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Israeli forces enter Gaza City neighborhood

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I guess Israel are going to take off the kid gloves and get serious about the continued slaughter of men, women and children in Gazza.

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Olmert might as well go on and move those tanks right on into Gaza City. He can quit his preaching because the Palestinians aren't going to surrender, aren't going to turn over Hamas members and are just waiting for the Israelites to step into the city.

Olmert has underestimated the Gazans. He has started something he won't stop and the results will be earth shattering and will isolate them from more world communities, except the U. S. who has given unyielding support.

I'm hoping that Barack looks at the $30Billion promised to Israel and cuts it immediately. < :-)

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Kadima,Likud,Israel Labour party must be denied more seats in election in february.

Same for palestine,they should deny more seats for hamas and put in fatah people in rule in palestine to help civilians more.

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Israeli atrocities committed against the Palestinian people is not going to change their stance. As pictures of dead children is being sent on TV the support for war in US will decrease and alianate it´s allies. The further Israel is in Gaza the further Israel will sink in mud. Israel say they will now go to a new phase of war. All these phases of war but what is it that they have achieved politically? Israel does not want to get into street battles in the refugee camps, but will probably rather shoot at the areas from a distance. Barak, may well be satisfied with the death of an estimated 1000 Palestinians and pull it´s troops out or maybe he wants to go out in a big bang. Both Israeli leaders and Palestinian leaders will need to use brokers and come with a peace deal. Israel needs to stop aggression, withdrawal from Gaza, deployment of international forces, opening borders. Israeli leaders should be prosecuted in international war crimes tribunals for using WP on civilians.

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I'm hoping that Barack looks at the $30Billion promised to Israel and cuts it immediately. < :-)

Unfortunately, I don't think that Obama will change the US ME policy, as he was endorsed by the Jewish lobby to be elected...

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"God willing, we are closer to victory"

Or, Israeli military willing, they are closer to defeat.

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Israeli leader warns Hamas of 'iron fist'

The same 'iron fist' that has slaughtered 250 children, along with the 650 legitimate targets ? With 250 child deaths on his hands maybe he should keep his mouth shut.

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Seeing that world leaders aren't interfering with Israeli war crimes, they feel they can intensify their slaughter. Americans should seriously look at their government, they are very responsible for this.

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Both sides of this conflict have much to answer for.

Again, I ask:

Why isn't there any criticism towards Hamas?

Is it because we are to expect much more of Israel and that it's "understood" that Hamas can't help itself but fire rockets into Israel?

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Looks like the Russians aren't the only ones taking advantage of a lame duck presidency. No real outrage here over Israeli killings of civilians as long as Hamas continues to fire rockets, build military installations under hospitals and fire on Israeli troops and gunships from mosques. Israel has been waiting years for the Palestinian leadership to stop shooting rockets and make a deal. There's an ideological barrier to admitting that a Jewish state is here to stay, but the real reason Palestinian leadership won't tolerate peace is because peace highlights Palestinian failure. It takes more guts to make a deal and build a country out of the West Bank and Gaza than it does to fire homemade rockets out of your yard while putting your neighbor's mother on the roof to stop retaliation. Not necessarily pro-Israel but definitely anti- the curent Palestinian regime. Losers are as losers do.

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and israel will loose for they shall not surrender and hopefully there will be a palestinian state.

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The same 'iron fist' that has slaughtered 250 children, along with the 650 legitimate targets ?

What is your position on HAMAS using these children as human shields?

You've never commented on that. I'm curious if you approve of the tactic.

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I think we are all familiar with the situation of a gangster takes a hostage and uses it as a « human shield » surrounded by the heavily armed police. But I never heard about a case that the police fired on both of them to get the gangster. Because the humanitarian ideology refuses this kind of tactic. (To kill the gangster and the hostage)

So if Israel knows that there are innocent civilians including children, in spite of the presence of Hamas members, it should not fire. You can blame Hamas to use the human shields, but you should also blame Israel to kill the innocents, knowing that they are there.

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What is your position on HAMAS using these children as human shields?

You've never commented on that. I'm curious if you approve of the tactic.

Don't be a child sailwind. Anyone using that tactic is sick. But you pro-Israeli posters automatically think that anyone outraged with 250 innocent child deaths is a supporter of Hamas. And here's a question for you to comment on. Even if Hamas is putting Palestinian children at risk in the line of fire, is it acceptable for Israel just to totally ignore the presence of innocent children and fire away ? You've never commented on that and I'm curious if you approve of the tactic ?

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Thank you FromEurope. You answer sailwind's ridiculous question. Unfortunately you will now be branded by the American pro-Israeli posters here as a member of Hamas or Hezbollah.

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northlondon : They already did ;)

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I repeat:

Both sides of this conflict have much to answer for.

I think everybody can agree that 250 deaths of innocent children is a tragedy. I think everybody can agree that putting them at risk is a tragedy as well

Anyone using that tactic is sick.

Why isn't there any criticism against Hamas then?

is it acceptable for Israel just to totally ignore the presence of innocent children and fire away?

The short answer to that is "no".

Is it acceptable for Hamas to use them as shields?

No again.

Let's read the article again.

Why did Israel launch an attack?

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I think everybody can agree that 250 deaths of innocent children is a tragedy.

No, let's read this again and ask the same question. Why did Israel launch their attacks with children present ?

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is it acceptable for Israel just to totally ignore the presence of innocent children and fire away ? You've never commented on that and I'm curious if you approve of the tactic ?

Don't insult my intelligence. During any war, any war there are civilian casualities and it is a tragedy. The difference is if the combatants fire on civilians ON PURPOSE then they are guilty of murder and war crimes.

HAMAS puts their innocents in harms way ON PURPOSE and as a policy. The are the murderers and the blame for their deaths rests clearly on them.

I'll turn you back to your inevitable retort, that the Israel somehow condones shooting innocent civilians on purpose and is a matter of state policy when her Army is conducting military operations.

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Why did Israel launch their attacks with children present ?

We would need to ask the Israelis who launched this particular attack this question. I would like to know the answer myself.

Let me rephrase the statement:

I think everybody can agree that 250 deaths of innocent children is a tragedy. And wrong.

Now, why again did Israel launch their attack? The attack I refer to is the entire operation, including the attack where 250 children were killed.

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Why do Hamas launch rockets on civilians with children present? Are they sickos? Hypocrisy abounds doesn't it? Sabiwabi it's so easy to blame others and not take responsibility for yourself. Knowing that Israel would retaliate and the risk of civilians being killed in a crowded area, why would you provoke her do so in the first place? Idiocy is the only logical answer to that one that I can see.

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sailwind, the problem here is that a lot of people seem to be confused between people being upset with a huge amount of innocent child deaths and supporting a terrorist organisation such as Hamas. We all know about the casualties of war. But when you are a supposedly modern and intelligent democracy (Israel), why choose war so easily in the first place ? They could have starved Gaza economically and they could have given safe passage to all Palestinian children until their bombardment began. You talk about the consequences of war, but 250 children out of 900 Palestinian deaths equals one in four fatalities being children. That is not acceptable under any situation my friend.

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Since 2001, 8600 rockets were fired and they killed 28 Israelis. It’s difficult to say that Hamas wanted to kill specifically these people. Because they never know where their rockets land. They didn’t target these people on purpose. (But I agree that they had the intention to destroy or kill something or somebody in Israel)

On the other hand, Israel knows that there are innocent civilians but she fires them all the same, intentionally. Those civilians were not killed by accident. They were targeted on purpose. So Israel is guilty of murder and war crime.

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bushlover - you bring up an interesting point.

Referring back to one of my previous comments, are we to hold Israel to a higher standard and assume that Hamas will break every cease fire?

Or can we assume that Israel will not hold back at all?

Knowing that Israel will not spare children in defending themselves, then shouldn't we use the same logic for Hamas and state that because they broke the cease fire, it was because of them that children were killed?

As you say, Hypocrisy is prevalant on both sides.

why would you provoke her do so in the first place?

One reason I can think of is to make Israel look bad, which is exactly what is happening: they do look bad/ And rightly so.

So, shame on Hamas for putting their children in danger.

And shame on Israel for committing the act.

Again, both sides of this conflict have much to answer for.

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An iron fist they wouldn't have if it wasn't for the American taxpayer. Who is going to supply Israel's iron fist once the U.S. empire collapses under the weight of its entitlement system and military overreach? Bernie Madoff?

Oh yeah, and try showing a little gratitude to the U.S. for supplying that iron first.

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urufuls: "Why isn't there any criticism against Hamas then?"

