*Jewish Daesh Settlers Burn West Bank Palesnian Baby Alive (Sunday Updates Indluded) – AFP
OCCUPIED Nablus (WB) – An 18-month-old Palestinian baby died and its parents were injured in a fire started by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, Palestinian security officials said Friday.
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon labelled the attack an “act of terrorism.”
“The fire and the murder of the Palestinian toddler is an act of terrorism,” Yaalon said in a statement, after the attack in the village of Doma, near Nablus.
“We will not allow terrorists to take the lives of Palestinians.”
Four settlers set a house on fire at the entrance of the village and scrawled graffiti on a wall before fleeing to a neighbouring settlement, the sources said.
Extreme-right Israeli activists have committed acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and Arab Israelis for years, attacking Christian and Muslim places of worship and even Israeli soldiers.
The attacks are known “price tag” violence — a euphemism for nationalist-motivated hate crimes by Jewish extremists aimed at Arab property.
West Bank settlements are major impediments to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, who see the land as part of a future independent state, and Western nations have called on Israel to halt such projects.
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First, the headline above is my own – all headlines in the Western media were way too diluted from the nature and facts of the crime.
(I’ve just arrived back from my camping trip – I”ll be writing about that experience separately in the next couple of days).
Right now I’m monitoring news of this story heard around the Levant – unfiltered news right out of occupied Palestine.
So far, it seems that a huge mount of tension and anxiety has suddenly exploded in the West Bank – thousands of extra IDF-ers are currently out on every single corner of the West Bank, and especially at road forks into (illegal) israeli settlements – extra numerous road-blocks have suddenly sprung up where there were none a mere 5 hours ago – a kind of a ‘caging’ of West Bank Palestinians is in effect: an israeli anxiety of a third Intifada breaking out.
Netanyahu at the moment is meeting with his cabinet, preparing a statement of condemnation of this heinous crime. Israeli analysts are calling it “terrorism” and referring to the criminal settlers as the “Jewish Daesh”. Others are saying that these evil doers are known by name, they are infamous haters that israeli prejudice and law has been protecting and enabling. A state of shock has gripped the left and a state of fear has gripped the right – and a state of joy has gripped the jewish Daesh extremists.
On the Palestinian side, with the diabolical murder a year ago of Mohammed Abu Khdeir still fresh in every Palestinian mind, there is an unprecedented response to today merciless burning alive of the 18 month old Palestinian toddler. It is reported on Arab media that Abbas has announced that he will take this case to the ICC as there is no guaranteed recourse for justice available to the Palestinians under israeli occupation, and that the willful burning of a whole family, causing the death of an infant and critical injuries to the survivors constitutes a war crime and not just an act of terrorism. ALL political factions on the West Bank have connected together on this issue and have sent Abbas a message demanding that he immediately act to ensure the safety of Palestinian WB residents – they’re also insisting that Abbas makes the safety and security of Palestinians a primary agenda. In other words, they’ve formed a united front, a rare thing in itself, to pressure Abbas on paramount security issues. The political dynamic here is that they are in unison demanding Abbas relegate israel’s security agenda to second place. We’ve yet to see how Abbas will respond to this new wave of pressure.
In Gaza, Islamic Jihad has condemned “this evil zionist crime against the children of Palestine”, and called upon ALL Palestinians to “support the armed resistance of Palestine, the only road to true liberation and justice”. No official statement by Hamas has been released yet. The delay is very telling. Hamas has recently agreed to discussing the possibility of a ten year armistice with israel and the delay in response clearly indicates that Hamas is taking the secret talks towards an armistice seriously and its hands are somewhat tied-up with that. Whereas usually they would fire a rocket or two at an illegal settlement to demonstrate their rage at such a brutal murder of a Palestinian child, they are right now – some six hours after the war crime was committed, not banging any drums yet. But they will release a statement soon enough, I’m sure.
On the streets of the WB, right now, a barely contained rage. In Nablus, a funeral procession for the toddler is taking place. More and more people are taking to the streets – many Palestinian flags and political faction flags are waving in the thickening crowds.
Friday prayers will soon be over where indeed more WB citizens will then be joining street protests and bereavement marches.
Will a 3rd Intifada break out?
No doubt some violence and injuries will take place in the next couple of days. And if the idf reacts heavy-handedly, for instance targeting specific population centers and unleashing unwarranted violence and mass arrests on them, then yes, a 3rd Intifada will break out.
It is reported that since 2004, over 11,000 acts of violence have been committed by illegal jewish WB settlers against legal Palestinian WB residents.
I’m keeping my ear to the ground in the meantime and will report back to share with you any significant developments.
