Inamul Haq

Conflict Hysteria: Narratives from Palestine and Kashmir

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Palestine and Kashmir has tremendous amount of similarities when it comes to the means and methods of conflict and oppression. While Palestine represents the trouble in the middle-east, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Particularly Kashmir valley is facing a similar situation in the south Asia.

Historically, the Palestinians were betrayed in 1917 by British in the Belfour declaration, while as the country was partitioned in 1948 after the partition of Indian sub-continent.  Similarly, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were also betrayed first by India, then by its own political leaders on the name of self-determination in 1947.

The result of these betrayals led the massive damage to human life in both Kashmir and Palestine. Every day, there are coffins while the world sleeps over these issues of human catastrophe. The question arises that why the so called peace loving nations, who are beating chests on the name of humanity, ignore the wails of Palestine and Kashmir.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s longest and most controversial conflicts. At its heart, it is a conflict between two self-determination movement- the Jewish Zionist project and the Palestinian nationalist project. Both claim that they belong to the same territory. But it is much more complicated than that, with seemingly every fact and historical detail, small and large, litigated by the two sides and their defenders. Similarly, the Kashmir conflict witnessed the heavy militarization by India and attempts of war by Pakistan.

Human rights violation in terms of detention, torture, disappearances, custodial killings and use of pellets guns etc have been alarmingly high in these two godforsaken places and yet the world doesn’t blink an eye knowing full well all the details of atrocities that are inflicted on the masses.

It is remarkable that on March 30 2018, a six-week campaign of protests was launched at the Gaza strip, organized in the remembrance for the commemoration of Land Day. Earlier, in 1976 same protest was organized against the confiscation of land in which six Palestinian citizens were killed by Israeli forces. However, in 2018, the  aim of such demonstrations were planned to carry out- from March 30 to May 15- silent and peaceful demonstrations which marked 70 years since (the Nakba) the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Zionist militias in order to make way for the state of Israel.

The protesters were demanding that the refugees of Palestine, who are residing in other countries and their descendants should be allowed to return to their land. Besides that, they were also protesting against the blockade of Gaza strip and the moving of the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  However, the protests saw brute force being inflicted upon them and the incident remains one of the bloodiest in the history.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights states that over 150 Palestinians were killed in the demonstrations, at least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition.

In this protest one soldier was moderately injured due to shrapnel from a grenade thrown by a Palestinian from inside Gaza and one Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian sniper fire near the fence that separates Gaza and Israel.

Similarly, 2018 witnessed the most number of deaths in Kashmir valley and remains the bloodiest in a few decades. Militants, protestors, bystanders, civilians and even young children were not spared here.

The writer is a PhD Candidate, Centre for Gandhian Thought and Peace Studies, School of Social Sciences, Central University of Gujarat

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