Adel Hana/AP – A Palestinian boy and militants of the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, attend funerals of Hamas militants in Gaza Strip on Nov. 22, 2012. A Hamas official has warned that violence could flare again if negotiators did not quickly come to an agreement.
Official: Hamas will seek more weapons
Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says: ‘Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis’
“Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots, and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots – whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy? […]
“Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ['Egyptian']. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.
“Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.
Turkish Islamic Scholar: ‘Rocket Attacks Stupid and Pointless’
Any Arab or Persian who believes Hamas achieved victory over Israel in the latest round of violence between the terrorist entity and a nation-state is deluded. Due to the effectiveness of the Iron Dome missile defense system, developed with American assistance, the military and political situation permitted the Israeli government to refrain from a ground attack. In the view of Israelis, this latest confrontation is another example of “cutting the grass.“. In the view of Arabs, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, in which the Egyptians were defeated decisively, was a victory because they crossed the Suez Canal, and then waited to be attacked.
The ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia and Egypt only added to Hamas’s conviction that history was breaking its way. Throughout their modern history, the Palestinians have looked for a redeemer—a man, a power—that could spare them the rigors of a compromise with their Zionist adversaries. In the 1930s, the Palestinians invested their hopes in the Axis powers. More recently, they chose the Egyptian Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Iraqi Saddam Hussein, the power of the Arab oil weapon, etc.
Of late Hamas also drew solace from Turkey’s Islamist leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ever since the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, Turkey (wisely) quit Arab affairs, but Mr. Erdogan surveyed the Arab scene and concluded that he could fill the vacuum left by the autocrats. His willingness to turn his back on the Turkish-Israeli alliance that was a pillar of the Turkish military class made him a darling of the “Arab street.” On Monday, he decried Israel as a “terrorist state.”
Killed: Palestinian gunmen shot dead six alleged collaborators in the Gaza Strip who ‘were caught red-handed’, according to a security source quoted by the Hamas Aqsa radio
Emboldened by the rising power of Islamists around the region, the Palestinian militant group Hamas demanded new Israeli concessions to its security and autonomy before it halts its rocket attacks on Israel, even as the conflict took an increasing toll on Sunday.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, July 26.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Blames Israel for Escalation
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says the “Zionist occupier” is to blame for the escalation in the south.
Israel May Declare Oslo Dead and Buried
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Israel May Declare Oslo Dead and Buried
Two people were reported killed and dozens injured in the strike.
While Trying to Mediate, Egypt Blames Israel for Gaza Conflict
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: November 19, 2012
CAIRO — While holding itself out as an honest broker for truce talks between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza conflict, Egypt’s new government sought on Monday to plunge into the battle over international public opinion on behalf of the Palestinian cause — an arena where the Israelis, more experienced in the world of the free press and democratic politics, have historically dominated.
In Egypt’s most concerted effort to win more global public support for the Palestinians, advisers to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been an outspoken supporter of Hamas, invited foreign correspondents in Cairo to a background briefing at which a senior Egyptian official sought to blame Israel for the conflict while at the same time maintaining Egypt’s role as an intermediary pressing both sides for peace. “We are against any bloodshed,” the official said repeatedly, arguing that Egypt sought stability and individual freedom for all in the region.
Speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting the talks with the Israelis, the Egyptian official argued that the West, which supports Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, was essentially blaming the victim.
“It is so strange people are talking about the rights of self-defense,” he said. “The self-defense of whom? Of the occupied people? Of the besieged people? Of the hurt people? No, the self-defense of the most powerful state in the region and the self-defense of the occupying force of Gaza and Palestine. This is what some of the international community are talking about.”
He implicitly compared the leaders of Hamas to George Washington in America or Charles de Gaulle in France: Heros because they resisted foreign occupation by armed force. “Now, there is an occupation going on for decades and these people who are suffering this occupation are trying to resist, are trying to gain their rights,” the official said. “But we are saying no, they don’t have the rights, they have to stay calm, be killed, be occupied, be besieged, and the self-defense is the right of the occupier.”
