Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Peace talks failing in Mid East crisis

Besides both US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas calling for peace, there is little sign that the militants in Gaza or the Israeli military will give way [BBC / CNN].

Many Israeli citizens complain that Western media is unbalanced, often only showing the suffering of the victims of Israeli air strikes with little explanation as to what Israel is attempting to achieve. President Ehud Olmert is often quoted as saying that Israel is merely trying to defend itself from Qassam rockets. Hamas has launched dozens of such rockets into Israel this year, but there have been relatively few casualties. It is the fear they provoke amongst the civilian population which has culminated in Israel’s incursions into Gaza. However there is continued criticism that Israeli strikes not only results in the death of civilians but increases militancy within Gaza. And besides the continued military action little impact is made in destroying the Hamas infrastructure. The rockets still fly across the border, the air-raid sirens still sound and Israeli citizens still run for the shelters.

Mr Abbas called a halt to peace talks this weekend after recent Israeli incursions killed at least 110 Palestinians, twenty of them children. The Palestinian leader has described the incursions as “unjustifiable”. But it is unlikely that Olmert will be dissuaded from launching further attacks. "The objective is reducing the rocket fire and weakening Hamas. Everything is possible... air strikes, ground strikes and special operations are all being discussed," President Olmert said on Monday. Three Israelis have also died in the last week. One civilian was killed by a rocket attack on Wednesday and two soldiers were killed on Saturday during the recent incursion into the Gaza strip. Israel has claimed a partial success with at least 13 militants killed in recent days.

Israel and the US have accused Iran of arming Hamas, something which is disputed by Iran. "It is very clear that Hamas is being armed. And it is very clear that they are being armed in part by the Iranians," Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday. "So if the answer is that if Hamas gets armed by the Iranians and nobody helps to improve the security capabilities of the legitimate Palestinian Authority security forces, that's not a very good situation." However, she refused to elaborate on reports which say the US planned to arm Fatah in an attempt to overthrow the Hamas led government. The March 2007 plan surfaced first in Vanity Fair but has subsequently been reported in other media [Guardian / Al Jazeera / Jerusalem Post].

1 comment:

Colin H said...

So Rice says that Israel has to be cognizant about the innocent in gaza. ..'cept there are no innocent in gaza. They voted in a terrorist bunch to govern and speak for them. You get exactly what you voted for.