Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

So, Israel has finally launched its inevitable ground invasion of Gaza.  It was bound to happen ever since they got embarrassed by Hezbollah when they invaded Lebanon last year.

It’s now 8 days since Hamas broke its ceasefire with Israel.  It wasn’t much of a ceasefire anyway – Israel has been bombing Gaza and Hamas has been firing rockets in Israel for most it – but it was a relatively low-key series of skirmishes with very few deaths.

There’s no denying that Hamas broke the ceasefire although their excuse was that Israel has been launching attacks on Gaza during the ceasefire which there is also no denying.  Who broke the ceasefire first?  Who knows – both sides accuse each other.

Whoever was first to break the ceasefire is now irrelevant – the ceasefire is finished and things have escalated.  Israel’s retaliation against Hamas’ mixture of homemade rockets and other weapons of indeterminate origin and quality is, as usual, infinitely out of proporition to the threat posed.  If you doubt the scale of threat that Hamas poses to Israel you only need to look at the casualties – four Israeli’s have been killed by Hamas rockets, over 400 Palestinians have been killed by Israel and the UN estimates that as many as 25% of those killed were civillians.  This is despite Hamas rockets apparently being capable of reaching far into Israel and supposedly targeting civillian areas and despite Palestinians being used to being under regular and sustained attack by Israel.

Israel is as indiscriminate in its attacks on Israel as Hamas is in its attacks on Israel but the consequences of indiscriminate airstrikes on the most densely-populated strip of land on the planet (over 11,000 people per square mile) are far more deadly than a Hamas rocket anywhere in Israel.  Now Palestinians are going to be subject to a ground assault as well as the airstrikes that have already claimed hundreds of innocent lives.

There is only one solution and that is for Israel to withdraw from all Palestinian territory that it is illegally occupying.  It won’t be a popular move with the Israeli electorate but it’s the only solution that will ultimately be acceptable to both sides.  Israel’s occupation of Palestine is illegal, there are more UN resolutions against Israel than any other country since the UN was created and the scale of their military action in Palestine is also illegal under international law.

It’s time the pro-Israel apologists stopped trying to justify and condone Israeli state terrorism and realised that the only way the Israel-Palestine situation is ever going to get resolved is when Israel withdraws from illegally occupied Palestinian territory and allows Palestine to get on with governing itself.  The only good thing that will come out of the impending Israeli massacre in Gaza will be that it will become increasingly impossible to justify their actions.

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  1. G (1 comments) says:


  2. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I think that ending the occupation would be popular in Israel if the truth – that it would secure lasting peace – was made known. As it is, there’s no profit in peace.

    There’s no denying that the IDF attacks have been disproportionate – the stated intention is to terrorise Palestinian people into shunning Hamas, although it’s obvious that the reverse will be true – especially now there’s a ground invasion.

    Interesting that the great hope Obama has been completely silent on his. He rightly condemned the terror attacks in India, but he knows that the US ruling class profits from the war – and has stayed silent, using the excuse that Bush is still President.

  3. (1 comments) says:

    Obviously, This is exactly what Hamas wanted. Israel has fallen for the bate in the same way the United States did! Bush’s apparent lack of reaction just shows that.Then look back at Great Britain and how they were able to stop terrorism from Northern Ireland. This “not speaking up” will alos intensify the hatred that Arab Nations have against us. We are also falling for the bate by not speaking up so the Arab Nations will again have more hatred for us. Obama has hugh burdent to speak up as soon as he is in office or this issue might become the next huge crisis.

  4. QM (19 comments) says:

    I raised a wry smile at the suggestion that an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories will secure peace. Hamas’ stated intention is to drive Israel into the sea, as far as they are concerned all Israel is Palestinian territory.

  5. axel (1214 comments) says:

    They are as bad as bloody Glaswegians. I can understand both sides doing what they are doing but i guess it is time for the grown ups of the world say, ‘Oi, no!’

    Israel/Hamas is a war by proxy between USA and…….

    And who? do we beleive the press and and accept it is Syria and/or iran?

    Whoever it is, needs hobbled and told to keep their kids under control

  6. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    QM, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper, the Hamas prime minister (Hamas won a free and fair election, remember) said:

    If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, peace will prevail and we will implement a ceasefire for many years


    Our government is prepared to maintain a long-term cease-fire with Israel.

    Israel Insider goes on to say:

    Israel, while accepting the principle of an independent Palestinian state, has said many times that it has no intention of returning to the exact lines it held prior to the 1967 conflict.

