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A Cry for Help from Palestinians - by Bassam Tawil for The Gatestone Institute - 04.08.23

The two events -- in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon -- received little attention from the international community and media, most likely because Israel was not involved. Needless to say, the United Nations Security Council was not asked to hold an emergency session to discuss the crimes committed by Palestinians against Palestinians.

A statement issued by a group, the Unified Command of the Intifada in the Gaza Strip, noted in response to the protests that "the time of silence over oppression and the exploitation of religion to kill has ended." The group was referring to Hamas's continued repressive measures against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including a crackdown on journalists, political rivals, and human rights activists. It was also referring to Hamas's use of Islam to justify its policies and measures against the residents of the Gaza Strip.

Among those arrested by Hamas security officers was Batoul Abu Salimeh, a 14-year-old girl from Jabalya. A 15-year-old boy from Rafah, who asked not to be identified, said Hamas thugs beat him in the leg and that he is afraid to go to hospital for treatment.

The protests in the Gaza Strip were organized by local Palestinian youth movements to put pressure on Hamas to solve the problems of poverty and unemployment. The protesters also demanded an end to the shortage of electricity and gas supplies.

It is no secret that Hamas has been investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and manufacturing weapons to attack Israel, while ignoring the dire economic crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Reports from the Gaza Strip -- almost completely ignored by the international media -- said that Hamas security officers stormed the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and abducted three Palestinian men who were wounded during the protests: Midhat Daoud, Nizar al-Liddawi, and Wissam Rasras.

Hamas officers also physically assaulted Palestinian journalist Walid Abdel Rahman, a correspondent for the Palestinian Authority's Palestine TV, while he was covering the demonstrations in Jabalya.

Rami Farajallah, member of the International Federation of Journalists, criticized Hamas for cracking down on Palestinian journalists who were reporting about the peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip.

A Ramallah-based Palestinian NGO, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) called on Hamas to release all those who were arrested during the protests... Hamas security services detained 43 Palestinians from all areas of the Gaza Strip... at least 15 Palestinians were wounded, with injuries including bruises, cuts, abrasions and fractures, as a result of being assaulted with kicks, punches, knives, clubs and iron bars.

ICHR called on Hamas to respect and promote the right to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly....

"We, the people of Gaza, ask you to look into the crimes of the Hamas organization... and mention those crimes. We call on you to protect us from this organization that does not stop kidnapping and torturing citizens inside Gaza.... We call upon you once gain to protect us and rescue us from the Hamas organization as soon as possible. " — Hamzeh al-Masri Palestinian political activist, in an appeal to human rights organizations, August 1, 2023.

Meanwhile, in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, at least 11 Palestinians were killed and 40 wounded in armed clashes between rival gangs, and at least 2,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes during the three days of fighting.

The voices of the anti-Israel activists around the world who regularly rush to condemn Israel for seeking to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism have gone silent when it really comes to protecting Palestinians. The activists, who describe themselves as "pro-Palestinian," do not actually care about Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon's refugee camps.

The alleged distress of "pro-Palestinian" individuals and pressure groups has nothing to do with a genuine concern for the Palestinians -- and everything to do with a racist hatred of Jews.

For the full article in pdf, please click here:

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.

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