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Stop Killing Unarmed Civilians in Gaza

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The Guardian's Editorial


It is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat. Yet at the boundary between Gaza and "Israel" today, "Israeli" soldiers seem to have done just that.

Gaza

It should make "Israelis" quail that demonstrators were sprayed with live ammunition with apparent impunity. There were dozens of deaths and hundreds of maimed cases among the Palestinians who had marched to the border to make a point about their right to return to their ancestral homes. "Israel's" army evinced no shame in committing what looks like a war crime. These are serious accusations. Yet they were greeted with little more than a shrug. By blockading Gaza, "Israel" imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. "Israel" treated the violence as a jailer might a prison riot: a tragic fault of the inmates.

This is a dangerous mindset for "Israelis" to embrace. Yet they have done so because the extreme right in "Israel", and most of the present government ministers, nurture the idea that "Israel" can, through its vastly superior military force, end the national aspirations of the Palestinians. These politicians take succor from US president Donald Trump, who has made good on his promise to recognize al-Quds as the ‘capital' of "Israel."

Today Trump's ambassador, who gave money to Jewish far-right groups in "Israel," opened his nation's new embassy in al-Quds. This is a reckless and provocative step that will harm the prospects for peace. Like the issue of refugees, settlements and borders, the status of al-Quds is unfinished business. Its status was meant to be determined through negotiations.

In siding with "Israel" Trump signaled the end of any pretense that his administration might be an honest broker in the conflict. Any peace talks overseen by Trump's team are likely to fail before they begin. The US president will learn what happens when the facts he has created on the ground collide with reality.
 What will happen to the 300,000 Palestinians living in east al-Quds? Are they all to be herded into enclaves and deprived of their human rights, their land confiscated? Will this be done because of the "truth, peace and justice" that Benjamin Netanyahu said "Israel" believed in as he welcomed the US ambassador to al-Quds? Trump and Netanyahu have galvanized a people who had been steeped in despair.

In taking al-Quds off the table, the only inviolable demand Palestinians feel they have left is the right of return. Palestinians see the flight or expulsion of refugees at the time of the creation of "Israel" 70 years ago this week as their catastrophe or Nakba. 

"Israelis" retort that implementation of the right of return is incompatible with the survival of a democratic [so-called] Jewish majority ‘state.' The issue is now on the lips of every Palestinian. The conflict in the Holy Land is not a zero-sum game, where there is just one winner. The opposite is more likely to be true. This is obvious to everyone but Trump and Netanyahu, who instead have capitulated to a vision of brutal domination over a benighted people.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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