by C. L. Cook
Outgoing Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert calls last week's violent settler attacks against Palestinian civilians remininscent of a pogrom. The Thursday attacks in the West Bank city of Hebron were expected following an Israeli military eviction of squatters claiming a Palestinian building last week.
"As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term 'pogrom' to describe what I have seen. We are the sons of a nation who know what is meant by a pogrom, and I am using the word only after deep reflection."
Three Palestinians suffered gunshot wounds, while houses, fields, cars, and olive trees were torched. The walls and grave markers of the Khaled Ibn Al-Walid Mosque were also desecrated and spray painted with slogans like, "Death to Arabs" and defamations of Islam. The Egyptian, Al-Ahram Weekly reports:
"[We have] inspected the damage inflicted by settlers and spoken with thoroughly terrorised victims who complained that the Israeli authorities and army were effectively giving the paramilitary terrorists a carte blanche to terrorise Palestinians. "They [the settlers] are Nazi, and if there was a stronger epithet, I would not hesitate to use. You can't imagine the ugliness and brutality of their behaviour," said Ahmed Al-Jamal, a frequent target of settler terror and vandalism."
Agence France Presse quotes the Olmert saying he has ordered Defence Minister, Ehud Barak look into the matter, telling him to:
"[D]o everything possible and to act with all their force to halt this phenomenon wherever the control of the state of Israel is exercised."