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PHOTOS: Israel demolishes homes in Umm el-Hiran amid violence

Israeli authorities begin demolishing the Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran in preparation for its replacement with a Jewish town, following violence which left a Bedouin man and an Israeli police officer dead, and a Palestinian MK wounded.

Photos by Keren Manor and Faiz Abu Rmeleh

Umm el-Hiran before and after Israeli bulldozers carried out demolitions, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Umm el-Hiran before and after Israeli bulldozers carried out demolitions, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Hundreds of Israeli police officers arrived in Umm el-Hiran at around 5.30am, running towards the mosque where residents and activists had gathered, ahead of planned demolitions in the unrecognized village. Shortly after a few rounds of live fire were heard, followed by a burst of shots and shouts that people had been killed. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Hundreds of Israeli police officers arrived in Umm el-Hiran at around 5.30am, running towards the mosque where residents and activists had gathered, ahead of planned demolitions in the unrecognized village. Shortly after a few rounds of live fire were heard, followed by a burst of shots and shouts that people had been killed. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Police began violently dispersing those present, using shock grenades, pepper spray and sponge-tipped bullets. Among those injured by the latter was Joint List head Ayman Odeh, who was allegedly struck in the head and back. Police assert that Odeh was struck with a stone thrown by protesters, but eyewitnesses dispute this claim. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Police began violently dispersing those present, using shock grenades, pepper spray and sponge-tipped bullets. Among those injured by the latter was Joint List head Ayman Odeh, who was allegedly struck in the head and back. Police assert that Odeh was struck with a stone thrown by protesters, but eyewitnesses dispute this claim. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

After dispersing everyone from the center of Umm el-Hiran, Israeli police fanned out throughout the village to prevent people from coming and going, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

After dispersing everyone from the center of Umm el-Hiran, Israeli police fanned out throughout the village to prevent people from coming and going, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Rabbi Arik Ascherman holds up a photo of a 100-year-old resident of Umm el-Hiran whose home was slated for demolition, as bulldozers enter the village behind him, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Rabbi Arik Ascherman holds up a photo of a 100-year-old resident of Umm el-Hiran whose home was slated for demolition, as bulldozers enter the village behind him, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Bulldozers demolishing homes, Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Bulldozers demolishing homes, Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Seven tractors worked in tandem to demolish homes, animal sheds and other farm structures in Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Seven tractors worked in tandem to demolish homes, animal sheds and other farm structures in Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Women weep outside the demolished home of Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qian, who was shot dead by police. The Israeli authorities claim that Qian deliberately ran over a police officer with his car, killing him, while eyewitnesses say that police opened fire on the car before it sped up — a version that appears to be supported by police aerial footage of the incident. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills)

Women weep outside the demolished home of Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qian, who was shot dead by police. The Israeli authorities claim that Qian deliberately ran over a police officer with his car, killing him, while eyewitnesses say that police opened fire on the car before it sped up — a version that appears to be supported by police aerial footage of the incident. Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills)

The ruins of a demolished building in Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills)

The ruins of a demolished building in Umm el-Hiran, January 18, 2017. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills)

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    1. Ben

      Bedouin town slated for destruction is true test for Israelis

      The Negev comprises two thirds of Israel’s territory, but only 10 percent of citizens lives there. It is thus no coincidence that the Jewish settlement of Hiran is being planned directly atop the ruins of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran. This is a test for all Israelis, and I really hope we do not fail.

      https://972mag.com/bedouin-town-slated-for-destruction-is-true-test-for-israelis/117515/

      You failed.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Benny is posting here 7 days a week. As if his life depends on it. The thing is, all he manages to do is to demonstrate his obsessive bias and stupidity. This is the type of nonsense Benny came up with on another thread:

        First, Benny came up with the following “pearl of wisdom”:

        “Two intifadas increased Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals.”

        Then Benny said this:

        “But Israel at the same time deliberately provokes violent tactics (e.g., with undercover operatives dressed as Palestinians egging on stone throwers it then shoots in the thigh to subdue)”

        I then just had to ask him: Now, Benny, please make up your mind (have you got one?). Which is it? Do we give in, once we are confronted by Arab violence? I mean that would be a good thing for Arabs, if we would, wouldn’t it? It would encourage them to initiate more violence, wouldn’t it?

        Or, do we encourage violence, Benny-leh? But why would we, if what you said in the first place would be true?

        Presumably, according to you, we encourage violence because we want to make more concessions? Only a feverish brain like yours could promote such diametrically conflicting views Benny.

