MPPM warns of the extreme gravity of the situation in the Gaza Strip

MPPM – the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East – warns of the extreme gravity of the situation in the Gaza Strip, following the incursion of an Israeli special troops unit that infiltrated the Palestinian territory on Sunday evening.

The covert and illegal action of the Israeli troops, detected by Palestinian armed elements, triggered a sequence of events of incalculable consequences. The exchange of gunfire between the Israeli unit and the Palestinian forces resulted in the immediate killing of seven Palestinians and an Israeli officer. To  protect the withdrawal of its infiltrators, Israeli military carried out dozens of attacks with tank fire and with aircrafts, airplanes and helicopters.

Since then, the situation has further deteriorated. In a mid-day balance on Tuesday, November 13, Israel has launched about a hundred attacks, resulting in six deaths and the destruction of public and private buildings in the Gaza Strip, including Al-Aqsa television building. The Palestinian armed movements reacted with the launch of some 500 rockets directed to the Israeli territory, resulting in one dead. Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, in the month of March, the Israeli army has killed about 220 people, including women and children, journalists, nurses and paramedics.

All killings, particularly of civilians, are to be regretted, but MPPM rejects any attempt to share the blame between the two parties. It is not possible to put on the same footing the military resources of Israel, which has the most powerful armed forces in the Middle East and is the only nuclear power in the region, and those of the armed movements of the Palestinian resistance. Whatever judgments may be made at any given moment regarding the means and opportunity, the right to resist oppression and occupation, by those who are its victims, can not be called into question.

MPPM stresses that the essence of the Gaza issue is the brutal and stifling blockade that Israel, the occupying power, has for more than eleven years imposed on this Palestinian territory and its two million inhabitants.

Whatever the developments in the next few hours or days, MPPM warns that until that key issue is resolved, there will always be the risk of a new large-scale Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip, as was the case with the so-called operations «Cast Lead» (2008-2009), «Pillar of Defense» (2012) and «Protective Edge» (2014), which resulted in thousands of Palestinian deaths and injuries and immense material destruction.

MPPM reiterates that no lasting solution can be found for the Gaza issue without an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, just as no lasting solution can be found for the Palestinian issue without an end to the Israeli occupation and without the recognition of the permanent national rights of the Palestinian people, including an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State.

Lisbon, November 13, 2018
The MPPM National Directorate

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