Persistent struggle and steadfast international solidarity towards Palestinian liberation, rights, and sovereignty

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IBON International condemns in the strongest terms the genocide of the Palestinian peoples by the United States (US)-backed Israel military occupation.

On October 17, at least 500 Palestinians were killed by Israel’s bombing of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip – the deadliest single event in Gaza since Israel’s attacks in October. The victims were mostly people who sought shelter at the hospital after being displaced by the Israel apartheid regime’s bombardment and forced evacuation order.

We join calls to end the bombardment and siege of Gaza, to stop the targeted attacks of hospitals, schools, and refugee shelters, and to ensure the immediate and safe delivery of humanitarian aid. Israel’s complete siege of Gaza hinders access to essential healthcare to thousands of patients, newborns, and 50,000 pregnant women, and has worsened the humanitarian crisis in the area, exacerbating food insecurity and water scarcity.

The situation in Gaza today foregrounds the horrific realities faced everyday by the Palestinian people under 75 years of Israel occupation – dehumanised, without rights and prospects for development. It also clearly shows that colonial occupation is based on the total destruction of peoples and their society through plunder, exploitation, and in the case of Palestine, a genocidal war. Even before the siege, Gaza has been suffering under 16 years of blockade by Israel and Egypt that restricts the movement of people and goods, and an economic regression that has reversed development. Gaza has an 81% poverty rate, and among the world’s highest unemployment rate.

Since October 7, Israel has bombed Gaza non-stop and put it under a complete siege trapping its 2.3 million population without water, food, power, and medical supplies. Israel’s series of bombardment of Gaza has killed over 3,000 Palestinians, including 11 journalists, displaced nearly a million people, and destroyed  homes, neighborhoods, public infrastructure, including schools and hospitals where displaced peoples seek refuge. Israel air strikes have deliberately targeted ambulances and health facilities, and already killed 28 medical staff, to prevent and discourage aid to the injured. Before the latest attacks in early October, more than 200 Palestinians were killed by Israel forces amid heightened military operations targeting resistance fighters.

On October 13, over a million Palestinians in the north of Gaza, where the Al Ahli Arab Hospital was located, were forcibly ordered by the Israel military to evacuate within 24 hours in anticipation of a planned ground invasion. Such a forcible transfer of civilians violates international law and is a crime against humanity according to the UN Human Rights Office, and was called a ‘death sentence’ especially to the sick and injured by the WHO.

We reject Israel’s colonial narrative that its attacks on Gaza are justified as a ‘revenge’ on the Palestinian resistance fighters’ offensive against the Israel occupation and apartheid regime on October 7. The existence of the Israel state since its establishment in 1948 rests on the exercise of colonial violence –  the genocide and massive displacement of the Palestinian peoples, and occupation of their land.

We decry the US’ role in expanding the Israeli occupation and abetting its war crimes against Palestinians through military and political support. To maintain its influence in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region, the US bolsters Israel as its stronghold in the region. It is Israel’s biggest donor of military aid, providing USD 263 billion in military assistance since 1946. In 2023, US congress appropriated USD 3.8 billion in military aid for Israel, including for missile defense, and an additional USD 98.58 million for cooperative defense and non-defense programs.

Despite Israel’s excessive brutality and glaring war crimes against the Palestinian people, US President Joe Biden expressed unflinching support to Israel in his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 18. The US has even used its power to overturn two UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance fighters to allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

We express our unwavering solidarity and support for the Palestinian people’s just struggle for liberation and right of return, towards the realisation of their rights, sovereignty, and development. We draw optimism from the enduring Palestinian resistance and the historical victories of other colonised and oppressed peoples. We join the tens of thousands of working peoples across the world who have flocked to the streets to affirm: From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free! #