Pogroms in Palestine, Settler Violence & Terror is the precursor to deportation and transfer
Pogroms in Palestine, Settler Violence & Terror is the precursor to deportation and transfer
Last weekend there was a pogrom in Hebron. 26-year-old Yousef Azzeh described the violence that he and other Palestinians in Hebron experienced from Jewish settlers last weekend.
“There were 50 settlers here. There was no one here to help me. One of them punched me in the shoulders and in the back,”
An estimated 40,000 Jews descended on Hebron. Azzeh described how:
“My head started spinning. I ran away so that they would follow me and not come to my house. I didn’t have any strength, and I couldn’t breathe. I fell down and screamed and then I saw soldiers beating my friends while there were settlers above my house,”
Israelis can freely move around Yousef Azzeh Hebron Tel Rumeida while Palestinians are subject to continual limitations. One of Azzeh’s neighbors is Baruch Marzel, the far-right disciple of the neo-Nazi Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Azzeh alerted soldiers, who arrived and whom he showed the stones that were thrown in the yard. Ten minutes after they left, other Israeli civilians appeared and again threw stones at the house. When he walked toward them, they hit him, he said.
The only Jews arrested were an off-duty soldier who attacked a Border Police officer and a settler who attacked the bodyguard of Itamar Gvir. Jews who attacked fellow Jews were arrested because that is a crime whereas attacking Palestinians is no crime.
Soldiers described how
“We tried to gain control over the situation and every time, Jews showed up and threw stones and we didn’t manage to catch them… At the height of the incident, hundreds of Jews came and started calling us Germans and spitting on us.”
According to a soldier, there was no real preparation for dealing with unruly settlers.
“We were warned before the event that it might happen, but we were under pressure, working 24/7. There was no briefing on the matter. [The settlers] felt they could do whatever they wanted. I personally hesitated to handcuff them, or to throw a stun grenade at them, which is a legitimate means [of crowd control]. As a policy, there was no heavy handedness against [the settlers]. I did not see anyone being detained. There were 30,000 people here, so hundreds [participated in the violence]. It’s only a [small] percentage, but they managed to make a real mess.
“There are no clear orders,” the soldier continued.
“I know how to deal with Palestinians, but with Israelis I hesitate. I didn’t have the option [on Saturday]. I was with heavy equipment, and [the settlers] were throwing [stones] and then running away. If we were a bigger force, I hope I would have arrested [them], but it’s hard to say.”
That doesn’t stop Starmer, Sunak and the political class using the IHRA misdefinition of ‘anti-Semitism’ to describe those who call Israel a racist state as anti-Semitic. Well here we have a good example of such racism. Is that anti-Semitic? According to the IHRA ‘yes’.
Ha’aretz described how soldiers in Hebron said they had worked diligently to prepare the situation on the ground for the arrival of hundreds of people. But they had not been briefed to expect violence coming from Jews, which had not been anticipated. One soldier described their problem:
“I know what to do with the Palestinians,” however he hesitated regarding how to deal with the Jews. “I’ve seen disturbances and clashes in my [military] service, but I had never seen anything like this.” The rioters were not local Jewish residents, he said. “They were newly religious and marginal youth from all over the country,” the soldier claimed.
And there you have it. Soldiers aren’t trained to defend Palestinians against Jewish pogromists because their duty is to protect settlers from Palestinians. Here is a clear example of how the behaviour of soldiers is conditioned by whether someone is Jewish or Palestinian. Racist? Perish the thought.
In Hebron Palestinians ‘Never Seen Anything Like’ Weekend Violence From Jewish Worshippers Ha’aretz describes in detail the constant attacks and violence from the settlers whilst the army stood by. But when Palestinians defended themselves then they went into action. Which was exactly what happened to Jews subject to pogroms in Europe. Israel has become a mirror image of European anti-Semitism as racists like Starmer and Labour Friends of Israel defend the indefensible.
But this is not a problem of the military alone. It is their political masters who dictate that they must treat Palestinians and Jews differently.
In December last year, Security Minister Omar Bar-Lev condemned, under pressure from the United States, settler violence against the Palestinians. What was the reaction of Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett? A condemnation of the condemnation.
