HAMAS declared a ‘historic victory’ of Palestinians in their struggle against the occupying regime of Israel yesterday, after the Israeli regime conceded an unconditional ceasefire.
For the last two weeks, heavily armed Israeli military police have shot Palestinian teenagers dead, seized Palestinian homes, destroyed infrastructure like power lines, water and sewage systems, rained bombs down every night on the densely populated residential areas of Gaza City, claiming the lives of at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, and wounding more than 1,900 others.
The Israeli regime, in its arrogance, attempted to terrorise the Palestinian people with an intense campaign of mass murder, using the most sophisticated weaponry supplied by the US, UK and some treacherous Arab leaders.
F-16 fighter planes fired hundreds of missiles into Gaza nightly. Armoured vehicles sprayed Palestinian protesters with chemically-laced skunk water, and fired volleys of tear gas. Israeli military police and soldiers shot rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at a generation of Palestinians armed only with slingshots and stones.
1,000 Israeli military police stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah were forcibly evicted from their homes, and right-wing settlers seized their houses. All of these horrific war crimes were perpetrated by the Israeli ruling class in an attempt to beat the Palestinians into submission, drive them out of Jerusalem, and crush their resistance.
However, the Israeli regime has utterly failed in their objective. Palestinians refused to give a single inch and stood up in the face of danger with an admirable revolutionary defiance. They will not accept occupation, they will not accept eviction, they will not accept the murder of their children.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, said the resistance movement succeeded in ‘humiliating the enemy’. He said: ‘We fought in the resistance, the battle of the Sword of al-Quds, in defence of al-Quds, with all honour, will and pride, on behalf of an entire nation.’
The entire Palestinian population united against the Israeli attacks. Last Tuesday, in an unprecedented show of strength, a general strike took place, first called by the 1.9 million Palestinians living within Israel, then the call for a general strike was taken up by the Fatah movement in the West Bank and the Hamas leadership in Gaza.
The Palestinian people know the power of uniting the entire working class in a general strike. Now that the Palestinians have shown their strength in driving the Israeli regime back, the struggle for the Palestinian state has been driven forward in a big leap.
Millions of people in hundreds of countries across the globe took to the streets in support of the Palestinians and against the murderous attacks by the Israelis.
Every country in the world must now recognise the Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital and the occupation of Palestine brought to an end along with the siege of Gaza. It will be a state where Arab and Jewish workers will live side by side in harmony.
The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Thursday, addressing a special session of the United Nations, that the international community has a responsibility ‘to put an end to Israeli aggression on our home land, and to enable our people to establish our state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital’.
The British trade unions must play their historic role in this struggle. The Trades Union Congress moved a resolution last November that called on the UK government to ‘recognise the State of Palestine’ and resolved:
- suspension of the UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement, which replicates the EU-Israel Association Agreement, until Palestinian rights are respected.
- a ban on trade with the illegal settlements, and requiring mandatory labelling of food produced in illegal settlements in line with the European Court of Justice ruling in 2019.
- an end to the arms trade with Israel and to military collaboration.
‘We also encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of companies who profit from illegal settlements, the occupation and construction of the wall.’
This resolution must be immediately acted upon. The TUC must call the boycott now.
On the day of the Palestinian general strike, the TUC issued a statement supporting it.
The TUC itself must now call a political general strike in support of the Palestinian State putting forward the demands of their own resolution, and also to smash the fire and rehire regime that is being established in the UK. The revolutionary defiance shown by the Palestinian people is a lesson to us all. Forward with the Palestinian and British socialist revolutions!