In a recent webinar titled “The Increasing Crime Rate Against the Palestinians in the 1948 Occupied Lands and the Israeli Occupation Complicit Role and Policies,” organized by Act for Palestine, Ameer Makhoul, an expert on Palestinian affairs, shed light on the intricate dynamics of crime and punishment within the region.
The webinar came to raise awareness of the rising rate of crimes in the Palestinian community in 1948 occupied lands and the Israeli complicity in these acts.
The surge in violence is attributed to a lack of sufficient police presence in these areas, coupled with poverty, high unemployment rates, and inadequate access to essential services.
Critics argue that the Israeli security agencies are falling short in their efforts to combat organized crime and may even be seen as “collaborating.”
Makhoul pointed out that the Israeli ‘security’ agency, Shabak, predominantly focuses on what it terms “national crimes.”
“If a crime is committed against Palestinians, it’s treated as a criminal act rather than a national one, and the Shabak does not involve itself in such cases,” Makhoul said.
Makhoul emphasized that the core issue lies in the replication and reinforcement of control systems and policies established since 1948, rather than mere intelligence service involvement.
Makhoul said, “The Israeli systems are primarily oriented towards exerting control over Palestinians and forcing them to be affiliated with the Israeli rules, not necessarily within the framework of legal procedures, but in terms of the Israeli political policies.”
“The concept of ‘national crime’ has effectively become a tool for ethnic cleansing,” Makhoul asserted. Over the years, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinian families have been forcibly displaced from villages within the Green Line, relocating to cities like Haifa. This constant upheaval has resulted in approximately 1,000 people moving to Haifa annually, after being uprooted from their ancestral villages.
Makhoul painted a grim picture of the current Palestinian public space. What was once bustling with life and community has now become eerily quiet. Fear and apprehension dominate daily life, as residents constantly worry about the possibility of violence, with the looming threat of bullets targeting their children or themselves.
Furthermore, Makhoul highlighted a pressing issue: over 50,000 Palestinian homes inside Palestine ’48 face an imminent threat of demolition. This controversial law has garnered widespread condemnation for its perceived racism, as Palestinians are constructing homes on their private lands with no support from the state. Meanwhile, land allocation heavily favors Jewish settlers, both within the West Bank and Israel itself.
The Act for Palestine webinar served as a platform to bring attention to these pressing issues, shedding light on the challenges faced by Palestinians in the 1948 Occupied Lands and the complicit role and policies of the Israeli occupation in exacerbating them.
This webinar is part of the ongoing activities of the Act For Palestine Foundation to shed light on Palestinian issues both locally and internationally.
The foundation aims to mobilize international solidarity with the Palestinian people to assert their rights and voice in confronting the global Jewish campaign against all Palestinian rights in expression, struggle, resistance, and freedom.