On the emergency Palestine solidarity protest in London outside the Israeli embassy (Picture: Guy Smallman)

”Israel is targeting everybody, no one knows when they’ll be next,” says Arrej—one of 2.3 million Palestinians facing the Israeli state’s murderous onslaught on the Gaza Strip. 

“The scale of this attack is worse than in 2014 and 2021,” she told Socialist Worker as bombs rained down on Deir al Bala in central Gaza. “Israeli ships are firing at us indiscriminately, and in Al Qarara the Israelis have used phosphorus bombs. 

“The fear now is that the Israelis want to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt.” 

That’s little surprise after Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant said Palestinians were “human animals” on Monday. 

The Israeli state—humiliated, shaken and scared—is determined to inflict a collective punishment on millions of people in Gaza because they dared to resist settler colonialism. The Palestinian resistance’s attack from Gaza on Saturday showed that Israel, a state armed to the teeth by Western imperialism, isn’t all-powerful. 

Israel has shut off supplies of food, fuel, electricity and other basic necessities, while airstrikes have flattened whole neighbourhoods. At least 950 Palestinians had been murdered in Israeli air strikes as of Wednesday morning—with an estimated 260 children. 

“People are dying from their injuries,” says Arrej. “The full death toll is not yet known. Electricity is now cut off. Generators will not be able to function for long as the fuel supply is being stopped by Israelis. Soon our food will rot. 

“People with money will manage for longer. Most will not. It’s already a desperate situation. The hospitals are going to be affected because there is no food, water, fuel or electricity. Even the electricity company has been bombed. 

“People won’t be able to wash their clothes or have clean water. On the ground it’s horrible.” 

“I fear the escalation will be for a long period, and it will have a big effect. I’m frightened about the psychological effects on all people in Gaza.” 

Gallant has pledged that Israel would launch a ground assault on the Gaza Strip to try and wipe out the Hamas resistance group for good. The ground assault would be the first since 2014, when Israeli forces killed an estimated 2,251 Palestinians. 

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has told US president Joe Biden that Israel has no option but to mount a ground attack. Biden backed Netanyahu’s plans and assured him that “additional assistance for the Israeli Defence Forces” was coming from the US. 

The Tories cheered on Israel’s air strikes on Gaza. British defence secretary Grant Shapps said there was “no equivalence” between the actions of Hamas and the Israeli government. He added that the Israeli state was killing “innocent civilians” while the Israeli military was “trying to go after terrorists”.

It’s true there’s no equivalence between Israel and Palestine. Israel is the oppressor that uses violences to defend its system of settler colonialism, apartheid and racism—with the full backing of the West. 

The Palestinians are a colonised people—who have the right to resist Israel. In Britain, we should join turns out on the streets this Saturday to show we stand with them. 

Join the March for Palestine, end the violence, end apartheid on Saturday 14 October, assemble 12pm at BBC Portland Place, W1A, London.

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