Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Challenge - Summarize and Analyze the Cycle of Violence in Gaza - Part 3

Today is Day 14,288 of the Maintenance of the Immoral (and Illegal) West Bank Settlements and almost the 40th anniversary of the start of the immoral (and illegal) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Rabbi Akiva - “ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18 - this is the major principle of the Torah.”

The Challenge - Summarize and Analyze the Cycle of Violence in Gaza - Part 3
Here is My Summary and Analysis of May 21 - May 27

(As noted in the last post, I have copied the text from Part 1 in small print and annotated throughout with my comments italicized and bolded.)

Again, for 11 days I have read the headlines and the articles about what is happening in Gaza. They all describe violence by Hamas, Fatah and the government of Israel. Rather than being conflicted about even reading about this, I thought I would challenge myself to summarize and analyze the cycle of violence. What I did first was to cut and paste excerpts from each article (primarily those from the Boston Globe) and compile them into one file. That file appears below. What I challenge you to do is to read the entire 11 day chronology and write your own summary and analysis. I am in the process of doing the same thing and will post mine when I am not prepared to agonize over it any more (note that I did not say "when it is completed"). I encourage you to do the same.

May 21, 2007 JERUSALEM—Of the Israeli missile that killed 8 members of his family and friends, “These crimes will not stop us or our people from continuing the struggle and resistance," Haya, the head of Hamas's parliamentary bloc, said later at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. But Israeli military officials said Haya was not the intended target. They said Israeli aircraft fired on a "terrorist cell" in the Sharjiya neighborhood where Haya lives. Israeli officials said one of the men killed was Sameh Ferwanah, 28, a senior Hamas military official from Gaza who has been involved in rocket and shooting attacks on Israel. The name appeared on the list of dead provided by Palestinian medical officials. "We know from initial reports that of the terrorist cells we targeted, all five were hit," said Captain Noa Meir, an Israeli military spokeswoman. "They were the target and they were hit. Anything else that happened, that was not our intention."

The GOI says that the assassination of the 8 friends and members of the family of al Haya when his house was hit by an airstrike was unintentional.” What is the reason for assassinating these Hamas officials? Was it because of the rockets fired into Sderot which appears to have been in response to the GOI airstrikes?

The strike followed another day of rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, along with warnings from the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, that the military response would intensify unless the attacks stopped. About 35 Palestinians, most of them Hamas gunmen, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes over the past six days. Last evening, an Israeli tank near Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza fired on a group of men who had just launched two rockets toward Israel, military officials said. Palestinian hospital officials said the tank shell seriously wounded five members of the Masri family, including several children.(On Monday, an Israeli airstrike just after midnight on a post used by the Hamas military wing in Gaza killed at least one gunmen and wounded several others.) Hamas's military wing has fired more than 120 rockets into Israel over the past six days. Israeli military officials said 20 rockets were fired yesterday toward Israel, many of them landing in and around the city of Sderot. One woman has been seriously injured in the days of attacks and dozens of others treated for light wounds and shock. At the same time Israel appears to be ratcheting up its military retaliation, the factional fighting between Hamas and the rival Fatah party appears to be waning. A cease-fire agreement between the parties -- the fifth since the latest spasm of partisan fighting began a week ago -- held yesterday with no reports of casualties. More than 50 Palestinians have died in the fighting over the past week.

It appears that the violence between Fatah and Hamas has temporarily ended. Why does the GOI of Israel continue to assassinate Palestinians? At this point in time, the GOI has assassinated 35 Palestinians and NO ONE has been killed by the rockets fired into Sderot!

At this time, the GOI should it want peace in this region and safety for the residents of Sderot would do what – it would end its violence and assassinations in Gaza and propose negotiations with Hamas and Fatah.

May 22, 2007 GAZA CITY -- Israeli-Palestinian violence escalated dangerously yesterday when Israel killed five militants in air strikes and hinted Hamas political leaders could be their next target.

Mais non!! But NO! The GOI did not propose a meeting with Fatah and Hamas. The GOI assassinated five more Palestinians. Note that I did not use the word militant. What is a militant? Is being a militant enough to subject you to the death penalty without trial?

A rocket fired from Gaza killed an Israeli woman, the first Israeli to die in a Palestinian rocket attack since November.

And the failure of the GOI to seek a negotiated political solution has now resulted in the death of an Israeli women. Will that now be a justification for the GOI to retaliate?

