The attention of the world is on Israel and Palestine and the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. But what is the context of the violence? Surely the violence didn't arise in the past week?

We need to look back to the late 1800s and the founder of political Zionism - Theodore Herzl. In 1896 he published the famous pamphlet 'Der Judenstaat' where he elaborated on his vision of creating a Jewish state in Palestine.

In 1903 the Uganda Scheme was proposed as a temporary refuge for Jews in British East Africa which was rejected. Zionism is a national movement which called for the establishment of a homeland for Jews in Palestine.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration committed Great Britain to help with creating a "national home for the Jewish people." Palestine at the time was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.

However regarding the Declaration made by the British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour it was to be "understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine."

One part of the declaration was followed through but not the other.

The indigenous Palestinian people were literally thrown out from their ancestral homeland. Jews, Muslims and Christians had been living in harmony for centuries in the country of Palestine prior to the Zionist colonial project.

The area had been ruled by the Ottomans since 1516. The Palestinian people initially welcomed Jewish immigrants into their country like American Indians welcomed their future colonisers.

The British captured Palestine from the Ottomans after defeating them in World War 1 and was granted Mandatory powers over the region. In 1922 mass Jewish immigration started to take place. Once the Palestinian Arabs realised what was happening they rioted and carried out sectarian violence.

Between the 1920s and 1940s the number of Jews grew especially after the Nazi genocide during World War 2.

Jewish terror groups such as Irgun and the Stern Gang carried out a campaign to force the British out. The King David hotel was bombed by them.

In May 1948, Israel declared independence causing neighbouring Arab countries to invade the newly formed state.

The Arab countries were defeated and the Nakba (catastrophe) took place. More than 750,000 Palestinian people were expelled by the Israelis. Only two parts of Palestine remained under Arab control - The West Bank (and East Jerusalem) under Jordan and Gaza was under Egyptian control.

However, after the 6-Day-War in 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the Golan Heights aswell as Gaza. To this day Israel occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem which it claims as its capital.

Israel has built illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem where 700,000 Jewish settlers now live.

The current assault on Gaza is a continuation of Israeli action in the small sliver of land which many describe as the 'largest open air prison' which has been blockaded since Hamas was elected into power in 2006.

There has been a land, air and sea blockade even before the present Israeli assault. Nothing was allowed in or out.

Since Hamas took control of the 25 mile long strip of land they have fought numerous wars with Israel. It must be noted that Israel is the regional superpower as it's military is the most powerful in the Middle East whereas the Palestinians don't even have an airport let alone an army.

As a result Palestinian casualties - including women and children - are far greater than Israeli casualties. The people of Palestine have been living in a wretched condition for over 70 years after their land was occupied by a Zionist inspired occupying force.

That force has set its sight on Gaza after Hamas fighters carried out an assault on Israel and killed many soldiers and innocent civilians too.

The reality is that the Palestinians have a right to self determination and to live free from occupation. The right to live in peace and prosperity.

With Israeli plans to carry out a ground invasion, many are worried that a genocide will take place in open view.

On numerous occasions, we have stated 'never again' but it is happening again. Desperate people will do desperate things and the present violence is just a continuation of atrocities and oppression going back to the first Nakba in 1948.