Cementing Apartheid for Palestinians in 2023
In its report, Amnesty International declared that "Israel's" apartheid system is built on the denial of housing to Palestinians.
The most deadly year for West Bank Palestinians in almost two decades concluded with the return of the Israeli former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the country's most far-right cabinet, heightening Palestinian concerns about the future. The new Israeli extreme right-wing Government will hasten its objectives of settlement expansion, Palestinian population displacement, and territorial annexation, cementing a continuous apartheid regime for Palestinians.
The Government of Netanyahu serves as a license for settlers to increase their acts of violence across the occupied West Bank, along with a wider disrespect by Israeli forces for Palestinians' lives and fundamental rights. Within the initial days of 2023, Israeli troops have already assassinated four Palestinians. In addition, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Israeli new police minister, stormed the Al-Asqa Mosque complex under strong police protection, provoking worldwide outrage.
Moreover, in the southern West Bank community of Masafer Yatta, where more than one thousand Palestinians reside, the Israeli forces has begun destroying houses, schools, farms, and water infrastructure. As a result, the Palestinian inhabitants of Masafer Yatta are at imminent risk of eviction. The residents in the occupied West Bank have been informed that they will be relocated imminently.
The Israeli military often destroys Palestinian buildings and infrastructure in Masafer Yatta, and it trains there and nearby with live fire and tanks, endangering the lives of residents. Notably, to bring attention to the immediate danger confronting the people and to pressure "Israel" to discontinue relocation attempts, activists and action groups in Palestine and throughout the world began a digital campaign last year using the hashtag #SaveMasaferYatta.
According to the UN report, the immediate threat of evictions and relocation violates international human rights and humanitarian law, and the Israeli legal system has given the Israeli Government complete freedom to continue the practice of systemic oppression against Palestinians by sustaining its strategy to force Palestinians out of Masafer Yatta.
In addition, Ben-Gvir is in charge of the Israeli prison system, and he has plans to make things even worse for Palestinian detainees and inmates, who already endure physical and psychological torture in addition to being denied access to their families while being held in overcrowded cells.
These elements, together with Ben-Gvir's intention to modify the status quo at the Haram Al-Sharif to allow for triumphalist Jewish prayer, auger badly for the future, threaten to destabilize the occupied Palestinian territory, and lead to a popular revolt or another assault on Gaza. Furthermore, Palestinians anticipate a huge rise in Israeli breaches now that Ben-Gvir, the head of the far-right Jewish Power party, is in charge of the paramilitary border police and police forces in "Israel."
To allow for the deadly shooting of Palestinians throwing stones or firebombs, the far-right extremist reached an agreement with "Israel's" governing Likud party to loosen "Israel's" already contentious rules of engagement. In the agreement, Israeli police officers and troops would be given complete protection, even if they broke the terms of engagement or were not on duty.
Furthermore, the head of the Israeli far-right Religious Zionist party, Bezalel Smotrich, became Netanyahu's Minister of Finance, predicting a year of financial strangling for the Palestinians. Smotrich's strategy would offer Palestinians three options: leave the occupied lands, submit to life as second-class citizens, or protest and be punished by the Israeli forces.
The first tweet from Netanyahu detailing the fundamental principles of the new Israeli government states, "The Jewish people have an exclusive and irrefutable claim to all portions of the Land of Israel," along with the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. Despite overpopulation in existing Palestinian cities in Galilee [Al-Jalil], the Israeli Government has prevented the establishment of new Palestinian villages there. In addition, the Israeli Government has established industrial zones that are almost exclusive to Jewish populations.
The Government's proposal also recommends modifying the legislation to enable small cooperative communities to check prospective inhabitants to guarantee Jewish-only settlements. The new Israeli Government has also threatened to legalize settlement outposts created without permission, which are illegal under Israeli law, and to revive evacuated outposts like Homesh, which fueled Palestinian tensions for years. Palestinians anticipate that Ben-Gvir, as Security Minister, may transfer the residents of the Eastern part of the occupied city of al-Quds to the OPT. The far-right lawmaker pushed to oust Palestinian Knesset members and residents of al-Quds. Hence, the Israeli Government intends to undermine the Palestinian Authority to its collapse.
In its report, Amnesty International declared that "Israel's" apartheid system is built on the denial of housing to Palestinians. A system based on millions of people's institutionalized and ongoing racial oppression cannot possibly have any validity. According to international criminal law, the crime against humanity of apartheid is defined as a set of illegal actions carried out under an apartheid system to keep it in place.
"Israel" was formed based on the ethnic cleansing of three-quarters of the Palestinian people in Palestine, and it has maintained its dominance over the land through violent military occupation and bloodshed. In actuality, ethnic cleansing has never ceased. Further entrenchment and growth of the same racist Government that subjugates non-Jews would be possible only via more state terrorism and government bloodshed.