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NDP statement on situation in Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Jun 20, 2007 at 05:28 PM

Mr. Speaker, tragically, the Palestinian unity government has collapsed. Never in 40 years had a Palestinian political body brought together the views of so many Palestinians. All major political movements were included.

Instead of seeing the unity government as a unique opportunity to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Conservative government shamefully boycotted, undermining the advocates of compromise, compounding political divisions within Gaza and the West Bank and increasing the insecurity plaguing the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.

The only viable government in Palestine is one that represents all Palestinians. Peace cannot be achieved without Hamas at the table. It is a fraud to pretend otherwise.It is imperative for the Canadian government to provide leadership and push for a unified, multilateral diplomatic front.

The current strife and tragic loss of life in Palestine will only be stemmed when a policy of peace and inclusive dialogue replaces the politics of militarism, boycott and division.

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Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says
  • Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 
  • Criticism from inquiry may force resignation

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted.

His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, which obtained details of Mr Olmert's testimony, the prime minister chose a plan featuring air attacks on Lebanon and a limited ground operation that would be implemented following a Hizbullah abduction. Hizbullah had made several attempts to capture Israeli soldiers on the border since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli commentators believed that Mr Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience. But the outcome of the war seemed to highlight their lack of experience and also deficiencies in Israel's military planning.

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