Saturday, 31 January 2009

Organizações palestinianas apelam ao boicote e o fim do cerco. 31/01

fonte:EI; fotos: Al Akhbar

Palestinian orgs. call for boycott and end of Gaza siege
Press release, Palestinian NGO Network, 29 January 2009

The following position paper was issued on 28 January 2009 by the Palestinian NGO Network:

On 27 December 2008, Israeli occupying forces launched a full-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip from the sea, land and air. For 22 days the Israeli military indiscriminately shelled homes, mosques and schools, leaving no area of Gazan society untouched. During Israel's barbaric military campaign, approximately 1,300 Palestinians were killed. According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, almost four of every five persons killed was a civilian. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than one of every three fatalities was a child. Practices and tactics adopted by the Israeli military during its offensive, which included bombing and shelling densely populated areas, strongly indicate that civilians were deliberately targeted.

The goal of the Israeli military was clearly to leave an indelible imprint in the minds of the Palestinians, both the current and future generations -- an image of unprecedented destruction -- in the hope of erasing the memory of resistance and struggle amongst the people of Gaza. In doing so Israel would be free to impose its goals, and instill a culture of obedience, and compliance with the occupying power.

Israel's actions amount to an illegal act of aggression and there is growing evidence that the circumstances in which many of the civilians were killed may amount not only to war crimes but also crimes against humanity.

We, the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), demand immediate intervention, particularly by the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to thoroughly investigate Israel's military conduct during its full-scale 22-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, and to consequently prosecute all those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed.

This aggression, orchestrated by the Israeli body politic, depicts a grave disregard for the fundamental human rights of a civilian population under the control and protection of Israel, as the occupying power in the Gaza Strip, and has a direct bearing on the current media campaigns and the pending Israeli elections.

Although Israel's stated goals were not reached, the people of Gaza heroically endured the systematic destruction of their lives for 22 days.

However, Israel's hidden goals were to deepen the rift already existing between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, in order to further divide Palestinian people both politically and geographically.

We call for immediate action to be taken to achieve the following:

  • An immediate end to the internal conflict, a revival of national unity as to avoid polarization on a regional and international level, which does not serve common Palestinian goals, and formation of a National Unity Government to lead the Palestinian people through these critical times.

  • Immediate commencement of reconstruction work in Gaza with a priority of finding homes for those without. The reconstruction of Gaza should be handled by Palestinians as their knowledge of the affected areas is second to none. Although Israel should take full responsibility for rebuilding all destroyed civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, if reconstruction is to be bankrolled by the international community, reconstruction funds should be handled exclusively by a Palestinian team, which should be selected on the basis of transparency, accountability and professionalism, and should consist of members from civil society, the private sector and the government. This team should utilize their collective experience on a local, regional and international level and apply it as specified by the needs of the team.

  • Cooperation with civil and popular initiatives in order to allow them the possibility to assist the victims of this war. In addition, the role and independence of civil society should also be respected.

  • We, Palestinian non-governmental organizations declare our complete rejection of any aid coming from USAID due to the United States' constant military and financial support to Israel, or from any other parties whose support to Israel facilitated Israel's military aggression in the Gaza Strip.

  • An end of the siege on Gaza and opening of the borders and crossings. In addition, a safe and free passage that links the West Bank to Gaza should be created, while avoiding anything that deepens the already existing division between the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Preservation of the freedom of expression and right to criticize the performance of any authorities involved in the war, and let them be answerable for their respective roles. We call for the release of all political prisoners and the immediate cessation of arrests, while allowing media impartiality and freedom from external influence.

  • Conducting a comprehensive revision of Palestinian negotiating policy to ensure an immediate cessation of the construction of Israeli settlements, the end of the siege on Gaza, the end of Israel's policy to isolate Jerusalem and to end all Israeli aggression. This policy should be linked with existing UN treaties, resolutions and standards of international law and should help develop Palestinian political discourse and its mechanisms. The reference of negotiation should be based on the Palestinian Political Prisoners Initiative with an emphasis on the right to resist.

  • The intervention of the international community in providing protection for the people of Gaza and the West Bank, ending the occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel and guaranteeing Palestinians' right to self-determination, through application of international conventions and resolutions. It is not acceptable to place the Palestinians on the same level as the Israelis; it is now clearer than ever who the oppressor is and who is being oppressed.

  • Bringing the Israeli authorities before a war tribunal to hold them to account for the damage and destruction they have caused in Gaza, and to ensure the appropriate reparations are made. We propose to form a national committee to work on this front.

  • Upholding the current global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign to boycott Israeli goods, support of divestment initiatives and encourage sanctions against Israel, to re-enforce its aims in light of Israel's recent war crimes in Gaza.
  • Friday, 30 January 2009

    Em Debate no Porto.30/01

    Cada família tem uma história, aqui estão algumas dessas histórias.30/01


    Every family has a story, here are some of them
    Eva Bartlett writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 30 January 2009

    One family's story

    Destruction in Izbet Abed Rabu.
    There are many stories. Each account -- each murdered individual, each wounded person, each burned-out and broken house, each shattered window, trashed kitchen, strewn item of clothing, bedroom turned upside down, bullet and shelling hole in walls, offensive Israeli army graffiti -- is important.

    I start to tell the stories of Ezbet Abbed Rabu, eastern Jabaliya, where homes off the main north south road, Salah al-Din, were penetrated by bullets, bombs and/or soldiers. If they weren't destroyed, they were occupied or shot up. Or occupied and then destroyed. The army was creative in their destruction, in their defacing of property, in their insults. Creative in the ways they could shit in rooms and save their shit for cupboards and unexpected places. Actually, their creativity wasn't so broad. The rest was routine: ransack the house from top to bottom. Turn over or break every clothing cupboard, kitchen shelf, television, computer, window pane and water tank.

    The first house I visited was that of my dear friends, who we'd stayed with in the evenings before the land invasion began, with whom we had huddled in their basement as the random crashes of missiles pulverized around the neighborhood. I worried non-stop about the father. After seeing he was still alive, I'd done the tour, from the bottom up. The safe-haven ground floor room was the least affected: disheveled, piles of earth at bases of windows where it had rushed in with a later bombing which caved the hillside behind, mattresses turned over and items strewn. This room was the cleanest, least damaged.

    Upstairs to the first level apartment, complete disarray. Feces on the floor. Broken everything. Opened cans of Israeli army provisions. Bullet holes in walls. Stench.

    To the second floor, next two apartments, all of the extended sons and wives and children's rooms. More disarray, greater stench. This was the soldiers' main base, as can be ascertained, from the boxes of food -- prepackaged meals, noodles, tins of chocolate and plastic-wrapped sandwiches -- and the clothing left behind by the occupiers. A pair of soldier's trousers in the bathtub, soiled with shit.

    F. tells me: "The smell was terrible. The food was everywhere. Very disgusting smell. They put shit in the sinks, shit everywhere. Our clothes were everywhere. The last time they invaded [March 2008], it was easy. They broke everything and we fixed it. But this time, they put shit everywhere: in cupboards, on beds -- my bed is full of shit."

    She is strong and has handled the invasions before, but the desecration of her house has got her down.

    "A minute ago, Sabreen opened her clothing cupboard: there was a bowl of shit in it! They used our clothes for the toilet. They broke the door of the bathroom and brought it into our room. I don't know why."

    The door lies sideways on the floor of her bedroom, which itself looks like a tornado has taken apart. "They took out my lingerie and left it lying everywhere," she goes on, listing the personal grievances which are more hurtful than the financial wreckage.

    As F. continues to clear the soldiers' mess, she talks about her family's state of mind. "Abed [her young nephew] is very afraid, he wants to leave because of the zenana," referring the drones which fly overhead despite the ostensible ceasefire unilaterally declared by Israel on 18 January and violated by Israel since then.

    Where a mosque once stood.
    Land torn up by tank treads.

    "A professional army"

    When I visited two days later, the house much tidier but still soured with the clinging stench of the soldiers' presence. "We've cleaned as much as we can, but it's so difficult. We still don't have running water, we have to fill jugs from the town water supply." From walking the sandy track, I know how hard it is even empty-handed on foot, let alone laden with heavy jugs or trying to navigate any sort of wagon to carry large amounts of water. The track had been more of a proper dirt road before it, and the land around, was torn up by Israeli tanks and bulldozers.

    From the kitchen balcony I look out and see razed land below, bombed houses, the jumeiza tree beyond, burned but somehow still standing amidst the ruins. The cement water tank that had survived previous raids and that was there last month was finally gone, destroyed by aerial bombing.

