Monday, January 9, 2017

Israel Burying Its Young Soldiers

Hundreds of Israelis buried the four soldiers killed yesterday in Jerusalem in one of the deadliest attacks in recent months, which confirms the persistence of Israeli-Palestinian tensions despite a recent calm.

The body of Lieutenant Shir Hadjaj, in a coffin covered with the David Star flag, was buried amongst the shrieks of grief of his family members and among hundreds of soldiers of his unit and relatives gathered in The cold in the cemetery of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

"It was thought that you would make the headlines for a price or an invention. But instead, in the newspapers, there was a souvenir candle for you," said to his grave one Of his sisters by referring to the Jewish ritual of lighting a candle in memory of the dead.
The distress prevented the mother of Shir Hadjaj from addressing the last word to his missing daughter at 22 years. The day before, she had, according to the press, sent a final message on her daughter's phone: "My dear, my life, please speak to me."

Alarmed by the information, she was still unaware that Shir Hadjaj, two other soldiers, Shira Tzour and Yael Yekoutiel, 20, and a soldier, Erez Auerbach, 20, had been mowed by the truck launched by Palestinian Fadi al-Qunbar A group of Israeli soldiers on an excursion to one of the most striking views of Jerusalem.

Seventeen soldiers were wounded. Fadi al-Qunbar was shot dead on the spot.

Soldiers are the first Israelis killed since October 9 in a succession of Palestinian attacks that, almost daily for months, have spanned in 2016, without stopping.

The Israeli authorities have responded to this attack as well as to others by a series of repressive measures.
Police said they arrested nine people, including five members of Fadi al-Qunbar's family, shortly after the bombing.

This family was preparing to leave his house, promised to punitive demolition by Israel, said a cousin to the AFP. Meanwhile, Israeli security forces on Monday destroyed the traditional mourning tent in front of his home near the attack site in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian part of Jerusalem annexed and occupied by Israel, AFP journalists said.

The Israeli authorities have decided not to return the body of Fadi al-Qunbar to his family, another frequent punitive measure.

Israel has also decided to imprison without trial or detention anyone who identifies with the Islamic State (EI) group, an official said on condition of anonymity.

- "Optical illusion" -

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Fadi al-Qunbar was a sympathizer of the jihadist group.
Fadi al-Qunbar was certainly religious, like the whole family, "but nothing in his life said that he was part of the EI. He never contacted the IE and did not know the IE", Assured his cousin Mohammad.

Mr. Netanyahu did not specify on what basis he relied. In the last few months, it has been working to register the hundreds of Palestinian attacks in the same way as the jihadist attacks, such as those committed in France or Germany.

Since October 1, 2015, violence in the Palestinian Territories and Israel has claimed the lives of 247 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, one Eritrean and one Sudanese, according to an AFP count.
Most of the killed Palestinians are alleged perpetrators or perpetrators of anti-Israeli attacks, often committed by isolated youths.

These attacks are attributed by many experts to the vexations of the Israeli occupation which has lasted for nearly half a century, to the absence of any perspective close to independence, to economic frustrations and inter-Palestinian dissensions. The personal difficulties of the assailants are often taken into account.

The new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack on Jerusalem but warned it should not discourage efforts to relaunch the peace talks.

"Violence and terrorism will not provide a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the contrary ... These acts should not discourage new commitments to a dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, Guterres quoted by UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

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