Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hamas Rejects Cease Fire

After a brief hiatus from bombing the Gaza strip, Israel will begin the bombing once again. Hamas rejected the cease fire and I am sure this will be the talking point. But, why did Hamas reject the cease fire? It is really the whole reason for this conflict, but you will hear nothing of the blockade that has been in place blocking humanitarian aide, medical aide and really access to outside the Gaza strip for those who inhabit the area.

Hamas reportedly agreed to stop firing missiles and Israel agreed to stop the bombing on the request and mediation skills of French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Mubarak, President of Egypt. Reportedly Mahmood Abbas also agreed to the cease fire. But Hamas officials in Syria told CBS News that they could not agree to the plan because it does not guarantee open border crossings or an end to a crippling blockade.
This is a stalemate because if the blockade ended and border crossings were opened (which any country of its size needs for survival) then Hamas would end the bombing. Period. It is the reason Hamas began the bombing campaign in the first place. The cease fire that Hamas agreed to for six months included the blockade and the close of the border crossings, but a cessation of violence was the issue then. Once Israel broke the cease fire Hamas began shooting rockets and now wants an end to the blockade and open border crossings.

About 300 of the more than 670 Palestinians killed in the Israeli operation by Wednesday were civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. figures. Of those killed, at least 130 were children age 16 and under, said the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which tracks casualties.

The United States is also now calling for an investigation into civilian casualties. Read the rest of the article here.

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