Merriam-Webster calls a
police state "a political unit characterized by repressive governmental
control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary
exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular
operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according
to publicly known legal procedures."
In other words, it's governance by state terror over a controlled population.
Palestinians understand well. They've experienced the worst kind of militarized
persecution and repression for decades.
State-sponsored violence affects them multiple times daily. They're isolated
on their own without rights. They're terrorized for not being Jews. World
leaders able to help spurn them.
In the week ending December 13 alone, Israel forces killed three Palestinians.
Three others were wounded. West Bank communities were violently raided
10 times daily on average pre-dawn.
Forty-five innocent Palestinians were arrested. Five boys and one girl
were violently detained. Three human rights organizations were attacked.
Their belongings were confiscated. Their offices were ransacked and trashed.
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) condemned what
It denounced Israel's "brutal raid(s) as part of the continuous campaign
to target and hinder the work of human rights organizations and their
supporters, as well as to gather information on the employees of civil
On November 21, Pillar of Cloud terror-bombings ended. Daily Israeli violence
continues. Palestinians live in a virtual war zone.
Media scoundrels ignore it. Palestinian deaths, injuries, and arrests
aren't reported. Israel freely commits murder and unspeakable brutality
with immunity. What began decades ago never ended.
On December 12, Mohammed Ziad Awad al-Salayma turned 17. He lived in Hebron's
old city. He went to buy birthday cake to celebrate.
At Checkpoint 160 he was stopped. It's about 100 meters from his home.
A female Border Guard Force accosted him. She opened fire. She murdered
him at point blank range.
He threatened no one. Three bullets caused instant death. Israeli forces
kept his body over two hours before releasing it. The Israeli soldier
is safe. No criminal charges will follow. She and other security forces
are free to kill again. Impunity whitewashes their crimes.
Al Haq said it's investigating the incident. Shortly after the shooting,
Mohammad's parents learned what happened. They rushed to the crime scene.
They tried to enter an Israeli ambulance holding their son.
Soldiers prevented them. They struck Mohammad's father, Ziad. His injured
leg needed short-term hospitalization.
Pre-dawn, Israeli soldiers raided his home. One of his older brothers
and a cousin were arrested. Israel acted viciously and vengefully. Neither
man deserved harsh treatment. Innocence is no defense.
Palestinians are guilty of praying to the wrong God. They're accosted,
brutalized, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered for not being
Jewish. Rogue terror states operate that way.
Mohammad's cold-blooded murder wasn't happenstance. Barbaric incidents
happen with police state frequency. Innocent Palestinians are terrorized.
Children are traumatized. Emotional scars often don't heal.
On December 14, Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent Palestinians in East
Jerusalem's Al-Esawiyya area. They were protesting in solidarity with
detained Palestinian hunger strikers.
Rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and concussion grenades caused 15
injuries. Five youths were arrested. Their whereabouts are unknown.
A protest tent in solidarity with detainee Samer Al-Wsaawy was demolished.
He's hunger struck for nearly 90 days. He's willing to die for justice.
Palestinian Prisoner Society spokesperson, Amani Sarahna, called hunger
striker Hasan Safady's condition grave and deteriorating.
He's been lawlessly detained over six months in solitary confinement uncharged.
He hunger struck earlier. Israel promised release, then reneged.
He's one of four Palestinian detainees on open-ended strikes. They're
lawlessly held. They want freedom or death. Israel doesn't care if they
live or die.
On December 14, Israeli security forces violently attacked weekly nonviolent
Palestinians. They were protesting against Israel's lawless Separation
Dozens of injuries followed. Rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades,
waste-water mixed with toxic chemicals, and live fire were used.
Protesters called December 14 "The Friday on Anger." Local, international,
and Israeli activists joined them. They marched peacefully. They carried
They chanted slogans for national unity. They urged courage and steadfastness
for liberating independence. They demanded Israel release all political
They denounced letting soldiers fire live rounds against unarmed nonviolent
protesters. They condemned Mohammad Salaymah's murder.
They called security force violence "state-sponsored terrorism." They
urged "increasing the nonviolent popular protests in different parts of
occupied Palestine to expose Israel's racist policies."
Israeli soldiers attacked other West Bank protesters. Dozens more were
injured. Affected areas included Kufur Qaddoum village near Qalqilia,
Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Al-Ma'sare village in
Area National Committee Against the Wall coordinator, Hasan Breijiyya,
said protests marked the first Intifada's anniversary. It came in solidarity
with hunger striking detainees.
He urged wide-scale protests and international involvement. He said continued
global awareness is vital. Exposing and sustaining protests against occupation
harshness are the only ways to end it.
Israeli soldiers also shot and injured two Gazans east of Khan Younis
and Jabalia. Farmers were shot in their fields. Israel pledged to stop
this. It continues unabated. Deaths and other injuries follow.
Israeli naval forces keep attacking Palestinian fishermen. Injuries, arrests,
vessel damage, and confiscation follow.
On December 14, Israeli soldiers accosted two Reuters cameramen. The punched
and stripped them down to underwear. They made them kneel with their hands
behind their heads. They fired tear gas. Hospital treatment followed.
