Dead Children and Arrested Babies: Palestinian Life under Israeli Colonialism

The Palestinian West Bank has been illegally de facto annexed by Israel. This territory was not awarded to Israel even in the UN General Assembly partition plan of 1947, and indeed Israel’s possession of it is not recognized even by the US, much less the rest of the world. It was conquered by main force in 1967 and has been settled by hundreds of thousands of Israeli colonists, who have encroached on Palestinian orchards and farms, and have diverted Palestinian water. The Palestinians there have been kept stateless and without the rights of citizenship. They are sentenced in Israeli military courts. Israel controls their land, water and air space, and simply takes what land of theirs it wants, at will. Palestinians have been divided by Israeli Apartheid highways, checkpoints and the Apartheid Wall, so that often getting to hospital in an emergency is impossible and a one-hour journey now takes 8 hours. Israel controls the contours of their lives, but they have no vote in Israel. Here are some recent news items about the West Bank Palestinians. It is like this all the time, but Western media almost never report from the West Bank.

Since 2000, roughly 6700 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis. About 1100 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same period. Although Israelis have been steadily encroaching on Palestinian territory, Western media almost never categorize Palestinian responses as resistance, using the Israeli propaganda term ‘terrorism’ instead. Israeli aggression is almost always portrayed as ‘retaliation,’ even when Israelis initiated the violence. Israelis are depicted as the ones in danger, even though Palestinians are in 7 times more danger.

Israeli soldiers shot Saleh al-Amareen, 16, in the head on Friday Jan. 17 during an altercation at a refugee camp in Bethlehem (Palestinian territory). He died last Wednesday of his wounds. Why is there a refugee camp in Bethlehem? Because Israelis ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in Palestine in 1948. Why are there Israeli troops in the Palestinian West Bank? Because Israel took it by main force in 1967, refuses to relinquish it, and is assiduously stealing the Palestinians’ land and settling Israelis on it (illegal under the Geneva Accords of 1949). Why is Saleh al-Amaraeen dead? Apparently Israel can’t be bothered to use non-lethal methods or rubber bullets for crowd control.

Wednesday January 23; Israeli soldiers fired at the entrance to the al-Arroub Agricultural College near al-Khalil (Hebron) on Wednesday, killing a young woman studying there– Lobna Hannash, 21, of Bethlehem.
Israeli authorities made the implausible charge that the troops, in an unmarked car, had had molotov cocktails thrown at them from the direction of the college gate. Even if it were true, there is no reason to think Lobna was involved. Will any old dead Palestinian do?

Israeli troops shot and killed Samir Awad, an unarmed 17-year-old Palestinian protester at Budrus who attempted to protest the Apartheid Wall that has damaged the economy of his village. He was accused by Israel of “breaching” the wall, but Palestinian sources say he was just protesting it. The wall often bifurcates Palestinian villages and puts agricultural land on the Israeli side, stealing it from them.

Israeli troops last Wednesday abruptly arrested Palestinian human rights worker Hassan Karajeh, from Saffa village in Ramallah. He is a youth coordinator for Stop the Wall.

Israeli authorities announced an intention to steal Palestinian land near Beit Iksa. Palestinians flocked there to try to stop it, and 100 set up a tent village on the Palestinian-owned property. On Friday morning, Israeli troops razed the tent village.

The protest city erected by Palestinian rights activists on a private Palestinian plot of land in the E-1 area of the Palestinian West Bank to forestall its settlement by Israel was razed by Israeli authorities last week.


Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory in the West Bank

Israel treats its Palestinian prisoners very differently than it does Israeli criminals with regard to family visits and interaction. It also does things like add 15 years to a 15-year sentence for making defiant statements to the court.

Palestinian protesters demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons briefly raised Palestinian flags over the old Palestinian village of al-Khader, which is now the Israeli settlement of Eliezar. The Palestinians were chased away by the Israeli military.

Israeli border police are being investigated for a 2009 incident, videoed by one of the police, in which they humiliated and brow-beat a mentally disabled Palestinian man who could not remember his i.d. number.

When Palestinians went out to protest the Israeli annexation of their lands in the South Hebron Hills, the Israeli army abruptly declared the area a closed military zone and arrested them, including a woman with a baby in her arms. It is not clear if the baby was charged.

18 Responses

  1. What can I say?, what can any of us say?,whether we protest loudly or quietly it makes no difference they still arrest and murder the Palestinians whilst the world either shrug their shoulders and say, ‘well they are terrorists’ or ‘it’s not our problem’ whilst others say nothing but are silently supporting the slaughter.

    So what can I say?,one small voice in the dessert of human atrocity by Israeli murderers and the sacrifices of the brave Palestinians whose blood is the blood of martyrs:

    What can I say?….

    I can, I will, I do and will continue to say FREE PALESTINE, and my small voice will become loud as it joins the chorus of my brothers and sisters worldwide who will continue on until justice is served.

  2. I can not belive this the suffering of innocent palestinans needs to stop now! Where has their human rights gone there not just animals that the isrealis can control there the ones who came into our country! The propganda of this western society is just too much they say we have freedom of speech what freedom of speech?! When we have to fear getting shot or arrested? The western goverment label all muslims as terrorist well where not! In shaa allah palestines will be free

  3. Obviously the right wingnuts in Israel have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Were their parents all survivors from the Ostmark?