    From the living room window we look out on the hilltop area behind which F. had already explained had hosted invading Israeli troops in the past. This time tanks not only amassed but created a massive earthen arena in which Israeli soldiers brought detained Palestinians. One neighbor, F. tells me, was taken there. He, 59, and his son, 19, were led there at gunpoint and stripped to their underclothes. The occupying soldiers surrounded them in tanks, in a circle. "We hadn't done anything wrong," they told F. later. They were detained in Israel for three days in solitary confinement, blindfolded, handcuffed, intermittently interrogated, beaten and interrogated again, asked "Do you have tunnels at your home? Where are the fighters? Where are the rockets? Do you know anything about Hamas? We will destroy your house if you know anything."

    F.'s sister, A, describes their 17 days at the Foka school, after evacuating their al-Tatra home. The schools which were to be a safe-haven (but were in reality not, as seen with al-Fakhoura and the other UN schools that were bombed and hit with what is almost certainly white phosphorous) were no YMCA, not even with the most basic of amenities, certainly not warmth, hot drinks, restful nights.

    "We couldn't sleep at all at night, we were very frightened. There was no security. Where could we go? We had no where to go. We were 35 people in one small classroom. There weren't any mattresses, no covers. It was cold, very cold, at night. No electricity. No water. The few bathrooms in the school had to serve hundreds of us; they were overcrowded, filthy. Our relatives were able to get us blankets after the first four days, then it was better. But we didn't have enough to eat, only a little bread, not enough for a family, and canned meat."

    The usual perspective and gratitude for surviving overrides what is her right to be indignant, depressed, to cry and lament their suffering.

    "Thank God we have a room in our house. Many people's houses were completely destroyed," she says of her own seriously-damaged house. The soldiers who ransacked, destroyed their clothes and shelled the home also stole a computer and 2,000 JD," she tells me. Why would she lie? I know the family to be honest, not deceitful. They have no reason to fabricate the thievery. And theirs is not an isolated case.

    Amnesty International sent a fact-finding team to Gaza following the Israeli attacks. Chris Cobb-Smith, also a military expert and an officer in the British army for almost 20 years, said "Gazans have had their houses looted, vandalized and desecrated. As well, the Israeli soldiers have left behind not only mounds of litter and excrement but ammunition and other military equipment. It's not the behavior one would expect from a professional army."

    And that was just one family's story.

    A life interrupted.
    Salvaging belongings.

    Psychological terror

    Two of her boys worked to pull pieces of clothing, books and anything reachable from under the toppled cupboard. Every item is sacred. The mother led me through her house, pointing out the many violations against their existence, every graffitied wall, each shattered window, glass and plate, slit flour bags -- when the wheat is so precious -- and the same revolting array of soldiers' left-overs: spoiled packaged food, feces everywhere but the toilet, clothes used as toilet paper. The same stench.

    "They broke everything, broke our lives. That was the boys room." We continue through the wreckage. "Look, look here. See that?! Look at this!" This is to be the refrain as we step over destroyed belongings into destroyed rooms.

    It isn't only the destruction, defiling, vandalizing, waste. It's also the interruption of life, a life already interrupted by the siege. She held out school books, torn, ruined, and asked how her children were supposed to study when they have no books, no power, had to flee their home, are living in constant fear of another bombardment of missiles (from the world's fourth most powerful amilitary).

    Graffiti left by Israeli soldiers reads: "Until now/ A crawling saboteur (terrorist)/ 3 in the junction/ 2 in the plantation/ A suicide-old man/ [illegible]/ An innocent."
    Some of the graffiti reads:

    "We don't hate Arabs, but will kill every Hamas," and "IDF [Israeli army] was here! We know you are here. We won't kill you, you will live in fear and run all your lives!"

    For surviving members in families like hers, this psychological terror is real. For those who have been killed already, the "we won't kill you," is a lie. Ask the surviving fathers, mothers, siblings and children.

    From the rooftop, we see neighboring houses inflicted with the wrath of the Israeli military machine. And great swathes of land that once held homes and trees, now naked, stubbled with pillar fragments at painful angles, rubble, stumps and tank tracks.

    "Here, here, come look over here, over here."

    "That was all our land: clementines, lemons, olives ..."

    "That's my brother's house over there, its all broken ..."

    The drones were still overhead, the words too urgent, too many, too fast, too dizzying.

    Down to ground zero and on to more newly wrecked houses and lives. Past a water pump which served at least 10 houses in the area, hit by missiles, ruined.

    Passing more shells of houses, I meet Yasser Abu Ali, co-owner of a paint and tools supply shop bombed to the ground by two F-16 missiles. Seventeen people were immediately dependent on the revenue from the business, not accounting for indirect dependents (suppliers, buyers). As Abu Ali tells of his and his brothers' $200,000 loss, it is revealed that he is a cousin of Dr. Izz al-Din Abu al-Eish, the doctor whose three daughters and niece were killed by Israeli shelling on his house in Jabaliya. Everyone has their own story, and stories overlap, tragedies overlap and compound.

    Samir Abed Rabu's damaged home.
    At Samir Abed Rabu's, the tour begins the same as the others: everything is broken and upside down, there are Israeli soldiers' leavings (food, playing cards, feces) and graffiti: "Join the Israeli army today!" and other slogans from the patriotic invading and occupying forces.

    The house is more holes than walls, from multiple tank shells to automatic gunfire shots from the tanks. Seeing so many intentionally and deviously-ruined houses dulls the concept of damage. But strangely some things stand out as odd or notable amidst the wholescale destruction. Entrails of ceilings and support beams hang in threads. A chair sits gutted.

    And there are the sniper holes. I look out the hole facing Salah al-Din street, at the Dawwar Zimmo crossroads, and I realize that it was from one of these very holes that the emergency medical worker Hassan would have been shot, thankfully not killed (unlike the 13 other emergency medical workers). Thankfully we also weren't shot dead. These sniper holes litter house walls in homes all over Jabaliya, al-Tatra, al-Zeitou -- all over Gaza.

    The baby's bedroom was not spared from the attacks. A wall of cheerful cartoons and cute baby posters contrasts the ugliness of the gaping shelling wounds, a reminder that nothing is sacred to an army that will shoot children point-blank.

    The rotting donkey out back explains the stink, a stench different than that of the army's usual odor.

    Leaving Samir Abed Rabu's ruins, I see a newly homeless family making tea over a fire, behind the rubble of their former home.

    Saed Azzat Abed Rabu stands under a missile hole in his bedroom ceiling, explaining that on the first day of the land invasion, he and family had been in the house when a missile struck it. They frantically evacuated to a school and only learned of their house's post-occupation demise upon returning after the Israeli soldiers left.

    It is like the others: ravaged, left with soldiers' waste and wine bottles -- Hebrew writing on the label (wine isn't available here anyway, so there's no question who drank the wine), rooftop water tank blown apart, and rooftop views affording more sights of neighborhood destruction and of the lemon trees that once stood near Saed Abed Rabu's home.

    I left Abed Rabu that day, weaving among taxis, motorbikes, trucks and carts packed with belongings, people who had no home to stay in, who'd only come to retrieve what they could from their former lives. I'd seen more than I felt I could internalize or reproduce for others, but knew I'd go back for more stories because I knew there are more. More than I can possibly hear or pass on.

    A house violated

    Yousef Sharater and children in front of their damaged home.
    Remarkably, the staircase in Yousef Shrater's bombed and burned house is still intact, as are the 14 people who make up the three families who were living in the house. Shrater, a father of four, walks over broken cement blocks and tangles of support rods and up stairs laden with more chunks of rubble, litter left by Israeli soldiers, and other remnants of a bombed, then occupied, house.

    In the second story front room the original window is flanked by gaping holes ripped into the wall by the tank missiles that targeted his house. "They were over there," Shrater says, pointing just hundreds of meters away at Jabal Kashef, the hilltop overlooking the northern area of Ezbet Abed Rabu.

    In the adjacent room, Shrater points further east to where more tanks had come from and stationed. "My wife, children and I were in this room when they began shelling. We ran to the back room for safety, hoping it would be some protection."

    The back room is another haze of rubble and bits from explosions. The tanks had surrounded the entire Abed Rabu area and no sooner did the family take shelter in the back room when a new shell tore into the house, fired from tanks to the south of the house. "It hit only a meter away from the window," he points out, and leaning out the window and looking up, the hole left from the tank shell is just one meter above. "If it had come into the room, we'd be dead."

    Shrater explains how the Israeli soldiers forcibly entered the house and ordered the family members out, separating men and women and locking them in a neighboring house with others from the area. His father and mother, living in a small shack nearby, were soon to join them. The soldiers then occupied the house for the duration of the land invasion, as Israeli soldiers did throughout the Abed Rabu area, as they did throughout all of Gaza. And as with other houses in occupied areas, residents who returned to houses still standing found a disaster of rubbish, vandalism, destruction, human waste and many stolen valuables, including mobile phones, gold jewelry, US dollars and Jordanian dinars (JD), and in some cases even furniture and televisions, used and discarded in the camps Israeli soldiers set up outside in occupied areas. Shrater says the soldiers stole about USD 1,000 and another 2,000 JD (approximately USD 828) in gold necklaces.

