Colonialism: The Fight for Palestine



Pro-Palestinian demonstrators attend a protest following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in London, Britain May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Over the past few days, tensions in Palestine and Israel has increased and has resulted in air strikes and bombing from both sides. According to the NY Times at least 119 have died, 31 of which were children, and 860 were injured in the airstrikes in Gaza. In Israel, 8 people have died.

Tensions began weeks ago as the Israeli court delays a ruling to forcefully evict Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood, in order to make way for Jewish settlers. According to AljazeeraPalestinians have “faced multiple court cases filed against them by several pro-settler organisations since 1972.” While the Israeli organizations say the land that the families occupy are originally under Jewish ownership, history says otherwise as Palestinians believe this to be an order to displace their people “from Jerusalem in order to retain a majority Jewish identity in the city.”

Last Friday, thousands of Muslims gathered to pray on the last Friday of Ramadan in the Al-Asqa Mosque compound. However, the conflict increased when Israeli officers invaded the Mosque and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at the protesters surrounding the holy site. Over 205 Palestinians and 17 Israeli officers were wounded. Israeli security returned once again and conducted a flash raid at the Mosque. Hamas, Palestine’s militant authority for Gaza Strip, gave Israel a warning and ultimatum to remove their forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by 6pm local time. The warning was ignored.

Hundreds of rockets were fired towards Jerusalem and in retaliation 130 airstrikes were launched, killing at least 30 Palestinians. The airstrikes for Israel have been aimed for highly populated areas that involves citizens, and while this has killed civilians, Israel has insisted they are taking measures to avoid this. Schools and many places in Gaza and within 25 miles of it has closed and fires blazed in Palestine when a oil facility was hit in Ashkelon.

These events of increased violence has been the most heaviest between both sides since 2014. However, to understand why these conflicts exist, one must read the history between Israel and Palestine.

Israel’s military has occupied Palestine for more than half a century and expanded Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. While other countries agree that the settlements are illegal, Israel continues to deny the claims and encourages more settlements. According to Metro, Jewish settlers can “move to the West Bank with economic perks, including tax exemptions.”

After the end of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine has struggled to become an independent state. When World War I ended, the British ruled over Palestine and established a Jewish homeland in the region. Two decades later, the United Nations proposed a plan to split Palestine into an independent Jewish state and an independent Arab state. While Jewish leaders agreed, Palestinian Arabs strongly opposed the idea.

After the proposal was introduced, Israel declared itself an independent state while Palestinians immediately moved to prevent the establishment of Israel. This resulted in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Since then, Palestine never backed down against the fight for their land and to be recognized as a state.

Zionism, the national movement for the return of Jewish people’s homeland in Palestine, is at an all time high with much discrimination against Palestinians. Palestinians are constantly told their country does not exist, which therefore, erases their identities with these beliefs.

With the media being in control of what’s globally shown, social media has not backed down and shows another story than what the news is telling. Videos have circulated on the internet of the devastating aftermath in Gaza after Israel’s attacks. Many social media users have stated that Palestine and Israel are “not in conflict” but rather what’s happening in Palestine is “setter colonialism, military occupation, land theft, and ethnic cleansing.”

On Friday, Israel forces have cracked down on Gaza with artillery and have launched around 1,800 rockets. Although there has been reports of artillery in Palestine, Israeli officials claim that they are just on the border to prevent invasion into Israel. Despite these claims from Israel, the artillery has killed a family of 6 in their home and with this the Israeli officials said that they were clearing a network of militant tunnels to prevent ground invasion from Palestine.

Overall, the fight continues with each day becoming worse than the last. The question that remains is, how long will this terrorism continue until the world pays attention?