Upset over the installation of a cellular antentta in their neighborhood, Pekiin Druze teens burned it down this past weekend. With over 100 cancer patients in Peki'in, the residents had been lobbying with the cell phone company to remove it, but to no avail (it's good money to have a cell tower on your property in Israel, and you receive over $1000 a month)
Hundreds of Israeli police arrived at 4:00 AM to arrest the teens, and all hell broke loose.
Hundreds of rioters, many of them masked, surrounded the policemen and hurled rocks and stun grenades at them, and allegedly shot at the police as well.
Rioters also set fire to the house of one of the few Jewish families in the town who live near an ancient synagogue.
Making matters even worse, the rioters captured a border policewoman, and held her hostage.
"The nightmare began just moments after we arrived at the scene to apprehend those suspected of rioting last Saturday night," Douadi recalled.My take?
"At some point I became separated from my battalion. A group of masked men spotted me and then dragged me 20 meters to an alleyway, where some of them began kicking me and trying to stab me with a sharp utensil," the 19-year-old said.
According to the policewoman's account, the rioters shouted "you won't get out of here alive unless we get what we want". Douadi was finally whisked away to a prayer house by a retired police officer until she was rescued from the area with the cooperation of local religious leaders.
"Everyone knows I wasn't released for free; they received everything they demanded," Douadi told Ynet.Thirty-one people were injured in the clashes, which broke out early Tuesday as Peki'in residents protested the installation of a cellular antenna in the the town. Police and Border Guard officers, local residents and Magen David Adom paramedics were among the injured. (YNET)
1. Had a cell tower been trashed in Tel-Aviv, it would have been seen by most as a noble gesture, since there is widespread grass-root support for removing cell towers.
2. Had a cell tower been trashed in Tel-Aviv, the police would not have sent in hundreds to arrest the perpetrators.
3. Druze Arabs used tremendous violence against the police...and even against Magen David Adom medics! It's also been reported that the police were also shot at, and wounded by demonstrators.
4. I'm not a huge fan of the police, and they routinely use excess violence against all sorts of groups ranging from settlers to Druze to Arabs to Leftists to student demonstrators.
5. That said, the Druze rioters gain no sympathy from me for this sort of violence, let alone burning Jewish homes. However, the State will now bend over backwards and accommodate them...police violence against Druze is not tolerated...while police violence against passive civil disobedient settlers in Amona is basically ignored.
6. Good thing I wasn't taking anyone on a tour of Peki'in when this happened -- it's much safer in Hevron! (you can even see exclusive pictures of the back of my head, and a video with my voice dubbed)
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael