Tag Archives: Mashaal

Hamas Offers Cease Fire On Civilians

Hamas leader Mashaal offered to have his organization cease any further attacks on Israel civilians if Israel would end attacks on Palestinian civilians. “We renew our offer to Israel to let the civilians on both parts not be part of the conflict. We renew this offer today.” He also confirmed that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schait is still alive. Mashaal insisted that 1,000 prisoners must be released in exchange for the return of the captured soldier. In an interesting comment, the Hamas leader claims the strength of his organization is greatly exaggerated by Israel and “we have primitive weapon.” Mashaal argued Palestinian suicide bombing only began after Baruch Goldstein killed 28 people who were praying in a mosque.

Even as the Hamas leader spoke, Prime Minister Olmert was telling Secretary of State Rice his government intends to continue building in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem and on the West Bank. Peace Now, the Israel group, issued a report which indicates the supposed feeze on settlement construction has never been accepted by the Israel government and documented at least 101 examples.

Hamas is a violent organization but its violence is also triggered by Israel violence. The American government should be focusing on first getting Hamas and Fatah back together, forging a cease fire, and drawing upon support from Arab nations to begin a meaningful peace process. Peace Now is correct, the freeze on West Bank housing construction is now a dead letter, but the issue of the West Bank will not go away. The Bush administration policy of allowing Israel to do whateve it desires on the West Bank will return to haunt peace efforts by the next person who becomes president of the United States.

Hamas Offers Cease Fire As Rockets Hit Israel Preschool

The on a gain off again story of possible cease fire in the Gaza Strip continued as exiled Damascus based Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, sent a messatge to Arab leaders offering to consier the possibilit of an over all calm with Israel. According to th daily Al Hayat, the message was timed to coincide with the Arab League summt scheduled to take place in Syria’s capital over the weekend. Mashaal defended the policy of firing rockets although his actions have come under severe criticism from Arab leaders who regard it as pointless and merely making more difficult attainment of any form of peace in the region. Mashall wrote use of rockets was meant to defend the people of Gaz, but added, “all of the factions of the Palestinian resistance have expressed their willngness to seriously examne the issue of a calm, provided that is overall, concurrent and mutual.”

Egypt, which has been working to broker a peace, has been informed by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, of a willingness for a cease fire provided it includes the West Bank. However, there are as yet no signs the Israel government will accept that proviso. There are risks in any agreement, but continuation of the present situation is a greater risk. A rocket hit an Israel preschool and luckily no one was killed. If a rocket kills Israel children there is no doubt, Israel forces might well strom into Gaza. Everyone needs a period of calm.