The precautions followed an Israeli air strike late Sunday on the home of Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Haya that killed eight people. Israel denied Haya, who was not there at the time, was the target. But Israel's leaders said they would use more drastic measures to stop daily barrages of rocket fire into Israel. Yesterday an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a car carrying four Islamic Jihad men, killing all of them. A spokesman for the group, which has carried out hundreds of rocket attacks and suicide bombings in recent years, said the men were targeted just after firing rockets into Israel. Other airstrikes yesterday killed a Hamas militant and hit suspected weapons-storage facilities, the Israeli Army said. More than 40 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes since a decision last week to start hitting back for the rocket barrages.

Why do they write that the GOI was killing in retaliation for the rocket barrages when it appears that the GOI airstrikes preceded the rocket barrage and was likely the reason for the rocket barrage? Why don’t they sometimes write that the Palestinians decision to fire rockets into Sderot was in reaction to the GOI airstrikes, assassinations, closure of Gaza, etc?

Late yesterday, Israel imposed a closure on Gaza and the West Bank, banning Palestinians from entering Israel except in humanitarian cases. The military said the closure would be lifted tomorrow after a Jewish holiday, depending on the security situation. The Israeli strikes have not slowed the rockets. Militants launched at least 18 homemade rockets at Israel from Gaza yesterday, according to the military and Israeli media, bringing the total over the past week to more than 150. In addition to the death yesterday, 16 Israelis have been wounded in the past week and the barrages have disrupted life in Israeli towns near Gaza. At sundown, a Palestinian rocket hit a car and set it on fire in the Israeli town of Sderot, about a mile from Gaza. The woman died en route to the hospital and two others were wounded in the attack. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

May 23, 2007 GAZA CITY -- Israel launched more air strikes on suspected Gaza militants today, wounding seven people, hospital officials and residents of the northern part of the coastal strip said. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that an aircraft had fired missiles into a building used to store munitions and that secondary explosions were observed. Israel said yesterday that it could target the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, and that a Gaza ground offensive was possible unless world pressure was brought on the Islamist group to halt all rocket fire aimed at the Jewish state.May 26, 2007 JERUSALEM (CNN) – Israel unleashed a new round of airstrikes on Gaza and arrested a second Hamas member of the Palestinian unity government in the West Bank on Saturday, Israel Defense Forces told CNN.Israeli forces seized State Minister Wasfi Kabaha at his home in the West Bankin in an early-morning raid. On Thursday, Education Minister Nasser Al Shaer and about 30 other senior members of Hamas were arrested.

Isn’t it about time for the GOI to respond to that pesky annoying question about why it doesn’t sit down with the Palestinians and negotiate a political settlement for a just peace by having a spokesperson for the GOI announce “We have no partner for peace”? That is such a ridiculous statement, anyway, since it is evident that you negotiate with your enemies, not your friends. The GOI is quite aware of everyone with whom they could and should negotiate because they are now arresting them when they are not trying to assassinating them!!!

Airstrikes directed at Hamas targets in Gaza killed four members of Hamas' special forces and injured three, according to Palestinian security and Hamas sources.The airstrikes hit in Gaza City, Rafah and Khan Yunis.

By now I’ve almost forgotten why all these Palestinians are being assassinated by the GOI. Was it because they were killing each other? Was it because they were firing rockets into Sderot? Was it because the GOI can?

Earlier in the day, Palestinian security sources reported four people were injured when Israeli airstrikes struck targets in and around Gaza City. Those targets included a facility used by bodyguards for Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and a wood workshop near the Jebailya refugee camp, the sources said.

More assassinations.

Recent days have been marked by Palestinian rockets flying into Israel followed by Israeli strikes at Hamas targets.

More rockets fired into Sderot.

On Friday, Palestinian security sources said Israeli airstrikes targeting positions in and around Gaza City killed a Palestinian and wounded more than 10 others.

Another assassination.

The strikes followed a Palestinian-fired Qassam rocket hitting the yard of a house in Sderot Friday afternoon, according to the IDF and Israel Ambulance Services. At least eight rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza on Friday, officials said.

Hey, here it is again. The strikes followed the firing of the rockets. Who knew?

Also Friday, the IDF said it had carried out an aerial attack south of Gaza City against Hamas targets in an attempt to combat Palestinian rocket attacks.

