UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Thursday, January 9 2014:
*As members of his Likud Beiteinu party expressed their shock over the reports of John Kerry’s offer to return 80,000 so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel, PM Benjamin Netanyahu immediately took steps yesterday to distance himself from that offer. Netanyahu’s office declared that the offer was a “non-starter” and Netanyahu would not even accept even one symbolic “refugee”.
Your humble servant wonders if it is even conceivable that Kerry could have offered the 80,000 number without running it past Netanyahu first?
*There are new reports from the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer that former PM Ariel Sharon’s medical condition has now rapidly deteriorated to “grave” and that his death may come in the next few hours.
The bizarre incident at Esh Kodesh which was the subject of yesterday’s blog has become even more bizarre with the release of videos from the scene.
A videotape released yesterday clearly shows that the incident began when a tractor operated by an Israeli Civil Administration contractor began uprooting olive trees in an orchard planted by members of the Esh Kodesh community who were standing nearby. The video further shows that while this uprooting was going on, a group of Palestinians began throwing “rocks” down at the community members from a location higher up on the hill overlooking the orchard.
As reported yesterday, when the Jewish community members responded, the confrontation continued to the nearby Palestinian settlement of Qusra (alternately spelled “Kursa”). In Qusra, the Jews were attacked and beaten by a large group of Palestinians who subsequently locked them in a house and held them as hostages. Eventually the IDF arrived on the scene and negotiated for their release.
A second videotape shot at the moment of their release shows the bloodied Jews being led through a mob by IDF soldiers and some of the elders of the settlement.
So let’s get this straight. A group of Jews from Esh Kodesh were attacked by Palestinians. They fought back and ended up getting nearly killed by a Palestinian mob.
So here are the comments from various parties today:
From Peace Now:
“Israel must enforce the law and remove Esh Kodesh, an illegal West Bank settlement established in violation of Israeli law. Esh Kodesh is an outpost that serves as launching ground for severe unlawful activity, and as such… it creates severe friction that causes harm to people and their property, and therefore heavily burdens the security authorities.”
Incredible. The initial violent attack came from the Palestinians of Qusra.
From the head of Peace Now Yariv Oppenheimer:
“How formidable that the Arabs of Qusra decided to protect the Jewish Price Tag assailants until they were picked up by the IDF.”
The Palestinians attacked them, beat them up, and then “protected” them.