“Settlers in Judea and Samaria have suffered daily from violence and terrorism for decades,” Bennett tweeted: “They serve as a protective wall for all of us and we must protect them in word and a deed.”
“The settlers are the salt of the earth,” she wrote on Twitter. “The violence that one needs to be shocked by is the dozens of cases of the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails at Jews that occur every day, just because they are Jews,
This is of course a lie. Palestinians throw stones (against heavily armed soldiers!) because of such trivial matters such as home demolitions, arbitrary arrests, armed incursions etc.
Fellow Yamina Minister Matan Kahana called for Barlev to retract his statement on settler violence. MK Bezalel Smotrich, head of the far-right Religious Zionism faction, who is pushing to become Israel’s new ‘Defence’ Minister merely called Barlev “a bastard.”
This is from the man who called for Jewish women giving birth to be separated from Arab women in case of racial pollution. Now Bezalel is going to be in charge of the ‘civilian’ military administration in the West Bank. Anti-Palestinian violence has now been all but legalised.
Quoting Ha’aretz, the Times of Israel admitted that in just 10 days in October there were 100 settler attacks on Palestinians.
In recent weeks, the security establishment has identified an alarming increase in acts of violence by settlers throughout the West Bank,”
This massive upsurge in violence against Palestinians has a purpose. It isn’t merely random. The aim is to force Palestinians off the land by burning olive groves and attacking those who pick the fruit. In almost every case where there were Israeli soldiers they stood by and watched if not encouraged the settlers.
But for the Zionist Right (who control two-thirds of the Knesset seats) the only violence comes from Palestinians which they call ‘terror’. When Palestinians defend themselves the army and police quickly move in to attack them with tear gas, rubber bullets and worse.
I have compiled a list of such attacks to demonstrate the complicity of the Israeli state in the attacks. These are not one-off incidents but part of a cumulative pattern whose intent is clear – to drive Palestinians off the land as part of the overall project of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians of the West Bank.
This violence and intimidation is widely supported because as the ‘moderate’ ‘centrist’ former Prime Minister Yair Lapid said,
My principle says maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians.”
Lapid was praised by Western leaders for supporting a Palestinian state when any such state would be demilitarised, lacking any sovereignty and subject to Israeli army incursions. But even this parody of a Bantustan is not going to come into existence.
In an article There’s Only One Way to Describe This Settler Attack: A Pogrom Gideon Levy described how on November 3
A Palestinian family was harvesting olives when a group of settlers swooped down and attacked them with clubs, pipes and stones. Five members of the family were hospitalized, including the 65-year-old father of the household and one of his sons, whose shattered leg will need costly, ongoing rehab. The 8-year-old grandson hid under the family’s pickup
Entering the home of the Mashani family in the small town of Al-Shuyukh, north of Hebron in the West Bank, is like paying a visit to a rehabilitation ward in a hospital. Almost every member of the family is hurt, some remain in bandages, a few are limping and all of them have wounds to show us – some of them quite serious.
Needless to say the Israeli Police have done nothing. But if the roles were reversed the Palestinian attackers would have been arrested, probably beaten up, languishing indefinitely in a cell. And then there are some people who claim that Zionism is not racist.
Jewish Settlers break both my father’s arms and then the army arrest him
Hafez Huraini, 52, was working on his family’s land with his son Muhammad on the outskirts of their village of at-Tuwani in Masafer Yatta, in the southern occupied West Bank, when a group of armed Israeli settlers from the nearby Havat Ma’on outpost attacked them.
“Five settlers attacked them, some had guns, at least one of them had an M16 rifle, and the others were carrying metal pipes. One of the settlers started hitting them with the metal pipe, breaking my dad’s left arm,”
Sami Huraini, 24, Hafez’s son, recounted to Mondoweiss.
“My dad fell to the ground, and they kept beating him, until they broke his right arm too,” Sami said. “Then the settler with the gun started firing live bullets in the air.”
