The Israeli-Palestine Conflict
The Reality of Palestine Today
By Larry Romanoff for PRAVDA, May 15, 2021
This Photo Essay contains selected summarised information from four primary sources: UN fact-finding missions and Special Reports on Israel’s Human Rights Violations in Palestine, and published reports by Amnesty International on the Holocaust against Palestine. (1) (2) (3) (4)
This is a map of Palestine – as it was before its land was given to the Jews, the partitioned land in 1947, after the 1967 war, and in 2000. You can see clearly that about 90% of the land had been seized by 2000. The Palestinians have even less land today, and the little that remains is being systematically reduced.
Jewish Military Attacks on Palestine
During Israel’s Operation “Cast Lead”, more than 280 schools and kindergartens were destroyed in Gaza in less than 3 weeks by the Jewish military. Also rendered unusable were Gaza University and the Islamic University. Jewish military forces directly and intentionally bombarded the United Nations school which was sheltering more than 1,300 people. Gaza’s American school was similarly destroyed by intensive bombardment with white phosphor munitions. (5) (6)
The military repeatedly bombs all the schools in Gaza, claiming they are the source of ‘rocket attacks’ on Israel. The Israeli government has clearly instructed its military to target and destroy all educational institutions in Gaza, as part of an overall plan to eviscerate the social structure of Palestine and its people. It has been so bad that a new word emerged from the carnage in Gaza: “scholasticide” – the systematic destruction by Israeli forces of centers of education dear to Palestinian society, as the ministry of education was bombed, the infrastructure of teaching destroyed, and schools across the Gaza strip targeted for attack by the air, sea and ground offensives. The photo is of the United Nations school.
According to Amnesty International, “The scale and intensity of the attacks were unprecedented, even in the context of the increasingly lethal Israeli military campaigns in Gaza in previous years.” Israeli forces made extensive use of white phosphorus. Homes, schools, medical facilities and UN buildings – all civilian objects – took direct hits. “Everything caught fire. My husband and four of my children burned alive in front of my eyes; my baby girl, Shahed, my only girl, melted in my arms.” The photo is of Palestinian children burning to death, following the white phosphor bombardment by Jewish soldiers on their school. They were not “collateral damage”; their school was targeted.
In another attack, at least 43 civilians were massacred on 6 January as they took shelter at the al-Fakhoura school in Jabaliya refugee camp.
The Israeli military has been repeatedly accused of using white phosphor on Arab civilians, as well as DIME explosives. They target not only civilians and children, but schools, universities, medical clinics and hospitals, government offices, police stations and mosques. They target food warehouses and food processing plants, water treatment plants, electrical stations – any and all facilities necessary to the functioning of a society. Homes are deliberately destroyed by the thousands and the Jews refuse to permit the import of construction materials to rebuild. The Israeli military regularly bomb Palestinian police stations, on one occasion killing the entire police staff who were performing exercises in the station courtyard.
The West Bank is a desert, with water in exceedingly short supply. The Jewish settlements in the West Bank have been built in all those places with available water. According to the UN and various human rights agencies, 200,000 Jews now control 89% of all the water in the west Bank. This leaves only 11% for the 2.5 million Palestinians who must make that area their home. Jewish villages built in the West Bank are invariably on the sole source of water in the area, from that point on forbidden to Palestinians. Arabs are no longer permitted to fish in their own waters.
But even this doesn’t give outsiders a true picture of daily life in Palestine. In building their illegal settlements, Israel’s Jews, accompanied by the military, claim an area, evict the Palestinian residents, and force them to move. Bulldozers are sent in to destroy gardens and orchards, fish farms are ravaged, farmland is destroyed and animals killed. There are countless documented reports of the Israeli military using Palestinian livestock for target practice, occasionally driving by a pasture and shooting dead every farm animal. Crops are dug up, driven over with tanks, or otherwise destroyed. Palestinian olive trees are chopped down or doused with gasoline and burned, either by or under the protection of, the Jewish military. (7) They burn, chop down, or uproot olive trees by the tens of thousands in attempts to drive the Palestinians forever from their lands. News reports claim the Jews have destroyed more than one million Palestinian olive trees. (8) The Times of Israel even produced a video of Jewish settlers destroying 100 Palestinian olive trees while the military IDF watches protectively. (9)
Often, groups of Jewish residents from the illegal West Bank settlements will go to Palestinian olive groves during the night, with a Jewish military escort for protection, and will pick all the fruit trees clean, leaving nothing for the Palestinian farmers whose entire year’s work, and revenue, are gone. (10) Such actions reflect a consistent determination to destroy the very fabric of a people.
A Sampling of Atrocities
West Bank is dotted with hundreds of checkpoints through which Palestinians must pass to travel to their homes, schools, farms and jobs. Children and youths are routinely arrested and imprisoned, beaten and tortured, often for simply needing to cross a Jewish military checkpoint. Palestinians are consistently harassed at these checkpoints, abused and humiliated, often made to strip to their underwear before being permitted passage – if they are permitted to pass. Often, they are not. (11)
There are videos on the internet of Israeli soldiers fondling womens’ breasts as a prerequisite to crossing a check-point. One report described how an Israeli soldier, examining a man and his wife attempting to pass thorough a check-point, repeatedly fondled the woman’s breasts and, when the husband didn’t respond, the soldier exhibited his penis to the woman and then urinated on her husband. When the man finally threw a punch at the soldier, he jumped back, took out his handgun, and shot the man dead. (12)
There are so many testimonials by witnesses, both Jewish and Gentile, of the violence and degradation by Jews in the West Bank to fill a very large book. One Jewish visitor said, “I watched two young teenagers near Kiryat Arba force a Palestinian family at gunpoint to get on their hands and knees and bark like a dog while a jeep full of IDF soldiers 20 feet away laughed.”
There are many reports that Jewish soldiers particularly target pregnant women for abuse, especially those already in labor and on their way to a hospital to give delivery. In one report from 2007, 68 Palestinian women were forced to give birth outdoors at checkpoints, at which time 34 of the infants and 4 of the mothers died from the ordeal. The Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens Rights (PICCR) reported that Israeli troops stationed at hundreds of roadblocks in the occupied territories barred dozens of pregnant women from crossing the checkpoints while in labor as they were being transferred to hospitals and medical centers. (13)
Murdering Children for Sport
Ayman Mohyeldin was an Egyptian reporter for al-Jazeera English who had covered dozens of major events in the Middle East for many American and other networks. His reputation was enormous, and his reporting on the Israeli assault on Gaza was such a stellar journalistic performance that NBC “aggressively pursued him to leave Al Jazeera, paying him far more than the standard salary . . .” His new assignment for NBC was to cover Israel and Palestine, a task greatly assisted by his ability to speak Arabic and his intimate knowledge of the Middle East and its history. But in July of 2014 Mohyeldin was abruptly removed from NBC by David Verdi, a top NBC executive, who ordered Mohyeldin to leave Gaza immediately. NBC attributed Mohyeldin’s removal to unspecified “security concerns”, but there was an additional factor at play. (14)
Mohyeldin had been playing soccer on a beach with four small Palestinian boys, and had no sooner backed away from them, and was not so many meters distant from them, than an Israeli gunboat which had been monitoring them from a short distance offshore, fired an artillery shell directly into the group of boys, blowing them all to bits. Mohyeldin had witnessed the deliberate murder of four small Palestinian boys by the Israeli military and submitted a full report to NBC who scuttled his report to replace it with a different version presented by his replacement. (15) (16) (17) But it was too late. Mohyeldin had already posted on social media photos of the boys, their names, and the game, and was so distraught at what he had seen that he had already posted graphic evidence on the same social media of the event he had just witnessed. If not for his instinctive actions, the event would never have been known. (18) (19) (20) (21)
The October, 2001 edition of Harper’s Magazine features an 11-page article “A Gaza Diary”, where reporter Chris Hedges accuses Israeli soldiers of deliberately goading Palestinian children and murdering them for sport. (23) The Harper’s piece is not available online, but Hedges repeated his accusations on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” show (October 30). Hedges writes that at Palestinian refugee camps the Jewish soldiers attract children with insulting taunts, provoking them to throw stones over the electric fence, then either tossing in percussion grenades or shooting them dead. The soldiers, shooting with M-16 rifles equipped with silencers, sent bullets that “tumble end-over-end through the children’s slight bodies,” killing 11-year-old Ali Murad and seriously wounding four more, three of them under 18, according to Hedges. On the previous day, he writes, eight were shot under similar circumstances, six of them under 18. Hedges writes he has seen children shot in El Salvador, Guatemala and Sarajevo, and mothers with infants lined up and massacred in Algeria, “but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport”.”
