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Who will pay the price for the killing of the Palestinian aid worker in Huwara?

March 3, 2023 at 1:30 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem [Israeli Parliament (Knesset)/Anadolu Agency]

On Wednesday afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Israeli people saying: “A short time ago, we apprehended the three terrorists who were responsible for the murder of Elan Ganeles.”

He bragged about the quick detention of the three Palestinian men for allegedly participating in the killing of the Israeli soldier. “I salute the IDF and ISA (Israeli Security Agency) for quickly locating the terrorists and carrying out a precise operation,” he said, concluding: “Whoever tries to hurt us will pay the price.”

Sergeant Ganeles served in the Israeli occupation forces as a full time head of a four-member team between July 2016 and August 2018. The Israeli occupation said he was killed by Palestinian gunmen while he was driving in Jericho. So, the Israeli occupation forces launched a security campaign in Jericho that ended with the detention of dozens of Palestinians. Among them were three whom Israel claims were the killers. According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa the occupation forces seriously wounded a pregnant Palestinian mother-to-be.

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During the Israeli campaign, the Israeli occupation forces demolished several Palestinian homes and made a number of Palestinian people homeless. Palestinians paid a high price for the death of this Israeli soldier.

At the same time of the Israeli campaign in Jericho, about 400 extremist Israeli Jewish settlers went on a deadly riot and arson rampage in the Palestinian town of Huwara, setting about 100 Palestinian homes on fire, burning hundreds of cars, wounding over 100 Palestinians and killing Palestinian aid worker Sameh Aqtash.

Just a couple of days before his murder, Aqtash had returned from Turkiye where he volunteered to help victims of the deadly earthquakes that struck Turkiye and Syria on 6 February. Aqtash was a blacksmith and was standing outside his shop when the extremist Israeli Jewish settlers approached him and killed him.

While the whole occupation state of Israel came together to find those responsible for the death of a soldier, no one cared about the Palestinians in Huwara.

Meanwhile, the international community, including the UN, has condemned the “violence” in the holy land. But this is not as a result of the death of a Palestinian, but the death of the Israeli. During the US-brokered Aqaba Security Summit, which was held in Jordan, Washington, Israel, the PA, Jordan and Egypt discussed how to activate security coordination between Ramallah and Tel Aviv and how to turn the PA’s security services against the Palestinians and their resistance.

No mention was made about how to stop the daily aggression on the Palestinians and their properties committed by the Israeli occupation forces, or how to deal with the increasing settler violence against the Palestinians. On one cares about the Palestinians, not even their political leaders.

Following the settler attack on Huwara, eight extremist Israeli Jewish settlers were briefly detained and only three of them were put under house arrest for short periods. No military or security campaigns were launched to trace, detain or kill the settler attackers, whose actions were condemned by millions of people around the world as “pogroms”.

No settler house has been demolished, no relative detained, no siege was imposed on the place of his residence, no bank accounts were closed and no deposits were seized.

The Israeli killing of Palestinians has not stopped since before 1948, and no one cares. These events no longer make headlines unless Israelis lose their lives.

Today, it is more clear than ever that when the international community calls for “ending the violence” and “reaching a peaceful solution”, it is referring to ending the Palestinian resistance, maintaining Israeli aggression against Palestinians and not finding a solution to these daily crimes.

The Palestinians are being forced to pay the price for everything – for their flaws and the flaws of their occupier.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.