Tag Archives: Sderot

Are Israeli settlers of occupied Sderot combatants or human shields of IDF?

Though both Israel and Hamas are accused of war crimes during last year’s Operation Cast Lead, Human Rights Watch confirms its role as US policy whip by admonishing Hamas to account for its killing of civilians, yielding the AP headline: Human rights group: Hamas targeted civilians. February 5th is the deadline imposed by the UN for both parties to respond to charges made in the Goldstone Report. Fair enough, Hamas rockets killed three residents of Sderot while the IDF killed 1,400 in Gaza. But confusion always resurfaces about Sderot, formerly the Arab town of Najd. Can settlers deliberately mobilized to occupy Sderot, be excluded as legitimate targets of their dispossessed victims? Is Israel hiding behind civilian settlers which it moves illegally to advance its hold on conquered land?
Palestine 1947

The question of Sderot’s legitimacy provokes nothing but confusion. Some Israelis claim Sderot was part of the territory which the UN set aside for a Jewish State in 1947. Maps reveal rather that Sderot was seized in the warfare which erupted when the UN decision was announced. Sderot was overrun when Israel made its unilateral declaration of statehood, when Zionist forces expanded on the initial UN proposal, and fell back to the Green Line of 1949. Thus other Israelis defend Sderot as a “post-withdrawal” and “‘Green Line’ city.” A telling concession.

Both Israeli claims on Sderot profit by the confusion that the term “occupied territories” implies lands seized by Israel since 1967. Palestinians are constantly blamed for Arafat refusing to accept a compromise that would restore the 1967 boundaries. Ignoring the Palestinians’ right of return to properties taken well before.

Palestinians can be fully in the right to reject the UN’s reapportionment of their lands. But even if everyone was forced to adhere to the UN demarcations, Sderot would not be Israel’s. The dispossessed Palestinians have a right to reject the occupation of lands stolen in the wake of refugees fleeing the onslaught, now called the Nakba.