Time For The UK Trade Unions To Take Strike Action In Support Of Palestine!


THE top United Nations human rights official has warned of the worsening situation for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the ‘unconscionable death and suffering’ in the Gaza Strip.

Volker Turk told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, were killed by Israeli military forces or settlers from the start of the current war in Gaza in October 2023 to June 15th this year.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA, citing local sources, has reported that Israeli forces stormed the town of Beit Fajjar, located eight kilometres (4.9 miles) south of Bethlehem, deployed around a gas station and prevented locals from moving.

They opened gunfire on a young man, who was present at the western entrance to the town, seriously wounding him. Following the shooting, Israeli forces shut down the area and prevented ambulance crews and local residents from reaching the scene.

The 39-year-old man, identified as Bilal Adel Abdel Fattah Balu by the Palestinian Health Ministry, died of his wounds. Separately, two Palestinian teenage boys sustained gunshot wounds as Israeli soldiers broke into the town of Salim, located six kilometres east of Nablus, sparking confrontations with locals.

Israeli forces then fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and teargas canisters at residents, injuring two teenagers with live ammunition in the foot.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, three young Palestinians were shot during confrontations with Israeli forces in the town of Beit Ummar, located eleven kilometres (6.8 miles) northwest of al-Khalil.

Turk also told the 47-member UNHRC that he was ‘appalled’ by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in Gaza, where ‘there has been unconscionable death and suffering.’

‘More than 120,000 people in Gaza, overwhelmingly women and children, have been killed or injured since October 7th as a result of the intensive Israeli offensives,’ he said.

‘Since Israel escalated its operations into Rafah in early May, almost one million Palestinians have been forcibly displaced yet again, while aid delivery and humanitarian access deteriorated further,’ he added.

The ministry has had to appeal to international organisations to take action to force Israel to ‘reveal the fate’ of health personnel kidnapped by Israel.

Since Israel unleashed the war on the besieged Gaza Strip in early October 2023 at least 533 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces or extremist Jewish settlers. According to the United Nations, 2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the UN began keeping such records in 2005.

At least 37,372 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have also been killed in Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip over the past eight months during the regime’s genocidal war.

Palestinian officials in Gaza condemn the US and Israel for pushing the territory deliberately toward famine through a policy of starvation and prevention of aid delivery. The Government Media Office in Gaza on Tuesday blamed the Israeli regime and the US administration for enforcing a policy of starvation against Gaza’s children and patients.

It warned that the Israeli-imposed restrictions are directly threatening the lives of 2.4 million Palestinians in the besieged Strip. According to the office, currently, 3,500 children are at risk of death due to malnutrition and lack of vaccination.

The Gaza Media Office also said Israel and the US must be held accountable for the consequences of their crimes being committed in the besieged Strip.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said in a statement on Saturday that more than 50,000 children in Gaza require immediate medical treatment for acute malnutrition.

The agency warned that ‘with continued restrictions to humanitarian access, people in Gaza continue to face desperate levels of hunger.’ Human rights groups have repeatedly warned the regime against using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza.

Hamas has warned that ‘The Nazi occupation government is practicing the ugliest forms of collective punishment against defenceless civilians, by imposing a tight siege on the Gaza Strip, closing the border crossings, and preventing aid convoys from entering the Strip.’

There is only one way forward. The UK, US and EU trade unions must call an international general strike in support of Palestine. The various bourgeois regimes must be replaced by workers’ governments whose first action will be to establish the State of Palestine from the river to the sea!