Monday, September 24, 2007
Gaza must live!
In 1996 the Palestinians, voting massively for Fatah, expressed their hope for a just peace with Israel. This hope has, however, been frustrated by Israel’s systematic violation of the Oslo Accords, which stipulated that Israel should withdraw its troops from and dismantle its settlements on 90% of the Occupied Territories.
Having taken office after his provocative stride across the Aqsa esplanade, Sharon stopped the withdrawal of the army and further increased the pace of settlement construction exacerbating a tendency prevailing from the very beginning of the accords. Palestine became a completely segregated country, where settlers armed to the teeth operate as auxiliary militias for the Israeli army. Not satisfied, Sharon started the construction of the Apartheid wall resulting in the annexation of a further 7% of the Palestinian land.
Trying to crush the second Intifada, Israel pushed aside the Palestinian Authority (PA) and attacked the Occupied Territories by fire and sword. Thousands of Palestinians were killed or wounded, tens of thousands arrested and kept in prison without trial. Thousands of houses were razed to the ground. Dozens of leaders were murdered by so-called “targeted killings”. Even president Arafat, after he was once again declared a “terrorist”, was caught in his presidential palace, the Mukata’ah, which was bombarded and reduced to rubble.
Therefore the reasons for the landslide electoral victory of Hamas (which the U.S. and the E.U. meanwhile had included in their notorious black list of terrorist organisations) in January 2006 are evident. More than a protest against the endemic corruption in the ranks of Fatah, the Palestinians cried out to the world that they cannot be asked a humiliating “peace” imposed by lead and sealed with their own blood.
Instead of listening to this cry for help by the Palestinian people, the Western powers decided to punish them by imposing a total embargo on the West bank and Gaza. Following once again a cue from Israel (which immediately after the victory of Hamas unilaterally blocked the transfer of tax and duty proceeds of which the PA is the legitimate owner), the U.S. and the E.U. froze the financial aid, resulting in a veritable humanitarian disaster in order to force an entire people to its knees and abandon its resistance.
As its architects intended, this policy has caused, the most bitter of consequences: a fratricidal battle within the Palestinian camp. Those who lost the elections toppled the democratically elected government and replaced it with an illegitimate one with the barefaced support of Israel and its Western allies.
Together with the Zionists, they unleashed a hunt against their adversaries announcing the illegalisation of Hamas under the pretext of a new law according to which only those who recognise Israel can run for elections. The U.S. and the E.U. have justified this putsch and have come to the help of this illegitimate government, lifting the sanctions on the zones under their control but maintaining the stranglehold on Gaza.
1.5 million human beings thus remain under siege, surrounded by barbed wire and without being able either to leave or to enter. Locked up in a concentration camp, they barely survive without food or water, deprived of electricity and the most basic sanitary services. As if this were not enough, the Israeli army continues to pound Gaza by nearly daily bombing raids and incursions resulting in countless innocent civilian victims.
Only one word can describe this slaughter house: genocide!
An immediate mobilisation is necessary to end this tragedy:
Lift the starvation embargo on the Gaza ghetto!
Recognise the democratic choice of the Palestinian people!