Socialist Worker

Israel steps up slaughter in Gaza as the West wrings its hands

by Adam Cochrane
Issue No. 2413

After Israel cut the power and invaded Gaza last week, the only light came from its bombs exploding

Bombing in Gaza on Friday of last week (Pic: Mohammed Badarin)


More than 100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza last weekend, pushing the death toll from Israel’s ongoing attack to over 500. Most of those killed are civilians.

In the Shujai’iya neighbourhood heavy shelling left more than 120 people dead. Bodies had to be left in the street and medical staff could not get to the injured as civilians fled. 

Mohammad Soliman is living in Gaza. He told Socialist Worker, “I witnessed the last two Israeli massacres and this is the worst.

“They are shelling everywhere. I’m too scared to even go to my roof to check my water tank.

“I’m living in al-Rimal which is supposed to be the safest place in Gaza.

“They killed eight people in my neighbourhood last night. Six of them were children. They targeted a house on the seventh floor.” 

More than 3,000 people in Gaza have been injured. 

Mohammad said, “We get just three hours’ electricity a day. The hospitals are struggling, they have generators but they have limited fuel. It’s a miserable situation and it’s getting worse.”

Massacre

Israeli politicians have shamefully blamed the massacre on Hamas, the Palestinian resistance organisation which has run Gaza since elections in 2006.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed, “They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can.” He accused Hamas of using “telegenically dead Palestinians”. 

Economic minister Naftali Bennett called it a “self-genocide”.  

Hamas has refused to agree to a ceasefire unless Israel ends its ongoing siege of Gaza and releases political prisoners.

It has continued to resist and in the face of overwhelming odds killed 13 Israel soldiers last Sunday. 

Embarrassed by the mounting Palestinian casualties, David Cameron was forced to call for “restraint” this week. But he, like US president Barack Obama and Labour leader Ed Miliband, also reaffirmed Israel’s “right to defend itself”.

Israel has always functioned as the tool of Western imperialists. But they are left frustrated when it exposes their brutality.

US secretary of state John Kerry was caught on a microphone last Sunday sarcastically saying, “It’s one hell of a pinpoint operation” and “I hope they don’t think that’s an invitation to go do more”.

In 2012 they could use Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Mursi to arrange a ceasefire.

The Brotherhood has links to Hamas, but Mursi was also keen to present himself as a safe pair of hands for the West.

Now Egypt’s current president, Western-backed former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has killed more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters and imprisoned many more. 

He is also helping destroy Hamas’ tunnels and maintain the siege.

He has no credibility, leaving the rulers of Qatar as the West’s last hope to convince Hamas to back down from resisting Israel’s attacks. 

There is certainly no question of them ceasing to back Israel—no matter how shocking its crimes. 


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