Palestine: Genocide, resistance and truce

In the last few hours, a four-day truce was announced between the Israeli government and Hamas for the exchange of Israeli hostages in the hands of the Gazan organization for Palestinian prisoners of the Zionist regime. This brief ceasefire, achieved through the mediation of Egypt and Qatar, is the product of heroic resistance and international solidarity.

By Gustavo Giménez

The truce, which will take effect from Thursday 11/23 at 8 GMT, will be carried out with the aim of facilitating the exchange of prisoners. The Palestinians will release 50 hostages, minor children and women, in batches over four days, and the Israeli gendarme will do the same with 150 Palestinian prisoners. As part of the agreement, there will be no movement of Israeli troops or armor inside the Strip, nor air circulation of planes and drones. The entry of 300 trucks of humanitarian aid per day will also be facilitated, allowing the entry of fuel so necessary for the restoration of electricity and the most basic services.

After 46 days of murderous attacks on the Gaza Strip, with genocidal bombings and land invasions, this momentary ceasefire distorts what seemed like a firm decision by the Netanyahu government not to stop the course of its military escalation against the Palestinian population. The agreement has limitations: the Palestinians who had to leave for the south of the Strip due to the bombings will not be able to return to their homes in the north, and Israel does not exchange prisoners accused of attacking Israelis. Although both contenders affirm that they will continue their actions, the momentary cessation of the Zionist attack is an achievement of the Palestinian resistance and global solidarity with it.

Contrary to conciliatory messages, such as that the truce could be extended if Hamas freed 10 Israeli hostages every day, the truth is that the war cabinet continues with its bombings and attacks until the last moment, even though the truce has been agreed for next Thursday. This Wednesday, a new bombing claimed 50 victims from the same family in the Jabalia refugee camp, others among the civilian population of the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the center of the Strip, to which we must add the bombing of the refugees from Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank, which brings the total number of Palestinian deaths to around 100 in the last 24 hours before the truce.

The Zionist escalation has already killed “a total of 14,128 people, including more than 5,840 children, have lost their lives as a result of the intense bombings. In addition, more than 6,800 people, including at least 4,500 minors, remain missing under the rubble, plunging the population into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”[1]

The Israeli attacks have left a huge trail of destruction that has left most hospitals out of operation, this week the occupying soldiers vacated the Al Shifa Medical Complex, leaving dozens of premature babies in a desperate situation. The devastating bombardment has totally or partially destroyed 83 mosques, 3 churches, 100 government buildings, 266 schools, 67 UN agency facilities, affecting part of the critical infrastructure of the Strip.

In the West Bank, where there have been heavy clashes in the Jenin countryside, 218 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of the Israeli army since last October 7. One of the favorite victims of the Zionist attack has been journalism, 60 journalists have already died. The last two have been killed in Lebanon, in a planned attack. 108 workers from the UN Refugee Agency (UNRWA) also died in the bombings.

Although such devastation and genocide, the Zionist army has been unable to obtain decisive military victories against the resistance of the Palestinian militias who, with much less firepower, have inflicted casualties on the Zionist troops. Guerrilla actions, supported by knowledge of the terrain and a network of tunnels that cannot be substantially eliminated externally, with bombs that penetrate concrete up to 30 meters and other sophisticated detention devices, have resisted the Israeli advance.

Despite the continuous Zionist propaganda that its troops dominate the north of the Strip and Gaza City, the truth is that its army encounters strong resistance, there is talk that they have lost 30 state-of-the-art Merkava tanks and there are statements from the censored Israeli journalist who claims to have seen dozens of soldiers’ bodies in the Tel Aviv hospital.

Even though the betrayal of the Arab bourgeoisies and the statements by the leader of Lebanese Hezbollah, which acts in unity with Iran, saying that he does not want to get involved in a prolonged war with Israel, the conflict threatens to spread regionally. This week, an Israeli ship was hijacked in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels and the US has suffered bombings on a military base in Syria, forcing it to respond to the attack. This is in addition to the exchange of fire on the border with Lebanon.

The reasons for the Israeli change and the ceasefire

Different facts come together to facilitate this agreement. On the one hand, the enormous and heroic Palestinian resistance that, despite the genocide of the civilian population, has not given way, and on the other the enormous mobilization of international solidarity with Palestine, which acts on governments and puts pressure on their positions.

There are 77 countries in the Arab region, America, Europe and Asia in which solidarity mobilizations have taken place. Last Saturday, November 11, the note was given by the British people, where a mobilization estimated at one million people easily defeated the prohibitions and threats of the imperial government. In our country, different solidarity actions and recently the statements of the musician Roger Waters have faced Zionist threats.

More and more governments are demanding an end to the genocide: in addition to Bolivia’s breaking off relations and the withdrawal of ambassadors from several countries, this week there have been harsh statements from the BRICS member countries. The United States, which is the main political and military support of the Israeli government, has played an important role in bringing about this truce.

According to media reports, Netanyahu, which has been suffering significant pressure from the hostages’ relatives to complete the agreement in progress and cease fire, is experiencing strong discontent from the far-right parties that make up its government coalition, which see a serious mistake in this momentary truce.

Some analysts, such as Zoran Kusovac of Al Jazeera, maintain that Israel is also running out of smart bombs and missiles and needs to resupply with the United States: “there are reliable reports that escape the military secrecy network that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) is running out of smart bombs”, “it only has 10 days of stock left” [2].

The media speculate that the realization of this truce could be extended, giving rise to a longer ceasefire, stopping the current offensive and giving time to breath to sectors that, such as the United States and the Arab bourgeoisies, seek a political solution to the conflict in an agreement with the PNA and different governments in the area, to prevent the current conflict from deepening and spreading into a regional war.

In any case, beyond the tactical variants of imperialism, the Palestinian resistance is going through a tough test that, if sustained, could generate a political defeat for the government of the murderous Netanyahu, his Zionist henchmen and the entire imperialist strategy in the region! More than ever, international solidarity should surround the heroic and sacrificed Palestinian people!

[1] “Restricted access to humanitarian aid is used as a weapon of war against the population of the Strip”, Kaosenlared 11/22/2023

[2] “Analysis: How Israel could benefit from a pause in the Gaza war”, ALJAZZERA 11/21/2023.