ISRAELI SETTLERS: SHOCK TROOPS OF ZIONISM
"Our aim is to maintain Israeli control over these territories. We have to carry on settling there because Israeli control cannot be secured without the existence of a great number of settlers there."
(Interview on Radio Israel with Moshe Arens, Head of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in the Knesset, June 3, 1979)
Expansionism always has been one of the major bases on which Israel was founded back in 1948. The Zionist Movement called Jews everywhere to come to Palestine and settle there. But the land belonged to the Arabs, and Jews were then but a minority. The Zionists preferred to acquire the country 'totally cleared' of Arabs, as the late Ben Gurion said. They wanted "land without people." And they would stop at nothing to accomplish this aim.
After the creation of 'Israel', the Israeli authorities continued their attempts to empty Palestine of the Palestinians. They confiscated Arab lands, deported thousands of Palestinians, and even transferred the inhabitants of whole villages to other areas. When in 1967 Israel took over the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Sinai and Golan, the Zionist authorities used the same old methods to empty the land.
THE 'PEACE' TREATY: GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR SETTLEMENT
Settlement continues all over the occupied land. According to the Camp David accords, the Israeli government proposed to give the Palestinians of the 'administered territories' a Bantustan under the guise of 'self-rule'.
After signing the 'Peace' treaty with Egypt, Israel believes that it now has a golden opportunity to carry on settling in order to change the demographic character of the West Bank and Gaza in its favour during the coming five years. In the West Bank, the Jews are only one per cent of the inhabitants. As Moshe Arens put it, "I am concerned about what will happen after the five years of 'self-rule'. We must succeed in increasing the number of the Jewish inhabitants there till it becomes 10% or 15% and not just one per cent. We must have 700,000 Jews, and not only 7000 three years from now."
As usual, the Zionists stop at nothing to accomplish what they want. Oppression against our people increases; mass arrests are daily news, dozens of houses are demolished, many universities and schools are closed, and aggression against Arabs is escalating.
SETTLERS' AGGRESSION AGAINST PALESTINIANS IN THE OPEN
In addition to official brutal measures and actions taken against Palestinians, many Zionist voices were raised calling for kicking Arabs out of the land which was 'God given' to Israelis, as Prime minister Begin put it once.
On 15 February 1979, the head of the Jewish Defence League, Meir Kahane, and other members of his gang, went around the Jerusalem University's halls under police protection, calling for the expulsion of the Palestinian students. The Palestinian and Israeli progressive students confronted Kahane and his clique. Police units interfered in Kahane's favour, injuring several students. Later, on February 20 at a press conference in Beit Agharon in Jerusalem, Kahane announced the formation of a new movement celled "Alil", which is e Hebrew acronym for "Arabs for Arab states and Jews for Israel". He said that the movement's objective is to expel all Arabs to the Arab states. "Our military activities coincide with those of the Israeli Army", he announced.
In late February, while Palestinian protests against the U.S.-Sadat-Israel plot were escalating, Moshe Dayan went so far as to threaten even the Arabs living in 'Israel'. "Remember 1948", he said in a clear reference to the time when Zionist gangs carried out terrorist attacks against peaceful Arabs to force them to flee to nearby Arab states.
"HAARETZ": "ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST ARABS INCREASE"
The Israeli paper "Haaretz" admitted in an investigative report published on 20 February 1979, the increase in Israeli crimes against Arabs in the occupied territories. It reported that five youths from the Israeli National Guard in January raided the homes of two Arab citizens of the West Bank, took the two to the sea-shore facing the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, forced them to swim in the cold sea, stoned them and finally beat them with the butts of their rifles.
When the two victims tried to complain to the Israeli authorities, the latter ignored the whole affair. They even expressed surprise at the concern expressed by some democratic circles over the incident, especially since dozens of similar complaints are filed.
SHARON'S 'GREEN PATROLS' GANGS:
The 'Green Patrols' are given police authorities. They have the authority to demolish 200 houses in the area because they were not built 'legally'. They forbid Negev Arabs to use water pipes in middle Negev, thus depriving them of one of their main resources. They even can confiscate cattles. "They hit me till I lost consciousness, and took my cattle", said Faris Marweh, 60, head of en eleven-member family.
They are not the only ones who attack Arabs. Faris added that ten settlers of Jelixon came in two jeeps and took his cattle by force after hitting him. He complained to the Police. But in the police station they forced him to sign a paper. He found out afterwards that he had sold his cattle without knowing it (He is illiterate).
