Fri Sep 1, 2017 10:11AM
Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands
Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands
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Five decades after Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands; years of wars, blockades, and restrictions have all brought the Palestinian economy to its knees. But this land had seen much better days before the Nakba, when it came under occupation by Israeli boots. The situation changed dramatically in 1967. But the worst was yet to come. Since then, hardly has a year passed without a new shock to the Palestinian economy: the siege on the Gaza Strip; the restrictions in the West Bank; the limitations on the freedom of movement and...

In the following decades after 1967, Israeli control over land, people and resources was established through a series of repressive measures. Israel has gradually established a severe closure system of checkpoints and barriers to the detriment of everyone’s life in the occupied territories. Yet, on a bigger scale, the very system of checkpoints and barriers turns into tight blockades, with the people in the Gaza Strip as the main victims. The Israeli regime is still controlling more than 60% of the land, main roads, ports, airport and the crossing points to the outside. According to the U.N., Amnesty International and other rights organizations, Gaza is going to be uninhabitable by the year 2020. The Israeli regime has recently restricted the electricity supply in the area, making life there even more difficult. The long-running dispute between Israel and Palestine, however, has been over water.

Since the outset of the Israeli occupation, tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and properties have been demolished, displacing entire communities from their homes. And at least 100,000 hectares of land have been seized for Israel's settlement projects, for both construction and agricultural purposes. The restrictions are not only limited to agricultural land. In fact, the Israeli regime grabs whatever is valuable, violating international laws and conventions. To top it all, the Israelis have tried to confiscate Palestinian culture to their own benefit.

For five decades, the world has just stood by and watched as Israel has ruthlessly exploited Palestinian people, land and natural resources. During all these years, the world has just been offering little more than condemnation of Israel's unlawful acts, never enough to prevent settlements from expanding. That said, there is still a flicker of hope; BDS or, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement. Ending the brutal occupation, dismantling illegal settlements, and fighting for the absolute rights of the Palestinian people; BDS has just set the ball rolling; but this should be the responsibility of each and every person who cherishes freedom and other human values.