5 Things You Need to Know About the Latest Violence in Palestine/Israel
1. Netanyahu’s far-right government has intensified Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians since taking power earlier this year.
- Before the latest surge in violence, Israeli soldiers had already killed more than 250 Palestinians, including at least 47 children, in the occupied West Bank, more than any year since the Second Intifada, or uprising, against Israel’s occupation in the early 2000s.
- Extremist Israeli settlers have also ramped up their attacks on Palestinians in an attempt to push them off their land. In August, the UN warned of a dramatic increase in settler violence, with nearly 600 attacks recorded in the first six months of the year, averaging 99 incidents each month.
- Israeli extremists have also increased their provocations in and around the Noble Sanctuary Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, which they want to destroy and replace with a Jewish temple. Israel’s notorious National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has repeatedly visited the site to demonstrate Israeli dominance over it.
2. Gaza has been under brutal Israeli military occupation for more than 50 years.
- Under international law, Gaza remains under Israeli military occupation, despite Israel’s withdrawal of settlers and soldiers from the interior of Gaza in 2005, because it continues to control virtually all entry and exit, as well as Gaza's airspace and coastline.
3. Israel has imposed a suffocating, illegal siege and naval blockade on Gaza for more than 15 years.
- More than 2 million Palestinians are trapped in Gaza under Israel’s draconian siege and naval blockade, unable to travel to get medical treatment, go to school, or visit family and friends, deprived of basic goods and supplies. Gaza’s economy has been devastated by the siege and blockade, and by repeated Israeli military assaults that have destroyed much of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. The siege and blockade have been repeatedly condemned by the UN and human rights organizations as a form of collective punishment and illegal.
4. Most Palestinians in Gaza are refugees, expelled from what became southern Israel in 1948.
- Two-thirds of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees who were expelled from their homes during Israel’s establishment in 1948, denied their internationally recognized legal right to return simply because they aren’t Jewish.
5. The source of the problem in all of Palestine/Israel is Israel’s brutal military occupation and apartheid system that was established in 1948.
- In the words of Amnesty International: “Israel has established and maintained an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis – a system of apartheid – wherever it has exercised control over Palestinians’ lives since 1948.” The only way to end the violence is to end Israel’s occupation and apartheid system.