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Palestinian/Israeli update 10/24\2015.. Chaos is a Warning of Things to Come

Saturday, October 24, 2015 13:27
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(Before It's News)

Israeli forces continue brutal crackdown on Palestinians in West Bank

Rabbi Attacked By Alleged Jewish Settler In West Bank

Peace activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman attacked by knife-wielding settler in West Bank – See more at:

A masked Israeli settler attacked an Israeli-American rabbi and co-founder of the group Rabbis for Human Rights, threatening the religious leader and peace activist with a knife against his neck, this afternoon following an annual olive harvest in the West Bank village of Awarta outside of Nablus.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman was not seriously injured during the assault.

Rabbis for Human Rights released a video of the assault where the settler is seen advancing toward Ascherman with a blunt object in one hand, and then pulls a knife from his pocket. The armed extremist next motions for a cameraman filming the incident, yet Ascherman interjects. Within seconds the settler kicks and hits Ascherman, briefly throwing the rabbi into a chokehold while extending the blade towards his neck.

In Awarta, the town’s groves are located inside of a closed military zone. Ascherman’s group accompanies Palestinian farmers to the area daily during the three-month fall harvest season, and coordinate passage for the villagers with the Israeli army.

This morning Israeli security forces were on site while Palestinians gathered their crops, keeping a group of settlers at bay.

After the Israeli military left the area, the settlers descended from a hilltop near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar and set fire to the Palestinians’ olive trees, and bushes. Ascherman was attempting to put out the blaze in the moments before the assault.

“We are still in shock. We need to take time to think and reflect on it,” Rabbis for Human Rights spokesperson Yariv Mohar said to Mondoweiss.

According to Mohar, Ascherman was subject to three other assaults by settlers while assisting Palestinian farmers with the fall olive harvest over the past decade. Two years ago a 70-year old volunteer was assaulted by settlers with clubs and stones in the same region of the West Bank.

Rabbis for Human rights filed a report with the Israeli authorities following the attack, yet Mohar is cynical that the perpetrator will be arrested.

“Our past expense is that they are not so efficient in trying to catch these extremists, but I think now they are trying to take it more seriously—but not for a good reason,” Mohar said. “These people are hurting the image of Israel. If they [the Israeli authorities] catch them, then they are also helping the image of Israel.”

The Palestinian government catalogued last year more than 1,000 incidents of settler attacks against Palestinians, a majority taking place in villages in close proximately to Israeli settlements and outposts.

settlers trying to attack Rabbi Arik Ascherman with a knife

Hebron activist showed Israel’s crimes to the world

Hebron resident and anti-occupation activist Hashem al-Azzeh died Wednesday after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces.

According to Palestinian media reports, al-Azzeh, who suffered from a heart condition, began feeling chest pains while in his home in the Israeli-controlled Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the occupied West Bank city.

“There was no chance to get an ambulance there,” Hisham Sharabati, coordinator of the Hebron Defense Committee and a field worker for the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, told The Electronic Intifada. Israeli forces do not allow Palestinian vehicles to drive on the streets near his home, which are reserved for Jewish motorists.

Neighbors had to carry al-Azzeh down the hill to the nearest military checkpoint, where there were clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth.

“There was tear gas there and the army kept them [al-Azzeh and his neighbors] for 10 minutes,” said Sharabati. “He had heart problems from before, but his situation deteriorated because the tear gas made it worse and then the checkpoint delay.”

When al-Azzeh was eventually brought to a hospital, he was pronounced dead upon arrival. He leaves behind his wife Nisreen and four children, the oldest of whom is 16.
Pregnant wife assaulted

Al-Azzeh lived in a part of Hebron that was frequently attacked by Israeli settlers.

“Hashem lived in a hilly area where the settlers’ homes are higher than his,” said Sharabati.

Like all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Tel Rumeida settlement is illegal under international law. But this particular enclave, comprised of stacks of trailers flanked by Israeli army checkpoints, houses some of the most fanatical and violent settlers in the West Bank.

Al-Azzeh and his family endured sustained harassment from these extremists, including an attack in which settlers assaulted his nephew, then aged 9. The settlers forced a rock into the boy’s mouth to crush his teeth, al-Azzeh had said in a video recording:

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Israel Is Occupation Addicted

Gideon Levy, Respected Israeli journalist, explains why Israel is like an addict living off the financial aid from the USA to keep feeding it’s “occupation addition”

Miko Peled: How the Lobby enables Israeli policy: Views of an Israeli in America.

Gideon Levy: Does unconditional support for Israel endanger Israeli voices?

Huwaida Arraf: The situation of Arab citizens of Israel: Views of an Arab citizen of Israel.

Jerusalem Chaos is a Warning of Things to Come : Information Clearing House – ICH

………..Jerusalem is the centre of events, with the Palestinians’ only unifying symbol, Al Aqsa mosque, at its heart. For Palestinians, the incremental takeover of the compound – and the West’s indifference – is like watching the mass dispossession of 1948 play out again in slow motion.

In addition, Jerusalem is the main fault line. Israel’s illegal annexation of the city has left Palestinians there in an extreme form of isolation – indefinitely stateless and supremely vulnerable.

And finally, the smartphone camera has allowed Palestinians to document their suffering and witness unmediated their compatriots’ personal acts of resistance and self-sacrifice.

Futile knife attacks may appal outsiders, but for many Palestinians they are the moment when an individual briefly reclaims his or her agency and fights back on behalf of a collectively subjugated and humiliated people.

The need for so many different labels for these events reveals another important facet of the current Palestinian struggle: its disorganised nature.

Israel has almost completed the division and enclosure of Palestinians into disconnected enclaves. As they hear the sound of the prison doors closing, Palestinian youths are lashing out at the guards closest to hand.

Because the divisions between Palestinian populations have become so entrenched geographically, and their leaders politically, it is hard for Palestinians to find any unifying vision or organising principle. Do they fight first against their occupiers or their spent leadership?

But the lack of planning and discipline has exposed Israel’s own limitations too.

Israel has little but stopgap measures to defend against the protests. Its intelligence agencies cannot predict the lone wolf, its guns cannot deter the knife, its military might cannot subdue the craving for justice and dignity.

Strangely, in the face of all this, there are signs of a parallel breakdown of order and leadership on the Israeli side.

Lynch mobs of Jews patrol Jerusalem and Israeli cities, calling out “Death to the Arabs!” A jittery soldier causes pandemonium by firing his rifle in a train carriage after a bogus terror alert. An Israeli Jew stabs another because he looks “Arab”.

Meanwhile, politicians and police commanders stoke the fear. They call for citizens to take the law into their own hands. Palestinian workers are banned from Jewish towns. Israeli supermarkets remove knives from shelves, while 8,000 Israelis queue up for guns in the first 24 hours after permit rules are eased.

Some of this reflects a hysteria, a heightened sense of victimhood among Israelis, fuelled by the knife attack videos. But the mood dates to before the current upheavals.

It is also a sign of the gradual leaching of the settler’s lawlessness into the mainstream. A popular slogan from the past weeks is: “The army’s hands are tied.” Israeli civilians presumably believe they must take up arms instead.

After six uninterrupted years of the extreme right in power, Israelis don’t blame their government’s policy of relentless force for the backlash. They demand yet more force against the Palestinians.

Polls show Avigdor Lieberman, the former Moldovan bouncer who became the hard man of the Israeli right, is most favoured to lead the nation out of the crisis.

Solutions are being applied most savagely in East Jerusalem, where Palestinians are being locked even more tightly into neighbourhood ghettoes. Israel’s “eternal, unified capital” is being carved up by roadblocks. Palestinian residents are made to endure daily searches and insults that will sow the seeds of yet more fury and resistance.

As Israel tries to slam shut the door of one prison cell in Jerusalem, the inmates threaten to break open the door of another, in Gaza. Israel’s leadership has watched uneasily the repeated breaches of Gaza’s fence over the past week by youths enraged by their own misery and what they see happening in the other prison wings.

The current unrest may recede, but more waves of protest of ever greater intensity are surely not far behind.

Jafar Farah, a Palestinian leader in Israel, has warned of it heading slowly from a national conflict into a civil war, one defined by the kind of debased one-state solution Israel is imposing.

The chaotic violence of the past weeks looks like a warning from the future – a future Israel is hurtling towards.

Jonathan Cook


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