West Bank Attacks by IDF and Settlers Continue


In what has turned out to be one of the deadliest years for residents in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2015, over 100 Palestinians and four Israel servicemen and police officers have been killed thus far this year. The Israeli army has been conducting operations with incursions into the  West Bank on a nearly daily basis in what the army claims to be “dismantling militant networks that threaten its citizens, and that it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians,” coupled with an increase of settler violence against Palestinians.

Among those killed this year was Al Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh a Palestinian journalist who was shot by an Israeli soldier while covering a raid by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on May 11, 2022.

In reaction to the ongoing occupation and the escalating increase of violence against Palestinians, a large group of mostly youth “dressed in black to honor the heroes in Palestine …over the last week and over the last 75 years” gathered at the Washington Monument to protest and resist the occupation while marching across the city to bring attention to the ongoing deteriorating situation.

The group protest was convened by the MD 2 Palestine from Montgomery County, Maryland along with Jewish Voice for Peace, Montgomery Peace Action and Montgomery County Democratic Socialists of America.

As a result of the recent increase in attacks being undertaken by heavily armed Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, 300,000 Palestinian residents were trapped last week due to the violence and as a result were being isolated from medical attention, food and other necessities. Additionally, over 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested. In response to these and other attacks, a general strike has been called for in Jerusalem to draw attention to the mounting deteriorating situation and as a symbol of their continued resistance to the occupation in all its forms.

Before marching, the group heard from several speakers who delineated the present situation on the ground. A University of Maryland speaker from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) described the occupation of Palestine as being deeper than simply apartheid. She described Israel as “A Zionist state, a racist state, it is a violent state, it is a settler colonial state.” She listed attacks on Palestinians from this week alone starting on Sunday when settlers attacked worshipers in El Quds (Jerusalem): “On Monday settlers attacked vehicles near an illegal settlement. On Tuesday settlers were involved in desecrating a masjid (mosque). On Wednesday settlers invaded neighborhoods and attacked Palestinians while under the protection of the Zionist Army, they uprooted 300 olive tree saplings. They stabbed Palestinian and foreign solidarity activists who volunteered to help farmers pick their olives. On Thursday armed settlers attacked four Palestinians near illegal settlements. During these attacks, settlers congregate with bats and guns to beat, hospitalize and even execute Palestinians. They use their weapons to destroy Palestinian property like cars, homes and businesses. All under the protection of the Zionist Army. When Palestinians resist in defense, they are attacked by the Zionist Army as well. Today, settlers kidnapped a 13-year-old girl from Jerusalem and brutally beat her. She was found bloody and battered hours later. This is only part of settler colonialism violence we have seen this week.”

She closed with “Our assistance in the US must be guided by Palestinian voices on the ground and Palestinian voices in the diaspora,” along with a final chant of “We will free Palestine within our lifetime!”

Also acknowledged were the sacrifices of 30 Palestinian prisoners who on September 25th while being held under “so called administrative detention” in Israeli prisons, announced a hunger strike in protest of their unjust imprisonment.

With continuing a nationwide movement to label any criticism of Israel or Israelis as antisemitic, the Montgomery County Council is considering a resolution that will adopt a “re-definition of antisemitism” contrary to that of The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The County Council feels that the IHRA definition “conflates criticism of Israel as being antisemitic.” They view such a broad definition as divisive while building on the “growing right-wing effort to censor Palestinians and human rights activists.”

So, while students continue to march along with other activists in addressing the Palestinian occupation, headway to resistance on other fronts continues to be made.

Report and photos by Phil Pasquini

© 2022 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.


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