Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Young Settler Killed In West Bank Attack

Posted by valecardia su 3 aprile, 2009


JERUSALEM, April 2 — An attacker with an ax killed a 13-year-old boy and wounded a 7-year-old boy in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, prompting calls for tighter security as a new Israeli government took office.

The midday attack took place at the settlement of Bat Ayin, home to about 1,000 people and part of the Gush Etzion group of settlements south of Jerusalem. Several Palestinian groups asserted responsibility for the attack. Israeli authorities mounted a manhunt for the attacker.

The slain boy was identified as Shlomo Nativ, whose family had helped found Bat Ayin. The 7-year-old, whose wounds were described by officials as light to moderate, was identified as Yair Gamliel.

Yair’s father, Ofer Gamliel, is one of three residents of the settlement who were jailed in 2002 for plotting to bomb a Palestinian girls’ school in East Jerusalem. Police said there was no evidence so far connecting Thursday’s attack with the father’s involvement with the group.

The incident underscored the strains that exist between Palestinians and the roughly 250,000 Israelis who live in West Bank settlements, the sometimes town-size groups of homes built on land that Israel seized during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

On Thursday, Palestinian militant groups praised what one called a “heroic attack” against Israel and the new government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while hundreds of Israelis turned out for the late afternoon funeral of the 13-year-old, killed just days before Passover.

“American and European pressure on the Israeli government to ease security measures against the Palestinians causes, eventually, the bloodshed of innocent civilians,” said Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, a settler advocacy group. “Israel will have to take more severe security steps.”

Palestinian attacks inside Israel have declined markedly in the last two years, a fact Israelis attribute to the construction of a security barrier around the West Bank. Israeli human rights groups say the route places about 9 percent of the territory on the Israeli side, and Palestinians say the circuitous barrier has disrupted their lives and economy and constitutes a land grab.

But violence between Israelis and Palestinians inside the West Bank — stone-throwing, firebombings and gunfire — is common.

Several militant groups asserted responsibility for Thursday’s attack, including one that says it is operating in the name of Imad Mughniyah, a commander of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia who died in a bombing in Syria in February 2008. He was blamed by the United States and Israel for killing hundreds in terrorist attacks. The same group asserted responsibility for the last Israeli deaths on the West Bank, the killing of two policemen on a remote road in early March.

Bat Ayin’s residents are strictly observant Jews who disapprove of modern culture. They have forgone the border fence typical at most settlements, arguing that they should not have to restrict their movements as a concession to possible violence.

The attack drew a sharp reply from Netanyahu’s office.

“The new Israeli government will have a zero-tolerance policy towards these sorts of terrorist attacks, and we refuse to accept them as routine violence,” said Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev. “And the Palestinian Authority must too have a zero-tolerance policy for these sorts of attacks. That is fundamental, and there can be no compromise.”

Netanyahu’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman — who on Thursday spent seven hours in police questioning as part of an ongoing bribery and money-laundering investigation — said Wednesday that Israel was shelving efforts to reach a comprehensive peace settlement with the Palestinians in favor of a strategy that will require progress on security first.

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, April 3, 2009; Page A11




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