Jewish motorists are pulled from their vehicles; Liberman exploits nationalist tensions; victim of East Jerusalem police beating is an American teenager; settlers make new land grab, set up new West Bank outpost.
Clashes continued throughout the night in East Jerusalem following the funeral of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir on Friday, who was kidnapped and reportedly burned alive earlier this week. The violence also spread to various areas of Israel and the West Bank, including attacks on Jewish Israeli motorists.
Protesters in Qalansawe, a Palestinian town in the Triangle on Israel’s coastal plain, attacked Jewish motorists. The protesters reportedly began checking drivers’ ethnic origins and attempted to force Jewish drivers out of their vehicles. One such person managed to escape on foot but the attackers burned his vehicle. Another driver managed to escape with his vehicle. Police arrested 12 suspects. Another 20 were arrested in East Jerusalem.
Clashes with police have taken place in a number of other area towns in recent days. A Molotov cocktail was reportedly thrown at the town of Mei Ami, a Jewish community deep inside the Triangle.
Many in Israel pointed to increasing incitement against Palestinians since the deadly kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday posted a statement on the events in Qalansawe, demanding harsh punishment for the perpetrators but also fanning the flames by exploiting the opportunity to promote his dormant population transfer and loyalty oath plans.
Liberman demanded that prosecutors “send a deterring and unequivocal message to those who enjoy Israeli citizenship and act like they’re the latest terrorists.” He continued in a post on his official Facebook page: “These events once again make clear that these peoples’ place is not in the State of Israel, and until then, their place is certainly in prison.”
Attacks against Palestinians inside Israel have also been more frequent since the three kidnapped Israeli teens were discovered dead last week. Just days ago, throngs of Jewish youths attacked Palestinian passersby while chanting “death to Arabs.”
Another group of Israelis was caught on tape attempting to attack a Palestinian man on a bus in Tel Aviv. Buzzfeed correspondent Sheera Frenkel witnessed a foiled racist attack against a Palestinian gas station attendant near Jerusalem. Many other attacks and attempted attacks have been reported.In East Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood, clashes went on for a number of days following the murder of Khdeir, leading to dozens of injuries and arrests.
+972 on Friday published video of Israeli police beating a Palestinian in custody in Shuafat a day earlier. The victim was later revealed as an underage American citizen who was visiting his cousins at the time. Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, who was visiting from Tampa for the summer, is a cousin of the murdered teenager. A judge extended Tarek’s remand until Sunday, Palestinian human rights NGO Addameer reported. He has not been charged with a crime. From Addameer:
On 3 July, around 8pm, Tarek was brutally beaten, primarily in his face and head, and arrested without any charges or accusations brought against him. He was taken to a police station despite his family’s requests that he be urgently treated at a hospital for his injuries. According to Tarek’s father, the Israeli police delayed treatment for about 5 hours until 1:20AM, when he was transferred to Hadassa Hospital. The family was denied access to Tarek until his hospitalization.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel responded to the video of the beating with a demand that senior police officials strongly condemn such acts and ensure that officers respect the rule of law.
“The silence from these officials in response to instances of unjustified violence is tantamount to giving a green light to the use of excessive force by security officers,” ACRI wrote.
In the West Bank, settlers reportedly took advantage of the national mood and supportive declarations from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to make a new land grab and establish a new illegal outpost in the southern West Bank. With the support of the army, the settlers leveled ground and brought in six caravans, according to the Ma’an news agency. A Palestinian man was later attacked by settlers and required hospitalization, Ma’an reported.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army continued to make arrests across the West Bank in a widespread operation it launched targeting Hamas after the deadly kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.