Palestine: youth lead the resistance

Sit-in protest at Shuhada Street checkpoint in Occupied Hebron

The new year has seen a continuation of street protests across Palestine against Israeli settlement building and fascist violence. Zionist occupation forces and Palestinian Authority (PA) collaborators have tried to destroy a resistance movement which is being led by the youth. Despite an apparent thaw in relations with President Obama in the run-up to the US presidential election, Israel remains an embarrassment to its backers who favour negotiation with Palestine’s comprador elite. The PA, propped up by the capital and security training of the EU, US and, more recently, Saudi Arabia, faces its own crisis. Declarations by Majed Faraj, the PA director of intelligence, that the Authority had stopped 200 resistance actions and arrested 100 Palestinian activists, will only accelerate the search for an alternative to the PA.

The Palestinian Health Ministry released a list of 162 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire on demonstrations and Zionist invasions into the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip between 1 October and 25 January; two more were not included because they had been identified as being shot dead carrying out knife attacks. By 1 January, 14,070 Palestinians had been injured in the West Bank and 1,347 in Gaza, by teargas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and severe burns. During this wave of repression, the Palestinian Red Crescent medical association reported 337 Israeli attacks on its teams, including 96 instances of violent damage against ambulances. The names and ages of those who have died shows the youth and working class character of the uprising, with the majority under the age of 25 and from areas suffering severe poverty and low employment. By the end of 2014, the combined youth unemployment rate in the West Bank and Gaza had reached almost 40% for young men and 63% for young women. In May 2015, unemployment in Gaza was the highest in the world at 43% and rising. Young Palestinians in the occupied territories have nothing to lose and everything to fight for.

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Palestine ‘15 points of rioting every weekday’

Palestine has once again exploded in protest and popular resistance against racism, settlement-building and violent incursions by Israeli occupation forces. While the rumblings of a new intifada (uprising) have not yet developed to directly challenge the EU- and US-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), the movement has underlined the economic and political crisis facing the Zionist regime. Disputes between the Israeli military and Prime Minister Netanyahu over how to handle the regular attacks by Palestinian youths have become particularly intense.

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Hands off Al Aqsa! Jerusalem is Palestinian!

The Israeli state is in crisis.[1] The catalyst of this crisis has been the undefeated resistance across Palestine, steadfast in the face of continuing Israeli repression. Now the Netanyahu government is forcing an 'Anti-Terrorism' bill through the Knesset (parliament), increasing the occupation state's repressive powers and criminalising a wide variety of resistance activities. This comes as a wave of violent incursions by the army and racist settlers attempts to impose Israel's total control of the Al Aqsa mosque area. Palestinians are stepping up their protests against the Zionist colonisation of Jerusalem.

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Israel out of FIFA

On 29 May, the head of the Palestinian Authority’s Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, withdrew a motion calling on FIFA’s congress to suspend Israel from the association. He did so despite repeated statements that nothing would stop him from pursuing the ban. Angry protests on the West Bank and in Gaza followed his unilateral decision. An online petition demanding his sacking states that ‘This decision has caused enormous damage to the Palestinian cause and sports…The Palestinian people need serious leaders who are capable of achieving the right to self-determination’. His action also pulled the carpet from under Football Against Apartheid, an international campaign calling for the exclusion of Israel from all international football which noisily lobbied the congress in support of the Palestinian motion.

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Fascism and the colonisation of Palestine

The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli president has created turmoil for the Zionist regime. Squeezed between a right-wing electorate and a US government favouring negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu's new Likud government has already been forced to alter its plans, dropping proposals for a racist bus ban for Palestinian citizens in Israel. To maintain the support of US and EU governments, the Israeli colonisation of Palestine must appear more 'liberal' or pro-'peace.' Iran is potentially an important ally for the imperialists and Israel's anti-negotiation stance is unwelcome.

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