Peace Disruption (Part 2): Palestine’s Killing Fields–The End Must Go On


Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

Please note that this publication contains disturbing graphics and narrative text of violence against humanity, which may be stressful to some readers.
Parental Guidance Is Recommended for Minors  

Endless, 75 years of apartheid Israel’s discrimination, tyranny, oppression, massacres of women and children, targeted ethnic cleansing and displacement of indigenous Palestinians, marked by the total silence of world religious leaders.[1]

The Innocent, Dead, Palestinian Children:  Gross Peace Disruption by Murderous Israel
The Faces of the Sixteen children were killed during the Israeli bombardment between 5-7 August 2022. Layan al-Shaer died on 11 August after succumbing to her wounds (MEE)

 This, Part 2, in a series on Palestine, discusses the different massacres by Israel of the Palestinians, forced evictions, targeted ethnic cleansing and gross, deprivation of their basic human rights, in their own land, causing mass migration of up to 750,000 Palestinians, who were and are internally displaced. These, “Killing fields of Palestine”, began in 1947 and the end of these crimes against humanity are ongoing, even in the 21st century. The antagonism, is ever increasing, with vigour, frequency and brutality, justifying their criminal activities, with impunity, and support from the United States, European Union and Britain.

The Palestinians are conveniently and totally forgotten, even by the religious leaders, including His Holiness, Pope Francis who has not addressed the discrimination worse than the South African, Nationalist, apartheid state, prior to 1994. The Catholic Church, represented by the former Cardinal Napier, in South Africa, who is on record, when the author wrote to the Chair of Inter Religious Council of KwaZulu-Natal, Reverend Bishop Nathi Zondi  as follows on  04th January 2023, “….am confident that the news of serious violation of original Islamic Holy Focal point, The Al Aqsa Mosque Compound,  which  occurred this morning, by the newly appointed ultra-right wing, national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has entered the compound that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem,  of the newly formed Benjamin Netanyahu, coalition government……I therefore make an humble appeal that the KZN IRC summons the Executive to an emergency meeting, and a statement be issued most urgently, condemning the incursion into the third holiest mosque of Islam by a violently dangerous, ultra-right wing minister, based on his previous record, setting a dangerous precedent. ….. I also note that there was absolutely no response from the IRC, which is totally silent about the ongoing killings, of little children and minors, the regular demolition of Palestinian homes and unprecedented violence against the Palestinians, resulting in the death of 227 Palestinians in 2022, as yet.   ” [2]  It is to be noted that no response, was received from the Chair, let alone, acknowledge the e-mail sent by the author, instead the former Cardinal responded on behalf of the Reverend Bishop Zondi. The response was   “ ‘’’’ I feel absolutely obliged to object to the introduction of a line of action which is not part of KZN IRC Constitution. Furthermore, it will introduce tensions and even bad feelings between members…….There are other agencies that should take up the issues highlighted by your good self. In my opinion to use KZN IRC for this issue will destroy what The Almighty God gave us the insight and wisdom, respect and love to establish way back in 2005.”[3]  The response is self-explanatory.

The entire state of Israel, has opted to eradicate the Palestinians completely and decidedly from history, dating back to 1947.  The situation is so appalling that even the freeways are segregated by the “Wall of Separation” built by Israel, also called the Apartheid Wall.

General Map of Palestine in relation to Israel in the 21st Century, indicating the extent of the Aparthid Wall. About 85 percent of the wall falls within the West Bank rather than running along the internationally recognised 1967 boundary, known as the Green Line. [Al Jazeera]

Top Photo: A segregated Israeli highway near Jerusalem that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded the road an ‘apartheid highway’, saying it is part of a planned segregated road system that would benefit Israelis exclusively. [Mahmoud Illean/AP]
Bottom Photo: A physical symbol of Disempowerment, Oppression and Discrimination against the Palestinians:  The Apartheid Separation Wall built by Israel

The statistics, with reference to Palestinians deaths at the hands of Israelis Defence Forces are most disconcerting.  According to the report of  Qassam Muaddi, from the West Bank of 04th  April, 2023, in The New Arab publication, 95 Palestinians were killed in occupied West Bank, alone, by Israel since beginning of 2023, as confirmed by the health ministry of Palestine,  including 17 minors and two elderly, after the killing of 21-year-old Mohamad Hallaq and 43-year-old Mohammad Al-Juneidi Abu Bakr, during a military raid on Nablus on 01st May 2023

