Forward to Palestine

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HAMAS on Sunday, along with the other Palestinian factions in Gaza, agreed to another 24-hour truce.

Hamas’ statement read: ‘In response to the UN’s intervention request to monitor the situation . . . it has been agreed between the resistance factions that a 24-hour humanitarian truce will start from 2:00pm.’

Earlier, Hamas had rejected an Israeli proposal to extend the 12-hour ceasefire that ended at 8:00pm Saturday, on the basis that the ceasefire allowed Israel to continue its tunnel destruction operation.

The Israelis have been using massive tank firepower to obliterate whole neighbourhoods of Gaza and kill hundreds of men, women and children, without any mercy, in what were a series of mass executions and an operation that awoke memories of the way the Nazi SS destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto and its heroic resistance fighters.

The UN agency for children says that 192 Palestinian children have been killed during the latest conflict so far.

Hamas is correct to state that there can be no permanent ceasefire unless Israel withdraws its troops and armour from Gaza, ends the siege and the occupation and allows Gaza to freely import and export commodities using its own sea port and international airport for that purpose.

In return Hamas is offering Israel a ten-year truce.

To concede these minimum demands to Gaza would signal that the region was on the brink of establishing the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

This is why Netanyahu and the Zionist leadership will not make these required concessions, since they cannot conceive of a Palestinian state in any other form than a big concentration camp under their iron heel. However, Hamas is now utterly battle-hardened, as is the Palestinian people as a whole.

Hamas has now begun to do to the Zionist military what Hezbollah did to it in 2000, when it drove Israel out of southern Lebanon and in 2006 when it defeated an Israeli attempt to smash its tunnel systems.

The symbol of the Palestinian martyr is now giving way to another symbol, the trained Palestinian fighter, courageous, disciplined, well-trained and skilled and more than able to cope with the US-backed and -armed Zionist military.

In fact, the fight has now expanded from Gaza to the whole of Palestine, with many predicting that the whole nation has begun to erupt in a Third Intifada. Not only that, but the Palestinian struggle has spread worldwide. The massive demonstrations in London in recent days and in the EU and the US prove that point.

Last Saturday in London 120,000 marched. The feeling of support for Palestine and all-out opposition to the Israeli massacres is now so intense that some of the leaders of the trade unions had to put in an appearance and give the support of their organisations.

In fact, the truth of the matter is that the struggle to free Palestine from an Israeli occupation which has the support of the imperialist powers, is becoming a struggle to defeat the imperialist powers worldwide.

In fact, the trade unions in the UK, the EU and the US are under violent attack from the same bosses and bankers that are behind Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian masses.

Now is the time for the international trade union movement to impose an international boycott of all Israeli goods, ships, planes and services, to bring it to a standstill, until the occupation is ended and the Palestinian government recognised.

It must also raise money for the Palestinian masses to wage their political and military struggle against Zionism and imperialism. The trade unions are meeting at the TUC Congress in a few weeks. There they must decide to impose an international boycott on Israel until the occupation of Palestine is ended.

They must also launch a series of national demonstrations and political strike actions to demand that the Tory-led coalition resigns, and gives way to a workers government that will recognise the Palestinian state, oppose the occupation, bring to an end the UK’s diplomatic relations with Israel and begin a massive aid programme to build the Palestinian state.