As of November 19, last year, lethal force by Israeli forces resulted in the killing of 252 and injuring of 25,522 Palestinians in Gaza, OCHA has reported. Many of the injuries were life-changing, including hundreds of cases of severe soft tissue damage, some necessitating amputation of limbs.
Most of the killings took place in the context of protests, where Israeli forces, following orders from senior officials, used live ammunition against people who approached or attempted to cross or damage fences between Gaza and Israel. Israeli officials rejected the international human rights law standard in policing situations that prohibits the intentional use of lethal force except as a last resort to prevent an imminent threat to life.
Israeli authorities continued to illegally expand settlements in the occupied West Bank and to discriminate systematically against Palestinians and in favour of settlers, in providing services, allowing freedom of movement, and issuing building permits, among other actions. During 2017 and the first eight months of 2018, Israeli authorities approved the illegitimate plans for 10,536 housing units in West Bank settlements, excluding East Jerusalem, and issued tenders for a further 5,676.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities destroyed 390 Palestinian homes and other property, forcibly displacing 407 people as of November 19, the majority for lacking construction permits that Israel makes nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain in East Jerusalem or in the 60 percent of the West Bank under its exclusive control (Area C).
The indisputable fact is that there are two peoples both with a valid claim to the land of Palestine. To allow one to be butchered by the other is a violation of international law, human rights and an abject failure of democratic government.
For that butchery of men, women and children to be openly funded and facilitated by the United States Congress is a violation of the principles of the United Nations of which both Israel and the United States are members. It is also a gross violation of both the tenets of Judaism and Christianity.
The status quo is anathema to every true democracy in the world. The killings and oppression must end and end now. Failing which, the UN Security Council should pass a Resolution declaring Israel under its current government to be a rogue state which is outside the norms of accepted conduct and with which no other country should continue to trade until it undertakes to accept and implement in full the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
It is completely unacceptable to hide behind the patently false accusation of anti-Semitism. Ordinary Jewish men and women throughout the world are sickened and ashamed at the brutality perpetrated in their name in the Occupied Territories in exactly the same way as are we all in Britain, Europe and around the world.
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Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from Just World Educational