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Settlers Attack House, Burn Car East of Hebron

06:00 Jan 9 2012 Al-Baqa'a, east of Hebron

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HEBRON, January 9, 2012 (WAFA) – Dozens of Jewish settlers attacked early Monday a Palestinian house and burnt a car in al-Baqa'a area, east of Hebron in the southern West Bank, according to witnesses.

Atta Jaber, a resident in the area, told WAFA that dozens of settlers attacked the house of Jodi Abdul Jawad, throwing stones at it, and set fire to his car, completely burning it.

He added that the settlers were divided into two groups; one set Abdul Jawad’s car on fire and the other attacked the house with stones to prevent Abdul Jawad from coming out to defend his property.

Baqa’a residents are regularly subjected to attacks and harassment by settlers from Kiryat Arba and Kharsina. Their property is also threatened with seizure by the Israeli authorities, which aim through the settlers’ attacks to force the farmers and residents to leave their land.

T.R./M.S.


From Jeff Halper, Jerusalem:

This morning I got a call from Jawdi Jaber, a Palestinian friend from the Baka Valley near Hebron. Settlers from Kiryat Arba, the large settlement/city built on his land and literally on top of his house, had thrown a barrage of rocks and stones at his family’s home and had burned his car.

It wasn’t much of a car, a battered old 1979 Peugeot mini-van, but it was vital for his family. Jawdi used it to make frequent visits to the hospital with his ill 90 year-old mother, not being able to afford an ambulance each time. On very rainy days he’d take his kids to school: 4 miles on foot over rocky mountain paths on most days, and not infrequently the kids would be attacked by Israeli settlers in the area, sometimes with baseball bats. When he had something to sell (the Israeli authorities tore out all his irrigation pipes this year and most of his crops – tomatoes, cucumbers and grapes – dried up and died), he would load the vegetables in his van and take them to the market in Hebron. The car was “the arms and legs of the family,” he told me this family, his voice resigned and quiet.

It was one of those “little” incidents that never get reported, part of the fabric of daily violence suffered by Palestinians of all ages. “I have never known a day of just normal happiness my whole life,” Jawdi recently told me. In 2001 he tried to build a small home for his wife and five children on his family’ land adjacent to his parents’ four-room home in which 17 people were living; in 2002 it was demolished by the Israeli authorities, only one of the 26,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in the Occupied Territory since 1967 because Israel refuses to grant Palestinians building permits.

Jawdi’s brother Atta, who lives on the hill opposite, has had his home demolished three times. In January, 2000, settlers invaded Atta’s house on a Friday, threw the family out of their home, stayed there over the Sabbath (under police protection), then, on Saturday night, burned the home, desecrated the Quranic passage over the door and left. No one arrested.

If anyone tries to tell you that Israel does not engage in ethnic cleansing or that what it does is for reasons of “security,” take them to the Jaber family. Nice people (Jawdi and Atta both speak fluent English) whose wives, Aisha and Rudina, will make you delicious maklubeh and who kids are bright and photogenic – but be aware, you are in the presence of genuine heroes. These are people who are scared, wounded, traumatized, sad, impoverished and oppressed, but they are sumud, steadfast. The Jabers will prevail. They have the strength to resist whatever violence, injustice and pain the Israeli government, its settlers and its apathetic population can bring to bear. Indeed, theirs are the shoulders upon which our world rests.

Only one thing can break them. Not the American “superpower” with its hi-tech military and “pro-Israel” Congress and Administration, not America’s European lackey governments with no courage to enforce the human rights they so loudly proclaim, but us. We can break the Jabers will to resist if we abandon them, if we, the good and privileged people, remain silent. Imagine yourself standing with Jawdi and his family this morning beside their smoldering car. What are you going to do about it?
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