January 13, 2023 – Over the last two days, Israeli forces invaded multiple cities and villages across the occupied West Bank, killing five Palestinians and arresting dozens, including children. The new Israeli government — the most extremist, supremacist government in Israel’s history — is rapidly accelerating the rate of its brutal attacks against Palestinians.
During these attacks on Palestinian communities, the Israeli military shot and killed Samir Aslan while arresting his teenage son. According to his family, Samir was calling out to comfort his son when Israeli soldiers shot him. Video footage shows the Israeli soldiers preventing any assistance for Samir, leaving him bleeding on the ground until he succumbed to his wounds. Four more Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the past 48 hours, including two teenagers.
This devastating violence by the Israeli military is part of Operation Breaking the Wave, a military campaign which, although only recently acknowledged by the Israeli government, has brutalized Palestinians for the past nine months. Last year, Israeli forces killed over 200 Palestinians, in the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the second Intifada.
Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, the new government has continued and rapidly accelerated this terrifying violence, killing nine Palestinians since January 1.
None of this is surprising — the new Israeli government has been clear about its violent agenda from the beginning. In just a few weeks, it has enacted the most extremist versions of ongoing Israeli policies to cement Jewish supremacy, disregarding international law and escalating violence against Palestinians. In the villages of Masafer Yatta, the Israeli military plans to carry out the largest forcible removal of Palestinians from their homes since the 1948 Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their land. In Jerusalem, Israel’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir took the intentionally escalatory action of entering Al Aqsa mosque, while preventing Palestinian worshippers from entering one of the holiest sites in Islam. The goal is clear: expedite attacks and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities.
Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace: “Night after night, in Palestinian cities and villages across the occupied West Bank, families watch as their children are taken from them and placed under military arrest by the Israeli army. This moment is a reckoning for our American Jewish communities. Many Jewish legacy organizations provide support and cover for Israeli brutality. But a large and growing number of American Jews are rising in resistance to the Israeli government’s open policies of Jewish domination, violence and supremacy. The only choice now — for Jews and all people of conscience — is bold action to end this historic injustice.”
We call on progressive American Jews to join us in demanding an end to U.S. military funding to Israel, and to actively participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement until Palestinians are free.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine.