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