- The Peace Team
What does a burning car mean?
Cars in foreground. The terrorists came from the ilegal Israeli settlement at top of hill. No one likes to see a car on fire. Imagine that the flaming car is right next to your house. And imagine it happens in the middle of the night when you think your family is safely asleep. And the attackers came into your door yard to start the fire. Bad as that is, it takes on an entirely new feeling when graffiti is sprayed on the wall saying “We will return.” This was not part of some organized crime scene. This is what innocent Palestinians face when they simply continue to live their ancestral life in their own village after an Israeli settlement is built near them. In this case the attacking Israeli settlers came from the Yitzahar Settlement. They sneaked down under the cover of night to terrorize the village of Urif. These attackers were determined enough to climb down more than a kilometer of steep cactusy hillside just to spread their venom of hate. When we arrived, some 24 hours after the fire had been put out, there was a group of women gathered around the remains of the cars. As they shared their feelings among themselves, my eye was drawn by the obvious heat, power, and destruction displayed by the burnt out remains of the cars. The residents of Urif have faced years and years of attacks. I personally have witnessed attacks in Urif for 5 years - from stealing live stock, attacking the boys school while school was in session, to the use of fire and tear gas. The village has been attacked so many times with tear gas that one enterprising teenager had a business collecting the spent teargas shells for scrap metal. To deliver a message of threat and hate attacks like this do not have to come from everyone in the illegal Israeli settlement, just one or two individuals. It does not have to happen every day, or every week, or every month to create a terrorized life in the community. It just has to happen enough that the fear and threat feel omnipresent. Especially when the terrorists take time to sign their work with the Star of David and the message “We will return.”