By Zeina Azzam
At the United Nations General Assembly last week, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused his fears on an external threat from Iran, the internal situation in Israel and Palestine started to boil over. The dramatic scene he made during his speech served to deflect attention from his government’s decades-long military occupation policies in the Palestinian territories.
Talk of a third intifada pervades the media now as tensions rise between Israeli settlers in the West Bank and the indigenous Palestinian population. “Anyone claiming to be surprised that a third uprising is imminent has been burying their head in the sand for the last decade,” Israeli journalist Gideon Levy says.
Indeed, most of the world has turned a blind eye to what has been unfolding on the ground in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. These developments include ever-increasing house demolitions, arrests and imprisonment (especially of minors), expropriation of Palestinian land, Israeli settlement building and expansion and construction of an exclusive road network for Israeli settlers, construction of hundreds of miles of a separation barrier, curfews and collective punishment, the closure of Jerusalem and its holy sites to Palestinians, and outright murder of Palestinian civilians by both military forces and armed settlers.
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This article originally appeared in Al Jazeera.
Zeina Azzam is Executive Director of the Palestine Center.
The views in this brief are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.