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[LISTEN] Settler Car Ramming Incidents against Palestinians on the Rise

Jan 10, 2022

Umm Muhammed Umar

In apartheid Israel, settler car ramming incidents against Palestinians are on the rise. Hafidh Ebraheem Moosa told Radio Islam that three such incidents had taken place in less than two weeks.

Last Thursday the 25-year-old father of a one-year-old girl was run over by a settler while he was crossing the street near Ramallah. A similar incident involving a Palestinian woman, had taken place in Nablus. Meanwhile, back in Ramallah in yet another ramming incident, another incident a shepherd was grazing his herd of sheep, when a group of Jewish settlers broke into the area, and rammed the vehicle into the entire herd killing three sheep.

Hafidh Ebraheem said that the most shocking incident was one that occurred in Musaafir Yaddah, in the south Hebron hills, where Sulayman al Hasan, a 75-year-old activist, was with a number of Palestinians who had gathered to confront Israeli police, as a truck had arrived, which was confiscating Palestinian vehicles in the area that were claimed to have been unregistered. Scuffles broke out and 75 years old Sulayman, who was standing on the side of the road, when he was deliberately rammed into by the massive tow truck carrying the confiscated vehicles. Witnesses said that the truck veered off the road and drove straight into Sulayman, before getting back on the road and leaving. They said that the truck first struck him down and thereafter drove over him. Sulayman had had to be hospitalized, suffering multiple injuries in his spine, ribs, hips, as well as many other injuries. According to his family, if Sulayman survives, he’s going to suffer at this advanced age from these very serious injuries.

Hafidh Ebraheem said that these latest incidents, right at the start of  2022 emphasize what UN human rights experts said towards the end of 2021: that 2021 had witnessed the highest recorded levels of settler violence in recent years. Settler violence in the Israeli context, is not a case of a few bad apples, but of deep support provided by the state to the illegal settlement enterprise, which fuels this environment and encourages this type of violence.

Israel had also authorized a shoot to kill policy against Palestinians throwing stones at the end of 2021. It did not get too much of attention due of the holiday season that you’re in. The policy now is Israeli forces can shoot Palestinians, even kill them, when they have been determined to have thrown rocks at what is called Israeli civilian cars. However, Israeli civilian cars often equate to vehicles carrying armed settlers. The most shocking part of this policy is that there doesn’t need to be any proof that a Palestinian shot at had been even holding a rock.

While this has been happening regardless, with even children being shot at, and killed, with impunity, the question remains as to why this has now been enshrined in official policy. One chilling reason would be that the Israeli army and government are anticipating a surge in popular resistance against the Israeli occupation in the coming months, particularly in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. Hafidh Ebraheem said that this could be a pre-emptive move. A second reason could be that the Israeli courts do not want to deal with a deluge of such cases, given that the Israelis perhaps want to open those kinds of floodgates. Thirdly, in the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court regarding war crimes, Israel could argue that these actions were not illegal according to its own laws. Regardless of the justification, Hafidh Ebraheem said that according to the Palestinian commentator Ramzy Baroud, what we should be paying more attention to is that when a country’s military decides that shooting a child in the back is legal, without any proof that the alleged ‘criminal’ posed any danger whatsoever, the international community has to take note.

Separately, Hafidh Ebraheem also commented on Sheikh Raed Salah’s vision for the future. Salah was released in early December after spending 17 months in prison, part of which was in solitary confinement. He’s has already returned to meeting residents, participating in rallies, doing interviews and addressing online symposiums. One symposium took place over this past weekend, and was translated into multiple languages. It was titled ‘The vision of Sheikh Raed Salah for the future of Masjid al Aqsa’. He made two very important points in going forward: people must emphasize the status of Masjid al Aqsa as the second masjid on earth, and that it was the oldest structure established in the region, long before many other structures and other ideological constructs. Secondly, he emphasized the inclusive vision of Islam as the heirs of the heritage of humanity symbolized by the Nabi of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) being the Imam of all previous nations on the Mi’raj, something that all the other Prophets willingly afforded. Hafidh Ebraheem said, “perhaps, you know, he sees that as the battle for Masjid al Aqsa heating up, the battle for the narrative will be critical, and the Zionist  ideological narrative is going to be pushed very strongly.” Sheikh Salah expressed a sense of elation that there are now hundreds of organizations all around the world seeking to protect Masjid al Aqsa. He urged these organizations to work together and complement each other. He also asked people around the world to employ positive rhetoric rather than negative rhetoric because this was a cause, he said, that was one of victory and one of positivity.

 

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