Two nights after Jewish people celebrated the New Year, two violent incidents occurred which made me angrier than usual at the brutal behaviour of Israeli Jewish West Bank settlers, the Israeli police, and the Israeli racial state.
On Friday 30 September, Jewish settlers at the West Bank settlement of Anatot brutally attacked a group of young Jewish Israeli activists who demonstrated in support Palestinian farmer Yassin Rifawi, whose privately owned lands in the village of Anata were illegally fenced by residents of Anatot, limiting his access. In the past few months Rifawi suffered continuous harassment by the settlers, including threats, uprooting of trees and dismantling his property. Despite recurrent appeals by the Israeli legal human rights organisation Yesh Din to the Israeli police, nothing was done to protect Mr Rifawi. Continue reading “New Year Violence”
On Friday 31 December 2010 Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest against the separation wall in Bil’in , and died of poisoning on New Year’s Day 2011. Abu Rahmah suffered from severe asphyxiation caused by tear-gas inhalation, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital unconscious. She was diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear-gas, that was shot by IDF soldiers to disperse the crowd of demonstrators against the separation wall in the village. Doctors at the Ramallah Hospital fought for her life all night, but were unable to save her.
Weekly demonstrations against the wall have been held in Bil’in for the past five years; villagers say the barrier unjustly separates them from their lands. In 2007, the Supreme Court accepted these arguments and ruled that the route of the fence should be move, and some 170 acres of land be returned to the villagers. The IDF has yet to implement the court’s decision. Continue reading “Awful start to 2011 – remembering Jawaher Abu Rahma”
On the eve of Israel’s 61th Independence Day last week, the Israeli police arrested six Israeli Jewish feminist political activists, members of New Profile, the Movement for the Civil-isation of Israeli society, including a 70-year-old woman, for assisting young Israelis to evade conscription.
The police entered the activists’ home, confiscated their computers and the computers of their partners, detained them for questioning because of their support for young people who declare themselves conscientious objectors, a status not recognized by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Indeed, many draft dodgers have served jail sentences.