Monday, August 3, 2009

Cease Fire of 2008

As one of my readers commented not long ago (I think it was Rashkov), the standard anti-Israel narrative about the ramp-up to Israel's invasion of Gaza earlier this year is that the Israelis broke a six month cease-fire with Hamas: the whole justification for the invasion, which was to put an end to rocket fire at Israeli civilians, was bogus.

A second, only slightly more subtle version, tells that the cease fire began in June 2008, and was broken by Israel in October (I think), when Israel suddenly killed six Hamas men; after that the Palestinians resumed fire, a bit, and the cease fire sort of unraveled.

Either way it's Israel's fault, of course.

At the moment I'm plowing through Israel's report on the Gaza Operation (I'm about half way through). It's fascinating, and I'm learning all sorts of useful things. I'm also following some of the footnotes and links. One link lead me to this document, which is full of of statistics about Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli civilians.

Indeed, for about three months there was a bilateral cease fire. The six dead Hamas men were preparing an assault on IDF forces, and thereafter there were ever more rockets and mortars - hundreds, all in all. So the first story is simply a lie. Then, on December 19th 2008 Hamas announced, officially and openly, that the cease fire was annullled; from then until Israel attacked they indiscriminately shot 66 rockets and 63 mortar shells at Israel.

Apparently that particular anti-Israel story is counter factual.


rashkov said...

Thanks for the credit. The report is very interesting reading so far.

Michael W. said...

Are you sure about the Dec. 19th date?

Alex Bensky said...

Obviously you don't grasp the subtleties of language use in the Middle East. Fortunately, you have readers like me who can enlighten you.

In the Middle East "Israeli cease fire" means the Israelis don't shoot, don't threaten to shoot, don't plan to shoot, don't even think about shooting. "Palestinian cease fire" means the Palestinians don't shoot as much as they were.

By the way, in the Middle East when it's applied to Israel "disporportionate" means "effective."

rashkov said...

My original comment may be found here:

"This could be a prevalent view among the left. Ira Chernus writes in Mother Jones, a lefty journal:

"Israelis generally know what most Americans still don't: Suicide bombing, supposedly the trademark of "Palestinian terrorism," has virtually ceased. As a result, Israel's chief complaint has switched to Hamas rocket attacks. How can we let them have the West Bank, the argument goes? Look what happened when we pulled all our settlements out of Gaza and got nothing in return but thousands of rockets. That's why we had no choice but launch our full-scale assault on Gaza in December 2008: to put an end to them."

"In fact, though, Hamas rocket attacks had ended in July 2008, when Israel agreed to the ceasefire Hamas had been asking for. That agreement held for four months until Israeli troops killed six Hamas operatives — shortly before Hamas and Fatah were scheduled to create a unified government. It's a familiar Israeli tactic: block Palestinian unity and then complain of "no partner for peace."