Monday, December 08, 2008

All too quiet on the Western front

Last week Israel prepared to evict and then evicted some settlers from this building in Hebron. Some of the settlers went on rampages against Palestinians in the area, including burning homes and shooting two people (not fatally). It's a big deal in Israel right now; on Sunday, Olmert called it a 'pogrom'. Daniel Levy has a useful rundown on what's happened and the bigger context of the extremist settlers.

The response by many news orgs in the U.S. has been something of a yawn.

Ethan Bronner's account from Hebron in the NYT is thin on the settler violence against Palestinians, saying only:
Young settlers then rampaged through Palestinian fields and neighborhoods, setting olive trees on fire and trashing houses.

The Washington Post printed a 4-sentence wire excerpt on the entire day's events, and on the settler violence, mentioned only that the evictions had ignited "a wave of settler violence across the Palestinian territory."

The LAT account picked up some more specifics, though:
After losing a swift afternoon battle, settlers struck back into the night with gunfire and arson attacks on Palestinians in this troubled city and other parts of the West Bank, raising tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Seventeen Palestinians were wounded along with at least 35 Israeli soldiers, police officers and settlers. Fires blazed after dusk along a ravine dividing Hebron, a largely Palestinian city, and the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba as police skirmished with settlers on both sides.
At that point, the settlers began clashing with Hebron's Palestinians, who threw stones at them from rooftops. Settlers set fire to two homes, a store and nine cars, Palestinian officials said. In an incident caught on film, a settler shot and wounded a 65-year-old Palestinian and his adult son outside their Hebron home.

And Eric Westervelt's report on NPR used stronger language:
Israeli border police in riot gear used water hoses and non-lethal stun grenades to try to control stone-throwing right-wing settler youth who rampaged again Wednesday through Arab parts of Hebron.
Hundreds of settlers, many of them teenagers, have rushed to the Jewish enclave in the last week to try to fight the evacuation order. In recent days, angry settlers have vandalized Arab homes and desecrated a Muslim cemetery. Stone throwing Palestinians who live near the disputed house wounded settlers earlier this week, including a teenager who remains hospitalized with a serious head injury. Near the house Wednesday, masked Palestinian youths set tires ablaze in the street before Israeli soldiers gave chase in a familiar cat and mouse through Hebron's narrow, winding streets.

AP picked up on the violence earlier in the week than most of the others:
Israeli security forces did not intervene Monday as hundreds of settlers threw stones at Palestinian cars and nearby houses, defaced a Muslim cemetery and damaged Palestinian property in several other areas of the West Bank.

Fighting started up again Tuesday, with settlers, some of them masked, throwing rocks at Palestinian houses.

In one incident, young settlers battered at the door of a Palestinian house with a wooden pole, and residents rushed to the roof to throw rocks at the group below. A 16-year-old Israeli was hit in the head in this confrontation, witnesses said. Hospital officials described his injuries as serious.


At 1:28 PM, Blogger Devon said...

Awful, awful. Thanks for filling us in on how the media's been covering this. I'm always fascinated by how it covers the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


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