The Hamas attacks against Israel saw over 1500 fighters storm through the border wall, taking control of army bases and entering numerous settlements. Now Israel is unleashing hell on the civilian population of Gaza.
Residential areas have been bombed without any warning to escape, unlike previous rounds of bombing. Over 500 people were massacred when Israel bombed the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City.
The language from Israel’s leaders against the Palestinians has been nothing short of genocidal. Israel’s Defence Minister declared, “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”
In an act of collective punishment, Israel has cut off all electricity and water and is stopping food, fuel and medicine from entering Gaza. The population is facing an unprecedented “human catastrophe”, the UN agency for refugees says. Hospitals are running out of fuel for emergency generators and face complete collapse.
The Hamas attack was an act of resistance against the brutal Israeli occupation. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance against Israel.
For 75 years Israel has carried out ethnic cleansing, mass murder and terrorism against the whole Palestinian population, with the full backing of Australia, the US and Western powers.
Since 2007, Israel has been waging war against the civilian population of Gaza.
Israel has blockaded Gaza for over 15 years, trapping 2.3 million Palestinians in an open-air prison. Daily life is unbearable, with 80 per cent of the population reliant on food aid, and little safe drinking water or reliable electricity. Constant bombing has left homes, hospitals and schools in ruins.
The bulk of Gaza’s population are refugees expelled from Israel in 1948 as the Zionist state was established.
This year, over 200 Palestinians have also been killed by the Israeli army and settler violence in the occupied West Bank.
Just as the most right-wing and aggressive Israeli government was boasting of an historic Middle East settlement centred on a deal with Saudi Arabia, the Hamas attacks have struck their biggest blow against Israel in decades.
Over 1300 Israelis are dead and up to 250 taken hostage.
It has been a blow to Israel’s image as the overwhelmingly dominant military power in the region—and to the Western imperialist powers that stand behind it.
But Israel will extract a brutal price for the humiliating assault. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has declared he would “take mighty vengeance” and make Gaza “pay an unprecedented price”.
Israel airstrikes have already killed 3000 Palestinians. It is also amassing hundreds of thousands of troops outside Gaza for a ground offensive.
Israel is armed to the teeth by US imperialism, with the most advanced bombs, fighter jets and missile defence systems. It has one of the world’s most powerful armies and an overwhelming military edge over other states in the region.
From its foundation it has relied on the support of Western imperialist powers, playing a key role imposing US control of the surrounding Arab states. It still receives over $4 billion in US military aid every year.
The Palestinians have continued to courageously resist. But Palestinian military resistance alone does not have the power to end the Israeli occupation.
Hamas has issued a call to arms for Palestinian supporters in the region. “We must all fight this battle, especially the resistance fighters in the West Bank,” said the deputy leader of Hamas in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian resistance has also taken the form of mass protest movements involving demonstrations, civil disobedience and strikes.
The “unity intifada” of 2021 saw Palestinians stage protests and strikes across all of historic Palestine, from Haifa and Lydd to the occupied territories of Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
The crucial question will be whether the struggle spreads to the Arab states that surround Israel.
There is a deep solidarity for the Palestinian struggle all across the region.
But Israel relies on the corrupt Arab rulers in countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to help it maintain control over the Palestinians. Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah El-Sisi helps seal the border with Gaza that enforces Israel’s blockade.
Solidarity demonstrations with Palestine played an important role in fuelling opposition to the regime in Egypt in the lead up to the 2011 revolution. The first Palestinian intifada in 1988 inspired an uprising from below in Algeria the same year.
The revolutions of 2011 in countries like Egypt and Tunisia were ultimately defeated. But they showed the power of the Arab working class to topple regimes. Ultimately, freedom for Palestine is going to require a revolution from below across the Arab world.
Right now, as Netanyahu extends the occupation and is reducing Gaza to rubble Palestinians need the widest possible international solidarity to demand: Stop the bombing, End the siege, End the Occupation, Free Palestine.