Soldiers break into the wrong house at night, go on a rampage – and make off with a woman’s savings from 15 years of work
One night in early September, the members of the Kavajeh family in Tarqumiya were woken by IDF troops breaking into their house. According to the despicable custom of the last few years, some of the soldiers wore ski masks; before our apathetic eyes what used to be the premier line of fashion among criminals has become common military attire.
From this moment on, everything went as per the routine – a routine known to every soldier who has ever served in the occupied territories: the soldiers gathered all the family members in one room, not giving them time to dress properly. They then searched the house, found nothing, and as they left, the head of the family, ‘Issa, heard the soldiers say to one another that they had raided the wrong house. Needless to say, the soldiers did not apologize to the family. The soldiers told them not to leave the house while they were still present.
When the family realized the soldiers were gone, they began to estimate the damage. Here the words of Issa are worth quoting: “We began moving around the house and saw the horror.” The contents of the cupboards had been spilled, and the soldiers had thrown bedding, clothes and equipment onto the floor. The kitchen was the real calamity zone: the soldiers made certain to spill the flour on the floor, mix the sugar, the lentils and the salt together, poured the tahini into the kitchen sink, and, finally, broke the eggs.
Now, certainly some IDF spokesperson, whether an official or a self-appointed one, will manage to find a way to explain why there was a pressing military need behind this wanton destruction of food; we’ll probably find a fool who would explain why there was a need to break the eggs – how do you know what they might have hidden in there? And anyway, why don’t you show us what happened before? And do you know what happened in 1929?
But as the family members finished examining the results of the small green storm that passed mistakenly through their home, the real disaster was discovered: the savings of one of the family members, Thahani, had been stolen. These were two gold bracelets and a gold ring. Thahani had saved the money to buy the jewelry from working in a seamstress shop since 1998.
Fifteen years of savings. Fifteen years of painstakingly gathering, day by day, an ounce of meager pay. A slow collection culminating in 65 grams of gold, each one of them worth 60 Jordanian Dinars, each Dinar the equivalent of about $1.7 USD. Fifteen years of savings left Thahani with some $8,005 USD; a bit more than $385 USD a year, or $1.25 USD a day. This was Tahani’s portion of all her labor. Now it lies in the pocket of a soldier. Perhaps he’ll give them to his lover, who will be grateful and not ask where he got such gold bracelets and such a ring; perhaps they’ll end up in a pawnshop. Perhaps, loyal to the value of comradeship, he already split the loot with other troops in his section.
In the morning, the family complained both to the Red Cross and the Israeli police. This was a futile gesture: good luck finding the looter among dozens of troops, some of whom were hooded and all well-versed in covering for one another. But before the MPCID rushes to close the case claiming it couldn’t find a suspect, one more thing must be said.
Looting is a war crime. It is defined as such in the Fourth Geneva Convention. During wartime, armies often harshly punish looting soldiers, if only because looting is bad for military discipline. At best, looting soldiers have to lie to their commander, which opens the door to more lies; at worst, the commander will take a commission off the loot. Armies who don’t punish looting harshly quickly cease to become armies and turn into militias at best, gangs at worse.
Israel, as is well known, does not have laws against war crimes on its books. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t commit them. And as long as the MPCID does not shake itself up and find the thief, and as long as Israel does not compensate Tahani, it allows a war criminal – not a mere thief, but a war criminal – to roam freely. And since we know nothing of him but the colors of the uniform he wore, he besmirches through his act all those who wear them. And if the IDF wants to remove this stain from its uniform – admittedly, they are spotted with quite a few of them – it had better find the guilty party, and throw the book at him. Hard.
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Last night at 10 pm, a live ammunition bullet was fired at the headquarters of the human rights organisation Youth Against Settlements (YAS) in Hebron.
The spokesperson for YAS, Damer Atash, explains that a group of activists were sitting in front of the house headquarters when the bullet was fired. The bullet was shot from the nearby olive groves making it impossible to see the shooter, although two voices were heard. Luckily, the group of activists were not hurt, instead, the bullet bounced off the window right behind them. “At first we thought it was a stone but instead we found a bullet”, said one of the activists.
At 22:15 pm, the group called the Israeli police, who arrived some 40 minutes later at approximately 11 pm, after the police arrived the military joined them and stayed for about 20 minutes. However, none of them searched the premises for the bullet canister.