    Yousef's father who suffers from asthma.
    Back in the east-facing corner room, Shrater steps around a 1.5-meter-by-1.5-meter depression in the floor where tiles have been dug up and the sandy layer of foundation beneath was harvested. "They made sandbags by the window, to use as sniper positions." The bags are still there, stuffed with clothing and sand. "They used my kids' clothes for their sniper bags," Shrater complains. "The clothes they didn't put in sandbags they threw into the toilet," he adds.

    The whole house has sniper positions. Sniper holes adorn each of the two west-facing rooms overlooking the Dawwar Zimmo crossroads, where bodies were later found shot dead and unreachable by family members or emergency medical teams (including the Red Crescent medics who were shot at, one hit in the thigh, when trying to reach a body on 7 January).

    From the roof we see more clearly the surrounding area where tanks were positioned, the countless demolished and damaged houses and buildings, and bits of shrapnel from the tank missiles. Shrater's father, 70, is on the roof, and begins to tell of his experience of being abducted from his house and locked up with his wife and others for four days. "They came to our house there," pointing to the low-level home which housed him, his wife and their sheep and goats. "The Israeli soldiers came to our door, yelled at us to come out, and shot around our feet. My wife was terrified. They took all of our money, then handcuffed us. Before they blindfolded us, they let our goats and sheep out of their pens and shot them. They shot eight dead in front of us."

    The elderly Shrater, who suffers from asthma, and his wife Miriam were then blindfolded and taken to another house where for the next four days Israeli soldiers denied him his inhaler and his wife her diabetes medications. Food and water were out of the question, and Yousef Shrater's father says their requests for such were met with soldiers' retorts of "No, no food. Give me Hamas, I'll give you food."

    Mariam Shrater, still terrified from her four-day ordeal.
    The older man leads us downstairs and behind Yousef Shrater's house to his small home where a still-terrified Miriam sits, eyes still wide with alarm. "We saw terrible things, terrible things. I saw dead bodies on the street," she says, rocking back and forth in agony. Hajj Shrater agrees: "In 63 years, I've never seen anything like this."The denied insulin and syringe lie ground into the earth near their door, along with various tablets. Twenty meters away, the remains of the animal feed shed razed in the rampage mingle with rocks and rubble.

    The house between Yousef Shrater's and his parents has also been damaged. The asbestos roofing lies in hefty chunks on the floors of the bedrooms and kitchen, save for where it hangs precariously in the underlying waterproofing plastic sheeting, along with the heavy concrete blocks used to weigh the tiles down. The kitchen is black with soot from what must have been another white phosphorous fire, and empty shells lie in the burnt wreckage of the fire. Two metal doors from the factory across the street from Shrater's house, bombed by an F-16, are lying near the kitchen, having blasted clear across the street and over the roof of Shrater's house.

    Mahmoud Shrater, Yousef's brother and also an inhabitant of the main house, is at the house, clearing some of the rubble, sifting. "We need tents to live here now," he says, standing in the shell of what was their home.

    All images by Eva Bartlett.

    Eva Bartlett is a Canadian human rights advocate and freelancer who spent eight months in 2007 living in West Bank communities and four months in Cairo and at the Rafah crossing. She is currently based in the Gaza Strip after having arrived with the third Free Gaza Movement boat in November. She has been working with the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza, accompanying ambulances while witnessing and documenting the ongoing Israeli air strikes and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

    Freedom Fighters, terroristas ou Schlemiels.30/01

    fonte:counterpunch; fotos: Al Akhbar

    You Decide

    Freedom Fighters, Terrorists or Schlemiels?


    Condi Rice: “What we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing birth pangs of a new Middle East.”

    Jon Stewart: “Birth pangs? Yes, I believe today’s contraction took out a city block.”

    On January 21, President Obama telephoned the King of Jordan, the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Egypt and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, before dispatching former Senator George Mitchell to spearhead peace negotiations. He excluded Hamas leaders from his phone tree, although they had won the 2006 election to represent the people of Gaza. Obviously, Hamas has also won the label “terrorist” and, as Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni proudly if not smugly assured members of the National Press Club in Washington DC, Israel would not talk with Hamas. “We do not negotiate with terrorists,” she asserted, moral indignation dripping from her words. (January 16)

    Her father, Eitan Livni, proudly served as chief operations officer of the Irgun, a right wing Zionist gang that in the post 1945 period sent letter bombs to the British occupying authorities and in 1946 blew up the King David hotel in Jerusalem. Some Jews died in that terrorist act along with others who had no relationship to the issue of an Israeli state. Some British intelligence officials also got blown away.

    Livni’s ops dressed up as Arabs. Who would suspect benign Arabs? “People who looked like they might be violent Zionists would have attracted suspicion,” wrote Juan Cole. “Later generations of rightwing Zionists have attempted to convince the rest of the world that the Arab kaffiyah is an icon of terrorism; but their parents were perfectly willing to display it as a sign of innocence (and perhaps with the intention that the Arabs should take the fall).” (

    In 2006, Likudnik and former Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu commemorated that bombing, also honored by surviving Irgun members. In 1948, Irgun members also participated in what Arabs call a massacre of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin. Israeli historians differ as to whether the more than 100 dead, including many old people, were shot or died as a result of the battle. Tzipi has not repudiated her father’s actions, but feels no apparent sense of shame or even contradiction when she labels her current foes as terrorists with whom she will never negotiate. Well, maybe she never negotiated with her father! Oh, he wasn’t a terrorist; he was an Israeli patriot!

    As a supposedly anti-terrorist action, Israel dropped thousands of tons of bombs on Gaza in December and January. It had tried a similar “anti-terrorist” tactic against southern Lebanon in 2006. Unlike the relatively primitive explosives used by the old terrorists, like Eitan Livni, Israel today employs white phosphorous and cluster bombs -- anti-personnel weapons originally designed for use against large numbers of troops on a battlefield, but not to be deployed against civilians. Israel dropped these people killers on Lebanese farms just before its army withdrew. Deterrent or child killer? Let’s not quibble over definitions!

    President Shimon Peres called both cluster bomb dropping and the Lebanon war itself “mistakes.” Those mistakes have become history which, in the United States, remains “bunk” (Henry Ford). Since the past seems relevant only in five, 10, 25 and 50 year commemorations, the media didn’t see the need to provide a more immediate context for its readers and viewers; so Livni’s father’s activities did not get reported widely.

    Nor did the media offer necessary context about the origins of Hamas and Israel’s role in its creation. A rare exception came from UPI reporter Richard Sale in 2002. Using as sources “several current and former U.S. intelligence officials,” Sale confirmed that “beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.” (6/18/02)

    In the early 1970s, Sale reported, Israeli leaders, anxious to dilute the appeal of the newly arisen and secular PLO, tried to induce a rival to challenge PLO authority. They even contributed money to religious elements in the occupied Palestinian territories. By supporting madrasas (religious schools) mainly in Gaza, the religious elements would educate young men in Islam rather than in the quickly spreading ideology of Palestinian nationalism. “The Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Anthony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

    Israel also allowed Islamic associations to receive money from abroad. The Gulf oil-producing states contributed as well. With these funds, the religious based groups established clinics, orphanages and schools. Skilled artisans taught women crafts and social workers administered help to the poorest.

    Behind these superficially benign Islamic associations, however, stood organizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, dating back to 1928 in Egypt. After the 1967 Six Day War, these organizers went into refugee camps and began to provide the only services available. “Social influence grew into political influence, first in the Gaza Strip, then on the West Bank,” said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    In 1978, Hamas legally registered in Israel with Sheikh Ahmed Yassin leading the group as spiritual leader. He emerged later as the leader of the strategic arm of Hamas as well. In 2004, the Israelis assassinated this blind quadriplegic.

    Sale quoted an unnamed U.S. official: “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place.” He concluded that “Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with.”

    Former State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson told Dale: “The Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer. They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it.” (UPI, June 18, 2002)

    After the month long 2008-9 war, and the 1,400 Palestinian fatalities, Hamas still outdraws Fatah in Gaza, and Middle East reporters claim Hamas has won over Fatah adherents in the West Bank and that Fatah forces repressed Hamas rallies. (NY Times, Jan. 5)

    When the PLO signed the 1993 Oslo accord that gave Palestinians limited self-rule in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, Hamas denounced the agreement and sporadically attacked Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Western and Israeli leaders appealed to PLO leader Yassir Arafat to suppress Hamas’ attacks. Arafat tried but failed to suppress all of them.

    After Oslo, Palestinian unemployment grew as did Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. By 2000, Hamas’ popularity increased because it provided services while Fatah officials provided extortion. When the second Intifada exploded against Israel in September of that year, they had clearly become a force to be reckoned with.

    Hamas’ terrorism also killed innocent Israelis, helped weaken the peace movement inside Israel, and unified Israelis on a hard line. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, his successor, pledged to fight “Palestinian terror.”

