U.S: “Settler Violence Is Terrorism”
Sunday August 19, 2012 14:39 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
In its 2011 Country report, an annual report about global terrorist activities, the United States described the escalating attacks carried out by extremist Israeli settlers against the Palestinians as “terrorist attacks”. This is the first time the United States describes Israeli settler attacks against the Palestinians as acts of terrorism.
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The report stated that shells fired by the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, along with Price Tag attacks, carried out by extremist Israeli settlers against the Palestinians, are “terrorist incidents”.
The reports also mentioned an attack carried out by extremist Israeli settlers against Ma’man-Allah Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, in addition to the arson against a mosque in Jerusalem in December and the arson attack against the mosque of Borqa village in the West bank.
It added that extremist settlers attacked 10 mosques in the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem, and that these attacks included vandalism and setting the mosques on fire. Six similar attacks were carried out in 2010 and one attack in 2009.
The report further referred to a statement by Avi Mizrahi, head of the Central Command of the Israeli army, in which he described settler attacks against the Palestinians and their property as acts of terrorism.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the report was released by the State Department on July 31; it also mentioned an attack that was carried by extremist Israeli settlers against an Israeli military base in December of last year, and said that Israeli military and security officials vowed to counter these attacks and prosecute the assailants.
The State Department also issued a strong condemnation of the most recent settler attack that targeted a Palestinian Taxi two days ago leading to the injury of six Palestinians, including two children.
On Friday, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, voiced a strong condemnation of the attack, and said that the settlers are escalating their violence and are enjoying the protection of the Israeli army.
Abbas said that Israel is practicing a racist policy against the Palestinians, and that “the army could stop all settler attacks if it wanted to, but is acting under a policy that protects the settlers despite their escalating violence”.
Haaretz said that Yitzhak Molho, the adviser of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, phoned Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, informing them that Netanyahu ordered the army to “spare no effort in apprehending the attackers”.
The United States grants Israel around 3.6 Billion Dollar annually, in addition to hundreds of million collected on Israel’s behalf by different lobbies, mainly by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Attacks carried out by extremist settlers against the Palestinians have been sharply escalating, targeting Palestinian civilians, orchards and farmlands, homes and property, in addition to defacing , vandalizing and torching several mosques and churches.
Several Price Tag attacks were also carried out against Israeli peace groups and leftist organizations, especially settlement watchdog groups and human rights organizations in the country.