The year 2022 has shown once again that no amount of repression can crush the indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people and their longstanding struggle for their own homeland.
The Palestinian people have waged this struggle against the Israeli occupation forces in the streets of their occupied homeland in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Backed by US imperialism and other imperialist powers, the state of Israel has been implementing its long-standing plan to throw Palestinians out of their homes and establish Jewish settlements in the homes and lands thus cleared out. To crush the resistance of the Palestinian people to this fascist plan, the Israeli state has unleashed savage violence through its armed forces. According to the United Nations, in the year 2022 alone, over 171 Palestinians, including 30 children, were shot dead by the Israeli armed forces in occupied Palestine. This is apart from those killed in the Gaza Strip in the course of repeated missile strikes by the Israeli Army.
The murderous attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinian people has only escalated in the new year, with 15 Palestinians reported killed in the first two weeks of January. The new government that has come to power in Israel is committed to establishing more and more settlements in the occupied territories and annexing all the occupied territories to the state of Israel.
75 years ago, the state of Israel was founded after British colonial rule over Palestine ended. Millions of Palestinian people were driven out of their homeland and turned into refugees in other countries.
In 1967, after the Arab Israeli war, Israel captured the Palestinian lands of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli armed forces have continued their occupation of these Palestinian territories for the past 55 years.
The Palestinian people have used international forums, including that of the United Nations, to highlight the complete negation of their national rights by the Israeli occupation forces.
In this regard, the UN International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem had submitted its report to the UN General Assembly on 27 October 2022. The report pointed out that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is unlawful under international law. It condemned the actions taken by Israel to annex Palestinian land. Pointing out that Israel was refusing to recognize the right of Palestinian people to self-determination, it called upon the UN General Assembly to get the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a UN body, on the legal consequences of the continued refusal of Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian Territory. The ICJ is an international court dealing with disputes between states. It has no power to enforce its rulings.
On December 31, 2022, the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution asking the ICJ for its legal opinion on the issue. 87 countries voted in favour of the resolution. 26 countries, including Israel and the US opposed the resolution. 53 countries abstained. While the majority of countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America voted in favour of the resolution, including India’s neighbours — Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China — the government of India abstained from voting.
The people of India have always supported the struggle of the Palestinian people for their national rights. The stand taken by the government of India to abstain from voting shows it’s utterly unprincipled approach to a matter of principle — the right of the Palestinian people to self determination.
The struggle of the Palestinian people for their national rights and restoration of their homeland is a just struggle. The Indian people, together with people of other countries, are one with the Palestinian people, in this struggle.