Despite having aggressed against three sovereign nations, committing acts of war and State-sponsored acts of terrorism, as well as targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza, killing children and expanding settlements, all during a Pandemic, Israel is yet to be held to account.
Israel is now heading into its fourth round of elections in just two years, indicating just how deeply divided Israeli politics currently is. The current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently dealing with an ongoing corruption trial and has experienced hundreds of thousands of Israeli protesters calling for his resignation. Yet, sadly, even if Netanyahu is to be voted out, his biggest competitor, Gideon Saar, is even more racist and right-wing than he is.
Israeli politics is now completely dominated by ultra right-wing parties, with all self identifying left-wing parties such as Meretz and even the centrist Labour Party having been made irrelevant. This push to the right in Israel is important and often ignored in Western corporate media, as it shows the impossibility of any peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians or between Israel and its regional opposition.
Just in 2020 alone Israel’s aggressive behaviour in the region has put it on the verge of war several times and this is, in large part, the result of Israel’s ability to act completely above the law.
Israel’s Attacks On The Palestinian People
Since 2012 experts at the United Nations had predicted that the Gaza Strip would become completely ‘unliveable’ by the year 2020, as a result of Israel’s illegal blockade. Then in 2018, Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights situation in the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories) declared that “the state of unlive-ability is upon us” and that the UN’s former predictions had underestimated the effect of the crippling siege.
We are now surpassing 2020, that year which the UN warned Gaza would be ‘unliveable’, and the world has done nothing to end the siege. In fact, this year alone Israel was able to get away with over 40 separate attacks on Gaza, including in August a 19 day long bombardment of the Gaza Strip. During the 19 consecutive days of airstrikes endured by Gaza, Israel had also cut off the sole humanitarian entry into the Gaza Strip, during a Pandemic.
The routine airstrikes, which largely destroyed agricultural lands, building blocks and Gazan government outposts, police stations and training sites, did not come to a halt at any point. The most recent round of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip, this Saturday morning, destroyed power lines, struck a children’s hospital, a mosque, a school, a rehabilitation centre for people with special needs, sports and industrial facilities and civilian infrastructure.
Israel has also set a record for the number of homes demolished in East Jerusalem this year, making around 400 people homeless. In total, as a result of illegal Israeli home demolitions, over 1,000 Palestinians have been made homeless this year. The demolitions of Palestinian homes have taken place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem as well as inside Israel itself, in addition to airstrikes having destroyed homes in Gaza.
Israel also continued its illegal detainment and arrests of Palestinian minors, with over 400 Palestinian children having been arrested by Israel in the first 10 months of 2020. On the subject of the abuse of children, Israel had, according to the UN, injured 1,048 children in the West Bank between 1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020. With the recent murder of 14yr old Ali Aliya, on December 4, the UN will now investigate, as the murder mounted further pressure on the international body to look into the recent murdering of 155 Palestinian children with “crowd control” weapons in the West Bank.
Israel’s Attacks On Syria
Israel launched tens of unprovoked airstrike operations against Syria in 2020, all amounting to acts of war against a country which has not once aggressed against Israel all year. In addition to this, Israel continues to actively occupy the Golan Heights from Syria and has continued to steal its resources and even attempted to prevent Syrian farmers from reaching their lands earlier this month.
The latest round of airstrikes launched against Syria, targeted the al-Masyaf area (West of Hama) and struck Syrian military positions. The airstrikes were launched from fighter-jets at around 1AM on Christmas day. This marked the third consecutive Christmas Day on which Syria had been bombarded by Israel.
Despite unfounded claims from Syrian Opposition media groups, who do not have sources in sensitive Syrian Government areas, the airstrikes have not targeted Iranian positions in the country. For anyone that understands the situation in Syria, this is obvious, the Iranian backed forces operate primarily to the East of Syria where there are no air defenses and so hitting them would be easy if Israel wanted to. However, all previous attacks on Iranian backed forces in the likes of Deir Ezzor’s Abu Kamal, have proved useless.
According to sources in the Syrian military, the Syrian air-defence, weapons depot sites and checkpoint have been the primary targets in Israeli airstrikes. This means that the Israeli strikes, often never admitted for this reason, would constitute an unjustified act of war against a sovereign country and a violation of that country’s sovereignty. These Israeli strikes have killed hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians throughout the years during the Syrian war.
Israel’s Attacks On Iran
In January of 2020 the United States launched drone strikes in Baghdad, Iraq, assassinating General Qassem Soleimani of the IRGC’s Quds Forces, along with the PMU’s Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. It was later revealed that Israel had a part to play in this operation, which claimed the life of Iran’s most beloved General, almost sparking full-scale regional war.
Then, on the 27th of November Israel launched an illegal State-sponsored act of terrorism, on Iranian soil, which killed Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. This act will warrant a response from Iran and could again drag the entire region to the verge of all out war. The fact that this act could be committed by Israel with absolutely no real consequences or backlash from the international community, again communicated to the world that Israel is a country to which International Law does not apply.
Israel’s Attacks On Lebanon
Israel has violated Lebanese airspace, maritime and land borders, several thousand times in 2020 and has again paid no price for such actions. Israel has also frequently used Lebanese airspace in order to launch airstrikes on Syria.
In July Israel launched a round of illegal airstrikes against Syria. One of the targets of the strikes was the Damascus International Airport, where an off duty member of Lebanese Hezbollah, Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad, was located. The member of Hezbollah was killed in the strikes along with three others and prompted Hezbollah to give the greenlight for a retaliatory operation against Israel, which is yet to occur.
In fear of Hezbollah’s promised retaliation, the Israeli army has withdrawn from military sites near the Lebanese border and have several times been frightened by false-alarms, launching incendiary shells into south Lebanon, which destroyed parts of civilian homes.
These are but only a few examples of what has been committed against Lebanon, Syria, Iran and the Palestinian people this year, but are enough to pose the question as to why there is still no punishment whatsoever for Israel’s actions.
If Israel is continually allowed to get away with such aggressive actions and pay no price, it will inevitably lead to more war in the region. Israel is the most aggressive country in the Middle East and its adversaries are continually shown that Israel is considered by the International Community, as untouchable, and thus will take the call for delivering justice into their own hands.