Israel’s Permanent War on Palestine

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) provides weekly snapshots of Israeli killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, home demolitions, destroyed farmland, assaults on peaceful protesters, community incursions, home invasions, and more besides full-scale attacks at its discretion — a decades-long onslaught against 1.5 million Gazans and over 2.5 million West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians.

On May 11, a recent assault occurred in the West Bank’s Lubban Al-Sharqiya village when settlers attacked a local mosque, set it ablaze and gutted it. Israeli fire-fighters blamed it on an electrical short-circuit, later investigations showing arson was responsible, what Palestinians knew all along.

A village spokesperson said the mosque was undergoing renovations, its electricity turned off in the section where the fire broke out. Other villagers heard cars arrive around 3AM and saw settlers entering the mosque. They tore down curtains to start the blaze, stacked Qurans next to a bathroom, and arranged shoes on the pile in the shape of a Star of David to desecrate them and the mosque.

Besides security force assaults, attacks like this happen often against Palestinian homes, businesses, vehicles, farmland, and livestock – even children on their way to school. Rarely are charges ever brought, giving settlers license to commit crimes with impunity, including cold blooded murder.

Other Recent Attacks

On April 1, Israeli jets struck Gaza’s Maghazi refugee camp and Palestinian businesses, including two cheese factories, claiming they were making weapons – the same justification Israel uses for other aggression, including saying it’s in retaliation for homemade rockets fired, done only in response to repeated Israeli attacks, mostly against civilians, including farmers in their fields and fishermen in their own waters.

A May 5 PCHR report titled, “Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza” documented the January through April toll, the result of 19 IDF attacks on them during the period — nine in February, six in March, and four in April, all unprovoked against civilians. They occurred as follows, similar to others:

On March 25 at 9:30AM, IDF gunboats fired on Palestinian boats about 800 meters off Gaza’s northern coast near Beit Lahia. Hazen Ahmed Juma’a al-Qur’an was wounded by shrapnel in his head, his boat heavily damaged; when treated at Kamal ‘Edwan Hospital, his condition was described as “moderate to serious.”

A nearby fisherman, Jamil al-Aqra’a, described what he saw, saying:

“The gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats directly. Al-Qur’an, who was on his boat with another two fishermen, was wounded in the head as a result. They left their fishing nets in the water and rushed to rescue him.”

On April 21, IDF gunboats fired at Gazan fishermen off the Rafah coast. Yousel Husam al-Habbash, 15 years old, was wounded in his right hand. In three other attacks, the Israeli navy arrested 11 fishermen. In four others, fishing boats were confiscated. In two more, the IDF destroyed fishing tools and equipment at sea. In all cases, Gazans were fishing in their own waters. Israeli forces entered them illegally and opened fire, a clear crime against humanity against defenseless civilians, Israel’s specialty.

Earlier on January 7, Haaretz reported that “Israel struck Gaza for the second time in 24 hours,” saying:

“The Israeli Defense Forces launched a series of air strikes overnight… after a Qassam rocket fired from the Strip hit southern Israel” harming no one nor causing damage. Medics said three Palestinians were killed, including a 15-year old boy. Two others were wounded, and several others were feared trapped inside building ruins.

During the same week, various attacks killed three Palestinians, including one child, and wounded several others. Five air strikes caused no casualties, but during the same period, Israeli tanks entered Gaza, destroying farmland. On January 15, IDF tanks and artillery fire attacked civilian targets near Beit Hanoun. Homes were destroyed, but no injuries were reported.

In early May, Israeli snipers killed one Palestinian, wounding two women and a teenager in Gaza. Collaborating Egyptian forces sprayed disbursal gas into a tunnel, killing four Palestinians and injuring six others. In late April, other tunnel workers were targeted by the Egyptians and killed, six others at the same time injured.

