Friday, April 10, 2009
Laugh of the Day
Israel keeps claiming that its December-January invasion of Gaza was the only option left to it, to put an end to the mortars and rockets that Hamas keeps firing into Israel. That simply is not true.
There was, at the time, a truce between Israel and Hamas. This provided for the suspension by Hamas of firing rockets into Israel during the truce, in return for Israel easing its crippling siege and blockade against Gaza.
The truce had been going well. From the beginning of 2008 until June 19, Hamas fired 2,660 projectiles into Israel. From June 19, when the truce started, until Nov. 4, only 65 rockets had been fired. Israel's intelligence agencies acknowledged the truce had been implemented with surprising effectiveness by Hamas.
Clearly, strengthening and extending the truce was the way to go. Ephraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, wrote recently that the Israeli government could have stopped the rocket attacks long ago by lifting the siege on Gaza.
Regrettably, Israel not only failed to ease the strangling siege on Gaza, but it deliberately broke the truce. On Nov. 4, Israel Defense Forces went into Gaza and killed six Palestinians and injured six more.
In spite of this provocative violation of the truce by Israel, Hamas tried its best to make Israel agree to continue and extend the truce up to 10 years. For several days before the expiration of the truce, Hamas sought, through the good offices of Egypt, Jimmy Carter and others, to extend the truce.
But Israel, with callous disregard for Gaza and its inhabitants, and, more significantly, for the lives of its own citizens and territory, chose to spurn and ignore all overtures by Hamas to resume and even extend the truce.
Israel chose instead death and destruction over calm and peace. It decided to invade Gaza -- once again.
Gulamhusein A. Abba