Friday, May 25, 2007

Israel Seizes 33 Palestinians in Crackdown in West Bank

This is somewhat of a continuation of the last post. Same topic, different day. Though the article was not on the front page of the New York Times, the picture that went with it was, and the thing that stuck out to me (besides the gaping chasm of rubble surrounded by people) was the pointing finger to the left of the photo. There's blame being shifted around by the agitated government officials.

This article was written by Isabel Kershner and she leds with the news that Israel arrested 33 important West Bank Palestinians (read: officials) in a raid as their stance against Hamas bristles. A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister of Israel said that they have conclusive evidence that links those government officials to the recent terrorist activities.

One of the most senior officials that Israel arrested was the Palestinian education minister, Nasser Eddin al-Shaer. He had been previously arrested in August, but was released in September because there was no evidence to hold him. According to Rabia al-Barghouti, spokesman for the Palestinian Legislative Council, al-Shaer is not a member of Hamas and has a clean security record.

Something else that Kershner mentioned was that there were forty-one Palestinian legislators being held by Israle, and they keep having the detention extended for two more months every time they appear in front of a judge. They are mostly being held for being a part of Hamas, which they consider a terrorist organization (According to Wikipedia, U.S.A. agrees.)

The spokeswoman of the Israeli Prime Minister said that Israel was going after Hamas "in all its aspects." So since the Hamas broke the truce about ten days ago, Israel has been firing rockets back and launching airstrikes. There have been 38 Palestinians killed, 156 wounded in 35 airstrkes since May 17 (Jeebus).

"Among the dead were seven Palestinians under the age of 16," said a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

On the other side, there have been one Israeli woman killed and two seriously injured. Many others have been treated for lighter injuries.

Kershner is not subtle in her placement of these numbers: first, the Palestinians casualties, then the Israeli casualties. Basically, I think the Palestinian government wants all this fighting to stop (from what I garner from the article) but the Hamas is a group of people who refuse to agree since a breaking of the truce has now set things to be unclear and unassured- not to mention also that each side's word is completely unreliable. The Israeli government seem pretty gung-ho about clearing out the Hamas, saying, "The Palestinians have made a mockery of the so-called cease-fire in the Gaza Strip."

I'm sure the arrest of important government officials will lessen the tensions between the two nations and help foster a trusting environment for favorable negotiations. I'm also sure that the lumping of the Palestinians high officials with a declared terrorists organization will help to alleviate the mistrust and corruption in the Palestinian government itself. What happened to Israel saying that they will not be manipulated into full-out dischord with Palestine over terrorist acts that both sides agree is uncalled for? They said that they will enter this on their own terms- but look! they just got all trampled over by their pesky emotions and their anger, and now both Israelis and Palestinians are dead.


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