Israeli soldiers confront Palestinians protesting land confiscations, 2012 Israeli soldiers confront Palestinians protesting land confiscations, 2012. Photo: Public Domain

Michael Lavalette reports on the violent clashes and Israeli incursions in the West Bank that have killed four Palestinians in 24 hours

The last ten days have witnessed significant clashes between Israeli and Palestinian forces.

Palestinian fighters have launched attacks on Israelis in Be’er Sheva, Hadera and Tel Aviv. Several civilians and police officers have been killed. 

In each case the gun men were martyred.

On Thursday morning a young Palestinian attacked an Israeli with a knife just south of Bethlehem.

These are the bitter fruits of colonial settlement, the consequence of years of oppression and the implementation of apartheid in Israel.

The attacks are a reflection of the growing frustrations felt by many Palestinians over the continuing marginalisation of the demands for Palestinian rights. 

In response Israeli forces have undertaken significant incursions into the West Bank towns of Tulkarem and Jenin.

On Thursday two Palestinians, including a 17 year old boy, were martyred in Jenin, and two more Palestinians were killed in Hebron and south of Bethlehem.

In response, resistance organisations have called a two day, city-wide strike.

What is particulalry disconcerting for the Israelis about the recent actions is that they have all taken place inside Palestine48. 

For years the Israelis have moved against the Palestinian resistance organisations in Gaza and the West Bank, whilst trying to incorporate sections of the Palestinian population within ’48.

Yet last year’s attacks on Gaza produced significant protests and actions by Palestinian communities inside ’48 – on a scale not seen since the first intifada in the 1980s.

The Palestinian community in ’48 is growing in size and confidence. It is increasingly integrated into many sectors of the Israeli economy. 

The building sector, for example, relies on Palestinian labour.

In ’48, Palestinians have increasing economic power. And this creates the potential for collective action to force concessions. 

But military actions, like those in the three Israeli cities this week, will be used by the Israeli state to try and move against the broader Palestinian political movements inside the country.

The Israeli state regularly uses attacks to close down political opposition and critical civil society organisations. 

Last year, for example, a range of organisations, such as the children’s rights organisation Defence of Children International, were labelled as ‘terrorist organisations’ in an attempt to shut them down.

The events of the last ten days are opening up significant debate in Palestinian circles about the strategies needed to achieve Palestinian liberation. 

What is absolutely clear is that the steadfast opposition of Palestinians to their displacement and denial of their rights continues to be a source of inspiration to anti-imperialists across the globe.

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