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Home arrow Palestinian Elections arrow In the Footsteps of Arafat - An Interview with Hamas' Ismail Haniya
In the Footsteps of Arafat - An Interview with Hamas' Ismail Haniya PDF Print E-mail
Feb 02, 2006 at 12:00 AM
by Amira Hass [Counterpunch, February 2, 2006]

“There was no point asking Ismail Haniya, head of the victorious Hamas list, whether his movement would recognize Israel’s right to exist, for two reasons. First, the answer was obvious — no, the movement would not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Some say for religious reasons, as Palestine is a Muslim WAQF. Others say the reason is purely nationalist — the banished party cannot recognize the occupier’s right to usurp its land. Others still say Hamas is umbilically tied to the Muslim Brothers movement, which alone is authorized — but unlikely — to alter the basic position.

The continuation to this answer is also obvious. Hamas, as a pragmatic movement, cannot ignore reality and its nation’s desires. When the Palestinian state is established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — that is, when Israel recognizes the Palestinians’ right to a state in a practical way — there will be place to talk about the relations between the two states. Reality is stronger than any principle and theory, and if the two have good neighborly relations, why would anyone want to destroy them?

The second reason is that the question derives from Israel’s supremacist and patronizing position. From this position Israel dictates the agenda of media issues, which portray the Palestinians as yet another persecutor in a historic chain of persecutors of Jews, and Israel as a victim. The issues distort reality rather than illuminate it...”

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Women's Boat to Gaza Captured

Zaytouna-Oliva Women Deported
Details Emerge about the Capture

Messina, Italy:  All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod. Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”

According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The IDF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IDF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat. This happened in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. 

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