Monday, September 29, 2008

Homesh First: 'Don't Believe PA'

Hana Levi Julian

The Homesh First activist organization bluntly denied a Palestinian Authority accusation Sunday that Jewish rights activists were behind the killing of a 19-year-old Bedouin shepherd in Samaria. Yihya Atta Bani Minya, a resident of the Jordan Valley town of Aqrabeh, was discovered shot to death Saturday night near the Jewish community of Gitit, also located in the Jordan Valley. His body was taken to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in south Tel Aviv for further examination to determine the exact cause of death.

Police said it was difficult to determine the time and place of death, inasmuch as there were no signs of gunshots or spent bullet cartridges found in the area.

The PA government official responsible for the Shechem region, Ghassan Dajlas, told reporters that Bani Minya had been shot "execution style," more than 20 times at point-blank range.

He also claimed that two Arab teens saw a white car "belonging to settlers" chasing Bani Minya late Saturday, and then heard shots.

The Homesh First activist group denied the PA Arab claims that "Jewish settlers" were the ones who shot and killed the Bedouin shepherd. The group's members work to rebuild the northern Samaria Jewish community of Homesh, which was destroyed in the Disengagement of 2005.

In a somewhat bitter statement issued by the group, Homesh First declared causticly, "There is 'no doubt' that all 'settlers' are responsible for the murder in the Valley. There is also 'no doubt' that all settlers planted the pipe bomb on Prof. Sternhell's front door."

Professor Ze'ev Sternhell was wounded last Thursday when a pipe bomb exploded at his front door as he was locking his gate in the wee hours of the morning. The 73-year-old Hebrew University political science academician, who was a winner of the Israel Prize, had received threats due to statements he had made which some people said appeared to legitimize terrorism. Political leaders across the spectrum condemned the attack. Left-wing extremists blamed the attack on rights activists in Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert referred to the attack Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, saying that "an evil streak of radicalism, malice, hatred and disregard of State law is threatening Israeli democracy. One cannot help but see the resemblance between the murder of Emil Greenzweig (an extreme-left Peace Now activist who was killed in 1983 during a political march in Jerusalem –ed.), the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and the attack on the professor," said Olmert.

"We will also take responsibility for all the Christian children who disappeared last Passover," Homesh First continued in its statement. The reference was to the ancient anti-Semitic tradition of blood libels which accuse Jews of murdering Christian children in order to use their blood to prepare Passover matzoh.

"There is no need to believe every ridiculous accusation of the Palestinians," the group concluded bluntly.

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