Bullets instead of stones in the West Bank resistance

TEHRAN- Under the real threat of ethnic cleansing from every point in the occupied West Bank, on top of the provocative violations against holy sites and betrayal by the international community, Palestinians have begun to conduct effective armed resistance operations. 

While diversifying the methods in confronting the brutal Israeli occupation and the increasing number of settlers squatting on land that belonged to Palestine not so long ago, the acts of armed resistance from the West Bank have also started to increase. 

These acts of resistance are not limited to confronting the occupation’s deadly raids into Palestinian towns and villages, but also striking various targets of the occupation, including military checkpoints, illegal settlements both across the West Bank and Israel despite the policy of “mowing the lawn” pursued by the Israeli regime.

Last year, Palestinian media cited armed resistance operations against occupation targets amounted to 191 with the use of explosive devices at 55 operations.

During 2021, 94 Palestinians were murdered including at least 15 children who were shot dead and five women, 11,092 were injured, while 5,286 Palestinians were arrested, which at the time was the highest number of Israeli violations against Palestinians in the West Bank including al-Quds for four years. 

Since the beginning of 2022 until August, Palestinian media organizations have documented 413 armed acts of resistance against the occupation and settlers. According to Palestinian figures, the retaliatory armed operations have left at least 19 Israelis dead so far this year. 

The month of September has also witnessed several armed Palestinian resistance acts that have left more than a dozen Israeli troops injured. 

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli regime forces have killed more than 90 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the start of this year and the number is rising. 

A key part of the Israeli genocide campaign has been the military raids in different Palestinian towns and villages now on an almost daily basis, often resulting in confrontations and the killing or wounding of Palestinian residents but also absolute silence in the international community. 

There has always been some form of resistance in the occupied territories. The region witnessed the first intifada (uprising) in the very early 2000s when the Palestinians used stones and small rocks in the face of tanks and was suppressed in a brutal manner by the occupation. 

While Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip resorted to arms and triumphantly liberated the Gaza Strip and today uses tunnels and missiles to prevent the ugly head of the occupation from re-entering the coastal enclave; more Palestinians in the West Bank are now taking up arms. 

The transition from rocks to armed weapons is not something surprising when the deadly, and other inhumane, actions of the Israeli occupation are taken into account. 

The factors that lead to the Palestinian explosion in the West Bank are increasing day by day. In addition to national and religious factors, which have grown significantly in recent years, the violations practiced by the occupation stand out; especially the continuation and permanent expansion of the settlement policy and the erosion of Palestinian land. In addition to the continuing stream of Palestinian blood being shed through the systematic assassination of young people.
On the national front, Palestinians feel that their national cause is going through the worst point yet as a result of political betrayal by the international community. Meanwhile, amid the occupation’s attempts to desecrate everything sacred to the Palestinians, in addition to the ongoing violations at the holy al-Aqsa Mosque which are becoming extremely provocative. Palestinians feel that extremists, under the protection of the occupation forces, are working effectively and quickly to Judaize and demolish the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Putting aside the fact that an army is raiding a village, other measures by the occupation impede the lives of the Palestinians on a daily basis. Restrictions on the freedom of movement for example. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the regime set up 104 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank on top of the 108 permanent checkpoints. 

Covering these actions by the occupying forces is a risky affair. The deliberate gunning down of journalists has been a talking point this year more than ever. That’s perhaps because of the regime’s killing of the veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper in the Jenin refugee camp in May. 

Like other journalists targeted by the regime’s forces, Israel denied having shot the reporter, and only under intense international pressure did it admit that one of its troops was likely responsible for her death. 

Jenin has been the heart of the resistance in the occupied West Bank. The flashpoint city has been subjected to some of the most brutal, intensive, and deadly Israeli military raids. And Jenin has responded to this unjust aggression by leading the way in the armed struggle against the Israeli military. 

While the international community may choose to stay silent on the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians; the Islamic Republic of Iran has chosen not to stay silent and on the other hand called for an armed West Bank as the only light at the end of a dark tunnel for the Palestinian people. 

In 2016, the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said “If [the Palestinians] act in a powerful way, it is possible that the other side – which is this wolfish and violent regime – will retreat, as they are looking for a truce with all their power. This means that they have become desperate. They kill people and children and they show cruelty in an excessive way. But they are desperate as well. They are in dire straits and this is why they are after a truce.”

“Therefore, we believe that the West Bank should become armed like Gaza. It is necessary to show power. Those people who are interested in the fate of Palestine should do whatever they can. This is what should be done: the people in the West Bank should become armed as well. The only thing that can alleviate the Palestinians’ pains is to show power. Otherwise, if we act in a tame, subservient and obedient way, nothing that is to the advantage of the Palestinians will be done and the violence that this violent, malevolent and wolfish creature is showing will not decrease.”

Whoever reads the picture well realizes that Israel cannot control the state of resistance in the occupied West Bank cannot. The development of operations, from Jenin to Nablus, to Tulkarm, and finally the Jordan Valley area, is only evidence of the expansion of this successful armed struggle.

Hope is certainly not lost for the Palestinian cause, for Palestinians and their supporters who believe in a one-state solution called Palestine with al-Quds as its capital and the return of Palestinian refugees currently living in refugee camps scattered close to their country. 

An end to the brutal, apartheid, bloodthirsty regime called Israeli and it’s punishment under international law for all the massacres it has committed since 1948. And a return to peaceful coexistence in Palestine where Muslims, Christian and Jews lived together for hundreds of years is just a matter of time. The sooner it happens, the less lives are lost.


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