You evidently have NOT been reading the posts very clearly because there have been HEAPS of people on both sides criticizing Hamas. Firing the rockets and essentially hiding amongst Palestinian civilians is a major travesty. They have resorted to terrorism through their constant bombings and launching of rockets.

HOWEVER, Israel's reaction to the most recent spate of rocket fire is absolutely overkill, and the world sees it, which is why you're seeing most of the articles from one slant. And lest we forget, this is DESPITE the Israeli government barring independent media from entering and covering what's happening, and allowing only messages they deem fit to get through.

sailwind: "HAMAS puts their innocents in harms way ON PURPOSE and as a policy. The are the murderers and the blame for their deaths rests clearly on them."

Agree 100% with you in the first sentence, but not in the second. No matter how you try to slice it, if I pull the trigger that results in the death of an innocent, his/her death is literally my fault 100%, although the blame can be divided. You cannot point a gun at a person holding a little girl, shoot her in the face first and then kill the guy/girl holding her, and say, "You just shot that little girl!"

The point is, it's not so simple, and only dropping leaflets before targeting a building with innocents in it does not at all rid Israel of any blame in the matter. Hamas definitely takes a big piece of it, but not all, my friend... and not when Israel is doing what it's doing with the deadliest barrage and ground assault in decades... (when not a single Israeli was killed prior to the invasion, or with the rockets that LED to the invasion). Go ahead and whip out your 'incidents' page again, if you like, but be sure to include the number of Palestinian deaths from other sources as well (and no, not just Hamas, I mean ALL Palestinians killed by Israelis in the same time frame, since you couldn't bring up the stats the other day).

BOTH sides are to blame, but since this article is largely about Israel threatening to bring down an 'iron fist' I ask, what's the iron fist compared to what's going on now? You going to nuke the place, then? Clearly the invasion hasn't accomplished any of its goals, and rather its resulted in anti-Israeli sentiment world-wide, and increased support for Palestinians (and sadly, in some cases, Hamas itself).

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Sabiwabi it's so easy to blame others and not take responsibility for yourself. Knowing that Israel would retaliate and the risk of civilians being killed in a crowded area, why would you provoke her do so in the first place?

Its so easy to ignore all the reasons why Hamas has been firing rockets. This conflict did not start with rockets. All Israel has to do to avoid the rockets is to stop treating the Palestinians like cattle, actually much worst than cattle. Why must they treat people like this just because they are of a different religion. And why do world leaders tolerate and even support this, for 6 decades.

Anyone who believes Israel's attack is simply retaliation for rockets still has much to learn.

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Israel’s leader stood within Hamas rocket range Monday

This is like saying Hillary Clinton was under sniper fire. Could we be spared unnecessary dramatics please? There is plenty of drama here without resorting to being totally ridiculous.

Maybe if Hamas were somehow able to fire a million of those supped up hobby rockets in the direction of Ashkelon in the space of time he was speaking, Olmert might have actually caught a bit of shrapnel from one. Give us a break.

If there is a baby step up from throwing rocks, its using a sling. A baby step up from that is supped up hobby rockets. And I say that even though more people have been killed by the sling, only because of the added range of the rockets.

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Anyone who believes that all Israel has to do is be nice to the Pals, and that they'll be nice back, is a deluded idiot. No, really. And yes, THIS conflict started with rockets. THIS conflict continues because of rockets.

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Yes those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Period. So remember that you reap what you sow. Sorry to hear that kids are getting in the way of strikes on militants but no one can sit back and let their country have rockets land no matter how few got killed. What if the cops had that attitude back when the 'sniper' was taking people out in the States? "Oh it's only a few dead people. No worries." Or when the J-cops have that attitude of indifference when a young girl gets stalked and later killed by the stalker? Don't you all come here to say how little they have done to protect the innocent? You can't just become complacent and say well she'll be right mate! At one point you have to hit back. I'm just surprised that Israel held back this long.

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Now hold Hamas to the same standards please. Especially those saying Israel should be held to them.

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Molenir,

How would you know? Israel has NEVER been nice to Palestinians. Since Israel was "created", Palestinians have never been free. You cun't be serious!

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You evidently have NOT been reading the posts very clearly because there have been HEAPS of people on both sides criticizing Hamas.

I have been reading the posts on this article, and there is clearly a slant. But not the HEAPS of criticism you mention. And it seems that there are clearly individuals taking sides. I would like to see an equal amount of criticism for both sides of the conflict, and more objectivity like your comment:

BOTH sides are to blame, but since this article is largely about Israel threatening to bring down an 'iron fist' I ask, what's the iron fist compared to what's going on now?

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Israel has NEVER been nice to Palestinians.

Neither side has ever been 'nice' to the other side. This is a delusive argument. The only time the Palestinian people's situation has improved was through negotiations with Israel. The only way the Palestinian people's situation will improve in the future is for serious negotiations. Firing rockets has not gotten the Palestinians anything. Negotiations have. Negotiations are the only answer.

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The only solution is an British/Arab-nation peace-keeping force occupying the Palestinian territories. Permanently. After all, they are just as at fault for this situation.

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How would you know? Israel has NEVER been nice to Palestinians. Since Israel was "created", Palestinians have never been free. You cun't be serious!

Totally serious. I mean consider, look at all the killings and murders they're committing in the West Bank. Oh wait, they're not. Hmm, whats the primary difference? Gee, thats easy, NO ROCKETS!

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The only time the Palestinian people's situation has improved was through negotiations with Israel.

There might have been relative improvements at some times, but the Palestinians never had a decent free life since Israel was created. But please feel free to continue your balanced charade, with comments like "there has been land and property stolen and killings on both sides" we all know where you're coming from.

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urufuls: Not to worry, my friend; the majority of people on here know full well both sides are to blame. I can't think of a single poster who is saying Israel ALSO houses some of the blame who seriously thinks Hamas has none, or says Hamas is great. The only people you really need to worry about are those who give Israel carte blanche, or the very few nuts (but whom exist all the same) that honestly think Israel needs to be wiped out.

bushlover: "What if the cops had that attitude back when the 'sniper' was taking people out in the States? "Oh it's only a few dead people. No worries." Or when the J-cops have that attitude of indifference when a young girl gets stalked and later killed by the stalker? Don't you all come here to say how little they have done to protect the innocent?"

Your analogies are as ridiculous and off-comment as usual. Okay, so let's say the stalker is indeed stalking a young lady in Japan -- is she the 'Israeli' in your allusion, or the 'Palestinian'. If the former, why is she walking around in Gaza so late at night? If the latter shouldn't it be the police that shoot her (with a tank) in pursuit of the stalker?

You catch my drift? They are utterly incomparable. You want to compare other wars with this one? Perhaps there is some merit in doing so to establish patterns in tactics, (lack of) reasoning, and what not, as well as outcomes and predictions. However, comparing incidents of domestic crime with wars between nations is not only illogical, it's just plain dumb, especially when you compare the domestic incidents of countries like Japan and the US with Israel and the Palestinians.

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And the US will continue subsidizing human rights violations by increasing foreign aid to Israel to $30 billion over 10 years.

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And the US will continue subsidizing human rights violations by increasing foreign aid to Israel to $30 billion over 10 years.

Yes, and correct me if I am mistaken but didn't Obama pledge that before Americans voted for him, while shouting "Change!". I would like to see some real change in the US.

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Anyone who believes that all Israel has to do is be nice to the Pals, and that they'll be nice back, is a deluded idiot.

Same to anyone who believes that more oppression of the Palestinians will get the rockets to stop, or even just stop terrorism.

I believe deals can be reached. I believe the Palestinians, including Hamas, will barter. I do not believe either side is ever going to be nice, nor has anyone asked for or expected that.

And yes, THIS conflict started with rockets.

Rockets were a significant part of it, sure. But you cannot oppress people for decades and expect peace. You cannot steal people's land and expect no reprisals. You cannot wall people into a sandlot and expect them to not try and get out or not try and hit you among other things.

The fact that rockets are being shot at Israel is not appropriate action. But its not a surprise either. What is a surprise is that were dedicated enough to not only come up with the rockets, but also that so many could learn to make them and make and shoot so gosh darn many despite how woefully ineffective they are.

People that dedicated have got to have a reason, and I think its just Islam. I refuse to believe Islam itself is that powerful. There has to be something else driving these people.

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Sailwind

The difference is if the combatants fire on civilians ON PURPOSE then they are guilty of murder and war crimes.

It is ON PURPOSE. Israel drops leaflets and said we're going to kill you if you don't turn in Hamas. It's on purpose.

