Why Israel cannot defeat the Palestinians – Middle East Monitor
There is a reason Israel insists on linking the series of recent attacks by Palestinians to one specific location, namely the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. In doing so, the beleaguered government of Naftali Bennett can simply order another deadly military operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is under control.
Indeed, on April 9, the Israeli army had stormed Jenin refugee camp, killing one Palestinian and injuring ten others. However, Israel’s problem is much bigger than Jenin.
If we look at events from the March 22 stabbing offensive in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir Al Saba’) – which resulted in the deaths of four people – and ending with the murder of three Israelis in Tel Aviv – including two army officers – we will come to an obvious conclusion: these attacks must have been, to some extent, coordinated.
Spontaneous Palestinian retaliation for the violence of the Israeli occupation rarely follows this pattern in terms of timing or style. All attacks except Beersheba were carried out using firearms. The shooters, as amateur videos of some of the events and statements from Israeli eyewitnesses indicate, were well trained and acted with great composure.
One example was the Hadera event on March 27, organized by two cousins, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariah, from the Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm, inside Israel. The Israeli media reported on the indisputable skills of the assailants, armed with weapons which, according to the Israel News Agency, Tazpit press office, Cost over $30,000.
READ: Who is responsible for the ongoing attacks in Israel?
Unlike the Palestinian attacks carried out during the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-05) in response to Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the latest attacks are generally more targeted, targeting police and military personnel and clearly aimed at undermining Israel’s false sense of security and undermining intelligence services from the country. During the March 29 attack on Bnei Brak, for example, an Israeli woman who was there Told to reporters that “the activist asked us to move away from the place as he did not want to target women or children”.
While Israeli intelligence reports have recently warned of a “wave of terrorism” before the holy month of Ramadan, they clearly had no idea what kind of violence, or where and how the Palestinians would strike.
Following the Beersheba attack, Israeli officials invoked Daesh responsibility, a convenient assertion given that Daesh had also claimed responsibility. This theory was quickly sidelined, as it became apparent that the other Palestinian attackers had other political affiliations or, as in the Bnei Brak case, no known affiliation at all.
The confusion and misinformation continued for days. Shortly after the Tel Aviv bombing, Israeli media, citing official sources, reported on two assailants, alleging that one of them was trapped in a nearby building. This was wrong as there was only one attacker and he was killed, albeit hours later in another town.
A number of Palestinian workers were quickly arrested in Tel Aviv on suspicion of being the attackers simply because they looked Arab, evidence of Israel’s chaotic approach. Indeed, following each event, the total mayhem ensued, with large crowds of armed Israelis taking to the streets looking for anyone with Arab features to apprehend or beat for no reason.
Israeli officials have contributed to the frenzy, with far-right politicians, such as extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, first hordes of other extremists are rampaging through occupied Jerusalem.
Instead of calling for calm and showing confidence, the country’s own prime minister on March 30 called on ordinary Israelis to arm themselves. “Whoever has a firearms license, now is the time to carry it,” he said. mentioned in a video statement. However, if Israel’s solution to any form of Palestinian resistance were more weapons, the Palestinians would have been pacified long ago.
To appease angry Israelis, the Israeli army attacked the city and the refugee camp of Jenin on numerous occasions, each time leaving several Palestinians dead and injured, including many civilians. Among them, the child Imad Hashash, 15, killed on August 24 when he filming the invasion on his cell phone. The same scenario repeated itself on April 9.
However, it was an exercise in futility, as it was Israeli violence in Jenin over the years that led to the armed resistance that continues to emanate from the camp. Palestinians, whether in Jenin or elsewhere, are fighting back because they are deprived of basic human rights, lack a political horizon, live in extreme poverty, lack real leadership and feel abandoned by the so-called international community.
The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas seems totally removed from the masses. Abbas’ statements reflect his detachment from the reality of Israeli violence, military occupation and apartheid throughout Palestine. True to form, Abbas quickly sentenced the Tel Aviv attack, as it did the previous ones, each time making the same reference to the need to maintain “stability” and prevent “a further deterioration of the situation”, according to the official Wafa Press Agency.
What stability is Abbas referring to, when Palestinian suffering has been compounded by increasing settler violence, illegal settlement expansion, land theft and, thanks to recent international events, food insecurity as well?
READ: Why does the world believe that killing Palestinians is necessary for Israel’s security?
Israeli officials and media, once again, conveniently place the blame largely on Jenin, a small part of a crowded area. By doing so, Israel wants to give the impression that the new phenomenon of Palestinian retaliatory attacks is confined to one place, adjacent to the Israeli border and can be easily “dealt with”.
An Israeli military operation in the camp could serve Bennett’s political agenda, convey a sense of strength and win back some members of his disenchanted political constituency. But all this is only a temporary solution. Attacking Jenin now won’t make any difference in the long run. After all, the camp rose from the ashes of its near total destruction by the Israeli army in April 2002.
The new Palestinian attacks speak of a much larger geography: Naqab, Umm Al Fahm, the West Bank. The seeds of this territorial connectivity are linked to the Israeli war of last May and the ensuing Palestinian rebellion, which broke out in all parts of Palestine, including Palestinian communities inside Israel.
Israel’s problem is its insistence on providing short-term military solutions to a long-term problem, itself resulting from these same “military solutions”. If Israel continues to subjugate the Palestinian people under the current system of military occupation and deepening apartheid, the Palestinians will surely continue to react until their oppressive reality changes. No amount of Israeli violence can alter this truth.
The opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.