Israel's so-called security services are vindictive, megalomaniacal and cruel; they are experts only in torture, kidnapping and cold-blooded murder. Their cruelty, in fact, is inherent.
Last month Palestinian teenager Ahmad Hassan Shubeir died after Israeli occupation authorities sadistically blocked his exit from the Gaza Strip so that he could travel to a hospital where he would have received direly-needed treatment. He was just 17-years-old.
This was no "tragic" accident which nothing could prevent. Israeli security officers deliberately – very deliberately – sentenced him to death as a vindictive punishment for refusing to be blackmailed into working for them as an informant. They killed him as surely as if they had pulled a trigger.
It is often claimed that Israel has no death penalty. This is patently untrue, both in law and in practice. While the law allowing the death penalty to be imposed has not been used for decades, Israel has a habit of ordering extrajudicial killings; very purposefully so. The victims thus slain by the state are usually Palestinian activists, or resistance fighters.
Ahmad, however, had a congenital heart defect, a condition that afflicted him from birth. Technically, it was this which claimed his life on 14 January, but the real culprit was the Israeli occupation regime and its system of cruelty, oppression and siege.
Accompanied by his parents, Ahmad had been undergoing treatment in the occupied West Bank and, indeed, at a hospital in Israel. However, since February last year, the Israeli occupation authorities have been trying to force the family to become part of its network of Palestinian collaborators.
Medical supplies and facilities in the Gaza Strip are severely curtailed by the decade-long siege imposed by Israel — aided and abetted by its junior partner, Egypt — and supported by Israel's slavish allies in Western capitals. His mother was told by Israeli spies that Ahmad would be blocked from accessing the health care that his life depended on should she refuse to collaborate with them; to collaborate with her enemies. She refused.
On that occasion, they were nonetheless let through the Erez crossing. However, the next two applications for a travel permit, in September and October, were completely ignored, despite Ahmad having a hospital appointment. In desperation, the family applied again in November, and were met with an outright refusal.
Israel's vicious Shin Bet spy agency then summoned Ahmad — a child whose health was in terminal decline, remember — and interrogated him, with severe pressure being applied on him "to serve as a collaborator for the Israeli authorities in exchange for his permit," as Gaza City's Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights puts it. Like his mother, he stood strong and refused.
Two months later, Ahmad was dead. Palestinian society at large has declared him to be a martyr in the struggle against Israeli oppression.
As Al Mezan points out, this lethal method of twisting Palestinian arms is "a coercive measure regularly employed on Palestinian patients in need of permits." In other words, it is standard practice for the Israeli regime. It's a regime that has the backing of all US presidents, Democrat and Republican alike, as well as most European governments.
Contrary to racist Western delusions about Israel being a "gay friendly" tourist destination, the occupying entity also makes a habit of persecuting and blackmailing gay Palestinians by threatening to out them to their families or wider society.
The bottom line is that Zionism is a racist, colonial ideology which treat Palestinians as less than human, and it is Zionism which drives Israel and its actions. It is Zionism which demands the expulsion — ethnic cleansing — of Palestinians from their ancestral homeland so that an almost exclusively "Jewish state" can be maintained. As long as this racist ideology continues to underpin the state, it will continue to systematically torture, oppress and dispossess the Palestinian people.
"The abuse of Palestinian patients of Gaza is implemented through heightened restrictions imposed in Israel's illegal and tightening closure, which will enter its tenth year in June 2017," said Al Mezan in a press release. "The denial of adequate medical care, which amounts to ill-treatment, is in violation of treaty and customary international law, and amounts to a prohibited collective punishment. Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel's ill-treatment of Palestinian patients of Gaza and expresses remorse at the death of Ahmed Shubeir."
This is the kind of sadistic regime which is endorsed by the Israeli political establishment and its backers in the British government, along with the pro-Israel lobby by which it is influenced.
Pressure must be built on Israel from the outside, through the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, and other methods. Israel's occupation regime must — and can — be brought to an end as swiftly as possible.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.