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Home arrow Resources arrow News arrow Does Baird even know what they are?
Does Baird even know what they are? PDF Print E-mail
Aug 02, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Israeli newspaper outlines Palestinian demands

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has been actively supporting the "unconditional" ceasefire proposed by Netanyahu and backed by Egypt. While it appears "humanitarian", an unconditional ceasefire would mean going back to the status quo before the recent hostilities and continuing Israel's punishing blockade of Gaza. But has Baird even considered what the Palestinians are asking for? It's actually quite reasonable.

As of last week, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and several other Palestinian political parties have united on a few key demands as a condition for an end to their resistance in Gaza. Those demands were outlined last weekend by Ha'aretz, one of Israel's main newspapers.

According to Ha’aretz, “Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have sent a document detailing their conditions for a cease-fire to the United States, members of the Arab League and other countries involved in efforts to reach a truce.”

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.607039

Most of the demands relate to ending the 7 year siege of Gaza which many residents of Gaza have called “a living death” and allowing Gazans to fish and farm without harassment by Israeli military.

Among the conditions listed in the document are:
  • opening Gaza’s borders and freedom of movement for Gazan residents
  • opening the border with Egypt
  • permitting Gazan fishermen to sail up to 12 nautical miles from shore
  • allowing Palestinian farmers to work their fields inside the Gaza strip near the "wall"
  • release of Palestinian prisoners arrested in the West Bank following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers
  • the creation of an international committee to oversee implementation

Israel, on the other hand, supported by Egypt, the USA and Canada, has rejected any Palestinian demands and has been promoting an "unconditional" ceasefire.

An “unconditional ceasefire” would mean that the Israeli bombing would stop, but the punishing blockade of Gaza would continue as it has for the last 7 years. It would also mean that the 500 Hamas members arrested in the West Bank in reprisals for the killing of the 3 Israeli teenagers, would remain in jail. (A BBC reporter now has quoted a senior Israeli police authority admitting that Hamas had nothing to do with those murders.)

see here:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-26/265229-hamas-not-complicit-in-teens-kidnap-israeli-police.ashx#axzz38eOpAPdz
 
These simple Palestinian demands put Israel in an awkward position.

To many independent observers, they appear eminently reasonable. If international public opinion forces Israel and its US backers to accept them, Israel's "Protective Edge" gamble will have been a big mistake. Instead of crushing Hamas, Israel will be forced by international public opinion to end the siege of Gaza. It will also have exposed itself to international condemnation for its murderous assault on mostly unarmed civilians.

Peter Larson
Chair,
National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine
National Council on Canada-Arab Relations

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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.

Read more...