What Harriet Sherwood’s “five months of calm” in Israel actually looks like.

Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian who was serving a life term for recruiting a terrorist to carry out a suicide attack against Israeli civilians inside a crowded Jerusalem cafe in 2002, died of cancer on Tuesday. 

(Dozens of people at the Caffit Cafe on Emek Refaim were spared death or injury when the bomber’s suicide belt failed to detonate.)

Despite the fact that the convicted terrorist – who was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the esophagus in February – had been treated by Israel’s top oncology doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital, his death was immediately used by the Palestinian Authority to stoke violence in the West Bank.  President Mahmoud Abbas, and Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe, among others, immediately accused Israel of medical negligence.

In addition to riots by prisoners in Israeli jails which ensued after Hamdiyeh’s death, Palestinians have been violently taking to the streets in Hebron and throughout the West Bank and throwing rocks and explosives at Israeli soldiers.  Israeli civilian vehicles have also increasingly come under attack on roads in the West Bank since Tuesday.

Also since Tuesday, terrorist organisations in Gaza have launched missiles at Israeli communities for the third time since the eight-day November war ended.  For three straight days, rockets were fired from Gaza, with two rockets exploding in open areas near Sderot on Wednesday “triggering alerts and sending frightened families fleeing for shelter”.  Additionally on Wednesday, a global jihadi group in Gaza  targeted Sderot with rocket fire just as parents were bringing their children to school. Fortunately, there were no injuries stemming from the attacks.

In response, the Israeli Air Force struck two terror targets in the Gaza Strip, representing the first Israeli response to Gaza rocket fire since the end of the November war in Gaza.  The IAF didn’t respond to a rocket attack launched from Gaza on March 21 during President Obama’s visit to Israel, which ended up striking an Israeli nursery school in Sderot (which was closed for the holidays), nor to a Feb. 26  Gaza missile fired towards the town of Ashkelon.

Rocket believed fired last month during Obama visit; kindergarten had been closed for Passover holiday, delaying discovery. (Photo courtesy of Sderot Media Center)

Rocket believed fired last month during Obama visit; kindergarten had been closed for Passover holiday, delaying discovery. (Photo courtesy of Sderot Media Center)

The recent violence was reported by Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian on April 4th.

Her report, from Hebron, was titled ‘Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank, and contained the following strap line:

Clashes come as militants fire rockets at Israel for third day, sparking fears of fresh wave of violence after five months of calm

Sherwood echoed the narrative advanced in the strap line in her second paragraph:

Palestinian protesters clashed with soldiers after thousands of mourners turned out for the funerals of a 64-year-old cancer-stricken prisoner and two teenage boys shot dead by the Israeli military, the latest sign of the increasing turbulence across the West Bank.

Meanwhile Gaza militants fired rockets towards Israel for the third consecutive day in a move that threatens to trigger a fresh cycle of violence after almost five months of calm since the eight-day war last November.

Whilst some narratives about the conflict are open to interpretation, it really is difficult to understand how a professional journalist covering the region can honestly characterize the months since the November war as “calm”.

The following is terror data was compiled by the Israel Security Agency, but many of the attacks listed were also reported in the media at the time:

  • In March 2013 there were 125 terror attacks, with most of the attacks executed in the form of firebombs. Six Israelis were injured: five citizens and one security officer. Five of them were injured by firebombs (a security officer in Judea on March 3, and 4 Israelis on the Trans-Samaria Highway on March 14), and one citizen was shot (March 18) near a gas station in Kedumim (West Bank).
  • In Feb 2013, there were 139 terror attacks. Again, most attacks were in the form of firebombs. Three Israelis – one civilian and two security officers – were injuredThey were all wounded during separate stone hurling and firebombing incidents during rioting in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The civilian was injured in Bitunya / Binyamin area (21 Feb.), and the two security officers were injured in Issawiya / Jerusalem (9 Feb.) and in Hebron (22 Feb.).
  • In January 2013, there were 83 terror attacks: Three Israelis were injured: an Israeli citizen was moderately injured in a stabbing attack in the West Bank (January 29), and two security officers were injured by a firebomb near Al Aroub (January 3) and by stone-throwing in the nearby area of Rachel’s Tomb (January 13).
  • In December 2012 there were 112 terror attacks. Three Israeli security officials were injured: two were stabbed in the West Bank (December 3), one was run over by car in Jerusalem (December 23).

