- Who started it? On December 19th Hamas declared it would not renew a 6-month ceasefire agreement. Instead, Hamas stepped up the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. On Christmas Eve it fired over 50 rockets and on Christmas Day over 80 rockets and mortars against Israeli citizens. No country could ignore rockets being fired against its people.
- Is Israel's response disproportionate? In the last 3 years Hamas has fired 5,800 rockets and mortars randomly against Israeli citizens. What would be the world's response if Israel fired 5,800 missiles randomly into Gaza? Instead Israel has targeted Hamas fighters and infrastructure, and tunnels from Egypt. Israel has repeatedly offered that if the rockets stop it would also stop its bombardment. But Hamas continues firing rockets.
- What is needed to end the conflict? There needs to be a change to the security situation in Gaza. Hamas used the last 6-month ceasefire to smuggle longer-range Iranian made rockets into the Gaza Strip. These have hit a school in Beersheva and apartments in Ashkelon and Ashdod 25 miles away. If Israel accepts another ceasefire without destroying this stockpile of rockets or putting [in] controls to prevent new and even longer range rockets being smuggled into Gaza it could face a repetition whenever Hamas decided to renew hostilities. Next time Tel Aviv could be within range.
- What is the reaction of the Arab powers? No Arab nation would have allowed a neighbour to fire rockets into its sovereign territory. Any Arab state would have reacted far more strongly and not been so concerned to minimise civilian casualties! Neither Egypt or Jordan has broken off diplomatic relations with Israel. Many Arab states recognize that Hamas is acting as an agent for Iran. They do not want Iranian power to increase in the Middle East and are secretly pleased that Israel is taking on Hamas.
- What about the humanitarian situation in Gaza? The people in Gaza are living under a despotic regime. Hamas expelled its [Fatah] opponents by throwing them off the roof of high-rise buildings or shooting them in the streets. Hamas persecutes the small Christian minority and any non-islamic influences. Israel is allowing daily deliveries of 50 to 100 truckloads of supplies to Gaza and did not cut off power supplies from the generating station at Ashkelon even when it was under fire.
- Is Gaza hopeless? No, its people have a high rate of adult literacy - over 92%. Infant mortality is low and the expectation of life from birth is over 72 years. If Gaza focused on development rather than using all of its resources for attacking Israel the people could have a brighter future.
- What is CFI doing? CFI Jerusalem is facing increased calls for help from people suffering because of this conflict. CFI-UK has suggested to the Israeli Government the establishment of an emergency field hospital in southern Israel with safe conduct to take casualties from Shifa Hospital in Gaza" [end quote]
Saturday, 10 January 2009
7 QUESTIONS ABOUT GAZA
Hello again folks! I received an interesting document from Geoffrey Smith of Christian Friends of Israel [CFI] this week entitled "7 Questions about Gaza". I think it is a good piece so I thought that I would share it with you good people today:- "There are seven questions that many people are asking about the conflict between Israel and Hamas. These questions provide context to the news from Gaza and can be helpful in replying to questions in your church or fellowship and as a guide to prayer.
God bless you and God bless Israel ... KJS ... 10-Jan-2009