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Gaza Update:

Israel and the U.S. Escalate Death, Weaponize “Aid,” Threaten Worse 

A tent camp housing Palestinians displaced by the Israeli offensive is seen in Rafah, Gaza Strip, February 2024.


A tent camp housing Palestinians displaced by the Israeli offensive is seen in Rafah, Gaza Strip, February 2024.    Photo: AP

The death toll from Israel’s war on Gaza climbed to more than 34,000 on April 20, including a huge number of children. Nearly 77,000 people have also been wounded. Uncounted thousands of dead are believed to be buried in the bombed-out ruins of homes, shops, schools, shelters and other buildings. The physical and emotional suffering in Gaza is beyond calculation or comprehension. 

And hovering over all this is the imminent threat of an all-out assault on the city of Rafah in the south of Gaza that would take Israel’s crimes against humanity to a whole other level of catastrophe. 

Ahmed Barhoum, a man whose five-year-old child was murdered by Israel when his home in Rafah was struck by Israel on April 19, declared: “This is a world devoid of all human values and morals.” 

It is a world ruled by a system, capitalism-imperialism, that is devoid of all human values and morals. A world crying out for REVOLUTION to overthrow that system. If that sounds too radical, read further. And then seriously think about our challenge at the end of this article.

Death Hovers Over Rafah

Half the population of Gaza, of those who have survived a six-month-plus genocidal slaughter, are packed into the city of Rafah. This city sits at the southern-most edge of Gaza. Most of those sheltering here survive day-to-day, side-by-side, in tents in the sand, in desperate conditions unfit for human survival. 

Rafah is, at this moment, the refuge of last resort. The one city in Gaza that has not been bombed, invaded, and reduced to rubble by Israeli bombs, missiles and tanks. It is where Palestinians have the best chance of being able to access the food and medical aid that manages to get past Israeli obstacle courses and U.S. obstruction of food distribution.

Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, aka Netan-NAZI, has repeatedly, and recently, declared that Israel will launch an all-out ground invasion of Rafah. That would be a humanitarian catastrophe and war crime that could even eclipse the horrors Israel has inflicted on the defenseless Palestinian people in Gaza so far.

“Genocide Joe” Biden has real fears that an all-out assault on Rafah, devoid of any attempt to cover up the war crimes that would involve, would undercut U.S. claims to champion freedom and democracy around the world. And he fears the loss of the legitimacy of the Democratic Party among protesting students and beyond. But even more, he and the entire U.S. ruling class fear any weakening of Israel, which is an irreplaceable asset for the rulers of this country to dominate a strategic part of the world (the Middle East) and to aid the U.S. in carrying out repression elsewhere on the planet.

A Looming Catastrophe

Netan-NAZI told Western diplomats this week that he intended to push ahead with a ground assault on Rafah. The Guardian reported that Netan-NAZI is moving with “confidence” after the U.S. and its allies “rallied round Israel” during the recent exchange of missile attacks between Israel and Iran. (See Israel and Iran Exchange Attacks—Danger of Regional War Intensifies: What's Happening, Why, and Where the Interests of Humanity Lie.)

On April 17, the Guardian reported that Israel has “deployed extra artillery and armored personnel carriers to the Gaza Strip periphery, suggesting that the military is preparing for its long-threatened ground offensive on Rafah.” And Israeli news media are reporting this week that troops had been put on alert and a plan has been approved by the Israeli government for the invasion.

To give just a glimpse of the level of genocidal catastrophe this invasion would be, Israel said it was buying 40,000 tents for an area into which it plans to drive more than a million Palestinian people, already suffering in inhuman conditions, out of Rafah!

For Israel, Massacring Children = “Fighting Terrorism”

Even as the threat of a major invasion looms, over the past several days, Israel has launched murderous strikes on Rafah. Netan-NAZI insists that an all-out assault on Rafah is necessary to defeat remaining Hamas battalions (Hamas is the ruling force in Gaza that launched an attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, that killed nearly 1,200 Israelis including hundreds of civilians.) But the core aim of Israel’s reign of death and terror is to kill, starve, and crush the Palestinian people.

On April 19, 2024, an Israeli strike on a house in Rafah killed at least 10 people, including six children, according to hospital authorities. Child who was hit is being brought on stretcher.