It was difficult to gather information on terror attacks which may have occurred in the last nine days of November (after the Nov. 21 ceasefire), but, even assuming for the sake of argument that there were no attacks during that period, in the four-months beginning in December there were 459 terror attacks – a fact which definitively undermines Sherwood’s characterization of life in Israel during that time. 

One of the victims of Palestinian terrorism during this period, 3-year-old Adele Biton, is still fighting for her life in an Israeli hospital – weeks after the car she was travelling in with her mother and two sisters was hit by Palestinian rock throwers.  The rocks caused the car to swerve, and it rammed into a truck parked on the side of the road. 


Adele Biton

Though her mother and siblings were also injured in the attack, Adele suffered severe trauma and is still listed in critical condition.

62 replies »

  1. There was only recently all over the UK media stories of “paid” mourners over the world . Those that are paid money to shed tears and beat their chests, in desperate grieving of the dead – This being an example. Wonder where Harriet sherwood was? Maybe bleaching her hair again?

  2. Ambrosine Have you heard about the Palestinians who are paid to die – four of them did this this week – celebrate in your shit

    • Oh wow, yet ANOTHER new nick honoring me!

      He is just TOTALLY in love with me, he’s following me around like a little lost puppy hoping for a smile from me, or a pat on the head.

      Poor, poor fellow… it’s almost heartbreaking to see such unrequited love.

  3. Ambrosine Have you heard about the Palestinians who are paid to die – four of them did this this week, one because the Israelis did not allow him to be treated him in time and than did not allow him to be released to be with his family 3 decided to fall in front of the bullets Israeli soldiers fired – celebrate in your shit

    • What happens when you throw petrol bombs on armed soldiers defending an outpost.
      You get shot.

      As for the cancer patient.
      You know Zionism must have infected him with Cancer.
      BTW, remember Megrahi?

      “Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish Government on 20 August 2009 following doctors reporting on 10 August 2009 that he had terminal prostate cancer and was expected to have around three months to live.[5][6] On his return to Libya, al-Megrahi was initially hospitalized but was allowed to leave on 2 November 2009, taking up residence in a villa in Tripoli.[7] In October 2011 Al-Megrahi gave an interview from his bed in which he claimed that he had only days, weeks or months to live.[8] He died on 20 May 2012 nearly three years after his release.”

      Funny this…
      Why should you show compation to those who send others to kill civilian with intent?
      Unless you justify their cause…

    • Maisara Abu-Hamdiyeh was imprisoned for an attempted attack on Israeli’s. I wonder if any of his victims would have been granted the decency of being allowed to die at home with their family?

  4. “I’ll be seventy years old soon. Well, Nahum, if you asked me whether I shall die and be buried in a Jewish State I would tell you Yes; in ten years, fifteen years, I believe there will still be a Jewish State. But ask me whether my son Amos, who will be fifty at the end of this year, has a chance of dying and being buried in a Jewish State, and I would answer: fifty-fifty.” did the son make it – but be careful – the days are numbered – they say treat others as you expect to be treated and they also say you will be treated the same way you treat others –

    • I find your threats disturbing. “the days are numbered”, presumably of a “Jewish state”.

      “They say treat others as you expect to be treated”. That is why Israel is the best place to be in the Middle East if you are a woman, or gay, or Bahai, or Christian, or the “wrong” type of Muslim, or in an abusive relationsip…

      “they also say you will be treated the same way you treat others”. Unfortunately the experience of Jews over the last two millennia or so shows that this is clearly not true. Jews are never again going to lie down and depend on the good will of other people in the forlorn hope that they will be decent to us, or “treat us in the same way we treat others”. That is the whole point of there being a Jewish state of Israel.

