February saw a massive increase in the number of Gaza ceasefire violations by Palestinian Resistance fighters. In comparison with January, which saw seven such violations, there were 51 attacks in February, one of which directly targeted the Israeli military. Zionist Israel uses these Palestinian missile-firings as justification for its blockade, periodic blitzes and daily economic and agricultural sabotage of the Gaza Strip. It would have us believe that its aggression and population-control over Gaza is simply a response to Palestinian violence. The reality, however, is the exact opposite.
The number of Israeli ceasefire violations in February totalled 162 and, while the total number of Palestinian ceasefire violations for the year (even up to and including 6 March) was just 58 – that number was overwhelmed by the unleashing of no less than 320 Israeli Gaza ceasefire violations over the same period. The first Palestinian ceasefire violation for the year occurred on 15 January, following the 37th Israeli ceasefire violation. During January and February in Gaza, four people, three of them teenagers, were killed by Israeli Army snipers. Israel claims that its deadly aggression is to defend its borders but, in truth, it is defenceless Gaza that has its borders constantly violated by Israeli armed incursions, air strikes and spying by Israeli drones. Israeli forces come and go as they please into Gaza and onto its territorial waters, while politicians and the mainstream news media remain silent.
While retaliatory Palestinian missile-firings afford Israel a valuable propaganda resource, it should be remembered that resistance to foreign domination is, nevertheless, recognised in international law. In any society, expressions of outrage will vary. Those Palestinians who resort to missile-firing may have lost loved ones, homes or their means of income. It is their way of reminding the world that the Palestinian people are still there, even though the mainstream news media ignores their plight and Israel wishes them out! In some cases, Palestinian Resistance fighters do take on the Israeli military directly – which is their right. In the Second World War, organisations such as the French Resistance were not only admired but also supported by the Allies, at the highest level.
Keeping score – for Israeli snipers, shooting protesters is sport
Earlier this month, a Golani infantry brigade sniper told a Haaretz correspondent “I kept the casing of every round I fired,” he says. “I have them in my room. So I don’t have to make an estimate – I know: 52 definite hits.” The hits he referred to resulted in carefully-aimed and crippling knee-destructions. Competitiveness is the only way to describe the driving force behind the inhumanity. The sniper (referred to simply as Eden) informs us they were told that nobody could outdo one sniper in particular who had, until then, scored a total of eleven hits to the knee. He proudly boasted that subsequently he “. . . brought in seven to eight knees in one day. Within a few hours, I almost broke his record.”
The callous inhumanity of it all becomes ever more evident, with Eden informing us that: “Snipers usually work in pairs – together with a locator, who is also a sniper by training, and whose task is to give his partner precise data (distance from the target, wind direction, etc.)” He tells us that, towards the end of a successful day, he decided to give a break to his locator, who is not supposed to shoot. Eden explained: “In the end you want to leave with the feeling that you did something, that you weren’t a sniper during exercises only. So, after I had a few hits, I suggested to him that we switch. He got around 28 knees there, I’d say.”
Israel’s coronavirus (COVID-19) discrimination
By 10 March, Israel’s Health Ministry had confirmed five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases there to 70. With the spread of the virus across Israel-Palestine, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced, on 12 March, that there were seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Bethlehem, and declared a state of emergency. But while Palestinians are in lock-down, Israel’s settlers are immune, it would seem, at least from humanitarian considerations. With seven cases of COVID-19 already declared in Bethlehem, 22 kilometres away from Hebron, which is now under lock-down, Israeli soldiers and police, ignoring the need to minimise the spread of the virus, accompanied 250 settlers into the city centre for the annual parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. Palestinian residents were forced away from the area. During Purim, Israel’s population-control measures are tightened to the extreme. Palestinians living along the route of the march are not even allowed to open the doors of their homes.
At every level, the Zionist mind dismisses Palestinian humanity, identity and history. Zionists almost always refer to Palestinians as ‘Arabs’, not as Palestinians. Imagine anyone insisting on only ever calling the French and Germans ‘European’, and refusing to recognise their culture and identity. But by calling Palestinians ‘Arabs’ the Zionists lose their way because, by doing so, they also give recognition to the reality that Palestinians belong to the family of Semitic language-speakers.
Palestinians cannot be expected to fight all this on their own. Great power interests placed them in this dreadful situation – and it is in the vital interest of all humanity that we restore and uphold respect for justice and international law. A UN Independent Commission of Inquiry bears witness to the fact that Israeli forces intentionally shoot children, paramedics and news reporters in Gaza. While powerful Security Council members, such as the US and the UK, do everything in their power to cover and give support for Israel, when it comes to hard questions concerning Israel’s violations of international law, the UK, at least, cannot avoid telling the truth. For example, in the UK Parliament a written question, HL2108, asked Her Majesty’s Government, regarding a statement by the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa on 24 February about Israel’s intention to construct 1,077 housing units in Givat Hamatos, in southern Jerusalem. On 2 March, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded:
“The UK condemns Israel’s announcement to move forward with the construction of 1,077 housing units in Givat Hamatos. Settlement construction in these highly sensitive areas undermines the viability of a future Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
“It is the UK’s longstanding position that settlements are illegal under international law and threaten the physical viability of the two-state solution. We urge Israel to reverse this latest decision and halt its settlement expansion.”
In another question, HL2104, Baroness Tonge asked the UK Government to announce what representations they intend to make to the government of Israel about the reported (1) expulsion of students from, and (2) confiscation of, a container classroom in Susya, Palestine. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office response to this was:
“While we have not made representations on this specific issue, officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised the increase in demolitions with the Israeli authorities on 17 December 2019. The practice of confiscations and demolitions causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process. We continue to urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to avoid actions that make it more difficult to achieve a culture of peaceful coexistence and a negotiated solution to the conflict. We have also stressed the importance of the Israel security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children. Under international humanitarian law, an occupying power has an obligation to facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children, with the cooperation of national and local authorities.”
With the US refusing to recognise any consideration of international law that might hinder the progress of the Zionist enterprise, how much longer can it be before the UK Government eventually succumbs to the powerful Israel Lobby? The world community has a duty to uphold the myriad UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions (including the tragically hard-won Fourth Geneva Convention) that Israel so wantonly violates. There are very many movements around the world, in Israel itself as well as Palestine, dedicated to defending the Palestinian people. Many Jews around the world are deeply offended by the crimes Zionism commits in their names.
On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, announced that there were reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes have been, or are being, committed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and elected to seek a ruling from the ICC to confirm her position regarding the court’s jurisdiction. Israel’s Attorney General [AG] response, according to the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, “supports everything the ICC is not meant to be in order to stop it from doing what it is meant to do.” B’Tselem says: “It is important to expose the absurdity of the AG’s claims, which are based on intentional misquotation, disregard for international law and an extreme misrepresentation of reality.”
Each organisation has its own approach and we should show solidarity with each other. Above all, we all have to get the truth out there and shatter the silence perpetrated by mainstream news media and politicians. The Zionist case is demonstrably unjustifiable.