Vårt Land 2014 07 22
Not online at time of translation
The fighting in Gaza has already had a despairingly high cost in human lives. So many Palestinian children having been killed- in addition to those wounded- is on the whole extremely bad. But it can turn towards what is even worse. Some military sources in Israel say the Gaza operation can turn as serious as Beirut in 2006. Also, the war might easily spiral out of control.
A ceasefire is therefore a question of urgency. The problem lies in Hamas’ lack of intent to enter one. Their experience is one of this war going in their favor, in the sense they have shown an ability to hit at Israel; leaving the isolation threatening them before the war. This has the implication of them (Hamas) not caring about the incomprehensiblesufferings of their own civil population.
Hamas has spent all their resources in constructing tunnels; in order to be able to attack Israel, and subterranean bunkers for rockets, fighters and war materiel. Israel has on her hand used large resources to construct the Iron Dome (defense) system; which has reduced damage made by rockets; also building shelters for its population.
Israel not only has the right to but the duty to defend its population from attacks. The great questions are what means are used. Contrary to what is claimed; Israel is not trying to target civilians. However, neither can they put all of the responsibility over the terrible civilian losses on Hamas.
It is not of the least importance that short term measures do not destroy long term measures. This may appear to be the case right now. The Israeli government lacks a viable strategy; Israeli analyst Yossi Alpher writes in Vårt land.
Close to half of Gaza’s population are children. The eldest of them are now experiencing their fourth Israeli attack. Their childhood has been imprinted by a fear of Israel; being fertile soil to terrorist groups intending to create and maintain hatred. Israel might well weaken Hamas militarily; at the same time laying down the foundation for harder resistance in the future.
At least a ceasefire will save lives; preventing further suffering. However, if nothing else does not take place; we will just see another round of fighting in just a few years. Hamas intent to destroy Israel does of course not give any basis for agreements. However; the Palestinian coalition government must not solely be seen as a threat to Israel. It may also create a framework for a political process being able to turn the development in another direction than towards ever increasing violence.
INCREASED PRESSURE OVER CEASEFIRE
Dagsavisen 2014 07 22 p 16, 17
Robert Hercz reports on developments in the region, starting with John Kerry’s recent TV gaffe while being interviewed by FOX news, on the precision of Israeli attacks. He refers to Moshe Maoz of the Hebrew University, who states international pressure on Israel is growing, and Hamas are fighting “bravely”. Talks between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal are referred to; those two having discussed a “Hudna”, a ceasefire with Israel. Ban Ki-Moon condemns Israeli use of force ahead of talks with John Kerry and Abdel Fatah al- Sisi.
Benjamin Netanyahu states he will make “no concessions” to Hamas; stating this will be wrong signal towards Islamist terrorists.
Hezbollah in Lebanon is reported to have issued threats towards Israel, over firing missiles, however, being deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, these threats are regarded as dubious.
At least 20 people are reported killed in Khan Younis, 11 dead reported in Rafah. Also, London based Al-Arabnewspaper reports of an Israeli airstrike on Iranian rockets headed for Hamas; stored in Khartoum in Syria. Fighting between Hamas and IDF on Israeli border reported; Hamas having entered Israel through tunnels.
BRENDE: PARTIES WIDELY SEPARATED
Dagsavisen 2014 07 22
FM Børge Brende, at present in Doha, Qatar, is quoted on stating a cease fire is even further away than before confrontation; losses having led to polarization. Qatar is seen as key in dealing with Hamas; Egypt being hostile and wholeheartedly supporting Israel on blockade.
ISRAEL FIRES AT HEALTH CARE STAFF
Dagsavisen 2014 07 22 p 18
Norwegian Red Cross secretary Sven Mollekleiv demands enquiry on allegations the IDF has fired at Red Crescent personnel in Gaza. The sources of these claims are Red Crescent in Gaza. Firing at, and nearby, hospitals also reported, as are reports of ever increasing numbers of casualties,
VERBAL WAR ON REALITY
Dagsavisen 2014 07 22
Bjørgulf K. Bjåen
A surprisingly objective article on the information war ongoing in the Middle East, presenting “Hasbara”, different interpretations of reality by the parties, and the use of images to convey sufferings of the populations. Interestingly, Anja Sletteland of the University of Oslo holds that Israel is on the winning side of this war, explaining this with “superiority in social media”; and has the most resources.
The translator would be more than happy to see those resources.