According to the Palestinian health ministry’s figures, the two men were the 24th and 25th, Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Nablus alone since the beginning of the year.  Israeli forces raided the eastern part of Nablus on 01st May 2023, morning, targeting the Makhfiyah neighbourhood, where they were confronted by Palestinian fighters from the local militant group “The Lions’ Den” and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, defending themselves against the Israelis aggressor, the “Wolf Pack”. “Occupation forces fired large amounts of tear gas towards houses, three of which were evacuated by residents,” Mohammad Raei, a human rights activist, resident of the Al-Makhfiyah neighbourhood and eyewitness, told The New Arab. “Occupation forces headed to the houses of two other Palestinians, whom they arrested,” said Raei. “Hallaq and Abu Bakr were among the fighters who confronted the raiding forces and were wounded at first.”  “One of them was taken to the Rafidia hospital and the other to a specialised hospital in Nablus, where they were later pronounced dead,” he added. “There were dozens of injured, asphyxiated and wounded, mostly civilians, when the occupation forces fired tear gas at the specialised hospital too.” Mohammad Abu Bakr was a father of three, the oldest of whom is a 13-year-old daughter. His older brother was killed by an Israeli missile during the Israeli invasion of Nablus in 2022.  Abu Bakr then worked in the Palestinian security forces before joining the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah faction, officially dissolved by the Palestinian president in 2005. Mohammad Abu Hallaq was the fifth of six siblings in a refugee family from the Ain al-Mai refugee camp in Nablus. He lost his left eye to an Israeli bullet during an Israeli raid on the city three years ago and was later arrested for ten months in Israeli jails. Hallaq joined “The Lions’ Den” shortly after its formation in late 2021, his cousin told TNA’s sister Arabic publication Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.  Palestinian factions and civil organisations in Nablus called for a general strike in the city for the rest of Monday as a sign of mourning for Hallaq and Abu Bakr. Both men were buried following a funeral in which hundreds of Palestinians took part in the centre city of Nablus.

The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, by Israel, has been marked by significant violence and loss of life over the years, since 1947. The conflict involves ongoing territorial occupation by Zionist forces, who are determined to eradicate the Palestinians permanently, against a background of political hypocrisy, even at the level of UN and ICC, with the Palestinians at the receiving end, over the past 75 years. While the killings continue unabated, it is important to realise that there have been numerous massacres over the seven decades of Israeli occupation of Palestine.

It is also pertinent to note that during a joint press conference in Berlin for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in August 2022, a German journalist asked Abbas whether he was ready to apologise to Israel over the 1972 attack on Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. Abbas responded as follows: “If we want to dig further into the past, yes, please, I have 50 massacres that were committed by Israel,” replied Abbas. “Fifty massacres, 50 holocausts, and to this day, every day, we have dead people killed by the Israeli army.” His comments created a storm of protest, The PA president did not intend to disrespect the Holocaust and what happened to Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War Two. He did not mean to downplay their suffering, which everyone in the world regards as appalling. Muslims in particular regard such treatment of fellow human beings to be reprehensible.

In Islam, inflicting suffering on people and even animals is a major sin. At the same time, knowing or seeing people being beaten, oppressed or killed without offering any help to them is also a sin. Islam is the predominant religion among Palestinians, and it pays special attention to the other “People of the Book”, Jews and Christians, their sanctities and closeness to Muslims as the descendants of the Abrahamic Prophet Abraham, from which the subsequent prophets emerged as progenies, namely, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

“The president’s statement was not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust,” explained Abbas’s office. It reaffirmed his belief that it remains “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”  The official statement continued: “What he meant by the crimes that he spoke about are the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the 1948 Nakba at the hands of Israeli forces. These crimes have not stopped to this day.”  We Palestinians, and Muslims in general, do not take lightly having to see anyone in pain or leave someone suffering without offering whatever help we can give. We condemn what happened to the Jews in Europe in the strongest possible terms, while also reminding those who support the Zionist state of Israel that being victims of oppression in one continent does not entitle you to oppress people in another.  Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that history will not forgive Abbas for his abuse of Jews and alleged disrespect to their painful history. To Lapid I say this: history will never forgive you for the killing of innocent Palestinians as recently as less than two weeks ago when 17 children and four women were among the 49 Palestinians killed in a military offensive ordered by you against those of us who live in the besieged Gaza Strip.[4]  Nor will the Israeli officials and politicians who were honoured as “men of peace” even after killing Palestinians before, during and ever since the Israeli occupation of Palestine, be forgotten by history for their crimes. They may have been whitewashed by Western leaders and media, but the Palestinians haven’t forgotten what they have done.  At the same time, I am sending the same message to world leaders who protect the occupation state of Israel and allow it to act with impunity. They are on the wrong side of history. Not only are they not achieving justice for the Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis, but they are also complicit in the oppression of a nation which has been suffering under the self-declared “Jewish state” and its supporters since before it was established in Palestine in 1948.  I am asking world leaders to end their wicked and unacceptable bias towards the Israeli apartheid regime and start to seek a just solution to the conflict that they were instrumental in starting. Germany’s Chancellor Scholz is an example for the world leaders who cannot be trusted in this respect. He denied the description of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “apartheid”, despite it being used by major international human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, as well as the UN and Israel’s own B’Tselem.  Germany was the first state to block commemoration of the 1948 Nakba, and yet it promotes the state which arose out of that catastrophe, Israel, and continues to prolong the tragedy of the Palestinians. There are many world leaders in the same boat as Scholz.  When will international institutions take up their responsibilities regarding the implementation of international laws and conventions which they claim to uphold? Take a look at yourselves behind the gloss and façade: your role is limited and ineffectual when it comes to powerful nations who are oppressive. Far away from the world leaders and international institutions, I am sending another message to the international mass media. Mainstream journalists ignore the principles of their profession based on commitment to the truth and standing beside the oppressed against the oppressors. They take the lead in the whitewashing of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.  The world rightly recognises the suffering of Jews, and recognises the suffering of Ukrainians and others. When will it recognise the suffering of the Palestinians and the tragedies inflicted upon them by the apartheid state of Israel? And when will the world work towards ending Israel’s brutal military occupation?  Such a message should also be brought to the attention of the Israeli school children, who are indoctrinated with radicalised philosophies of Zionism, during their formative years of lives.  The Palestinian people do not deny the Holocaust but people and no one can deny the massacres committed against the Palestinians by Israel, Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said in response,[5] as he speaks during an exclusive interview in Brussels, Belgium on May 11, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]   According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, during the establishment of the Israeli state, Zionist gangs have destroyed 531 Palestinian villages and committed more than 70 massacres, killing about 15,000 Palestinians.

