YESTERDAY as the International Day for the Protection of Children was celebrated in countries across the world, the Palestinian Authority (PA) released chilling figures that show conclusively that Palestinian children are being murdered, imprisoned and tortured by a barbaric Zionist regime.
According to figures compiled by the Palestinian Ministry of Information, Israeli forces killed 3,000 Palestinian minors between 2000 – the year of the Second Intifada – up to April 2017. During that same period, another 13,000 children sustained injuries at the hands of the Israeli military.
Since October 2015, 72 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis, the youngest victim being an eight-month-old baby who died as a result of inhaling tear gas used by IDF forces. In addition to this appalling death toll, some 12,000 Palestinian children were held in detention by Israel over the past 17 years.
The overwhelming majority of these minors were beaten or tortured while in Israeli custody, handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to confess to charges while being denied any access to lawyers or adult representatives. Earlier this year, the Palestinian prisoners rights group revealed that hundreds of Palestinian children held by the Israelis: ‘are tortured, ill-treated, placed in solitary confinement and coerced into signing a confession in Hebrew, a language which most Palestinian children do not understand.’
The ‘crimes’ that had led to this brutal imprisonment of children are claims that they are ‘disrupting public order’ by committing acts such as throwing stones. Throwing stones at a vehicle can lead to 20 years in jail for minors and a minimum of 3 years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
Israeli settlers shooting unarmed Palestinians on the other hand do so without fear of arrest. The deliberate targeting of Palestinian children is no accident but part of a vicious campaign to make the Palestinians pay in the blood of their children for refusing to be slaves in their own country.
This was made clear by the Israeli Justice Minister in the Israeli coalition government of Netanyahu, Ayelet Shaked, a member of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home party. In 2014, she posted on Facebook (since deleted) a call for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes’.
This genocidal war against the Palestinians has not weakened their resolve to carry on the fight for a Palestinian state, quite the opposite and their heroic fight has won the support of workers across the world.
This contrasts sharply with the never-ending support given to Israel by the Tory party. In December last year, Theresa May went out of her way to declare her ‘pride’ in the 100th anniversary of the notorious Balfour Declaration which promised the Zionist movement that Britain would hand it Palestine, regardless of the Palestinian people, and regardless of the fact that Britain did not ‘own’ the country.
She announced there would be a massive celebration for this criminal act and the Royal Albert Hall has now been booked on November 7th to celebrate the centenary of this international crime against the Palestinians. The British working class has a duty to support the Palestinians because of Britain’s sponsorship of the Zionist occupation of Palestine through the Balfour Declaration.
This is a debt that it must repay by demanding that the trade unions immediately impose a total boycott of all Israeli goods.
Crucially, there must be a huge turn-out on June 8th to kick May and the Tories out of office and ensure that an incoming Labour government carry out its manifesto pledge to immediately recognise the independent state of Palestine. A Labour government must go even further and, along with recognition, support the Palestinian state by providing resources to build its economy and supply it with the necessary armaments to ensure the safety and security of its people, and also to ban the Albert Hall ‘celebration’ as an encouragement of terrorism. We urge: kick out the Tories on June 8th, then forward to the independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital!