A newspaper op-ed piece by an Israeli writer has revived an emotional debate surrounding Israel‘s 45-year rule over the West Bank and east Jerusalem: Do Palestinians who throw rocks at Israelis exercise a “birthright” of resisting military occupation, as the author argued? Or is stone-throwing an indefensible act of violence?
The heated argument — along with a police complaint West Bank settlers filed against the author — was another sign of the deepening gulf between the two peoples after decades of conflict.
The debate comes at a time when Israelis are watching for any signs of a third Palestinian “intifada,” or uprising, against the occupation that began in 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
Palestinians want the three territories for a state. However, two decades of intermittent Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have come up empty and Israel — while withdrawing from Gaza in 2005 — has moved more than half a million of its civilians to the rest of the occupied lands during the four-decade occupation in what much of the world says violates international law.
In the past 25 years, Palestinians have launched two uprisings. The first erupted in 1987 and was characterized by large demonstrations, often accompanied by stone-throwing. Israeli troops responded with tear gas, live fire and mass arrests. The revolt led to negotiations that produced interim peace deals.
The second intifada broke out in 2000, after failed talks on a final deal, and violence escalated on both sides. Palestinians used guns and bombs, including suicide attacks. Israel retook parts of the West Bank earlier handed to partial Palestinian control and began targeting militant leaders in missile attacks from helicopters.
In an op-ed piece in the Haaretz daily Wednesday, Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote that Israel has engaged in systematic violence against the Palestinians as part of its well-oiled machinery of occupation.
“Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule,” wrote Hass, who covers the Palestinians and lives in the West Bank. Limitations of that right could include “the distinction between civilians and those who carry arms,” she wrote.
Her words elicited a flood of angry reactions in Israel on Thursday, including from the mother of a 3-year-old Israeli girl who was critically injured last month in a West Bank road accident triggered by stone-throwing. Another writer brought …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News