        I just have to share this Benny-ism with as many people as possible. What a joker 😅

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          @AJew (from AnotherJew): Once I met Salim Shawamreh, a Palestinian whose home has been demolished multiple times (and rebuilt with the help of Israeli and Palestinian volunteers each time). I would say that his life DOES depend on Israeli policies:

          http://icahd.org/tag/salim-shawamreh/

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          As Bruce is reminding you, Gustav, this forum is not the Gustav & Benny Show. There are serious issues–people are being ripped out their homes and great injustice perpetrated.

          (Honestly, between you and me, you’ve made it more the Seinfeld Show. I always feel like Jerry dealing with George when I deal with you. I identify with Jerry. And then, with priceless chutzpah, you describe me as “obsessive.” Regarding your compulsion to share this with as many people as possible, it sounds like the kind of comically self-exposing thing George would do, and then regret. Many a Seinfeld episode hinged on this dynamic.)

          More to follow.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          You really need to calm down. “Diametrically conflicting”? Not at all. “Feverish brain”? “Schizophrenia”? The relevant mental issue is not a disease state, but an ordinary trait: the intelligent—unintelligent dimension. In the sense of being capable of grasping complexity and holding more than one thought in one’s mind at the same time. I believe I actually used the phrase “at the same time” in the post at issue.

          Obviously, Israel both whines about violent resistance at the same time that it works overtime, and with scientific precision and practice, to strangle all non-violent protest at its birth, or, failing that, to convert non-violent protest into much more easily handled violent protest. Now, the Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals that Noam Scheizaf attributes to the two intifadas came after, well, intifadas: large scale violent and non-violent resistance episodes. Not after the kinds of smaller scale protest Israel every day shuts down and certainly not after the small scale non-violent resistance Israel shuts down violently or diverts into violence and then shuts down. So when you ask, “do we Israelis encourage violence while at the same time we give in to violence?”—well yes, of course you do. When you are threatened with non-violent protest you encourage violence or purposely convert non-violent protests to violent ones —but then when all of this deliberate Israeli frustration of both violent and non-violent forms of small scale resistance leaves no room for anything but a large scale eruption of explosive frustration and violence in the form of an intifada, then, yes, Israel responds to that by making the territorial withdrawals Noam Scheizaf describes. Because Israel only listens to (large scale) violence.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            BS Benny and you know it.

            You shot your mouth off without thinking through the implications of your claims and now you are scrambling to cover up your stupidity.

            Okey, dokey. No point in arguing with you. Have the last word 😜

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “You shot your mouth off without thinking through the implications of your claims and now you are scrambling to cover up your stupidity.”

            …says AJew as he uncharacteristically abandons his querulous quarrelsomeness and high tails it out of town. As clear a case of projection as ever there was.

            I think it is clear that there is a lot of truth to what Noam is saying and it has deep implications.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            You don’t want me to high tail out of here, Benny? Okey, dokey.

            So we foster violence and we know in advance that such violence won’t turn into large scale violent intifadas?

            We must be very clever people if we can play such a stupid game thinking that is possible. Where I come from (here) we know one thing. Violence is unpredictable, it can and often gets out of control. Therefore, we don’t like playing with fire. People get hurt in fires. On both sides, Benny-leh.

            Now you might think that we are stupid, Benny but that just makes you stupid.

            Gaaaaawd, give me patience. On the one hand Benny claims that we are sooooooo clever that we can control the extent of violence, on the other hand he thinks we are stupid enough to make more concessions in the face of large scale violence which of course would encourage more large scale violence.

            Now Benny, again. Which bit of the following didn’t you understand:

            1. Our prime ministers are not Israel. They get voted in and they get voted out based on whether we perceive that they are competent or not.

            2. The sequence of events with Ehud Barak was:

            FIRST: He offered concessions at Camp David.

            SECOND: Arafat did not like his offer therefore he orchestrated an intifada.

            Concessions first. The concessions were perceived as weakness. Therefore an intifada was initiated.

            Barak then folded and offered more concessions in Taba in 2001. Within weeks of that stupidity, Barak lost the elections.

            The intifada was then defeated by overwhelming force employed by Sharon.

            Not that hard Benny. Google it. I am not making things up. Your mind is the one which acts as if you have scrambled eggs instead of brains. Or is it just propaganda you are attempting to peddle?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I thought you said I could have the last word.

            “Our Prime Ministers are not Israel.”

            Sorry, that’s way too easy. You cannot tout what a democracy you are and then say that the people you elect to represent you are not really you. One of your dodges is to say that Bibi is just some guy you hired for the time being (going on eleven years now) because the Palestinians made you do it.

            “So we foster violence and we know in advance that such violence won’t turn into large scale violent intifadas?”