It is important to define Intifada and Nakba.  An Intifada is an Arabic word that translates to “uprising” or “shaking off.” It is commonly used to refer to popular uprisings or mass civil resistance movements carried out by Palestinian people against Israeli occupation. The term is primarily associated with two major uprisings in Palestinian history:

  • The First Intifada, which took place from 1987 to the early 1990s, was a widespread Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. It involved a combination of nonviolent protests, civil disobedience, and acts of resistance.
  • Second Intifada: The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, occurred from 2000 to 2005. It was characterized by a significant increase in violence, including suicide bombings, armed confrontations, and Israeli military operations. The Second Intifada was triggered by a combination of factors, including the breakdown of peace negotiations, Israeli government policies, and a visit by the then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Nakba is an Arabic word that translates to “catastrophe” or “disaster.” It refers to the Palestinian exodus and displacement that occurred during and after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The Nakba resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, villages, and cities, leading to the creation of a significant refugee population. The Nakba is a deeply significant event in Palestinian history and memory. Palestinians observe Nakba Day annually on May 15th to commemorate the displacement and loss suffered during that period. The Nakba remains a highly sensitive and emotional topic in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it represents the dispossession and longing for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

It’s important to note that these definitions provide a general understanding of the terms “Intifada” and “Nakba,” but the historical, political, and emotional dimensions surrounding them are complex and subject to different interpretations and narratives depending on one’s perspective.

The Palestinian uprising, also known as the First Intifada, was a period of widespread Palestinian protests, civil disobedience, and resistance against Israeli occupation that began in December 1987 and lasted until the early 1990s. It marked a significant turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and had a profound impact on the dynamics of the region. The First Intifada was triggered by a combination of political, social, and economic factors. Palestinians living in the occupied territories faced harsh living conditions, including limited freedoms, economic hardships, and the expansion of Israeli settlements. The uprising was fuelled by frustration, resentment, and a desire for self-determination.  The immediate trigger for the First Intifada was an incident in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military truck collided with a Palestinian vehicle, resulting in the deaths of four Palestinians. This event, combined with long-standing grievances, sparked widespread protests and acts of civil disobedience.  The First Intifada was characterised by grassroots mobilisation and a wide range of nonviolent and violent tactics. Palestinians engaged in strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, and protests against the Israeli occupation. They utilised methods such as stone-throwing, barricades, and civil disobedience to resist Israeli military presence. Israel responded to the uprising with a combination of military force, administrative measures, and collective punishment. The Israeli army cracked down on protests, imposed curfews, conducted mass arrests, and employed measures such as closures and home demolitions. The First Intifada garnered significant international attention and sympathy for the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian population, often depicted as David against the Israeli Goliath, gained global recognition for their struggle against occupation. The international community increasingly recognized the need for a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The uprising witnessed the emergence of new grassroots leadership, including local committees and grassroots organizations. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) played a significant role in providing political guidance and support to the uprising, despite its limited presence in the occupied territories at the time. The First Intifada had several significant outcomes that shaped the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These include:

  • Oslo Accords: The uprising paved the way for peace negotiations and led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, which aimed to establish a framework for Palestinian self-governance and a path to a comprehensive peace agreement.
  • Shift in Public Perception: The First Intifada altered the narrative surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians gained international sympathy, and the perception of the occupation shifted from a security issue to an issue of human rights and self-determination.
  • Strengthened Palestinian Identity: The uprising contributed to the strengthening of Palestinian national identity and collective consciousness. Palestinians developed a sense of resilience and unity in the face of occupation.
  • Israeli Policy Shift: The Israeli government recognized the need for a political resolution and began to reconsider its policies toward the Palestinians. The discourse on peace and negotiations gained prominence within Israeli society.
  • Israeli Settlement Expansion: Paradoxically, the Israeli government responded to the uprising by accelerating the construction of settlements in the occupied territories, which further complicated the prospects for a peaceful resolution.

The First Intifada was a transformative period in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It highlighted the Palestinians’ determination for self-determination and sparked significant changes in the political landscape. While the uprising did not lead to a final resolution of the conflict, it laid the groundwork for future negotiations and shaped the dynamics that continue to impact the region today.

Furthermore, there are some elements and policies in Israel that have drawn comparisons to apartheid-era practices, in South Africa, pre-1994.