ECONOMIC PRESSURE ON ISRAEL
Dagens Næringsliv 2014 07 22 p 16, 27
Ingerid Salvesen/Mathilde Becker Aarseth
(Pay pr. View)
Avaaz campaign with more than 800,000 signatures demands that Finance Minister Siv Jensen pulls the Oil Fund out of the three Israeli banks; Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, Bank Leumi Le-Israel and Bank Hapoalim because they contribute to building of settlements. The banks already are blacklisted by the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The Ministry of Finance says they have not asked the Ethical council to specifically assess these banks.
“The State Pension Fund shall not be a foreign policy tool, and there is broad agreement on this subject in the Storting.” –Siv Jensen
THE TUNNELS OF DEATH
Dagbladet 2014 07 22 p 14, 15
Oda Leraan Skjetne
Links to picture gallery, Summary.
Interesting article on the extensive networks of tunnels created by the Hamas on the borders of, and inside of Gaza, their use in smuggling, as well as on attacking Israel is explained in some detail, and it is acknowledged one of the reasons over civilian casualties as being the fact this tunnel network is directly beneath civilian areas.
Quotes by Henrik Tuastad of the University of Oslo:
“There are problems involved in destroying this system; as Gaza is so densely populated it is impossible to avoid populated areas if the whole tunnel network is to be revealed”.
“They may be tailored exactly to be used against invasions. There, they may transport missiles subterraneous to different launch sites. There are also claims over escape tunnels having been built for the military leadership of Hamas”.
IT’S HAMAS THAT KILLING US, NOT ISRAEL. BUT THE GAZA PEOPLE DARE NOT SAY THIS ALOUD
Verdens Gang 2014 07 22
Harald Berg Sævareid.
Refrigeration rooms are full. Dead bodies wrapped in bloody sheets are placed directly on the floor. There is chaos and furious despair. Relatives push each other indesperation because there is not enough room for any more dead.
In the doorway stands a woman who has had enough.Driven to the brink of grief and anger, she says aloud: “It isHamas that’s killing us, not Israel.”
People around her remain silent, others try to calm herdown. She has obviously crossed a line. Fear and dread are part of the Hamas Islamist strategy and management ofGaza. It is in harmony with the way the Muslim Brotherhood tried to rule Egypt after they won elections in May 2012.
– Ceasefire is far away
100,000 Palestinians are displaced in Gaza, according to the UN on Monday night. According to an Israeli human rights group, an Israeli air attack on a house Sunday killed 25 people from the same family. Total number killed on the Israeli side during the last two weeks is now 27, including two civilians, officials said Monday. Foreign Minister Brende told VG that he no longer has hope for a quick ceasefire.
New War with Even More Tragedies
In just over the week that VG employees have been here, ithas been more than hinted at by several which we have spoken with in Gaza, that there is a great dissatisfaction with the Hamas government in Gaza. When Fatah leaderand Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamasleader Khaled Meshal, agreed to a Palestinian unity government two months ago, this gave hope to a hugemajority of the people in Gaza that they would come out from under Hamas regime’s iron grip.
Instead they got a new war with even more tragedies,between 500 and 600 dead, the vast majority civilians and many children.
-Hamas takes from us the joy of living
Here are a handful of comments given by people who by all means do not wish to be named or could otherwise risk being identified.
– We cannot take any more of the Israeli attacks that kill us,make us homeless and mean that we lose what little wehave.
-We hate Israel and the Israeli occupation of the West Bankand Gaza, but things have gotten worse after Hamas took control.
– This is very good for Israel that Hamas controls Gaza.Netanyahu knows that they can be provoked into firingmissiles, so Israel can periodically go to war against us. In this way the Israeli prime minister can control their country and use us as an excuse. Gaza’s people are not dangerous.Hamas is.
– Israel has always discriminated against and made lifedifficult for the Palestinians. Hamas shows favoritism anddiscriminates in Gaza. We who support Fatah are not entitled to our pay – we need to get paid from Ramallah.
– We cannot live our lives as we want. Hamas meddles ineverything we do.
– Hamas takes from us the joy of living.
Since the takeover of Gaza in 2007, when the local Fatahleaders were thrown out after a bloody internal show-down, the religious authoritarian Hamas regime has ruled with a heavy hand. Previously Gaza had a large percentage of its population living a secular Muslim life with an easy and comfortable lifestyle. This disappeared when Hamas took over.
