Israel’s 60th Birthday

Wipe Gaza off the Map by Dave

”We must take a neighborhood in Gaza and wipe it off the map” Cabinet Minister Meir Sheetrit, AP, New York Times, 10th Feb 2008

gaza amp

While an alleged call for Israel to be wiped off the map provokes outrage it seems it is perfectly acceptable to prescribe the same for Gaza.

Its almost comical how anti-Iranian propaganda has become such lexicon in Israel that a Government Minister has slipped up revealing his true feelings towards the Palestinians by using it. While no such claim was made against Israel, President Ahmadinejad was misquoted, here we have it – Israel calling for Gaza to be “wiped off the map.”

The rest of the article is equally as terrible and ignores the fact that Hamas has constantly tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement and that Israel refuses to talk. Israel’s goal after all is to break Hamas and break the backs of the Palestinian people so they submit to Israeli authority.

Israel’s Olmert Says No Invasion Gaza

AP Sunday February 10 2008


Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday ruled out a broad military operation in the Gaza Strip, deflecting rising anger after an 8-year-old boy lost a leg in a Palestinian rocket attack.

But Israel’s top diplomat warned it will be impossible to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians as long as the Hamas rulers of Gaza continue to foment violence.

“Anger is not an operational plan,” Olmert said in response to clamoring for a full-scale invasion of northern Gaza to take over the areas where militants have been launching the rockets. There were calls from the Cabinet for assassinating Hamas political leaders.

Residents of the battered town of Sderot near Gaza blocked the main highway entrance into Jerusalem as the Cabinet met. They demanded government action after doctors amputated Osher Twito’s leg following a rocket attack that also wounded his 19-year-old brother.

“He loves playing soccer, but he will never play again,” Osher’s mother, Iris Twito, wailed on Channel 2 TV. “How can he play now with no leg?”

Over the weekend, with growing defiance and confidence, Hamas militants called on Israelis to flee from border towns as the rockets rained down. The two brothers were wounded Saturday night when a rocket exploded next to them in Sderot, one of dozens that hit in and near the town of 20,000 less half a mile from the fence around Gaza.

The boy’s serious injury galvanized Israeli outrage.

“We must take a neighborhood in Gaza and wipe it off the map,” Cabinet Minister Meir Sheetrit said after warning citizens to flee.

At nightfall, about 20 Israeli army vehicles rolled into northern Gaza, where most of the rockets are fired, witnesses said. The military called the operation “routine.” In an exchange of gunfire at the border, a Palestinian militant was killed.

Late Sunday, Palestinians fired a rocket at Israel, only the second of the day, compared to dozens in the previous days.

In a public statement at the beginning of the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting, Olmert said the surge in Palestinian rocket attacks is a response to Israel’s own military strikes. He claimed 200 Gaza militants have been killed in recent months “as a result of initiated, aggressive, planned and comprehensive activity” by the Israeli military and security.

As the demonstrators from Sderot approached his office, Olmert insisted he would not act out of anger.

“We must act in a systematic and orderly fashion over time,” he said.

Olmert indicated that Israel might target Hamas political leaders.

“We will continue to reach all the responsible terrorists, including those who dispatch and operate them,” he said.

On his way to Germany for talks later Sunday, Olmert called for patience.

“There is no solution of one operation or one bomb,” he said. “It takes time.”

Up to now Israeli military strikes have been aimed at rocket squads and militant leaders. In 2004, however, Israel killed the founder of Hamas and his successor in two airstrikes four weeks apart.

Hamas overran Gaza in June, expelling forces loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Gaza’s Hamas government is headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, deposed by Abbas after the takeover. Abbas named a new government that effectively rules only the West Bank.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni denounced the daily rocket attacks, rejecting the world’s tendency to dismiss the violence “simply by saying there are casualties on both sides.”

Livni told The Associated Press that while Gaza militants are targeting civilians, “Israel, according to international law, has the right and duty to defend its citizens.”

Livni, who heads Israel’s team negotiating a peace agreement with Abbas’ government, said such an agreement would be impossible as long as Hamas rules Gaza and foments violence.

“There is no hope for any kind of peace or the vision of the Palestinian state which includes the Gaza Strip without real change on the ground,” said Livni, who leads Israel’s negotiating team.

In recent months, Israel has augmented its military strikes with economic sanctions on Gaza, cutting back fuel supplies and sharply restricting the entry of other goods through Gaza crossings it controls. On Thursday, it cut about 1 percent of the electricity it supplies to the territory in an effort to pressure Hamas to stop the rocket barrages.

Residents said rolling blackouts in Gaza last 8-12 hours a day. Gas station owners refused to accept Israeli fuel shipments, saying they covered only a third of their needs. Aid workers said Sunday the Gaza City power plant was working at full capacity but had no fuel reserves.

Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Israel should not make do with symbolic power cuts.

“If they fire a rocket, then there should be no electricity, or water or fuel” that day, he said.

Guardian (since the article has been removed from the NYT)


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