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Week commencing 9th January 2009

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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

ISRAELI forces are pounding the Palestinians as their deadly ground, sea and air assault on the Gaza Strip enters its second week. Over 600 Arabs have been killed and thousands more wounded, mostly civilians like the 42 killed when a UN school was shelled by Israeli artillery on Tuesday.

Palestinian doctors say many families are in need of ambulances, but medical workers were struggling to reach casualties because they were being shot at by the Israelis. Iyad Nasr of the Red Cross in Gaza City said that the military operation has worsened the hardships created by the Israeli blockade over the last 18 months.

The United Nations says 13,000 people, over 2,000 families, have now been internally displaced because of the fighting, and that is just in the north of the Strip.

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, says that there is no crisis and that aid is getting through, but Christopher Gunness, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman, said her denials were absurd. “The organisation for which I work – UNRWA– has approximately 9,000 to 10,000 workers on the ground. They are speaking with the ordinary civilians in Gaza... people are suffering,” he said. “A quarter of all those being killed now are civilians. So when I hear people say we’re doing our best to avoid civilian casualties that rings very hollow indeed.”


Israel commandos backed by tanks and helicopter gunships are spreading terror across the towns and refugees camps in the enclave that shelters over a million and a half Palestinians but there’s no real plan to this invasion and their troops are acting in chaos and confusion. Hamas militiamen and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) commandos are putting up a fierce resistance in the streets and they say their fighters now control the agenda on the battlefield.

Palestinian partisans are trying to inflict as many casualties as they can on the Zionists while hoping to take some Israelis prisoner to use as bargaining chips when the guns eventually fall silent. 

PFLP officer Abu Jamal said that the resistance movements are in a high state of unity and close communication and they are operating in full confidence of victory.

The resistance say they have taken two Israeli soldiers captive and Hamas fighters claim to have destroyed seven tanks and downed one helicopter gunship.

They put Israeli losses at 11 dead and 48 wounded in the fighting so far. Palestinian rockets are continuing to land deep into Israel hitting Israeli military bases and towns including Gedera, just 30 km south of Tel Aviv. 

The resistance warn that others will be aimed at the Israeli nuclear research establishment in Dimona if the fighting continues.

The Israelis put their losses at six soldiers dead and 31 wounded including Colonel Avi Peled, the commander of the crack Golani Brigade who was seriously injured in fighting Monday night. They say nothing about prisoners but they admit that they have “lost contact” with one of their men.

The Americans blocked a Libyan-backed ceasefire proposal at the UN Security Council last weekend. But international efforts to stop the war are growing following the latest Israeli atrocities. Israel has agreed to halt the fighting for three hours a day to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and Hamas is now studying an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire backed by the Americans and the European Union.
deep concern

But most Arabs believe that the Israelis will carry on fighting until the new American president is sworn in later in the month and Barak Obama is saying nothing apart from expressing his “deep concern” until he enters the Oval Office on 20th January.

Once again the world sees the true face of Zionism in action against the heroic and long-suffering Palestinian masses. In Britain and throughout the world people are taking to the streets to demand an immediate end to the slaughter in Gaza and for the complete restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs. Only then will the peace return to the Middle East.


Stop the massacre - Israel out of Gaza

Saturday 10 January 12.30 Speakers Corner to march to the Israeli Embassy.

Stop the War Coalition, BMI, PSC, CND.

New Worker supporters meet at the Party banner, Hyde Park Corner.




Stop the Gaza massacre!

MILLIONS of people throughout the world are on the streets protesting against Israel’s mass slaughter and devastation in Gaza. After merciless naval, artillery and air attacks Israeli tanks have smashed into the Palestinian enclave spreading death and destruction in their wake. Nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded. Most are civilians; many defenceless women and children.

Syria and Qatar have called for an emergency Arab League summit for collective Arab action but calls for an immediate end to the fighting on the UN Security Council have been blocked by US imperialism. The British government along with the rest of the European Union is calling for a ceasefire but confining its demands to pious hand-wringing that seeks to blame the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas for the fighting in the first place.

The imperialists and Zionists are bleating on about the Hamas rocket attacks on their settlements while saying nothing about the blockade of Gaza and the deadly attacks on Hamas leaders that followed when the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood took over the Gaza Strip after their government in the West Bank was ousted by the rival Fatah movement in 2007.

The Israelis hoped to bring the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to their knees through terror and starvation. Now they think they can do it with the mailed fist…and the blessing of the United States.

The long-planned onslaught could only have taken place with the sanction of US imperialism which arms the Zionist entity to the teeth to serve American interests in the Middle East. The attack was plainly cleared with the compliant Egyptian regime when Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo over Christmas. Mubarak has even told European Union foreign ministers that Hamas must not be allowed to win at a meeting in Cairo on Monday. What imperialism and its lackeys want and what they’ll get is another matter.

The fate of the Palestinians will be never be settled by venal Arab regimes that crawl to imperialism. The Palestinians voice will be heard by the roar of the guns of the resistance and the steadfastness of the Palestinian masses in the towns and camps of the Gaza Strip.

Israel is a colonial settler regime based on Arab land seized during the first Arab-Israeli war that began in 1948. Over a million Palestinians were driven out during that conflict and despite regular calls from the United Nations, the body that established the State of Israel in the first place, none of them have been allowed to return to their homes.

Since then there hasn’t been a year of peace in the Middle East. Though Israel claims to be an independent state it is, in fact, an economic dependency of imperialism. In the beginning Israel served Anglo-French imperialism invading Egypt in 1956 to try to halt the nationalisation of the Suez Canal. When that failed the Zionists offered their services to US imperialism as a Cold War bastion against the progressive Arab revolutionary governments that had overthrown the feudalists and had taken the path of socialist orientation.

Zionist leaders talk about “peace” but only on their terms. They want to retain the vast tracts of Palestinian land they seized in 1948. They don’t want to let more than a fraction of the Palestinian refugees back and they don’t want a genuinely independent Palestinian state to emerge in any part of Palestine.

The Zionists claim they have some “divine right” to Palestine using Jewish holy books to justify their attempt to colonise the country at the Arabs’ expense. But they should remember the fate of other colonisers in the past.

When the Arabs were weak and divided the Crusaders held Palestine for over 200 years backed by the might of the greatest powers of Europe. When the Arabs united to fight the Crusaders were smashed. Now all that’s left are some ruined castles.
If that’s want the Zionists want that’s what they’ll get. If not then a genuinely comprehensive peace must be established in the Middle East that restores the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and guarantees peace and security for all.

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