Three weeks of state-sponsored violence left 53 Palestinians murdered (including 11 children), over 2,000 injured by live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets or security force beatings, 5,500 needing treatment for toxic tear gas inhalation, and nearly 900 arrested.
Detainees undergo grueling interrogations, violent beatings and other forms of torture and abuse.
Numerous Palestinian homes are being violently entered daily pre-dawn – occupants terrorized, children traumatized, possessions ransacked, damaged and stolen, family members arrested on phony charges or none at all.
Israel’s solution for ending violence is inciting more of it, its pogrom against Palestinians ongoing throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and parts of Gaza.
Noted peace and Palestinian justice advocate Dr. Hashem al-Azzeh died after collapsing from tear gas inhalation in Hebron’s Old City.
On Wednesday, he experienced chest pains at home. An ambulance his family called couldn’t reach him because Israel obstructed area movement.
He began walking toward the Bab al-Zawiya checkpoint for help. Fierce clashes were ongoing. Soldiers blocked his passage. He became engulfed in tear gas, couldn’t breathe, collapsed and died.
When finally taken to Hebron’s hospital, it was too late to save him. His wife suffered two miscarriages from settler attacks. Earlier, he said they “attacked us inside our houses” – destroying furniture and striking his head and teeth with their rifle butts.
Months before his death, he explained Israeli-imposed harshness in Hebron. “(T)o get to your house you need a permit. You need all your baggage checked.”
“You can’t drive a car. There’s no clinic, no ambulance (service). You are harassed by soldiers all the time,” everywhere you go. Life for Palestinian residents is unbearable. Israeli harshness aims to drive them out, making way for exclusive Jewish development.
Hebron’s Old City has some of the West Bank’s most violent settlers, using armed force to evict Palestinians from their homes. Around 500 Jews live separated from thousands of Palestinians, protected by Israeli soldiers and police.
B’Tselem said Israel’s “legal and physical segregation between the settlers and the Palestinian majority” left more than 1,000 area homes vacated in Hebron’s center, and over 1,800 Palestinian businesses closed.
(S)ettlers “routinely” use violence against area residents…(S)oldiers and police (cause) violence, excessive and unjustified use of force, and abuse of the powers granted by law.
Daily accounts of reality on the ground report more Palestinian deaths, countless injuries and arrests, as well as extreme state-sponsored brutality.
A handful of Israelis died – until a few days ago, none from stabbings. Claims otherwise are maliciously inflammatory, capturing world headlines unjustly while extreme Palestinian suffering goes virtually unreported – prisoners on their own land, victims of Israeli savagery.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said areas of the West Bank where they’re working experienced a five-fold increase in mental trauma since October 1.
Psychologist Marcos Matias Moyano said isolation, restricted movement, night raids, home demolitions, settler violence and vandalism, as well as mass kidnappings and detentions left Palestinian communities deeply scared.
“Our patients are suffering from fear, psychosomatic complaints, anger, frustration and hopelessness,” he said. “Children suffer from bedwetting. They are scared to leave home to go to school. They lack energy to study and cannot concentrate.”
Many adults (have) sleeping and eating problems, (experience) crying, fear and despair. (T)he level of acute stress we have seen among our patients in the past weeks is concerning. It (has) a serious impact on people’s ability to cope.
Since Israeli state-sponsored terror began weeks earlier, MSF provided mental health treatment for over 500 Palestinian patients. If protracted violence continues, numbers could increase exponentially, young children in their formative years harmed most.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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