Saturday, October 25, 2014

Violent Clashes In Jerusalem

Israeli police clashed with Palestinians across east Jerusalem Saturday ahead of a potentially explosive funeral that was delayed for a day and tight security conditions imposed.

Relatives of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, a Hamas activist from Silwan, who ploughed into a Jerusalem crowd on Wednesday, killing a 3-month old baby and injuring eight others, were told to be ready to bury him at an undisclosed time Sunday, their lawyer said.

The internment, near Jerusalem’s Old City walls, will take place at some time between 11:00 am (0900 GMT) and midnight, and only 20 mourners will be permitted to attend and they will have to submit their names to police in advance, attorney Mohammed Mahmud said in a statement Saturday.

A crowd was reportedly gathering at al-Shaludi’s Silwan home.

Al-Shaludi was originally set to be buried at a Muslim cemetery near the Old City’s Lions’ Gate at 10 p.m. after a court authorized a service to be attended by a maximum of 80 people, for fear the event could turn into a violent protest.
Security forces were on high alert Saturday ahead of the expected funeral, as several riots broke out across East Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Late Saturday night, Border Policemen arrested a masked Palestinian in Silwan as he threw rocks at security forces.
In At-Tur on the Mount of Olives, masked Palestinians blocked the road with garbage bins, and threw stones and firebombs, a police statement said. One person was injured in the incident.
The riots were taking place for the third consecutive day Saturday.
Earlier in the day, protesters in Silwan hurled stones and firecrackers at a municipal tractor sent in to clear the roads of stones and debris thrown at police a day earlier. Security forces used riot dispersal means to clear the small-scale riot.
Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar urged Palestinians in East Jerusalem on Saturday to rise up against Israel and continue “resisting.”
“The escalation [of violence] in the city is the solution to ‘Israeli aggression,'” he said, according to a report on Channel 10.Another 12 Palestinians were wounded in clashes on Friday in Issawiya Wadi Joz and Silwan, a hospital official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

Prison Service Commissioner Aharon Franko, who was formerly the head of police’s Jerusalem District, told Ynet News the recent uptick in violence in the city could not be quelled by force alone.
“Jerusalem is a very sensitive city,” he said. “It’s not possible to stop the violence occurring today with force alone… The instructions are to hold talks with the leadership. To speak with the representatives of the residents and with the parents whose children are detained. This is being done by the (police) commanders.”

Ya'alon Launches Scathing Assault On U.S. Policy In The Middle East

While apparently trying to be polite and stressing that he was delivering his critiques “without naming anyone,” Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon launched what amounted to a scathing assessment of Obama Administration wrongheadedness on the Middle East in an extraordinary interview at the end of his trip to the United States.

In comments that were candid even by his characteristically no-nonsense standards, Ya’alon castigated the misconception — most recently voiced by Secretary of State John Kerry – that the failure to solve the Palestinian conflict was provoking extremism elsewhere in the region. He rejected the notion — at the core of Kerry’s failed peace efforts — that territorial concessions by Israel would resolve the Palestinian conflict, calling it “irrational.” And he dismissed the idea — central to the vision of this and other recent US administrations — that Palestinian Authority President is a partner for peace.

He also attacked the notion — accepted by the Obama administration — that a deal should be done with Iran that would leave it with a uranium enrichment capability.
More broadly speaking, asked whether the West “just doesn’t get it” in the Middle East, Ya’alon listed what he said were the misconceptions, misunderstandings, naivete, wishful thinking and ignorance that left the West thinking erroneously, “We the Westerners know what is good for the Arabs.” The product of this kind of mindset, which had falsely contended that mere elections in the region would yield democratization, Ya’alon said bitterly, “is collapsing in front of us.”

Nonetheless, Ya’alon did stress in the interview that the Pentagon and the Israel Defense Forces still share an unbreakable bond — he held talks with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday — and that the US and Israel remain strategic allies despite any disagreements that arise between the nations’ leaders. The politicians “have disputes,” he allowed. But “with all the disputes, the United States is Israel’s strategic ally.”
On the Palestinian front, Ya’alon said thinking was “dominated by too many misconceptions. We don’t find any linkage between the uprising in Tunisia, the revolution in Egypt, the sectarian conflict in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mainly, these come from the Sunni-Shia conflict, without any connection to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The core of the conflict is their reluctance to recognize our right to exist as a nation state of the Jewish people…”

Elaborating, he said: “There are many who believe that just having some territorial concessions will conclude it. But I don’t think this is right… The conflict is about the existence of the Jewish state and not about the creation of the Palestinian one. Any territory that was delivered to them after Oslo became a safe haven for terrorists. Bearing that in mind, to conclude that after the [recent] military operation in Gaza this is a time for another withdrawal from Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] is irrational. If we withdraw now from Judea and Samaria, we might face another Hamastan.”

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