Israel's Onslaught: One of Its Bloodiest Attacks on Palestinians in 60 Years
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Israel is claiming that it is attacking Hamas, but in fact it is attacking all the Palestinians. It is attacking the whole infrastructure. They have destroyed a university. They have destroyed five mosques. They have attacked the hospital. They are shooting and destroying everywhere. And it seems imminent that there will be even a land invasion which could destroy and kill and take away thousands of lives. This is very dangerous. And Israel would not have gone so far if it wasn't for the compliance and the silence of the international community.
One very important point here, I must clarify that it was not the Palestinians or Hamas that broke the ceasefire; Israel was the one that broke the ceasefire since two months. They started operations and attacks here and there, trying to provoke a reaction, 'til there was a reaction, and then they claim that it was the Palestinians who broke the ceasefire.
Also, I want to clarify that Gaza Strip is the highest densely populated area in the world, with almost 4,150 people in each square kilometer. When you start bombing the place with bombs that are 1 to 2 tons heavy, then you're determined to kill people and kill civilians and innocent people. I've just heard Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister of Israel, saying that Palestinians should go away from Hamas and Gaza. Where should they go away? In which place? Where? Which place they can go to, when Israel is putting Gaza for two years under total blockade, by sea, by air, by land. Israel has been claiming that it has withdrawn from Gaza. Israel never ended its occupation of Gaza. It maintains the occupying of the airspace, the sea around Gaza and the land around Gaza. And it was preventing people from getting medical aid and equipment and fuel and electricity. I was just talking to our people in Gaza and asked them, "What is your situation?" They told me they don't have bread. Even bread is unavailable in Gaza. And now Israel is bombarding it in this horrible and unacceptable way.
I think the world community must see the reality. This is an unprecedented bloodbath that the Israeli generals are using -- and politicians are using for their political campaigning in their elections. For one more time, they're using Palestinian blood for their election campaigns. I'm so sorry that even some left parties in Israel are supporting such an aggression. They all claim that this is about missiles. But let me ask a very simple question: How many Israelis were killed during the last six months by missiles? Almost none. The only two Israelis that were killed so far, were killed after this operation.
Will this bring peace? It will not bring peace. Will this bring security? On the contrary, it is bringing back the intifada of the West Bank. It is creating terrible feelings all over the occupied and Palestinian territories, and this must be stopped. And if it wasn't for the compliance of this terrible American administration, Bush administration, who seems to insist to have a very dark reputation before he leaves his office, if it wasn't for that support and compliance, Israel would not have dared to go so far in punishing innocent victims and in creating this terrible disaster in Gaza Strip.
AG: What about the issue of the complicity or the silence of other Arab governments and also of the Palestinian Authority now also criticizing Hamas?
MB: Well, I think the Palestinian Authority is finding itself in a very difficult position. One of the main reasons of this operation is to weaken Abbas so badly that I don't think he will be able to speak on behalf of Palestinians anymore. Even Abbas is now under terrible pressure to stop all negotiations with Israel, to stop all forms of security coordination with Israel, because, at the end of the day, he was elected by the Palestinians and not the right-wing extremists in Israel. And I think he has just called for a general meeting with all parties, including Hamas, and they have. This is something that never happened during the last year-and-a-half. And I believe that the intention now among Palestinians is to find a way of regaining their unity in front of this grave, inhuman and unacceptable bloodbath.