Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/463/1724
"No excuse can justify this atrocity"
ISRAELI PM Ehud Olmert enraged Palestinians by describing the deaths of 18 civilians, killed by Israel tank shells in Gaza last Wednesday, as a "technical mistake". It seems that these "technical mistakes" have killed over 170 civilians in Gaza in the last four months.
An editorial in Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz stated: "No excuse can justify this atrocity. When artillery batteries aim their shells near a residential neighbourhood, such a disaster is inevitable."
The latest killings in Gaza have led Hamas - the Islamist movement which won a majority in elections to the Palestinian Authority last January - to threaten a return to suicide bombings in Israel after an 18-month unilateral ceasefire. However, senior figures in Fatah - the political rival of Hamas which includes the Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas - stopped short of calling for retaliatory action.
Faced with a desperate economic crisis in the Palestinian areas (due to Israeli, US and EU sanctions imposed on the PA following Hamas's election victory), Fatah's leadership has been pressuring Hamas to join a 'national unity' government with Fatah and accept previous PA agreements with Israel ie. recognition of Israel and ceasing armed attacks, to lift sanctions and gain diplomatic recognition.
Ending the aid boycott and the Israeli blockade would give some relief to the present starvation conditions, but would be far from bringing any resolution to the national conflict.
Only a socialist Palestine and a socialist Israel, as part of a socialist confederation of the Middle East, would provide the conditions for a permanent end to the national conflict, and decent living standards for all in the region.
- How can the Palestinians win national and democratic rights?
- New budget declares war against Israeli workers
In the socialist, Issue 455, and available online www.socialistparty.org.uk/2006/455
In The Socialist 16 November 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news