Jewish Man Nearly Lynched in ‘Peaceful’ Palestinian Village

Palestinian noncompliance continues to thwart all efforts at coexistence, and perhaps that’s the goal

It didn't take much to erase all recent signs of calm and coexistence and incite the Palestinian street to renewed violence.
Illustration. It didn't take much to erase all recent signs of calm and coexistence and incite the Palestinian street to renewed violence. Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

The first casualty of every violent flare-up in the Holy Land is the coexistence that had been carefully nurtured up until that point.

Hamas and other Palestinian antagonists know this well. Which is why they will periodically, and seemingly out of nowhere, instigate a fresh wave of terror. This serves to rile up the more violent sectors of society, as well as elicit an Israeli military response, which in turn upsets even the more moderate elements in Palestinian society.

We previously reported how the Palestinian town of Husan, near Bethlehem and adjacent to the large Jewish settlement of Beitar Illit, had become a model of coexistence and peace.

See: How a Palestinian Village Finally Made Peace With Israel

It’s a process that had been going on for years. Back in 2019, a delegation of Palestinians led by a peace activist from Husan begged forgiveness from the family of a Jewish girl murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Notably, they were seeking peace with Jewish settlers, not based on their removal from the so-called “West Bank.”

See: Palestinians Apologize for Brutal Slaying of Israeli Teenager

I live in another Israeli town near Husan, and can confirm that under normal circumstances nearly everyone around here views the Palestinian town as a relatively safe destination. My neighbors often enter Husan to patronize local businesses, which offer prices far below our own local shops and services.

Relations between the Palestinians of Husan and the nearby Israel towns had normalized to such an extent that some thought it was still safe to enter during what’s being called the start of the Third Intifada.

Sadly, they were wrong.

Even this most “peaceful” of Palestinian towns can apparently be incited to mass violence, and in short order.

 

Near-lynch

Shia Weitz, a resident of the Orthodox Jewish town of Beit Illit just on the other side of Highway 375, entered Husan on Wednesday to do a bit of shopping and nearly paid with his life.

“He went in to shop at a kiosk at the entrance of Husan, as many Beitar Illit residents do,” a friend of Weitz told the N12 news portal. “When he got out of the vehicle Arab rioters started throwing stones at him. He tried to escape and then a group arrived and started beating him.”

The shop owner tried to protect his Jewish customer, but to no avail. Fortunately, Weitz wasn’t too deep inside Husan, and managed to flee on foot to the entrance of the town, where he called for assistance from nearby Israeli security forces.

Weitz’s car was set ablaze as the violent mob celebrated their attack on an innocent Jew.

 

There is no justification

Apologists for the Palestinian cause were quick to suggest that the near-lynching of Shia Weitz came in response to the death of a local Palestinian woman at the hands of Israeli soldiers earlier in the week. But some key details have been conspicuously omitted from that story in most Palestinian reports, no doubt to stir ill-will.

Ghada Ibrahim Ali Sabateen, 47, approached a small Israeli army post on the outskirts of Husan on Sunday. She did so in a suspicious manner, refusing repeated calls by the two soldiers stationed there for her to stop. When she was within just a couple of feet from one soldier, hands raised and shouting, he finally shot a single bullet at her leg, which is IDF policy under such circumstances.

Sabateen was not intentionally shot dead by the soldiers. They attempted to halt her bizarre advance. The bullet, sadly, tore an artery and a local Palestinian hospital was unable to stop the bleeding in time. The reason for her behavior remains unclear, but security camera footage verifies the soldiers’ testimony that they felt threatened and compelled to act.

But none of that should really matter. Let’s pretend the Israeli soldiers did kill Sabateen in cold blood. Even then, would it be legitimate for local Palestinians to violently attack any and every Jew they come across? Hypocritically, Israel’s detractors will say yes, but those same voices wouldn’t hesitate to denounce the Israelis of Tel Aviv if they similarly assaulted every Arab following last week’s deadly terrorist shooting there.

But we’re getting off track.

 

Enemies of coexistence

My point here is to highlight the fragility of efforts to ease Palestinian tension and foster coexistence. For Israelis and Palestinian peace activists, this is a herculean endeavor. By contrast, it is the simplest thing in the world for Hamas to step in and make a mess of everything, setting those aforementioned efforts back months, if not years.

This is precisely the reason the so-called “Oslo Accords” stipulated that there were to be no armed Palestinian groups outside of the Palestinian Authority. Groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were to be disarmed so as to be unable to act on violent threats to disrupt normalization and peace.

The Palestinians failed to comply with the agreement. And now everyone’s paying the price, them most of all.

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