Fire continues to be exchanged between Israel and Palestine

Israel and Palestine see violence re-erupting, as a rocket launched from Gaza prompted Israel to carry out its first airstrike on the region in months. This happened just as tensions and continued Israeli presence around the Palestinian Al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem exploded. 

The arrival of the riot police during Ramadan during the last two weeks of worship resulted in over 150 Palestinian injuries. Israel police say the Palestinian worshippers had gathered stones within the mosque with the readiness of violence, which the police said “forced [them] to enter the grounds.” Videos show Palestinians hurling stones and fireworks while Israeli police opened fire with rubber bullets and stun grenades, as well as tear gassing worshipers into the mosque.

This had come at a significant and sensitive time, in which the coinciding of Ramadan, Passover, and Christian Easter Sunday brought worshippers from all three religions to their shared holy site. Intimidation and police encroachment happening regardless, this mirrors the 100-year conflict between Israel and Palestine on the premise of worship but in practice a sustained, systematic disregard for religion: is very much a conflict of displacement. The Israeli army remains ignorant of Palestinian rights as the former occupies territories of the latter.

Al Nabka (‘The Catastrophe’), the post-WWII 1948 Palestinian exodus, had been the beginning of their removal and estrangement from their land. An ongoing displacement, today, nearly ⅓ of externally displaced Palestinians live in refugee camps scattered around Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. The Israeli green-lighting what has been called “settlements” in occupied East Jerusalem last year were an example of their active encroachment. Building police-and-military-protected housing complexes for Israelis while the remaining Palestinians live under what has been described as “apartheid conditions” which are seen as illegal under UN law, in which an occupying country is prevented from transferring its population into occupied space–occupation is meant to be temporary; but the century-long slow invasion proves otherwise. The recent violent–if not deadly–climate seems puts the prospect of peace talks between the two groups far out of sight.

A number of Palestinian attacks on Israelis within Israel and Israel’s retaliating mass operation of military mobilization along occupied West bank has put this year’s tensions to a dangerous high, as people from both sides fears a tumble back into last May’s crisis.

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Allison Ko

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May 2022
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