End The Lie
End the Lie
November 19th, 2012
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The horrific events in Gaza have continued unabated sinceÂ I wrote my last news roundup on the subject. No matter your position on the conflict, the situation is hardly acceptable.
An entire family in Gaza was killed by an Israeli missile,Â reportedly due to technical error, resulting in the deaths of Ibrahim, 2, Yusef, 4, Jamal, 6, and Sara, 7, all children of Mohamed El Dallo, a man whom theÂ TelegraphÂ called a â€śrumored Hamas member.â€ť
Nine members of the family, all women and children, along with two neighbors, were killed by the missile fired from an Israeli F-16. Dallo, the reported Hamas member, was not even home at the time of the strike.
This airstrike has been the single most deadly incident in the entire conflict thus far. The timing was especially unfortunate as, â€śIt was launched as optimistic reports from anonymous Israeli military officials circulated in the local media suggesting that the crisis talks taking place in Cairo may soon produce a ceasefire,â€ť according to theÂ Telegraph.
Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra reported that an additional airstrike â€śleveled two houses belonging to a single family, killing two children and two adults and injuring 42 people, including children,â€ť according toÂ CBS. However, 12 to 15 members of the same family were still being searched for under the rubble at the time of publishing.
Al-Kidra also reported that an Israeli aircraft bombed the ruins of the national security compound in Gaza City, the shrapnel from which killed one child and wounded others living nearby.
Sundayâ€™s death toll alone was 29 while, according toÂ The New York Times, â€śGaza health officials reported that 70 Palestinians had been killed in airstrikes since Wednesday, including 20 children, and that 600 had been wounded.â€ť
CBS, on the other hand, reports, â€śIn all, 81 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have been killed in the five-day onslaught and 720 have been wounded.â€ť
Thus far three Israelis have been killed and 79 wounded by rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. CBS said the wounded Israelis number in the â€śdozens.â€ť
Anonymous hasÂ kicked their Israel-targeted hacking offensive into high gearÂ with Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz reporting that Israel has â€śdeflected 44 million cyber-attacks on government websitesâ€ť over the past four days alone.
â€śThis is an unprecedented attack, and our success has been greater than we anticipated,â€ť Steinitz said.
President Obama, speaking at a joint press conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, made his position on the conflict abundantly clear.
â€śIsrael has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory,â€ť he said, according toÂ ABC. â€śIf that can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, thatâ€™s preferable. Thatâ€™s not just preferable for the people in Gaza, itâ€™s also preferable for the Israelis because if Israeli troops are in Gaza they are much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™re going to have to see what kind of progress we can make in the next 24, 36, 48 hours, but what Iâ€™ve said to [Egyptian] President Morsi and [Turkish] Prime Minister Erdogan is that those who champion the cause of the Palestinians should recognize that if we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza than the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future,â€ť Obama added.
Ultimately, Obama sided completely with Israel, stating, â€śWe are fully supportive of Israelâ€™s right to defend itself from missiles landing on peopleâ€™s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israelâ€™s right to defend itself.â€ť
It is hardly surprising that Obama focused on the potential deaths of Israelis â€“ which is obviously far from acceptable â€“ and avoided the issue of the very real and rising numbers of dead Palestinian civilians.
The New York TimesÂ is now reporting that Hamas is attempting to leverage their relationship with Egyptâ€™s new Islamist government in making thoroughly unrealistic demands of Israel.
â€śThe groupâ€™s leaders, rejecting Israelâ€™s call for an immediate end to the rocket attacks, have instead laid down sweeping demands that would put Hamas in a stronger position than when the conflict began: an end to Israelâ€™s five-year-old embargo of the Gaza Strip, a pledge by Israel not to attack again and multinational guarantees that Israel would abide by its commitments,â€ť writes David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh forÂ The New York Times.
For those with an even basic grasp of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such demands likely seem unrealistic to the point of absurdity, yet it seems that Egyptian President Morsi is entertaining such notions given that he met with Khaled Mashaal, a top Hamas leader, on Sunday.
Reda Fahmy, a member of the Egyptian upper house of Parliament and of the dominant Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, said, â€śHamas has one clear and specific demand: for the siege to be completely lifted from Gaza.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s not reasonable that every now and then Israel decides to level Gaza to the ground, and then we decide to sit down and talk about it after it is done,â€ť Fahmy continued. â€śOn the Israeli part, they want to stop the missiles from one side. How is that?â€ť
â€śIf they stop the aircraft from shooting, Hamas will then stop its missiles. But violence couldnâ€™t be stopped from one side,â€ť Fahmy said.
â€śNow weâ€™re exerting pressure to stop the fighting on both sides, but we canâ€™t pressure the victim while the perpetrator isnâ€™t even ready to settle,â€ť Fahmy added.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official who settled in Cairo after the removal of former president Hosni Mubarak, said that if another conflict were to occur with Israel, â€śThe position of all Islamists in the region will be that of Hamas, not the other way around.â€ť
Yet the Israeli intelligence minister, Dan Meridor, expressed no interest in relenting. In a statement on Israeli television, Meridor said that they would wait for Hamas â€śto stop firingâ€ť before they would negotiate a long-term cease-fire agreement.
Until that point, Meridor said that Israel will do â€śwhatever it takesâ€ť to remove Hamasâ€™s rocket-firing capability, which potentially includes â€śan incursion into Gaza,â€ť according toÂ The New York Times.
IDF: Israel gives Hamas 36-hours ultimatum before starting major offensive â€” viaÂ RT.
Israel has warned Hamas it will step up its offensive in the Gaza Strip in 36 hours if they do not cease rocket fire. Israelâ€™s Finance Minister told IDF radio the time left before Israel escalates its attacks can be measured in â€śhours, not days.â€ť
â€ťWe are at a junction,â€ť said Minister Yuval Steinitz. â€śEither we go toward a calm or toward a meaningful widening of the operationâ€¦ including a possible move to achieve complete military decision.â€ť
Israel has demanded that Hamas cease firing rockets into Israel for a period of â€śseveral yearsâ€ť
and that they stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. The conditions are part of a six-part proposal put forward by the Israeli government at negotiations with Hamas in Cairo.
In addition, the proposal asked that Israel be allowed to hunt down terrorists in the event of an attack or if it obtains information on an imminent attack.
Hamasâ€™ official Moussa Abu Marzuk said Hamas would not accept the creation of an Israeli â€śsecurity beltâ€ť in eastern Gaza.
For their part, the Palestinians have demanded the immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza and the cessation of IDF targeted killings.
UPDATE 2:Â Harry Fear is live streaming from Gaza. His feed goes in and out but you can watch itÂ here, provided itâ€™s online.
We will attempt to keep you up to date with the latest events in this conflict. If we missed anything, please let us know byÂ emailÂ or in the comments section.
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Contributed by End The Lie of End the Lie.
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