Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gaza death toll up to 22

Israel's assault on Gaza continued, with an air strike claiming the lives of three innocent Palestinian civilians from the same family, one a 13 year old boy.

The killing of the three comes in addition to the 19 Palestinians killed on Tuesday, including the son of Hamas official, Mahmoud Zahar.

The Israeli military claimed the slaying of the three civilians was made in "error". The amount of times the Israeli military has claimed "error" as an excuse in the past 60 years of bloodshed is beyond a joke.

Yet, the world and the media (particularly Western) remains ready to accept this excuse over and over again, only to express confusion at the hatred and antagonism between the West and the Arab/Islamic world.

Hizballah: Hassan Nasrallah scathed Israel for wreaking "havoc" in Gaza, and accused Bush of providing the green light.

South Africa condemned the "massive military operation" in Gaza.

Russia expresses "serious concern", saying: "Rocket attacks and other terrorist actions against Israeli civilians and response measures that affect innocent Palestinians must be stopped."

In other words, the Russians are saying that it is of course the Palestinians fault that Israel is so ruthless and occupies their territory.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas "enraged" by the Israeli massacre, calls Hamas official to express condolences for lost son, signalling the first contact between Abbas and Hamas since the Gaza takeover.

A PA official claimed the Israeli attack was a direct result of Bush-Abbas talks in Ramallah less than a week earlier.

Hamas wants the PLO to cut peace negotiations with Israel, but that seems like an unlikely course. Cutting talks with Israel will mean resuming talks with Hamas, a move Abbas isn't ready to make. This comes ahead of a gathering of Palestinians opposing Abbas in Damascus at the end of the month. The PA has ravaged Syria for meddling in Palestinian affairs and promoting a Palestinian coalition to counter Abbas. The Syrians have responded by saying that the conference is to promote Palestinian unity, and that Abbas was invited.

Will the latest Israeli strike force the PA to change its mind?

Abbas is taking a foolish path in giving his hopes to the US and Israel. Arafat ditched the Syrians in favour of Saddam, and found himself cornered after the first Gulf War. He was left with two options, turn to the US or become a Syrian stooge. He went to the US, co-operated with the Israelis for a decade, only to be slapped in the face, and as some assume, get assassinated by the Israelis.

Does Abbas believe he will receive different treatment from the Israelis and Americans? The Gaza takeover by Hamas revealed a lot of secrets of the Fatah-US co-operation. The acquisition of a Fatah military barracks revealed that Abbas' men worked as operatives on behalf of the CIA and Mossad throughout the Arab world, gathering intelligence from key US Arab allies as well as enemies. Why would Abbas give so much, yet receive so little?

Or is he really receiving so little? Some Lebanese comrades of mine like to highlight their difference from its neighbours, but I see little difference. Abbas, like the corrupt clan cronies of Lebanon, the Assad family, the Saudi royal family, the Hashemites in Jordan, and Mubarak in Egypt, all share a striking similarity ... they all seek personal power. Their wealth and prestige is of higher value than the interest of their nations. No doubt, Abbas' co-operation with the US and Israel has rendered him a very rich man.

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