Friday, July 25, 2014

Gaza Report 7

This report is the seventh in a series on the current confrontation between Gaza and Israel.

ISRAEL: The following is the perspective of an Israeli diplomat close to the NCF (name withheld):

We are horrified by the scale of the civilian death toll in Gaza. There is no question about that. But how are we to stop these rocket attacks? We have placed that down as an open question to our allies. What do they think we should do? If we could find another way to do what we have to do to secure the safety of Israel we would do it.

ISRAEL 2: The following is the perspective of one of our most senior Israeli NCF members (name withheld):

It’s devastating what’s happening. It has been a nightmare. But I feel that in some strange way it has unified Israelis. Before we were conflicted, particularly in the Diaspora where there was J-Street in the States and their counterpart in the UK.

People that were on the right and on the left before this crisis now think differently because this is not the West Bank, this is Gaza, this is a part of Palestine from which we have vacated.

Also it’s more than that. Of course there was this blockade – but there was a reason for that. I understand the Hamas standpoint. I understand they want the blockade lifted. I don’t agree but I understand.

It would be an absolute miracle if there was a cease fire now. But what we need is not a mere cease fire. We need an effective peace process.

THE WEST: The following is the perspective of one of our most senior British NCF members (name withheld):

No one in the world gains from a batch of this every four or five years. We lack an Israeli with sufficient vision to lead his nation to peace with the Arabs. It needs to be someone from the right wing.

GAZA: The following comment comes from the NCF office in Gaza. 

All of us OK but today it was most deadly because of the Israeli massacre in southern Khuzaa and Abassan villages to the East of Khan Younis, where Israeli shelling left dead and wounded under rubble. In Khuzaa village 31 were killed and more than 1,100 injured.

But tonight there was a massacre against the "Kaa-Albir'' school in Beit Hanoun which was hit by four shells fired by IDF forces. 17 were killed and 170 injured. All of them were new refugees in an UNWRA shelter.

It has been a bloody day, especially in the last few hours. At the same time Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they killed several Israeli soldiers in the Eastern Gaza Strip and Beit Hanoun in the South Gaza Strip.

(Conversation interrupted by an air strike)

Khalid Mishal said they will continue until they end the siege and stop the war and agreesion – but especially to end the siege.

Maybe Israel will stop unilaterally without a cease fire. But without a cease fire and deal it will be very bad because crossings must be reopened. And because if no end to the siege it means no rebuilding of the houses and now we have more than 250,000 homeless which is too much.

Hamas and all the factions will continue to hold to this condition to end the siege because without it the misery will continue. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and Abu Mazin’s Fateh are all united on this. This is the first time from Abu Mazin to speak like this. Now all the factions including Abu Mazin are on the same side. This is the first time.

Ban ki-Moon left with nothing but I am sure the international community will do something.

‘Till now the Israeli side says 32 dead. Hamas says they killed 8 Israelis just today so their figure is higher.

Ramadan ends in three days but this war will continue. It’s really very bad. The human situation is more and more difficult. There is no food. No clothing. All the banks are closed.

Also bad from the Egyptian side. 22 injured were transferred for treatment via Rafa. Just 22. Why just 22? The reason is Egypt’s hatred for Hamas. There have been many appeals to reopen Rafa for the injured but Egypt does nothing. 600 injured wait to cross. Technically they say Rafa is “re-opened” but there is no entrance for anyone. You cannot understand why this is happening from Egypt. Today Hamas asked the Egyptian side to reopen Rafa for aid but nothing. Yesterday an Emirates convoy did bring medicine but left the same day.

COMMENT: Today's comment is from New Israel Fund boss, Rabbi Brian Lurie. And was forwarded to us by Adam from the NIF. They were published in Haaretz.

Also – Smadar and Sami from the Tsofen orgainisation sent this comment piece. Thank you

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