Since 14th November 2012, Israel has been bombarding the Gaza strip both from air and the sea, with the avowed intention of destroying the leadership of Hamas and subjugating the Palestinian people with its military might. At the time of writing, it is reported that Israel is amassing troops and preparing for a massive ground strike in Gaza.
The Israeli air strikes – over 500 of them in just 4 days – have especially targeted the buildings housing the Hamas cabinet. The Israeli government claims to be using ‘precision strikes’ against what they term as justifiable military targets. Yet several homes, schools, sporting facilities, public buildings and hospital have all been damaged in these 'precision strikes'. Many civilians have also been killed and injured. Undaunted, the Palestinian people have vowed to fight back, and fired several rockets deep into Israeli territory, with targets as far away as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Israeli military blocked access to three major routes leading into Gaza on 16th November 2012 and started mobilising its reservists. On the same day, it has targeted the headquarters of Gaza's Hamas leaders which the prime minister of Egypt Hisham Qandil had visited just a few hours earlier. Besides direct air strikes, the Israeli military has been making use of unmanned drones to spy on the Palestinian people and to attempt to cow them down.
Ever since the present leadership of the Gaza area was elected a few years ago, the Israeli leadership and its western imperialist backers, especially the US, have been trying to discredit and finish them off physically, because of their uncompromising defence of the national rights of the Palestinian people. In the winter of 2008 – 09, the Israeli military had similarly launched a massive assault on the Palestinian territories in which over 1,500 people were killed. Then too, the Israeli government had drawn widespread condemnation for its crimes, and it was unsuccessful in cowing down the indomitable Palestinian people, who continue to fight for their national rights even after so many decades and all the efforts to subjugate them.
The struggle of the Palestinian people has inspired people all over the world, and especially in the region, to oppose Anglo – American imperialism and the regimes propped up by it and fight for their own national and democratic rights. The erstwhile regime of Egypt was one of the governments enlisted by the US imperialists to build up support for the government of Israel in the region. However the pressure of the opinion of the people has ensured that the present regime in Egypt has come out openly in defence of the rights of the Palestinian people. Egypt's president, Mohamed Morsi, denounced Israel's attacks as "a blatant aggression against humanity". "I tell them in the name of all the Egyptian people that the Egypt of today is not the Egypt of yesterday and that the Arabs of today are different than the Arabs of yesterday," he said on 16th November 2012, adding that "Cairo will not leave Gaza on its own." Tunisia's foreign minister is expected to visit Gaza on 17th November 2012 as part of a delegation to offer support to the Palestinian people and increase Arab pressure on Israel.
Demonstrations, in which tens of thousands of people participated, have been held in many cities of the world such as London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Athens, Istanbul and Durban among others on 16th and 17th November 2012 to voice support to the Palestinian people and to condemn the dastardly acts of the Israeli government, as also to denounce the Western powers which support it. In the region itself, many protests have been held in various cities of Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and other countries, to denounce the Israeli government and its Western imperialist backers and to voice their continued support for the Palestinian people. MEL joins the millions of freedom loving people all over the world in severely condemning the aggression launched by the Israeli government and in supporting the just struggle of the dauntless and determined Palestinian people for their national rights.