    With or without anticipation, Israeli policies helped shape the kinds of enemies that pledge to sacrifice their lives to fight the Jewish state in the name of Islam. Fatah’s militant nationalism paled in comparison to the passion of Hamas organizers and their kindred spirits throughout the Arab and Muslim world -- all determined to defeat Israel in the name of Allah.

    The word “terrorist” in the mouth of Israeli officials rings hollow. Indeed, the word makes little sense in a Middle East convulsed in war. “Hundreds of millions of Arabs around us,” wrote Uri Avnery, “will see the Hamas fighters as the heroes of the Arab nation, but they will also see their own regimes in their nakedness: cringing, ignominious, corrupt and treacherous.” (In Gabriel Kolko,, 1/21/09)

    If President Obama’s inner sensitivities correspond to what the world witnessed on January 20 as his external sensibilities, he too will recoil from “terrorist” rhetoric and also reject the angelic façade that fits Israel like a fine leather glove on the hoof of a pig. “Change is coming in the Middle East as it is in the United States,” Obama might tell Israeli leaders, “and Washington will play a role over there. So make the necessary concessions to facilitate a viable Palestinian state. And include Hamas -- or else!”

    Saul Landau received the Bernardo O’Higgins award from the Republic of Chile for his work on human rights. His latest book is A Bush and Botox World (AK/CounterPunch Press).

    Dispara sobre tudo o que se move em Zeitoun.30/01

    fonte: The Times; fotos: Al Akhbar

    Israeli soldiers recall Gaza attack orders

    “Fire on anything that moves in Zeitoun” – that was the order handed down to Israeli troops in the Givati Shaked battalion, who reduced the eastern Gaza City suburb to little more than rubble in a matter of days.

    According to Israeli soldiers who took part in the three-week offensive, the destruction of the area, a known Hamas stronghold, was designed to send a wider message to Gazans. “We pounded Zeitoun into the ground,” an Israeli soldier who was deployed in the area, told The Times.

    “We knew everything was booby-trapped, we knew that they would try to kidnap us and if they did that was the end, we were finished . . . so we took no chances. We pounded them with fire; they never had a chance.”

    Stretched along the southeastern corner of Gaza City, Zeitoun is where the coastal enclave narrows to just under five miles, serving as the perfect launching point for the Israeli military’s forays deeper into the Gaza Strip.

    Soldiers on foot first entered the neighbourhood on January 4, overtaking several key positions there and finally withdrawing on January 14 – destroying much of the area in their wake.

    The stories that have emerged from Zeitoun have been some of the most shocking of the war. The Samuni family said they lost 29 members after soldiers forced them all into one building that subsequently came under fire. Survivors said that the initial shelling killed 22 people, while others slowly bled to death after being denied medical care for nearly three days.

    Others, including the Helw and Abu Zohar families, have similar accounts of watching loved ones dying of their wounds and coming under fire after emerging from their homes carrying white flags.

    Human Rights organisations have called for an independent investigation into the Israeli army’s conduct in Zeitoun, accusing them of denying medical access to the wounded and firing on civilians. An Israeli military spokesman said that the incident was being investigated, and that the accusations were being taken “very seriously”.

    The soldier, who broke Israeli military censorship restrictions to talk to The Times and did not wish to be named, was part of the second wave of troops who set up positions in the neighbourhood. “Most of the positions had been secured and we heard that the [Hamas] fighters had gone into the other areas. We had been warned of traps and it was very tense. We were to shoot first and ask questions later.”

    He added that Zeitoun was a known Hamas stronghold and that militants had used the local fields and orchards to launch rocket attacks into southern Israel.

    “There was definitely a message being sent,” he said. This weekend, the experienced infantryman took leave from his unit and was able to read some media accounts of Zeitoun. “I read about the family, the Samunis, and it was hard, it was horrible.” Asked if what he had read made him rethink his actions in Gaza he said: “I don’t know, I’m not sure. It maybe raised some questions.”

    Israel banned journalists from entering Gaza during the military operation. It has since censored the names of military units and soldiers who took part in the fighting, fearing that lawsuits will be filed against them by human rights organisations, which renewed their criticism of Israel’s conduct yesterday.

    “Having interviewed dozens of victims and witnesses and, having examined the ballistic evidence from north to south, we are convinced that Israel did not do everything possible to minimise civilians’ harm and death,” said Fred Abrahams, of Human Rights Watch.

    “The rules of engagement were exceedingly loose, and they dropped the bar on the laws of war. This allowed civilian casualties to rise.”

    Some in Israel have questioned the decision to send the Givati Shaked battalion to the area. Two of the battalion's four company commanders were removed, although one was later exonerated in an incident that involved the killing of Iman al-Hams, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, in Rafah on October 2004. In the same year 11 Givati soldiers were killed when militants captured two armoured personnel carriers in Zeitoun.

    One soldier from Givati Shaked told an Israeli daily newspaper that “revenge is our first impulse” after a friend of his was killed during an operation in Gaza last year.

    que realmente me fez um escudo humano.30/01

    Fonte: The Independent

    My terror as a human shield: The story of Majdi Abed Rabbo

    As battle raged in Gaza, Israeli soldiers forced Majdi Abed Rabbo to risk his life as a go-between in the hunt for three Hamas fighters. This is his story...

    By Donald Macintyre in Jabalya, Gaza
    Friday, 30 January 2009

    Majdi Abed Raboh's house is in ruins following Israeli attacks

    Majdi Abed Raboh's house is in ruins following Israeli attacks

      Thursday, 29 January 2009

      os Palestinianos e o trauma de guerra.29/01

      fonte: alJazeera

      Palestinian men bear trauma of war

      The mental health of Gazans has been badly affected by Israel's war on the coastal territory [AFP]

      The war on Gaza has taken a heavy emotional and mental toll on the people of the Gaza Strip. Doctors say that at least half of the population need professional help to come to terms with the war.

      Palestinian men have been hit especially hard. Many of them have spent the last two years struggling to find work under Israel's blockade of the territory and the horrors of the war have made things harder and more traumatic.

      Al Jazeera's Zeina Awad reports from a mental health clinic in Gaza City.

      Fouzan has four children, no job, and constant anxiety about the future.

      He lost everything when Israeli missiles struck his home, his sewing factory, and his garden.

      He says he has lost his will to live and he finds it hard to get out of bed. He describes his life as a "dark tunnel, with no light in sight".

      "I spent years working hard and saving money to buy my sewing machines, one by one, to build up my business. It was all gone, just like that, in a second," he said.

      "I don’t know what I am going to do."

      Business impossible

      Fouzan's problems go back to when he lost his clients abroad, as Israel tightened its siege on Gaza and made it impossible for him to export the clothes he was making.

      As his situation worsened, he was forced to sell equipment and furniture just to put food on the table. And when the war started, it took away all he had left.

      "It was a very difficult situation. My children were scared and they wanted me to comfort them," he said.

      "What was I supposed to do? I was scared, but I would control myself to make it seem like everything was okay.

      "I don't sleep, very rarely, maybe a couple of hours per night. I am constantly worried. Even if I wanted to get out, to take a break and go somewhere to forget a little, I can't because the crossings are closed.

      "I can't even take a walk along the shore because there are warships in the sea the whole time and they may aim at me," he said.

      'Only relief'

      The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) is the only relief that Fouzan is able to get.

      He has been a patient there for over a year and sees his doctor twice a week.

      The GCMHP, Gaza's largest mental health clinic, employs nearly 30 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses.

      Fouzan's livelihood has been destroyed
      by the Israeli attacks
      Although its headquarters were hit during the war, doctors continue to work around the clock to treat the ever-increasing number of Palestinian patients living in the Gaza Strip.

      Dr Eyad Sarraj, the director of the GCMHP, said: "Adults are the symbol of protection, providing and power for the children.

      "Adults have already been lost as providers because of the economic siege. During this war, they were lost as protectors.

      "Children were looking up to them to ask them, 'Where is a safe place? How can you protect me?'

      "Some felt defeated as men, defeated in the struggle because they could not defend their children."

      Saraj says that at least half of the people living in Gaza need professional help to cope with the war. Many of them have a constant feeling of insecurity.

      Like Fouzan, they live with a sense of collective trauma, built up over years - and even generations.

      os frangos e os foguetes.29/01


      Were chickens firing rockets?
      Sameh A. Habeeb writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 29 January 2009

      Palestinians inspect a destroyed poultry farm in Gaza. (Sameh A. Habeeb)

      Israel's devastating war on Gaza claimed the lives of more than 1,335 persons and left at least 5,500 other wounded. In addition tens of thousands of utilities, houses, businesses, and factories were partially or totally destroyed. The war caused psychological damage for thousands of people especially children. I reported on the war daily and my focus was on the human toll. However, I recently came across a story that changed my focus completely a revealed to me the true nature of Israel's soldiers and their intent in invading Gaza.

      Since the ceasefire was enacted, I have toured throughout Gaza to document some stories and accounts. Although I wrote many articles, I decided to focus on the untold stories of the war: the brutal massacre of thousands of chickens.

