by: David Harris-Gershon on June 22nd, 2014 | 5 Comments »
The fate of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped last week by an unconfirmed entity in the West Bank, remains unknown, a deeply concerning truth that has refocused attention on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, while their fate remains unknown, what is known is the fate of those Palestinians who have been killed, detained and shuttered with the Israeli military’s search for the missing teens transitioning into a collective punishment of an entire people.
Since the IDF launched “Operation Brother’s Keeper” on June 12 to search for the missing teenagers, four Palestinian civilians have been killed, hundreds have been detained, and hundreds of thousands in the Hebron region have been confined to their homes. This in addition to over 1,600 sites in the West Bank which have been raided by soldiers, including Palestinian media, government offices and NGO headquarters.
The response has been so striking that the Obama administration has called for restraint, and human rights groups, including Rabbis for Human Rights and Amnesty International, have called upon Israel to cease what has clearly become a strategy of collective punishment which contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Despite these calls, Israeli officials are becoming explicit that Israel should collectively punish all Palestinians until the kidnapped teenagers are safely returned. Consider these words from Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Danny Dannon:
“[Israel should] shut off the electricity in the West Bank and Gaza … In my opinion there is room for extensive actions against the civilian population. I am saying something harsh here, but I believe it.”