Written by PSTU’s Arab branch
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 22:14
The new chapter in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel is generating an unprecedented reaction till the end of the second Intifada (uprising in Arabic) throughout the occupied Palestine.
In addition to the heroic resistance of Gaza, by means of more powerful rockets and land actions, demonstrations in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and in the occupied territories by the State of Israel since 1948 point to the third intifada.
25,000 on the streets
On the night of July 24 and during the next day, 25,000 Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank. The most popular song among the youth is “Qassam Oh, Oh habib [my dear], bomb Tel-Aviv”, which shows a high and combative moral (Ezzedine al-Qassam is the name of the Hamas military brigade, responsible for most of the rockets fired at the territories occupied by Israel since 1948). The main event brought 10,000 people in Qalandia (a village between Ramallah and Jerusalem covering a Palestinian refugee camp and also the most important Israeli army checkpoint). The Israeli army opened fire on protesters, killing five Palestinians. In other cities there were also deaths. Two protesters were killed in Hawara, near Nablus, and three in Beit Omar, near Al Khalil (Hebron).
Mustapha Barghouti, a Palestinian MP and secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said that it was the biggest Palestinian demonstration in all West Bank history.
This rally was preceded by almost daily demonstrations since the assassination of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian youth, burned alive in Jerusalem by three young Zionists, and the bombing of Gaza, which was followed by a land invasion.
The Palestinian journalist Ahmad Melhem, in an interview for the site al-Monitor, discloses that on 11 and 12 July there were demonstrations which were suppressed by Israeli forces in 30 Palestinian towns and villages, both in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, and in the occupied territories in 1948. Clashes were particularly violent in Bethlehem, Al Khalil, Jerusalem and Ramallah. The famous checkpoint in Qalandia was attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails, and was seized by the demonstrators for a short period.
In the occupied territories in 1948, the first signs were in Galilee, with clashes against the Israeli police in Nazareth, Arara, Umm al-Fahem, Taybeh and Qalanswa. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters burnt tires and chanted in Arabic “the people want the end of Israel.” Then the protests spread to other Palestinian towns and villages, such as Haifa and Jaffa, and Naqab (Negev).
A new leadership is needed
According to Ahmad Melhem, none of the traditional Palestinian organizations led the calls or demonstrations.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) plays the sad role of standing next to Israeli police to protect checkpoints from the Palestinian demonstrators, and also to suppress the demonstrations. In Al-Khalil, Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah, the Palestinian police violently dispersed demonstrations.
The position of the collaborationist Palestinian Authority, and the failure of the various organizations from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have expanded the popularity of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But besides that, it is leading an increasing layers of activists to the conclusion that the struggle against the Israeli occupation is not just against the Israeli forces backed by U.S. imperialism, but also against its Arab partners like the Egyptian dictator al-Sisi, and especially against the PA.
On this subject the young Palestinian activist Linah al-Saafin writes in her article Palestinian Resistance – The Necessity of Three Fronts that “the Palestinian Authority showed again that it exists only to maintain the security of Israel. This physical domination is accompanied by a disastrous neoliberal policy used to pacify and oppress Palestinians who want to live with dignity.”
It’s in the heat of the struggle against the occupation that will appear the conditions to forge a new leadership for the Palestinian national movement. A leadership to reject any reconciliation with the enemy and to unify the Palestinian people in the context of the liberation of all Palestinian lands, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.