      On 5 January, many Israeli tanks, troops and bulldozers advanced into the al-Zeitoun neighborhood south east of Gaza City. In this area, called al-Samouni, Israel killed 49 members of the Samouni family, after soldiers ordered them to gather into a single home, which was shelled several hours later.

      A number of chicken farms are located only a few meters away from the Samouni house. These farms came under fire by Israeli forces and were totally bulldozed. Thousands of chickens were caught in their sheds, as the bulldozing destroyed their cages. Some died immediately, others slowly without food or water for four days.

      Abu Ahmed al-Sawafari, an owner of a chicken farms owners, was sitting amidst the rubble of his destroyed farm. He explained that "I have been working on that profession for long years. I have been growing my business by all efforts. Israelis came then left causing an earthquake in the area. They have killed these chickens, they are equal to human souls. They were suffocated and died due to hunger. I wonder why the Israelis killed these chickens? Were they firing rockets into Israel?"

      I continued touring farms in the area where the smell of death filled the air. Surviving chickens roamed around surrounded by thousands of their dead kin. It was an overwhelming scene leaving one to ask only: why?

      If this question was directed to the Israeli army their response would be swift and predictable. They would likely contend that "rockets" were being fired from the farms, or that there were Palestinian resistance fighters in the area. However, unless the Israeli army is prepared to claim that these chickens were resistance fighters or were firing rockets nothing can explain why the self-proclaimed "world's most moral army" would engage in the wholesale slaughter of civilians and chickens alike.

      Sameh A. Habeeb is a photojournalist, humanitarian and peace
      activist based in Gaza, Palestine. He writes for several news websites on a freelance basis.

      prisioneiros de Gaza detidos em condições duras e humilhantes.28/01

      fonte:EI; foto: Al Akhbar

      Gaza prisoners held in harsh and humiliating conditions
      Press release, Israeli human rights organizations, 28 January 2009

      This morning seven Israeli human rights organizations appealed to the Military Judge Advocate General, Brigadier General Avichai Mandelblit, and to Attorney General Meni Mazuz concerning the appalling conditions in which Palestinians arrested during the fighting in Gaza were held, and the humiliating and inhuman treatment to which they were subjected from the time of their arrest until their transfer to the custody of the Israel Prison Service.

      The complaint, written by Attorneys Bana Shoughry-Badarne, from the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Lila Margalit, from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Abeer Jubran-Dakuar, from Hamoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, was submitted on behalf of those organizations and on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, B'Tselem, Yesh Din and Adalah. It is based on statements collected from detainees by lawyers from the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, as well as on testimony given to Hamoked: the Center for the Defense of the Individual.

      The evidence described in the letter provides a shocking portrayal of the harsh, inhuman and degrading conditions in which Palestinian prisoners were held during the initial days of their incarceration. The reports indicate, among other things, that many detainees -- minors as well as adults -- were held for many hours -- sometimes for days -- in pits dug in the ground, exposed to bitter cold and harsh weather, handcuffed and blindfolded. These pits lacked basic sanitary facilities which would have allowed the detainees appropriate toilet facilities, while food and shelter, when provided, were limited, and the detainees went hungry. More seriously, some of the detainees were held near tanks and in combat areas, in gross violation of international humanitarian law which prohibits holding prisoners and captives in areas exposed to danger.

      Inappropriate treatment of the detainees continued after they were removed from the pits in which they had been held. For example, some were held overnight in a truck, handcuffed, with one blanket for every two people; some were held for a long time in the rain; there was a lack of blankets, food and water; and there were also incidents involving extreme violence and humiliation by soldiers and interrogators, regarding which complaints will be submitted separately. Detainees continued to be held in humiliating conditions even after being transferred to an [Israeli army] prison facility (located, apparently, at the Sdeh Tayman base) where, for example, they were not provided with toilets or showers.

      In view of these harsh accounts, the organizations demand an independent, comprehensive investigation to insure that such treatment of detainees is not repeated. The organizations also request that a number of additional steps be taken to preserve these detainees' rights and insure appropriate conditions of incarceration wherever the army may hold prisoners in the future.

      According to Attorney Bana Shoughry-Badarne, Director of the Legal Department of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI): "Israel's indifference to its moral and legal obligations to detainees is particularly objectionable in view of the fact that official spokesmen have repeatedly declared that the [Israeli army] prepared at length for the Gaza operation. It seems that, during these lengthy preparations, the basic rights of the detainees and captives were completely forgotten, rights that must be protected regardless of the detainees' legal status and whether or not their incarceration is justified."

      Operación Plomo Impune-- Eduardo Galeano sobre Gaza.18/01

      Operación Plomo Impune

      Para justificarse, el terrorismo de Estado fabrica terroristas: siembra odio y cosecha coartadas.
      Por Eduardo Galeano

      Todo indica que esta carnicería de Gaza, que según sus autores quiere acabar con los terroristas, logrará multiplicarlos. Desde 1948, los palestinos viven condenados a humillación perpetua. No pueden ni respirar sin permiso. Han perdido su patria, sus tierras, su agua, su libertad, su todo. Ni siquiera tienen derecho a elegir sus gobernantes. Cuando votan a quien no deben votar, son castigados. Gaza está siendo castigada. Se convirtió en una ratonera sin salida, desde que Hamas ganó limpiamente las elecciones, en el año 2006. Algo parecido había ocurrido en 1932, cuando el Partido Comunista triunfó en las elecciones de El Salvador. Bañados en sangre, los salvadoreños expiaron su mala conducta y desde entonces vivieron sometidos a dictaduras militares. La democracia es un lujo que no todos merecen.
      Son hijos de la impotencia los cohetes caseros que los militantes de Hamas, acorralados en Gaza, disparan con chambona puntería sobre las tierras que habían sido palestinas y que la ocupación israelita usurpó. Y la desesperación, a la orilla de la locura suicida, es la madre de las bravatas que niegan el derecho a la existencia de Israel, gritos sin ninguna eficacia, mientras la muy eficaz guerra de exterminio está negando, desde hace años, el derecho a la existencia de Palestina.
      Ya poca Palestina queda. Paso a paso, Israel la está borrando del mapa.
      Los colonos invaden, y tras ellos los soldados van corrigiendo la frontera. Las balas sacralizan el despojo, en legítima defensa.
      No hay guerra agresiva que no diga ser guerra defensiva. Hitler invadió Polonia para evitar que Polonia invadiera Alemania. Bush invadió Irak para evitar que Irak invadiera el mundo. En cada una de sus guerras defensivas, Israel se ha tragado otro pedazo de Palestina, y los almuerzos siguen. La devoración se justifica por los títulos de propiedad que la Biblia otorgó, por los dos mil años de persecución que el pueblo judío sufrió, y por el pánico que generan los palestinos al acecho.
      Israel es el país que jamás cumple las recomendaciones ni las resoluciones de las Naciones Unidas, el que nunca acata las sentencias de los tribunales internacionales, el que se burla de las leyes internacionales, y es también el único país que ha legalizado la tortura de prisioneros.
      ¿Quién le regaló el derecho de negar todos los derechos? ¿De dónde viene la impunidad con que Israel está ejecutando la matanza de Gaza? El gobierno español no hubiera podido bombardear impunemente al País Vasco para acabar con eta, ni el gobierno británico hubiera podido arrasar Irlanda para liquidar al ira. ¿Acaso la tragedia del Holocausto implica una póliza de eterna impunidad? ¿O esa luz verde proviene de la potencia mandamás que tiene en Israel al más incondicional de sus vasallos?
      El ejército israelí, el más moderno y sofisticado del mundo, sabe a quién mata. No mata por error. Mata por horror. Las víctimas civiles se llaman daños colaterales, según el diccionario de otras guerras imperiales. En Gaza, de cada diez daños colaterales, tres son niños. Y suman miles los mutilados, víctimas de la tecnología del descuartizamiento humano, que la industria militar está ensayando exitosamente en esta operación de limpieza étnica.
      Y como siempre, siempre lo mismo: en Gaza, cien a uno. Por cada cien palestinos muertos, un israelí.
      Gente peligrosa, advierte el otro bombardeo, a cargo de los medios masivos de manipulación, que nos invitan a creer que una vida israelí vale tanto como cien vidas palestinas. Y esos medios también nos invitan a creer que son humanitarias las doscientas bombas atómicas de Israel, y que una potencia nuclear llamada Irán fue la que aniquiló Hiroshima y Nagasaki.
      La llamada comunidad internacional, ¿existe?
      ¿Es algo más que un club de mercaderes, banqueros y guerreros? ¿Es algo más que el nombre artístico que Estados Unidos se pone cuando hace teatro?
      Ante la tragedia de Gaza, la hipocresía mundial se luce una vez más. Como siempre, la indiferencia, los discursos vacíos, las declaraciones huecas, las declamaciones altisonantes, las posturas ambiguas rinden tributo a la sagrada impunidad.
      Ante la tragedia de Gaza, los países árabes se lavan las manos. Como siempre. Y como siempre, los países europeos se frotan las manos.
      La vieja Europa, tan capaz de belleza y de perversidad, derrama alguna que otra lágrima, mientras secretamente celebra esta jugada maestra. Porque la cacería de judíos fue siempre una costumbre europea, pero desde hace medio siglo esa deuda histórica está siendo cobrada a los palestinos, que también son semitas y que nunca fueron, ni son, antisemitas. Ellos están pagando, en sangre contante y sonante, una cuenta ajena.

