Genocide. Massacre. Pogrom. Terms that are, at times, loosely bandied about. However, history bears witness to the events in Sabra and Shatila and the perpetrators of the same.
Allah says in the Qur’ān,
“Those who were warned, ‘Your enemies have gathered their forces against you, so fear them’, only grew stronger in faith and replied, ‘Allah alone is sufficient as an aid for us, and He is the best Protector.'” 
1982 | Horrors that shook Sabra and Shatila
Over the course of just 43 hours, a Lebanese Christian militia, called the Phalanges — with the assistance of, and accompanied by, Israeli soldiers — rampaged through the refugee camp, murdering unarmed and defenceless women and children.
An estimated 2,000 to 3,500 people, mostly civilians, were butchered, with countless women raped, and dead bodies mutilated.
The Lebanese Civil War was infamous for its brutality, but Sabra and Shatila stood out for its worst levels of barbarity.
A survivor of the massacre, Nouhad, recalled an excruciatingly painful account,
“A man with darker hair came in. ‘What is in your hands?’ he asked me. I was holding my baby sister, Shadia, who was one-year-and-two-months-old, in one arm and carrying her nappies in the other, thinking they would make us leave.
“He finally told us to go up against the wall, on mattresses. He then told his men: ‘Spray them.’
“He disappeared, then returned. ‘You haven’t sprayed them?’ The other guy wasn’t able to — I was looking directly at him.
“‘Spray them! Give it to me’, and he shot at us — bullets piercing our bodies.
“My baby sister whom I was holding was hit in her head. I didn’t want to drop her. I gently slid down to the ground, and played dead, but eventually let her go. She was still alive and went towards my mother, she cried ‘Mama, mama’ twice. We heard a single bullet after that and then we didn’t hear her voice anymore.
“Shadia died along with our dad, brothers Shady (three), Farid (five), Nidal (13), and our neighbour Leila, who was staying with us because her husband was away. She was nine months pregnant.” 
Ariel Sharon, the “Butcher of Beirut”
Despite the United Nations General Assembly passing a resolution declaring the Sabra and Shatila massacre an “act of genocide” and a UN commission in 1983 stating that…
“Israeli authorities or forces were involved, directly or indirectly, in the [Sabra and Shatila] massacres,”
…not a single Lebanese or Israeli soldier has been punished for the war crimes.
Indeed, the Israeli Defence Minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, later became the Prime Minister. 
1994 | Ibrahimi Mosque massacre
On 25 February, Muslim worshippers were kneeling in prayer when Baruch Goldstein, an American-Israeli, walked into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle.
Goldstein unloaded his entire magazine, then reloaded and emptied that as well, shooting dead defenceless worshippers in the holy month of Ramadan.
The American-born Israeli continued firing until he was overpowered by Palestinian worshippers. 29 dead Muslims lay on the blood-soaked carpets, while a further 40 died as a consequence of the murderous attack.
Despite the Israeli government’s public protestations against Goldstein’s terrorist attack, many survivors of the atrocity have questioned the “deranged madman attack” narrative propagated by the government.
One such sceptic is Kamal Abdeen, who had a bullet pass through his throat as he turned to Goldstein.
Abdeen was in a comatose state for four months and, even after regaining consciousness, remains paralysed from the chest down.
Confined to a wheelchair, he recalls,
“The soldiers always searched us before we entered the mosque, and we had to pass through a metal detector.
“On that day, the machine was turned off, and no-one searched us.
“There were fewer soldiers there than usual, and they were relaxed and laughing; they didn’t think anybody was going to get out alive.” 
Another survivor of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, Fatima Hamis al-Jabari, states,
“My husband (Suleiman) and I, and two of our sons were at the mosque.
“Men and women are separated to pray, so when I heard the shooting, I just thought about my husband and sons.
“As the shooting began, my husband tried to cover our youngest son, Sari, who was eight. Suleiman was shot through the back, and the bullet went straight through him and into Sari. My husband was killed, Sari’s stomach spilled out, and we thought he would die, too, but he survived after one month in hospital.” 