    Why? Why does Israel have no intention of withdrawing its troops and people from land that they are illegally occupying? What gives Israel the sole right to ignore the will of the international community (one of the reasons given for invading Iraq), to ignore UN resolutions, to ignore international treaties, to ignore the law and to completely disregard the human rights of millions of people?

    Morally and legally they have no right to do any of these things, the only reason they get away with it is because of the many powerful governments of the world (most notably the British and Americans) that condone and facilitate Israeli state terrorism.


    the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

  7. axel (1214 comments) says:

    I wonder, how much of it is really true?

    Is Hamas supported by Iran or Syria?

    If Israel talks to Hamas, it legitamises them , the knock on problem is,
    they are also big terrorist organisations in Jordan and Egypt.

    Did Hamas “win” the “election”? Was it an election or is it just how
    politics works in that part of the world?

    What is Fatah thoughts on the matter? Are they glad that the Israelis are
    battering lumps out of their main political enemy( i guess the analogy for
    here would be the French Army attacking the Tory party)

    Do you think Obama has enough balls to say to Israel: ‘Oi, stop, act like a
    grown up or you lose your lunch money!’ Do you realise how much money the US
    gives to Israel

    Do you think Obama has enough balls to say to Iran, ‘Oi, stop, if your bairn
    wont act nice, I’ll take it out on you and I have Diego Garcia with bombers
    full of fun to kick your arse’

  8. QM (19 comments) says:

    Morally the Palestinians had no right to be firing indiscriminate weapons onto civilian targets in Israel prior ro the breakdown of the ceasefire either, didn’t seem to stop them though. Hamas doesn’t negotiate in good faith, the facts speak for themselves, they are now reaping what they’ve sown.

  9. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Axel, Hamas probably is supported by Iran and Syria and probably by most of their neighbours because, say what you will about muslims, they stick together. Does that make Hamas wrong? Israel is supported by the UK and the US and the weapons Israel gets given make Hamas’ kit look stone age.

    Hamas did indeed win an election and it was monitored by election monitors from 9 countries and declared to be a free and fair election with the exception of Israeli interference in illegally-occupied Jerusalem where they stop a lot of people from voting.

    Obama won’t have the balls to stand up to Israel – there are millions of Jews in the US and a lot of big business and money is in the hands of Jewish Americans. Follow the money …

    QM, I didn’t say Hamas had a right to fire rockets into Israel. They don’t. However, even an Israeli terrorist appeaser can’t deny that Hamas’ rockets are largely ineffective against Israel whereas Israel’s attacks on Gaza are deadly and indiscriminate. That’s why the Palestinian death toll is more than 100 times that of Israel.

  10. Little Richardjohn (2 comments) says:

    Israel is obviously trying to provoke nuclear development in Iran. That can be the only explanation for their barbarism – unless they really are as brutal as they seem.

  11. Little Richardjohn (2 comments) says:

    Incedentally. Israel\’s role in the emergence of Hamas must not be forgotten.
    They knew what they were dealing with then, so why are they so outraged when they get what they paid for?

    \”Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel \’aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),\’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies. Israel\’s support for Hamas \’was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,\’ said a former senior CIA official.\”

  12. axel (1214 comments) says:

    do we support Israel financially?

    i beleive, Hamas, is a banned organisation in egypt & jordan, to the point of we cant deport Hamas types there because bad things will happen to them and the authorities run a shoot to kill policy, that also explains why the egyptian border is shut, still.

    Also, in a bizarre peice of legal jiggery pokery, Gaza was never part of egypt proper, it was a military possesion, which is why none of the palestinians there had egyptian citizenship.

    Muslims do stick togerther, when confronted by a non-muslim foe but amongst themselves, they are like ferrets in a bag. think of it like westminster here, 1930s a rancorous malignant bitter set of parliments but as soon as Johnny Boche starts acting up, we all swung together behind
    churchill and a unity government but as soon as it was over, they were back at it again.

    Obama does not need to cut the money off, he just needs to threaten it, threaten it enough that they dont know, if he will or not and he needs to threaten the iranians to do the same to hamas and then, he will be the peace maker

  13. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    The problem in Gaza is that they have elected a terrorist paramilitary organisation, Hamas, to the reigns of government. The Hamas governent has wrought disaster, ruin and starvation upon the people of Gaza and has continued it’s murderous attacks against innocent Israelis.

    During the recent 6 month ceasefire, Hamas rockets continued to reign down on Southern Israel on an almost daily basis. No civilised society can stand this form of relentless terror without eventually taking action. Israeli leaders have pleaded with Hamas for peace. The more moderate leader of the Palestinian Fatah, Mahmood Abbas, pleaded with Hamas to cease it’s campaign of violence. Those appeals have fallen on deaf ears as the missiles continued to fall. I absolultely pity the innocent victims of terrorism, as I do the innocent civilian casulaties of Israel’s current military attack on Hamas.

    However, I do not pity the bombing of the house of the Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, which was packed full of expolosives and weaponry. The secondary explosions caused by the stockpiling of these weapons killed many more people than the Israeli attack itself. Who would want to live next-door to a house like that? Or in a neighbourhood that contained it? Hamas fire their rockets and organise their terrorism from within residential areas. Who could possibly want these terrorists running the government? If I were a Palestinian in Gaza I would be clamering to get into Israel, not as a suicide bomber, but to live as a free and peaceful citizen. I would rue the day that Hamas were ever voted into any kind of office.

  14. axel (1214 comments) says:

    george, yes they are terrorists but…..,., they would be elected because they had a better manifesto than hamas.

    This is also why we need to get Iran on line to sort it and say ‘Oi….’

    rockets and their makings are not home made fun and games, they need serious logistical support, so we need to apply the pressure to iran, as they are the ones who can stop it on their side, we know we can stop it on our side, so we need help, to force BOTH sides to sit down

    this is just like vietnam, where a wee local bushfire war is being turned into a nightmare by flood of guns in

  15. jameshigham (87 comments) says:

    Israel’s occupation of Palestine is illegal

    This is wrong. For a start, they did not declare war and attack the Arab nations – the Arabs did. In war, all bets are off and it has always been so.

    Secondly, there were no Palestinian boundaries in the Mandate and since then, which have been clearly defined. Israel has observed the Gaza and West Bank settlements, causing ire amongst their own people who pointed out, quite rightly, that there were no clearly defined boundaries.

    Or are you saying Israel has no right to exist?

    You’re usually a clear thinker, Wonko.

  16. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    James, they’re not at war with Palestine, the war was over decades ago and now they’re illegally occupying Palestine. Under international law Israel has an obligation to protect the civilian population and to ensure they have adequate food, medical care, etc. Under international law Israel has an obligation to pull out of Palestine as soon as is practical. They’re not making any effort to withdraw, they make every effort to stay in occupation. Palestine is the only nation recognised by the United Nations that is under occupation by a foreign power.

    The US Ambassador to the UN said this in 2003 in a statement to the UN on military action in Iraq:

    The military campaign in Iraq is not a war against the people of Iraq, but rather against the regime that has denied the will of the international community for more than 12 years.

    By 2006, the UN had passed 101 resolutions against Israel regarding its aggression against pretty much every country within firing range. There were 17 against Iraq between 1990 and 2002 but that was justification for a war.

  17. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    What is said about Hamas today was said about Fatah in the past – that they are a terrorist organisation committed to the destruction of Israel, etc.

    And for sure, the rhetoric will be pretty strong – but as Wonko has shown, the leadership of Hamas was prepared to acknowledge the state of Israel on pre-67 borders.

  18. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    One of the problems is that Jews believe they are God’s chosen people and that Palestine was given to them by God. That’s part of the reluctance to withdraw to the 1967 borders.

  19. Cllr George Ashcroft (9 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t trust a single word that came from a Hamas spokesman. They don’t know the meaning of the words peace and ceasefire. I was listening to a spokesman of UK Muslims on Sky or somewhere yesterday and he said that there can be no peace with preconditions. On the contrary, there can ONLY be peace with preconditions. The first one has nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with Hamas: that they renounce terror, they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist and they put their weaponry beyond use.

  20. DougtheDug (17 comments) says:

    Hi Wonko,
    I saw your comments on Iain Dale’s blog about his support for Israel and good on you. I’ve lost all respect for the man.

    Unfortunately for the Palestinians the idea of an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders is never going to happen and any thoughts of a two-state solution are also dead in the water as the Israelis have invested so much money into building infrastructure and planting settlers into the West Bank that they’re never going to come out. There is no West Bank left to give to the Palestinians.

