September 14, 2008
Israeli occupation troops and paramilitary Jewish settlers on Saturday rampaged through several Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, killing at least one Palestinian civilian and injuring several others, including three people suffering critical gunshot wounds.
The most serious incident took place at the village of Asira al Qibliyeh, south of Nablus, when heavily armed Jewish settler terrorists rampaged through the village, shooting indiscriminately on Palestinians and vandalizing their homes and property.
According to the head of the local village council, dozens of armed settlers took part in the rampage which lasted for several hours.
Hosni Sharaf said the settlers carried out their aggression in broad daylight as Israeli soldiers were watching passively.
"It was abundantly clear that the soldiers were not dealing seriously with the terrorists. The settlers behaved and acted as if they had received a green light from the army."
According to local and hospital sources, at least six villagers were injured, including two who reportedly suffered critical gunshot wounds.
One eyewitness described the settler rampage as "barbarian acts against innocent civilians."
"I am speaking about heavily armed rabid fanatics ganging up on innocent and unprotected men, women and children," said Ibrahim Asayrah.
"And they did what they did in full view of Israeli occupation soldiers who did try to stop the thugs."
The settlers said they were retaliating for an earlier incident in which a settler boy was lightly hurt reportedly at the hands of an Arab boy.
Palestinian sources described the incident as a small altercation between two boys. The settlers however insisted that Palestinian boy stabbed a 9-year-old settler minor.
There was no third-party affirmation of what exactly happened.
However, it was clear that the wanton settler rampage against Palestinian villagers had no justification, irrespective of the exact circumstances surrounding the earlier incident involving the two boys.
"There was an incident involving an Arab boy and a Jewish settler boy. Does that give these herds of barbarians (the settlers) the right to carry out a rampage of terror and bloodshed against our village," asked Asayrah.
An Israeli peace group, Peace Now, denounced army flaccidity toward the settlers and urged the Israeli government to revoke the gun licenses of the settlers.
"It is obvious that the settlers don’t miss any opportunity to cause harm to Palestinians and endanger human lives," said Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer.
Human rights organizations operating in the West Bank have argued forcefully that the Israeli army is effectively encouraging settler terror against Palestinian civilians by refusing to arrest let alone prosecute Jewish terrorists.
Indeed, following Saturday’s violence near Nablus, not a single armed settler was arrested despite the gravity of what happened.
The latest attempted pogrom by messianic Jewish terrorists near Nablus coincided with other terrorist acts by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians, which observers in Palestine contend underscores the harsh treatment Palestinians are receiving at the hands of the Israeli occupiers.
In Hebron in the southern West Bank, an Israeli army military vehicle driving at high speed on Saturday ran over a Palestinian child.
The child, identified as Mehran al Jabaari, was reportedly critically injured with a brain hemorrhage. He was transferred to the emergency unit at the Ahli hospital.
Earlier, an Israeli army officer manning a notorious roadblock outside the city of Nablus deliberately prevented a Palestinian woman in labor from proceeding to hospital, causing her to give birth to a stillborn baby boy.
The woman’s husband said he pleaded with the officer in charge to allow his wife to proceed to hospital in order to save the baby, but to no avail.
"My wife, my mother, my sister and I arrived at the Huwwara checkpoint at 12:00 midnight after my wife started to feel the labor contractions. However, the officer was so callous and inhuman. He told me he would shoot me if stepped forward again." said Muayad Abu Reeda.
"My wife gave birth to a baby boy we had decided to name Zayd. But Zayd needed a special care since he was two months premature. But because the Israelis wouldn’t allow my wife to reach hospital, the baby died a few minutes later."
According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, when the Israeli officer in charge made sure that the baby was dead, he allowed the mother and the husband to proceed to Nablus .
"On the next day, said Muayad, "we carried our baby in a small cardboard box to bury him in the graveyard of the village. On our way home, and while passing through the same inauspicious checkpoint, the soldiers started to laugh telling each other 'do you want to see a dead child, come over here. He is there inside the box.’ "
A spokesman for the Israeli army acknowledged the "gravity" of what happened, saying that the company commander involved in the incident has been sentenced to two weeks in jail for his role in the death of the Palestinian baby."
In another deadly incident, Israeli occupation soldiers on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian boy at the village of Tquo’o near Bethlehem .
The latest victim of organized Israeli terror was identified as 16-year-old Hassan Humeid.
The Israeli occupation army has killed and maimed hundreds of Palestinian civilians, especially children and minors, involved in the mostly innocuous stone-throwing.
Israeli troops are instructed to shoot to kill stone-hurling Palestinian boys even if soldiers’ lives are not directly at risk.
In contrast, however, soldiers have absolute orders to refrain from shooting at settlers under any circumstances, even if the settlers are seen committing acts of murder.