Reading Between the Lines of Truce and Escalation in Gaza

12.04.11 – 12:49| PNN – Palestine News Network

Fadi Abu Sa’da – PNN’s Editor in Chief – No one can ignore the atmosphere of chaos in fomenting in Israel when tension rose in the Gaza strip between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance groups. It began with the myriad conflicting statements by Israeli politicians, which created an air of uncertainty about what is going on in the world of Israeli politics at this time.

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PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Last week, some Israeli politicians announced an initiative calling to accept the Arab peace proposal of 2002 including withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights; but at the same time there were calls by settler groups for more construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, to rearrange demographics destroy the possibility of any future peace deal.

During the same week, Israeli army leaders reiterated the necessity of going through with a prisoner swap deal in which Galid Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured during Operation Cast Lead, would be released in turn for Palestinian prisoners, to put that issue to bed once and for all. Top ranking Israelis call for such a swap at this moment, when Israeli security agencies are trying to unveil the mysteries of the Itamar killings and the Jerusalem bombing without any success—as they themselves announce—at a time when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak continue to threaten resistance factions in Gaza with more military actions if the calm is breached.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman only adds to the dissonance: he thinks in a totally different way, different from most of Israeli society. He emphasizes the importance of getting rid of Hamas and sustaining destruction instead of calm, calling the recent truce “the worst thing Israel is doing to counter the Palestinian resistance attacks on Israeli targets near the Gaza strip.”

On the other hand, Israel still continues, in different ways, to stop the Palestinian effort to win international recognition of a Palestinian state with 1967 borders this September. Israel has implemented a far-reaching diplomatic campaign to stop this effort in a time when Israeli media sources announced that the Prime Minister is thinking of withdrawing Israeli forces from some West Bank cities, transferring their administration to the PA, in a clear effort to absolve the diplomatic crisis that Israel will face if the UN recognized the future independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinians, for the first time, look very organized in comparison. The factions have all articulated one clear vision, more clear than ever, as if they had all met and agreed about what they want: their demands, Arab demands, have reached the level of demanding the enforcement of a no-fly zone above the Gaza strip. That is one of the most distinct influences of the Arab revolutions on what is happening in Palestine.

Meanwhile, Israel still has to make its choice: peace or war—not only for now, but for the future as well. Due to the atmosphere of the Israeli cabinet and its leaders’ contradictory statements, whether political or military, it is clear that the nation is still far away from understanding the core of idea of peace. That core idea is coexistence between Israel, Palestinians and the Arab nations, many of which have acquired long-awaited democracy, while Israel’s democracy still lives in chaos.

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