      (Este artículo está dedicado a mis amigos judíos asesinados por las dictaduras latinoamericanas que Israel asesoró.)

      fonte: Brecha (Uruguay); fotos:Al Akhbar

      Por detrás do banho de sangue em Gaza. 28/01

      Behind the Bloodbath in Gaza

      Foiling Another Palestinian "Peace Offensive"


      Early speculation on the motive behind Israel’s slaughter in Gaza that began on 27 December 2008 and continued till 18 January 2009 centered on the upcoming elections in Israel. The jockeying for votes was no doubt a factor in this Sparta-like society consumed by “revenge and the thirst for blood,” where killing Arabs is a sure crowd-pleaser. (Polls during the war showed that 80-90 percent of Israeli Jews supported it.) But as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointed out on Democracy Now!, “Israel went through a very similar war…two-and-a-half years ago [in Lebanon], when there were no elections.” When crucial state interests are at stake, Israeli ruling elites seldom launch major operations for narrowly electoral gains. It is true that Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s decision to bomb the Iraqi OSIRAK reactor in 1981 was an electoral ploy, but the strategic stakes in the strike on Iraq were puny; contrary to widespread belief, Saddam Hussein had not embarked on a nuclear weapons program prior to the bombing. The fundamental motives behind the latest Israeli attack on Gaza lie elsewhere: (1) in the need to restore Israel’s “deterrence capacity,” and (2) in the threat posed by a new Palestinian “peace offensive.”

      Israel’s “larger concern” in the current offensive, New York Times Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported, quoting Israeli sources, was to “re-establish Israeli deterrence,” because “its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or should be.” Preserving its deterrence capacity has always loomed large in Israeli strategic doctrine. Indeed, it was the main impetus behind Israel’s first-strike against Egypt in June 1967 that resulted in Israel’s occupation of Gaza (and the West Bank). To justify the onslaught on Gaza, Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that “[m]any Israelis feel that the walls…are closing in…much as they felt in early June 1967.” Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but—as Morris surely knows—the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation. After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping, but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the Straits within days of his announcement. In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that, in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab countries, Israel would—in President Lyndon Johnson’s words—“whip the hell out of them.” The head of the Mossad told senior American officials on 1 June 1967 that “there were no differences between the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its interpretation.” The predicament for Israel was rather the growing perception in the Arab world, spurred by Nasser’s radical nationalism and climaxing in his defiant gestures in May 1967, that it would no longer have to follow Israeli orders. Thus, Divisional Commander Ariel Sharon admonished those in the Israeli cabinet hesitant to launch a first-strike that Israel was losing its “deterrence capability…our main weapon—the fear of us.” Israel unleashed the June 1967 war “to restore the credibility of Israeli deterrence” (Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz).

      The expulsion of the Israeli occupying army by Hezbollah in May 2000 posed a major new challenge to Israel’s deterrence capacity. The fact that Israel suffered a humiliating defeat, one celebrated throughout the Arab world, made another war well-nigh inevitable. Israel almost immediately began planning for the next round, and in summer 2006 found a pretext when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers (several others were killed in the firefight) and demanded in exchange the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. Although Israel unleashed the fury of its air force and geared up for a ground invasion, it suffered yet another ignominious defeat. A respected American military analyst despite being partial to Israel nonetheless concluded, “the IAF, the arm of the Israel military that had once destroyed whole air forces in a few days, not only proved unable to stop Hezbollah rocket strikes but even to do enough damage to prevent Hezbollah’s rapid recovery”; that “once ground forces did cross into Lebanon…, they failed to overtake Hezbollah strongholds, even those close to the border”; that “in terms of Israel’s objectives, the kidnapped Israeli soldiers were neither rescued nor released; Hezbollah’s rocket fire was never suppressed, not even its long-range fire…; and Israeli ground forces were badly shaken and bogged down by a well-equipped and capable foe”; and that “more troops and a massive ground invasion would indeed have produced a different outcome, but the notion that somehow that effort would have resulted in a more decisive victory over Hezbollah…has no basis in historical example or logic.” The juxtaposition of several figures further highlights the magnitude of the setback: Israel deployed 30,000 troops as against 2,000 regular Hezbollah fighters and 4,000 irregular Hezbollah and non-Hezbollah fighters; Israel delivered and fired 162,000 weapons whereas Hezbollah fired 5,000 weapons (4,000 rockets and projectiles at Israel and 1,000 antitank missiles inside Lebanon). Moreover, “the vast majority of the fighters who defended villages such as Ayta ash Shab, Bint Jbeil, and Maroun al-Ras were not, in fact, regular Hezbollah fighters and in some cases were not even members of Hezbollah,” and “many of Hezbollah’s best and most skilled fighters never saw action, lying in wait along the Litani River with the expectation that the IDF assault would be much deeper and arrive much faster than it did.” Yet another indication of Israel’s reversal of fortune was that, unlike any of its previous armed conflicts, in the final stages of the 2006 war it fought not in defiance of a U.N. ceasefire resolution but in the hope of a U.N. resolution to rescue it.

      After the 2006 Lebanon war Israel was itching to take on Hezbollah again, but did not yet have a military option against it. In mid-2008 Israel desperately sought to conscript the U.S. for an attack on Iran, which would also decapitate Hezbollah, and thereby humble the main challengers to its regional hegemony. Israel and its quasi-official emissaries such as Benny Morris threatened that if the U.S. did not go along “then non-conventional weaponry will have to be used,” and “many innocent Iranians will die.” To Israel’s chagrin and humiliation, the attack never materialized and Iran has gone its merry way, while the credibility of Israel’s capacity to terrorize slipped another notch. It was high time to find a defenseless target to annihilate. Enter Gaza, Israel’s favorite shooting gallery. Even there the feebly armed Islamic movement Hamas had defiantly resisted Israeli diktat, in June 2008 even compelling Israel to agree to a ceasefire.
      During the 2006 Lebanon war Israel flattened the southern suburb of Beirut known as the Dahiya, where Hezbollah commanded much popular support. In the war’s aftermath Israeli military officers began referring to the “Dahiya strategy”: “We shall pulverize the 160 Shiite villages [in Lebanon] that have turned into Shiite army bases,” the IDF Northern Command Chief explained, “and we shall not show mercy when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that, in practice, is controlled by Hezbollah.” In the event of hostilities, a reserve Colonel at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies chimed in, Israel needs “to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate….Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.” The new strategy was to be used against all of Israel’s regional adversaries who had waxed defiant—“the Palestinians in Gaza are all Khaled Mashaal, the Lebanese are all Nasrallah, and the Iranians are all Ahmadinejad”—but Gaza was the prime target for this blitzkrieg-cum-bloodbath strategy. “Too bad it did not take hold immediately after the ‘disengagement’ from Gaza and the first rocket barrages,” a respected Israeli columnist lamented. “Had we immediately adopted the Dahiya strategy, we would have likely spared ourselves much trouble.” After a Palestinian rocket attack, Israel’s Interior Minister urged in late September 2008, “the IDF should…decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it.” And, insofar as the Dahiya strategy could not be inflicted just yet on Lebanon and Iran, it was predictably pre-tested in Gaza.

      The operative plan for the Gaza bloodbath can be gleaned from authoritative statements after the war got underway: “What we have to do is act systematically with the aim of punishing all the organizations that are firing the rockets and mortars, as well as the civilians who are enabling them to fire and hide” (reserve Major-General); “After this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza” (Deputy IDF Chief of Staff); “Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target” (IDF Spokesperson’s Office). Whereas Israel killed a mere 55 Lebanese during the first two days of the 2006 war, the Israeli media exulted at Israel’s “shock and awe” (Maariv) as it killed more than 300 Palestinians in the first two days of the attack on Gaza. Several days into the slaughter an informed Israeli strategic analyst observed, “The IDF, which planned to attack buildings and sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, and succeeded.” Morris could barely contain his pride at “Israel’s highly efficient air assault on Hamas.” The Israeli columnist B. Michael was less impressed by the dispatch of helicopter gunships and jet planes “over a giant prison and firing at its people” —for example, “70…traffic cops at their graduation ceremony, young men in desperate search of a livelihood who thought they’d found it in the police and instead found death from the skies.”

      As Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, and U.N. sanctuaries, as it slaughtered and incinerated Gaza’s defenseless civilian population (one-third of the 1,200 reported casualties were children), Israeli commentators gloated that “Gaza is to Lebanon as the second sitting for an exam is to the first—a second chance to get it right,” and that this time around Israel had “hurled [Gaza] back,” not 20 years as it promised to do in Lebanon, but “into the 1940s. Electricity is available only for a few hours a day”; that “Israel regained its deterrence capabilities” because “the war in Gaza has compensated for the shortcomings of the [2006] Second Lebanon War”; and that “There is no doubt that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is upset these days….There will no longer be anyone in the Arab world who can claim that Israel is weak.”

      New York Times foreign affairs expert Thomas Friedman joined in the chorus of hallelujahs. Israel in fact won the 2006 Lebanon war, according to Friedman, because it had inflicted “substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large,” thereby administering an “education” to Hezbollah: fearing the Lebanese people’s wrath, Hezbollah would “think three times next time” before defying Israel. He expressed hope that Israel was likewise “trying to ‘educate’ Hamas by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population.” To justify the targeting of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure Friedman asserted that Israel had no other option because “Hezbollah created a very ‘flat’ military network…deeply embedded in the local towns and villages,” and that because “Hezbollah nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians…to restrain Hezbollah in the future.”
      Leaving aside Friedman’s hollow coinages—what does “flat” mean?—and leaving aside that he alleged that the killing of civilians was unavoidable but also recommends targeting civilians as a “deterrence” strategy: is it even true that Hezbollah was “embedded in,” “nested among,” and “intertwined” with the Lebanese civilian population?

      Here’s what Human Rights Watch concluded after an exhaustive investigation: “we found strong evidence that Hezbollah stored most of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited fields and valleys, that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started, and that Hezbollah fired the vast majority of its rockets from pre-prepared positions outside villages.” And again, “in all but a few of the cases of civilian deaths we investigated, Hezbollah fighters had not mixed with the civilian population or taken other actions to contribute to the targeting of a particular home or vehicle by Israeli forces.” Indeed, “Israel’s own firing patterns in Lebanon support the conclusion that Hezbollah fired large numbers of its rockets from tobacco fields, banana, olive and citrus groves, and more remote, unpopulated valleys.”

      A U.S. Army War College study based largely on interviews with Israeli participants in the Lebanon war similarly found that “the key battlefields in the land campaign south of the Litani River were mostly devoid of civilians, and IDF participants consistently report little or no meaningful intermingling of Hezbollah fighters and noncombatants. Nor is there any systematic reporting of Hezbollah using civilians in the combat zone as shields.” On a related note, the authors report that “the great majority of Hezbollah’s fighters wore uniforms. In fact, their equipment and clothing were remarkably similar to many state militaries’—desert or green fatigues, helmets, web vests, body armor, dog tags, and rank insignia.”
      Friedman further asserted that, “rather than confronting Israel’s Army head-on,” Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel’s civilian population to provoke Israeli retaliatory strikes, inevitably killing Lebanese civilians and “inflaming the Arab-Muslim street.” Yet, numerous studies have shown, and Israeli officials themselves conceded that, during its guerrilla war against the Israeli occupying army, Hezbollah only targeted Israeli civilians after Israel targeted Lebanese civilians. In conformity with past practice Hezbollah started firing rockets toward Israeli civilian concentrations during the 2006 war only after Israel inflicted heavy casualties on Lebanese civilians, while Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah avowed that it would target Israeli civilians “as long as the enemy undertakes its aggression without limits or red lines.”

      If Israel targeted the Lebanese civilian population and infrastructure during the 2006 war, it was not because it had no choice, and not because Hezbollah had provoked it, but because terrorizing the civilian population was a relatively cost-free method of “education,” much to be preferred over fighting a real foe and suffering heavy casualties, although Hezbollah’s unexpectedly fierce resistance prevented Israel from achieving a victory on the battlefield. In the case of Gaza it was able both to “educate” the population and achieve a military victory because—in the words of Gideon Levy—the “fighting in Gaza” was
      “war deluxe.” Compared with previous wars, it is child’s play—pilots bombing unimpeded as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is barely putting up a fight.

      The justification put forth by Friedman in the pages of the Times for targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure amounted to apologetics for state terrorism. It might be recalled that although Hitler had stripped Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher of all his political power by 1940, and his newspaper Der St?rmer had a circulation of only some 15,000 during the war, the International Tribunal at Nuremberg nonetheless sentenced him to death for his murderous incitement.

      Beyond restoring its deterrence capacity, Israel’s main goal in the Gaza slaughter was to fend off the latest threat posed by Palestinian moderation. For the past three decades the international community has consistently supported a settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict that calls for two states based on a full Israeli withdrawal to its June 1967 border, and a “just resolution” of the refugee question based on the right of return and compensation. The vote on the annual U.N. General Assembly resolution, “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine,” supporting these terms for resolving the conflict in 2008 was 164 in favor, 7 against (Israel, United States, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau), and 3 abstentions. At the regional level the Arab League in March 2002 unanimously put forth a peace initiative on this basis, which it has subsequently reaffirmed. In recent times Hamas has repeatedly signaled its own acceptance of such a settlement. For example, in March 2008 Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas’s Political Bureau, stated in an interview:

      There is an opportunity to deal with this conflict in a manner different than Israel and, behind it, the U.S. is dealing with it today. There is an opportunity to achieve a Palestinian national consensus on a political program based on the 1967 borders, and this is an exceptional circumstance, in which most Palestinian forces, including Hamas, accept a state on the 1967 borders….There is also an Arab consensus on this demand, and this is a historic situation. But no one is taking advantage of this opportunity. No one is moving to cooperate with this opportunity. Even this minimum that has been accepted by the Palestinians and the Arabs has been rejected by Israel and by the U.S.

      Israel is fully cognizant that the Hamas Charter is not an insurmountable obstacle to a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. “[T]he Hamas leadership has recognized that its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future,” a former Mossad head recently observed. “[T]hey are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967….They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their cooperation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game: They will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original ideological goals.”

      In addition, Hamas was “careful to maintain the ceasefire” it entered into with Israel in June 2008, according to an official Israeli publication, despite Israel’s reneging on the crucial component of the truce that it ease the economic siege of Gaza. “The lull was sporadically violated by rocket and mortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terrorist organizations,” the source continues. “At the same time, the [Hamas] movement tried to enforce the terms of the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations and to prevent them from violating it.” Moreover, Hamas was “interested in renewing the relative calm with Israel” (Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin).

      The Islamic movement could thus be trusted to stand by its word, making it a credible negotiating partner, while its apparent ability to extract concessions from Israel, unlike the hapless Palestinian Authority doing Israel’s bidding but getting no returns, enhanced Hamas’s stature among Palestinians. For Israel these developments constituted a veritable disaster. It could no longer justify shunning Hamas, and it would be only a matter of time before international pressure in particular from the Europeans would be exerted on it to negotiate. The prospect of an incoming U.S. administration negotiating with Iran and Hamas, and moving closer to the international consensus for settling the Israel-Palestine conflict, which some U.S. policymakers now advocate, would have further highlighted Israel’s intransigence. In an alternative scenario, speculated on by Nasrallah, the incoming American administration plans to convene an international peace conference of “Americans, Israelis, Europeans and so-called Arab moderates” to impose a settlement. The one obstacle is “Palestinian resistance and the Hamas government in Gaza,” and “getting rid of this stumbling block is…the true goal of the war.”

      In either case, Israel needed to provoke Hamas into breaking the truce, and then radicalize or destroy it, thereby eliminating it as a legitimate negotiating partner. It is not the first time Israel confronted such a diabolical threat—an Arab League peace initiative, Palestinian support for a two-state settlement and a Palestinian ceasefire—and not the first time it embarked on provocation and war to overcome it.

      In the mid-1970s the PLO mainstream began supporting a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. In addition, the PLO, headquartered in Lebanon, was strictly adhering to a truce with Israel that had been negotiated in July 1981. In August 1981 Saudi Arabia unveiled, and the Arab League subsequently approved, a peace plan based on the two-state settlement. Israel reacted in September 1981 by stepping up preparations to destroy the PLO. In his analysis of the buildup to the 1982 Lebanon war, Israeli strategic analyst Avner Yaniv reported that Yasser Arafat was contemplating a historic compromise with the “Zionist state,” whereas “all Israeli cabinets since 1967” as well as “leading mainstream doves” opposed a Palestinian state. Fearing diplomatic pressures, Israel maneuvered to sabotage the two-state settlement. It conducted punitive military raids “deliberately out of proportion” against “Palestinian and Lebanese civilians” in order to weaken “PLO moderates,” strengthen the hand of Arafat’s “radical rivals,” and guarantee the PLO’s “inflexibility.” However, Israel eventually had to choose between a pair of stark options: “a political move leading to a historic compromise with the PLO, or preemptive military action against it.”

