30 June 2006

Following Terrorist Abductions, Can a Hamas Hunger Strike Bring Peace?

More than 80 Hamas officials abducted by Apartheid Israel on Thursday night commenced with a hunger strike to protest their detention. The move focuses even more attention on their capture by Apartheid Israel and the racist relativism that pervades the hearts and minds of the Zionist occupiers.

Palestinians stood united in condemnation of the kidnappings. In his first statement since the abductions, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that his government "would not cave into Israeli demands but said he was working hard to end a five-day-old crisis with Israel." He continued:
"When they kidnapped the ministers they meant to hijack the government's position, but we say no positions will be hijacked, no governments will fall...."

Haniyeh said Friday that he was in contact with Arab, Muslim and European leaders to try to resolve the crisis, "but this Israeli military escalation complicates matters and makes it more difficult." He also accused Israel of using Shalit's abduction as a pretext for launching a major offensive aimed at bringing down his government.

"This total war is proof of a premeditated plan."
And while Zionist collaborators in Fatah like Azzam al-Ahmed continued to blame the assault on Hamas, the Palestine News Network reported that "Fateh spokesperson Fahmy Al Zazir condemned the kidnapping operations carried out by Israeli forces against members of Hamas government in the West Bank," noting that "the abductions were merely the latest step in Israel’s long-term goal of eliminating the Palestinian Authority."

Massive protests erupted throughout the Islamic World in response to the abductions. Ordinarily Apartheid Israel's lackey, even the UN appears on the verge of condeming the attack. In Lebanon, the routinely divided sectarian government finally found something on which they agreed, unifying behind the Palestinian Resistance. And the Daily Star reported on the warning by Mustafa al-Fekki, a senior member of President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party. "An Israeli 'war on all fronts'... jeopardizes a peace treaty with Israel," he said, adding that, "Israel should not think the 'peace reached with an Arab country can be guaranteed while it continues to perpetrate its crimes and aggressions'."

Words are one thing; actions, however, are quite another. And the question of Palestine proves that everyone can be bought off. Like the Zionist collaborators in Palestine who get paid by Apartheid Israel to blame Hamas for this invasion, for his support of Apartheid Israel's right to brutalize the Palestinian people, Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak earned his allowance from Uncle Sam:
Hundreds of Palestinian and Egyptian police formed human barricades on both sides of the Gaza-Egypt border yesterday to block Palestinians trying to enter Sinai, after masked gunmen blew a four-meter-wide hole in the fence between Palestinian and Egyptian Rafah.


While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected Defense Minister Peretz's plans for Apartheid Israel's "second front"against Palestinian Gaza, evidence of its naked aggression still took center stage.

Maan News reports on the myriad attacks launched by the Zionist occupiers:
Israeli helicopters launched more than 12 raids on Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip on Thursday night. The Israeli military attack killed one Palestinian from the Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, and injured four civilians in the Rafah area and in Gaza City.

Muhammad Abdul Al, 25, died in Rafah's government hospital from wounds he sustained during the raids...

In the same sequence of events, Israeli military helicopters struck a bridge in the Al Mughraqah area, east of Gaza City, and destroyed it with two rockets.

Another raid was launched at the 'Executive Force', recently formed by the interior minister Said Siyam. A military raid on Sheikh Radwan area of Gaza City caused huge damages to houses and injured three Palestinians. In the Zahra'a area, helicopters raided Fatah offices, injuring one Palestinian citizen and destroying the Fatah offices.

In the central governorate of the Strip, Israeli helicopters launched two rockets at a building under construction and caused a lot of damage. A media office in the area was attacked by the helicopters and destroyed.

At 3 am the helicopters shelled many Palestinian positions including the offices of Hamas' military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades, in the west of Gaza City. Other areas in the north of the Strip and in the An Nasser area were also targeted. As a result, the electricity was cut in the northern Strip and in most of Gaza City.

In the south of the Strip, fighter jets raided a house belonging to a leading member of the Al Qassam Brigades. No injures were reported.

The Israeli artillery also intensified its bombardment of the north of the Strip, targeting the 'open areas' of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun. In addition, Israeli fighter jets shelled the area and a Palestinian child was injured.
Apartheid Israel also threatened to kidnap more Palestinian officials and to kill Haniyeh.

