By Paul Roberts
Yesterday Israel launched a brutal offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip with fighter jets striking at over 150 targets. The air raids continued throughout last night and into today and have resulted in huge numbers of casualties – at least 11 Palestinians have been killed including several children and more than a hundred injured.
Israel’s claims that it is engaged in a defensive operation are evidently false. It has yet again deployed warplanes and missiles against a population which has only meagre means of defence. The aim is to weaken Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation and siege using airstrikes to terrorise the population and eliminate some of its leaders.
Many buildings in Gaza City have been attacked and the Hamas resistance movement has been specifically targeted. Ahmad Jabari, operational commander of Hamas’ military wing, has been assassinated by an airstrike and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has reportedly just survived one.
Israel has started to call up its reservists, its tanks have been massed along Gaza’s border and it says it is considering a ground invasion.
Israel has clearly let its military off the leash, having constrained its aggression, under US pressure, in the run up to the Presidential election. The current violence against Gaza follows three days of Israeli shelling of Syrian Army positions from the Golan Heights.
In an effort to deter Israel’s immense assault the Palestinian resistance movements have responded by firing rockets.
With the imperialists siding firmly with the Israeli assault international solidarity with Gaza is urgent.
Protests rallies and demonstrations have been organised across the Middle East. In Britain the Palestine Solidarity Campaign called a protest outside the Israeli Embassy.