Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman
Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:
-- an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;
-- in Bil'in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel's illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;
-- on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil'in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;
-- on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil'in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;
-- Israel conducted 47 incursions into West Bank communities and one in central Gaza, arresting 29, including four children and two women;
-- two Jenin charitable organizations were closed and eight artisan wells destroyed;
-- a Qalqilya construction materials shop was bulldozed;
-- Israeli vessels fired on Palestinian fishermen, crashing into and destroying one boat in Gazan waters, injuring its occupant, rescued by others nearby;
-- Israeli tanks, military vehicles and bulldozers breached Gaza's border east of the al-Buriage refugee camp, terrorizing residents and razing agricultural land gratuitously;
-- Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Gazan man in Gaza City's al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
-- extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd in Madma village, burning four dunams of farmland there;
-- other settlers attacked a Palestinian youth in central Hebron's al-Dbuya area, injuring him;
-- almost daily other settler attacks occur, protected by Israeli soldiers; and
-- IDF forces conduct regular West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza incursions any time day or night, terrorizing nonviolent civilians, including women and children.
Alarmed by Netanyahu's extremism, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan went public on concerns he finds most alarming, saying when still in office with other recently retired top officials, they "could block any dangerous adventure. Now I am afraid that there is no one to stop Bibi and Barak."
It's not the Iranians or Palestinians who worry him. It's Israel's leadership, in recent comments made to journalists and a Tel Aviv University audience, calling these no ordinary times. In his view, it's one minute to midnight, a frightening thought by someone well versed on policy who knows.
Israeli Naksa Day Terror
Annually, Naksa Day (June 5) commemorates the "day of the setback" when Israel forces occupied historic Palestine, militarizing it repressively to assert control, violating fundamental human rights law by attacking a nonbelligerent state illegally.
For 44 years, it's remained a ruthlessly terrorized armed camp, Palestinians resisting it courageously nonetheless. Ahead of this year's commemoration, Haaretz writers Anshel Pfeffer, Jack Khoury and Avi Issacharoff headlined, "IDF on high alert as Palestinians prepare for Naksa Day," saying:
Israel's Northern Command prepared for "possible attempt(s) by thousands of (Damascus-based) Palestinian refugees to storm the" Golan border with Israel.
In addition, Central and Southern Command forces mobilized "in case of an outbreak in violence near the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively," even though significant incidents aren't likely unless Israel deliberately provokes them.
Weeks earlier on Nakba Day, IDF troops attacked peaceful demonstrators in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and along the Lebanese/Syrian borders, killing over 20 and injuring scores more.
On June 5, Khoury, Eli Ashkenazi, Amos Harel and Haaretz Service headlined, "5 Palestinians killed, 10 hurt in clashes with IDF" on Syria's border, saying:
Israeli soldiers preemptively "opened fire at hundreds of Palestinians amassing near Israel's border with Syria on the Golan Heights....firing tear gas and other demonstration dispersal weaponry," including live fire against nonviolent Naksa Day demonstrators.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich called it "controlled fire from commanders on the ground," first firing warning shots, then aiming directly at protesters. In response, senior military officials dismissively omitted numbers killed or hurt in further statements, and didn't explain that troops got direct orders to fire freely at nonviolent demonstrators, a criminal act by any standard.
On June 5, Israel National News said Netanyahu told a Sunday morning Cabinet meeting that "we will not allow extremists" to violate Israel's borders, showing his intolerance for anyone not Jewish, even Israel's own citizens.
Military officials accused Syria of instigating violence, Netanyahu saying:
"Unfortunately, extremist forces around us are trying today to breach our borders and threaten our communities and our citizens. We will not let them do that."
In fact, AP reported that Palestinian and Syrian supporters marched peacefully to Israel's border, remaining on their side of a barbed-wire lined trench. In response, Israeli troops attacked them with live fire, Lt. Col. Leibovich claiming they "clash(ed) with the soldiers."
A later June 5 Khoury, Ashkenazi, Harel. Haaretz Service report said Israeli forces "opened fire at hundreds of Syrian-Palestinians amassing near Israel's (Golan) border with Syria," killing up to 18 and injuring hundreds. At 10PM Moscow time, Russia Today reported 20 killed, a fluid rising number as some of the wounded die. An early June 6 Haaretz account said 22 were killed on Sunday.
As usual, Israeli officials blamed Palestinians for IDF violence, opening fire at point blank range on unarmed civilians, causing a largely ignored bloodbath in America's media.
On June 5, the Jerusalem Post said "Activists (also) clash(ed) with border police at (Qalandia) crossing" between Jerusalem and Ramallah Sunday afternoon. Israel's Channel 10 and Maan News reported tear gas, shock grenades, and rubber bullets freely used to disperse crowds. At least two protesters sustained serious injuries, dozens more needing treatment for tear gas inhalation.
Throughout the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated against militarized occupation they want ended. Palestinian Democratic Union member Jamal Abu Nahl told protesters to stay unified, resist, and not compromise on demanding Israel's occupation end.
On June 5, AFP reported thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv against 44 years of occupation Saturday.
"The predominantly Jewish crowd marched through the (city center) calling for the creation of a 'Palestinian state in the interest of Israel' along the borders prior to the (June 1967) Six Day War...."
In fact, they carried placards mocking Netanyahu with a caricature of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, saying: "Netanyahu, you are leading us into catastrophe." They also waved Israeli and Palestinian flags, chanting: "Israel, Palestine: two states for two peoples" and "Solidarity with the Palestinians."
Organizers included Meretz Party members, anti-Zionists, and anti-occupation/colonialization groups, including Peace Now.
In addition, West Bank Christians organized a "peace and justice" religious service, denouncing the occupation at a military checkpoint near Bethlehem.
As worldwide opposition to Israel's occupation grows, ending it one day draws closer, what can't happen a moment too soon.
On June 4, International Middle East Media Center writer Saed Bannoura reported former Hamas Minister of Detainees Wasfi Qabha saying indications of reconciliation with Fatah aren't evident. In fact, PA security forces are still detaining and interrogating Hamas members and supporters, acting as Israel's enforcer.
Moreover, despite promising to release political prisoners, dozens are still being held. Qabha said this defeats reconciliation, telling the Palestinian Information Center that Abbas must act responsibly "to protect unity and national interests."
On May 16, Israeli and Egyptian vessels interdicted the Malaysian owned Spirit of Rachel Corrie ship (officially the MV Finch), carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, forcing it back to Egyptian waters where it remained anchored offshore.
Unable to deliver their cargo, three activists on board returned to Malaysia on May 30, the other nine expected back Sunday night.
Sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), headed by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, PGPF chairman Tan Sri Norian Mai said:
"Although this mission cannot be said to be 100 percent successful, it managed to break Israel's illegal siege (by) enter(ing) Gazan waters before" interdiction. He added that PGPF will keep trying to deliver essential aid, including MV Finch's cargo - vitally needed plastic sewage pipes to restore what Israel's Cast Lead attack destroyed. Under siege, restoration can't happen without help.
Undeterred, it's coming, including 15 ships and over 1,000 activists from dozens of countries sailing from various ports in late June, Israel again planning interdiction.
No matter. Dr. Mahathir said "we don't respect Israel's blockade." Neither do millions of others, many determined to breach it to deliver essential to life aid until Gaza is again free. Nothing Israel does can stop it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.