Israel continues to erase Palestine
These days, Palestinians are under Israeli fire again, but as usual, there is little news about it in the media. According to the Israeli army “its tanks have attacked Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rockets.”
The escalation in tensions was related to the dire economic situation inside Gaza, explaining that the enclave has seen increasing levels of unemployment and more people living under the poverty line. Palestinian anger has flared since Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday agreed to normalise relations, a move many Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause by the Persian Gulf country. Palestinians came out to protest against the peace deal between Israel and the UAE in several locations over the last few days.
The Palestinian territory has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007. The latest incidents follow a week of heightened tensions, during which Israel has also closed the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) goods crossing with the Gaza Strip and shut down Gaza's permitted coastal fishing zone on Sunday. Fishermen in Gaza say they are being directly punished and many of them are now unable to make a living. Power had been in short supply even before the shutdown, with consumers having access to mains electricity for only around eight hours a day. The strangling siege has transformed Gaza into the world’s largest open air prison and brought life and economic activities to a standstill.
Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian American writer, says “for decades, before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his formal call to annex Palestinian lands, we have been experiencing persistent annexation. Illegal Israeli settlements spring up so quickly, you would think they were built overnight. And just as quickly, they continue to expand, creeping ever closer towards our villages and towns.”
“Although we do not know what will happen next, we are terribly afraid that it is going to be perilous.” she said. “We know some of us will not survive. Many Palestinians live in such destitution due to the occupation and their expulsion from their lands that their main concern is physical survival.
On June 23, 27-year-old Ahmed Erakat, was executed at an Israeli checkpoint near Bethlehem. Two weeks later, 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Yacoub was also shot and killed by Israeli forces north of Salfit in the West Bank.” A 60-year-old Palestinian was shot and wounded on Monday, 17 August, by Israeli private security contractors at the Qalandiya checkpoint. He was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment and his condition is said to be light to moderate.
Palestinian resistance is more than 100 years old. They have fought the British Empire, Israeli colonialism and international complicity with Israeli crimes. They have tried all available means of resistance in the hope that Israel ends its occupation.
“We have tried armed resistance, and have been met with the brutal response of a nuclear army; we have attempted peaceful protest only to be shot at, arrested and tortured; we have appealed to international institutions and law and have been foiled by Israeli and American diplomatic bullying; and we have also tried to promote the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been viciously attacked with various laws seeking to criminalise it as "anti-Semitic".” Said Barghouti.
Nothing has worked on the ground for the Palestinians. Nothing has stopped Israeli encroachment on Palestinian rights and theft of their land.