Labour 4 Palestine commends Hamas’ attack on Israel

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Labour 4 Palestine Photo: X – Labour 4 Palestine

Labour4Palestine is “a pan-Canadian network of labour activists who work to deepen solidarity with Palestinian workers and people in their struggle for liberation.”

On October 7, 2023, Labour 4 Palestine posted on X:

We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinian people & workers as they enter a new stage of resistance against Israeli settler-colonialism, apartheid & occupation #FreePalestine #EndIsraeliApartheid #canlab #Gaza

On October 7, 2023, Labour 4 Palestine posted on Facebook:

🚨OTTAWA: ALL OUT FOR PALESTINE🚨Last night, the resistance in Gaza led an attack against the occupation and has taken occupation soldiers hostages including Brigadier General Nimrom Aloni. The resistance has set a new precedent for the Palestinian struggle – our right to resist the occupation, to defend the land, and to free our prisoners are the utmost priorities. In response, Israel has threatened war and has already started bombing Gaza and attacking Palestinians across the territories. We call on people in Ottawa and in the far diaspora to uplift the call of Palestinians and to march this Sunday Oct 8 at 2pm at the Human Rights Monument (220 Elgin St) 🇵🇸. Join us and call on Canada to condemn Israel’s war crimes and for an immediate end to its apartheid rule. Solidarity forever. ••• 🗓️ Oct 8, 2pm 📍Human Rights Monument

On October 8, 2023, Labour 4 Palestine posted on Facebook:

As Israeli colonial violence escalates in Gaza, Labour for Palestine – Canada demands that the Canadian government call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

We offer our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in recent days, and throughout the decades of forcible dispossession and occupation, no matter where they live.

It is a heartbreaking truth that the daily violence and terror experienced by the Palestinians, at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and with the support of the international community, requires relentless and sustained resistance. A population cannot live under siege and apartheid with the daily threat of harassment, humiliation, violence, home demolitions and murder without responding.

The UN claims 2023 has already been the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the health ministry. Western world leaders, including Canada, have shamefully turned a blind eye as far right Israeli ministers publicly provoke violence, as land grabbing became official government policy, and unspeakable war crimes are a regular occurrence.

After more than 16 years of living under economic and military siege by Israel, of being confined to the world’s largest open air-prison, Gaza has finally broken free and Palestinians are demonstrating their determination to liberate themselves and their land from 75 years of settler-colonization, apartheid and occupation. The current Palestinian violence must be understood within the context that it is taking place in order for genuine peace and justice to be realized.

Now, after such prolonged and shameful silence, Canada and its political parties have jumped to condemn Palestinians for resisting their own annihilation. Yet they refuse to even mention that Israel, a military superpower, has now declared war on Palestinians for daring to resist.

As members of the labour movement in Canada, we call for an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine. We further call on the Canadian Government to recognize and condemn the incessant violence perpetrated and provoked by Israel.

We commend Palestinians for their heroic resistance and their indomitable will. We recognize the right of all people to resist their own occupation, including through armed struggle. This right, first protected by the Geneva Conventions in 1949, has been reaffirmed numerous times by the United Nations general assembly. We refuse to be divided or to fall into the colonial trap of condemning certain Palestinian groups or certain forms of resistance. Canadians should not attempt to dictate how an oppressed indigenous population fights for their own liberation.

We call on all trade unions and labour leaders to be in solidarity with Palestinian resistance by educating their members, pressuring politicians, and championing boycott, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid Israel. The labour movement must use its power and influence to end Canada’s support for Israel’s racist colonial regime. We encourage trade unionists to contact Labour for Palestine for resources and support towards that end.

Swords of Iron: War in the South – Hamas’ Attack on Israel

Excerpts from a report published by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (updated on November 16, 2023):

On Saturday 7 October 2023, the religious holiday of Simhat Torah, in an act of war, approximately two thousand terrorists from the Gaza Strip infiltrated Israel by land, sea and air at several locations and advanced towards Israeli communities and population centers. This was carried out in conjunction with indiscriminate rocket fire targeting towns and cities in the south, the center of the country, and Jerusalem with the intent of maximizing harm to civilians.

