Israeli forces left a house in ruins in the occupied West Bank’s city of Jericho after an early morning raid on Monday that resulted in at least five Palestinian deaths.
The Israeli forces, again, targeted a refugee camp that Al Jazeera said has been under Israeli siege for more than a week. Three others were injured. Israel justified the raid by stating that two of the individuals killed were behind an attempted attack in the city last month and the others who were killed fired upon the Israeli forces.
The armed wing of Hamas, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, told the BBC that those killed were members. The report said witnesses heard heavy gunfire inside the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp and “bullet holes and bloodstains could be seen in a small house at the center of the fighting.”
Palestinian media reported that the Israeli troops fired an anti-tank missile at the house where the suspects were barricaded.
The report said tensions were high after an unarmed Palestinian man was shot dead after he allegedly lunged at Israeli soldiers in the city of Nablus a day earlier. The Times of Israel said an Israeli driver came under fire near the West Bank city of Rawabi on Friday.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively in recent weeks about the deteriorating relationship between Israel and Palestinians. (See “TOP TREND 2023, MIDDLE EAST MELTDOWN: ISRAEL RAMPS UP DEADLY RAIDS ON PALESTINIANS; GUNMAN RETALIATES IN FRONT OF SYNAGOGUE” 31 Jan 2023, “UN RESOLUTION: ISRAEL FACES INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION FOR PUNISHING PALESTINIANS” 24 Jan 2023, and “UN TASKED TO RULE ON ISRAEL SETTLEMENTS OF PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES” 10 Jan 2023.)
Israel’s latest crackdown is hardly mentioned in the Western media because those who criticize any Israeli policy are quickly written off as anti-Semitic. The so-called anti-terror offensive has resulted in 36 Palestinian deaths since the start of the year. Raids have occurred on a near-nightly basis and resulted in more than 2,500 arrests.
We remind our readers that in the 1967 six-day war, Israel invaded and seized Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights, expelling some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes, while gaining stolen territory that was three and a half times its original size. To date, some 670,000 Israelis live in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. They violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Vox reported on how U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel last week to try to ease tensions and talk about a “two-state” solution but said his words rung hollow.
The report said: “Even establishment voices like former Ambassador Martin Indyk, who served as Obama’s Middle East envoy and is now a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledge that a one-state reality has set in.”
Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian historian and professor at Columbia University, told Vox that Blinken had to use the empty words because he would otherwise have to talk about the true conditions on the ground.
He said Blinken would be forced to say, “We don’t care about the Palestinians. We know that Israel is going to do what it wants with them. There will never be an independent, sovereign Palestinian state.”