One can imagine there was some Jewish pressure in the follow-up, since the executive producer of the Chris Hedges segment was suddenly saying, “We should have asked some clarifying follow-ups, exploring this story from the Israeli side, . . . and to try to understand the perspective of an Israeli soldier on the front lines.” Hedges appeared to have been a bit frightened as well. (25)
Gideon Levy wrote that “killing children is no longer a big deal. The plain fact, which must be stated clearly, is that the blood of hundreds of Palestinian children is on our hands.” (26) (27) (28) (29) This part would have to be true. During the past 20 years, thousands of Palestinian children have been killed. At one point in March of 2012, the estimate was that about 60% of all Palestinian children killed by Jewish soldiers had been shot in the head.
Today, they specialise in knee-capping the children, with snipers shooting out the childrens’ knees. Haaretz wrote an article glowing about Jewish soldiers blowing out 42 knees in one day. (30) (31) (32) The UK Independent even published a video of this (33), and in another article a Jewish soldier claiming a (Guinness?) record of 52 knees he had personally shot out.
The attitude of the Jewish occupiers is even more starkly and intimately manifested by Israeli soldiers modeling these new T-shirts which were apparently produced with military approval. On the left, a pregnant Palestinian woman, with the caption “one shot; two kills”. On the right, a small Palestinian child, with the caption “the smaller they are, the harder to hit”.
This is not a matter of a few ‘bad apples’ committing unapproved crimes. No government can commit such atrocities against humans, against their neighbors, people who live in the same place, without the silent consent of the majority of their population. If the Jewish citizens of Israel didn’t approve of the brutal and inhumane treatment of Palestinians, it would soon stop. The inhumanity of the brutality and savage treatment of Palestinians, especially children, must be brought to consciousness in all countries, until the groundswell of public opinion cannot be ignored.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into more than 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. His full archive can be seen at
He can be contacted at: email@example.com
(1) Report by the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, September, 2009 (.pdf 6.6 Mb), titled “Human Rights Violations in Palestine and Occupied Territories”
The document is available in: English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, at the following URL:
(2) Report by Amnesty International, December, 2008 (.pdf, 1.2 Mb), titled “Operation “Cast Lead”: 22 Days of Death and Destruction”.
(3) Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip; United Nations Environment Programme following the escalation of hostilities in December 2008 – January 2009
(4) HUMAN RIGHTS IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES; Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
(13) Saed Bannoura; IMEMC & Agenciesl April 11, 2007
(23) Harper’s magazine accuses Israeli troops of murdering Palestinian children for sport. https://www.aish.com/jw/mo/48923607.html?s=raw
(24) The audio file is online at: http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/fa/20011030.fa.01.ram To hear the Gaza segment, set the sliding button on your media player to start at 20 minutes. NPR deleted the online reference.
(26) Haaretz Oct. 17, 2004; Gideon Levy – Killing Children is no longer a big deal https://www.haaretz.com/1.4719744
The original source of this article is PRAVDA
Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai, Blue Moon of Shanghai, 2021