Socialist Worker

Israel makes new landgrab in Palestine

Just days after the declaration of a ceasefire in Gaza, Israel has announced a takeover of land in the West Bank. Its leaders are bullish despite losing popularity, writes Ken Olende

Issue No. 2419

Israeli Occupation Forces created an illegal roadblock in the village of Al-Jaba

Protestng against an illegal roadblock placed by Israeli Occupation Forces in the village of Al-Jab'a (Pic: Michael Loadenthal/

Israel announced its biggest landgrab for 30 years last Sunday, with plans to build new settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank. 

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority said, “This decision will lead to more instability. 

“This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza.” 

Even Israel’s staunchest supporters have objected. The US has called it “counterproductive”.

British prime minister David Cameron called it “utterly deplorable.”

But the US and Britain will keep arming Israel.

The landgrab came just days after the declaration of a ceasefire in Gaza after 50 days of Israeli bombing. 

It is likely to be a pause in a long war.

Palestinian resistance group Hamas said, “We announce the victory today after achieving our goals.”

Palestinian negotiators said that the blockade of Gaza will be eased to allow humanitarian supplies and building materials for reconstruction in. 

They said fishing limits will be extended.

But the agreement is very similar to one that ended a previous Israeli invasion 21 months ago. 

And Israel has denied that it will discuss the airport, terminal or the release of prisoners.

Israel also claimed victory, saying it achieved its aims. 

The Israeli government is pleased that negotiations are carried out through Egypt, which is an ally.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government supported it during the fighting.

Israel’s lack of celebration is marked. The Israeli army lost more troops than it expected—and also lost some international support.

Despite its military strength Israel feels weakened. 

As one Palestinian commentator put it, “When the mukawama (resistance) does not lose, it wins. 

“When Israel does not win—it loses.”

After the ceasefire Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu slashed the coming year’s government spending by 2 percent to pay for the massacre.

Netanyahu’s opinion poll support has dropped from 63 percent to 38 percent.

Yet he remains bullish. He knows that the Arab regimes failed to offer solidarity with Gaza.

And he predicted that fear of the Islamic State group would push states to “not see Israel as an enemy, but as a potential partner”.

Activists must continue to build solidarity with Gaza.

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