Thursday 3 December 2009


Just when you think you have seen it all, foolish, naive and optimistic creatures that we are, something new comes along. It seems that the Israeli/Palestinian situation is never short of new things to shock us all. I remember reading about Laura Bush, in the 1950's doing this to a boy who had jilted her, but now an illegal settler from and illegal settlement part of an illegal occupation has decided moving vehicles are weapons of murder, much like the Caterpillar driver that killed Rachel Corrie. This occurred late last week.

An amateur video shocked Palestinians on Tuesday, catching what appeared to be an Israeli settler repeatedly running over a wounded Palestinian at a gas station outside the settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron on Thursday.

Kiryat Arba is located on the outskirts of Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank. It has been a flashpoint for violence in the past. In December 2008, settlers from Kiryat Arba rampaged through neighboring areas, setting fire to houses and injuring several people, after their government evicted Israelis from a nearby house they had stolen from Palestinians.

Witnesses saw the alleged attacking Palestinian arrive at the station, after which Israeli media sources said he stabbed the owner of a convenience store and a woman. After the attack, a soldier shot and injured the Palestinian, who was taken to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. The spokesman was not able to say whether the soldier was on duty at the time.

After being shot the Palestinian staggered from the station when a silver Mercedes ran him down, stopped, reversed, and ran him over again and stopped with what appeared to be the rear tire on the driver's side still on part of the Palestinian.

A hospital spokeswoman, Yael Bosem-Levi, said the man was undergoing surgery for "serious" wounds. He was transported to the hospital by Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service, Bosem-Levi said. She would not release the man's name or other details.

The video was reportedly taken on Thursday, although at the time, Israeli representatives made no mention of the settler’s alleged attack, telling reporters only that a Palestinian man had been shot after he stabbed and lightly injured two settlers.

A military spokesman told Ma’an that after the two Israelis were hurt, a soldier shot and injured the Palestinian, who was taken to the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. The settler, on the other hand, was released under house arrest.

What follows is a partial clip from Al-Jazeera. Click here for an uncut version of the same film.

The full video captures several soldiers standing by as the incident unfolds. Those who run up to the vehicle and appear to take the keys out of the ignition are armed settlers. The Palestinian is left underneath the car screaming as settlers extract the driver. Several seconds later, medics approach the injured man.

According to The Jerusalem Post, police believe the driver was David Mizrachi, an Israeli from the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the husband of one of the alleged stabbing victims. He may stand trial for attempted murder, the newspaper reported.

Tensions were running high after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday limitations on construction in the Jewish-only settlements, which were built on land owned by Palestinians.

The settlers vowed to these orders to slow down certain West Bank construction. Soldiers have also shown an increasing aversion to cracking down on settler behavior, with some announcing their refusal to take part in missions that involve removing settlers from what Israeli courts determine are illegally occupied Palestinian homes or outposts.

Last fall in Hebron, dozens of soldiers were sent to evacuate the Ar-Rajabi home in Hebron, following which a rampaging settler from Kiryat Arba shot a Palestinian at almost point-blank range. The settler was briefly arrested and later released without charge.

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