Palestinians take swipe at US statement on 'unprovoked' Hamas attack

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Washington, after Hamas carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday. (Photo/AP)

Palestinians have criticised the White House statement issued following Hamas’ early morning attack on Israel.

Seen as the largest assault on Israel in years, the incursion combined gunmen crossing into several Israeli settlements with a heavy barrage of rockets fired from Palestine's Gaza.

The United States condemned the attack with National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson saying: “The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism.”

Palestinian-American writer and political analyst Yousef Munayyer responded to the statement on twitter saying, “To call this "unprovoked", as the initial WH statement did, is to ignore the daily and constant Israeli violence and war crimes against Palestinians which has only escalated in recent years.

“It is language that erases Palestinians and enables continued violence against them.”

Brutal occupation

Israel has held a brutal, illegal military occupation over the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 and has held Gaza under a land, sea and air blockade since 2007.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank face constant restrictions on movement due to Israel’s West Bank barrier, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, Israeli military checkpoints and Israeli only roads.

Palestinians also face arbitrary detention, constant military raids, state-sanctioned Israeli settler violence and restrictions on access to Palestinian agricultural and grazing lands as well as water supplies.

Israel currently holds over 1,200 detainees — nearly all of them Palestinians — without charge or trial, the highest number in over three decades, according to Israeli human rights group Hamoked.

The detainees, 99 percent of whom are Palestinians, are held under Israel’s policy of “administrative detention,” without trial and under allegations that Israeli authorities keep secret.

This year has been the deadliest for Palestinians in the occupied territories with over 200 killed, including over 38 children, by Israeli forces and settlers.

Gaza is the world’s most densely populated territory with over 2 million Palestinians living on only 365 square kilometres. Palestinians are banned from exiting Gaza via Israel, including for passage to the occupied West Bank, unless they obtain an Israeli-issued exit permit, which is rarely granted, even in cases of medical emergencies.

Gaza has faced four full-scale wars launched by Israel since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

Despite Israel's international political impunity, in June last year, an independent commission established by the UN Human Rights Council focused on the occupied Palestinian territories, said Israel's occupation and discriminatory policies are the root causes of the recurrent tensions, instability, and the drawn-out nature of the conflict in the region.


Source: TRT