How will Israel handle the West Bank resistance?
How will Israel handle the West Bank resistance?
The Zionist occupation regime is facing its biggest dilemma in the occupied West Bank in two decades. 

TEHRAN (Iran News) –The Zionist occupation regime is facing its biggest dilemma in the occupied West Bank in two decades.

It simply can’t put an end to the resistance of newly formed factions by Palestinian youth despite the almost daily military raids on cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps.

The record number of Palestinians Israel murdered last year looks like it will rise sharply this year with the death toll approaching almost 50 already in 2023.

On Monday, the newly formed Palestinian Lions’ Den resistance group said that its forces set up an “elaborate ambush” for Israeli troops who had entered Nablus to “detain militants”.

The group said that its forces used explosive devices as well as gunfire against the Israeli soldiers, who were “eliminated”.

In a brief media statement, it then forecast that the “cowardly” Israeli occupation army would “deny” that soldiers had been killed. “Instead, it will say that the deaths occurred in traffic accidents, on the mountains or as a result of illness.”

“There were no Israeli casualties,” reported Reuters, “but Israeli troops killed a 21-year-old Palestinian during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank that triggered clashes with gunmen on Monday.”

This is while reports have emerged that the Jenin Battalion have used, for the first time, drones in pursuing the occupation soldiers, in what would be a major development.

The use of drones is said to have taken place as violent clashes broke out once again between the resistance factions and the Israeli military, after special Israeli forces stormed the Jenin refugee camp, where they were confronted by the Palestinian resistance.

In a statement, the Jenin Battalion confirmed that the occupation forces targeted it with heavy ammunition and explosive devices, resulting in direct hits.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that two civilians have sustained serious injuries as an outcome of the latest aggression.

The major Israeli raids and long-term military operations in the West Bank have failed to stop the Palestinian resistance.

At the end of last month, the al-Quds Brigades published footage of the Jenin Brigade detonating an explosive device as a truck drove by carrying “special forces” of the occupation army.

Other scenes were shown of the battalion’s fighters shooting down a drone that was being used for surveillance by the occupation army.

As the regime kills more civilians, retaliatory operations are also leaving the Israeli special forces as well as its settlers dying in rising numbers.

But the daily Israeli raids and sieges of Palestinian refugee camps, towns and villages are not bringing the desired results that the regime wants.

It has, therefore, resorted to the other more common option that it has used over the decades of ethnic cleansing with the construction of settlements.

The new Israeli cabinet has granted authorization to legitimize nine settler outposts in the occupied West Bank while also announcing the “mass-construction” of new settler units within established settlements as “revenge” for the Palestinian resistance’s lethal operations against the Zionist troops and settlers.

Over the years, Zionist settlers have constructed and expanded scores of settler outposts themselves. Many are later authorized as legal by the Israeli cabinet. The nine that have been authorized are the first by Netanyahu’s new far-right cabinet.

The illegal settlements that will be legalized are:

1. Avigil

2. Bet Hogla

3. Givat Harel / Haroeh

4. Givat Arnon

5. Mitzpe Yehuda

6. Malachei Hashalom

7. Ashael

8. Sde Boaz

9. Shaharit

A statement from Netanyahu’s office also said a planning committee would convene in the coming days to approve new settler units. Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said these would number 10,000.

The international community considers the settlements illegal for stealing the native land of Palestinians. According to the Peace Now watchdog group, since capturing the West Bank in 1967, Israel has established at least 132 settlements.

While statements by extremist ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet deemed the settlement push as a response to recent Palestinian retaliatory operation, they had actually agreed on such plans before their coalition was sworn in on December 29.

While welcoming the Netanyahu cabinet’s announcement, West Bank settler leader Yossi Dagan urged “a total removal of curbs on construction, to enable construction in full swing.”

The number of settlers squatting in the occupied West Bank has hit half a million for the first time.

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes to make way for the expansion of its settlements or the construction of new ones, which effectively means the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their indigenous land.

The latest announcement by Netanyahu’s office has been met with demands by the United Nations for Israel for be held accountable for “Domicide”.

In late 2022, the Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, called for “domicide” – defined as the massive, arbitrary destruction of civilian housing in violent conflict – to be recognized as a crime under international law.

The UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says the international community must take action to stop systematic and deliberate housing demolition and sealing, arbitrary displacement, and forced evictions of Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, UN experts said.

In the month of January 2023 alone, Israel reportedly demolished 132 Palestinian structures across 38 communities in the West Bank, including 34 residential and 15 donor-funded structures. This figure represents a 135 percent increase, compared to the same period in 2022, and includes five punitive demolitions.

The United Nations Human Rights Office says “the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes, erection of illegal Israeli settlements and systematic denial of building permits for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank amounts to domicide.”

“Direct attacks on the Palestinian people’s homes, schools, livelihoods and water sources are nothing but Israel’s attempts to curtail the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to threaten their very existence,” the United Nations experts said in a statement.

They reiterated concern over the situation in Masafer Yatta, where over 1,100 Palestinian residents are at imminent risk of forced eviction, arbitrary displacement and demolitions of their homes, livelihood, water and sanitation structures.

In November 2022, Israeli authorities demolished a donor-funded school in Isfey al Fauqa. Four other schools in the area are under demolition orders.

“Direct attacks on the Palestinian people’s homes, schools, livelihoods and water sources are nothing but Israel’s attempts to curtail the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to threaten their very existence,” the experts said.

“Israel’s tactics of forcibly displacing and evicting the Palestinian population appear to have no limits. In occupied East Jerusalem, tens of Palestinian families also face imminent risks of forced evictions and displacement, due to discriminatory zoning and planning regimes that favor Israeli settlement expansion – the act that is illegal under international law and amounts to a war crime.”

The experts also expressed alarm at the regime’s endorsement and escalated practice of punitive evictions and demolitions, and other punitive measures applied to alleged perpetrators of attacks and their family members, such as revoking identity documents, citizenship and residency rights and social security benefits.

On 29 January, Israeli authorities announced measures to immediately seal off family homes of those suspected of carrying out the attacks on 27 and 28 January in occupied [al-Quds] Jerusalem, including the attack in the Neve Yacoub settlement on 27 January which killed at least seven Israelis. Two families of the alleged attackers were forcibly evicted from their homes, and more than 40 people, including family members, were reportedly arrested in relation to the retaliatory operations.

“The sealing of family homes of suspected offenders and the subsequent demolition of their homes is in fundamental disrespect of international human rights norms and the rule of law. Such acts amount to collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law,” the experts said.

They statement added that “we regret that impunity prevails, in particular for human rights violations and potential war crimes committed by the occupying power. It is high time for international adjudication bodies to determine the nature of the Israeli occupation and seek justice and accountability for all crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Washington has voiced its regular strong opposition to the expansion of Israeli statements. But as usual, the statements are lame attempts to try and show that the U.S. upholds international law.

The U.S. has never taken any punitive action against Israel, which is its number one proxy in West Asia. The White House has defended the occupation regime even when its war crimes are condemned by UN agencies.

  • source : Tehrantimes