During the early morning of Thursday, July 13, Israeli planes
attacked Beirut airport, in Lebanon. This new attack is part of the
response promised by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to the actions of
Hezbollah (Lebanese Shiites), where 8 Israeli soldiers died and two
others were captured, as a demand for the release of prisoners in
Israeli prisons and in support of the Palestinian cause.
While the military incursion into the Gaza Strip remains firm,
Israeli air force planes bombed the road that links the capital of
Lebanon with Damascus, Syria. Only a few days before, the State of
Israel had threatened the Presidents of both Lebanon and Syria for
protecting the "terrorists" of Hamas (Syria, where the Hamas
leadership lives in exile) and of Hezbollah (Lebanon). At the same
time, Israeli warships launched missiles near Lebanon’s international
airport, which had been closed since morning. The television channel
of the Hezbollah militia was also hit. In this way, Israel again made
an incursion into Lebanon, having withdrawn in May, 2000. Katyusha
rockets were fired from Lebanon against the Israeli city of Haifa,
located 60 km south of the border between Israel and Lebanon.
More than 20 Palestinians died on Thursday, and the Palestinian
Chancellory was attacked, in an attempt to find one of the Hamas
leaders, Mohamed Deif.
Mahmud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority (PA),
spoke of the danger of "a regional war."
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) voted to send economic aid to
Gaza, to alleviate the difficult situation of the inhabitants of the
region, a situation caused by the Zionist attack. Without
questioning the military incursion for a second, the EU sent 300,000
liters of fuel for use in hospital generators in Gaza, but a great
deal of this aid, like that from the Arab League, $50 million US,
was sent directly to Abbas, bypassing Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh,
to continue the pressure on the Hamas majority.
On Thursday, the United States, not satisfied with its total support
for the actions of the Zionist state, vetoed the UN Security Council
draft resolution, that condemned Israeli attacks in Gaza, a
resolution supported by ten of the fifteen Security Council members.
US imperialism’s support for its gendarme in the region is not
surprising; however, the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton,
emphasized US cynicism, when he declared that the resolution
was "unbalanced, it imposes demands on one part of the conflict in
the Middle East, but not on the other."
The situation of oppression and misery the Palestinian masses are
living through is a permanent source of uprisings against the State
of Israel, as we have reported in innumerable articles on this site
[http://www.ft-ci.org]. In the present escalation, to this is added
the fact that Iran, supporting Syria, is using its "resources" or
connections in the region, Hamas (Palestine) and Hezbollah (Lebanon)
In the context of its aspirations for regional hegemony and taking
advantage of the quagmire of US imperialism in Iraq and differences
with the big powers over its nuclear program — to increase tension
and improve its position in the region. This is taking place at a
time when the United States finds itself with several open "external
fronts" on the international level, on the one hand, trying to
maintain its weak anti-Iran coalition (with respect to nuclear
weaponry), and nuclear testing by North Korea (a country that China
and Russia refuse to condemn, for the moment) on the other hand, as
well as a difficult G-8 summit in Moscow, facing a resurgent Russia.
In this framework, Israel is going for double or nothing, by
launching the most important military operation since the invasion of
Lebanon in 1982, with the aim of qualitatively weakening the
Lebanese Shiite militias of Hezbollah and teaching them a lesson.
Meanwhile, with the invasion of Gaza, Israel seeks to do the same
thing to Hamas, although it is not clear whether Israel will be able
to bear incursions on two fronts in a sustained form, to achieve its
aims. Somehow, the collaborationist Abbas (Chairman of the
Palestinian National Authority), Jordan, and above all, the
government of Egypt and the Saudi monarchy (fierce enemies of Iran),
who sought a negotiated solution to the Gaza conflict before
Hezbollah proved the vulnerability of the Zionist state, are allowing
Israel to make these moves.
The regional situation is becoming extremely tense: apart from its
specific roots, the conflict in Palestine and Lebanon must be seen in
the framework of the complicated situation of the United States in
Iraq and the advance by Iran in this strategic region.