The Death of Ziad Abu Ein

The Palestinian people were shocked by the untimely death of Palestinian Minister for Settlements and the Wall, Ziad Abu Ein, a few days back. Minister Abu Ein was taking part in a peaceful demonstration held against the illegal settlement outpost of Adei Ad, which had expanded towards the Palestinian village of Turmus Aya taking over valuable agricultural land. Abu Ein was planning to plant olive trees as a means of protest when he was violently shoved, pushed, and choked by Israeli border police before he fainted and passed away. There were also reports of tear gas and stun grenades being fired by Israeli soldiers in his direction which exacerbated his collapse. The images and videos are all over the internet and are hard to digest.

If this tragic incident proves anything, it proves that the Palestinian people are a defenseless people that have no protection, no security, and are subject at any given time to violence and abuse by Israeli soldiers. We constantly hear how security is of utmost importance to Israel in any possible final settlement with the Palestinians, but no one is talking about the chronic lack of security for Palestinians and the ease at which Palestinian lives are taken by Israeli army personnel. Despite numerous tragic deaths, from the Bakr boys in Gaza, to high school students Nadim Nuwara and Mahmoud Abu Thaher, and now Minister Abu Ein, Palestinian deaths have sadly become an acquiesced to routine in this lopsided conflict. Seldom do we see those who kill be held accountable for their actions. Seldom do we see serious punitive measures taken against killers, measures to act as a deterrent for future potential killers.

It should come as no surprise that Palestinians have become determined to sign Human Rights treaties, join international bodies, and take our plight to the UN and other international and diplomatic avenues. We view this as the only viable means to safeguard the security of our people. If not through such avenues, how else will we protect our students from being fired at and killed with live ammunition? How else will we protect our children from being targeted as they play football on a beach? How else are we going to guarantee the protection and security of our official representatives, our cabinet ministers? After two decades of failed negotiations and serious regression in the Palestinian standard of living, and with Palestinian deaths accumulating at alarming rates, we see no other alternative but to pursue our freedom, dignity and security through New York, Geneva, and the capitals of the world.

Minister Abu Ein has been laid to rest. He was an ardent advocate for non-violence and peaceful resistance. He was killed planting an olive tree, a symbol of steadfastness, and sought to demonstrate against the ever expanding illegal settlement enterprise that is eating away at our lands and livelihoods. May he rest in peace and tranquility and may his death be a stark reminder to us all that no one is safe in Palestine until the Israeli occupation ceases to exist.

 
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