Can you spot the difference?
Compare and contrast: When Israel Police came to evacuate the Bedouin village Umm el-Hiran, they arrived at dawn and were armed withM16 assault rifles and black sponge-tipped bullets, the latter they still refuse to admit they used. They also shot several people with sponge-tipped bullets who the police claim were throwing stones.
And this is how Israeli police officers arrived on Wednesday to evacuate the illegal outpost Amona, whose residents are on occupied land, in violation of both international and Israeli law. No helmets, no riot gear, no guns. Just blue sweatshirts in the middle of the day. There were reports of a few senior officers on the scene who were armed. Despite reports and images of some settlers throwing stones, no shots were fired as of time of this report.
Umm el-Hiran is one of dozens of so-called “unrecognized villages” in Israel’s Negev Desert, in which approximately 100,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel live without electricity, water, and other basic services the state has refused to provide. For more background on the village, click here.
Amona, an illegal settlement outpost first built in the 1990 on Palestinian land belonging to the villages of Silwad, Ein Yabrud and Taybe – and partly demolished in 2006 – is one of about 100 outposts considered illegal even by Israeli law — although tolerated and sustained by Israeli authorities nonetheless. Israel’s Supreme Court ordered its evacuation because it is built on private Palestinian land, and several demolitions orders have been issued against it in the past. For more background on Amona, click here.