Palestinian Resistance Wins Ceasefire
Salute the Palestinian Resistance!
The U.S.-backed Zionist occupiers of Palestine were forced to agree to a ceasefire that states, "Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals ... [and shall commit to] Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas."
The agreement is a significant victory for the Palestinian resistance and the second major defeat of the Zionists and their U.S. backers since Israel invaded and was forced out of Lebanon in 2006.
While Israel was conducting massive bombing raids on tiny Gaza, President Barack Obama kept justifying these crimes by repeating, “No country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians.” The Zionist bombardment killed more than 160 residents of Gaza, more than 30 per cent of them children under the age of 10, and another 20 per cent adult women, mostly mothers of the dead children. The tally of the injured was more than 1,000, in which elderly people and children predominated. Civilian infrastructure, including government and media buildings were destroyed. And while Obama proclaimed “no country” can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks on civilians, the White House also said it was the resistance from Palestine that must end for there to be a ceasefire.
Instead, all humanity witnessed the defeat of the Zionist aggression against Gaza and the defeat of the U.S. “might makes right” actions of drone assassinations and warfare. The penetration of Palestinian rockets into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem shook the aura of invincibility and confidence of the Zionist aggressors. It showed both the U.S. and Israel what happens when they refuse to recognize the rights of Palestinians and reach a negotiated political agreement.
The words of the ceasefire are objective and verifiable regarding the lifting of the U.S./Israeli siege of Gaza. The entire world led by the Palestinian resistance will hold the Zionist occupiers and their U.S. backers to account to turn their words in the ceasefire into deeds and End the Siege of Gaza Now! Demonstrations in Israel, the U.S. and worldwide have continued to show the united stand of the people defending resistance and demanding End the Occupation Now! U.S. Stop Funding Crimes in Gaza!
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton tried to claim credit for the ceasefire. They tried to hide that it was the resistance that achieved the ceasefire, not their maneuvering for U.S. advantage in the region. The U.S. also showed it will not honor the ceasefire and the effort toward political settlement it represents. Before the ink was even dry the White House said Obama “would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza. The President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.” How does further arming Israel contribute to ending the siege and securing a political settlement?
Voice of Revolution together with people across the U.S. and worldwide salute the heroic Palestinian resistance. We salute the Palestinians refusal to bow before the military might of the U.S. and Israel and to fiercely defend their right to be, including their right to return to their lands and homes. Their determined resistance buoys the spirits of people everywhere who are dealing with the brutality, interference and murderous assaults of U.S. imperialism.
However much Clinton and Obama try to hide it, the ceasefire represents a defeat of the Obama doctrine of drone warfare and political assassination, both used in Gaza. The Palestinian victory also represents defeat of the Bush doctrine of "shock and awe" warfare. It remains the arrogance of the U.S. to believe that such acts of dehumanized warfare will break the spirit of resistance of the peoples and force them to submit to imperialist aggression and rule. The resistance of blockaded Gaza, with her small population of 1.4 million, and the victory of the ceasefire show that it is U.S. imperialism that is in trouble.
The ceasefire shows that the tide is turning against the U.S./Israeli refusal to provide the rights of the Palestinians with a guarantee. It proves that resistance is the only path to defend the rights of all and open a way forward to peace, security and justice. For Palestine, the injustice of the Nakba, the great catastrophe of 1948 and subsequent crimes of the Zionist occupiers and their U.S. backers and financiers must be made right. The desire of all progressive and peace-loving peoples of the world is to see the right of return of Palestinians upheld within a Palestinian state that recognizes the rights of all its residents regardless of religion or any other cultural observance.
The U.S. must be held to account for its continued arming, funding and political protection of the Zionists and the crimes committed as a result. Now is the time for Americans to step up support for Palestinian resistance and all resistance to U.S. imperialism abroad and organize to advance the anti-war agenda of the people at home.
The U.S. and Israel had to accept a ceasefire. The Palestinian resistance hit targets from Tel Aviv to the Zionist settlements near Jerusalem and were prepared to continue. The Palestinians supported by the peoples worldwide made clear that a negotiated political agreement is required for equilibrium to be achieved. Obama and Netanyahu continually repeat that it is the resistance that must end for there to be negotiations. The Eight Day War instead showed that it is the refusal of the U.S. and Zionists to recognize the rights of the Palestinians and their attempts to wipe them from the face of the earth that is futile. No matter what war crimes the U.S. and Israel commit, Palestine will not die.
The Palestinian resistance has again prevailed even in the face of the Obama doctrine of using drones for targeted assassinations and massacres and the Zionists vaunted military force. By successfully stepping up resistance and hitting right into occupied Palestine in the major population centers, the resistance made it impossible for Netanyahu to succeed with their claimed “self-defense.” They were not able to defend the occupation or those they claimed to be defending.
