The innocent people of Palestine are facing Israeli aggression as well as acts of terrorism, not only in recent times but the process has been going on since 1948. World powers, especially the United States, are watching atrocities on the people of Palestine by Israel and its armed forces but opt to remain silent rather than take any action.

On March 8, 2021, Israel’s police attacked Muslim worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque while they were performing tarawihs. Israel attacked Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Damascus Gate of the Old City and the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.

The latest violence erupted on May 10, when Israel launched air raids on Gaza after Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the territory, fired rockets into Israel. At least 222 people have been killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, according to health authorities, including 63 children.

The bombardment began after the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza responded to more than 20 days of Israeli violence against Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s refusal to abandon plans to expel a number of Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. The homes were to be handed over to illegal Jewish settlers through a lengthy and false legal process. Israel’s goals in attacking Gaza included the destruction of the resistance infrastructure and the re-imposition of the army’s deterrence.

The settlers have played a key role in Israel’s act of terrorism on innocent Palestinians since 1947. Settlements are Jewish communities in historic Palestine built by the Zionist movement pre-1948 and thereafter by the state of Israel. These communities can range in size from single-person outposts to entire cities. One of the first settlements built by Zionists was Tel Aviv in the early 20th century. Eventually, as the Jewish immigration from Europe increased, Zionists began acquiring more plots of land for settlement. After the military assaults of 1948-’50, Zionist armed forces, subsequently transformed into the Israeli army, constructed Jewish settlements over the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages throughout the 78 percent of historic Palestine they controlled.

A building that housed international media offices including Al Jazeera’s in the Gaza Strip has been hit by an Israeli air raid that demolished the structure. Israel said its “fighter jets attacked a high-rise building which hosted military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terror organisation”. Whereas it provided no evidence to back up the claims.

American president Joe Biden is not far behind in supporting Israel for its contemporary terrorism acts. The White House tweeted, “Today the president spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, reaffirmed his strong support to Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza and condemned these indiscriminate attacks against Israel.” Undoubtedly, the United States has a “special relationship” with the state of Israel, as characterised by the US State Department: “Israel is a great partner to the United States, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States. Americans and Israelis are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. The unbreakable bond between our two countries has never been stronger”. US and Israeli interests have converged in important ways. The United States has served as a critical sponsor for Israel financially and politically. And Israel has played an invaluable role in helping the United States dominate the Middle East.

A ceasefire was settled between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip as Egyptian mediators pressed on with talks with the two sides on securing longer-term calm.

The role of Pakistan is appreciable in this scenario. Pakistan was engaged in establishing contacts with other countries in a bid to pressure Israel to stop attacks on Gaza which have been continuing since May 10. Pakistan joined Turkey in urging the UN to deploy an international protection force in illegally occupied Palestinian territories to protect innocents there from Israeli violence. Speaking at a UN General Assembly special meeting on Palestine, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “Gaza has plunged in darkness, literally and metaphorically, while the only light is that of Israeli explosions”. Pakistan and its citizens will always stand up, not only for the oppressed Kashmiri people, but for innocent Palestinians as well.