Death Penalty, a punishment for Palestinians, is not sufficient in Israel

The immediate punishment that comes to Israeli officials and security forces for Palestinians who attack Israelis is to raze their homes.  This has become a norm in Israel since a very long time.Hundreds if not thousands of Palestinian homes were demolished as an additional punishment for families of Palestinians who carry out attacks against Israeli civilians or military.

Razing the homes in some cases is not enough.  Sometimes the brothers are taken prisoner and the parents are detained.

When identified, the case in most attacks, the attacker would be executed on the spot.  Therefore, the punishment is inflicted on the family of this person, which indicates that death penalty is not enough; the family must suffer as well.

This indicates that the Israeli government and officials have retaliation mentality rather than bringing justice.

In April of last year, a gunman went on a rampage on the Virginia Tech campus in the United States of America . By the time he was done, more than 30 students and faculty members were dead, and then he killed himself.

CNN described this attack as the “worst shooting in America ’s history”.  Yet the response of the local authorities in Virginia was not to demolish his home.

Many other killing incidents happen in Israel, however, Israeli officials do not rush to call for the demolition of their homes.  Israeli settlers and soldier kill Palestinians almost everyday, no body calls for demolishing their homes.

When Baruch Goldstein killed over 25 Palestinians praying at the Abrahimi Mosque, (Tomb of Patriarchs) in Hebron in February of 1994, a number of the worshippers managed to reach him and kill him.  His grave now is a monument in the nearby settlement of Keryat Arba'a.  His home was not razed, and there were no Palestinian petitions calling for razing his home.

In most cases, Israelis who kill or assault Palestinians are acquitted from their charges.  Not so long, a soldier who deliberately shot handcuffed Palestinian at a very short range with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the foot was released from jail.

Palestinians attacking Israelis is not the only justification used by Israel to raze Palestinian homes.  The common pretext used in areas under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Authorities is building without permits.   Building permits are very rarely granted from the local authority at Jerusalem municipality.  Palestinians in Jerusalem, risk losing their residency rights in Jerusalem if they live outside of Jerusalem for seven years.  Therefore, they have to stay in Jerusalem and build a house, even without a permit from Israel.  The Jerusalem municipality easily obtains a court ruling to raze the house ans family has to try to find another place to live in, and mot of them end up in the West Bank, or choose to pay high rent rates in order to stay in Jerusalem.

This indicates a systematic home demolition policy which after some time ends in evacuating Palestinians from Jerusalem in a way that sounds voluntary while in fact it is compulsory.

In Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip,  at least 2000 homes were razed to create a buffer zone in the Gaza-Egypt border area.  Israel claimed that Palestinian resistance groups use the houses to build tunnels to enter arms to Gaza Strip.

most of those people became homeless and stayed in schools for several months.  Most of them were ready to leave if they could, however alternative houses were built for them by the Palestinian Authority.

It is not strange that Israel will implement double standard when it comes to dealing with Palestinians, however, people around the world must not be deceived by the way things are spun in the media.

Democrate candidate for US presidency voiced criticism and condemnation of the bulldozer incident Tuesday afternoon, however, nothing was said about the Israeli soldier who deliberately shot the handcuffed Palestinian in Nilin although it was caught on tape.

The deception that dominates the Israeli narrative has to be clarified, which will surely change the way the Palestinians are viewed in the media.  Attacks carried out by Palestinians immediately draw wide international and even Palestinian condemnation, while Israeli military and settler attacks go unnoticed.

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George Rishmawi

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