News / Middle East

    Israeli Forces Manhandle EU Diplomats, Seize West Bank Aid

    Israeli soldiers remove French diplomat Marion Castaing from her truck containing emergency aid, West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.
    Israeli soldiers remove French diplomat Marion Castaing from her truck containing emergency aid, West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.
    Reuters
    Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.
     
    A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents.
     
    Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian manduring scuffles following EU diplomats' attempt to deliver aid to West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian manduring scuffles following EU diplomats' attempt to deliver aid to West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.
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    Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian manduring scuffles following EU diplomats' attempt to deliver aid to West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.
    Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian manduring scuffles following EU diplomats' attempt to deliver aid to West Bank herding community of Khirbet al-Makhul, Sept. 20, 2013.
    "They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity," French diplomat Marion Castaing said.
     
    "This is how international law is being respected here," she said, covered with dust.
     
    The Israeli army and police declined to comment.
     
    Locals said Khirbet Al-Makhul was home to about 120 people.
     
    The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel's high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits.
     
    Despite losing their property, the inhabitants have refused to leave the land, where, they say, their families have lived for generations along with their flocks of sheep.
     
    Israeli soldiers stopped the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivering emergency aid on Tuesday and on Wednesday IRCS staff managed to put up some tents but the army forced them to take the shelters down.
     
    Diplomats from France, Britain, Spain, Ireland, Australia and the European Union's political office, turned up on Friday with more supplies. As soon as they arrived, about a dozen Israeli army jeeps converged on them, and soldiers told them not to unload their truck.
     
    "It's shocking and outrageous. We will report these actions to our governments," said one EU diplomat, who declined to be named because he did not have authorization to talk to the media.
     
    "[Our presence here] is a clear matter of international humanitarian law. By the Geneva Convention, an occupying power needs to see to the needs of people under occupation. These people aren't being protected," he said.
     
    In scuffles between soldiers and locals, several villagers were detained and an elderly Palestinian man fainted and was taken for medical treatment to a nearby ambulance.
     
    The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement that Makhul was the third Bedouin community to be demolished by the Israelis in the West Bank and adjacent Jerusalem municipality since August.
     
    Palestinians have accused the Israeli authorities of progressively taking their historical grazing lands, either earmarking it for military use or handing it over to the Israelis whose settlements dot the West Bank.
     
    Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct peace talks last month after a three-year hiatus. Palestinian officials have expressed serious doubts about the prospects of a breakthrough.
     
    "What the Israelis are doing is not helpful to the negotiations. Under any circumstances, talks or not, they're obligated to respect international law," the unnamed EU diplomat said.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Phoenix Angelfie from: Armenia
    September 24, 2013 6:04 AM
    This is BS!! Voice of America? Land of anti-semites? This supposed "diplomat" is little more than a pro jihadist left wing radical, seeking attention and publicity. Israel was well within their rights as a sovereign nation to exercise control. Oh wait you mean they do not check people at their airports?? That vehicle could well have been laden with weapons or explosives. More propaganda spewing from the pro muslim cult.
    In Response

    by: doglover123 from: USA
    September 24, 2013 5:39 PM
    You are right: Israel is the sovereign nation in control of all the land that she stole from the Palestinians. The difference between you and a pig is lipstick.

    by: Jacob from: Washington
    September 21, 2013 8:25 AM
    Marion Castaing is depicted as an"EU" Diplomat. She is in fact a left wing activist and French model and beauty queen.
    Here is her picture when not pretending to have her rights violated.
    She is a publicity hound. See this website and you'll understand what Israel is up against; incompetent journalist from Reuters who basically print PLO press releases.

    ttps://www.google.com/search?q=Marion+Castaing&client=firefox-a&hs=962&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=_o89Uq7eGLLJ4AOqhYGoDw&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1635&bih=724&dpr=1
    In Response

    by: doglover123 from: USA
    September 24, 2013 5:34 PM
    Reuters is not anti-Israel. In fact it is mostly controlled by people of Jewish national background. American media are also controlled by Jews. It'd not my opinion, just ask the ADL.
    In Response

    by: Pfalzman
    September 23, 2013 9:38 AM
    You are wrong. She has diplomatic status and she was dragged from her truck, clearly shown on video recordings. Reuters was not the only media present, since it was known that the demolition of the Bedouin homes was well known to the international press and that press coverage included the JPress as well...they reported the same as Reuters, RT and Ha'aretz.. Rather than complaining about some perceived bad PR for the IDF, you should be concerned with the apartheid and inhumane treatment of the people that the Israelis have removed from their land.

    by: Tomas
    September 20, 2013 2:41 PM
    In every civilised country, you must follow their rules. This soco "diplomat" acted in sharp contrast to the rules for diplomats. In my country, the result will be the same.
    In Response

    by: t papas from: USA
    September 27, 2013 4:52 PM
    You said, "In my country, the result will be the same". What country are you from? Which rules are you talking about?. What violation, what kind of rules did she violate?
    In Response

    by: Mhara Costello from: uk
    September 21, 2013 7:16 AM
    And what exactly is 'civilised' about the degrading, dehumanising treatment of the Palestinian people inflicted upon them by the so called 'only democracy in the middle east' (couldn't make it up) since 1948, when the Zionist invaders robbed them of their homes, land, livelihood, and anything else they could get their thieving hands on? Do your homework - read the history, from official sources, before coming out with such rubbish. And while you're at it, think on this; RULES ARE FOR FOOLS, when immoral and unjust; followed blindly by sheeple people like you, with no regard to the suffering caused and the lives destroyed.
    In Response

    by: t papas from: westminster usa
    September 20, 2013 6:20 PM
    Which country are you talking about?. Why is it a crime to go and help poor people that had their homes destroyed and their land given to settlers that have never before lived in that land?. There were less than 50,000 Jews living where modern Israel is today before 1946. Just about everyone living in Israel except for the Arabs, came from Africa, Europe and the US. Many of the IDF soldiers were born and raised in the US, and never spoke Hebrew before.
    In Response

    by: t papas from: USA
    September 20, 2013 5:33 PM
    Don't expect the American media to report this incident. When the Palestinians misbehave, it's all over the TV news in minutes. But again, when anyone say that Zionists control the media, his an anti-Semite, right?

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