Written by Gabriel Huland
Saturday, 17 October 2015 14:09
In just slightly over a year’s time after the Israeli bombing of Gaza in July/August 2014 which left a death toll of more than two thousand Palestinians, the Zionist state is back on the offensive and launching a new wave of attacks and provocations against the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Tensions accrued after the Israeli government threatened to change the status quo of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most important site in the Muslim community after Mecca and Medina, both of which are in Saudi Arabia.
At present, Jews have access to the Mosque area, but they cannot pray there. On the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the number of Jews who go to the local increases greatly and this induced the Israeli administration to impose restrictions on the admittance of Muslims to the Mosque. The Jews, mostly orthodox, do not go just to pray but to take advantage of the date as a moment of assertion of the Jewish occupation and culture by conducting gratuitous provocation against Arabs and Muslims. A few days before the Jewish Sukkot festival, one of the most important Islamic festivities is celebrated: the Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice.
After eight days of confrontation, more than 200 Palestinians were arrested. More than 800 were wounded by live ammunition and rubber bullets. Zionist authorities have further loosened regulations on the use of firearms by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Israeli police officers against Palestinian demonstrators.Until recently, police officers were only allowed to fire when their own lives were in danger. According to the new rules, this use is allowed when the life of a third person is threatened. Israeli police did not respect the rules even before the change of rules, but now they are allowed to feel free to kill. Up to Thursday 8th October, seven Palestinians and 4 Israelis lost their lives.
According to the Palestinian organisation Adameer, 460 Palestinian Jerusalemites are held in Israeli jails; this presupposes an increase of more than 60% in the last weeks.
Stones against fire weapons and tanks
Stones have turned into the main symbol of Palestinian resistance. The unevenness of conditions between the young Palestinians fighting against the invasion of the Jewish colonists and the heavily armed Israeli troops is out of any proportion. Such degree of cowardice is inconceivable. Heaps of videos that circulate day in day out in social networks show super-equipped Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian young men and children armed simply with stones and a Keffiyeh (a typical Palestinian handkerchief). This is their crime: to resist against a horde of invaders advancing daily on their land.
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has launched a veritable war against the young people who throw stones and has toughened legislation, so that it now provides stiffer penalties and allows the use of weapons against “armed terrorists.” The Israeli press is so hypocritical that it turns young Palestinians into terrorists and Israeli murderers into heroes.
Ever since 2009, when its neighbours began to organise weekly protests, the tiny village of Nabih Saleh, near Ramallah on West Bank, has become a point of reference for the Palestinian struggle against the confiscation of land and water by the Jewish settlement of Halamish. A short time ago, a video recorded the moment when an IDF soldier ruthlessly attacks a child and is immediately seized by the mother and other villagers.
Mahmoud Abbas cooperates with the occupation
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA), headed by Abbas, from Fatah, has claimed on numerous occasions that the Palestinians should stop the “violence.” Further on he has ordered Palestinian security forces to work to “calm down” the situation with the excuse that demonstrations in Palestine can be used as an alibi for Israel to increase repression.
The Palestinian website Electronic Intifada has accused Abbas of acting as “contractors of the occupation” because their attitude of repressing demonstrations to avoid at all costs any confrontation with Israeli authorities. His goal is to become a mere manager of the occupied territories, while in the opinion of many Palestinians he should rather organize the resistance against the growing building of new settlements, condemned by the vast majority of the international community, including the UN and several European governments.
The Third Intifada?
Some activists and the mass media (pro-Palestinian as well as Zionist) believe that we are witnessing the beginning of the Third Intifada. It is too soon to start talking of a generalised uprising against occupation such as the two previous Intifadas in 1987 and 2000. We can, however, see quite clearly that there is an accruing discontent with the current situation in Palestine, with the increasing headway of the colonies on Palestinian territories, the same in relation to Gaza (which is still not rebuilt) and the ineffective stance of the PNA.
In Palestine, there is an increasingly generalised feeling that the Oslo Agreements have failed absolutely and that new alternative policies are necessary to retake the historic banners of the early Palestinian struggles: the end of occupation and the building of a secular, democratic and non-racist single Palestine.