In what Ha'aretz calls an "unprecedented punishment," Apartheid Israel stripped 4 Palestinian officials of their residency in Jerusalem, taking away their right to live in the city.

Additionally, Haviv Rettig and Yaakov Katz report on the attack against Palestine's Interior Ministry in the Jerusalem Post. "IAF fighter jets struck close to a dozen targets before dawn Friday hitting the Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry and a Fatah office in Gaza City. Missiles also struck a Hamas training camp on the outskirts of the city."

But Apartheid Israel did not reserve its attacks on Hamas alone. Rather, its campaign of collective punishment intensified. The occupier army has forbidden travel to the Palestinian West Bank for most of East Jerusalem's 237,000 residents. This is a punative measure because, "the vast majority [of its residents] are not Israeli citizens" and have lives that "are intertwined with the nearby West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem, whether by family ties, commercial interests or culture."

On early Friday morning, it launched a raid "on several institutions and humanitarian services and charities" including a school for deaf children. Palestine News Network reports:
Israeli forces invaded the Bethlehem area early this morning, smashing windows, confiscating computers, files, and crucial materials from several humanitarian organizations...

Israeli forces incurred into Bethlehem City at approximately 3:00 am, with ten military patrols and army vehicles, and raided a kindergarten, bombing its doors open. They searched the contents in the dark of night, and confiscated three computers.

They also raided the Charitable Medical Center east of Bethlehem where the on-duty doctor, Haitham Abu Hahmameed and the night watchman were working.


The Palestinian Resistance responded to these offensive measures undertaken by Apartheid Israel in a number of ways.

The Daily Star reports on ongoing Resistance preparations in northern Gaza, where "hundreds of Palestinian gunmen wielding assault rifles and anti-tank weapons took up positions waiting for Israel to open a second front."

Abu Obeidiya, spokesman for Hamas' military wing - the Al Qassam Brigades - announced that "all Palestinian factions and their various military wings have established a joint operations room in the Gaza Strip to prepare themselves as well as possible for the continual Israeli onslaught." Obeidiya continued, reasserting Hamas's negotiating position and warning that that:
"Full entry into the Gaza Strip would cost the Zionist entity dearly... We want acknowledgement of the over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, many of them who have spent more than 20 years in these occupation prisons. Many also are children, others still are women. We will make a trade."
Maan News reports that the military wing of Islamic Jihad - the Al Quds Brigades - launched "two homemade projectiles into the Israeli towns of Kfar Azza and Kfar Sa'ad early on Friday morning...in response to Israeli aggression and the assassination policy." It also reports that the Al Aqsa Brigades, Fatah's military wing, "launched two homemade 'Aqsa 103' missiles against the Israeli town of Sderot" and "threatened that they are 'ready to transfer the battlefield abroad, namely an Israeli embassy in a certain country will be targeted within days.'"

Amidst this barbaric incursion into Palestine, one can summarize the Palestinian state of mind best simply by listening to the Palestinians themselves. The accounting Hana Sagher provides to the Daily Star offers us the chance to do exactly that:
Hana Sagher sits at the entrance to her family's rented single-story home, washing clothes by hand. "Meats, fruits, and everything else that has to be kept in the refrigerator has gone rotten," she says.

Her wide, angry eyes punctuate her chronicle of the hardships she has suffered at the hands of Israel. Her family owned a simple home near Gaza's border with Egypt, but in 2004 the Israelis bulldozed it, along with dozens of others, as part of "security" measures.

"I wish we would kidnap five more soldiers," she says, spitting at suggestions that the Palestinian militants holding the soldier are responsible for her suffering. "It is not a problem if I have to suffer more. We suffer so the next generation can live better.

"We have 10,000 prisoners in Israeli jails. They come and kill whole families on our beaches," Sagher says, referring to a family of picnickers who were killed by an Israeli artillery shell earlier this month.
The Palestinian struggle for Liberation has its voice in women like Saghe. As revolutionaries elsewhere, we must listen to that voice and offer our support and Solidarity as she and her people as they struggle to remove the shackles of Apartheid and oppression. The Zionist over-reaction during its ongoing assault on Gaza and the grotesque Zionist savagery that has emerged from it, while treacherous and brutal, offers us the opportunity to do just that.

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