World Condemns Israel!

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

Israeli warplanes, rockets and tanks are relentlessly hitting residential areas and civilian sites throughout the Gaza Strip as the Zionist offensive against the Palestinian Arabs enters its fourth week.

Among those killed on Monday were 10 people including eight children playing on swings in a park near the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. An aunt of one of the victims said five of the children killed were from the same family. Faiza Abu Amira asked: “What does Israel want from us for it to do this to our children?”

Israeli forces pushed forward on Tuesday in an offensive that killed 109 Palestinians and shut down Gaza’s only power plant — marking the heaviest day of bombardment in the conflict so far. Over 1,250 Palestinians have been killed and over 7,000 injured in the continuous aggression against Gaza. Most of the victims have been civilians.

But the Zionists have failed to silence the rockets fired into Israel every day while their troops are facing fierce resistance every step of the way in Gaza. The Palestinian resistance movements in the Strip claim to have destroyed 44 tanks and knocked out 300 or more Israeli military vehicles while killing 91 Israeli soldiers and wounded many more since the ground invasion began.

In Israel the anti-war campaign is growing. Last Saturday some 7,000 Israelis took part in a peace rally in Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv organised by the communist-led Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) and a number of peace and army veteran groups.

An even greater number of Palestinians rallied in support of Gaza on Monday when they gathered to pray at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque at the start of the Muslim holiday to mark the end of Ramadan. Many of the 45,000 Palestinians at the mosque wore T-shirts supporting Gaza and Hamas in a massive demonstration of solidarity inside the Israeli occupied West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns of a “protracted campaign” against Hamas while the Americans and their Nato allies make pious calls for an end to the violence and the impotent United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire “in the name of humanity”.

But the Israelis know that the waffle from Washington about an end to the violence is just talk to head off the wave of sympathy for the Palestinians, which has led to massive anti-Israeli demonstrations in all the imperialist heartlands and throughout the world. The Israelis can also count on the indifference of the feudal Arab rulers to the plight of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement has refused to play ball with the House of Saud and the Qataris.

The venal Arab oil princes, who thrones are propped up by American bayonets, would prefer to see the Gaza Strip back in the hands of Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the “autonomous” government in the West Bank — a view openly shared by some Israeli politicians including retiring president Shimon Peres.

But even Abbas has his limits. Last week he said that Israel was violating all international laws and human morality in its offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip.

This week Abbas started work in building a broad Palestinian delegation to send to Egypt in a new effort to end the fighting. The Palestinian delegation, which will include representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who are the major forces in the Gaza Strip, will meet Egyptian leaders to try and broker a ceasefire deal.

Hamas has already laid down its own terms to end the fighting. These include a 10-year-long armistice in return for the end of the Israeli blockade of Gaza Strip and the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. The Hamas demands also include the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, establishing an international seaport and airport under UN supervision, increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 km and restoring the industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.