TLB would like to introduce Ariyana Love, a new addition to our extended family of global contributors. You will be seeing much more from Ariyana in the future in her capacity as an author, website Sr. Admin and talk show host.
By TLB Contributor: Ariyana Love
The two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fateh, signed a unity agreement, legitimizing Palestine as one unity government in the end of April 2013. With all factions united, the next move would have been for Palestine to register as a member of the International Criminal Court and file charges against Israeli and American war criminal leaders for war crimes against the Palestinian people. But Israel would not stand for this.
Three settler students leaving Palestinian territories in Hebron were kidnapped and killed the night of June 12th. One student called the emergency police hotline to report that he was being kidnapped; the message was followed by shots, groans and almost two minutes of silence. Despite an exchange of 54 early-morning phone calls from a parent, a “search” was not started until the next day. Media was then informed that the students had been killed, but the government put a gag order on the story that lasted until the bodies were found on June 30th. [Tarachansky]
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of the crime and local Hamas members were named as suspects. He knew Hamas leadership had nothing to do with their abduction. He also knew the three Israelis were almost certainly dead. There were three Israeli teens killed in a car accident in the West Bank a few days prior to the claims of abduction and their bodies had gone missing. Knowing Israel’s policy of deception, it’s likely the two events are linked.
The police emergency hotline response to the dramatic phone call for help was extraordinarily apathetic, as was the 8-9 hour delay before starting a search (Harel), which allowed the culprits generous time to cover their tracks. Israeli articles noted that Netanyahu offered no evidence whatsoever when he accused Hamas of the abduction (Tarachansky), and there seemed to be little interest in forensic investigation. Those who found the bodies in the remote hills were unidentified. Netanyahu’s use of this event to wreck havoc on both Gaza and the West Bank (and claim one thousand acres of land near Bethlehem) arouses suspicions of Israeli Government involvement.
An important article by Avi Issacharoff points out the complexity of the operation and, implicitly, the likelihood that it could have been at least monitored by Shin Bet; the chief of Shin Bet had been seen in the Hebron area the week before the abductions (Issacharoff).
Chief of the Mossad Tamir Pardo had wondered about the Israeli Government’s reaction when the three students disappeared. An extremist Salafi organization known as Dawlat al-Islam linked to ISIS claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the three Israelis on August 13th; such a link could connect the act with the Israeli military, which has known links to ISIS. (Chossudovsky)
Needless to say, the Israeli government produced no hard evidence for its accusations.
Despite Hamas’ denials, “retaliatory” air strikes on Gaza started two days later, on June 14th*, along with a “rescue mission” for the teens. Netanyahu sent Israeli forces sweeping across the West Bank, committing human rights violations through indiscriminate killing, mass arrests, house demolitions and a blanket of home raids. At the same time, it gave de facto impunity for Israeli settlers to engage in violence towards Palestinian civilians and their property.
Personal belongings were looted; homes and business were ransacked and illegal home demolitions carried out, causing millions of dollars in damage. Israeli soldiers occupied some of the houses for days, while the families were terrorized and held hostage.
During the two-month raids on Palestinian towns, refugee camps, and villages, Israeli forces shot and killed 10 Palestinians and arrested and detained over 1000 innocent civilians in a matter of just weeks, inflicting trauma on thousands of families. One third of those arrests were under aged children, a majority of them were snatched from their homes during night raids and without warning.
Holding anyone in prison without charges or trial as political prisoners is a war crime. Israel should charge them with a recognized criminal offense or release them (Human Rights Watch).
The 10 killings were investigated by Human Rights Watch and it was found that the victims were unarmed and the killings unwarranted. Some of the martyred were refused access to ambulances while they lay wounded and bleeding. It’s hard to say if they would have lived if allowed immediate medical attention.
The Israeli Governments actions encouraged a new frenzy of anti-Arab hatred among the already pro-racist Israeli population. Israeli violence towards Palestinians spread throughout the Occupied Territories like wild fire.
During demonstrations in Jerusalem on July 1, Israelis shouted “Death to Arabs” and attacked a number of Palestinian residents. Israeli settlers also increased attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property.
In the morning on June 30th, two settlers attempted to kidnap 9 year-old Musa Zalloum in the neighborhood of Shu’fat, North of Occupied Jerusalem. Musa was walking on the main street with his mother, Dima Majed Zalloum and siblings. Dima heard Musa scream and saw a settler capturing Musa, strangling him and attempting to put him in a car. In an attempt to free her son from the settlers, Dima beat them with her cell phone. The two settlers beat her on her head and chest. People passing by on the street interfered and were able to save the child while the settlers escaped.
The same day, 28-year-old Palestinian man near Hebron was ran over by a settler by his car and left in critical condition.
Also on the day, a 9-year-old girl, Sanabel al-Tus, from Al-Jab’aa Village, South West of Bethlehem, was run over by a female settler and left in critical condition. She suffered fractures in her hips and left thigh and required four stitches in her head.
Also on June 30, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by HaMoked, an Israeli rights group, against the home demolition law, ruling that punitive home demolitions were a lawful form of “deterrence” under the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, which Israel incorporated into its law. Punitive home demolitions harm entire families when just one family member is accused of a crime.
This is collective punishment, which the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits in all circumstances.
On 1 July, while Israeli forces were conducting arrests in the camp, 19-year-old Yousef Ibrahim Abu Gharra was shot dead in Al-Hawashin area. Israeli forces shot him in the chest from a 45-metre distance with several bullets. At that time, Yousef was heading home carrying a box of eggs and was not taking part in clashes.
July 2, 6 Israeli settlers (3 minors) abducted Mohammed Abu Khudair, 16, tortured him, forced him to drink gasoline and lit his body on fire while he was still alive. His body was found shortly after his abduction, lying in a ditch.
Mohammad’s cousin, Tariq Abu Khudair, 15, was visiting from USA. An American born Palestinian, who was raised in Florida, Tariq, was not used to Israeli abuse of children. Returning from his cousin’s funeral on July 5th, he was jumped and beaten to near death by two Israeli soldiers. Video evidence emerged and the footage shows Tariq being beaten unconscious. He was repeatedly kicked in the head after loosing consciousness. His limp body was then dragged to the Israeli military jeep.
He was detained for 9 days and refused immediate medical attention, regardless of his US passport status.
The brutal assault on Tariq can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5N7ZKfitew
These are just a few examples of the illegal Collective Punishment carried out in the West Bank, prior to the assault on Gaza. This is part 0ne of a series of articles on the 51 days of war crimes and Genocide in West Bank and Gaza.
Ariyana Love: I have a mission to bring a voice to, and put a face on, the reality of the suffering of the citizens of the Middle East. Not what you see on The Mainstream Media, or what is heralded by Western Governments, but reality as reported by journalists who live and see this deadly injustice daily. This will be accomplished via a new website under construction “The Middle East Rising”, as well as live broadcasting via The Liberty Beacon Radio network, brought to you by The Liberty Beacon project… The truth must be told!