By Ehsan Ehtesham

How a teenager changed the West Bank equation?

March 18, 2023 - 17:49

TEHRAN- Ibrahim Nablusi's martyrdom is the beginning of the end of Israeli occupation.

At such a young age, the 18-year-old understood Israel's ethnic cleansing campaign more than the Palestinian Authority did in the occupied West Bank and launched the West Bank's armed resistance.

While the Palestinian officials hold talks with Israel or through mediators, more recently in Jordan with a view to defuse the escalating tensions in the West Bank, Israel has carried on with its massacres and land grab policy.

Nablusi comprehended these facts much more than the Palestinian leadership did, who continue to believe that talking with Israel, the international community or any third party will end the killings in the West Bank.

Decades of negotiations between the West Bank’s political leaders and Israel failed to achieve that goal.

The Palestinian leadership is not even effectively negotiating for the end of the occupation anymore, only the de-escalation of violence.

Nablusi's life and martyrdom made the West Bank youth realize that dialogue with the Israeli regime only leads to one thing and that is the expansion of settlements.

Expanding the West Bank settlements will not only wipe out the future of the younger generation but the Palestinian Authority along with them. If Nablusi did not take part in the armed struggle there would be no Palestinian Authority left in five or ten years’ time.

This is why he took the lead in armed resistance, which led to his death in August last year.

But he left behind a vast number in the younger generation across the occupied West Bank that have also accepted this fact and followed his leads.

The goal of Israel is clear. The regime is planning to ethnically cleanse all the Palestinians that reside in Palestine.

The measures that Israel is taking to make Palestinians leave their native land and replace them with settlers to squat in their homes comes in many forms.

Sa'd Nimr, a Professor of Political Science at Birzeit University in Ramallah, told Tehran Times that Israel is pressuring the Palestinians "economically, socially, politically and in every sense and every aspect in our lives to force us to leave our country."

"[Far-right Israeli finance minister Bezalel] Smotrich and his party made a paper that was discussed to form the fragile Netanyahu coalition majority in the Knesset, which put three options in front of the Palestinians.

The first option for the Palestinians is that they must accept to live under total Israeli military control in so many areas separated by the Israeli army. The second option under the paper is that Palestinians must leave their country and Israel will help them immigrate from their country even by obtaining visas for us and giving us some money to facilitate our departure. The third plan is if the Palestinians refuse the first two options, then there will be violence, according to the paper if the violence didn't work, more violence will work." Nimr explained.

However, the prospective of the young men, inspired by Nablusi, is to put those options in the dustbin of history and expand the armed resistance instead.

In other words, they will not accept money and visas to leave their homeland. Rather they resist and die for their homeland.

The new young resistance factions are growing across the West Bank and according to Nimr this is not just limited to areas like Jenin, Nablus, the Balata refugee camp, Tulkaram and Aria (Jericho) but "there is now even talk of the armed resistance even including al-Khalil (Hebron).”

"In the face of more violent attacks by Israel, there will be more resistance by young Palestinians until the end of this regime" he says.

Nablusi like the younger resistance generation he left behind, have no hope for the future in terms of job opportunities or living in peace.

The daily and deadly Israeli attacks Nablusi witnessed left him with no option but to take up arms.

His legacy will be felt by the Israelis in the short and long term as he changed the equation in the West Bank and the entire occupied Palestinian territories.

No attacks or massacres under this new extremist Israeli cabinet will force the younger generation to leave their country.

On the contrary, according to experts, the younger armed Palestinian generation will happily face the raids of the occupation forces and take them on with their own bullets.

The new generation matured quickly, that's why they are the Lions' Den and not the Cubs Den.

Nevertheless, as young and as heroic as they may be, they are also on a learning curve.

Despite pledging no allegiance to more globally well-known and popular resistance movements, officials with the Palestinian resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip have been offering them advice and guidance on how to confront the regime's forces.

This will only make them stronger and the facts show that this young West Bank resistance movement welcomes martyrdom and refuses to surrender under Israeli arrest campaigns. Israel will never be able to kill all of them.

The facts on the ground show they are on the path to achieving something that a regime with nuclear weapons and the most advanced conventional weapons coupled with fascist approach is frightened of.

Nablusi's martyrdom was just the start of a new chapter in what is set to be a long and difficult path ahead for Israel.

This is a path that Netanyahu and his far-right coalition of extremist religious ministers did not anticipate.

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