  • Occupation and Segregation: Israel has maintained control over the occupied Palestinian territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip) since 1967. The Israeli government has implemented policies that result in the physical separation and segregation of Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents in these areas, including the construction of a separation barrier and restricted movement for Palestinians.
  • Discriminatory Laws: Critics argue that some Israeli laws and policies discriminate against Palestinians. The Nation-State Law passed in 2018, for example, defined Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, downgrading the status of the Arabic language and raising concerns about unequal treatment of non-Jewish citizens.
  • Land Confiscation and Settlements: Israel’s establishment and expansion of settlements in the occupied territories are seen by many as an obstacle to Palestinian self-determination and as a violation of international law. The appropriation of Palestinian land for settlement construction has resulted in the displacement and dispossession of Palestinian communities.
  • Dual Legal Systems: In the occupied territories, Israel maintains separate legal systems for Israeli settlers and Palestinians. Critics argue that this creates a system of unequal treatment, with Israeli settlers subject to Israeli civil law, while Palestinians are subjected to military law, which has been criticized for its lack of due process and harsh sentencing.
  • Freedom of Movement: Palestinians face restrictions on their freedom of movement within the occupied territories and between the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and the separation barrier hinder Palestinian mobility and access to services, education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Against such a background, massacres are often downgraded. The Tantura Massacre[6], also known as the Tantura Incident, refers to a controversial event that occurred during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It took place in the coastal Palestinian village of Tantura (nowadays known as Dor) on May 22, 1948. The incident has been a subject of intense debate and historical controversy due to conflicting accounts and narratives surrounding the events. According to Palestinian sources, the Tantura Massacre involved the killing and expulsion of Palestinian villagers by Israeli forces. It is claimed that Israeli soldiers, following the capture of the village, engaged in mass killings, looting, and acts of violence against the local population. Palestinian survivors and their descendants have maintained that the events constituted a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing.  On the other hand, Israeli accounts and testimonies present a different narrative. Israeli soldiers involved in the operation claim that they faced resistance from armed Palestinian fighters in the village, and casualties occurred during the battle. They contend that the events were part of the broader conflict and not a premeditated massacre. The Tantura Massacre gained wider attention in the late 1990s when a research paper by Israeli historian Teddy Katz was published. Katz’s work included testimonies from Palestinian survivors of the incident. However, his research faced significant criticism and legal challenges from Israeli veterans who disputed his findings and accused him of falsifying evidence. As a result, the Israeli courts ultimately ruled that Katz’s work was flawed and based on unreliable sources. The controversy surrounding the Tantura Massacre highlights the challenges of uncovering the truth of historical events in the midst of conflict and differing perspectives. It also underscores the complex and contentious nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where historical narratives often become entangled with political agendas.  Due to the contentious nature of the incident, historical consensus about the exact details and scale of the events remains elusive. The conflicting accounts and the lack of comprehensive and impartial investigations have hindered a thorough understanding of what occurred in Tantura. The incident serves as a reminder of the need for careful and unbiased historical research and a commitment to truth-seeking to foster reconciliation and understanding in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Main Photo:  Aerial Picture, 25th December 1949 shows a map of the Tantura Region where two mass graves of Palestinians, executed by Israelis were discovered.
Inset Top: The Residents of Tantura, who were assembled outside the bombed school in Tantura. Bones of executed women and children were unearthed.
Inset Bottom: Mass Displacement and exodus of Palestinian refugees from the Tantura Region following the progressive ethnic cleansing by Israeli Defence Force.
The evidence is clearly indicative war crimes, but naught is done, when Israel is involved by powers that be.

In addition, some of the main Palestinian massacres, since 1947, are:

  • Rafah Deir Yassin Massacre[7](1948)
  • Qibya Massacre [8](1953)
  • Kafr Qasim Massacre [9](1956)
  • Khan Yunis Massacre [10](1956)
  • Rafah Massacre[11] (1956)
  • Samu’ Massacre [12](1966)
  • Sabra and Shatila Massacre [13](1982)
  • Hebron Massacre [14](1994)
  • Jenin Massacre [15](2002)
  • Gaza Massacre [16](2008-2009)
  • Black Friday Rafah Massacre [17](2014)

In particular, The Sabra and Shatila massacre [18]refers to a horrific incident that took place in September 1982 during the Lebanese Civil War. It occurred in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, located in Beirut, Lebanon. The massacre was carried out by Lebanese Christian Phalangist militias while the camps were surrounded by Israeli forces, who had entered Beirut as part of a military operation. The massacre was a response to the assassination of Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel, a prominent Christian leader. The Phalangist militias, with the knowledge and support of some Israeli military personnel, entered the camps seeking revenge and began systematically targeting Palestinian civilians. The killings took place over the course of several days, from September 16 to 18, 1982. During the massacre, innocent men, women, and children were brutally murdered, subjected to torture, and sexually assaulted. The exact number of victims remains a subject of debate, but estimates range from several hundred to over a thousand Palestinians killed. Many of the victims were elderly, women, and children. The massacre sparked international outrage and condemnation. An Israeli government-appointed commission, known as the Kahan Commission, conducted an investigation into the events and found that Israeli military personnel bore indirect responsibility for the massacre due to their failure to prevent or halt it. As a result, several high-ranking Israeli officials, including the Minister of Defence, were forced to resign.  The Sabra and Shatila massacre remains a dark chapter in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is considered one of the most notorious acts of violence committed against Palestinian refugees. It serves as a stark reminder of the tragic consequences of war and the vulnerability of civilian populations caught in the midst of conflict. The event continues to be remembered and commemorated by Palestinians and others who advocate for justice, accountability, and peace in the region.

