Palestine Solidarity Grows Amid Israeli Siege of Gaza

Mass demonstrations erupt across the region and world as Washington’s officials stream into Tel Aviv in support of settler-colonial rule

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By Abayomi Azikiwe

As the Israeli government issued a declaration demanding that 1.1 million Palestinians must leave northern Gaza within 24 hours, protest demonstrations were carried out within several areas of the West Bank including Ramallah and Nablus. A number of Palestinians were shot dead by security agents and settler vigilantes on October 13 as they engaged in these solidarity efforts with the people residing in Gaza.

The demonstrations organized and led by Palestinians further illustrate the futile foreign policy imperatives of the United States and its allies in regard to the burgeoning crisis throughout West Asia. Palestine healthcare officials are documenting the human carnage caused by the blanket bombing of the Israeli Defense Forces which has resulted in over 1900 deaths and thousands more injuries among the Arab population to date.

President Joe Biden is sending streams of United States officials to Tel Aviv with instructions to verbalize support for the genocidal program of Israel. On October 12, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where they jointly advanced the false accusations of “terrorism” by Hamas and other Palestine resistance organizations. The following day, October 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin followed Blinken to echo the same theme which ignores and denigrates the very essence and legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle for independence, statehood and sovereignty.

Al-Jazeera reported in an article on the situation inside the West Bank on October 13 that:

“At least 14 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry, amid protests against the continuing Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip. Protests were held in cities across the Israeli-occupied territory on Friday (Oct. 13), including Ramallah, Tulkarem, Nablus and Hebron, hours after Israel ordered residents in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes ahead of an expected ground invasion. The AFP news agency reported that at least three people were killed in the town of Tulkarem, and a 14-year-old boy was killed in Beit Furik, near Nablus. The news outlet DPA reported that Israeli settlers, alongside soldiers, took part in some confrontations with Palestinian protesters. At least 49 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since Saturday (Oct. 7), according to the health ministry. The killings come amid rising tensions in the occupied West Bank, as Israel carries out a crushing campaign of air strikes on Gaza ahead of an expected ground assault against the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs Gaza. Hamas fighters carried out a lightning attack in southern Israel on Saturday that killed at least 1,300 people.”

Efforts by the western-based corporate and government-controlled media outlets are designed to minimize the character of Palestinian resistance in the public mind. The reporting on the situation in Palestine suggests the unrest is limited to the Gaza Strip with the IDF purportedly imposing a “total siege” which is killing many innocent children, women, men and healthcare workers.

However, the often editorially ambiguous Guardian newspaper was forced to reveal on October 13:

“Violence between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces has erupted in several areas of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as the Israeli military ordered nearly half of Gaza’s population to evacuate before an expected ground offensive. In the West Bank there were calls for marches across several big towns and cities, but in the chaos across the region, details on what under other circumstances would be described as major incidents were hard to follow. At least 11 Palestinians were shot and killed in the West Bank over the course of the day, the Palestinian health ministry said, and the violence continued into the evening. A total of 46 Palestinians have now been killed in the West Bank in the last six days – higher than the highest ever monthly total since the UN began keeping records in 2005. The number of casualties in the entirety of October 2015, previously the worst month, was 47.”

These reports indicate clearly that the anti-colonial struggle inside Palestine is expanding even though the IDF, other Israeli security agencies and settler vigilantes have intensified their repressive tactics against the Arab population. A broad sentiment of defiance is growing exponentially among the Palestinians as pronouncements from the so-called Israeli unified “War Cabinet” hurl public threats of destruction and death against Hamas and other resistance forces.

Mass Demonstrations in Solidarity with Palestine Spread Internationally

On October 13, the Hamas resistance movement called for solidarity demonstrations with Palestine across the region and the world. Not only did unrest spread into the West Bank and East Jerusalem, mass protests were carried out against Israel and in solidarity with Palestine in Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran and many other states.

U.S. talking points on the crisis in West Asia and North Africa often center around the marginalization of the Palestinian national struggle by emphasizing Washington’s plans to foster “normalization” agreements between Tel Aviv and states such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Morocco and the now deeply divided Republic of Sudan. However, it is counter-intuitive to think that the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people can be liquidated by meaningless agreements between the settler-colonial state and other regional interests. The Camp David Accord of 1979 between Israel and Egypt under President Anwar Sadat did not halt the liberation movement in Palestine.

