Human Rights Watch in its 2020 report said that Israel continued to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions in Palestine; restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip; and facilitate the transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank, an illegal practice under international humanitarian law.
Israel’s twelve-year closure of Gaza, exacerbated by Egyptian restrictions on its border with Gaza, limits access to educational, economic, and other opportunities, medical care, clean water and electricity for the nearly 2 million Palestinians who live there. Eighty percent of Gaza’s population depend on humanitarian aid.
Israeli forces stationed on the Israeli side of fences separating Gaza and Israel continued to fire live ammunition at demonstrators inside Gaza who posed no imminent threat to life, pursuant to open-fire orders from senior officials that contravene international human rights standards. According to the Palestinian rights group al-Mezan, Israeli forces killed 34 Palestinians and, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, injured 1,883 with live ammunition during these protests in 2019 as of October 31.
The world’s largest prison
Fighting between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza involved unlawful attacks and civilian casualties. During a flare-up in early May, Israeli airstrikes killed 25 Palestinians, 13 of whom were civilians killed in strikes that appeared to contain no military objective or caused disproportionate civilian loss in violation of the laws of war.
During the first nine months of 2019, Israeli authorities approved plans for 5,995 housing units in West Bank settlements, excluding East Jerusalem, as compared to 5,618 in all of 2018, according to the Israeli group Peace Now. Israeli cabinet officials in September approved ex-post facto the outpost settlement of Mevo’ot Yericho in the Jordan Valley that had been illegal even under Israeli law, just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities destroyed 504 Palestinian homes and other structures in 2019 as November 11, the majority for lacking construction permits. Israel makes it nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain such permits in East Jerusalem or in the 60 percent of the West Bank under its exclusive control (Area C). The demolitions displaced 642 people as of September 16, more than the total number of people displaced in 2018 (472), according to the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Israeli rights group B’Tselem recorded more demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem in 2019 than in any other year since at least 2004.
All of this occurred in 2020, but by no means is this an unusually tragic year for the Palestinian people similar reports have been published for years.
The draconian rule of law in IOK
Back in 2019 the UN released a report on the human right abuses in Kashmir. The section on human right abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir included: civilian killings and excessive use of force, continued use of pellet-firing shotgun, cordon and search operations, arbitrary detention, impunity for human rights violations, restrictions on freedom of expression, censorship and attack on press freedoms, restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, torture, targeting of Kashmiri Muslims outside Jammu and Kashmir. These are harsh realities of being a Kashmiri in Indian Occupied J&K.
The 2019 report further said that according to the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), around 160 civilians were killed in 2018, which is believed to be the highest number in over one decade. Last year also registered the highest number of conflict-related casualties since 2008 4 with 586 people killed including 267 members of armed groups and 159 security forces personnel.
However, the Union Ministry for Home Affairs claimed only 37 civilians, 238 terrorists and 86 security forces personnel were killed in 2018 up to 2 December 2018. The clear denial of the Kashmiri genocide on part of the Indian authorities is telling of their intentions in the region.
According to JKCCS, 1,081 civilians have been killed by security forces in extrajudicial killings between 2008 and 2018. Of the 160 civilians reportedly killed in 2018,
The Kashmir Valley, where most of the protests and armed encounters are reported to have taken place, accounted for 122 of these civilian killings.
There is no information on the status of the five investigations launched into extrajudicial executions in 2016. The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir did not establish any investigations into civilian killings in 2017. No prosecutions have been reported.
It does not appear that Indian security forces have been asked to re-evaluate or change their crowd control techniques or rules of engagement.
Indian security forces continue to use pellet-firing shotguns in the Kashmir Valley as a crowd-control weapon despite concerns as to excessive use of force and the large number of incidental civilian deaths and injuries that have resulted.
The 12-gauge pump-action shotgun firing metal pellets is one of the most dangerous weapons used in Kashmir. According to information from Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, where most pellet shotgun injured are treated, 1,253 people have been blinded by the metal pellets used by security forces from mid-2016 to the end of 2018.
So-called “cordon and search operations”, a much-criticized military strategy employed by the Indian security forces in the early 1990s, was reintroduced in the Kashmir Valley in 2017. According to national and international human rights organizations, cordon and search operations enable a range of human rights violations, including physical intimidation and assault, invasion of privacy, arbitrary and unlawful detention, collective punishment and destruction of private property.
On 28 February 2019, the central government declared religious-political organization Jamaat e Islami (Jammu and Kashmir) an unlawful association under section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967. On 22 March 2019, the central government declared the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (Yasin faction) an unlawful association.
