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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Israel drew first blood

While Palestinians took part in skirmishes preceding it, a raid by the Israelis November 4 apparently caused the first post-cease-fire fatalities. Also, it seems that Israel never lifted the blockade as agreed to in the cease-fire. And the Israelis killed Palestinians at checkpoints throughout the cease-fire, according to an organizer I spoke with at a Gaza protest today. However it started, it sounds like both sides were planning all along to resume fighting. Sadly a lot of innocent people have been killed in the process. Note that November 4 was Election Day in the U.S., and that Israel is talking about ending the operation before the U.S. inauguration. The authorities may have decided that the transition period was an opportune time for them to get away with it.


At Mon Jan 19, 10:01:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Steve writes: "The so called cease fire was actually a period of 'reduced hostilities'. It is clear that both sides were poised to resume larger scale fighting. Exchanges of gunfire and rocket fire on both sides took place throughout the so-called cease fire. On the matter of the blockade, it is clear that Israel lifted the blockade starting last June allowing a considerable volume of supplies through to Gaza. After Israel’s Nov. 4 attack, which they allege was based on the discovery of a cross border tunnel which was supposed to be used to abduct Israeli soldiers, they re-imposed the blockade. The validity of Israeli allegations about the tunnel are unclear. The whole thing is a mess and both sides share the blame."

He added that his comments were not intended as a justification for Israel’s actions, but assigning complete blame to them is also unjustified.

I may have had inaccurate information about the lifting of the blockade. I will stay open to new information. I feel that the question of "who started it" is important in assessing any flareup of Arab-Israeli hostilities.


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