1000 JEWISH EXTREMISTS ATTACK HEBRON PALESTINIANS – Tel Aviv under alert as Israel assassinates Palestinian fighter, blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02


HEBRON, West Bank – At least 13 Palestinians were wounded overnight as more than 1,000 ultra-nationalist Israelis hurled rocks at residents, homes and police jeeps in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron which under Israeli occupation.

The rioting broke out as rumours spread that security forces were set to evict 100 Jewish settlers from a house the Israeli high court has ordered evacuated.

Young settlers, backed by right-wing supporters hurled rocks for several hours at Palestinian homes and police vehicles.

At least 13 Palestinians were wounded and significant damage was caused to homes in Hebron, medics and witnesses said.

In the northern West Bank, dozens of settlers clashed with Palestinians and border police, and blocked roads in a show of support for the Israelis living in the Palestinian Hebron house.

The Israeli High Court on November 16 ordered the settlers to leave the Hebron house in which they have lived since March 2007, but security forces have not enforced the order to date.

The settlers insist they have bought the house, but the court said the sale was not completed.

The settlers have been involved in several clashes since the eviction order was issued, and have desecrated a mosque and a Muslim cemetery.

With more than 170,000 Palestinian residents, Hebron is the largest city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank apart from annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

It has long been a flashpoint because of a settler enclave of around 600 hardline Jews in the heart of the city, and a further 6,500 settlers living in Kiryat Arba on the outskirts.

Tel Aviv under alert

Israeli police were on high alert Tuesday in Tel Aviv following fears of a Palestinian attack, a police source said, as citizens were warned to steer clear of the city until further notice.

The police set up barricades at entry points into Tel Aviv, sparking huge traffic jams while radio stations urged Israelis not to visit the city until the alert was lifted.

It was the first time in seven months that an Israeli city was put under such tight security.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian

Israeli soldiers captured and fatally shot a member of a Palestinian resistance group Monday in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

The 27-year-old Mohammed Kenan was killed by a special Israeli unit wearing civilian clothing as he boarded a vehicle that carried him to the Palestinian Authority prison where he was locked up every night. An Israeli army spokesman said Kenan was killed as he was trying to flee, despite warning shots.

According to witnesses, Kenan, a local official with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – an armed offshoot of the Fatah Party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas – had been carrying a pistol.

At least 555 people, most of them Palestinians, have been killed since November 2007.

Israeli warships block Libyan aid boat near Gaza

Israeli warships on Monday prevented a Libyan cargo vessel from reaching the Gaza Strip, the impoverished Palestinian territory under a crippling Israeli blockade.

The ship, laden with 3,000 tonnes of goods, was stopped several kilometres (miles) off Gaza’s shores and ordered to return to the Egyptian port of El-Arish, said Palestinian MP Jamal Khodary, who heads an international campaign against the Israeli sanctions.

“Navy ships approached the Libyan boat and ordered it on the radio to turn back, and so it did,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Hamas said turning the Libyan boat back “showed the true, criminal face of the occupation.”

A spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhum, also urged Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing. “Its closure will enter into history as a crime committed by all those who besiege Gaza,” he said in a statement.

In Tripoli, an official said the ship’s crew was in contact with the Libyan authorities.

“The crew has told us Israeli warships were conducting harassment measures even though it is a civilian vessel loaded with humanitarian aid,” the official said.

The source said that the crew will have no option but to return to Libya as the goods cannot be unloaded in Gaza.

The Libyan attempt to deliver aid to Gaza was the first such effort by an Arab state to defy the blockade, although European and other humanitarian peace activists have made three trips from Cyprus since August without being intercepted by the Israeli navy.

The Qatar Charity Organisation said in Doha on Monday it plans to ship one tonne of medical aid to Gaza this week in a bid to break the blockade.

Its vice president Abdallah al-Nimaa said the ship is set to sail from Doha on Friday, but that he expects the Israeli authorities to stop the vessel.

The Libyan consignment consists of 1,200 tonnes of rice, 750 tonnes of milk, 500 tonnes of oil, 500 tonnes of flour and 100 tonnes of medicine, said the Libyan Fund for Aid and Development in Africa, which chartered the vessel.

Most of the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip depend on foreign aid.

Libya, the only Arab state on the 15-member UN Security Council, has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has frequently criticised it over the situation in Gaza.

Israel, which wants to crush any Palestinian liberation movement, responded to Hamas’s win in the elections with sanctions, and almost completely blockaded the impoverished coastal strip after Hamas seized power in 2007, although a ‘lighter’ siege had already existed before.

Human rights groups, both international and Israeli, slammed Israel’s siege of Gaza, branding it “collective punishment.”

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists had also accused Israel of committing “genocide” through its crippling blockade of the Strip.

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, Gaza’s sole border crossing that bypasses Israel, rarely opens as Egypt is under immense US and Israeli pressure to keep the crossing shut.



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