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The News Line: Editorial Palestinian Consensus Government meets – Forward to the sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital! THE Palestinian National Consensus Government held its first meeting in three years in Gaza yesterday, a day after arriving in the besieged Gaza Strip following the success of reconciliation efforts. Good news indeed!

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told the cabinet at the start of its meeting that his government is going to assume full responsibility for all sectors of life in Gaza ‘in full cooperation and partnership with all the Palestinian factions and forces.’

He added: ‘We are here to close forever the page on division and steer our national project back to its right track to end the Israeli occupation based on international law and UN resolutions.’

He urged an immediate lifting of the 10-year-long Israeli siege on Gaza and an end to Israel’s collective punishment, as well as the reopening of all the crossings between Gaza and the outside world.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), warned yesterday that Israel’s colonial policies in the occupied Palestinian territories are a form of Apartheid. He urged the international community in a statement to put an end to this ‘dark Apartheid chapter’ by ending the 50-year-long Israeli occupation.

Erekat revealed: ‘Over the past nine months, the Occupying Power has intensified its fierce colonial campaign against the land and people of Palestine as the occupation and siege on Gaza has entered its 10th year. The illegal Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and settlement construction have violently continued to deny the rights of Palestine as a sovereign, contiguous, and independent State on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He denounced ‘Israel’s illegal colonial policies of constructing “Jewish-only” settlements, granting impunity to its occupying forces and settlers that attack Palestinians on a daily basis, home demolitions, evictions, confiscation of public and private Palestinian properties, military raids, killings, and arrests, have all continued to systematically terrorise the defenceless Palestinian population throughout the occupied West Bank.’

Israel’s attempts to ‘alter and undermine the Arab-Palestinian character of the occupied Palestinian capital particularly, is intended to Judaise the city and ultimately reduce and drive out any Palestinian presence and increase the Jewish-Israeli population.’

He continued: ‘Occupied East Jerusalem has in fact been under siege as Israel continues to occupy, militarily-control, and isolate the city. Since March 1993, Israel has closed off Jerusalem to Palestinians from the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Over four million Palestinians are therefore denied entry to the city and to their holy Christian and Muslim sites unless they obtain Israeli-issued permits.’

He continued that President Abbas: ‘Has also urged all states that have not yet recognised the State of Palestine to do so, in fulfilment of the principle of equality, which can enhance the chances of peace ...

‘As the President asserted, the people of Palestine will fulfil their rights either in their own sovereign state or through acquiring full and equal rights on the land of historic Palestine. It is time for yet another dark Apartheid chapter, embodied in Israel’s occupation of Palestine, to end – and for a new hopeful chapter to begin.’

However, the truth is that the Palestinian people do not want equal rights in someone else’s state since the only other state in the Palestinian homeland is Israel. The Palestinian masses are determined to achieve their state, and in the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration – when the UK agreed to hand over Palestine to the Zionists – the UK working class must give the Palestinian masses their full support.

They must do this while the UK government celebrates the Balfour Declaration and has even invited Isreali PM Netanyahu to the UK to join in its celebrations. The UK workers must tell May that they will bring her government down if the invitation to Netanyahu is not cancelled and her government does not apologise for the Balfour Declaration.

UK workers must fight for a workers government in the UK that will recognise the sovereign State of Palestine and give the new state 100% support, economic, political and military as required.


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