[News] Palestine's widening geography of resistance: Why Israel cannot defeat the Palestinians

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Tue Apr 12 11:29:10 EDT 2022


middleeastmonitor.com
<https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220412-palestines-widening-geography-of-resistance-why-israel-cannot-defeat-the-palestinians/>
Palestine's widening geography of resistance: Why Israel cannot defeat the
Palestinians
Dr Ramzy Baroud - April 12, 2022
------------------------------

There is a reason why Israel is insistent on linking the series of attacks
carried out by Palestinians recently to a specific location, namely the
Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. By doing so, the embattled
Naftali Bennett's government can simply order another deadly military
operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is under
control.

Indeed, on 9 April, the Israeli army had stormed
<https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/9/one-dead-in-israel-army-raid-on-palestinian-refugee-camp>
the Jenin refugee camp, killing a Palestinian and wounding ten others.
However, Israel's problem is much bigger than Jenin.

If we examine the events starting with the 22 March stabbing attack
<https://www.npr.org/2022/03/22/1088126698/beersheba-israelis-stabbed-attack>
in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir Al Saba') – which resulted in the
death of four – and ending with the killing
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/07/tel-aviv-israel-attack/>
of three Israelis in Tel Aviv – including two army officers – we will reach
an obvious conclusion: these attacks must have been, to some extent,
coordinated.

Spontaneous Palestinian retaliation to the violence of the Israeli
occupation rarely follows this pattern in terms of timing or style. All the
attacks, with the exception of Beersheba, were carried out using firearms.
The shooters, as indicated by the amateur videos of some of the events and
statements by Israeli eyewitnesses, were well-trained and were acting with
great composure.

An example was the 27 March Hadera event, carried out by two cousins, Ayman
and Ibrahim Ighbariah, from the Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm, inside Israel.
Israeli media reported of the unmistakable skills of the attackers, armed
with weapons that, according to the Israeli news agency, *Tazpit Press
Service*, cost
<https://worldisraelnews.com/isis-inspired-terrorists-kill-2-israelis-wound-6-in-northern-israel/>
more than $30,000.

*READ: Who is responsible for the ongoing attacks in Israel?
<https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220401-who-is-responsible-for-the-ongoing-attacks-in-israel/>*

Unlike Palestinian attacks carried out during the Second Palestinian
Intifada
<https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/28/palestinian-intifada-20-years-later-israeli-occupation-continues>
(2000-05) in response to Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the
latest attacks are generally more pinpointed, seek police and military
personnel and clearly aimed at shaking Israel's false sense of security and
undermining the country's intelligence services. In the Bnei Brak attack,
on 29 March, for example, an Israeli woman who was at the scene told
<https://twitter.com/Malak__yousef/status/1508904511833784333> reporters
that "the militant asked us to move away from the place because he did not
want to target women or children."

While Israeli intelligence reports have recently warned
<https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-702902> of a "wave of terrorism"
ahead of the holy month of Ramadan*,* they clearly had little conception of
what type of violence, or where and how Palestinians would strike.

Following the Beersheba attack, Israeli officials referred to Daesh's
responsibility, a convenient claim considering that Daesh had also claimed
responsibility. This theory was quickly marginalised, as it became obvious
that the other Palestinian attackers had other political affiliations or,
as in the Bnei Brak case, no known affiliation at all.

The confusion and misinformation continued for days. Shortly after the Tel
Aviv attack, Israeli media, citing official sources, spoke of two
attackers, alleging that one was trapped in a nearby building. This was
untrue as there was only one attacker and he was killed, though hours later
in a different city.

A number of Palestinian workers were quickly rounded up in Tel Aviv on
suspicion of being the attackers simply because they looked Arab, evidence
of the chaotic Israeli approach. Indeed, following each event, total mayhem
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-march-30-2022-2/> ensued, with
large mobs of armed Israelis taking to the streets looking for anyone with
Arab features to apprehend or to beat senseless.

