Beita is a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 town in the Nablus Governorate
Nablus Governorate
The Nablus Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authoritylocated in the Central Highlands of the West Bank, 53km north of Jerusalem. It covers the area around the city of Nablus which serves as the muhfaza of the governorate...

 in the northern West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) southeast of Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

, the town had a population of 9,709 in 2007. It consists of five clans which branch out to thirty families. There are many houses and prisons dating back to the Roman era. The current mayor that was elected in 2004 is Arab ash-Shurafa.

In 1952, Beita opened an elementary school (before, most teaching was done in mosques), which served the town and surrounding villages. In 1954, an elementary school for girls only was established and since then, four other schools have been built - including two secondary schools. The town contains four mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s and three clinics.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On April 6, 1988 twenty hikers from Elon Moreh
Elon Moreh
Elon Moreh is an Israeli settlement located in the Samarian hills of the West Bank northeast of Nablus on the slopes of the Mount Kabir ridge....

, an Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Beita, led by Romam Aldubi were crossing village land in a show of strength when they came across Mousa Saleh Bani Shamseh, working his land. Haaretz and other newspapers reported that there was an encounter with youths throwing stones. Aldubi shot Shamseh dead. A rumour spread that the group wanted to poison the village's well. When the Israeli's entered Beita they were met by a crowd of villagers who had learned of the killing. After the Palestinians began throwing stones, Aldubi opened fire with his automatic weapon and killed Hatem Fayez Ahmad Al-Jaber and severely wounded several other villagers.

He also killed Tirza Porat
Tirza Porat
The Beita incident was a confrontation that took place between Israeli settlers from Elon Moreh and Palestinian residents of Beita, on April 6, 1988...

, a 15-year-old member of his own group. He was disarmed by the villagers, who destroyed his gun. He received a serious head wound.

Initial reports in the media described the girl as being killed by Palestinian stone throwers. An official statement spoke of the group falling 'into the hands of pogromists and murderers'. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Shamir
' is a former Israeli politician, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, in 1983–84 and 1986–92.-Biography:Icchak Jeziernicky was born in Ruzhany , Russian Empire . He studied at a Hebrew High School in Białystok, Poland. As a youth he joined Betar, the Revisionist Zionist youth movement...

 attended her funeral at which there were cries of "Revenge" and "Wipe Beita off the map". The following day the IDF revealed that she been shot in the head by a M16
M16 rifle
The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

 carbine belonging to Aldubi. It was also revealed that 'the young settlers, instructed by their elders, had rendered untruthful accounts.' Despite knowing from the start who was responsible the Israeli Army dynamited 15 buildings in Beita "giving people ample time to leave". Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 states this was "a total lie", counting double the number of buildings destroyed including all their contents. They also killed a sixteen-year-old boy, Issam Abdul Halim Mohammad Said, and arrested all male adult residents, six of whom were later deported. Romam Aldubi was brought to trial in Israel, but the charges were dropped on the grounds "that what had happened [was] already punishment enough".

The town was considered a Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 stronghold, however Arab ash-Shurafa, a member of Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 was elected mayor in 2005. Shurafa was arrested by the Israeli Defense Forces, along with Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

 mayor Adly Yaish
Adly Yaish
Adly Yaish is the mayor of the Nablus Municipality in the central highlands of the West Bank under the Palestinian National Authority.On 24 May 2007 he was arrested by Israeli forces. He spent 15 months in prison without being charged....

 and Education Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
Education Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Palestinian National Authority is the branch of the Palestinian government in charge of managing the education in the Palestinian territories. It was established in 1994 after the formation of the Palestinian National Authority...

 Nasser al-Shaer
Nasser al-Shaer
Nasser al-Din al-Shaer is the former Education Minister of the Palestinian National Authority serving as a member of Hamas. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister in the previous cabinet...

in 2006 for their membership with Hamas.

External links

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