Hamas says to fight on after Israeli ceasefire (unilateral cease-fire, unilateral deja-vu?)

Hamas says to fight on after Israeli ceasefire

Reuters North American News Service

Jan 17, 2009 16:30 EST

GAZA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Hamas said on Saturday that it would fight on despite Israel's declaration of a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

"A unilateral ceasefire does not mean ending the (Israeli) aggression and ending the siege. These constitute acts of war and so this will not mean an end to resistance," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters in Gaza.

He also criticised Israel for taking a unilateral approach rather than entering into a deal with Egyptian mediators: "It is an attempt to pre-empt the Egyptian efforts and any other efforts that seek to achieve a withdrawal of the occupying forces, an end to the siege and a ceasefire."

Hamas wants Israel to lift a blockade on trade with Gaza and to withdraw the troops which entered the territory on Jan. 3.

Israel said it would cease fire from 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Sunday. Israeli media said a rocket from Gaza hit the city of Beersheba around 11 p.m. on Saturday, shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced the planned ceasefire.

Abu Youssef Said, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, which like Hamas has also engaged in rocket fire on Israel, said: "A unilateral ceasefire is nothing to do with us ... and we will continue to bear arms."

He noted that Israel had failed to stop Gaza militants firing rockets and had not secured the release of the Israeli soldier seized in 2006 by Hamas and its allies.

Hamas's representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, told Al Jazeera: "If the Israeli military continues its existence in the Gaza Strip, that is a wide door for the resistance against the occupation forces."

Source: Reuters North American News Service

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There are things to be pessimistic about and things to be optimistic about in a rundown of today's newpaper reports. It seems from the above and this quote, that Hamas is prepared to fight to the last Palestinian civilian "We will continue the resistance operations for as long as there is one Zionist soldier in the Gaza Strip," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "We will continue regardless of the price."

On the other hand, this excerpt from the "Australian" leaves room for some optimism: "But amid the gloom there are some signs of hope. Parts of the West Bank give cause for optimism. The town of Jenin, itself heavily damaged in 2002 after an Israeli attack, has become a possible model.
So safe has the town become that only recently US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited, something that would have been unthinkable two years ago. Jenin is run by the Palestinian Authority, and many of its police and security officers are being sent to Jordan for training. The stability they have brought has led to an expansion of commerce in a world economy in trouble. Jenin presents one of the few growing economies".

And perhaps the fighting is over, for this AP report indicates despite having tens of thousands of fighters, Hamas is fleeing Gaza city: "ISRAEL's cabinet was preparing to endorse a ceasefire to its 20-day offensive in the Gaza Strip this weekend amid reports Hamas defences had collapsed and the militants had fled from the centre of Gaza City".

Let's all hope that this can herald a beginning along the road to peace, as happened in Jenin.
Mick; how many soldiers are sleeping in your living room tonight?

I don't agree with Hamas; but why don't people get that as long as Israel is going to have 18 and 19 year old males dictate how Palestinians can go about their lives; there is going to be war in Palestine?

Israel says they are not occupying Palestine But they say they are not taking their troops out of Gaza. So; which is it? Is Palestine occupied by IDF or not?
Ron for three years there wasn't a single "18 an 19 year male" in Gaza, for three years Gazans could do what thye liked in Gaza, for three years the Palestinian government had the possibility to show the world what a wonderful society Palestinians can buid if only given the chance. At the time the whole world said "here is the chance the Palestinians have been waiting for. But Hamas, the elected government began the missiles and mortars on the very day that Israel withdrew and hasn't stopped since. Money, aid, fuel ... all hijacked for the purpose of killing Israeli civilians.

It's not a chicken and egg theory, Ron. To say that Hamas provoked Israel doesn't put it strongly enough, Hamas deliberately made life unbearable for Israelis in the hope that the IDF would respond. My heart breaks when I see dead children and civilians, but where we differ is that I am furious at Hamas for these deaths and for forcing Israel's children, those "18 and 19 year old" boys you mentioned, to live with it for the rest of their lives. Israel had no more choices ... Hamas had them all, and chose this, and still does .... "We will continue the resistance operations for as long as there is one Zionist soldier in the Gaza Strip," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "We will continue regardless of the price."

... regardless of the price, Ron, and there's the problem.

As to your questions, Israel will leave Gaza once the elements to stop weapons smuggling are in place. Israel has never wanted to be in Gaza. They tried to give it to the Egyptians as part of that peace deal, but the Egyptians refused. Israel will get out, and if the Palestinians truly want to build something of their own, they will vote Hamas out, and will start building Gaza ... and there will be peace, Ron, there will be peace.
I am furious with Hamas also. People who see one side completely evil and the other perfectly pure are not dealing with reality.

Anyone dealing with what was Palestine 3 years ago; or 70 years ago isn't dealing honestly with today.
Mick; research this quote for yourself. See who agreed with me that the past isn't the present. Then let's talk about Palestine of the NOW and what it should be next year at this time. Of course you want the Palestine of the past. Everyone sees that.

"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present".

Of course Israel had more choices. Even David Sternlight said Israel has many choices. They chose
bombing Palestine when there were hundreds if not thousands of international tourists in Palestine
celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. You don't think Ehud Barak forget it was Christmas do you? It was message to all the Christians in the world also.

The only choice Hamas had and more importantly has not is to accept occupation or fight it. If your neighbor took over your living room NOW; what would you do? Be honest; how would you feel about that neighbor?

Why is regardless of the price the problem? Are you also saying that because Israel is stronger and can outlast Hamas, might makes right and they might as roll over and accept the rape of Palestine as tolerable as possible?

Don't you really understand why Palestinians don't accept armed Israeli soldiers walking through the neighborhoods of Palestine? The soldiers of Israel in Palestine can enter the home of anyone they want, whenever they want, take anything from that house, destroy anything in that house and that is ok you you?

That's what has been done. That's the kind of thing most people find unacceptable.

Regarding weapons; I believe Palestine will agree not to arm itself the moment Israel agrees to surrender all it's weapons and not rearm itself. I'm sure you agree Palestinians have every much a right to protection as Israelis do.

Isn't it a father's right and duty to protect his children no matter the real estate they are living on?

There hasn't been peace in Palestine for years and years. Israel invaded Palestine decades before Hamas was created.

Give back what you took or compensate the people you took it from. Simple path to the beginning of peace. Isn't that what you'd want if someone stole your property? That's the modern history of Palestine.

A Just Peace. I'm sure you agree with that.
Dear Ron,

There will be war as long as people do not want to live together with minimal civility. Firing rockets into Israel and attacking Israeli people is no indicator of minimal civility.

Israel has demonstrated its willingness and ability to exercise control over BOTH its extremists and its enemies. For things to change, the Palestinians and their allies must FIRST demonstrate their willingness and ability to exercise control over the Palestinian extremists.
It may well be deja vu all over again, unless Egypt and the international community (as they promised) block Hamas's and other Palestinian extremist's access to arms.

My late father used to say: "We'll see!" said the blind man.

Hamas got the predictable martyr's it wanted. So I guess Hamas wonand the Palestinian people lose again...
16 attacks (not including one stopped just before it occurred) fired from Gaza into Israel AFTER the one sided cease fire went into effect. Where is the condemnation of this from the crowd?



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