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Haaretz: Settler org granted control spring in East Jerusa.




"Last Generation Forums" :: News Services :: Haaretz :: Settler org granted control spring in East Jerusa.
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  AuthorTopic: Settler org granted control spring in East Jerusa. (Read 19 times)
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 Settler org granted control spring in East Jerusa.
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Settler organization granted control over spring in East Jerusalem
Opponents say decision by zoning board is another way of imposing Israeli control over Palestinian resources.
By Nir Hasson | Jun.12, 2012 | 1:18 AM | 1

A right-wing organization that was granted use yesterday of an ancient East Jerusalem spring said the move would keep Haredi men from bothering the tourists by taking illicit dips in the nude. But opponents say the zoning board decision is just another way of imposing Israeli control over Palestinian resources.

Gihon Spring in Silwan is already a pilgrimage site for religious Jewish men, most of them ultra-Orthodox, seeking to benefit from the waters thought to impart blessings to those who take a ritual dip, which can be done only when fully unclothed. Yesterday the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee granted Elad, an organization that seeks to boost the Jewish presence in predominantly Arab parts of Jerusalem, the right to designate a 1.5 meter by 1.5 meters section of the spring as an "immersion pit."

"There have been several times when embarrassing situations arise at the site," said Elad spokesman Udi Ragones. "The idea is to regularize the immersion pit."

The pit is similar to a mikveh, but is smaller than most ritual baths and is not enclosed. It is also open to the public, said Elad director David Be'eri - but, he added, those who use it "must come naked."

The immersion pit is part of a larger construction project the planning committee approved yesterday for the area that includes Beit Hama'ayan, a large building that overlooks the mouth of Gihon Spring. As part of the plan, Elad was granted the right to build a large tourist center with an observation deck above the spring and the archaeological remains that have been discovered over the years.

The project is being funded by the municipality and the national government, and is being carried out in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Silwan is built on the City of David, considered to be the site where King David established his kingdom.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the construction project, of course.

"It's another phase in the settlers' takeover process," said archaeologist Yoni Mizrahi. "Unfortunately, Israel's planning authorities see archaeological excavations as Israeli asests that must be preserved in closed complexes.

"It's clear that the mikveh is not intended for the Palestinian residents," said Mizrahi. He noted that the spring was shut down for excavations in 1995 and has not been easily accessible to residents since then.

According to one Jewish tradition, the spring is considered to be the spot where Adam went after his sin in the Garden of Eden. Some also say the Holy Temple priests occasionally immersed in the Gihon.
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Haaretz: "IDF suspends officer filmed firing live ammunition"




"Last Generation Forums" :: News Services :: Haaretz :: IDF suspends officer filmed firing live ammunition
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 IDF suspends officer filmed firing live ammunition
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IDF suspends officer filmed firing live ammunition at Palestinian protesters

The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh; Video appears to indicate that officer's life was not in danger.
By Gili Cohen and Nir Hasson | Jun.12, 2012 | 7:39 PM

The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh; Video appears to indicate that officer's life was not in danger.

An IDF officer was documented ten days ago hurling rocks and firing live ammunition at Palestinian demonstrators near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. In the video, shot by village resident Bilel Tamimi, the officer is seen throwing rocks at two young Palestinian men who are also hurling rocks at him. Later the officer is seen firing in their direction.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a statement, stating that "an initial investigation found that live ammunition was used in the incident. The firing officer has been suspended until the investigation is completed."

The video, uploaded to Youtube, clearly shows clouds of dust rising from the area where the bullets struck, near the Palestinian men. The officer, who was at the scene with four other IDF soldiers, is seen advancing and retreating, suggesting his life was not in danger. According to standing orders, the use of crowd control equipment must be authorized by a company commander, and use of live ammunition can only be used after carrying out protocols for apprehending suspicious suspects.

The villages' Popular Committee said in a statement that the violence by IDF soldiers reflects Israel's policies and is not limited to a few isolated incidents.
Last December, Nabi Saleh resident Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed in a similar incident during a weekly demonstration. In February, the IDF admitted that injuries sustained by a French woman may have been caused by an army tear gas canister and not by rocks thrown by other protesters, as initially claimed.

Both incidents took place during the weekly demonstration by residents of Nabi Saleh against the expropriation of their land in favor of the nearby settlement of Halamish, and the settlers' takeover of a spring that served the Palestinian residents.

They have been held every Friday for the past two years, with the participation of Israeli and foreign activists. Most weeks they end with Palestinians throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers firing tear gas canisters and rubber-tipped bullets.
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