The ceasefire represents a defeat of Netanyahu and Obama's aim to wipe out Hamas, the political organization elected in Gaza in 2006. By proclaiming Hamas a “terrorist” organization, Obama attempted to paint U.S.-Israeli war crimes against Gaza as “defending” against “terrorism.” The crime of the siege of Gaza and the most recent bombardment have instead shown that it is the U.S. and Israel that are the state terrorists. The recent victory of the resistance has also defeated the U.S./Israeli hope that by targeting Hamas, they could wipe out the Palestinian people, their resistance and their right of return to their homes and lands.
“Self-defense” for Israel, as it is for the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, means the brutal killing of civilians. It is a demand for impunity to commit crimes while refusing to recognize the rights of the peoples. Palestinians have the right to be Palestinians in their homeland. Resistance to occupation is their right and has shown itself to be the way forward to peace.
The Netanyahu and Obama big lie of “self-defense” did not even allow the Palestinian civilians being bombed in Gaza to seek refuge abroad, as millions of war refugees around the world have done. Millions have been forced from their homes since citizens have become targets of war under the fascist U.S. doctrine of all-out indiscriminate war to defend and expand imperialism.
The people of Gaza, many of them Nakba refugees from occupied Palestine, are compelled to live as captives within a tiny strip of land and shot at like fish in a barrel. How courageous of the U.S. and Israeli military to try and destroy Gaza and kill Palestinians like fish in a barrel! It is Obama, Netanyahu, the U.S. and Israeli military that must be held accountable for these war crimes. It is they who must act immediately to Lift the Siege of Gaza now, as the ceasefire requires.
The Palestinians are more determined than ever to defend their rights and the ceasefire represents a step in that direction. The people of Gaza and throughout West Asia and North Africa are now saying, "If the U.S. and their Zionist guard dogs cannot stop homemade missiles from blockaded Gaza, what will happen if they dare attack Iran or even Syria and Lebanon?"
The futility of the U.S./Israeli refusal to negotiate a political agreement that recognizes the rights of the Palestinians exposes Netanyahu and Obama as heartless emperors who intend to do nothing except wage endless war. This was indicated by Obama’s comments to Netanyahu after the ceasefire. He promised to provide more military weapons and to continue to enforce the siege, by targeting weapons deliveries to Gaza. Once again Obama is defending the double standard of massive arming and impunity for Israel and starvation and massacres for Gaza. Israel is to have the most sophisticated weaponry, including nuclear weapons, while Gaza is to have nothing. Use of military force is to be the answer. Indeed there are reports the U.S. is sending forces into Egypt, in the Sinai area bordering Gaza, under the guise of blocking weapons to Gaza. Clearly Obama and Netanyahu have no intention of sorting anything out and can only resort to force.
The people of the world, including Americans, cannot accept such hostile actions and the refusal to sort out problems handed down from history through political negotiations. They want the total surrender of the Palestinians and destruction of the resistance even though the resilience of the people of Gaza and the resulting ceasefire show concretely that this will not happen. Yet Netanyahu and Obama have not changed their aim and no negotiations with Hamas are scheduled. Despite this, it is the demands of the Palestinians, which they have been and are being forced to accept. This causes disarray in the camp of the U.S. imperialists and their Zionists guard dogs.
The many and repeated actions worldwide demonstrate that the peoples of the world reject with contempt the policies of targeted assassinations by drones, shock and awe war and refusal to negotiate and recognize the rights of the Palestinians. Humanity demands political settlements not war crimes. A political solution to the injustice of the Nakba and the continuing war crimes against Palestinians must be found and if the international community will not hold the U.S. and their Zionist occupiers to account, then the people will do so through their heroic resistance.
Following more than eight days of savage U.S.-backed Israeli aggression against the population of the Gaza Strip, a joint announcement came from U.S. Secretary State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr in Cairo just after 12:30 pm Eastern time Wednesday, November 21 that a ceasefire would be taking effect as of 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Clinton's phrasing of the ceasefire was revealing, exposing the shell-game that the Great Powers have been inflicting against the long-suffering Palestinians. She emphasized that this agreement "protects the regional security" of the Israelis while at the same time it merely "addresses the regional concerns" of the Palestinians. With these words, Clinton says the Palestinians are not deserving of security from Israeli siege, occupation and wanton acts of murder such as those unleashed during Operation “Pillar of Defense.”