    • Was the last sentence your own or BG Because the end of BG sentence to Nahum was
      But how can you sleep with that prospect in mind and be Prime Minister of Israel too?” I responded.
      “Who says I sleep?” was Ben-Gurion’s simple reply.

  5. This week, a prisoner called Maisara Abu-Hamdiyeh died in prison, and the West Bank exploded in rage. Israeli journalists ridiculed the protest, stating that the man died from a fatal disease, so Israel could not be blamed.
    Some Israeli Jews do have compassion – and this is what one emailed me today – and before you asked this person served the Zionist movement but the reality of what it meant for the Palestinian made him re-consider what is being done in his name. Many others are joining him in voicing their disgust – that is why the days are numbered and even Ben-Gurion feared this –

    Did any of them imagine for a moment what it means for a human being to suffer from cancer, with the disease slowly spreading through his body, deprived of adequate treatment, cut off from family and friends, seeing death approaching? What if it had been their father?

    • Did Maisara Abu-Hamdiyeh show any human compassion when he attempted to recruit suicide bombers to murder innocent Israeli’s? Did he pause to consider the numerous lives that would have been ended, and the people who would have been maimed and seriously injured? As for the lie about him being denied adequate treatment? He was being treated by some of Israel’s top cancer specialists.

    • Look, if a prisoner got an in-growing toenail, the Palestinians would blame Israel.

      These guys are professional rage-merchants. They have elevated faux-outrage to an art form. It’s the only way they can get any attention, and if they aren’t getting attention, they become very, very unhappy. Like spoilt children.

  6. Labenal just f off with your drivel

    My Israeli friend went on to add
    t would have been a good beginning for Obama in Ramallah if he had addressed this point. It was not the Palestinians who killed six million Jews. It was the European countries and – yes – the USA which callously closed their doors to the Jews, who were desperately trying to escape the lot awaiting them. And it was the Muslim world which welcomed hundreds of thousands of Jews fleeing from Catholic Spain and the inquisition some 500 years ago.

    • Troll, aka Jabal/Rafi/Mustafa &c,
      I find the notion that you have friends, let alone Israeli friends, to be utterly incredible and certainly dubious…
      The rest, is as always very amusing blather from you, typical, in the Pakistani tradition of these things. For instance, were you so welcoming when you organized the Farhoud?
      Or when you ethnically cleansed 1 million Jews from their homes, confiscated their property, and continue to persecute Jews to this day — by spreading abominable conspiracy theories about them, and threatening them with genocide(“Khaybar” ring any bells?)
      Yes, you’re quite the hosts.

    • “adabracadabra” Thanks for your measured and thoughtful response to my comment. Your standard of debate and repartee are positivelty stunning.

    • Palestine also closed its doors to Jews thanks to arab pressure which resulted in the white paper of 1939.,
      Not forgetting Haj Amin al-Husseini a Nazi supporter who had this to say:
      Germany and Italy recognize the right of the Arab countries to solve the question of the Jewish elements, which exist in Palestine and in the other Arab countries, as required by the national and ethnic (völkisch) interests of the Arabs, and as the Jewish question was solved in Germany and Italy.
      In September 1943, intense negotiations to rescue 500 Jewish children from the town of Arbe in Croatia collapsed due to the objection of al-Husseini who blocked the children’s departure to Turkey because they would end up in Palestine.

      Such a humanitrain soul this arab leader was.

  7. Commentary are you still a member of the EDL – beaten up any children in Luton today you fascist shit?

    • I see. So by pointing out your inherent racism, against Jews, mind you(whom you do not count as human, I presume), I am transposed into a concurrent of the EDL…
      Interesting logic.
      Does your support for ethnically cleansing Jews from Israel make you into a “Nazi shit”[sic]? I believe that it would, given your train of thought(if thought there be, in your vile head).

