Gaza: the UK role

IssueDecember 2023 - January 2024
Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal area in Gaza City on 9 October 2023. Photo: Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages – via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
News by Milan Rai

Rishi Sunak’s government has actively supported Israel’s war on Gaza, Declassified UK has revealed, flying over 30 military transport flights to Tel Aviv from Akrotiri, an RAF base on Cyprus.

According to Declassified UK, the government has also allowed Akrotiri to be used for US military flights, many of which have been carrying weapons to Israel. (It is not currently known what the British aircraft were carrying.)

The Israeli air assault and ground invasion has so far killed over 11,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza ministry of health, and damaged or destroyed half the buildings in northern Gaza, according to a New York Times analysis of satellite images.

Rather than calling on Israel to stop its war on Gaza completely, to completely lift its illegal blockade on essential supplies and other civilian goods, and to halt settler terrorism in the West Bank (see p6 and p8), the British government has given a green light to all these activities.

As we go to press (28 November), it is not clear how long the hostage-prisoner swap ceasefire in Gaza will be extended. What is clear is that the Israeli government is determined to continue its war of demolition, slaughter and strangulation.

Defence minister Yoav Gallant said on 9 October: ‘There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly.’

On 28 October, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: ‘You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our holy Bible – we do remember.’

He was referred to a genocidal passage where God instructs king Saul to attack the Amalekites: ‘Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’

There has been a widespread demand for revenge in Israel after the mass killing of Israeli civilians on 7 October by Hamas and other Palestinian fighters.

Evidence has emerged, however, that some of the 1,200 Israeli deaths that day were caused by the actions of the Israeli security forces (see p10).

Returning to Akrotiri, the government has banned MP’s questions about the base, and about current British military support to Israel.

The government also imposed a D-Notice warning British media not to report on the activity of British special forces related to Gaza and possible ‘hostage rescue/evacuation operations’.

The D-Notice was defied by Socialist Worker on 28 October.