IN FEAR OVER DIMINSHED CREDIBILITY
Dagen 2014 07 22 p 6
The former Secretary General of the Norwegian Press Association, Per Edgar Kokkvoll, issues warning to Norwegian media over partiality being sown by “unmentioned” journalists on Twitter and Facebook; seen by him as undermining their credibility with the public.
OLD ISRAEL OP-ED AWAKENS NEW COMMITMENT
Aftenposten 2014 07 22
Jostein Gaarder’s famous- or rather infamous- op-ed from 2006, attacking Israel and later on publicly regretted by the author “awakens new commitment”. Ervin Kohn characterizes this old op-ed as “anti-Semite slime”, while per Edgar Kokkvold thinks “it is pity web based stuff does not turn yellow with time”. Jostein Gaarder will not make any comments upon this issue at present.
Talk-backs to this article tend to be ranged from critical to Israel to grossly anti-Semite, with a few honest exceptions.
Also in other media.
French Jews in shock over violently anti-Semite demos this weekend, Jewish businesses being subject to attacks. The cause of the attacks is explained to be the Israeli offensive on Gaza; arrangers of protests deny claims of anti-Semitism. Hatred directed against Jews in social media is also mentioned.
The article tactfully omits to mention who the attackers in France were.
This only took three days to appear in Norwegian media; nowhere in Norwegian media has this been on the front pages.
TV Coverage, July 21
18:00 Dagsnytt 18 (radio-TV):
Second story: the UN demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, more than 500 Palestinians dead so far, Brende to Qatar, 18 soldiers, 2 civilians, State secretary Bård Glad Pedersen in studio, international community must out pressure, humanitarian sufferings in Gaza, he says that Norway plays a role bc: 1.leader of the AHLC, enjoy trust by both parties and coordinating role. US correspondent, Gro Holm, online, the Kerry incidence w Fox news, “hell of a pin point operation” Americans concerned with the situation in Gaza, difficult for the Security Council to do anything bc the US will veto it. ME expert Are Hovdenak in studio on the change of location to Qatar and the ceasefire negotiations, Qatar can levy pressure on Hamas. The other Gaza doctor Erik Fosse in studio “inhuman” situation, lack of most medicines and equipment, lack of fuel and clean water, human made situation, Gazans are killed slowly so he understand that Hamas wouldn’t accept the ceasefire, radicalization of his colleagues and the people, Hamas is a political party, the US must take it off the terrorist list. Hamas is more than willing to deliberate. Terje Rød-Larsen on the phone, disagrees with Fosse, saying that polls are saying the opposite, they don’t want Hamas leadership, prefers Abbas, Hamas is also accused of breach of international law, Fosse then admits that Hamas hasn’t managed to improve the situation in 7 years, but people are more radical against Israel, Glad-Pedersen says that rocket attacks against Israel and the use of humanitarian shields must be condemned. Rød-Larsen said that the chance of a ceasefire was there, Israel said yes, Egypt no, now he doubt that there will be an agreement in the near future.
More than 500 dead in Gaza, 5 people killed in a hospital attack,
Erik fosse board member NORWAC, in studio. similar to 2009. How to save civilians, bombing of families, houses, civilians, health personnel tried to kill, their houses damaged, the people have been radicalized- that’s the main difference since 2009, the main problem is the blockade, people don’t care if they starve to death or bombed to death.
Odd Karsten Tveitt in studio: asking if bombing of hospitals is random or deliberately, saying there is no evidence it was done deliberately, but nothing Israel does get any consequences, Israel does not allow any international commissions.
Working for a ceasefire, Brende on skype from Qatar: “I think there will be a ceasefire agreement, but it should have been one yesterday. Unfortunately it might take a few days, and more lives will be lost. Report from a meeting organized by the 14 August committee and Red Cross in Oslo yesterday, to support each other and collect money for the people in Gaza
Israeli attack on hospital 5 killed, this is the third hospital being hit, UN demands immediate ceasefire, footage from funerals in Gaza, interview with a Palestinian on the street saying they have nowhere to go, footage from hospitals
TV2 kl 19: Bjørn Herman, IDF Scandinavia interview. UN, Gasana speech demanding ceasefire. Moshe Yalon, we are ready to continue, we have more forces ready. 80 procent civilians. Marte Heian Engda at University of Oslo: when does Israel have the responsibility? when there is a family on the roof Israel is still allowed to attack if a rocket was shot from that building.