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Israeli Embassy in London responds to Harriet Sherwood feature

This letter was published in The Guardian this morning from the Israeli Embassy in London, and is worth reading:

In her feature on Palestinian children, Harriet Sherwood writes at length about protests in Nabi Saleh (Weekend, 8 February). She mentions that at least 140 people from the village “have been detained or arrested as a result of protest activity”, neglecting to mention terrorists, such as Ahlam Tamimi, who led a suicide bomber to a restaurant where he murdered 16 people, commenting later that she had hoped for a “larger toll”. When she was released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, there were celebrations in Nabi Saleh.

Sherwood concedes that Palestinian stone-throwing causes Israelis to die, and then claims that Nabi Saleh’s protest leader Bassem Tamimi “neither advocates nor condemns it”. Yet he is on record in boasting that “we see stones as our message” and “our sign is the stone”. He was not arrested simply for “protesting”; he was accused of attempting to lead soldiers into an ambush, to be pelted with stones.

It would be our wish that no minor would ever find themselves in Israeli custody, yet approximately 75% of all offences committed by minors in the West Bank are violent crimes, with minors being incited to violence by official Palestinian textbooks approved for use in schools.

Finally, Hebron’s Jewish population is not protected by “4,000 soldiers” but by a few hundred, who are there due to terror attacks against a community that had coexisted peacefully with their Arab neighbours in the city for hundreds of years until the massacre of the city’s Jewish population in 1929.

Yiftah Curiel