On April 19, 2024, an Israeli strike on a house in Rafah killed at least 10 people, including six children, according to hospital authorities.     Photo: AP

That was what happened on April 19. An Israeli strike on a house in Rafah killed at least 10 people, including six children, according to hospital authorities. (The wife and child of Ahmed Barhoum, introduced at the beginning of this article, died in a separate strike on civilians the same day in Rafah.)

As always, Israel justified this slaughter of children as an attack on “terrorism,” claiming Hamas uses civilians as “human shields.” As if there is any place in this jam-packed prison devoid of innocent civilians. And civilians are targeted by the Israeli military. An important exposé by the research group A24, based in part on interviews with former Israeli intelligence officers, revealed that often target selection is, “mainly intended to harm Palestinian civil society.” 

Depraved Psychological Torture and Terror in Nuseirat

With conditions insufferable in Rafah, and with the looming danger of much worse, growing numbers of people in Gaza have attempted to get around or through Israeli military lines that severely restrict travel from south Gaza to the central and north of Gaza. 

Over the week of April 14, refugees attempting to return to their homes in the central Gaza Nuseirat Refugee Camp came under intense Israeli fire that killed at least five people. (Refugee camps in Gaza are crowded housing projects where people driven from their homes in other parts of Palestine by Israel have lived since the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. For background, see our Resource Page on the Genocidal Assault on Palestine — And Israel as an Enforcer of Imperialism).

Multiple reports have exposed how Israeli forces combined psychological terror and traps to draw out and slaughter non-combatants including children. Al Jazeera posted video of Israeli drones playing sounds of children’s voices crying for help to lure people out into the open to be shot. 

Israeli drones play voices of women and children screaming to lure Palestinians outside and kill them. Credit: Voices from Gaza; @ajplus and @aljazeeraenglish

Other psychological warfare reported in Nuseirat included Israeli drones broadcasting sounds of gunshots, explosions, military vehicle movements, and songs in Hebrew and Arabic in order to create a climate of terror overnight. A 20-year-old camp resident told the Euro-MedMonitor team: “We were sitting at night when we heard voices of girls and women screaming: ‘Come, help me, I am injured!’ We went out to find out what was happening. No women were found, but we were directly targeted by a quadcopter drone.” The witness was able to flee but others responding to the calls for help were shot. 

U.S. Sends Israel $Billions for Weapons and Weaponizes “Aid”

As we post this update, the MAGA Republican fascists, and the “traditional” imperialist Democrats led by Genocide Joe Biden have agreed to a foreign “aid” package. Aid??!? It should be called a global package to bring death, destruction, and the threat of much worse to the world. It includes billions in military aid for Ukraine, to fight a proxy war against Russia, and for Taiwan, to challenge China. And it pumps $17 billion more in military aid to replenish the unfathomable, unbelievable, amount of weaponry that Israel has already used to deliver death and destruction to Gaza, as well as weaponry to allow Israel to engage in shootouts with Iran and its proxies.

The point of the military aid to Israel is demonstrated in every bombed hospital, school, and shelter; the nearly 35,000 counted deaths and countless more victims buried under the rubble of U.S.-supplied 2,000-pound bombs. And in the broken bones, orphaned children, and broken hearts of parents who have carried their children to burial.

In addition to military aid, the new foreign “aid” package includes a category called humanitarian aid, some of which is supposed to go to Israel to address the desperate need for food, shelter, medical supplies, and other necessities of life (see This Week in Gaza: A Surge of Lies While Palestinians in Gaza Continue to Die). 

The people of Gaza are starving. Much of northern Gaza is suffering famine—meaning at least 20 percent of households are facing an extreme lack of food, at least 30 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition, and at least two adults or four children for every 10,000 people are dying each day from starvation or disease linked to malnutrition.

Israel and the U.S. are BLOCKING Aid

The organization with the capacity, connections, skills, dedication, and credible neutrality between Israel and armed forces in Gaza is UNRWA, the UN’s refugee relief organization. Based on unconfirmed claims that a dozen of UNRWA’s employees participated in the Hamas raid on Israel that killed nearly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, on October 7, the U.S. cut off funding for UNRWA and pressured its “allies” to do the same. 

UNRWA has challenged these accusations, and released a report documenting that its employees were tortured to give false statements that UNRWA was supportive of Hamas. That torture, by Israel, included “severe physical beatings and treatment akin to waterboarding, resulting in extreme physical suffering; beatings by doctors when referred for medical assistance; exposure to and being attacked by dogs; threats of rape and electrocution; threats of violence with guns pointed at them; verbal and psychological abuse; threats of murder, injury or harm to family members; humiliating and degrading treatment; being forced to strip naked and being photographed while they are undressed; and being forced to hold stress positions.”

