Israel's Permanent War on Palestine - by Stephen Lendman
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) provides weekly snapshots of Israeli killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, home demolitions, destroyed farmland, assaults on peaceful protesters, community incursions, home invasions, and more besides full-scale attacks at its discretion - a decades-long onslaught against 1.5 million Gazans and over 2.5 million West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians.
On May 11, a recent assault occurred in the West Bank's Lubban Al-Sharqiya village when settlers attacked a local mosque, set it ablaze and gutted it. Israeli fire-fighters blamed it on an electrical short-circuit, later investigations showing arson was responsible, what Palestinians knew all along.
A village spokesperson said the mosque was undergoing renovations, its electricity turned off in the section where the fire broke out. Other villagers heard cars arrive around 3AM and saw settlers entering the mosque. They tore down curtains to start the blaze, stacked Qurans next to a bathroom, and arranged shoes on the pile in the shape of a Star of David to desecrate them and the mosque.
Besides security force assaults, attacks like this happen often against Palestinian homes, businesses, vehicles, farmland, and livestock - even children on their way to school. Rarely are charges ever brought, giving settlers license to commit crimes with impunity, including cold blooded murder.
Other Recent Attacks
On April 1, Israeli jets struck Gaza's Maghazi refugee camp and Palestinian businesses, including two cheese factories, claiming they were making weapons - the same justification Israel uses for other aggression, including saying it's in retaliation for homemade rockets fired, done only in response to repeated Israeli attacks, mostly against civilians, including farmers in their fields and fishermen in their own waters.
A May 5 PCHR report titled, "Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza" documented the January through April toll, the result of 19 IDF attacks on them during the period - nine in February, six in March, and four in April, all unprovoked against civilians. They occurred as follows, similar to others:
On March 25 at 9:30AM, IDF gunboats fired on Palestinian boats about 800 meters off Gaza's northern coast near Beit Lahia. Hazen Ahmed Juma'a al-Qur'an was wounded by shrapnel in his head, his boat heavily damaged; when treated at Kamal 'Edwan Hospital, his condition was described as "moderate to serious."
A nearby fisherman, Jamil al-Aqra'a, described what he saw, saying:
"The gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats directly. Al-Qur'an, who was on his boat with another two fishermen, was wounded in the head as a result. They left their fishing nets in the water and rushed to rescue him."
On April 21, IDF gunboats fired at Gazan fishermen off the Rafah coast. Yousel Husam al-Habbash, 15 years old, was wounded in his right hand. In three other attacks, the Israeli navy arrested 11 fishermen. In four others, fishing boats were confiscated. In two more, the IDF destroyed fishing tools and equipment at sea. In all cases, Gazans were fishing in their own waters. Israeli forces entered them illegally and opened fire, a clear crime against humanity against defenseless civilians, Israel's specialty.
Earlier on January 7, Haaretz Service reported that "Israel struck Gaza for the second time in 24 hours," saying:
"The Israeli Defense Forces launched a series of air strikes overnight....after a Qassam rocket fired from the Strip hit southern Israel" harming no one nor causing damage. Medics said three Palestinians were killed, including a 15-year old boy. Two others were wounded, and several others were feared trapped inside building ruins.
During the same week, various attacks killed three Palestinians, including one child, and wounded several others. Five air strikes caused no casualties, but during the same period, Israeli tanks entered Gaza, destroying farmland. On January 15, IDF tanks and artillery fire attacked civilian targets near Beit Hanoun. Homes were destroyed, but no injuries were reported.
In early May, Israeli snipers killed one Palestinian, wounding two women and a teenager in Gaza. Collaborating Egyptian forces sprayed disbursal gas into a tunnel, killing four Palestinians and injuring six others. In late April, other tunnel workers were targeted by the Egyptians and killed, six others at the same time injured.