What is home?
It is the shade of trees on my way to school before they were uprooted.
It is my grandparents’ black and white wedding photo before the walls crumbled.
It is my uncle’s prayer rug, where dozens of ants slept on wintry nights before it was rooted and put in the museum.
It is the oven my mother used to bake bread and roast chicken before a bomb reduced our house to ashes.
It is the café where I watched football matches and played-
My child stops me: Can a four-letter word hold all of these?”
(By Mosab Abu-Toha, Gaza-Palestinian Poet)
In the daily lives of any Palestinian, the words killed, attacked, injured, threatened, raided, beaten, assaulted, uprooted, demolished, and suffocated are part of common vocabulary. All year long, Israeli occupation troops slay, attack, hurt, assault, beat, and threaten Palestinians. They are robbed of their belongings, have their olive trees uprooted, and have their dwellings either destroyed or are ordered to self-demolish it, a cruel act possibly worse than the former.
In October 2015, a Palestinian teenager, Qais Shejaiya, aged 16, was shot and arrested by Israeli forces near the illegal settlement of ‘Beit El’ Seven years later, on 14 October 2022, Qais, at 23, was shot and killed by Israeli Occupation Forces at the same spot where he was detained, wounded and arrested.
Since the beginning of October 2022, under the protection of the occupation forces, dozens of Israeli settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli Occupation Soldiers closed the Qalandia military checkpoint to prevent Palestinians from passing through it. Palestinians and Israeli Occupation Forces engaged in a violent altercation in the Jerusalem village of Silwan. In the villages of Abu Shukhedem, Abu Qash, and Surda, which are located north of Ramallah City, Palestinians clashed with Israeli occupation forces. Israeli Occupation Forces detained a young Palestinian man after storming the town of Abu Shaidem, which is close to Ramallah City. Palestinian refugees in Jerusalem’s Shufat refugee camp were subjected to tear gas attacks. In the Al Salam neighbourhood of Jerusalem, close to the Shufat refugee camp, Palestinians clashed with Israeli occupation forces with fireworks.
Israelis stormed the Ibrahimi Mosque too, one of Islam’s holiest spaces, and performed a music festival inside. They banned Palestinians from praying in their mosque. The mosque has long been threatened with invasion by Israeli settlers. An American Israeli killed 29 Palestinians, including children in the mosque in 1994.
While writing this article, across Palestine, the IOF and settlers are targeting the Palestinians. An ongoing Pogrom. IOF targeted refugee camps and Palestinian areas which include Kufr Aqab, Qalandia, Shuafat, Anata, Issawyia, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
- Jenin Refugee CampThe Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) assassinated Abdullah Abu Al-Teen, age 43, a Palestinian physician while tending to other injured Palestinians. He was the father of three kids. During the operation, the IOF also killed another young man named Mateen Dabaya. The military raid in the Jenin refugee camp left many Palestinians injured.
- Southern Nablus Israeli colonists destroyed the olive trees of Qaryout village. Dozens of settlers raided the village of Huwara, and the IOF assaulted the residents there.
- Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood in Jerusalem homes in Silwan village in the occupied city of Jerusalem resulted in the suffocation of two Palestinian children. Israeli settlers assaulted the Palestinians’ cars. Far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir broke into the area of Sheikh Jarrah and brandished his gun at the locals. Israeli forces assaulted a young Palestinian man in the village of Silwan. A massive detention campaign across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem resulted in the incarceration of at least 21 Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. Palestinians and Israeli occupation troops engaged in violent clashes in the town of Issawiya in the city of Jerusalem. While invading the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Al Tur, Israeli Occupation Forces sprayed skunk water on the Palestinians.
- Southern Nablus CityIsraeli settlers in Huwara town while being protected by soldiers attacked Palestinians. While invading the community of Qusra, Israeli settlers set fire to over 30,000 hens. Attacks by Israeli settlers on the community of Qusra resulted in several reported injuries.
- RamallahThe Israeli occupation forces raided a residential building in the Al Tirah neighbourhood.
- Al-Arroub Camp, HebronOsama Adawi (18), passed away from injuries he received from Israeli Occupation Forces at the Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Last month on 29 September, Rayan Suliman, age 7, from Tuqu, a community east of Bethlehem, died after falling from a height while being hounded by Israeli occupation forces. one day before on 28 September, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the Israeli Occupation Forces murdered four Palestinian boys in Jenin: Mohammed Allounah, Mohammed Abu Na’sa, Ahmed Alawnah, and Abed Khazim. Again on October 8, the Israeli Occupation Forces assassinated four Palestinian boys—Adel Daud (14), Mahdi Ladawah (17), Ahmad Daraghmah, and Mahmoud Sous (17) — in less than twenty-four hours. The occupation of Palestine continues beyond the military incursions, and economic restrictions imposed by Israel. Israel has control over every aspect of life. Environment, education, healthcare, agriculture, and free movement, and, as of last month, it was mandated that Israeli authorities be informed of any romantic relationships with Palestinians. Earlier this month, Israel took paradoxical actions by siding with the protesting Iranian women. In a video posted by Israel’s foreign ministry, Israeli women hold a poster of Mahsa Amini that reads, Women of Israel Stand with Iranian Women. The irony is that Israeli settlers go to great lengths in Palestine to make life difficult for Muslim women who wear niqabs and hijabs. They abuse women of all ages without hesitation. During the holy month of Ramadan last year, Israel bombed Gaza resulting in the deaths of 64 children and 38 women. Many injuries and thousands of homeless individuals resulted from the fatal week. Israel agreed to the truce after ten days, but it did not hold for very long. Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event on October 4th, the UK’s former prime minister, Liz Truss, said, “I am so pleased to be here for the first time at the CFI event as your Prime Minister. As you know, I am a huge Zionist, I am a huge supporter of Israel, and I know that we can take the UK-Israel relationship from strength to strength.” Her admission drew condemnation for her apparent support of an apartheid state and a complete lack of sympathy for the Palestinians who were the victims of Israel’s cruelty. In a speech delivered in the European Parliament four days later, on October 8, following the discussion of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Mick Wallace, a member of the European Parliament from Ireland South, said, “… If we cared about protecting Human Rights in a consistent, principled manner, we would condemn the relentless murder of Palestinian men, women, and children by Israeli Forces every single plenary…” Wallace posted his speech on Twitter with the caption “If EU cared about Human Rights in #Iran, they wouldn’t be trying to impose new unilateral sanctions. If we cared about Human Rights in a consistent manner, we’d condemn the #Isreali murder of #Palestinians every month. Do we care that #US / #EU Sanctions are killing Iranians?” War crimes committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces continue every day. Even journalists and doctors are not immune to Israeli apartheid violence. On 11 May, a veteran Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was killed, and her colleague Ali Sammoudi got injured while documenting Israeli army incursions in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. The videos are gruesome. In Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israeli soldiers, police, and security forces were in coordinate to commit atrocious acts of violence. Apartheid is a violent “system.” It needs to constantly threaten and employ violence to survive. It is present every day, all day long. By the time this article will get published, many more Palestinians will lose their lives. As the French novelist and this year’s Nobel Laureate Annie Ernaux said, Israel is the colonising power. Palestine is colonised. This is not a conflict, but rather, apartheid.