US Funding of 75 Years Fuels Escalation in West Bank Amid Gaza Crisis

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US Funding of 75 Years Fuels Escalation in West Bank Amid Gaza Crisis

US Funding of 75 Years Fuels Escalation in West Bank Amid Gaza Crisis

While the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has garnered global attention over the past month, the challenges faced by West Bank residents have been overshadowed by the ongoing Gaza tragedy. Since October 7, hundreds of people have lost their lives in clashes with the Israeli army in the West Bank.

Reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have been consistently warning of increasing escalation not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank, emphasizing the growing insecurity of the Palestinian population in both regions.

OCHA's reports indicate that the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since October 7 comprises more than one-third of all Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank for 2023, which amounts to 397 deaths. These fatalities are attributed to various causes, with around 55 percent occurring during confrontations following Israeli search-and-arrest operations, primarily in Jenin and Tulkarm governorates. Approximately 30 percent resulted from demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza, while eight percent were killed in settler attacks against Palestinians, and the remaining seven percent lost their lives while allegedly attacking Israeli forces or settlers.

Furthermore, OCHA has documented 218 instances of Israeli settlers' attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank. In nearly half of these cases, Israeli forces were either accompanying or actively supporting the attackers.

Insights from a West Bank Resident

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian nonviolent activist and the founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University, shed light on the deepening issues of apartheid and racial discrimination in the West Bank.

He noted the growing concern among Palestinians in the West Bank as they witness the ongoing crisis and oppression in Gaza, fearing that they might be the next target. Already, 163 Palestinians have been killed by the occupation army and settlers in the West Bank since October 7, and the situation is expected to worsen. Israel has tightened its control over Palestinian territories, arresting and kidnapping over 2,500 more Palestinians in the West Bank. Qumsiyeh highlighted the harsh treatment of political prisoners, with over 11,000 individuals subjected to physical abuse and denied access to food and medication.

Qumsiyeh expressed the somber and angry mood among the Palestinian population and raised questions about the US government and its Western allies' role in funding the ongoing crisis for 75 years.

He emphasized that this problem did not emerge suddenly, highlighting 75 years of apartheid policies imposed on the Palestinian people. The Palestinians have endured ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination over several decades, resulting in millions of Palestinian refugees and displaced individuals, with the remaining population living in disconnected enclaves such as Gaza, Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah, and more.

Despite the challenges and a sense of abandonment by some governments, both in the West and in many Arab countries, Qumsiyeh underscored the Palestinians' unwavering commitment to resistance, even in the face of collusion, complicity, and funding of the ongoing crisis by global powers.

Source: Sputnik News

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