Monday, October 21, 2002

Palestinian Satellite TV just a minute ago claimed that (approximately) "the settlers are continuing their ethnic cleansing that they have been talking about for the past 6 months and have forced the entire 160-person population of El Yanun from their homes".

Now, they just said that today Israeli forces shelled a residential neighborhood in Khan Yunis, injuring 4; and that settlers from Neve Dekalim fired artillery randomly.

All of the above is fabricated, in case you didn't know. The 10 residents of Yanun who were harassed while harvesting olives have returned to their homes. The shelling, 6 months of ethnic cleansing threats, and artillery stuff is totally made up.

They had a British woman call in and talk about how horrible the Israelis are. Then she said something about how if there's a criminal hiding somewhere they should send in troops and go house-to-house "which is what any other country would do". This left the program's hosts speechless, since they couldn't say they agreed that Israel should actually attempt to apprehend their beloved resisters.

Update: davidbak provides this NYtimes link about Yanun which restates Palestinian allegations, but with less inflammatory language and more nuance than Palestinian TV. Last night's Haaretz bulletins said that the 10 residents described had returned.

Joel Greenberg's NYTimes article claims that 140 other residents were harassed into leaving over "recent years", but I can't find any record of this. Greenberg writes:

But settlers have also made violent forays into Khirbat Yanun itself, coming with increasing frequency over the past year, especially on the Jewish sabbath and holidays, villagers said. The settlers would threaten residents at gunpoint, hurl stones from rooftops, smash windows and vandalize property, according to the villagers. They described huddling in their homes with frightened children as settlers pounded on doors.

This statement is suspect. Itamar is a religious community: while it's unfortunately conceivable that some residents could flout Jewish law's prohibition of threats, vandalism etc. it's not conceivable that they would travel 6 miles to do so on the Sabbath and holidays.

Update: An August article by Mathew Gutman in Jpost describes the Itamar/Yanoun situation and quotes an Itamar resident who seems to acknowledge the generator incident. Today's Maariv has a long article also. Again, what actually happened was obscured by Palestinian TV's brief and lurid account of "ethnic cleansing" etc.

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