The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 29th March 2019

Israel Again Strikes Gaza

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

ISRAELI warplanes are pounding the Gaza Strip despite United Nations and Egyptian efforts to broker a cease-fire between the beleaguered Palestinian enclave and the Zionist entity. The UN envoy for the Middle East warns of catastrophic consequences from escalating violence in Gaza, and Israeli communists have condemned the targeting of civilians on both sides of the border and called for an end to the bloodshed.

This renewed Israeli aggression began on Monday when the Israelis started hitting targets throughout the Gaza Strip after the accidental firing of a Palestinian rocket that destroyed an Israeli settler’s home near Tel Aviv, wounding seven people.

Israeli air-raids on the offices of Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood that runs the Gaza Strip, are being answered with waves of rocket attacks on Zionist settlements in southern Israel. On Tuesday an Egyptian-brokered truce was broken within hours by the Israelis, who now say they won’t stop until Hamas halt the weekly mass protests along the contact line with Israel.

But Hamas shows no willingness to bend the knee to the Israelis. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says the resistance has, once again, taught Israel a lesson. “The resistance said its piece and Israel got the message. I congratulate everyone who helped end the Zionist arrogance in the Gaza Strip,” he said outside the ruins of his headquarters that was destroyed in an Israeli air-raid on Monday.“We will restore the leadership’s headquarters, which is a symbol of steadfastness and heroism. I call on all the Palestinian people... to go out on Land Day and participate in the marches,” the Hamas leader said.

When Hamas took over in Gaza after winning the Palestinian elections in 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Strip. Massive demonstrations, under the banner of the Great March of Return, are held every week to demand the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Some 200 demonstrators have been killed and 7,000 wounded by Israeli border troops over the last year. Over two million Palestinians, half of them children and two-thirds of them refugees from territories seized by the Zionists, live in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cut short a visit to the USA to deal with the crisis, says that Israel is ready for further action. Netanyahu is wooing the rabid Zionist settler community to secure the re-election of his reactionary Likud bloc in next month’s general elections. He’s ordered a partial mobilisation of reservists, and sent two military brigades and a command centre to the border with Gaza.

The Israeli premier is fending off corruption charges that have already embroiled some of his associates whilst Likud faces a serious challenge from the ‘Blue and White’ coalition — a rival Zionist bloc led by retired general Benny Gantz. “We have responded with great force. In the last 24 hours, we have destroyed major Hamas terrorist installations, on a scale not seen since the end of the military operation in Gaza four years ago‚Ķ We are prepared to do a lot more,” Netanyahu said.

In Tel Aviv the communist-led Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) called for an immediate end to the fighting. “There is another way: Peace,” says Hadash, the Jewish-Arab socialist front whose five MPs are part of the 13-strong ‘Joint List’ bloc in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

“Only negotiations, ending the siege and the occupation, and a peace treaty based on equality, freedom and security, are the solution for both Israelis and Palestinians,” said Ayman Odeh, the Israeli-Arab lawyer who leads the ‘Joint List’: “We call upon the government to reach a stable ceasefire and to immediately seek a broad agreement that will include the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, the end of the 11-year-long blockade and the opening of negotiations for a political settlement. That is the only way we can save lives.”