FT-CI

Medio Oriente

Brutal Invasion of Gaza by the State of Israel

02/07/2006

After threats and a 48-hour ultimatum to free the Israeli soldier
kidnapped last Sunday by a Palestinian team from the military arm of
Hamas and other resistance groups on the Gaza Strip border, the
promise of an "extensive and prolonged military operation" by the
Zionist state began to be fulfilled during the final hours of June
27, when the Zionist army bombed three bridges, the main water-
carrying conduit, and the only hydroelectric station in Gaza, leaving
the city in darkness.

The kidnapping of the soldier Gilad Shalit took place after two weeks
of provocations, which included the bombing of a Gaza Strip beach and
a series of later attacks, that killed about fourteen Palestinians in
just one week. The Palestinians are demanding an exchange: the
release of the soldier for more than 400 women and children in
Israeli prisons. The Israeli premier Ehud Olmert ruled out any
possibility of negotiation and launched the military incursion into
Palestine.

This military operation is the most important since the Israeli
withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September last year and seeks to
strengthen the image of firmness of the Olmert government, which has
as its minister of defense Amir Peretz, allegedly the representative
of the "left wing" of the Labor Party.

This fact reveals [Israel’s] "unilateral withdrawal" [from Gaza] as a
sham. The Israeli armed forces continue to control the borders and
traffic between Gaza and the West Bank, while the Israeli government
confiscates taxes and assistance funds belonging to the Palestinian
government. Since Hamas won the election by achieving a parliamentary
majority last January, both the State of Israel and US imperialism,
together with their local co-worker, Mahmud Abbas of Al Fatah, the
Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), have made it impossible
for the Hamas government to assume its full powers. First they tried
to force Hamas to recognize Israel, through cutting assistance funds
and international financing of the Palestinian government; then they
tried to make formation of the [Palestinian] army and security forces
a prerogative of the Palestinian executive (belonging to Al Fatah),
which produced confrontations between Al Fatah and Hamas.

Hobbling Hamas

Israel’s attack on Gaza is taking place at the same time that the
Hamas government and Chairman Abbas were arriving at an agreement
which committed them for the first time to support a "peace plan"
that recognizes the fact of the State of Israel. The accord called
for a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem
(territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war). In this way, Hamas is
renouncing the position it has maintained since its foundation, that
proposed the creation of an Islamic state in the entirety of the
State of Israel. This commitment means a capitulation by Hamas, which
faces severe internal divisions and powerful international pressure.
At the same time, it is a triumph for the collaborator Abbas, who had
threatened to call a referendum on the agreement that foresees the
existence of the two states, based on a document worked out by the Al
Fatah and Hamas prisoners [held] in Israel, that imagines a "final"
agreement to the conflict, a document rejected by the State of
Israel, for its part. Faced with the possible reduction of political
capital it won last January and confronted by the polarization that
the State of Israel, the "international community" and Al Fatah
itself had created and used to put Hamas up against a wall, Hamas
finally accepted the document.

However, implementing the "peace plan" will not be easy, since the
plan will permit the existence of different militias, will not curb
the plans of the State of Israel to go on building the Wall, nor will
it prevent ongoing confrontations between the different factions that
form the Palestinian national movement.

In this framework, and with the excuse of looking for the kidnapped
soldier, the Zionist incursion seeks to teach the groups in the
resistance, including the military wing of Hamas and its exiled
leadership, a lesson. On Wednesday, June 28, Israeli planes flew over
Syria, the location of the Hamas leadership, which would oppose the
pact with Abbas. These incursions express heavy pressure by the State
of Israel on the Hamas leadership in Syria and on its sponsors in the
Syrian regime, showing their [Israel’s] willingness to escalate the
conflict if their demands are not met. Taking into account the fact
that the State of Israel is unwilling to negotiate the release of its
soldier, Hamas would be obliged to free him, which would lead to a
weakening of its position in Palestine.

Peace with the Zionist State is not possible

The continuation of the Israeli offensive seeks greater concessions,
like Hamas’ renouncing violence and an explicit recognition of the
Zionist state. At the same time, it seeks to punish the inhabitants
of this impoverished region, as shown by the attacks on civilian
infrastructure, leaving the greater part of the population without
power, and with the clear aim of increasing pressure on Hamas.

The new invasion of Gaza and the continuation of the economic
sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, in spite of capitulation
by Hamas, show that neither peace nor peaceful coexistence with the
Zionist state is possible.

The two-state solution, whether through negotiations, like those
after the Oslo Accords in 1993, or unilaterally, as carried out by
the Sharon and now the Olmert administrations, only prolong the
sufferings of the Palestinian masses. These ultra-
reactionary "solutions" involve a pseudo-state, controlled completely
by the State of Israel, lacking a contiguous territory, control of
its own waters or its own armed forces.

This proves that, as long as that "aircraft carrier" that the State
of Israel comprises, continues to exist, there is no solution for the
just aspirations for Palestinian self-determination. The only
progressive solution is a workers’ and socialist Palestine, where
Arabs and Jews can live together peacefully.

Spanish original text: http://www.pts.org.ar/notas.asp?id=7197
Comrades are invited to improve on the translation.

* * *

CORRECTION: In the translation of the letter by Prof. Ziad Medoukh
"Greetings from the Palestine that resists,"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/labor_action/message/155
published yesterday, "thundering bombs" bombas sonoras, should
be "sonic booms," something I suspected, but could not prove.

Corroboration of this comes from Prof. John Dugard, the United
Nations Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,
who writes:

"Gaza is under siege. Israel controls its airspace and has resumed
sonic booms, which terrorize and traumatize its people. The targeted
killing of militants is on the increase. Inevitably, as in the past,
such killings have resulted in the killing and wounding of innocent
bystanders. Israel also controls Gaza’s territorial sea and fires
missiles into the territory from ships at sea...Within Gaza, medical
services have been seriously affected by the prohibition on the
funding of medical equipment and medical supplies managed by the
Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. The non-payment of salaries to
Palestinian Authority employees has affected both hospitals and
schools as employees cannot afford to travel to work. Unemployment
and poverty are on the increase. After a long period of closure of
the Karni commercial crossing, this crossing has been re-opened but
it still processes only a limited number of trucks with the result
that Gaza is still short of basic foodstuffs and is unable to export
its produce."

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