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True Intent of Gaza's Collective Punishment

by Zionism, Irrelevant Within A Generation Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 at 6:04 PM

The intention of this long-planned crime is the 'softening up' of the world's largest Concentration Camp, paving the way for an Israeli attack which was planned alongside 'disengagement'. Regardless of the reasons, this is an illegal policy.

ANALYSIS: Israel's real intention behind sanctions on Gaza Strip

Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff , Haaretz Correspondents

October 26, 2007

There is an enormous gap between the reasons Israel is giving for the decision to impose significant sanctions against Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, and the real intentions behind them. Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized Thursday a plan for disrupting electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, as well as significantly shrinking fuel shipments. This is supposed to reduce the number of Qassam rocket attacks against Sderot and the other border communities. In practice, defense officials believe that the Palestinian militants will intensify their attacks in response to the sanctions.

As such, the real aim of this effort is twofold: to attempt a new form of "escalation" as a response to aggression from Gaza, before Israel embarks on a major military operation there; and to prepare the ground for a more clear-cut isolation of the Gaza Strip - limiting to an absolute minimum Israel's obligation toward the Palestinians there.

Several weeks ago, Barak said Israel "is getting closer" to a major operation in the strip. Like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Barak is not excited about this possibility. He knows that it will not be easy, and there are no guarantees for positive results. Many soldiers will be killed and so will many innocent Palestinians, because the IDF will employ a massive artillery bombardment before it sends infantry into the crowded built-up areas. This will be a "dirty war," very aggressive, that will have scenes of destruction similar to southern Lebanon in 2006. The sole exception: unlike in Lebanon, the population there has nowhere to run.

Moreover, Ashkenazi has told the cabinet that he will only support an offensive operation if it is long-lasting. If after several weeks of fighting, the IDF is allowed time to carry out arrests and gather intelligence, then the chief of staff sees a point for the operation.

Defense sources say the sanctions will lead the militants to intensify their attacks to show that they do not succumb to Israeli pressure. And because the sanctions will not be severe - so as not to create a humanitarian crisis - they will not be effective. It is actually expected that the gasoline shortage will have a greater effect than the disruptions in the electricity supply - which normally happens because of equipment breakdowns.

The decision on sanctions is also an attempt to give expression to the inclination to completely disengage from Gaza. In this way Israel is sending a message to the Palestinian leadership in the strip that it must seek alternatives, however minor, to goods and services coming from Israel. This touches on the day after the Annapolis summit. Failure at the summit may lead Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas into the arms of Hamas. In such a case, Israel is raising a big stop sign at the exit from Ramallah: Passage to Gaza is closed.

www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/917385.html

Israel 'won't cause Gaza crisis'

Israel has vowed not to cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza - despite plans to cut fuel and electricity in a bid to halt rocket attacks.

(However, the UN has already called this a Humanitarian Crisis, and has condemned Israel for making it worse.)

"We will take the steps needed but we will not allow a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip," PM Ehud Olmert told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Meeting in Jerusalem, before a US-led peace conference, the leaders made little progress on a joint statement.

(This is for foreign consumption, as anyone looking at the facts on the ground sees through this bullsh*t.)

Israel supplies 60% of the electricity for Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants.

'Collective punishment'

"Israel will protect its citizens," Mr Olmert told Mahmoud Abbas, according to Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.

Both leaders agreed to implementing the stalled 2003 roadmap to peace as part of the joint statement due before the US-led peace conference, Ms Eisin said.

We call for an end to these meetings, which have become a cover for the killings, destruction... and the escalation of the aggression against the Gaza Strip

Ismail Haniya

Hamas

The conference is due in November in Annapolis, Maryland, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been touring the Middle East to secure a joint agreement that would allow it to go ahead.

"They [Mr Olmert and Mr Abbas] agreed to try to reach, as soon as possible, a meaningful statement," Ms Eisin said.

(But Olmert has already ruled out any Negotiations that would lead to peace. This conference is about PR, since Israel's actions over the past three years has destroyed most of its international sympathy and support.)

The leader of the Hamas faction in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, condemned Friday's meeting.

"We call for an end to these meetings, which have become a cover for the killings, destruction, assassinations, incursions and the escalation of the aggression against the Gaza Strip - including talk of new collective punishments," Mr Haniya said.

