Anger at Israel’s brutal offensive against Gaza was seen around the world this week. Israeli planes stopped bombing after eight days when their government reluctantly agreed to a ceasefire.
The Israeli operation killed 158 Palestinians. People celebrated the ceasefire throughout Gaza and the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), based in the West Bank, has renewed its call to be recognised as a state at the United Nations (UN). British officials said they will back the bid, but have added a list of conditions.
These include that Palestine can be a “non-member observer state” of the UN if it doesn’t, among other things, seek to join the International Criminal Court. If it did it could start legal action over Israeli war crimes.
The support is part of a strategy to bolster Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and isolate Hamas—the democratically elected representatives of Gaza.
In fact the binding conditions will further weaken Palestinian Authority president Abbas’ credibility, which is already at an all time low.
The plan is further undermined by the international solidarity for the people of Gaza. Demonstrations were held across the Middle East and around the world.
Despite the ceasefire, thousands of people braved heavy rain last Saturday to march through London, on a protest called by Stop the War.
Brian Howell from Birmingham told Socialist Worker, “Palestinians deserve freedom and the right to return. There will be no peace until those things are achieved.”
Egyptian novelist Adhaf Soueif told the rally outside the Israeli embassy, “Some 90 percent of Israeli public opinion opposed the ceasefire. It was greeted with boos—yet Palestinians greeted it with joy.
“The world is changing. Around 500 Egyptians got through to Gaza—this has not happened in 40 years. They got through and, in a symbolic act, they gave blood.”
Around 50 school students at Allerton Grange School in Leeds, west Yorkshire, walked out in solidarity with people in Gaza last month. They have now been given detentions.
Students and their supporters are asking people to email the head teacher.
You can congratulate him on how aware his students are, and on their willingness to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org