Jews Move Into Their House in Hevron (Hebron): “An Irresponsible And Dangerous Provocation Ahead Of Land Day”



UPDATE (6:00 pm Thursday): There has been a terrorist mortar attack from Gaza on the Eshkol region of southern in the last 45 minutes with at least 3 mortars fired. There has also been a spate of “rock” throwing incidents this afternoon in which Palestinians have viciously attacked IDF soldiers in Hevron (see below), Qalandiya, and motorists near Talmon–18 km east of Modi’in.


Tomorrow, is “Land Day” for Israeli Arabs. It is a day which has also been incorporated into the Palestinian myth as a second Nakba–commemorating as it does the expropriation of Arab lands into the state of Israel on March 30, 1976.

But as is usual with Arab myths, the facts of the case were grossly misrepresented at the time and have been conveniently forgotten through the years.

The actual Israeli government action in 1976 took control of 20,000 dunams of land for the purposes of enhancing security in the central Galilee region: 55% of the land was already Israeli public land, 15% of the land was privately owned by Jews, and 30% of the land (approximately 6,300 dunams) was privately owned by Arabs. If the percentage of privately owned Arab land that was expropriated seems high, it is simply because much of that land was used to enlarge the Arab town of Makar near Akko and to build public buildings in Arab towns throughout the Galilee.

Yet on that day thirty five years ago, Arab rioters incited by Arab leaders threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli police, burned tires and blocked roads, and ambushed an IDF convoy that was making its way through Israel’s central Galilee region. In the course of these incidents, six Israeli Arabs were killed and numerous Israeli security forces were injured.

The deaths of the six rioters have generally been viewed as the catalyst for the growth of the Israeli-Arab political movement. Annual Land Day commemorations have taken place since 1976 increasingly becoming a cause celebre around the Arab world. Tomorrow, a million Arabs are supposed to march across the borders of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt to Jerusalem in an event meant to dovetail with Land Day (obviously Israel will not permit this to happen).

Now to the events of last night and this morning in Hevron and their connection to Land Day.

Children in Hevron circa 1900. Note the Cave of the Patriarchs in the background--and the mosque (with the two minarets) that was built on top of it. The Jewish community was massacred by Arabs in the 1927 pogrom.

Last night around 25 Jewish community members in Hevron quietly moved into a large house they had purchased near the Cave of the Patriarchs.  There was no reaction from the Palestinian community–except for the fact that the former Palestinian owner of the house was detained by the Palestinian police for questioning (selling Palestinian property to Israelis is a crime in Judea and Samaria).

However as soon as the IDF learned that the community members had moved into the house, IDF forces arrived on the scene and declared the area around the house “a closed military zone.”

Throughout this morning and afternoon, Palestinians in Hevron have been assaulting the IDF troops and Jewish community members in the house with “rocks.”

And what has been the outrageous reaction of the IDF to these assaults?  To condemn the Jewish community members for taking possession of their own property:  “[Taking possession of the house] constitutes an irresponsible move and a dangerous provocation that may inflame spirits, especially ahead of Land Day.”

The Jewish community members are targeted again by the IDF as “irresponsible”, “dangerous”, and “inflammatory” for trying to quietly live in their house, and for moving into their house the day before Land Day–because it might offend the “sensitivities” of the Palestinians living in the area.

Give your humble servant a break.

First we could not attack the rocket launching terrorists in Gaza last year because it would have offended the Egyptians, now we cannot live in our own homes because it might offend Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. It is long past time for somebody in the IDF to realize that the world does not revolve around Arab “sensitivities”.

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