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Gazans Explain What They Want From Any Ceasefire

The news today is full of talk about John Kerry going to Cairo and insisting on a ceasefire in the war on Gaza. Obama’s UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, who normally is a warrior for R2P made the same argument at the United Nations, also calling for a ceasefire – though mostly from the Gazans since she began by stressing Israel’s right to self-defense. Of course, no one mentions the Palestinians right to same.

All this comes as Israel continues to level neighbrhoods in Gaza, house by house, with hospitals and girls’ schools thrown in today. Israel justifies this destruction by pointing to Gaza’s refusal of an earlier ceasefire – one that no one discussed with Gaza.

Yet we are supposed to approve of all this because Egypt is involved, as if Egypt is somehow a representative and faithful advocate for the Palestinian people – ignoring the role of the Egyptian military and current leaders in the blockade for which they receive a nice aid check from the US.

Given Israel’s poor record of honoring any restraints on its military actions – here’s one list last updated in 2013 that gives some sense of the scope even if we are unable to confirm all instances: Full List of 287 Documented Israeli Cease Fire Violations – trust in Israeli intentions is not high amongst Gazans. Those incidents are rarely mentioned.

No mention as well is made in our press of the offer from Gaza for a ten year cease fire – nor of Hamas’ record of mostly honoring cease fires when agreed. Writing at Mondoweiss, Francesca Albanese provides a helpful and detailed look at this offer:

Much less noticed by the Western media was that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had meanwhile proposed a 10 year truce on the basis of 10 – very reasonable – conditions. While Israel was too busy preparing for the ground invasion, why didn’t anyone in the diplomatic community spend a word about this proposal? The question is all the more poignant as this proposal was in essence in line with what many international experts as well as the United Nations have asked for years now, and included some aspects that Israel had already considered as feasible requests in the past.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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