12 July 2024

The Zionist “army of terrorists” came with big guns to wipe out the Resistance fighters inside the Jenin Refugee Camp, but in the end they were forced to retreat in humiliation , writes Iqbal Jassat.

Jenin’s prestige as a jewel in the crown of Palestinian Resistance has been gloriously affirmed in the defeat it inflicted on the illegal settler-colonial’s military.

Despite an overwhelming force involving more than a thousand heavily armed soldiers, fighter jets, helicopter gunships, armoured bulldozers and military vehicles, Israel’s army of terrorists were forced to lick their wounds.

Causing enormous damage as it rampaged through the narrow confines of Jenin’s refugee  camp, leaving a trail of mindless destruction, the apartheid entity failed to meet its aim: to root out the Resistance. 

Instead, in abject humiliation, it had to face the reality of Jenin as a symbol of Palestine’s deep roots in resisting oppression and Occupation.

News accompanied by footage of violent crimes against Palestinians by Zionist settlers and murderous campaigns by Israel’s armed forces, have become a routine feature on many international broadcast mediums. 

Shocking images of hordes of armed settlers storming Palestinian villages and setting alight homes and cars as their ferocious hate turns them into modern-day Ku Klux arsonists, moves many to demand an end to Israel’s madness.

Madness indeed by a rogue regime that disregards civilised norms by clinging onto barbaric methods of ethnic cleansing, massacres and willful destruction that defined its creation 75 years ago. 

That tragic past is what Palestinians commemorate as Al-Nakba or catastrophe. But has it ended? No, say victims. In fact they claim that the Nakba endures to this day.

Israel’s ongoing persecution and orgy of killing Palestinians has taken the form of incremental genocide.

Author and historian Ilan Pappe who documented Israel’s murky creation in his seminal volume “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, in a recent article elaborated on horrific atrocities committed against Palestinians. He cited massacres that include Sabra and Shatila, Kafar Qana in Lebanon, Jenin and the Gaza Strip as landmarks of ethnic cleansing. 

Though he hesitated to use the term “genocide” to describe these dark chapters, Pappe used it once only when describing Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip since 2006. 

However the recent spree of killings since the beginning of this year “probably justify expanding the term beyond Israel’s atrocious assaults and siege on the Gaza Strip” is his view. 

According to Article 2 of the United Nation’s “Convention of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide”, stipulates that the following acts, enlisted below, are genocide if they were done “with the intent to destroy, a whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group”:

1. Killing members of the group;

2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; 

4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Exactly what we are witnessing in Jenin and all other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) orchestrated by Benjamin Netanyahu and ultra rightwing hawks in his racist cabinet. 

Not surprising that Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights NGO described Israel’s policies in the OPT as deepening Occupation and Apartheid. This they claim is undertaken by the acceleration of annexation; violence by state security forces; state sanctioned displacement and attacks against human rights organisations. 

To illustrate the gravity of Israel’s crimes, Yesh Din has been providing daily updates via its twitter feed: 

June 20 – Al-Luban Al-Sharqiya  homes burned, 11 vehicles burned & damaged, gas station burned… 

Huwara: Attacks on residents Za’atara: Attacks on residents Qablan: Attacks on residents 

June 21- Turmusayya: Dozens raided the village, throwing stones and attacking residents. Overall, 60 vehicles and 30 homes. One resident was killed by military forces. 

Urif: One school burned, one mosque desecrated, Quran books destroyed. 

Similar documentation by others , including journalists who bear the brunt of Zionist repression, an orgy of terrorism by Jewish settlers and the regime’s army, has been thoroughly exposed. 

None, not least the United States of America, can claim to be unaware of the terror thrust in the face of young and old Palestinians. Yet, despite widespread information gleaned from independent reports on the ground, testimonies from families of victims and corroborated by eye-witness accounts, the US remains tongue-tied, unmoved and unwilling to sanction Israel. 

Despicable

America’s failure to penalize the settler colonial entity points to its despicable practice of hypocrisy and blatant double standards. Even though Israel’s policies violate fundamental human rights of the occupied Palestinians, it has been spared from any punitive measures by America. 

On the other hand it is well known that the US imposes political and economic sanctions on countries Washington regards as “enemies”. Sanctions have been weaponised against countries deemed to be hostile and willing to challenge US hegemony. 

As a client-state, Israel is by all accounts a Western imperial outpost in the heart of the Middle East. 

America and Europe are joint benefactors of the settler colony despite overwhelming evidence that it has a “system of apartheid firmly in place; invades and seizes sovereign territory of other countries by military force and continues to illegally occupy it; exercises collective punishment; routinely carries out air attacks against sovereign states; repeatedly defies UN resolutions; sends assassins to other countries to kill its political opponents; refuses to prosecute its soldiers who kill civilians and US citizens…”. 

The audacity of Israel’s extreme-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is captured in his defiance and bravado by publicly declaring: “In this government, we have killed 120 Palestinians in the last six months, and there will be more to come. The public expects us to do more, and we have the capacity to meet those expectations”.

In her rebuke of Ben-Gvir, UN Special Rapporteur OPT, Francesca Albanese questioned “How can it be that while settler-terrorism runs rampant in the occupied territory, after decades of Palestinians’ forced displacement & brutalization, Israeli ministers issue genocidal statements with impunity?” She reminds Member States of the UN that they have the responsibility to prevent atrocity crimes. 

Apart from being an indictment of the failure by the UN and global institutions such as the International Criminal Court to halt Israel’s madness, it exposes gross inequalities and gaping double standards in the global order as far as Israel’s violations are concerned. 

*Iqbal Jassat is an Executive of Media Review Network, Johannesburg.

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