Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people are escalating, despite the spread of the coronavirus into the occupied territories. House demolitions, field executions and the confiscation of land in the vicinity of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron are ongoing in preparation for its annexation and the implementation of the so-called “deal of the century”. Such actions are war crimes and the perpetrators should be held accountable at the International Criminal Court in order to deter them and others from imposing such punitive measures on a population under occupation; Israel must be made to abide by international humanitarian law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
With its war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel is denying the people of Palestine the most basic rights and means to combat the coronavirus, especially in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. This requires international action to prosecute those responsible for maintaining Israel’s occupation and committing such crimes. International humanitarian law affirms the rights of occupied peoples and their protection; Israel is ignoring this on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, the spirit of the Palestinians will not be broken by Israel’s contempt for the law. They will continue their legitimate struggle against the occupation and Israel’s aggressively expansionist, colonial-settlement policy, its Judaisation and its ethnic cleansing; they will resist the illegal settler gangs in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, the Jordan Valley and the rest of the occupied West Bank. Moreover, house demolitions will not deter Palestinians from clinging to their homeland and towns and cities in their determination to develop the uprising and their tools of resistance.
The sight of almost daily executions committed by the occupation army which are brought into our homes online and on the television should motivate the Palestinian people and leadership to make greater efforts and unite their energies and capabilities. We need to continue the intifada and organise it with mass participation in support of Palestinian rights, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
The international silence in the face of Israel’s war crimes and its refusal to release Palestinian prisoners in the face of the virus, leaving them to face an uncertain fate, does not make sense. International parliaments and institutions claim to promote justice, and yet allow Israel to act unlawfully and with impunity. What is happening is nothing less than state terrorism.
We need to expose these crimes anywhere and everywhere, and document them for submission to the ICC and national courts with universal jurisdiction. We must also intensify the demands for international protection for the Palestinian people and the formation of an international committee to investigate these crimes and hold the criminals and their supporters to account. It has become a matter of great importance to take international action, especially by the Middle East Quartet. We need immediate and urgent intervention to stop all Israeli crimes and attacks and revive the political process in accordance with new standards that guarantee an end to the status quo and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The world can start by blocking the “deal of the century”.
This article was translated from Addustour, 1 April 2020
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.