            Who said that? No, of course you don’t always—most of the time you do but not always. That was elementary to my whole point. Your facts do not add up and your “sequence” is specious. It’s time to return to the argument made by Noam:

            “…A similar process took place after the Second Intifada: Israelis broke right and chose Ariel Sharon, but the Israeli government then disengaged from Gaza; Sharon’s successor presented the Palestinians with the most far-reaching proposal to date. Under Netanyahu, however, when the number of Israeli casualties decreased significantly, the Israeli public drifted to the right and became far less willing to make compromises….
            “Having lived through the first and second intifadas, we know what to expect: in the first months or perhaps even years of the next violent outbreak, Israelis will move rightward. But if the violence lasts long enough, up to the point that the two societies grow really tired of spilling each other’s blood, at some point a leader with a strong right-wing or security record will rise to power in Israel, and surprise surprise, will agree to make concessions that today seem unacceptable. Just as Menachem Begin did in Sinai. Or Yitzhak Rabin in Oslo. Or Ehud Barak in Lebanon. Or Ariel Sharon in Gaza.”
            read more: https://972mag.com/why-do-we-only-listen-to-violence/117773/

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Sorry, that’s way too easy. You cannot tout what a democracy you are and then say that the people you elect to represent you are not really you. One of your dodges is to say that Bibi is just some guy you hired for the time being (going on eleven years now) because the Palestinians made you do it.”

            Wow Benny-leh, you are a regular genius. You twigged to the fact that we are a democracy.

            But what you did not observe is that within weeks of Barak’s panick driven concessions, we kicked him out and he was no longer our prime minister. You don’t draw the appropriate conclusions from that? You think that Barak’s stupidity was representing us, but us kicking him out did not represent us?

            I guess you would say that. You really are incapable of admitting that you are ever wrong. Are you, Benny? Never mind…

            PS
            As for Bibi? I for one certainly have no problem in saying that he represents me. He didn’t always, I voted for Rabin and Barak before. But I have learnt that I made a mistake. I don’t blame them, they were not to know. But now we do know. So in a way, they had to do what they did in order to help us to the right path. And if it turns out that I made a mistake about Bibi too, I will change my vote again. But not now coz I think that Bibi is right.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I cannot find a single thing in this that addresses Noam’ argument. A lot of tired right wing “everybody knows” stories in this. Barak’s panic-driven concessions? Barak’s panic was in the opposite direction. Already politically weakened with the right wing by his withdrawal from Lebanon (see Noam’s argument about this withdrawal being one more Israeli shift left after shifting right) he felt Sharon breathing down his neck and so went to Camp David intent on driving an impossible bargain. (I have already given you two accounts, by Gershon Baskin and by Seth Ackerman, that show this.) Intent on heading Sharon off from the right, intent on being able to say “there is no partner, I ripped the mask off,” but in fact we know now from his former colleagues that it was a sham:

            “Years later Barak’s top advisors would come to lament the role they played in creating that spin. As Peter Beinart notes in his book, The Crisis of Zionism, Barak aide Tal Ziberstein admitted that the “no-partner” campaign was one of the things he regretted most. Eldad Yaniv, Barak’s former campaign adviser and well known politico who has worked closely with politicians of all stripes added: “Ten years later, there are still people who say, ‘We gave them everything at Camp David and got nothing.’ That is a flagrant lie… I was one of the people behind this false and miserable spin.”
            http://972mag.com/the-life-and-death-of-the-israeli-peace-camp/116979

            And then when Barak naturally created disillusionment among Israelis with the peace process by this, and the intifada erupted after Sharon deliberately triggered it, Sharon walloped Barak at the polls. Then immediately on taking office, Sharon abandoned the right wing blather that got him elected and started saying, “What you see from here (PMs office) is not what you see from there (opposition bench).” And took more than four years to wind down the second intifada and then pull out of Gaza, not out of weakness but out of cynical occupation-furthering. Sharon’s top political advisor, Dov Weissglas, would famously admit that the disengagement supplied “the amount of formaldehyde necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”‘

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            So according to Benny, Ehud Barak was Israel but Israeli voters who voted him out were not.

            Why? Because Sheizaf says so. And Baskin says so and wait for it, Seth Ackerman too says so. Fine then, Benny. Have it your way, millions of Israeli voters who kicked out Ehud Barak, were not Israel. Barak was Israel.

            How does one argue with a mule? Answer: Argue with Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You really need to stop this “so according to Benny” manner of twisting and fabricating.

            “Ehud Barak was Israel but Israeli voters who voted him out were not.” I have no idea what you’re trying to say. I don’t think you do either. But I do know you failed to refute a single thing I wrote.

            Scheizaf, Baskin and Ackerman of course don’t just “say so,” they make persuasive arguments based on facts and authoritative accounts. They are totally credible.

            If I’m a “mule,” then you might remember the old wisdom:

            “There’s nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule.” -Mark Twain

            Reply to Comment
    2. Carol Winograd

      Horrible
      Horrific

      Reply to Comment
    3. AJew

      I said that the Israeli people voted Ehud Barak out within weeks of him making more concessions in the face of the second Intifadah.

