Israel’s government is engaging in a cover-up to conceal their atrocities, expelling human rights activists and human rights monitors. The public must speak out!
By Bettejo Indelicato
My worst nightmare for the Palestinians of the West Bank has become their reality. Crazed illegal settlers and zealous Israeli Occupation Soldiers commit unconscionable crimes against women, children, and the elderly.
The innocents, mostly young Palestinians, are gunned down in cold blood and left to bleed to death while settlers cheer on. These unspeakable crimes go largely unreported. As Israel evicts human rights monitors from their West Bank positions the voices of the besieged Palestinians will become even more stifled.
We can’t let this happen.
My human rights activism in the West Bank led me to return over a span of four years. Each time I returned I was taken aback by the geographical changes brought about the settlement building.
Palestinian villages were becoming more and isolated in enclaves surrounded by armed racist settlers, whose presence is illegal under international law. Law not withstanding, they took ownership of the Palestinian land by force.
Armed, they stormed into Palestinian villages, sometimes escorted by Israeli soldiers, destroying property, burning mosques, and terrorizing and harming innocent Palestinian civilians. Armed, they took the land.
Armed, they took the resources. Armed, they took the olive groves. Armed, they took the homes. It seemed apparent that Israel was creating a de-facto army of extremist Zionist settlers who would not hesitate to massacre all “Arabs” at any perceived provocation. This nightmare scenario grew in me like the tentacles of illegal and dangerous settlements grew across the West Bank.
Now, this de-facto army of Netanyahu’s terrorist regime has been put on active duty and there is nothing to stop them save international intervention. Ironically, save non violent, unarmed international activists, the only protection Palestinians have from crazed settlers is the army that is brutally occupying them. International law mandates that an occupying power is responsible for the safety of the people occupied. Yet, all too often the soldiers do little or nothing to stop settler violence against Palestinians. The reasons for their inaction are chilling.
First of all, the soldiers are young Zionists who for the most part believe that 1) all of Palestine belongs to “Israel” and 2) Palestinians are less than human. Secondly, the settlers are often older than the soldiers and led by an “elder religious” figure. Cultural norms mandate the younger Israeli soldiers defer to their elders, especially if they be religious leaders, regardless of the illegality and immorality of the situation. Finally, and most frightening, the Israeli Occupation Forces are often afraid of the settlers. They know that they cannot control them. Their rules of engagement prohibit them from harming an Israeli citizen.
Palestinian child accused of stabbing act is left on ground to bleed, screamed at by Israeli soldiers and armed settlers. He survived but most others do not.
These are not excuses for the soldiers, no more than “I was just taking orders” is an excuse for the Holocaust. What they do is point to the premeditated plan of the Zionist regime to attempt to drive out the remaining indigenous Palestinians of the West Bank via the terrorism of Israeli settlers. Palestinians are courageous and steadfast, but they are also unarmed and isolated.
The need for international pressure, presence and protection is absolutely necessary immediately. Israel’s de-facto settler army will not be stopped by any facet of the occupying Zionist regime.
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