THE daily humiliation of Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints intensifies in the sacred month of Ramadaan.
According to the International Journal of Conflict and Violence, Israeli soldiers are trained to ‘degrade, humiliate and oppress’ Palestinians.
Checkpoints symbolise the daily humiliation experienced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The indignity imposed on Palestinians is routine according to human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem.
Palestinians are subjected to collective punishment, restrictions on freedom of movement and degrading treatment, including excessive force and invasive body searches. There have been multiple reports of Palestinian men and women forced to strip to their underwear.
The checkpoints are also designed to disrupt access to healthcare, education and other essential services. These actions are consistent with the broader Israeli policy of destabilising the social and economic life of Palestinians.
A particularly striking aspect of the occupation is the marked increase in Israeli aggression in Ramadaan. In 2021 and 2022, the sanctity of Ramadaan in Palestine was marred by Israeli military assaults on worshippers at Masjid Al Aqsa. Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades, injuring hundreds. The assaults continued throughout the sacred month, with airstrikes on Gaza killing dozens of Palestinians. In 2019, Israeli forces carried out a series of air raids on Gaza in Ramadaan, killing at least 25 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants.
We should expect nothing different this Ramadaan, under a more rabidly right-wing Israeli government. But Palestinians will continue to resist and assert their dignity.
This article was first published in the March 17, 2023 print edition of Muslim Views.