The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Palestinians Still under Bombardment

Feb 12, 2024

This article is translated from the February 7 issue, #2897 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

Israeli fire continues day after day in the Gaza Strip which, under the intensive bombardment of the past four months, has become a field of ruins.

On Saturday, February 3, these strikes were intense in the south of the Gaza Strip, particularly in Rafah, now home to 1.3 million of the enclave’s 2.4 million inhabitants. Many have fled the bombardments in the north and are living outside in the cold, threatened by famine and epidemics. Some 17,000 children have been separated from their families. Fighting has also raged in the neighboring town of Khan Younis in recent weeks and has continued in the northern part of the enclave, which is already largely destroyed. More than 27,000 Palestinians are thought to have been killed since October 7.

The Israeli army also intervenes frequently in the West Bank. Since October 7, 23 raids have been carried out against the town of Jenin, and one raid a week against Tulkarem. Military operations have targeted Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus. In the West Bank, 350 Palestinians are thought to have been killed in these attacks since October 7, and almost 3,000 arrested. The Israeli authorities want to keep the West Bank’s population terrorized to avert a new explosion of anger.

This is still not enough for the Israeli far-right, which has organized demonstrations to denounce humanitarian aid to Gaza. Demonstrators tried to stop the passage of trucks at the border between Israel and Gaza, shouting “Shame.” One of them declared: "As long as these people are in good health, as long as they receive food, water and medical care, they will continue to fight. But if we deprive them of everything, we’ll manage to stop the war." Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich lent his support to the demonstrators.

For the first time, on February 1, U.S. President Biden decided to sanction four Israeli settlers accused of anti-Palestinian violence in the West Bank. They are banned from entering the United States, and their assets, if they have any, are frozen.

This very limited measure reflects Biden’s desire to take account of a section of public opinion opposed to the war in Gaza, just a few months before the presidential elections. Perhaps American diplomacy is also seeking to put pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to move toward a truce with Hamas. But Biden continues to provide military support to the Israeli army, delivering the ammunition and shells used to destroy Gaza. The massacre of its population can thus continue, with the active help of the major Western powers.