The Israeli government and military have not been known to extensively employ mercenaries in the same way as private military companies or non-state actors. Israel primarily relies on its own military forces, namely the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), for its security operations and military engagements. However, it’s worth noting that Israel has occasionally utilized the services of private contractors or security firms to assist in specific areas such as border security, infrastructure protection, or training. These contractors are typically hired to provide specialized services or expertise, rather than serving as mercenaries engaged in combat operations.  Furthermore, Israel has a mandatory conscription system, requiring most of its citizens, both men and women, to serve in the military. This system ensures a sizable and trained military force for national defence purposes.  It is important to differentiate between private contractors or security firms, which may provide specialized services under contract, and mercenaries, who are typically individuals engaged in combat for financial gain without a specific allegiance or connection to a particular state or cause.

Unit 8200 is a highly secretive intelligence unit within the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). Also known as “Israel’s NSA,” it is responsible for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and cyber warfare. Here’s an overview of Unit 8200:

Unit 8200 specializes in collecting, analysing, and interpreting electronic communications and intelligence. Its primary focus is on signals intelligence, which involves intercepting and deciphering communication signals from various sources, including radio, satellite, and digital networks. The unit also conducts cyber intelligence and cyber warfare operations.

Unit 8200 is known for its expertise in cyber operations and capabilities, including offensive and defensive cyber activities. It conducts cyber espionage, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as developing and deploying offensive cyber capabilities when authorized. The unit plays a crucial role in safeguarding Israel’s cybersecurity and countering potential threats.

Unit 8200 recruits highly skilled individuals with strong technical backgrounds, particularly in fields such as computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Its selection process is rigorous, and recruits undergo extensive training programs to develop their intelligence and technical skills. Unit 8200 plays a critical role in Israel’s national security. Its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities provide vital information for military operations, counterterrorism efforts, and national defence. The unit has been credited with providing intelligence for preventing terrorist attacks, identifying potential threats, and supporting Israeli military operations.  Unit 8200 operates under a veil of strict secrecy, and its activities are classified. Little information is publicly available about its specific operations, targets, or methods. The unit’s members are bound by confidentiality agreements, and their identities and activities are typically undisclosed.

Unit 8200 is known for its innovation and has contributed significantly to Israel’s technology and start-up ecosystem. Many former Unit 8200 members have gone on to pursue successful careers in the cybersecurity and technology sectors, both within Israel and globally.  However,  the information available about Unit 8200 is limited due to its secretive nature, and the details provided here are based on publicly available information and general knowledge.  Unit 8200 is not a part of the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency. While both organizations are involved in intelligence gathering and analysis, they operate independently and have distinct areas of focus. The Mossad primarily handles intelligence collection and covert operations abroad, including espionage, counterterrorism, and foreign intelligence. As for support from foreign intelligence agencies, it is widely believed that Unit 8200 maintains close relationships and exchanges information with other intelligence agencies, including the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) of the United States and MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service) of the United Kingdom. Intelligence sharing and collaboration between countries with common security interests are common practices in the intelligence community. However, the specific extent and nature of cooperation between Unit 8200 and foreign intelligence agencies, including the CIA and MI6, are not publicly disclosed due to the sensitive and classified nature of their operations. Such collaborations are subject to strict protocols and national security considerations.  It is important to recognise that the information available regarding intelligence agencies and their relationships is often limited to publicly available sources, and specific details of operational collaborations may not be widely known.

Pegasus is a highly sophisticated and controversial spyware developed by the Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group. This powerful surveillance tool has garnered significant attention due to its capabilities and potential for abuse. Here’s a summary of Pegasus spyware:

Pegasus is designed to covertly infiltrate mobile devices, including smartphones, by exploiting vulnerabilities in popular operating systems such as iOS and Android. Once installed, it can gain complete access to a target device, allowing the operator to monitor and collect a vast array of information, including calls, messages, emails, contacts, browsing activity, and even microphone and camera usage. Pegasus is typically delivered to a target device through “zero-day” exploits, which are previously unknown vulnerabilities in the operating system. These vulnerabilities are valuable as they have not been patched, allowing the spyware to evade detection. Pegasus can be deployed through various means, such as malicious links, phishing attacks, or even SMS messages. The use of Pegasus has raised significant concerns regarding privacy, human rights, and potential misuse. There have been numerous allegations of its abuse, with reports suggesting that it has been used by governments and intelligence agencies to target journalists, activists, dissidents, and political opponents. Its deployment against individuals without legal justification or oversight has led to accusations of surveillance abuse and infringement on civil liberties. The NSO Group, the company behind Pegasus, has maintained that its spyware is intended to combat terrorism, crime, and other illicit activities. However, the secretive nature of NSO Group’s clientele and the lack of transparency surrounding its operations have drawn criticism. The debate over regulating companies like NSO Group and the export and use of surveillance technology remains ongoing, with calls for stricter controls to prevent abuse. Multiple investigations by media organizations and human rights groups have shed light on the extent of Pegasus’ use. The “Pegasus Project,” a collaborative journalistic investigation, uncovered thousands of potential targets from various countries, including journalists, politicians, human rights defenders, and businesspeople. These revelations have sparked international discussions about surveillance, privacy, and the need for safeguards against misuse of such powerful tools.  The use of Pegasus raises legal and ethical questions regarding privacy, consent, and accountability. It challenges the balance between national security concerns and individual rights to privacy and freedom of expression. The extraterritorial nature of Pegasus infections, where individuals from different countries can be targeted, further complicates the legal framework for addressing such surveillance activities.  In summary, Pegasus spyware developed by NSO Group is a highly sophisticated surveillance tool with the ability to infiltrate mobile devices and collect vast amounts of information. Its deployment and alleged misuse have sparked controversies, highlighting concerns about privacy, human rights, and the need for robust regulations in the surveillance technology industry. The revelations surrounding Pegasus have prompted international discussions and debates on the balance between security and individual freedoms.

There have been allegations and reports suggesting that Pegasus spyware has been used on Israeli citizens. In July 2021, a global investigation known as the “Pegasus Project” revealed that the phone numbers of individuals in Israel, including journalists, activists, and lawyers, appeared on a leaked list of potential targets for Pegasus surveillance. This raised concerns about the potential targeting and monitoring of Israeli citizens by their own government or other entities.  The Israeli government has stated that the use of Pegasus is authorized and strictly regulated, with oversight from legal and judicial authorities. They claim that its purpose is to combat terrorism and protect national security. However, the allegations of its use against Israeli citizens have sparked debates about surveillance practices, privacy rights, and the need for transparency and accountability.   It is important to note that the specific targets and extent of Pegasus usage within Israel remain contested and subject to ongoing investigations and legal proceedings. The full scope of Pegasus deployments and the involvement of different actors is not publicly disclosed, making it challenging to provide definitive information on its use against Israeli citizens.  The Pegasus Project investigation, conducted by various media organizations, revealed that the phone numbers of numerous journalists worldwide appeared on the leaked list of potential Pegasus targets. This includes journalists from different countries, including both local Israeli journalists and international journalists. The inclusion of journalists in the list raises concerns about potential surveillance and monitoring of their communications and activities.  It is noteworthy that the presence of a phone number on the list does not necessarily indicate that surveillance was conducted or that the specific individuals were targeted successfully. However, the revelations have sparked significant concerns regarding press freedom, freedom of expression, and the potential chilling effect on journalists’ ability to carry out their work without interference or surveillance.  The alleged targeting of journalists using Pegasus has drawn international attention and raised questions about the ethics and implications of surveillance practices. Investigations and discussions surrounding these allegations are ongoing, and further details may emerge as more information becomes available.  However at least 15 journalists from the Al Jazeera Network Media were targeted with Pegasus by Israel.  The Pegasus Project[19] was carried out by media organizations such as The Guardian, Washington Post, Le Monde, and others, and their reports provide more comprehensive information on the individuals affected and the potential implications for press freedom.

  • Amnesty International[20] conducted a forensic analysis of mobile phones to uncover evidence of Pegasus infections. This report provides insights into the methodology used to identify potential victims and traces of the spyware.
  • The Guardian[21] was one of the media organizations involved in the Pegasus Project. Their dedicated series covers various aspects of the investigation, including articles, analysis, and updates.
  • The Washington Post[22] was also part of the collaborative investigation. Their interactive report presents an overview of the Pegasus spyware, its alleged abuses, and the implications for individuals and societies.
  • Le Monde[23], a French newspaper, contributed to the Pegasus Project. Their articles provide insights into the targeting of politicians, judges, and activists, along with the broader implications of Pegasus spyware.

The Bottom Line is that by the year 2023, Palestine has been transformed into an open-air, into a permanent museum of brutal colonialism whose doors should have closed long ago, according to Omar Khalifah is an associate professor of Arabic literature and culture at Georgetown University in Qatar. He received his PhD from Columbia University in the States.  He expressed this opinion on a visit to Palestine.[24]  Ironically the world is enjoying the live exhibits of American missiles, being launched almost on a daily basis killing Palestinian women and children, as well as ordinary civilians.   In recent months, the strategies used by Israelis forces, include continuous high resolution TV monitoring, with the infrared camera installations, at every few metres, in the Palestinian areas.  In addition, the mobile devices of all Palestinians is monitored by Pegasus or similar eaves dropping software, made by NSA, an Israelis sponsored software company.  Furthermore, recruitment of informers from amongst the Palestinians is an going and sustained process, using the following techniques, by the Israeli Defence Force and security apparati :-

  • Recruitment of ordinary civilian Palestinians using blackmail, based on information obtained by using Pegasus spyware[25]. The result is that non -participation is not an option,
  • Coercion of elderly folks of both genders to spy on family and neighbours
  • Entrapment by using female set ups for professional amongst the Palestinians and subsequent blackmail to act as lifelong informers. For IDF.
  • Offer of safety and security from attacks by IDF.
  • Enticement with offers of certain, limited privileges to the Palestinians, such as housing and financial gain, if they participate as insiders and informers.
  • Radicalised indoctrination of school going children about the “goodness of Israelis and negativity mental programming about Palestinians.
  • Offers of senior employment opportunities to Palestinians
  • Offers of medical access and social security for Palestinians.
  • Offer of some degree of travel privileges.

