US, UK and EU trade unions must take general strike action to defeat Israel’s genocidal attack on Rafah


THE Israeli regime started its threatened ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah with an intense bombardment of the city on Sunday night killing 22 people including eight children.

This was followed on Monday morning with the Israeli military ordering Palestinians to move out of eastern Rafah, warning it is about to use ‘extreme force’ in southern Gaza and that anyone remaining in the area puts themselves and their family at risk.

Israeli planes dropped leaflets in the area instructing Palestinians to leave and move to the ‘humanitarian area’ in al-Mawasi.

Al-Mawasi is a narrow strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea with few buildings and largely consisting of sand dunes and agricultural land.

This is now designated as a ‘humanitarian area’ by the Zionist regime for over 100,000 Palestinians that it intends to drive from Rafah under threat of being massacred by Israeli occupation forces.

Palestinians in Gaza have bitter experience of Israel’s so called ‘humanitarian areas’.

The city of Rafah in the south of Gaza was supposedly a safe area and now is home to around 1.5 million Palestinians, half of whom are children, who have sought refuge in the city, driven from their homes across the Strip and now forced to live in appalling conditions of hunger and disease.

Now Rafah is to be attacked as Israel masses its troops for a ground invasion.

Omar Ashour, a professor of military studies who has examined Israel’s preparations, told Al Jazeera that about 3,000 to 5,000 Israeli troops have been redeployed to a base near Rafah.

Ashour said: ‘This is not a limited operation but a two-division, multi-domain combined-arms offensive on Rafah.’

There have been repeated warnings to Israel against invading Rafah from international organisations, including the United Nations.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that a ground assault on Gaza would ‘put the final nail in the coffin’ for humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also said: ‘Any ground operation would mean more suffering and death’ adding: ‘It could be a slaughter of civilians.’

No ‘could be’ about it – the Israeli regime is planning a slaughter of Palestinians in Rafah on top of at least 34,654 already killed in Gaza.

This slaughter has been given the green light by the US despite all the public calls by president Joe Biden for Israel not to invade Rafah.

The BBC reported yesterday that Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with the US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday night just before the Israelis issued their ultimatum for Palestinians to leave Rafah.

In a statement, Gallant says he told Austin that ‘military action is required’ in Rafah, with Austin reportedly telling Gallant that any invasion of Rafah needs ‘to include a credible plan to evacuate Palestinian civilians and maintain the flow of humanitarian aid.’

This was enough of a cover for the US to sit back, carry on arming the Zionist state and watching while hundreds of thousands of Palestinians face being killed by the gangster Israeli regime intent on a genocidal war.

This is a forced evacuation of 100,000 Palestinians to a tiny arid strip of land that the Norwegian Refugee Council spokesperson Samah Hadid said ‘does not have the basic infrastructure in place to service and support the current displaced population, let alone the additional group of people moving towards there.’

Hadid went on: ‘Right now, we need every ally of the Israeli government, including the US government, to increase its pressure to stop arms sales, put pressure on Israel to put a stop to this offensive which would lead to mass atrocities.’

Israel’s imperialist allies, led by the US, have no intention of stopping the genocide being carried out by their faithful attack dog in the Middle East.

The one force with the power to intervene and put an end to the slaughter of Palestinians is the working class.

The trade unions in the US, EU and UK must be forced to act by calling general strikes to bring down the western capitalist governments that arm and support Israel, replacing them with workers’ governments and socialism.