Creating people's geographies
The US-Israeli government role in fomenting civil strife in Gaza is clear to all assiduous observers of Palestinian politics, and it is currently playing out with tragic consequences. As Hamas lobs largely ineffectual rockets that fall into southern Israeli fields and occasionally towns like Sderot in resistance to the occupation and unbearable living conditions — causing some property damage and light injuries — Israel once again has seen fit to use this as a pretext to deliver a ridiculously disproportionate military response, striking Gaza and killing 16 Palestinians in the past three days.
It could, of course, engage in talks with the democratically elected Hamas, but Israel has shown over and over again that it prefers the heavy handed response, pounding an already battered and suffering population. As for the prospect of engaging in talks, something that would occur to any half-way sensible person, a whole plethora of excuses are perennially trotted out: they are a “terrorist organisation”, they “refuse to recognize Israel” (nothing is said of Israel not recognizing them and in fact actively setting out to destroy them and Palestinian society). All this comes amid despicable calls by Likud chairman Netanyahu for more collective punishment of the whole population.
Instead, not only is the noose tightened on the long-suffering population who are being starved and subjected to further violence, but Hamas is being undermined by US supplied arms, money and training to the rival faction Fatah. Albeit in an Israel-slanted article, yesterday’s WaPo featured an article mentioning that the Bush administration had recently approved $40 million to train the 4000 troop-strong Palestinian Presidential Guard under Fatah leader Abbas’s direct control. (Fatah Troops Enter Gaza With Israeli Assent: Hundreds Were Trained in Egypt Under U.S.-Backed Program to Counter Hamas). Bush administration plans to topple the Palestinian National Unity (Hamas+ Fatah) Government was also featured recently in the Asia Times: Document details ‘US’ plan to sink Hamas)
Recommended recent links (2006-7):
Gaza City (1 min)
Gaza air strikes footage 17 May 07 (2:16)