Israel, an ally of United States, has conducted military operations, including airstrikes and bombings, in various countries in the Middle East, such as Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories. These operations have been carried out for reasons related to self-defence, counterterrorism, and regional security. Israel has been a longstanding recipient of military aid from the United States, including the provision of advanced military equipment such as fighter jets like the F-16. It is true that Israel has used various types of aircraft, including F-16s, in military operations. However, the specifics of how and where these aircraft are utilized, as well as the types of munitions employed, can vary depending on the specific circumstances and objectives of each operation.  During conflicts involving Israel and Palestinian territories, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or specific military operations in Gaza, Israel has employed airstrikes as part of its military strategy. These airstrikes have targeted various locations, including militant targets, infrastructure, and other sites.  Israel has a well-equipped and modern military, which includes a range of advanced weaponry, guided missiles, and precision munitions. While specific details of the munitions used in each operation may not be readily available, it is not uncommon for modern militaries to employ precision-guided munitions to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage, however, deaths of civilians, including minors and women.

During the 1967 Six-Day War, the United States provided diplomatic and military support to Israel, but the extent and nature of that support have been a subject of debate. While the U.S. government did not directly participate in the conflict, it did provide military aid to Israel, including aircraft, tanks, and other military equipment, basically waging a “Proxy War” as it present does in the present war between Ukraine and Russia, more specifically, between Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine[26] and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin[27], the President of Russia.  The support of United States for Israel during the war can be seen in the context of the Cold War dynamics and the broader geopolitical landscape of the time. Israel was viewed by the United States as a strategic ally in the Middle East, and both countries shared concerns about Soviet influence in the region. The U.S. government saw Israel as a counterbalance to Soviet-backed Arab nations, and they still display the undercurrents of such sentiments.  The defeat of Palestine and its allies in the 1967 war had complex causes, including strategic and military factors, as well as political dynamics. The war resulted in Israel occupying additional territories, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Golan Heights, which have had far-reaching implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wider region.  The role of external support, including U.S. assistance to Israel, is one aspect among several that contributed to the outcome of the war. However, the situation is nuanced, and it is crucial to consider the broader historical, political, and military factors at play during that period, including intelligence and irregular dealings in the entire 1967 war.

It is vital to appreciate that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a highly complex and sensitive issue, involving deeply rooted political, historical, and humanitarian dimensions. The use of military force, including airstrikes, by Israel in this context has significant implications and raises humanitarian concerns. The impact of these actions on civilian populations and infrastructure is a subject of ongoing debate and international scrutiny, as they often cross the line of ethnic cleansing and genocide in progress.

Presently, even hallowed academic institutes such as Oxford University, have shown bias against Palestine, with the traditional British hypocrisy operating in the background. A member of the British Labour Party, Omar Mufid revealed that he managed to persuade the United Kingdom’s Oxford University to retract its link of the cause of the occupation of Palestine with the suffering of Jews in Europe.  Mufid explained in exclusive statements to Arabi21[28] that he wrote an objection letter to Oxford University, which is one of a group of European universities organising a project to preserve the contributions of Jews in Britain. The main point of the objection is that there is no link between the suffering of Jews in Europe and the establishment of the state of Israel.  Mufid mentioned that he wrote to Oxford University after being surprised while walking in a British park after seeing a poster referring to the contribution of the Jewish nation to Europe despite its suffering, then stating that Jewish people adopted the idea of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.  He added: “I would like to request that this poster be amended because it talks about the Palestinian Nakba, which has nothing to do with the European history of Jewish suffering and is defined on Wikipedia as: ‘The destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs.”  Mufid shared that he received a response from Oxford University, in which they informed him that they would amend the posters and no reference would be made to the establishment of the State of Israel in the project.  Mufid noted that in May, he wrote to the BBC about their biased article against martyr Khader Adnan, which they amended.  Mufid revealed that a group of Palestinians are preparing to launch a campaign to review the British Museum to correct historical errors that mislead public opinion towards Palestinian history.  He added: “In Britain, as well as in Europe and the world as a whole, there is great potential to correct the misleading narrative about Palestinian history. This only requires attention and adherence to historical evidence and international laws.”[29]

