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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by our Arab Affairs correspondent

PALESTINIANS are clearing away the rubble following a weekend of violence unleashed by the Israeli air-force over the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians were killed or wounded in the Israeli attacks and 70 Israelis were injured when the resistance fired hundreds of make-shift missiles into southern Israel.

A shaky cease-fire, brokered by the Egyptians, still holds in Gaza but violence continues in the occupied West Bank amidst waves of arrests of alleged partisans by the Israeli army. Three Palestinians were killed and more than 40 others injured during an Israeli army incursion into the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, only two days after the truce that put an end to the Zionist regime’s deadly airstrikes against the Gaza Strip.

Clashes broke out when Israeli soldiers raided a house in the old city of Nablus. The regime forces later destroyed the building with missiles, wounding or killing those who were inside, Palestinian news outlets reported.

An Islamic Jihad resistance commander was killed during the air-raids that killed 46 Palestinians, including four women and 15 children. More than 360 Palestinians were wounded, including 151 children, in the terror bombings that the Zionists claimed was a pre-emptive move against Islamic Jihad. But Israeli communists say it was ordered to boost the standing of the Israeli premier, Yair Lapid, within the Zionist community in the run-up to the next election. At the moment Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party is trailing behind the right-wing Likud bloc, led by former Prime Minis­ter Benjamin Netanyahu, in the opinion polls.

The Zionists say they launched their military op­eration ‘Breaking Dawn’ in response to a direct and immediate threat from Islamic Jihad. But left Israeli MPs don’t believe them.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the communist-led Joint List in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, said: “The Israeli government is carrying out war crimes to serve narrow political interests, and Gazans are paying the price in blood. The fire must be ceased immediately.”

Fellow Joint List MP Ofer Cassif asserted that Lapid ordered the operation to bolster his chances in November’s elections. The Israeli army action is a case of “blood for votes”.

Communist Party of Israel General Secretary, Adel Amer and two Knesset members, Aida Touma-Sliman, MK Ofer Cassif (Joint List), also joined the protests.

Touma-Sliman said: “Stop the attack on Gaza! Continuing the war on Gaza will only lead to more suffer­ing and casualties.

“An immediate ceasefire is necessary – those who started it with a political decision should end it with a political decision. Only a diplomatic solution and an end to the occupation and siege will bring true security.”

Meanwhile, in Damascus a special adviser to the Syrian president told a solidarity meeting he reiterated Syria’s standing by the steadfast Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli enemy that targets the Arab nation as a whole. Dr Bouthaina Shaaban said the Zionists were waging a war of extermination against the Palestinian people with the support of the USA, which protects Israel from any accountability for its crimes. She added that the countries that claim to defend human rights stand silent in the face of the crimes of the occupation, in clear evidence that the schemes of the West target us all as Arabs.

In turn, Talal Naji, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), thanked Syria for its principled stances in support of the Palestinian people and their rights in confronting the Israeli occupation. And Ismail al-Sindawi, the representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, affirmed that the Palestinian people stood united in the face of the Israeli occupation