U.S. Imperialism Unleashes its Attack Dog on the Gaza Strip
July 17, 2014
After a month openly drooling over the prospect of invading Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on July 17th that he could “resist no longer” and gave the green light for an Israeli ground invasion.
Israel launched its latest military offensive on June 12th as Netanyahu declared that Palestinians would face “severe consequences” after three Israeli teenagers were found dead outside an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. U.S. and Israeli leaders declared Hamas responsible for the “kidnappings” and three days later Lieutenant Peter Lerner announced: “We will bring about a situation in which Hamas people will become a nuisance for the Palestinian population, and that their presence in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) will cause harm everywhere.”
At that time – ten short days after Palestinian plans for the formation of a new Palestinian Authority were announced – the Israeli military began airstrikes on Gaza and began to carry out wide-scale operations across the West Bank. In the first 11 days of the operation 350 Palestinians were arrested, including clerics, university lecturers and political leaders. Five Palestinians were killed.
According to the Israeli organization Peace Now, in the days following the deaths of the Israeli youths, three new Israeli settlement outposts already equipped with water and electricity were immediately set up in the West Bank and a new access road established.
Israel added a further three to the six combat brigades already present in the West Bank. Close to 40 battalions began raiding homes and rounding up Palestinians, notably the Paratroopers’ 35th Division and the Kfir’s 900th Division. Other specialized groups such as the Duvdevan Unit, the Egoz Reconnaissance Unit and the Airborn Rescue and Evacuation Unit 660 supplement were mobilized in the operation. Skylark mini UAV drones were deployed and the Yahalom combat engineering unit was used in tunnel searches.
After 7 days Netanyahu announced: “I expect (Palestinian) president (Mahmoud) Abbas to dissolve the union with this murderous terror organisation (Hamas). I think that's important for our common future.”
On July 7 Israel announced the launch of an additional offensive called “Operation Protective Edge” which was accompanied by a dramatic escalation of airstrikes on Gaza. In the first five days alone Israel targeted over 1,300 sites including homes, farms, food warehouses, health clinics, mosques and industrial complexes. During those 5 days, 131 Palestinians were killed and over 1,000 wounded. At the same time, Netanyahu continued to demand that the civil administration set up in the West Bank collaborate with the offensive by suppressing resistance to Israeli occupation.
As The Worker goes to press Israel has already invaded Gaza with “thousands of troops” and is describing the invasion as a response to “ten days of attacks by Hamas.”
By targeting Palestinian women and children as well as the elected representatives of the Palestinians and the entire Palestinian people, by launching all out war on Gaza and stepping up its repression in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel seeks to justify its continued denial of the right of the Palestinians to their own genuinely sovereign state in their national homeland.
Today in the face of barbaric and savage aggression, the Palestinian people are rallying around their representatives and fortifying their struggle.
So too, peoples everywhere have come out in demonstrations and political movements to support the Palestinian liberation struggle and demand the complete cutoff of U.S. aid to the aggressors, an end to Israeli occupation and recognition of the sovereign right of the Palestinians to organize their own independent state.
These actions are not only a powerful support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. They are expressing the conscience of humanity and they are an important front in the international struggle against U.S. imperialism's program of fascism and war.
In the U.S., broad sections of the people, including a new generation of anti-war activists, have already gone into action and have placed the political demand for an immediate cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel on the political agenda.
The immediate task is to keep this demand in the forefront and carry the struggle through to the end.