The Palestinian resistance however has faced up to the overwhelming force with its customary courage, resilience and surprising twists. Up to the very moment of the announcement of the ceasefire agreement, the Zionist occupiers' dreams of lebensraum continued to be rudely interrupted by the arrival of "Fajr-5" rockets (designed in Iran), as a defensive deterrent against their oppressor. Then Wednesday morning, a bus was bombed in Tel Aviv, injuring at least 27. From the Gaza Strip, this was publicly declared an act of revenge for the Israeli murder by F-16 two days earlier of an entire family of at least a dozen members.
During Operation "Pillar of Defense," a savage Israeli bombing was unleashed on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip. This killed more than 160 residents, more than 30 per cent of them children under the age of 10, and another 20 per cent adult women, mostly mothers of the dead children. The tally of the injured was more than 1,000, in which elderly people and children predominated. During the final days with greatly increased savagery, the Zionist occupier focused its attack on media offices in Gaza City and other civilian targets on the southeastern boundary.
Retaliating against this Guernica-style assault, Hamas and other resistance groups in the Gaza Strip surprised the Israeli government and people by firing more than 1,000 rockets and missiles and landing more than two-thirds of them all over the territory claimed by the State of Israel, as far north as the capital Tel Aviv, and as far east as the Zionist settler colonies on the edges of east Jerusalem. The official count of deaths was 6 with dozens wounded but nothing can be believed from the militarized state.
After a week of constant Palestinian rocket fire and the bus bombing in Tel Aviv, the Zionists occupiers' carefully maintained psychological bubble —that only people in the south within 12-15 miles of the Gaza Strip were under threat — was shattered. The collapse of trust in the Netanyahu government, as the "protector" of the vast majority of Israelis was so complete that few expect it to be rebuilt anytime soon, no matter what happens.
In the conjunction of circumstances attending this latest violent spasm, extracting a ceasefire from an Israeli enemy that had accomplished none of its objectives must be accounted a victory for the Palestinian people. This adds to their fabled reputation of sumoud or steadfastness in the face of an overwhelming and psychologically genocidal armed force.
The ceasefire suggests that the Zionist government must begin to concede to the Palestinians' fundamental demand that the Israeli occupation's barbaric siege inflicted on the Gaza Strip since 2007 be lifted as a first step toward a long-term lasting truce. Already reports indicate that the Israeli military will not fire on people approaching the border. Many personages from the Egyptian and Turkish governments and from the ranks of the Arab League have been supporting this leading demand put forward by Hamas to end the blockade. Time will tell whether the United States and Zionist entity will allow this, as they continue to say publicly that they are of one mind that Hamas must be eliminated first before the siege is lifted under their crafted hoax that it poses a constant terrorist threat against the Israeli civilian population.
At the end of each calendar year, the U.S. under its military assistance pact with Israel routinely re-supplies whatever weapons and ordnance, including internationally banned weapons like DIME and white phosphorus, which have been depleted in the Israeli arsenals. The moment of the next replenishment will be a real-world test of whether the ceasefire/truce holds any long-lasting meaning.
Another such test will be what new U.S.-Israeli agreement(s) might be brought about before the fallout from the Israeli elections expected January 22, in which Netanyahu is seeking re-election.
The most ominous portent for the U.S. and its allies in all these Palestinian developments, however, is its coincidence this time with the further maturation of the ferment already unleashed among the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab countries. This ferment is bound to exercise its impact on all the best-laid schemes of the U.S. for its so-called "pivot" towards Asia, not to mention the plans of the U.S. and the European Union regarding Iran and their long-delayed schemes for carving up post-Soviet Russia.
1. It is a crime punishable by long prison terms in Israel to disclose Israeli casualty figures or any other information about a conflict other than the information admitted by the Israeli Military Censor. In past conflicts, foreign media based in Israel reporting any other figures or developments or disclosing the full or fuller truth have been banned for lengthy periods. Hence, the true toll from Palestinian resistance rockets, which took a far greater toll on the Israelis this time than in past conflicts, will probably never be accurately or disinterestedly ascertained from Israeli sources. Four days after this latest conflict started, no media outlet in Israel had reported the Israeli military's deliberate targeted murder of the individual in charge of the Qassam rocket arsenal or the provocative pretext it supplied internationally to begin the bombing of Gaza City on the first night of the conflict.
2. It was on the second Bush Administration's last day of official business in January 2009 that a notorious "Memorandum of Understanding" was signed between then Foreign Affairs minister Tzipi Livni of the Israeli government and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the Bush Administration. This agreement committed the entire U.S. armed forces to a standing policy of hunting down and interdicting weapons destined to Hamas in the Gaza Strip indefinitely into the future. The success of this measure so far can be measured from the devastating impact on Israeli morale generated in the wake of Hamas' surprise arsenal of long-range rockets this past week.
The following is the verbatim English text of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza that was reached Wednesday, November 21 with Egyptian mediation.
