Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Facts about Israel and Hamas

Too many lies are told about the war in Gaza. Fortunately, some people tell the truth. Yesterday I listened to a BBC interview with Sir Jeremy Greenstock, a respected, retired UK diplomat who has worked in the Middle East and knows the situation very well. Here are some of the things he said:
1/ Hamas has never broken any UN resolutions. Israel has broken many.
2/The Israeli illegal settlements on Palestinian land are still growing.
3/ Cessation of the rocket fire into Israel would have been possible if Israel had lived up to its obligations made at the June ceasefire - to open the crossings in the wall.
4/ Hamas is not beholden to Iran.
5/ Hamas never adopted the idea, put forward by an Imam several years ago, that Palestine wants the total destruction of the state of Israel. It is not an official Hamas line.
6/ Not all the rockets into Israel are fired by Hamas. A significant number are fired by factions that are not controlled by Hamas.
And here is a fact from me: Israel is guilty of war crimes in their war on Gaza. If you don't believe me, read what an American professor of law says here.


Anonymous said...

Hamas has violated the Fourth Geneva Convention which is binding upon Hamas regardless of whether or not Hamas signed it in that Hamas has intentionally targeted Israeli Jewish civilians with rockets, bombings, shootings, this has been going on since the foundation of Hamas since 1987. Hamas has discussed having an extended hudna with Israel should Israel withdraw from West Bank and Gaza, however the Hamas charter continues to advocate for the destruction of Jews (and therefore Israel). It is possible to work with Hamas despite these things through diplomacy. Another error is that although Israel has control over Gaza, there are currently no Israeli civilian settlements in Gaza. This has been the case since 2005. Israel may control Gaza, but Israel does not have any Israeli civilians currently there.

Sue Hepworth said...

1/ Yes, Hamas has broken this Geneva Convention and I do not support that. I do not support violence of any kind.
2/ I have never actually seen the Hamas charter, but I believe you are mistaken in saying that it advocates the destruction of Jews and Israel.
3/ I did not say there were illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza. But there are illegal settlements elsehere on Palestinian land and they are growing. Why does Israel think this is acceptable? Why is it all right to steal Palestinian land? How do they expect there to be peace while this is still going on, and while Palestinians are treated so badly with the wall, and the checkpoints and the restriction of freedoms, and with the siege of Gaza?

Anonymous said...

You can check out the Hamas charter when you have the time, there are several translations so you have to be careful which source you use. Israeli settlements in the West Bank---yes they have exploded since the signing of Oslo in population and land grabs from what was supposed to be part of a Palestinian state. The Israeli government does a lot to add perks to entice Israelis to live in these settlements. Some poor Jewish immigrants simply get dumped into settlements without even knowing what this is going to mean for them vis-a-vis the local Arab population. There are also serious water issues in the West Bank (an abundance for the settlers, not so much for the Palestinians, and very little for the refugees in UNRWA refugee camps). Israeli West Bank settlements appear to be designed to make "facts on the ground" to minimize the size and viability of a future Palestinian state. Israelis cite concerns of security--that a Palestinian state would make it easier for other Arab armies to invade. (I am sure you heard that one before. Whether or not it is an excuse on the part of Israeli government I do not know.) It's a problem and I agree that the siege of Gaza is a stupid, ineffective, and cruel tactic, and that the Wall is controversial.

Also what is damaging is the interruption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, whether they be negotiators or regular people. Such dialogue has been made difficult since September 2000 due to the forced separation of the two populations from even visiting one another for the first couple of years of the 2nd intifada: this was a separation forced onto the people by both the PA and the Israeli government.