The most recent iteration of Israel’s recurrent destruction in the occupied territories was initiated when Israeli forces, in a grotesquely provocative act, raided Al-Aqsa Mosque a couple of times while Muslims were there worshipping Eid al-Fitr which celebrates the end of the Ramadan fast; in effect simultaneously desecrating one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, during one of the holiest celebrations in Islam, Eid al-Fitr. Israeli forces shot rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, sound bombs and possibly stun grenades at unarmed, nonviolent Palestinian worshipers inside one of the holiest Mosques in the Islamic-world. Israeli forces then blocked medical professionals from reaching the injured to treat them.
The raid happened only hours before Israeli nationalists were planning the annual march through occupied East Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s military capture of the area in combination with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war. Tensions had been percolating prior as an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families from their ancestral homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem and as extreme right-wing Israelis had been marching through the area chanting “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn” before and while they harassed and assaulted Palestinian families, vehicles, and homes. The right-wing Israeli march is more than sufficient context to clearly illustrate which side in this most recent conflagration is the aggressor. Israel is the occupying power and, as such, cannot pretend to a “right to defense." As an occupying power Israel has one right, really the obligation to withdraw occupation. In fact, given that Israeli settlers have been occupying Palestinian territories in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, constructing settlements, literally evicting the residents and stealing their homes in some instances, the Israeli state and the Israeli settlers are in flagrant violation of international law, i.e. the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and are, by definition, the aggressors. Even beyond this the Israeli forces in a grotesquely provocative act without provocation assaulted unarmed, nonviolent worshippers inside of a Mosque, all of this while an Israeli court ruled for the further illegal annexations of occupied territories and the removal of the indigenous residents.
It must also be kept in mind that not only are East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza illegally occupied territories by Israel, but they are also completely administered and separated by Israel, in violation of the Oslo Agreements. Palestinians do not even have the ability to free movement between the occupied territories and, far worse than that, Israel has condemned all of Gaza to a blockade, a medieval siege that sees to recurrent electricity blackouts and a criminally inadequate flow of essential supplies (food, medical, etc.) into Gaza. The siege was initiated after Hamas ousted Fatah in the 2006 elections and the siege was greatly escalated a year later after Hamas successfully prevented a coup attempt. It's further illustrative of Israeli statecraft in the region that during the First Intifada Israel was working with Hamas to undermine secular organizations loyal to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that has been definitively proved with Wikileaks' cable leaks, but was fairly well known among observers at the time. While Israel has led nations globally in vaccinating its own population and while it is responsible for the Palestinians, being the occupying force, it not only has not vaccinated Palestinians, but during these past weeks’ bombing has actually murdered several doctors and bombed Gaza’s only Covid-19 testing laboratory. This, of course, after Israel had already bombed and demolished one of the main media buildings in Gaza housing media offices for outlets such as the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
Israel is therefore not only committing egregious war crimes , but crimes against humanity, occurring as they are in essentially an open-air prison, the largest concentration camp in the world, absolutely strangled on all sides by the sieging Israeli forces. The illegal Israeli settlers further stealing Palestinian lands, more Palestinians being evicted from their ancestral homes, and the wonton slaughter of civilians inside of the open-air prison of Gaza is not only heinously illegal, but clearly a willful act of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Hundreds of Gazans have been murdered, 14 complete families, the grandparents, the parents, and all of the children but for a single two-month old infant. 14 families have been utterly removed from the civil record, but for one infant and what sort of life can a two-month old infant possibly be looking forward to after his/her entire extended family was murdered in a wonton missile strike?
Israel’s siege of Gaza and wonton missile strikes must be ended immediately. An immediate ceasefire must be recognized and the United States must stop blocking the U.N. Security Council’s recommendation urging an immediate ceasefire. It would also be cogent were the Biden administration to not proceed with the weapons sale to Israel that includes precisely the precision-guided and other munitions that Israel is currently devastating Gaza with. It would further be cogent to heed the will of the region's population and most of the global population's will in working towards a nuclear free zone in the middle east. Most unfortunately the U.S. recurrently rejects the proposal in the United Nations because that would require inspections of Israel's large nuclear arsenal which the U.S. doesn't even acknowledge exists, for were it to do so all of the military aid to Israel, a nuclear armed state, would be illegal according to U.S. law itself.