Israel’s violence is worsening but global powers and institutions aren’t taking action
Since the start of this year, over 105 Palestinians have been killed and 8000 injured by Israeli Army forces in the West Bank, making it the deadliest in the past 16 years for Palestinians in the area.
The Israeli army launches daily raids on Palestinian cities, killing, injuring and arresting people.
Israel has also killed at least 28 children in the West Bank since the beginning of 2022. Among them was 7-year-old Rayan Suleiman, who had a heart attack out of fear while being chased by Israeli army forces.
Another of Israel’s victims was veteran Al-Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh whose killing sent shockwaves around the world.
''The excessive violence, as well as the rampant violations by the Israeli army are likely to lead to a huge counteraction by the Palestinians in the form of a comprehensive uprising or intifada. In this case, the largely unarmed Palestinians would be overmatched by one of the biggest militaries in the world, which would lead to gruesome carnages.''
Settler violence against Palestinians has also continued to rise. There have been 527 cases of violence against Palestinians recorded since January, compared to 496 in 2021, and 358 in 2020. However, since October 10 there has been an unhinged additional wave of settler violence against Palestinians, especially in Nablus. In one instance, a group of extremist settlers, protected by the Israeli army, attacked Palestinians in their homes and shops in Huwara.
In other instances, a settler opened fire on Palestinian houses, and other settlers went on a rampage in the northern Jordan Valley, pelting every bypassing Palestinian car with rocks.
In the village of Qusrah near Nablus, settlers burned 3 Palestinian-owned chicken coops including some 30,000 live chickens, and fired live ammunition on Palestinians, injuring two of them. They also beat another Palestinian.
Settler violence has been rampant over the past few days in the West Bank with numerous reports of cars targeted, and Palestinians injured in the areas of Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, Jordan Valley, and other places. This often takes place under the full protection of Israeli occupation forces, who attack Palestinians if they fight back against their assailant settlers.
In fact, the number of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces following settler raids has risen by 167%. The impunity that settlers receive from the Israeli judiciary, political, and military leadership has ensured the entrenchment and encouragement of violence. This is because it is often deployed as a tool to drive the Palestinians out of their land.
Settlers and Israeli army forces are therefore working in ideological unison for this very goal.
In line with its mounting crackdown on Palestinians, Israel arrested more than 2,000 Palestinians since the beginning of the year. Nearly 800 Palestinians are in administrative detention, and being held indefinitely without trial or charge. This figure is the highest since 2008, according to Israeli group HaMoked, which regularly gathers figures from the Israeli prison authorities.
Of course this is not to forget Israel’s other flagrant violations against the Palestinians such as settlement activities which are crimes under international law, home demolitions, and the continued siege on Gaza which also involves military bombardment of the strip every couple of years.
The simple reality is that Israel continues to impose a decades-old apartheid military regime over the Palestinians, and in the past two decades, its political map has shifted to the extreme right, with its brutal practices escalating year after year.
What makes the situation worse still, is that there’s a widespread support in Israel’s mainstream for the continued brutalisation and oppression of Palestinians, with no real internal challenges to the army’s draconian actions.
The excessive violence, as well as the rampant violations by the Israeli army are likely to lead to a huge counteraction by the Palestinians in the form of a comprehensive uprising or intifada. In this case, the largely unarmed Palestinians would be overmatched by one of the biggest militaries in the world, which would lead to gruesome carnages.
Palestinians should not be left alone to endure the increasingly oppressive and continually escalating practices of the Israeli occupation, which include daily violent raids, arbitrary detentions, extra-judicial executions, Illegal settlements construction, rampant house demolitions, and displacement.
Mohammad Fadi Hani Nouri, 16, died today from gunshot wounds sustained on September 28. Israeli forces shot him in the abdomen with live ammo while he stood about 100 meters away from the Ramallah-area Bet El Israeli checkpoint watching confrontations. pic.twitter.com/5Cb3iVlBsU— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) October 20, 2022
Steps must be taken to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people and Occupied Palestine must be placed under an international protection system administered by the UN. This is, after all, in accordance with the purposes of the United Nations’ establishment, and in accordance with the responsibility of the international community under international law, international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and numerous human rights treaties, and resolutions of the UN Security Council.
This is also a demand that the Palestinian leadership has made dozens of times to the international community, but to no avail.
Support for the Palestinians has so far only ever been in the form of rhetoric, while Israel receives blanket impunity for its actions. This has emboldened the Israeli army – and by extension settlers – in their violations against the Palestinians. On this continued trajectory, things will only get worse.
Indeed, the Palestinian question has represented a barometer for international commitment to human rights over the years. Thus, upholding Palestinian rights, will go a long way in ensuring respect for fundamental freedoms and international law worldwide.
Ahmed Zed is a journalist and researcher whose work focuses on issues linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.