And those people who have no idea who Hamas is, they die because Israel PURPOSELY fired on innocent civilians. < :-)

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smithinjapan : Thanks for understanding. It can be difficult to get the point across in these newsgroups.

If most posters in here understand that both sides are to blame, let everybody admit this now without guile.

What Israel is doing is terrible and needs to stop, and they have made the offer to do so if rocket fire from Hamas ceases. So it seems that the ball is in the court of Hamas now.

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People that dedicated have got to have a reason, and I think its just Islam

Sorry, NOT just Islam.

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urufuls, Why do you think Hamas is firing rockets?

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sabiwabi - I don't know why. All I know is the Israeli's state they are attacking in response to them.

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What Israel is doing is terrible and needs to stop, and they have made the offer to do so if rocket fire from Hamas ceases. So it seems that the ball is in the court of Hamas now.

That's not the point really. Nobody gives a damn about Hamas and if they were wiped off the face of the earth by tomorrow there would not be any tears shed. But what you are saying is that if Hamas stop firing their terrorist rockets then Israel will stop blowing up innocent little kids. To put the ball in the court of Hamas when Israel are knowingly killing children (1 in 4 fatalities) is a bit sick to be quite honest with you.

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Why do you think Hamas is firing rockets?

They chose terrorism as the way to try and achieve their political goal.

Next?

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But what you are saying is that if Hamas stop firing their terrorist rockets then Israel will stop blowing up innocent little kids.

Not what I'm saying, that is what Israel is touting.

And yes, killing innocent children is sick.

So if the killing of innocent children is sick and they have offered to stop the senseless attacks if Hamas ceases firing rockets, why not put them to the test?

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But please feel free to continue your balanced charade, with comments like "there has been land and property stolen and killings on both sides" we all know where you're coming from.

Well, one would hope people know where I am coming from...that is an attempt at a balanced view of history and the suffering on both sides. It is interesting that you are denying land and property were also taken from Palestininan Jews and that Palestinian Jews were also killed in the years leading up to the 1948 war. However, it follows in line with your other 'balanced views' such as blaming Jews for murdering Jesus and saying Hitler didn't have such a bad a hate for Jews.

Fortunately, there are those in the world that understand both sides are need to take responsibility for peace and negotiate. You seem to want this to continue until your personal dream of Israel 'disappearing' is completed. However, as I correctly pointed out, violence has not made life better for the Palestinians and has not brought them closer to a peaceful existence as a nation. The only thing that has given them any improvement has been when they were involved in negotiations for peace.

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More propaganda from the muslim activists. Hamas could stop the IDF immediately by stopping to fire rockets into Israel and hand over their existing rocket dumps to intl. monitors.

Instead, they continue to attack Israel from behind their civilian population. Some jihadist heroes...

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urufuls: "If most posters in here understand that both sides are to blame, let everybody admit this now without guile."

I feel I need to qualify my comment somewhat, even though it is not in disagreement to yours. What I intended to say about most people agreeing that this is the fault of both is that, despite thinking so, it APPEARS somewhat like this argument is either one side or the other, and certainly the pro-Islam (Islam can do no wrong) side thinks that's the case. However, people like myself who know that peace cannot be achieved without both sides working together, and likewise that war is the fault of both parties involved, attack those that feel Israel is 100% right and it looks as though in some cases people are pro-Hamas. That's not the case, with one or two exceptions on this thread.

In my mind if it common knowledge that much of what Hamas does/is doing is wrong; but I also believe the Israeli reaction is too strong. Those short-sighted enough to belief that Israel has done nothing wrong believe that my criticism of said country is tantamount to supporting terrorism.

Anyway, I think you catch my drift.

You AREN'T going to get your message across, sadly, because too many people in the Pro-Israeli camp in particular are too stubborn to try and see it from both sides. People like me have been saying for two weeks now how there is no simple solution and how BOTH sides are going to have to cease their current behaviours and find ways to make amends through DIALOGUE, but the answer is always, "Well, Hamas has to stop firing rockets" as though you're talking to a very short cassette player on loop.

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Sabiwabi:

" urufuls, Why do you think Hamas is firing rockets? "

No Sabi, why do you think Hamas is firing rockets? And from the middle of population centers, of course? Enlighten us.

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smithinjapan: 100% understood.

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The only time the Palestinian people's situation has improved was through negotiations with Israel.

And they became needing improvement how? It is really easy for and I to throw that out of the equation. Its a lot harder for a Palestinian to do that, even if we know they should.

But what improvements have been made for the people of Gaza? They got Israeli troops out off of their streets and a few Israeli outposts removed, that was about it. I really don't find it that surprising that a people so controlled and so oppressed wound up going back down hill again so soon after so little actually changed. It takes a lot of energy to get anything moving from a standstill. A little lurch forward can not be expected to generate continuous motion. In short, there will be growing pains.

And as I have said before, I would still rather be an Israeli in Sderot right now braving supped up hobby rockets than a Palestinian in Gaza during any extended time in the last few decades.

And about negotiations, here is the Iron law of negotiations: He who negotiates from a position of weakness will get screwed. Don't even imagine Hamas is not aware of that.

The only way the Palestinian people's situation will improve in the future is for serious negotiations.

Agreed, as long as you keep the word "serious" in there. I can't tell you how vital that word is.

Incidentally, the Gazan pullout was not done over negotiations. It was done unilaterally. You can tell me that hindsight is 20/20, and you would be correct, but that was a mistake. The Israelis lost a bargaining chip, and as we both know, no one is going to be nice, even though I would certainly expect a little from the Israelis first, if anyone. (Does not mean Israelis are better though, it just means the land thief is a comfy position to be nice!). They are going to take any advantage they can. But I believe, they will negotiate if, as you say, there are "serious" negotiations.

Firing rockets has not gotten the Palestinians anything.

Grudgingly, I have to disagree. The rockets got the Gazans press they never would have gotten otherwise. Many people, including myself, to my discredit, knew nothing of the situation and did not want to know. If not for the rockets and violence I would know nothing about the issue. And Gaza would be quiet for the world, but still an insufferable inarable walled up oppressed ghetto sandlot.

But believe me, I do not want to admit that such heinous action has done any good. But I would be kidding myself to say otherwise. And are kidding yourself to expect them to sit in Gaza and wait.

Negotiations are the only answer.

Serious ones, yes. And that would include seriously involving the U.N. and taking their resolutions seriously, something Israel, the land thief, just hates to do.

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The U.N. has opened 36 temporary shelters housing more than 28,000 people, but two of those have come under fire.

They just about ought to stay at home. Israel knows where these shelters are. They will be more than two come under fire. Each day the numbers of civilians are growing faster than Hamas.

Of the more than 900 Palestinians who’ve died in the conflict, about half were civilians, according to Gaza medical officials.

The number of civilians deaths will make the military look small pretty soon. Israeli killing machine at work in Gaza. < :-)

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Why do you think Hamas is firing rockets?

For the same reason Muslims murder civilians all around the world. Jihad.

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So if the killing of innocent children is sick and they have offered to stop the senseless attacks if Hamas ceases firing rockets, why not put them to the test?

This conflict is several decades old. They have tried that test countless times. Israel will always push the Palestinians to react, they push very hard. People should make a serious effort to learn what the situation has really like for the Palestinians, for many decades. Forced to live in an overcrowded concentration camp, with a militarily enforce blockade, thousands of uprooted olive trees, sniper killings of kids, low flying jets in the middle of the night,...... You will never learn this from the western mass media. Many Palestinians were killed during the last ceasefire; of course Israel claimed they were militants, but they have been proven to be liars.

Palestinians want to live free, and there is no reason why they should settle for anything less. Any group who wants to prevent this deserves to be fired at with rockets.

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Many people, including myself, to my discredit, knew nothing of the situation and did not want to know. If not for the rockets and violence I would know nothing about the issue.

You still don't have you ever even tried to look at the Israeli position in all of this?

Ever look at an Israeli newsite? Listened to their point of view? Ever?

I have and it's gotten so bad that even those in Israel who are fellow progressives such as yourself,(I bet you didn't even know Israel has a huge progressive peace camp that thinks the occupation is wrong and wants a just solution for the Palistinians that were displaced). Do you know these fellow travelers have had enough of HAMAS also.

Here is what HAMAS has done to the peace camp. The very ones that support your position likeitis.......

Moderator: The discussion board is for your opinions, not for quoting other people, thank you.

