Posts Tagged ‘cease-fire’

al Jazeera‘s “Inside Story” takes a look at where the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is now, where it can go, and the Feb. 10th elections in Israel. (more…)

Israel halts Gaza op as leaders look to score political points after Gazans die and are left with a living hell. (more…)

al Jazeera special on Israel’s occupation of Gaza after official withdrawal in 2005 and Hamas retaliation leading up to the Gaza Massacre in 2008 and current war and panel analysis of the war through its third week. (more…)



Xinhua: Palestinian and Egyptian ambassadors to the UN have asked the UN Security Council (UNSC) to bring Israel into compliance with the world call to put an immediate end to the violence and military actions in Gaza.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and urging Mideast and world leaders to do more to help end the Israeli-Hamas conflict and promote political dialogue. Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband has echoed this sentiment. The White House is still talking gibberish condemning Hamas, being ignorant of Israel’s atrocities, and actually thinks people can believe that the US wants to negotiate a “durable cease-fire.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has spoken out against Israel’s attacks:

“The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better,” Kucinich said in a news release on Monday.

The Democratic lawmaker also urged an independent investigation to be led by the United Nations into Israel’s acts of violence.

Kucinich said that he wrote to UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon, urging an ‘independent inquiry of Israel’s war against Gaza’.

“It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel’s actions,” said Kucinich.

AFP:

Muslim nations on Monday condemned Israel over the deadly air attacks on the Gaza Strip, as European diplomats called for an urgent meeting on the crisis which sparked anti-Israeli protests around Europe.

EU foreign ministers will meet in Paris Tuesday to “look into how the European Union can help ease the current crisis, along with the efforts of the international community, especially the secretary general of the United Nations,” a French foreign ministry statement said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged US President George W. Bush to help end Israel’s air blitz, the palace said.

“Effective international efforts must be launched to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and end the suffering of the Palestinians,” the king told Bush over the telephone, according to a palace statement.

Other Muslim countries including Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Pakistan joined in condemning Israel.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said it was ironic that the raids occurred as people entered the Islamic new year and days before the new year of 2009.

“We should pray that the earth will be more peaceful, but we’ve been torn by the situation in Palestine and Gaza,” Yudhoyono told reporters.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged Israel and Palestinian leaders to let urgent medical aid into Gaza, to provide a “humanitarian breathing space” amid the fighting, his spokesman said.

“We are appalled by the continuing violence in Gaza and reiterate our call to Israel and Hamas for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent life,” said a spokesman for Brown.

The special UN envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, and the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency, Karen Abu Zayd, meanwhile protested strongly to Israel after air strikes hit two UN buildings and killed eight of its people.

Gazans have endured oppression that violates International Humanitarian Law for at least 18 months now at the hands of Israel. Recent attacks have been a catalyst for global protests:

Israeli attacks on suspected Hamas strongholds in Gaza have triggered protests in more than a dozen countries.

In London, England, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy, waving flags and trying to push their way closer to the building, as police tried to hold them back and erect a barricade.

Police in Germany said about 2,000 protesters marched peacefully down Berlin’s Kurfuerstendamm Boulevard and dispersed after about three hours.

Protesters also have taken to the streets in Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, according to news reports. There also were reports of demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela.

Iranian media reported that thousands took part in anti-Israel demonstrations in Tehran on Monday, which the government declared a day of mourning for the Palestinians in Gaza.

Greek riot police clashed with protesters in Athens during a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy, according to police and images broadcast on state television.

Protesters hurled stones in an attempt to break through the police cordon around the heavily secured embassy. Police responded with tear gas.

In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in al-Mustansiriya Square in eastern Baghdad. The demonstrators carried Iraqi and Palestinian flags, banners and pictures of al-Sadr and his father.

The demonstrators threw an Israeli flag on the ground, put President Bush’s picture on top of it and set both on fire.

In the Muslim world, demonstrations also were held in Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya and Bahrain, the BBC and other news outlets reported.

