Last Friday, the criminal Zionist occupation imposed another bloody weekend of terror on the 2 million Palestinians who live under inhuman siege for 15 years.
By: Soraya Misleh
Yet another chapter in more than 74 years of continuous Nakba (the catastrophe that led to the formation of the racist State of Israel on 15 May 1948 through planned ethnic cleansing). The death toll of this new massacre, planned for months, mounted to 46 Palestinians, including four women and 16 children, and more than 300 wounded.
The Israeli ethnic cleansing plan has already killed 60 Palestinians in the first six months of this year in the West Bank. In that region, a day after the ceasefire initiated in Gaza at 11:30 pm (Jerusalem time) on August 7, brokered by Egypt, another three Palestinians were murdered by Israel in the city of Nablus and more than 40 were wounded.
On Sunday, August 7, while Gaza was still facing massive shelling, Israeli settlers invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem once again, claiming destruction of the holy site by Islamists. Something as frequent as the massacres in Gaza, the worst of which took place in 2008/2009, leaving some 1,400 dead in 34 days, and in 2014, which culminated in 2,200 fatalities in 51 days. In the past 15 years, there have been 5,418 Palestinians murdered in the narrow strip, 23% of whom were children and 9% were women.
This is routine under apartheid, amid the complicity of governments around the world, strengthening Israel’s claim that the ceasefire is temporary: a new massacre is ahead. Thus, new weapons will continue to be tested by the fourth world military power, thanks to the billionaire aid of US imperialism, on Palestinians turned into “guinea pigs” by the Zionist state on a daily basis, as can be seen brazenly in Gaza. It can be either through routine drop-by-drop offensives or in massacres like this one – the biggest since May 2021, when Israel killed 240 Palestinians in just 11 days.
The 16 children martyred in Gaza during the last three days of this macabre cycle are Alaa Abdullah Qaddoum and Momem Muhammed Ahmed al-Nairab (both only 5 years old; Hazem Muhammed Ali Salem (9 years old); Ahmed Muhammed al-Nairab (11 years old); Jamil Nijm Jamil Nijm (4 years old); Jamil Ihab Nijm (13 years old); Hanin Walid Muhammed Abuqaida (10 years old); Ahmed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (9 years old); Muhammed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (12 years old); Dalia Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (13 years old); Muhammed Iyad Muhammed Hassouna (14 years old); Fatma Aaed Abdulfattah Ubaid (15 years old); Ahmed Walid Ahmed al-Farram, Muhammed Salah Nijm, Hamed Haidar Hamed Nijm, Nazmi Fayez Abdulhadi Abukarsh (all 16 years old).
In a colonial and racist state like Israel, the blood of children serves electoral campaigns – the next one is scheduled for November this year, and the proximity of the ballot is presented by analysts as one of the reasons for the latest massacre. Spilling Palestinian blood has been a vote-winner.
The bombings are a visible face of the ongoing Nakba across historic Palestine. In the extreme case of Gaza, where 80% of the inhabitants are refugee families from the Nakba in 1948, in addition to the bloodshed, they promote the destruction of infrastructure, including power and supply plants, hospitals and schools.
Each Israeli offensive destroys hundreds of buildings and houses, and the inhuman siege prevents the entry of materials for reconstruction. This has increased the number of homeless Palestinians, thrown into poverty and unemployment, whose rates are alarming. Half live below the poverty line. Half of the under-five children face chronic malnutrition. The humanitarian crisis is dramatic, to the point that the United Nations stated in 2012 that the country would become uninhabitable by 2020.
The Palestinians in Gaza do not die only from bombs over their heads. This is shown by the fact that before the criminal siege, according to a report published on the Eastern Monitor website, 3,000 cancer patients have died as a result of being denied permission to leave Gaza for treatment, while Israel deprives patients of 47% of essential medicines, 21% of medical care and 60% of laboratory supplies.
The 19-month-old Fatima al-Masri was another victim: she died last March after her parents waited for five months for permission that never came to leave Gaza and secure her treatment.
Moreover, the Zionist ethnic cleansing project imposes the destruction of livelihoods, poisoning crops and reducing territorial waters. In April 2021, Israel closed the fishing area, resulting in 90% of Palestinian fishermen below the poverty line – as well as contaminating the water, 96% of which is now unfit for human consumption. Gaza survives under an almost permanent blackout (there are only four hours of electricity per day).
The Palestinians exist because they resist, under exasperating conditions. It is urgent to denounce international complicity and strengthen permanent and effective international solidarity, especially the central campaign to boycott Israeli apartheid.
In addition, it is fundamental to do justice to the legacy of the Palestinian revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972), who inspires the heroic and historic resistance of his people:
Everything in this world can be stolen and stolen, except one thing; this one thing is the love that emanates from a human being towards a solid commitment to a conviction or cause
This cause, in his words, is not only a Palestinian one but of every revolutionary, “the oppressed and exploited masses in our era“.
In the light of these teachings, therefore, in the midst of heroic resistance and international solidarity in the broadest unity of action, as the dramatic situation demands, it is urgent to build a working-class revolutionary leadership to lead the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, with the return of the millions of refugees to their lands. Only in this way will it be possible to prepare the confrontation with the powerful enemies of the Palestinian cause, identified by Kanafani and unfortunately today: besides imperialism/Zionism, the Arab regimes and the Arab-Palestinian bourgeoisie.