On June 19, 2008, Israel and Hamas agreed to a "Lull" or Tahadiya in Arabic. Israel wanted it to last indefinitely and Hamas said it would last six months. As it neared the end, though, Hamas indicated it would extend the "lull" arrangement.
In today's war between Hamas and Israel, Israel's government, and allies like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insist that Israel was forced to attack in order to prevent rocket attacks fired by Hamas in violation of the "Lull."
But Israel's own sources show that to be false. In fact, Israeli sources like the Tel Aviv-based "Terrorism Information Center" show that prior to the "Lull" there were intense rocket attacks -- and they acknowledge that many of the attacks were in response to Israeli military attacks targeting Palestinian militants and Hamas activists in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
On Dec. 19, 2008, Hamas kept its word and rocket attacks ceased. There WERE some incidents, but all of the Israeli sources agrew with Hamas claims that the few rocket incidents each month that took place were fired by militants not under Hamas's control. Hamas, in fact, cracked down on the "independents" and several occasions.
Although, again, for each "independent" firing of rockets, it was always preceded by Israeli attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank aligned with the independent groups. The point is that Hamas abided by the Lull of Tahadiya agreement during the agreement period.
Independents, seeking revenge against israel, did fire SOME rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip after Israel attacked their members in the West Bank.
Israel argues the Lull did not apply to the West Bank. Hamas argues it should have. If the Israeli attacks did not take place in the West Bank during the Lull Arrangement (Tahadiya), it is very likely that there would not have even been a few incidents of rockets being fired into israel.
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF THIS and a CHART from the Terrorism Information Center in Tel Aviv that shows exactly when and how many rockets (and mortars) were fired from the Gaza Strip, backing up this important point that the mainstream media and the Bush administration seems to ignore.
On Nov. 4, 2008, without any provocation, Israel expanded its attacks against militants from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip IN CLEAR VIOLATION of the Lull Arrangement or cease-fire.
Israel alleged they attacked a tunnel that was to be used to kidnap Israeli soldiers. The assault by Israel ground forces took six (6) Palestinian lives. Their fellow militants responded with rocket fire. Israel then attacked with war planes thenext day and the conflict quickly escalated IN VIOLATION OF THE CEASE FIRE.
Many people ignore the importance of the date this "war" started. It was Nov. 4, 2008, while Americans were focused on the most important date of the year, the presidential election in the United States.
Did Israel attack Hamas in violation of the Lull Arrangement because Hamas fired rockets into Israeli cities?
Or, was it because Israel decided that it needed to act now, knowing that Barack Obama would be a different kind of president than George W. Bush whose administration has embraced Israeli government war mongering? Was this intended to change the dynamics to create a situation that would force Obama to act in Israel's interests when he finally assumes office Jan. 20?
Clearly, the Israeli government action is more about politics than truth. Sadly, few in America seem to care about truth or even the safety of civilians.
-- Ray Hanania