Palestinians face an onslaught by Israeli forces in the wake of the killing of three Israeli settlers.
Warplanes bomb Gaza and bulldozers demolish houses in the West Bank – yet growing numbers of Israelis demand still more revenge.
Mohamed Abu Khdeir, 16, was a victim of their calls.
He was kidnapped in the East Jerusalem yesterday (Wednesday). His badly burned body was recovered two hours later after being dumped an area of forest to the west of the city.
Israeli officials denounce Mohamed’s murder but caution against rushing to judgment on who was responsible.
They show no such caution when jumping to proclaim Hamas responsible for the killing of the kidnapped Israelis – and they are yet to present any evidence of this.
Shocking as Mohamed’s murder is, it can hardly be described as unexpected. The atmosphere in Israel has become even more poisonous following the discovery of the kidnapped bodies.
Israelis marched through the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday chanting, “Death to Arabs.” They attacked Palestinians, pulling them from their cars.
Politicians vie with each other to call for greater punishment of Palestinians. “Now is the time to go crazy,” wrote Uri Bank, a rightwing MP in the Israeli Knesset, on his Facebook page. Defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said, “We will settle the score”.
The murder of Mohamed has only partially granted their wishes.
Gaza was again hit by Israeli airstrikes last night. Neveen Jadeen, is a Palestinian living in Britain whose family still live in Gaza. “People are so afraid,” she told Socialist Worker.
“My mother told me that when they bombed Gaza two days ago the whole house was moving. My nephew cried because of the sound of the bombs. He is only 5 months old, he is a baby.”
“My father fears the Israeli army will invade Gaza.”
Palestinians have responded to Mohamed’s killing and the general clampdown with protests in east Jerusalem. Stone throwing youths are being met with Israeli tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades.
Campaigners in Britain are determined to highlight their cause. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a protest outside the BBC in London last night to challenge their biased coverage of the recent deaths.
They have called for a protest this Saturday outside the Israeli embassy in London. Socialist Worker urges its readers to attend.
Assemble 2pm, Saturday 5 July, opposite the Israeli embassy, Kensington High Steet, London W8 5NP. The demonstration is called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and is supported by the Stop the War Coalition, Friends of Al-Aqsa, London Palestine Action, British Muslim Initiative, Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. For more details go to www.palestinecampaign.org