Monday, April 28, 2008


The BBC World service reported yesterday (Sunday) that Israel had attacked a village in GAZA after a cease fire had been agreed. Once again the BBC is presenting a story totally out of context. Yes, there are discussions between Hamas and the Egyptians but let’s be clear there is no agreement for a cease fire with Israel.

And let’s suppose there was such an agreement. Noam Bedein, the Director of the Regional News Service for Sderot & the Western Negev, writes “ How many people remember that there was, in fact, such a ‘ceasefire' with Hamas-controlled Gaza only one year ago? How many people remember what occurred during that 'ceasefire'? Well, the people in Sderot and the western Negev remember. Even if no one else does."

"Let us refresh out memories. From November 26, 2006, until May 15, 2007, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel went on for almost six months. One cannot ignore the statement made by Hamas five days before the ceasefire: "Hamas's military wing will stop the rocket fire when residents evacuate the city of Sderot." (from November 21, 2006)

During that 'ceasefire', Gazans launched 315 missiles targeted at Sderot and the western Negev, according to an IDF spokesman. There was not one IDF response to the rocket fire during that ceasefire period."

Also in that 'ceasefire' period, on February 27, 2007, there was an agreement, the Mecca Agreement, reached between the Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The agreement took place three months after the ceasefire went into effect; after 160 missiles had been fired at Israel since the day the 'ceasefire' commenced. Mashaal promised, in Moscow, to stop the Kassam rocket attacks. Two days later, seven missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

As reported by Calev Ben David in the Jerusalem Post today, in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Middle East expert Robert Satloff noted that Hamas "has no advocates of peace with Israel. The divide is between those who call for a tahdiya (a brief lull in the fighting) and those who favor a hudna (a longer-term armistice)."

Speaking over the weekend to Al-Jazeera, Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal made it clear which side of that debate he is on. In discussing his organization's proposed cease-fire with Israel, he admitted, "It is a tactic in conducting the struggle... It is normal for any resistance that operates in its people's interest... to sometimes escalate; other times retreat a bit... The battle is to be run this way, and Hamas is known for that."

So tahadiya it is.

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