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for the palastinians hamas are freedom fighters and to the israelians they are terrorists.

if this "war" escalates we don't have to worry about the economical crisis

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In my mind if it common knowledge that much of what Hamas does/is doing is wrong; but I also believe the Israeli reaction is too strong" Yeah, but hasn't Israel push a lot harder in the past and they still have the same Hamas to deal with.. How much of a reaction should they have given?

sabi: If I ever met you, I would buy two tickets to fly there for the both of us. Only then we can come the conclusion you desire for everyone here to have.

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The number of civilians deaths will make...

Always entertaining to read the faux concern leftists have for innocent civilians. Not a peep while nearly a quarter of million innocent civilian have been slaughtered in Sudan over the last decade. But any accidental civilian deaths by the US or Israel in their battle against radical Islam, and the leftists become apoplectic. It's pure politics. They believe Islam is the front line in their socialist revolution.

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Not a peep while nearly a quarter of million innocent civilian have been slaughtered in Sudan over the last decade.

That is a point, but then, I cannot say I have much hope for places like that. I simply got no answers.

They believe Islam is the front line in their socialist revolution.

And here we go, right back into the insanity. Did you remember to take your meds this morning?

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I also believe the Israeli reaction is too strong

Pfft. How could the Israeli reaction be too strong when Hamas is still launching rockets into Israel? If their reaction were too strong, there'd be no rockets being launched into Israel.

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You still don't have you ever even tried to look at the Israeli position in all of this?

And you do? Are you the expert now Sail?

Not mysteriously, I have lost the will to read the rest of your post or to try and negotiate with you. I do hope you will stop being so bitter about all this. Taking my heart-felt admission and using it that way is also very childish.

But FYI, I always look at both sides. A guy earlier posted a video about the rockets hitting Sderot. I watched it. Then I watched a video about conditions in Gaza. I am not saying I know everything about this (another admission you might childishly abuse as if you do) but I am absorbing from both sides of the conflict. It seems most here are too. The others just support Israel without question, and its the "without question" part that is worthy of remorseless attack, not my admissions of incomplete knowledge.

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Ever look at an Israeli newsite? Listened to their point of view? Ever?

I have read more Haaretz articles than any other article except perhaps Wikipedia. In fact, I have used Haaretz to verify things in Wiki. If you are looking for a one sided poster, you are barking up the wrong tree. Actually, the reason its so easy to argue with me is because I am so close the center. I am disassociated from the opinion of only a very few. Its easier to argue with a brother than a complete stranger you know.

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sabi: If I ever met you, I would buy two tickets to fly there for the both of us. Only then we can come the conclusion you desire for everyone here to have.

Save your money, they certainly would not let us into Gaza.

And for those calling this a war, it is not a war, its murder.

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Israel is succeeding in becoming one of the most damned and hated nations in the history of mankind. Evil, pure evil.

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likeitis,

Half the posts by the leftists here might just as well been written by propagandists working for the Islamic terrorist group Hamas. Why do you think that is? What's the connection? Might take some brain power to figure it out, so I won't wait for a response.

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Likeitis,

I support a just peace and the two state solution between Israel and the Palistinians. There are ton's of Israeli's that also want that. Even they though are fed up with HAMAS and what they have done to that prospect.

I support this military action by Israel, I support the peace process. The two are not mutually exclusive. The Peace process cannot move forward until HAMAS's reign of rocket terror has ended for good.

That is the reality of the situation and the sooner Israel can accomplish that, the sooner movement can once again be started toward peace between the two peoples.

HAMAS deserves nothing but scorn for the position it put it's own people in. No amount of 'history lessons' is going to change my opinion of a movement that uses it's own people as shields and then has the guts to claim they are 'fighting for their people'.

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If the hamas cowards would quit hiding behind women and children, there wouldn't be as many civilian casualties. Hamas has long been known for using human shields.

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Israel is carrying out genocidal massacres throughout Gaza for the purpose of subjugating and humiliating its people and imposing surrender on the Palestinian people. But the steadfastness of the Palestinian will is impossible to break and as soon as the genocidal massare is over it will be a turning point leading up to dignity and freedom for the Palestinians.Palestinians are confronting the Israeli holocaust on two fronts. First, the diplomatic front, aimed at stopping the Israeli blitzkrieg. Second, steadfastness in the face of the aggression. The Palestinian freedom fighters have displayed heroism and will keep up the resistance until victory. Apart from killing children Israel is no longer able to achieve its political goals in Gaza. Hamas wants a genuine peace deal including open borders where as Israel wants unconditional surrender in order to keep the occupation and oppression on going. When the massacre is over Hamas and the Palestinian people will have merged vicotrious.

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Save your money, they certainly would not let us into Gaza." Not true Sabi.. I have told many here what business I am in and by that I know that when you hear electricity is cut, there is more to the story. People in Gaza have more in terms of alternatives than most Americans do when it comes to utilities.

"Hamas wants a genuine peace deal including open borders" Are you going to open your door to me?, after all you don't like my kind.

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People who are ingorant about this conflict namely the people who watch this conflict through North American media will think this is a war against Hamas where as no one in Palestine and people who watch this conflict through local Palestinian media or Arab media believes in this lie. All the Palestinian factions are now united in fighting the Zionist aggressors. This war is between the IOF and the Palestinian people.

Hamas has time after time proposed a long-term truce provided that the Israelis prove their willingness to withdraw, in accordance with international law, from all the territories occupied in the aftermath of their 1967 incursions. Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; the dismantling of all Israeli settlements behind the 4 June 1967 lines.

Hamas's claims are in line with UN resolutions and international law. It is Israel who does not comply with international law. Israel is the terrorists not the Palestinians.

Nonetheless, in the face of the current barrage of bombs and tanks, the Palestinian people reserve the right to enforce United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2649.

Passed by the international community, the resolution "affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of people under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal.

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Nonetheless, in the face of the current barrage of bombs and tanks, the Palestinian people reserve the right to enforce United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2649."

You mean the same organization who practically bought the state into existence?

How about we allow the situation be the same as it were for Jews, not even 24 hours after Jews of Palestine declared independence, all neighboring Arab countries attacked - all of them. We are not even talking about the Jewish immigrants as they were even there at that point. Does this sound about right?

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Israeli genocide continues with the world looking on in shocked disbelief, except Americans who blindly support Israel and cheer the deaths.

Strewth, it is so obviously Isarel is clearing the area out, so it cab nick it for itself. Why else would 90,000 people be forced from their home.

The Israeli attacks is out of proportion and is evil. There will be retributions Israel, mark my word and you will never sleep in peace.

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As you and I and everyone in the world knows skipthesong. Israel was created by killing and terrorising the majority of Palestinians and destroying 100s of Palestinian towns and villages. Israel is and will always be the aggressors.

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"Hamas wants a genuine peace deal including open borders" Are you going to open your door to me?, after all you don't like my kind.

Exactly, everyone should be able to open/close their own doors. Its one thing for Israel to decide who enters Israel, but its another for Israel to decide who can sail or fly in and out of Gaza. No country should accept this.

Israel is succeeding in becoming one of the most damned and hated nations in the history of mankind. Evil, pure evil.

They have always been like this. The main difference now is that we now have the Internet. The media is now forced to cover some (a small fraction) of this genocide in order to retain some credibility. But there are still many important facts they are omitting that would put this conflict in the right perspective.

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Exactly, everyone should be able to open/close their own doors. Its one thing for Israel to decide who enters Israel, but its another for Israel to decide who can sail or fly in and out of Gaza. No country should accept this." Well, you're right, but again, would you let me live next door to you? I think you would put up a fight.

Israel is succeeding in becoming one of the most damned and hated nations in the history of mankind. Evil, pure evil." a lot of people have said that about the Jews, are you going that way?

Talk about them all you want, I don't see them trying to cover the globe with their form of religion.

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Maybe a few of those 90,000 people ought to talk to Hamas about not firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

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Israel is succeeding in becoming one of the most damned and hated nations in the history of mankind. Evil, pure evil.

Not becoming the first, they already are the first. This fighting is nothing new. Its been going on for thousands of years! This is no surprise and is not new. It does not stop because America is Israel's friend. If Palestine were an ally of America, this war would never have begun.

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Well, you're right

Thank you for recognizing that.

The rockets would stop the moment Palestinians are treated like human beings and Israel respects international law and UN resolutions. But Israel has NEVER done so and they clearly have no intentions on ever doing so. This conflict will only end when the international community will force Israel to behave.

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I support a just peace and the two state solution between Israel and the Palistinians.

Now you are talking.

But what I choose will depend upon the details. An enormous one is how two bits of the same country are going to function while divided by Israel? Another is the simple fact that Gaza seems to be rather an over-crowded wasteland. Palestine will simply have to get more territory for Gazans to move to or I do not think Gaza can function. If people are not moved to the other parts of Palestine, then some of the arable lands around Gaza might have to be given up. I am all ears for a solution to how to solve Gaza's problems, but I don't see anything Israel will like. Think they will allow a highway through Israel?

