Vol. XLIII No. 19 May 12, 2019

Israeli Attack on Gaza

THE aerial bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli armed forces is the latest piece of aggression in the ongoing attacks by Israel on the two million Palestinian people caged within this narrow strip of land. The current flare-up came after a skirmish on the border where Palestinians had assembled to demonstrate on Friday (May 3) against the Israeli policies of blockade and siege of Gaza. 

Altogether, 25 Palestinians, including women and children, and four Israelis were killed in the aerial bombardment and the retaliatory rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza.

The continuing siege of Gaza and restrictions on goods flowing into the territory comes in the background of the rightwing Netanyahu government stepping up the building of illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. 

The re-election of Netanyahu and the outright support given by US President Trump to Israel’s aggressive policies are emboldening the Israeli rightwing forces to step up their attacks on the Palestinian people and to tighten their grip on the occupied territories.

President Trump has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violating the resolutions of the United Nations.  He has also recognised the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, which was illegally occupied from Syria after the 1967 war.  Trump has also cut funds to the UN refugee agency which provides assistance to the Palestinian refugee camps. 

In such a situation, the resistance put up by the people of Gaza is found intolerable.  Since last year on March 30, every Friday, people in thousands have been assembling to protest at the border between Gaza and Israel.  The event called the `Great Return March’ was to observe the Nakba anniversary, when the Palestinian people were driven out of their lands and homes to make way for the establishment of Israel in 1948.  Over the last year, 195 Palestinians, including a large number of women and children, were killed by the Israeli forces while taking part in the non-violent Friday protests. 

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to express solidarity with the struggling people of Palestine especially at a time when the US with the help of Israel has stepped up its aggressive pursuit to assert its hegemony over West Asia. 

In this phase, their main target is Iran. The United States tore up the agreement with Iran on its nuclear technology. Subsequently, it has imposed wide ranging sanctions on Iran, including steps to choke off Iran’s oil exports. Last week, President Trump has dispatched the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier group and a bomber force to its Central Command to threaten Iran.  The US is targeting Iran for helping the Assad government in Syria, the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas in Gaza.

All progressive forces around the world must protest against the US imperialist designs in West Asia and its support to Israel, which is threatening peace and stability in the region. 

(May 8, 2019)