Tuesday September 26, 2023

Brutal occupation

By Editorial Board
July 05, 2022

Israeli forces shot dead another Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank. The murder of over four dozen Palestinians in a 100 days or so means nearly every other day the Israeli army kills at least one Palestinian. This is happening across the Palestinian territories that are under direct or indirect control of the occupation forces. Although Israel has been trying to justify its attacks as self-defence, it has been exposed time and again. Israeli forces do not target attackers; all Palestinian civilians are under constant threat of Israeli aggression. Not long ago, the Israeli army shot and killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was covering a military raid in Jenin.

Israel claims that in the past four months, Palestinians inside Israel killed nearly 20 Israelis in attacks. Israeli forces have been carrying out regular raids in the West Bank especially in and around Jenin. They destroy homes, and demolish dwellings, while Palestinians families and youth have nothing but dreams and memories left to hold on to. Hardly a day passes when Israeli authorities serve demolition orders to Palestinian families. The living conditions for those under occupation are extremely challenging. It is like a never-ending blockade. The people of Palestine have not enjoyed a normal life for decades. More than 3,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem alone have been displaced in just the last decade. The UN has been documenting this practice since 2009 and its data shows that Israeli authorities have either demolished houses or forced owners to demolish structures on their own. This is kind of a ‘mercy’ they offer so that the occupants can salvage whatever they can while dismantling their own homes. Thousands of Palestinians live at risk of displacement due to outstanding demolition orders.

Israel seems to care very little about what the world thinks, probably because the world has been turning a blind eye to the brutality of the IDF and Israeli governments for decades now. Its sole aim appears to be to drain Palestinians emotionally, financially, and physically. The Israeli government does not issue building permits so it can demolish any house after declaring it illegal. It also illegally expropriates large swathes of land for settlements and introduces a costly and complicated application process for permits to Palestinians. Since 1967, Israel has confiscated nearly 40 per cent of East Jerusalem’s territory to build tens of thousands of housing units for Jewish residents, while hardly eight per cent of the city was zoned for Palestinians who form nearly 40 per cent of the city’s population according to official statistics. Palestinian hold residency status which Israel can revoke anytime. The continuing tragedy of the Palestinians must end now. As must the blatant hypocrisy of the West when it comes to the Israeli occupation.