Four family members were lightly wounded in the West Bank Friday afternoon when a Palestinian squirted an unidentified liquid at them, believed to be acidic, before being shot and seriously wounded by IDF troops.
The attack occurred near a checkpoint between the Gush Etzion settlement of Beitar Illit and the Palestinian village of Husan, southwest of Jerusalem.
The father of the family, in his 40s, was said to have been hit in the face with the liquid, while three of his children aged 8-10 were hit in their lower bodies. The mother and another child, also with them at the time, were apparently unharmed.
A heart attack. That’s what the Israeli doctors who participated in the autopsy of Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein determined as the cause of his death. What’s more, they found that “the deceased suffered from an ischemic heart disease, and old scars were found in the blood vessels in his heart indicating that the deceased suffered from heart blockages in the past.”
In plain English, the man had a heart condition
Everyone who knew Ziad Abu Ein personally knew he was not well, that he was a heavy smoker and was overweight. All the facts point to him dying of a heart attack.
The more important question right now is whether this is a for the Palestinian Authority.
The worse news is that once the funeral procession reached the cemetery near el-Bireh, heavy fire began in honor of Abu Ein. In addition, at least according to the statements of two Fatah heads, Saeb Erekat and Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian leadership that gathered Wednesday night decided to stop West Bank security cooperation with Israel.
According to the two officials, a decision was also taken to request to join the International Criminal Court, to ratify the Rome Statute (which paves the way for joining the ICC), and to appeal to the UN Security Council to recognize Palestine as a state. If this is true, and this is not some PR move, then we are on the brink of a new era in Palestinian-Israeli relations. And not a good one.
Even if the next explosion is prevented this weekend, the conditions are growing riper for another outbreak of violence. A simple examination of the dry figures makes it clear how difficult the situation in the West Bank has become. There are 2,754,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem. These numbers are not inflated or fabricated. They are the figures that the Israeli security establishment accepts, as do the Palestinians, even if some Israeli politicians reject them for political reasons.
Despite the tense state, Israel said it would once again allow all worshipers to enter the Temple Mount’s al-Aqsa Mosque, as it has done in recent weeks in a bid to calm Palestinian spirits and build confidence
Though the practice of augmenting security on Fridays has become routine over the past months, as Jewish-Arab tensions have flared in the capital as well as in the West Bank, fears of violence were this time exacerbated by the death of Ziad Abu Ein.
A freight train carrying a whole column of American armored vehicles has been caught on camera in Latvia. Dalbe Railway Station, where the train was reportedly spotted several days ago, is less than 300km from the Russian border.
The train was carrying at least 38 vehicles and several semitrailers, including eight Bradley Fighting Vehicles, nine M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), four petrol tankers, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs), High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), an M88 Hercules Armory recovery vehicle, a couple of trucks, some tactical engineering and medical vehicles, at least four containers and a pair of railcars with ammunition.
Latvian authorities have confirmed to Delfi news portal that the train spotted on December 7 was loaded with the vehicles of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US and the train was heading to Lithuania.
American armored vehicles have been sent to the Baltic States and Poland for military drills and are set to remain for the constant training of local troops and rotation of US forces.
More fighting vehicles will be pre-positioned at US military bases in Germany. Deployment of additional hardware to Baltic States and Poland goes on within the framework of the US ‘Operation Atlantic Resolve’ effort, established to reassure American allies in Eastern Europe anxious about a “resurgent Russia.”