Press TV has conducted an interview with Joe Catron, with the International Solidarity Movement from Gaza, about Israeli authorities saying they have arrested 65 more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank following a crackdown operation to locate three settlers who were allegedly kidnapped last week.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What are your thoughts on the recent chapter in the Israeli crackdowns against Palestinians? Some believe that the Israelis are still bitter after the formation of the new Palestinian unity government. Do you see it in that light as well?
Catron: Well I think it is clear that the current Israeli actions are at least in part a reaction of the formation of the unity government. Netanyahu and members of his cabinet have as much as said so at some points, they blame the alleged abduction, of which there is no proof, on its formation and most of their actions seem designed to crush it and to end the agreement more so than to recover three missing persons.
Many of the actions they have taken, the mass arrests, the attacks on institutions, the imposition of sieges on civilian population centers, these are some things that have nothing to do with the whereabouts of three teenagers. They are simply designed as an attack on the Hamas movement in the West Bank as well as an attempt to further cement the division between the West Bank and Palestinians elsewhere, primarily the Gaza Strip.
Press TV: And when do you think the international community will make the Israelis answer for these constant rights violations and crimes committed against the Palestinians? And what are the duties of the new Palestinian unity government in that regard?
Catron: That is a very good question and it is a kind of question I am never particularly good at answering.
We have seen some signs of hope from the international community. We have seen a statement at least from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledging to his credit but no proof of any abduction had been presented.
On the other hand we have heard Israeli claims parroted by predictable sources such as the governments of the United States and the European Union as well as the international community of the Red Cross much to their discredit.
Israel is using this disappearance as an excuse for a new wave of terror across the West Bank, a military offensive which some are saying rivals any sense the end of the second Intifada. How long will they be able to maintain this façade depends entirely on how much pressure they face and how much pressure governments elsewhere face from their own citizens?