Release from the PCP Press Office

10 years since Israel’s aggression against Gaza, PCP calls for solidarity with the Palestinian people

1. Today marks the tenth anniversary of Israel's unleashing of the criminal war against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip known as “Operation Cast Lead”. During three weeks, Israel indiscriminately bombed the Palestinian population beleaguered by siege - even denied the right to flee from the Israeli bombings - causing around 1,300 deaths, including 400 women and children.

2. The PCP notes that, ten years later, the population of the Gaza Strip remains subject to a cruel blockade promoted by Israel. The living conditions imposed on the Palestinian population are intolerable, with the UN agency for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warning that Gaza will have uninhabitable conditions in 2020.

3. Over the last decade, Israel has continued to violate international law. Illegally annexing Palestinian territories, Israel continued the occupation and expansion of settlements, as well as the Wall of Apartheid declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Israel carried out repeated military aggressions, not only against the Gaza Strip, but also against Syria - whose Golan Heights it has illegally occupied for more than half a century - and against other countries in the Middle East. The Israeli repression against the Palestinian population is continuing, examples of which are the assassinations of hundreds of demonstrators of the Great March of Return or the recent killings in the West Bank. Israel has imprisoned thousands of Palestinians for political reasons, including members of parliament and leaders of political forces, such as Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Sa'adat or Khaleda Jarrar. With the recent adoption of the so-called Nation-State Law, Israel has accelerated the legal formalisation of racial and religious discrimination of its own citizens, which shows a fascist drift.

4. The last decade has also proved that US-led “negotiating processes” since the 1990s, marginalizing the UN, have been a sham. Enjoying impunity resulting from the support of US imperialism, Israel used the negotiating process, transforming reality on the ground, to make unviable a Palestinian State. In the same line, the recent Trump-led US administration measures regarding Jerusalem and cutting funding to UNRWA - the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees - openly proclaim to the world that the US has no intention of respecting the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and the numerous UN resolutions on this issue. The prospect of a solution based on the existence of two States, set down in the UN resolutions of the last seven decades, is called into question, with the resulting consequences.

5. The PCP considers it unacceptable that, in this context, and following the initiatives promoted by the Governments of Israel and Austria, the European Union is approving, with the consent of the Portuguese Government, statements which, invoking the fight against anti-Semitism, open the door to the attempt to curtail the expression of solidarity with the just cause of the Palestinian people and the condemnation and denunciation of the policy of the State of Israel, as has been pointed out by numerous organisations and personalities, including Israelis.

6. The PCP values the adoption by the Assembly of the Republic of its proposal to increase the Portuguese financial contribution to UNRWA and recalls that in the framework of the international relations of the Portuguese State, the Portuguese Government is bound by constitutional provisions which, if followed, would have expression in a coherent and effective action to implement the national rights of the martyred Palestinian people and not the collaboration with a state that colonises and represses. What is demanded of the Portuguese Government is a firm action of recognition of the State of Palestine, in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.

7. The PCP calls on democrats and friends of Peace to redouble their solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights; for the end of the Israeli occupation; for the end of massacres and repression; for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli prisons; for the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip; for the dismantling of the Wall of Apartheid; for the end of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories; for a State of Palestine, on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as capital, and ensuring the right of return for the refugees.

8. The Palestinian people have been victims of terrible injustice for seven decades and today run the serious risk of being once again victims of a catastrophe and further mass expulsions, which the Zionist forces and their imperialist allies actively prepare. It is in unity, and struggle of the Palestinian people that lies the prospect of ending the impasse that decades of violation of their rights has created. But this resistance and struggle needs the solidarity of the workers and peoples. The PCP reiterates its solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights.

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