    Juan Cole has some interesting thoughts on his blog on how the problems for Israel are not apparent now but are going to come in the future when the rest of the world reluctlantly recognises that all this two-state hot air is simply hot air and that the only solution is a single state where the Palestinians are given Israeli citizenship.

    Since Israel will not do this except under extreme pressure it’s going to come under sanctions as an Apartheid State till it does that as at the moment the Palestinians in the West Bank are under Miltary occupation with no real rights at all.

    In effect the Israelis have, to use an unfortunate phrase in the current troubles, shot themselves in the foot with their idea of the West Bank as Lebensraum for religious jewish settlers. They have tied the West Bank so tightly to Israel they can never leave and if they take the West Bank then they’ll have to take the occupied West Bank population with it as Israeli citizens or be branded forever as an apartheid state.

  21. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    “James, they’re not at war with Palestine, the war was over decades ago and now they’re illegally occupying Palestine. Under international law Israel has an obligation to protect the civilian population and to ensure they have adequate food, medical care, etc. Under international law Israel has an obligation to pull out of Palestine as soon as is practical.”

    On the contrary, Hamas are the ones illegally occupying Gaza. Whilst it is true that they won the Palestinian elections, they then took over Gaza by force, an action which resulted in rival Fatah members being hurled from the tops of tall buildings. These are not the kind of people who understand diplomacy. I would be a little worried about any society that even permitted an organisation like Hams onto a ballot paper in the first place, let alone vote them into office.

  22. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    George, you don’t negotiate by demanding that the other side give up everything – I’m sure Hamas wouldn’t refuse negotiations on the grounds that Israel won’t renounce the violence of the occupation! Hamas and Israel did have a ceasefire that more-or-less held – so obviously both sides are capable of negotiating. The reason talks haven’t happened is because Israel’s paymaster, the US, supports the war.

    It’s clear that rather than continue negotiations, the Israeli government, mindful of the upcoming elections, decided to launch a war against Palestinians as a way of looking tougher than the opposition. The invasion is not about stopping rocket fire – this will continue, and worse there will be a resumption of suicide bombings within Israel by Hamas – aside from the electoral motives, it’s about further dividing the Palestinians and reasserting Israel’s military supremacy after the failed war in Lebanon.

    Incidentally, you might be interested to know that back in the 80s Israel covertly channeled funds to Islamist Hamas in a bid to weaken secular Fatah…

  23. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    But Charlie, you can’t hold meaningful negotiations with people who are holding a gun to your head. I have no objection to a peaceful Palestinian state. However, my own view is that it was a mistake for Israel to pull out of Gaza in 2005. Islamist movements such as Hamas are deeply embedded amongst the Palestinian people and receive widespread support. You cannot build a viable Palestinian state with the terrorists in charge. I am sorry to say that there will be no long-term solution until Hamas is deafeated. I am afraid we are now living in the era of the terrorist state. Israel cannot tolerate that on her very border. No one wants blood shed but in the long-term the removal of Hamas is the best thing that can happen to the Palestinian people themselves

  24. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    But Charlie, you can’t hold meaningful negotiations with people who are holding a gun to your head.

    Does that only apply to guns or does it apply to F16 fighters, Apache attack helicopters and tanks as well?

    Islamist movements such as Hamas are deeply embedded amongst the Palestinian people and receive widespread support.

    Sinn Féin – the political arm of the IRA – is deeply embeded in Ireland, both north and south. They’re even part of the power-sharing executive. Is Northern Ireland not viable with the terrorists in charge?

    in the long-term the removal of Hamas is the best thing that can happen to the Palestinian people themselves

    So they can’t have the government they voted for because it’s not acceptable to the UK, the US and Israel? Isn’t the whole point of democracy that the electorate gets to choose who represents them, whether their choice is acceptable to the establishment or not? I think most people would agree that George Bush was an unmitigated disaster as a leader for the US yet I don’t recall you calling for him to be overthrown by force because he was unpopular around the world.

  25. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    The last 60 years of occupation hasn’t diminished the influence of those who want to use violent means. This invasion is not likely to make Palestinians view Israelis as people they can make peace with – even if every member of Hamas is killed, Israel will face a generation of people who lost friends or relatives in this invasion.

    As for not trusting what Hamas leaders say, George, can we really believe Israeli leaders when they say they want to see a viable Palestinian state? How on earth can you make a viable state from two territories in the midst of a state which has for the last sixty years practiced ethnic cleansing?

  26. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Here’s a quick update – Israel self-defences two UN schools

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