Occupation of West Bank since Operation Al Aqsa Flood - Settler Panic, Part 1

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Occupation of West Bank since Operation Al Aqsa Flood - Settler Panic, Part 1

In the West Bank, I$rael has killed at least 502 Palestinians since 7 October 2023, the day Operation Al Aqsa Flood commenced by the Palestinian resistance. At least 4,950 people were injured, 3,985 people were displaced, 8,088 people were arrested and 648 structures were demolished.(1) All of this is not even mentioning the recent declaration by I$raeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich that 800 hectares (1,977 acres) in occupied West Bank are now state land for I$raeli settlements.(2) As we know, the I$raeli war has focused on Gaza, where official estimates put the death toll at 38,000, while public health experts estimate that number could be as high as 186,000.(2.5)

These figures alone are abstract, so to paint a better picture of accounts from those living in the West Bank now, contextualizing history and statistics will be provided. It is estimated that 3.25 million people live in the West Bank, meaning that just from the above statistics 0.54%(17525 affected / 3.25 million population) of people were directly affected with countless more affected indirectly from the intensified settler terror in just 6-7 months. The amount of deaths has been three times as high as 2022 already. The lack of infrastructure to collect accurate data also makes this statistic likely an underestimate of the severity, with it only getting worse on the ground as we speak.

The aim of this article is to historicize the initial I$raeli response in the West Bank to the Al Aqsa Flood before the prisoner exchange and temporary “end”(which was constantly violated by I$rael) of hostilities in Gaza. It will be the first part of a series of articles that cover the occupation of the West Bank. Together, Gaza and the West Bank make up the “occupied territories” of Palestine that have not yet been seized by I$rael.

Operation Al Aqsa Flood, settlers panic in West Bank

The very existence of settlers are premised on the displacement of the native people and colonial occupation of entire nations or sections of nations. This is on top of the exploitation of land and labor of the colonized to feed an ever-growing parasitic strata. The I$raeli colonial projects on the border of Gaza were challenged on October 7th, with resistance seizing their land back from the settlers by force. The sense of control from having some of the best surveillance methods and technologies in the world, while being backed by the most powerful imperialist power, was shattered. The carefully crafted methods to maintain and further colonization to feed I$raeli settlers while helping their Amerikan overseers to pacify the entire region under its boot was challenged. The I$raeli project floats on nothing, it produces nothing for the world beyond feeding the hunger of settlers and their imperialist allies off the backs of the colonized. Desperately, it sought to reduce its reliance on those it displaced and colonized, knowing full well what that’d mean. I$rael sought out Third World labor, begged for a share of profits from its imperialist overseers and tried to become more “self-sufficient”. Ultimately it failed in its endeavors, finding itself reliant on imperialist backers to sustain itself against militant resistance from all sides. Once that runs dry, I$rael is doomed and its dream will be ruined, with a victory for the resistance and the liberation of Palestine!

On 11 October 2023, a lock down on West Bank was declared, shutting down more than 500 checkpoints and the only major international border crossing, which is with Jordan, at Allenby Bridge.(3) The I$raeli settlers were faced with a war on two fronts, resorting to extreme measures in fear of losing control of their occupation. Their fears were further confirmed with the death of General Leon Bar, a senior officer of the West Bank Division of the I$raeli Offensive Forces (IOF) on 12 October 2023.(4) Alarms were set off in both “Beitar Illit”, near Bethlehem, and “Ma’ale Efraim”, near Ramallah, due to fears of resistance infiltration on 13 October 2023. On the same day, raids were conducted in Nablus, Aqabat, Jaber camp, Areeha, and Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. The IOF began an invasion of the city of Nablus and clashes continued in Jenin as resistance fighters confronted the invasion. Hamas’s brigades, the Izz al Din al-Qassem Brigades, were one of the known resistance factions who fended off the IOF invasion, while also fighting in the Ain Al-Sultan and Aqabat Jabr camps in Areeha.(5)

As of October 14th, 842 acts of resistance were carried out in the West Bank in just a week. Of those confirmed, there were 241 shooting operations, 30 qualitative operations, one settlement infiltration, 570 confrontations in various forms, and 98 demonstrations and marches. Twenty two IOF injures were confirmed, a number were killed, and there were 56 martyrs on the side of the resistance. The confrontations took place in 254 areas, including Nablus (45), Al-Quds (38), Ramallah (38), Al-Khalil (33), Jenin (27), Tulkarem (19), Bethlehem (17), Qalqilya (13), Areeha (11), Salfit (9), and Tubas(4).(6) Just a week since Operation Al Aqsa Flood, the resistance was stiff against I$raeli attempts to subdue the West Bank under its grasp. A resistance to settler-colonialism and national oppression within the United $tates must adopt similar discipline, rejecting integration for self-determination for oppressed nations in solidarity with the struggle against imperialism across the world.

