SIR – In some international circles and the western media, great sorrow has been expressed because a Palestinian man drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four of them. The driver of the truck has been labelled as a terrorist.
Several of his relatives have been arrested and it will not be long before their homes will be demolished by Israel. Israelis routinely destroy Palestinian homes to make room for illegal settlements, or to construct homes that only Israelis can live in.
They have been encroaching more and more on Palestinian land and claiming it for Israel, in violation of countless UN resolutions. The violation of basic human rights of the Palestinians by Israel would take volumes to document.
Nowhere, with the exception of Israel and the US Congress, does anyone dispute that Israel occupies Palestine, and does so illegally. Just weeks ago, this was once again reiterated by the UN.
Earlier this month, Israeli Sgt Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for killing Fatah Sharif, an unarmed Palestinian who had been already shot and was lying immobile on the ground. Mr Azaria approached him and shot him in the head, killing him.
Throughout Israel, and from prime minister Netanyahu, calls are being made for him to be pardoned. This says everything about the conditions under which Palestinians live when the occupying power wants to excuse a blatant murder of an unarmed Palestinian. It indicates the severity and brutality of this occupation.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/Res/33/24 reads, in part, as follows: ‘Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle”. Nowhere does it exclude driving a truck into a crowd of occupying soldiers.
Up to September 2016, 103 Palestinians were killed by Israelis, most were unarmed. In the same period in 2016, no Israelis were killed by Palestinans. While the majority of westerners were unaware of the deaths of 103 Palestinians, most have heard about the four soldiers who died. Obviously, Israeli deaths are newsworthy.
In view of all of this, the truck-ramming incident could be construed by some as a legitimate act of resistance by a defenceless and occupied people, striving for the self-determination that is enshrined in resolutions of the United Nations and various other internationally-accepted laws.