Hebron: Settler ‘Pogrom’ for Palestinians

An innocent Palestinian woman cried for help as masked settlers surrounded her family, seeking to lynch them.

"It is a pogrom in the worst sense of the word," veteran Israeli writer Avi Issacharoff writes in Haartez on Friday, December 5.

Issacharoff joined a group of journalists in covering Israeli settlers’ assaults on an innocent Palestinian family in the West Bank town of Al-Khalil (Hebron) after being evicted from the family’s house.

A group of masked settlers surrounded nearly 20 members of the Abu Sa’afan family, mostly women and children, seeking to lynch them.

First, the settlers set fire to their laundry and tried to set ablaze one of the rooms of the house.

"The cries rain down, much like the hail of stones the masked men hurled at the Abu Sa’afan family in the house," says Issacharoff.

The settlers shot and wounded three Palestinians and torched a number of Palestinian homes, fields and cars.

Issacharoff sought help from soldiers to intervene to stop the settlers’ assaults but to no avail.

"We call for the security guards from Kiryat Arba to intervene and put a halt to the lynch," he said.

"But they surround the home to prevent the arrival of Palestinian aid," added the shocked journalist.

Issacharoff and fellow journalists found no other option but to intervene.

"They break into the home and save the lives of the people inside," he says.

Shame

Being inside the house, the Israeli journalists were shocked at what they have seen.

"The home is destroyed and the fear is palpable on the faces of the children," Issacharoff recalled.

"One of the women, Jihad, is sprawled on the floor, half-unconscious. The son, who is gripping a large stick, prepares for the moment he will be forced to face the rioters. Tahana, one of the daughters, refuses to calm down. "Look at what they did to the house, look."

Some of the Israeli journalist’s fellows could not hold bear their tears over the tragic scenes.

"The tears do not stem from fear. It is shame, shame at the sight of these occurrences, the deeds of youths who call themselves Jews," he said.

"Shame that we share the same religion."

About 500 settlers are housed in several tiny enclaves built since 1980 in the heart of Al-Khalil, home to more than 167,000 Palestinians.

Israeli settlers repeatedly assault Palestinians in the West Bank, occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

With Israeli police turning a blind eye to repeated attacks by armed settlers, Palestinians are now using cameras as their frontline defense to record assaults by Israeli settlers.

Issacharoff feels ashamed of the settlers’ assaults.

"Leaving the home, one can hear a settler yell at a police officer: "Nazis, shame on you." Indeed. Shame on you."

(IslamOnline.net and newspapers)

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