The world and British parliamentarians are now awakening to the plight of the Palestinians. A British MP, has drafted a bill calling on the government to commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (“Catastrophe”), news agencies reported on Tuesday. Layla Moran has a Palestinian background and is the Liberal Democrat Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson.  “My own family were forced to flee Jerusalem during the Nakba,” she told Jewish News. “Five and a half million Palestinian refugees worldwide now share a state of dispossession.”[30]  Moran added that she takes it upon herself to carry Palestine in her heart and do whatever she can to safeguard its future. “That’s why I presented my Nakba Commemoration Bill earlier today, calling on the government to start a new chapter, commemorating this catastrophe and recognising the UK’s historic obligation to the region.”  The bill calls on the secretary of state “to encourage and facilitate annual commemoration of the Nakba.”  Meanwhile, the LibDem MP also tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) seeking MPs’ signatures in support of the bill, stating that, “Monday 15th May 2023 marks 75 years since 750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from Palestine in what is now known as the Nakba. We call on the Government to immediately recognise an independent Palestinian state which will help breathe new life into the peace process; and urge the Government to continue to pursue a two-state solution and a lasting peace in the region.” Nakba Day: 75 years since Palestine’s ‘catastrophe’ commemorated worldwide, as did the United Nations, this year, much to the profound displeasure of the Israeli, Zionist government.  Israel said, Monday, that it is communicating with other countries to boycott the commemoration of the Nakba, or Catastrophe, a day marked by the Palestinians on 15 May to refer to the expulsion of thousands from their homes and lands in 1948 after the founding of Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.  “We will fight the lie of the ‘Nakba’ with all our might,” Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, said in a statement. “We will not allow the Palestinians to continue spreading lies and to distort history.” “The thought that an international organisation could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive,”[31] wrote Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan when asking UN diplomats to refrain from attending the unprecedented UN General Assembly’s commemoration of the 1948 Nakba. Truth be told, the most repulsive action was the UN’s acceptance of the Israeli settler-colonial enterprise as a member state in 1948, at the expense of the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian population whose land was (and continues to be) usurped, and whose legitimate return to their land was a still unfulfilled condition of Israel’s UN membership. According to The Times of Israel newspaper, the Israeli Foreign Ministry asked nearly 100 countries not to participate in the event, organised by the Palestinian mission at the United Nations.  Around 32 countries reportedly said they will stay away from the event, including the US, the UK, Canada, Ukraine and Islamophobic India, commanded by the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who openly supports India for Hindus.  For the first time, the UN will officially commemorate the Nakba event on 15th May 2023, with the participation of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.  This is in commemoration of the Palestine-Israel conflict dates back to 1917 when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.[32] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the Nakba resulted in the displacement of nearly 800,000 Palestinians out of 1.4 million Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns. In 1947, before the establishment of the state of Israel, the population of Mandatory Palestine (which included both Jewish and Arab inhabitants) was estimated to be around 1.9 million people.  However, in 1947, before the establishment of the state of Israel, the population of the region that would later become Israel was estimated to be around 600,000 to 700,000 people. This population consisted of a mix of Jewish immigrants and settlers, as well as Arab Palestinians who had been living in the area for generations.  Presently, Israeli population, (including both Israeli citizens and residents) is estimated to be over 9 million people. This figure includes Jewish Israelis, Arab citizens of Israel, and various other ethnic and religious groups.  The population of Palestinians is diverse and includes individuals from various religious backgrounds. The following information provides a general overview of the religious composition of Palestinians based on available data and estimates:

  • Islam: The majority of Palestinians identify as Muslims. It is estimated that around 85-90% of Palestinians are Muslims, with Sunni Islam being the predominant sect.
  • Christianity: Christianity has a long history in the Palestinian territories, particularly in cities like Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. Christians make up a small but significant minority of the Palestinian population, estimated to be around 5-10%.
  • Other Religions: A small number of Palestinians may also adhere to other religious beliefs, including Druze, Samaritan, and other minority faiths. The percentage of Palestinians practicing these religions is relatively low.

Essentially, the symbolic Nakba commemoration at the UN exposed Israel’s hatred of the truth.[33] Israelis are proceeding proudly and with great diligence, maiming and killing Palestinians, while global super powers are granting complete impunity to the violators of human rights and the crimes against humanity, the Israelis have committed, since its inception and even prior to that declaration, with no resolution of the ethnic cleansing and progressive genocide, in sight, while the “end goes on”. Hypocrisy rules the World and in a empire of lies, truth is Treason”[34]

Sustained Ethnic Cleansing by Israel : The funerals of Palestinian Children killed Relatives mourn the death of Palestinian children who were killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza on 11 August 2022 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
For the suffering Palestinians, the Nakba is a daily event, since 1917


[1] Personal quote by author May 2023

[2] KZN IRC : REQUEST FOR AN URGENT STATEMENT ON UNISLAMIC INCURSION INTO THE AL AQSA MOSQUE  COMPOUND BY ISRAELI SECURITY MINISTER ITAMA BEN-GVIR  e-mail sent by author to KZN IRC in his capacity as an Executive Member of many years standing on 03 Jan 2023, at 21:25.

[3] E-mail response to the author from the Cardinal on Wednesday, 04 January 2023 07:20.


















[21] “The Pegasus Project: Spying on Journalists” by The Guardian:

[22] Revealed: leak uncovers global abuse of cyber-surveillance weapon” by The Washington Post:

[23] Pegasus Project: Politicians, judges and activists among those targeted by spyware” by Le Monde:











[34] Personal quote by author May 2023



Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.
Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Jun 2023.

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