The official called this “a huge manifestation of double standards that we will not allow.”
He argued that there was “no comparison” between the level of force used by both sides, and that the Western media had wrongly adopted Israel’s use of the term “rockets” to describe Hamas missiles that were better described as primitive “projectiles.” And he compared the Israeli killing of the top Hamas military official, Ahmed al-Jabari, which in Hamas’s view started the battle, to a hypothetical assassination of Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak. “What would be the reaction of the Israelis? Then can you understand the reaction of the other side?”
Echoing an account presented by President Morsi, the Egyptian official said that Israel’s killing of Mr. Jabari had broken an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement that both sides had accepted the day before Mr. Jabari was targeted.
The Egyptian official said that Mr. Morsi had asked President Obama to help press Israel to agree to a cease-fire, while Mr. Obama in turn had encouraged Mr. Morsi to work on both the Israelis and the Palestinians, since Egypt was already in contact with both sides. The Morsi administration appreciated President Obama’s efforts, the official said, though he added: “We differ on the blame issue, because the blame should not be directed toward the Palestinians in Gaza; the blame should be directed toward the occupation.”
In a sign of the Egyptian government’s inexperience at such public-relations campaigns, the official sought to reinforce his points by distributing a handout printed from the Internet, where it had circulated widely without clear authorship. It was titled “10 things you need to know about Gaza,” with headings like “Prison Camp” and “(Un) fair fight.”
j. von hettlingen Switzerland
Egypt has been trying to broker a ceasefire. Its plan is not known, but most probably Egypt would exercise pressure on Israel by not honouring the peace treaty they had signed. Israel and Hamas have presented conditions for cease-fire. Israel’s demands include no hostile fire of any kind from Gaza and international efforts to prevent Hamas from rearming, while Hamas is demanding an end to the blockade on Gaza and “Israel’s assassinations”. Who would emerge as winner of this conflict? The Hamas!
Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:44 a.m.
Danny Chicago, IL
This is pathetic. Palestinians will never have the world on their side until they denounce violence. No matter how you spin the facts, one side refuses the other sides’ right to exist. As long as Hamas refuses to recognize the two-state solution, and continues to launch rockets indiscriminantly at both Israelis and Arabs, there will be no peace and people will blame the side that initiates bloodshed. Have you ever heard of an Israeli suicide bomber? Has Israel ever targeted schools and school buses as Hamas does? Why does Israel build bomb shelters for it’s citizens while Hamas builds rockets in peoples backyards and holds up their corpses when the Israeli’s strike back? Both sides share blame for not making peace and both sides need to listen to each other. But the Palestinians (Hamas specifically) are the sole party to blame for the violence going on now.
Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:50 p.m.
Paul Ballard Bethesda, MD
Reflection on Gaza -
A Tale of Two Times :
A)Biblical Times, Judea – a man from Judea is attacked on the road by thieves and left for dead.
A good Samaritan – that is a non-Judean – happens by and helps the Judean who has been attacked and takes him to safety.
B)21st. Century, Israel or Palestine – a man from Judea is attacked on the road by thieves and left for dead.
No Samaritan, good or bad, happens by. Some years earlier, all Samaritans were forced to flee their homes by the Israel Defense Forces.
So there are no Samaritans close by. The Judean man who was attacked dies on the roadside, with no help from anybody.
This tale is also known as the Parable of Getting What You Want. It’s very sad. It says something about Man’s inhumanity to Man!
Let us all pray to Yahwe, Allah, God that we, as humans, may have the humility to change!
Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.
Paul, the long and overwhelmingly documented goal of the Hamas is the destruction of the Jewish state. Any recognition of a two-state solution has expressly been described by Hamas as a temporary option. Israel has a history of negotiating with the PLO when they ceased and condemned terrorist activities, so history contradicts your implicit assertion that Israel does not recognize the Palestinians right to self – govern. Further, the Palestinians themselves do not all recognize Hamas as the ruling governing party. If the Palestinians themselves all recognized Hamas, then why is the West Bank under the governance of the Palestinian Authority? How is Israel supposed to negotiate with the Palestinians when they themselves are fighting each other? On a side note, I do agree that Israel will need to eventually dismantle those settlements that will inhibit a future state.
