Jerusalem – On Feb. 28, the Jordanian daily al-Dustur released an interview with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. It included the following:

“At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can’t succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different.

“I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world, what it’s like, when it is effective and when it isn’t effective, its uses and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is.

“It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed. We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hezbollah, who trained in our military camps.”

Additionally, Mr. Abbas declared:

“We rejected this proposal [that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state] at the Annapolis conference last November in the U.S., and the conference was almost aborted because of it. …

“I don’t demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. I only demanded of the [Palestinian] national unity government that would work opposite Israel in recognition of it. And this I told to Syrian President Bashir Assad, and he supported this idea.”

On Saturday, Mr. Abbas referred to Israel operations in Gaza in response to launching of rockets on Israeli civilians as “worse than the Holocaust.”

Just five days earlier, he had admonished Israel to “stop escalating the situation in the Palestinian territories and stop all attacks in the Gaza Strip, including firing missiles there.” This was without mention of Hamas’ escalation of attacks.

At the same time, the official Palestinian news agency described Palestinians killed by Israeli forces as “civilians,” when even other Palestinian sources admit they were gunmen.

Hamas Uses Children As Human Shields

Hamas has positioned young children on the rooftops of buildings in the Gaza Strip in order to prevent Israeli air strikes, said a high-ranking Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Intelligence Branch officer to the Israeli media.

The officer said that the IDF had canceled planned strikes on Kassam rocket assembly lines or storage facilities in order to refrain from killing the children who were posted on their rooftops.

The officer made this statement in the course of a briefing by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to foreign ambassadors in Israel.

He said that, before the IDF struck Kassam rocket assembly lines or storage facilities, it dropped leaflets urging the residents to leave the area. Hamas, however, sent small children up onto the rooftops. As a result, the Israeli air force canceled plans to bomb such sites at the last moment.

Mr. Livni told the ambassadors that the Geneva Conventions played no role in Hamas’ decision-making process. She said: “We are working with our hands tied behind our backs because of all those laws and because we are part of the free world and because that is part of our values. Accidents happen and civilians are killed in Israeli operations. I can’t ignore that, but I hope that there is better understanding as to what it is that we are trying to achieve.”

David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.