Mideast: press, drugs 'unite' settlers and Palestinians

Police discover traffic between young Jews and Arab drug dealers

23 January, 19:17

Jewish settlers with new Torah scroll in Itamar outpost settlement in northern West Bank [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20111115 ] Jewish settlers with new Torah scroll in Itamar outpost settlement in northern West Bank [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20111115 ]

(ANSAmed) - JERUSALEM, Jan. 23 - The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems irreducible and permanent, but business goes on between the settlers and pushers of hashish and marijuana.

According to the results of a survey conducted by Israeli police some of the young settlers of Itzhar, Har Bracha and Itamar, West Bank strongholds of the extreme fringes of the Jewish religious-nationalist movement (especially American or French) buy drugs from Palestinian pushers.

These young people are constantly clashing with their Arab neighbours and are not strangers to the subculture of intimidation and revenge embodied by the so-called ''price tag'' strategy. However - according to the suspicions and the surprising evidence gathered by investigators as part of a recent survey on drug trafficking on the border between Israel and the Occupied Territories - they do not hesitate to buy the occasional bit of hash or grass from pushers in 'enemy' Palestinian villages in the district, such as Hawara, a symbol of mutual hostility in recent months and the theatre of raids, riots and acts of violence.

The survey has not yet come to any official conclusions.

However, the police suspect - supported by the facts, as reported in the online edition of Yediot Ahronot, Israel's most popular newspaper - that the barrier of ideological (and ethnic) hatred in fact does not prevent contacts and traffic in this area.

Aviel, an extremist settler resident of Itamar, is easy and unembarrassed by this contradiction. Indeed, he it takes as a further argument in support of their superiority over their neighbours. "If this story is true - he cut short with a note of contempt to the journalist who questioned him - it is still encouraging, although it would be better to completely avoid such phenomena. This is because it basically confirms that there are no drug dealers among us, and that to occasionally to buy drugs we must turn to the Arabs." (ANSAmed).

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