On May 10, Israeli jets attacked tunnels southeast of Rafah, Israel’s military spokesperson calling them “terror sites.” No casualties were reported, but dozens of Palestinians have died in them, bringing food, fuel and other vital supplies to the Territory under siege. These type attacks occur regularly, including:

— on March 22, against tunnels and a metal workshop, demolished by IDF missiles; no injuries were reported; during the same period, Israeli forces killed four West Bank Palestinians, two from Awarta village near Nablus and two others (including a child) in Iraq Bourin village, also near Nablus; reports said they were working on their land when shot at close range in cold blood; on the same day, warplanes struck al-Shouka village near Rafah, allegedly to destroy tunnels; no casualties were reported;

— from March 19-22, Israeli jets bombed the Mahdi al-Daia and Sons Company, completely destroying its building; no casualties were reported; other jets attacked Saladin Gate, Yebna refugee camp and Block J, located south of Rafah, allegedly to destroy tunnels; two injuries were reported; a farm east of Abasan village near Khan Younis was also bombed; no casualties were reported; on the same day, Gaza’s closed international airport was attacked, wounding 11 Palestinians, including two children who were gathering the destroyed runway’s raw aggregate;

— on March 13, IDF jets bombed Rafah area tunnels and a factory claimed to be making weapons;

— on January 28, tunnels again allegedly were attacked, ahead of US peace envoy George Mitchell’s arrival in Israel; no casualties were reported;

— on February 3, against tunnels in southern Gaza, Israel claiming were used to smuggle weapons and infiltrate “terrorists;” three Palestinians were injured;

— on April 2, BBC reported “Thirteen Israeli air strikes hit Gaza Strip,” Hamas officials saying they targeted metal workshops, farms, a milk factory, and other small sites; Israel called them “weapons factories;” medical personnel reported several injuries, including three children and an infant hit by flying debris;

— on April 29, complicit Egyptian forces blew up four tunnels, killing four Palestinians and injuring 10 others; witnesses said an explosion on the Egyptian side caused the tunnel to collapse; Egypt is building an underground wall, 100 feet deep and 10 – 13 km long along its Rafah border, to destroy numerous tunnels and deter more; and

— on April 30, Israeli warplanes struck two “terror sites,” destroying two tunnels; no injuries were reported.

On April 22, Gazan farmland, not tunnels, was targeted when Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered Al Faraheen in an Israeli-declared “buffer zone,” hundreds of meters into the Territory putting around 30% of its arable land off limits. Jaber Abu Rjila’s home and chicken farm were attacked, his barn destroyed, killing 3,000 birds. His farmland was also razed, destroying fruit and olive trees, and other crops as well as farm equipment, water pumps, and a cistern.

He’s a farmer, not a fighter, like many others attacked, at times killed, and always losing their livelihoods — willfully, maliciously, and illegally.

In its first four-month 2010 report, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights documented “Continuous Israeli Violations against Palestinians,” killing 13 and injuring 62, including 11 children. IDF forces also arrested 45 Palestinians, including 21 fishermen, some collecting rubble from destroyed Gaza structures.

In addition:

• 13 Gaza incursions occurred;
• dozens of dunams of farmland were razed;
• 14 houses destroyed; and
• Palestinians were repeatedly fired on near Israel’s declared “buffer zone,” some as distant as a kilometer away.

Israel’s year ago Gaza war never ended. It continues with regular air and ground assaults, killing and destroying ruthlessly and regularly as part of its slow motion genocide agenda — what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe wrote about Gaza before Cast Lead in a September 2006 Electronic Intifada article, saying:

A genocide is taking place in Gaza….An average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. (Many) of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed. (It’s become) a daily business, now reported (only) in the internal pages of the local press, quite often in microscopic fonts. The chief culprits are the Israeli pilots who have a field day” killing Muslims, so who’ll care or notice, especially ones called “terrorists.”

International law expert Francis Boyle agrees, earlier accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention, saying:  “Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian people.” It’s an “undeniable fact.”

A Final Comment

With Gaza under siege three years this June, various aid missions challenged it, some successful, others not. The latest is comprised of eight vessels, including the MV Rachel Corrie (1979-2003) in honor of the 23-year old American peace activist, murdered in Gaza on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer operator when she tried to stop it from demolishing a Rafah refugee camp home.

According to witnesses, she climbed up on it, spoke to the driver, climbed down, knelt 10 – 20 meters in front in clear view, blocking its path with her body. With activists there screaming for it to stop, the soldier-operator crushed her to death deliberately by running her over twice to be sure.

On May 14, the MV Rachael Corrie set sail from Europe to Gaza. Other vessels, nine in all, will attempt to break the siege and deliver vitally needed aid, including over 10,000 tons of food, medicines, educational and construction materials.

On May 17, Haaretz writers Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid headlined, “Israel to Europe: Stop your citizens from sailing to Gaza with aid,” saying:

“Israel warned a number of European states that it would not permit leftist-organizations planning to sail to the Gaza Strip with international aid to complete their mission.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry European affairs director, Naor Gilon, met with Turkish, Greek, Irish and Swedish envoys saying their citizens would be stopped at sea and prevented from entering Gaza.

