as you will be aware, Israel's occupation forces are currently carrying out a major military operation against the entire Palestinian population in the Occupied West Bank in the wake of the kidnapping of 3 Israeli settlers on June 12, 2014. Israeli Occupation Forces have been engaged in illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian population for the last week. Such action is a war crime under the Geneva Convention, which Israel is a signatory too.
The Israeli government and mainstream media in both Israel and internationally have attempted to portray the collective punishment against Palestinians as "restrained", however, figures complied by Israeli activist and writer Mairav Zonszein shows that this is not the case. I have included her figures below.
Numerous writers and commentators have noted that Netanayahu has attempted to blame Hamas for the kidnapping of the 3 settlers, despite having absolutely no proof of Hamas involved. The primary aim is to try and weaken Hamas and to undermine the nearly formed Palestinian technocratic "unity government". It has also been noted the current operation against Hamas and Palestinians was planned BEFORE the settlers were kidnapped.
According to the Israeli Hebrew newspaper, Hadrei Hadarim, an Israeli military officer stated that the operation had been pre-planned and had little to do with the kidnapping. According to the newspaper, the officer said the Israeli military is intentionally trying to agitate the population in order to provoke stone throwers, which will allow Israeli snipers to kill them. “There was a group of snipers on the roof – an entire unit that moves on the outskirts of Jenin in order to make noise and raise tensions,” he said. “This was actually the true goal: to provoke them into causing disorder, and then put down those causing the disorder.”
In the 10 days since Israel began its illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian population of the Occupied West Bank, four Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli military. Ahmad Sabarin from al-Jalazon refugee camp was killed on 17 June, when Israel invade houses in the camp.Mustafa Aslan (21 years) was killed by the IOF when they invaded Qalanda Refugee camp (near Ramallah) on 20 June. On the same day, 14 year old Mahmoud Jihad Muhammad Dudeen was killed by live ammunition fired by the IOF in Dura in Occupied Hebron. Today (22 June) Ahmad Abu Shinno, age 35, was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces as he was on his way to pray at the Omar Mukhtar Mosque in Occupied Nablus. He was shot in the chest 3 times & left to bleed 4 an hour as ambulance prevented from reaching him.
Two other Palestinians have also died, including Jamil Ali Abed Jabir, an elderly man from the village of Haris in Salfit, who had a heart attack when he attempted to stop the IOF invading his home and then prevent his family from taking him to hospital for treatment. The second death Sakher Dorgham Zaamel Abu al-Hasan, 17 years old, who died when he stepped on a land mine while herding his sheep in the Jordan Valley.
Currently, 5,700 Palestinian political prisoners are now being held in Israeli jails, including 241 minors. 261 Palestinians are being held indefinitely without charge or trial. 125 of those have been on hunger strike for about 60 days in protest against their detainment.
Israeli Occupation Forces have also raided Birzeit University near Ramallah and Arab American University in Jenin. In addition, the IOF have used the main plaza of Ahliya University near Bethlehem was used as a holding ground for blindfolded Palestinian men being detained in nearby Duheisha camp.
Israel continues doing what it does best: pillaging, raiding, detaining, and killing. And the US continues funding Israel, to the tune of $3 billion a year.
Please consider how you can raise awareness and stand in solidarity the Palestinian people in opposition to the illegal collective punishment and war crimes being carried out against them in the name of "security" and searching for the missing Israeli settlers.
The mainstream media and Western governments have remained silent about Israel's brutal campaign over the last 10 days against the entire Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank, so please raise your voices where you can: by writing letters to your local media and politicians opposing Israel's actions, by sharing information about Israel's collective punishment and war crimes against the Palestinian people on social media, by moving motions in your church, community and unions demanding an end to Israel's illegal activities and breach of international law.
Please promote and support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, a non-violent campaign started by Palestinian civil society in 2005.
I have included below a small selection of photos which have been taken by Palestinian, Israeli and International activists documenting Israel's illegal collective punishment and murder of Palestinians.
Israel's military operation in numbers
from Mairav Zonszein's +972 Magazine article, which can be found by clicking here.
Since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers from a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank on June 12, 2014, the Israel Occupation Forces has been operating all over the Palestinian territories, in Areas A, B and C. The following list attempts to provide some basic statistics on the toll it has been exacting. While Israeli media is portraying the operation as highly restrained, these numbers show the deep effect it has on the Palestinian population as of June 20, 2014.
*Some numbers provided are estimates due to the difficulty in confirming exact numbers.
Figures as of 20, June 2014
- Number of kidnapped Israeli teenagers: 3
- Number of days since operation began: 7
- Number of Palestinians arrested: 388
- Of them, number associated with Hamas: 240
- Of them, the number released in 2011 Gilad Shalit exchange: 55
- Number of indictments filed against them thus far: 0
- Number of Palestinians killed: 2 (as of 22 June, the figure is now 4 Palestinians killed by direct military action)
- Number of Palestinians wounded: Dozens
- In critical condition: 1
- Number of Israeli soldiers wounded: 1
- Number of troops deployed to Hebron: At least 2,000
- Number of residents of the city of Hebron under total lockdown: 200,000
- Number of Israeli settlers living in Hebron: 800
- Number of houses raided throughout West Bank: Thousands
- Number of Palestinian houses & institutions raided: 1,150
- Number of Israeli air strikes on Gaza: At least 15
- Number of rockets fired from Gaza: 16
- Number of Israelis wounded: 0
- Number of Palestinians wounded: At least 7
- Structures damaged: 1
Israel's illegal collective punishment of Palestinians in photos
Birzeit University Condemns Storming of its Campus by Israeli Occupation Forces
Birzeit University views this attack as very dangerous and a barbaric intrusion. We deplore the conversion of its academic facilities to military barracks, as well as the confiscation of its student property, in addition to wiping out the eastern and western gates, searching parts of the Faculty of Science building and attempting to force open administrative offices.
The University calls on the international community and human rights organizations to condemn this belligerence and put an end to Israel’s defiance of the fundamental rights of our people and its violation of the sanctity of our universities.
Birzeit University confirms that these attacks will not deter our commitment to higher education, and the pivotal role we have played since its establishment.
Birzeit University will remain a university for all Palestinians, with their diverse ideas and various political schools of thought. Our students will continue to be distinguished intellectuals and leaders in their communities. The provocative measures taken by the Israeli occupation will only lead to a greater conviction and commitment of the university community, academics, staff and students, to the values of freedom, justice and democracy.
Hamde Abu Hamde Abu