Believing in the ceasefire

Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, June 20:

After the unremitting hell that Israel has inflicted on Palestinians in Gaza, one can only feel relief and even joy at the ceasefire agreed between Hamas and the Jewish state that took effect this week. Its significance extends well beyond Gaza and opens new possibilities as the disastrous Bush Doctrine begins to lose influence.

Since the beginning of this year, Israeli occupation forces and settlers have killed over 400 Palestinians, including dozens of children and several babies, already exceeding the entire death toll for 2007. One hundred and fifty were killed during a few days of Israeli bombing of Gaza in early March. This year seven Israelis have been killed in conflict-related violence, including four by mortars or rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Some have sought to exclusively blame Hamas for the high Palestinian death toll, saying that the rockets resistance fighters were firing into Israel were “useless” and “toys,” and gave Israel the excuse to “retaliate” implying that resistance itself was to blame for the occupier’s violence. But the fallacy of this claim is exposed by the fact that the absence of rockets fired from the West Bank and the renunciation of resistance by the US-backed Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, has not spared Palestinian communities there from daily and escalating Israeli violence.