Settlers Get Away With Terrorizing Palestinian Children Under Israeli Apartheid

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Wrestle and Solidarity: Writing Towards Palestinian Liberation

Palestinian kids dwelling within the occupied West Financial institution can not stroll to highschool with out a army escort, assuming their school rooms haven’t been demolished or confiscated by Israelis within the first place. Palestinian youngsters face constant attacks and harassment from violent Israeli “settlers” pushing to colonize the West Financial institution with unlawful settlements, if not wipe Palestine off the map altogether.

Final month, weeks earlier than the newest outbreak of regional violence made headlines, settlers attacked worldwide activists accompanying a younger Palestinian lady on the outskirts of Masafer Yatta, a set of hamlets within the southern West Financial institution. Cassandra Dixon, a 64-year-old interfaith human rights defender from the US, was knocked unconscious and suffered a damaged cranium after a settler beat her repeatedly with a heavy stick. One other settler threatened the kid with an iron bar, however a fellow activist managed to carry her to safety.

Dixon later discovered the kid was not bodily injured, however such trauma can final a lifetime. Extremist settlers additionally recurrently burn crops and kill livestock to rob Palestinians of their revenue and connection to the land, however human rights teams say secretive Israeli military courts completely single out Palestinians for detention and prosecution within the West Financial institution. Settlers with Israeli citizenship are ruled by civil courts if in any respect they face prosecution for breaking the legislation.

“The identical in civil courts … at all times facet with Israeli settler organizations, any land rights are instantly given precedence to Israeli settlers as an alternative of Palestinians who reside of their properties,” mentioned Milena Ansari, an advocate with the Palestinian prisoner assist group Addameer, in an interview.

Below a broad “anti-terrorism” legislation handed in 2016, the occupying army and its courts can criminalize any exercise perceived as a menace to Israeli state pursuits, from nonviolent pupil activism to collective expressions of Palestinian tradition, in line with Ansari. Merely being a member of a Palestinian political group can result in arbitrary incarceration ordered by army commanders. Addameer is an internationally acknowledged human rights group — Ansari not too long ago returned to Palestine after assembly with United Nations officers in Geneva, Switzerland — however the Israeli authorities labeled Addameer and 5 different Palestinian political teams “terrorist organizations” in 2021 with a purpose to blockade funding.

“Political affiliation, freedom of expression, freedom of meeting, even college students we’ve seen organizing on campus at college in Palestine might invoke the jurisdiction of army courts,” Ansari mentioned, including that officers converse Hebrew at courtroom proceedings, a language most Palestinians don’t converse. “The system is constructed in opposition to the Palestinians. There may be genuinely no option to search justice and accountability in these courts.”

“The system is constructed in opposition to the Palestinians. There may be genuinely no option to search justice and accountability in these courts.”

Advocates say the impetus for the segregated courtroom system within the West Financial institution and occupied Palestine is apparent. Dixon studies that 1,300 residents of the Masafer Yatta hamlets face “imminent forced removal” to make means for an Israeli military “firing zone.” Palestinians have lived there for generations, however some residents preventing eviction have reportedly resorted to living in caves.

“To be right here now in these 15 villages is to witness ethnic cleaning in actual time,” Dixon wrote on Facebook after surviving the assault by settlers.

When widespread violence flares up, the Western mainstream media typically body the “Israel-Palestinian battle” as a tit-for-tat combat with one reprisal main to a different, all however erasing the violence and humiliation Palestinians endure every day underneath occupation. With Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Financial institution living in constant fear of retaliation, eviction and arrest for talking out, it will probably take the life-threatening beating of an American girl to reveal the daily violence within the worldwide media.

“Once we speak about ‘settlement’ exercise normally, we do should at all times needless to say Israeli settlements are unlawful underneath worldwide legislation,” Ansari mentioned. “The entire thought of forcibly deporting a protected folks from their territory and bringing the occupation powers down on individuals who reside in these areas, it is a crime against humanity.”

