Millions of people all over the world have come out in support of the just struggle of the Palestinian people.
Photo: Palestinian worshippers raise the Hamas and the Palestinian flag along with a Hamas poster with portraits of its leaders, at the Dome of the Rock shrine in the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. Credit: AFP Photo
By BA and Venkatesh Sundaram
Since the second half of April 2021, attacks on the Palestinian people by the Israeli state in Jerusalem, Gaza strip and elsewhere have been increasing – leading up to full scale aerial bombing and the death of several hundred people in the middle of May. This is the latest in a long series of attacks on the national and human rights of the Palestinian people carried out by the Zionist state which is fully supported by the Anglo – American imperialists. The Palestinian people have been resisting these barbaric attacks valiantly. Millions of people all over the world have come out in support of the just struggle of the Palestinian people.
Imperialist powers led by Britain and the US were instrumental in the massive conspiracy to deprive the Palestinian people of their nation, lands, and rights in the aftermath of the Second World War. Almost a million Palestinian Arab people were expelled from their homes in 1948 following the Palestinian War of 1947 – 48 which culminated in the forcible establishment of the state of Israel. The Palestinian people who were expelled from their homes were forced to live in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. This set of events is remembered by the Palestinian people as ‘Nakba’ or catastrophe. Despite being confronted by one of the most heavily armed militaries of the world, supported by the most ferocious imperialists, the Palestinian people have never given up their struggle for national rights.
Protests in London, May 15
The current attacks by Israel were initially centred around the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which is regarded as one of Islam’s most sacred shrines, and the displacement of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah quarter of Jerusalem where they had been living for over five decades.
At the start of the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli police blocked off access to the Damascus Gate where Muslim worshippers usually congregate. From April 16, tens of thousands of Palestinian worshippers were turned away from Al-Aqsa, on the first Friday of Ramadan when Israel imposed a 10,000-person limit on prayers at the mosque. Far-right Jewish groups staged marches and provocations against the Palestinian people in the streets of Jerusalem.
Protesters demanding an end to Israeli aggression against Palestine march in the street in Midtown Manhattan in New York City Friday May 14
The Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood was set up by the Jordanian government, in cooperation with the UNRWA in 1956, and hosted 28 Palestinian families with tenancy rights in a compound on land that Jordan managed It houses the descendants of refugees expelled or displaced from their homes in Jaffa and Haifa in the Nakba of 1948. However, Israel has been trying to dislodge the Palestinian families from this colony. In May 2021 Israel’s Supreme Court was expected to deliver a ruling on whether to uphold the eviction of six Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Palestinian families naturally resisted this blatantly unjust attempt to displace them from their homes and were supported by thousands of others.
Clashes between the Palestinians and Jewish settlers who wished to displace the families from Sheikh Jarrah took place on 6th May 2021. On 7 May, large numbers of police were deployed on the Temple Mount as around 70,000 worshippers attended the Final Friday prayers. Police fired stun grenades into the mosque compound, as well as into a field clinic. More than 300 Palestinians were wounded as Israeli police stormed the mosque compound. More clashes occurred on 8 May, the date of the Islamic holy night of Laylat al Qadr. Palestinian people joined in huge protests against these provocations and attacks and and chanted “Strike Tel Aviv” and “In spirit and in blood, we will redeem al-Aqsa”.
The protests soon spread across Israel. People from the Gaza strip were highly active in these protests, and the Israeli state wished to crush them. They fired thousands of bombs into Gaza, destroying scores of homes and public buildings and killing and maiming hundreds of innocent children, women, and men. On 13 May, the Palestinian group Hamas made a proposal for a ceasefire, stating that it was prepared to halt attacks on a ‘mutual basis’. However Prime Minister Netanyahu informed his cabinet that Israel had rejected this offer. At the time of writing, Israel continued with heavy military attacks in the Gaza strip and elsewhere.
On May 13 hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Place de la République in Paris to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people
The government of Turkey issued a statement that it is furious over Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and lashed out at countries that “remain silent” in the face of Israel’s operation. The Iranian government too has condemned the attacks of the Israeli state on the Palestinian people. People all over the world have come out in huge protest actions to demand that Israel stop its unjust attacks, and to support the struggle of the Palestinian people. Protest actions have taken place in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Brighton in the UK; in New York, Washington DC, Chicago and other cities of the USA; Paris and other cities of France; Brussels in Belgium, Berlin and other cities in Germany, Cape Town and other towns in South Africa, and throughout many cities in the Arab countries,
The struggle of the Palestinian people thus continues, with the support of millions of freedom and justice-loving people all over the world.