As soon as an Israeli attack on a Palestinian town, village or gathering ends, another one starts somewhere else. All attacks are intended to displace the Palestinians from their own land and replace the indigenous people with foreign settlers who spread corruption on the land. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which began in earnest in 1948, continues to this day.
The occupation authorities are trying to take advantage of Arab normalisation moves and US support to continue their racist projects and empty the Arab neighbourhoods, towns and villages of their original inhabitants. The occupied city of Jerusalem and its surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as the Jordan Valley, are witnessing a continuous and systematic Israeli effort to change the demography through Judaisation and the falsification of history.
According to the Director of the Colonisation and Wall Resistance Commission’s legal department, Ayed Marar, the occupation authorities and thuggish settler gangs are intensifying campaigns against Palestinians and pushing them to leave so that illegal settlements may be expanded. He explained to Felesteen that the Israeli goal is to seize more Palestinian land and property, with Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley being the most targeted areas.
Marar also noted that Israel is adopting several policies to displace Palestinians, including the creation of unbearable conditions that force the inhabitants to leave their homes and move to other areas, preferably to other countries. Hence the ongoing raids on Palestinian towns and villages, arrests under false pretences, cutting off Palestinians from the outside world and stripping them of their property rights in accordance with discriminatory laws and regulations, resulting in families being forcibly displaced and deported for “security” and “emergency” reasons. The authorities have also resorted to real estate brokers in order to siphon off Palestinian properties to illegal settlers.
Palestinians in the target areas who dare to protest at such tactics have had high fines imposed on them, and their homes have been demolished on the grounds that they had no building permits, which are issued by the occupation authorities which want to see the owners displaced. Such permits are rarely approved for Palestinians in any case. It is a vicious cycle of oppression and corruption which weakens Palestinian self-esteem. Some have been driven to surrender, said Marar.
The Israeli occupation forces, he pointed out, are encouraged to continue their crimes against targeted Palestinian villages, neighbourhoods and gatherings by the fact that they will never be held accountable, locally, regionally or internationally.
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Settlements, of course, require access roads, he explained, and these are built to separate Palestinian towns and villages from each other as much as the settlements themselves. “They are the noose that can be tightened as the first step on the path to seizing them.”
He also stressed that Israel is working hard to weaken Palestinians’ self-confidence and leadership so that they will surrender and accept the status quo. It is supported by its international allies in this process, including the Arab normalisation states.
Mansour added that that the occupation forces collaborate with the illegal settlers and cover up their crimes across the occupied West Bank by diversionary daily incursions in Jerusalem, the Old City and the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where they harass worshippers. He too thinks that the silence of Palestinians in the face of such Israeli crimes and raids contributes to the impunity that the state and the settlers enjoy to continue their activities.
Calling for an end to the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination and cooperation with the Israeli occupation forces, Mansour said that popular resistance should be escalated to end the occupation. “The steadfastness of the people of occupied Palestine must be supported in every possible way, especially those at risk of displacement,” he concluded. I think he’s right.
This report first appeared in Arabic in Felesteen on 20 April 2021
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