Socialist Worker

Israel is the terror state

Issue No. 1795

'The Israeli soldiers just kept firing at us, even though people had been hit, even though people were backing away.' So says entertainer Jeremy Hardy about a peace march through Jerusalem on Monday of last week.

It is just a glimpse of the brutality that Palestinians face every week, every hour and every moment of the Israeli occupation. Jeremy told Socialist Worker, 'I was shocked they fired on us. It was one of the most peaceful demonstrations I have ever been on. 'Many of us expected teargas and rubber bullets, but not live rounds fired into the crowd. One girl took a direct hit. There was a lot of lead in her stomach. I counted at least nine in the crowd injured. They were hit in the feet, face, chest and arms. What I saw made me realise the brutality of Israel's occupation.'

Jeremy's account of Israel's terror against the Palestinians has been reinforced by other peace campaigners and a handful of principled Western journalists. In cities across the Occupied Territories they describe the same scenes of barbaric destruction and calculated cruelty. The Israeli army indiscriminately bombed city streets.

Then it imposed curfews that meant the injured bled to death, and terrified families were kept prisoner in their homes. Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian described the carnage Palestinian medics found when the Israeli army finally allowed them into the city of Nablus. Bodies lay strewn in the road, as Israeli snipers and tanks prevented the medics from reaching the dead and dying.

'Most of the dead and wounded were men,' said Goldenberg. 'They were cut down as the Israeli army blasted its way through the labyrinth of narrow lanes. 'It was impossible to tell how many of the dead were civilians.' Goldenberg described the death of Weedad Safran.

Weedad was a Palestinian woman in her fifties. Being hard of hearing, she was unaware of the curfew on the town of Ramallah. Last week she visited hospital to have a cast removed from her leg. Minutes after leaving, clearly visible wearing her skirt and veil, Israeli soldiers shot her dead in the street.

Medics crawled out to her waving white flags. The troops shot them. Weedad's was just one of many corpses piled up in the morgue in Ramallah. Israeli soldiers stopped Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance crews as they tried to help wounded people.

They forced the crews to strip and kneel for hours in the rain. The Israeli army has admitted that it massacred at least 200 Palestinians as it rampaged through the towns of the West Bank. It is this terror and brutality that has outraged millions of people in the Middle East and across the world.

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