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Three Ways Israel’s Genocidal War Is Escalating

Palestinians search through rubble in Khan Younis after Israeli airstrikes, October 26, 2023.

 

Palestinians search through rubble in Khan Younis after Israeli airstrikes, October 26, 2023.    Photo: AP

Since the war began on October 7, Israel—with full U.S. backing—has made life in Gaza a living hell. The purpose of this is straight-up genocide: to kill, “break,” or drive out the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Already:

  • One of every 25 Gazans has been killed or wounded. Over 26,000 dead, including 10,000 children. Thousands missing and presumed dead. 64,000 wounded.
  • Gaza’s healthcare system has been decimated. Only 16 of the 36 hospitals that existed before the war still function, and they are desperately short of supplies, water, power. Amputations are performed on children without anesthesia. 
  • One in four people are on the brink of starvation.
  • The threat of epidemic disease looms large.
  • Nearly two million ordinary people are homeless and on the run, parents forced to hunt daily for a bottle of water, a piece of bread, a safe place to sleep for their children. But in reality, nowhere in Gaza is safe for Palestinians.

And it keeps getting worse. Israeli bombers, tanks and soldiers stalk the fleeing population, driving them ever south and west, towards the border with Egypt and potentially, out of their Palestinian homeland entirely.

Israel’s Attack on UNRWA—A Blatant Attempt to Further Strangle the Palestinian People

When the war started, Israel’s Defense Minister ordered “a complete siege of the strip,” saying “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel.” A trickle of aid still reached Gaza, but now Israel, the U.S. and its close allies are trying to tighten the squeeze.

UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) was set up in 1948 to aid Palestinian refugees driven from their homes by Israel. Since the war started, 152 UNRWA staffers have been killed. 

Now Israel claims—without public evidence—that 12 UNRWA staff members participated in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. That’s 12, out of 13,000 UNRWA staff members! (UNRWA publicly condemned Hamas’s October 7 attack as “abhorrent.”)

On cue, the U.S., the UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands responded to this allegation by halting all aid to UNRWA, crippling its work, and making life in Gaza yet more impossible.

Israel Systematically Desecrates Palestinian Cemeteries

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On January 20, 2024, CNN published a shocking report on the destruction of “at least 16” Palestinian cemeteries. (Non-Palestinian cemeteries are untouched.1) Many have been bulldozed and turned into Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) military outposts. In others, graves are dug up and bodies taken, supposedly to check if they are the bodies of dead hostages.

This is a deliberate attempt by the Zionist forces to cut every connection Gazans have to the land of Palestine, to turn places of community and remembrance into scenes of horror, and to break people’s spirits so they can be driven like cattle away from their homes and out of their homeland.

The Liquidation of Khan Younis (Southern Gaza)

In October, Israel concentrated on destroying Gaza City in the north, ordering its inhabitants to flee, promising “safety” to the south, promising they could return to their homes “after we root out Hamas.” But there was no safety in the south, they were not allowed to return, and there is little to return to—most of Gaza City has been leveled. Instead, they were driven further south, with the population of the southern city of Khan Younis ballooning from 400,000 to more than a million.

Then on January 23, the IDF demanded people evacuate Khan Younis too. On January 24, tank shells crashed into a UNRWA technical school/refugee camp, starting a fire, killing at least 12 and injuring 75. 

Palestinians try to extinguish a fire caused by Israeli strike at a building of an UNRWA vocational training center, January 24, 2024.

 

Palestinians try to extinguish a fire caused by Israeli strike at a building of an UNRWA vocational training center, January 24, 2024.    Photo: AP

Palestinians fleeing from ground fire in Khan Younis are met with Israeli tanks in Rafah, January 26, 2024.

 

Palestinians fleeing from ground fire in Khan Younis are met with Israeli tanks in Rafah, January 26, 2024.    Photo: AP

The city is surrounded by Israeli troops; its three hospitals are occupied or under siege, cut off from the rest of the area. Injured people cannot reach them for treatment; patients needing more advanced care cannot be transported out. 

Tens of thousands of refugees on hospital grounds are trapped there, facing, as one woman said: “violent clashes and over 200 military planes flying above us … dropping dozens of bombs in every direction along with shelling from tanks and gunshots.” And the “choice”: “We will die if we stay and we will die if we leave.”

And where are they to go now? The new “safe area” is Rafah, right on the border with Egypt. More than half of Gaza’s population—1.3 million people—is now crowded into Rafah along with its 280,000 residents.

Palestinians who fled Israeli air offensive in Khan Younis, arrive in Rafah, January 26, 2024.

 

Palestinians who fled Israeli air offensive in Khan Younis, arrive in Rafah, January 26, 2024.     Photo: AP

With this, the Israeli objective of violently expelling Palestinians from Gaza comes ever closer. If you have not acted to STOP the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people, you must stand up now. And if you have acted, don't stop—spread this resistance and seriously look into the source of this madness in the system of capitalism-imperialism and the solution in an actual revolution to overthrow this system.

Some Basic Truths About the U.S.-Supported Israeli War Against Palestine, by Bob Avakian

 

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FOOTNOTES:

1.  CNN reports that cemeteries with the remains of Christian and Jewish dead have been kept “intact,” while nearby Palestinian cemeteries were destroyed.  [back]

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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

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