Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gaza Report 9

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

ISRAEL: The following is the perspective of David Sasson, one of Israel’s veteran peacemakers and senior member of the NCF. David is of Iraqi Jewish heritage (as usual, quoted verbatim as of this morning):

I am very sad about both Gaza and Iraq. I don’t know what the US is going to do. They make a lot of mistakes. Look at the plight of the Christians of Mosul. Nobody says anything about that.

Gaza is very very bad. This is a big mistake I think. This creates terror in the Middle East – even in Europe. The West must open its eyes. We don’t have the right sort of politicians now in the world. We cannot do anything. The politicians must find a solution and that involves sitting together. The same rules apply in Syria and in Iraq and in Gaza.

In Gaza, if they destroy Hamas, ISIS will come. Al Qaidah will be there. I feel very sad and believe me: they must wake up in the West. Al Qaidah is at the doors of Europe. Europe and America must wake up.

In the end they are going to sit together. Better to sit today not tomorrow.

I am very very sad to see what happened in this world.

GAZA: The following comment comes from Adel Zaanoon, the NCF’s senior member in Gaza. Again the words are quoted verbatim (as at 5:30 pm GMT this afternoon).

There are more and more efforts for a humanitarian truce. They have failed because Israel rejected that truce. But at the same time today morning it was quiet, no shelling from Israel or Hamas.

This afternoon there were several air strikes on Shifa hospital and on the refugee camp. 10 Palestinians were killed and 55 injured. Meanwhile throughout all Gaza there was tank shelling. All areas repeated tank shelling.

In Khoza today, the village East of Khan Younis, the Red Cross found 12 bodies from four or five days ago.

Still there are efforts from all for peace.

Meanwhile Hamas and Islamic Jihad confirmed their conditions for a cease fire: the lifting of the siege and the reopening of all crossings including Rafa. But Israel does not want to end the siege.

Maybe there will be more and more escalation if we do not arrive at a truce. Escalation from both Israel and Palestine. A lot maybe.

Meanwhile today on the ground there were several clashes. The Qassam said 9 Israelis were killed today, whilst Israel said 4 Israelis dead in Ashkol North East of Gaza this afternoon by Palestinian rocket.

It’s terrible. Still very bad. There is no solution. No vision to solve this problem. Maybe there will be a humanitarian truce. I hope so. For 24 hours. We hope so because the people of Gaza are tired. There is so much suffering in Gaza, it’s crazy.

This current cease fire proposal comes from the UN. Hamas and Israel are both discussing this proposal. The Palestinian people hope there will be agreement from Hamas and Israel because they are more and more tired and more and more are being killed.

There were 10 Palestinian children killed and 50 injured in that one strike in Shata refugee camp. About 40% of the dead in Gaza these days are children and 20% are women. Since this began 1,100 have been killed.


COMMENT: Today's comment is in the shape of two broadcasts, both actually recorded before the current outbreak of hostilities, but possibly even more pertinent now.

The first is with Orthodox Rabbi Herschel Gluck. Click Here

The second is with Gazan film maker Dr Imad Karam. Click Here


Also – we were sent the following comment from a Syrian, Abdulazim Saffaf

Thank you very much for asking me for my opinion on whether I can see some light at the end of the darkest tunnel in history; the Middle East conflict.
The survival nature and resilience of the people involved in the conflict both Jewish and Palestinian throughout history justify my hope.
There is no alternative to direct negotiation. This direct negotiation should be between true representatives of both sides including the Israeli far right and Hamas. Without involving them the chance is everything will collapse.
Negotiation and not bargaining or haggling, negotiation that is dynamic and goes beyond mere conferring with view to compromise. It is about making and seeking concessions.
The hope is there if we adhere to self-evident principles:
1.      Hate breeds only hate and violence, love breeds love and peace.
2.      To read history to learn valuable lessons to enhance co-existence, and to stop reading history to live in it.
3.      Injustice is the source of all evils.
4.      All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights (Article1, Universal declaration of human rights UDHR).
5.      Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article3, UDHR)
6.      Everyone has the right to a nationality (Article 15.1 UDHR)
7.      No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality (Article 15.2 UDHR).
8.      Both Arabs and Jews deserve not just a break but a lasting solution.
9.      Hostilities must stop immediately to allow for proper negotiation of lasting peace.
Hope can also be sought from the good example of the harmonious co-existence between Jews and Arabs as those in the past in Baghdad, Andalusia or the current good example in Safed under the Jewish Mayor Ilan Shochat.
In addition to the above principles, there are the following facts that we should draw our attention to:
1.      The word Palestine has always had positive connotation among Jews. Most of the Jewish writers prior to 1948 spoke of their love to and of their dreams about the Holy Land called Palestine.

2.      The word Israel has always had positive connotation among Arabs prior to 1948 because of the high place Prophet Jacob (Israel) the father of Prophet Joseph both have in the heart of Muslim and Christian Arabs.

I HAVE A DREAM! That one day to see Palestine as one country and to see Jews and Arabs living side by as equal citizens of that country. With the potential of both its peoples and its world religions and heritage, there shall be no limits to the advancement and prosperity of this country. Jerusalem shall regain its long held name: The City of Peace.

When Jerusalem is peaceful, the whole world will be peaceful.
 Abdulazim Saffaf

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