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  • Two sides of the same coin: How soldiers and settlers complete each other

    Most of the time, soldiers and settlers are not adversaries; they are two sides completing each other. The settlers despoil the Palestinians of their land, and the soldiers pretend they have no choice but to defend them. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) Some three weeks ago, S., a resident of the West Bank village Qusra, which is under constant terror attack by settlers, took his herd of goats out to pasture. As he was herding his goats around a building belonging to his family which was destroyed by settlers, several IDF vehicles reached the scene. A few troops…

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  • 'There is peace here': Notes from a journey to settler backcountry

    After deciding to visit a few wildcat Jewish settlements in the West Bank, I felt anxious. Will they recognize us for the Tel Aviv leftists that we are? Will they become enraged at our questions? Might we face violence? Arriving at the settlement gate, however, I am struck by just how much the place resembles the kibbutz I lived on just a few years ago. But by the end of our journey, it becomes clear that we are not welcome. By Edo Konrad The first and only time I had ever spoken to an ideological settler was during the summer…

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  • Collaboration between IDF, settlers reaching point of no return

    Israeli democracy is being severely compromised by the army's collaboration with the settlers, and the fact that more and more Israeli citizens now see the occupation as the natural order of things. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz The following complaint was received from M., a resident of a village near Qalqiliya: "Last night, at about 7:30 p.m., we were all in the house. Suddenly I heard a noise outside, including the engine sound of a military vehicle. We didn't leave the house and I looked through the window. I saw a military jeep parked west of the house, some…

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  • Does Israel intentionally target civilians?

    Israeli policy (unlike Hamas or Hezbollah) is not intended to maximize civilian casualties. Yet it does intentionally target civilians: it is intended to produce maximal civilian distress, while avoiding mass civilian casualties. In discussions about the Israeli-Arab conflict, one of the perennial issues is the targeting of non-combatants. The reactions to the brutal murders in the settlement of Itamar, and the collective punishment of the nearby Palestinian village Awarta (where the alleged killers live) have exemplified the concern many feel about the lack of distinction between those involved in hostilities and uninvolved civilians. Even more attention has been given to…

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  • Solving the Itamar case does not justify the means the army used on Palestinians

    Now that Israel has in custody two people who admitted to committing the murder in Itamar a month ago, I received several comments demanding I "update" my post on Awarta, meaning retract on the allegations in its last few paragraphs. I really don't see a reason why. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested and interrogated without due process. Such "investigation" would have never taken place were the suspects Jews. The legal system in the West Bank is purely Apartheid: One law for Jews and another for Arabs. The fact that alleged killers of Palestinians from Itamar were never located is further proof to that…

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  • Two hospitalized following Awarta raid

    Despite Israeli media claims that a breakthrough in the murder investigation of the Fogel family is close, the village of Awarta continues to experience collective punishment. At about 2 AM on the night of 13 April dozens of soldiers entered Awarta as they have been for the past month. Soldiers targeted two homes, which were raided using force, arrested two men and caused the hospitalization of two women. Two houses were raided by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night tonight at the West Bank village of Awarta. The soldiers entered the houses violently, knocking down the doors and…

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  • Why are the security forces detaining hundreds in Awarta?

    Former IDF Chief Rabbi calls for collective punishment of Palestinian villages in the West Bank In 1990, I was serving as an operations sergeant in the Dir El Balah – a town in the Gaza Strip – in the so-called Civil Administration. On Rosh Hashana of that year, a reservist soldier named Amnon Pomeranz made a fatal error and took the wrong turn. Instead of reaching the Buriej military camp, he reached the Buriej refugee camp. He panicked, drove backwards too fast, and ran over two children. He drove blindly forward, and the vehicle hit a road. An angry mob formed quickly, started throwing…

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  • Settlers' murder investigation turns into collective punishment

    The army has taken control over the village of Awarta, which lies near the settlement of Itamar, where 5 members of the Fogel family were murdered. According to reports, hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested, some beaten; all young men were forced to give DNA samples; settlers have built an outpost on the village's land, which is now guarded by the Israeli army Ever since the terrible murder of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar, the nearby village of Awarta is going through what is officially a murder investigation, but looks more like a form…

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