Al-Aqsa Raid Exposes Israeli Double Standards

The latest attacks have wounded some 20 people. Two of them were taken to a nearby hospital

Al-Aqsa compound is stormed by Israeli occupation forces on Friday and firing tear gas, sound grenades in an unprecedented attack on Palestinian worshippers.

Exposing their double standards, the occupation forces have once again violated the truce by firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at peaceful and unarmed Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound after Friday prayers. The Palestinian Red Crescent’s written statement said the latest attacks have wounded some 20 people. Two of them were taken to a nearby hospital. 

Even journalists were not spared. Clampdowns on Palestinians by Israeli police were also seen in parts of the occupied West Bank. Both Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire that has come into effect from May 21 after 11 days of intense fighting. 

Israeli police chase a cameraman covering the raid on Palestinians at Al-Aqsa compound. REUTERS

Rony Yedidia Clein, the Deputy Chief of the Israeli embassy, said that the US and several other countries provided full support to Israeli’s action. “The reality on the ground will determine whether the ceasefire holds or not,” she said. 

Her words seem true at this point because the Egyptian proposal was accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Taher Nounou, a Hamas official, confirmed the deal. As agreed, the truce came into force at 2 am, almost three hours after the announcement. 

An open-air market that remained closed so far, reopened and shoppers could be seen stocking up on fruits and vegetables. News about celebrations poured in on social media as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza at 2 am. People waved Palestinian flags, distributed sweets, and the sky was filled with fireworks. Spontaneous celebrations also broke out in east Jerusalem and across the occupied West Bank. 

Many Palestinian families reunited with their neighbors and loved ones in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. Just when Palestinians were returning to their neighborhood, assessing the damage in what they called their own homes that were crushed to the ground due to Israeli bombardments, they were once again met with a brutal siege. 

I cannot contact my brother,” Majd told Core Middle East, adding that his brother is in one of the Palestinian refugee camps. There are many like Majd’s family who are internally displaced in Gaza and West Bank.

I cannot contact my brother,” Majd told Core Middle East, adding that his brother is in one of the Palestinian refugee camps. There are many like Majd’s family who are internally displaced in Gaza and West Bank. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said the priority is to identify and help the displaced people after their homes were destroyed and lives came to a standstill due to the rocket barrages. The rescue workers are continuously working to recover the bodies.

A child while speaking to the media broke down as he explained how his father could not escape during the mosque attack. “My father suffers from leg pain and could not run. While most people escaped, my father could not. I tried to help him but failed,” the child said. 

Amid Covid-19, unemployment, and weak Gazan infrastructure by a 14-year blockade, the most difficult task would be to compensate for the damage and loss of lives. According to the United Nations’ latest humanitarian report, Israeli attacks damaged at least 51 education facilities, including 46 schools, two kindergartens, UNRWA training center, and parts of the Islamic University of Gaza. At least six hospitals and 11 primary healthcare centers, including Gaza’s only COVID-19 testing laboratory were also damaged. Gaza’s electricity network also suffered damage, leading to 20-21 hours of daily power outages. Water and sanitation facilities across the strip were impaired due to which at least 250,000 people had no access to drinking water. 

To help Gazans, medicines and food were allowed to enter Gaza through a crossing that was temporarily opened by Israel. All educational institutions are to reopen on Sunday, while the resumption of flights to and from Tel Aviv is also on the decks for the coming days. After a week of sirens, blasts, and cries for help, the families were finally hoping to put the pieces of their lives together. And just when they took out the cotton balls they put in their children’s ears to muffle the noises, another nightmare befalls. 

A child while speaking to the media broke down as he explained how his father could not escape during the mosque attack. “My father suffers from leg pain and could not run. While most people escaped, my father could not. I tried to help him but failed,” the child said. 

Meanwhile, an Iraqi student thinks the raid is part of a plot for Israel to refill the Iron Dome. “The ceasefire is between Israel and Hamas and not between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is where Jerusalem is. So, technically Israel is not in breach,” says Yasir who lives with his parents in Ireland now. 

The crackdown on ceasefire celebrations brings Israel once again on the radar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was keeping a close watch on Israel and Hamas for possible war crimes. Warning about an investigation that is underway against the current hostilities, ICC’s Fatou Bensouda last week told the media that she would press ahead with her inquiry even without the cooperation of Israel.

Many political experts have also called the 11-day military offense “domination” and not “defense”. 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also accused Israel of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians as a report finds “the country has crossed a vital threshold and is privileging one group of people at the expense of another and carrying out inhumane acts”. HRW had also called on countries including Australia to impose sanctions on Israel, which dismissed the report as “preposterous and false”.

Global rights bodies, forums, and several countries have slammed Israel for its indiscriminate aggression on the unarmed Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. 

Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui said, “Zionists are spitting image of people they despised most: the Nazis. You may have friends defending you today, but tomorrow history will judge you the same way it judges them.”

Palestinian-American models Bella and Gigi Hadid have been vocal on their social media accounts since the start of the protests in Palestine. Mark Ruffalo, an American actor, tweeted: “Sanctions on South Africa helped free its black people – it’s time for sanctions on Israel to free Palestinians. Join the call.”

The martyrdom toll in Gaza till May 21 due to the offensive has risen to 248, including 66 children and 39 women, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. 

Tensions still remain high as the exact terms of the ceasefire have not been made public and both sides pat their own back to claim success. Basking in the glory of his country’s bombing efforts, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said it had made “achievements unprecedented in their scale, precision and strategic significance for the struggle with terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

At the same time, Hamas claimed it had received assurances that Israeli security forces would not enter the revered Al-Aqsa again, and would not evict families in Sheikh Jarrah. Israel, however, denied such claims. With a dubious ceasefire agreement, nothing seems to have changed, the repression is even higher than ever. The ‘pending’ illegal eviction of the people of Sheikh Jarrah continues – while Israeli settlers can walk around freely, the identity of a Palestinian is still questioned.

 

Leave a Reply