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Palestinians protest against attacks by radical Jews on Christian and Muslim cemeteries

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Hundreds of Palestinians have demonstrated in the city of Jaffa in protest against attacks by radical Jews on the Muslim cemetery of Al Kazakhana and a Christian Orthodox cemetery. The Jewish vandals stormed into the two cemeteries last Friday evening as the Yom Kippur holiday was beginning in Israel. They vandalized 25 graves and wrote racist slogans on them, including “death to the Arabs” and “price tag”; racist drawings were also painted on the gravestones.

The protesters called for unity among Jaffa’s Arabs and expressed their readiness to protect their sacred sites. They also had banners with slogans condemning the settlers’ violence and racist incitement against Arabs in Jaffa. They demanded the resignation of Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovich. Community associations in the city announced that they would hold further discussions about the steps that will be taken to confront “racist acts” by Israeli Jews.

The head of the Islamic Association of Jaffa, Khaled Sawalhah, said, “Among the steps that will be taken is an official complaint in the name of all of Jaffa’s community groups. We will also consider filing individual complaints by those families affected by the attacks on the two cemeteries.”

The cemetery attacks came just days after Jewish radicals set fire to Al-Nour mosque in the Tuba-Zangaria village in the Upper Galilee. “Price tag” refers to the “price” to be paid by Palestinians for what the illegal settlers see as unjust action against them and their settlements by the Israeli government. Although all settlements are illegal in international law, most are condoned by the Israeli government; some “outposts” are illegal even under Israeli law and they are occasionally dismantled by Israeli troops. The Palestinian community has to pay the price for this by the vandalism and violence of the settlers.