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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Palestine: occupation means resistance

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

PALESTINIAN anger is sweeping across the occupied territories as Israel pounds Gaza following violent protests against the eviction of Palestinian families to make way for more Zionist settlers in Jerusalem that have sparked off a new round of resistance throughout the occupied territories. Thirty-eight Gazans are feared to have died when the 13-storey Hamadi residential tower collapsed after Israeli air strikes targeted the building on Tuesday. But Israelis now are cowering in their shelters as hundreds of home-made Palestinian missiles rain down on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as resistance leaders pledge to defend Arab Jerusalem by all means possible.

Israeli security forces have repeatedly stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after days of violence against Palestinians, firing rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades and tear gas at worshippers inside the mosque in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan. Scores of Palestinians have been killed and many more wounded in the violence that is now spreading to the Palestinian ‘Israeli-Arab’ population in central and northern Israel.

The Palestinians are now calling on the international community and the Islamic world to support them and take action to stop the Israeli violence and the ongoing attacks on Palestinians in the holy places in Jerusalem. International protests have now forced Israel’s high court to postpone a ruling on the forced expulsion of four Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem. But most believe this is just a temporary retreat and that the Zionists will resume their efforts to drive the Palestinians out when calm is restored. Forty-three Palestinians were forced out of Sheikh Jarrah in 2002, and yet more in 2008 and 2017. Their homes were all taken over by Zionist settlers.

Meanwhile, martial law has been proclaimed in Lod in central Israel after local Arabs seized the streets following the death of a demonstrator in an anti-Zionist demonstration earlier in the week. Thirteen Arabs were killed in clashes with the police and Zionist gangs in Lod, which has led to an emergency evacuation of local Jewish residents amidst continuing violence in the city near the Ben Gurion international airport.

The Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza gave Israel an ultimatum on Monday, to withdraw its forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and to free all Palestinian prisoners detained since the start of the current violence last month. The Israeli response was to step up air attacks on Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip that is run by Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel’s communists, drawn mainly from the Israeli Arab population, fully support the Palestinian struggle in East Jerusalem. Ayman Odeh, the leader of the communist-led Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) bloc in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, said: “The main point is there’s an occupation. As long as there is an occupation, there will be resistance.”

He said the Israeli premier Netanyahu took pride in his normalisation of diplomatic ties with some Arab countries. “But the youth of Jerusalem confirm yet again that the fundamental issue is the Palestinian cause…anyone who wants live in peace and security must see themselves as part of the just cause of East Jerusalem Palestinians.

“I appeal to the Jewish public, to those who want peace and equality. I ask that each of you see yourself as part of the just struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation, on behalf of an independent Palestinian state” and in search of a “just peace and for the security of both peoples.”