Also, thousands of Lebanese demonstrators packed the streets of Beirut as part of a rally called by the militant group Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed the crowd via satellite from an undisclosed location.

Protests were also held in Israel, where students at universities in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem demonstrated against the Israeli military operation, ynetnews.com reported.



AP:

Israeli diplomats have been instructed to highlight the plight of Israelis under rocket fire from Gaza, officials said Monday, with the apparent aim of preparing world opinion for possible stepped-up action by Israel’s military.

There was a lull in militant fire Monday. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said his group was holding its fire for 24 hours in the hope that Israel would allow in humanitarian aid….

Ministry officials said the diplomatic moves were in part a pre-emptive step to block any U.N. Security Council resolution that could interfere with an Israeli operation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the specifics of the Israeli moves were not officially made public.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met last week and decided to green-light a Gaza operation, but left the timing vague.

Israeli leaders have made similar decisions repeatedly in the past. Some experts say Israel’s government isn’t really interested in a military offensive, and the flurry of recent activity is only the government scrambling to show the public that it is taking some form of action.

Hamas has transformed itself from a ragtag militia to a highly organized and well-armed force, and Israel’s military is wary about potentially high losses in its ranks in an operation that would have uncertain results.“There is real concern in the military and the defense ministry about the price, and they are trying everything not to go into Gaza,” said Reuven Pedatzur, a military analyst at Tel Aviv University.

But if rockets kill a large number of Israelis, he said, “they won’t have a choice.”

In the past, Israel’s military incursions into Gaza have ended with high Palestinian casualties and no long-term reduction in rocket fire.

Israel pulled all of its troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005, a withdrawal that was followed by more rocket fire by militants and a violent takeover by Hamas.

A six-month truce between Israel and Hamas officially expired Friday after unraveling over a period of weeks. Israel has largely sealed Gaza’s border crossings since early November in response, causing shortages of fuel and basic supplies. On Monday, Gazans lined up at bakeries as flour supplies threatened to run out, and the territory continued to be plagued by power shortages.

Though, Mr. Barak has ‘green-lighted’ an attack on Gaza, he’s critical of a potential Gaza operation:

“I’m hearing repeated populist statements from those who have never experienced or seen a war, people who are now becoming promoters of ‘different politics.’ This babbling is costing us lives and may damage the effectiveness of a Gaza operation,” Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud Barak said at a faction meeting on Monday morning, according to an Army Radio report.“When these promoters of ‘different politics’ dealt with war while serving in the government, they demonstrated light-headedness and abandonment even in regards to national considerations, at times due to personal motives. The public will eventually need to judge their actions,” said Barak.

The Jerusalem Post interprets this mainly directed to Israeli Foreign Minister and ’09 prime minister candidate, Tzipi Livni’s recent comments that most recently include, “We will not allow the prolonged existence of a Hamastan state in Gaza.” Hamas is open to a new cease-fire arrangement as more organizations call Israeli settlements illegitimate, but has threatened serious retaliation to an attack from Israel, not excluding anything, including suicide bombings:

‘The Palestinian resistance has the right to use every available means to defend the people in the face of the Israeli aggression, including martyrdom operations,’ Hamas Gaza spokesman Ayman Taha said.

Taha warned Israel that if it did launch such an operation, ‘the Palestinian people and their resistance powers will know how to respond to the aggression and foil its aims.’

After days of violence on the Gaza border, the already plagued Palestinian territory, the World Bank has calls for less West Bank trade — adding potential economic devastation to the existing hurdles Palestinans have to jump to participate in the global market and survive on top of the high amount of casualties anticipated by Israel and the global community.

Escalated violence between Israel and Hamas will put the US and the UN in a corner were Hamas soldiers to receive support from Syria, Lebanon, and Iran to counter Israel’s support by the West. This anticipated support has brought on Russia’s support for the Palestinians after diplomatic efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Were Israel to strike Gaza, the UN Security Council would become an even faster growing house of conflicting interests.