Tuesday, January 19, 2010

250,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to Israeli settler violence. Meet two of them.

The United Nations has warned if Israeli authorities dismantle settlement outposts, 250,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to settler violence, including Palestinians living in the South Hebron Hills. "The concern about the possible outbreak of waves of settler violence and their impact on the Palestinian population stems ... from the inadequate level of law enforcement by the Israeli authorities," says a recent UN OCHA report. "[T]he main concern is the frequent failure of the Israeli security forces to intervene and stop settler attacks in real time, including the failure to arrest suspected settlers on the spot."

Tarek and Miriam are two of these vulnerable people. They already face settler violence daily as they travel to and from school. Here is their description of what happened when settlers attacked them recently:

Tarek and Miriam can't go to school safely because the Israeli government premits Israeli settlers to continue living illegally in the West Bank even after there is overwheleming evidence of their criminal activity. According to the UN's recent report, "Among the main reasons behind this failure is the ambiguous message delivered by the Government of Israel and the IDF top officials to the security forces in the field regarding their authority and responsibility to enforce the law on Israeli settlers." But for Tarek and Miriam one thing is clear: they wont be able to go to school safely as long as Israeli settlers continue to live illegally in Havot Ma'on and Ma'on.

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