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Euro-Med urges EU interference to end Israel aggression in Gaza

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A picture taken on May 13, 2021 shows a ball of fire engulfing the al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza early in the morning. (Photo by AFP)

A rights group in a letter to the European Union has detailed the ongoing Israeli campaign of brutality against Palestinians, stressing the need to intervene and end deadly airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.

In the letter to EU foreign ministers, the European Commission and European Parliamentary Committees, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor expressed deep concern over the ongoing Israeli raids which have killed dozens of civilians.

The group called on the European Union and its member states to comprehensively address the Israeli violations, provocations and abuses across the occupied territories. 

Euro-Med Monitor stressed that the Europeans have failed to take adequate action against the Israeli settlement expansion, eviction of Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds and elsewhere across the West Bank, provocation at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the continued siege of Gaza.

Ramy Abdu, the group's chairman, said the EU has condemned Israel’s actions, but it has not imposed any practical penalties in recent decades.

“This has led to an escalation of the situation on the ground, threatening a comprehensive explosion and more severe consequences,” he said. 

“The escalation is part of a repetitive cycle that is too familiar to observers and human rights organizations."

Emboldened by the West's silence, Israel has stepped up its attacks on the civilian population and infrastructure, Abdu said.

He stressed that the Israeli escalation has encouraged right-wing settlers in Israel to intensify their racist attacks on the Palestinians, their farms and properties throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. 

The rights group warned that such acts of deliberate targeting of civilian areas might amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories have been simmering with rage in the past weeks over the Israeli regime’s plan to expel dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the volatile Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the Old City in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds as part of a long-running scheme to Judaize Palestinian lands.

Their anger intensified earlier this month after Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque complex during the fasting days of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Amid the tension, Israel has launched yet another brutal aerial campaign against mainly civilian targets in Gaza. So far, more than 80 Palestinians, including women and children, have lost their lives and more than 480 others been wounded as a result of Israel’s air raids.

The Israeli military has been under fire globally over its crimes against Palestinians, especially those residing in Gaza, which has already been under a crippling Israeli siege.

The head of the political bureau of the Gaza-based Hamas movement has warned Israel that more retaliatory attacks await the occupied territories as long as the regime keeps up its aggression.

Speaking to Doha-based Al Jazeera TV channel on Wednesday, Ismail Haniyeh underlined the need for an immediate end to the aggression. 

Hamas officials discussed al-Quds with various parties in the region, who all agreed on the need to stop the Israeli violence, he noted, urging the US government to prove its neutrality on the issue of Palestine.

Shin Bet's threatening messages 

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent an urgent letter to Israeli spy agency Shin Bet's authorities, demanding that they act to halt the agency’s reported practice of sending threatening text messages to Palestinian citizens. 

The messages sent to Arab population, written in Arabic, read: "Hello. You have been identified as someone who participated in acts of violence at al-Aqsa Mosque. We will punish you."

The Shin Bet did not deny its involvement in sending such messages, stating only: "We do not comment on operational activities."

Violence broke out in the central city of Lod and some other cities across Israel between Jews and Arabs overnight and into Thursday amid a spike in tensions.

Towns with mixed Jewish and Arab populations have been struck by some of the worst communal violence that Israel has seen in years.

Pedestrians walk on May 11, 2021 past damaged cars in the central Israeli city of Lod, near Tel Aviv, following night clashes between Arabs and Israeli Jews. (Photo by AFP)

Late Wednesday a mob of far-right Israelis dragged a man they thought was an Arab from his car and beat him until he lay on the ground motionless and bloodied. 

Those in the crowd justified the attack by saying the man was an Arab who had tried to ram the far-right extremists, but the footage showed a motorist trying to avoid the demonstration.

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