JERUSALEM (Nov. 8)
Jewish settlers continued their violent protests against attacks by Palestinian terrorists and issued promises that they will continue to employ violence as a means for getting the government to take their demands for security seriously.
On Monday, two Palestinians were shot and lightly injured by Jewish settlers who were protesting the killing the day before of 30-year-old Ephraim Ayubi.
A caller to Israel Radio said the Committee for Security on the Roads of Judea and Samaria claimed responsibility for the attack on a Palestinian father and son, who were on their way to the West Bank town of Nablus.
The settlers say that these attacks will teach Arabs that terrorist acts will not go unanswered, and that they may escalate their violent response in days to come.
One resident of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba told Israel Radio that Jewish settlers would not change their violent tactics.
“Our world will be secure, and if our government doesn’t know how to take care of that, but on the contrary, it stimulates terror, we will take care of that,” the settler said.
“There won’t be any Arabs on this road,” he said, referring to his group’s blockade of roads leading to Arab villages in the West Bank.
On Sunday, four Palestinians were reportedly shot by Jews in retaliation for Ayubi’s murder. The same day, hundreds of settlers held a violent demonstration in Jerusalem’s city center.
The demonstrators, issuing calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, clashed with police attempting to disperse the crowds who gathered here Sunday evening.
The demonstrations occurred after terrorists attacked the car of Rabbi Chaim Druckman near the West Bank town of Hebron earlier Sunday.
Druckman is a founding member of the Gush Emunim settlers movement and a former Knesset member from the National Religious Party.
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Ayubi, the settlement leader’s driver, was killed in the attack. Druckman suffered bullet wounds in the arm and shoulder.
The Damascus-based Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group opposed to the peace process, claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack.
Druckman was released from the hospital Sunday to attend Ayubi’s funeral, which drew thousands of mourners.
The deteriorating security situation prompted four no-confidence motions Monday in the Knesset by the opposition. All were defeated.
Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini, who has played a key role in the peace negotiations with Israel, said Monday that the Israel Defense Force is responsible for preventing settlers’ attacks against Arabs.
Husseini called for an international force to maintain order in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
He said that if the violence against Arabs did not stop, Palestinian negotiators would insist on discussing the future status of Jewish settlements during the current round of autonomy talks with Israel.
The talks — broken off last week in the Sinai border town of Taba after Palestinian negotiators balked at Israeli plans to redeploy rather than withdraw troops in the Gaza Strip and Jericho — were resumed at a secret location in Cairo on Monday.
Deputy Defense Minister Mordechai Gur responded to settlers’ security concerns by saying Monday that the government “would do our utmost to put an end to this terrorism.”
He said he expected many Palestinians to wake up to the promise of the peace agreement and abandon terrorism.
Gur acknowledged that there are Palestinian extremists bent on destroying the self-rule accord signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on Sept. 13 in Washington.
But Gur added that he was confident the rejectionists would be overcome.