Is­rael metes out mass pun­ish­ment af­ter stab­bing

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

JERUSALEM: Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties con­tin­ued to en­force a strict crack­down on oc­cu­pied East Jerusalem yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a deadly at­tack in front of the Old City on Fri­day night, with Pales­tini­ans say­ing they have been sub­jected to “col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment” through road clo­sures, ar­bi­trary searches and mass de­ten­tions.

Wit­nesses said Is­raeli po­lice have been con­duct­ing phys­i­cal searches on Pales­tini­ans, in­clud­ing women and chil­dren, and forc­ing hold­ers of West Bank IDs to board spe­cial buses that have been de­ployed across Jerusalem since the early hours of Satur­day morn­ing.

Over the course of Satur­day, 350 Pales­tini­ans with West Bank IDs were rounded up, de­tained, and sent back to the oc­cu­pied West Bank on the po­lice-marked buses, ac­cord­ing to Is­raeli po­lice spokes­woman Luba al-Samri.

The “de­por­ta­tions” fol­lowed a de­ci­sion from the Is­raeli prime min­is­ter to re­voke family visi­ta­tion per­mits is­sued to Pales­tini­ans to en­ter Jerusalem and Is­rael for Ra­madaan, as a puni­tive re­ac­tion to the at­tack, in which three Pales­tinian as­sailants were shot dead and one Is­raeli po­lice­woman was fa­tally stabbed.

Is­raeli news site Haaretz said 250 000 Pales­tini­ans had their per­mits re­voked. “I am from Beth­le­hem. An Is­raeli sol­dier stopped me while I was pass­ing Da­m­as­cus Gate, searched me, and held me un­til a bus came. I was forced to get on and leave the city,” a Pales­tinian youth said. Al-Samri said the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for re­scind­ing the per­mits was that the three slain Pales­tinian as­sailants were from the oc­cu­pied West Bank district of Ra­mal­lah, but said they had en­tered Jerusalem “il­le­gally” – with­out hav­ing such per­mits.

Streets around the Old City, namely al-Mis­rara street, Salah al-Din street, and Sul­tan Suleiman street – where the com­bined shoot­ing and stab­bing at­tack oc­curred – were also closed to traf­fic, with both pri­vate ve­hi­cles and pub­lic tran­sit be­ing de­nied en­try.

The se­cu­rity mea­sures are ex­pected to re­main in force un­til the end of the Mus­lim holy month of Ra­madaan near the end of June.

Pales­tinian res­i­dents of oc­cu­pied East Jerusalem said they were be­ing sub­jected to “col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment”. They also said that they were be­ing threat­ened and ha­rassed by Is­raeli po­lice.

One mer­chant high­lighted that Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties were also re­strict­ing pub­lic buses from reach­ing cer­tain bus stops, forc­ing lo­cals to walk long dis­tances.


Is­raeli bor­der po­lice ar­rest a Pales­tinian dur­ing clashes in the West Bank vil­lage of Deir Abu Mash’al near Ra­mal­lah. Is­rael se­cu­rity forces raided the vil­lage af­ter an at­tack in Jerusalem killed a po­lice­woman. The three Pales­tini­ans who at­tacked her and were killed were from the vil­lage.

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