Israel Bombs Syria

October 14, 2003

On October 5, Israeli warplanes bombed targets deep inside Syria, violating the sovereignty of that country and further fanning the flames of war which both U.S. imperialism and its surrogate Israel are spreading throughout the Middle East.

Israel tried to justify this aggression by relying on the Bush Doctrine and declaring that it "will act with determination" against "any country who harbors terrorism, who trains terrorists, supports and encourage them." In the same statement Israel also accused Iran of funding and directing terrorist groups. George Bush, for his part, responded to questions about the Israeli attack by saying: "Israel must not feel constrained in terms of defending the homeland."

Three days later, on October 8, the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives voted 33-2 in favor of a new law which would impose harsh economic and political sanctions on Syria. Echoing the tired refrain about "weapons of mass destruction" and "support for terrorism," Bush and Congress are stepping up their pressure against Syria, demanding that it bow down to U.S. demands and domination of the region.

These events again remind the peoples of the real danger that U.S. imperialism may spread its "war against terrorism" from Iraq, to Syria, Iran and other countries.

Intensifying the Occupation and War Against Palestine

At the same time, Israel is escalating its war against the Palestinian people.

On October 10, Israel launched "Operation Enchanted Day" by attacking the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip . At least six Palestinians were killed, including an 8-year old boy, and 50 people were wounded. Most of the casualties occurred when a helicopter fired missiles into a crowd of civilians.

Earlier in the week Israel had deployed two additional battalions in the West Bank and Gaza and put another 4 battalions of reservists on alert status.

In addition, Israel has begun "Phase 2" of its construction of a "security fence" walling off the West Bank. Phase 2 will cut deep inside Palestinian territory and create horseshoe shaped barriers to encircle several Israel settlements. This security fence is being used both to expropriate more Palestinian land (including 15% of the best agricultural land in the West Bank) and also to cut Palestinian towns off from each other, breaking the West Bank up into separate cantons and undermining the territorial integrity and economic viability of any future Palestinian state.

On 10/2, the Israeli government also announced plans for building 660 more housing units in various West Bank settlements including Jerusalem.

The "security fence" as well as the continuous expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, vividly demonstrate that the Israeli state has no intention of living in peace with the Palestinian people and recognizing their right to a sovereign state. Rather, Israel aims at colonizing and annexing all of Palestine.

As for Israel's sponsor - U.S. imperialism - it has made the suppression of the Palestinian people a high priority in its plans to make the entire Middle East "safe" for U.S. colonial rule. This is because the Palestinian liberation struggle remains a clarion call to all the Arab peoples to rise in struggle against U.S. imperialist domination and dictate.