Subsequent to the Israeli terror attack, the Israeli government arbitrarily divided the Ibrahimi Mosque in two, simply giving half of it to Israeli settlers and Jewish visitors who claim that Jacob’s tomb is located underneath the mosque.
Most sickeningly, the government also allows regular celebratory pilgrimages to Goldstein’s shrine located in Kiryat Arba, and has enforced a system of apartheid in Hebron, declaring some areas — including the famous Shuhada Street — for Jews and foreigners only. 
Many Palestinians remain convinced of Israeli government planning in the attack.
2000 | Shahīd Muhammad al-Durrah
On 28 September, Ariel Sharon (who you may recall was the Defence Minister during the Sabra and Shatila massacre), surrounded by 2,000 armed men, provocatively marched onto the Noble Sanctuary of al-Aqsa Mosque.
Two days later, during Palestinian protests in response to Sharon’s actions, an 11-year-old boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he sought protection in his father’s arms.
The father and son were seeking shelter behind a concrete block as his desperate father implored the Israeli soldiers to stop shooting at them, but his cries were ignored as the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) showered bullets on the pair.
Little did they know, then, that the events of the next few hours would, together with the storming of al-Aqsa, inspire the Second Intifada (Palestinian Uprising) and the Muslim world in general.
To this day, boys who have become fathers themselves still recall the first time that image was seen.
Over two decades on, and the murderers of 11-year-old Muhammad al-Durrah still walk free. Over two decades on, two uncles of Muhammad and brothers of Jamal were killed by an Israeli airstrike on 15 October 2023.  
2002 | Jenin refugee camp pogrom
In April came the Jenin refugee camp massacre.
During the height of the Second Intifada, Israeli soldiers rampaged through Jenin refugee camp, killing at least 53 unarmed Palestinians.
In an attempt to hide the barbarity of their war crime, the IDF sealed the refugee camp shut, not allowing anyone including humanitarians or journalists to enter. 
Colin Powell’s disingenuity
The siege of the Jenin refugee camp lasted several weeks, despite global protests.
The UN was agitated, so Colin Powell (the former US General who had previously lied at the UN about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction) visited Israel.
But he disingenuously claimed not to have seen any evidence of a massacre.
Of course, Powell had not seen any evidence, he had not even visited Jenin.
By the end of April 2002, Human Rights Watch (HRW) had gained access to Jenin and gathered evidence for its investigation.
A 48-page report confirmed war crimes had been committed, with dead bodies of women, children, the elderly, and the physically disabled being pulled from underneath the rubble. 
Several civilians were killed whilst asleep in their homes. Wheelchair-bound Kamal Zghair, aged 57, was shot and run over by IDF tanks on 10 April, despite waving a white flag. 14-year-old Muhammad Hawashin was lethally shot twice in the face as he walked with a group of women and children to a local hospital.
Ambulances blocked from attending the wounded
Summary executions are a war crime, yet this did not stop the IDF executing Jamal al-Sabbagh who was killed whilst obeying orders to strip off his clothes.
Nor did it stop the IDF executing Munthir al-Haj, a 22-year-old Palestinian fighter who had been injured. Despite being severely wounded and bleeding, he was shot dead by an Israeli soldier.
The report also stated that the IDF regularly blocked the “passage of emergency medical vehicles and personnel to Jenin refugee camp for 11 days” and at other times forced medical personnel to strip to their underwear.
All of these appalling actions delayed the critical medical attention the severely injured required.
The HRW report even documented the IDF killing of a 27-year-old nurse, Farwa Jammal, as she tried to rescue her neighbour. Farwa was dressed in her white nurse’s uniform marked with a Red Crescent symbol.
As Farwa lay dying, the IDF continued to fire at her. They threw bombs at those who tried to rescue her. 
Palestinians used as human shields
The use of human shields is outlawed under the Fourth Geneva Convention, however this did not preclude the IDF routinely using civilians as human shields when they conducted house-to-house raids in Jenin.
The report states,
“In virtually every case in which IDF soldiers entered civilian homes, residents told Human Rights Watch that IDF soldiers were accompanied by Palestinian civilians who were participating under duress.” 
One such case is that of Kamal Tawalbi, who described how Israeli soldiers forced him and his 14-year-old son to be human shields by keeping them in the line of fire at the same time as hiding behind them.
They also used Kamal and his 14-year-old son’s shoulders to steady their aim as the soldiers fired their rifles at fellow refugees. 
2003 | Murder of peace activist Rachel Corrie
On 15 March, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old peace activist, was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while she was attempting to protect a Palestinian home.
The Israeli soldier operating the bulldozer later claimed not to have seen Rachel, despite her wearing a bright orange jacket with reflective stripes and using a megaphone for several hours that day.
Rachel’s family has campaigned for justice for their daughter for the past two decades, holding successive meetings with the current US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, but to no avail.
In an email to her family a month before her death, Rachel wrote,
“I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons.
“I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere.
“An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me — Ali — or point at the posters of him on the walls.” 
She also told her loved ones,
“You just can’t imagine it unless you see it — and even then, you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells.
“And the fact, of course, that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my family has been shot driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown.” 
An acclaimed theatre production, My Name is Rachel Corrie, that drew on her journal as a source, was later staged in 2015 in London.
2004 | Assassination of Shaykh Ahmed Yassin
On 22 March, an elderly disabled man was being taken home after attending dawn prayers at a Gaza mosque, when a US-made F-16 Israeli fighter jet launched a series of missiles at his wheelchair.
The warm Gazan sun rose to reveal a blend of blood, mangled metal, and human flesh.
This extrajudicial killing of Shaykh Ahmed Yassin was met with outrage across Palestine and some international condemnation, with the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, calling it “unacceptable” and “unjustifiable”. 
No tangible legal action was taken against Israel.
2014 | Israeli aerial bombardment of Gaza
It’s important to recognise that Gaza is a narrow strip of land, no more than 25 miles long and six miles wide, with an estimated population of two million.
Half of those, one million, are children.
Therefore, it was not surprising when 50 days of Israeli warplanes pounding the densely populated Gaza Strip resulted in 2,251 Palestinians killed, over 11,000 wounded, and, most harrowingly, the deaths of over 551 children.
20,000 buildings were destroyed, including homes, mosques, churches, hospitals, and schools.
The following year, after an extensive investigation, the UN confirmed that Israel had committed war crimes during the offensive, and supported the referral of Israel to the International Criminal Court.
Israel dismissed the UN investigation as “morally flawed”. 
2021 | Gaza air raids
According to HRW, over the course of a week in May 2021, Israel committed war crimes in its aerial bombardment of Gaza.
The investigation focused on three Israeli attacks, specifically between 10 and 16 May, in which eight civilians were killed in Beit Hanoun, 10 civilians were killed in al-Shati refugee camp, and 44 civilians were killed in Gaza City on 16 May. 
Human Rights Watch found no evidence of fighters, weapons, or ordnance being present at any of the sites.
“Israeli forces carried out attacks in Gaza in May that devastated entire families without any apparent military target nearby … an attack that is not directed at a specific military objective is unlawful.” 
In total during the May 2021 attacks, Israel killed 260 Palestinian civilians, 66 of whom were children.
2022 | Killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the head while covering Israeli raids in the city of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. 
Abu Akleh, who was wearing a press vest and was among other Al Jazeera journalists, was killed by Israeli forces.
Al Jazeera producer Ali Samoudi, who witnessed the murder and was himself hit by an Israeli bullet, confirmed that no militants were nearby:
“The first bullet hit me, and the second bullet hit Shireen … there was no Palestinian military resistance at all at the scene.” 
It is simply impossible to document the totality of Israel’s war crimes without writing a book, or indeed, several.
In this piece, many crimes have not been included, but in doing so do not diminish the horror of those events, including the burning alive of a Palestinian child, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, in 2014. 
This article is an attempt to provide a brief snapshot to give much-needed context to the ongoing pogrom being unleashed in Gaza.
Overwhelming bias towards Israel
The strong media bias towards Israel has been laid bare for all to see.
