Jerusalem, Palestine – The situation in Palestine can be summed up as follows: Rampant Settler violence and intimidation, state-sponsored racism and violence, modern, comfortable housing and living conditions for Jews only while Palestinians are denied basic services, killing of Palestinians across the board – activists, journalists, fighters, children and citizens of Israel. Palestinian organizations, even ones that are recognized internationally, have no protection and are subject to closure, arrests and confiscation of their property.
Nowhere in Palestine can Palestinians expect to be safe or to enjoy equality, justice or peace of mind. Be they citizens in El-Lyd or the Naqab, residents with limited rights in Jerusalem, or residents with no rights in ghettos across what used to be the West Bank. People living in Gaza, be they active or not, militant or not, men, women or children, Palestinian lives are expendable.
The misnamed and misunderstood phenomenon of murders within the Palestinian towns of 1948 – Palestinian citizens of Israel – is one example. The apartheid state and its media refer to it as “violence in the Arab society.” However, the violence is not initiated within the society but is skillfully directed and managed by the state and the various state agencies that are charged with overseeing Palestinian citizens. It should be referred to as “Violence directed at the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” but alas, that would recognize that they are Palestinians and that they are citizens who deserve to benefit from the services the state provides its Jewish citizens.
Services like trash collection, water supply, electricity, safe roads, general safety and policing are largely nonexistent in the Palestinian communities of 1948, communities made of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Furthermore, the phenomenon wrongly named “violence in the Arab community” lays the blame for the violence within these communities at the feet of the victims. The toll from this violence is enormous, with a higher rate of murder cases, the majority of which are never investigated, much less solved, is too high for any community.
Israel, of course, likes to place the blame for the violence on the victims themselves. As is well known by now, blaming the Palestinian victims is something that Israel does with great ability and success, thus absolving itself of any responsibility. However, the weapons, the criminals, and the lack of support for the community that is all but begging the authorities to collect the guns and arrest the criminals are all part of Israeli’s reckless disregard for Palestinian lives. All of this is now documented in an outstanding film called “Life in the shadow of Death,” made by Palestinian filmmaker and producer Bilal Yousef.
Palestinians pay an almost daily toll of blood and pain demanded of them by Israel. “Clashes” is the word that the media likes to use when describing this levy, something that is always the result of Israeli forces attacking Palestinians. Perhaps those who publish in the corporate media are comforted by the thought that it was not a massive, immoral army blinded by hatred of Palestinians and love of killing that attacked civilians in their sleep. Perhaps they would rather think it was an actual clash in which Palestinian blood was spilled.
However, regardless of what the media and politicians decide to call it, Israel mobilizes numerically superior forces that are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems in order to engage in heavy shelling of residential areas and targeted killing of individuals, mostly remarkable young men. The purpose of the attacks is usually achieved and includes death and injuries to people who at most, were armed with a single semi-automatic rifle.
“Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Nablus raid.” Headlines like this can be seen almost daily, the name of the city may be Nablus or Jenin or Aida camp near Bethlehem, and the number of young men killed and injured changes. But the deadly spilling of young Palestinian blood is ongoing as the apartheid state tries to satisfy its unquenchable thirst for blood. On top of that, the new prime minister thinks he needs to spill Palestinian blood to boost his own political career so that we may expect more of the same.
The raids are always shown the following day on Israeli news channels. The so-called operations are described as “complex” and “heroic.” One of the recent raids resulted in the killing of an IDF-trained canine, and it too was mourned. According to The Jerusalem Post, when Israel went into Nablus to capture or kill Ibrahim Nabulsi, they surrounded his home, meaning that hundreds of special forces armed and paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars were utilized to conduct raids and intimidation.
The toll paid by Palestinians this year alone is unthinkable. The latest assault on Nablus brings the casualty figures for the West Bank and Gaza close to 150 killed. Inside 1948 Palestine, the number of deaths is between 70-80 killed so far. The year is not yet over. And neither is the Israeli thirst for violence, which means more and more Palestinian mothers can expect to lose their children to Israeli bullets.
Palestinian organizations raided
As these words are being written, Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq reported that Israeli soldiers stormed its offices in Ramallah, confiscating items, and shutting down the main entrance with an iron plate. The army declared the organization unlawful.
Other groups that were raided this morning are Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committee and the Union of Health Workers Committees.
Palestinians are at a point where they can find no support anywhere, regardless of the severity of their conditions. Be they simply people who want to live their lives, fighters, activists or organizations dedicated to human rights, they will be killed and harassed.
Feature photo | A smartphone records burning tires blocking the main street near the Israeli-occupied Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, during a protest against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza that left at least 41 Palestinians dead. Nasser Ishtayeh | Sipa via AP
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”