1st July 2020 was designated as a “Day of Rage’ by Palestinian resistance fighters and their supporters all over the world to protest Israeli plans to annex significant parts of the Occupied Palestinian territories. These are territories that belong to the Palestinian people under international law, but have been forcibly occupied by Israel over the past decades. In the weeks leading up to July 1, as well as afterwards, protests have been held throughout the occupied territories. In addition, protests have been held in Europe, the U.S. and Canada and many other countries condemning the annexation plan of Israel.
Though July 1, 2020 was the date set by Israeli government leaders to formally move ahead with the annexation of roughly 30 per cent of the Jordan Valley and parts of the occupied West Bank, they have not done so yet. This is because of the valiant resistance of the Palestinian people to the occupation. There is immense pressure being put on the Palestinian people and their political representatives to accept the anti-Palestinian “Deal of the Century” announced by US President Trump in January 2020. Palestinians in the West Bank, in Gaza, and all over the world, as well as progressive and peace loving peoples, have been coming out every day, to reject the American — Israeli plans to completely eliminate their aspiration to live in their own homeland.
If Israel annexes the Jordan Valley, the portion remaining with the Palestinian Authority would be cut off from the Jordan River that at present divides the territory of the Palestinian Authority from Jordan. It would be completely surrounded by Israel on all sides. This will reduce to a mockery the possibility of the Palestinian people establishing their own state. The Palestinians living in the West Bank, in Gaza and all over the world have declared through their daily protest actions that they will never surrender their right to be a sovereign nation.
The “Deal of the Century” announced by US President Trump together with Israeli PM Netanyahu is a thoroughly anti Palestinian plan. It calls upon the Palestinian and world’s people to legitimise the occupation of Palestinian territories carried out by the state of Israel from 1948 uptil now. It calls upon Palestinians to give up their struggle for their homeland. Palestinians around the world must give up their right to return to their homeland, a right upheld by the peoples of the world, by international law, and by the United Nations through its yearly resolutions. The “deal” demands that the Palestinian people and other peoples of the world abandon all international legal action against Israel and the US for their violation of international law and crimes against the Palestinian people.
The “Deal of the Century” is the most open incitement to the Israeli Zionists to go ahead with the colonisation of the West Bank. It reinforces the long standing support of US imperialism to the Israeli Zionists. Such is the open anti-Palestinian character of this “deal”, that the governments of most countries of the world, including the member states of the European Union have been forced to denounce it.
The Palestinian people have never given up their courageous struggle to be recognised as a people.
Before World War I, the land of the Palestinians was under the control of the Turkish Empire. In 1917, during World War I Britain announced its imperialist aim of establishing a “national home for the Jews in Palestine”. When Turkey was defeated in the War, the British took over the control of Palestine. British imperialism encouraged migration of European Jews, who were being persecuted in their home countries, to Palestine. It pitted the Jewish settlers and the Palestinians against each other and instigated the former to take over land that belonged to the Palestinians.
The genocide of Jews carried out by the German Nazis during the Second World War, resulted in worldwide sympathy for the surviving Jewish people of Europe. As the British mandate over Palestine was coming to an end, the British imperialists worked to organise the bloody partition of Palestine on the basis of religion. The United Nations sanctioned the creation of two states — the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. However while Israel came into being, the state of Palestine was not allowed to come into being.
On 14th May 1948, the state of Israel was proclaimed. It immediately launched a brutal attack on the territory that was envisaged to belong to the state of Palestine following the proposed partition. Large portions of this territory were taken over by Israel, forcing lakhs of people to flee their homeland. The remaining portion of Palestinian territory on the west side of the Jordan River, known as the West Bank, was taken over by Jordan. Since then, May 15th has been marked by Palestinians throughout the world as Naqba Day — “the day of catastrophe” — marking the loss of their homeland.
A series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented Palestinians who had been forced to flee from returning to their homes or claiming their property. Many of them and their descendants remain refugees to this day!
There are about 13 million Palestinians today. This includes 3 million in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 2 million in Gaza and 1.9 million who are citizens of Israel. About 5.6 million Palestinians live in Arab countries and the rest in other countries around the world. About 1.5 million Palestinians still live in about 58 refugee camps.
Anglo American imperialism has armed Israel to the teeth. Israel is one of the most militarised countries of the world, which acts as a pistol of the US directed against the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. From the time of its founding, the state of Israel has been colonising and annexing the land of the Palestinian people with the active support of Anglo American imperialism. In 1967, Israel occupied the Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza, as well as various territories of Syria and Egypt.
Since 2002, Israel has been constructing a wall that stretches for more than 700 kilometres. 85 percent of the wall falls within the West Bank and is being constructed in a manner to incorporate Palestinian lands permanently into Israel. This severely limits the freedom of movement for Palestinians. In addition, there are more than 700 road obstacles across the West Bank including 140 checkpoints. These checkpoints further limit Palestinian movement. About 70,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits have to cross these checkpoints daily to go to work and back.
The Government of Israel has been actively encouraging land-grabbing and ‘settlement’ of Jews forcibly on Palestinian land. More than 6 lakh Israeli settlers are currently living in at least 250 settlements (130 official, 120 unofficial) in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its population to the area it occupies. However, Israel has blatantly flouted all international laws with the unstinted support of the US. In 2019, the US declared that Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land were “not necessarily illegal” – making it the only country in the world to take such a public stand.
The struggle of the Palestinian people for their right to be recognised as a people has never wavered, whether they are living in horrible conditions in refugee camps or in the oppressive conditions inside Israel or far away from their native land.
The US imperialist backed Israeli plan to illegally annex Palestinian territories deserves stern condemnation. The people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with the indomitable Palestinian people in their just struggle for their national rights.