News / Middle East

Israel Tries Tougher Stance Against Right-Wing Jewish Violence

Scott Bobb

The Israeli government says it will take tough action against those who attack religious institutions or military installations. The warning comes amid rising violence by right-wing Jews angry at Israel's removal of non-sanctioned settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The 12th century Okasha mosque in central Jerusalem. Vandals torched it recently and spray-painted anti-Muslim, anti-Arab graffiti on its walls. They also painted the words, "price tag."

This is a signature of Israelis angered by the demolition of West Bank Jewish settler outposts, ruled illegal by Israeli courts.

The spokesman for Muslim holy sites, Mahmoud Abu Ata, says these attacks are expanding. "It seems that an organized Jewish group is systematically targeting the mosques and holy places, Muslim and Christian holy places," he said.

A half-dozen mosques have been attacked recently. There have also been attacks against Arab motorists and the head of an Israeli group that monitors West Bank settlement activity. In some instances, there has been retaliation by Palestinian Muslims.

Israeli columnist Danny Rubinstein says Israel's right-wing militants do not hesitate to use violence. "It's ideological. From their point of view it's very simple. 'We are stuck here as a small island in the middle of an Arabic ocean.'  For them, the Arab nation is stretched from the Gulf to Atlantic Ocean," he said.

Palestinian analyst Mahdi Abdel Hadi says it's hard for the Israeli government to stop the violence while it continues a policy of settlement expansion. "When you allow these people to take other people's land and homes and against the law and nobody is stopping them. And then they find themselves supported by the generals, the army. And this is the rise of Jewish fundamentalists and terrorist groups," he said.

But the Jewish attackers increasingly are targeting Israeli security forces who oversee the demolition of non-sanctioned outposts. They recently infiltrated the no-man's-land near Jordan and occupied an abandoned monastery.

Others threw stones at this Israeli military post in the West Bank, wounding a commander.

After a public outcry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not allow extremists to spark a religious war. "There is no such thing as ideological crime, there is just crime. There are laws in the country. There is a government in the country. There is democracy in the country. No one is allowed to break the law. No one is allowed to attack IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers. No one is allowed to harm Israeli policemen," he said.

He announced tougher measures against right-wing vandals but rejected a proposal to label them terrorists.

Since then, some suspects have been arrested and a few have been indicted.  But they have proven to be a stubborn group and few believe they will back down soon.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid