Israeli Police State Crimes
by Stephen Lendman
Multiple times daily they occur in Occupied Palestine. In the week ending May 16, Palestinian West Bank communities experienced 41 lawless incursions.
Numerous arrests followed. Three journalists and three children were targeted. Dozens of peaceful Nakba Day demonstrators were injured. Others were arrested.
Security forces wounded 16 Palestinians and three journalists. They were peacefully protesting in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner hunger strikers.
Gaza fishermen are regularly accosted at sea. Their boats are confiscated. Their livelihoods are disrupted or lost.
On May 18, Israeli forces fired artillery rounds at Northern and Eastern Gaza. Seven Palestinians were injured.
Medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said two were seriously hurt. An Israeli army spokeswoman claimed soldiers fired on “several suspects approaching the security fence.” In fact, farmers were working their land.
A later army spokesman comment said “tank shells were fired towards terrorists” near Karni crossing east of Gaza City. Witnesses said Israeli bulldozers entered Gaza belligerently east of Khan Younis in Southern Gaza.
On May 17, Arab 48 News said dozens of Jewish settlers invaded the Al Aqsa Mosque courtyards. An Israeli government minister accompanied them. Under tight police security, they performed “religious rituals.” Imagine if Muslims tried in synagogues.
In addition, hundreds of settlers entered Joseph’s Tomb late May 17 evening and early May 18 morning. Soldiers protected them. They also performed prayers. Doing so violated Palestinian controlled territory. Nonetheless, the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court granted rabbis custody to do so.
Deputy Nablus governor, Annan Alatyrh, denounced the judgment. He accused Israel of wanting to Judaize sovereign Palestine, its heritage and historic places.
On May 17, Israeli forces arrested Al-Asir satellite channel director Saher Qassem at home. His broadcasting equipment was confiscated. Doing so shut him down. In February, Ramallah-based Watan TV and Al-Quds Educational television offices were raided and closed. Their equipment was confiscated.
Earlier in May, Israeli bulldozers demolished three West Bank buildings west of Bethlehem. One was destroyed for the third time in the past year. Soldiers also seized land, uprooted trees, and prevented farmers from accessing their land.
Days later, dozens of settlers destroyed hundreds of trees around Nablus. They terrorized and chased shepherds from their flocks. Security forces permit them to commit similar destruction with impunity. They also turn a blind eye to their violence.
Kfar Sava’s Neir Medical Center banned Arab teachers and students from speaking Arabic. It’s one of three official Israeli languages along with Hebrew and English.
Three Israeli Arab families complained. Three teachers instruct hospitalized Jewish children. One’s on staff to teach Arab kids. Education Ministry orders no longer permit Arabic.
Parents demanded an explanation. They’re humiliated and alienated. They wrote:
“This is supposed to be an ideal place for coexistence, where the two peoples can meet, and need each other’s support to get through the ordeal in one piece.”
“We expected to hear Jewish teachers talking Arabic, not preventing Arab teachers from talking in their own language, which would make it easier for the children from the Arab community and make their stay in the hospital more pleasant.”
Hospital management said children’s ward classrooms are operated by Israel’s Education Ministry. Medical staff have no say.
The Mossawa Center (MC) human rights organization also demanded an explanation. Its attorney, Sameh Iraqi, called prohibiting Arabic lawless and racist.
“In view of the racist atmosphere prevailing in Israeli society lately,” he said, “Mossawa’s legal department is making efforts to monitor racist incidents in state and public institutions.”
A recent MC report called state and public institutions Israel’s most racist ones. They discriminate lawlessly against Arab citizens. They represent 20% of the population. They’re treated like fifth column threats. They’re denied fundamental rights.
“We’ll continue to fight racism both locally and globally in legal and public measures,” added Iraqi.
On May 17, Al Haq headlined “Israeli Raid Violates Palestinian Freedom of Association,” saying:
In recent days, Israeli security forces raided Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) offices. They also targeted the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) located in the same building.
Fundamental expression and association rights were violated. It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last. On May 8, PPP staff member Haytham slept over in his office. At around 1:30AM, hammering on its door awakened him.
Through its peephole, he saw about eight soldiers. They pushed their way inside, shoved him aside, ordered him against the door, then confined him to one room.
From inside, he saw soldiers break into other rooms to conduct searches. A high-ranking Israeli officer questioned him. They wanted PPP and Stop the Wall employee names. They asked about posters and documents found.
Military jeeps then surrounded the building. Hammering on doors and breaking sounds followed. He notified Stop the Wall’s Jamal Mousa Ja’afra.
At around 3:00AM, Haytham saw broken locks and forced entry into their offices. Computers and other property were confiscated. Meeting minutes and confidential documents were seized.
Soldiers did it earlier this year. In February, they confiscated computers, electronic devices, documents, and other property. At issue is shutting down nonviolent Palestinian organizations. All are vulnerable to middle-of-the-night raids, arrests, and personal property seized.
Stop the Wall activist Hassan Kharajeh vowed to keep working for justice. “If we stand up united, we can win, step by step, our freedom and national self-determinination,” he said.
Popular struggles build momentum. Participants derive energy from each other. International support is mobilized. Pressure gets results.
Stop the Wall youths draw support “from many different political traditions within Palestine.” Its mission is opposing Israel’s “apartheid wall.”
It’s also part of a vast network of Palestinian civil society organizations. They struggle on many fronts against colonization and occupation. Settlement lawless is targeted. So are prisoner rights, including why they’re detained in the first place.
Popular committees interact throughout Palestine. Youths and many others are involved. Jerusalem presents special problems. Total Israeli control is ruthless. Palestinian rights are shamelessly denied. Daily security force violence and bureaucratic suffocation confronts them. Only besieged Gaza is worse.
Nonetheless, organizing continues. It confronts daily repression, intimidation and state terror. Strength comes through growing numbers united to live free. Sustained energy persists for it.
Stop the Wall and like-minded groups distance themselves from PA complicity with Israel. They oppose status quo occupation. They struggle on two fronts – against repressive Israeli occupation and supportive PA enforcers.
Activists won’t be silent. They won’t sit home while their land is stolen, their rights denied, their freedom to live free destroyed by a ruthless occupier. Their voices resonate for change. Their bodies remain on streets in protest. Their identity attracts others. Israel’s notion of normal won’t be tolerated.
Growing world support weakens Israel. A new GlobeScan poll shows it. Respondents in 22 countries were queried. Results showed 21% view Israel positively.
Three lean positive (America, Nigeria, and Kenya), two are divided, and 17 lean negative. EU and BRIC countries were overwhelmingly negative. Traditionally close to Israel, South Korea, also turned thumbs down.
Egyptians expressed markedly negative views. So did Pakistanis and Indonesians. Political bullying, belligerence, and occupation harshness explain why.
Continued Israeli repression turns world opinion against it. It’s also true for America. Both countries may end up with only themselves as allies. Belligerent, repressive states are their own worst enemies.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.