By Charlie Kimber
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2910

Palestinian defiance splits Israel’s rulers

And UN Commission says Israel has committed murder
Issue 2910
Child stares at ten-foot obelisk covered in names

On the first day of Eid, a Palestinian child visits the grave where 24 of her family members are buried, victims of an Israeli massacre that claimed their lives in October 2023

The Palestinian resistance is inflicting heavy losses on Israeli forces—and deepening splits at the top of the Zionist state.

Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has denounced as “unacceptable” plans by his military for a limited pause in operations near a crossing into Gaza.

After more than 250 days of its genocidal assault, Israel has not crushed Hamas and other resistance organisations. Sections of the state think the best way to defend Israel’s future is to speak of ceasefires.

The Israeli military announced on Sunday an indefinite 11-hour-a-day “tactical pause” in operations in the area around the Kerem Shalom border crossing that connects Israel to Gaza.

Aid groups have consistently warned of the risks to humanitarian convoys and staff from military operations in that part of southern Gaza.

But the move was immediately slammed by Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s national security minister who has demanded no aid enter Gaza at all.

Netanyahu’s office also issued a statement, saying the prime minister had no knowledge of the “tactical pause”, but had made clear to his military secretary that “this was unacceptable to him”.

“After an inquiry, the Prime Minister was informed that there was no change in policy and that the fighting in Rafah continued as planned,” the statement added.

But Israeli casualties are making internal criticism of Netanyahu even louder. Resistance fighters killed eight Israeli combat engineering soldiers on Saturday in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Their armoured personnel carrier was destroyed by what officials said was likely to have been a Hamas anti-tank missile.

Two more soldiers were killed in north Gaza later in the day, while a third succumbed to wounds sustained in Rafah early last week.

Opposition politicians and protest groups have ratcheted up their attacks on Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening to demand a ceasefire-for-hostages deal with Hamas and snap elections.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that cops arrested 12 people at the anti-government protest in the city of Tel Aviv, citing a police spokesperson.

According to the group We Are All Hostages—made up of families of the captives—around 300,00 Israelis participated in the protests nationwide.

“Work to end this war. Work for a ceasefire. This is how we get a hostage deal. Join those of us out on the streets in Israel,” the group said on Twitter.  “That’s where the real fight is happening for our families, not in the boardrooms of nonprofits or the voices of Twitter propagandists.

Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, who last week resigned in protest from the emergency wartime government they formed with Netanyahu last October, have stepped up attacks on the prime minister in television interviews in the past few days. 

Gantz accused Netanyahu of inserting “political considerations” into Gaza war strategy, in particular delaying a possible deal with Hamas earlier this year for the return of more than 100 Israeli hostages.

Eisenkot said he and Gantz left the government after the war cabinet was “infiltrated” by “ulterior motives”. That’s code for Netanyahu’s determination to keep the murderous assault on Gaza going to defend his own position and avoid elections.

Netanyahu’s office accused the pair of lying.

None of these Israeli politicians are friends of the Palestinians. Their criticism of Netanyahu does not mean they are breaking from Zionism.

They would be content if Israel had destroyed Hamas quickly. But the defiance of the Palestinians and the global movement against Israel’s crimes has thwarted this vile mission. And now the splits are widening. 

  • Don’t vote for genocide: welfare not warfare. Workplace day of action, Thursday 27 June. Called by Stop the War. Details here
  • National demonstration, End the genocide4, stop arming Israel, London, Sat 6 July, details here

UN commission accuses Israel of murder and torture

The Israeli government and military have committed systematic “crimes against humanity,” said a United Nations commission last week. 

The Independent International Investigation Commission said Israel “committed the war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare; murder or willful killing; intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects; forcible transfer; sexual violence; outrages upon personal dignity; and sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture or inhuman and cruel treatment.”

The commission demanded that Israel immediately stop its attacks on Rafah and pointed to an explosion of violence across the occupied West Bank since 7 October and Israeli government efforts to arm and mobilise an already vicious settler movement.

For “balance” it found the Hamas-led Palestinian fighters who attacked Israel on 7 October had failed to make a distinction between Israeli combatants and non-combatants.

It adds that gender-based violence did take place. But to the horror of Israel’s supporters, the report says the Commission has “reviewed testimonies obtained by journalists and the Israeli police concerning rape but has not been able to independently verify such allegations, due to a lack of access to victims, witnesses and crime sites and the obstruction of its investigations by the Israeli authorities. 

“Additionally, the Commission found some specific allegations to be false, inaccurate or contradictory with other evidence or statements and discounted these from its assessment.”

Calfornia fights on as judge outlaws strike

Students and workers at the University of California (UC) are keeping up their fight for Palestine after leaders of their UAW union ordered over 31,000 workers to return to work last week.  Some of the university workers had been on strike for three weeks before a judge last week outlawed the walkout.

Despite police repression there were big protests at UCLA, which is part of the University of California, last week. Protesters spray-painted walls and vehicles with pro-Palestinian slogans.  A separate group calling itself “Student Intifada” said it had tried to set fire to a building California’s UC Berkeley.

The group wrote that the action was in retaliation against the way violent police and campus security had repressed protests. Students last week took over the student services building at California State University, Los Angeles. They flipped cars to form barricades outside the building.

Israel’s relentless war on Refaat Alareer

Israel last Sunday murdered six more members of the family of Palestinian poet and academic Refaat Alareer in the al-Zaytoun area of Gaza City. Refaat was assassinated by Israel last December along with his brother, sister and four of his nephews.

It was a deliberate and specific attack. An Israeli airstrike targeted the apartment where Refaat was on the second floor of a three‑storey building and not the entire building. This was the third attack on Refaat’s family since December. In April his eldest daughter and her newborn child were also murdered by Israeli air strikes.

Refaat was committed to exposing the brutality of Israeli apartheid, and for that, the Zionist state is trying to wipe out his whole family.

Since 7 October, Associated Press have identified at least 60 Palestinian families where Israel has murdered at least 25 members. Nearly a quarter of these families have lost more than 50 members.

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