THE United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, on Wednesday issued a damning statement that Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip ‘amounts to a war crime’.
The unending bombings and shelling of residential areas, hospitals, schools has claimed over 10,500 Palestinian lives, with women and children being the majority of casualties in the genocidal war to drive Palestinians from their land.
Speaking after a visit to the Rafah crossing, the only crossing point between Gaza and Egypt, Turk said: ‘The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians.’
Turk further said: ‘The latest death toll from the Gaza Ministry of Health is in excess of 10,500 people including over 4,300 children and 2,800 women. All this has an unbearable toll on civilians,’ and he warned: ‘We have fallen off a precipice. This cannot continue.’
Turk insisted that: ‘Attacks against medical facilities, medical personnel and the wounded and sick are prohibited’ and that there is an ‘urgent humanitarian imperative to reach the population’s increasingly isolated in Gaza’.
The Rafah crossing, he said is a ‘lifeline’ for 2.3 million Palestinians blockaded in the Gaza Strip but the trickle of aid trucks allowed to across by Israel is a tiny fraction of the aid that used to be allowed through and totally inadequate to prevent mass starvation for Gazans.
Turk said: ‘The lifeline has been unjustly, outrageously thin. In Rafah I have witnessed the gates to a living nightmare.’
Turk’s impassioned call for a ceasefire and end to Israel’s barbaric, genocidal onslaught against Palestinians was echoed on Monday by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who said Gaza was being turned into a ‘graveyard for children’.
While Turk was on the ground experiencing at first hand the humanitarian crimes of the Zionist regime, the foreign ministers of the leading capitalist G7 nations were meeting in luxurious surroundings in Tokyo in order to reaffirm their undying support for Israel’s war of extermination.
Foreign ministers from the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy issued a joint statement condemning the Hamas attack on October 7th and the ‘ongoing missile attacks against Israel’.
While placing the blame on Hamas for having the effrontery to fight back against the decades of campaigns by the Israeli military and extremist settlers to kill Palestinians with impunity, demolishing their homes and businesses and turning the Gaza Strip, with 2.4 million people, into an open air prison the statement insisted: ‘We emphasise Israel’s right to defend itself and its people.’
Of course, they included the usual meaningless aside that Israel should act ‘in accordance with international law’. Also included in the statement, was a further commitment of support to the imperialist war against Russia in the Ukraine.
Behind all these proclamations of support and a never-ending commitment to pour unlimited supplies of weapons and financial support to Israel and Ukraine, lies a fear stalking imperialism that its historic weakness has been exposed.
The Hamas attack exploded forever the myth of Israel as a military powerhouse able to dominate the region.
Instead, it is revealed to be an artificial state totally dependent on its US masters to survive.
As well, in the Ukraine the US/NATO war to weaken Russia militarily and economically has been completely derailed to the extent that Zelensky is reduced to running around begging ‘not to be forgotten’.
Above all, the G7 nations are witnessing a massive uprising against imperialist war and in support for the Palestinian struggle for an independent Palestine.
Despite all the increasingly desperate propaganda and all the threats to make support for Palestine illegal millions of workers and young people have come out in every major city of the G7 nations marching for victory to Palestine.
With the working class and masses of the world rising up against a capitalist system, that in its final imperialist stage is forced to survive through wars to ensure its domination and exploitation of the planet, the conditions exist in abundance to put an end to capitalism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.
Now is the time to build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to organise this victory.