Sharon unleashes bombing raids and assassinations on the Palestinians

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THE Israeli government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has launched a new war on Palestinians living in territories under Zionist occupation less than three weeks after settlers and troops left the Gaza Strip.

After putting in place the so-called ‘Security Wall’ on Palestinian land around Jerusalem and the West Bank, the first phase of Sharon’s unilateral ‘peace plan’ was the Gaza withdrawal.

We are now witnessing the second phase, with extra-juridical assassinations, F-16 and Apache bombing raids on Gaza and the threat of re-invasion, using huge tank forces armed to the teeth.

Israeli ministers held an emergency session over the weekend at which they agreed to continue with their policy of ‘targeted assassinations’ in the Palestinian occupied territories and ordered warplanes to hit targets in Gaza and the West Bank.

On Sunday, Sharon said: ‘I have issued orders that there be no restrictions regarding the use of all means to strike at terrorists. . .’

Palestinians felt the impact of this Israeli state terror offensive immediately.

Following Friday’s killing of 17 people at a rally of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, which it blamed on an Israeli rocket attack, two Hamas leaders were killed and 29 civilians wounded in 12 Zionist rocket and bombing raids over the weekend.

On Saturday, Israeli warplanes launched rockets to destroy a car in Gaza City, murdering two Hamas leaders.

Another bombing raid was unleashed on a school in Gaza City, demolishing part of it and injuring 15 people, many of them women and children.

Israeli warplanes struck Jabalya refugee camp and Beit Hanoun, destroying offices of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

On Sunday, this huge Zionist terror offensive was unleashed throughout the occupied West Bank with air raids and ground attacks in Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Tulkarem and Bethlehem, in which 230 Palestinian politicians were rounded up.

Sharon’s Zionist regime is implementing the policy he proclaimed last week, which has the backing of US President George Bush.

Sharon declared that he would withhold Israeli cooperation for the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on January 25 2006 if Hamas stood candidates.

After this, the retiring US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, made clear that the US regime supports Sharon in annexing huge swathes of occupied Palestinian lands.

He said: ‘In the context of the final agreement, the US will support the retention by Israel of areas with a high concentration of Israeli population.’

Under Sharon’s ‘peace plan’, East Jerusalem and large parts of the West Bank are to be annexed to Israel and the Palestinian-populated towns in the West Bank and Gaza are to be homelands, like the Bantustans in apartheid-South Africa.

This is Sharon’s ‘Palestinian state’, which Israel will be able to attack and invade at will!

The Israeli regime is revealing what it fears most, which is the Palestinian national resistance movements.

The Palestinians are determined to continue the Intifada (uprising) until they liberate Palestine, and establish their fully independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

It is time the Arab peoples demand their governments support the Palestinians, by breaking off all diplomatic and economic relations with Israel and back the liberation struggle with everything they can muster. The Arab masses are ready to take up arms to liberate Palestine.

In this situation, the trade unions in Britain, which officially support the Palestinian struggle, must transform fine words into deeds. All trade unions must take action to implement a boycott of all business and trade with Israel, supplemented with strike action.

The Blair regime is a vital pillar of support for the Zionist entity of Israel.

The trade unions must mobilise to bring down the Blair regime to defend both workers here and deliver a powerful blow in support of the Palestinian liberation struggle.