Human Rights and World Wrongs
From July 3-4, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) — utilizing weapons funded by the USA — mounted essentially the most violent navy assault within the occupied West Financial institution in twenty years.
In what Israel dubbed “Operation Dwelling and Backyard,” greater than 1,000 floor troops invaded the Jenin refugee camp. Assisted by helicopter gunships and armed drones, the IOF killed 12 Palestinians — together with six civilians (5 of them youngsters) — and wounded greater than 120 others (together with 14 youngsters), based on the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. The IOF partially destroyed 109 homes, extensively broken the infrastructure, leveled the streets and created an influence outage. About 4,000 Palestinians had been forcibly displaced from their houses.
Whereas the IOF has used armed drones towards Gazans, they’re now utilizing them towards Palestinians within the occupied West Financial institution as properly.
In the meantime, the U.S. authorities, as usual, issued no criticism of the brutal IOF assault on Jenin. As an alternative, the White Home declared that the USA “helps Israel’s safety and proper to defend its individuals towards Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and different terrorist teams.”
Beneath worldwide legislation, the occupying energy (Israel) will not be entitled to self-defense towards the individuals it occupies (the Palestinians). A UN-appointed Fee of Inquiry determined final yr that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is against the law and referred to as on the Basic Meeting to hunt an advisory opinion from the Worldwide Court docket of Justice.
Israel Illegally Focused Civilians and Hospitals and Denied Entry to Ambulances
The IOF denied ambulances access to evacuate the wounded in Jenin. Jovana Arsenijevic, operations coordinator in Jenin for Médecins Sans Frontières, mentioned in a statement that the IOF fired tear fuel into the Khalil Suleiman hospital. The Fourth Geneva Conference provides that civilian hospitals must not ever be the article of assault.
On July 3, Jenin’s mayor, Nidal Obeidi, informed Al Jazeera that the assault was “an actual bloodbath and an try and wipe out all features of life inside the town and the camp.” Though Israel claimed to focus on resistance fighters, Obeidi mentioned, “These being focused now are usually not simply the resistance fighters however civilians are being killed and wounded as properly.”
Many journalists reporting from Jenin had been focused immediately by Israeli stay fireplace. Al Araby TV channel correspondent Ahmed Shehadeh reported that the IOF destroyed his digicam with gunfire whereas he and 4 different journalists had been trapped inside a house within the camp for 2 hours earlier than they had been evacuated by the Purple Crescent.
Final yr, Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed whereas reporting on an IOF raid within the Jenin camp. The beloved Palestinian American correspondent was shot within the head whereas carrying a flak jacket clearly marked “PRESS.” Nobody has been dropped at justice for her assassination.
U.S. Is Complicit in Israeli Struggle Crimes
Three UN experts mentioned, “Israeli forces’ operations within the occupied West Financial institution, killing and significantly injuring the occupied inhabitants, destroying their houses and infrastructure, and arbitrarily displacing hundreds, quantity to egregious violations of worldwide legislation and requirements on using drive and should represent a struggle crime.” The consultants included Particular Rapporteurs Francesca Albanese (human rights within the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967), Paula Gaviria Betancur (human rights of internally displaced individuals), and Reem Alsalem (violence towards ladies and women).
UN Secretary-Basic António Guterres stated that using airstrikes by the IOF in Jenin was “inconsistent with the conduct of legislation enforcement operations.” He reminded Israel that because the occupying energy, it’s accountable for guaranteeing that civilians are “protected towards all acts of violence.”
“The Israeli assault on Jenin violated a number of worldwide legal guidelines, together with the Geneva Conventions. They embrace the prohibition on collective punishment, attacking civilian infrastructure, failure to tell apart between navy and civilians, and far more,” Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Mission on the Institute for Coverage Research, informed Truthout. “Their use of U.S. Apache helicopter gunships and myriad different weapons bought with the $3.8 billion we give the Israeli navy yearly implies that the U.S. is accountable for these violations.”
The Rome Statute of the Worldwide Felony Court docket gives for prosecution of anybody who “aids, abets or in any other case assists” within the fee or tried fee of a criminal offense “together with offering the means for its fee.”
Bennis famous that the IOF additionally violated U.S. home legal guidelines. The Leahy Legislation forbids Congress from funding international navy forces who commit gross violations of human rights. The Arms Export Management Act requires governments that obtain weapons from the USA to make use of them for professional self-defense. As said above, Israel because the occupying energy can not declare self-defense towards the occupied Palestinians.
The Biden administration’s persevering with assist for “Israel’s assault on Jenin, regardless of its authorized violations, reveals as soon as once more how deeply out of contact the Democratic management within the White Home and Congress are with their voter base — who more and more assist Palestinian rights way over they assist Israel,” Bennis mentioned.
Certainly, a 2023 Gallup poll concluded that 49 p.c of Democrats are extra sympathetic to the Palestinians, 38 p.c sympathize extra with Israel, and 13 p.c sympathize with neither.
On July 5, 72 rights organizations signed a letter urging the Biden administration “to take decisive motion by holding Israel accountable and imposing the Leahy Legislation, guaranteeing that not a single greenback of U.S. navy support to Israel is used for functions such because the navy detention of Palestinian youngsters, the demolition of Palestinian houses, or the annexation of Palestinian territories.”
Legal professional Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, mentioned in a statement, “This navy operation reminds us of IOF’s recurrent and constant assaults throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt), the place civilians are within the eye of the storm and IOF intentionally inflict hurt on them and systematically destroy civilian property and infrastructure, constituting struggle crimes and crimes towards humanity based on the worldwide legislation.”
Sourani referred to as on the Worldwide Felony Court docket to analyze Israel’s struggle crimes. Two and a half years in the past, the ICC opened an investigation into struggle crimes dedicated within the occupied Palestinian Territory. However no progress has been made. In contrast, the ICC prosecutor filed struggle crimes expenses towards Vladimir Putin one yr after Russia illegally invaded Ukraine.
“We reiterate our name on the Prosecutor of the Worldwide Felony Court docket (ICC) to take a direct motion, together with continuing with the investigation into the state of affairs of Palestine to finish these crimes and ship a transparent message to the perpetrators of the struggle crimes that no crime goes unpunished,” Sourani mentioned.
Israel’s Assault on Jenin Has Galvanized Palestinian Resistance
The Jenin refugee camp was established by the UN Aid and Works Company for Palestine Refugees within the Close to East (UNRWA) in 1953. It’s populated with refugees who had been ethnically cleansed from their lands within the 1948 Nakba (Arabic for “disaster”) throughout the creation of the state of Israel.
One in every of 19 refugee camps within the occupied West Financial institution, Jenin is the poorest with the best inhabitants density .
“For therefore lengthy, the Jenin refugee camp has been an emblem of Palestinian resistance and social steadfastness,” Mohammed R. Mhawish wrote at Jacobin. “Israel’s portrayal of the invasion as ‘focusing on terrorism’ dismisses Palestine’s century-long wrestle for freedom and obscures the broader context of resistance in Jenin and throughout the occupied West Financial institution.”
Beneath worldwide legislation, the Palestinians have a authorized proper to withstand Israel’s occupation, together with by way of armed wrestle. In 1982, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the legitimacy of the wrestle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, nationwide unity and liberation from colonial and international domination and international occupation by all obtainable means, together with armed wrestle.”
Israel’s assault on the Jenin camp has galvanized the resistance, based on Ghassan Khatib, a political analyst and former Palestinian minister based mostly within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah. “I feel there’s overwhelming sympathy and assist for these guys attempting to combat towards the occupation by no matter means,” he informed The New York Times. “I feel that one of the crucial instant and apparent outcomes of this Israeli operation — or on our aspect, the time period used is aggression — is a dramatic enhance in public assist for resistance” towards Israel.