The text was distributed by the Egyptian presidency.
Agreement of Understanding for a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
1: [no title given for this section]
A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.
2: Implementation mechanisms:
A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.
B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.
(Maan News Agency)
Al Manar reported on the joint press conference held in Cairo with Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas' political bureau and the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah where "the two men stressed that the Gaza offensive was a defeat for the Zionist entity."
Calling the defeat of Israel the "Eight-Day War," Meshaal stressed that the history of resistance is filled with memories and achievements. (This is a reference to the "Six-Day War" that the Zionist entity brags about.)
"What happened in Gaza is a tactical defeat for Israel," Meshaal told journalists in Cairo, adding that the Zionist entity "surrendered to the resistance notwithstanding Israel's attempts to mislead [by claiming otherwise] which we will witness in the coming days."
"The results were visible on the ugly faces of the Zionist entity's leaders," he said. He noted that after 24 hours of the ceasefire, the discussion "to fulfill our people's demands is to take place in a bid to end the ongoing killing and blockade in Gaza."
Meshaal praised the mediation role of Egypt, which he said behaved highly responsibly. "We thank all who took part in the mediation of the ceasefire," he said, adding: "Egypt was open-minded to the demands of the resistance."
On Iran's support for the resistance in Palestine, Meshaal said, "We surely thank Iran for its support. Our weaponry was local-made in Gaza, it was also from Iran." He added, "We are committed to the ceasefire if the Zionist entity is committed, or else we are ready to respond," Meshaal said.
For his part, the Islamic Jihad Secretary General said that what happened in Gaza "is a real and exceptional failure for the Zionist entity." He said, "We have a powerful resistance. However we also have a more powerful people, a more powerful Ummah (nation) and a more powerful Egypt," Shallah said. He stressed that the resistance in Gaza was in a powerful position and is "committed to the ceasefire as long as the Israeli enemy is." He also thanked Egypt for brokering the agreement.
A Whitehouse statement November 21 said: "President Obama spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu today and reiterated his commitment to Israel's security. The President made clear that no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians.
"The President expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister's efforts to work with the new Egyptian government to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and a more durable solution to this problem. The President commended the Prime Minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal — which the President recommended the Prime Minster do — while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself.
"The President said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza. The President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs."
In related news, news agencies report that a Hamas statement informed about a phone call received by Gaza's Hamas Premier Ismail Haniya from Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas "to congratulate him on his victory."
"In a telephone conversation, president Abu Mazen (Abbas) congratulated Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas on his victory and offered condolences for the martyrs," a statement from Haniya's office said.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said: "The president received a phone call from brother Haniya who informed him of the situation in Gaza after the ceasefire.
"The president saluted (the Palestinian) steadfastness in face of the aggression and stressed the importance of reaching a ceasefire and sparing Gaza the scourge of war," Wafa said, adding: "The president supports the efforts to strengthen national unity."
In addition, Haniya and two other senior Hamas officials — Ahmed Bahar and Mohammed al-Hindi — expressed their "support for the national drive for observer status from the UN on November 29," Wafa said.
Meanwhile the UN Security Council issued a statement that said members "strongly commend the efforts of Egyptian President Morsi and others to achieve the ceasefire." It added they also expressed "strong appreciation" for the efforts in this regard of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
In his comments to the Council, Mr. Ban said that the current crisis underscored that the status quo was unsustainable, and that long-term solutions must be found to the problems of Gaza, and for the Palestinians as a whole.
"A negotiated two-State solution ending a prolonged occupation and ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is more urgent than ever," he said. "Achieving this vision, which has been affirmed by this Council repeatedly is long overdue and paramount to the stability of the region. Only a just and comprehensive peace can bring lasting security to all."
In its statement, the Council "affirmed the need for the people of Israel and the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip to live without fear."
Council members also called on the international community to contribute to improving the living conditions of the people in the Gaza Strip, asking for this to be done "through providing additional emergency aid through appropriate established channels to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”
According to the Council, the international community would "work in this regard with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt for the expeditious and unimpeded delivery of such humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment."
Saying they "deplored" the loss of civilian lives that have occurred, Council members reiterated the need to "take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection in accordance with international humanitarian law," their statement said.
The members of the Council also stressed the "urgency of the restoration of calm in full, and reiterated the importance of achieving a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders."
The violence claimed the lives of at least 139 Palestinians, more than 70 of them civilians, and wounded more than 900, according to the UN team in Gaza. It also displaced 10,000 people in the territory, which is home to 1.7 million Palestinians.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that since November 14, rocket fire resulted in the death of four Israeli civilians, while 219 are reported injured, most of them civilians. One Israeli soldier was killed, while 16 others were wounded, one critically.