    • why? didn;t you like the bit about Farhud . Just an example of the love muslim had for their Jewish neighbor . so much love that caused the death of 175 jews in Bagdad Iraq 1941. Like I said one example of the massacares, forced conversion burnt synagoug. etc etc.
      In 1172 so many years before anyone heard about zionism. Maimonides a great Jewish rabbi who lived under Islam wrote to the Jews of Yemen who were then experiencing severe persecution at the hands of their Muslim rulers

      .. on account of our sins God has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael [that is, Muslims], who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us…. No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have…. We have borne their imposed degradation, their lies, their absurdities, which are beyond human power to bear…. We have done as our sages of blessed memory have instructed us, bearing the lies and absurdities of Ishmael…. In spite of all this, we are not spared from the ferocity of their wickedness and their outbursts at any time.

  8. Commentart101

    This is my genuine Jewish Israeli friend says –

    OUR CONFLICT is tragic, more than most. One of its tragedies is that neither side can be entirely blamed. There is not one narrative, but two. Each side is convinced of the absolute justice of its cause. Each side nurses its overwhelming sense of victimhood. Though there can be no symmetry between settlers and natives, occupier and occupied, in this respect they are the same.

    • Like I said, you may tout the “genuineness” of your friend — it’s a fact that I extremely doubt, and am profoundly convinced is just a shoddy fabrication.
      But the problem is, that you, and your imaginary “friend” don’t understand(and let this be a lesson to your future resurrections here, for trolling) that there are 6 million Jews in Israel who hold you, your views, and your split personalities in great contempt; who are a free, and proud people; who deserve like all other people, the basic and most humane right of self-determination. That they would neither barter it, nor surrender it, under any terms or circumstances.
      The era when people like you(not you personally — for you’re quite pathetic yourself) could dictate what Jews ought to, or ought not to do, has long since expired.

      • The troll’s “friend” is Uri Avnery, the extreme leftist Israeli. I just googled part of his “friend’s” quote and it took me to an article by Avnery in the Arab News in which Avnery sings a paean of praise to the arch-terrorist and fanatical murderer Yasser Arafart yimach shemo.

        Yeah, Israeli friend indeed. Load of cobblers.

    • Actually, I agree with your imaginary friend on part of that. There ARE two sides to the story, and neither side is entirely blameless. There have been attorcities committed by both and there is racist language coming from some people on both sides of the border.

      I hope that both peoples can find a way to live in peace together, but we don’t live in a fairy tale where a magic wand can solve all problems. You have to come down on one side of the fence. I am perfectly clear that, while I recognise the aspirations of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza to have freedom and independence (not least from tyrannical islamism), it is Israel who is the positive force in the region, it is ISrael which is (imperfectly) democratic, liberal, tolerant, open and free, and it is Israel which deserves my support.

  9. I am satisfied at least 1 is still in Israel – I know Norman & Chomsky are not allowed in Israel and Ilan Pappe was sacked from his job and forced to leave Israel.

    Also, you will find many Israelis both Arab and Jewish working with .

    Bigoted views like yours are very short lived.

    • “Bigoted views”, like mine?
      Ahem, you’ve got our roles mixed up: it is you who’s calling for the removal of all Jews from Israel. Not I. I am defending the Jewish right to self-determination. If you consider that bigotry — well, it evidences a great deal about you, but it’s something I’ve long suspected.
      Actually, you and Pappe have a lot in common: first you lie like mad, and then whine about it, when you’re exposed. What you have instinctively forgotten to relate about Pappe, was that Pappe was charged with libel, convicted, and removed from his position for utterly unscholarly conduct: He falsified, just like you would, mass-murder, which he tried to pin on Israel. Naturally, as a court of law determined, no such crime took place. Pappe refused to apologise/pay damages, and fled.
      Speaking of Btselem, how many Pakistani/Palestinian/Arab “Btselem”-s are there? For instance, how many Arabs excoriate the treatment they allot to their brethren?
      Shall I put the figure at zero? There, or thereabouts?

