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The News Line: Editorial Israel speeding up the demolition of Palestinian homes and schools! AS the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration nears, the Israeli government, its armed forces and its legions of settlers are intensifying their programme of home and school demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories, vowing that Gaza will be the Palestinian state.

Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Wednesday morning, displacing eight Palestinians, including four children.

The demolition came after multiple reports of Israeli authorities delivering demolition warrants to Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem. Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem said that ‘Since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago.’

According to United Nations documentation, 254 Palestinians were displaced and 190 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, as of August 28.

Inspectors from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality delivered demolition warrants to Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya on Tuesday. Inspectors stormed the neighbourhood under Israeli police protection and posted demolition warrants, stop-work orders, and court summonses on the walls of several structures, under the pretext that they were built without the nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli permits.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation army confiscated cattle and water tanks belonging to Palestinians in the Jordan Valley village of Um al-Ubor, east of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Tuesday, according to the Wafa news agency.

Staff from the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied by Israeli army forces confiscated a number of cows belonging to Jamal Daraghmeh in the village. The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 per cent of its land classified as Area C – under full Israeli military control. Nearly 20 per cent of the occupied West Bank has been declared ‘firing zones’ since the 1970s.

The evictions of Palestinians from their land has speeded up since the US ‘peace delegation’, led by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, visited Palestine a few weeks ago. The US delegation said that they needed three months to prepare their peace plan. In fact, they gave the Israeli government three months to empty as much of occupied Palestine of Palestinians as they are physically capable of doing.

There is not the slightest doubt that the US, backed by Saudi cash, will seek to impose a one-state settlement onto the Palestinians, modelled on apartheid South Africa, for the benefit of Israel.

In the face of this threat, the head of the Hamas movement’s politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, declared in Cairo on Monday night that Hamas is ready to ‘immediately’ sign an agreement with Fatah, and was ready to disband its administrative committee to form a government of national consensus, that would carry out elections to elect a national government responsible for the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. This is undoubtedly the way forward.

The Palestinian people deserve a united leadership that will re-launch the struggle for the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and without settlements, but with the right to return for all Palestinian refugees. There is no doubt that, with the support of the international working class, the Palestinians have the strength to win this state. The UK working class have a duty to give 100% support to the Palestinian people, especially in the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration.

British workers must give 100% support to the Palestinian masses. Particularly, they must bring down the May government which has invited Netanyahu to the UK to celebrate the Balfour Declaration’s 100 years, and bring in a Labour government that is pledged to recognise the state of Palestine and assist its development in every way that this requires.


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