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      Hevron Jews: IDF Stands By While Arabs Attack

      Hevron Jews say police and soldiers stand by while Jews are attacked and injured. Committee accuses security forces of 'deliberate neglect.'
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 12/6/2008, 11:32 PM / Last Update: 12/7/2008, 5:48 AM

      The committee representing the Jewish community of Hevron has written a letter to senior IDF and police commanders in the Hevron district regarding what they say has become a known phenomenon: Arabs attack Jews, and soldiers and police witness the attacks but do nothing to stop them.

      "Over the last few days we have witnessed the IDF and police's deliberate neglect of Jewish residents' welfare in the Hevron region,” the letter said. “Time after time Jews are attacked by Arabs in life-threatening incidents, while soldiers and police officers stand by and do not take action to stop the attacks or enforce the law on Arab rioters. They say these are the orders they received.”

      The committee listed some recent incidents:

      --On Saturday, November 29, Arabs threw large rocks at a Jewish teenager from a short distance. The 16-year-old Jewish teen was hit and suffered a gash on his head that required seven stitches. IDF soldiers witnessed the attack and did nothing. The Arab attackers have not been arrested.

      --On Monday, December 1, Arabs carried out several rock attacks against Jews. In the most serious attack, 16-year-old Elyasaf Asban was hit in the head by a large rock and critically wounded. He underwent a complex operation and remains in critical condition. His attackers have not been arrested.

      --On Thursday, December 4, Arabs stoned pedestrians and vehicles on the only road leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Ma'arat HaMachpelah) and the Jewish community of Hevron. Border Police commanders allegedly told Jews who complained, “You don't have permission to throw rocks in response,” and did nothing to stop the attacks.

      --On Thursday, December 4, two young Arab women armed with clubs attacked a Jewish woman with three young children. The attack took place only a few yards from a Border Police checkpoint near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The attackers attempted to beat the young children and baby. Border Police officers stopped the attack but did not arrest the attackers, and merely told them to go home.

      -On Friday, December 5, Arabs threw rocks at Israeli vehicles. Some vehicles were very badly damaged. Soldiers did not intervene, and none of the attackers were arrested.

      Committee members emphasized that the list only contained a fraction of the examples available.

      Police and soldiers "have been taking an attitude of 'understanding' and even 'justification' towards Arab aggression," committee members alleged. “This is at a time when the attacks are getting more severe and even life-threatening,” they said.

      Soldiers and police may be angry due to fights between Arabs and Jews and Jewish attacks on Arab property, but that does not mean all Jews should go without protection, they said. "While we understand the IDF and police's resentment over Jewish attacks on Arabs in the region in recent days, we disagree with the policy of 'a price tag' or 'collective punishment' of all Jewish residents in the area, and we call on you to act with composure and order IDF soldiers and Israeli police officers to act harshly against Arab rioters before there are fatalities,” they wrote.