The statement of the Tudeh Party of Iran: End the murdering of the Palestinian people! Recognise the independent state of Palestine!

  • Israel’s killing and war and machine in the Gaza Strip continues on under the protection of the imperialist powers!

The bombings, bloodshed, massacres, forced exodus, homelessness, starvation, and insecurity continue unabated in Gaza.  After the Israeli military forces pushed a large swathe of the population of Gaza City and Khan Yunis, in the north and centre of the Gaza Strip respectively, south towards the area in an around Rafah and the crossing with Egypt, now it seems that they are planning the massacre of Palestinians in Rafah and pushing them out of that area [up to the border with Egypt].

Although the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Arab countries – including Oman and Egypt – have warned Israel against a ground attack on Rafah and the bombing of this area, with its ramifications for a humanitarian disaster, Israeli forces are nevertheless continuing with their advance towards Rafah.  Benny Gantz, a minister without portfolio in Israel’s war cabinet, has stated: “If our hostages are not at home by Ramadan, the war will go on to encompass the Rafah area.”  The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also announced on Saturday 24 February that the Israeli army’s plan for Rafah, which also includes the evacuation of civilians, would be reviewed and approved by the cabinet within the next few days.

Rafah, a small city at the southernmost point of the Gaza Strip, is now home to more than 1.3 million Palestinian refugees living in tents and temporary shelters.  It seems that the ultimate goal of the far-right Israeli cabinet is to evict the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip (and forcibly resettle them in the camps seemingly being established in Egypt) before re-occupying this territory and annexing it to Israel.  Meanwhile, Israeli military forces and extremist paramilitary settlers in the West Bank continue to harass and kill Palestinians as well as further expand their illegal settlements in this part of the occupied territories.  According to news reports, the plan presented by Netanyahu to the Israeli war cabinet envisions “Israel’s complete control over the security and affairs of civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank” after the war.

To date, the efforts of various institutions and governments to establish a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip have been unsuccessful.  In the latest instance, the draft resolution that Algeria presented to the UN Security Council meeting, on the evening of Tuesday 20 February, was vetoed by the US and therefore did not proceed.  This was the third time that the US prevented the adoption of a resolution for establishing a ceasefire and providing aid to the people of Gaza.  Among the 15 members of the Security Council, 13 of them voted in favour of the draft proposed by Algeria – while Britain abstained.  Israel’s adherence to the ruling of the International Court of Justice was among the other issues mentioned in this draft, which did not link the establishment of a ceasefire to the release of the hostages [held in Gaza].

Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s ambassador to the UN, before the vote on the said resolution, stated that: “The vote for this resolution would protect the Palestinians’ right to exist.  Not voting for it, on the contrary, means approving the brutal violence against them and their collective punishment.”  Also, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, told the Security Council that: “The message that was given to Israel with this right to veto today, is that it can continue its massacre.”

In recent days, the US proposed its own draft resolution to the UN Security Council, in which, for the first time, it called for an immediate temporary “ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip and made clear its opposition to Israel’s proposed ground attack on Rafah.  The draft states that “the Security Council should not allow such a large-scale ground offensive to continue under the current circumstances” and should “put emphasis on a temporary ceasefire […] in exchange for the release of all hostages” as well as “remove obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid”.  All this, while the US continues to equip Israel, its regional ally, with extensive military aid.

The cutting off of such military (and financial) aid – whether from the US, the UK, or the EU countries, could force Israel to stop its campaign of killing and acquiesce to a ceasefire, but the governments of the aforementioned countries are simply unwilling to countenance such measures.  Even a private UAV (drone) manufacturer in India has supplied more than 20 “Hermes-900” drones to Israel.  Furthermore, following the expulsion of Palestinian migrant workers from Israel, the Israeli government has signed an agreement with its Indian counterparts to import a substitute labour force from India.

Israel’s allies occasionally make some half-hearted complaints at the most while feebly asking that Israel “adhere to human and international rights” in the course of carrying out its massacres!  And sometimes, under the weight of pressure of public opinion against the war, as well as those advocating on the part of the Palestinian people, these allies will make reference to the right of the Palestinians to have an independent state of their own.  However, it is precisely because of the practical support (not just words) provided by the imperialist powers to the apartheid government in Israel that the Palestinians have been forcibly displaced and left without an independent state for over 75 years now.

These developments are taking place while ICJ in The Hague began to hear submissions regarding the situation pertaining to the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, on Monday 19 February – court proceedings which went on for over a week.  These sessions focused solely on the matter of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem since 1967 and are separate from South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza, put before the court in January.  Netanyahu has previously gone on record to refer to the Hague Tribunal as “disgusting” and “shameful”.

Meanwhile, the struggle of people around the world against Israel’s widespread massacres, for the establishing of a ceasefire and peace, and for the securing of the Palestinian’s inalienable rights to national self-determination, is continuing and has built up significant pressure to bear on the governments of imperialist powers.  In addition to the people’s demonstrations and protest gatherings, labour organisations have also taken specific measures in several cases.  Among these, the Union of Indian Water Transport Workers recently announced that it would refuse to handle any shipment of weapons destined for, or from, Israel at Indian ports.  Narendra Rao, the union’s General Secretary, announced this action of the Indian workers as an expression of solidarity heeding the call of their Palestinian trade union counterparts.

The Tudeh Party of Iran, together with all the left forces and progressives of the world, calls for a ceasefire, an end to Israel’s brutal massacres, the release of all Israeli and Palestinian hostages and prisoners, the formation of an independent Palestinian state on the borders as they stood on 4 June 1967 in accordance with the respective UN resolutions, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees.

Our Party believes that the continuation of bloodshed in the Palestinian territories – especially in Gaza – and the military clashes in southern Lebanon, Yemen and the Red Sea area, and even parts of Syria, carry the very real risk of escalation into a disastrous wider war across the Middle East region.  Considering the inhuman positions maintained by the imperialist powers in supporting the apartheid government of Israel and their inaction in stopping the Israeli killing machine, as well as the unwise and reckless positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in keeping the fire of war alight – and sometimes fuelling it – the danger of the war spreading to Iran and Iran’s neighbours bears serious consideration and must be prevented as an imperative.

The immediate and most urgent step in this course is to put an end to the killing of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and to fully support the initiatives of the peace-loving forces of the world.

The Tudeh Party of Iran

24 February 2024


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