There is a moment of respite in Gaza from the air assault which has caused such devastation in the area. Egyptian leaders are working around the clock to persuade Hamas to cooperate not merely with Israel but with its political rival Fatah and the Abbas government which currently directs the Palestinian Authority. A major problem encountered by Egyptian mediators is that while Hamas is willing to participate in a coalition government with Fatah it wants an end to any cooperation with Israel and pursuing the dream of ending the Israeli state. President Abbas and Egyptian leaders consider such an approach to lead only to disaster and the end of any sensible peace.
Fatah leaders want to take advantage of the new Obama administration and work with it to secure a peace that respects Palestinian rights. There is hope Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will move away from his close ties with Iran and cooperate with Egypt in an effort to bring together Hamas and Fatah.
Posted in Barack Obama, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Egypt, Fatah, Hamas
The Egyptian government intends to keep things quiet on its side of the border with Gaza and to avoid any opportunity for those opposing Israel’s attack to show support for Gazans. Eleven reporters who worked with the Hisham Mubarak Center for Human Rights said they were brutality attacked and their cameras smashed for daring to report protests against Egyptian policy toward the Gaza situation. According to the reporters, police assaulted them, shoving and hitting anyone in their way and destroying their cameras and any film they had taken of the protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza. According to Rasha Azab of the Al-Fagr newspaper, “police forces wanted everyone to stay home for days” in order to play down the reality of Egyptian opposition to their government’s policies.
According to Alsaied Al Harany, “we were taking pictures of police forces beating and assaulting protestors and once we were spotted by officers, we were immediately surrounded” and then rounded up to be sent to jail.
President Mubarak made a mistake by not taking an active role in opposing Israel’s actions, all he did was allow the Muslim Brotherhood to become the hero of the masses. It makes more sense to lead the mob rather than allow your opponent to assume that position.
Ibrahim Barzak and Matti Friedman, reporting for the Cairo Daily News, said “Israel’s air force obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of its overwhelming Gaza assault, striking a house next to the Hamas premier’s house, devastating a security compound and flattening a five story building at a university closely linked to the Islamic group.” Over three hundred have died in the bombings and the Hamas rocket attack on Ashkeion resulted in the death of at least one Israeli. “Most of those killed since Saturday were members of Hamas security forces,” but at least 50 were civilians including women and children. Israel planes also attacked a refugee camp near Gaza city and at least three children were killed along with a mother and her child.
The reporters also note planes struck dozens of tunnels through which supplies and arms had been smuggled into Gaza. Syria has suspended indirect peace talks with Israel and the UN Security Council has called on both sides to halt the fighting and asked Israel to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza since hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties. “the carnage inflamed Arab and Muslim public opinion, setting off street protests in Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank, across the Arab world, and in some European cities.”
We offer this among other perspectives on the Gaza conflict without making any editorial comment.