Tareq Baconi

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The Two-State Solution Is an Unjust, Impossible Fantasy

After 176 days, Israel’s assault on Gaza has not stopped and has expanded into what Human Rights Watch has declared to be a policy of starvation as a weapon of war. More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, and the international community has reverted to a deeply familiar call for a two-state solution, under which Palestinians and Israelis can coexist in peace and security. President Biden even declared “the only real solution is a two-state solution” in his State of the Union address last month.

But the call rings hollow. The language that surrounds a two-state solution has lost all meaning.…  Seguir leyendo »

Smoke billowing in the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza’s port, October 10, 2023. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

In the hours after Hamas launched a surprise offensive against Israel, several commentators—Israeli and Palestinian—invoked another unexpected attack from the last century: the Tet Offensive launched by North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops against American and South Vietnamese forces in 1968. While vastly different, the two offensives bear comparison not only in their scale and coordination but also in the speed with which they upended the assumptions under which their opponents thought they were fighting. In the case of Vietnam, the offensive awakened an American public to the fallacy of believing a victory could be secured. In that of Palestine, for decades Israel has operated on the pretense that it can provide security for its citizens while subjecting the Palestinian people to an apartheid regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Palestinian boy inside a destroyed home in the occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, following a large-scale, two-day Israeli military operation. Zain Jaafar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Our screens are filled once again with images of weeping women, children, and the elderly marching down the street with their hands raised or waving white garments from slow-moving vehicles. Palestinians have seen this before, having lived through a long history of expulsions from their homes and villages under the threat of fire.

The newest images came in last week during the Israeli invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Reporters and ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent, which struggled to reach the injured, were impeded by military obstacles.

At a Fourth of July event in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli Army had attacked “the most legitimate target on the planet — people who would annihilate our country”.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Palestinian protester and an Israeli soldier during a rally against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, Haris, near Nablus, West Bank, June 26, 2020

From July 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the power to bring to the Knesset a vote on whether to extend his country’s sovereignty over portions of the West Bank, in accordance with the Trump administration’s so-called peace plan, a 181-page document that, in essence, gives a US seal of approval to Israel’s expansionist agenda. Extending sovereignty, otherwise known as annexation, entails the further application of Israeli jurisdiction to territory that Palestinians had envisioned would make up part of their future state.

The Trump plan has given a green light to the integration into Israel of up to 30 percent of the West Bank, including more than two hundred Israeli settlements and settler outposts and the larger part of the Jordan Valley, removing the illusion that the occupation is temporary.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man stands among the debris of a damaged shop near totally collapsed Haznedar apartment after an Israeli airstrike in Er-Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City, Gaza on 5 May 2019. Anadolu Agency / Ashraf Amra

What happened in Gaza on 3-6 May?

On 3 May, around 5,000 Palestinians in Gaza gathered near the fence area separating the Gaza Strip from Israel for the Great March of Return protests that have been taking place every week since 30 March 2018. During the past year of protests, which were predominantly civilian-led and unarmed yet also included incidents where demonstrators used incendiary kites, burning tires and flaming balloons, Israeli army snipers used live-fire against protesters, killing a total of 275 and injuring more than 17,000 to date. During the protest last Friday, Israeli fire struck a number of protesters in the head and torso, rather than the lower limbs, causing several severe injuries.…  Seguir leyendo »

As I was driving from Jericho to Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, in early March, I noticed a large sign that Palestinians had set up in preparation for Land Day, on the thirtieth of the month. The sign showed the now ubiquitous Banksy print of a protester, with his nose and mouth covered, hurtling a bouquet of flowers—presumably in place of a Molotov cocktail—at an invisible oppressor. The drawing had been printed under one of the best-known lines by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:

On this Land, there is what makes life worth living.

The sign was, for me, an ominous warning.…  Seguir leyendo »

What happened?

In the early morning of 25 March a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, destroying a family house and wounding seven Israelis, including a twelve-year-old girl and two infants. The rocket launch came not long after two other rockets were fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv, on 14 March, causing no injuries. Israel had responded to the earlier attack by bombing 100 targets used primarily for military purposes by Palestinian factions, as well as empty buildings, throughout the strip. The largest of those factions is Hamas, which took control of Gaza in 2007, prompting Israel to impose a blockade on the coastal enclave.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Saturday, Palestinian mourners carried the body of an 11-year-old boy who was fatally shot by Israeli troops a day earlier during a protest at Gaza’s border with Israel. (Khalil Hamra/Associated Press)

Israel and Hamas are again on the brink of all-out war.

On Friday, Israel killed three Palestinians in response to continued protests along the Gaza border fence. Earlier this month, the most intense round of fighting since 2014 erupted after Israel further tightened its blockade, citing the damage wrought by burning kites.

And the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has announced it would be cutting jobs and services in Gaza following the withdrawal of American funding, risking further instability.

The only way to conclusively defuse the persistent violence is for external parties to mediate a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that commits to three longer-term goals: lifting the blockade, reversing policies that have been aimed at isolating Gaza from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, and ultimately addressing the Palestinians’ call for self-determination.…  Seguir leyendo »

GAZA CITY, GAZA - MAY 14: Palestinians take part the protest, organized to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, and against United States' plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Israeli border in eastern part of Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, Gaza on May 14, 2018. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The battle against infiltration in the border areas at all times of day and night will be carried out mainly by opening fire, without giving warning, on any individual or group that cannot be identified from afar by our troops as Israeli citizens and who are, at the moment they are spotted, [infiltrating] into Israeli territory.

This was the order issued in 1953 by Israel’s Fifth Giv’ati Brigade in response to the hundreds of Palestinian refugees who sought to return to homes and lands from which they had been expelled in 1948. For years after the war, the recently displaced braved mines and bullets from border kibbutzim and risked harsh reprisals from Israel’s army to reclaim their property.…  Seguir leyendo »