Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The ISM: A Tale of Two Villages

Its yet another example of how the International Solidarity Movement devalues and dehumanizes Jewish lives.

From a post at the ISM website:

Yesterday in the village of Awarta, 26-year-old Rais Abdat was released from an Israeli prison.

 Three years ago, two youths from Awarta killed a settler from the nearby illegal settlement of Itamar, and for this act they both received five life sentences. In response, Israeli forces arrested approximately 18 young men and women from the village. Rais Abdat was one of these men.

 Rais was not convicted of the crime he was arrested for, yet he was sentenced to 38 months in prison. A member of his family believes this is due to his activism and political affiliations. 10 of the men and women arrested three years ago remain imprisoned, included Rais’ cousin Walid Abdat (24-years-old) who is due to be released in July.

 Today Rais was released from Salem Court in Jenin to joyous reactions from his friends and family. Although he has now been released, Rais has lost three years of his life due to the Israeli occupation. Before he was imprisoned Rais was a university student studying Arabic, as a family member commented, he will return to his studies although it may take some time to adjust to his newfound freedom.

According to Addameer (Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) as of Jan 1 2014 there are currently 5,023 Palestinian “political” prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centres. This includes 155 administrative detainees, 17 women and 154 children.

The reality is quite different. It wasn’t a “settler” that was killed. It was a family of five. The Fogel family members that were viciously murdered included Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas. Slaughtering children asleep in their beds is not a political act.  Those who were convicted of  the murder of the Fogel family are not  "political prisoners", nor are their accomplices.

On March 11,2011  two perpetrators infiltrated into Itamar armed with knives.  They broke into the Fogel home and stabbed the children and their parents.  When they heard 3-month-old Hadas crying, they slit her throat.  Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, two Palestinians from the nearby village of Awarta were later arrested for the murders, implicated by DNA evidence left at the scene.

Officers from Israel’s domestic intelligence agency said the two gave a “chilling reenactment” that was one of the most “shocking, cold, remorseless and detailed” they had ever witnessed.

On 5 June 2011 they were indicted on five counts of murder, stealing weapons, breaking and entering, and conspiracy to commit a crime and were found guilty. The two proudly confessed to the killings and  expressed no remorse. Amjad said his motivation was to “die a martyr’s death.”

It takes a village.

Just as the village of Itamar joined together in support of the surviving Fogel children, the nearby Palestinian village of Awata joined to together to protect their murderers, who were praised as" heroes”

Suspected accomplices were arrested including Salah Aladin Salim Awad, 31, a PFLP member and Hakim’s uncle. He helped the suspects cover their tracks after the killings, telling them to burn their blood-soaked clothes and sending the firearms they stole from Itamar to a friend in Ramallah.  Jad Avid, 31, from Ramallah,  hid the firearms after receiving them from Salah Awad. He was arrested in his home and the firearms were seized by the IDF. Maazan Niad Awad, 43, from Awarta, is Hakim’s father and a PFLP member. Mahmed Saeed Awad, 26, is a PFLP member in Awarta who helped plan  the Itamar attacks.

From Haaretz:

Palestinian television aired an interview with the relatives of the Fogel family murderers earlier this month, praising the two cousins convicted with the brutal attack as "heroes."

The broadcast was aired as part of a weekly show on the Palestinian state-run station called "For You," which focuses on Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel.

 The show featured the aunt and mother of Hakim Awad, who along with his cousin Amjad was convicted of brutally stabbing to death five Fogel family members in an attack on their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on the night of March 11, 2011.

Hakim Awad's mother sent her regards to her son, proudly describing him as the perpetrator of the Itamar attack and that he was sentenced to 5 consecutive life sentences.

Awad's aunt then proceeded to describe her nephew as a "hero and a legend."

The fact that the village of Awata celebrates those that murder children, and this in turn is supported by their extremist allies at the ISM is yet another example of how morally bankrupt the Palestinian solidarity movement has become.

1 comment:

Gary Fouse said...

An Addameer rep spoke at UC Irvine last year and I asked her about the Fogel killers.