Israel’s Brazen Lust For Land

This article has been contributed by Usama Malick. The author is currently pursuing my master’s degree in English Literature from a public university in Lahore and takes great interest in storytelling, current and international affairs.

Israel’s greed for land and its actual settler colonisation strategy of occupying more and more land that is inhabited by the Palestinians have had apparently no bounds over the decades. Long known for robbing the Palestinians of their very basic rights of existence and peaceful worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque—which is the third holiest site and one of the most revered locations in Islam—Israel has this year yet again, while keeping up the tradition, obstructed the worshipers observing their rites during the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan. Therefore, this latest episode of violence and savage use of force against the armless Palestinians is however not a thing that was unexpected. Instead, Palestinians living under Israel’s settler colonialism—which has been overtly condoned by the United States of America—have been experiencing dehumanization, heart-wrenching torture and constant humiliation at the hands of brute Israeli forces for decades.

During the last few days, the world has once again witnessed the awe-inspiring fortitude and courage of Palestinians in the face of the worst oppression unleashed upon them by the ruthless Israeli security forces. Residents of Sheikh Jarrah—an area located just outside Jerusalem’s old city—had intensified their protests against their illegal expulsions from their own ancestral homes by the Jewish state. Their protest resultantly bore fruit and the supreme Court delayed the ruling on this matter which was highly expected to have been in the favour of the Jewish state. The Palestinians who have housed and populated Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood for generations are now being forced to evacuate their houses. In order to just delay this Apex Court’s latest ruling, they had to continue demonstrations till midnights every day. With these houses looted as well as occupied by Jewish settlers, these Palestinians would have been left at the mercy of God. In this regard, a video in which a Falstaffian Jewish settler and a veil clad Palestinian woman are seen arguing over the former’s illegal occupation of her house has sparked outrage online with many raising their voices and deep concerns against these overt human rights violations. 

The former POTUS Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”  falsely and in a botched attempt tried to justify Jerusalem being the capital of an oppressive Jewish state. It was particularly aimed at legalising Israel’s occupation of the already much colonialized Palestine. Israel’s forced occupation and conversion of Golan Heights into “Trump heights”—which was touted to be done in the so-called honour of Donald Trump— stands as evocative and poignant proof of the illegal activities of Israel in the region. However, it’s still a disputed area as per International International laws that consider this as an “occupied” area.

On the other side, the recent confrontation between the armed to the teeth Israeli security forces and unshielded Palestinians is being feared to turn into a full conflagration if the same situation persists. Earlier, raids by Israeli security forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque where they fired stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets had left hundreds of Palestinians badly wounded and the premises of the mosque damaged. Israeli forces despite repeated warnings by Hamas continued storming the premises of Al-Aqsa for three days. The Jewish revellers who obnoxiously danced when a fire erupted in the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque had earlier intruded into the premises of the mosque alongside the rogue Israeli forces and had not even spared women and children let alone anyone else. They manhandled and groped the burqa-clad women who were simply trying to escape any tragedy. Later Israel fired rockets into the besieged Gaza and let lose the monster of death and destruction in the residential area leaving a multiple story building razed to the ground. Up to now, it’s improbable to tell the exact number of Palestinian casualties— among many have been children. They have been martyred largely due to the Israeli offensives on Gaza. In retaliation Hamas, which rules Gaza, fired a barrage of rockets targeting Tel Aviv overnight.

Yet if anyone feels like seeing the epitomes of courage and perseverance, see the bruised and battered Palestinians who have been seen smiling despite being dragged and tortured by Israeli forces. Mariam Afifi is one of those many Palestinians who passed a smile with no ostensible tears in her eyes. Therefore, it is hard to remain silent following the brutalities of Israel on Palestinians and even more disturbing is the strategy of silence still adopted by many international institutions and world leaders whose voices matter. Only a few have spoken up too.

Mere condemnation and solidarity statements issued by the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) respectively over the years have neither lessened Palestinians’ sufferings nor helped bring real transformation in demographics on the ground. By all appearances, Zionist terrorism is aimed at ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians as the latter is under severe impending threat of eviction from their ancestral homes in Sheikh Jarrah. Their eviction will pave the way for Jewish settlers which is unacceptable at all costs. Immediate International intervention is requisite for the de-escalation between the callous as well as oppressive Israel and the oppressed and colonized Palestine.

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