(Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency)
The Israeli government has seized the property and bank accounts of several freed Palestinian prisoners, according to a Sama report on 2 March.
According to the report, freed Palestinian prisoners Ayoub Afanah and Mohammad Dirbas had their bank accounts frozen by Israeli authorities, alongside the confiscation of Dirbas’ car.
The Israeli government has also recently imposed financial punishments on the family members of the freed prisoners, including the parents of former Palestinian prisoner Bashar al-Obaidi.
Israeli authorities confiscated the car of Obaidi’s father and interrogated his mother at the Qalandia checkpoint, one of the 600 Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. Obaidi’s parents also had their bank accounts frozen, according to a WAFA correspondent.
The gradual but deliberate process of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian money and land, coupled with the forcing of Palestinians to live under Israeli military occupation, has formed the system that the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has categorized as ‘apartheid’ – a secondary consequence of occupation.
This comes after Israel’s current security and finance ministers, Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, seized the funds of 87 freed Palestinian prisoners from Jerusalem.
On 1 March, Smotrich called for Israel to “wipe out” the Palestinian village of Huwara in the wake of a violent rampage by far-right Jewish settlers during the night of 26 February. Several suspects complicit in the attack were released by the Israeli police a day after their arrests.
“The Palestinian village of Huwara should be wiped out. The state needs to do it and not private citizens,” Smotrich remarked.
On 28 February, former Israeli security minister Benny Gantz said that Smotrich was supporting the settler mob violence and “wants to cause another Palestinian Nakba.”
In 1947, pre-state militias initiated a policy of “transfer” to forcibly expel at least 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. This process of ethnic cleansing, known by Palestinians as the ‘Catastrophe,’ or Nakba, allowed Zionist leaders to acquire the territory necessary to create a new state with a Jewish majority.
As Israeli historian Benny Morris has shown, the transfer campaign was not only deliberate but accompanied by many massacres and rapes at the hands of such militias.