The body of this report comes from Israel Resource News Agency of David Bedein. It reports that
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has deployed top counter-insurgency units to demolish a small Jewish neighborhood in Hebron known as “The Shalhevet Neighborhood”.
Israeli security sources said military and police commanders have been given permission to use live fire to repel attacks by Jewish residents and their supporters in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Olmert’s office would not affirm or deny that permission was granted to use live weapons against the Jewish community of Hebron. Likewise, Defence Minister Mofaz’s office would not affirm or deny that such an order, referring, instead to the IDF spokesperson, who “denied knowing of such an order” – hardly a denial.
Hebron has recently been the scene of confrontations between police – charged with evicting residents from their homes – and the residents, aided by others living in Judaea and Samaria who are determined not to see another expulsion similar to that of Gush Katif last summer.
However in Gush Katif, the police and military went in unarmed, albeit covered head to toe in protective armor and gear. The situation in Hebron appears to be different.
The last time that live fire was directed upon Jews by other Jews in Israel was the Altalena Incident in 1948, where Yitzhak Rabin directed soldiers of the newly formed IDF to fire upon crew jumping from the Altalena, a ship bearing arms for the Etzel, a Jewish resistance group commonly known in America as “the Irgun”. The Altalena was sunk by the crew when a dispute over whom the arms would go to broke out. In spite of the shooting incident, civil war was averted by pleas from the leader of the Etzel, Menahem Begin, that Jews not shed the blood of other Jews. Twenty-nine years later, Menahem Begin became prime minister of Israel, succeeding Yitzhak Rabin.
A representative of the Jewish community in Hebron issued the following statement.
“Hebron, the first Jewish city in Eretz Yisrael, the roots of the Jewish people, site of Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Caves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, was closed to the Jewish people for 19 years, between 1948 and 1967, when under Jordanian occupation following the War of Independence. Entrance to Ma’arat HaMachpela was off-limits to Jews for 700 years, from 1267, following the Mameluk victory over the Crusaders, until the Six-Day War in 1967. Now, the State of Israel… is again closing Ma’arat HaMachpela to Jews”.
The Israeli mainstream media has taken a different approach to the news out of Hebron. For example, Y-Net News reports that
Security forces crackdown on settlers who rioted against police, army forces; defense minister says ‘masked criminals’ won’t dictate agenda.
According to this article, checkpoints have been placed around Hebron and the target is stopping youths from entering the city to inflame the situation. Some 15 to 20 individuals have been arrested, according to Y-Net News. No mention of the possibility of using live fire has been made.
According to the semi-official newspaper Haaretz Uzi Benziman, the leader of the Yesha Council, which claims to represent residents of Judaea and Samaria, has told Hebron residents to “cast out” the protesters who have taken up their cause. It should be noted that the members of the Yesha Council draw State of Israel salaries and are government employees. In its own coverage of this story, Haaretz indicates that
Fifteen settlers were arrested over suspected involvement in rioting Monday, and additional arrests are expected in the next few days, after police analyze photographs of the rioters.
It also did not mention the possibility of using live fire. In the article, it is implied, but not stated, that the property belongs to Arabs rather than Jews.
As of 14:48 Israel Time, the following came into my inbox from Shlomo Wollins.
SECOND MILITARY INVASION OF CHEVRON IN PROGRESS
COMMANDERS GIVEN CHILD PROTESTORS 10 MINUTES TO LEAVE PEACEFULLY
OR THEY WILL BE FORCEFULLY EVACUATED/ARRESTED…A VIOLENT
IS IN MAKING…HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN HIDING IN CLOSETS AND
PLACES (sounds like germany) TO AVOID VIOLENT ARREST…
We may shortly see the second of a series of expulsions of Jews from their homes ordered by the Israeli government.Powered by Sidelines