ACT for Palestine Foundation
The Israeli settler colonialism in Palestine constituted one of the main pillars of consolidating the occupation and making it a fait accompli that must be accepted. The settlement was the most prominent goal through which Israel sought to achieve the goals of the Zionist movement on the principle of land and borders. Since its establishment, the Zionist movement believed that the first factor of survival and continuity is the establishment of the land through the construction of settlements on the occupied Palestinian lands.
The Israeli colonial regime in Palestine aims to achieve the Zionist vision of reviving a national, religious, and geographical homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, by claiming the historical right to Palestine. Israel seeks to implement several policies based on controlling all resources on the Palestinian land. Therefore, Israel can be considered one of the settler colonial states, as it is a state based on the appropriation of lands belonging to the indigenous population through marginalization, demolition, or killing of these residents.
After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel kept the state of separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in place, and the Israeli government imposed the necessity of obtaining permits to allow the movement of Palestinians within their homeland. With the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, Israel tightened its measures against Gaza. The movement from Gaza to the West Bank became very complicated. After the Palestinian division in 2007 and the subsequent rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli strategy focused on weakening Gaza and isolating it from the world, and the whole of Palestine. Today, the Palestinians are still well aware of Israel’s strategy of keeping Gaza weak, isolated, and besieged, and keeping the West Bank under its full security control, to tighten the geographical and demographic Zionist settlement expansion.
After the Israeli aggression on Gaza ended in May 2021, Amnesty International said that Israeli forces had shown a horrific disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians by launching many air strikes targeting in some cases apartment buildings, killing entire families – including children – and causing in the willful destruction of civilian property, in attacks amounting to war crimes or crimes against humanity. Amnesty has documented four deadly attacks launched by Israel on residential homes without warning. “There is a horrific pattern emerging of Israel carrying out airstrikes in Gaza targeting apartment buildings and family homes – in some cases leaving entire families buried under rubble when buildings collapsed,” said Saleh Hegazy, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. In the cases documented by Amnesty, no warning was given to the civilian population to allow them to leave. Under International Humanitarian Law, all parties must distinguish between military and civilian targets. By carrying out these blatant and deadly attacks on family homes without warning, Israel has shown a blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians who have already suffered from collective punishment under the Israeli blockade for more than 16 years.
Israel besieges Gaza and controls it by air and sea, under its military and technological capabilities, and it has built barriers to isolate its land borders with it. It also flooded the tunnels on its southern border with water to stop the smuggling of goods and supplies into the Gaza Strip, turning the city into a large prison housing more than two million people whose movements, travel, food, drink, treatment, electricity, and water are controlled by Israel. Using the policy of systematic killing, ethnic cleansing, and displacement of everything that is Palestinian, Israel harnessed its advanced military capabilities and focused them on the bodies of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip through six military attacks it carried out during the past 12 years killing 5,418 people, 23% of them were children, and 9% were women.