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Weekly Update

November 1, 2009

In the past week the Israeli military has killed 2 young Palestinian guys “on suspicion” of them driving stolen Israeli cars. Stolen Israeli cars are a pretty big industry here in the West Bank because buying a car here is so expensive—they have to pay double taxes, to the Israeli government and to the Palestinian government.

So the Israeli police/military and the Palestinian Authority has been cracking down on them recently—and anyone who bought a stolen car inside the West Bank, even without knowing it. The first one was killed while trying to re-enter the West Bank in a stolen car (whether he stole it or bought it from someone who did, we don’t know) through the checkpoint by Ni’lin.

The Israeli military opened fire on his car as he drove up to the checkpoint and killed him. For driving a stolen car….SINCE WHEN WAS STEALING A CAR/DRIVING A STOLEN CAR GROUNDS FOR A DEATH SENTENCE?? Only in Israel…

The second one was a friend of a girl I work with at PMRS. She was really, really upset this week. The Israeli police saw him as he was driving back to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. They SUSPECTED that he was driving a stolen car, and then pursued him. It turned into a high speed chase and ended when the Palestinian boy, who was 21 years old—from East Jerusalem, flipped his car because of the chase. He died at the scene.

In Gaza, there’s been a few farmers killed from Israeli soldiers shooting across the border. Also, some tunnels have collapsed and killed the people inside. There was a really good photostory about the tunnel industry in Gaza…its at this site: http://www.yachtingnet.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1931308,00.html

There has been more violence in East Jerusalem lately. An armed Israeli was caught trying to sneak into the Al Aqsa compound. The Palestinian police from Al Aqsa caught him and handed him over to the Israeli police. Then the Israeli police denied he was armed (even though eye-witnesses said he had a machine gun on his back)—then they commented that “no settlers would walk through the Old City unarmed”.

And its true, whenever you see them they have M-16s hanging on their backs. When really the Palestinians should be armed to protect themselves from all the settler violence against them…later the Israeli police said that the guy was mentally disturbed. That’s their excuse for any Israeli that gets caught trying to do anything against the Palestinians–while any Palestinian doing things like that is automatically at “terrorist”.

Another settler or group of settlers opened fire on a family in Beit Safafa in East Jerusalem when they tried to take over the family’s house. They shot one and injured 5—three of them were over 60 years old. That’s typically how it goes when settlers and Israeli police evict Palestinians from their homes. The family gets kicked out at gunpoint—usually in the middle of the night—then the settlers take over the house, destroy everything, throw what they don’t want and keep what they want. The Palestinian family is just kicked out on the street, in the middle of the night—with nothing.

Clinton and Mitchell were over here again…trying to get the “peace process” going again. Clinton praised the Israeli government for making “concessions”. I don’t know what kind of concessions they made though. And now Clinton and the US are OK with Israel continuing settlement construction, officially.

And Clinton said the fact that the Israelis “slowed construction” (which I don’t think is true, every settlement I pass has new buildings under construction) means they are showing “restraint”, and she applauded them. So Israel doesn’t have to compromise on anything I guess—but the Palestinians still do. Its always that way. They come up with a compromise, both sides are expected to give up something. The Palestinians, in good faith, make the compromise, then Israel doesn’t. And the Palestinians get screwed, again, losing more and more every time. Its so sad.

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