The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 6th April 2018


by our Arab Affairs correspondent

PALESTINIANS took to the streets throughout the occupied territories and across the Arab world last week to protest against the continuing occupation of their land and to remember the martyrs who fell defending their rights in 1976. But Arab protests were drowned in blood when Israeli troops opened fire to break up a massive anti-Israeli demonstration in the Gaza Strip.

deep concern” over the growing number of victims and casualties in the Gaza Strip following talks in the Kremlin with a senior delegation from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. And in New York, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said his “thoughts are with the families of the victims.” But at the emergency UN Security Council session the Americans blocked a call for an international investigation into the Israeli massacre of unarmed Palestinians last week.

In Tel Aviv over a thousand Israelis, including communists, peace campaigners and left social-democrats, demonstrated outside the headquarters of Likud, the reactionary Zionist bloc which leads the governmental coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu, to demand an end to the escalation of violence along the Gaza border and to call for a peace process to end the Israeli—Palestinian conflict.

On 30th May 1976, Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel as they were protesting against the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land. Since then, 30th March has been known as Land Day to demand justice and remember those who gave their lives in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians took part in the Land Day demonstration in Gaza as the start of series of protests called “The Great Return March”. Organised as a non-violent demonstration supported across Palestinian society, the march reaffirmed the Palestinian right of return and called for an end to Israel’s illegal decade-long blockade of the coastal strip.

But the Zionists deployed hundreds of snipers along the border of Gaza, who opened fire using live ammunition on the unarmed Palestinian civilians. Some Palestinians were shot as they walked to the border, others were gunned down when they ran for cover. Eighteen Palestinians were killed and some 1,500 more wounded in the Gaza Strip by Israeli troops who opened fire to force demonstrators back. There was not a single Israeli casualty.

Hamas has condemned the Americans for thwarting the move at the Security Council and accused US imperialism of being “fully biased” in favour of Israel and “encouraging Israel to commit more violence and terrorism against Palestinian civilians,” “We pay tribute to the martyrs who rose today, on Land Day, in the mass rallies for return that brought together hundreds of thousands of our people in the Gaza Strip. The March of Return is a popular referendum to uphold our rights and constants, especially the right of return, which can never be bargained for or traded,” said Jamil Mizher, a member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and leader of its branch in Gaza. “This march has thwarted all of the bets of the occupation on undermining the unity of the Palestinian people.”

The Great March of Return protests that began last week will continue until 15th May — Nakba Day — which marks the start of the first Arab—Israeli war in 1948 in which nearly a million Palestinians were driven off their land by Zionist terror. Meanwhile the European Communist Initiative, which included the New Communist Party, has called for internationalist solidarity with the Palestinian people. The Initiative called on “the working class and the peoples to express decisively their internationalist solidarity and to support the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli occupation, imperialism and every kind of reactionary forces and for an independent Palestinian state, for a socialist society in order to free the people from every kind of exploitation and repression.”