Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Gaza Report 8
This report is the eighth in a series on the current confrontation between Gaza and Israel.
ISRAEL: The following is the perspective of Danny Rubenstein, one of Israel’s greatest award winning journalists and a close friend of the NCF:
It’s a window of opportunity now because the Hamas regime is isolated and broken both militarily and financially.
Now is the first time Egypt and Abu Mazin and Israel have truly cooperated. This is a good chance to bring Gaza to life. There are a lot of possibilities. For instance the gas reservoirs (Gaza has vast offshore gas reserves). The only reason they are not developed is the need to find a customer. You cannot develop these reserves without a customer. Gaza itself is not enough as a customer. The only relevant customer is Israel.
Developing the Gaza reserves through Egypt is a disaster because the terrorists would attack the pipeline in Sinai. If Israel buys this then there could also be a pipeline to Jordan. This would bring millions of dollars to Gaza. You could run desalination plants for Gaza with the cheap energy.
For 15 years nothing has been done with this gas. And this is only one example of how Gaza could be developed.
If you listen to Netanyahu, he doesn’t say anything about getting rid of Hamas. I am afraid he wants a weak Hamas to stay and Abu Mazin to remain a weak partner for peace. It would be much much better if Abu Mazin were strong and would take over Gaza.
Of course Abu Mazin getting with the support of Israeli tanks would be a disaster. But now if we had a cease fire and moved on from there, Hamas is popular but very weak because it is isolated by the entire world. That’s why it is a good time to start this dialogue.
GAZA: The following comment comes from the NCF office in Gaza.
The situation is the same. The situation is still very bad today. Violence. Tank shells. Especially on the East of Gaza, North and South. Everywhere. Today so far 32 have been killed and more than 100 injured. In total thus far we have 832 dead, more than 5,200 injured, 17,000 houses damaged, 1,800 completely destroyed.
Hamas fighters and the Israeli Army are still fighting. Hamas killed three Israeli soldiers today but we hear nothing of that from the Israelis.
On the political effort there is nothing new. We will support any new idea, believe this. But compromise is difficult because Hamas must completely end the siege. But Israel just wants quiet on the basis of calm = calm. This is completely impossible for us because we would just be in the same miserable situation we were in before all this began which means nothing.
The Egyptian side do not support Hamas demands to end the siege.
We want to rebuild the airport and seaport but Israel is not ready to give Palestine this point.
For Al Eid there will be a truce for a few days maybe.
The obstacle is Egypt and maybe Saudi Arabia.
It’s really terrible.
COMMENT: Today's comment is from UK Task Force, an organisation that highlights issues in regard to Israel’s Arabs, and they have highlighted and submitted this article from the Economist.
Also – Geoffrey Whitfield of Sports for Peace sent us this more subjective comment piece from Uri Avnery of Peace Now. Thank You