Gaza – a disaster zone thanks to Israel’s colonialism

Edward Jayne gives a cogent overview of Israeli deceptive political strategy aimed at disrupting Palestinian lives and demonising opposition while more territory is acquired for the purposes of a Greater Israel.

Israel is attempting to manipulate regime change in the Gaza strip by controlling aid.

Defense officials said that Israel preferred that all of the money donated to rehabilitating the Gaza Strip be transferred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, since it could be a way for the Fatah leader to reassert his control over Gaza.

“This is a way for Abbas to get back in control of the Gaza Strip,” one official said. “If he is in charge of the money, Hamas will have to work with him and he will be involved in what happens in Gaza.”

Hamas is starting to make overtures to Fatah supporters:

Hamas called Thursday for reconciliation with supporters of rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but insisted on pursuing resistance against Israel.

The condition appeared to preclude any agreement with Abbas, who seeks a peace deal with Israel and whose moderate Fatah faction was not among the groups that backed the statement by eight Damascus-based radical Palestinian factions including Hamas.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior Hamas official dismissed any reconciliation talks with rival Fatah group.
Sami Khater, a member of the militant group’s Damascus-based branch, said Arab and international donations to reconstruct the war-devastated Gaza should go directly to Hamas and not to rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose faction rules the West Bank.

Khater said Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cannot be trusted.

Palestinian Authority Social Affairs Minister Mahmoud Habbash earlier on Thursday accused gunmen from the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip of hijacking dozens of trucks carrying aid intended for residents reeling from the three-week-long Israeli assault.

Habbash, of the Fatah-led government based in the West Bank, told Voice of Palestine Radio that the trucks were supposed to come under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Hamas, however, says the supply trucks were dispatched by Arab donors specifically for the Hamas administration in the Strip, and to no other group, to distribute to the people of Gaza.

As a result, on arrival in the Strip the trucks were directed to Hamas warehouses, officials from the Islamist movement said, adding that they have papers from the donor countries showing that the supplies were sent to the Hamas administration.

UN officials have also said that none of its supply and aid trucks have been hijacked or attacked by any armed group inside Gaza.

The story fails to mention that according to Hamas, Abbas’ presidential term ended on the 9th January 09.

Abbas’s supporters however cite a different provision of the constitution which says that presidential and parliamentary elections should be held together, which would extend Abbas’s term to January 2010.

Interestingly, representatives from the two main Palestinian factions were due to meet in Cairo on November 4 08 to try to agree on a national unity government. November 4 was the day Israel breached the cease fire in Gaza. Of course, a national unity Palestinian government would be the last thing Israel wanted – that would be the end of the Israeli divide and conquer strategy.

Chomsky concurs with me in his scholarly analysis of Israeli monstrosity.

Despite the Israeli siege, rocketing sharply reduced. The ceasefire broke down on November 4 with an Israeli raid into Gaza, leading to the death of 6 Palestinians, and a retaliatory barrage of rockets (with no injuries). The pretext for the raid was that Israel had detected a tunnel in Gaza that might have been intended for use to capture another Israeli soldier. The pretext is transparently absurd, as a number of commentators have noted. If such a tunnel existed, and reached the border, Israel could easily have barred it right there. But as usual, the ludicrous Israeli pretext was deemed credible.

What was the reason for the Israeli raid? We have no internal evidence about Israeli planning, but we do know that the raid came shortly before scheduled Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo aimed at “reconciling their differences and creating a single, unified government,” British correspondent Rory McCarthy reported. That was to be the first Fatah-Hamas meeting since the June 2007 civil war that left Hamas in control of Gaza, and would have been a significant step towards advancing diplomatic efforts. There is a long history of Israel provocations to deter the threat of diplomacy, some already mentioned. This may have been another one.

Possibilities for rehabilitation of Hamas into a peace partner are discussed in ANALYSIS-Gaza truce, Obama fuel talk of talking to Hamas

Seizing on signs that Europe, disturbed by killing and poverty in Gaza and emboldened by change in Washington, might reconsider its ban on contact with the Palestinian Islamists, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal claimed “victory” and said on Wednesday: “I tell European nations … it is time for you to deal with Hamas.”

It is a sentiment that is finding some echo elsewhere, even if a dramatic front-page appeal by leading Israeli writer David Grossman in Haaretz newspaper remains a marginal view in Israel:

“Instead of ignoring Hamas … we would do better to take advantage of the new reality that has been created by beginning a dialogue with them immediately,” he wrote in Tuesday’s piece.

Only dialogue could avert mutual destruction, Grossman said.

Hamas rejects talks that would imply recognition of Israel, though does not rule out all contact. Unlike other Palestinian groups, it has not accepted Israel and wants all its territory, but Hamas leaders have also offered Israel a “long-term truce”.

At a meeting on Wednesday with Israeli officials, EU foreign ministers were asked if they should now speak directly to Hamas. Finland’s Alexander Stubb said cautiously: “It is time to start slowly reflecting how we get all parties round the table.”

“No comprehensive solution can be taken without Hamas.”

“The option of negotiating with Hamas has never been really taken into consideration,” French expert Olivier Roy wrote in an opinion piece in Wednesday’s Saudi Gazette, looking at Obama’s options in the region. “It is time to consider that option.”


A battle over what happened in Gaza

“We are witnessing a moral corrosion that is destroying everything at a fantastic pace,” said Michael Sfard, a lawyer with Volunteers for Human Rights in Tel Aviv. “We’ve reached a threshold of insensitivity that we had never reached in the past.”

The offensive “on Gaza may be squeezing Hamas, but it is destroying Israel,” Ari Shavit wrote in the left-leaning Haaretz in the days before the operation ended. “Destroying its soul and its image. Destroying it on world television screens, in the living rooms of the international community and most importantly, in Obama’s America.”

Liberating Palestine – some useful ideas for peace from Malaysia

In an unprecedented move, the BBC is refusing to run ads for the DEC campaign for alleviation of human suffering in Gaza – perhaps the DEC could try again with an appeal to save Gaza wildlife, as apparently the lives of humans in Gaza are not counted as important to the BBC.

Prisoner swap deals are on the horizon

Israel might be prepared to swap hundreds of jailed Palestinians for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held in captivity in the Gaza Strip for more than two years, senior Israeli officials indicated yesterday.

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, said yesterday that the Israel Defence Forces’ operation in the Gaza Strip had created “renewed momentum” to strike a deal with Hamas for Shalit’s return.

Hamas officials in Gaza and the West Bank insisted, for their part, that Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid, “would not see the light of day” unless Israel agreed to the release of up to 1,400 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel’s Supreme Court has overturned the Central Elections Commision’s decision to exclude two arab parties from the February 10 elections.

This week, the Supreme Court accepted a petition by two Arab Knesset factions – Balad and United Arab List-Ta’al – and overturned the Central Elections Commission’s decision to bar them from running in the upcoming elections. This ruling, which did not ignore the problematic elements of both parties’ platforms, rescued the political system from the disgrace it inflicted on itself and the voting public by disqualifying these slates.

Israel to open Gaza Strip crossing to journalists