Stop the invasion of Jenin! For a new, socialist Intifada!

Jenin during a previous Israeli army attack in January 2023 (Photo: CC)

Thousands of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by drones and armoured bulldozers have invaded Jenin, killing 10 Palestinians, wounding dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes. The so-called Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded, which will mean that casualties can bleed to death before they can get medical treatment.

Immediately there have been protests against this invasion across the West Bank, with a demonstration in Dheisheh refugee camp and a general strike in Ramallah.

This invasion of the civilian population of Jenin by a regional military superpower is the most brutal since the 2002 battle of Jenin, when IDF bulldozers flattened entire neighbourhoods. The years since then have seen a collapse in the authority of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is now correctly seen by many Palestinians as a corrupt collaborator regime which represses Palestinians on behalf of the Israeli occupation. The collapse of the PA’s authority has been greatest in Jenin and neighbouring Nablus where the PA’s security apparatuses have lost control to local militias which are not under the control of any of the Palestinian factions.

The policy of the Israeli government since 1993 has been to use the PA as a tool to control the Palestinian territories. But the crazed actions of the ultra-nationalist Netanyahu government have accelerated the process of collapse of the PA, by embarking on populist verbal attacks against its leaders, starving it of funds, and not allowing any negotiations towards a Palestinian state.  The ongoing collapse of the PA, and with it, the 1993 Camp David treaty, illustrates the impossibility of achieving a lasting peace under capitalism.

The PA has called on the UN to implement resolutions 2334 and 904 and act to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians. But the capitalist-dominated United Nations has shown, time and again, that it will not protect innocent civilians in Palestine or anywhere else. Similarly, the PA, despite having over a dozen armed security forces, has failed to protect civilians against IDF incursions or settler pogroms. The Palestinian masses will not be protected by the UN or by the PA. They can only be protected by the struggle of the Palestinian masses themselves. A new socialist intifada, with a mass mobilisation of the entire population, along the lines of the first Intifada, is necessary.

While the Israeli government invades Jenin, it is also at war with its own citizens. Israeli police yesterday arrested 51 anti-Netanyahu demonstrators, as thousands demonstrated in Israel’s main airport.  Massive demonstrations, often over 100,000 strong, have been held for 26 weeks running against Netanyahu’s judicial reforms, while a general strike in March forced Netanyahu to freeze his reforms.  Netanyahu has condemned these demonstrators as “terrorists and anarchists”, teaching increasing numbers that their enemy is not the Palestinians, but their own government. Scandalously, the self-appointed leaders of the demonstrations have rushed to support Netanyahu’s brutal military operation in Jenin. But a sizeable minority of the demonstrators wear T-shirts with the slogan: “There is no democracy with the Occupation”. In reality, capitalism means endless war and assaults on democratic rights.

Israel and Palestine urgently need new workers’ parties, with a socialist programme which can link up the opposition to Netanyahu, whether in Jenin or in Tel Aviv.  This programme would include:

  • Immediate withdrawal of the IDF from the West Bank,
  • End the siege of Gaza
  • Mobilise the Palestinian masses in a new socialist intifada
  • Broaden the Israeli Democracy protests. Bring down Netanyahu!
  • For new workers’ parties in Israel and Palestine to lead the popular struggle.
  • Fight for socialism. End the occupation.  For a solution agreed upon between the Israeli and Palestinian working class, which guarantees the democratic and national rights of all, and ends poverty and all forms of oppression


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July 2023