Kafr Qadum in the West Bank has seen weekly protests since 2011, denouncing the closure of the eastern exit of the village that connected it to the city of Nablus. This was blocked by the Israeli military in 2003 following the expansion of the nearby illegal settlement of Kedumim.
The village, like all of occupied Palestine, has been the scene of many disgusting war crimes committed by the so-called Israeli ‘Defence’ Force (IDF).
Deliberate disruption to water supply
Through the years, residents of Kafr Qadum have endured vicious attacks by army assault-dogs, campaigns of intimidation against local children and the use of bulldozers to disperse gathered residents – to name but a few of the many atrocities. Such heinous acts, though largely unreported in the imperialist media, are distressingly common occurrences in the lives of Palestine’s long suffering population.
Palestinians living in the West Bank suffer from a highly irregular supply of water, leading to regular and severe shortages, as a result of Israel’s policies of apartheid and blockade. With residents encouraged to wash their hands, shower and wash their clothes more frequently to slow the spread of the virus, they are thus in more need than ever of this precious commodity.
In this context, the IDF sociopaths have taken up the inhuman sport of shooting at the water towers that are located on top of Palestinian homes.
During the weekly protests, bands of cowardly IDF ‘soldiers’ have been taking up positions on the hills surrounding the village, and opening fire on the roof-top towers. Residents trapped inside their homes dare not venture onto their roofs for fear of being shot, and so must sit listening to the excruciating sound of their precious litres flowing onto the ground.
Only when they can be sure the soldiers have left are they able to tend to the damage, doing their best with screws and adhesives to temporarily patch the holes. (Even during a pandemic: soldiers shoot holes in water tanks at Kafr Qadum, B’Tselem, 27 May 2020)
Making the most of a crisis: increasingly violent settler expansion
There has been a similarly vile up-tick in the rate of violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians during the coronavirus pandemic.
Armed with clubs, axes, metal poles, attack dogs and firearms, settlers have, with full support from the Israeli state, ramped up their brutal assaults on Palestinian residents and their homes, smashing and setting fire to vehicles, stealing livestock and destroying crops.
Palestinians out enjoying a walk alone or in pairs have been savagely beaten by bands of settlers. Upon witnessing the attacks or their aftermath, soldiers of the IDF have at best turned a blind eye, or at worst joined in with the settlers’ barbarism, routinely dispersing with tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets Palestinians who attempt to protect their families and land. (Israeli settlers exploit coronavirus to take over West Bank land with military backing: violent attacks spike in April, B’Tselem, 23 April 2020)
Pasture and farmland belonging to Palestinian shepherds and farmers continues to be attacked by the settlers, who act as the unofficial wing of Israel’s armed forces, stealing away land plot by plot, field by field, acre by acre, in a deadly war of attrition.
Unsurprisingly, these myriad acts of terrorism are only adding fuel to the fire burning in the hearts of the Palestinian people, who long for freedom from the Israeli occupiers and refuse to give up the struggle to regain their homeland.
Notorious Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to bring yet more Palestinian land under the sovereignty of Israel by annexing further swathes of the West Bank as of 1 July. Embroiled in a corruption scandal, and facing prison if he loses office, Netanyahu is attempting to steal ground from even harder-line zionist maniacs in order to grab votes and keep himself out of jail – all at the expense of the Palestinian people’s right to life and land. (Netanyahu tells lawmakers he stands by July target date to launch West Bank annexation by Noa Landau, Haaretz, 25 May 2020)
This move has caused unease in European ruling circles, and even prompted the notoriously hawkish US secretary of state Mike Pompeo to express some hesitation, calling for ‘coordination’ of the move with Washington. The Israeli zionists are well aware that a further outright annexation will result in a wave of global anti-Israel feeling and an upsurge of local resistance, which will inevitably inflict casualties amongst Israeli civilians and military, but this does not appear to concern the Israeli elite. To them, all life except their own is so much fodder in the drive for domination.
In the final analysis, only armed resistance will stop the onward march of the fascistic Israeli regime. We offer our full and unequivocal support to the courageous people of Palestine in their just war against Israel, and to any and every form that their resistance may take.
An unlikely ruling from the European court of human rights
In an uncharacteristic move on 11 June this year, the European court of human rights (ECHR) dealt a blow to the war against solidarity with Palestine by ruling unanimously against the 2015 decision of the criminal division of the court of cassation to reject the appeals of activists from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement regarding their arrest, and subsequent conviction, for participating in peaceful boycott actions in France back in 2009 and 2010.
The activists, part of Collectif Palestine 68, a branch of the Palestinian-led BDS movement, used trolleys to display Israeli products in a supermarket, while handing out leaflets and inviting shoppers to sign a petition demanding the supermarket stop selling items of Israeli origin. They were charged with “incitement to economic discrimination”. (European court of human rights deals major blow to Israel’s war on Palestine solidarity by Palestinian BDS national committee, Global Research, 11 June 2020)
Only in the capitalist world will you find yourself with a criminal conviction for rightfully and lawfully decrying and taking action against a totally illegal, anti-human project such as the creation and continuance of the state of Israel. Naturally, no charges are being brought to bear against the zionist regime for its own “economic discrimination”, not to mention all the other forms of discrimination perpetrated against the people of occupied Palestine.
Israel provides the imperialist powers, led by the US and backed up by its faithful supporters in Europe, with a foothold in the middle east that can be used to wage war against the Arab peoples, to stoke religious tensions and to destabilise the region, ultimately facilitating the plunder of their lands, rewarding the imperialist powers with yet more oil and riches to be put to use in propping up their decrepit rule and launching yet more wars of aggression all over the globe.
Communists must be staunch internationalists, we must comprehend that our struggle for emancipation from capital is bound up with the nation-liberation struggles of the oppressed, including that of Palestine. We must therefore link our struggle with theirs and offer all possible fraternal support.
In the immortal words of Karl Marx: “No nation can be free if it oppresses other nations.”