      To fend off Arafat’s “peace offensive”—Yaniv’s telling phrase—Israel embarked on military action in June 1982. The Israeli invasion “had been preceded by more than a year of effective ceasefire with the PLO,” but after murderous Israeli provocations, the last of which left as many as 200 civilians dead (including 60 occupants of a Palestinian children’s hospital), the PLO finally retaliated, causing a single Israeli casualty. Although Israel used the PLO’s resumption of attacks as the pretext for its invasion, Yaniv concluded that the “raison d’être of the entire operation” was “destroying the PLO as a political force capable of claiming a Palestinian state on the West Bank.” It deserves passing notice that in his new history of the “peace process,” Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, provides this capsule summary of the sequence of events just narrated: “In 1982, Arafat’s terrorist activities eventually provoked the Israeli government of Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon into a full-scale invasion of Lebanon.”

      Fast forward to 2008. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated in early December 2008 that although Israel wanted to create a temporary period of calm with Hamas, an extended truce “harms the Israeli strategic goal, empowers Hamas, and gives the impression that Israel recognizes the movement.” Translation: a protracted ceasefire that enhanced Hamas’s credibility would have undermined Israel’s strategic goal of retaining control of the West Bank. As far back as March 2007 Israel had decided on attacking Hamas, and only negotiated the June truce because “the Israeli army needed time to prepare.” Once all the pieces were in place, Israel only lacked a pretext. On 4 November, while the American media were riveted on election day, Israel broke the ceasefire by killing seven Palestinian militants, on the flimsy excuse that Hamas was digging a tunnel to abduct Israeli soldiers, and knowing full well that its operation would provoke Hamas into hitting back. “Last week’s ‘ticking tunnel,’ dug ostensibly to facilitate the abduction of Israeli soldiers,” Haaretz reported in mid-November

      was not a clear and present danger: Its existence was always known and its use could have been prevented on the Israeli side, or at least the soldiers stationed beside it removed from harm’s way. It is impossible to claim that those who decided to blow up the tunnel were simply being thoughtless. The military establishment was aware of the immediate implications of the measure, as well as of the fact that the policy of “controlled entry” into a narrow area of the Strip leads to the same place: an end to the lull. That is policy—not a tactical decision by a commander on the ground.

      After Hamas predictably resumed its rocket attacks “[i]n retaliation” (Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center), Israel could embark on yet another murderous invasion in order to foil yet another Palestinian peace offensive.

      Norman Finkelstein is author of five books, including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, Beyond Chutzpah and The Holocaust Industry, which have been translated into more than 40 foreign editions. He is the son of Holocaust survivors. This article is an edited extract of the views of Finkelstein given at His website is


      Gideon Levy, “The Time of the Righteous,” Haaretz (9 January 2009).

      Ethan Bronner, “In Israel, A Consensus That Gaza War Is a Just One,” New York Times (13 January 2009).

      29 December 2008;

      Richard Wilson, “Incomplete or Inaccurate Information Can Lead to Tragically Incorrect Decisions to Preempt: The example of OSIRAK,” paper presented at Erice, Sicily (18 May 2007; updated 9 February 2008;

      Ethan Bronner, “Israel Reminds Foes That It Has Teeth,” New York Times (29 December 2008).

      Benny Morris, “Why Israel Feels Threatened,” New York Times (30 December 2008).

      “Memorandum for the Record” (1 June 1967), Foreign Relations of the United States, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967 (Washington, DC: 2004).

      Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the war, and the year that transformed the Middle East (New York: 2007), p. 293, my emphasis.

      Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A critical analysis of Israel’s security and foreign policy (Ann Arbor: 2006), p. 89.

      William Arkin, Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: 2007), pp. xxi, xxv-xxvi, 25, 54, 64, 135, 147-48.

      Andrew Exum, Hizballah at War: A military assessment (Washington Institute for Near East Policy: December 2006), pp. 9, 11-12.

      Benny Morris, “A Second Holocaust? The Threat to Israel” (2 May 2008;

      Yaron London, “The Dahiya Strategy” (6 October 2008;,7340,L-3605863,00.html); Gabriel Siboni, “Disproportionate Force: Israel’s concept of response in light of the Second Lebanon War,” Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), 2 October 2008. Attila Somfalvi, “Sheetrit: We should level Gaza neighborhoods” (2 October 2008;,7340,L-3504922,00.html).

      “Israeli General Says Hamas Must Not Be the Only Target in Gaza,” IDF Radio, Tel Aviv, in Hebrew 0600 gmt (26 December 2008), BBC Monitoring Middle East; Tova Dadon, “Deputy Chief of Staff: Worst still ahead” (29 December 2008;,7340,L-36466558,00.html);

      Seumas Milne, “Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza is a Crime That Cannot Succeed,” Guardian (30 December 2008).

      Reuven Pedatzur, “The Mistakes of Cast Lead,” Haaretz (8 January 2009).

      Morris, “Why Israel Feels Threatened.”

      B. Michael, “Déjà Vu in Gaza” (29 December 2008;,7340,L-3646558,00.html).

      Gideon Levy, “Twilight Zone/Trumpeting for War,” Haaretz (2 January 2009).

      Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, “Israel and Hamas Are Both Paying a Steep Price in Gaza,” Haaretz (10 January 2009); Ari Shavit, “Analysis: Israel’s victories in Gaza make up for its failures in Lebanon,” Haaretz (12 January 2009); Guy Bechor, “A Dangerous Victory” (12 January 2009;,7340,L-3654505,00.html).

      Thomas L. Friedman, “Israel’s Goals in Gaza?,” New York Times (14 January 2009).

      Human Rights Watch, Why They Died: Civilian casualties in Lebanon during the 2006 war (New York: 2007), pp. 5, 14, 40-41, 45-46, 48, 51, 53.

      Stephen Biddle and Jeffrey A. Friedman, The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for army and defense policy (Carlisle, PA: 2008), pp. 43-44, 45.

      Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Laws of war violations and the use of weapons on the Israel-Lebanon border (New York: 1996); Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, pp. 213-14, 224-25, 252; Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A short history (Princeton: 2007), pp. 77, 86.

      Judith Palmer Harik, Hezbollah: The changing face of terrorism (London: 2004), pp. 167-68.

      Human Rights Watch, Civilians Under Attack: Hezbollah’s rocket assault on Israel in the 2006 war (New York: 2007), p. 100. HRW asserts that Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians were not retaliatory but provides no supporting evidence.

      Gideon Levy, “The IDF Has No Mercy for the Children in Gaza Nursery Schools,” Haaretz (15 January 2009).

      Glenn Greenwald, “Tom Friedman Offers a Perfect Definition of ‘Terrorism’” (14 January 2009;

      Mouin Rabbani, “A Hamas Perspective on the Movement’s Evolving Role: An interview with Khalid Mishal, Part II,” Journal of Palestine Studies (Summer 2008).

      “What Hamas Wants,” Mideast Mirror (22 December 2008).

      Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement (December 2008), pp. 2, 6, 7.

      “Hamas Wants Better Terms for Truce,” Jerusalem Post (21 December 2008). Diskin told the Israeli cabinet that Hamas would renew the truce if Israel lifted the siege of Gaza, stopped military attacks and extended the truce to the West Bank.

      Richard N. Haass and Martin Indyk, “Beyond Iraq: A new U.S. strategy for the Middle East,” and Walter Russell Mead, “Change They Can Believe In: To make Israel safe, give Palestinians their due,” in Foreign Affairs, January-February 2009.

      Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s Speech Delivered at the Central Ashura Council, 31 December 2008.

      Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: the United States, Israel and the Palestinians (Boston: 1983), chaps. 3, 5.

      Yehuda Lukacs (ed), The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: a documentary record, 1967-1990 (Cambridge: 1992), pp. 477-79.

      Yehoshaphat Harkabi, Israel’s Fateful Hour (New York: 1988), p. 101.

      Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: The abduction of Lebanon (New York: 1990), pp. 197, 232.

      Avner Yaniv, Dilemmas of Security: Politics, strategy and the Israeli experience in Lebanon (Oxford: 1987), pp. 20-23, 50-54, 67-70, 87-89, 100-1, 105-6, 113, 143.

      Martin Indyk, Innocent Abroad: An intimate account of American peace diplomacy in the Middle East (New York: 2009), p. 75.

      Saed Bannoura, “Livni Calls for a Large Scale Military Offensive in Gaza,” IMEMC & Agencies (10 December 2008;

      Uri Blau, “IDF Sources: Conditions not yet optimal for Gaza exit,” Haaretz (8 January 2009); Barak Ravid, “Disinformation, Secrecy, and Lies: How the Gaza offensive came about,” Haaretz (28 December 2008).

      Zvi Bar’el, “Crushing the Tahadiyeh,” Haaretz (16 November 2008). Cf. Uri Avnery, “The Calculations behind Israel’s Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza” (2 January 2009;

      The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, p. 3.


      Palestine Blogs - The Gazette Creative Commons License
      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.