Palestinians have said they will only attend the Annapolis conference if key issues are up for discussion, including the final status of Jerusalem, the borders of a future Palestinian state and the right of return for refugees.

The Israelis have said no prior text is needed as a basis for the talks.

The events in Gaza underline the enormous difficulties of advancing the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, says the BBC's Tim Franks in Jerusalem.

There is a growing belief among the Palestinian and Israeli public that this diplomatic process will offer no significant advance, our correspondent adds.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7064107.stm

One has to see the other side of this, and how Israel is playing the game.

if Gazan Palestinians retaliate in a big way, it gives Israel the excuse to launch a major military operation into Gaza, exterminating its people and claiming as their defense to the international community, "they MADE us do it!"

That would be exactly the scenario which many of the hard-liners in the current Israeli government would absolutely love to see happen.

'Gaza power cuts could lead to escalation'

Senior security source expresses fear that defense minister's decision to limit power supplies to Strip will boost terror organization's motivation to fire rockets.

'In the long run they will understand that Israel is not a partner,' another official says

Hanan Greenberg

Israel is entering a complex situation which could yield a large number of discouraging scenarios, including an escalation in the near future, security sources told Ynet on Thursday evening on the backdrop of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision to reduce power supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Defense establishment officials explained that in light of the increase in the number of Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip by the Hamas organization and other terror cells, Israel must weigh its options – launching a wide-scale operation or significantly reducing the Hamas-led government's dependency on Israel.

Palestinian Response

'Limiting Gaza power supply a crime' / Ali Waked

Defense minister's decision to reduce power supplies to Strip angers Palestinians. 'Decision is a severe escalation which may lead to a humanitarian crisis in the Strip,' says spokesman for Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestinian

"Choosing the second option raises difficult questions regarding the implementation," the sources admitted.

In terms of the transfer of goods into the Strip, the number of trucks arriving at the crossings will be limited in the near future. Israel will provide entry passes to only 70 trucks a day, as opposed to 120 today, and they will transfer mostly food and medications. All things considered unessential will remain outside.

How will it work?

The defense minister's decision does not only imply a reduction in the in the supplies transferred into Gaza, but also initiated electrical blackouts. The process will be implemented by the National Infrastructures Ministry following a request by the Defense Ministry.

"The electrical blackouts will usually be limited in time and in area, and are aimed at making it clear to the Palestinians that they should take care of themselves rather than depend on Israel," a defense establishment source explained.

About 70% of the power supplies to the Strip come from Israel, 25% are manufactured by the Palestinians, and the rest, about 5%, come from Egypt. Israel will not reduce the supplies of diesel fuel into Gaza, as it used by essential institutions such as hospitals.

The Gaza power stations will continue to receive fuel oil, but the supply of petrol used for domestic purposes will be limited.

"The Palestinian civilian will have to decide whether to drive his car four times a week or only three. This does not constitute humanitarian damage," a security source said.

In spite of various reports and implications, defense establishment officials insist that there is no "punishment scale" according to which power supplies will be cut in accordance to the number of rockets fired.

They admit, however, the Israeli move may increase the pressure on terror organizations to fire a larger number of Qassams and even use rockets with longer ranges.

"This could lead to a situation in which Israel will take harsher steps and cause a 'ping-pong' game between us and the Palestinians. In the long run, however, they will understand that Israel is not a partner and that in order to live their lives normally they must deal with what is happening there inside and not with firing rockets," a security source said.

"This disengagement bears a price for the Palestinians, an economic and social price. They will eventually have to self-examine themselves."

www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3464242,00.html

This has been the plan all along, since Israel pulled its illegal settlements from the strip and surrounded it with artillery emplacements, in an operation ominously called "First Rain".

Under this operation, the IDF shelled and killed an entire Palestinian family, picknicking on a beach which, only weeks before, had been segregated to Jewish settlers only. No doubt this angered the soldier who fired the shell.

Israel then LIED to the International Community, and its own citizenry, about the incident, but international observers and weapons experts analyzing the damage stated that there was no doubt the family was intentionally targeted.