On the same day, Israeli security forces released Izzet Shahin, a Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) volunteer, arrested earlier in the West Bank for helping to organize the relief effort.

According to its web site, IHH was organizing a “major initiative… to deliver aid via the sea to the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of concerned people will set out on 10 ships in May to take over 5,000 tons of relief aid and materials to Gaza.”

Unspecified countermeasures are likely, including sea interdictions, arrests, cargo seizures, and perhaps violence in open waters against peaceful humanitarian activists v. a rogue state perpetrator of decades of crimes of war and against humanity intending more — its specialty against civilians.

Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mary said on May 23rd, 2010 at 1:50pm #

    E-mail sent today

    We will soon have a new page added to our website called You will be able to follow us as we journey to Gaza over the next two weeks. You can watch our own ‘video reports’ twice a day, reports from the boats and from Gaza. Everything on the page is connected to make it easier for you to access TWITTER, Facebook, YouTube and FLICKR. Watch for it in the next day or so.

    For the update on the boats, the Turkish passenger ship left yesterday from
    Istanbul to the next port to pick up more passengers. The Irish/Malaysian ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, is on her way to the Mediterranean. The Greek/Swedish cargo ship, the passenger boat from the European Campaign and the Free Gaza passenger boats are ready to leave Greece this week.

    We will all meet in international waters off the coast of Gaza, turn and steam into Gaza City port sometime between May 28 and June 1 depending on the weather.

    The Israelis are nervous.
    The Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Gaza to the diaspora are
    The internationals are determined.
    The boats are ready.
    The world waits.

    Greta Berlin

  2. Rehmat said on May 23rd, 2010 at 5:40pm #

    One of Israeli Hasbara (propaganda) organs, Simon Wiesenthal Center has produced a brochure titled “2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies” for the tens of thousands of Israel Hasbara Committee members and IT operatives to counter the success of Israel’s delegitimization process by the anti-Zionist-regime movements and bloggers. The multi-million dollar project will distribute 500,000 of copies of the brochure to shore-up Israel’s failing PR. The brochure provides the Zionist narration of State of Isreal’s history and its commitment to peace in the Middle East and the world at large.

    I have debunked this Zionist narration based on historical facts as follows…

  3. hayate said on May 23rd, 2010 at 9:37pm #

    The israelis are going backward in the sequence of human history. Instead of working to lessen prejudice and discrimination, they are actively courting these defects in the human psyche. It’s not just reinforcing their own version of racial apartheid, but israelis are pursuing ever more repressive and narrow minded policies and views. Eventually, I can see this failed state in total lockdown similar to that of totalitarian guvs. A long time ago a Jewish friend mentioned she had gone to an israeli run summer camp as an adolescent (one of those camps in the usa, not israel) and her impression of the israeli people who ran the camp is that they were extremely narrow minded, conformist and controlling. The sort of people who believed “their way” of doing things and thinking was the only correct way and all others were wrong and everybody should be compelled to conform to “their way”. I can see this sort of mentality in israel is only getting worse.

  4. hayate said on May 23rd, 2010 at 9:40pm #

    When I write that israel is going back in time, I mean they are becoming what the american southeast was in the late 19th century under the terrorism of marauding klu klux klan gangs. What is happening to Arabs in Palestine is very similar to what happened to Black people in the usa during the nadir of american race relations in the several decades straddling the beginning of the 20th century. Modern times and communications means israelis don’t have mass lynching parties, but the regular idf attacks replace that sort of terrorism.

