Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 4 m 45s || 4.35 MB ||
Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Monday, March 14, 2011.
On Friday, at night, a family living in the settlement of Itamar, in the Nablus region were murdered in their sleep. Despite any apparent evidence the murder of the Fogel family has been blamed, by The State of Israel, on one or more Palestinians, and branded a terror attack.
The murdered persons included the parents of the family and three of their five children, including a three month old baby.
Following the attack Israeli soldiers streamed into the settlement and set up a perimeter. The troops then invaded several nearby Palestinian villages and set up checkpoints along Palestinian roads.
If the attack was carried out by a Palestinian with a political motivation, this would mark the largest single attack on Israeli civilians in six years.
Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, strongly denounced that stabbing attack, on Saturday, stating that the Palestinian Authority rejects all sorts of violence and will not tolerate it.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed to punish the attackers and demanded Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to help in locating the attackers. Furthermore, Netanyahu instructed the army and the security services to act on a large scale and apprehend the assailants, whilst Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, instructed the Israeli envoy to the United Nations to file an official complaint.
On the ground, Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at dawn, the village of Awarta, close to Itamar settlement, and broke into dozens of homes, including the homes of the brothers of two Palestinians who were killed by the army several .
Furthermore, soldiers imposed curfew on Awarta village, and surrounded its nearby graveyard and initiated a search. The army also installed several roadblocks near Nablus, and reinstalled roadblocks that were removed in recent months, such as those at al-Bathan, Huwwara, and al-Taneeb.
As a result 20 Palestinians have been detained.
On Saturday at night and early Sunday at dawn, dozens of Palestinian homes in Huwwara town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, were attacked by settlers, who hurled stones at local vehicles, torched several vehicles and broke into a number of homes after surrounding them.
Furthermore, settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles driving near Ofer settlement, near Silwan, east of the central West bank city of Ramallah.
Settlers from the Keryat Arba’ settlement in Hebron attacked a number of homes near the settlement. Settlers of the Kharsina settlement, east of the city, also attacked a number of nearby homes. Damage was reported in both areas.
Also in the Hebron district, settlers torched a vehicle and wounded a child in Beit Ummar town. Local sources said that the attack against their town was carried out by at least 250 settlers, and that the settlers hurled stones at local homes and vehicles, while a child was moved to a local clinic after inhaling gas fired by the Israeli army.
Furthermore, a group of settlers attacked homes in al-Arroub refugee camp, located on the main road that links between Hebron and Bethlehem; damage was reported but no injuries.
Five members of Abu Aker family were wounded, on Saturday evening, after being attacked by a group of armed settlers. The family was driving on the Jerusalem-Hebron road while driving back to their home in Bethlehem.
On Sunday, in the village of Jinsafout, near Qalqiliya, settlers torched two cars belonging to Palestinian civilians while settlers took to Palestinian streets in the central West Bank city of Salfit, opening fire at homes and throwing stones at passing cars.
Near the settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah, settlers torched three cars including a Ford Transit van used to take people between Ramallah and Bethlehem. The owner of the vehicle depended on the transport service to provide for his family.
In the southern West Bank, settlers began construction on a new outpost near the village of Juba’a while in al-Baq’a, a village northeast of Hebron, armed settlers supported by Israeli army personnel broke into the home of Abdul Jawad Jaber, causing damage.
As previously mentioned, Israeli security forces have yet to provide evidence of Palestinian involvement in these murders, and it bears noting that, in the last six years Israeli forces have killed upwards of 2,000 Palestinian civilians, as well as repeated injuries and murders committed by the settler population in the West Bank.
Also on Sunday, the Israeli government announced that 500 new units would be constructed on Palestinian la nd.
The new units were approved in the settlements of Gush Etzion, Kiryat Sefer and Ma’ale Adumim in the Bethlehem area. This is in addition to the 1400 new units approved last month for construction in East Jerusalem.
Following the announcement, President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the decision, saying that it hinders peace efforts, and the U.S. government also criticized the decision, saying that the action runs counter to peace efforts by Israeli, Palestinian and US officials.
That sums up our news for today, thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. You have been listening to Palestine Today, from International Middle East Media Center. For more updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and Circarre Parrhesia.