Brutal Israeli’s legacy: Needed Western role ? | By Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi


Brutal Israeli’s legacy: Needed Western role ?

DURING the holy month of Ramadan, Israel continued its brutal legacy to butcher and bulldoze the Palestinians who are used to be worshiping right before Ramadan.

The days of mourning for the Palestinians are not far away that in 2021, Israeli soldiers stormed the Aqsa, kicking out worshipers, throwing tear-gas and committing acts of violence; these events at the Aqsa during Ramadan led to a violent war in Gaza.

Israel knows that an influx of Muslims from throughout Palestine are visiting places of worship like the Al-Aqsa Mosque, so they tear gas visitors outside the Mosque or simply prevent people from entering through the Damascus Gate.

The Western silence over the erstwhile Israeli policies against the semblance of international law warrant big failure of the international community to protect the fundamental rights of the Palestinians guaranteed to them under the UN Charter.

For the Muslim community at large, the fasting month of Ramadan holds special significance, but for Palestinian Muslims, Ramadan is characterized by constant harassment, attacks and brutal violence by Israel.

An insight into today’s affairs of the Palestinians indicates the truth that the life of Palestinians in cities like Jerusalem are nothing but filled with checkpoints, walls, patrols and military posts which restrict their human right to movement.

On the pretext of security, Israeli security forces enhance their activities during Ramadan.

These Palestinians are without food or water; they are then herded like cattle, often intimidated by occupation forces, denied entry to certain cities of West Bank, or taken in for interrogation.

This is no surprise that a Palestinian who works in the city of Nablus could be denied entry on their way home to a neighbouring city of Ramallah; in that case, he would be forced to turn around and break his fast away from home.

Reports are honeycombed with news that on the last Ramadan Friday hundreds of Israeli police officers, canine units and Army Special Forces, had conducted a massive manhunt throughout the night across Tel Aviv, thereby having a building by building search through densely-populated residential neighbourhoods.

“We are deeply concerned by the escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the past month,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

True, memories still haunt the Jenin refugee camp fatalities (second Intifada, 20 years ago) And yet, Israeli authorities in late 2021 designated six prominent Palestinian civil society organizations as “terrorist” and “illegal” organizations, moves that permit closing their offices, seizing their assets, and jailing their staff and supporters.

Meanwhile, the Gulf States have also condemned the Israeli practiced atrocities angriest the Palestinians.

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement shared on the official Bahrain News Agency, said that Israel’s forces are a “provocation to the feelings of Muslims.

” The Bahraini Ministry called on Israel to “respect the role of the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in caring for sanctities and endowments in accordance with international law…,” in addition to condemning the situation and calling for an end to the violence.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry also echoed the other Gulf countries and rejected the violence, warning of the consequences of stability and security in Palestine and the wider region.

A similar statement was shared by Saudi Arabia earlier, standing in solidarity with Palestine on last Friday of Ramadan

Likewise, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson expressed grave concern over the escalation of violence by Israeli forces in various parts of occupied Palestine.

Pakistan also calls upon the international community to take urgent steps to protect innocent Palestinian lives, and uphold international law and principles of the UN Charter,” said the Foreign Office statement.

As for the international response to the Israeli legacy towards the Palestinians, the economic and geopolitical expediencies come in way since neither the US administrations nor the European states that are Israel’s big trade and security partners do not show any serious semblance of international law in terms of unjust occupation, annexation and usurpation of the Palestinians territories by the successive Israeli governments.

Israel occupied Jerusalem and illegally annexed East Jerusalem under Netanyahu’s totalitarian regime in a move, albeit not recognised internationally and considers the entire city to be its capital.

In brazen violation of international law, Israel is building and expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, which most of the international community considers illegal.

Israel withdrew soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005. But along with neighbouring Egypt, it imposed a crippling blockade on territory after Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces two years later.

‘’As of October 1,2021, Israel held 4,460 Palestinians in custody for “security” offences, including 200 children, many for throwing stones, and 492 in administrative detention without formal charges or trial and based on secret evidence, according to figures by Israeli human rights group HaMoked and Palestinian prisoner rights group Adameer.

Israel incarcerates many Palestinians from the OPT inside Israel, complicating family visits and violating international humanitarian law’s prohibition against their transfer outside occupied territory.’’

To combat this ruthless Israeli strategy practicing barbarism, travesty of international law, and a policy of racial and religious segregation (apartheid), the Palestinian leadership must adopt a two-pronged strategy —focusing on support from the international community while revitalising the unity in its ranks and files— ‘’the need for intra-Palestinian reconciliation is urgent for many reasons.

First, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating by the day. Second, reconciliation is crucial to minimize the risk of intra-factional violence and to increase the chances of reaching peace with Israel in light of the upcoming battle on who should succeed President Mahmoud Abbas.

Third, the actions of the Trump Administration, particularly the potential “deal of the century” and the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, could lead to an irreversible separation between Gaza and the West Bank’’.

In a negative move, the Gaza-dominated Hamas has boycotted the recently held local elections in Gaza.

True, after the United Nations comes the pivotal role of the 28-member bloc of the European Union that may foster its community pressure via two important narratives: First and foremost, ‘’Press Israel to cease settlement construction, home demolitions and state-backed settler violence; refrain from expelling Palestinian residents from East Jerusalem; abide by the terms of the historical understanding known as the Status Quo at the Holy Esplanade; and rescind the recent terrorism designation against six Palestinian civil society organisations.

And in the same vein, ’’Push; encourage the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reschedule elections; protect and expand the space for Palestinian civil society….’’

—The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-international law analyst based in Pakistan, is member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies, also a member of Washington Foreign Law Society and European Society of International Law.