Yonatan several weeks ago, the implementation has been postponed until at least the end of the month. There is a standing order, issued two years ago, to evacuate and seal Beit Yonatan, where ten Jewish families reside. Jerusalem municipal officials have yet to enforce the order, despite court rulings and orders from the former attorney general. Meanwhile, the Beit Yonatan settlers claimed on Wednesday that police have not evicted the Palestinian families due to political constraints and have warned they would take matters onto their own hands next month. 

Confrontation in Hebron. (Photo Ynet).
 A confrontation broke out Wednesday morning between right-wing activists and Knesset members from the Hadash party who were touring the West Bank city of Hebron.
 Police refused to intervene in the heated argument, which did not turn violent apart from one shove. 

 As soon as the lawmakers stepped off the bus, extreme rightists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel shouted, "Traitors, enemies of Israel, get of here." During the tour Ben-Gvir yelled at MK Mohammad Barakeh "Go to your doghouse".  The rightists also shouted towards the lawmakers and the leftists who accompanied them, "We are all Shayetet 13 (commando unit that raided the Gaza-flotilla). You belong to the group Marmara." 
MK Dov Khenin said the rightists threatened to murder him. "Hadash joined a tour organized by Breaking the Silence and a major commotion ensued. We are trying to listen to the (leftists') explanations, but the rightists are constantly shouting. Some of them even threatened to kill us like in Dir Yasin (Arab village captured by the Etzel and the Lechi forces in 1948)," he said. 

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