Protesters march to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza Picture: Guy Smallman

The Israeli forces’ drive to obliterate Palestinian resistance in Gaza meant that this week they killed one child every ten minutes. That’s according to the Save the Children charity.

Israel trapped Palestinians in a hell. They could not escape Israeli bombs, the white phosphorous horror weapons, starvation, sickness and invasion.  Whether they fled north or south, they were targeted and slaughtered by Israeli forces. 

By Tuesday the total number of those murdered by the Israeli state had reached 8,500. 

There were fears that Israeli bombs would hit the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City. At the start of the week the hospital was sheltering 12,000 desperate people who had nowhere else to go. 

Palestinian journalist Shatha Hanaysha wrote on Twitter, “The Israeli aircraft intentionally continue to bomb near the hospital, with the aim of forcing the medical staff, displaced people, and patients to evacuate the hospital, causing damage to its sections and exposing residents and patients to suffocation. 

And Israel continues to use ­starvation and the withholding of essentials to try and break the Palestinians. 

Ibtisam, who lives in Deir al Bala in central Gaza, told Socialist Worker last week that she had not had water for three days. She described how tens of thousands of Palestinians are being forced to crowd into ­temporary shelters in Gaza. 

“About 30,000 people are in one school,” she said. “This school does not have enough facilities.

“They are using empty spaces between buildings and putting up tents to accommodate people. People are fighting to have food or water. There isn’t enough food for these numbers.”

Israeli generals moved their tanks deeper into Gaza City on Monday but were met by Palestinian ­resistance fighters. 

Hamas released a statement on Tuesday that its fighters had fired anti-tank missiles and had aimed machine gun fire in north and south Gaza. The armed wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam brigades, wrote it had battled Israeli forces, “invading the southern Gaza axis, with machine guns, and targeted four vehicles with al-Yassin 105 missiles (anti‑tank missiles).” 

Hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank joined demonstrations in solidarity with those in Gaza despite Israeli forces ramping up the repression across the occupied territories. 

From 7 October to the start of this week, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 122 Palestinians and detained over 1,680 in the West Bank. 

In Jenin around 350 people took to the streets over the weekend. In Nablus protesters chanted “Spies, spies” at Palestinian Authority security forces.

‘Attacks on Bedouin villages are reminder of 1948 horror’

Tariq is a school teacher from the Bedouin village of Umm Al Khair in the Hebron Hills in the southern West Bank. 

He told Socialist Worker that Israeli settlers feel confident to step up their theft of Palestinian and Bedouin land. 

He said, “What is occurring at this very moment is an echo of the Nakba and the tragic events of 1948, unfolding before the world’s gaze. 

“Settlers, masquerading as a military force, have launched a barbaric assault on Susyiah village. They have subjected the inhabitants, including children, to brutal and violent attacks. 

“These aggressors have issued a menacing ultimatum—if the villagers do not vacate within 24 hours, they vow to return and murder them. 

“Over the past three weeks, Palestinians in the South Hebron hills have endured a relentless wave of terrorism. 

“The absence of scrutiny, and media coverage has granted settlers carte blanche to commit heinous acts of murder, arson, demolition, destruction, theft, poisoning, and unrelenting terror. 

“The situation is so dire that ten villages have been compelled to leave their ancestral lands in fear. 

“We cannot stand idly by as this continues. Immediate, and decisive action is imperative.”

Labour MP suspended for calling for peace

The Labour Party suspended Andy McDonald as an MP on Monday for supporting the idea that Palestinians and Jewish people can live together. 

At the Palestine protest on Saturday, he said from the stage, “We won’t rest until we have justice, until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty.”

A spokesperson from the Labour Party said what McDonald said was “deeply offensive”. While Keir Starmer lines up with imperialist warmongers, he suspends one of his own MPs for calling for peace.

Take to the streets and push for more

The protests last weekend showed that hundreds of thousands of people in Britain will take to the streets against Israel’s bombing of Gaza and Britain’s complicity in the massacres.

And millions of others agree with  them and can be mobilised too.

