FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Hot Winter Offensive

Every overture of peace made by the Palestinians in recent times, has been met with Israeli silence or violence. Last week, Israel said it would not negotiate with the Palestinian unity government signed off by Fatah and Hamas leaders in the Saudi-brokered Mecca Agreement. A few days later, Israel began a series of aggressive incursions into the beleaguered city of Nablus, deep inside the occupied West Bank. Returning again barely 24 hours later, Israel continued the “Hot Winter” offensive by sending 100 tanks and heavily armoured vehicles thundering into Nablus–a blatant provocation that could well trigger a new spate of violence.

Israeli soldiers began forcing Palestinian families out of their homes at gunpoint whilst looking for the relatives of “Wanted Palestinians”. Homes were vandalised and young men were blindfolded, handcuffed and arrested. There was no discriminating between the relatives: an old man with a heart condition and a 5-month pregnant woman were amongst those rounded up and kept under surveillance at a city school. Since the incursions began, some 150 Palestinian civilians have been detained. One man was killed and at least 30 people have been injured.

Large areas of this city of 50,000 people are now being held under military curfew, and once again, Palestinians are being confined to their homes for an indeterminate period. This, of course, has terrible implications for the sick and elderly who are not able to even seek medical assistance. Medics have had to find ways of reaching patients in crisis putting their own lives at risk, particularly since soldiers have taken up positions in peoples’ homes and are using the rooftops as sniper towers. Soldiers have also stationed themselves in the corridors of Rafidiya Hospital and are checking IDs and the belongings of doctors, patients and staff. The old city of Nablus is progressively turning into rubble as soldiers and bulldozers arbitrarily destroy buildings that they decide are security risks.

There is nothing new in all this: Israel has been executing such military operations in Palestinian cities and towns for decades. However, Nablus has borne the brunt of nightly military invasions that never make the media: only some do. Last year, a three day invasion destroyed priceless records covering more than 100 years of Palestinian history from the Ottoman Empire to the present day. As well, thousands of personal identification records were destroyed in a move seen by many as a deliberate act to strip the Palestinians of their identity. And what better way to break the economic centre of the occupied West Bank than to cut Nablus off from every other city and town. It also gives Israel carte blanche to collectively punish the civilian population using whatever methods will further subjugate a people already suffering under its Machiavellian occupation.

On any level of human existence, humiliating and terrorising a city’s population is bound to give rise to resistance. Israel’s claims that such incursions prevent terrorist attacks have not been borne out. There will always be those prepared to fight off their oppressors and the more brutal the response from the military, the more intense the resistance will be. This has been well and truly demonstrated in the forty years of oppression the Palestinians have already endured. The only conclusion that one can draw from Israel’s refusal to recognise the unity government, and Israel’s dangerous provocations in an already volatile situation, is that Israel is not interested in peace with the Palestinians. This raises the question–how does Israel expect to have peace without them?

If it’s not Nablus, it is Jenin or Gaza or any one of the other Palestinian cities and neighbourhoods regularly targeted by Israel’s military that leads to the seeds of discontent being sown from one generation to the next. The damage Israel has wrought on Palestinian society is enormous. Peace cannot come by drawing up unilateral borders, but only through engaging, making real concessions and genuine efforts to see justice done. A “Hot Winter” offensive is just a military solution by yet another euphemistic name. In such a milieu, peace will most likely be held to ransom indefinitely.

SONJA KARKAR is the founder and president of Women for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia.

 

More articles by:

December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail