Posted by: Lister | December 28, 2008

Gaza on Sunday

The UN has spoken up, asking for calm but demanding nothing. Haaretz:

The United Nations Security Council called early on Sunday for an immediate end to all violence in Gaza after the death toll climbed past 270 on the second day of Israeli air strikes in retaliation for rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants.

[…] The statement, agreed upon after four hours of closed-door council discussions, called on all parties to address “the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza.”

It urged them to take necessary measures, including the opening of border crossings, to ensure Gaza’s people were supplied with food, fuel and medical treatment. Israel has been restricting the amount of supplies that have been allowed in.

Council members “stressed the need for the restoration of calm in full” – a reference to a six-month cease-fire ended by Hamas a week ago – to open the way for a Palestinian-Israeli political solution.

Diplomats from several countries said they had preferred a cautiously worded statement on which all 15 council members could agree to a public debate where they would have clashed angrily over who was to blame for the Gaza violence.

“We have had over the years many occasions when we had long meetings of the Security Council, strong statements were made and they did not affect anything,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said. “Our hope and our expectation is that this modest… press statement is going to have an impact.”

Well, they can hope. When the police see two men fighting, they don’t debate who is to blame — they stop the fight. Full stop.

And the Gazans have breached the border with Egypt again. I hope the breach is permanent this time.

An Egyptian security official said there were at least five breaches along the 9 mile (14 kilometer) border and hundreds of Palestinian residents were pouring in.

At least 300 Egyptian border guards have been rushed to the area to reseal the border, the official added on condition on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

A resident of the Gaza Strip side of the border, Fida Kishta, said that Egyptian border guards opened fire to drive back the Palestinians. Residents have also commandeered a bulldozer to open new breaches.

Palestinians reported several people were wounded by the gunfire.

And Israel claims to have destroyed 40 tunnels.

Reuterssays:

Dozens of Palestinians crossed into Egyptian territory from Gaza on Sunday as Egyptian riot police fired in the air to fend them off, witnesses said.

[…] Bursts of gunfire were audible by telephone from Rafah as the Egyptian police tried to frighten the Palestinians off. Gaza hospitals said they were treating 10 people wounded by Egyptian police shooting at Rafah.

Egypt has been cooperating with Israel for months in the blockade of Gaza, severely restricting the flow of goods and people across the Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only access point which is not under direct Israeli control.

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Responses

  1. To all the people who sleep safely in their beds at night and have the audacity to criticize the Israeli government, this is for you:
    None of you spoke in the past 8 years when rockets and bombs fell in southern Israeli cities, causing death and damage without any provocation on our part.
    What you need to understand are two things-
    First of all, there is no functioning government in Gaza. The Hamas took over and they are running the show. The Hamas, in case you didn’t know, is a terror organization. Just like Al-kaida and Hezbollah. Israel is dealing with terror organizations all around its borders. Not with governments. And not with civilians. We have nothing against the Palestinians. Only the terrorists.
    The second thing you need to know is that the Hamas is a very cynical organization which uses innocent women and children to fight Israel. They launch their missals from civilian’s houses, not from open fields or military camps, and when the Israeli army wants to destroy those missals launchers- sometimes innocent people die.
    Ask yourself- what would you do if your life was constantly under threat? Look at the map. Maybe that will help you grasp our geographic situation.
    The purpose of the Israeli army is to defend. Not attack.
    So next time you think about how miserable and poor the Palestinians are, and how powerful and evil the Israelis are- think again.
    (Written by a left-wing Israeli who thinks terror should not win anywhere in the world).

  2. shirajordan,
    So you think that terror should not win anywhere in the world….

    Every act of collective punishment that Israel inflicts is justified in exactly the same way that bin Laden justifies his attacks. Read what Chomsky says:

    On February 12, the statements of Osama bin Laden were reviewed in the New York Times by NYU law professor Noah Feldman. He described bin Laden’s descent into utter barbarism, reaching the depths when he advanced “the perverse claim that since the United States is a democracy, all citizens bear responsibility for its government’s actions, and civilians are therefore fair targets.” Utter depravity, no doubt.

    Two days later, the lead story in the Times casually reported that the United States and Israel are joining bin Laden in the lower depths of depravity.

    Palestinians offended the masters by voting the wrong way in a free election. The population must therefore be punished for this crime. The “intention,” the correspondent observed, “is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections” so that President Mahmoud Abbas will be “compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.” Mechanisms of punishment of the population are outlined. The article also reports that Condoleezza Rice will visit the oil producers to ensure that they do not relieve the torture of the Palestinians. In short, bin Laden’s “perverse claim”; but when the United States advances the claim, it is not ultimate evil but rather righteous dedication to “democracy promotion.”

    So that’s what I think of Israel’s collective punishment through blockades and bombardment: it is terrorism.

    And you don’t know what I have spoken up about, because you have not read my blog or talked to me before.

    Israel has occupied Gaza and the West Bank for 40 years. And you don’t think that is a provocation?

    Do you remember what Olmert said not so long ago? Israel is on the road to a one-state solution, because the 2-state solution is becoming harder and harder to achieve.

    Hafrada is worse than Apartheid.

  3. The Jordanians have protested outside the Egyptian embassy. Reuters:

    Jordanian deputies burnt an Israeli flag during a parliamentary session on Sunday in a rare protest against the Jewish state’s raids on the Gaza Strip, parliamentary sources said.

    […] Several mainstream deputies also demanded the kingdom, the second Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, sever diplomatic ties with its neighbour and expel its ambassador.

    […] In the second day of protests in the capital Amman, hundreds of Jordanians marched to the Egyptian embassy to demand Cairo throw open its border with Gaza, ending the blockade imposed on the coastal strip for much of the time since Hamas won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.

    “Stop this Egypt. How many more martyrs do you need before you decide to open Rafah (the crossing),” one banner said.


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