I also consider it might be a good idea to convince Egypt to take Gaza back and West Bank go back to Jordan. But that might be a hard sell to all parties involved. Even the Palistinians might reject it, even if its better for them. All I can say is, there is no perfect solution, and the only thing that is going to make Israel comfortable is Palestine being weak as it is right now.

No amount of 'history lessons' is going to change my opinion of a movement that uses it's own people as shields and then has the guts to claim they are 'fighting for their people'.

No one is trying to convince you to love Hamas. Only to see how they came to be and Israel's hand in creating them, from the beginning and through the years, including going to far to oppose them through Fatah.

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Seems like a heavy price to pay to be able to continue firing rockets.....but I guess Hamas knows that they're doing.

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SuperLib

Seems like a heavy price to pay to be able to continue firing rockets.....but I guess Hamas knows that they're doing.

You know, it's real easy to blame Hamas for this. Is Hamas the only group of people in Gaza that has access to rockets? Are there other groups?

If we (the U. S. of A.) were attacked and the attackers were wanting all National Guard personal turned in, would you turn them in?

If we were attacked and the enemy was demanding that all U. S. military be turned in, would you turn in your countrymen?

It's very easy to say one thing, buts it's entirely different to have to live in this situation?

< :-)

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adaydream: You know, it's real easy to blame Hamas for this. Is Hamas the only group of people in Gaza that has access to rockets? Are there other groups?

Yes, there are other groups. In fact often time Hamas is not the one firing rockets. But rather than saying, "Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and (insert group here) should stop firing rockets" it's usually just settled with "Hamas." Besides, they're the elected leaders of Palestine and the responsibility falls on their shoulders.

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This war needs to be fought until it is finished.

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YuriOtani

This war needs to be fought until it is finished.

It won't be over until Israel has annilated the Palestinians and have taken control of Gaza and annexed it as more Israeli property. < :-)

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This war needs to be fought until it is finished.

YuriOtani, your total lack of knowledge of the history of religious conflict around the world is all too clear. Israel may well fight this war until they have won. But unfortunately, and the Israeli government already know this, their present action and impending 'victory' has guaranteed another 15 years of furious Islamic terrorist action against Jewish people all over the world. So your bloodthirsty little line about this war needing to be finished is totally illiterate.

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I don't know why a Palestinian state has to be created unless its what the people who live there want to do. My order of priorities is 1) what the people in question want 2)what the U.N. agrees is best if 1 is unknown. What the occupier wants is just something that has to be accepted until it can be changed to 1. And what the U.N. agrees on is good until 1 is established.

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Hamas was elected in January 2006. The blockade by Israel and Egypt started in June 2007 after Hamas' bloody takeover of Gaza. In the 18 months between Hamas' election and the takeover/blockade, the Palestinians fired over 1,000 rockets into Israel.

Simply put, rocket fire isn't a response to the blockade. It existed long before the blockade came into play.

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First SuperLib, my apology for attacking you.

Your statement, when I first read it sounded as if you think this is all Hamas' fought.

Seems like a heavy price to pay to be able to continue firing rockets.....but I guess Hamas knows that they're doing.

Then I allowed my opinion of your statement to also mean that Hamas needs to be turned in. One of those moments.

I went into an inane moment. < :-)

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Israel would want nothing more to live in peace with it's neighbors if only they would spend money on their own infrastructure and not weapons to periodically wake the sleeping lion. Mess with the lion and pay the price. That's what's happening.

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Couple of e-mails and pics I've received from folks in Gaza have "israeli" soldiers dressed as Hamas fighters luring people from their houses promising safe haven, and then killing them in cold blood. Bulldozers have been recorded pushing hundreds of dead Palestinians into mass graves. Men and boys captured by IOF personnel are being summarily executed in violation of the Geneva Convention, as they seem to have been thrown by the wayside by the plunderers. The official number for casualties doesn't include boys over 15 and men. So do the math. Ah! "israeli" Genocide in Gaza! Ain't it grand?

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Couple of e-mails and pics I've received

One the most reputable and verifiable sources of unbaised information in world.

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You is an Isaraeli right wing loevr and neocon, so your posting is invalid for rational poeple and all that.

I would expect nothing less from someone who writes phonetically. By the by how does me thinking Israel and Palestine are both wrong and both murderers make me a right wing lover and neocon?

Instead of mindlessly labelling me something, please tell me how I am wrong for saying, sarcastically, that ones e-mail is not a verifiable source and as well can not be said to be bais free?

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It's still genocide, by any other name.

Did I say anything about thinking it was or was not genocide? Please do not put words in my mouth.

On camera. Recorded by my former college cohorts. Reported as they occur. Don't believe me? Doesn't change the truth one little bit. It's still genocide, by any other name.

Well, considering it is on your computer were no one else can see, it does make rather difficult to judge one way or the other if your being truthful. I knows it bit much to think that posters here should have atleast some intellectual integrity in thier posting.

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I honestly wish JT would stop posting stories that have little to no chance of a reasonable, balanced discussion. Anything to do with Israel etc. always devolves into hyperbole and media superlatives and stuff that can only be described as propaganda. Whether someone is pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian is not the point - it is a terrible situation where those who do not deserve it - i.e. civilians - are bearing the brunt of a political, religious and ideological war.

The situation is deceptively simple - we all want the deaths to stop, but how this is acheived given the history, politics and ideologies is the difficult question - one that no one here on JT (including myself) can adequately answer without resorting to buzzwords like 'fundamentalist' and 'genocide' where their casual and frankly flippant use on this forum detracts from their meaning.

My 2 cents.

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Israel has been there as a fully functional country for 60 years & had it been given the chance it would have been a peaceful country. But when in it’s short history which the moderator doesn’t want us to talk about has it ever been given a chance at peace?

The Palestinian’s have turned victimhood into a life style choice & have made no attempt at building a normal life. They have had 60 years to come to terms with the world as it is, but they have ignored the real world in favour of terrorism & for those at the top it has proved to be very profitable (ask Arafat’s widow).

Now we have a newish gang of terrorists called Hamas & they want their turn at power over the stupid Palestinians sheep.

You all want Israel to stop it’s fight against Hamas, why, what has any of this got to do with any of you? 500 innocent people including children were massacred in a black African country a few weeks ago, where was all your pontificating then, where was all you keyboard outrage? What about the Tamil fighters that are near enough finished. I read nothing from you about them either.

Israel is fighting a war of survival & Hamas are just this years attackers who have gained confidence from Israel’s failure in Syria in 2006 & why did Israel fail in Syria? Because of world pressure for them to back off. The terrorists are seen as the under-dog & those soft brained enough will always defend them, AND THEY know it & us it.

Israel should clear the Gasa out, it is a rat infested nest of terrorists that will never be anything else. The crazies with guns & rockets hide behind the civilians (so brave), but the civilians allow this, the civilians are protecting their own. Yes children killed is horrible, but who brought on a war into their own streets? Hamas did & they did so as to deliberately poison Israel’s image in the world & the soft brained are being used, again. One question nobody ever seems to ask is who is doing the body count of these dead children? The UN in Gasa? The only UN workers in Gasa that Hamas will allow are those that are sympathetic to Hamas & nothing they say can be trusted.

Grow up, the only “news” you are getting out of Gasa is that which Hamas allows out. You are all so quick to point out that Israel isn’t allowing reporters into Gasa so they must be hiding something, but what chance has a honest reporter got of living for very long in Gasa? Hamas, along with any Palestinians that support them, need to be eradicated.

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Well said grafton. When all that want to use violence to settle their difference are eradicated maybe the ones with real brains can sit down and come to terms with the real situation. Unfortunately in my experience in that part of the world it will never happen. There are those stubborn enough, like Hamas and Hezbolla that will throw the wrench into the machine.

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"Tel Hawwa, a neighborhood of high-rise buildings on the southeastern edge of Gaza City"

Anything over five floors high is a high-rise in Tel Hawwa.

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Unfortunately in my experience in that part of the world it will never happen.

Well Israel has successfully ended conflict with Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Egypt is now a partner in the peace process and even Syria and Israel are starting to have talks (since put on hold) about a lasting agreement. There's precedent in the area that peace can be achieved.....except with Hamas.

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Anything over five floors high is a high-rise in Tel Hawwa.

Thank you sarge for explaining to everyone why Gaza strip is so overcrowded. Who is we have to thank for the situation?

