As the Israeli state prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza, soldiers and settlers have stepped up their brutality against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Mayar Derbashi, a charity worker in Hebron , told Socialist Worker, “A dire and savage onslaught is unfolding in Gaza.
“In the West Bank, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in arrests. Before 7 October there were about 5,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention. In less than two weeks, that number has doubled, exceeding 10,000.
“There have been closures of infrastructure. Transport has come to a standstill, leaving many unable to commute to work, universities, and schools.”
Mayar made clear that it’s not just Israeli military forces killing Palestinians in the West Bank—it’s also settlers who’re determined to drive Palestinians off their land.
Israeli settlers murdered Ahmed Wadi and his father Ibrahim last Sunday as they attended a funeral procession in the Qusra village in the West Bank. The family said that settlers wanted the land belonging to the Wadi family—and were prepared to kill to get it. They added that settlers shared posts online celebrating the murders.
Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed at least 81 Palestinians since 7 October, when Palestinian resistance organisation Hamas launched a surprise assault on Israel. Of that number, Israeli forces killed at least 13 in the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkaren.
Fury at ethnic cleansing—and the silence of the Palestinian Authority (PA)—spilt out on the streets of central Ramallah on Tuesday. Demonstrators called for the resignation of the PA president Mahmoud Abbas. When the crowds wouldn’t disperse,
PA security forces attacked demonstrators with tear gas and smoke bombs. At protests in Jenin, PA security forces killed a 12 year old girl named Razan Nasrallah.
The leaders of the PA have always hoped that, if they cooperated with the Israeli state, they would be gifted a small piece of Palestine. Formed in 1993 following the Oslo Accords, the PA was given partial rule in some areas of the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.
But this rule has always been conditional on one thing— that the PA keeps Palestinians in the West Bank under control. PA security forces arrested prominent activists who were part of the historic strikes and protests across historic Palestine in 2021.
Mayar said hope will come through ordinary people rising up both in Palestine and across the world. “Our words, our advocacy, our unwavering support can change the course of events,” she said.
“In a world that prides itself on freedom, we must seize the opportunity to speak for those who cannot. Humanitarian aid is no comfort for a dead body, and only our collective voice can assure the departed souls in Gaza that people cared for their struggle.
“I implore you to raise your voice and protest for the Palestinian people, for your actions can inspire hope and lead to change. Together, we can be the voice for the silenced and the catalyst for stopping a genocide.”
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