Monday, November 20, 2006

Israel Holds Fire as Gazans Rally at House - New York Times

David Seaton's News Links
The Palestinians have chosen the perfect moment to employ the tactic of passive resistance. That this story has reached the front page of the New York Times is proof of that. The Times does all it can to filter news from Israel in contrast to European media and even the Israeli press itself. Most Americans are inured or ignorant of the Palestinian's suffering. After destroying Lebanon, the Israelis are being watched over more closely and with the massacre of Beit Hanun their brutality seems to have finally entered the American conscience. Now, with world watching, it is the time for satyagraha, which is only effective against such a calloused opponent if the world's cameras are running. DS
Abstract: Israel called off an airstrike against the house of a suspected Palestinian militant in Gaza late Saturday, after the inhabitants ignored a telephoned warning and neighbors flocked to the house to prevent the bombing, the military said. On Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians, including the prime minister from the militant faction Hamas, stayed around the house and on its balconies and roof throughout the day. They declared a victory for “popular resistance,” but Israel, under criticism for killing civilians in such strikes, called it another example of Palestinians using civilians to shield military activity. “We see it as a cynical exploitation of our attempt to avoid harm to civilians,” said a spokesman for the Israeli military, who, according to usual practice, spoke on condition of anonymity. “They are using them as human shields.” But Palestinians celebrated it as a possibly potent new defense against air raids that Israel might find difficult to counter. “We are so proud of this national stand,” Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said Sunday while visiting the house, in the town of Jabalya, in northern Gaza. “It’s the first step toward protecting our homes, the homes of our children.” Israel said the house had been used by leaders of a militant group, the Popular Resistance Committees, which was active in firing Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel. Last week, a 57-year-old Israeli woman from the nearby Israeli town of Sderot was killed by one of the rockets, and over the weekend, Israel carried out several small-scale operations against militants suspected of being involved in firing them. READ IT ALL

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