According to a report published by Al Jazeera on October 13:

“In neighboring Jordan, riot police dispersed a pro-Palestinian rally as it tried to march towards the border with the occupied West Bank, which Israeli authorities have placed under total lockdown. Jordan and Egypt have expressed concern that further escalation could have a destabilizing effect within their own countries and across the region. Cairo on Friday (Oct. 13) rejected Israel’s demand for more than one million residents of northern Gaza to move south, amid fears of a massive influx of refugees across the heavily fortified border into its territory. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Israeli demand ‘constitutes a grave violation of the rules of international humanitarian law and will expose the lives of more than a million Palestinian citizens and their families to the dangers of remaining in the open without shelter.’”

In regard to the response of the Hezbollah resistance movement which defeated and drove out the IDF from southern Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, the organization is prepared to enter the war when requested to do so by the Palestinians. Hezbollah could open another front making it even more difficult for Israel and the U.S. to defend the Zionist state.

Naim Qassim, deputy secretary-general of the Lebanon's Hezbollah
Naim Qassim, deputy secretary-general of the Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The Palestine Chronicle noted remarks made by a leading Hezbollah official at a mass rally saying:

“Naim Qassem, deputy secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, said on Friday (Oct. 13) that they are fully prepared to act against Israel when necessary. He added that the party will not be affected by international demands not to interfere with the developments of the ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ military operation launched by the Palestinian Resistance. Qassem explained that Hezbollah knows its duties towards the Palestinian cause and will contribute to confronting Israel according to its own plan. Qassem spoke at a demonstration called by Hezbollah in Beirut’s southern suburbs in solidarity with Palestinians after Israel’s retaliatory war on Gaza. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has yet to comment on the Hamas operation launched last Saturday or Israel’s war on Gaza.”

In another report published by Press TV, people in Yemen took to the street on October 13 to denounce the attacks on Palestinians. The Ansar Allah Movement is a key component of the Axis of Resistance which have suffered immensely as a result of a U.S.-backed war since 2015 aimed at curtailing Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf region.

This article said of the situation in Yemen:

“Responding to the Palestinian call for protests, tens of thousands of Yemenis poured into the streets of Sa’ada to voice their support for the Palestinian cause. In a statement, organizers of the demonstration stressed Yemenis’ readiness to help Palestine. ‘We are ready for active participation and the dispatching of hundreds of thousands of fighters to defend Palestine,’ it said. Demonstrators chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and the U.S. as the main supporter of the regime.”

Press TV also covered an address delivered by the Iranian President on October 13. The article reads in part:

“Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says supporters of Israel, including the United States, are complicit in all its crimes against the Palestinian people. Addressing a group of people in the city of Rostam in the southern Iranian province of Fars on Friday, Raeisi said the child-killing Zionist regime continues its war crimes by dropping bombs on the innocent and defenseless people of Gaza. ‘After 75 years of cruelty and crime, the new generation of Palestinians is currently standing up against the Zionists, and this shows neither crime and killing nor deceitful contracts could discourage and dissuade the oppressed Palestinian people from pursuing their rights.’ The Iranian president emphasized that the Americans have failed to stabilize their presence in Afghanistan after two decades of crimes and killings. He said tyranny, oppression and aggression have their limits and the Palestinian people have had enough. ‘The Palestinian issue will not end by destroying the homes of the people in Gaza and the Palestinian people and the free nations of the world will get to the leaders of the Zionist regime,’ Raeisi stated. He reiterated the Islamic Republic’s policy on support for Gaza and the rights of the Palestinian people, saying, ‘Defense for Palestine and the oppressed people of Gaza is our duty.’”

Finally, in Western Europe and North America, Palestine solidarity demonstrations are being held exposing the myth that everyone in the imperialist states are in support of the State of Israel and its policies. In New York City, a bastion of ruling class propaganda in defense of Zionism, several demonstrations were held on college campuses and in public spaces such as Time Square.

As the Palestinian struggle intensifies, the erosion of the perception of the invincibility of U.S. foreign policy will become a political reality. With the weakening of imperialism’s grip in West Asia, Washington will lose even more influence throughout the international community.

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