Israel’s occupation forces have killed eight Palestinians over the past week, including three children, in a crackdown on legitimate Palestinian resistance against its occupation. All of those killed were teenagers, there of them were minors.
Al Resalah pointed out that Ahmad Daraghma, who was killed on Saturday in the Jenin refugee camp, was 17 years old. Quds Press, meanwhile, reported that Mahdi Ladadweh, from Ramallah, and Adel Daud, from Qalqilia, were 17 and 14 respectively. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the Israeli occupation forces have killed 172 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip since the start of this year alone, including 14 women and 37 minors.
Israeli politicians and diplomats, most of whom have Palestinian blood on their hands, refer to legitimate Palestinian resistance as “terrorism” to justify Israel’s violence. They also call all Palestinians who are killed or wounded “terrorists” to justify killing, wounding or detaining them. The Israeli and pro-Israel media generally do the same thing to whitewash the crimes committed by the occupation state of Israel and its armed forces.
Despite Israel’s daily violations of international laws and conventions, and aggression against the Palestinians, the doors of almost all world capitals are open to its officials and supporters to spread lies and fake narratives about the conflict with the people of occupied Palestine. They get invitations to every international forum to justify their crimes against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese.
The occupation of historic Palestine in 1948 and the creation of the occupation state of Israel was justified despite the ethnic cleansing that it entailed: thousands of Palestinians were killed, hundreds of thousands were driven from their homes and their land, and whole villages and towns were wiped off the face of the earth. Despite all of this, the so-called international community “recognised” Israel and has more or less ignored the legitimate rights of the Palestinians ever since.
For Israel, and the world powers which support it, the Palestinian refugees and their descendants must never be allowed to exercise their legitimate right to return to their land. Those who refuse to accept this injustice and resist the occupation are branded as terrorists. They must suffer in silence as they see their homes destroyed and the mosques of their grandfathers turned into nightclubs and animal stores.
Through all of this, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights in 1967 has been justified by Zionists around the world. The occupation state’s subsequent annexation of Jerusalem and de facto annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank as well as the Golan Heights has also been justified. Even though the physical occupation of the Gaza Strip ended in 2005, Israel controls the borders and access by air, land and sea; legally and in every other way it is still occupying Gaza, and has taken swathes of prime farmland for its “security zone” around the nominal border.
The partition of the occupied West Bank by a “security wall”, and the construction of hundreds of illegal settlements and access roads for Jews only have also been justified by apartheid Israel and its supporters. As has the confiscation of Palestinian homes and farms; the theft of crops by government-backed illegal settlers; the 500+ military checkpoints; and settler-only streets in the middle of Palestinian towns and villages. The list of injustices is long.Justifying the Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN: “As a practical matter, the Golan is important to Israel’s security as long as Assad in power in Syria, as long as Iran is present in Syria, military groups backed by Iran, the Assad regime itself. All these pose security threats to Israel.”
However, Russia is doing in Ukraine basically what Israel is doing in the Golan Heights, and yet last month Blinken exposed his own hypocrisy when he told the UN Security Council that: “Defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is about much more than standing up for one nation’s right to choose its own path… It’s also about protecting an international order where no nation can redraw the borders of another by force.”
He urged the Security Council to act against Russia. “We cannot – we will not – let President Putin get away with it… If we fail to defend this principle [that no nation can redraw the borders of another by force] when the Kremlin is so flagrantly violating it, we send the message to aggressors everywhere that they can ignore it too.”
When it comes to Israel, though, the US and the international community support its aggression and violations, and let it act with impunity against anyone and everyone. On Saturday, for example, Israeli Channel 12 TV reported that Israel’s security establishment gave the gas drilling company Energean, which is working in an occupied maritime zone within what Lebanon claims as its own territorial waters, the green light to start its exploration on Israel’s behalf. Israeli news reports said that operations could begin within weeks once tests are completed. Why is nobody questioning such Israeli violations?
Lebanese Minister of Defence Maurice Salim commented on the repeated Israeli violations against his country: “Israel repeatedly carries out sea, ground and aerial violations, and the international community does not condemn this and prevent its violations of our sovereignty.”
The occupation state also carries out air strikes against targets in Syria, which is a sovereign state and a member of the UN. On every occasion, Israel claims to be targeting Iranian arms convoys heading for South Lebanon or Iranian-backed militants. No evidence is ever produced by Israel for such claims, and so it gets away with the strikes; the international community issues no condemnations of any kind.
Since 2007, Israel has imposed a tight sea, ground and air siege of the occupied Gaza Strip, and no one has ever dared to suggest, let alone enforce, sanctions on any Israeli citizen, never mind the politicians, diplomats and soldiers who take the decisions and have Palestinian blood on their hands.
The whole world knows that the Israeli occupation state violates international laws and conventions on a daily basis — the building and extending of its settlements, for example, all of which are illegal under international law — and yet it is allowed to act with impunity. This cancerous state has been planted in the Middle East to act as a “bastion” of the West and keep the Arab world divided. How long are the double standards and hypocrisy that this involves going to be allowed to continue?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.