"I want to break the indifference of the days, I want a conscience that will keep me wide awake."
Updated: July 26, 2014
- April 29, 2014: The deadline for the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel was supposed to release a number of prisoners as part of the deal. They failed to do so when the deadline arrived. This prompted the Palestinian president to apply to various international treaties and agreements, since Israel was clearly not respecting the peace negotiations. Meanwhile Israel approved thousands of illegal settlement units in the West Bank, eliminating any chance of a 2-state solution. US officials mediating the negotiations expressed privately and publicly that they blame Israel’s continued settlement construction and failure to commit to the negotiations for their collapse.
- June 2, 2014: After the peace talks collapsed. The Palestinian Authority (governing the West Bank) negotiated with Hamas (governing Gaza) the forming of a unity Palestinian government. The European Union, the United Nations, the United States, China, India, Russia and Turkey all agreed to work with this new government. The Israeli government condemned the unity government because it views Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, as a terrorist organization. As any settler-colonial state would.
- June 14, 2014: Israel announced that 3 teenage Israeli settlers were kidnapped near Hebron in the West Bank. Within less than 24 hours Israel publicly blamed Hamas for the kidnapping and vowed revenge. Hamas denied involvement.
- June 14 - July 29: Israel then went on a rampage (Operation Brother’s Keeper) in the West Bank arresting 530 Palestinians without any charge or trial, and killing at least 6 Palestinians including children in raids on most West Bank cities. Palestinian universities were raided and vandalized by the Israeli army. It was later confirmed that the operation was planned ahead of the kidnapping as a response to Palestinians forming a united government. Claims that the operation’s goals were to find the kidnapped teens were further refuted when it was later revealed that Israel knew the teenagers had been killed shortly after the kidnapping. It was also later revealed that from the beginning they knew Hamas was not involved in the kidnapping and killing of the teenagers. This is crucial in understanding what happened next.
- June 30, 2014: Bodies of the three teenagers were found 10 minutes away from the location of their kidnapping. Israel blamed Hamas for the killing and vowed revenge, even though they already knew they were killed from day 1, and they knew that Hamas wasn’t responsible as mentioned above.
- July 2 - Countless appearances and speeches by Israeli government officials blaming “Palestinian terrorists” for the murder, and multiple members of Israeli Parliament tweeting and posting on Facebook calling for genocidal acts of violence against Palestinians. Many incidents of settler violence were reported after this incitement. On July 2, Israeli settlers kidnap Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir and burn him alive. Later that week, the teenager’s Palestinian-American cousin is beaten by Israeli police.
- June 29 - July 7: Some Palestinian resistance movements from Gaza warned Israel from continuing its violent operation and mass arrests in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and to stop violence against Palestinians. When Israel’s operation continued to cause more Palestinian casualties, a few resistance movements in Gaza fired rockets at Israel. Hamas admitted to firing some of the rockets for the first time since the 2012 Israeli assault on Gaza.
- July 8 - Israel launches Operation Protective Edge, bombing Gaza with airstrikes. Palestinian resistance movements unanimously respond with rockets.
- July 8 - NOW: Israel hits Gaza with thousands of airstrikes, which Israel claims are targeted ‘terror sites’. In reality the sites bombed are dozens of hospitals, schools, medical centers, beaches, and thousands of homes. Over 857 Palestinians have been killed, more than 700 of them unarmed civilians and a large number of them children, less than 160 were Palestinian resistance members [UN statistics]. Over 5000 Palestinians are injured. And the number of displaced people has passed 150,000 people. People in Gaza are not allowed to leave it so they cannot seek refugee status. Meanwhile Israeli casualties are 2 Israeli civilians killed by rocket fire. After the Israeli military began its ground invasion on July 17, about 37 Israeli soldiers have also been killed during clashes with Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
What do we learn:
- Israel knew that the 3 Israeli settlers had already been killed. They lied about it to use it as an excuse to commit acts of violence in the West Bank under the guise of looking for the kidnapped teens.
- Israel knew Hamas didn’t kill the 3 Israeli teens from day one, yet they publicly blamed them and vowed revenge leading to the current massacre in Gaza.
A note on human shields: Although Israelis love to respond with “there are civilian casualties because Hamas uses human shields”, they offer no proof of these claims. This is propaganda 101 and has been repeatedly debunked by Amnesty International and other international agencies who found that it is actually Israel who uses human shields in its operations. During the current operation, many Gazans reported Israeli snipers commandeering the roofs of their homes as bases and preventing them from leaving their homes, using them as human shields.
Here’s what Israel actually means by human shields: “The people who go into a house despite a warning do not have to be taken into account in terms of injury to civilians, because they are voluntary human shields. From the legal point of view, I do not have to show consideration for them. In the case of people who return to their home in order to protect it, they are taking part in the fighting.” - a senior figure in the International Law Division (ILD) of the Israeli Military Advocate General’s Office.
So when Israelis say ‘human shields’ they mean people who were sitting in their home after they were told to leave. The status of these people is legally changed from “non-combatants” to “combatants” under Israeli law. The warning mentioned in the quote can be:
- Leaflets dropped from the air onto hundreds of thousands of people’s homes. Evacuation warnings to entire areas are illegal under international law. They are illegal even for small areas, and are considered a form of collective punishment.
- A phone call or text message telling the person their house will be bombed between one and five minutes from the time of the call. Again, under international law, this does not turn the person or their home into a legitimate target even if they do evacuate it.
- A “knock on the roof” which is a small missile dropped on the house which means the house will be bombed within one minute, giving no time to the inhabitants to actually leave before the second missile completely flattens their home.
On July 16, Israel dropped leaflets on 100,000 Gazans in northern Gaza to evacuate (5% of the entire population of Gaza). This means that Israel legally changed the status of 100,000 civilians to ‘combatants’, and Israel can legally kill them if they do not evacuate.
Besides, many homes were bombed while families were still evacuating. And countless homes, and a few schools sheltering people who fled their homes were confirmed bombed without any form of warning. So Israel has absolutely no legitimacy, even by its own twisted standards.
Can we all just take some time to appreciate this beautiful puppy that I met today
*sees a cat*
me: holy shit