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Hamas was elected in January 2006. The blockade by Israel and Egypt started in June 2007 after Hamas' bloody takeover of Gaza. In the 18 months between Hamas' election and the takeover/blockade, the Palestinians fired over 1,000 rockets into Israel.

Simply put, rocket fire isn't a response to the blockade. It existed long before the blockade came into play.

Do you not read my posts Superlib? Do you not read up on this history at all? You have eliminated facts just as significant as the ones you presented to arrive at this simplistic and patently false conclusion. You have been saying this same thing since the beginning if I remember correctly.

I guess no can accuse you of flip-flopping. But then, no one can accuse you of critical thinking or following up either.

I warned other posters about the pro-Israel crowd having the simple goal of trying to wear out those whose only side is on that of peaceful solutions. And repeating the same old thin and incorrect propaganda is one way to try to do that.

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Hamas in fact started as a charitable Islamic organisation, establishing schools, mosques, clinics and providing other social services to the people in occupied Gaza. Hamas and Israel had a cease fire just over six months ago. As part of the deal, Hamas was to halt rocket fire into Israel and in turn Israel agreed to open the crossings into Rafah. The blockade was implemented right after Hamas won the elections in January 2006.

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likeitis,

Do you not read up on this history at all?

Respectfully, you are not really in a position to ask this question. In some of your recent posts, you seem to be suggesting a lack of knowledge on the part of other posters. However, as you have honestly admitted, it is you yourself who has just come about to researching this part of the world. After all, it was only a short time ago that you mistakenly believed Gazans had been forced to cross the border into Egypt in 2005 and you further attempted to claim there was depopulation of Gaza as a result when in fact Gazan were just crossing into Egypt when the border had been opened by the Palestinian Authority.

May I suggest that you stop suggesting a lack of knowledge on the part of others and address the areas of discussion specifically. What is it specifically you disagree with in SuperLib's post?

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Thank you sarge for explaining to everyone why Gaza strip is so overcrowded.

As there are plenty of buildings over 5 floors, one can only assume Sarge was trying to be funny. However, the size of the buildings certainly has nothing to do with why Gaza is over-crowded.

Who is we have to thank for the situation?

Well, who do you think 'we have to thank'? Why not just spell out what you want to say instead of using rhetorical questions. My short answer is we have Egypt, Israel and the Gazans themselves to 'thank'. I suggest you review Gaza during the period between 1948 and 1967 as a reference to part (certainly not all) of the reason.

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Actually, I would like to rephrase what I wrote...the height of buildings in Gaza is certainly not one of the main causes of oever-crowding in Gaza.

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But when in it’s short history has it [Israel] ever been given a chance at peace?

Sorry, but it is Israel that has never given peace a chance. It was created, maintained, and expanded by terror. Just because people here and on the news are constantly repeating talking points provided by Israel's ministry of foreign affairs, does not make true Israel's version of its own history.

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Sorry, but it is Israel that has never given peace a chance.

Sorry, but that just does not mirror reality. Israel returned the Sinai Pennisula (which, for a small country such as Israel, was a huge piece of land) to Egypt in return for peace.

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After all, it was only a short time ago that you mistakenly believed Gazans had been forced to cross the border into Egypt in 2005 and you further attempted to claim there was depopulation of Gaza as a result when in fact Gazan were just crossing into Egypt when the border had been opened by the Palestinian Authority.

I never claimed or believed any such things! On Jan 5, you said:

When they had a pullout in 2005 and the very next day over 1500 Palestinians were freely crossing the Egyptian border.

And I misunderstood that very simplistic statement. My mistake was to take you at your word on that and not check into it before ASKING YOU SOME UNFOUNDED QUESTIONS, which is one (bleep) of a lot different than making a claim! I had to later dig to realize they needed a visa, and that they had to return to Gaza. I found your description of the situation as "freely" was a bit exaggerated on inspection, though not necessarily untrue.

Even someone well read on this can hardly be expected to know the details of border control and immigration decisions on the spot. But I never CLAIMED anything. It was you making the claim, and my mistake was to think you were making an accurate description and ask you questions based on that description.

The thing is, I don't claim jack when I am not sure, and I am not afraid to say I don't know something if I don't, despite having children think they got something on me because I admitted not being an expert! But I will tell you this: my self doubt has made me a lot more accurate and informed in a short time than years of just reading headlines that others seem to have done.

The reason I jumped on Superlib is because I have posted a much more full description of the situation that makes it completely different than he asserts, and posted the info so many many times now. And nobody has countered me with proof against it. Yet, here comes Superlib with the tired old headline description completely devoid of details. If you can prove any of this wrong, please do:

1) Israel has been in full control of all legal imports and exports since 1967, this includes goods by land, sea, and air.

2)If 1 is true, how is it possible unless Israel has had some form of blockade in place all that time? Never mind the headlines that blared the blockade started at a certain time. Obviously, if one is true, all that happened was a tightening of the blockade, not a creation of one.

3) The pedestrian only border crossing of Rafah, the only Palestinian administered crossing, was closed %86 percent of the time BY ISRAEL from the middle of 2006 until 2007, when even that was closed completely. IE, the crossing was effectively closed long before the Hamas takeover, and by Israel no less.

4) If one and two are correct, then Superlib's assessment that the blockade come after the rockets is completely incorrect. And his complaint that rockets were fired NOT in response to the blockade, but after, seems dubious at best. At worst it is complete hogwash.

I have posted this information SEVERAL TIMES. Anyone who does not believe me is WELCOME to find something to counter it. No one has. Yet I keeping hearing this crap that the blockade started in 2007. Is a 90 percent blockade just not enough to call it a blockade??? You think the Gazans somehow were not supposed to notice???

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Sorry, but that just does not mirror reality. Israel returned the Sinai Pennisula (which, for a small country such as Israel, was a huge piece of land) to Egypt in return for peace.

This is pretty small piece of proof. Just as you say, Sinai is huge compared to Israel. After suffering Egyptian assaults as they did in the Yom Kippur war, I too would be happy to be rid of it if that is the price of keeping Egypt off my back and spreading my forces so thin.

But I too disagree with the idea that Israel has never given peace a chance. That is just saying too much. All sides in this have huge flaws.

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Why not just spell out what you want to say instead of using rhetorical questions.

Because its a reply to Sarge. Nuff said.

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likeitis,

I never claimed or believed any such things!

Ummm...this is like it is...you wrote in your response to me:

Have you considered what a mass depopulation of Gaza would mean for ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, the government of Gaza, and for relations with Egypt?

Sorry, since we were talking about the 2005 handover and you are now claiming knowledge of that period of time, 'misunderstand' does not account for the fact that you seem to think there was a 'mass depopulation' of Gaza in 2005.

The thing is, I don't claim jack when I am not sure,

The thing is, you did assert massive depopulation when discussing the PA border handover and you were wrong.

2)If 1 is true, how is it possible unless Israel has had some form of blockade in place all that time?

Simply because having control over a border does not neccessarily mean you exhert a blockade over that border. The two are not mutually inclusive.

The pedestrian only border crossing of Rafah, the only Palestinian administered crossing, was closed %86 percent of the time BY ISRAEL from the middle of 2006 until 2007, when even that was closed completely. IE, the crossing was effectively closed long before the Hamas takeover, and by Israel no less.

First, it was closed by both Egypt and Israel. Second, as has been commented again and again, the reason for the closures was violence and smuggling along the border with Egypt that the PA could not control.

If one and two are correct, then Superlib's assessment that the blockade come after the rockets is completely incorrect.

No, because you are confusing border closings and all out blockades. They are not the same thing.

Sinai is huge compared to Israel. After suffering Egyptian assaults as they did in the Yom Kippur war, I too would be happy to be rid of it if that is the price of keeping Egypt off my back and spreading my forces so thin.

Umm...the Yom Kippur War was in 1973. Israel gave back the Sinai in 1979, six years later. There is no evidence to support that Israel's forces were 'spread so thin' as you assert. The fact is Israel wanted peace with Egypt and they gave the land back. Israel would also like to keep Gaza off their backs, which is why they pulled out in 2005. Which in a post before you seemed to be suggesting was giving away their (the Israelis) last bargaining chip. Again this doesn't make sense because as far as Gaza was concerned the border control was also a bargaining chip and still is...

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The thing is, you did assert massive depopulation when discussing the PA border handover and you were wrong.

What part of "NO I DID NOT" is not getting through to you? Based on what I thought you were saying, I was asking you a question, because I DID NOT THINK WHAT YOU WERE SAYING WAS QUITE CORRECT, but was tentatively agreeing with what you said. I was cross examining you. I was fishing for more information, while being shocked that what you said might be true and considering implications of what it would mean. I CLAIMED NOTHING. Look through my posts. Its pretty clear when I am making a claim, and its not when I am asking a question.