And it must be noted that in addition to the depravity of using these horrific torture techniques to extract false statements attacking UNRWA, this kind of torture is used routinely by Israel on detained people in Gaza. At the beginning of April, an Israeli doctor at one of the prisons where detainees are held wrote to Israeli officials that prisoners having “their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries” from brutal, tight, metal handcuffs and leg chains was “a routine event." 

While reports in the U.S. media seize on Israeli claims that more aid is getting into Gaza, on April 18, a UN official said Israel was systematically blocking food distribution in Gaza. And that more than 40 percent of the requests made by the UN's humanitarian aid agency, UNOCHA, to transport supplies through Israeli checkpoints inside Gaza, were turned down last week.

Food “Aid” as a Weapon of Genocide

So, what is with the U.S. supposedly sending money to Israel to provide “aid” for people? The basic story is that Israel and the U.S. violently attack, defund, slander, and impede any aid operation that is not under Israel's direct control. It won’t do, in the eyes of these monsters, to have people able to access even a bowl of soup, a loaf of bread, or milk for a child that is not tied to Israeli domination.

Where Israel and/or the U.S. have tried to take over and weaponize food distribution so far, the results have been literally murderous for the people in Gaza. People have drowned trying to retrieve U.S. aid dumped into the Mediterranean Sea. Food is dropped into pools of toxic waste, and people are forced to wade into them to retrieve it. In March, several people in Gaza were killed when small amounts of food parachuted into Gaza by the U.S. landed on them. Over and over, Palestinians in Gaza have been massacred by the Israeli military while trying to distribute or collect aid. 

But for the U.S. and Israel, the aim of “aid” distribution is not to feed people. It is to monopolize control over how, and if people eat, as a weapon of war.


Urgently Needed: A Whole New Way to Live

At the beginning of this article, we promised we would pose a challenge. Here it is. Ask yourself: What kind of a system would not just enable but require the crimes against humanity you have just read about? 

What is the connection between this and what this same system has done in Vietnam where U.S. troops were ordered to kill and destroy everything in a village? In Chile, where the U.S. orchestrated the overthrow of a popularly elected government and installed a fascist death squad regime? In Iraq, where U.S.-imposed sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 500,000 children. And countless other places (see American Crime at 

Ask, and seek out serious answers to both why this is happening and what must be done to end this. You will find the truth, truth those who rule this system do not want you to hear, in the Compilation from The Bob Avakian Institute: Israel and Palestine, the Middle East and U.S. Imperialism, the Revolution Humanity NeedsA selection of writings from Bob Avakian. Including this:

Why is Biden, and basically the entire government and ruling class of the U.S., supporting Israel in carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people, before the whole world? Here is the answer to that crucial question:

This is not because of “the power of the Jewish lobby”—or because of some ignorant, ridiculous and outrageous notion that “Jews are controlling everything.” It is because Israel plays a “special role” as a heavily armed bastion of support for U.S. imperialism in a strategically important part of the world (the “Middle East”). And Israel has been a key force in the commission of atrocities which have helped to maintain the oppressive rule of U.S. imperialism in many other parts of the world.

(That is from my statement Some Basic Truths About the U.S.-Supported Israeli War Against Palestine, which is posted at

It’s the system! The system of capitalism-imperialism that Biden serves. The system he has to serve—the system that anybody and everybody has to serve if they want to hold office, and especially “high office,” like president, within this system. That is why Biden is doing what he’s doing—what all these politicians are doing—above and beyond their more narrow personal interests.

It’s the system! This system of capitalism-imperialism that embodies and enforces white supremacy, patriarchal male supremacy and other brutal oppression—this system resting on ruthless life-stealing exploitation of masses of people in this country and literally billions of people worldwide, including more than 150 million children—all enforced with massive violence and destruction, of people and the environment, posing a very real threat to the future and the existence of humanity.

This system that needs to be overthrown at the soonest possible time, through an actual revolution....

DONATE to the revolution.

From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

The website follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

Put it this way: there will be no revolution unless this website not only “keeps going” but goes up to a whole different level!

So what should you give to make 2024 our year—a year of revolution? 
Everything you possibly can! 
DONATE NOW to and get with BA and the revcoms!    

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