Israeli officials contributed to the frenzy, with far-right politicians,
such as the extremist, Itamar Ben Gvir, leading
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/far-right-mk-returns-to-sheikh-jarrah-hotspot-claims-cops-were-told-to-assault-him/>
hordes of other extremists in rampages in occupied Jerusalem.

[image: Palestinians attend funeral ceremony of Palestinian Ahmed Nasser
Al-Saidi, who was killed in Israeli forces' raid, at Jenin Refugee Camp in
Jenin, West Bank on 9 April 2022. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]]

Palestinians attend funeral ceremony of Palestinian Ahmed Nasser Al-Saidi,
who was killed in Israeli forces' raid, at Jenin Refugee Camp in Jenin,
West Bank on 9 April 2022. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Instead of urging calm and displaying confidence, the country's own Prime
Minister called, on 30 March, on ordinary Israelis to arm themselves.
"Whoever has a gun license, this is the time to carry it," he said
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/bennett-urges-israeli-gun-owners-to-strap-up-amid-murderous-terror-wave/>
in a video statement. However, if Israel's solution to any form of
Palestinian resistance was more guns, Palestinians would have been pacified
long ago.

To placate angry Israelis, the Israeli military raided the city and refugee
camp of Jenin on many occasions, each time leaving several dead and wounded
Palestinians behind, including many civilians. They include the child, Imad
Hashash, 15, killed on 24 August while filming
<https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/1/west-bank-anger-boils-as-jenin-becomes-hotbed-of-resistance>
the invasion on his mobile phone. The exact same scenario played out on  9
April.

However, it was an exercise in futility, as it was Israeli violence in
Jenin throughout the years that led to the armed resistance that continues
to emanate from the camp. Palestinians, whether in Jenin or elsewhere,
fight back because they are denied basic human rights, have no political
horizon, live in extreme poverty, have no true leadership and feel
abandoned by the so-called international community.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas seems to be entirely removed
from the masses. Statements by Abbas reflect his detachment from the
reality of Israeli violence, military occupation and apartheid throughout
Palestine. True to form, Abbas quickly condemned
<https://english.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/128717> the Tel Aviv attack, as he
did the previous ones, making the same reference every time regarding the
need to maintain "stability" and to prevent "further deterioration of the
situation", according to the official *Wafa *news agency.

What stability is Abbas referring to, when Palestinian suffering has been
compounded by growing settler violence, illegal settlement expansion, land
theft, and, thanks to recent international events, food insecurity as well?

*READ: Why does the world believe that killing Palestinians is necessary
for Israel's security?
<https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220411-why-does-the-world-believe-that-killing-palestinians-is-necessary-for-israels-security/>*

Israeli officials and media are, once again, conveniently placing the blame
largely on Jenin, a tiny stretch of an overpopulated area. By doing so,
Israel wants to give the impression that the new phenomenon of Palestinian
retaliatory attacks is confined to a single place, one that is adjacent to
the Israeli border and can be easily 'dealt with'.

An Israeli military operation in the camp may serve Bennett's political
agenda, convey a sense of strength, and win back some in his disenchanted
political constituency. But it is all a temporary fix. Attacking Jenin now
will make no difference in the long run. After all, the camp rose from the
ashes of its near-total destruction by the Israeli military in April 2002.

The renewed Palestinian attacks speak of a much wider geography: Naqab, Umm
Al Fahm, the West Bank. The seeds of this territorial connectivity are
linked to the Israeli war of last May and the subsequent Palestinian
rebellion, which erupted in every part of Palestine, including Palestinian
communities inside Israel.

Israel's problem is its insistence on providing short-term military
solutions to a long-term problem, itself resulting from these very
'military solutions'. If Israel continues to subjugate the Palestinian
people under the current system of military occupation and deepening
apartheid, Palestinians will surely continue to respond until their
oppressive reality is changed. No amount of Israeli violence can alter this
truth.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not
necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.
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