Israel to make more mass arrests of Palestinians in pursuit of ethnic cleansing
On Sunday evening, Israeli police announced a program of mass arrests of Palestinian citizens of Israel for participating in recent protests against the bombing of Gaza and deportations in East Jerusalem, as well as raids by Israeli security forces. on the grounds of the al-Aqsa mosque.
Dubbed “Operation Law and Order”, its purpose is to intimidate and penalize Palestinians who have taken to the streets in the past two weeks. Police said they had already arrested around 1,550 Palestinians since May 9 and intended to “pursue” many more.
It comes just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Palestinian citizens of Israel protesting decades of state-sponsored discrimination as “terrorists.” He promised that “whoever acts like a terrorist will be treated as such”, adding that “Arab offenders attack Jews, burn synagogues and Jewish homes”.
He naturally almost ignored the far greater violence perpetrated by police and armed Jewish vigilantes to terrorize and force Palestinians, who constitute 20% of the Israeli population, from their homes.
Police Minister Amir Ohana went further. Expressing his outrage when police arrested Jews suspected of murdering a Palestinian in the town of Lod, he and other senior politicians forced the police to release them and called on Israeli Jews to act as a “multiplier. of force ”for the police.
Police said thousands of security forces from “all units”, including border guards and reserve brigades, would be deployed to carry out raids in towns with large Palestinian populations. They will search homes and carry out “investigations” with a view to filing complaints and pronouncing prison sentences. More than 500 Palestinian homes are expected to be looted in the coming days.
The provocative announcement made no mention of the arrest of armed Jewish settlers who attacked Palestinians, their cars and homes, and whose shocking violence was captured in videos and images widely shared on social media. To date, 140 indictments have been filed against 230 people, only a handful of whom are Palestinians, including minors, for police assaults, demonstrations, stone-throwing and arson. Very few charges relate to acts of violence against Palestinians.
Methods long used to terrorize Palestinians in the occupied territories must now be used against Israel’s own citizens. This inexorably stems from the Israel Jewish supremacist nation-state law of 2018 which punishes apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
The nation-state law, which makes no mention of non-Jewish citizens of Israel, democracy or equality, enshrines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people” throughout the world which is automatically entitled to immigration and citizenship and proclaims Jerusalem “complete and united” As the capital of Israel. It lays the foundations for the exclusion of Arabs from Jewish communities and demotes Arabic from its position as the official language of the state.
This crackdown on Palestinians follows a provocation by dozens of far-right Jewish settlers who, with the protection of Israeli special forces, entered the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem on Sunday, hours later whom the police beat and assaulted. worshipers praying in the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Police also tightened restrictions on the gates leading to Al-Aqsa, preventing worshipers under the age of 45 from entering the mosque.
In recent days, extremist groups have used social media to call on Jewish worshipers to enter the compound, where, under an agreement confirmed in 1967 with Jordan, of which the Waqf ministry is the legal guardian of the site, only Muslims can pray.
These ultra-nationalist and religious groups who have visited the compound, known as the Temple Mount to Jews, in increasing numbers in recent years, seek to build the Third Jewish Temple and restore the sacrifices on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the site of the second Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. This has made the mosque a flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations, as fears mount of an Israeli takeover of all or part of the site.
Jewish extremist groups made several attempts to blow up Islamic sites in the al-Aqsa complex in the 1980s. In 1990 riots broke out after worshipers on the Temple Mount announced they would pose the cornerstone of a new temple in the park, prompting police to ban the group from entering the compound. The ban was lifted as the power of these groups within official Israel politics increased and successive governments encouraged their efforts to pray at the site. These layers have become increasingly aggressive with the election of six members of the religious Zionism-Jewish power bloc to the Knesset in the elections last March.
Fears about al-Aqsa have grown in line with repeated statements by Israel about its intention to retain control of East Jerusalem in perpetuity. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel has expropriated more than a third of East Jerusalem for the construction of settlements, despite the ban under international humanitarian law on transferring civilians to the occupied territory. Israel has only zoned 13% of East Jerusalem – home to 380,000 Palestinians – for Palestinian construction, where Palestinians are officially allowed to obtain building permits that are in practice both expensive and difficult to obtain. As a result, much of the construction takes place illegally, giving authorities the pretext of demolishing buildings and evicting residents.
Israeli police attacked a joint Palestinian / Jewish protest against the potential evictions of several families in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on Saturday to make way for settler homes, scattering them with torrents of foul-smelling skunk water . Their long-standing case is due to be decided shortly by the Supreme Court. The next day, security forces killed a Palestinian driver who slammed his car into a police roadblock, injuring six policemen, while three or four soldiers “guarded” each house, threatening to beat residents if they left. . Police prevented non-Palestinian – but not Jewish – residents from entering the neighborhood, cutting it off from the surrounding area and turning it into a military zone.
Israeli military forces also rounded up 41 Palestinians in Sunday / Monday morning raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said about 500 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank since mid-April. Israeli forces have killed at least 31 Palestinians, including four under the age of 18, in the West Bank since May 10.
It has the full support of US imperialism. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking before leaving on Monday for Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt, reaffirmed the Biden administration’s support for a two-state solution – as a goal to longer term – so that Israelis and Palestinians can live “with equal measures of security, peace and dignity.”
It was pure hypocrisy, considering he reiterated in an interview with This week, the ABC news program, “Washington’s rock-solid commitment to Israel’s security,” including “empowering Israel to defend itself.”
The Biden administration would rebuild Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and see through its $ 735 million arms sale to Israel, he promised.
President Joe Biden insisted Blinken would speak to “other key partners in the region” on a range of issues, including the international effort to ensure some assistance reaches Gaza but does not go through. Hamas, which runs Gaza. This is in line with the insistence of the head of the Israel Defense Forces, Aviv Kochavi, that humanitarian funds flow through the Palestinian Authority.