Recently, the conflict between Israel and Palestine has heated up again. Protests at the Gaza border began March 30 in objection to Israeli occupation, specifically the military blockade against the Gaza strip and the U.S. Embassy’s move to Tel Aviv.
121 people have been killed and 3,700 wounded, including a paramedic and two journalists.
The international outrage for Israel’s government has grown exponentially with many calling for an independent investigation. The body count continues to grow, with no end in sight. It seems that those in power don’t really care about the growing death tolls, because they see themselves as the victims in this situation.
Israel believes the shootings are justified. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the killings by saying, “I think that all of our troops deserve a medal.” In another interview, he claimed that “there are no innocents in Gaza,” implying that the 15-year-old child that the Israeli Defense forces killed wasn’t innocent.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also quick to praise the Israeli Defense Forces. He later said, “Well done to our soldiers. Israel acts vigorously and with determination to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens.” When video of Israeli snipers cheering while shooting protesters leaked online, Israeli politician Oren Hazan tweeted, “What’s all the fuss about?”
The same officials that are vindicated in their beliefs are actively derailing any sort of investigation into these “justified shootings.” The Minister of Defense formally announced that Israel would not allow an inquiry into the shootings of protesters. The Israeli government also revoked the work permit of Omar Shakir, the director of the Palestine division of Human Rights Watch.
However, there is hope due to the Israeli military announcing that they will investigate the shooting of paramedic Razan al-Najjar. Although a spokesperson said that al-Najjar’s shooting was, “in accordance with standard operating procedures,” so I doubt they will take the investigation seriously.
America has also decided to do nothing about the shootings. In fact, the U.S. propagated Israel’s victim narrative. The U.S. was one of two countries who voted against a U.N. war crimes investigation. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. stated, “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”
In addition, Haley and Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador, allege that Iran funded these protests. Danon stated that “Iran is supporting the riots in Gaza,” a statement that has never been confirmed with actual evidence. Jared Kushner placed blame on Hamas and the protesters, but none on the Israeli government. “As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”
This part of the speech was later edited out of the press release, for obvious reasons. The White House deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, also agreed with Kusher. He stated, “The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas. Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response. And as the Secretary of State said, Israel has the right to defend itself.”
In summary, those in power don’t care about what happens to these people. As of today, there are 1.9 million Gazans that continue to live in an open-air prison where they are shot to death if they try to leave. The weapons used to kill these people are regularly supplied by the U.S. government- American taxpayers give $3 billion dollars worth of military aid to Israel every year.
Yet, the world will continue to watch with intrigue as the people of Gaza are summarily executed. In spite of this, the people of Gaza continue to fight for their freedom. I wish them the best and hope they will continue to fight against Israeli oppression.