“Dozens of soldiers arrived at the scene after the settlers called them. My dad was lying on the ground, both his arms were broken, but the soldiers started hitting us and pushing us back while the settlers stood behind them,”
Sami said the settlers were “giving orders” to the soldiers, telling them to arrest his father and other residents of at-Tuwani at the scene. As the Israeli soldiers continued to push around the Palestinians, an ambulance from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society arrived at the scene. “The EMTs started treating my dad and giving him first aid. The whole time they were doing this the soldiers and settlers were pushing and shoving us,” Sami said.
“When we picked my dad up on the stretcher and tried to put him on the ambulance, the soldiers started pushing us back, and saying they wanted to arrest him, because the settlers said he hit them,”
Late into the night on Monday, the Huraini family learned through their lawyer that their father had been taken to a detention center inside the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron, where he was to undergo interrogation.
The family’s lawyer was allowed to speak to Hafez for a few minutes before he was taken in for questioning, though the lawyer was not allowed to be present during the interrogation.
According to Sami, the army is accusing his father of attacking a settler – a crime that could carry a sentence of several years in prison if he’s officially charged and convicted.
“This is a clear representation of the Apartheid system that we live under,” Sami said.
Sami said that the residents of at-Tuwani have long come under attacks from Israeli settlers, who are rarely ever arrested or held accountable for their crimes.
“We know from our experience that the settlers hold the power. They can turn their attacks around on us, and the army will arrest and imprison him [Hafez] for anything, on bogus charges based on settlers’ false testimonies,” he said.
Human rights groups, like B’Tselem, report that the army frequently colludes with settlers in their attacks on Palestinians. “Instead of taking preventive action, the Israeli authorities aid and abet the settlers in harming Palestinians and using their land,” the group said.
According to B’Tselem, since 2020, the group has documented 757 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians and their property.
In the rare case that an investigation is opened into settler violence against Palestinians, Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group that documents incidents of settler violence in the West Bank, says the vast majority of those investigations are closed.
The group says that 92% of investigations into ideological crimes against Palestinians are closed with no indictment filed.
‘It was like a war zone’
Around the same time that Hafez Huraini was detained and evacuated in an ambulance, Israeli forces arrested two other Palestinians from Masafer Yatta who are still in custody.
Shortly after, dozens more Israeli troops raided the village of at-Tuwani, and began a massive detention operation that would last for hours into the early morning
“This is all part of their ethnic cleansing plans, and their efforts to scare us, intimidate us, and coerce us out of our homes,” Sami said, referring to Israeli plans to force over 1,000 Palestinians in Masafer Yatta out of their homes to make way for an Israeli firing zone.
“The settlers can live happily while they attack us, and while the soldiers attack us. They want to threaten us, and scare us so we stop resisting their plans,” Sami said. “But our willpower is strong.”
As of Tuesday night local time, Israeli forces were raiding at-Tuwani for the second night in a row, throwing tear gas and sound bombs at peoples homes.
10 days later, after a video emerged, the military court in Ofer released Hafez with stringent conditions, including staying away from his own land. No such conditions were imposed on the settlers who attacked him because, of course, they were never arrested. See
You may remember how the ‘bubble’ of Ramallah where the PA is based was held up by Israel and the PA itself as a showcase of how economic independence can lead to an improvement in the situation of the Palestinians.
Yet on October 13 Israel demonstrated what it thought of its tame Palestinian lapdog. Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Tireh neighborhood in Ramallah, conductingTalmudic prayers and ceremonies. This practice, among other strategies, has been commonly employed by religious settlers as a means of providing the Israeli Supreme Court with legal grounds to take over Palestinian land. The invasion of Ramallah neighborhoods by these settlers indicates that the settler movement has become emboldened in its goal of accelerating the ethnic cleansing of Palestine,
The PA Prime Minister lives in the Al-Tireh neighborhood, only a few kilometers away from the Muqata’a (the PA’s headquarters in Ramallah), highlighting how easily the Israeli army can creep into the main area of PA sovereignty without repercussions.
Below are just some of the many stories on the increasing violence and terror of the settlers and their protectors in the Israeli army. With the advent of the new far-Right coalition of Netanyahu this situation can only get worse as Israel is determined to ensure that Area C is ethnically cleansed and that Palestinians living there are driven off the land.