Alison Weir: The Violence Didn’t Begin with the Three Abducted Israeli Settlers
Updated: July 25, 2014
Since Israel began its latest offensive "Operation Protective Edge" on July 8, 2014, 857 Palestinians and 39 Israelis have been killed (the numbers continue to grow). Although the media is largely portraying Israel's actions as defensive, violence in the region did not begin with the kidnapping and murder of the three Israel settlers on June 12, 2014. In fact, Israel has been kidnapping and murdering Palestinian adults and youth on a regular basis for decades (read about how the conflict was started), yet this is rarely covered in U.S. news.
It's also important to recognize that rocket attacks from Gaza began decades after Israel had already been militarily occupying Palestinian territory. The first rocket (largely home-made projectiles that rarely caused any death, injuries, or even damage) was fired from Gaza in April 2001 – after Israeli forces had already killed 35 Gazans that year, and had repeatedly shelled Gazan neighborhoods. From April 2001 through July 2014, rockets killed approximately 29 Israelis. During the same period, Israeli forces killed over 4,700 Gazans.
Here are the facts:
- From January 1 to May 31 of this year, Israel kidnapped 2,330 Palestinians and held them in Israeli prisons. During these months, there were an average of 203 Palestinian children in Israeli jails on any given day. Palestinians help captive by Israel can be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days, and torture is routine. But the media only expresses outrage when Israelis are kidnapped and held prisoner by Palestinians.
- From January 1 to June 12 of this year, Israelis killed approximately 30 Palestinians, 4 of them children. None of the Israeli killers were held accountable for the murders. Mainstream media outlets almost never reported on any of these killings. Yet everyone was made aware of the names of the three Israelis abducted and murdered in June.
- Since "Operation Protective Edge" began (July 8 through July 22), Israeli forces have killed 857 Palestinians, 190 of them children. During this time, Palestinian resistance forces killed 39 Israelis, none of whom were children. Approximately 76 percent of the Palestinians killed during this period were civilians, while approximately 7 percent of the Israelis killed were civilians.
- Hamas did not attack Israel first. Israel bombed the homes of three families and killed two Palestinians (one of whom was 10-years-old) in Gaza before a single Hamas rocket was launched back.
- Israel actually rejected a legitimate ceasefire offer, not Hamas. The ceasefire Hamas has offered Israel would ensure that Gazans have the same freedoms that most people view as basic human rights (right to trade with other nations, right to travel freely, right to worship at Holy places, etc).
Click to view full infographic: