|The News Line: Editorial
Thursday, 13 July 2017
UK workers must support the struggle for Palestinian state!
EARLY on Wednesday morning Israeli occupation forces shot and killed two Palestinian youth, a 17-year-old and a 20-year-old, and injured at least two others during a violent raid into Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank.
An Israeli army spokesperson alleged that during the ‘operation’ a Palestinian fighter opened fire at Israeli forces, and other young people threw Molotov cocktails, which prompted Israeli forces to open fire on the ‘attackers’.
Despite being ‘attacked’, there were no casualties among the heavily armed and armoured Israeli military forces. In fact, the Israeli army refused to even acknowledge the deaths of the two Palestinians.
It was the Palestinian Red Crescent that reported that 20-year-old Saad Nasser Hassan Abd al-Fattah Salah was shot and killed by Israeli forces, sustaining bullet wounds to his head and chest. Medical officials added from the Khalil Suliman hospital that 17-year-old Aws Muhammad Youssif Salamah had died in the hospital after succumbing to a gunshot wound.
The vicious nature of the Israeli occupation is highlighted by the fact that Salah is survived by three brothers – one of whom, Youssif, is currently imprisoned in an Israeli jail, and their father is permanently disabled after being shot by Israeli forces.
Jenin refugee camp has been a primary target of the Israeli army for decades while Aws and Saad became the 38th and 39th Palestinians to be killed by Israel this year, with at least eight of them being killed during clashes.
Not a single man, woman or child is safe from Israeli bullets in occupied Palestine. Neither is a single Palestinian home safe from demolition orders. The Israeli army has just delivered a punitive demolition order to a Palestinian family in the village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. The order was delivered in a predawn military raid also on Wednesday, in the wake of a clash in front of Jerusalem’s Old City last month in which three Palestinians were shot dead and an Israeli border police officer was killed.
Last week, the Israeli army delivered demolition warrants for the homes belonging to the families of two of the slain Palestinians, but the third family was not informed until Wednesday’s army raid. A total of a 22 people will be left homeless once the demolitions have been carried out despite the fact that none of them have been has been charged with any wrongdoing.
The delivery of the warrants came after the families and the wider communities of Deir Abu Mashaal had already been subjected to a series of reprisal measures that are routine and which have been denounced by rights groups as ‘collective punishment’.
‘This collective punishment has become a matter of policy for the military, in a cynical abuse of its power to mistreat civilians,’ the B’Tselem Rights organisation said. Family members of the alleged assailants had their Israeli work permits revoked, including 50 who were dependent on work inside Israel. Some 250,000 Palestinians who had received family visitation permits to enter Jerusalem and Israel during Ramadan also saw their permits revoked following the attack. This is collective punishment!
Israel was established in 1948 by driving into exile over 700,000 Palestinians using terror tactics to do the job. In 1967, Israel seized Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, creating many more Palestinian refugees, before establishing many settlements. Israel now says that it regards the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian state!
The UK in 1917 prepared the way for this with its Balfour Declaration pledging to hand over Palestine to the Zionists. The UK has supported all of Israel’s repressions of the Palestinian people since then. The Palestinian people are more than ever determined to rise up and establish their own independent state. In this struggle, the UK workers have a duty to support the Palestinian people and assist their struggle in every way that is requested.
Central to this is that the UK government must be made to apologise for the Balfour Declaration and be replaced by a workers government that will recognise the State of Palestine and take every step that is required to support that state economically, politically and militarily. The UK workers must see that this is done!
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