    • “… are very short lived.” aisdifofofijd

      Not as short-lived as your nicks, Natzie troll.

    • “I know Norman & Chomsky are not allowed in Israel and Ilan Pappe was sacked from his job”
      All three belong in a rubber room, and were obviously never taught as children never to play with matches.

  10. Commentary101 – I am going to leave you racists alone – I suppose you were part of the Oswald Moseley brigade that supported the ethnic cleansing of Cable Street – I am out of this racist place for good –

    Although, I understand your argument whoever is my friend, because of racist stereotyping on your part, must be liar and a scum. I am glad you are no friend of mine

    • Dear “adabracadabra”
      I’ll call you “retard” a) it’s shorter and b) in your case very appropriate.

      Well “retard” your lack of knowledge about the events of Cable Street is clearly only exceeded by your lack of knowledge about every other subject you have ‘posted’ about on this site.
      Do feel free to call in again, but, in the meantime you really should behave in a similar fashion to a hermaphrodite.

      • behave in a similar fashion to a hermaphrodite
        Ewww…. please take that back, he’ll probably think of me while he does. Ewww, ewww, ewww………

    • I am out of this racist place for good

      Hahahahahaha…. Now, where have I heard that before? Hmm…

      Oh that’s right, a couple of weeks ago… same troll, different nick.

      I don’t think he can stay away, he loves me too much.

      If he comes back (probably with a new nick), then we’ll know he can’t get over his adoration of me.

      • I wonder what new nick he’ll come up with? Jennifer Goldberg? Jerry Sonnenstein? Or just vipvaporub?

    • Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
      Oh, and seriously, Moseley analogies? I suppose calling you a disciple of Haj Amin al-Husseini would be too mild; since you call for the ethnic cleansing of Israel & its Jews, Cable Street has to seem like a petty squabble to you.
      “Racist stereotyping”? That’s a laugh. I merely recognised, implicitly, that any person who would consider you his friend must be mentally deranged. Your spillage here continues to prove that, one disgusting post after another.

    • Good ,about time you left. While you are gone do try and read some real history. Chomsky is not a very good example. I think someone here gave us a link to an articel about him,
      There are few lines which clearly explain why you and the likes of you love Chomsky so much:
      “I think people come to Chomsky and essentially worship him for precisely that reason. He allows them to feel justified in their refusal to think. They never have to ask themselves any difficult questions or provide any difficult answers. It’s a form of intellectual cowardice essentially”

    • “I am out of this racist place for good”
      The admission that he’s been here before – uh hum.

      Well, before you leave I have to tell you, as anti-racist, that you’re a racist, a fascist racist. Fascist fascist racist racist. So there, you must be, because I’ve now said it several times. So, now that I’ve repeated the magic words, ali baba abracadabra shishkababa, go de-materialize. Looking forward to your new name for the next post.

      P.S. Commentary101 skunked you. He slam dunked you.

  11. During this uneventful period our peace partner Egypt a government minister watered the flowers of the Arab spring on TV:
    The Muslims Will Kill the Jews on Judgment Day
    But I was very happy to hear from Barack Obama during his charm offensive in Jerusalem about the American support for “the Egyptian people in their historic transition to democracy.” Maybe the president gets his information reading the Guardian?

  12. Don’t engage with the trolls . Their purpose is to high jack the thread , derail and reduce a serious article to a slanging match BTL . Better still is to simply block them .

  13. OK, I don’t know why the “Reply” function doesn’t seem to be working at the moment… my 6:44 PM comment was a reply to Jeff’s of 6:41 PM

  14. I don’t understand why the troll hasn’t been put on pre-moderation at the very least, if not banned outright. Nic-jacking is one of the biggest no-nos of comments and talk-backing.

    • I’m also not sure why my comment appears here instead of at the bottom of the thread. Oh well, perhaps the troll hijacked the entire thread. Perhaps he works for Anonymous or whatever the purported cyber-attackers who are supposed to be attacking Israel today are called.