The shooter was not seen, but it is likely that it was an attack from one of the neighbouring settlers, as the bullet was bigger than those used by the army. Even though this is the first incident of shooting against YAS, this would not be the first time the house has been attacked by settlers. They have previously tried to burn the house, set the kitchen of the headquarters on fire and uprooted trees. In these incidents the Israeli army or police have not taken any action against the settlers.
Israeli army and police also participate in the harassment of YAS and its human rights organizers. On Wednesday alone, the army invaded the house three times during the evening and night for what it is believed to be a training exercise for the army.
The despair and fear this causes is not uncommon for the 35,000 Palestinians living under complete control of 1500 Israeli soldiers and police officers, and the constant harassment and violence from the 500 settlers illegally living in the Israeli controlled H2 area of Hebron.
- Palestinian activist detained in Israeli raid (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jabari family once again facing harassment from settlers and soldiers (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Shocking Video | Israeli Soldier Cooks Bird Alive! (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Hebron man arrested for filing complaint about settler attack (imemc.org)
A young Palestinian man, from the Negev, who was shot and seriously injured by Israeli Police fire when an armed Israeli man attacked the Hapoalim Bank in Beersheba, on Monday May 20, stated that the Israeli Police shot and cuffed him, after instantly profiling him as the assailant.
Omar Waleeedy – aljabha.org
The Israeli man killed four persons, and then killed himself, after the bank refused to give him a 6,000 NIS loan. The Arab man, Omar Al-Waleedy, 22, was shot by four live rounds leading to serious injuries.
Israeli Ynetnews has reported that Al-Waleedy, remained on life support for ten days, and when he told his story, the Police said that “his version was inconsistent with the outcome of the investigation”.
He said that he hid under a table, fearing for his life when he saw the gunman, but when the Police stormed the bank, they shot and wounded him.
In his testimony, Al-Waleedy said; “I thought the Police arrived to save me from the killer who killed four, but they shot me”.
From his hospital bed in Soroka Israeli hospital in Beersheba (Be’er As-Sabe’), Al-Waleedy said; “I arrived at the bank with my Jewish friend, Iran Sabri, in order to open an account for him, all of a sudden, a white-bearded man stormed into the Bank and opened fire in different directions”.
“I laid onto the ground, pretending to be dead; the attacker took a female employee hostage, and went to the toilets, then my friend and I rushed to the main door of the Bank”, he said, “The Police allowed my friend to pass, but they shot me, then they handcuffed me before evacuating the bank building”.
Following the incident, the Police claimed that eyewitness testimonies indicate that the Police “did not open fire at Al-Waleedy during the attack”.
On Thursday at night, May 31, the family of Al-Waleedy forced Police investigators out of his hospital room, and refused to allow them to interrogate him.
They asked the police to allow him to rest, and recover; the Police then arrested four.
One of the relatives said that the Police were “adding insult to injury” by trying to question Al-Waleedy on his hospital bed, “injustice took place the moment they shot him and took him to hospital in handcuffs”, he said.
According to Ynet, the police said that the fact the Al-Waleedy was unconscious made it impossible for the investigators to question him.
The Police also stated that the crime scene investigation led to the conclusion that the Police “did not open fire at Al-Waleedy at any time during the attack”, Ynet said, and added that a source at the Soroka Medical center indicated that “it is possible that Al-Waleedy was shot by the same gun that killed the four victims.”
On Wednesday, 8 May 2013, Israel held its annual Jerusalem Day celebration, commemorating its annexation of East Jerusalem and the Old City during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israeli settlers marched through East Jerusalem neighborhoods carrying Israeli flags and singing, celebrating and asserting their control of what is internationally recognized as the capital of any viable future Palestinian state.
Settlers marching in and out of the Damascus Gate, located directly alongside the largest Palestinian shopping center in the city, were met with a pro-Palestine counter-demonstration.
Hundreds of Israeli police were on the scene to put down the Palestinian counter-demonstration. Israeli police detained upwards of 18 individuals and beat dozens of others. Among the detainees were minors as well as several photographers.
(All photos by Dylan Collins)
Israeli police arrested Palestinian worshipers on Saturday at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, after an alleged scuffle erupted during a visit by a group of Jews and Christians to the mosque.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an that six Palestinians were arrested for throwing stones at groups of Jews and Christians visiting the compound.
Witnesses told Ma’an that police detained ten Palestinians and attacked Muslim worshipers with electric shock batons.
