Abbas backs Hamas – no ceasefire till blockade ended

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PALESTINIAN President Mahmud Abbas has backed calls by Hamas for an end to the economic blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel as one of the conditions for an agreement on a ceasefire.

At least 649 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed in the past 16 days of fighting as a result of the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian children are being killed on an hourly basis, thousands of homes are being destroyed, Israeli snipers are killing as they like, and hospitals are being shelled.

The Palestinians are receiving the full benefits of western civilisation in what is an all-out Israeli attempt, with the backing of the US and the UK to smash the prospect of a Palestinian unity government and the establishment of a Palestinian state – by destroying Hamas.

However the opposite is now happening.

The Israelis have suffered their heaviest casualties since the defeat they suffered at the hands of Hezbollah when they invaded southern Lebanon in 2006.

This was to teach Hezbollah a lesson but ended in a disaster for Israel from which it learnt nothing.

They found that they could not cope with the tunnel system – for defence and attack – that had been constructed by Hezbollah, out of which their forces operated with great skill and bravery.

No amount of bombing from the air could compensate for their major defeat on the ground.

Now in Gaza they face the same problem. They are suffering heavy ground casualties, and have already had a soldier captured, which will mean a future massive prisoner exchange to get him or her back.

Additionally, after the securing of the ‘impregnable’ Dome missile defence system from the USA, they have had to face the indignity of US and EU planes boycotting Tel Aviv airport since it suffered a near miss from a Hamas rocket.

Now even the UN Human Rights Committee has been forced to consider whether Israeli mass murder in Gaza constitutes a war crime!

It is this huge success in battle of the people and children of Gaza that has secured the alliance with Fatah and has created the conditions whereby the PNA leadership around President Abbas has confirmed that it supports the Hamas programme for a ceasefire and national unity.

This victory for all Palestinians has been built on the heroic capacity for struggle that has been shown by the men, women and children of Gaza. They have taken the full force of the Israeli murder machine without buckling for a second, in a way that the victims of Auschwitz would have admired.

Gazans know that only this level of struggle and self-sacrifice can defeat Israel and its imperialist backers and win the state of Palestine.

Now the masses throughout Palestine, in the West Bank and the Jordan valley are demanding action to support their brothers and sisters in Gaza, with a Third Intifada throughout Palestine.

It is this revolutionary movement of the Palestinian masses and the massive support demonstrations throughout the world that have sent US Secretary of State John Kerry scuttling to Cairo, to discuss a ceasefire with the Egyptian military dictatorship, and the thorny issue of the Hamas-PNA agreement on the issue of Hamas’ requirements for a ceasefire.

Hamas is demanding the end of the economic blockade of Gaza, and the withdrawal of all Israeli tanks to a distance from the border so that farmers can work their land.

It is demanding the opening up of an industrial zone and an international seaport and airport in Gaza with a Gaza sea zone of 10 nautical miles, and with fishermen allowed to use bigger boats.

These are very basic demands so that Palestinians in Gaza can live something approaching normal lives. To get this far has taken decades of struggle.

Hamas is now determined not to give way, but to insist on a ceasefire that will usher in a new era for Gaza and Palestine with the satisfaction of these very basic demands.

The working people of the world are supporting this just and necessary struggle of the men, women and children of Gaza and Palestine.

They must demand the end of the 47-year occupation, the recognition of the Palestine unity government and that Israel pay compensation to Palestine for the years of slaughter.

The trade unions must impose a total blockade of Israel until the occupation ends and the Palestinians can return to their land. The heroic masses of Gaza and the West Bank have prepared the way for victory with their courage, heroism and endurance.

Forward to the state of Palestine!