    And the US is reprising the passenger liner St Louis story.

  4. Regarding Palestinian prisoners, Did You Know?

    The conviction rate for Palestinian suspects in Israeli military courts is 99.74%
    link to haaretz.com

    But the conviction rate for Palestinian CHILDREN in Israeli military courts is even higher at 99.88%
    link to haaretz.com

    However, the effective imprisonment rate for Palestinians is greater than 100% because when Israel doesn’t have the evidence to convict, it simply imprisons Palestinians WITHOUT charge or trial.

    The conviction rates for Palestinians in Israeli military courts (99.74% for adults, 99.88% for children) are even higher than the manipulated electoral rates for Arab dictators. Some recent examples:
    * 99.0% approval rate in 2012 Yemeni election – link to aljazeera.com
    * 89.4% approval rate in 2012 Syrian referendum – link to aljazeera.com

    • Thanks for the numbers.

      Imprisoning them without charge or trial is “administrative detention”. This same legal theory was employed extensively by the Soviet Union to imprison millions of its citizens. Administrative law is different from criminal law in that a suspect has little safeguards normally attendant to what Americans would consider due process.

      Gaza was essentially run as a totalitarian occupied colony by the IDF until the Intifada commenced in 1987. The IDF often shot and killed Gazans on the streets without fear of retribution until the Muslim Brotherhood held elaborate public funerals for the victims and aroused outrage for Gazans to fight back.

  5. Well said, Juan.

    Two things come to mind:

    1) Why are you never interviewed on this matter, of Israel/Palestine, on National Public Radio, whereas Martin Idyk, one of the original founders of AIPAC, shows up for interviews and appeears on that broadcast more than Steve Inskeep, the host of Morning addition? If Martin Idyk is not interviewed, then some other member of the American Interprise Institute – an Israeli sponsored thank tank,is, but never Chomsky, or you, or Jimmy Carter, for that matter. And the latter is essentially persona non grata on NPR.

    2) Why is the clear reality of what is taking place in the post-’67 occupied areas of Palestine so impenetrable and beyond the capability of the US Congress to understand or perceive it? One would think that our congtressional representatives are stupid.

  6. Yet Victoria Nuland, speaking officially for the Obama war crime regime, will describe Palestinian construction as illegal or as a “settlement” (as she recently did Palestinian non-violent protest camps) while pointedly refusing to describe _any_ Israeli activity of any kind in even the most vaguely critical language.

    The question I find myself asking again and again (for over 20 years now): Is there _anything_ that the Israelis could do that the US would condemn?

    • Maybe if they nearly sank one of our naval vessels that was too close to their operations, killing 30-40 people, with no genuinely plausible excuse.

      Whoops! Silly me.

  7. Frankly, I am surprised there was any prosecution of the IDF border police soldiers for the humiliation of the mentally disabled man.

    Border police harassment is something that has been rampant by the IDF against Palestinians.

    There had been international outrage over the Arabs that were being forced to sing before the border guards as a pre-condition for passing the checkpoint; guards were uploading videos of these incidents to YouTube. The publicity over these videos led to an IDF investigation; in one case it was held ,incredibly, the subject elected to voluntarily sing to the guards. In another video, a young Arab was forced to sing while simultaneously slapping himself in the face. These videos were particularly repugnant to Israelis recalling the forced singing of Jewish inmates at Auschwitz.

    There also have been more serious reports of violent assaults of Arabs at these checkpoints. In one instance guards beat a Palestinian for five minutes until an IDF officer intervened.

    An Israeli civil rights group, Machsom Watch, has placed observers with notebooks to document border guard abuses at these checkpoints.

    These reports of IDF border guard misconduct have fueled incidents of Arab retaliation against IDF checkpoints, including a history of snipings,slashings and suicide bombiings of guardsmanning these areas.

    There had been one report that even though organized Palestinian resistance groups had stopped sniping at IDF guards during a truce, these border units were still being shot at by individual Arabs disappointed over the failure of the “terrorist” orgaanizations to continue the sniping incidents.

    • Don’t be surprised…
      – on the very rare occasions that Israeli soldiers/police are investigated for crimes against Palestinians, very few get prosecuted
      – on the very rare occasions that Israeli soldiers/police are actually prosecuted, they usually get acquitted.

      Here’s just one example from 2005 where an Israeli army officer fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle (17 shots) into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been 3 years old. As expected, he was acquitted on all charges by an Israeli military court:
      link to guardian.co.uk

  8. I’ve been labelled Anti-Semitic for being concerned. Work out how to change that, and the world will follow.

  9. Thanks for the map. I kind of knew what was going on but lost track of the effectiveness of the marginalization process.

    This expression of genocide is the epitome of revenge by the top of the class system of “Western civilization” based on private ownership of property and ongoing inheritance.

    My, how far we have evolved……not.

  10. What is noteworthy is that the map discloses “islands” of control that mirrors the final status Israel seeks to impose upon the Palestinians and that this political partition is an almost carbon-copy model of the bantustan known as Bophutswana under the South African apartheid system.

    The absence of contiguous borders deprives Palestine of one element of statehood, as it did Bohphutswana.

  11. I had an encounter with a few people who are still ignorant of the Palestinian problem, even in this age. This is one of the many readings I believe can help them. Sharing on my FB.

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