Israeli Government Demands that Palestinians Stop Protesting!
This story from China’s ‘Global Times‘ seems to encapsulate everything that is wrong in Israel/Palestine!
Non-violent protests are erupting across the West Bank for all the most understandable of reasons: Israel continues its settlement expansion, the arrests of Palestinians without charge or trial continue unabated, and most recently a young father of two – Arafat Jaradat- seems to have been tortured to death in an Israeli prison! But the Israeli government seems to see none of this, or at least takes none of it into account when it points the finger at the Palestinian authority for failing to quell the unrest!
What will it take for the Netanyahu government to see that the real problem here is not the hunger-strikes or the protest marches but the acts of violence, robbery and intimidation that inspire them? A strong push from the US might awaken Mr Netanyahu, but none is likely to come.
Israel demands Palestine reduce tensions
A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave no indication the Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, would issue any call for calm, and blamed Israel for the spike in unrest.
Protests in the West Bank have been mounting, both in support of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, 11 of whom are on open-ended hunger strike, and against settlement expansion.
An official said almost all Palestinians in Israeli prisons were on a one-day hunger strike Sunday in protest at the sudden death of an inmate due to what authorities said appeared to have been cardiac arrest.
“It’s 4,500, nearly everyone in fact,” Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP.
Arafat Jaradat, a 30-year-old father of two, from Sair near Hebron in the southern West Bank, died on Saturday in an Israeli jail from what prison authorities said appeared to have been cardiac arrest.
Protesters in his village and around Hebron city on Sunday stoned Israeli security forces who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, Palestinian witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
“In Hebron there are 100 Palestinians hurling rocks and rolling burning tyres at security forces,” an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP, adding that a smaller group clashed with Israeli forces in the Halhul area, on the city’s outskirts.
She said the army responded with “riot disposal means,” without elaborating.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip marched in solidarity.
Israeli media link the unrest and Israel’s concerns about possible escalation to next month’s visit by US President Barack Obama to the Jewish state and to the Palestinians.
“Officials in Jerusalem will begin to look for all kinds of ways to appease the Palestinians and to cool tempers on the ground,” the Yediot Aharonot newspaper said on Sunday.