Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hamas 4, Israel 399.

The deadliest conflict in the Gaza Strip in four decades could get even bloodier after days of air strikes that have killed at least 399 Palestinians, about a quarter of whom, U.N. figures showed, were civilians, and wounded more than 1,700. Three Israeli civilians and a soldier have been killed by rockets from the Gaza Strip since Israel began an air offensive on Saturday.

Israel has responded very heavily against the residents of Gaza, this is not a tat for tat defence. It is a ratio of a hundred to one and is grossly inappropriate. I condemn Israel for it's military response against the residents of Gaza. Robert Fisk writes that when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour. We didn't want to lower ourselves to the IRA's level.

Also that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza. That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don't come from Gaza.
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