On Friday, Maria Finoshina, RT’s Middle East bureau chief, found herself in the midst of chaos as Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem. Finoshina and her crew were filming a Palestinian demonstration in Wadi al-Joz, an Arab neighborhood north of the Old City, to show solidarity with the people of Gaza. As the situation escalated and rocks were hurled at Israeli police, tear gas grenades were deployed, accompanied by a truck equipped with a water cannon.
The RT crew managed to capture the unfolding events in a video, capturing the distinct sound of gas grenades being detonated as police made their way into the residential area. Riot police were seen aiming their rifles at the windows above, ready to respond to any imminent threats. During this time, Finoshina referred to the water cannon vehicle as a “sewage tank.” It should be noted that Israeli security forces have previously used a substance known as ‘skunk water’, a specially formulated compound that contains an overpowering stench resembling sewage mixed with rotting corpses. This method was developed by a contractor to disperse protests, as reported by Al Jazeera.
As the Israeli troops advanced down the street, continuously spraying the skunk water, Finoshina was undeterred and put on a gas mask to continue reporting. However, her efforts were disrupted when a police officer prevented her from going any further. Despite the adversities faced by the RT crew, they were able to capture the intensity and challenges inherent in covering such events.
In response to Israel’s actions, Palestinian group Hamas had called for a “day of rage” and urged Palestinians and Muslims worldwide to “put jihad into practice.” Israel, in turn, intensified its military operations, launching a counterattack on Gaza, which escalated the violence further. The government in West Jerusalem retaliated by cutting off all utilities in Gaza, declaring war on Hamas, and expressing the intent to dismantle the organization.
Unfortunately, the consequences of this ongoing conflict have been devastating. According to the latest figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 1,900 Palestinians, including 614 children and 370 women, have been killed in Gaza over the past week. Additionally, 7,696 people have been injured. On the Israeli side, the death toll has exceeded 1,300, with nearly 3,500 individuals injured as of Friday night, as reported by Israeli officials.
These staggering numbers highlight the immeasurable human cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution. The international community has voiced concerns and called for an end to the violence, urging both parties to engage in dialogue and find a sustainable solution.
As the situation remains tense and lives continue to be lost, it is crucial for the world to unite and push for a peaceful resolution. The suffering endured by innocent civilians on both sides should not be overlooked, and efforts towards lasting peace should be prioritized. Only through mutual understanding, empathy, and a commitment to dialogue can an end to this tragic cycle of violence be achieved.