The recent plight of the Palestinians has once again reached the news and social media after Israeli aggression intensified but it has been happening for more than a century after the loss of the Ottoman Empire to the British in World War 1. Year after year, the situation worsened for millions of Palestinians who are either living in horrific situations in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank and refugee camps in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan. This is due to Israeli control on Palestinian way of life in direct violations of international law. Israel has continuously bombed the Gaza Strip in their pursuits to kill “radical Islamic terrorists”. The most recent air raids have killed more than 248 souls with 66 being children. And in carrying out these raids, Israel has also targeted important welfare infrastructure in Gaza such as hospitals, media buildings and even a library. Over to the West Bank, Palestinians are treated like intruders in their own homes on their own land. Israelis have been encroaching on the homes of Palestinian families and the IDF also conducts illegal forced intrusions into the houses to capture “terrorist elements”. Palestine protesting in the West Bank or near the illegal walls around Gaza Strip have been met with brute force and a total lack of humanity. Not even the holy site of Majid e Aqsa was safe from Israeli brutality. Storming the holy site with guns and batons, they desecrated it by targeting the peaceful followers inside with tear gas and stun grenades. Even imagining this happen sickens the human inside me.
Daily life of the Palestinians is controlled by Israel which allows them to hold their grip on them. Right now, there is an extensive air and sea travel ban from and to the Gaza strip and Israel controls all the land entrances into the Gaza strip limiting and controlling every aspect of existence in Gaza. The situation in Gaza is so extreme that it has been called the world’s largest open air prison. Children born in the Gaza Strip have known nothing but fear, lack of security and hopelessness. Society has lacked the essentials to thrive such as lack of work, medical services, food, water, freedom of movement and other essentials to live peacefully. Air raids by Israel on the Gaza Strip has killed more than 3,800 Palestinians with more than 700 of them being children. Israel is attacking the future of Palestine by getting away with murdering kids. Half of all children have been psychologically traumatized by war, occupation and blockade, with around 300,000 children in need of psychosocial help. 1.6 million of the population in Gaza is in need of humanitarian aid as soon as possible and the number is increasing day after day. The U.N predicts that Gaza would soon become unlivable as basic necessities are non-existent from electricity to food to job opportunities due to the blockade followed by excessive air raids.
Over to the West Bank, Israel has built a 700 km apartheid wall with barbed wires, outposts and gunmen controlling and patrolling the area infringing on the rights of the Palestinians living in there. Palestinians need the authority of Israel to live and express their way of life has moving freely is prohibited and you need permits to leave checkpoints safely. A World Bank study found that all these restrictions on way of life and human rights abuses in the West Bank has cost the local economy $3.4bn, or 35% of the GDP in 2011. And Israeli encroachment on West Bank has costed Palestinians $9.46bn. This is just a glimpse into the life of Palestinians in the West Bank, and God only knows what other atrocities have they faced. This is the suffocating and oppressive daily reality in the West Bank.
The inhumane world Palestinians face has become a way of life for them, with little to no help from the International community other than condolences and false promises. The West allows Israel to carry out these abuses with little to no pressure to stop it. Sales of military equipment is still prevalent, trade is still happening and no sanctions have been placed, in short, they are as much a part of these atrocities as Israel, with America vetoing every bill against Israel presented in the UNSC. America also gives $3.8bn of military aid to Israel annually and pledged to give for 10 years under the Obama administration. Islamic countries are in disarray with internal fighting and bickering and also plagued by poor economic and civil situation of their own which disallows them to form a united front. Rich Islamic countries like the Arab nations have turned a blind eye to the atrocities providing no aid, no refuge, and going as far as to normalizing relations with Israel. A knife in the bleeding backs of all Palestinians.
The gross reality of the situation in which all Palestinians are living in brings nothing but sorrow and rage in my heart. On a daily basis, Palestinians face gruesome human rights abuses yet stand firm and resolute in the face of adversity. A nation ripped apart, colonized and separated into two yet a nation that still has hope, and belief in God, showing determination and courage in their future. But without international help and the Islamic world uniting, little to no hope can be seen for their survival as situations worsen and more die every day.
Abukhater, Jalal. 2019. Al-Jazeera. Feburary 13. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2019/2/13/palestines-other-open-air-prison.
Alashqar, Yaser. 2019. E-International Relations. November 30. https://www.e-ir.info/2019/11/30/the-gaza-crisis-restrictions-and-challenges-to-the-humanitarian-space-in-gaza/.
Høvring, Roald. 2018. Norweign Refugee Council . April 26 . https://www.nrc.no/news/2018/april/gaza-the-worlds-largest-open-air-prison/.
Kirby, Jen. 2021. Vox. May 21. https://www.vox.com/2021/5/21/22440537/gaza-fighting-humanitarian-crisis.
Sulaiman, Khuloud Rabah. 2021. Al-Jazeera. May 22. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/22/gaza-attacks-fear-finality-and-farewells-as-bombs-rained-down.