Peace Process, cont’d

Haaretz reports on ongoing ethnic cleansing:

Ateret Cohanim, a religious Zionist organization that buys properties in the Old City and elsewhere in East Jerusalem in order to settle Jews there, says it has bought a “significant portion” of a building at the heart of the commercial district in East Jerusalem.

In an email to supporters, Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim-Israel Daniel Luria said the group had purchased more than 1,000 square meters in “a very large and strategic building” situated across from the Old City (in the area between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate).

Photographs attached to the email show the structure, which is located at the end of Salah al-Din Street. Built under Jordanian rule, it is home to East Jerusalem’s only full-service post office as well an Israeli police station. One picture showed the renovations being carried out on the interior of the building. Luria wrote that it would be used as an education center, with housing for pre-army yeshiva students.

From Maan:

Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 66th time on Wednesday, leaving dozens of people in the open despite heavy rains.

A large number of Israeli police and bulldozers surrounded the village in the early morning and demolished all of the residential steel structures.

“Israeli occupation forces raided the village at 6:15 a.m. and demolished its houses for the 66th time,” one of the residents, Aziz al-Touri, told Ma’an.

“Under such conditions and with this heavy rain and severe cold, we tell Israeli officials that what you did is a crime against humanity. But no matter what you do, we will never give up our right in al-Araqib, the land of our fathers and grandfathers.”

Huffington Post reports on a recent atrocity:

Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed Jordanian judge on Monday at the Allenby bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank after reportedly arguing with Israeli border guards on his way back to Amman from the West Bank. Official Israeli statements claimed that the judge “tried to seize the soldier’s weapon when he was shot and killed.” Jordanian press reported on eyewitness accounts that contradicted the Israeli version of events and said that the judge “was never physically threatening the soldiers,” and “was unarmed when he was shot from a point-blank range.” The Jordanian Ministry of Justice identified the man as Ra’ed Zu’eiter, 38, a judge in the magistrates court in Amman.

Consider how Israel would respond if the situation were reversed, and Palestinian militants shot dead an unarmed Israeli judge. Further details from Reuters:

From Reuters:

An official in Amman, briefed on yesterday’s incident, said he believed Mr Zeiter was killed by a “trigger-happy young soldier” who had been pushing passengers boarding a bus at Allenby. This had led to a heated argument with the judge, he said.

Mr Zeiter was buried today in the West Bank city of Nablus, where his family came from, his body wrapped in both a Palestinian and a Jordanian flag.

“From the Israeli account, we think there was an altercation .. and the (soldiers) hit him and pushed him to the floor. His dignity could not accept the humiliation and insult,” said the judge’s father, Alaa Zeiter.

Mohammed Sharif Zaid, a 34-year-old merchant from the West Bank who had been at the crossing with Mr Zeiter, told Reuters that an argument had started after controls at an Israeli checkpoint.

“Raed and the soldier quarreled for some reason that I did not understand and pushed one another … I got onto the bus and a minute later I heard one gun shot followed by three shots.”

The passengers were then ordered back off the bus and saw Mr Zeiter lying on the ground. Mr Zaid did not see the metal rod with which Zeiter had allegedly threatened the soldiers. The Israelis said there were no surveillance camera images of the incident.

Hours after Mr Zeiter’s death, Israeli soldiers ambushed and shot dead a Palestinian teenager who, the military said, had been throwing rocks at passing Israeli cars. …

“Israel regrets the death of Judge Raed Zeiter yesterday at the King Hussein (Allenby) bridge and expresses its sympathies to the people and government of Jordan,” Mr Netanyahu’s office said, adding it was committed to its peace treaty with Jordan.

Hours earlier, the Israeli military had issued a statement denouncing Mr Zeiter as a “terrorist”, saying he was killed after attacking security personnel with a metal bar, trying to seize a gun and attempting to strangle a soldier.

Born in the Palestinian Territories, Mr Zeiter (38) had a doctorate in international law and worked as a judge in an Amman magistrates court. He was married and had two young children.

As a matter of interest, note how the incident was initially reported in the international press:

“The terrorist ran toward soldiers yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ attempting to seize their weapons,” the Israeli military said. “The soldiers felt an immediate threat to their lives and fired toward his lower extremities. The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to firing again.”

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