Erekat stated that the Palestinian Authority fears Israel will launch a new large scale attack on Gaza, following escalated tensions in the area.Just ignore the fact that but for the Hamas terror activities, Israel would not have engaged in bombing the Hamas arms caches (which are illegal under the Oslo Accords that call for the disarmament of militias operating in the territories) and various smuggling tunnels being dug across the former Philadelphi corridor.
The PA negotiator added that military measures will not solve anything and will only make things worse.
On Tuesday, Israel pounded Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip in the most extensive aerial bombardment since Operation Cast Lead two years ago.
At least three Hamas operatives were killed during the bombing of arms storehouses and smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt, and in the pummeling of tunnels being dug toward Israel.
The IAF strikes came in response to multiple attacks on southern Israel from Gaza.
A Kassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the Ashkelon area on Tuesday morning, landing in Kibbutz Zikim. The rocket exploded near a kindergarten, as dozens of parents were dropping off their children at school, injuring a 14-year old girl.
The incident followed a spate of attacks emanating from Gaza in the previous days, encompassing the launch of some three rockets and 18 mortars into the regions of Eshkol and Ashkelon. These attacks included the launch of six mortars on Sunday at IDF forces operating near the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
At least this time the UN Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, says that Israel has a right to defend itself from such attacks. That's progress.
What would signify real progress is that the Palestinians take responsibility for their own culpability and actions that have led to a complete breakdown of whatever negotiations have been ongoing. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, and Fatah double deals - claiming that they want peace with Israel on the one hand, but then pushes revisionist histories that deny Israel's rights and historic Jewish claims to territories, including the Temple Mount. Fatah and Hamas remain at each other's throats - and Hamas is busy accusing Fatah of torturing its minions (which is rather rich considering that Hamas had no problem tossing Fatah thugs from rooftops when Hamas took over Gaza). Hamas and Fatah can't come to a power sharing agreement so how is it that Israel is supposed to make peace - who exactly are they supposed to make peace with?
The media doesn't get a pass on this either. The rocket and mortar attacks have been going on since this past weekend, and the latest terrorist deaths resulted from Israeli reprisals against those terrorists as they were preparing to fire on Israel. Israel's reprisals are the escalation - ignoring that the rockets fired by the terrorists were being aimed at civilian targets in Israel. Hamas escalates by initiating the attacks, but gets a pass by the media. In fact, those attacks included firing on an Israeli kindergarten class.
Then again, diplomats and former world leaders don't get it either. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn't get it. While saying that he wants Israel to reassure Palestinians that statehood is possible, Blair, like so many other diplomats and pundits, ignores that the Palestinians could have had statehood at any point after 1993 if Palestinian leaders had deemed it in their interest to do so.
Yasir Arafat refused statehood. Indeed, Arafat said that the Palestinian leader who would cede any part of Jerusalem to Israel is not yet born.
Mahmoud Abbas has thus far refused. Palestinians can't even agree on a cohesive voice - Hamas controls Gaza and doesn't acknowledge Israel's right to exist. Fatah controls the West Bank and is willing to accept the status quo since their power structure remains intact and assures a steady flow of foreign aid.
Abbas and Arafat both refused to accept a 2-state solution because it would have meant repudiating decades of standing for nothing but the destruction of Israel as the only acceptable solution. That's still the position of Hamas, and until Hamas ends its control of Gaza, that will not change.
Abbas is now warning that Israeli aggression threatens the "peace process." Where was Abbas when Hamas and the other terror groups were busy firing the kassams and mortars at Israel. That's the threat to the peace process, not Israel's inalienable right to defend itself from terrorists hell bent on inflicting casualties among Israelis (and anyone else who happens to get hit by the mortars and kassams, including fellow Palestinians, foreign workers, and Israelis of all ages).