Tuesday, 30 December 2008

UN official; 'Israel violated truce first'

. Truth is always the first casualty in war. In the last few days we have been subjected to a vigorous propaganda campaign from both Israel and Hamas with each claiming that they are acting in self-defence. Neither is being entirely truthful with hardliners on both sides seeming to have used the six month ceasefire deal to prepare for a new round of desired fighting to the 'bitter end'. However, it is Israel's claims of self-defence that are often raised by it's defenders as it's most compelling case for support.

Six months of preparation, the November 4th incursion into Gaza all suggest that Israel wanted this conflict and had no intention of maintaining the ceasefire. Haaretz carries further comment from a UN official, Karen Abu Zayd, which suggests Israel violated a further 'unofficial truce'. Operation 'Cast Lead' begun eight days after the six-month truce ended; Zayd contends that Israel was also open to international pressure on Friday demonstrated by it's opening of the border to allow deliveries of aid.

At this time Zayd believed the Israelis were 'evaluating' the situation;

"What we understood here (was) that there was a 48-hour lull to be called, and this was called by the Israelis. They said they would wait 48 hours. That was on Friday morning, I believe, until Sunday morning, and that they were going to evaluate. There was only one rocket that went out on Friday, so it was obvious that Hamas was trying, again, to observe that truce to get this back under control."

She said that she believed;

"I don't think they think the truce was violated first by Hamas. I think they saw that Hamas had observed the truce quite strictly for almost six months, certainly for four of the six months, and that they got nothing in turn - because there was to be kind of a deal. If there were no rockets, the crossings would be opened. The crossings were not opened at all."

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