Little Green Footballs

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Treating settlers 'like Arabs'

How will they spin this? Settkers in the northern town of Ramallah, living in illegal settlements built on Palestinian private land, riot and attack police and soldiers.

(courtesy of Yoav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents of a West Bank settlement earmarked for demolitions by the Israeli supreme court clashed with police and soldiers attempting to evict them today.

In the first forced eviction in the Palestinian territories since the August 2005 Gaza pullout, hundreds of settlers barricaded themselves behind barbed wire in Amona, to the north of the Palestinian town of Ramallah.

Thick black smoke rose into the air from burning tyres, and settlers pelted police with stones, rocks and eggs.

Soldiers on horseback charged into the crowd, and water cannon were used in an attempt to push back the protesters.

The roofs of the nine homes scheduled for demolition were ringed with barbed wire, with settlers on the ground linking arms against bulldozers carrying police up to rooftop level in their shovels.

Around an hour into the confrontation, police and soldiers had reached the first home, and began tearing down window shutters with crowbars.

They dragged protesters out through the windows as settlers dropped paint balloons and stones on them from above.

At least 40 people were evacuated with injuries, Israeli medics said. Settlers and policeman were among the wounded, and police officials said 16 officers had been hurt.

Two rightwing MPs were injured in the clashes. Arieh Eldad, of the extremist National Union party, told Israel Radio that the police and soldiers were "treating people here like Arabs".
Unlike certain right-wing bloggers it seems that extremist Israeli MP's are far more willing to admit that oppressing Arabs is the norm in the occupied territories.

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