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Insulted by the ease with which the police had evicted them from Peace House, settlers and radicals vented their discontent on local Arabs. Unusually, yeshiva students from Kiryat Arba joined the Hilltop Youth to vandalize the property our Palestinian enemies hold illegally on Jewish land in and near Hebron.
A still-unclear number of Arab houses were torched, and young Jews clashed with Arabs. Both sides pelted each other with stones. There were isolated clashes with military police.

The shooting incident has been clarified. It was not a mad Jewish settler shooting live ammunition at defenseless Palestinians, but a Jew with plastic bullets defending his friends against a charging Arab crowd. According to Halacha law, he was fully entitled to shoot the attacking Arabs dead rather than use non-lethal ammunition. Later in the evening, Arabs started shooting in the direction of Jewish houses.

Abu Mazen praised the eviction of Jews from Peace House and called on the Israeli government to evict all Jews from Hebron. The UN’s Mideast coordinator also praised the violence against Jews, using harsh words he doesn’t employ regarding the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns.
Besides the usual culprits (Barak, Peres, Livni, Kadima, Avodah, Meretz), Likud and Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu also criticized the settlers’ violence, and called on them to abstain from opposing troops. Shas has consistently opposed the eviction, and the only MK who joined the defenders came from Shas.
Barak gave the order for the attack even before negotiating with the Council of Settlements. The meeting was a smokescreen for the police preparations.
Hebron riots by right-wingers are excellent propaganda for leftist parties, as they presumably draw moderate voters away from the ostensibly right-wing Likud.

IDF established hundreds of roadblocks around settlements and junctions in Judea and Samaria to prevent other settlers from rioting or coming to aid the Hebronites.

For a few weeks, Israel barred foreign correspondents from entering Gaza. After threats and demarches, IDF relented and allowed the bunch of Hamas sympathizers from foreign media into Gaza. Israel also delivered fuel to Gaza despite the continuing rocket attacks.

December 2008
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