Why isn’t the world reacting to Israel’s atrocities in Palestine
“Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We are obliged to bear witness. Please tell everyone you can,” writes Gideon Polya, the author of US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide. Under the guise of ‘counter-terrorism’ since 9/11 Muslims around the world have become targets of brutal atrocities. Any insurgencies that are locally created and born as a result of the harsh and subjugating conditions in disputed areas such as Kashmir or Palestine are chalked up to ‘terrorism.’
Ironically in Israel when Hamas prevailed in the January 2006 national legislative elections. It is a bitter irony that Hamas was encouraged, especially by Washington, to participate in the elections to show its commitment to a political process (as an alternative to violence) and then was badly punished for having the temerity to succeed, writes Richard Falk, an American scholar.
These elections were internationally monitored under the leadership of the former American president, Jimmy Carter, and pronounced as completely fair. Carter has recently termed this Israeli/American refusal to accept the outcome of such a democratic verdict as itself ‘criminal.’
He wrote in 2007 that It was also deeply discrediting of the campaign of the Bush presidency to promote democracy in the region, an effort already under a dark shadow in view of the policy failure in Iraq.
After winning the Palestinian elections, Hamas was castigated as a terrorist organization that had not renounced violence against Israel and had refused to recognize the Jewish state as a legitimate political entity. In fact, the behavior and outlook of Hamas is more complex and diverse. From the outset of its political existence in 1987, Hamas seemed ready to work with other Palestinian groups, especially Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas, to establish a ‘unity’ government.
More than this, their leadership revealed a willingness to move toward an acceptance of Israel’s existence if Israel would in turn agree to move back to its 1967 borders, implementing finally unanimous Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Even more dramatically, Hamas proposed a ten-year truce with Israel, and went so far as to put in place a unilateral ceasefire that lasted for eighteen months, and was broken only to engage in rather pathetic strikes mainly taking place in response to Israeli violent provocations in Gaza.
As Efraim Halevi, former head of Israel’s Mossad was reported to have said, ‘What Isreal needs from Hamas is an end to violence, not diplomatic recognition.’ And this is precisely what Hamas offered and what Israel rejected.
This deeply unsettling truth about how India and Israel hold Kashmir and Palestine in a chokehold not only militarily but politically, and economically. The similarities between the state of Kashmiris and Palestinians are a result of the similarities in the nature of the Indian and Israeli states.
Both India and Israel engage in a brutal subjugation of populations that they are in control of but have not earned the loyalty of. Kashmir, a state with a majority Muslim population in a country that is a Hindu majority and seeks to assimilate the region as it has ‘historic relevance’ to the nation. India over the years maintained that Kashmir belongs to it as a mandate from the Hindu prince of the state, appointed by the British, a Hindu prince who had committed genocide himself on the Kashmiri population. Recently, whilst becoming more Hindu nationalistic in nature the state has become much less subtle it it’s tactics to forcibly take the region.
Israel has been less encryptic in its approach in Palestine, with the land that was taken as a result of Palestinian ‘Nakba’ which displaced around 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and rightful lands, being stated as historically belonging to the Jewish people. Under the guise of a ‘democracy’ fighting terrorism both India and Israel continue to wreak unimaginable havoc in the lives of Kashmiris and Palestinians.
Growing Islamophobia usage by Israel in Palestine
Both states unsurprisingly recently supported President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam as a religion in crisis. A Jewish South-African anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils writes “As a Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist I look with horror on the far-right shift in Israel ahead of this month’s elections, and the impact in the Palestinian territories and worldwide.
Israel’s repression of Palestinian citizens, African refugees and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza has become more brutal over time. Ethnic cleansing, land seizure, home demolition, military occupation, bombing of Gaza and international law violations led Archbishop Tutu to declare that the treatment of Palestinians reminded him of apartheid, only worse. How disgraceful that, despite the lessons of our struggle against racism, such intolerance continues to this day.
I’m also deeply disturbed that critics of Israel’s brutal policies are frequently threatened with repression of their freedom of speech, a reality I’ve now experienced at first hand. Last week, a public meeting in Vienna where I was scheduled to speak in support of Palestinian freedom, as part of the global Israeli Apartheid Week, was cancelled by the museum hosting the event – under pressure from Vienna’s city council, which opposes the international movement to divest from Israel.”
India too receives the same international support while it continues it human right violations in Kashmir, the disparity in the treatment of Muslim countries and voices become painfully apparent when taking into account that Pakistan was grey-listed by the FATF while India and Israel continue to enjoy international support and investment.
GVS News Desk