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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Another death in Palestine

THROUGHOUT the Arab world people are taking to the streets to condemn the brutal Zionist murder of a Palestinian-American journalist last week. The UN Secretary-General and other world leaders have condemned the killing that Israeli communists call a “targeted execution” and a “war crime”.

Shireen Abu Akleh was shot by Israeli forces on 11th May whilst reporting for Al Jazeera on an Israeli raid on a refugee camp Jenin in the occupied West Bank. She was wearing a blue vest with “PRESS” clearly written on it. Her colleague, Ali Al-Samoudi, was shot in the back and is now in a stable condition.

Abu Akleh was a widely known and respected Palestinian journalist. She was a familiar face for millions of viewers on the Arab street. She was a native of Jerusalem and had been covering Israel and the occupied West Bank for Qatari TV news channel for the last two decades. Abu Akleh worked for s number of news agencies, including Radio Voice of Palestine, Amman Satellite Channel and Radio Monte Carlo, before switching to Al Jazeera in 1997. Now she joins the ranks of the Palestinian martyrs who have gone before her.

The Palestinian tragedy began when British imperialism first occupied their land in 1918 during the First World War. Using a bogus League of Nations “mandate” the British authorities established a colonial regime in what had been a Turkish province and encouraged Zionist immigration to create a community of pro-imperialist Zionist settlers. The Zionists helped British colonialism crush the Palestine Revolt in 1936. But in the immediate post-Second World War situation the Zionists seized the opportunity to push for a separate state of their own. In 1948 the British colonial mandate ended and the State of Israel was proclaimed. On that day the first Arab-Israeli war began. It has never ended.

The first war led to the expulsion of around a million Palestinian Arabs from their homes by the Zionist regime. Those refugees and their descendants have never given up their right to return to their land. And this is the heart of the crisis in the Middle East that has led to five full-scale wars and continuing simmering conflicts.

These days Israel is an American protectorate in all but name. The Zionist state is economically and politically entirely dependent on US imperialism, and successive Israeli governments now exist only to serve the needs of US imperialism in the region. Those needs are to weaken and divide the Arabs to ensure that the big oil corporations can continue their exploitation and plunder of Arab oil until it eventually runs out.

Anglo-US imperialism doesn’t even bother to find a solution to the crisis these days. They all pay lip-service to a ‘two-state solution’ that would leave Arab Jerusalem and large swathes of occupied Palestinian West Bank territory under Israeli occupation in exchange for largely underdeveloped land around the Gaza Strip. This was Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” that was dumped by the Palestinians who would have got nothing out of it.

US imperialism believes it can call all the shots in the Middle East today. The imperialists believe that all resistance can be crushed by brute force, and they hope to find willing Arab tools to do their bidding, hoist up the white flag and sign a surrender peace.

We, however, call for the immediate and unconditional end to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and for a comprehensive peace treaty based on past United Nations resolutions.

Israel must totally withdraw from all the occupied territories seized in 1967, including Arab East Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights. The Palestinians must be allowed to establish a state of their own on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian refugees whose homes are now in Israel must be allowed to return or, if they so wish, be paid appropriate compensation in exchange. And all states in the region, including Israel, should have internationally agreed frontiers guaranteed by the ‘Great Powers’.