May 28, 2018
On May 14th, the Israeli Army fired live ammunition at unarmed residents of the Gaza Strip who were protesting the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The Israelis killed at least 59 Palestinians, 8 of whom were children under 16 years old, and wounded more than 2,400 people.
At least 40,000 Palestinians were gathered at different points along the Israeli border fence, for the seventh week of the March of Return organized to commemorate the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic). This is the name given to the exodus of more than 700,000 Palestinians driven from their homes and their land when Israel was created in 1948.
The demonstrations also denounce the blockade that has been imposed for more than 10 years on the Gaza Strip, which condemns more than two-thirds of its inhabitants to live off of humanitarian aid.
The Israeli government added a new provocation on May 12 when it decided to close the only point where merchandise could pass to Gaza, aggravating the already desperate situation of the people in Gaza.
The inauguration of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem gave another reason for the Palestinians to express their anger. Conquered in 1967 at the end of the Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem, with a big majority Palestinian population, was officially annexed by Israel in 1980. Since that time, the Israeli authorities have consistently carried out a policy of colonization aimed at expelling the Palestinians. A recent report by the European Union said that between 1967 and 2016, Israel carried out a “policy of silent deportation” in Jerusalem, notably by revoking the residency permits of thousands of Palestinians, with the goal of preserving a “substantial Jewish majority.” In deciding last December to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Trump gave his open support to this Israeli policy.
Since the creation of Israel, U.S. leaders have given the Israeli state unshakeable support. It is a privileged ally, policeman of the imperialist order in the region. But, in order to avoid causing too much trouble for its Arab allies with their own populations, the U.S. has also tried to give itself the image of mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Since he took power, with his declarations and the positions he has taken, Trump has not taken the trouble to maintain this image, and he has encouraged the current Israeli government, one of the most right-wing in the country’s history, to pursue its policy of colonization in an even more brutal and arrogant fashion towards the Palestinians.
Since the first gatherings on the border between Israel and Gaza on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 107 Palestinians and wounded about 12,000 people. This repression is fundamental to the politics of the Israeli government, a criminal and bloody policy that has fed the legitimate revolt of the Palestinians for 70 years. It also condemns the Israeli population to live on a permanent war footing, transforming them into prison guards or executioners, as is continuing to be the case with the massacres on the border with Gaza.