Both men said soldiers stopped them. They were driving nearby. Their car
was clearly marked TV. They wore blue flak jackets emblazoned with "Press."
Soldiers punched and rifle-butted them. They accused them of working for
B'Tselem. They confiscated their camera and other belongings.
Reuters editor-in-chief, Stephen Adler, said, "We deplore the mistreatment
of our journalists, and have registered our extreme dismay with the Israeli
Two Palestinian journalists working for other news organizations were
treated the same way.
In November, Gaza's Health Ministry reported 191 Palestinians killed.
Many were children, infants, women and the elderly. They were deliberately
targeted. Killing civilians is official Israeli policy. Nearly 1,500 others
Since Pillar of Cloud memorandum of understanding terms were finalized,
Israel murdered four Gazans. Another 54 were injured.
So far, Hamas and other resistance forces haven't responded. It's just
a matter of time before they'll have to against something too grave to
Numerous small provocations followed by something major generally precede
premeditated large-scale Israeli attacks.
Israel deplores peace. It sustains violence to avoid it. Palestinians
pay heavily. They're accused of Israeli crimes. Confrontation continues
because Israel sustains it.
Conflict resolution won't happen unless or until world leaders hold Israeli
officials responsible. Rhetoric alone substitutes for meaningful action.
Gaza's Media Office head confirmed that Israel used illegal white phosphorous
in civilian neighborhoods during Pillar of Cloud. International experts
found clear evidence.
Shell fragments and casings proved it. Expect follow-up findings to reveal
other toxins used against civilians. It's standard Israeli practice.
Extremist settlers attack Palestinians daily. State-sanctioned violence
has many forms. Palestinians are hurt. Valued property is damaged or destroyed.
Incidents aren't isolated. They're systematically planned. They're committed
to assert territorial intimidation and control. Israeli security forces
ignore what happens. They let violence continue with impunity. Sometimes
On December 15, settlers and Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinians near
Nablus. Homes and vehicles were targeted. Dozens of injuries resulted.
Settlers stormed Hamdan Ahmad Hussein's home. He lives in Einabous. His
wife, Lialy, was attacked and injured.
She required hospitalization. Family furniture and other property were
destroyed. Israeli soldiers were complicit in this and similar attacks.
They fired rubber bullets and tear gas at Palestinian victims. These type
incidents happen with police state frequency. Palestinians have no place
to hide. Even at home they're unsafe.
On December 14, a You Tube video showed eight people calling themselves
a "New Brigade." Scarves covering their faces protected their identities.
From Hebron, they announced a third Intifada, saying:
"We hereby, from the heart of the West Bank, in the revolutionary city
of Hebron, declare the establishment of the National Unity Brigades in
the Hebron district."
"We announce that our brigades include supporters of al-Yasin (Hamas leader
Sheikh Ahmad Yasin), al-Yasser (Fatah leader Yasser Arafat), al-Shiqaqi
(Islamic Jihad leader Fathi al-Shiqaqi), and (PFLP leader) Abu Ali Mustafa."
"Our brigades support the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' decision
to announce a Palestinian state, and we will not cede a grain of sand
of the Palestinian land from the sea to the river."
They listed demands. They called for ending militarized occupation, removing
all checkpoints, releasing Palestinian prisoners, returning seized Palestinian
revenues, opening Gaza crossings, and providing water and electricity
They continued, saying:
"Our message to the whole world and to the Zionist enemy is that our brigades
declare the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada from the heart of
Hebron to extend to the rest of Palestine."
"You should know Zionists that if you detain our people, we will kidnap
your soldiers, and if you kill our people, we will kill."
"We will use an iron fist against you using all the power we have if you
don't bring an end to this arrogance against our Palestinian people."
What follows remains to be seen. Persecuted people eventually react. Long-suffering
Palestinians are on their own. Liberation depends on sustained struggle.
Perhaps something significant looms.
A Final Comment
Israel’s Jerusalem Post (JP) is notoriously right wing. It publishes hateful
Martin Sherman held various IDF operational positions. He was one of Yitzhak
Shamir’s ministerial advisors. He lectures at Tel Aviv University. Students
are advised to avoid him. His anti-Palestinian hatefulness is visceral.
On December 13, JP gave him op-ed space. He took full advantage. He lashed
out viciously against Palestinian rights. He denounced their UN initiative.
He said Israel must respond. It must impose "permanent penalties." They
should have "real and lasting" effects. Abrogate Oslo, he suggested. Let
the PA "fall apart."
Attack Palestinian "diplomatic aggression" harshly. Cease “every service
and merchandise” provided. "In other words, no water, no electricity,
no fuel, no postal services, no communications, no port facilities, no
tax collections or remittances" should be supplied.
He barely stopped short of urging stepped-up genocide.
Imagine thoughts this harsh, cruel and lawless. Imagine writing them.
Imagine an Israeli broadsheet publishing them.
Know well what Palestinians face. Sherman and JP aren’t exceptions. They
reflect the worst of militarized police state occupation. They support
it. They display their racist hate openly. It warrants unrestrained condemnation.