Regarding the blockade, should Israel allow the free flow of weapons from Iran into Gaza?
The human tragedy is the Hamas’ use of civilians as shields, the location of launch sites next to schools and mosques, and the strategic placement of the military operation underneath a hospital.
It defies logic that the Palestinians themselves do not fully recognize the results of the last election. How could you expect Israel to recognize a terrorist organization whose objective, despite what you may think, is the destruction of the Jewish State?
Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.
How can people say that the US and Britain are taking Israel’s side. While being the only countries that don’t condemn Israel and say that they have a right to protect themselves each have also stated that all aide would be withdrawn if Israel invades Gaza was ground forces. In the meantime HAMAS continues to launch rockets at civilian targets in Israel. Israel is doing their best with air strikes and missiles are trying to stop the attacks. As HAMAS is looking for publicity they have all of their launchers and leaders hidden among places like schools, mosques and hospitals. If these sites are not taken out on the ground either by the Palestinian military, the UN or someone else then Israel has no other options left open to them other than to continue to be bombed.
For those morons that say that Israel took their land by force they obviously are ignorant of history. Much of Israel was unsettled lands and in 1948 most of the country was granted to them by another country that was the occupier, the UK. Needless to say Israel acquired some extra land on their borders after having war waged against them 5 times and each time being the victor. Every country in this world has had land acquired at some point by taking it from someone else.
HAMAS needs to be kicked out of Gaza and then there will be peace. They should go live in Iran.
Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
Hamas leaves Israel no choice
Israel will not allow the lives of its citizens to be endangered. If only Gaza’s leaders felt the same
Danny Ayalon The Guardian, Monday 19 November 2012 15.15 ES
Citizens of Nitzan, southern Israel, take cover in a concrete tube during a rocket attack from Gaza, on 19 November. Photograph: Ahikam Seri/AP
Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”. While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.
Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality. While some might suggest the so-called blockade is the cause of the attacks, it is actually a consequence. The restrictions were only implemented two years after Israel left Gaza, when it was clear that instead of building a “Singapore of the Middle East”, Hamas was interested in importing stockpiles of weapons from places like Iran. Instead of building a future for its people, Hamas built an open-air prison for the million and a half inhabitants who fell into its grasp.
However, Gaza was never enough for an organisation whose raison d’etre is the annihilation of Israel, and whose charter begins with the ominous warning that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”
Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don’t reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.
Hamas leaders frequently declare that their people actively seek death. Fathi Hamad, a senior member of Hamas, stated in 2008 that “for the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women and children excel. Accordingly we created a human shield of women, children and elderly. We seek death as you [Israelis] desire life.”
Hamas seeks conflagration and war. Death and destruction is seen as a win-win calculation, as any Israeli death is considered a glorious achievement and every Palestinian death that of a “holy martyr”, providing badly needed propaganda locally and internationally. Seemingly there are not enough deaths for them, so Hamas’s military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, has been busy sending out pictures of massacres in Syria, claiming they were taken in Gaza.
Israel has been left with little choice but to root out this nest of hate and destruction. No nation on earth would allow a third of its population to live in constant fear of incessant fire emanating from a neighbouring territory. Our government exercised restraint. We gave the international community time to act. However, there was a deafening silence, demonstrating to Israelis that we had to take action to protect our citizens.
Those who refused to condemn the attacks on Israeli citizens have no right to condemn Israel’s response to establish peace and quiet for its citizens. This is the basic obligation of any sovereign nation, and we will continue taking any action necessary to achieve this aim.
