Editor’s Note

In the wake of today’s Palestinian attack on a synagogue in occupied Jerusalem, the Zionist regime is stepping up its violent attacks against the indigenous occupied Palestinians. Amidst a global media assault on Palestine, two things must be borne in mind in order to render the situation fairly.

Firstly, it is downright disingenuous and simply plain wrong to define an “Israeli” settler as a civilian and by extension a victim of “terror”. The Zionist project from its very inception in the 19th century, brought Jewish immigrants from all over the world into Palestine in order to violently seize Palestinian land and dispossess the indigenous Palestinians so that “Israel” could come into being. The mere length of time that a squatter has resided on land that does not belong to him can never transform a bogus claim into a right. “Israel” is an illegitimate entity and “Israeli” is a manufactured label meant to give supremacist settlers a national identity. Every single “Israeli”, without exception, is a settler and a colonist and can never be described as a “civilian”, lest the very definition of this word be bent out of all recognition. Of the four victims of today’s Jerusalem synagogue attack, three held US Passports and one was British, born in the UK, yet they will be defined as “Israeli” and they will be defined as “civilians”.

Secondly, the context of the oft-talked-about “cycle of violence” is key. The most widely used media trick is to paint Zionism’s violent, murderous behaviour as a response to Palestinian “terror”. This is a simple but clever trick to draw attention away from the history and the current reality of Palestine. In 1948 organised Jewry forged the existence of “Israel” in a firepit of terror, murder, blood, theft and lies. The Zionist regime – backed by its global lobbies – continues its slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians every single day. The attack on the synagogue in Jerusalem was not a “terror attack” nor were the victims “civilians”. The attack was an act of resistance against a monolithic genocidal entity that seeks to wipe out the Palestinian people and take every last inch of their land.

The following was published by Al Akhbar English Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

A Palestinian man was stabbed by a group of Israeli settlers in north Jerusalem on Tuesday, relatives told Ma’an news agency, hours after settlers attacked a Palestinian school in the village of Urif in the occupied West Bank.

The two incidents came just hours after two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces after attacking a Jerusalem synagogue and killing four Israelis, and two days after a Palestinian bus driver was found hanged inside his vehicle in Jerusalem.

Fadi Jalal Radwan, 22, was attacked and stabbed by four Israeli settlers while walking in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab, his father said. He was stabbed three times in the legs, and once in the back.

The victim was found bleeding in the street and taken to Hadassah hospital for treatment. Doctors said he was in a serious condition.

Earlier on Tuesday, following the news of the synagogue attack, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered along the main road between Nablus and the illegal settlement of Yizhar, witnesses said, planning to attack Palestinians and their properties.

The settlers then attacked a school in Urif, said Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, prompting Palestinian villagers to clash with the attackers and stop them from storming the school.

Israeli Occupation Forces interfered, firing tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian villagers, who according to an Israeli police statement, “rioted” and “hurled rocks” at the forces.

Six Palestinians were injured by “sponge rounds” in the aftermath of the clashes.

Sponge-tipped bullets are made from high-density plastic with a foam-rubber head, and are fired from grenade launchers.

Israeli police have been using them in Occupied Palestine and occupied East Jerusalem since the use of rubber-coated metal bullets was prohibited, but protocol explicitly prohibits firing them at the upper body.

Last week, however, an 11-year-old Palestinian was shot in the face with a sponge-tipped bullet by Israeli forces during clashes in occupied East Jerusalem and was left blind in one eye and with severe damage in his right eye.

Violent practices by Israeli soldiers as well as settlers against Palestinians is endemic and often abetted by the authorities.

To make things worse, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Tuesday that Israeli authorities are to ease regulations on Israelis carrying weapons for “self-defense.”

“In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,” he said in remarks broadcast on public radio, indicating it would apply to any Israeli with a license to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.

Hate crimes by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property, referred to as “price tag” attacks, are systematic and Israeli authorities rarely intervene in the violent attacks or prosecute the perpetrators.

Last week, a group of Israeli settlers broke in and torched a mosque in the Palestinian village of al-Mughayyir near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) monthly report stated that one Palestinian child was killed and six others Palestinians injured, four of them children, after being deliberately hit by Israeli settler vehicles in October.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there were at least 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2013.

Unrest has gripped Jerusalem and the West Bank on an almost daily basis for the past four months, flaring up after a group of Zionist settlers kidnapped and burned to death a young Palestinian because of his ethnicity.

Israeli authorities have also allowed Zionist settlers to take over homes in Palestinian neighborhoods both in annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and announced plans to build thousands of settlements strictly for Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem while ignoring Palestinian residents.

The anger has been further provoked by the Israeli authorities’ decision to hold a vote on splitting the al-Aqsa compound, Islam’s third holiest site, despite the existence of a Jewish prayer area at the Western Wall immediately next door.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

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