by Ayman Ahmed (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 5, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1442)
Zionist extremists shouting “Death to Arabs” and “may your village burn” provocatively marched through the streets of Al Quds (old city of Jerusalem) on June 15. They also shouted, “Muhammad is dead,” referring to the Prophet of Islam, as well as “a second Nakba is coming”—referring to the 1948 ethnic cleansing of some 750,000 Palestinians from their villages by Zionist terrorist gangs.
Far from preventing such obscene behaviour, the occupation forces provided protection to Zionist provocateurs. After all, the occupation forces implement physically what the illegal squatters (aka settlers) shout verbally. Even the squatters, always heavily-armed, routinely attack Palestinians. Equally revealing is the fact that such racist conduct does not evoke even a yawn from Western regimes or the Israeli-doting media.
Had the roles been reversed, one can imagine the outcry in the West. Waving Israeli flags, the Zionists continued their obscene behaviour. The occupation forces did nothing to stop such abuse but when the Palestinians tried to respond, they were attacked by the Israeli police leaving 33 injured. Zionist extremists joined in attacking Palestinians in Al-Quds.
Israeli police said they also arrested 17 Palestinians, accusing them of “disturbing the peace”. The Zionist squatters barging into al-Quds were presumably maintaining peace shouting obscenities and insults. Not one squatter was arrested.
This is not surprising. With a self-confessed murderer and terrorist Naftali Bennett now Israel’s prime minister, the Zionist squatters have become even more bold. Bennett is a straunch advocate of illegal settlements. He is also on record as saying “that I have killed a lot of Arabs in my life and there is no problem with that”.
With Bennett occupying the prime minister’s office, not that his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu was any better, life for the Palestinians will get even worse. A former leader of Yesha, the squatters’ (settlers) leading movement in the West Bank, Bennett made annexation of parts of the territory a major feature of his political platform. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the June 1967 war. He is fond of quoting the Bible, claiming that “God promised this land to the Jews in perpetuity!”
He also ordered a series of new air strikes on the Gaza Strip since a shaky ceasefire went into effect on May 21 after 11 days of fighting. Israel’s brutal war on Gaza killed nearly 280 Palestinians among them 66 children and 43 women. Thousands of homes were also destroyed as well as hospitals, clinics and apartment buildings. These constitute war crimes. The International Criminal Court that is investigating Israeli war crimes during its war on Gaza in 2014, said it would also investigate Israel’s latest assault on the besieged enclave.
Palestinian sources in Gaza said Israeli missiles on June 17 night bombed several sites northwest of Gaza City and north of Beit Lahia in the besieged territory.
Then, after Friday prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque on June 18, the Palestinians held a rally to protest Zionist insults to the Prophet (pbuh). The occupation forces attacked them by invading the Aqsa compound. The trigger-happy Zionist occupiers using rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades, assaulted Palestinians in one of their most sacred places.
The Zionists are also targeting areas in and around the Damascus Gate in Al Quds. This area is deliberately targeted and was the scene of Zionist attacks against Palestinians during the month of Ramadan. Damascus Gate is important because steps from here lead to Masjid al Aqsa and the Haram al Sharif (the noble sanctuary). The Zionists have made no secret of their plans to destroy Masjid al Aqsa and build their mythical third temple on its ruins. They are even prepared to start a full-scale war with the Muslim world. Zionist fanaticism knows no bounds.
They have also continued to kill Palestinian women on the spurious pretext that they pose a threat to the heavily-armed soldiers. On June 16, Palestinian doctor Mai Yousef Afaneh, 29, was shot and killed near the Palestinian town of Hizme, located seven kilometers from al-Quds. She was a resident of Abu Dis village, just outside al-Quds. The Israelis alleged she tried to ram her car into them but no soldier was injured.
Another Palestinian woman was shot and killed four days earlier (June 12) at the Qalandia checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. Identified as Ibtesam Khaled Kaabneh, 27, the Zionists alleged she had kept walking towards the guards at the crossing, despite repeated warnings to stop. They also alleged she was carrying a knife when a soldier shot her.
Kaabneh bled to death without being provided any help, according to Palestine’s Wafa news agency. This is not surprising given that the Zionists have no regard for Palestinian lives.
Zionist occupation forces have on numerous occasions been caught on camera brutally killing Palestinians without provocation. Even school children are shot and killed. Such videos are widely available on the Internet and in some instances, have gone viral but there is little if any condemnation from the Western regimes or the Western media.
Appalled by such Israeli brutality and the ever-expanding theft of Palestinians’ land, 68 leading global figures among them Nobel laureate, Mary Robinson signed a letter to US President Joe Biden. In it they wrote:
“Your administration has committed to a foreign policy ‘centered on the defense of democracy and the protection of human rights’. More recently, you stated, ‘I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely, and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.’ For Palestinians, the space between these statements and their daily lives could not be wider.
“Even after a formal ceasefire, Israeli police and settler violence against Palestinians continues. The forced dispossession of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including families living in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and aggressive actions by Israeli forces against peaceful protesters and worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, are the latest evidence of a separate and unequal governing system. These policies unravel the social fabric of communities and undermine any progress towards a democratic, just and peaceful future. The logic driving them has led to the recent displacement of 72,000 Palestinians in Gaza who must also survive the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by a 14-year blockade.”
They urged Biden to end Israel’s “institutionalised domination and oppression of the Palestinian people and protect their fundamental human rights. A sustainable and just peace – for all people – will remain elusive if US policy holds on to a political status quo devoid of justice and accountability.”
Will Biden take any action to stop Zionist crimes? Highly unlikely. What gives hope is that leading global figures are speaking out against Israeli atrocities.