Netanyahu’s police launch mass arrests of Palestinian Israeli citizens
Israeli police arrest a Palestinian in Jerusalem's Old City, May 18, 2021. Netanyahu's police forces have launched a new campaign of mass arrests targeting Palestinian Israelis who participated and led recent protests. | Mahmoud Illean / AP

Israel moved to crush the Palestinian resistance Monday as it launched a “law and order” campaign with the arrest of hundreds of leading figures involved in the latest uprising.

Police announced their intention to arrest more than 500 Palestinian citizens of Israel over the next 48 hours under the guise of security measures. But academic Dr. Yara Hawari said that Tel Aviv had “declared war against Palestinians who dare to resist its colonial project and demand freedom.”

Israeli forces swooped to arrest and jail a number of Palestinians in Jerusalem on Sunday who were attacked by settlers for defending themselves. They were sentenced to 18 months in Israeli prison, while the settlers remain free.

“This is not just an attempt to intimidate and discipline those who participated in the Unity Uprising for justice and liberation. This is a declaration of war. It is the settler colonial project’s way of attempting to crush our people’s spirit, resistance, and resilience,” Hawari said.

“Over 1,400 have already been arrested since May 9. At least 200 people will be charged. Israel’s arrest campaigns have primarily targeted minors and working-class kids,” she said.

Israeli forces are targeting those who mobilized in the past few weeks in resistance to a deadly war that left scores of Palestinians dead, with missiles destroying civilian infrastructure and health facilities. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the number of arrests in all parts of Palestine reached more than 2,400 cases, including women, children, and the wounded.

Hawari called on the international community to keep up the pressure on the Israeli government which has found itself increasingly isolated on the world stage.

“Do not remain silent. Speak up and make it a priority for your solidarity campaign,” she said, stressing the importance of the protest movement.

“We have to get back on the streets. Tweeting and posting on social media cannot replace real work on the ground.”

Some 120 Israeli setters stormed the compound of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem Monday accompanied by Israeli police, local reports said. The situation remains tense despite a fragile ceasefire continuing to hold so far.

The Bank of Palestine Group launched the “Palestine in the Heart” campaign in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Monday to raise funds for relief efforts in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and 66 schools and primary healthcare clinics have been damaged. Some 184 residential towers and office buildings have been destroyed, along with 33 media outlets.

According to UNICEF, 72,000 Palestinians have been displaced since Israel’s latest bombing campaign began, half of them children.

Morning Star


CONTRIBUTOR

Steve Sweeney
Steve Sweeney

Steve Sweeney writes for the Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. He is also a People's Assembly National Committee member, patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, and a proud trade unionist.

     

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