While FIFA looks the other way Palestinian children are being tortured


IT is a monstrous betrayal of the Palestinian people that the FIFA Congress immersed itself in the corrupt affairs of billionaire, big business soccer, and refused to champion the cause of the Palestinian masses by expelling the Israeli FA from FIFA because of Israel’s crimes in the occupied territories. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the western capitalist states were as one in their refusal to take action against Israel.

In fact, its crimes are massive and ongoing!

Palestinian children are being beaten and tortured in a ‘heinous’ way by Israeli soldiers during interrogation, a Palestinian Authority lawyer for the PA committee of prisoners’ affairs, Hiba Masalha, reported in a statement yesterday.

Masalha outlined that she had visited Section 3 of Megeddo prison, where 68 Palestinian teenagers are currently being held, and where most of the teenage detainees she met had been arrested at an orphanage in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem.

She was told by a 17-year-old school boy from Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, that Israeli soldiers had fired gunshots into the air to threaten him and two other teenagers when they were detained, and that the Israeli soldiers threatened to kill him before two soldiers beat him ‘violently’.

He was left bleeding for six hours with hands and feet cuffed and was afterwards moved to a hospital in a military base in Petah Tiqva where doctors required ‘24 stitches’ to seal the gaping wound on his head.

Masalha’s testimony comes just one week after the head of the prisoners’ committee, Issa Qarage said that Israeli interrogators are using ‘oppressive and brutal’ methods to frighten Palestinian detainees and force them into confessing to attacks against Israel.

In 2014, the international rights group Defence for Children reported that 93 per cent of children detained by Israeli forces were denied access to legal counsel, while others endured prolonged periods of solitary confinement for interrogation purposes, a practice that also constitutes torture under international law.

As of March 31st, there were 182 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons, including 26 below the age of 16. There is no doubt that this torture of children, usually accompanied by death threats, is not just an attempt to intimidate an entire generation of youth but also to break some of them into becoming informers for Israel. This torture and attempt to destroy a whole generation, has been stepped up since the mass murder operation in 2014 against Gaza when 2,200 people were killed, including 557 children.

While the British government supported what it termed Israel’s right to defend itself, by mass murder, and refused to cancel the supply of military equipment to Israel, the House of Commons passed a motion urging the next British government to recognise the state of Palestine.

On May 7th, however, the Cameron government was elected with a majority of 12, and the motion on Palestine has been binned. The Tory regime continues to give its full support to the Israeli murder and repression machine in the occupied territories which carries on the work of suppressing the Arab masses as did the British mandate before it.

FIFA has just shown that its sole concern is big business football profits, and that the Arab bourgeoisie and feudalists who help to fund it have no interest in the liberation of the Palestinian people.

On July 8th, Chancellor Osborne is going to outline in detail the massive attacks that the UK bosses are making on the working class in the UK and the youth. The UK working class and the Palestinian masses will be in the same trench fighting against imperialism and all its agencies, including Zionism.

Workers in the UK and Palestine must unite to see that this struggle is carried out with revolutionary determination, to overthrow British imperialism at home, by expropriating the bosses and bankers, and by assisting in every way in driving imperialism out of the Middle East, so that the state of Palestine can be proclaimed and built as part of a Federation of Socialist Middle Eastern States.