Earlier today a bomb was attached to the car of an Israel diplomat in India. The diplomats wife was “moderately injured” and sent to hospital. Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman has launched an investigation.
Prior to any investigation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already announced that Iran, “the world’s greatest exporter of terror” is behind this attack.
I sense that by the coverage that this story is receiving that the world thinks that this is an important story. Here in the West Bank I’ve read about this attack in Ha’aretz and Ma’an News. I watched a bit of CNN and it seems to have taken root in their hourly news headlines. I was Skyping with a friend from Canada earlier today and he asked if I’d heard about the story. I had.
This is so important that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a statement which condemns the attacks “in the strongest possible terms,” and that “the scourge of terrorism is an affront to the entire international community.” Her statement adds “Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured personnel in New Delhi and their loved ones.”
I find myself wondering if the people of Yasuf and Duma are also in Ms Cinton’s prayers. They deserve to be. One day in December both villages were attacked by terrorists with fire bombs.
When I arrived in Yasuf I noticed a small crowd had gathered directly opposite an outpost of Kfar Tappuah settlement. The village Mayor was in the crowd so I sought his permission, maybe it was his blessings, to ask the people a few question. He pointed at the EAPPI vest and through a translator said, “Yes, yes, of course, you people have a good heart and are always welcome in this village”. I was touched, we had never met, but he was prepared, in the midst of a tense situation, to offer hospitality, simply because of the vest I was wearing.”
Around 1am the owner of this car awakened by a phone call from a neighbor who told him that some settlers were trying to light his car on fire. He went outside to find his car burning beside two large propane tanks that provide propane for house heating. The gas had been turned on and the hose loosened. The obvious attempt was a major fire. The home owner managed to push the burning car away from the gas cylinders and his home. A possible disaster was averted.
He told me that he saw two settlers running away and a large group of settlers waiting 30 – 40 meters up the hill with Israeli military as support.
The message from the settlers was clear. Another price tag attack.
This lettering was spray painted on the wall beside the burning car. Those who can read Hebrew tell me that it says “the price”. That night the settlers from Kfar Tappuah had determined that this home had to pay the price for some action against the settlement
That same night the people of Palestinian village of Duma were attacked by settlers from Shilo and Eli. The Israeli military prevented members of our team from taking photos and erased photos that had already been taken.
We returned to Duma a week later and interviewed several people including the gentleman who owned one of the vehicles destroyed by fire that night. He made his living, supported his family, by buying and delivering water in his community. Now his vehicle had been destroyed and he was not sure how he would support his family.
We also interviewed the next door neighbor, and energetic, athletic Palestinian police officer who witnessed the arson attack and gave chase. He described the attackers as three settlers. He told us that he chased them with his car until he was stopped by the Israeli military.
It is believed that the perpetrators of both of these attacks were small groups of settlers, who sneak around in the dark and burn peoples property.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defines terrors as “the deliberate and systematic assault on civilians to inspire fear for political ends”. This definition would certainly include the actions of Israel settlers and soldiers against the Palestinian people of Duma and Yasuf.
Although these terrorist attacks happened over a month ago, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman has not yet launched an investigation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made no announcement about who was behind the attacks. CNN has not showed up neither has Ms Clinton. Nor has she condemned these attacks “in the strongest possible terms.”
Maybe she has left that for you and I. Remember Ms Clinton’s words “the scourge of terrorism is an affront to the entire international community.”
While you at it please also remember the Palestinian people of Yasuf and Duma in your prayers.