Merriam-Webster calls a police state “a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures.”
In other words, it’s governance by state terror over a controlled population. Palestinians understand well. They’ve experienced the worst kind of militarized persecution and repression for decades.
State-sponsored violence affects them multiple times daily. They’re isolated on their own without rights. They’re terrorized for not being Jews. World leaders able to help spurn them.
In the week ending December 13 alone, Israel forces killed three Palestinians. Three others were wounded. West Bank communities were violently raided 10 times daily on average pre-dawn.
Forty-five innocent Palestinians were arrested. Five boys and one girl were violently detained. Three human rights organizations were attacked. Their belongings were confiscated. Their offices were ransacked and trashed.
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) condemned what happened.
It denounced Israel’s “brutal raid(s) as part of the continuous campaign to target and hinder the work of human rights organizations and their supporters, as well as to gather information on the employees of civil society organizations.”
On November 21, Pillar of Cloud terror-bombings ended. Daily Israeli violence continues. Palestinians live in a virtual war zone.
Media scoundrels ignore it. Palestinian deaths, injuries, and arrests aren’t reported. Israel freely commits murder and unspeakable brutality with immunity. What began decades ago never ended.
On December 12, Mohammed Ziad Awad al-Salayma turned 17. He lived in Hebron’s old city. He went to buy birthday cake to celebrate.
At Checkpoint 160 he was stopped. It’s about 100 meters from his home. A female Border Guard Force accosted him. She opened fire. She murdered him at point blank range.
He threatened no one. Three bullets caused instant death. Israeli forces kept his body over two hours before releasing it. The Israeli soldier is safe. No criminal charges will follow. She and other security forces are free to kill again. Impunity whitewashes their crimes.
Al Haq said it’s investigating the incident. Shortly after the shooting, Mohammad’s parents learned what happened. They rushed to the crime scene. They tried to enter an Israeli ambulance holding their son.
Soldiers prevented them. They struck Mohammad’s father, Ziad. His injured leg needed short-term hospitalization.
Pre-dawn, Israeli soldiers raided his home. One of his older brothers and a cousin were arrested. Israel acted viciously and vengefully. Neither man deserved harsh treatment. Innocence is no defense.
Palestinians are guilty of praying to the wrong God. They’re accosted, brutalized, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered for not being Jewish. Rogue terror states operate that way.
Mohammad’s cold-blooded murder wasn’t happenstance. Barbaric incidents happen with police state frequency. Innocent Palestinians are terrorized. Children are traumatized. Emotional scars often don’t heal.
On December 14, Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Al-Esawiyya area. They were protesting in solidarity with detained Palestinian hunger strikers.
Rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and concussion grenades caused 15 injuries. Five youths were arrested. Their whereabouts are unknown.
A protest tent in solidarity with detainee Samer Al-Wsaawy was demolished. He’s hunger struck for nearly 90 days. He’s willing to die for justice.
Palestinian Prisoner Society spokesperson, Amani Sarahna, called hunger striker Hasan Safady’s condition grave and deteriorating.
He’s been lawlessly detained over six months in solitary confinement uncharged. He hunger struck earlier. Israel promised release, then reneged.
He’s one of four Palestinian detainees on open-ended strikes. They’re lawlessly held. They want freedom or death. Israel doesn’t care if they live or die.
On December 14, Israeli security forces violently attacked weekly nonviolent Palestinians. They were protesting against Israel’s lawless Separation Wall.
Dozens of injuries followed. Rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades, waste-water mixed with toxic chemicals, and live fire were used.
Protesters called December 14 “The Friday on Anger.” Local, international, and Israeli activists joined them. They marched peacefully. They carried Palestinian flags.
They chanted slogans for national unity. They urged courage and steadfastness for liberating independence. They demanded Israel release all political prisoners.
They denounced letting soldiers fire live rounds against unarmed nonviolent protesters. They condemned Mohammad Salaymah’s murder.
They called security force violence “state-sponsored terrorism.” They urged “increasing the nonviolent popular protests in different parts of occupied Palestine to expose Israel’s racist policies.”
Israeli soldiers attacked other West Bank protesters. Dozens more were injured. Affected areas included Kufur Qaddoum village near Qalqilia, Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Al-Ma’sare village in Bethlehem’s district.
Area National Committee Against the Wall coordinator, Hasan Breijiyya, said protests marked the first Intifada’s anniversary. It came in solidarity with hunger striking detainees.
He urged wide-scale protests and international involvement. He said continued global awareness is vital. Exposing and sustaining protests against occupation harshness are the only ways to end it.
Israeli soldiers also shot and injured two Gazans east of Khan Younis and Jabalia. Farmers were shot in their fields. Israel pledged to stop this. It continues unabated. Deaths and other injuries follow.
Israeli naval forces keep attacking Palestinian fishermen. Injuries, arrests, vessel damage, and confiscation follow.
On December 14, Israeli soldiers accosted two Reuters cameramen. The punched and stripped them down to underwear. They made them kneel with their hands behind their heads. They fired tear gas. Hospital treatment followed.