I admitted having incomplete knowledge, yes? That is why I fish for more. That is why I test yours. It saves me time digging.

Simply because having control over a border does not neccessarily mean you exhert a blockade over that border. The two are not mutually inclusive.

That is arguable. My impression of a blockade is not an all or nothing deal. But do you not find it VITALLY important to include the information of Israel's high degree of control, rather than act like Israel went from no control, a state where Gazans could be expected to be happy, to a sudden blockade? Its not honest. Not honest at all.

the reason for the closures was violence and smuggling along the border with Egypt that the PA could not control.

For now, can we agree that it was not rockets? And can we also agree that smuggling was NOT happening through Rafah?

No, because you are confusing border closings and all out blockades. They are not the same thing.

Maybe if I say partial blockade it will be more understandable to you? And no, I am not confusing border closings with anything. I am looking at the big picture. When you control land, sea, and air except for one pedestrian border crossing, you have near complete control. Lets call it a partial blockade. (I did earlier assert a blockade "in some form".) And lets recognize that a partial blockade is not something any country subjected to it is going to be happy about.

Wiki says:

Blockades are often partial, with the object of denying the other side its major form of communication, or usable access to key resources.

The fact is Israel wanted peace with Egypt and they gave the land back.

Are there not people accusing Hamas of wanting peace only so they can rearm? Do you see me flat out denying the possibility? You see, there is the snow white desire to have peace, like peace on earth, and there is the grey to black desire for peace because it gives you a respite for later fighting or so that you can concentrate forces elsewhere.

Considering that Israel got pummeled hard in the opening of the Yom Kippur War, I find it very likely they gave up Sinai the very first opportunity they got. And quickly running like dogs out of Sinai is the kind of opportunity that shows weakness to your enemies, and that is not something Israel does.

There is no evidence to support that Israel's forces were 'spread so thin' as you assert.

I think when Egypt made their way into Sinai using pontoon boats, it showed that the whole of Sinai was vulnerable to attack, and I seriously doubt Israel had the forces to hold the coasts in such an event. Holding on for six years is about right, since it was six years from 67 for that first Egyptian counter attack.

Believe what you want, but just know that my opinion is based on details and facts and not on good or bad feelings for or opinions of anyone.

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Which in a post before you seemed to be suggesting was giving away their (the Israelis) last bargaining chip. Again this doesn't make sense because as far as Gaza was concerned the border control was also a bargaining chip and still is...

I did not say "last" chip. I said a chip.

And it makes perfect sense. It was not pulling out of Gaza that was the problem. The problem was doing it unilaterally rather than after a negotiation. Then expecting the Gazans to act a certain way without being consulted.

If you want to annoy some Arabs selling at a market place, NEVER bargain with them. Buy at the prices they first float. Or worse, ask the price and walk off without barter. On the other hand, if you want respect, barter strongly but fairly. Every time you reach a deal, respect is earned. Its a matter of course in the Arab world.

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Based on what I thought you were saying, I was asking you a question, because I DID NOT THINK WHAT YOU WERE SAYING WAS QUITE CORRECT, but was tentatively agreeing with what you said.

What could you have thought I was saying? You clearly should have understood what we were talking about as I mentioned the year, 2005 and the handover. Only someone unaware of the handover, and more to the point unaware of even the recent history of Gaza, would have asked a question about mass depopulation from Gaza. Sorry, you can attempt to backtrack all you would like. The fact remains you are becoming the ELIZA program Middle East discussion version. You hop about and ask rhetorical questions and attempt to play devil's advocate when a simple Google search would help you so much.

You claim I was not completely truthful. How so? Because Egypt requires visas of people from quite a few countries before they can enter their country? This is a completely misunderstanding of the meaning of passing through a border 'freely'. Freely does not mean 'for free'. Anyway, had you been aware of the conditions of the pullout and the handover and the attitudes of the parties concerned and what they talked about and agreed upon, you would never have tried to 'fish' with a completely unrelated question about mass depopulation.

That is why I fish for more. That is why I test yours. It saves me time digging.

Again, asking questions on an opinion board is not supposed to be a replacement for actually learning something on your own. Why test my knowledge with unrelated (for as you must know discussions of things like mass depopulation was completely unrelated) questions and tangents.

For now, can we agree that it was not rockets? And can we also agree that smuggling was NOT happening through Rafah?

No, we cannot. In 2006, the Rafah tunnels were being used for smuggling. Rockets is but one of the problems between Israel and Gaza.

Considering that Israel got pummeled hard in the opening of the Yom Kippur War, I find it very likely they gave up Sinai the very first opportunity they got. And quickly running like dogs out of Sinai is the kind of opportunity that shows weakness to your enemies, and that is not something Israel does.

First, Israel got pummeled from all sides, particularly Syria. Second, the disengagement from Sinai went on until 1982. So I have no idea what you are going on about finding it very likely they wanted to get rid of Sinai at the first opportunity and then you write that quickly running like dogs is not something Israel does.

The facts are that Israel held Sinai and had settlements in Sinai from 1967 to its complete disengagement in 1982. Your serious doubts about whether Israel could hold on to Sinai do not hold much water as they did hold on to Sinai from 1967 through the Yom Kippur War and on to the 1979 agreement. Maybe it is time for you to stop guessing and read about the history as you seem to enjoy suggesting to others.

Holding on for six years is about right, since it was six years from 67 for that first Egyptian counter attack.

Israel continued to hold on to it until 1979, so it was not just six years.

Believe what you want, but just know that my opinion is based on details and facts and not on good or bad feelings for or opinions of anyone.

Sadly, this does not seem to be the case at all. You seem to guess at things and then when proven incorrect, you claim you are just 'fishing'. My advice to you is stop fishing and start listening, reading and learning.

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I did not say "last" chip. I said a chip.

My mistake. For some reason I remember 'last' when you actually wrote 'lost'. Sorry about that.

And it makes perfect sense. It was not pulling out of Gaza that was the problem. The problem was doing it unilaterally rather than after a negotiation. Then expecting the Gazans to act a certain way without being consulted.

I am sorry. The PA had been administering Gaza since 1994. I do not think it is unrealistic for the Palestinian people to have taken the opportunity to use the pullout to create improvements for their people. BTW, is it just your opinion that there were no consultations between Israel and the PA before the withdrawal. For you seem to be suggesting it was sudden. However, the case is that the PA was consulted and they were quite prepared for the Israeli pullout. The Palestinian leadership dispatched 7,500 police and security forces near Jewish settlements in southern Gaza before the pullout. In addition, around 20,000 Palestinian police and security personnel plan to take part in preventing attacks and violence. In fact, Palestinians in Gaza cheered the fact that the Israelis were pulling out and cheered when the PA had control of the Rafah border crossing.

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The comment by likeitis: "Have you considered what a mass depopulation of Gaza would mean for ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, the government of Gaza, and for relations with Egypt?" does indicate that he thought there there was a 'mass depopulation' of Gaza. Notice the words "a" and "would".

He did not state ""Have you considered what the mass depopulation of Gaza meant for ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, the government of Gaza, and for relations with Egypt?"

likeitis, don't waste your time with this. Kinniku has a long history of splitting hairs while pretending to misunderstand simple words like "would", "much", "necessarily".

The thing is, I don't claim jack when I am not sure,

Not quite true. I remember vividly in a very old discussion when you claimed something with great certainty (PCR), and I finally got you to admit that it was "an educated guess" and then finally you admitted something like "I just made it up, everybody does".

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Sorry, but it is Israel that has never given peace a chance. Israel returned the Sinai Pennisula (which, for a small country such as Israel, was a huge piece of land) to Egypt in return for peace.

Oh, how generous of Israel to return stolen land. But honestly, how was this land acquired by Israel in the first place. By honestly, I mean don't simply copy/paste the usual talking points provided by Israel's ministry of foreign affairs.

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sabiwabi at 05:26 PM JST - 14th January “Sorry, but it is Israel that has never given peace a chance. Israel returned the Sinai Pennisula (which, for a small country such as Israel, was a huge piece of land) to Egypt in return for peace.” “Oh, how generous of Israel to return stolen land. But honestly, how was this land acquired by Israel in the first place. By honestly, I mean don't simply copy/paste the usual talking points provided by Israel's ministry of foreign affairs.” Sabiwabi. As is usual in the Arab world Israel was attacked, yet again & yet again defended itself & yet again won & kept the Sinai so as to be able to bargain (as is usual in the Arab world) with Egypt. Israel never had any long tern intension of keeping the Sinai & they never set out to take it.