      This is what you said in response to that:

      “Sorry, that’s way too easy. You cannot tout what a democracy you are and then say that the people you elect to represent you are not really you”

      Hence my subsequent response to you:

      “So according to Benny, Ehud Barak was Israel but Israeli voters who voted him out were not.

      Why? Because Sheizaf says so. And Baskin says so and wait for it, Seth Ackerman too says so. Fine then, Benny. Have it your way, millions of Israeli voters who kicked out Ehud Barak, were not Israel. Barak was Israel.”

      😂

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​AJew: My “that’s way too easy” was actually in response to your telling us that “Our Prime Ministers are not Israel.” I could have misunderstood what you meant by that and you then misunderstood my reply and away we went. But in this distracting much ado about not very much, in regards to who said what about kicking out Barak, I feel you stubbornly miss the main point staring us in the face, even as you kind of make the main point all over again. The main point:

        Noam: “Israel gave up on the Peres-Hussein London Agreement in 1987, which would have transferred partial responsibility for the occupied Palestinian territories back to Jordan’s King Hussein, leaving the PLO out of the process. Only six years later, Israel recognized the PLO and accepted Arafat back to historic Palestine. It was the First Intifada that made the difference. At the beginning of the uprising, the Israeli public shifted to the right, but after four years it elected Rabin on a peace platform. A similar process took place after the Second Intifada: Israelis broke right and chose Ariel Sharon, but the Israeli government then disengaged from Gaza; Sharon’s successor presented the Palestinians with the most far-reaching proposal to date.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​Note, though, how you’ve succeeded in getting us way off the topic of Umm el-Hiran. Please tell us how Rabbi Arik Ascherman is misguided (photo, above). I’m all ears. I await your reply.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          I already answered those points of yours too. No point in repeating myself.

          The only thing that I’ll add to my answer is this:

          You are playing a silly game of self deception. This is how your game goes.

          First you arrive at a self serving conclusion like: “Israel understands only violence”.

          You then look for ways to make your point stick by correlating bits of history to justify your predetermined conclusion.

          …Aaaaaand you ignore the overall trend which is this: overall, Israel has lurched from being a leftist country which tried to offer various peace deals (even if you people didn’t like those deals). That in turn, got Israel more violence which was always put down by us applying overwhelming force.

          We have had a right wing coalition in power now continuously since 2001 but your conclusion is that violence works?

          You gotta be joking Benny. Palestinian intransigence and violence is not a new phenomenon. That was your people’s weapon of choice as far back as one can remember. Even before “the occupation”. Even before Israel was born. As far back as 1929. Now tell us Benny, what have you guys got to show for it?!

          Reply to Comment
          • Chris

            “Palestinian intransigence and violence is not a new phenomenon.”

            Yeah, it started after your intransigent and violent foreign fakestinian Zionist terrorists from Europe and America targeted the indigenous Palestinian people’s homeland for violent colonization and takeover, over a century ago. Indigenous people defending themselves and their homeland against targeted attack and takeover by intransigent and violent foreign invaders, colonizers, ethnic cleansers and usurpers is indeed an age-old “phenomenon”.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            No Chris.

            A small contingent of Jews never left our ancestral homeland. They and their fathers and fathers fathers … etc lived here for 5000 years which was well before the invasion of the Arabs in the seventh century. Those Jews were the indigineous people of this lands. Not the Arabs.

            As for the rest of us Jews. It is a well proven fact that we are the descendants of Jews who lived in Judea and Samaria, who had to flee for their lives 2000 years ago because of the actions of the European invaders, the Romans.

            The Jews of Europe started returning around the 1850s. At that time, the sovereign overlords of Palestine were the Ottoman Turks, not the Arabs.

            Moreover, the land was virtually empty. There were about 350,000 people living here where today more than 10 million people live (with still plenty of room for more).

            The Jewish returnees, bought lands. They chased no one off. But the Arabs who lived here, did not recognise any Jewish claims to the lands even though the Jews were willing to share the lands in consideration of the fact that Arabs too lived here for a long time.

            The rest is history. As I said in my previous post, the Arabs resorted to violence. As early as in 1929, they massacred the Jews of Hebron and Tzefat, both ancient Jewish communities most of whom were natives of this land.

            Once the Yishuv (the Jews of Palestine) realised how the Arabs wanted to resolve this conflict, the Jews too armed themselves and in subsequent conflicts, Jews too resorted to violence.

            And this pattern continued to the present day. Would anybody else in our place have reacted differently? Nope! Everyone else would have done what we did and some would have done worse things to the Arabs in reaction to how the Arabs chose to deal with us.

            Reply to Comment
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