Palestine/Israel: When Will The Killing Stop!

Published April 9th, 2022 - 03:06 GMT
Israelis react at the site of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv
Israelis react at the site of a shooting attack the previous night on Dizengoff Street in the centre of Israel's Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv - JACK GUEZ (AFP File Photo)

There should be an Israeli-Palestinian solution rather than continuing tense stand-off. It has been shown time-after-time that intransigence - primarily Israeli - would only lead to more violence, deaths, killings, mayhems and instability in Israel, Palestine and the rest of the region. 

Take the recent shooting attack of Israelis by a "lone" Palestinian in downtown Tel Aviv. To follow the Israeli narrative he was shot and killed the next early morning hiding near a mosque in Yaffa but it was at a heavy price. A thousand Israeli security men were deployed to kill the man with hours of labour involved. 

He had killed three people and critically shot around 13 Israeli diners who had to be taken to hospital after a night out that turned horribly wrong. This latest shootout is the fourth in less than three weeks deep inside Israel. Four Israelis killed in stabbing attack in Beersheba, two killed and six injured in Hadera and four settlers killed in the Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan neigborhoods of Tel Aviv.

As opposed to that and shortly before these deadly incidents, Israeli soldiers continually shot at and killed Palestinians who are mostly youths - young boys like the 17-year-old Nader Haitham Rayan from the Balata Camp outside Nablus, Sanad Salem Al-Harbed from Rahat in Al Naqab desert,  16-year-old Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya and the 17-year-old Yazan Saadi. He was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after they raided the Jenin refugee camp in which 15 other Palestinians were also injured. 

Elsewhere Israeli soldiers shot dead a 30-year-old Palestinian after an alleged stabbing incident just to the south of Bethlehem. His name is Nidal Juma‘a Ja‘afra from Hebron. And just recently Israeli soldiers shot dead Ahmad Al Saadi after clashes in the Jenin camp. The Israeli soldiers raided the camp looking for the father of Raad Fathi Hazem who carried out the Tel Aviv center shooting but never found him. 

Its an endless cycle of violence that is repeated time after time but they also happened within a span of few weeks. A total of 11 Israeli dead that has not happened in a long-time.

This time around as well, the equation might be changing with the Palestinian shootings deep inside Israel. Four times in three weeks suggest something is deeply flawed with Israeli security and intelligence which pride themselves to be the best in the world. Already, they are in a heightened state of alert but it seems the shootings continue in wide public spaces which means the potential for more deaths are greater.

The shootings clearly suggest a number of things and that if nothing happens the pot will continue to boil with sharp bursts not only in the effectively occupied Palestinian territories but also among Israelis. First, the killings and the cycle of violence suggest there must be a "political" rather than a "security" solution to the deadly and violent Palestinian-Israeli cauldron and it won't go away through the barrel of the gun that has been tried and tested and only ended in bloodshed, mayhem and heartache.

Second, the shootings in Israel's depth - its different cities, streets, neigborhoods - show Israel's coalition government that is lead by Naftali Bennett and includes an Islamist Mansour Abbas is today under increased pressure from different parts of the Israeli constituency. Indeed, the multiple attacks and the shootings of Israelis shows the Israeli extreme rightwing Prime Minister is unable to protect Jewish lives who are now increasingly under threat.

After the Tel Aviv shootings for instance, the authorities told the "night-goers" - and this was the weekend and the city prides its self as an urban conurbation that does not sleep - were told to go home because it was safer. It was an effective shutdown.

Third, the killing incidents, which are unfortunate and show its the people who get harmed in the end and not "cushy-job politicians", that the Palestinian spirit is alive regardless of Israeli firepower, tanks and machine guns. You can't consider these people as belonging to political factions or military brigades but ordinary young men.

Fourth, the constant Israeli soldier raids and the consequent extreme reactions to them show the Palestinian question is the central issue in the Arab-Israel conflict - if that is still the proper term to use - and for the Jewish government to try to circumvent that by seeking to establish more relations with other Arab states - four accords with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco in addition to the treaties with Egypt, Jordan and with the nod-and-wink of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah - will not buy it the kind of security, peace and existence its looking for.

The road to peace should be through Ramallah, Jerusalem, Nablus, Gaza, Tel Aviv and not through Khartoum, Rabat, Manama or Abu Dhabi, nor via Washington. As soon as this is realized then tempers will cool down and the mayhem will stop. 

Visits by the Israel President Isaac Herzog, his prime minister Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Israeli military delegations to Arab countries including to Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan will not do the trick. Back door normalization will bring Israel and Arab countries closer to gather but will not solve the central issue of independent statehood, the return of Palestinian refugees, geography, territory, water and off course, the fight for Jerusalem. These are outstanding issue and seen far away now from the region but the terror attacks definitely serves as a wake up call. 

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