All this long argument about who did what at what time at which border crossing really is nothing more than meaningless smoke that everybody gets lost in. Before the “elections” in Gasa Hamas was this sweetness & light charitable group that went around being ever so nice to everybody. And this is how they managed to get as many votes as they did & ended up SHARING power with the PA, but then they showed their real colours & shot as many PA people as they could & are still doing so today. Most of us accept that Hamas are a bunch of crazy killers but for some reason many seem to believe that Israel never knew this. The borders were restricted BECAUSE Israel knew what Hamas was & what they would do. You don’t live next door to crazy people without getting to know what they are like & what they are very likely to do.

The object here seems to be to find any way possible to hold Israel responsible no matter what. Some have worked so hard towards this end that they are now sound like Hamas supports, though I know they are not.

Face simple facts, for what ever reason Hamas wanted this confrontation & worked very hard to bring it about. The blood you are all so upset about seeing on your TVs was blood that Hamas knew you would see & be upset by seeing. They callously planned for your gullibility, they knowing sacrificed their own children (& inflated the numbers) to get your attention & they are the people that Israel has to deal with. Yet you all want Israel to sit down at a table & talk terms for peace with these people! Get real, Hamas do not want peace with Israel, they never have wanted & never will want it. Allowing Hamas to “win” now because of international pressure on Israel will see the beginning of the end, not just in Israel but also in all the neighbouring states. The cancer that is radical Islam will spread & your gullibility will have helped feed it. There is such a thing as pure evil & Hamas is it & it needs to be expunged from the world, leave Israel to get on with it, most of the Arab world is.

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For some reason I remember 'last' when you actually wrote 'lost'. Sorry about that.

Accepted.

Only someone unaware of the handover, and more to the point unaware of even the recent history of Gaza, would have asked a question about mass depopulation from Gaza.

While this is completely true, its nothing I have not already admitted all by myself.

Now, I do not believe that you, nor I, nor anyone else here is an expert. So, can we please get on with debating facts and opinions and get off the idea that I am not an expert, same as you and everybody else? There are a lot of important details, and me, you, or anyone else not knowing the half of it is a given.

You hop about and ask rhetorical questions and attempt to play devil's advocate when a simple Google search would help you so much.

Well, let me ask some things I cannot find via google or any other search, and believe me, I do try:

Are Gazans trying to emmigrate to Egypt? Why or why not? If yes to 1, is Egypt allowing any Gazan immigrants? Why or why not? When All Palestine was dismantled by Nasser, was Gaza annexed by Egypt as West Bank was annexed by Jordan? Were Gazans ever Egyptian citizens? Not able to find an answer, I am thinking no. Is Egypt now, or has it ever been, interested in annexing Gaza? Have Gazans ever expressed interest? Why or why not? Does Egypt not express interest in annexing Gaza because of signing agreements concerning a free Palistinian state, or is there some other reason, such as Israeli concerns, or just the idea that Gaza and her people are a total loss? Or do the Palestinians want their state so bad annexation cannot even be discussed? If that last question is true, why have the Palestinians not gotten their act together and declared independence? I know they are prone to infighting, but it seems odd that if they want independence so bad as to endure Israeli rule rather than join Egypt, they would have gotten their act together by now.

Answers to the above may overlap. In fact, they all may be easily answerable in one short paragraph if you are in the know. If you don't know admit it. I sure don't.

Israel continued to hold on to it until 1979, so it was not just six years.

Six day war to Yom Kippur War: Six years Yom Kippur War to Peace treaty agreement to hand over Sinai: Six years

Once the peace treaty is signed, Israeli no longer needs to fret so much. Most likely Egypt will not invade. Why bother when a handover deal has been worked???

In 2006, the Rafah tunnels were being used for smuggling.

Rafah tunnels are not the same as Rafah crossing. Rafah crossing was shut down for 86 percent of one year why? And yes, I have searched for that answer too. What I got was "security concerns". That was it.

BTW, is it just your opinion that there were no consultations between Israel and the PA before the withdrawal.

The decision was unilateral. I read it several times, in Hareetz. But that is not to say Palistinians were not consulted nor had any idea what what happening.

For you seem to be suggesting it was sudden.

No, I was not suggesting it was sudden. I am stating that Israel made a decision on its own to do that, rather than make a deal. So Gazans felt no obligation NOT to rocket Israel. They just looked on it as getting lucky.

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likeitis, don't waste your time with this. Kinniku has a long history of splitting hairs while pretending to misunderstand simple words like "would", "much", "necessarily".

Thank you.

I remember vividly in a very old discussion when you claimed something with great certainty (PCR), and I finally got you to admit that it was "an educated guess" and then finally you admitted something like "I just made it up, everybody does".

I wish I could remember that. At least I admitted fault, and that is rare enough around here. However, an educated guess IS made up, its just based on some certain knowledge. I do not "just" make things up, and if I said I did, it was most likely only out of frustration.

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likeitis,

Thank you for your sincerity in your response. I appreciate it. I will say the only reason I brought up this 'expert' thing is because of some comments you wrote to SuperLib and Sailwind in which you seemed to be saying they were not experts. However, now that we are in agreement on this, it would be a pleasure to talk about details.

Are Gazans trying to emmigrate to Egypt? Why or why not?

I think many would love to and would have loved to during Egyptian occupation. However, this has never been an option. Egypt does not allow it.

Egypt allowing any Gazan immigrants? Why or why not?

No. Egypt does not (and did not during the period from 1948 to 1967) want them in their country.

Is Egypt now, or has it ever been, interested in annexing Gaza?

No, the Egyptians left the Gazans to rot from 1948 to 1967 and did not let them leave the territory. Interestingly, Israel did when it took the territory in 1967.

With regard to Sinai, it was a good deal all around for both Israel and Egypt. Sadly, it didn't work out well for Sadat and things probably would have been a lot different had he not been assassinated. However, Israel was not having terribly difficult time controlling the area during the time it occupied it. They certainly had a difficult time getting their settlers out of the territory before they handed it back to Egypt though.

Rafah tunnels are not the same as Rafah crossing. Rafah crossing was shut down for 86 percent of one year why?

Short answer: Israel and Egypt were punishing the PA for its lack of ability in securing the border and preventing smuggling and violence.

So Gazans felt no obligation NOT to rocket Israel. They just looked on it as getting lucky.

Maybe this is true. I am not a member of Hamas, so I do not know for sure how they looked on it. However, this was finally a chance for the PA to show how they could take care of their people. In addition, there were specifics negotiations and agreements with regard to turning over border control to the PA and there were obligations for maintaining peace and security.

Obviously, I am only covering a small amount of the situation as time and space allow. Also, obviously, I hope as you do that the situation will improve for Gazans and Palestinians in general.

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sabiwabi,

Briefly...first, you seem to continue to have reading difficulties as I did not write the comment to which you attributed to me. This is why likeitis responded to it, not me. You really should pay more attention.

Second, the discussion and the subject had nothing to do with depopulation as likeitis and I have come to an agreement about, so your attempt at word-games brings nothing of value to the discussion.

Third, since you brought it up...I made an educated guess about DNA testing based on previous tests and, as it turns out, my educated guess was correct. In addition, you did not 'get me to admit' I made an educated guess, I freely told you that in my next post to you. Also, I never wrote anything like "I just made it up, everybody does". So, it seems you are continuing your tradition of falsehood posting a la claiming Al Jazeera is owned by Fox News as you did in the past.

Lastly and most importantly, your react to discussion about Sinai is more telling that you might like about your attitudes towards peace between Palestinians and Israelis and in terms of Middle Eastern peace in general. Grafton spoke quite well to the specifics, I would just like to add that you refuse to see any positive steps as positive steps and in fact you even refuse to agree that a Palestinian state made up the territories occupied in 1967 would solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The only solution you ever see as a good one is a solution that would result in the ending of Israel's existence. At least you have something in common with Hamas, huh?

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All this long argument about who did what at what time at which border crossing really is nothing more than meaningless smoke that everybody gets lost in.

That is indeed what a thief would like people to believe. "Hey, I lived so long in your grandparents' house, and you have gotten used to sleeping on the sidewalks, so lets not get bogged down in this meaningless argument, lets just get along and be friends. But I keep your grandparents house, and you stay on the sidewalk."

Face simple facts, for what ever reason Israel wanted this confrontation & worked very hard to bring it about, consulting with the Bush administration and probably also Blair the "peace envoy".

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