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

Continued Massacre of Civilians in Rafah

Jun 3, 2024

On the night of May 26, an Israeli airstrike set off a fire that killed at least 45 people and wounded another 249 in a tent camp in the city of Rafah, in southern Gaza.

Survivors said they were preparing to go to sleep when the Israeli airstrike hit: “…we were getting our children’s beds ready to sleep. There was nothing unusual, then we heard a very loud noise, and fire erupted around us,” reported one Palestinian mother. “All the children started screaming … the sound was terrifying; we felt like the metal was about to collapse on us and shrapnel fell into the rooms.” Video footage showed fires raging across the camp, with burned bodies—including those of children—being pulled from the wreckage.

Before the Israeli assault on Rafah began in late May, the U.N. estimated that more than half of Gaza’s original population—or about 1.3 million people—had been sheltering there. They have been driven out of homes and camps, again and again, as the Israeli military destroyed one supposedly safe area after another.

Before this airstrike, the Israeli army had told people they would be safe in Rafah’s western areas. But as one survivor told a reporter, while sitting next to the bodies of his brother, sister-in-law, and other relatives killed in the blaze: “The army is a liar. There is no security in Gaza. There is no security, not for a child, an elderly man, or a woman….”

On May 8, President Biden said he had made it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that “if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons….” But even as Israeli forces push into every corner of Rafah, even after dozens were burned to death in this strike, the U.S. administration insisted that Israel had not crossed its “red line.” A White House spokesperson said: “We still don’t want to see the Israelis, as we say, smash into Rafah with large units over large pieces of territory … and we haven’t seen that at this point…. And yes, we’re going to continue to provide them the capabilities to go after it.” In other words—burning these few dozen civilians to death is OK, sending in some troops and tanks is OK, as long as they don’t send in too many troops in large units!

The strike that set off the fire in Rafah that burned these dozens to death was made with a GBU-39, a bomb produced in the U.S. by Boeing. It was almost surely dropped by a plane also produced in the U.S. These bombs and planes for the Israeli military keep coming, as the U.S. just approved another 15 billion dollars in military aid for Israel last month.

U.S. officials claim that they are trying to limit civilian deaths, and that “there should be no innocent life lost here as a result of this conflict,” as a U.S. spokesperson had the nerve to say. But in reality, this murderous airstrike along with this whole war were, in fact, made in the U.S.A.