Since the historic launch of the Al-Aqsa Flood uprising by the Palestinian resistance on October 7, the apartheid Israeli government has declared “total war” on Gaza. It has ramped up its military escalation against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, targeting apartment buildings, mosques, a market and other civilian areas, leading to widespread casualties and wiping out entire families.
Despite $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, including sophisticated surveillance systems, Israel was caught by surprise by the extent of the armed resistance stemming from Gaza, already so constrained by Israel that is often referred to as the world’s largest open air prison.
Israel is alleged to be using internationally banned white phosphorus bombs on Gaza. The use of this weapon in civilian areas is universally recognized as a war crime. The Israeli government has also stopped issuing warnings before it bombs residential buildings in this the most densely populated area of the world, where half the inhabitants are children.
In addition to raining bombs on Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a complete blockade of the 16-mile strip of land. Gallant said, “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.” This dehumanizing language is openly genocidal. The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has called the Defense Minister’s language “a invitation to commit a war crime.”
Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz said in a statement that he ordered the Israeli Electric Company to shut off all power to Gaza. This not only plunges 2 million people into darkness, electricity is crucial to accessing drinking water, refrigerating food and eliminating human wastes. This unilateral dominance by the Zionists over the Palestinian people exposes the fallacy of the “both-sides are equal” rhetoric used to delegitimize the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and to fight occupation.
Israel is bombarding southern Lebanon, has put the West Bank on lock-down, and has issued 1,000 additional rifles to Jewish supremacist settlers, who are under even less control than the soldiers.
Israel has also escalated repression against Palestinian political prisoners. Ground reporting shared that Israel is periodically cutting off electricity and water in some prisons, suspending visits from families and pulling back on medical care for sick prisoners.
Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, has said this total closure of the strip constitutes a “collective punishment of unprecedented scale.” The group explains that cutting off basic needs for human survival and the broad and systematic attacks on civilians may meet the “threshold for ‘extermination.'”
While the current bombings of Gaza are of an extreme magnitude, this is not a new phenomenon. There have been five major Israeli bombings of Gaza in the last 20 years. In 2021, Amnesty International called on the International Criminal Court to investigate as war crimes Israeli attacks on residential homes without warning in Gaza.
The U.S. government has mostly ignored Israel’s long history of human rights violations while supplying the weapons that make it possible. This time around President Joe Biden has denounced the uprising, giving unconditional support to the Zionists, even citing “Israel’s right to defend itself.” Israel cannot survive and hold its own without frequent injection of U.S. military aid and U.S. political support, and right now, the United States is shoring up Israel by promising even more military aid. Washington is moving military ships and aircraft closer to the region to support Israeli occupation forces and the United States will supply an undisclosed amount of munitions. This makes the U.S. government just as complicit in this massacre as Israel.
The imperialists have banded together against the Palestinian people. The United States, UK, France and Italy signed a joint statement affirming “Israel’s right to defend itself.” This gives Israel a green light to do whatever it wants in Gaza.