Monday, June 22, 2015

Israel's Response to Everything: Collective Punishment

Israel's Response to Everything: Collective Punishment

by Stephen Lendman

International law is clear. Fourth Geneva's Article 33 states: 

"No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

It doesn't matter. Israel systematically ignores all international human rights, humanitarian and other laws it objects to - as well as dozens of earlier Security Council Resolutions condemning or censuring its actions and demanding they end, none in recent years because of US vetoes.

It attacks entire Palestinian communities because of alleged crimes committed by one or more residents. It wages wars based on phony pretexts. It commits numerous other high crimes against humanity because it knows who'll stop its abusive practices.

A previous article discussed a Palestinian critically stabbing an Israeli border policeman and a second incident involving the killing of an Israeli man (assailant unknown) - offenses likely committed out of pent up frustration and desire for retribution, not terrorism as Israel calls all these type incidents.

Instead of acting against guilty parties alone according to legal standards responsible societies observe, Israel imposes collective punishment against Palestinian communities or the entire population.

In the case of the Israeli killed in the West Bank, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (a racist lunatic) intends stealing Palestinian land where the incident occurred for a tourist destination excluding Arabs.

Israel's Civil Administration regularly classifies private Palestinian lands as "nature reserves" for exclusive Jewish or foreign tourists' use.

In April, a PLO statement said "Israeli measures and policies rise to an effective and de facto annexation of the tourism sector."

"Israel’s occupation has turned a potential source of income and shared opportunity into a story of theft and lost potential."

In response to the border policeman stabbing incident, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon ordered work permits issued to residents of the assailant's Sa'ir village revoked - collective punishment for an entire community for an offense by one of its residents.

There's more. Travel permits to fly abroad through Ben Gurion Airport were revoked for 500 Palestinians. Further punitive measures are planned - so far not announced.

On the occasion of Ramadan, Israel announced movement easing measures days earlier. They include:

  • permitting Palestinian buses to bring West Bank worshipers into Israel for the first time in at least a decade;

  • letting Palestinian men over age 40 and women of all ages enter the Temple Mount without permit permission; and

  • letting a maximum 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel for family visits.

Whether Israel intends revoking these measures remains to be seen.

Hamas praised the border policeman attack without admitting responsibility. It's Facebook page posted two photos of the assailant, Yasser Yassin Tarwa - critically shot multiple times by the policeman before he collapsed.

Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran called the attack "heroic" - timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Palestinian teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir's murder by extremist Jewish settlers.

"The operation sends a message of resistance to the occupation whereby resisting youth are able to defy the occupation and reach its soldiers even where (policemen) gather," he said.

These type incidents follow vicious daily Israeli persecution. Last weekend alone, its soldiers kidnapped seven Palestinians - two in East Jerusalem, two in Nablus a woman in Hebron and two children in its Old City. 

They shot a child near Ramallah. Extremist settlers ran over two Palestinian children with their vehicles in separate incidents - a three-year-old and 10-year-old. Security force thugs attacked nonviolent Nabi Saleh village Palestinians protesting settlements on their stolen land and Israel's apartheid wall.

At the same time, political prisoner Khader Adnan continued hunger striking for justice into his 48th day - ingesting nothing but water and salt.

He's hospitalized, in serious condition, enduring "severe pains all over his body with blue spots on his shoulder and clear speaking problems," according to Palestinian Prisoner's Society legal unit head Jawad Bolous.

On July 8, 2014, he was sentenced unjustly to administrative detention uncharged and untried for the 10th time.

Intolerable Israeli viciousness at times sparks violent Palestinian responses. Or in the case of Adnan and others like him, resisting injustice the only way they can - heroically by refusing food, enduring pain and suffering, even risking death.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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