Jewish settlers stone U.S. consular officials during West Bank visit, Israel police say

by / Friday, 02 January 2015 / News Category National Post

JERUSALEM — Jewish settlers attacked American consular officials Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank as part of an investigation into claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, Israeli police and Palestinian witnesses say.

The incident is likely to further chill relations between Israel and the United States, already tense over American criticisms of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and Israeli perceptions that President Barack Obama is only lukewarm in his support of Israeli diplomatic and security policies.

Settlers have often spoken against what they call foreign interference in their affairs, but this is the first known physical attack against diplomatic personnel.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that a small number of settlers threw rocks at officials who had come to an area near the Jewish settlement outpost of Adi Ad in two consular vehicles to look into Palestinian claims that settlers uprooted scores of Palestinian olive trees the day before.

He said that after the rock barrage began, the vehicles left the area, adding that police had opened an inquiry following the filing of an official complaint.

Another police official, spokeswoman Luba Samri, said that the American security personnel did not use their weapons during the attack.

Awad Abu Samra, who owns the land in the village of Tormousyya where the damage to the olive trees allegedly took place, said he accompanied the officials with two relatives. He described the officials as security personnel who had arrived in the village in advance of a larger party from the American consulate in Jerusalem, which was scheduled to arrive in the village later that afternoon.

“There were six security guards from the consulate riding in two cars,” Abu Samra said. “When they got out of the cars they were attacked by young settlers from the outpost who were carrying clubs and axes. They struck the cars with clubs but the security guards did not respond with their weapons.”

Abu Samra said that after the attack began the American security guards returned to their vehicles and drove away, explaining that they were under strict instructions not to engage the settlers in any way. He said that the planned visit of the additional officials from the consulate was called off after the incident.

The American Consulate General in Jerusalem had no immediate comment.

The United States is by far Israel’s most important foreign ally, providing the country with some $3 billion in annual aid and supporting its positions in international forums, despite frequent criticism.

Washington has long opposed Israeli settlement construction and maintains teams at diplomatic facilities in Israel that regularly monitor the settlements and their growth.

Abu Samra said that last spring he and his family planted some 10,000 olive tree saplings on land the family owns in the village, but that since then, settlers have uprooted most of them.

13:15ET 02-01-15

Source:: Jewish settlers stone U.S. consular officials during West Bank visit, Israel police say

Related News
WEST BANK — A Palestinian official has admitted that the Palestinian boycott of goods made in Israel is faltering, both because of a lack of substitutes for Israeli products, ...
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Stung by a resounding defeat in the UN Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges ...
OTTAWA — The top Palestinian diplomat in Canada says the Harper government should not have boycotted a United Nations conference this week that harshly criticized Israeli settlements in the West ...
RAMALLAH, West Bank — A witness says a member of the Palestinian Cabinet has died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a Palestinian... ...
NEW YORK — A knife-wielding man stabbed an Israeli student in the head inside a synagogue at the Brooklyn headquarters of an international Jewish organization early Tuesday before being fatally ...
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting some boos at a police graduation ceremony that comes with tensions high between him and rank-and-file police.The cadets ...
A Holocaust survivor is suing to stave off eviction and stay in her Central West Park apartment just a little longer — to help care for a dying, cancer-stricken friend... ...
A Muslim convert who left Ottawa last year to join ISIS resurfaced in a propaganda video on Sunday to threaten Canadians they will be “indiscriminately targeted” in retaliation for joining ...
Boycott of Israeli goods, which peaked during Gaza
Palestinians join International Criminal Court to press war
Palestinians tell Canada to back Geneva Conventions meeting
Palestinian official dead after clash with Israeli troops
N.Y. police kill attacker at Brooklyn synagogue after
New York City mayor gets booed, some turned
Holocaust survivor sues bank in fight to keep
John Maguire, an ISIS fighter from Ottawa, appears
Share Button