Gaza Week 5: Palestinians Storm Concentration Camp Walls

April 30, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the last four weeks, Israel has assassinated at least 40 protesters and injured a staggering 5,511 more—many with live fire. The great majority were unarmed. Yet this did not stop at least 12,000 to 14,000 Palestinians from courageously demonstrating for the fifth straight week for their right to return to land stolen from them to create Israel 70 years ago, and to lift the Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has turned the tiny Gaza strip into a fouled, unlivable, open-air prison where nearly two million people—including one million children!—have been robbed of their futures and subjected to barbaric, life-killing conditions for decades—and conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate!

For the first time, thousands, according to Al Jazeera, ran toward, and many stormed the barbed-wire fence that imprisons them in the world’s largest concentration camp. Some broke through and reached the Israeli “border” wall.

Israel again responded with massive live fire, rubber bullets, and a “tremendous barrage of tear gas” as the New York Times put it—deliberately targeting civilians, armed at most with slingshots and tires, for death or severe injury.

Al Jazeera’s correspondent wrote that the situation in Gaza is so desperate that “people have lost their fear,” and even when they “came under a barrage of fire at the border fence, they did not run back.”

At least three people were killed and more than 950 were wounded, including 18 journalists and medical personnel. At least 174 had been hit with live fire.

Amnesty International reported that the wounds show “Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters that do not pose imminent threat to them.” The group called Israel’s violence against overwhelmingly unarmed protesters “apparently deliberate attempts to kill and maim,” which were “deeply disturbing, not to mention completely illegal. Some of these cases appear to amount to wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime.”

USA No. 1... Backer of Israeli War Crimes

These are war crimes funded, armed, and backed to the hilt by the United States, which gives Israel more aid than any other country—$3.8 billion a year. These are crimes green-lighted by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, which backs the blockade of Gaza and the starving of its children.

Its UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, even tried to turn reality inside out and blame the Palestinians for the atrocities carried out against them: “Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel.” One need not be a supporter of Hamas (see below) to know a Nazi-like justification for mass slaughter and genocide when you hear one. Uncle Sam is covered with Palestinian blood!

Adding horror upon horror, Israel’s forces also attacked several medical services areas with anti-personnel gas, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, causing a number of demonstrators being treated to experience convulsions, severe vomiting, and suffocation. Making matters even more genocidal, Israel’s blockade has savaged Gaza’s medical infrastructure, meaning, as Al Jazeera reports, “Many medical patients die a slow death as Gaza does not have basic medical resources, and they are unable to leave the Strip for treatment elsewhere because of the blockade.”

U.S. Imperialist Media Spins Genocidal War Crimes into “Fault on Both Sides”’

What does it mean when a power with overwhelming military superiority imprisons some two million human beings on a densely populated sliver of land? It destroys what little they have, then enforces an air, land, and sea embargo preventing them from receiving the basic supplies they need to rebuild and live, and makes the whole prison unlivable. Then it refuses to let them leave, and deliberately murders or wounds thousands when they protest their incarceration. This is nothing other than deliberate genocide.

The Israelis spit out one lying justification for their crimes after another—which get repeated in the U.S. imperialist press, as if somehow “both sides” share blame.

The New York Times reported that Friday’s run to the fence was “no mere protest,” that demonstrators were throwing stones and firebombs at the barbed-wire fence that is “the Israelis’ first line of defense.” The Israeli military commander supervising these war crimes was extensively quoted blaming the violence on the Palestinians: it wasn’t a “peaceful demonstration” but a “hateful mob of thousands of Palestinians” trying to invade and kill Israelis.

“Yes, they go to the border fence; yes, they throw stones; yes, they throw Molotov cocktails,” an Al Jazeera correspondent wrote from the scene, “but you’re dealing with one of the best equipped armies in the world.”

Even calling Israel’s barbed-wire fence and then wall a “border,” much less a “line of defense,” is deliberately misleading. This isn’t a border, as if between two sovereign states, so much as the outer walls of a concentration camp, whose inmates are desperately trying to break out. And what Israel is “defending” is indefensible—the theft of Palestinian land, the ethnic cleansing of a whole people, the carrying out of brutal crimes across the region to preserve Western imperialism’s strangulation and plunder of the Middle East.

A Critical Moment: Condemn Israel’s Crimes, Uphold the Palestinian People’s
Just Struggle for Liberation

This wave of Palestinian protests highlights the deep yearning of the Palestinian people for real emancipation and an end to the horrors that have been inflicted on them over these past seven decades. Yet neither wing of the currently dominant Palestinian leadership—the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas and the oppressive conciliators of Fatah—represents the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people or the path forward.

These interests are NOT represented within the clash between U.S. imperialism, now in fascist form with the Trump/Pence regime, with its enforcer in Israel on one side, and the Islamic fascists represented by Hamas and its backer in Iran on the other. As Bob Avakian has analyzed:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists. (BAsics 1:28)

The current wave of Palestinian protests is just and must be supported. And it points to the basis and potential for bringing forward a whole other, emancipating way forward for the Palestinian people, and the crying need for the new communism of Bob Avakian to be spread among Palestinians and across the Middle East, which is crucial to forging that liberating path.

The significance of these protests is also heightened because they are taking place with a fascist regime now in charge in the U.S. and the storm clouds of war looming over the region, which could lead to even more murderous assaults on the Palestinian people. (The U.S. move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem points in this dangerous direction.)

So especially at this fraught, dangerous moment, it’s imperative for many, many more to speak out against the crimes being carried out by Israel and the U.S., and to visibly demonstrate support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.



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