This, and the ensuing military incursions, caused Hamas to end a unilateral two-year cease-fire, which of course allowed Israel to pursue its premeditated course of aggression and collective punishment.

Stage two was Israeli and American arming and supporting corrupt elements within Fatah, in a coup attempt which failed miserably, and has led to the current situation - which Israeli politicians are now saying is the reason they cannot Negotiate for Peace.

UN condemns massive human rights abuses in Gaza Strip

www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1953015,00.html

UN Condemns Israel's Escalation of Gaza Crisis

www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/09/381432.html

Israeli says Gaza cuts will begin Sunday Sat Oct 27, 3:44 PM ET

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel's defence ministry announced it would begin cutting fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip from Sunday in reprisal for continued rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.

"The reduction in fuel supplies will be felt from Sunday and we will carry out electricity cuts beginning in the coming days," Ronen Moshe, a spokesman for Defence Minister Ehud Barak, told AFP late Saturday.

Barak announced Thursday that Israel would start periodic electricity cuts and limit fuel deliveries to the Strip because of the continued firing of rockets by militants.

Moshe added that "juridical problems are still to be resolved" concerning the cuts, referring to possible legal action by Israeli human rights organisations which consider the sanctions collective punishment of civilians, contrary to international law.

(And indeed, they are.)

The Israeli military claims that since the Islamist Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June, a thousand rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel, wounding dozens of people.

(The 'takeover' was a response to a failed Coup attempt by Israel and the United States, using corrupt elements within Fatah as proxies. The rockets are a response to increased Israeli aggression and the Collective Punishment of all who live in Gaza, the world's largest Concentration Camp. Israel's actions have resulted in hundreds of Palestinian deaths.)

Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said earlier Saturday that Israel planned to paralyse the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip in every possible way and separate itself completely from the Palestinian territory in the long term.

(That is a War Crime. What's really happening is that Israel is 'softening up' the strip for an invasion which has been planned since before the 'disengagement' that turned Gaza into a free-fire zone.)

"We want to separate ourselves from the Gaza Strip at the level of its infrastructure in every way possible," Vilnai told Israeli public radio.

Vilnai said the measures were not really because of the rocket firing "but really to achieve the separation of this territory, which was approved in principle two weeks ago by the Israeli government, and whose application had only been delayed for a simple legalistic check."

In September, the security cabinet decreed the Gaza Strip "a hostile entity." It has been controlled completely by Hamas since mid-June when the Islamist movement ousted security forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and the Fatah party.

(Remember, everything Hitler did was "legal" too ...)

"Long term we want to separate ourselves from this territory, 100 percent," said Vilnai, adding that at the moment Israel was providing all the fuel that the Gaza Strip needed, as well as two-thirds of its electricity supplies.

(If this was true, then the Israelis would undertake final peace talks with the Palestinians, and recognize the resultant Palestinian State, instead of refusing to Negotiate and Compromise in the name of peace.)

"Currently, more than 100 lorries loaded with food and basic necessities coming from Israel enter the Gaza Strip each day to avoid a humanitarian crisis, but we also have to find an alternative solution at this level," Vilnai said.

Since the Hamas 'takeover' the Israelis have imposed a tight vice around the Gaza Strip, closing crossing points and only allowing through essential products.

Palestinians and human rights groups charge that the noose around the Strip amounts to collective punishment of civilians, contrary to international law.

The Israeli military claims that since the 'Islamists' took control, a thousand rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel, wounding dozens of people.

(Why is this sentence repeated, especially after, within the same story, we already read "Vilnai said the measures were not really because of the rocket firing"? The 'takeover' was a response to a failed Coup attempt by Israel and the United States, using corrupt elements within Fatah as proxies. The rockets are a response to increased Israeli aggression and the Collective Punishment of all who live in Gaza, the world's largest Concentration Camp. Israel's actions have resulted in hundreds of Palestinian deaths.)

The sanctions, the first of their kind since the Palestinian intifada or uprising began in late September 2000, can now proceed without further authorisation from the Israeli government.

Since the uprising started, a total of 5,906 people -- the vast majority of them Palestinians -- have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian violence, according to an AFP count.

news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071027/wl_mideast_afp/mideastisraelgazasanctions

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