Workers of the world must follow the lead of the students and take general strike action for Palestine!

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THE Geneva-based rights group, Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) says Israel is ‘intentionally’ demolishing schools and medical facilities, including those run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), during its genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

In a statement released on Thursday, it said that Ain Jalut, Atta al-Shawa, and Hassan al-Nakhalah schools, as well as the Zeitoun Medical Clinic were all destroyed in Israeli attacks on Gaza City’s southern Zeitoun neighbourhood.

Heavy Israeli aerial and ground assaults turned the district into ‘a pile of rubble’ and forced hundreds of families to evacuate, it added.

Euro-Med also referred to deadly Israeli strikes on the al-Sabra Clinic, in Gaza City’s western al-Sabra neighbourhood, where displaced people were sheltering, and it further touched on recent Israeli raids on six UNRWA schools in the northern Gaza city of Jabalia.

The Israeli military, the rights group said, has ‘worked methodically to militarise’ civilian buildings like hospitals, schools, and other educational institutions and turn them into military bases and detention facilities in clear violation of international law and conventions on war.

Meanwhile, Euro-Med said the Israeli military converts educational centres into military bases as part of its ‘colonial legacy of dominance’ meant to destroy Palestine’s cultural and educational heritage.

Hamas has confirmed that more than 390 schools, and universities in Gaza were destroyed in 100 days.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 35,303 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 79,261 others, according to the Gaza-based health ministry update on Friday.

Meanwhile, South Africa has hit out at Israel at the top UN court for stepping up its ‘genocide’ against Palestinians in Gaza, urging the court to order a halt to the regime’s invasion of the besieged strip’s southern city of Rafah.

‘South Africa had hoped, when we last appeared before this court, to halt this genocidal process to preserve Palestine and its people,’ South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela told the Hague-based court.

‘Instead, Israel’s genocide has continued apace and has just reached a new and horrific stage,’ he added.

Vaughan Lowe, a lawyer for South Africa, said the situation on the ground in the wake of the Israeli aggression against the crowded city of Rafah requires fresh ICJ action.

The lawyers said the invasion of Rafah is ‘the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people.

‘It was Rafah that brought South Africa to the court. But it is all Palestinians as a national, ethnic and racial group who need the protection from genocide that the court can order,’ he added.

South Africa has stressed that the only way for the existing court orders to be implemented is a ‘permanent ceasefire in Gaza’.

Hamas resistance movement’s chief, Ismail Haniyeh, has warned that the Israeli onslaught on Rafah has undermined negotiations for a Gaza ceasefire.

Just minutes before the court hearings opened, Israel’s military said the operation in Rafah ‘will continue as additional forces will enter’ the area.

At least 600,000 Palestinians have already fled Rafah to other areas in the Strip after Israel intensified its military invasion there.

The overall Palestinian death toll since early October is now approaching 35,300, most of them women and children.

The figures exclude the tens of thousands of dead who are believed to be buried in the bombed-out ruins of buildings.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Hamas said: ‘The ongoing battle of Al-Aqsa Flood has cemented the unity, cohesion, and solidarity of our people in all squares of the homeland and abroad, and has proven to the world that our people do not know defeat, surrender, or concession of their land, constants, and rights’. It concluded: ‘We will achieve. . . no matter how long it takes . . . freedom, independence, and self-determination, and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital.’

In fact, the determination of the Palestinian people to win their state of Palestine has inspired the working class of the world, particularly the youth, to champion the cause of Palestine.

At this decisive moment, the working class of the world must advance to tell the trade union leaders of the UK, US and EU that they must call general strikes to stop all arms shipments to Israel and to bring down the US and UK regimes that support Israel. This is the only way to win this vital struggle and go forward to socialism!