ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India and the Israeli War on Palestine

India's reaction to the latest attacks by Israel on Palestinians in the Gaza strip betrays a poor understanding of the acts of an occupying power against a colonised people.

On 8 July 2014, Israel launched what it termed “Operation Protective Edge” against the Palestinian people living in the Gaza strip. The reason for this operation is contentious. Israel claims it attacked Gaza because of the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas, and to end Hamas’ ability to fire rockets into Israel. Hamas denies that it had anything to do with the abduction and killing of the three teens, and says that it had continued to honour the 2012 ceasefire (a point conceded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 30 June).1 Hamas says it fired its rockets after Israel conducted major sweeps in the West Bank to arrest its supporters, and after Israel’s air strike on 7 July killed nine Palestinians. This is a case of two competing narratives.

The facts, however, are clear. Israel has continued to build illegal settlements across the West Bank, encaging the Palestinian population behind walls and battlements. The teenagers who were killed lived in Gush Etzion, one of these settlements. Settlements are a political provocation, a finger in the eye of the Palestinian dream for national self-determination. Tension between the settlers and the Palestinians has grown. In 2012, 27 foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) released a statement expressing “deep concern regarding settler extremism and incitement by settlers in the West Bank”.2

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