News Release

Gaza and Israel

NASEER ARURI
Aruri is chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and author of the book Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine. He said today: “Virtually every one of the nearly 100 Hamas officials and lawmakers that Israel has taken prisoner has called for the release of the Israeli soldier. Israel’s actions are totally contrary to its stated goal of rescuing the boy. More generally, Hamas leadership has refrained from suicide bombings for more than a year, despite Israel assassinating some of them. A Hamas engaged in diplomacy is apparently more upsetting to Israel than one engaged in suicide bombings. … Israel has not bet on a Hamas endorsing the two-state solution.”
“Hamas Arrests Planned Weeks Ago” from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz

STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the book Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He said today: “Though a carefully-targeted Israeli paramilitary operation to liberate the captured soldier could perhaps be considered legitimate, Israel’s decision to respond by destroying bridges, power stations and other civilian targets constitutes collective punishment, which is expressly forbidden by international law. In addition, the launching of this destructive assault just when the Palestinians are exploring new diplomatic initiatives appears designed to further delay a resumption of the peace process.”
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AMJAD SHAWA
Shawa is Palestinian NGO Network Coordinator for Gaza. He said today: “We are already receiving reports of civilians being killed from the Israeli attack — as well as houses being demolished.”
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MOHAMMAD OMER
A freelance journalist and photographer, Omer writes the Rafah Today blog. He said today: “Most of the Western reporters are in hotels in Jerusalem, not in Gaza. There are constant sonic booms from Israeli jet fighters frightening everyone here, particularly the children.”
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RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW
Director of the Shalom Center, Waskow asked about the attack on Israeli soldiers: “What kind of narrowness of thought and disregard for human life, not just of the soldiers being directly attacked, but the victims of the consequences — was involved in the decision to carry out this attack? What kind of disregard and narrowness of thought was involved in destroying more of the infrastructure of Gaza, thus punishing hundreds of thousands of the common folk with more misery, more hunger, more thirst, more disease, more death?”
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LAILA EL-HADDAD
A journalist based in the U.S. and the Gaza Strip, El-Haddad said today: “Hamas made some effort, but I don’t think they were capable of stopping the Qassam rocket attacks into Israel — after all, Israel couldn’t stop the attacks when it was in Gaza. There are numerous splinter factions and a lot of competing interests.”
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BARBARA LUBIN
Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, Lubin recently returned from Gaza. She said today: “The children in the Gaza Strip have been suffering for a long time even before this latest bombing. The borders to Gaza have been closed for months. No food or medicine have been allowed into the area, and because countries like the U.S. and Europe have withheld financial aid, most of the workers have not received a paycheck since February. With the bombing of the electric plant the children now face new diseases. The Middle East Children’s Alliance will continue to send much-needed food and medicine to the children.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167