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Archive for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hamas fighters seeking to restore order in Gaza Strip

January 20, 2009

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Palestinian boys play on the rubble of a destroyed house after the Israeli army operation in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.  A senior European Union official said Monday that she expected humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip to flow quickly but signaled that reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure would not begin as long as the militant Hamas group rules there.

Palestinian boys play on the rubble of a destroyed house after the Israeli army operation in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. A senior European Union official said Monday that she expected humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip to flow quickly but signaled that reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure would not begin as long as the militant Hamas group rules there.

— Uniformed Hamas security teams emerged on Gaza City’s streets Monday as leaders of the Islamic militant group vowed to restore order in the shattered Palestinian territory after a three-week pummeling by the Israeli military.

Hamas proclaimed it won a great victory over the Jewish state — a view that appeared greatly exaggerated — and the task of reconstruction faced deep uncertainty because of the fear of renewed fighting and Israel’s control over border crossings.

Cars and pedestrians again clogged streets. Donkey carts hauled produce and firewood past rubble and broken glass. The parliament building and other targets of Israeli attacks were piles of debris, while orange and olive groves on the edge of town were flattened.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon planned to travel to Gaza today to inspect damage and visit U.N. facilities hit in the fighting. Ban did not schedule meetings with officials from Hamas, whose government is not internationally recognized.

Israelis hope Gaza’s civilians, who suffered heavily in the fighting that ended Sunday, will blame their militant rulers for provoking the Israeli assault with rocket attacks on southern Israel. Hamas, however, raced to capitalize on anger toward Israel and sought to show it remains unbowed and firmly in command of the Mediterranean coastal strip.

The high visibility of uniformed Hamas police stood in contrast to the furtive movements of Hamas fighters in civilian clothing who confronted or tried to evade the Israeli onslaught.

Despite the defiance, Gaza’s Iran-backed leadership is likely to focus for now on assisting a traumatized population rather than re-igniting a full-blown conflict.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

"But it is very important that we understand the legal basis and the question of the role of the United States. The United States, of course, has provided an average of $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel. The F-16s, the Apache helicopters, the TOW missiles, a huge amount, the fuel, the fossil fuels that are fueling the Israeli military right now, all are coming from the United States. And that makes us complicit in a very direct way when those weapons are used illegally. And according to US law, the Arms Export Control Act, it is prohibited for Israel or for any country receiving US military equipment—but in this case Israel—it is prohibited to use that equipment, that military equipment, that ammunition, those weapons, outside of very narrow constraints. All of this violates those narrow constraints.Beyond that, the question of international law is impacted very directly. The Israelis have a very particular obligation in Gaza and the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem as the occupying power. Under the Geneva Conventions, as the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the civilian population. And that has a whole range of specific obligations, starting with no collective punishment, no use of prohibited weapons. The whole range of attacks that we have seen during this period of the three-week war in Gaza constituted a whole host of violations of different articles of the Geneva Conventions, starting with Article 33, that prohibits as an absolute any collective punishment, meaning that the siege of Gaza, which was creating a humanitarian disaster in Gaza even before the military assault began, was itself a violation of the prohibition that says Israel cannot punish anyone in Gaza, let alone the entire population of a million-and-a-half people, half of whom are children under seventeen, cannot punish them for any act they were not personally responsible for."Much more info:http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/22/part_ii_palestinian_us_college_grad

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madmike 5 years, 2 months ago

now now, Bondmen, Bozo will chastize you for being able to think outside the KU leftist norm.

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bondmen 5 years, 2 months ago

What gives me the impression they were responsible for the disorder in the first place? I mean, weren't those missles under their control and didn't their men launch them? Looks like the headline should read "Hamas fighters fire rockets - bring chaos to Gaza strip."

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