Stay tuned and check this article periodically for updates etc.
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UPDATE @ 3:10pm, Levant Time:
On Arab TV media right now, loud calls by Palestinian faction leaders for the arming of men in villages regularly and violently targeted by illegal jewish settlers. They’re asking the PA to give “protection” arms to villagers, the same way the idf supplies illegal settlers with arms for protection. (Abbas the snake has a lot of slimy slithering and evasion to do today).
The astute and deeply informed Palestinian-Isaeli analyst, Nasser Laham is saying that the Netanyahu government has zero control over the settlers, that in fact, the settlers are in total control of Netanyahu therefore defacto running the israeli government through constant political pressures and heavey-handed threats to Netanyahu who is submitting to their every whim and wish.
Street casualties in clashes between Palestinians and israeli police during protests: several wounded by gunfire – a few arrests, a few assaults – more Palestinian protestors taking to the streets – no doubt the casualty figures will rise throughout the night. I will supply accurate casualty figures in my final update later on tonight, Levant time.
Palestinian analysts on Arab TV are accusing Netanyahu of arming, training and protecting known violent settlers. Also accusing him of constantly inciting violence against them through his aggressively expanding settlement policies. They’re putting everything and the kitchen sink on him personally.
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UPDATE: 5:05 Levant Time
Netanyahu makes a surprising visit to the family of the targeted and murdered Palestinian toddler – he offers the best of israeli med treatments to the surviving family – the mother is still in critical condition.
Tens of Palestinians protesting the ‘price tag’ terrorism by terrorist jewish settlers are wounded in clashes – protests and clashes continuing.
Netanyahu contacted Abbas and referred to the murder of the toddler as an act of “terrorism” – a first indeed! He is going against the jewish Daesh extremists on this one. This indicates the israeli fear of a third intifada and the glaring fissures now within israel over the settlement policies. Needless to say, Netanyahu fears the spread of violence will undermine his ‘security’ file and bring his government down overnight. Netanyahu is now stuck between pleasing the worst of the powerful settlers and losing his anemic support in the Knesset.
Abbas issued a statement confirming that he will immediately submit appropriate papers regarding the deliberate settler arson-murder to the ICC – as well as other war crimes the settlers have previously committed.
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UPDATE @ 8:00AM LEVANT TIME – AUGUST 1st, 2015
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s murder of a Palestinian child in the West Bank and calls for the perpetrators of this terrorist act to be promptly brought to justice. He expresses his deepest condolences to the family of Ali Dawabsha, who were themselves severely injured in the arson attack. Continued failures to effectively address impunity for repeated acts of settler violence have led to another horrific incident involving the death of an innocent life. This must end.
The absence of a political process and Israel’s illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses, have given rise to violent extremism on both sides. This presents a further threat to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood, as well as to the security of the people of Israel. The Secretary-General urges both sides to take bold steps to return to the path of peace.
The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties to ensure that tensions do not escalate further, leading to more loss of life.
UPDATE: AUGUST 1st, 2015, MORNING:
Last night in Gaza, all night marches and vigils were held for the infant martyr Ali Dawabsha. Young and old wept in the streets, footage of this mass bereavement on Arab TV.
In Jordan, huge demonstrations over the arson war crime committed against the Dawabsha family – street protestors taking the microphone from TV reporters and accusing oil Arabs of aiding the zionist regime in its relentless crimes against the Palestinian people.
SUNDAY 2nd AUGUST 2015 UPDATE:
Jerusalem (AFP) – Clashes broke out on Sunday at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, two days after a Palestinian toddler was burned alive in a firebombing by suspected Jewish extremists.
Police said masked Palestinian youths at the mosque threw stones at security forces while protesters held aloft photographs of the 18-month-old child killed in Friday’s arson attack in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli media reported that security forces later sought to create a barrier between the stone-throwers and tourists visiting the mosque complex, the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.
Calm began to return to the hilltop complex in Jerusalem’s Old City later in the morning, an AFP photographer reported.
A wave of protests has swept the Palestinian territories since Friday’s firebombing, which also critically wounded the toddler’s four-year-old brother and parents.
There have also been demonstrations by Israelis and calls for a crackdown on Jewish extremists.
On Saturday, clashes broke out at Jalazon refugee camp in the West Bank, where the funeral took place for Laith Khaldi, 16, who the army said was shot by soldiers after hurling a Molotov cocktail.
Clashes had also rocked Al-Aqsa a week ago when Palestinians were angered over Jews’ access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning. Visits are allowed to the complex, but Jewish prayer is prohibited.
Israeli police briefly entered the mosque during those clashes to shut the doors and lock rioters inside.
Israel seized east Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.