By Olivia Becker
Israel’s massive crackdown in the West Bank, which was sparked by the disappearance of three Israeli students on June 12, has now entered its 13th day and shows no sign of letting up.
The incursion, dubbed “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” has killed five Palestinians, arrested at least 361, raided some 1,600 locations, and put the entire southern region of the West Bank, and most major Palestinian cities under total lockdown. Of the hundreds of Palestinians arrested, very few have been formally charged, but rather are being held on “administrative detention.”
Israel has said that Operation Brother’s Keeper is intended to find and arrest those responsible for the kidnappings, which it insists is Hamas, despite offering no public proof of this allegation. But the reality of the situation — demonstrated by powerful images and the facts above — hints that the core of this crackdown is rooted in something other than the hunt for the missing teenagers.
“The response we’re seeing really suggests it is not about the crime,” Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Palestine Center and The Jerusalem Fund, told VICE News. “It has provided an opportunity for Israel to impose a sweeping attack on Hamas, which imposes a severe cost on Palestinian society.”
Israel does not deny this. Speaking to reporters on June 17, Israeli Major General Nitzan Alon said: “We are fighting Hamas, a cruel terror organization. The operation against it is complicated and protracted. It didn’t start today and it’s not going to end anytime soon.” Alon added that the heads of Hamas are “feeling the hits and understand the message.”
Full story at VICE News