Monday, January 12, 2009

A Durable Ceasefire Requires an End to the Siege and Occupation

From the Palestine Center:
Since the start of the December 2008 Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, the most often asked question has been how to achieve a durable ceasefire. Pundits have given various answers to that question, most of which revolve around the same point—a durable ceasefire can only be achieved once Israel destroys Hamas’s military capability—and for some, the definition includes the elimination of Hamas’s role in Palestinian politics. This narrow approach which takes into consideration the interests of only one side and avoids the root causes for the continued violence is why a durable ceasefire remains elusive.

A sustainable and durable ceasefire starts with an immediate halt of Israel’s military offensive against the 1.5 million Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the opening of the Rafah border crossing, a legitimate and secured crossing, to allow uninterrupted passage of medicine, food, fuel and people rather than the forced reliance on underground, unmonitored tunnels. Diplomatic talks, which must include Hamas recognized as an elected political party, should focus on lifting the 18-month old siege, not the easing of the siege.
Read the entire article here >