Israeli Security Forces Carry Out Massacre in Jenin, Palestine

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 20 Feb 2023

Richard Dunn | CovertAction Magazine - TRANSCEND Media Service

Jenin’s refugee camp is the scene of frequent shootings of Palestinians by Israeli troops.  [Source: news.yahoo.com]

13 Dec 2023 – In the morning of January 26, 2023, Israeli security forces massacred at least nine Palestinians in Jenin, among them a 61-year-old woman; Jenin is located in the north hills of the West Bank, Occupied Palestine. Medical attention was severely delayed because of the presence of security force snipers, and the targeting of hospitals and makeshift clinics with tear gas.

These occupying forces paraded through the streets of Jenin attacking civilian homes with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s), live bullets and the use of bulldozers to damage residents’ cars. The people of Jenin have taken to the streets in protest amid mourning for their loved ones, and a general strike has been called for the entire West Bank and the Occupied Territories of Palestine.

It has been reported that, since the beginning of this year, a total of 29 Palestinians have been killed, including five children. Where is the attack on Israel? What are the Zionists and their supporters in the United States government, from Chuck Schumer to Joe Biden, saying about this unprovoked and disproportionate use of force against the Palestinians. Will they use the old self-serving and national chauvinist cliché “Israel has a right to defend itself”? The corollary of that statement is “Palestine also has a right to defend itself.”

Israeli Occupation intensifies

Martin Luther King Jr, advised that violence by the downtrodden is as a result of social injustice issues not being addressed. In the wake of the Jenin massacre, a Palestinian resident killed seven people in the Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov, East Jerusalem, not far from the site of the Jenin massacre. In response to this retaliatory shooting, the Israeli government announced that it intends to “strengthen”  the building of settlements in the occupied territories, and has begun to institute additional draconian measures, to further oppress and colonize the Palestinian people.

Israeli settlements on the West Bank. [Source: peoplesdispatch.org]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have vowed to make it easier for Israelis to carry guns, according to Ben-Gvir: “I want weapons on the streets, I want Israeli citizens to be able to protect themselves.” It follows the popular Zionist narrative of demonizing the victim and sanctifying the aggressor.

This irresponsible and self-serving announcement will only worsen an already destructive situation in the occupied territories. On Saturday January 28, 2023 there were 144 attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers. Israel’s security cabinet has approved a series of measures, including plans to revoke Israeli Identity Cards of “families of terrorists that support terrorists,” bolstering military and police units, and confiscating weapons from Palestinians. The Palestinian government has condemned these actions as part of “collective punishment” and that “it further incites retaliatory escalation and violence.”

Ronen Bar, the chief of Israeli domestic intelligence Shin Bet, have warned government ministers that any move to seal off parts of East Jerusalem, as a response to recent “terror” attacks, could lead to a much broader conflagration, according to the Kan public broadcaster as reported in the Times of Israel.

Ronen Bar [Source: wikipedia.org]

The report continues to say that Bar and other security officials pushed back during the cabinet meeting against calls by Ben Gvir and Smotrich, to impose varying levels of lockdowns on neighborhoods in Jerusalem; warning, that any measures against those not directly involved in attacks, could further inflame tensions.

Massacre in Gaza—“Operation Cast Lead”

January 14 to 24, 2023, was designated as a week of solidarity for Palestinian political prisoners, especially the case of Ahmad Sa’adat, national liberation, and international Left leader. The week was significant for all peace-loving and anti-colonialist people, because it marks the 14th anniversary of the sentencing of Sa’adat and also the 14th anniversary of Israeli forces’ repeatedly disproportionate attack on Palestine in Gaza, in what Israel ignominiously called “Operation Cast Lead.”

Ahmad Sa’adat [Source: infolibertaire.net]

A brutal 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip that began on December 27, 2008, targeting Palestinian homes, businesses and even a police station; the assault continued until January 18, 2009—two days before the new Obama administration was sworn in. The weapons spearheading the massacre were F-16 fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, all made by the United States military industry, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, respectively.

U.S.-made Hellfire missile linked to killing of a child and three medics in Gaza by Israeli forces during operation Cast Lead, January 4, 2009. (Photo: Amnesty International)
U.S.-made Hellfire missile linked to killing of a child and three medics in Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces during Operation Cast Lead, January 4, 2009. [Source: mondoweiss.net]

Independent human rights organizations including Israeli, had reported that between 1,385 and 1,419 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. The United Nations (UN) reported that 3,540 housing units were completely destroyed and 2,870 severely damaged, and more than 20,000 people made homeless.

