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Palestinian resistance is still defiant against Israeli terror

Plus a report on Israel’s razing of Rafah and the US’s mixed signals over arms shipments

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Issue 2905

A protest in the US against the ongoing genocide as Palestinian resistance continues to be defiantA protest in the US against the ongoing genocide as Palestinian resistance continues to be defiant

US students at a campus encampment protesting against Israel’s genocide (Picture: Diane Krauthamer)

After almost seven months of fighting, the Israeli state, armed to the teeth by the West, is still unable to crush the Palestinian resistance. Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups fiercely battled Zionist forces last weekend. One of the centres of the fighting was Jabalia in the north of Gaza City—an area where Israel had said that it had rooted out the resistance. 

Last December Israel ­proclaimed that it had dismantled three Hamas battalions in Jabalia, proclaiming victory over the resistance group in the area. It boasted that it had killed 1,000 Hamas fighters and arrested 500 more. But as an Israeli ­spokesperson admitted, Hamas was able to recover its infrastructure in Jabalia. 

On Sunday last week, resistance fighters injured at least 50 Israeli soldiers in Jabalia, in the Zaytoun neighbourhood in Gaza City and in neighbourhoods in the east of Rafah. This is one of the highest number of Israeli soldiers wounded by Hamas in a single day since the terror state’s assault on Gaza began last October. The al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that it had conducted several operations and ambushes against Israeli forces. It said that it had ­targeted tanks and wounded Israeli soldiers. 

That Hamas is still ­fighting shows the resilience of the resistance, that has been able to regroup and keep fighting in several areas where Israeli forces claimed to have already taken. And the fact that Israeli forces have not yet crushed the resistance will be humiliating for prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the rest of the Israeli state. Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israeli forces had almost crushed Hamas.

In February he said ­“victory was in reach”. In March he said that the Israeli army had destroyed “three-quarter of Hamas’ battalions”. But now, in May, the resistance has still been able to hit back at the terror state. 

Israel is razing Rafah to ashes

Israel is readying a further push into Rafah, a move that would mean mass murder and catastrophic expulsions. Israel told 300,000 Palestinians in southern and northern Gaza last Saturday to flee once again. The Israeli military issued new and expanded “evacuation orders”—demands for people to leave their land.

Israel has already forced some 150,000 people out of Rafah over the past six days, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian welfare. But there are no safe places in Gaza for Palestinians to go to. 

Many are in an “expanded humanitarian zone” designated by Israeli forces on the coast and to the north west where conditions are “horrific”, according to aid workers there. The new commands to residents suggest a coming offensive will take Israeli soldiers into the centre of Rafah, threatening appalling destruction.

Faten Lafi, a Rafah resident, said, “We are forcibly leaving after the occupation army threatened us, through recorded calls and in a post published on Facebook. We are leaving because of fear and coercion. We are leaving for the unknown and there are no safe areas at all. All the areas left are unsafe.”

“The situation is very hard,” Alaa, who was in Rafah at the start of this week, told Socialist Worker. “People are again suffering displacement, but this time, they don’t know where to go. Lots of people don’t know how to get back to their tents and their families.” 

The terror state also called for the evacuation of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah on Monday morning. The Kuwaiti hospital is a smaller hospital that has seen an influx of patients due to the destruction of larger hospitals by Zionist forces. Health workers at the hospital say that if the facility is attacked, it could mean the “complete collapse” of the already limited healthcare system in Rafah. 

US’s mixed signals over arms shipments

The United States says Israel may have used American‑supplied weapons in breach of international humanitarian law (IHL) during the war in Gaza. It is “reasonable to assess” that those arms have been used in ways “inconsistent” with Israel’s obligations, says the state department. But it added that US weapons shipments would continue.

That’s because Israel is confronting an “extraordinary military challenge” and Israeli assurances about sticking to the legal use of US weapons were “credible and reliable”. Yet on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden said that if Israel goes into Rafah, “I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah. I’ve made it clear to Bibi (Israeli prime minister Netanyahu) and the war cabinet, they’re not going to get our support, if in fact they go in these population centres.”

These moves are a reaction to the scale of protests against the Gaza murders. But after Biden’s comments, a national security council spokesperson made clear the overall situation. He said Biden is, “going to continue to provide Israel with the capabilities that it needs, all of them”.

Mass graves found at Gaza hospitals

Palestinian emergency workers continue to uncover mass graves in and around three hospitals in the Gaza Strip. This is after Israeli forces laid siege to them, claiming the hospitals were being used as Hamas command centres. Al Jazeera news said, “More than 500 bodies have been recovered, with Palestinian officials saying several of them showed signs of mutilation and torture.”

Three mass graves have been found at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, three at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and one at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya. Mohammad Zaanin, a member of the Palestinian Civil Defence in Gaza, told Al Jazeera last Thursday that a fourth gravesite containing 42 bodies had been found at al-Shifa Hospital. The bodies were decomposed and unrecognisable, but some had IDs on them or were identified by relatives from clothing remnants.

Things they say

‘We decided to end the war (with Japan) by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons, and that was the right decision’

US Senator Lindsey Graham thinks there are Second World War lessons for Gaza

‘Give Israel the bombs they need to end the war that they can’t afford to lose’

Senator Graham continues

‘This is about intimidating us. Israel wants to put us down and to colonise our minds’

Zaid Shuabi, Palestinian rights group Al-Haq activist

‘Have a bit of respect for Tommy Robinson. He’s an incredibly brave man with a huge following’

Recently elected Reform UK councillor Sharon Collings

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