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This is an insightful and well-written article. Certainly negotiating with Hamas is the only way forward. 

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if there is a radical faction and a moderate faction you should always negotiate with the radical faction first. If you can reach agreement with the radicals, the moderates will join you too. If you only reach agreement with the moderates, you still have the radicals to deal with.

It is true that Hamas’ charter is horribly anti-Semitic. Even so, as the author points out, Mashal has shown himself to be a pragmatist and does not seem to be bound by the charter. My first martial arts instructor taught me “Your mouth can lie but your body can’t lie”. It’s true. Regardless of the words of any charter, the important thing is what Hamas actually does, and there is every indication that Hamas is willing to be realistic about accepting a tw0-state solution within the pre-1967 borders. The real question is whether Israel is willing to accept this.

Father Dave

Khaled Meshaal

Khaled Meshaal

source: www.policymic.com…

Khalid Mishal and Hamas Are Keys to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Earlier this week, the Shura council of Hamasre-elected Khalid Mishal as the political head of their organization for a fourth straight time. Last year Mishal had vowed to step down from his post which many criticized within the party, asserting that he stay at the helm.

With the election of Khalid Mishal, Hamas has shown its willingness to be more pragmatic, further asserting the need to include it in future negotiations on the decades long conflict.

Mishal’s ascendancy to the highest office was sparked by Israel’s attempt to assassinate him back in 1997. Under direct orders from then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad planned a hit on Mishal while he was residing in Jordan at the time. The incident caused an international uproar, requiring a direct intervention by President Bill Clinton. Ever since, Mishal’s repute amongst Palestinians has reached new heights with every passing year.

While Mishal has been leading the organization since a good part of the last decade, he returned to Gaza last year for the first time in 45 years, welcomed by thousands of his supporters, displaying the height of his unquestionable popularity. Prominent analysts and critics have highlighted Mishal’s unique role in brandishing the image of Hamas from one consisting of an army of suicide bombers to a democratic entity that deserves a say in the future of its fellow Palestinians.

While many now see Hamas’s rise and evolution as promising, prospects of negotiating with the group has been futile. The Israeli government has had a zero tolerance policy towards Hamas, who they consistently accuse of seeking to destroy Israel, citing Hamas’s manifesto. Following cue, the Americans have shut any doors to including Hamas regarding negotiations on Israeli settlements and Israel-Palestine peace deals.

Mishal has never moved away from the position that resistance, and armed resistance is a right for Palestinians as long as the occupation continues. Mishal has supported suicide bombings and rocket launches into Israel, justifying the attacks as a legitimate source of opposition to the brutal tactics of the Israeli state. Many in Hamas describe it as an act of desperation in the face overwhelming Israeli military power.

However, since Hamas’ rise to power, and especially after their election win in 2006, it has readily abandoned the practice of suicide bombing in the past years, citing it to be detrimental to their cause. Nevertheless, in November last year, they threatened to renew the practice in retaliation to the highly provocative killing of one their top commanders by the Israeli establishment. Mishal and Hamas have also successfully negotiated and maintained several ceasefires with the Israeli state. Before the Gaza war started in December 2008, Hamas had respected the ongoing ceasefire for around six months before it was broken, its cause remaining disputed.

read the rest of this article here: www.policymic.com…

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Father Roy writes: According to the article pasted below, an anonymous Palestinian faction fired two rockets into Israel last evening “despite” Israel’s earlier warning that Israel might re-occupy Gaza.  One might say that the rockets were fired “because” of Israel’s neverending threats.  Notice in the article that the faction has claimed responsibility for the two rockets.  Have you noticed?  Arab Freedom Fighters generally do claim responsibility for their violent resistance.  Which is not the case with the CIA or the Mossad or other groups who involve themselves in false flag operations.  Israel could stop the bombings altogether if Israel would quit the Siege of Gaza.  And end the occupation of Palestinian territories.  And stop all the thunderous threats and boasting.  And comply with International Law.  And learn to share Jerusalem, for starters.

One wonders whether Israel can be convinced that peace would be beneficial for Israel’s economy.  What better incentive can there be?  Here’s a possible peace dividend:  Valley of Peace (03:41).  We’ve got the technology to make it happen.  Cooperative efforts would be required, of course.

I’ve done a bit of highlighting in the article pasted below.  You’ll notice that Hamas still does not trust Israel’s government.  I added a postscript at the very, very bottom.

Peace,Roy+

source: Rockets fired into southern Israel despite Israeli threat to re-occupy Gaza

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Damaged buildings in Gaza after operation Cast-Lead

Rockets fired into southern Israel despite Israeli threat to re-occupy Gaza

On the night of Sept. 9, an anonymous Palestinian faction from Gaza Strip fired two Grad rockets into Israel, damaging two buildings in city of Netivot and causing light injuries to thirteen Israelis, including four people who suffered from shock.

According to Jerusalem Post, one of the Grad rockets hit a home in the city of Netivot while the second struck the city of Beersheba, exploded in an open area of the city.

The attack came despite the latest Israeli threats, such as most recent Israeli defense minister’s statement of readiness to re-occupy Gaza. Indeed, it seems that there are factions actually aiming at dragging Israel to a military operation or a war in Gaza, regardless of the consequences it would have on Gaza residents, who are already suffering due to the conflict and are often being forced to leave their homeland and immigrate.

The new attack came hours after Salafist militants named ” the Mujahedeen Shura Council” claimed rockets fired into Israel is in response to the killing of six people in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza last week. In addition, the rocket fire is said to be in repsonse to Israeli policies towards Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Beersheba mosque, where Israel held a wine festival this week.

We claim responsibility for firing two rockets, on Saturday morning, against the region of Sdot Negev,” said the statement signed by the hardline Islamist splinter group, called the Mujahedeen Shura Council.

The group also said that, the Hamas government is cracking down on its members in an attempt to halt rocket fire into Israel.

“Security forces confiscated homemade projectiles and light weapons belonging to Salafi militants, and detained 20 fighters,” the group added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said, a rocket hit Israel’s Eshkol region early Saturday, without causing injuries or damage, and another missile alert had sounded.

Another red color alert, the official warning of a rocket, was issued in the area this morning, but it was not immediately clear if the rocket had hit Israel, she added.

It is worth mentioning that, Salafist groups accuse the Hamas government in Gaza of showing weakness against Israel and its failure to impose Islamic law.

However, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians, in separate attacks, on Wednesday and Thursday, claiming they targeted militants firing rockets into the Negev and planting bombs near the border. According to Palestinian media, all of the dead were civilians.

Moreover, according to Alresalah news, Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said in an interview with Al-Aqsa TV of Hamas that his government has been honest and maintained its political positions as it will never recognize Israel and will not give up a single inch of Palestinian land.

Haniyeh stressed that the resistance in Gaza has all elements of force and can protect Gaza Strip from any attack or aggression by the Israeli occupation army.

“We emphasized resistance option in order to liberate the land. We now live in a stage that gathers reconstruction and liberation and resistance,” Haniyeh added.  

(Peers…. Please review this article which comes from HamasPause for Peace – New York Times It’s not the least bit out-of-date.  R)