Chaos in Hebron

Violence continues in Hebron as “IDF officials described the severity of the settlers’ riots as ‘unprecedented.’ They said the violent clashes were initiated by the settlers and not by the Palestinians, who only responded by throwing rocks.â€? (Haaretz)

Of the house in Hebron so bitterly struggled over, Meron Benvenisti  says “its true purpose is to expand the residential area of Kiryat Arba. The billions invested in infrastructure and construction in the West Bank have made contractors and private individuals rich� and they want this continued. (Haaretz)

And police finally evacuate the house, which involved “dragging out some 250 settlers who barricaded themselves inside and hurled rocks, eggs and chemicals at their evictors…A police officer was moderately hurt when settlers threw acid at his face.� (Haaretz)

Avi Issacharoff reports that for “An innocent Palestinian family, numbering close to 20 people…It is a pogrom in the worst sense of the word. First the masked men set fire to their laundry in the front yard and then they tried to set fire to one of the rooms in the house…Anyone standing hundreds of meters away could notice the dozens of rioters climbing atop the roof of the Abu Sa’afan family home, hurling stones…The home is destroyed and the fear is palpable on the faces of the children. One of the women, Jihad, is sprawled on the floor, half-unconscious.â€? (Haaretz)

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has released video footage purporting to show settlers shooting two Palestinians at close range. (Guardian)

Ron Ben-Yishai argues that this trauma could have been avoided had Israel acted more decisively a year ago. (Ynet News)

A somewhat chilling interview with two of these youth, who justify violence against the soldiers and against the Palestinians and who are scornful of any leadership. (Haaretz)

Rabbis are split on whether forcible resistance against security troops, to try to prevent the evacuation of the house, was legitimate. (Jerusalem Post)

But the eviction has its critics: “This is a corrupt political spin by a Defense Minister who is willing to risk people’s lives for his own political career.  He wanted a clash, and he wanted to build a political career on the backs of the settlers.” (Israel National News)

In Hebron, a new flashpoint: the three-story Shapira House, which, following a High Court ruling, was evacuated and sealed on May 7, 2006, has been invaded by settler activists, and cleared by police. (Ynet News)

But the version in the Jerusalem Post is rather different, referring instead to “Palestinian rioters�. (Jerusalem Post)

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