Lubna Masarwa & Huthifa Fayyad
Middle East Eye / March 30, 2022
Veteran commander evokes the 1948 catastrophe, in which Zionist militias massacred and expelled Palestinians to make way for the creation of Israel.
Uzi Dayan, a veteran military commander and Israeli politician who served as a member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, made the threat during a Channel 14 TV interview.
“The thing we need to tell the Arab community, even those who didn’t participate in the attacks, is to be careful,” he said.
“If we reach a civil war situation, things will end in one word and a situation you know, which is Nakba,” he added. “This is what will happen in the end.”
Entire Palestinian villages were massacred, with Zionist gangs indiscriminately killing unarmed civilians and burying some in mass graves.
The raids continued after Israel announced independence on 15 May 1948.
The Israeli campaign left an estimated 15,000 Palestinians dead and some 750,000 forced to flee their homes and live as refugees.
Israel refers to the events of 1948 as the war of independence.
“We are stronger. We are holding back on a lot of things,” Dayan said. “But we will act like it’s an emergency situation.
“The war of independence was not completed, especially from within,” he added, referring to Palestinian citizens of Israel – who now make up 20 percent of the country’s population.
The comments were made after Tuesday’s shooting, which came days after two similar incidents left six people dead and several others wounded.
Three of the four assailants in the attacks, all fatally shot in the aftermath, were Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The string of killings has left many Israelis in fear of further violence, while others, especially on the far-right, have called for a strong reaction from the government.
Meanwhile, incitement and attacks against Palestinian communities have escalated.
Shortly after the attack on Tuesday, scores of Israelis gathered at the scene where they could be heard chanting anti-Palestinian slogans, including “death to Arabs”.
Many Palestinian citizens of Israel said they had not left their homes for work on Wednesday in fear of being targeted.
In the occupied West Bank, Jewish settlers – who live in settlements deemed by many global bodies to be illegal under international law – launched several attacks on Palestinians and their property on Tuesday.
In the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, near the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, settlers cut down around 170 olive trees and damaged villagers’ homes and vehicles with rocks, eyewitnesses told MEE.
In the village of Marda, near Salfit in the central West Bank, a group of settlers attacked several vehicles, smashing their windows and damaging their wheels, before fleeing.
Other attacks were recorded in Al-Tur and Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron.
Guns sales ‘doubled’ in weeks
In the wake of the attacks, police announced they had raised alert levels to the highest since May last year.
Violence spiked last Ramadan, when Israel tried to expel Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, to make way for Jewish settlers.
This prompted widespread protests across the occupied West Bank and the Palestinian community inside Israel, and rockets were fired from armed groups in Gaza, triggering Israel’s large-scale military operation on the besieged strip.
The Israeli army on Wednesday said an additional 12 battalions had been deployed along the fence separating Israel from the West Bank and a further two battalions deployed along the Gaza Strip.
The office of Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said 1,000 trained soldiers were also to be sent to assist Israeli police in “internal security operations”.
Troops will assist in gathering intelligence, and guiding security operations against Palestinians who may be in Israel without a permit.
Meanwhile, requests for arms purchases by Israeli citizens have been on the rise, according to the Walla news website.
According to data from the ministry of public security, requests increased three and a half times from the same period last year, Walla reported.
More than a thousand gun purchase applications have been submitted since the beginning of March, and the number of applications has doubled in the past two weeks.
Lubna Masarwa is a journalist and Middle East Eye’s Palestine and Israel bureau chief, based in Jerusalem
Huthifa Fayyad – Middle East Eye