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Amnesty International, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (BTSELEM) and the United Nations, have all confirmed and reported on the human and material destruction caused by the Israeli Defense Forces during the infamous “Operation Cast Lead.”

Gaza under attack during Operation Cast Lead. [Source: occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com]

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians in Their Own Territory

Israel’s belligerence and wanton disregard and continued violations of human rights and international law, gained further impetus with the return to power on November 1, 2022, of the arch-racist and Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu. His Likud Party will form a coalition with another arch-racist and Zionist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has made no secret of his hatred for Palestinians.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, on left, Benjamin Netanyahu, on right. [Source: peoplesdispatch.org]

Within the same week as the swearing in of the new administration, Netanyahu announced the expansion of the illegal settlements in the West Bank. On Monday, January 23, 2023, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in the village of Bedouin, the site of proposed demolition of existing homes, to make way for the construction of new Israeli settlements.

When will the civilized and democratic world unequivocally condemn and punish Israel for its continued genocidal and apartheid treatment of Palestinians within illegally occupied Palestine? On Thursday, August 18, 2022, Israeli security forces raided and forcefully closed the offices of seven civil society organizations in Palestine. This came right after Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinian children within 10 days in occupied Gaza and the West Bank, according to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The program Democracy Now reported that the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that an internal military report had confirmed that one of its air strikes killed five Palestinian children in Gaza on August 5th; the youngest was just four years old.

Middle East Eye reports that at least 220 Palestinians died from Israeli attacks across the occupied territories in 2022, including 48 children; 167 people were from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and 53 were from the Gaza Strip of the total death toll.

Where Are the “Progressives”?

Except for a small group of protesters outside the office of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in New York on August 8, 2022, where was the public outcry, protest, denunciation and mass action from the “limping” and lethargic left, both Black and White? During the South African Apartheid era these groups were regularly active and vociferous. Is it fear of being characterized as “anti-semitic” or is it that the Palestinian struggle is not that important?

The Black “progressives” suffer from a serious case of benign parochialism and selectivism: Is it only issues occurring on the continent of Africa or within the borders of the United States that matter? These groups are noticeably silent and lukewarm to issues in the Caribbean and Latin America: When it comes to defending Palestine, they have “lockjaw” and a critical case of political laryngitis. Ignorance is no excuse for their silence and apathy; there are numerous publications from objective, unbiased and progressive sources but, sadly, they are again stricken with the malady of selectivity.

Where were the elected officials and candidates on this issue? They did not deserve our vote and should not have received one vote. They should be castigated and sanctioned for their complacency by silence, inaction and ineptness.

Israel has used the self-serving claim that the organizations raided were terrorist organizations and, just like its benefactor the United States, has not provided any credible empirical evidence to support the claim. The same charge is made by the United States in its designation of Cuba as a “State sponsor of terrorism.” The organizations raided and closed are Al-Haq, a human rights organization; the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; the Bisan Center for Research and Development; Defense for Children International-Palestine; the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees; and the Union of Palestine Women’s Committees. In keeping with its racist, apartheid ideology of Zionism, the characterization of these civil organizations is meant to demonize and de-legitimize them, thereby erroneously gaining support for Israel’s genocidal occupation of Palestine.

Continued Genocide and Repression in Palestine

In the three-day siege of Gaza which began on August 5, 2022, it is reported that 47 Palestinians were killed, including 17 children. “Lame duck” hypocritical President Joe Biden said, in the aftermath of this crime, which was unprovoked and non-retaliatory, that “my support for Israel’s security is long-standing and unwavering.”

[Source: trendradars.com]

This is the same president who unashamedly has the gall to criticize and sanction countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran citing “human rights abuses” as the administration’s reason. Never once in the belligerent and apartheid history of Israel against Palestine, has Israel been reprimanded for its genocidal and disproportionate attacks against Palestine or its continued government-approved racist policies. Recently, 50 Palestinians in Jerusalem were ordered off a bus that was boarded by three Jewish passengers, who refused to ride with the Palestinians.