While Zionist newspapers said on April 1 that 24 new branches of Gush Emunim were created to implement "special missions" in Occupied territories, the Zionist group "Israel Forever" announced that they kidnapped three Arabs and transported them to an area that is still unknown.
PALESTINIANS CONFRONT SETTLERS THROUGHOUT PALESTINE
But although the Israeli authorities and Zionist fanatic groups are combining their efforts to force our people out of their lands, the Palestinians stand firmly in the face of such attempts. Our people announced their support for the PLO, their sole representative, and stressed that Palestine is Arab. They expressed their feelings by demonstrating on every possible occasion, and by defending their homes and holy places.
On March 24, fanatic Zionists tried to enter al-Aqsa Mosque, but Palestinian youths clashed with them using their only weapon, stones. When it became obvious that the Zionists were not able to accomplish their mission, Israeli troops 'interfered'. In April, settlers of Qiryat 'Arba occupied the Dibweyah building under the protection of Israeli troops who brought them food. Many settlers marched in Galilee streets in a provocative manner.
FIRST LOCAL ISRAELI 'SETTLEMENT COUNCIL'
On April 19, the first local Israeli settlement council was established at Alon Moreh settlement, on land belonging to Kfar Qadoum village near Nablus. It includes representatives of seven Gush Emunim settlements. The establishment was announced during a celebration attended by Yusef Burg, Israeli Interior Minister and the Israeli Military Governor-General of the West Bank. Radio Israel said on June 4 that the council area was expanded to extend from Jordan River to Mehula in the north and the Jerusalem-Jericho road in the South. The settlers' aggression campaign against Arabs was escalating. But also the Palestinian response was getting stronger.
'ISRAELI' ARABS CLASH WITH SETTLERS
More than 200 Israeli settlers assembled on May 2 near Ma'aliya in Upper Galilee. In 1948-occupied Palestine, in an attempt to intimidate the villagers, who were confronting attempts to confiscate more land from this village for the establishment of a new Zionist settlement. The settlers occupied an area 800 of meters belonging to the Tuma, Mualim and Khamis families. The settlers were armed, and their trucks were full of barbed wire and police dogs. As soon as they arrived, they erected a fence of barbed wire. The citizens of Ma'aliya clashed with them and forced them out of the land. A huge number of Arabs from Western Galilee came to help their brothers. Knesset member Meir Taim led the Zionist settlers in their attempt.
SETTLERS GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS TO SHOOT ARABS
On May 9, in a press conference held in Jerusalem, Zionist settlers in the West Bank said that they had received instructions from the General Command of the Israeli Army to shoot at Palestinians in case the settlers were exposed to 'danger'. They added that they were given the necessary weapons by the Israeli army, which legitimizes their use of these weapons against Palestinian citizens. A settler from al-Khan al-Ahmar settlement explained that they were instructed to shoot at the feet of demonstrators.
They shoot, but not only at the feet. On the anniversary of the usurpation of Palestine, an Israeli settler aimed at Riad Nakhleh, 18 years old Palestinian youth and shot him in the chest. About 100 Palestinian youths were demonstrating in Bir Zeit against Israeli occupation when an Israeli civilian stopped his car and shot the youth.
On May 15, in Bir Zeit also, Neve Tsuf settlers shot at Palestinian youths who were barricading the road and detained two of them. The settlers went so far as to raiding a number of homes in Beir Zeit, attacked the residents and took away their identity cards. As usual the Israeli troops interfered 'to control the deteriorating situation'.
Aggression against Arabs continued: on May 26, a number of Zionist settlers broke into Arab houses in Galilee, attacked their inhabitants and forced them out of the houses under the pretext that these houses once belonged to Jews. The Israeli court is now 'investigating' the 'incident.' But it is obvious that Israeli efforts to appear as a 'fair judge' fool no one.
Our people know that the Zionist Israelis who planned and committed brutal massacres against them, demolished their homes, confiscated their lands, razed villages with bulldozers, carried out mass arrests and exerted every possible psychological, social and economical pressure to force them to leave their homeland, are re-using one of their old methods: waging a war of terror against peaceful Palestinians. Their aim remains: to have the land without people.
But our people shall not give in. They will go on confronting this new wave of aggression standing close together in one firm rank. Their aim is: to defend their homeland and their very existence.
Palestine - PLO information bulletin has been archived online as a project of New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.
Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"
Contact us: New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
New Jersey Solidarity
344 Grove Street, Suite 131
Jersey City, NJ 07302