Arm The Palestinian Masses Now!

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ISRAEL has set Palestine ablaze yet again with the death in an Israeli prison of Maysarah Abu Hamdiyeh, a 64-year-old prisoner, who had been suffering from throat cancer in an Israeli jail where he was denied the required medical attention.

There have already been a series of Israeli air attacks on Gaza after it was claimed that rockets had been fired into Israel and yesterday the whole of occupied Palestine was gripped by a general strike.

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has blamed the Israeli regime for refusing to grant Abu Hamdiyeh an early release. Abbas said the death of Hamdiyeh showed the Tel Aviv regime’s ‘arrogance and intransigence over the prisoners’.

Abbas also stated that the Palestinian Authority had worked to get the prisoner released for treatment but the Israeli regime ‘refused to let him out, which led to his death’.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, Abbas’s spokesman, also said the regime of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was responsible for the death of the Palestinian prisoner.

The response of the Israeli authorities to the wave of Palestinian anger has been to increase the repressions of the occupation.

The death raised tensions in Israeli prisons, and disturbances broke out in Ketziot, Eshel, Ramon and Nafha prisons as the news spread.

The Israeli Prison Service on Wednesday informed 86 Palestinians they would be moved to different prisons as punishment for protesting at the inmate’s death.

This was after Palestinian prisoners from all factions on Tuesday announced a three-day hunger strike to protest at the death of Abu Hamdiyeh.

In a statement, the Ahrar Centre for Prisoners said 86 detainees were told they would be transferred to other jails because of the protests.

Abu Hamdiyeh’s family said he would be buried in the Martyrs’ Cemetery in southern Hebron today.

Salam Fayyad, the acting premier of the Palestinian Authority, also condemned Tel Aviv and called for an international inquiry into Hamdiyeh’s death.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon responded on Wednesday by warning that Israel would respond to any attacks on its territory and not allow its people to come under fire ‘in any form’.

His warning was issued after militants in Gaza fired a rocket at southern Israel, and as a Syrian mortar shell and small arms fire allegedly hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights.

The Israeli military was quick to ‘respond’ in both cases, with a tank firing back across the Syrian armistice line towards the source of fire and the air force mounting air strikes on Gaza, in the first such raids in more than four months.

Yaalon said Gaza’s Hamas rulers were responsible for any fire directed at Israel from the coastal enclave, and in the same way, President Bashar Assad’s regime was to blame for whatever fire emanated from Syria, implying that Israel would invade Syria.

‘In the Golan Heights, our policy is that we have no intention of allowing a daily routine of firing from Syria towards Israeli territory, whether it is stray fire or not, and we will respond to that with a firm hand,’ Yaalon warned.

He continued: ‘The moment we identify the source of the fire, we will destroy it without any hesitation, as we did last night.

‘The Syrian regime is responsible for whatever happens on its territory, and we will not allow a situation in which fire leaks into Israeli territory without a response.’

The international workers movement, including the TUC, must act to defend the Palestinian masses and Syria from the Zionist mad dog, which is acting for the US and UK.

The TUC must immediately impose a complete boycott on all Israeli goods and services and keep it clamped on until the Palestinian state has been established.

We have seen how the US and UK have been arming their gangsters in Syria in order to destroy the anti-Zionist Assad regime.

This has obviously just encouraged the Zionists that there are no longer any limits to the atrocities that they can carry out.

The trade unions must now act to defend the Palestinian masses. They must take the initiative to collect millions to buy arms and modern weapons for the Palestinian freedom fighters, and they must tell Cameron that they will take action against his regime if it does not cease its attempts at regime change in Syria.