The terrorists penetrated several southern settlements and began a murderous killing spree of families and individuals in their homes, in the streets and at a music festival that was being held in the area. The terrorists rampaged throughout the region for many hours, during which time they committed atrocities on a scale that have not been seen since the events of the ISIS massacre in Sinjar in 2014.

The evidence found on the ground, the documentation caught on camera by the terrorists themselves and by security cameras, survivors and other sources, as well as survivors’ testimonies, document a horrendous story of attackers devoid of any shred of humanity. Families were slaughtered in their beds, women were viciously raped, and innocent civilians were maimed, killed and in some instances beheaded. In addition, civilians were burnt alive, babies were butchered, and hundreds of men and women were viciously gunned down while simply dancing at a music festival. Upon their return to the Gaza Strip, the terrorists abducted everyone they happened upon – with an emphasis on families, women and children.

Over two hundred Israeli citizens have been abducted and are being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including small children, women and the elderly. Many of the abductees were injured by Hamas terrorists, many of them need medical treatment and medication, and the condition of many of the abductees is unknown. This is a serious humanitarian crisis and a very fundamental violation of international law, and Israel expects the international community to act in every possible way to protect the rights of the abductees, to ensure proper medical treatment and to provide humanitarian aid to the abductees and their families..

Over the past few days, anti-tank missiles and mortar shells were fired from Lebanese territory at IDF positions on the Lebanese border while terrorists, under the auspices of Hezbollah, attempted to infiltrate Israel.

This means that Israel is at war against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Israel security forces are determined to protect the citizens of Israel on all fronts. The IDF will protect the residents of the State of Israel; the Hamas terror organization and all the terrorists involved in harming the citizens of Israel will pay a very heavy price.

The displacement of tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes in the communities around the Gaza Strip in the wake of the terrorist attack that destroyed their homes and the ongoing rocket fire, and from the northern border communities following the ongoing attacks by Hezbollah on border villages, is posing a significant challenge to Israel. This displacement has intensified the challenging situation in which the survivors of the Hamas massacre in the villages and towns surrounding the Gaza Strip find themselves.

Iran bears direct responsibility for the capabilities of its proxies in the region and therefore also for the use they make of these capabilities.

Additionally, Iran promotes attacks on Israel form other fronts – Lebanon and Syria to the north, using Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, and from the south using the Houthis, Iran’s proxy in Yemen. This is reflected in the firing of missiles, rockets and mortar shells from the north and the launching of missiles and UAVs towards Israel from the south.

Israel has no wish to expand the fighting into other regions but is ready for such developments and will retaliate fiercely and forcefully. The expansion of the arena of fighting against Israel will be met with a particularly harsh response.

In the aftermath of these events, the extent of Israeli casualties was found to be staggering. The casualty toll in Israel currently stands at approximately 1,400 people murdered and 7,262 wounded. About 239 abductees are being held in the Gaza Strip. There are 287 foreign nationals among the murdered people, as well as 15 among the missing and 120 abducted (including holders of dual citizenship). 34 children – 10 of whom are under the age of 5 – as well as 18 elderly people over 75 are among the abducted.

Over 9,500 missiles and rockets have been fired towards Israel so far. Over 1,000 rockets launched from Gaza have fallen inside the Gaza Strip, often resulting in injuries to Gazan residents and infrastructure – including hospitals and schools.

  • Hamas is holding approximately 239 abductees captive in complete denial of their rights and in violation of international law.
  • Israel demands that the Red Cross be permitted to visit abductees and supply medicine and medical treatment and expects the Red Cross and the international community to take measures to ensure their safety and to work for their release.
  • Approximately 250 thousand Israelis have so far been displaced from their homes in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and the northern border and dispersed in various shelters throughout Israel.

IDF forces are operating currently at Shifa Hospital (Wednesday, 15 November), following an early warning that was given to the hospital’s administration. The forces have provided humanitarian equipment, including medicines, baby food and other supplies to the hospital. The forces are accompanied by Arabic-speaking soldiers and medical staff, to ensure the supplies reach their proper destination.