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Settler violence and IDF raids: For West Bank Palestinians, there is no ceasefire

While Israelis are breathing a sigh of relief that quiet has mostly been restored (for the time being), and life can supposedly just go back to normal, with Gaza out of sight and out of mind, the other elephant in the room – the West Bank and East Jerusalem – is all but quiet.

This morning (Sunday) a “price tag” attack was identified on a car in Shuafat, a Palestinian refugee camp in East Jerusalem, which is located inside the city’s municipal borders (and thus under total Israeli jurisdiction). The car has the word “Gaza” graffitied on it, as pictured here in a photo taken by the nonprofit Ir Amim:

“Gaza” graffitied on car in price tag attack in East Jerusalem, Nov 25, 2012 (Ir Amim)

According to The Times of Israel, a total of eight vehicles in East Jerusalem were vandalized with such messages on Sunday – the second time such an incident took place in the last three weeks.

In addition, last Thursday, one day after the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was announced, 400 olive and fruit trees were destroyed by settlers in the South Hebron Hills, in yet another price tag attack, which have become all too routine over the past few years and especially months.

One of 400 olive trees destroyed in South Hebron Hills, Nov 22, 2012 (Guy, Ta’ayush activist)

Israeli Ta’ayush activists found this message graffitied by the perpetrators:

Graffiti reads: “Price tag: From Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv,” South Hebron Hills, Nov 22, 2012 (Guy, Israeli Ta’ayush activist).

According to Ta’ayush, a police report has been filed, but as has been reported on here countless times, this rarely leads to arrest and the settlers continue to act with impunity.

In addition last Thursday, while the news was squarely focused on the ceasefire, the IDF quietly conducted a wave of arrests in the West Bank, claiming it was reining in Palestinians who caused unrest throughout the West Bank during “Operation Pillar of Defense.” It is unclear who exactly was arrested or what their offenses are.

During Israel’s military offensive in Gaza last week, +972’s Mya Guarnieri reported that two Palestinians were shot and killed by the IDF while protesting in Nabi Saleh and Hebron. Killed. While protesting.

Also, settlers (thought to be from Yitzhar) reportedly threw stones at  a school in Nablus on Saturday, causing damage, which then led to clashes between Palestinians and settlers and the IDF.

Tensions in the West Bank have been especially high due to the violence between Israel and Hamas. The IDF has shown time and time again it is very apt at arresting Palestinians who it claims are endangering the surroundings. But what about the Israeli citizens posing a danger in the West Bank?

As eyes and media are focused on Gaza and Hamas, nothing of course has changed on the ground in the West Bank – a situation just as unsustainable and unjust as Gaza – only much much closer to home.

When someone from abroad asks me, “So, is everything back to normal?” all I can answer is, “no, nothing is normal.”

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    1. Palestinian

      The evidence tape of a Jewish mob attack on East Jerusalem Palestinian was miraculously erased !

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        From everywhere? Even from your flash drive? Maybe it was you who’ve erased it?

        Reply to Comment
        • Palestinian

          I’m not surprised you are making fun of your racism and manipulation.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Peter White

      Thanks for your reporting. It is so heartening to see that there is balance to the very biased news that we in the west are fed. I feel that I am pro-Israel, but that this has been at risk due to the human rights violations so common — and that these are so often not even questioned.

      Reply to Comment
      • AYLA

        Peter–I’m an american jew in israel. Don’t let the U.S. “pro-israel” machine make you think you have to make a choice between being a humanist and caring about Israel. If only they could see that this is the choice they’re asking you to make…

        Reply to Comment
    3. rsgengland

      And under cover of Gaza whilst 160 Palestinians and 6 Israelis died , over 800 Syrians died .
      And whilst Gaza is quiet ,Syria burns .
      And when Assad is gone , alas for the people of Syria , it will still burn (the way things are going)

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        Interesting how the Syria crisis doesn’t interest our “progressive” friends who are always trumpeting their “extra-sensitivity” to human rights abuses. From the reports I hear, more Syrians are killed EVERY day than the number who died during the whole Gaza War. A prominent Jewish “progressive” blogger in the US whose whole life seems to revolve the Palestinians and their grievances was pressed to say what his views as an American and as a Jew are regarding the Syrian crisis and he said simply “we can’t get involved”. Nice and simple, even though of course, they could carry out demonstrations outside the Syrian embassy and protest Chinese and Russian assets in the US and Europe since their veto in the UN Security Council prevents any sort of mulit-lateral action which Obama and the “progressives” insist on having.
        Like I said above, the Syrian crisis simply does not interest to many “progressives” which clearly illuminates their hypocrisy. Its not “human rights violations” that trouble them, they simply don’t like Israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • No, hidden XYZ, the reason why Syria is “ignored” is that, to date, there has been no possibility of intervention given Russia and China’s stance, and given the high cost relative to Libyan intervention. If a sitting Israeli PM thinks he can put weight toward the election of Romney, it is quite clear the US and Israel are entwined in a way Syria and the US are not. This flow works both ways–to your irritation, it seems. The strong US support Israel gets, plus all of the aid direct or in loan gurantees, insures critical notice of your State. The same would happen to Syria in similar conditions.

          Fear of a complete failure of the Syrian State may change American interest soon on that front.

          Note also that you say nothing of this post proper, but divert attention ad hominem. It does not matter why or where a point is raised; the point itself matters.

          Reply to Comment
    4. When settlers resoundingly attack Israeli State property they are reined in (I recall Peres saying the State may not let itself be attacked, even by Israeli citizens). The grafitti are self proclaimed hate crimes, with the intent of limiting the autonomy of others based solely on racial category in a form of collective penalty for collectie sin. If the State ingores such acts while defending the abode and livelihood of those responsible, these acts attach to the State; the ideology underlying these acts also attaches to the State. The ideology of vanguard settlers, exhibited in “price tags,” is thereby State policy. This does not have to be, but it is. Again, the State has shown the ability to respond, but does not.

      Reply to Comment
    5. AYLA

      thanks for fighting the good fight, Mairav. How to reach those whose fingers are in their ears?

      Reply to Comment

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