End the siege of Gaza

Mass struggle to end Israeli state terror

Niall Mulholland, CWI

A hail of death has roared down on Gaza for weeks. Working class people worldwide are shocked and angered at images of a Palestinian father carrying his dead children’s body parts in a plastic bag, and other daily horrors from the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian death toll is fast heading towards 2,000, over 80% of them civilians and many of them children, according to the UN. Over 9,000 have been injured. Over 460,000 people out of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million have been displaced by the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) murderous attacks. Many are forced to live in overcrowded makeshift shelters or with relatives. A third deadly missile attack on a UN school in Rafah, which killed at least ten, shows nowhere can offer protection from the indiscriminate IDF bombardment.

More than 300 children have been killed by Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
More than 300 children have been killed by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

The destruction of infrastructure, leading to a lack of clean water and sanitation, poses the serious risk of the outbreak of diseases. Most of the Gaza Strip exists on less than two hours electricity a day. One third of hospitals and dozens of ambulances have been destroyed. As morgues run out of room, children’s bodies are grotesquely piled up in ice cream freezers.

Huge demonstrations against the onslaught on Gaza and in solidarity with Palestinians have taken place across the world. Despite the one-sided reporting of most of the mainstream media – who choose to ignore that the Israeli state is occupying Palestinian land, building illegal settlements and blockading Gaza – public opinion is on the side of the oppressed Palestinians. A majority of young Americans now oppose the Israeli onslaught.

Most people see through the hypocrisy of the Western powers. Ruling elites wring their hands over massacred Palestinians while continuing to supply their ally Israel with arms and funding to continue its deadly war aims.

After announcing that it had destroyed most of Gaza’s tunnels, Israel declared a 72-hour ceasefire on 4 August and pulled back troops to “defensive positions”. It remains to be seen if this ceasefire vanishes like others. After much bloodletting a ceasefire will eventually come but in conditions of extreme poverty, exploitation and oppression nothing fundamental will be resolved for Palestinians. The suffering people of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority can only rely on their own resources, in solidarity with working people in the region and internationally, to struggle to win lasting peace and genuine statehood.

New mass struggles against the Israeli state oppressor and desperate social conditions will see Palestinian working people and the poor striving to build their own independent political voice. And only socialist ideas can end the system that breeds war, terror and poverty for Palestinians and break Israelis from their right-wing leaders who have shown they cannot deliver permanent peace while oppressing Palestinians.