Khalil Awawdeh, a Palestinian political prisoner who was arrested and detained in December 2021 under what Israel calls administrative detention, was on a hunger strike for 172 days,. Under this policy, Palestinians can be indefinitely detained without charge or trial, which is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Israeli security forces claim Awawdeh is a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), while providing no evidence to support the claim. On Monday, August 15, 2022, an Israeli military court rejected Awawdeh’s appeal for release.

On the following day, August 16, another Israeli court rejected ending the solitary confinement of 21-year-old Ahmad Manasra, despite his documented poor physical and mental condition.

Manasra was arrested at age 13 for alleged involvement in a stabbing incident in Jerusalem in 2016; in a revised court ruling he was sentenced to nine years in prison. Manasra was run over by a vehicle driven by Israeli settlers and suffered a fractured skull, and his cousin was shot and killed by Israeli settlers during the incident. Neither Palestinian was proved to be involved in the stabbing incident.

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Ahmad Manasra was arrested by Israeli authorities when he was 13 years old. [Source: aljazeera.com]

Amnesty International commented on the Israeli court’s rejection of Ahmad Manasra’s release from solitary confinement: “By approving prolonged solitary confinement, the Israeli court is legitimizing torture. This decision is cruel.” Aren’t these “human rights abuses” by any standard? It would be, for all civilized and democratic people except the Biden administration; or are the “standards” different when it involves people of color or where the United States has no hegemonic interests?

דוד וינברג
David Weinberg [Source: idsf.org]

It appears that the Biden administration shares the same immoral, inhumane and racist view about the Palestinians, just like the Israeli military establishment. David Weinberg of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security writes: “Just like mowing your front lawn, this is constant hard work. If you fail to do so, weeds grow wild, and snakes begin to slither around in the brush.” The constant dehumanization and attacks against the people of Palestine are intended to maintain and coerce the Palestinians into accepting Israel’s apartheid occupation of their territory, fomenting division between the Palestinian liberation groups and discouraging and eliminating dissension.

South Africa Led the Way

The Foreign Minister of South Africa, Naledi Pandor, whose country knows very well the material support Israel gave to the Apartheid regime, during its liberation struggle, made a principled and profound statement during Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s visit to South Africa on August 10, 2022. During a press conference with Blinken, the Foreign Minister said in part: “We believe that all principles that are germane to the United Nations Charter and international humanitarian law, must be upheld for all countries, not just some. As much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom.” This fundamental and objective truth has been ignored and trampled on by all U.S. administrations since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

Naledi Pandor [Source: zimlive.com]

It is obvious in word and deed that the lives and sovereignty of the Palestinian people do not matter to the United States and their European allies. Not once have the air strikes on Palestine and the arbitrary killing of its citizens been condemned by the United States or their European friends. War crimes are taking place in Palestine; they should not be seen as anything else.

What is abominable is that United States taxpayers, who are mainly the working class, are paying for Israel’s state-sponsored terrorism against the Palestinian people. According to the Congressional Research Service, the new agreement between the United States and Israel calls for the sum of $3.8 billion per year to Israel for ten years.

This new agreement, signed in 2016, runs from 2019 through 2028; $3.3 billion of that amount will go to military financing each year, which in most cases is and will be used to purchase American-made weapons, services and training to further Israel’s brutal occupation of historic Palestine, and to make Israel the policeman in the region, able to bomb Syria, Iraq and Iran, and threaten all its neighbor.

Silence and inaction are tantamount to complacency and de facto support for this immoral and inhumane policy; it lends support to a belligerent and bellicose regime that is racist and evil. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement needs to be expanded and ramped up. Innocent people, including young children, are being killed; people are being forcibly driven out of their homes in order to further the settlement goals of the Zionists.

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[Source: palestinehistory.tapestry.org]

It is time for all of us as so-called progressives and activists to put pressure on elected officials who claim to represent us, and on those who aspire to represent us, to take a fearless and principled stand against this human atrocity taking place in Palestine. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a preacher but he was not afraid to take a stand against injustice wherever it occurred. He sacrificed his life for that cause. He was not selective in his stand for truth and justice. If you say you love Dr. King but shy away from struggle, you are a hypocrite.

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Richard Dunn is trained in Architecture and Energy Management. He’s been a social justice activist since 1968 and was particularly active with the Walter Rodney defense demonstrations. Richard is an author, a contributing columnist to newspapers, an editor for a music industry magazine and operates a social justice website. Email: richarddunn75@gmail.com

 

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Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.

DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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