This week the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and Stop the War (STW) called for local protests. Check with your local groups about what is planned on Saturday and go to palestinecampaign.org for updates.

In London there are borough protests at 12 noon and a rally in Trafalgar Square at 2.30pm on Saturday. These protests must be built as big as possible. 

But there is more to be done. University students have already organised walkouts.  They need to be stepped up, with socialists, Palestine societies, Islamic societies and others raising solidarity with the resistance to Israel and hitting back at universities that, often, are complicit in Israel’s crimes. 

In Bristol school students planned this week to walk out of their schools on Friday and hold a rally at College Green at 11 am. More school students should organise on this model.

Resolutions in trade unions demanding support for Palestine—and pressure on union leaders—matter. But these resolutions must be turned into action. 

Rapper and campaigner Lowkey tweeted this week, “We are reaching a stage where a general strike for Palestine could be possible in this country. If not now, then when?”

And there has to be defence of those who face intimidation. 

No one should face the threat of being sacked for speaking out about Palestine, and workers should be prepared to walk out, officially or unofficially, if this happens. 

Now is not just the time to only march. It’s the time to organise, take part in direct action, boycott Israeli goods and strike. 

And PSC has called for the national march on Saturday 11 November in London to be the biggest in British history.

Tory Braverman’s march of hate

Home secretary Suella Braverman and the cops are threatening to step up repression against Palestine protesters. 

Braverman disgustingly dubbed the 500,000-strong march in London last Saturday and other protests as “hate marches”. 

The hate comes from Israel, its backers, Islamophobes and other racists.

Rishi Sunak ordered the police and security agencies to practise beating down protesters, according to a Downing Street source. Head of the Metropolitan police, Mark Rowley, said he would be “absolutely ruthless” in dealing with pro-Palestine demonstrations. 

The best defence such threats is to build the protests as big as possible.

In another attack, Dana Abuqamar, a Palestinian student at The University of Manchester, is threatened with deportation for taking part in Palestine activism on campus. 

And cops came to the home of socialist activist Jim Barlow at 8am last Sunday and arrested him for being part of a march the previous day. They held him for two hours before releasing him pending a court appearance on 28 November. 

His bail conditions stop him being in the city centre, an attack on the right to protest.

Jim told Socialist Worker, “I am proud to have been on a march for Palestine, alongside many other people. Protest must go on because the killing in Gaza is so terrible.”

Attacks on Palestine activists are part of Tory’s plans to crush dissent and limit the right to protest more generally. 

So it’s no surprise that climate protesters also face more repression. The cops arrested more than 60 Just Stop Oil activists on Monday who were taking part in a “slow march”. 

The group said that as soon as they stepped onto the road, the police began to make arrests. 

Six more activists were found guilty of criminal damage and received suspended sentences on Friday last week for causing damage to petrol pumps in a Cobham service station. 

Just Stop Oil’s co-founders Roger Hallam and Indigo Rumbelow were also arrested by the cops, and their houses raided by the police earlier this month. 

The co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, Gail Bradbrook, could be charged with up to four years in jail for breaking a window at the Department of Transport when she goes on trial this week.

Socialist Worker has always said that the state repression that climate protesters have faced over the last few years could be used against the rest of the movement.

The war that could spread

Israeli forces are bombing in Lebanon and Syria, which could further provoke a wider war. 

In a series of tweets, the Israeli forces stated they were trying to attack the Lebanon‑based resistance organisation Hezbollah. 

Since 7 October, Hezbollah, which is allied with Hamas, has said it was in direct contact with the leadership of the Palestinian resistance.” 

Hezbollah leader Sayed Nasrallah was expected to make a major speech on Friday this week.

On Sunday Hezbollah announced that it had surface-to-air missile capabilities and added that the group has managed to down an Israeli drone on Sunday. 

The Iranian government, has also said that said it could be drawn into conflict with Israel. 

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said that Israel had crossed a “red line” with its massacre of Palestinians. 

In 2006 Hezbollah beat Israel in a five-week war. The assault Israel and its Western backers waged across Lebanon did not crush the resistance. It only made it stronger.

 

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