Palestine Update 623
Israel’s army goes ballistic
Dozens of Israeli armored military vehicles, bulldozers, drones as well as armed troops from the military, border police and Shin Bet, raided the West Bank city of Jenin in attacks that were unprecedented in intensity and scope. The pretext was that they had to take down three Palestinian militants. A report describes how “Nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, were killed by Israeli forces. Dozens of cars were flipped over and crushed, homes were heavily damaged, and patients had to run away from tear gas shot at the Jenin hospital”. Osama Mansour, 55, a local activist in Jenin painfully said: “It’s a multi-faced crime that not only includes killing our children but attacking civilians and destroying Palestinian property…Everyone in Jenin has someone to mourn.”
To call these excesses, brutality and disproportionate violence is a massive understatement. Chaos and bloodshed are politically expedient to Israel’s new national security minister and convicted terror-supporter, Itamar Ben-Gvir, as well as the finance minister and de facto prime minister of the West Bank. “They want more violence, they want deterioration, they want an exacerbation of violence because politically it serves them,” retired Israeli General Ephraim Sneh, who served as deputy defense minister under Ehud Olmert, was warning me only a week ago. The Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai has shared a similar assessment of Ben-Gvir’s proclivity for inciting violence for political gain, blaming him for sparking the 2021 escalation by establishing an office in the disputed Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
The Palestinian Authority has stated it would suspend cooperation that its security forces maintain with Israel. A complaint will be filed with the UN Security Council, International Criminal Court and other international bodies. The ICRC reminded “all armed actors of their obligations to respect and protect civilians and their property.” he added. Medical personnel, medical units and facilities must be protected and respected in all circumstances to guarantee the affected communities’ continuing access to care, they added. The UNSC will issue a strongly-worded statement. The US will boycott the vote. Israel will give the resolution two hoots because it is used to managing impunity.
For many in the distance, these are mere reports. For those who subscribe to justice and human rights, each life taken diminishes the rest of humankind except that too many don’t know, and when they do, they don’t care. And there are far too many lives that are being lost.
According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Geneva Conventions define war crimes to include “willful killing; torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments; willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power; willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial; unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; and taking of hostages.” What the world witnessed in Jenin, and indeed in Gaza, other parts of the West bank are all part of Israel’s acts of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and War Crimes.
On behalf of MLN Palestine Updates
‘Cyber Palestine’: Elia Suleiman and the Israeli occupation
When it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflicts and their representations in cinema, most of it can be found in documentaries. The history of Palestinian cinema has been characterized by censorship and erasure, but a handful of brave filmmakers have been fighting back. One of them is the extremely talented Elia Suleiman. Suleiman’s oeuvre is a unique presence within the context of Palestinian cinema because it uses comic lenses to make sense of the overwhelming tragedy of the Israeli occupation. Suleiman has delivered thoughtful critiques of the West’s flawed perception of Palestine throughout his career. Suleiman is one of the leading figures of contemporary Palestinian cinema. Starting with his 1996 drama Chronicle of a Disappearance Suleiman’s examinations of the sociopolitical climate of Palestine has managed to reach wider audiences around the world.
Suleiman said: “I was rejected non-stop when I was trying to set up my first feature. At that time in the mid-’90s, there weren’t a lot of Palestinian filmmakers per se, and the lefties in the occidental film world were very patronizing about Palestine. They wanted to speak about it and not let you speak about it, so they were affronted by the comedy in the script.” The filmmaker added: “They knew that Palestinians never laughed because they were far too busy being tortured and tormented by the Israelis. One of the most interesting additions to Suleiman’s filmography is Cyber Palestine, a fascinating parable that re-contextualizes the origin of Jesus Christ within modern Palestine. Filled with volatile political anger and an innovative sense of humour, Cyber Palestine is the perfect example to prove that Suleiman is an incredibly necessary voice for his country. An incisive attack against the Israeli occupation’s control over Palestinian subjects, Cyber Palestine shows just how difficult it would be for Mary and Joseph to deliver Jesus in modern-day Palestine, where they would never have made it past the checkpoints. Suleiman insists that the idea of Palestine has almost been transformed into a virtual space now in a commentary that is simultaneously powerful and tragicomic.
Israel strikes Gaza after deadly Jenin camp raid as Arab world calls for de-escalation
Israel carried out air strikes early on Friday after Gaza militants fired rockets as tensions soared following an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank that killed 10 Palestinians in Jenin, including a 61-year-old woman. It was the deadliest single raid in the territory in over two decades. The flare-up in violence poses an early test for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government.
Both the Palestinian rockets and Israeli air strikes seemed limited so as to prevent escalation into a full-blown war. Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and several smaller skirmishes since the militant group came to power in Gaza in 2007. Thursday’s deadly raid in the Jenin refugee camp is likely to reverberate on Friday as Palestinians gather for weekly Muslim prayers that are often followed by protests. Hamas had earlier threatened revenge for the raid. The Palestinian Authority also confirmed it would halt the ties that its security forces maintain with Israel and planned to file complaints with the UN Security Council, International Criminal Court and other international bodies.
Read more at National News
‘Everyone in Jenin has someone to mourn’: Nine Palestinians killed, one funeral
Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral for nine Palestinians killed during a raid on a refugee camp in Jenin
Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Thursday, to attend the funeral for nine Palestinians killed during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp that same morning. Pain and sadness filled every corner of Jenin, Eyad Salahat, the older brother of 22-year-old Izz al-din Salahat, who was killed in the Israeli raid, told Middle East Eye between breaths.
“My family and I can’t believe we lost Izz,” he said before explaining that his brother’s nickname closely translates to pride. “Not just pride, but the pride. Our pride, the pride of our home, the pride of the camp….At the funeral, I couldn’t even fathom who was and wasn’t killed because of the sheer scale of everything,” he added. Eyad’s brother Izz al-Din was, according to his family, one of the first Palestinians killed during the large-scale Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp. The raid, which lasted close to five hours, claimed the lives of eight others, including a 61-year-old woman, Majda Obaid, and two children. On Thursday evening, a 10th Palestinian was killed during confrontations that erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the town of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem.
“What happened to them is a crime against humanity,” Osama Mansour, 55, a local activist in Jenin in acute emotional distress stated: “It’s a multi-faced crime that not only includes killing our children but attacking civilians and destroying Palestinian property…Everyone in Jenin has someone to mourn.”
Read entire report in Middle East Eye
ICRC calls for greater protection of civilians in the West Bank
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned about the events this morning in Jenin, which have resulted in several deaths and injuries. The number of civilians injured and killed due to the intensification of armed violence in parts of the West Bank has significantly increased over the past weeks,” said Arnaud Meffre, the ICRC’s head of sub-delegation in the West Bank. “We remind all armed actors of their obligations to respect and protect civilians and their property,” he added. Medical personnel, medical units and facilities must be protected and respected in all circumstances to guarantee the affected communities’ continuing access to care.
Palestine Updates from Movement for Liberation from Nakba is a clearing house for historical and current information about happenings in the colonised Palestinian territories.
29 January 2023