The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) strongly condemns the abduction and killing of the three Yeshiva students, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, and Eyal Yifrah. According to CPI “deliberate targeting of civilians undermines all moral, legal and human principles. The deliberate killing of civilians is defined as a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and cannot be justified, regardless of the circumstances.” CPI renews its call to the Israeli government to refrain from acts of vengeance for the abduction and killing of the three Israeli teens and cautions the occupation forces to avoid harming the innocent Palestinian population, or abusing the public atmosphere in Israel with the discovery of the bodies, to impose collective punishment, as was done in the past two weeks as part of the searches. The deliberate harming of an entire civilian population as punishment for the actions of individuals is both illegal and immoral.
The CPI said that “the policy of perpetuating the occupation which all Israeli governments have engaged in since June 1967 is the main obstacle to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and to a general Israeli-Arab peace. This policy is the main source for the growing deterioration of the democratic arena and the spread of racist discourse.” The CPI, faithful to the right of the peoples to self-determination, has for 60 years and more been demanding the realization of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and a sovereign state beside Israel. According CPI, peace can be achieved with the accomplishment of five paths:
– Peace will be founded upon an Israeli retreat from all the Arab territories captured since the aggressive war it launched in June 1967, and on respect for the right of Israel, of the Palestinian state and of the Arab states to a sovereign existence and development in conditions of peace and security.
– The Palestinian Arab people will realize its right to self-determination and to a sovereign state of its own in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem, side by side with Israel.
– The problem of the Palestinian refugees will be solved in accordance with the UN resolutions (which recognize their right to choose between return to the homeland and restitution) within the framework of the negotiations for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
– The annexation of East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel, will be annulled. The independent Palestinian state will be sovereign over East Jerusalem. West Jerusalem will be recognized as the capital of Israel, and East Jerusalem as the capital of the independent Palestinian state, in accordance with the will of each people in its own state.
– All settlements in the Occupied Territories will be dismantled.
“Suitable Zionist response”
Israeli occupation military forces on Monday located the bodies of three teenage pupils who have been missing and assumed kidnapped for over two weeks. The bodies were found buried in a field near Halhoul, in the Hebron area. The three, two of whom are 16 years old and the third 19, were hitchhiking home from their yeshiva in a West Bank settlement when they were believed to have been kidnapped.
Following the kidnapping, Israel launched a major military operation in the West Bank, dubbed “Operation Brother’s Keeper.” The operation, while searching for the kidnapped teenagers in the Hebron area, also had a second aim: to target Hamas and other Palestinian groups throughout the West Bank. Over 500 Palestinians have been arrested and six were killed during the operation thus far. The entire southern West Bank was on lockdown for over a week as troops searched homes, fields, caves and buildings. Restrictions were even placed on the ability of Hebron-area residents to travel abroad, for those who were able to leave their cities and towns.
The Israeli cabinet was called for an emergency meeting Monday night and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to make a public statement. Housing Minister Uri Ariel put out the following statement moments after the news was announced: “In war, on the one hand you need to strike down terrorists without any mercy, and on the other hand, you need to provide a suitable Zionist response.” The latter part of his statement likely refers to building new settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories.