Photo: Meir Azulay
Muslim cemetery (Archive photo)
Photo: Meir Azulay

Settlers defile Palestinian graves under IDF watch

Jewish settlers desecrate graves, wreak havoc in Palestinian village

"Death to Arabs" was just one of the hateful messages left by Jewish settlers on Muslim graves after a destructive rampage on a cemetery and village near Nablus Tuesday.


The defilement was carried out, according to residents of the village, under the IDF's watch.


The settlers destroyed graves, slashed tires of some 20 cars and smashed the windshields of five other cars after carrying out an annual ceremony in the village.


Each year, with Israel Defense Force protection, settlers arrive at the West Bank village of Awarta to hold a celebration for the sons of Aharon, Moses' brother, who are buried there according to Jewish tradition.


According to Central Command sources, only a small group of the 500 settlers attending the celebration was responsible for the destruction, which included graffiti saying "Kahane" (the leader of extreme right-wing Kach movement who advocated the expulsion off all Arabs from the area) and "Death to Arabs".


"We couldn’t pray in the morning because of the settlers. They have destroyed tombstones in the cemetery and we are afraid that next time their actions may be more severe," said Awrata resident Muhammad Abd A-Salam.


According to Abd A-Salam, no one from the IDF has shown up to investigate the matter, despite being notified.


In response to a Ynetnews inquiry, an official IDF announcement said that as soon as the soldiers noticed what was going on, they removed the settlers from the site and prevented them from causing further damage.


"The IDF views such incidents very severely," said the announcement.


פרסום ראשון: 01.25.07, 11:17
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