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 24th, 2010 at 5:22am #

    When one contemplates the ongoing Zionist genocide against the Palestinians, a genocide that the Zionist controlled Western media hides with despicable, but perennial, adroitness, one aspect is often unmentioned. Certainly racism is dominant as a contributing factor, as the Zionists are the most vicious racial supremacists since the Nazis, and typical European colonial settlers to boot. Perverted religiosity plays its role too,providing the mythology, most known now from archaeology to be nothing but faery stories, that justifies the breathtaking arrogance of the claim that the Jews, alone, have any rights in Palestine, despite their dominance being brief and long since past, and their presence but one of scores of communities, many as, or more, numerous, throughout history than that of the Jews. Then there is Israel’s role as the US’s attack dog, the rabid beast that does some of the dirty work, ie supporting apartheid South Africa, organising hit-lists in Central America, setting up al Qaeda, subverting Iran, murdering intellectuals in Iraq, that the US wishes to deny.
    However there is one aspect that I think explains the sheer bestial savagery of Israel’s continued barbarity. That is the impulse to revenge, vengeance being absolutely central to Judaism, at least the clerico-fascist stream that dominates Israel, and its putrid allies the ‘Christian Zionist’ fascists. The Israeli Right learned a lesson from the Nazi Judeocide. Whereas the decent fraction of Jewry understood that the Nazi murders were a lesson in the preciousness of all human life and the absolute evil of such crimes, the Zionist Right learned other lessons. There seems to have been a diabolical transference from the German Nazis to the Zionist Nazis, where all the techniques of dehumanisation and vilification used by the Germans against the Jews are practised every day against the Palestinians. There is the same vile belief that one’s own group is the Master Race, that they have greater rights than the untermenschen, who may simply be eliminated in the quest for lebensraum. And the Zionist Nazis, being literally electrified with hatred, born of religious contempt for the rest of humanity, colonial settler outrage at the natives for getting in the way and visceral hatred born of the Judeocide, have clearly targeted the Palestinians to be the fall guys in an endless orgy of revenge. The Germans who carried out the crimes and the Western powers who did nothing to aid the Jews are too powerful and too rich a source of loot to be the victims (for now) so the Palestinians get to be the ritual offering on the altar of Zionist vengeance. There is literally no chance that the Zionist destruction of Palestinian society or the crucifixion of the Palestinians (or other Moslems targeted by the ZioAmerican Reich) can ever end, short of the destruction of Israel, the fall of the US, or the utter transformation of Israeli society from the path of violent religious and racist hatred, to one of acceptance of the existence of the Palestinians and a recognition of their inviolate human rights. Unfortunately I think that the chances of that happy eventuality occurring are tiny.

  6. Rehmat said on May 24th, 2010 at 7:16am #

    A new study conducted by Professor Daniel Bar-Tal (Tel Aviv University) have found out that an average Israeli prefer to live in ‘self-denial’ as he/she is not interested to know the facts about the Israel-Palestine conflict. They’re brainwashed with Zionist narrative of the conflict and hatred toward Arabs and Muslims from an early age. The Zionist rabbis are known for using Talmudic texts to create hatred toward Arabs, Blacks and Christians. Last year, Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Manis Friedman responded to a question “How Jews should treat their Arab neighbors?”, in the Moment magazine for its “Ask the Rabbi” feature, said: “The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way. Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle). I don’t believe in western morality. Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disatrous morality of human invention…….”

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 24th, 2010 at 9:23am #

    A most interesting article Rehmat. It is bad enough that the majority in Israeli society are so plainly psychopathic in the delusional, hate-filled, state that they have inflicted upon themselves, but things are even worse. Due to the total dominance of the West by Zionist money power, particularly in the media sewer, these belligerent, racist, lies have been inculcated with unremitting force into the Western publics as well. Behind the recent decades of intense and unrelenting propagation of hatred against Islam, Arabs and Palestinians there is always a Zionist Jew or a paid Sabbat Goy stooge, ever eager to bellow the Manichean abuse that is the Zionist stock-in-trade. So successful has been this hat ecampaign, that far outweighs in extent and certainly equals in vicious vehemence anything that the Nazis sustained against Jews, the Western publics are utterly indifferent to the millions of Moslems murdered by the West over recent decades. The comparative handful of Westerners killed by ‘Islamist terrorists’, most in atrocities planned and facilitated by Western intelligence, on the other hand, are used to promulgate an insane worldview that it is the West who are the victims and Moslems the aggressors. The racism needed to hold such opinions, not to mention the ignorance, stupidity and viciousness, is common on the Right of the ideological spectrum. To manipulate these characteristics in the service of racism and sadistic violence, and to set the stage for a world religious war, is Zionism’s crowning obscenity.

  8. Ismail Zayid said on May 24th, 2010 at 11:44am #

    Israel’s permanent onslaught on the Palestinians is manifest not only in its military attacks and wars that continue, it is also manifest in its media disinformation campagin , manipulation of historic facts and a whole armament of mythology. On top of that, this onslaught is promoted by the West political and media role.

    Be that as it may, the Palestinian people have shown a determination to withstand this onslaught, and they are determined to maintain their struggle until justice is restored.