Dozens of Israeli settlers raided the mosque from al-Magharbeh gate, witnesses said. One settler drank wine and another allowed her daughter to urinate near an olive tree in the compound, they said, adding that a guard at al-Aqsa Mosque intervened, leading to scuffles.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Islamic endowments in Jerusalem, said 200 Israeli settlers had entered the mosque in a provocative way, adding that religious officials had forced Israeli police to close al-Magharbeh gate for the day.
Israel’s police spokesman said further visits of Jewish and Christian groups were scheduled on Sunday afternoon and would continue as planned.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is one of the holiest sites in Islam. Jews also consider the area, which they refer to as Temple Mount, as imbued with important religious meaning.
- News Black-out and Political Farce over Jerusalem Clashes (alethonews.wordpress.com)
According to bystanders, a young Jewish woman punched the Palestinian suddenly as she was passing by the station. A friend of the assailant began aiding her in beating the Palestinian, pushing her against the wall, and ultimately ripping off her headscarf.
The Palestinian was accompanied by an old man who tried to push the attackers away to no avail.
The event occurred at about three o’clock in the afternoon. It is unclear whether the incident involved only the two assailants mentioned in witness accounts, or a larger group shown in the photo.
“There were about 100 Orthodox and yeshiva students who disembarked the tramway and spotted an Arab woman accompanied by an older man,” a witness, who photographed the event, told Ma’ariv.
“It developed into arguing and yelling, and I don’t know what the content was that everyone jumped on her.”
According to the witness, an activist named Dorit Jordan Dotan, a municipality security officer passively watched the event and seemed to be smiling. Many residents also stood by.
“The entire time, the guard stood and smiled and did not even try to break up the fight,” a witness said.
Dotan confirmed that the incident took place at the station where a group of young people had just arrived from the train, but seemed to downplay the event by suggesting the attackers were intoxicated.
“Young people drink a lot of wine for Purim. Screams were heard everywhere. A woman tried to fight [the Jewish students] but they yelled at her not to dare touch the Jews and continued to beat [the Arab woman],” Dotan said.
Following publication in Ma’ariv, police launched an investigation into the case.
“It’s a shame that the Arab whore didn’t die”
On the day the report was published, Israeli police officer Ariel Shapiro re-posted the article on his Facebook page and issued a chilling endorsement: “Very good,” wrote Shpiro “It’s a shame that the Arab whore didn’t die.”
Screenshot of Shapiro’s Facebook page along with the offending status message
The message was publicized by Palestinian Member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi.
Israeli army and police officers have come under fire in recent weeks for showcasing dehumanizing images of and slogans about Palestinians. The most famous of these is an Instagram photo of Mor Ostrovski, 20, showing the crosshairs of a rifle being aimed at the head of a Palestinian boy.
An Israeli settler driving in Jaber Neighborhood, in the southern West Bank of Hebron, hit a Palestinian child then drove off in what appears to be a ramming attack, medical sources reported.
Nasser Qabaja, a Red Crescent official in Hebron, said that the child was moved to an Israeli hospital upon request of her family.
Medical sources said that the child suffered moderate injuries, and that she suffered various cuts and bruises.
Late in January this year, an Israeli driver hit a Palestinian teenager at a checkpoint near Jerusalem, and then drove off in an apparent ramming attack.
Some of the witnesses present at the scene were able to document the license number of the vehicle, but Israeli police did not take the information when it was presented to them.
Although several previous ramming incidents have been reported to the Israeli police and military, no investigations of these incidents have been carried out by the Israeli authorities.
- Israeli kills 2 Palestinians near Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli Court Approves Well Destruction In Bethlehem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- French activist injured as Israeli troops attack Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Six Palestinians Wounded, Some Seriously In Settler Firebomb Attack On Their Car Near Hebron (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- #VIDEO | Child Abuse | Palestinian child kicked by Israeli Border Police in Hebron (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Israeli Settlers Attack Home, Attempt to Torch It (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- This Week in Palestine, August 17th, 2012 (indybay.org)
TEL AVIV, Israel — Three Israeli policemen were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of beating and stealing from Palestinian workers in Jerusalem, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
A police representative told an Israeli court on Thursday that Uziel Hanun, Osama al-Sahly and Reuven Dhokerker regularly used threats to escort Palestinian workers into alleys in the Old City.
“Those who didn’t have money were beaten and sent home, those who did were also beaten, and their money stolen,” the court was told.
Hanun, al-Sahly and Dhokerker were arrested Wednesday after being caught “in the act,” Haaretz reported.
Police officials believe the robberies were systematic, the report said.
The police officers allegedly attacked a worker from Ramallah and took his wages. He then had to ask for money to get home, the police representative told the court.