Few international issues have propagated as much attention, passion, and political upheaval as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A monstrous dispute founded upon decades of clashes between religion, borders, and territory, the Israeli occupation of Palestine has striped Palestinians of basic human rights, broken international law, and taken hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
Here are seven things the media doesn’t want you to know:
1. The occupation is completely illegal.
Israel has taken and continues to take occupied Palestinian territory by means of war. A United Nations document states, “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; termination of all claims or state of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace,” however, Israel is famous for denying Palestinians their rightful land for decades. Israel has built illegal settlements, violated the fourth Geneva Convention, and The Hague Regulations of 1907, which prohibits occupying powers from taking away resources from occupied territory (i.e., land, water, natural resources). The occupation of Palestine is counterproductive to peace and seeks to completely diminish the Palestinian state as a whole, while propagating the growth of Jewish settlements.
2. Israel's "security wall" is actually an apartheid wall.
An 8-meter- (26-foot-) high wall that runs 280 miles long has been under intense construction for the last 13 years, and according to the International Court of Justice, the wall is also illegal. A barrier meant to keep people out would typically be built on the land’s border, but 85 percent of the wall is on Palestinian land. Over 200 settlements housing more than 500,000 Israeli settlers has been built in the occupied West Bank to conquer more land. When the wall cuts right through a village, families are no longer allowed to see each other.
3. Israel has cut off water supply to the West Bank during Ramadan.
Ramadan is a Muslim holiday month observed by billions of people across the world in which fasting is practiced from sunrise to sunset. Palestinian authorities have reported that Israel has left thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water. Keep in mind temperatures can go past 35 degrees Celsius, and according to Saleh Hijazi, “Israel already allows Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources in the occupied West Bank, with unlawful Israeli settlers getting almost unlimited water supplies, which enable settlers to maintain lush gardens and even fill up numerous private swimming pools.” The city of Jenin, with a population of over 40,000 in addition to a refugee camp with over 16,000 registered refugees, has claimed that its water supply was cut in half.
4. Palestine was a center for Jewish refugees before the creation of Israel.
Contrary to ignorant beliefs that Palestine is anti-semitic, Palestine agreeably accepted over 700,000 Jewish refugees escaping World War I and the Holocaust.
5. Israel has committed treacherous war crimes.
Back in 2014, the Israeli army deliberately targeted civilians in an assault now known as “Black Friday,” that resulted in the death of 2,104 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children and 253 were women. Human Rights Watch concluded that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) knowingly and barbarically used white phosphorus gas in densely populated areas, which is fatal when in contact with skin or when inhaled. A 71-page report, “Rain of Fire: Israel’s Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza,” details witness accounts of the devastating deaths and proves that the IDF was well aware of the life-threatening crime they were committing. The United States government is responsible for the manufacturing of the white phosphorus shells used by the IDF. Furthermore, Israel has used human shields, unlawfully punished all of Gaza, killed children playing soccer on a beach, and bombed hospitals and schools.
The UNRWA said, "I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces. This is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”
6. The occupation is killing people.
Through illegal embargo, cutting off water supply and electricity, the destruction of infrastructure and denial of materials to rebuild, and through unemployment, Israel is single-handedly destroying Palestinian livelihood and any imagination for a future. The Israeli government even conducted a study to calculate the fewest amount of calories needed to keep Gaza residents from malnutrition. Israel has been unjustly controlling Gaza by air, land, and sea, dominating what goes in and what goes out. Life in Gaza is near unbearable and here’s why:
80 percent of the population is dependent on aid, 57 percent of households don’t have enough food for their family, 90 percent of the water in Gaza is unsafe to drink, medicine and doctors are scarce, power outages and fuel shortages occur for up to 12 hours a day, Gaza’s economy is limited to one truckload a day, the unemployment in Gaza is one of the highest in the world, and frequent attacks have an enormous effect on such a densely populated region. This is a Palestinian genocide.
7. You are supporting the occupation both politically and financially.
The U.S. gives Israel roughly $3.1 billion tax dollars annually, and Hillary Clinton seeks to increase that number even more. In other words, $3.1 billion directly aids the occupation, the violation of numerous international laws, and our own State Department.