Tony Greenstein | 02 July 2012 | Post Views:

Palestinians looks through broken windows to see the damage inside the
mosque in the West Bank village Jab’a, south of Ramallah, on the morning
after it was set on fire in a suspected “price tag” arson attack, June
19, 2012. Graffiti saying “The war has begun” and “You will pay the
price” was spray painted on the mosque’s walls. So called “Price tag”
attacks are generally carried out by Israeli settlers against
Palestinian targets in retaliation for moves against settlements.
UPI/Debbie Hill

Officially the Israeli government condemns the continuing attack on mosques and places of worship in the Palestinian territories.  Unofficially they support the ‘price tag’ attacks.

This is nothing new.  In the 1970’s a terrorist underground that attempted to kill or maim 3 Palestinian mayors was active and protected by the security forces.  It was only when they also turned their attentions to leftist Israeli Jews that the security forces began arresting those who would later assassinate Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who ironically was more responsible than most for the Jewish Terrorist Underground or Israeli leftists.

In The Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance Movement, Abdul Jawad Saleh describes how on the second of May 1980, the moderate mayors of Hebron and Halhoul, Qawasmeh and Milhem, were deported. Their arbitrary expulsion was done as revenge for a (failed) military operation in Hebron. Their pragmatism won them support from both the international and Israeli peace movements. On the 31, August 1980, Israeli military order No. 830 was issued. This froze the elections of municipal councils. Israel, which claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East, destroyed the main Palestinian democratic institution – local governments. On January 2, 1985, Defense Minister Yitzhaq Rabin reiterated that Israel would not allow elections in Palestinian towns and villages.1 On September 2, 1980, assassination attempts against Bassam Shaka, the Mayor of Nablus, Karim Khalaf, the Mayor of Ramallah and Ibrahim Tawil, the Mayor of Al Bireh, took place. Shaka and Khalaf were maimed; Shaka lost two legs and Khalaf one foot. Tawil was rescued after hearing what had happened to his colleagues.

The reality is that the Palestinians have continued to pay a price tag for occupation and today is no different.  But when Zionists and Israel face an international Boycott    they complain about sacrifices, mixing politics and culture and how this negates the dialogue that never seems to go anywhere.

Note how Barak’s primary concern is the ‘protection of Israeli citizens in the area’ i.e. the very settlers who committed the latest atrocity!

Tony Greenstein

Unidentified vandals set fire to a Palestinian mosque, spray-paint graffiti on its walls; IDF: Attack could undermine security in the area.

By Chaim Levinson and Gili Cohen | Jun.19, 2012

A man outside the mosque in Jab’a on June 19, 2012. The graffiti reads “Ulpana war.”
Photo by Iyad Haddad, B’tselem

A mosque in the West Bank village of Jab’a, located south of Ramallah, was set on fire in a suspected “price tag” arson attack early Tuesday morning.

Graffiti carrying messages such as “The war has begun” and “You will pay the price” was spray-painted on the mosque’s walls.

Shin Bet agents and police, accompanied by a heavy contingent of IDF soldiers, were combing the area for clues and interrogating witnesses in the village on Tuesday morning.

The mosque appears to have been attacked around 1:30 A.M. While none of the villagers saw the arsonists, they noticed the fire following the attack and hurried to extinguish it.

According to villagers, while the incident was immediately reported to the IDF, the army only arrived on the scene around 6 A.M.

Jab’a is located near Highway 60, a central traffic artery in the West Bank, but the access road to the village is blocked by large dirt mounds. Police are still investigating whether the attackers arrived by car or on foot.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned the attack on Tuesday morning, calling it “a grave and criminal act, meant to harm the fabric of life in the area and distract the IDF and the security forces from their missions, which include protecting Israeli citizens in the area.”

Resident’s of Jab’a village inspect the damage to their mosque, set on fire by arsonists Monday night. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Barak added that he had instructed the IDF and Israel’s security forces to use “all means” to find the perpetrators of the attack and bring them to justice.   

The IDF said it views the incident gravely and that it could undermine the stability of security in the area.

“Price tag” attacks are generally carried out by West Bank settlers and their supporters against Palestinian targets, often in retaliation for moves against settlements.

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Tony Greenstein

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