Screenshot from Middle East Eye video
The past few days have seen an escalation of violence by Israeli occupation forces that could have ignited a third intifada. Dozens of Palestinians have been attacked, injured and arrested by Israeli forces in and around Alaqsa mosque in Jerusalem. This Jerusalem uprising has been to protect Alaqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam from repeated, uncoordinated ‘visits’ by extremist Israelis, accompanied by heavily armed and violent Israeli occupation forces.
Palestinians fear that Israel is planning to divide Alaqsa between Jews and Muslims as a prelude to its replacement with a Jewish temple. Their fears are well founded as Israel has already occupied and divided the Ibrahimi mosque in Alkhalil Hebron.
But in recent days Palestinians have not only faced Israeli thuggery, both in Jerusalem and the West Bank, they also faced an immoral, shameful crackdown by Palestinian Authority security forces. The crackdown has been against Palestinians protesting against this Israeli violence.
This video emerged of an example of this from Friday 18 September 2015, where PA forces attacked Palestinians protesting in Bethlehem against Israeli aggression and violence at Alaqsa mosque and in other parts of Jerusalem.
The PA has of course condemned the Israeli escalation but rather than lead coordinated peaceful protests by the people, it sent its forces to put these down while its leaders were nowhere to be seen.
If the millions spent to train the PA security forces cannot keep Palestinians safe from IDF and settler terror, then that is terrible, but for these forces to be used to brutalise Palestinians is shameful and renders them in the eyes of Palestinuans as subcontractors to the occupier, Israel.
In democracies, leaders always say that a Government’s first duty is to protect its citizens and I agree. As Palestinians aspire to full statehood, democracy and independence, they are entitled to expect their leaders to act in the same way as established democracies. But as the PA is failing to fulfil this first duty of a Government one has to question if it can achieve anything else for the Palestinians.
Senior members of the PA see its shear existence as an achievement for Palestinians. You only have to visit Ranallah to see the magnificent ministries and the rebuilt Muqara’a to appreciate this. But I’m afraid that when it turns its security forces on its people to stop their protests against the occupation, it’s achievements are nullified.
it is not worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt. It really is time for it to be disbanded.
The New York Times reports “Palestinian Officers Disciplined After Video of Beating”.
This is good but the PA must support, not curtail protests against the Israeli occupation and its daily crimes.