Palestinians say violent settlers are rarely arrested by Israeli police and charged with crimes, particularly when worldwide media and human rights teams aren’t watching. Nevertheless, throughout any type of “battle” — such because the violent expulsion and arrest of greater than 350 Palestinians at a contested holy website in Jerusalem final week that was egged on by far right settler groups and almost sparked complete struggle — Palestinians are funneled right into a system of mass incarceration the place the Israeli army and police can deny fundamental human rights with impunity.

Final week, the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a longstanding prisoner assist group, reported that occupation forces have arrested greater than 2,200 Palestinians to date this 12 months, together with ladies and youngsters, though that quantity is probably going a lot larger after per week punctuated by protests, rocket hearth and airstrikes. Many arrests occurred in Jerusalem in the course of the holy month of Ramadan. Moreover not too long ago jailed arrestees, at the very least 4,900 Palestinian males, girl and youngsters deemed political prisoners by human rights teams are incarcerated in Israeli jails and army prisons, according to Addameer.

“It’s not a combat between religions, it’s not even a combat. It’s principally a settler-colonial challenge to ethnically cleanse a Palestinian inhabitants to ensure that Jewish supremacy to reign in that area.”

Reflecting the collective punishment enforced by the occupation, circumstances confronted by Palestinian prisoners are deteriorating under policies imposed by the far right governing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his newly empowered ultra-nationalist allies. Worldwide human rights teams are consistently calling for the discharge of Palestinian prisoners who’re routinely denied crucial medical remedy and tortured with solitary confinement. Palestinian prisoners routinely interact in hunger strikes as a type of protest to win fundamental collective and particular person rights, comparable to satisfactory meals and visits with household. Final month, a mass hunger strike led to an settlement with jail authorities over the federal government’s plans to downgrade circumstances in Israeli jails.

That includes extremists such because the infamous National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Netanyahu’s coalition has emboldened the ultra-nationalist settler motion whereas sparking mass protests by liberal and average Israelis who oppose a proposal to weaken judicial oversight of an Israeli parliament managed by the far proper.

“Settler violence, in comparison with Palestinian violence, has the assist of the federal government,” Ansari mentioned. “Settler violence is given impunity by the Israeli authorities; settler violence is protected; you see them accompanied by Israeli occupation forces who assault Palestinians as an alternative of stopping the settlers.”

The collusion between the Israeli state and the motion to illegally colonize the West Financial institution was on full show on April 10, when the Israeli army guarded a big group of settlers and ultra-nationalist politicians as they marched on an illegal and recently abandoned settlement underneath banners declaring Palestinian lands close to the occupied metropolis of Nablus to be the property of Israelis. In the meantime, occupation forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager in the course of the newest raid of the Aqabet Jaber refugee camp in Jericho. Mohammad Fayez Balhan was shot within the head, chest and abdomen on Monday, according to studies. Not less than three Israeli ladies are lifeless after an assault on a West Financial institution settlement final week.

Ansari mentioned the latest mass protests in opposition to Netanyahu’s far proper authorities and its proposed judicial takeover targeted on the secular rights of Jewish Israeli ladies and LGBTQ folks, for instance, however when Palestinians are repressed and arrested, their gender and sexual id is usually used in opposition to them.

“It’s not a combat between religions, it’s not even a combat,” mentioned Ansari, who identified that some Palestinians are Christian or nonreligious quite than Muslim. “It’s principally a settler-colonial challenge to ethnically cleanse a Palestinian inhabitants to ensure that Jewish supremacy to reign in that area.”

In fact, there are many Jewish folks in Israel and the world over who’re working towards peace and the liberation of occupied Palestine. Teams comparable to Kids4Peace in Jerusalem encourage interfaith dialogue among the many subsequent era of activists, and organizations comparable to B’Tselem in Israel oppose the far proper authorities and advocate for the human rights of Palestinians dwelling within the occupied territories.

In the meantime, the Israeli military-police state receives billions of {dollars} in U.S. help yearly, leaving People to ask: Who wants our taxpayer {dollars} most? The occupiers or the peacemakers?

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