Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tensions Escalate between Israel and Gaza

The tragic explosion in Jerusalem yesterday that killed one person will likely receive much more media attention and garner far more outrage than Israel's air strikes against Gazans on Tuesday which killed two children. But both outcomes ought to be condemned by Washington. Of course the double standards do not end there. On Monday The Guardian newspaper criticized Hamas for opposing the newly designed UNRWA curriculum that would teach children about the Holocaust, and yet so far no major Western newspaper has made any mention of the fascist law that the Israeli Knesset just passed which stops all funding for any public recognition of the Nakba. According to Haaretz, the law is one of two discriminatory bills that was passed yesterday and is known as the "Nakba Law". The law was obviously watered down as "its original intent was to sentence to prison anyone who marks Israeli Independence Day as a day of mourning or who holds memorial events for the Palestinian Nakba," or catastrophe, which created a million refugees and imprisoned a people who continue to lack a homeland today. God I hope that I am wrong, but the situation in Occupied Palestine may actually worsen before it gets better.

Israel Stages [more] Air Strikes on Gaza

Agence France Presse
March 24, 2011

Israeli jets have staged three air strikes over Gaza, but there were no casualties, Palestinian sources say.

An Israeli defence spokeswoman confirmed the sorties, saying: "The air force targeted two tunnels at the south of the Gaza Strip and a terrorist target in Gaza."

"These raids followed 25 rocket hits, including four Grads, on Israel since Saturday."

The strikes came after a bomb ripped through a Jerusalem bus, killing one and wounding more than 30 on Wednesday.

That attack came just hours after militants vowed revenge for two deadly Israeli raids on the eastern part of Gaza City on Tuesday, in which eight Gazans were killed, including two minors and four militants.

The surge in bloodshed followed days of rising cross-border violence, which has ramped up tensions between Israel and Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers and again raised fears of a large-scale Israeli military incursion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile warned that Israel had an "iron will" and would stand up to attacks.

"There are those who... are trying to test our will and our determination, and they will discover that this government and the army and the Israeli people have an iron will to defend the country," Netanyahu said late on Wednesday.

Senior officials said Israeli intelligence agencies were investigating whether Hamas was behind the bombing and whether it was linked to the recent upsurge in violence in the Gaza Strip.

If it was discovered that Hamas dispatched a cell to carry out the Jerusalem attack in response to the Gaza violence, Israel would view that as a real escalation, they said.

And even though the rocket attacks were claimed by other groups, like the radical Islamic Jihad, Israel said it held Hamas responsible for any violence emanating from Gaza.

"Hamas cannot subcontract out terrorism and then evade responsibility," an official said.

"They are very much in control of the Gaza Strip and they are responsible for all violence from Gaza."

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