I’ve been receiving videos from Palestinian friends, of Israeli military actions taking place, not just in Jenin, but across the length and breadth of the West Bank. I so far have seen no indication from the mainstream American press that Israeli military occupations have extended beyond Jenin. But while nine Palestinians were killed in Jenin, one was killed in Ar-Ram (so Israeli military actions are obviously not confined to Jenin). Since then, there have been two widely-reported Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets as well, one in the settlement of Neve Yaakov, the other in a location that The New York Times vaguely describes as being “near a settlement in East Jerusalem.”
I’ve received videos from other places in Palestine, but was asked not to post them for fear of retaliation by the Israelis against the videographers. Here is a verbatim set of messages with a friend who sent me a 2:40 minute video.
Friend: The Israeli army is just under my house, searching houses and arresting people [followed immediately by video]
Irfan: Where was this video taken?
Friend: From my home, yesterday
Irfan: Can I put it on my blog? I will not mention you or the place. People should see it
Friend: No, please. They will discover that.
The video shows the Israeli military filing into the village, driving a military bulldozer through its narrow streets, and leading young men down the streets blindfolded and handcuffed. A few shots show soldiers pointing guns at the occupants of buildings, and shining a bright light or reflector in the direction of the person taking the video. The military evidently broke into and ransacked my friend’s home, as well (not for the first or last time); he shows the damage to the door where they broke in, and shows clothes strewn around the house where the search was done. In one part of the video, one hears the oddly comforting call to prayer going in the background. Sadly, no one will ever see this video but me and a few of my close friends. Yet another case, to paraphrase Leo Strauss, of “Persecution and the Art of Videography Under Zionism.”
I’ll have more to say about these videos in a subsquent post. For now, I just wanted to get them out there.
The four videos in this post all depict scenes from Jenin that I haven’t seen in the mainstream American press. I have a few more of Jenin, specifically of Israeli military bulldozers crashing into private cars parked on the street, presumably to clear the way for an influx of troops or passage for large military vehicles. I haven’t uploaded those ones only because they’re each a few seconds in duration, but eat up a lot of memory despite that. I’ll upload them if anyone questions my description of them.
Between the videos I’ve posted here and the ones I’ve just described, I think it’s clear that the attack on Jenin is far more than a mere “raid.” It’s a full-scale attack on par with an invasion. I can’t be sure how extensive the attack on the West Bank is as a whole, but it’s certainly more extensive than is being reported in the mainstream American press. If it is indeed a full-scale attack on par with what we saw in 2002, we can fairly wonder whether it’s a prelude to a de facto Israeli annexation of the West Bank, or at least a trial balloon for such an operation. Hardly unexpected, but a miserable prospect nonetheless.
“I’ve been receiving videos from Palestinian friends of Israeli military actions”
I’m surprised that Israeli military actions have so many Palestinian friends.
I wouldn’t be surprised were it to prove beginning of an annexation.
For many years, it has seemed that Israel accumulates intelligence, in Gaza, on who is up to what as far attacks and plots against Israel are concerned. Then when there is an attack on Israel, such as a rocket attack, Israel goes into Gaza with force, destroying things and rounding up individuals on their current list. Perhaps only that, not prelude to annexation, is what is going on now at West Bank.
The situation of the West Bank is very different from that of Gaza, and lends itself more clearly to an annexation scenario. Gaza, though militarily under blockade, no longer has Israeli settlements in it. So Israel has no incentive to annex it.
But the West Bank has some 450,000 settlers, some 200 settlements, and an entire infrastructure to support them. These settlements are not located in any one given area. They’re spread out all over. Further, all of the eastern side of the West Bank, the part furthest from Israel proper, is under full Israeli control (Area C). Given the location of the Dead Sea (and its importance to tourism), and of the facilities of Ahava (the cosmetics company, near the Dead Sea), as well as the religious sites of Masada and the Qumran caves (nearby), Israel has a strong desire to assert full control over the whole eastern side of the West Bank. But given how many settlements there are between its western and eastern edges, annexation is the only feasible way of exerting control over the whole. Annexing the West Bank would also politically neutralize the entire Palestinian population, which would likely not be given Israeli citizenship, and remain indefinitely under conditions of apartheid.
So my view is that the most recent military incursions are a dress rehearsal for annexation. The West Bank can’t be put under the kind of siege that has been imposed on Gaza; given the presence of a settler population in the West Bank, that’s not a viable option. Annexation isn’t really a viable option, either, since it will probably lead to war. But Israel is ready for war, and the United States is ready to support it in such a war. So annexation is, to them, preferable to an indefinite continuation of the status quo, and obviously preferable to a pro-Palestinian one-state solution, or a two-state solution.
LikeLiked by 1 person