The resistance in the West Bank continued, with the al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, which are the military wing of Popular Resistance Committees, targeting the Belt Furik checkpoint and the IOF post established on “Mount Gerizim” on 15 October 2023. The IOF by this time had abducted more than 500 in the West Bank and Al-Quds.(7) On 17 October 2023, protestors in the occupied West Bank demanded the fall of president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, a neocolonial puppet entity ruling over West Bank. The response was repression, with tear gas and stun grenades used to disperse the protestors.(8) Amidst the protests, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which are military wing of Fatah, were able to successfully target zionist occupation checkpoints and clashed with them on the same day.(9)

Sheikh Hassan Yousef. co-founder of Hamas, was abducted by the IOF in his home in Ramallah after giving a speech there on 18 October 2023. This was part of a larger campaign of abductions by the IOF which expanded that day.(10) Confrontations further escalated within the West Bank, with a victory for the resistance occurring with the Saraya Al-Quds, which is the militant wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), part of the Tulkarm Brigade carried out numerous strikes, offensive operations, ambushes, explosive detonations, and ambush executions. It was a 28 hour battle, which led to the IOF completely withdrawing from the Nour Shams camp.(11) The cowardly settlers retaliated the next day at the Al-Ansar mosque, believing that Hamas and PIJ used it as a headquarters. This resulted in the death of two, and the arrest of dozens who were suspected to work with the Jenin Brigade or other resistance groups.(12) On the same day, Zionist special forces stormed the Askar camp in Nablus, clashing with the resistance.(13) Just four days later, on 26 October 2023, the IOF carried out a massive arrest campaign across the West Bank with armed clashes breaking out.(14) This preludes the rise of resistance in the West Bank the next day, with violent confrontation in the Al-Aroub camp, against the “Nitzani Oz” checkpoint, the “Dotan” checkpoint, Jabal Al-Tur and Abu Dis on 27 October 2023.(15)

I$raeli invasion of Gaza, settler counter-offensive

The invasion of Gaza officially began on 28 October 2023. On this day, many cities in West Bank went on strike in support of the resistance in Gaza.(16) A specialized hospital in Nablus was targetted in the West Bank due to the IOF’s suspicion of the resistance groups there.(17) On 2 November 2023, armed clashes broke out across various cities in the West Bank following a wide campaign of arrests.(18) On 4 November 2023, the resistant youth in the West Bank threw Moltov cocktails at settlers’ vehicles near Marda and at zionist forces in Al-Aroub camp. In addition, they threw stones at settlers near Hizma and Route 443.(19) The important part to note here is the role of the youth and how a large part of Palestine are under 18. The resistance’s mobilization of the youth to fight is important to learn from, especially in contexts of settler-colonialism and national oppression, for application to the United $tates. The Black Panthers were mostly teenagers.

The armed clashes continued between resistance fighters and zionist forces in Qalqilya, following raids on cities and a large campaign of abductions.(20) The Lion’s Den, a Palestinian resistance group in the West Bank, claimed responsibility for conducting shooting operations near “Itamar” which was successful on 8 November 2023.(21) In Jenin, a day afterward, the Al-Qassam fighters and all resistance formations in the Jenin camp engaged in armed clashes with the IOF. Reinforcements were sent toward the Balata camp by the IOF after the resistance discovered a special zionist force. In the end, the battle resulted in a victory for the resistance after two hours, with the IOF withdrawing without being able to abduct resistance wanted fighters or occupy the area.(22) The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, militant wing of the PFLP, were able to target the occupation forces in Jenin with explosive devices on 11 November 2023. The same day, resistance fighters open fired on the “Belt Hefer” settlement and “Nitzanei Oz” checkpoint in Tulkarem. It ended successfully, with a safe return for the resistance forces and heavy damage to the targeted areas.(23)

The Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades part of the Tulkarem Brigade, announced a general mobilization in the West Bank and Al-Quds on 12 November 2024.(24) The Al-Qassam Brigades – West Bank, announced responsibility for storming the Tunnel Checkpoint in the south of occupied Al-Quds in the morning. Here the resistance was able to attack enemy forces at the military checkpoint separating northern Bethlehem and southern occupied Al-Quds.(25) On 20 November 2023, the Mujahideen Brigades were victorious in firing upon an incursion of IOF soldiers in Jenin, clashing with special forces in Tubas, and shooting a jeep in Tubas.(26) On November 21st, an IOF drone targeted a site in Tulkarem camp, continuing to prevent ambulances from reaching the site. Afterward the IOF stormed the Thabet Thabet Hospital to prevent the ambulances from working.(27) Only a few days later on November 23rd, a wave of widespread arrests were carried out, clashing with the resistance and locals in Balata refugee camp, Al-Arroub, Dura, Beit Liqya, and Qalandiya refugee camp.(28) On November 24th, the Mujahideen Brigades, succeeded in bombing the “Dotan” military checkpoint southwest of Jenin.(29)

Conclusion

The resistance in the West Bank face similar conditions to the nationally oppressed in the United $tates. One key difference is the proximity to imperialism with integrationist pull that pacifies resistance. Aside from that, both are firmly occupied under the boot of the colonizers with no state of their own and both face mass incarceration to destroy resistance and further colonization. The resistance’s capability to form a united front to fight back and coordinate in conditions of immense surveillance and repression is important to note. I$rael used all of its capabilities, controlling the supply of food, water, medicine, internal movement, and etc… but it still failed in face of resistance. A strategy within the United $tates will have to encompass these factors and surpass them, coordinating not only internally but externally with the Third World against forces of imperialism and colonialism.

In the next part, there will be a discussion of the prisoner exchange and temporary “end” of hostilities, at the least, along the beginning of I$rael’s advance in Rafah along with the emboldened colonization which I$rael embarked on in the West Bank. Specifically, declaring more than 800 hectares of land as part of I$rael, aiming to fully annex the West Bank.

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

من النهر إلى البحر / فلسطين ستتحرر

Notes:

(1) Israel kills more than 500 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7, May 16th, 2024

  1. Israel seizes 800 hectares of Palestinian land in occupied West Bank, March 22st, 2024

(2.5) Sharon Zhang, 8 July 2024, Researchers Estimate True Gaza Death Toll at 186,000 or More, Truthout.

  1. Palestinians in occupied West Bank are under Israeli lockdown, October 11th, 2023

  2. Israel: Another High-Ranking Officer Killed in Gaza Resistance Operation, October 13th, 2023

  3. Resistance News Network, October 13th, 2023

  4. Resistance News Network, October 14th, 2023

  5. Resistance News Network, October 15th, 2023

  6. PA forces fire tear gas at West Bank protesters after Gaza hospital strike, October 10th, 2023

  7. Resistance News Network, October 17th, 2023

  8. Resistance News Network, October 18th, 2023

  9. A new massacre in Nour Shams camp, Tulkarm, October 22, 2023

  10. Israel strikes mosque in occupied West Bank refugee camp. October wwth, 2024

  11. Resistance News Network, October 22st, 2023

  12. Resistance News Network, October 26th, 2023

  13. Resistance News Network, October 27th, 2023

  14. Resistance News Network, October 28th, 2023

  15. Resistance News Network, October 30th, 2023

  16. Resistance News Network, November 2nd, 2023

  17. Resistance News Network, November 4th, 2023

  18. Resistance News Network, November 7th, 2023

  19. Resistance News Network, November 8th, 2023

  20. Resistance News Network, November 9th, 2023

  21. Resistance News Network, November 11th, 2023

  22. Resistance News Network, November 12th, 2023

  23. Resistance News Network, November 16th, 2023

  24. Resistance News Network, November 20th, 2023

  25. Resistance News Network, November 21st, 2023

  26. Resistance News Network, November 23rd, 2023

  27. Resistance News Network, November 24th, 2023

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