Hey, here it is again. The strikes followed the firing of the rockets. Who knew?

Palestinian security sources said three Palestinians were wounded. They said the strike targeted a base of the Hamas Executive Force and a base of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades.Journalist Talal Abu-Rahmi contributed to this report. Palestinian factions met to discuss a possible truce with Israel.

Well now you can be SURE that the GOI, in order to protect the Ethiopians of Sderot and the other residents from death and injury from rocket attacks, will do whatever it takes to contact these Palestinian factions and join in the talks.

May 27, 2007 GAZA CITY -- Hamas hardened its stance yesterday after a new barrage of Israeli airstrikes killed five militants, saying it would not consider a truce and calling for more attacks on Israel.

My oh my. Another airstrike and an assassination of five more Palestinians. How could I be so wrong?!

The Islamic militant group also warned Israel that if it continued its 10-day air assault, it would threaten the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier nabbed in June by Hamas-linked militants. Shalit has not been heard from or seen since his capture. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate from the rival Fatah faction, has tried in recent days to revive a cease-fire with Israel. Under his plan, Gaza militants would halt rocket fire for a month to allow for negotiations on a more comprehensive truce that would include the West Bank. After a meeting late Friday, the militant groups initially asked for 48 hours to consider the proposal. But after the rash of new air attacks yesterday, including five in less than an hour, Hamas called on its fighters to "direct painful strikes at the Zionist enemy." Hamas "will not offer a free truce to the Zionist occupation," the group said. "If there is an end to the attacks, we can talk about a truce," said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing.

Apparently the GOI intelligence and security groups were unaware that Abbas is trying to bring about a cease fire with Israel leading to a comprehensive peace agreement that would include the West Bank because surely the GOI wants an end to the violence and a just peace. How could they have known that if they continued to assassinate Palestinians and arrest Hamas officials, it would make Hamas reluctant to sit down at the bargaining table!?

He said Shalit's freedom was in danger, but not his life."The enemy knows that getting Shalit back is in our hands," he said. "It would be a dream" that Hamas would release him while attacks continued, he added.

Wait a minute. I nearly forgot about Corporal Gilad Shalit. Wasn’t it his kidnapping by Hamas that was the reason for the GOI doing what – was it invading Lebanon again last yea? Whoops, no, that was two other IDF soldiers. Cpl Shalit was taken by Hamas and, in another unbelievable overreaction, the GOI destroyed the Gaza power plant. Why haven’t we heard about his plight lately? Why isn’t that given as a reason for the assassinations?

Israel has launched dozens of targeted missile strikes over the past 10 days that have killed 48 Palestinians and damaged many Hamas installations in an attempt to stop Hamas rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli border towns. Israel said some 225 rockets have landed in Israeli towns since May 15, killing one woman and sending thousands of frightened Israeli residents fleeing. Two rockets landed in Israel yesterday, including a direct hit on a home in Sderot. No one was injured. In all, Israeli aircraft launched 14 missile strikes yesterday. Before dawn, they struck near the house of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas in a Gaza refugee camp, while troops in the West Bank arrested a Hamas Cabinet minister. One of the Israeli airstrikes hit a key Hamas base in Gaza City, killing five Hamas members and wounding four.

225 rockets, one Palestinian murder, with 1000s fleeing many with the help of a Russian Israeli Billionaire.

The compound was used as a training center and base for Hamas's militia, the Executive Force. Two rooms in the camp were destroyed and rescue workers searched the rubble. A nearby charity was badly damaged from the strike. Earlier yesterday, two missiles hit close to Haniyeh's house in the Shati refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City. One landed around 100 yards away and the other 300 yards away, hitting trailers used by Haniyeh's bodyguards. "This is a critical stage," said Haniyeh in a statement hours after the strike. "The aggression will not achieve its goal, but will lead to more disturbance and will have serious consequences."

Dozens of GOI targeted missile strikes? How many? 48 Palestinians assassinated? How many wounded? How many building destroyed? How many Hamas officials arrested? How many families’ lives seriously disrupted? How many families living in constant fear of airstrikes and the arrest of a parent? Who will help these families to flee? Where can they go?


Deuteronomy 16:20 – “Justice, justice shall you pursue that you may live and inherit the land which God gave you” and the footnote in the 1980 Hertz Edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.

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