Both men said soldiers stopped them. They were driving nearby. Their car was clearly marked TV. They wore blue flak jackets emblazoned with “Press.”
Soldiers punched and rifle-butted them. They accused them of working for B’Tselem. They confiscated their camera and other belongings.
Reuters editor-in-chief, Stephen Adler, said, “We deplore the mistreatment of our journalists, and have registered our extreme dismay with the Israeli military authorities.”
Two Palestinian journalists working for other news organizations were treated the same way.
In November, Gaza’s Health Ministry reported 191 Palestinians killed. Many were children, infants, women and the elderly. They were deliberately targeted. Killing civilians is official Israeli policy. Nearly 1,500 others were injured.
Since Pillar of Cloud memorandum of understanding terms were finalized, Israel murdered four Gazans. Another 54 were injured.
So far, Hamas and other resistance forces haven’t responded. It’s just a matter of time before they’ll have to against something too grave to ignore.
Numerous small provocations followed by something major generally precede premeditated large-scale Israeli attacks.
Israel deplores peace. It sustains violence to avoid it. Palestinians pay heavily. They’re accused of Israeli crimes. Confrontation continues because Israel sustains it.
Conflict resolution won’t happen unless or until world leaders hold Israeli officials responsible. Rhetoric alone substitutes for meaningful action.
Gaza’s Media Office head confirmed that Israel used illegal white phosphorous in civilian neighborhoods during Pillar of Cloud. International experts found clear evidence.
Shell fragments and casings proved it. Expect follow-up findings to reveal other toxins used against civilians. It’s standard Israeli practice.
Extremist settlers attack Palestinians daily. State-sanctioned violence has many forms. Palestinians are hurt. Valued property is damaged or destroyed.
Incidents aren’t isolated. They’re systematically planned. They’re committed to assert territorial intimidation and control. Israeli security forces ignore what happens. They let violence continue with impunity. Sometimes they assist.
On December 15, settlers and Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinians near Nablus. Homes and vehicles were targeted. Dozens of injuries resulted.
Settlers stormed Hamdan Ahmad Hussein’s home. He lives in Einabous. His wife, Lialy, was attacked and injured.
She required hospitalization. Family furniture and other property were destroyed. Israeli soldiers were complicit in this and similar attacks.
They fired rubber bullets and tear gas at Palestinian victims. These type incidents happen with police state frequency. Palestinians have no place to hide. Even at home they’re unsafe.
On December 14, a You Tube video showed eight people calling themselves a “New Brigade.” Scarves covering their faces protected their identities.
From Hebron, they announced a third Intifada, saying:
“We hereby, from the heart of the West Bank, in the revolutionary city of Hebron, declare the establishment of the National Unity Brigades in the Hebron district.”
“We announce that our brigades include supporters of al-Yasin (Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yasin), al-Yasser (Fatah leader Yasser Arafat), al-Shiqaqi (Islamic Jihad leader Fathi al-Shiqaqi), and (PFLP leader) Abu Ali Mustafa.”
“Our brigades support the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to announce a Palestinian state, and we will not cede a grain of sand of the Palestinian land from the sea to the river.”
They listed demands. They called for ending militarized occupation, removing all checkpoints, releasing Palestinian prisoners, returning seized Palestinian revenues, opening Gaza crossings, and providing water and electricity services.
They continued, saying:
“Our message to the whole world and to the Zionist enemy is that our brigades declare the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada from the heart of Hebron to extend to the rest of Palestine.”
“You should know Zionists that if you detain our people, we will kidnap your soldiers, and if you kill our people, we will kill.”
“We will use an iron fist against you using all the power we have if you don’t bring an end to this arrogance against our Palestinian people.”
What follows remains to be seen. Persecuted people eventually react. Long-suffering Palestinians are on their own. Liberation depends on sustained struggle. Perhaps something significant looms.
A Final Comment
Israel’s Jerusalem Post (JP) is notoriously right wing. It publishes hateful anti-Palestinian commentaries.
Martin Sherman held various IDF operational positions. He was one of Yitzhak Shamir’s ministerial advisors. He lectures at Tel Aviv University. Students are advised to avoid him. His anti-Palestinian hatefulness is visceral.
On December 13, JP gave him op-ed space. He took full advantage. He lashed out viciously against Palestinian rights. He denounced their UN initiative.
He said Israel must respond. It must impose “permanent penalties.” They should have “real and lasting” effects. Abrogate Oslo, he suggested. Let the PA “fall apart.”
Attack Palestinian “diplomatic aggression” harshly. Cease “every service and merchandise” provided. “In other words, no water, no electricity, no fuel, no postal services, no communications, no port facilities, no tax collections or remittances” should be supplied.
He barely stopped short of urging stepped-up genocide.
Imagine thoughts this harsh, cruel and lawless. Imagine writing them. Imagine an Israeli broadsheet publishing them.
Know well what Palestinians face. Sherman and JP aren’t exceptions. They reflect the worst of militarized police state occupation. They support it. They display their racist hate openly. It warrants unrestrained condemnation.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour