Friday, December 11, 2009

West Bank settlers vandalize mosque

Reported today in Haaretz (but not a word yet in the NY Times).  PA president Mahmud Abbas is demanding that Israel rein in the settlers "after assailants vandalized a mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf, torching furniture and spraying Nazi slogans in Hebrew on the premises."   The Haaretz report goes on:
The assailants entered the village of Yasuf before dawn Friday, according to Israel Police and Munir Abushi, the Palestinian governor of the district where the village is located.

They burned prayer carpets and a book stand with Muslim holy texts, and left graffiti on the floor reading, "Price tag - greetings from Effi". Effi is a Hebrew name.

The vandals escaped. The IDF said it views the incident gravely and is investigating along with the police.

After villagers discovered the damage, they briefly threw stones at Israeli forces that entered Yasuf, Abushi said. He said two villagers were hurt in the skirmish.

Abushi met with Israeli police and army officers and expressed his dismay over repeated settler attacks.

"Israeli security forces have done little to protect Palestinian civilians from the settlers," he said.

 But the Netanyahu/Lieberman government rode into power on the votes of hooligans like these, who've been carrying on like this for years.  And now, says Haaretz,
Netanyahu has proposed including tens of thousands of settlers, including many living in isolated settlements deep in the West Bank, in a government program that bestows monetary incentives on residents and businesses.
In other words, the settlers are angry about the temporary settlement freeze; the Netanyahu government will express its concern (as well it should; these people are a direct threat to the power of the Israeli state); but the settlers will feel pretty well enabled to carry on, and keep on carrying on, as they have for so many years.

After yesterday's Oslo speech, this is a perfect opportunity for Mr. Obama to weigh in, maybe with a second from Mrs. Clinton.

For some reason, I'm not holding my breath.  And I'm still waiting for that NYT report.

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