In the face of this undeniable truth, the usual accusation is that Israel is responding with “disproportionate force” or carrying out “collective punishment”. I urge all who make this accusation to consider that Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure. Yet despite this, the number of Palestinian casualties remains around one for every 13 strikes, the majority killed being active members of Hamas and combatants.
Israel will not allow its citizens’ lives to be endangered. The international community must call on the Palestinian leadership in the Gaza Strip to take the same approach with its own people.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod. (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)
The callousness of Hamas
By Richard Cohen, Published: November 19
Of all the points of disagreement between Israel and Hamas, maybe the most profound is this one: Israel cares more about sparing innocent lives — including those of Palestinians — than does Hamas. Not only have Hamas and other militant groups this year sent more than 700 rockets crashing haphazardly into southern Israel, but also Hamas instigated yet another war where the chief loser will certainly be its own people. If hell has a beach, it’s located in Gaza.
TheGaza Strip is a congested, fetid place. It is densely populated and in the slums and housing blocks, Hamas has hidden its weapons, explosives and rocket launchers. Israel has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. Its air force has used new, highly accurate ammunition aiming for rocket-launching sites and government installations. For the most part, it has succeeded.
For Hamas, civilian casualties are an asset. Palestinians love and grieve as do other people, but Hamas leadership knows that the world has gotten impatient with Israel. Increasingly, many people now see Israel as the aggressor, as Gaza’s occupying power (never mind the 2005 pullout), and they overlook such trifles as the Hamas charter, which is repellently anti-Semitic and cites the discredited forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” In the Hamas cosmology, Jews are so evil that somehow “they also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials.” This, you would have to concede, is a wholly original take on the Holocaust.
Many in the West heroically ignore such nonsense. They embrace Hamas as the champions of a victimized Third World people. In recent days, some editorialists have bemoaned the war and Hamas’ role in inciting it. But then comes the inevitable “however.” “However, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu must also take much blame for stoking resentment among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank for so long,” opined theFinancial Times. The New York Times’ caveat came lower down in its initial editorial on the war: “But it would be easier to win support for retaliatory action if Israel was engaged in serious negotiations with Hamas’ rival, the Palestinian Authority.” Apparently, 700 rockets are not enough.
Look, let us stipulate: Palestinians have suffered greatly. They have legitimate grievances. Israel has at times been a bully, and the slow and steady march of West Bank settlements is both wrong and destructive of the (nonexistent) peace process. But for all this, it is insane to apply the Officer Krupke rule (from “West Side Story”) to Hamas: “We ain’t no delinquents, we’re misunderstood. Deep down inside us there is good.” There is little good in Hamas.
Hamas is not the passive party in this struggle. It rules Gaza by force. The other day it murdered — please don’t say “executed” — an alleged collaborator without the inconvenience of a trial, shooting the man on a crowded street. It chose to make war by allowing more militant groups to use Gaza as a launching pad for rockets and firing off the occasional rocket itself. No nation is going to put up with this sort of terror. The rockets do some, not a lot of damage, but that’s not the point. The point instead is that people who have the wherewithal will not continue to live in a place where even the occasional rocket can come down on your kids’ school. This is not a mere border problem. For Israel, this is an existential threat.
What various editorial writers and others seem not to understand is that the very peace agreement they accuse Israel of forestalling is, in fact, impeded by Hamas’ use of violence. Who wants to make peace with extremists? Who wants to give up land for the promises of peace offered by zealots who read Hitler for inspiration? Israel pulled out of Gaza once already. Abandoned greenhouses were refurbished by Jewish philanthropists in America. The greenhouses were trashed and with them what now seems like naive optimism. Soon, Hamas took control and the rockets started hitting Israel.
This war between Arabs and Jews, between Israelis and Palestinians, is well over 100 years old. Both sides have a case and both sides have proved to be indomitable. But both sides are not equally right in all instances. Hamas sent rockets into Israel, not caring if they hit a chicken coop or a group of toddlers jumping in and out of a sprinkler. You want balance? Here’s balance. Hamas didn’t care if its own people died either.