LAST Friday Israel launched a murderous bombardment on the Gaza Strip killing at least 27 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and at least two infants, by Sunday night.
By yesterday morning Israeli aircraft and tanks had carried out over 350 strikes, totally destroying seven large residential and commercial buildings, and at least 14 houses and offices – including the office of Anadolu the Turkish state-run news agency.
Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan condemned this attack on journalists saying: Turkey and the Anadolu Agency will continue to tell the world about Israeli terrorism and atrocities in Gaza and other parts of Palestine despite such attacks.’
Israel further escalated the confrontation on Sunday by carrying out an extra-judicial killing in Gaza – reportedly the first of its kind in four years – when it fired a missile at the civilian car of Hamed Ahmad Abed al-Khoudari, who it claims was responsible for transferring money to Gaza from Iran.
The brutal assault on Gaza followed the killing of four Palestinians and the injuring of a further 51 by Israeli forces during the weekly Friday protests at the illegal border ‘fence’ at Gaza.
The weekly demonstrations by Palestinians form part of the year-long ongoing ‘Great March of Return’ demanding the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Palestine from which they were driven by the Zionists in 1948.
The demand is also for an end to the 12 years-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, a blockade aimed at destroying the economy and preventing two million Palestinians from having access to even basic commodities, and turning Gaza into a massive open air prison camp for its people.
Since the start of the weekly protest marches last year Israeli forces and snipers have killed 275 demonstrators and wounded 17,000.
Friday’s killings and a subsequent Israeli drone attack was met by a multiple barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, a barrage which clearly shocked the Israelis.
Until now, Israel has sheltered behind what was believed to be an impregnable air defence system – the US-supplied Iron Dome system.
But the barrage of nearly 700 rockets and mortars unleashed by the Palestinians overwhelmed the Iron Dome – a massive blow to the Israeli claims of military invincibility.
On Sunday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered ‘massive strikes’ in retaliation for the Palestinians having the audacity to strike back at his murderous onslaught against unarmed civilians.
Such is the heroic determination of the Palestinians to fight back against occupation by the terrorist state of Israel that on Monday it emerged that, far from launching massive strikes, Israel had been forced to reach a ceasefire agreement.
Gaza officials confirmed that a deal was reached in the early hours and that no Israeli air raids had taken place since.
Israel initially refused to confirm this officially but, according to Gaza and Egyptian officials, the truce agreement was based on Israel easing its blockade of the Gaza Strip, relaxing its limits on the fishing zone it enforced off the coast of Gaza, and improvements to the supply of electricity and fuel to the Strip.
Netanyahu said after the ceasefire emerged: ‘The campaign is not over and it demands patience and sagacity. We are prepared to continue’, while Donald Trump promised ‘more misery’ for the Palestinians if they continue to fight back and refuse to capitulate to his ‘deal of the century’ – which would hand the whole of Palestine over to the Israelis and end any right of return for Palestinians.
The heroic resistance of the Palestinians has thwarted all attempts by Israel and its imperialist backers in the US and Britain to defeat them, and they have scored a massive victory this weekend in forcing the Israelis to agree a ceasefire and a partial relaxation of its illegal blockade.
The British working class must now show their solidarity with the Palestinians by bringing down this Tory government, which has been arming the Israeli regime, and going forward to a workers government that will immediately recognise the independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and give it all the financial and physical support it requires to prosper.