Wednesday, November 02, 2005

No Media Bias Here

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The militant group Hamas said Wednesday it would not renew an informal 9-month-old truce, which expires at the end of the year, after
Israel killed one of its leading activists in an airstrike in Gaza.
"Activists" organize marches, start petitions, increase public awareness of their cause, etc. They do not fire rockets at civilians!
The truce was brokered by Egypt, which is expected to invite militant groups, including Hamas, to Cairo in the coming weeks to discuss extending the agreement.
In the past nine months, violence has dropped sharply, and Hamas refrained from carrying out suicide bombings in Israel. But
it has repeatedly fired rockets from Gaza at Israeli towns, in what it said was retaliation for Israeli truce violations, such as airstrikes and deadly arrest raids.
We may have a chicken and egg argument here. However, Israel is targeting known terrorists, and Hamas is targeting anyone or anything that its inaccurate rockets can hit. Are these actions equivalent? Even if Israel was striking first, which I don't believe it is, can you say that Hamas is obeying a truce?
On Tuesday, a Hamas activist and a top fugitive from another armed group were killed in an Israeli airstrike in a Gaza refugee camp.
There's that benign "A" word again. Now, let's skip ahead.
In an airstrike Tuesday, missiles slammed into a car carrying Hassan Madhoun, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a violent offshoot of Abbas'
Fatah party, who was involved in a bombing at the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Israel had been pressuring Abbas to arrest Madhoun since the beginning of the year, providing the gunman's address and cellular phone number. At the urging of Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice also brought up Madhoun with Abbas, Israeli officials have said.
Is it appropriate to describe the leader of a terrorist group as a "gunman"? At least they didn't describe him as an "activist".
Militant factions interpret the cease-fire to mean they can respond to individual Israeli attacks while remaining committed to the truce, a position Abbas has dismissed as unacceptable. Since the truce, Hamas and Al Aqsa have refrained from carrying out attacks in Israel, while Islamic Jihad has been responsible for four suicide bombings.
Refrained from carrying out attacks? Except for the aforementioned rocket attacks, sure.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Wednesday that operations against militants would stop once Abbas, widely known as Abu Mazen, decides to disarm them.

"We said very clearly that if we leave Gaza, any (militant) operation would draw a very tough Israeli reaction," Shalom said. "If Abu Mazen would make the strategic decision that he has refused to make, to dismantle terror organizations and prevent them from carrying out activity from the
Gaza Strip, believe me, on that same day all the operations in Gaza will stop."
It took a long way to get here. Could it be that simple? This pretty much invalidates a large part of the article, and of course, this little bit of truth and reason can easily get lost considering all that precedes it. Here's the rest:
Abbas is locked in a struggle with the militants for control of Gaza and has tried, unsuccessfully so far, to stop attacks against Israel. He has shied from forcibly disarming them, fearing that would provoke civil war.

A Palestinian legislator, Ziad Abu Zayyad, told Israel's Army Radio on Wednesday that Israel had rejected a
Palestinian Authority proposal that Israel stop targeting militants if they would lay down their guns.

Sharon aide Raanan Gissin said, "We're not going to pay with Israeli lives while they are experimenting in trying to reach understandings with terror organizations and they continue to carry out terror attacks against us."