This so-called ceasefire that Olmert has declared is a joke. It will not last because it is a unilateral decision. Unilateral decisions don’t work. With Israel alone declaring this ceasefire, it allows them to not comply with any agreements and basically do what they please. Now, I’m not a fan of Hamas but I agree with their statement that Israeli troops must leave the Gaza Strip and the blockade must end or they will continue to fight. Today, Hamas agreed to a one week ceasefire to allow for the removal of all IDF forces from Gaza. Leaving the Gaza Strip and completely removing the blockade is the very least Israel must do.
Meanwhile, world leaders met in Egypt today. No doubt, they felt good about themselves even though they did absolutely nothing to stop the violence. They discussed humanitarian efforts and reconstruction. Really? Is that what this assault on Gaza is about? What about actually ending the occupation? All the humanitarian aid in the world will not bring about peace and justice. Just like Mouin Rabbani from the Middle East Report said “I’m speechless, that you can, in 2009, have a major international gathering to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and have a whole series of keynote addresses, in which the word occupation isn’t mentioned even once.” Without addressing the occupation, there will unfortunately be more death and destruction to come.
After killing 1,200 Palestinians and wounding thousands more, after bombing UN schools and attacking medical workers Israel must pay for its war crimes and crimes against humanity. There should be absolutely no question about that. Regardless of Israel’s media ban, the facts on the ground in Gaza speak for themselves. The international community must not be complacent and let Israel commit its heinous crimes with impunity. The entire world witnessed what Israel did. Israel must be punished and punished severely.
Ehud Olmert had the nerve to state that Israel accomplished its goals in this war. In reality, Israel accomplished nothing but the killing of Palestinian civilians. For that, Israel will not live in peace and security. It’s been said so many times before, but there will be no justice and no peace until Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian land; plain and simple.