Fortress Israel, armed by the USA, brings in new anti-Palestinian laws and cuts West Bank water supply!

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THE US and Israel have been engaged in intense negotiations for many months to outline America’s military aid to Israel for the next decade.

Washington has been providing the Israeli regime with $3.1 billion annually since 2007. Tel Aviv has indicated that it wants $4 billion to $4.5 billion in aid to fund its missile projects as part of a new agreement that will go into effect from 2018. Since it began in 1962, America’s military assistance to Israel has amounted to $124.3 billion.

For the next decade, unless it is overthrown, it is to remain a super-power agent of the US in the Middle East region. Israel has received such a huge amount of US and UK aid that Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, head of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) intelligence, was able to boast on Wednesday to the Jerusalem Post: ‘Israel is more prepared than ever for a new conflict with Hezbollah.’ He added: ‘The situation in the next conflict will be completely different. We are stronger than we have ever been and are able to deal with any threat … In the case of such a conflict Lebanon will become a “state of refugees”, from which it will be very difficult to recover.’

He is essentially talking about not just seeking revenge for the defeat that Israel suffered when it sought to invade Gaza in 2014, but of putting an end to Lebanon as an independent state by destroying Hezbollah and turning all Lebanese into refugees. It is to be 1948 all over again.

At the same time, Jewish settlers have been granted authorisation to construct a building in Silwan, a neighbourhood in Palestinian-dominated occupied east Jerusalem next to the historic Old City, authorities said on Friday. Jerusalem city hall said a committee had approved the construction of the residential building. It said in a statement the city will continue to build in all neighbourhoods.

Palestinians have decried the influx of settlers into Silwan, accusing them of seeking to push them out of their own neighbourhood, especially since Palestinians consider East Jerusalem the capital of their future state. Settlement expansion in Silwan has been driven by the Ateret Cohanim association, which facilitates the purchase of homes by Jews from Israel and abroad.

The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office on Thursday slammed another Israeli decision, this time to cut off water supplies for tens of thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank this week as ‘inhumane and outrageous’. Rami Hamdallah issued a statement in response to the move by Israel’s national water company Mekorot, which saw water supplies suspended in the municipality of Jenin, several villages in Nablus, as well as the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.

‘Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end, while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service,’ Hamdallah said. Meanwhile, a controversial new anti-terrorism law passed Israel’s parliament, the Knesset on Wednesday, which will grant the Israeli state far-reaching powers in cases of suspected ‘terrorism’, in a move a member of the Joint List called ‘draconian and unacceptable’.

The new Israeli law includes a provision expanding the definition of terrorist organisation membership to include ‘passive members’ who are not actively involved in any group, but can now be indicted by Israeli authorities. The law will reportedly apply only within Israel and not the occupied West Bank. If so, it will signify a state of war on all Palestinians who live within Israel.

The law also includes a provision that gives the defence minister – currently ultraright Avigdor Lieberman – the power to confiscate property of alleged members of terrorist organisations without getting approval by Israeli courts.

All of the Knesset parties voted in favour of the law, with the exception of the left-wing Meretz party and the Joint List. Head of the Joint List Ayman Odeh said, ‘I see panic, the panic of the final stage of all colonialism worldwide. The panic of the French at the end of the occupation of Algeria. I see the panic of the Americans in the final phase of the occupation of Vietnam. The real terror is your occupation, which hasn’t yet ended,’ he added.

However Palestinians are becoming more and more determined that the Third Intifada will be developed to end the occupation completely. They must receive the 100% support of the working class of the world.