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Condolence visit to Umm al-Hiran

Friday 27 January 2017

On two occasions this week, a group of representatives and residents of Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom travelled to Umm al-Hiran to attend the funeral and convey condolences to the family of a man shot and killed during the demolition action that took place on Wednesday, January 18.

Regarding the recent events, the policy of home demolitions and the growing phenomenon of official incitement against the Arab population and its leaders, the chair of WAS-NS Municipality Adnan Manaa has written the following:

In recent months we have witnessed an unprecedented offensive against parliament representatives and leaders of the Arab population.

The Prime Minister and other government ministers, without any restraint, take every opportunity to incite or hurt Arab citizens of the state.

Netanyahu has been inciting against the Arab population from the time of the last elections, when he uttered his famous line, "The Arabs are massing at the polls." During November’s wave of forest fires, of which the first began near our village, the Prime Minister and other ministers loudly accused Arabs of starting the fires for nationalistic reasons. It is important to note that eventually not a single indictment was made and all suspects were released. On January 10, the Prime Minister ordered the destruction of homes in Qalansuwa (a town in the central part of the country), making statements that illegal Arab houses were being demolished. And, on January 18, he ordered the demolition of the Negev Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran, when an agreement with the residents was reportedly just hours away. The incident resulted in two deaths – that of a resident, Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan and of a policeman, Erez Levi.

Immediately following the incident, Israel Police Commissioner Insp-Gen. Roni Alsheich and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan claimed that Abu al-Qiyan had deliberately rammed into a group of policemen, causing the death of Levi, and was then shot. Without any investigation or the presentation of a shred of evidence, it was reported that the resident was a terrorist and belonged to ISIS.

As time passes, the picture regarding the events grows clearer, and appears to confirm the testimony given by the village residents all along – that the driver was shot prior to the accident, and this likely resulted in the death of the policeman.

It has further come to light that the Umm al-Hiran resident, Abu al-Qiyan bled to death from his injury. In the 20 or more minutes that he remained alive, no attempts were made to save his life, as might have happened if he had been regarded as a human being and as a citizen !!!

Unfortunately, quite a few journalists and news media outlets participated in the wave of racist incitement following the incident, placing them in collusion with the government’s instigators.

These events do not bode well for the future.

It is the duty of all of us who wish for and demand sanity, calm and peace in the country, and it is in the interest of both of our peoples, to unite and organize protests against the policy of racism and incitement that is being expressed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Photo attribution: Wikipedia
Additional information regarding the Umm al-Hiran incident can be found in Samah Salaime’s article, https://972mag.com/by-siding-with-the-police-the-media-incites-against-arab-citizens/124680/

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