While we must not lazily paint the entire Western media with the same brush — as there are decent journalists performing their job with integrity within mainstream media — what cannot be denied is that mainstream media, due to the decentralisation of information, is on a downward trajectory, a path its predecessor, print media, suffered from for other reasons.
While digital — and to a lesser extent, print — media undoubtedly still has influence, such power is waning.
Harnessing or stifling social media
The new and more influential voice is social media, which is why state actors are frantically trying to control — some might say censor — free speech on its platforms.
The result of this new and uncontrolled, or even uncontrollable, media may be causing a shift in global public opinion.
A Gallup poll conducted in March of this year observed that for the first time since the inception of Israel, Americans who identify themselves as Democrats sympathise more with Palestinians than Israelis. This was a significant 11-percentage-point jump over the past year alone. 
Joe Biden, one of the key leaders of the Democratic Party, is surely looking at this poll and the groundswell of support for the Palestinian cause with unease, given that he is seeking re-election in 2024.
Losing all credibility
What is clear is that the governments of America, the UK, and France have lost all credibility over their double standards.
Many have pointed to their outrage at the Russian assault on Ukraine (even arming the latter) whilst juxtaposing this with incredulous and unconditional support for Israel.
“Israel has a right to defend itself”
This turn of phrase appears to be a tenet of faith for former colonisers who have raped and pillaged indigenous peoples in the establishment of their own “civilisations”.
Take, for instance, the British Empire’s barbaric suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, in which 100,000 Muslims — mainly scholars — were killed.
Or as Benjamin Madley documents in An American Genocide, The United States and the California Catastrophe, at least 9,400 to 16,000 Californian Native Americans were killed in 370 massacres.
Or consider France’s colonial rule in Algeria, which spanned 132 years, beginning in 1830 and finally ending in 1962, during which a total of 2.2 million Algerians, mostly Muslim, were massacred, with many more tortured.
Muslims have an inalienable love for Palestine
Regardless of how current or former colonisers may choose to justify their actions, what stands paramount is witnessing the Muslim Ummah’s love and compassion for Palestine.
The Ummah is profoundly distressed by the atrocities Israel commits in Gaza and its ongoing insidious repression in the West Bank.
Widespread protests have erupted across the Middle East and in predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
And social media has been inundated with comments, shares, reposts, and videos. This activism reflects public sentiment and undoubtedly sways decision-makers in Jerusalem, Washington, London, and Paris.
Suppression and repercussions
Supporters of Israel — including the USA, which has, over the years, provided $146 billion in military aid — should counsel their proponents of aggression to pause, inhale deeply, and count to ten.
Voices advocating for reason and self-preservation need to be elevated. Any student of recent history would remember the catalogue of errors the USA made during its misguided wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the brutal suppression by various colonial powers before them and the unforeseen repercussions that followed.
Israel has placed the two million inhabitants of Gaza under a medieval siege, cutting off water, food, and electricity, while concurrently subjecting them to collective punishment through an aerial bombardment consisting of over 6,000 bombs and counting.
To many observers, it’s evident that war crimes are occurring and, in its frenzy, Israel seems intent on engulfing the Middle East and the wider region in flames.
At the time of writing, one of the world’s most powerful and best-equipped armies is continuing to gather at Gaza’s border, bolstered by the support of American and British warships and the backing of its European allies.
Meanwhile, the people of Palestine, devoid of fighter jets, tanks, warships, or sophisticated satellite technology, rely solely on a heartening promise:
“Surely, following the heavenly Record, We decreed in the Scriptures: ‘My righteous servants shall inherit the land.’” 
- Emphasise the importance of raising global awareness about Israel's actions and their impact on Palestinian lives.
- Highlight the power of social media in spreading the truth and debunking biased narratives.
- Join the global Palestinian solidarity movement through peaceful protests, boycotts, and other forms of activism, so decision-makers may rethink their stances.
- Hundreds storm al-Aqsa Masjid
- The Day I Was Radicalised: 20 Years On
- Gaza: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the World
- Illegal Israeli settlers invade al-Aqsa complex
- Why the world needs to remember Sir Gerald Kaufman
- Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah: 19 years since martyrdom
 al-Qur’ān, 3:173
 al-Qur’ān, 21:105