Posted in Gaza, tagged Benjamin Netanyahu, ceasefire, Egypt, Gaza, Gaza Under Attack, Hamas, Iron Dome, Israel, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Solid Cliff, Palestine, Palestinian Unity Government, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey on August 6, 2014 |
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This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
With a 72-hour truce apparently holding and Israel also apparently having ended its ground operation in Gaza, it seems a fair time to assess where things stand now. Has anyone emerged from this in a better position than it was in before? Is there anything that can, at least in a cynical and Machiavellian sense be called a victory?
It goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of the physical destruction was borne by the people of Gaza. At this point, the numbers are just horrifyingly grim. 1,968 dead, of whom 1,626 were civilians. 7,920 wounded, and while there is not a precise percentage of civilians among the wounded, we do know there were 2,111 children and 1,415 women among them.
The already damaged and sole power plant in Gaza was damaged even further, leaving most of the Strip without electricity. The United Nations Development Program estimates between 16 and 18,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed and over half a million Gazans (out of a population of roughly 1.8 million) have been internally displaced. (more…)
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Posted in Gaza, Hamas, tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Egypt, Gaza, GazaUnderAttack, Hamas, Hosni Mubarak, Israel, IsraelUnderFire, Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Operation Protective Edge, Qatar, Turkey, United States on July 16, 2014 |
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An edited version of this piece originally appeared at LobeLog.
The fighting in Gaza will continue for some time, as a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt fell apart. Despite the bellicose
The remains of the Ministry of Interior’s Civilian Affairs office after Israeli bombardments in Gaza City, November 2012. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
language Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has employed over the past week, it was Hamas and not Israel that rejected the proposal. This was, to be sure, the direct result of that proposal not meeting any of Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire and, because as one Israeli official put it, “…we discovered we’d made a cease-fire agreement with ourselves.” The dynamics of this turn of events are important and tell us much of how the ground has changed in the region.
We first must ask why Hamas rejected the Egyptian proposal. They have been rather clear about their reasons:
- One, Hamas felt, quite correctly, that Egypt had essentially negotiated this deal with Israel, then presented it as a fait accompli to Hamas. In fact, they said they first heard about it through social media.
- Two, Hamas has declared that they intend to come out of this round of fighting with some gains. In particular, they want to see the siege that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007, the release of all the prisoners who had been re-arrested recently after being freed in exchange for Hamas freeing Gilad Shalit in 2011, and the negotiation of a long term truce, as was agreed in 2012, but never acted upon. The terms of the proposal offered no such relief, or any real change to the status quo.
- Three, many among Hamas and other groups believe this proposal was deliberately put forth by Egypt as one Israel would accept and Hamas would reject, in order to legitimize further attacks on Gaza. The way things have unfolded, they may very well be correct.
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Posted in Gaza, Israel, United States, tagged Avraham Stern, Ayelet Shaked, Barack Obama, Baruch Goldstein, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dan Shapiro, Fatah, Gaza, Habayit Hayehudi, Hamas, Hasbara, Hebron, Irgun, Israeli Bombing of Gaza, Jewish Home, JJ Goldberg, Kiryat Arba, Kochav Yair, LEHI, Mahmoud Abbas, Meir Kahane, Menachem Begin, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, Operation Protective Edge, Operation Solid Cliff, Palestinian Unity Government, Three kidnapped Israelis, United Nations, United Nations Security Council, war crimes, War of choice, West Bank, Yitzhak Shamir on July 11, 2014 |
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An edited version of this article appeared at LobeLog.
The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
It has become even more important for Israel to fight this rhetorical battle because, while it can always count on mindless support from Washington and from the most radically nationalistic and zealous Zionists around the world, the current escalation and ugliness is going to be very difficult to defend to even mainstream pro-Israel liberals, let alone the rest of the world. The hasbara (propaganda) has been flowing at a rapid pace, even more so than usual, as Israel struggles to maintain the treasured hold on the “moral high ground” that its own actions have increasingly undermined. (more…)
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Posted in Terrorism, West Bank, tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bring Back Our Boys, Fatah, Germany, Hamas, Israel, Kidnapped Israelis, Mahmoud Abbas, Naftali Bennett, Palestine, Palestinian Unity Government, Peace process, Russia, United Kingdom, United Nations Security Council, United States, West Bank on June 24, 2014 |
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What we’re seeing now in Israel-Palestine is what this looks like when the US-led peace process is removed and nothing replaces it. Maybe it’s better than an institutionalized process that serves only to sustain the occupation while Israel gobbles up more land for settlements, maybe it’s even worse. That is for Israelis and Palestinians especially to decide. What is certain, however, is that it is a more overtly violent and volatile situation and a fertile ground for the plans of annexationists in Israel. I explore today at LobeLog.
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