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Are Palestinians facing Israel’s brutality alone?

September 8, 2023 at 11:00 am

Israeli forces take security measures as Palestinians demonstrate against construction of Jewish settlements in town of Beit Decen of Nablus, West Bank on August 25, 2023 [Nedal Eshtayah – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation forces have increased their bloody incursions into the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, killing and wounding scores of Palestinians including women, children and the elderly.

According to the UN, since the start of 2023, Israeli occupation forces have killed more that 200 Palestinians. In a briefing to the UN Security Council two weeks ago, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said that the number of Palestinians killed was the highest since 2005.

The Israeli occupation authorities also continue to target Palestinian properties and have demolished more than 300 Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the UN. This has led to the displacement of more than 420 Palestinians, including 194 children.

During the last week of August, the Israeli occupation authorities “demolished, confiscated or forced people to demolish an additional 33 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including ten homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain.”

According to a recent report issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the Israeli occupation authorities have carried out 41 demolitions or confiscations against 22 Palestinian schools in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2010, citing the lack of building permits.

In addition, Israeli settler violence is at a record high this year, with the UN saying there has been a “dramatic rise in violence carried out by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank this year,” citing more than 100 incidents a month.

As of the end of August, the UN OCHA said that it had registered over 700 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians this year where this violence resulted in Palestinian casualties, damage to property or both. It said this was the highest number since it began recording such acts in 2006.

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Head of UN OCHA in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Andrea De Domenico, said: “Just to give you an idea, in 2021 there was an average of one incident of settler violence a day that we were recording. In 2022, there were two incidents of settler violence and in 2023 we have an average of three incidents of settler violence a day.”

In addition to all of this, Israel’s desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque has dramatically increased with Israeli officials taking part in these desecrations and speaking frankly about plans to demolish the third holiest site for Muslims in order to build the so-called Jewish temple in its place.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and toured it while occupation forces brutally attacked Palestinian worshippers within it.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “shocked and appalled” by images of Israeli security forces beating people at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The United States said it was “extremely concerned” and urged restraint by both Israelis and Palestinians. While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the raids, saying attacks on Al-Aqsa are a “red line”.

The Arab League called on the UN Security Council to intervene to halt the Israeli “crimes” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The most embarrassing position was that of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which criticises the Israeli aggression, while attacking, arresting and killing Palestinians, and restricting their movement or confiscating their properties and businesses.

In a closed Knesset meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the PA’s support for the occupation. “We need the Palestinian Authority. We cannot allow it to collapse. We also do not want it to collapse. We are prepared to help it financially. We have an interest in the [Palestinian] Authority continuing to work.”

As Israel’s aggression increases, the world’s condemnation of it and any attempts to discuss action against it are becoming ever more muted. Instead of helping the oppressed Palestinian people, the world has asked them to kneel down and prepare to be killed.

Israel receives financial and military aid, helping it impose and maintain its apartheid regime in the occupied West bank and turn the occupied Gaza Strip into the largest open-air prison in the world, whose population is unable to travel or access some of their most basic needs, including medical treatment.

As Palestinians face the most brutal and right-wing Israeli government to date, the world – including the Arab world – is washing its hands of them, leaving them to face the threats against them alone.

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