Statement from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (March 1st);
‘Israel’s collective punishment of the people of Gaza is a clear breach of international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is, in effect, a war crime and Israel must be held to account. It is not sufficient for the International communities and the UN to express ‘concern’. The International Community and UN must take firm and immediate action to stop this catastrophe." Gaza needs action not talks to stop Israeli aggression.’
I simply can’t get my head around the reporting on the recent bloodshed on the Gaza Strip.
The BBC STILL keeps referring to Hamas as “Militants”, and reported on Thursday’s Today Programme that the group had “seized power” from Fatah in 2006.
They “seized” power the same way that the Labour Party did in the UK via the 1997 Landslide, through the ballot box.
The inference is clear. That the listener is meant to be encouraged to think that Hamas’ authority comes through the armelite, that somehow the whole thing was engineered through violence.
The Bush/ Blair Axis stated aim when they invaded Iraq in 2003 was to “spread democracy in the region”.
In January 2006 the Palestinian people took up the challenge in Elections that were supervised and ratified by UN and EU observers as, “free, fair and without prejudice”.
The reaction? The EU/ US funding that guaranteed that Gaza could function and provide basics such as medical care and sanitation was frozen costing the Palestinian Authority $50 million with immediate effect.
The consequences? Israel now felt able to withhold tax revenues owed to the PA as they were simply following the example International Community.
This from the Washington Post;
“the Palestinian Authority will face a cash deficit of at least $110 million a month, or more than $1 billion a year, which it needs to pay full salaries to its 140,000 employees, who are the breadwinners for at least one-third of the Palestinian population. The employment figure includes some 58,000 members of the security forces.”
In addition Israel stepped up it’s Warsaw Ghetto style walling in of the Gaza people, and then began switching off the electricity supply when ever they felt like it. Not for any purpose. Just because they could.
So just who are the “militants” here, dear Auntie Beeb? Those tunnelling under the wall, as you described them, in order to feed their kids?
All of Israel’s actions are against International Law and have attracted oppropium from the EU and other Governments.
But the standard of morality has been set by the disgraceful reaction to the 2006 election results, and whilst all viloence is to be condemned, can anyone think of a better way to recriut young Palestinians to Hizbullah and other groups who will only lead their followers down blind alleys?
Just as a means of comparison, this from today’s Gruniard;
“European Union official observers this morning condemned Russia’s presidential election, won overwhelmingly by Dmitry Medvedev, as "not fair" and a denial of the "democratic potential" of the country’s voters.”
Gordon Brown’s reaction?
“Gordon Brown has attempted to soothe fraught relations between London and Moscow by writing to Russia’s president-elect, Dmitry Medvedev, to offer his congratulations.”
Laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic.
Meanwhile this from Rory McCarthy for the Gruniard in Gaza.
“First came an explosion in the street outside. Then the sound of a single rifle bullet slicing through the sky in a sharp crack and into the apartment directly above the home of Raed Abu Saif, the same apartment into which his young daughter Safa had just gone. It was Saturday afternoon, about 4pm.
Abu Saif hurried upstairs and found, lying on the floor of the front room, Safa, aged 12. There was a hole in her chest where the bullet had entered and a hole in her back where it had exited. It took her three hours to die.”
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband started his reaction to the bloodshed thus;
"Israel’s right to security and self-defence is clear and must be reiterated and supported”.
So at least we know where our Government’s priorites and symapathies truly lie. Good word that. Lie. A fair summary of our Foreign Policy since 2003.