it’s getting hotter & hotter in there

Campaign of collective punishment after Jayloomia attack
Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, Jun 19 2017

Israel imposed sweeping collective punishment measures after a MAGAV Staff Sergeant was fatally stabbed and three Palestinian assailants shot dead outside the Old City on Friday. The group of Palestinians, all from the occupied West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal, were identified as Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, 18, Baraa Ibrahim Salih Taha, 18, and Usama Ahmad Dahdouh, 19. The slain Israeli was identified as Hadas Malka, 23. Another officer was lightly wounded during the incident, and two Palestinian bystanders were also wounded, one moderately and one lightly, during the shooting, police told media. Video from the scene shows Israeli forces opening fire in a crowded area (above). Witnesses told Ma’an News that IOF shot “haphazardly” during the incident. The three Palestinians were armed with a homemade Carl Gustav sub-machine gun, which Israeli media reported had jammed during the attack. The bodies of the three slain Palestinians remained on the ground for hours, witnesses told Ma’an. Witnesses also said that Palestinians were assaulted and detained by IOF around the Old City after the attack, nearby shops were forced to close and the Palestine Red Crescent Society told Ma’an that IOF fired tear gas, causing injuries. Shortly after the deadly incident, PM Netanyahu approved a decision to revoke 250,000 permits issued to Palestinians allowing them to visit relatives in Israel during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. The collective punishment measure was also intended to censure Fatah, according to an Israeli military official. Maj-Gen Yoav Mordechai stated on Facebook:

Three bastards who undertook this cowardly terror attack received praise from Fatah who falsely claimed they were innocent. This is incitement to terror. In response to this heinous crime and the incitement by Fatah officials to win popularity, Israel has decided to take action, the first is revoking 250,000 entry permits and revoking work permits from the kin of the terrorists.

Israel will still reportedly leave in place special permission it gives to Palestinians in the West Bank allowing men over the age of 40, children under the age of 12, and women of all ages to enter Jayloomia without permits on Fridays during the month of Ramadan. The slain Palestinian assailants’ hometown in the central West Bank was surrounded by IOF on Friday night. Soldiers erected checkpoints, with the army stating it would allow only “humanitarian cases” to leave or enter the village. The military raided the homes of the slain attackers and gave notice that the homes would be demolished. Such collective punishment measures are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are thus a war crime. Imad Zahran, mayor of Deir Abu Mashal, said that two Palestinians in the village were shot in the legs with live ammunition during confrontations that broke out during the IOF raid, and dozens of others were injured by tear gas inhalation. Additional injuries were reported on Sunday, as the village was besieged for a third consecutive day, and soldiers allegedly looted the home of a woman who was detained.

Police conducted sweeping arrests targeting Palestinians in Jayloomia without permits on Saturday, rounding up 350 people in a single day, spox M Rosenfeld told media. Palestinians reported being forced to board buses taken away from the city. Jayloomia residents reported additional movement restrictions and arbitrary searches following the attack on Friday. The attack itself was similar to others that have been attempted or carried out by small groups of Palestinians acting independently of command from any armed group in the last two years. Also similar has been Israel’s resort to collective punishment measures after incidents which result in Israeli casualties. What differed is that Daesh claimed responsibility for the operation on its news outlet on Friday, the first such claim made by the group concerning an attack in the country. While Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have attempted to link previous alleged and actual attacks by Palestinians to Daesh, the police refuted the claim that the group was behind the incident on Friday, telling media:

It was a local cell. At this stage no indication has been found it was directed by terrorist organizations nor has any connection to any organization been found.

The PFLP claimed that two of the assailants were members of the party, and Hamas claimed membership of the other. Both PM Netanyahu and DM Liberman directed their rage at the PA. Bibi demanded that the PA condemn the attack and Yvette said:

The PA’s thundering silence and refusal to condemn terror, as well as the statement by Fatah that Abbas heads, that Israel murdered three innocent people, prove there is no partner.

On Sunday, Netanyahu stated:

I urge the international community to condemn the murder and those who praise it, and demand an immediate halt to the payments of the PA to the families of terrorists, which only encourages terror.

UN and EU representatives had already condemned the attack on Saturday. UN envoy N Mladenov said:

Such terrorist acts must be clearly condemned by all. I am appalled that once again some find it appropriate to justify such attacks as ‘heroic.’ They are unacceptable and seek to drag everyone into a new cycle of violence.

EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Anderson tweeted his condemnation of the “terror attacks” and issued his condolences to the friends and family of the slain cop. By contrast, Faaborg-Anderson has remained silent about lethal IOF attacks on Palestinians such as Israel’s killing in May of a Palestinian fisherman. These officials have not explained on what basis they consider attacks targeting armed forces in occupied territory to be “terrorism,” which is typically defined as attacks on noncombatants for political purposes. The Trump White House did not make any statement, but the BBC changed the headline of its news story on the incident following accusations of bias and victim-blaming made on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. The original headline, “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem,” was changed to “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.” 32 Palestinians, including 8 children under the age of 18, have been slain by IOF and armed civilians so far this year. Scores of Palestinians, many of them children, have been shot dead even when they posed no immediate threat to life over the past two years, as part of an apparent shoot-to-kill policy endorsed by the highest levels of the Israeli government. Seven Israelis, most of them military forces, have been killed by Palestinians so far this year, as well as a British national.

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