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Archive for November 26th, 2006

Rockets or the West Bank

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An update on the “ceasefire” in Gaza, it seems that Islamic Jihad won’t agree to it unless Israelis leave (the whole of) the West Bank as reported by Reuters:

‘GAZA (Reuters) – A ceasefire between Israel and militants in Gaza went into effect on Sunday and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, promising restraint after early Palestinian violations, said the truce could help revive peacemaking.

The agreement is designed to end rocket attacks and halt a crushing Israeli army offensive that was launched after gunmen seized a soldier in a cross-border raid last June. Olmert said he hoped the soldier would now be freed.

“All of these things ultimately could lead to one thing — the opening of serious, real, open and direct negotiations between us,” Olmert said. “So that we can move forward towards a comprehensive agreement between us and the Palestinians.”

Palestinian militants fired several rockets at Israel just hours after the start of the ceasefire.

“We will show the necessary restraint and patience, certainly in the coming days,” Olmert said during a visit to southern Israel.

The Israeli army pulled forces out of Gaza overnight, before the ceasefire took effect. Palestinian witnesses confirmed that soldiers had left northern Gaza, where operations against rocket-launching squads had been focused.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the violations of the truce and the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said he had instructed the heads of security forces to ensure the truce held. It gave no details of how they would do so.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for launching at least five rockets into southern Israel and said it would not agree to a ceasefire unless Israeli military activity also ended in the occupied West Bank. No one was hurt in the attacks.

The armed wing of the governing Hamas Islamic group said it fired two rockets, but Hamas political leaders pledged to obey the ceasefire. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Abbas’s Fatah movement, also said they launched two rockets.

Palestinian cabinet spokesman Ghazi Hamad said the government would speak to the factions which violated the truce. “We are committed to the agreement on calm,” Hamad said. ‘

Update 1: Israel’s CH2 TV News reports that 10 Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel since the start of the ‘ceasefire’.

Written by modernityblog

26/11/2006 at 12:14

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Good News From Gaza?

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The BBC News reports that a ceasefire has been agreed in Gaza, which is most welcome as the majority of Gazans have suffered unnecessarily from the actions of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israelis should welcome the well-deserved peace and relative freedom from indiscriminate rockets dropping out of the sky at them. Several have been killed in recent weeks, even with their extensive early warning systems.

I can’t help thinking that there is something more behind this, as the BBC points out “BBC correspondents say the announcement is unexpected and a major development.

Until now despite efforts by the Egyptian government to mediate the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers had been blocked by the Syrian and Iran governments.

We can only hope that some deal has been struck and that the kidnapped soldiers are released, no more rockets are fired into Israel, that the IDF withdraw from Gaza and humanitarian aid pours in.

The situation in Gaza is dire and it serves no purpose for it to worsen, so hopefully a joint government in the PA were recognised Israel and funding for humanitarian purposes resumes, with strict controls on the money to ensure that it doesn’t go towards arms or bombs.

Or maybe I’m being a bit too optimistic?

Written by modernityblog

26/11/2006 at 01:14

Posted in Uncategorized