Sunday, February 16, 2020

Anger over teen‘s brutal murder in Jerusalem spreads north into Palestinian cities in Israel

By Haley Paladino - July 06, 2014
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Palestinian citizens of Israel] [Jerusalem]

A Palestinain being arrested by Israeli police during a protest in Arara.

Clashes erupted Friday evening around the Triangle area in Israel, home to a predominantly Palestinian population, in response to incursions by settlers attempting to vandalize mosques and public property and in solidarity with series of ongoing clashes in Jerusalem surrounding the brutal murder of a Palestinian teen earlier this week.

Armed Israeli citizens reportedly entered the Palestinian cities of Kfor-Karea, Taybeh, Tireh, Kfor-Qasem, Umm-Elfahem, Qalansawa, and Barta`a over the last five days, with the reported intentions of vandalizing property.

Israeli police have taken minimal action in response, generally removing Israeli vigilantes and blocking roads to keep them out, triggering further Palestinian anger. As of Saturday evening, the entrance to the city of Qalansawa remained blocked off. Police have reportedly allowed the riots to carry on within the city limits with minimal interference, something unusual for this area. Protesters have reportedly burned tires and thrown rocks at Israeli police. 

Because these late-night incursions are taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, there are generally still teenagers awake and outside. As intrusions increase, youth have taken to waiting for the settlers at the entrances of each city.

"What's happening now, is teenagers and everybody are going into the streets, and they don’t have a political preference or political party that's supporting them," said youth activist Mohammad Abu Toameh, from the city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in the Triangle area. 

The minimal police action is abnormal, according to Abu Toameh, as is the recent raising of Palestinian flags in the villages where these protests are taking place.

"People have always feared holding up the Palestinian flag, the Palestinians within the green line ... If we [Palestinian citizens of Israel] hold it they [Israelis] will just target us, we will be blacklisted... All of these villages that have had these protests a few days ago, they raised the Palestinian flag," said Abu Toameh. "It's one of the biggest solidarities I've seen in a long time."

Clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli police forces widened on Saturday night, spreading into the city of Nazareth (Israel’s largest Palestinian city), Shefamer, and all along the Wadi Ara road. 

Tensions in the region are growing rapidly. A wave of violent incidents has shocked Israel and the West Bank since the three settler teens were found. On 30 June, just one day after the discovery of the bodies, a boy in Kofer-Qasem was abducted, beaten and stabbed by a gang of Israelis posing as police. He survived the attack, sustaining four stab wounds and receiving 16 stitches. 

22-year-old Tariq Ziad Zuhdi Adeli was abducted in Osarinm avillage south of Nablus early Saturday morning and beaten with an axe. Two cars reportedly entered the village around midnight, took Adeli, attacked him and left on the side of the road on the outskirts of the village. Adeli was reportedly able to call his father, who took him to the hospital.

Over the past two days East Jerusalem has seen the most significant clashes in years. The clashes follow the abduction and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. The 16-year-old was reportedly abducted just outside his home in Jerusalem early Wednesday morning by what Palestinians believe to be three Israeli vigilantes. His charred corpse was found halfway across the city, ditched in a forest. Initial autopsy reports show the boy was burned alive. 

Thousands attended Abu Khdeir’s funeral Friday afternoon in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shu’fat. 147 Palestinians were been injured in the ensuing riots. 

Clashes after the funeral spread from Shu’fat throughout almost every Palestinian suburb in the holy city, including previously quiet neighborhoods of Umm Tuba, A-Zayyim, Sawana, Abu al-Tur, Tzure Baher and Azaria.

Clashes continued near Jerusalem late Saturday night between Israeli police and Palestinian youth in Beit Hanina, Isawiyah and Umm Tuba.

"It's one of the most intense times I've seen," said Abu Toameh. 

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